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newsclips -- Newsclips for June 6, 2011

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 13:53:23
California Air Resources Board News Clips for June 6, 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.


Western Environmental Soil Recycling Plant Seeks To Deflect Blame
For Strange Smell In Mecca.  After months of bruising criticism
and scrutiny, taken mostly in silence, the operators of a Mecca
soil-recycling facility are openly challenging assertions by air
quality inspectors that the plant is responsible for the noxious
odors drifting through the area. Posted.

Eye On The Environment: State Continues To Move Toward Cleaner
Air.  A report released in April by the California Air Pollution
Control Officers Association details the state's progress toward
clean air. The association represents all 35 local air quality
agencies in California.  The report provides objective
information for California residents regarding the state's
remarkable journey toward cleaner air and the challenges that
remain.  Posted. 


Rising Forest Density Offsets Climate Change: Study. Rising
forest density in many countries is helping to offset climate
change caused by deforestation from the Amazon basin to
Indonesia, a study showed on Sunday. The report indicated that
the size of trees in a forest -- rather than just the area
covered -- needed to be taken into account more in U.N.-led
efforts to put a price on forests as part of a nascent market to
slow global warming. Posted.

Natural-Gas ‘Golden Age’ May Boost Use 50%: IEA. Global
natural-gas use may rise more than 50 percent by 2035 from last
year to overtake coal as the second-most used fuel, the
International Energy Agency said. While a surge in gas use will
improve air quality in many cities, cut coal use and lower energy
costs, climate-change targets would be missed and temperatures
would rise beyond a goal of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit),
the Paris-based organization said today in a report. Posted.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Hit Record Highs _ Bad News For
Delegates At Climate Accord Talks.  Bonn, Germany — Bad news
awaits delegates from about 180 countries at the start of two
weeks of climate talks beginning Monday to debate a new global
warming accord. Greenhouse gas emissions are going up instead of
down despite 20 years of effort, hitting record highs, according
to a new report by the International Energy

Climate Change Picks Up With Faster Carbon Emissions. Carbon is
now being released into the atmosphere 10 times faster than
during a period of high temperatures 55.9 million years ago, and
ecosystems may not be able to adapt quickly enough, an
international team of geologists reports. The scientists used a
computer model to calculate emission rates based on rock cores
discovered in Spitsbergen, Norway, from the Paleocene-Eocene
Thermal Maximum (PETM), an era when global temperatures had also
spiked. Posted.

Researcher Says Climate Change May Be Cooling California. Spring
passed California by, and summer remains in hiding. Nine
tornadoes have torn up the Sacramento Valley from Oroville to
Fairfield. A giant Sierra snowpack, still frozen fast, has put
innumerable summer adventures on hold. The Golden State's weather
has gone haywire. And it's not over yet: Sacramento can expect as
much as another 1.4 inches of rain this weekend and temperatures
20 degrees below normal, with more mountain snow. Posted.

Australian PM Faces Toughest Test On Carbon Tax.  Canberra,
Australia (AP) - Australia's leader faces her toughest political
test to date as she tries to sell the nation on a carbon tax that
would lead to higher power prices while reducing greenhouse gas
emissions.  Increasingly vociferous debates on the issue is
dominating headlines and talk radio and could make or break the
center-left government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who ruled
out putting a price on pollution during her campaign and has
slumped in opinion polls since she floated the proposal in
February.  Posted. 

Biodegradable Products May Do More Environmental Harm Than Good,
Study Shows. Biodegradable products may do more harm to the
environment than they do good, contradicting the beliefs of many
consumers, according to a recent study by researchers at North
Carolina State University. Using Federal Trade Commission
guidelines, which state that a product should be labeled
biodegradable if it degrades in one year or less, researchers
found that fast-degrading products emit methane gas when sent to
landfills, a potent greenhouse gas that leads to global warming.
Posted. http://eenews.net/climatewire/print/2011/06/06/6


Electric Vehicles Become Electronic. About 80% of the value of a
military jet aircraft lies in the circuitry, up from almost
nothing a century ago. Civil airliners are about 50% electric and
electronic, whereas the family car is around 30% so far, all
these percentages steadily rising. The point is that an aircraft
has far more than the radar, communications and other instruments
accessed by the pilot: it is a sea of sensors, fuel controls and
servo systems in the engines, wings and elsewhere. Posted. 

