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newsclips -- Newsclips for October 17, 2011.

Posted: 17 Oct 2011 13:54:16
California Air Resources Board News Clips for October 17, 2011. 

This is a service of the California Air Resources Boardís Office
of Communications.  You may need to sign in or register with
individual websites to view some of the following news articles.


Study blames global warming for shrinking species.  From the
mighty polar bear to the tiny house sparrow, many of Earth's
species appear to be shrinking in size, a new study reports. And
the authors think it's probably due to global warming, a little
like wool sweaters that shrink when washed in hot water.  But
other experts say that conclusion goes too far, blaming global
warming for what may be natural changes.  Posted. 


When Electric Car Owners Talk, Nissan Listens. A GENERATION ago,
teenagers in Silicon Valley were using their parentsí garages to
start great American technology companies and boot up the
computer revolution. Now those garages are places to plug in the
electric cars that may radically change the direction of personal
transportation. Like the computer clubs that helped to foster the
enthusiasm of budding programmers, gatherings of electric car
owners here are providing forums for the exchange of ideas.

Voith Turbo has Opened a New, State-of-the-Art Hybrid Power-Train
Development Center for Transit Buses. Center, based north of San
Diego, will specialize in developing new,
environmentally-efficient hybrid drive systems.  Voith Turbo
announced that it has opened a hybrid power-train development
center in Poway, California, just north of San Diego. The
facility will further develop Voith Turbo's innovative hybrid
diesel/electric power-train drive systems for transit buses. The
office, warehouse and testing facilities cover more than 5,000
square feet. Posted.


California has 1 in 4 U.S. solar energy jobs, study says. The
National Solar Jobs Census 2011 says job growth in the industry
grew 6.8% in the one-year period ended in August, and a survey of
solar employers suggests employment will rise by 24%, creating
24,000 jobs, during the next year. One in every four solar energy
jobs in America is held by a Californian, and growth in the
clean-tech industry is burgeoning nationwide, a new study said.
In August, California had an estimated 25,575 solar-related jobs
out of 100,237 for all 50 states, according to the National Solar
Jobs Census 2011. Posted.

Vinod Khosla invests more money in clean energy. Vinod Khosla,
the billionaire venture capital investor, is raising his bet on
clean technology. Khosla Ventures, the company he formed in 2004,
created a $1.05 billion fund and will steer as much as 65 percent
of that to back businesses developing renewable sources of power,
energy-efficiency technology and LED lighting products, Khosla
said Friday. In supporting early stage companies with unproven
technology, Khosla expects some of them to fail. Posted.

Rick Perry reveals energy plan, says it adds jobs. West Mifflin,
Pa. -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry sought to recharge his flagging
presidential campaign Friday by introducing an energy plan that
calls for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and
expanding oil production in the Gulf of Mexico. Perry said his
proposals would kick-start the sluggish economy and create 1.2
million new jobs through development and by rolling back clean
air rules and other federal regulations. Posted.

Greening your house for a sale. Recent studies suggest that solar
panels and other sustainability upgrades can help a home sell
faster and fetch a higher price. Still, an experienced real
estate agent said the true value really depends on smart
investments and the right staging. The Earth Advantage Institute
has determined that existing homes with third-party environmental
certifications sell for 30 percent more than comparable homes
without such ratings. Posted. 

As governor, Perry slashed environmental enforcement in Texas,
repeatedly challenged EPA rules.  Gov. Rick Perry likes to say
the best way to promote economic growth is to reduce regulation.
When it comes to the environment, Perry has made Texas one of the
most industry-friendly states in the nation.  Perry has cut
funding for clean air programs and sued the Environmental
Protection Agency to avoid enforcing laws to make the air
cleaner. As part of his Republican presidential campaign, he
routinely blasts the White House for tightening environmental
standards.  Posted. 

UN chief urges global lawmakers to confront finances by building
trust, green energy sources.  Lawmakers in Europe and elsewhere
must do more than put their debt-wracked houses in order ó they
must reassure citizens who fear diminished future prospects, and
that means restoring peopleís trust in government, the U.N.
secretary-general said Sunday night.  Ban Ki-moonís comments came
during the opening session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,
which features representatives of parliaments from 157 nations.
The global financial crisis was a major theme.  Posted. 

