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newsclips -- Newsclips for December 5, 2011.

Posted: 05 Dec 2011 14:12:08
California Air Resources Board News Clips for December 5, 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.


Clean-Coal Rules Are a Boon for Some. Stricter federal emissions
rules, intended to make exhaust from the nation's smokestacks
cleaner, are putting pressure on utilities but are expected to be
a boon to providers of pollution-reduction technology for
coal-fired power plants. Companies that make systems for
filtering out pollutants such as mercury, sulfur dioxide and
nitrogen oxide say they are seeing a surge in demand for their
equipment ahead of several new standards proposed by the
Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year and expected to
start being phased in as early as January 2012. Posted.

Smog Closes Beijing Airport. Beijing — Capital International
Airport in Beijing was forced to cancel hundreds of flights on
Monday because of heavy smog and weather conditions. The
cancellations were the latest sign that pollution in China’s
largest cities, among the worst in the world, is leading to
significant economic losses. Monday’s air quality index from the
United States Embassy’s air monitoring equipment in central
Beijing measured more than 300, which is categorized as
“hazardous.” Posted.


Back-room negotiations begin on climate intentions. Back-room
negotiations began in earnest Monday on a deal to rescue the only
treaty governing greenhouse gas reductions and to launch talks on
a broader agreement to include the world's largest polluters:
China and other emerging economies, the United States and Europe.
Key players laid out their opening positions in public at U.N.
climate talks in South Africa, and were beginning a round of
private meetings to probe each other's meanings and intentions —
which remained murky. Posted.

Gorillas, tigers at risk due to climate change.  Several animal
species including gorillas in Rwanda and tigers in Bangladesh
could risk extinction if the impact of climate change and extreme
weather on their habitats is not addressed, a U.N. report showed
on Sunday. Launched on the sidelines of global climate
negotiations in Durban, the report by the United Nations Food and
Agriculture Organisation shows how higher temperatures, the rise
in sea levels, deforestation and excessive land use have damaged
the habitats of certain species, especially in Africa. Posted.

Carbon Emissions Rose Record in 2010: Study. The volume of
greenhouse gases pumped into the world’s atmosphere increased by
an unprecedented amount last year, scientists said in research
published as countries meet to discuss how to limit climate
change. Emissions rose the equivalent of 510 million metric tons
of carbon to 9.14 billion tons in 2010, the most in records
dating to 1959, according to data compiled by the Global Carbon
Project, which includes scientists from Europe, the U.S. and
India. Posted.

Global Warming Fight Threatened by Debt Crisis. Global warming
concerns are being pushed down the political agenda by the
European debt crisis and U.S. economic slump, reducing the chance
for an accord limiting climate change this week. “The threat of
worsening economic conditions is the ghostly figure at the window
for everybody,” Edward Cameron of Washington-based World
Resources Institute said in an interview as delegates gathered
for United Nations climate talks in Durban, South Africa. Posted.

Hedegaard Says EU Needs More Detail From China on Climate Pact.
European Union Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said she
needs more information about China’s plan to limit greenhouse gas
emissions after meeting officials from Beijing today at UN
climate talks. China this week said it’s willing to make a
post-2020 legally binding commitment to reducing fossil fuel
emissions under certain conditions, including the extension of
pollution limits for developed countries under the Kyoto
Protocol. Posted.

Ex-top climate official very concerned by global ‘lack of
progress’. DURBAN, South Africa — Yvo de Boer said he left his
job as the U.N.’s top climate official in frustration 18 months
ago, believing the process of negotiating a meaningful climate
agreement is failing. His opinion hasn’t changed. “I still have
the same view of the process that led me to leave the process,”
he told the Associated Press on Sunday. “I’m still deeply
concerned about where it’s going, or rather where it’s not going,
about the lack of progress.” Posted.

