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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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

'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. 


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.

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. 

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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. 


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. 

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. 

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. 


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.



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. 

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.

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.


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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 


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. 

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.

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.

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.


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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

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