The lesson from Solyndra: Itís time to deregulate the energy
market.  The bankruptcy of the solar energy company, Solyndra,
not only cost taxpayers over half a billion, it also dealt a
serious blow to the nationís adoption of clean energy. The Obama
administrationís attempt to jump-start the clean energy sector by
picking favorites begs the question whether the federal
government, instead of picking winners and losers in the battle
to transform the nature of Americaís energy use, should, instead,
step back, enable adequate oversight and set the stage for the
market to decide for itself.  Posted. 
Pulling the plug on L.A.  The city of Los Angeles announced a
major new initiative this week to cut back on that giant sucking
sound -- the sound of commercial buildings hoovering up
electricity.  Two years ago, the Clinton Climate Initiative
helped orchestrate a major overhaul of the Empire State Building
that cut the famous spire's energy consumption by nearly 40
percent, trimming more than $400,000 off the building's annual
energy bills.  Posted. 


Oil and Gas Had Help. Why Not Renewables? The bankruptcy of a
single solar-panel company, Solyndra, has catapulted the question
of federal energy policies into the news. It has also led many
people to draw exactly the wrong conclusions about federal
support for energy innovation and where the policies should be
headed. Solyndra was clearly a bad bet for the government, which
now stands to lose all or part of about $500 million in loan
guarantees. But one case hardly discredits the whole idea of
government support for energy innovation. Posted. 

Where Did Global Warming Go? IN 2008, both the Democratic and
Republican candidates for president, Barack Obama and John
McCain, warned about man-made global warming and supported
legislation to curb emissions. After he was elected, President
Obama promised ďa new chapter in Americaís leadership on climate
change,Ē and arrived cavalry-like at the 2009 United Nations
Climate Conference in Copenhagen to broker a global pact. Posted.


Climate Change Is Shrinking Species, Research Suggests. Climate
changeís laundry list of impacts ó melting glaciers and rising
sea levels, shifts in timing for bird migration and flower
budding, a poleward shift of species ó just got a new addition:
shrinking species. No, not population sizes, but a diminution in
the size of the animals by comparison with the pre-global warming
days. Itís not that scientists are expecting humans to shrink in
size, or mini-pandas and mini-panthers to join the ranks of
miniature poodles. Posted.

Machiavelli and Humanityís Lukewarm Response to Warming. After I
wrote on the hidden factor behind the lopsidedness of the
climate-energy policy fight (the inertia in a society and economy
deeply reliant on fossil fuels), Paul Birkeland of Seattle posted
an apt quotation from Niccolo Machiavelli:It must be considered
that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more
doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to
initiate a new order of things. Posted. 

Solar energy jobs growing in U.S. and California, study says. One
in every four solar energy jobs in the United States is held by a
Californian, and growth in the clean-tech industry is burgeoning
nationwide, a new study said. In August, California had an
estimated 25,575 of the 100,237 solar-related jobs nationwide,
according to the National Solar Jobs Census 2011, scheduled for
release Monday by the Solar Foundation, a research and education
organization in Washington. The total for California was four
times greater than the runner-up, Colorado, with 6,186 solar jobs
as of last summer. Posted.

Virgin Atlanticís New Waste Fuel Gas Program Will Save Billions
of Gallons. As someone who travels a lot, I must admit that you
canít beat the convenience of air travel, which, despite the
annoyances of unpredictable arrival times and security hassles,
is still the only way to get from coast to coast in half a day.
Unfortunately, as currently practiced, flying the friendly skies
is deadly in terms of its greenhouse gas contribution. By some
estimates, aviation industry emissions will reach 1.5 billion
tons by 2025, an amount equal to half of what the entire European
Union emits today. Posted. 

Biofuels market value to double to $185.3 billion in ten years.
Will there be enough feedstock to support a massive biofuel boom?
It sure seems possible, 'cause Pike Research predicts that the
value of the biofuels industry could double in the next ten
years, depending on the emergence of advanced feedstocks.
Motivated, mainly, by concerns about energy independence and
climate change, at least 38 national governments across the globe
have enacted blending mandates to accelerate the production and
consumption of biofuels. Posted. 

UC Riverside team receives $2M to evaluate emission reduction
benefits of hybrid bulldozer and excavator.  Scientists at the
University of California, Riversideís Center for Environmental
Research and Technology have received a $2-million contract for a
first-of-its-kind study of hybrid construction vehicles. The
two-year project, which is being funded by the California Air
Resources Board, will allow researchers to evaluate the emission
reduction benefits of two commercially available hybrid
construction vehicles: a Caterpillar bulldozer (earlier post) and
a Komatsu hydraulic excavator (earlier post).  Posted. 

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