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newsclips -- Newsclips for November 28, 2011.

Posted: 28 Nov 2011 15:17:23
California Air Resources Board News Clips for November 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.


EU agency: air pollution costs exceed $134 billion.  Air
pollution isn't just harmful—it's expensive, resulting in health
care and environmental costs of more than euro100 billion ($130
billion) in 2009, the European Union's environment agency said
Thursday.  The energy sector had the highest pollution costs,
followed by manufacturing and production processes, according to
the report by the European Environment Agency.  Posted. 

EPA sued over unenforced ozone standards. President Obama's
refusal to let his environmental chief strengthen the nation's
smog standards has prompted an environmental group to sue the
government to implement milder ozone standards that were adopted
in 2008 but never enforced. "Even though we don't think (the 2008
standard is) strict enough, it's better than what's currently
being done," James Tutchton, lawyer for WildEarth Guardians, said
Friday. Posted.

Cruise ships may hurt S.F. air quality during Cup. Cruise ships
won't race against the current during the America's Cup. But
they'll sail into San Francisco at the same time as the event -
and that worries environmentalists. As many as 80 ships dock
along the Embarcadero each year, allowing passengers to hop out,
sightsee and hop back on. Running the engines in the meantime
traditionally means hours of burning through diesel fuel. To
combat air pollution, a machine at Pier 27 has been feeding
electricity from the city to those vessels since October

Modesto area residents should check air quality before burning.
Residential wood burning can pump dangerous levels of soot, ash,
dust and other particulate matter into the valley's already poor
air. To reduce the pollution, each day the San Joaquin Valley Air
Pollution Control District issues one of two wood-burning
forecasts: "Wood Burning Prohibited" on days the air and weather
conditions are poor, and "Please Burn Cleanly" on days the risk
is lower. On "Burning Prohibited" days, all wood burning is
banned — including in fireplaces, outdoor chimneys and fire pits.


Divergent views signal tough climate talks ahead. Durban, South
Africa (AP) -- With heat-trapping carbon at record levels in the
atmosphere, U.N. climate negotiations opened Monday with pressure
building to salvage the only treaty limiting greenhouse gas
emissions. The U.S., Europe and the developing countries laid out
diverging positions at the outset, signaling tough talks ahead
even as South African President Jacob Zuma called for national
interests to be laid aside "for a common good and benefit of all
humanity." Posted.

UN Emissions Board Proposes to Address Coal Rule ‘Shortcomings’.
The United Nations board overseeing the world’s biggest
greenhouse gas-offsetting market promised to address
“shortcomings” in rules that allow coal generators to claim
emission credits for improving plant efficiency. The so-called
methodology, which provides rules that govern the volume of
credits such projects may earn, “contains a number of
shortcomings, in particular related to baseline methodology
procedure, the continued use of which may lead to the
registration of projects that would overestimate greenhouse gas
emission reductions,” …Posted.

At Meeting on Climate Change, Urgent Issues but Low Expectations.
Washington — With intensifying climate disasters and global
economic turmoil as the backdrop, delegates from 194 nations will
gather in Durban, South Africa, starting Monday to try to
advance, if only incrementally, the world’s response to dangerous
climate change. To those who have followed the negotiations of
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change over
their nearly 20-year history, the conflicts and controversies to
be taken up in Durban are monotonously familiar: …Posted.

Another Try for a Global Climate Effort. With intensifying
climate disasters and global economic turmoil as the backdrop,
delegates from 194 nations gather in Durban, South Africa, this
week to try to advance, if only incrementally, the world’s
response to dangerous climate change. To those who have followed
the negotiations of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate
Change over their nearly 20-year history, the conflicts and
controversies to be taken up in Durban are monotonously familiar

A Change of Heart on Investing in the Climate. When State Street
Global Advisors, the investment management arm of State Street
Corp., offered its first “high-quality green bond strategy” last
month, it gave institutional investors a chance to hold
segregated accounts that invest in fixed income instruments
raising financing for projects meant to battle climate change.
The move followed that of Nikko Asset Management of Japan, which
in March announced that it had raised $640 million for its Nikko
AM World Bank Green Funds, the first fund dedicated to investing
in green bonds issued by the World Bank. Posted. 

U.N.: Wilder weather on the way. People around the planet should
prepare for "unprecedented extreme weather," according to a
report released Friday by top international scientists and
disaster experts. Earth's recent wild weather is likely just a
sneak peek, the report warns, as rising global temperatures cook
the oceans and atmosphere into a frenzy. "We need to be worried,"
one of the study's lead authors tells the Associated Press. "And
our response needs to anticipate disasters and reduce risk before
they happen rather than wait until after they happen and clean up
afterward. ... Risk has already increased dramatically." Posted.

Questions, answers on climate negotiations. Some questions and
answers about the climate talks being held in South Africa's
eastern city of Durban that opened Monday and close on Dec. 9.
--- Q: Who is meeting in Durban? A: Negotiators from the European
Union and 191 countries making climate change policy under the
auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change. Thousands of activists and experts are there to observe,
advise and protest. Posted. 