Negotiations begin at climate change conference. Durban, South
Africa – Back-room negotiations began in earnest Monday on a deal
to rescue the only treaty governing greenhouse gas reductions and
to launch talks on a broader agreement to include the world's
largest polluters: China and other emerging economies, the United
States and Europe. Key players laid out their opening positions
in public at U.N. climate talks in South Africa, and were
beginning a round of private meetings to probe each other's
meanings and intentions — which remained murky. Posted.

Balboa Island trying to outsmart a rising sea. City engineers say
it could cost about $60 million to replace the island's aging
seawalls, a project that could save streets and homes from a
projected 1-foot water-level rise by 2050. As people stroll
Balboa Island's picturesque waterfront, some wonder how much one
of those cozy cottages costs. City officials think about another
price tag: how much it will take to defend those homes against
rising sea levels. Posted.

Record jump in carbon emissions last year, study finds. Global
emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil-fuel burning jumped by
the largest amount on record last year, upending the notion that
the brief decline during the recession might persist through the
recovery. Emissions rose 5.9 percent in 2010, according to an
analysis released Sunday by the Global Carbon Project, an
international collaboration of scientists tracking the numbers.
Posted. http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_19470116

Supervisors to discuss cutting greenhouse gas emissions. A plan
aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2020
will be considered Tuesday by the San Bernardino County Board of
Supervisors.  If adopted, the county will have met all the terms
of its legal settlement with the state Attorney General's Office
in August 2007, county spokesman David Wert said. Then-Attorney
General Jerry Brown sued the county in April 2007, alleging its
general plan did not include a greenhouse gas emissions reduction
plan. Posted. http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_19469423

California Cap-and-Trade Plan Sets National Example. Americans
are becoming ever more aware about the problems associated with
human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. And
positive changes have been made over recent years with this shift
in public awareness. It’s now possible to drive an efficient,
all-electric vehicle, such as the Nissan Leaf. Energy-inefficient
light bulbs are being phased out by more efficient models. And
solar powered consumer electronics are no longer a rarity.


U.S. Navy Makes Record Purchase of Biofuel for Ships, Jets. The
U.S. Navy will spend $12 million to buy 450,000 gallons of
alternative fuel for aircraft, ships and unmanned vehicles, the
biggest government purchase of advanced biofuels, Navy Secretary
Ray Mabus said. The fuel will come from Dynamic Fuels LLC, a
joint partnership of Tyson Foods Inc. and Syntroleum Corp., and
Solazyme Inc., Mabus said today on a conference call. The cost
will be about $26 a gallon, he said. Posted.

Taking the Fuel Out of Biofuels. Unable to compete with petroleum
products, biofuel companies have found replacement products to
sell. As advanced biofuel companies work toward creating an
economically viable alternative to petroleum, some have found an
alternative place to sell their product in the meantime: the
specialty-chemicals market. These companies produce oil from
algae, wood scraps and other nonfood sources, bypassing the
food-versus-fuel debate that has engulfed makers of corn-based
ethanol. Posted.


Electric car maker Aptera closes its doors. Electric car maker
Aptera Motors is closing after failing to woo enough investors to
bring a new sedan to market. Aptera CEO Paul Wilbur said the
Carlsbad-based company closed its doors Friday and laid off all
30 of its employees. The company, which formed in 2006, was
hoping to get a $150 million loan from the Department of Energy
but needed to raise matching funds, Wilbur said. Posted.


E-readers or print books - which is greener? Dilemma: When it
comes to reading, what's kinder to the environment - an e-reader
or books? Of course I'll: Stick with traditional books. Yes, they
use paper and ink, but at least I don't need to plug them in.
Trade-off: There are carbon emissions in the production of books
too, not to mention the loss of carbon-gobbling trees felled for
paper. Then I'll: Use the e-reader; as much as I read, it's bound
to be a better choice over the long run. Posted.


