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newsclips -- Newsclips for May 1, 2012 Posted: 01 May 2012 12:49:48
ARB Newsclips for May 1, 2012. 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. FUELS Wood Makes Comeback as a Fuel. A century ago, rural homes in the United States and Europe commonly relied on wood for heating. Now wood is making a comeback, thanks largely to pellet technology. The energy-dense pellets, which resemble dry dog kibble and are mostly made from mill residue like sawdust and wood shavings, can be used to generate heat or electricity — or both at the same time. Demand is strong in Europe, where high prices for heating oil and clean-energy requirements have fostered interest in alternatives, but analysts say that over the long term, markets in Asia and North America could grow rapidly, too. Posted. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/02/business/global/wood-makes-comeback-as-a-fuel.html?_r=1 GREEN ENERGY Solar policy can advance (or delay) grid parity by a decade. n their interactive graphic, Bloomberg Energy Finance calls solar grid parity (when electricity from solar costs less than grid power) the “golden goal.” It’s an excellent illustration of how the right energy policy can help a nation go gold on solar or wallow in metallurgical obscurity. In the case of the U.S., it may mean delaying grid parity by eight years. In the screenshot below, countries in purple have reached the golden goal in 2012 based on the quality of their solar resource and the cost of grid electricity, as well as a 6 percent expected return on investment for solar developers. Posted. http://grist.org/energy-policy/solar-policy-can-advance-or-delay-grid-parity-by-a-decade/ MISCELLANEOUS EPA official who compared enforcement to crucifixion resigns. A senior Environmental Protection Agency official resigned Sunday in an effort to end the furor over his remarks two years ago that the EPA should make examples of polluters the way Romans crucified people to quash rebellions. But it appeared unlikely that the departure of Alfredo Juan “Al” Armendariz — who had served as EPA administrator for Region VI, encompassing Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma — would quell Republican attacks targeting the EPA during an election year. GOP lawmakers have seized upon his comments, made during a May 2010 speech in Dish, Tex., and captured on video, as an example of what they say are administration efforts to curtail U.S. energy development. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/epa-official-who-compared-enforcement-to-crucifixion-resigns/2012/04/30/gIQAucsisT_story.html Exposures to Pesticide in Utero Linked to Brain Abnormalities. Babies exposed in the womb to a commonly used insecticide have brain abnormalities after birth, according to a study that looked at children born before the U.S. limited the chemical's use. Magnetic resonance imaging of elementary school-aged children with the highest exposure to chlorpyrifos, used mostly in agricultural settings now, showed structural changes in the brain compared with those who had the lowest exposure…Posted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/04/30/bloomberg_articlesM3AQOG6S972801-M3AZD.DTL BLOGS No, wind farms are not causing global warming. Scientific studies are misrepresented all the time. But now and again the distortions get particularly bad. That was the case Monday, when Fox News ran the headline, “New Research Shows Wind Farms Cause Global Warming.” A number of other media outlets did the same thing. And it’s... not true at all. The frenzy started after Liming Zhou, a scientist at the University of Albany, published a short study in Nature Climate Change. Zhou’s team analyzed satellite data for a handful of large wind farms in west-central Texas. Posted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/no-wind-farms-are-not-causing-global-warming/2012/04/30/gIQAMl2GsT_blog.html Clouds and Climate Change: Taking Readers’ Questions. In the latest installment of his Temperature Rising series in The Times, Justin Gillis reports at length on an area of research in which climate skeptics’ arguments cannot be readily dismissed: clouds. Their theory is that clouds will counter much of the anticipated rise in global temperatures and preserve the climate on which humanity depends. Scientists are doubtful. Posted. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/01/clouds-and-climate-change-taking-readers-questions/ EPA Offers Free Solar & Wind Tools to Tap into Gigawatts of Energy. There are more than 490,000 potentially contaminated properties covering some 15 million acres of land across the US. Aiming to help local communities and landowners make good use of them, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Renewable Energy (NREL) launched a set of tools that enable communities and landowners to evaluate contaminated and underutilized properties’ renewable energy potential. Posted. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/05/epa-offers-free-solar-wind-tools-tap-gigawatts-energy/