Pope calls for responsible, credible climate deal. Vatican City
-- Pope Benedict XVI called Sunday for delegates attending this
week's U.N. climate change conference in South Africa to craft a
responsible and credible deal to cut greenhouse gases that takes
into account the needs of the poor. Some 25,000 government
officials, lobbyists and scientists are expected to attend the
two-week conference that opens Monday in Durban. The immediate
focus is the pending expiration of the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997
agreement requiring 37 industrialized countries to slash carbon
emissions to 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. Posted.

U.S. Says Goal of $30 Billion in Climate Aid Within Reach. Rich
countries are set deliver $30 billion in short-term climate
change-financing and remain committed to find $100 billion a year
by 2020, a U.S. State Department official said. The U.S.’s
“fast-start” funds for fiscal 2011 totaled $3.1 billion, up from
$2 billion a year earlier, Jonathan Pershing, deputy special
envoy for climate change, told reporters today at United
Nations-led climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa. The
U.S., the largest historical greenhouse-gas emitter, has promised
to pay its “fair share” of $30 billion from 2010 to 2012. Posted.


Methane emissions not an issue for rice industry.  Conversations
with the governor's economic development advisers about a
proposed bio-fuel plant in Colusa alarmed some city officials
about what they thought could be potentially devastating air
regulations coming toward the rice industry.  But Paul Buttner,
environmental affairs manager for the California Rice Commission,
said methane emission targets that are part of the Global Warming
Solutions Act (Assembly Bill 32), are not an issue for the rice
industry.  Posted. 

California Poised to Modify Fuel Standard to Account for
High-Carbon Feedstocks.  The California Air Resources Board on
Dec. 16 will consider a series of amendments to the state's
landmark low-carbon fuel standard, including a provision to
better account for the use of crude oil derived from
energy-intensive sources like Canada's oil sands.  The revisions,
proposed by CARB in October, aim to refine and strengthen the
regulation, the agency said.  Posted. 


GM's Volt Woes Cast Shadow on E-Cars. Detroit—For the past
several years, the federal government has spent hundreds of
millions of dollars promoting the development of electric cars.
Now regulators are investigating whether the big battery packs
used by one of them pose a safety risk in the event of an
accident. Last week, U.S. auto-safety officials opened an
investigation into General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Volt after two
crash tests of the electric car caused its battery to spark or
catch fire. Posted.

Toyota unveils high-tech concept car ahead of show. Tokyo --
Toyota's president unveiled a futuristic concept car resembling a
giant smartphone to demonstrate how Japan's top automaker is
trying to take the lead in technology at the upcoming Tokyo auto
show. Toyota Motor Corp. will also be showing an electric
vehicle, set for launch next year, and a tiny version of the hit
Prius gas-electric hybrid at the Tokyo Motor Show, which opens to
the public this weekend. Posted.


Crunch Time Is Coming for U.K.'s Green Commitment. Britain has
some big decisions to make on energy, and environmentalists say
the answers that politicians come up with in the next few months
will determine whether the country follows through on its
promises of strong action against global warming. A series of
important questions about investment in renewable energy,
efficiency and nuclear generation are up for discussion as the
government and energy companies plan how to replace a generation
of power plants that are nearing retirement. Posted. 

For vets returning to US, green energy jobs await.  Ben Noland
served in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years, then spent 18
months looking for a job.  "I've probably put my resume in to 300
places in the past year," the 33-year-old Kenton resident said. 
"The farthest I've ever got was a phone interview."  Noland
finally landed a job installing solar panels at Tipping Point
Renewable Energy, a Columbus-based solar power company that is
hiring only military veterans for its installation crews at a
time when unemployment among former service members is outpacing
that of civilians.  Posted. 

China set to surpass U.S. in solar installation.  With European
solar markets in decline, the industry is looking for the next
hot solar region. Even with political troubles in the U.S.,
companies still see America as a good long-term bet. (And let's
remember, Europe's slowdown doesn't mean the region is going to
stop being a major player.)  But analysts now see the Asia
Pacific solar market as the Next Big Thing, driven largely by
growing domestic demand in China. For the first time this year,
China may surpass the U.S. market, according to analysis from NDP
Solarbuzz.  Posted. 

Study: Californians must make big shift to electric power to meet
long-term energy goals.  California must be fully electrified 40
years from now with residents driving only electric cars and
plugging them into a grid powered by carbon-free power plants if
the state is to meet its most far-reaching climate goals,
according to a new study.  Not only will electricity be
carbon-free, California will need a whole lot more of it to make
up for the loss of gasoline, natural gas and coal.  Posted. 


Thanksgiving dinner's carbon footprint. As if you needed another
reason to feel guilty about chowing down on Thanksgiving each
year, consider this: researchers at the University of Manchester
in England figure that a turkey-n-trimmings feast for eight
produces approximately 44 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
About 60 percent of that planet-warming gas comes from the life
cycle of the turkey, alone. And that doesn't include drinks.
Leave it to the Brits to rain on our traditions. Posted.