Alameda County considers mandatory recycling and composting plan.
Plan on Dec. 8, Waste Management Authority board meeting agenda.
Although a proposed plastic bag ban has captured more attention,
another zero-waste proposal has several cities up in arms: The
Alameda County Waste Management Authority wants to make recycling
mandatory and violators subject to penalties. That could mean
fines of up to $1,000 for putting things like newspapers,
aluminum cans and food scraps in the garbage instead of recycle
and compost bins. Posted.

Major gas storage project could generate jobs. A huge energy
infrastructure project is taking shape in southwest Bakersfield
with promises of creating local jobs and stabilizing natural gas
prices in parts of the western United States. The $200
million-plus Tricor Ten Section Hub, envisioned decades ago but
considered uneconomical until industry deregulation, would turn
what used to be a highly productive oil and gas reservoir into an
underground natural gas warehouse hooked up to an interstate
pipeline. Posted.


Viewpoints: Here comes our stuff... but how it gets to the dock
and beyond should concern Californians. As we Californians all
know, the shelves at our department stores are restocked nightly
with merchandise handmade by unseen elves. Our factories are
similarly supplied with raw materials and components conjured up
by leprechauns, the gasoline sold at the corner filling station
is divined by wizards from underground springs, and fresh produce
is grown on grocery store roofs by a Green Giant who, if not
jolly, at least seems quite pleased with himself. Admittedly, the
statements in the first paragraph are mostly untrue. Aunt
Philomena long ago admonished me to never dispute the existence
of leprechauns. Posted.

This Is a Big Deal. IN many ways, President Obama has been a
disappointment on energy and the environment. He has been
completely missing in action on the climate debate. His decision
to block his own Environmental Protection Agency from setting new
rules to cut smog levels was disappointing. And, while I believe
in using the balance sheet of the U.S. government to spur
clean-tech research and start-ups, Solyndra was a case of
embarrassing excess …Posted.

Mark Landsbaum: Global warming alarmists try again. Global
warming devotees gather for U.N. conference to demand money from
developed nations, even as more and more countries defect from
“the cause.” It's a good thing the world's economy is going into
the toilet. Otherwise, global warming extremists would have done
some real damage. It's ironic that as evidence mounted exposing
the shaky science and duplicitous scheming behind global warming
alarmism, it wasn't these truths that undermined the movement to
tax and regulate your carbon footprint. Posted.

Refinery improvement good, but could be better. When a storage
tank at the refinery on Rosedale Highway exploded Wednesday, I
looked at the towering column of smoke to the west and thought,
"Here we go again." The refinery's previous owners, Flying J
Inc., operating as Big West of California, didn't engender much
public trust with their hush-hush attitude toward operations,
including their fairly frequent -- and scary -- mishaps. Posted.


Unusual winter weather may be connected to rapid Arctic climate
change, report warns. It’s often said that the Arctic is the
proverbial “canary in the coal mine” of global warming, an
overused expression that applies in this instance, since the
profound changes occurring there as a result of the warming
climate are a warning sign for the rest of the world. What is not
said enough, however, is that the rapid Arctic climate change,
with its associated loss of sea ice and other impacts, may
already be influencing weather and climate patterns in the
Northern Hemisphere. Posted.

On Our Radar: Smog Grounds Flights in Beijing. Thick smog prompts
officials to cancel hundreds of flights and shut down some major
highways in Beijing. The American Embassy describes current air
quality there as “hazardous,” and the official Xinhua news agency
says the pollution is likely to reach “dangerous” levels. [Agence
France-Presse]At least 30 threatened bird species in Africa and
Asia are completely dependent on small-scale human agriculture
for survival, according to a study by University of East Anglia
researchers. Posted.

Those Romantic Wood Stoves. We’re one cord into an expected
six-cord winter and starting the colder part of our year in the
Maine woods off the grid with three kids and two cats from the
New Jersey suburbs. It’s the first time I have heated with wood,
and I miss the simplicity of a thermostat connected to a furnace.
There are some good things about heating with wood. I like that
wood is a renewable resource and that all of the wood we burn
came from the forest around the cabin. Posted.

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