Chrysler's New Kind Of Hybrid: Gasoline And Diesel. Gasoline and
diesel are like cats and dogs – put them together and disaster
ensues every time. Yet, during a presentation given by Chrysler
during the Department of Energy’s 2011 Merit Review in Washington
D.C., the automaker announced the development of a radical
prototype engine that burns a combination of gasoline and diesel,
in an effort to make its fleet more fuel-efficient. Posted.


E-Waste Law Reaches A Milestone: 1 Billion Pounds Of Computer
Junk Recycled In California. Mountains of broken TV sets,
obsolete computer monitors and outdated laptops that once piled
up in California's garages, attics and basements have achieved a
milestone. The state's electronic-waste recycling program has
reached its 1 billionth pound of unwanted electronics. That's
more than any other state has recycled -- and amounts to roughly
20 million TVs and computers kept out of landfills. Posted.

Waxman Sees Some Merit In GOP Reverse Auction Proposal. The top
Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee warmed today
to a Republican proposal for creating a billion-dollar reverse
auction to fund renewable energy projects. Rep. Henry Waxman of
California initially criticized the proposal to create the
auction, part of a sweeping "American Energy Initiative" bill
that also calls for expanding offshore drilling, fast-tracking
nuclear development and ramping up oil and gas production.

U.S. Court Rejects GE Challenge To EPA Cleanup Orders.  The U.S.
Supreme Court on Monday rejected General Electric Co's legal
challenge to part of a federal law that gives the Environmental
Protection Agency the power to order companies to clean up
hazardous waste. The justices let stand a U.S. appeals court
ruling that upheld a provision of the Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, known as the Superfund
law, that seeks to ensure polluters pay for environmental hazards

EPA Awarding $76 Million For Cleanups In 40 States. Lansing,
Mich.—Federal grants will help clean up and redevelop 214
polluted sites such as abandoned gas stations and shuttered
factories in 40 states, Environmental Protection Agency chief
Lisa Jackson said Monday. Three tribal nations also will receive
federal money under the EPA's "brownfield" program, which is
designed to spur growth in cities where contaminated industrial
and commercial sites have been a drag on the economy while
contributing to joblessness and crime, agency officials said.


League Of Women Voters Goes Too Far With Ads.  The League of
Women Voters wanted to be heard with its hard-hitting TV spots on
air quality. It certainly succeeded, but at what cost? Its
tactics are a big mistake, putting at risk its hard-won
reputation as a nonpartisan arbiter that sponsors debates,
analyzes issues and promotes civic participation.  The
controversial ads are very unlike the league.  Posted. 


A ‘Golden Age’ for Gas? Two Caveats.  Are we entering a golden
age of gas?  The answer is yes, according to a report with just
that title released on Monday by the International Energy Agency
— as long as the price for natural gas remains low and
governments adopt strong regulations to overcome environmental
concerns about hydraulic fracturing.  The report projects that
natural gas could make up 25 percent of the global energy mix in
2035, up from 21 percent now, replacing coal, nuclear and some
power from renewable sources like wind and solar.  Posted. 

Farming in a Challenging Climate.  The deep, almost inherent,
adaptability and resilience of the world’s farmers makes them
well suited to deal with a changing climate. But they are also
dealing with limits to usable land and water, rising populations
and the near-insatiable appetites of the world’s fast-expanding
middle class.    Posted. 

The Monster Raving Loony Party. Via Steve Benen, I see that Haley
Barbour has the explanation for higher gas prices. It’s not
demand from China and instability in the Middle East; it’s a
deliberate conspiracy on the part of the Obama administration
(pdf): BOB SCHIEFFER: Somebody told me that you actually said
this week you think that the President is trying to drive up
energy policy, energy prices on purpose. Posted.

The Carbon Tipping Point Draws Near. Such warming would disrupt
the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people
across the planet, leading to widespread mass migration and
conflict. That is a risk any sane person would seek to
drastically reduce." Lord Stern I've been waiting for this one.
Most stories about global climate change refer to the importance
of keeping our emissions low enough that we never exceed that
all-important 2°C -- …Posted.

MIT’s New Liquid Flow Batteries Could Make Refueling EVs as Fast
as Pumping Gas.  A team of researchers at MIT set out to
“reinvent the rechargeable battery” and succeeded by creating a
liquid-flow battery, suitable for electric vehicles that can be
recharged as quickly as simply pumping gas and could halve the
cost of current EV batteries. The new batteries involve a
semi-solid, liquid electrolyte material which holds suspended
positive and negative electrodes that provide needed electricity.

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