Companies give GOP, regulators, different messages. Large and
small companies have told Republican-led congressional committees
what the party wants to hear: dire predictions of plant closings
and layoffs if the Obama administration succeeds with plans to
further curb air and water pollution. But their message to
financial regulators and investors conveys less gloom and
certainty. The administration itself has clouded the picture by
withdrawing or postponing some of the environmental initiatives
that industry labeled as being among the most onerous. Posted. 

Environmental programs fall victim to budget cuts. When lightning
ignited a wildfire near Idaho's Sun Valley in 2007, environmental
regulators used monitoring gear to gauge the health effects for
those breathing in the Sawtooth Mountains' smoky, mile-high air.
That equipment sits idle today after the Idaho Department of
Environmental Quality was hit by $4 million in spending cuts, a
quarter of its budget, since the recession began. Posted. 


The Non-Green Jobs Boom. Forget 'clean energy.' Oil and gas are
boosting U.S. employment. So President Obama was right all along.
Domestic energy production really is a path to prosperity and new
job creation. His mistake was predicting that those new jobs
would be "green," when the real employment boom is taking place
in oil and gas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently
that the U.S. jobless rate remains a dreadful 9%. But look more
closely at the data and you can see which industries are bucking
the jobless trend. Posted.

Viewpoints: Give consumers the choice of clean car future.
California, like the rest of the nation, is addicted to oil. Just
like other addictions, heavy oil use comes with a heavy price –
for our wallets, our health and our climate. The good news is
that California and the federal government are taking bold steps
to tackle these problems. They've signed automakers up for a plan
to gradually improve fuel efficiency and reduce global warming
emissions for cars and light trucks built between 2017 and 2025.

California must keep driving toward goal of 54.5 mpg. Since the
1960s California has led the nation on emission standards for
passenger cars. The big driver has always been necessity. Despite
tremendous progress, California continues to have the nation's
worst air quality. Other states — and the federal government —
have tended to follow California's lead. Posted. 

SAN BERNARDINO: Research cop-out? Communication lapses should not
trump protecting children’s health. San Bernardino schools
officials and Loma Linda University researchers should cooperate
on a study of the hazards posed by a busy rail yard near a
school. The school district needs to be a part of research that
can provide better knowledge about the threat to students’ health
on campus. Posted. 

Another Climate Change report: hopelessness or ridicule? Another
report about the changes coming to our region because of Climate
Change says that we may get our unfair share of Invasive Species.
 I haven’t actually read this particular report yet (but I will)
though it states what most other reports say about how Climate
Change will affect our region.  Besides more extreme weather,
major disruptions to our economy and public health there are a
host of Likely Changes coming.  It can be daunting. Posted.


On Our Radar: Global Climate Talks in Durban. Nearly 200 nations
open a global conference on climate change, with industrialized
countries arguing that big developing economies like China, India
and Brazil must submit to emissions targets regardless of whether
wealthier countries set global warming in motion. [Reuters] The
United Nations says that one-quarter of the world’s land is badly
degraded and that the trend must be reversed if a soaring global
population is to be fed. [Huffington Post] Posted.

Most dire global warming forecasts unlikely, study finds.
Significant, risky, global warming still projected. New research
takes some of the most dire global warming projections off the
table. A study published last week in the journal Science
concludes that the more extreme climate change scenarios, which
involve temperature increases of up to 10°F are implausible.
Instead, the study finds, we are likely in the midst of a more
manageable, but still potentially dangerous, shift in the
planet’s climate. Posted.

CO2 sensitivity possibly less than most extreme projections. A
new study in the journal Science suggests that the global climate
may be less sensitive to carbon dioxide fluctuations than
predicted by the most extreme projections, and maybe slightly
less than the best estimates of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change. Andreas Schmittner, a climate scientist at Oregon
State University in Corvallis, Ore., and lead author on the new
study, notes that, while man-made global warming is happening and

Oakland aims to add more businesses to its “green certified”
list. What do the Chabot Space and Science Center, PGAdesign, Red
Oak Realty, The Tip Top Bike Shop, Mr. Sparkle Window Washers,
and Baja Taqueria have in common? They are all “green” businesses
in Oakland. Oakland is currently home to 138 green certified
businesses—restaurants, stores and offices that meet county
standards of energy efficiency, water conservation, recycling,
and waste reduction, among other things. Posted.

CA, Capitol Republicans Lock Horns over Tailpipe Regs. For
California Air Resources Board (ARB) chair Mary Nichols,
pre-Thanksgiving prep meant responding to list of requests from
Orange County Republican congressman Darrell Issa and his House
Oversight and Government Reform Committee. As part of its
continuing probe into how the newest Corporate Average Fuel
Economy (CAFE) standards were set, the letter asked for
information about how California came up with its vehicle
emissions standards and what role state officials played in
developing the newly announced federal fuel economy standard.

Study finds no alternative to widespread switching of direct fuel
uses to electricity to meet 2050 California GHG targets; putting
detail in climate wedges.  Technically feasible levels of energy
efficiency and decarbonized energy supply alone will not be
sufficient to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 1990
levels by 2050, according to a detailed modeling of the
California economy performed by a team from Energy and
Environmental Economics, the Monterey Institute of International
Studies, University of California, Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory.  Posted. 

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