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newsclips -- Newsclips for February 28, 2011. Posted: 28 Feb 2011 11:58:38
California Air Resources Board News Clips for February 28, 2011. 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. AIR POLLUTION Heart Attacks And Air Pollution: Worse Than Alcohol, Anger Or Cocaine. No, this doesn't mean you should run out and get some cocaine. But it does suggest yet another reason public health officials should be concerned about air pollution and go after polluters. Combining data from 36 separate studies, scientists at two universities in Belgium have calculated the heart attack risks for various "triggers." As you might expect, cocaine is a really bad one. It increases an individual's risk of heart attack by 23 times. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/02/28/v-print/3436311/heart-attacks-and-air-pollution.html http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/green/detail?entry_id=83834 SPIN METER: Industry Jobs Studies Are Imprecise. Washington -- Industry officials say with confidence that 7.3 million jobs will disappear if the Obama administration goes through with tighter rules to reduce smog. The industry-sponsored researcher who came up with that number isn't so sure. "There's uncertainty around that," economist Don Norman said of the "shockingly high" job loss number he extrapolated using a study sponsored by the oil and natural gas industry's American Petroleum Institute and covering just 11 states. "Even if the numbers are half of that, the number is huge," he said. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/02/28/v-print/3435915/spin-meter-industry-jobs-studies.html Earthtalk: How Effective Has The EPA Been? Dear EarthTalk: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had its 40th anniversary in 2010. How effective has the EPA been and what are its biggest challenges today? By most accounts the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which turned 40 in December 2009, has been very effective. The first dedicated national environmental agency of its kind, the EPA has been instrumental in setting policy priorities and writing and enforcing a wide range of laws that have literally changed the face of the Earth for the better. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/02/28/v-print/3436567/earthtalk-how-effective-has-the.html Gas Drilling Boom Sets Off Pollution Alarms. The American landscape is dotted with hundreds of thousands of new wells and thousands of drilling rigs, as the country scrambles to tap into this century's gold rush – for natural gas. The gas has always been there, of course, trapped deep underground in countless tiny bubbles between thin layers of shale rock. But drilling companies have only in recent years developed techniques to unlock the enormous reserves, thought to be enough to supply the country with gas for up to a hundred years. So energy companies are clamoring to drill. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/02/27/v-print/3433581/naturalgas.html UPDATE 1-China Warns Pollution, Waste Imperil Growth. * Official sees pollution, resource strains as "bottleneck". * Signals bigger role in fighting climate change. * China caught between maintaining growth, taming pollution. * "Green growth" a long way off-researcher. (Corrects projected scale of economic growth in paragraph 13. China faces acute environmental and resource strains that threaten to choke growth unless the world's second-biggest economy cleans up, the nation's environment minister said in an unusually blunt warning. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/sns-rt-china-environment-toe71r05d-20110228,0,6415708,print.story EPA Continues Its Important Work. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency celebrated its 40th anniversary. The agency's work has led to cleaner air, cleaner water, and better health for many Californians. During the EPA's first 20 years alone, it prevented more than 200,000 premature deaths and almost 700,000 cases of chronic bronchitis by reducing dangerous air pollution. And gone are the days of rivers so polluted they catch on fire, and skies so polluted they block out the sun. Sadly however, the job is far from done. Posted. http://www.sbsun.com/pointofview/ci_17498985 Businesses Using Valley CAN To Help Clear Air. The idea of businesses trying to improve air quality in the San Joaquin Valley isn't so odd, said Douglass Wilhoit, chairman of Valley Clean Air Now. "It's the business of everybody to try to clear up the air," he said. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110227/A_SPECIAL13/102250322&cid=sitesearch 'Green' Merchants Get Free Promotion. The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District is launching its new Sky Savers public awareness program this spring, and calling all county merchants and vendors who offer "green" products and services. The program will educate county residents on clean air actions they can take to help the environment by providing them with coupon discounts for local green services and products. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/feb/26/Business_Briefs27/ CLIMATE CHANGE U.N. Leader Asks Hollywood For Help In Fight Against Global Climate Change. 'Together we can have a blockbuster impact on the world,' U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon tells Hollywood heavyweights at a forum on global climate change. Ban Ki-moon, the normally buttoned-up Secretary General of the United Nations, swept into Los Angeles during Oscar week playing the role of Hollywood pitchman. His message: Make global warming a hot issue. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-climate-hollywood-20110227,0,7308038,print.story FutureGen CO2 Site Decision To Be Announced Monday. CHAMPAIGN, Ill. The FutureGen Alliance is set to announce which of four Illinois counties will house the project's carbon dioxide storage site. The decision is expected Monday. The alliance is a group of coal companies and other firms working with the U.S. Department of Energy on FutureGen. Posted. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/feb/28/futuregen-co2-site-decision-to-be-announced/ New 'Zero Carbon' U.K. Homes Will Still Emit Carbon. Newly built houses in the United Kingdom marked as "zero carbon" will still be able to emit tons of carbon dioxide under new rules being considered by ministers. All new homes built there were expected to be carbon neutral from using wind turbines, solar panels and ground-source heat pumps, among other green technologies. In 2006, then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown and then-Housing Minister Yvette Cooper said all new homes would be zero carbon by 2016. But they didn't explain how it could be done. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/02/28/4 GREEN ENERGY China Used Less Energy Per Unit Of GDP In 2010. Shanghai -- China's efforts to reduce energy consumption per unit of economic output were less successful in 2010 with the reduction far less than achieved in the previous year. The National Bureau of Statistics said Monday that energy intensity - energy use per unit of gross domestic product - fell 4 percent last year from 2009. The bureau released the figure in an annual report of economic statistics posted on its website. It said the percentage decline was measured in terms of energy use per 10,000 yuan ($1,520) of GDP, but gave no specific figure. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/02/27/v-print/3435553/china-used-less-energy-per-unit.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/02/27/1576101/china-used-less-energy-per-unit.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/02/27/2289342/china-used-less-energy-per-unit.html#storylink=misearch Seamicro's Green Computers Made In Silicon Valley. A break in the space-time continuum must have opened up in Santa Clara. For there sits the headquarters of Sea-Micro, a computer company that actually manufactures computers in Silicon Valley. How 1980 of them. SeaMicro seems like the brainchild of a public relations whiz in the White House. Its business is making "green" servers that run on power-sipping laptop chips rather than the high-octane, electricity-hungry chips that most data center computers rely on. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/02/28/BULE1HU5LU.DTL&type=printable Solar 'Gold Rush' in U.K. May Die With Fastest Price Roll-Back. Cornwall, the poorest county in England, said five months ago it expected a "gold rush" of $1.6 billion in solar energy investments. Now, the U.K. government may get in the way. The central government said this month it's considering cutting incentives and reducing the size of projects, concerned that the above-market rates it promised through April 2012 may lead to too many solar farms. Britain is moving faster than any other European country to contain a surge in solar power and prevent the boom-and-bust seen in Spain and predicted for the Czech Republic. Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/02/28/bloomberg1376-LH66BL07SXKW01-69JH7TCM1KD065VPC5IGF34R49.DTL&type=printable Fees For Business Solar Power Units Vary Widely. Businesses that want to install solar panels pay vastly different permit fees in Contra Costa County depending on their location, according to a survey by the Sierra Club. A permit for solar panels on a commercial property range from $240 to nearly $20,000 for the same project, the survey found. High fees in some parts of the county may discourage businesses from going solar, said Kurt Newick, who did the survey. A similar survey of Alameda County found a much narrower range of charges. Posted. http://www.contracostatimes.com/top-stories/ci_17491096?nclick_check=1 Mass. Company Making Diesel With Sun, Water, CO2. Cambridge, Mass. -- A Massachusetts biotechnology company says it can produce the fuel that runs Jaguars and jet engines using the same ingredients that make grass grow. Joule Unlimited has invented a genetically-engineered organism that it says simply secretes diesel fuel or ethanol wherever it finds sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. Posted. http://www.modbee.com/2011/02/27/1575242/mass-company-making-diesel-with.html http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_06e6037b-c061-543e-943f-40bf032a8993.html D.C. Reneges On Aid To Install Solar Panels. It isn't easy going green, and it may also prove costly. Dozens of District residents who installed solar panels on their homes under a government grant program promoting renewable energy have been told they will not be reimbursed thousands of dollars as promised because the funds were diverted to help close a citywide budget gap. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/27/AR2011022702910.html REXPO Will Put On A Green Show. REXPO VII: Sustainable Collaboration, a March 9 conference presented by Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce's Green Team San Joaquin and Valley CAN (Clean Air Now), is built to highlight practices, programs and products that can serve both purposes. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110227/A_SPECIAL13/102250321&cid=sitesearch Green Team Aims To Leave Children A Clean Stockton. Stockton - The desire to have cleaner air and water are mere dreams to most people, but Frank Ferral is part of a Stockton group working to make this dream a reality. Posted. http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110227/A_SPECIAL13/102250320&cid=sitesearch VEHICLES Court Won't Hear Appeal Over Blocked Taxicab Rule. Washington -- The Supreme Court won't let New York City force taxi operators to go green. The high court refused Monday to hear an appeal by city officials who want to make cab companies buy more fuel efficient vehicles. Federal judges had blocked the city's new taxicab fuel regulations. City officials first wanted new taxicabs in 2008 to get at least 25 miles per gallon and 2009 taxicabs to achieve 30 miles a gallon. They then tried to force taxicab companies to go to hybrid cars by making it more expensive for them to buy fuel. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/02/28/v-print/3436870/court-wont-hear-appeal-over-blocked.html http://www.modbee.com/2011/02/28/1576780/court-wont-hear-appeal-over-blocked.html http://www.nctimes.com/news/national/article_b327dbca-7c04-57f8-8735-4392839765cd.html http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/02/28/2289987/court-wont-hear-appeal-over-blocked.html#storylink=misearch Eco Boom Ahead? There are a lot more hybrids on the market and a lot more people seem to be driving them. Are we finally reaching the point that as a nation we’re poised to be much more green, at least when it comes to our personal transportation? Posted. http://www.pe.com/cars/content/cars/stories/pe_cars_0228_peters.18c74610c.html Whoosh -- Can You Capture Energy From Passing Cars? Calif. Lawmaker Wants To Try. A California assemblyman has floated legislation in Sacramento that would authorize a state agency to explore whether the excess mechanical energy created by cars on the road might be captured and pumped back into the power grid. Assemblyman Mike Gatto, a Democrat, introduced a bill earlier this month that seeks to investigate piezoelectricity on California roadways. In the case of automobiles, the term refers to the charge or vibration from vehicles as they travel that is transferred into the pavement. Posted. http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/02/28/7 French Give and Take. France was facing a delicate balancing act in 2007. The government needed to find a way to reduce carbon emissions from transportation 20% by 2020, partly to meet goals proposed by the European Commission. But it didn't want to hurt the country's auto sector, which employed 10% of the labor force and already was battling slumping sales. The solution? A fee-and-rebate, or "feebate," program that gave new-car buyers a refund of as much as €5,000—about $6,700—for purchasing a low-emissions vehicle and imposed an extra tax on gas-guzzlers. Posted. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/story/print?guid=f4b0b858-32e9-11e0-acbe-012128040cf6 MISCELLANEOUS REDLANDS: La-Z-Boy Wins Green Action Award. The trash trucks have no reason to stop at Redlands' La-Z-Boy manufacturing plant anymore. The plant this year achieved nearly 100 percent recycling of the waste it produces, earning it a Green Action award from the city. The company celebrated Thursday with lunch for its employees and a ceremony during which Mayor Pete Aguilar presented the award. Posted. http://www.pe.com/localnews/sbcounty/stories/PE_News_Local_D_nlazy27.26afc7f.html Do Your Part: Going Green Adds Up To Savings. We've all heard that going green is too expensive, not cost-effective, or that it just isn't financially responsible in these tough economic times. That's just not the case. There are ways to Do Your Part to be easier on the planet and our wallets. Posted. http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/02/28/2289816/do-your-part-going-green-adds.html#storylink=misearch Are Fireplaces Going Out Of Style? There are few things more quintessentially American than gathering around a crackling fire blazing in the home hearth. The word "hearth" itself not only means fireplace, it also denotes family, and carries with it traditional images of home, warmth and a direct connection to the values and rugged individualism of America's pioneer past. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x1284224923/Are-fireplaces-going-out-of-style ENVIRONMENT: Rain-Delayed 'Green' Home Nears Completion. Editor's Note: Rhonda and Nigel Farrar are building a home near Escondido incorporating a host of environmentally friendly technologies. This is the latest installment in an occasional series about the Farrars' construction of their "green" home. Posted. http://www.nctimes.com/business/article_69d16363-01ea-5b6f-b786-92ce2a95c190.html OPINION A Climate-Change Activist Prepares For The Worst. Ten years ago, I put solar panels on my roof and began eating locally grown food. I bought an energy-efficient refrigerator that uses the power equivalent of a single light bulb. I started heating my home with a stove that burns organically fertilized corn kernels. I even restored a gas-free lawn mower for manual yardwork. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/25/AR2011022503176.html Not A Carbon Copy Of The U.S. Hong Kong, Singapore and other cities that are providing Asia with a path from poverty to prosperity also provide an urban approach to reduced energy use. If per capita carbon emissions in China and India rose to car-happy U.S. levels, global emissions would increase by 127%, according to the International Energy Agency. If their emissions stopped at the levels found in hyper-dense Hong Kong, world emissions would go up less than 24%. Posted. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-glaeser-emissions-20110228,0,7363164,print.story Why We're Condemned To A Warming Planet. We like clean air; we just don't want to work for it. Some people are global-warming skeptics. I'm more of a global- warming fatalist. I think we're cooking the planet all right. I just doubt we'll ever do much to stop, which is why we'll need to put more effort into coping with climate change. Several factors can explain my outlook, but recently I came across one that is especially telling. Posted. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/02/25/v-print/3432289/why-were-condemned-to-a-warming.html CARB Unaccountable. Jean Fuller's Feb. 17 article "Discussion of regulatory reform is welcome in Sacramento" is right on target. But one issue is that the suspension of AB 32, the state's greenhouse gas bill, was denied by the voters in the last election. One of the worst things about AB 32 is that it gives the power to the California Air Resources Board to regulate just about everything we use, including food. This agency accounts to no one except the governor, so it can fine and impose fees at its whim. Believe me, it will and is doing this now. Posted. http://www.bakersfield.com/opinion/letters/x1284224875/CARB-unaccountable BLOGS U.N. Unveils Tool for Tracking Progress of Climate Talks. We’ll always have Cancún. Online, at least. The United Nations office in charge of international climate change negotiations introduced a new online tool on Monday to track progress toward meeting the goals agreed to last December at an international climate conference in Cancún, Mexico. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/28/u-n-unveils-tool-for-tracking-progress-of-climate-talks/?scp=4&sq=climate%20change&st=cse A Defense of Acting on Ephemeral Sources of Heat. Last week I posted a “Your Dot” contribution from Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, a University of Chicago climate scientist concerned that policy makers and the public keep in mind the primacy of carbon dioxide emissions if they are serious about limiting the chances of propelling disruptive human-driven global warming. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/a-defense-of-acting-on-ephemeral-sources-of-heat/?scp=6&sq=climate%20change&st=cse What if: Standing in Line for Climate Aid. Lisa Friedman of Climatewire has an excellent story on The Times Web site digging in on an issue I’ve touched on periodically here — the prospect of intensifying fights over whatever money might flow someday to poor countries exposed to risks thought to be amplified by human-driven global warming. Posted. http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/25/what-if-standing-in-line-for-climate-aid/?scp=10&sq=climate%20change&st=cse Climate Change, How Does Agriculture Adapt? Everybody knows that some kind of climate change is occurring. The question is, can agriculture use climate change to its advantage? Studies show that some crops, like cotton, can handle higher temperatures more efficiently, while others, like corn and grain sorghum, are very responsive to elevated levels of carbon dioxide. Some physiologists have attributed the increase in cotton yields over the past 20 years to the slow, upward trend in carbon dioxide. A week ago, a giant snowstorm passed through the Mid-South. Posted. http://deltafarmpress.com/government/climate-change-how-does-agriculture-adapt