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newsclips -- Newsclips for March 6, 2013.

Posted: 06 Mar 2013 15:34:37
Newsclips for March 6, 2013. ARB Newsclips for March 6, 2013

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.


Spare the Air tickets issued to 20 county residents. The 
2012-2013 Winter Spare the Air season ended Feb. 28, with a total
of 10 Spare the Air Alerts issued by the Bay Area Air Quality
Management District. Although the Winter Spare the Air season
began in November, stormy weather helped the Bay Area keep a
clean slate in the fall of 2012, until a couple of strong,
long-term high pressure systems moved in and accounted for nine
of the alerts in January, with an additional alert taking place
in early February, the district said in a news release. Posted.

Winter air quality shows improvement as fewer wood-burning bans
issued. The Central Valley’s season of wood-burning curtailments
came to an end Feb. 28 with far fewer bans issued because of
unhealthy air than in the previous year. The San Joaquin Valley
Air Pollution Control District closed the 10th season of the
Check Before You Burn program with a more than 50 percent
decrease in the number of burn prohibitions issued. For the
2012-13 season, the air district issued 187 curtailments
Valley-wide, compared to 381 last season. Posted.

US scientists report big jump in heat-trapping CO2. The amount of
heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the air jumped dramatically in
2012, making it very unlikely that global warming can be limited
to another 2 degrees as many global leaders have hoped, new
federal figures show. Scientists say the rise in CO2 reflects the
world's economy revving up and burning more fossil fuels,
especially in China. Carbon dioxide levels jumped by 2.67 parts
per million since 2011 to total just under 395 parts per

Worst Air in the World Reaches Bay Area. Bay Area residents may
be tempted to breathe easy, with the nearest cities with bad air
pollution in the Central Valley or an ocean away in Asia. But
that air also reaches lungs in the Bay Area, according to Slate,
which analyzed the list of the world's worst cities for air
quality. The bad smog and air pollution in Beijing has made
headlines in the Western world, where "most Americans and
Europeans now enjoy cleaner air than they did for much of the
last century," Slate reported. Meanwhile, "air pollution is
worsening in Asia, claiming millions of lives every year."
Posted. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/51057753#.UTeTsXe3Vjc 


Volcanic emissions can have cooling effect – study. Moderate
volcanic eruptions can mask some of the effects of global
warming, a study showed. While 2000 to 2010 was the warmest
decade on record, the planet didn't heat up as much as scientists
had expected. According to a new study, detailed online in
Geophysical Research Letters, chemicals emitted during volcanic
eruptions during the same period could be the reason. Scientist
observed an increase in sun-scattering aerosols -- such as sulfur
dioxide -- in the atmosphere in the last decade. Posted.
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/print/2013/03/06/9 BY


Gas prices in for bumpy ride. Enjoying those higher gasoline
prices? If so, likely you're going to enjoy what's ahead: on July
1 the state's excise tax on gasoline goes up by 3.5 cents a
gallon. California motorists may not see the entire hike at the
pump. The tax is applied at something called the terminal rack,
which is one step along the path from the refineries to the pumps
where drivers buy their fuel. Fuel distributors and retailers
could decide to eat a portion of the tax, or they could make
their retail customers swallow the entire increase. Posted.

Exxon Mobil predicts lower production this year.  Exxon Mobil
Corp. expects production to decline by about 1 percent this year
due to weaker output of natural gas, then rise in the next few
years as new projects start up.  The oil and gas giant expects
annual production to rise by 2 percent to 3 percent per year
through 2017.  The company gave the forecast Wednesday at its
annual meeting with analysts.  Posted. 



Japan nuke plant progressing in fuel removal plans.  The operator
of Japan's tsunami-ravaged nuclear power plant said Wednesday
that work was steadily progressing in its plans to remove fuel
rods from a cooling pool at the center of international concerns.
 The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant suffered meltdowns at
three reactors as a result of the March 2011 earthquake and
tsunami.  Posted





CERAWEEK-GM targets 15 pct weight cut in cars through model year
2016. General Motors Co is targeting a reduction in the weight of
its vehicles of up to 15 percent through the 2016 model year, the
U.S. automaker's top executive said on Wednesday. "We will reduce
vehicle mass," Chief Executive Dan Akerson said in a speech he is
scheduled to deliver at the IHS CERAWeek energy conference in
Houston. "A good rule of thumb is that a 10 percent reduction in
curb weight will reduce fuel consumption by about 6.5 percent."


