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newsclips -- Newsclips for June 26, 2014 Posted: 26 Jun 2014 13:38:29
ARB Newsclips for June 26, 2014. This is a service of the California Air Resources Board’s Office of Communications. You may need to sign in or register with individual websites to view some of the following news articles. CLIMATE CHANGE UN: Strong odds of El Nino's return by end of year. There's a strong chance an El Nino weather event will reappear before the end of the year and shake up climate patterns worldwide, the U.N. weather agency said Thursday. The El Nino, a flow of unusually warm surface waters from the Pacific Ocean toward and along the western coast of South America, changes rain and temperature patterns around the world and usually raises global temperatures. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_UNITED_NATIONS_EL_NINO?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Obama: Climate change steps making a difference. Appealing for patience and perseverance from environmental activists, President Barack Obama claimed progress Wednesday in his second-term drive to combat climate change but said more must be done to address a generational problem. One year after unveiling an aggressive plan, Obama said new emissions limits on power plants, renewable energy projects…Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMA_CLIMATE_CHANGE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Groups seek protection of iconic Alaska tree. Four conservation groups have petitioned the Interior Department to list an iconic Alaska tree as threatened or endangered because of climate change. Yellow cedar for centuries has been carved by Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people for canoe paddles and totem poles. They could remove a lengthwise strip of bark from a living tree to use for weaving baskets and hats, and as backing in blankets because the trees can compartmentalize the damage and heal themselves. Posted. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_THREATENED_ALASKA_TREE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT OTHER RELATED STORIES http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Groups-seek-protection-of-yellow-cedar-trees-5579108.php http://www.sacbee.com/2014/06/25/6511842/groups-seek-protection-of-yellow.html http://www.presstelegram.com/general-news/20140625/groups-seek-protection-of-iconic-alaska-tree Congress the butt of Obama's climate science jokes. President Barack Obama lampooned congressional skepticism over climate change on Wednesday, saying that lawmakers who balk at tackling air pollution are either blind to science or cowed by extremists. In a speech to the League of Conservation Voters, the president enumerated the steps he has taken to slow pollution and rein in emissions that scientists say have trapped heat in the earth's atmosphere. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/26/us-usa-obama-climatechange-idUSKBN0F106920140626 http://www.politico.com/story/2014/06/barack-obama-climate-change-108338.html Historic Greenland ice sheet collapse a cautionary tale for the future – study. Roughly 400,000 years ago, the Greenland ice sheet collapsed. According to new research, this collapse could account potentially for almost half of the 6 to 13 meters of global sea-level rise witnessed during that period. And while it occurred almost half-a-million years ago, the collapse is significant to scientists trying to determine how the planet's current warming trends could affect the world's ice sheets…Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060001995/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY Carbon sinks take center stage in nation's capital. Agriculture's ability to take in and store carbon dioxide was both celebrated and downplayed in the nation's capital yesterday. A House panel explored how improved grazing practices on public lands might help sequester carbon, while a new U.S. Geological Survey report announced by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell reinforced its earlier findings that forests, not farms, are America's biggest carbon sink. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060001993/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY DROUGHT Fruit and vegetable prices going up as California drought continues. Fresh fruits and vegetable prices will go up an estimated 6% in the coming months, the federal government said Wednesday, as California’s ongoing drought continues to hit price tags in grocery stores across the country. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-fruit-and-vegetable-prices-california-drought-continues-20140625-story.html Legislators lack direction for a water fix. Few issues are more important to the future of California than providing a reliable source of water for the state’s growing population. But despite the sense of urgency caused by this year’s particularly severe drought, legislators still aren’t sure exactly what to do about the problem. Posted. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jun/25/legislators-fail-proposed-water-bond-ballot/ Calif. water board to crack down on urban waste. As many California farms are left with little or no water this summer because of drought, state water officials say they’re about to crack down on urban water users’ wasteful practices. As overall water use statewide has declined by 5 percent according to a state survey, water managers say cities have failed to cut their measured water use by 20 percent as called for by Gov. Jerry Brown in two drought declarations this year. Posted. http://www.capitalpress.com/California/20140625/calif-water-board-to-crack-down-on-urban-waste FUELS Opponents of renewable energy law ask for U.S. Supreme Court hearing. Fuel producers are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a challenge to California's landmark low carbon fuel standard, the first of a series of cases seeking to roll back state renewable energy laws around the country. The court could decide in the next few days whether to take up a lawsuit brought by a coalition of ethanol and gasoline producers trying to overturn a 2009 California rule mandating cuts to carbon emissions. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/25/usa-court-energy-idUSL2N0P521L20140625 DuPont Pushes the Green Fuels Agenda. DuPont is a chemicals giant, but it's also getting ready to become a green fuel giant. That puts it up there with specialized companies like Solazyme , but with the heft of a $60 billion market cap Dow 30 Component. Green fuels could be a nice niche for DuPont to dominate, if it gets its technology right. What's DuPont up to, anyway? DuPont is working on a plant that makes ethanol. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/DuPont-Pushes-the-Green-Fuels-Agenda-5581583.php Research raises new concerns about climate impact of natural gas. Natural gas fields globally may be leaking enough methane, a potent greenhouse gas, to make the fuel as polluting as coal for the climate over the next few decades, according to a pair of studies published last week. An even worse finding for the United States in terms of greenhouse gases is that some of its oil and gas fields are emitting more methane than the industry does, on average, in the rest of the world, the research suggests. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060001996/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY VEHICLES Toyota reveals exterior, Japan pricing of 2015 fuel cell vehicle. Toyota, whose Prius jump-started our appetites for hybrids almost two decades ago, is hoping for another eco-revolution. The automaker announced Wednesday the production version of an all-new fuel cell vehicle. The car -- currently named the FCV -- will go on sale in the U.S. in summer 2015, several months after it bows in Japan. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-autos-toyota-fuel-cell-price-20140625-story.html GREEN ENERGY Merkel to push back against EU if green energy support questioned. Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she would push back decisively against the European Commission if it raises further objections to Germany's system of green power subsidies. "You can't simply start to question support systems which have been in place for years without thinking about how we make the transition. Posted. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/25/us-germany-merkel-energy-idUSKBN0F00OC20140625 High-tech firms focus on energy efficiency to confront climate change. As President Obama pushes ahead on a strategy for confronting climate change that relies heavily on energy efficiency, some Americans may see flashbacks of Jimmy Carter trying to persuade them to wear an extra sweater and turn down the thermostat. Silicon Valley sees dollar signs. Long overshadowed by wind turbines, solar panels and other fashionable machines of renewable power…Posted. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-climate-efficiency-20140626-story.html California Continues to Set Daily Records for Utility-Scale Solar Energy. On June 1, 2014, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) recorded a record midday hourly peak of 4,767 megawatts of alternating current (MWAC) of utility-generated solar electricity delivered into the California grid. With rapidly growing utility-scale solar capacity, CAISO has regularly recorded new hourly output records going back to 2010…Posted. http://theenergycollective.com/todayinenergy/408881/california-continues-set-daily-records-utility-scale-solar-energy SolarCity backed Chinese solar-panel makers flooding U.S. market. Months before the U.S. government slapped Chinese manufacturers with hefty tariffs on solar panels that were flooding the American market, at least one American stood – or rather sat – with the Chinese. John Stanton, vice president of policy and markets with California-based SolarCity, defended Chinese manufacturers at a Jan. 22 U.S. Posted. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/06/25/solarcity-backed-chinese-solar-panel-makers-flooding-us-market/ Concentrating solar power could serve as competitive baseload source in some countries – report. The persistent bugbear behind most renewable energy sources is intermittency. When the wind slows or when the sun stops shining, the power stops, forcing utilities to ramp up expensive peaking generators or to buy power on the open market. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060001994/print BY SUBSCRIPTION ONLY MISCELLANEOUS James Pitts dies at 93; his research led to cleaner air in California. James Pitts, an influential smog researcher whose work was used to craft California's pioneering air quality regulations, has died. He was 93. Pitts died in his sleep of natural causes at his Irvine home on Thursday June 19, according to his wife, Barbara Finlayson-Pitts, a fellow chemist at UC Irvine. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-james-pitts-20140626-story.html California's Cap-and-Trade Program and other environmental market opportunities. The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will hear about a new University of California initiative concerning food, and focus on the state’s Cap-and-Trade Program and other environmental market opportunities for farmers and ranchers at its meeting on Tuesday, July 1st in Sacramento. This meeting will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 ‘N’ Street - Main Auditorium, Sacramento. Posted. http://www.imperialvalleynews.com/index.php/news/california-news/9519-california-s-cap-and-trade-program-and-other-environmental-market-opportunities.html OPINIONS What ailing pteropods tell us about climate change. Pteropod, meaning "wing foot," refers to a group of animals that have neither wings nor feet as we usually think of them. Instead, these seagoing snails get their name from wing-like extensions they use to swim (the "foot" being the muscular portion of their body). They're unknown to most people, and recent news articles discussing ocean acidification and pteropod shells probably didn't grab the public's attention. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-taylor-climate-change-pteropods-20140626-story.html Why 'rethinking' California's bullet train would kill it. To the editor: I take issue with state Sen. Kevin de Leon's (D-Los Angeles) desire to reconfigure the construction of California's high-speed rail system. Too many have worked too hard to start all over again, as De Leon suggests. In fact, $3.4 billion in federal money must be spent by 2017 or the state loses that critical funding. ("Next Senate leader Kevin de León wants Brown to rethink bullet train," June 22) Posted. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/readersreact/la-le-0626-thursday-bullet-train-20140626-story.html America's Small Businesses: Stop Climate Change. A new poll shows business owners understand the risks that come with climate change. The ranks of climate deniers grow thinner by the day. On Monday, prominent Republican Henry Paulson, a George W. Bush administration treasury secretary, broke ranks with deniers in a prominent op-ed in the New York Times. Posted. http://www.usnews.com/opinion/economic-intelligence/2014/06/26/small-businesses-want-action-to-stop-global-warming BLOGS Obama Ties GOP Climate Critics to ‘Fringe Elements’ President Barack Obama took aim at lawmakers who deny that carbon pollution is a problem, saying Wednesday night that they are answering to “fringe elements” who think climate science is a liberal plot. Speaking to a friendly crowd at a League of Conservation Voters event, the president took a hard line against those who question the science of climate change…Posted. http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2014/06/25/obama-ties-gop-climate-critics-to-fringe-elements/?KEYWORDS=climate+change California Falls Short on Water Conservation: But There's Still Hope. It seems that California Governor Jerry Brown's January 2014 plea for 20 percent water conservation has done little to actually reduce consumption across the state. According to a June State Water Resources Control Board report, Californians have decreased water use by just 5 percent. Dealing with limited water supply and drought conditions is not a new situation for Californians--we have been told to install low-flush toilets…Posted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ucla-inst-of-the-environment-and-sustainability/california-falls-short-on_b_5532415.html California is in a drought emergency. Visit www.SaveOurH2O.org for water conservation tips.