Solar Panels Rare Amid the Steeples. More than three decades ago,
after an energy crisis that gripped the world, a Catholic priest
in the Texas city of Lubbock took a stand for the environment.
His congregation needed a new church. So the priest, the Rev. Joe
James, anchored the building deep in the earth to optimize
insulation. He also ordered five wind turbines for the church
grounds. The largest was called Big Bird, because it stood 80
feet tall. Posted. 

LEDs will soon light your home.  Forget mercury-laden compact
fluorescents. The efficient homes of tomorrow will be lit with
LEDs.  Or so say executives at Cree, a lighting company that has
started selling affordable LED lightbulbs that outwardly resemble
the traditional, energy-hogging incandescent bulbs of old. 
Posted.  http://grist.org/news/leds-will-soon-light-your-home/ 


Dan Walters: California bullet train faces new challenges. Facing
a looming federal deadline for moving dirt, managers of
California's bullet train project are trying to clear away legal
and political impediments that threaten to delay the project.
They resolved two of the lawsuits that challenged the project on
environmental grounds, but two legal requirements - one in
federal law, another in the bullet train bond issue - remain as
potential hurdles for building the initial line in the San
Joaquin Valley. Posted.

Two Enlistees in the Climate Wars. In 2009, President Obama
pledged to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions by 17
percent from 2005 levels by 2020. Thanks to several factors, the
country is halfway there. On Monday, Mr. Obama announced the
appointment of two seasoned officials who could fulfill that
pledge — but only if the president himself helps them navigate
the formidable political obstacles ahead. Posted.

Editorial: Climate change brings less snow, tending to fall all
at once. It does seem that every time some earnest group puts out
a report on the dangers of global warming, there’s a major Mother
Nature event somewhere the next day. Turns out, there’s an
explanation for the seemingly regular appearance of
once-in-50-year storms, one that, like most things having to do
with climate change, is slightly ominous. Experts say that
long-term we are likely to see more giant blizzards in the
Northern Hemisphere but less snow overall…Posted.

Another view: Environmentalists are fighting the wrong battles. 
President Obama began his second term with a promise to push
harder on energy and climate change. The events of the past week
remind us that he won't have to contend just with Republicans and
coal-state Democrats determined to oppose reasonable measures to
combat global warming. He will also have to sidestep
environmentalists demanding that he fight the wrong battles. 


As Carbon Dioxide Levels Continue To Rise, Global Temperatures
Are Not Following Suit. New data from the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration show atmospheric carbon dioxide levels
are continuing to rise but global temperatures are not following
suit. The new data undercut assertions that atmospheric carbon
dioxide is causing a global warming crisis. NOAA data show
atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rose 2.67 parts per million in
2012, to 395 ppm. The jump was the second highest since 1959,
when scientists began measuring atmospheric carbon dioxide
levels. Posted.


Crowdfunding Clean Energy. If you wanted to get large numbers of
people actively engaged in helping to solve global warming, how
might you go about it? For years, the main approach in the
environmental movement has been to sound the alarm bell and
implore people to consume less, switch to green products,
recycle, and speak up to companies and politicians. It hasn’t
always been an easy sell. However, if the approach of a promising
Oakland-based start-up takes hold, there may be another line of
action that could become available to ordinary people: directly
financing renewable energy. Posted.

Learning from the cap-and-trade debate.  Two months ago, my
report “Naming the Problem: What It Will Take to Counter
Extremism and Engage Americans in the Fight Against Global
Warming” [PDF] was posted online (along with an important
companion report, “The Too Polite Revolution” [PDF], by
journalists Petra Bartosiewicz and Marissa Miley). These reports
probed what happened with the big push for cap-and-trade
legislation in 2009 and 2010, and mine used the results of months
of research to place this episode within the larger political
trends that have been playing out in U.S. politics in recent


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