Natural gas will play an increasingly important role in powering the U.S., doubling its share of the energy market from 20 percent to 40 percent within several decades, according to a report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A key reason behind the rise of natural gas is the increasing extraction of gas from underground shale deposits, a controversial practice that poses significant environmental risks. (more…)
(Reuters) – California environmentalists opened fire on Wednesday on a measure approved for the state’s November ballot that would roll back a landmark law regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
Linking the measure to the historic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups lambasted the measure, noting in a statement that Texas-based oil companies Valero and Tesoro have put money behind it.
The measure, certified by California’s top elections official for the ballot on Tuesday, would suspend the law until the unemployment rate in the most populous U.S. state, currently more than 12 percent, drops to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the law, AB32, in 2006 (more…)
In the wake of the failed Copenhagen summit, prospects for cutting global CO2 emissions are worse than they’ve been in years. With talk of mandated cuts now fading and with countries exploiting loopholes, the world appears headed toward a flawed agreement based not on science but on politics.
Those who thought the failed Copenhagen climate talks last December were a diplomatic nadir, from which only recovery was possible, are in for a shock. (more…)
On Wednesday, President Obama will meet with a bipartisan group of Senators to discuss the need for comprehensive energy and climate legislation this year. Following that meeting, Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, will host a live chat on WhiteHouse.gov to take your questions on energy and climate change legislation.
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday pledged to do all he could to contain the BP Plc oil spill and help the Gulf Coast recover.
“We will fight this spill with everything we’ve got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused,” Obama said in a televised address.
Obama also said he was happy to take ideas from Democrats and Republicans on broad energy legislation but said the United States could not afford to avoid changes in its energy use.
The high-stakes address to the nation is seen as an attempt to restore public confidence in his handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and drive forward his ambitious plans to cut U.S. dependence on fossil fuels.
BP’s efforts to curb the flow of oil into the sea suffered another setback when a fire aboard a ship collecting the gushing crude forced suspension of siphoning from the ruptured underwater well. But operations were restarted before Obama spoke. (more…)
Watching baseball’s first quadruple play was strange. Seeing Wal-Mart go green is stranger still.
First the baseball: The scene was a game of T-Ball, where everyone bats every inning, regardless of the number of outs.
The bases were loaded when a line drive ended up in the glove of the pitcher. While he wondered how it got there, all the runners took off without tagging up. The pitcher ran to third, then second, then first.
We kept counting the number of outs and they did not add up. First in our heads: That doesn’t make sense. Then on our hand: That’s crazy. Then our other hand: It kept adding up to four outs.
It took us a while to believe what we saw right in front of us.
And now Wal-Mart, the original Black Hat, is going green. Or better said, sustainable. Let that sink in because it is true. Big time.
So much so that Treehugger.com says It “could end up being one of the biggest motivators to make truly ‘green’ products ever.”
As in history of the world.
Wal-Mart has made believers out of not just the biggest environmental organizations in the world — like the Environmental Defense Fund and the World Wildlife Federation — but also Wal-Mart’s suppliers.
For years, free-market fundamentalists opposed to government regulation have sought to create doubt in the public’s mind about the dangers of smoking, acid rain, and ozone depletion. Now they have turned those same tactics on the issue of global warming and on climate scientists, with significant success.
In recent months, a group called the Cooler Heads Coalition — a creation of the Washington-based Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) — has fostered a public image of climate science as a criminal conspiracy. The CEI itself has accused NASA, the largest funder of climate science, of faking important climate data sets. In February, U.S. Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, whose positions are frequently cited and promoted by CEI, called for a criminal investigation of 17 climate scientists from a variety of institutions for allegedly falsifying or distorting data used in taxpayer-funded research. (more…)
With the clock ticking down on the legislative calendar, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are jockeying to get an energy bill onto the stage that will find the required votes for passage. The goals couldn’t be more clear: enact policy that will save energy, curb greenhouse gas emissions and encourage the production of green alternatives that will reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil. In the wake of the national catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, one might think that characteristic partisan interests and knee-jerk procedural bickering might be put aside in favor of compelling national unity. Yet the legislative waters on the issue remain, for now, murky as usual.
No, says a new report from the Global Justice Ecology Project, the Global Forest Coalition and Biofuelwatch called “Wood-based Bioenergy: The Green Lie”.
Burning wood – even fast-growing, genetically engineered trees designed to be used for fuel – merely increases the dangers of climate change, especially among the poorest nations, where much of the tree-growing takes place.
Growers argue that the tree plantations are growing on “marginal” land, but there is no such thing as marginal land in a poor country like Borneo, for example, where such land is used for grazing livestock, gathering wild plants for food or medicine, or as housing space.
Even the argument itself is specious. Some of these monoculture plantations are encroaching on arable land, or invading old-growth forests, a process that ends up displacing indigenous forest people (more…)
Trade fairs – even those presenting green technology – are not exactly known to be environmentally friendly. Every trade fair causes a variety of emissions starting with the production of trade fair stands, transport and other logistics and a lot of waste during and after the fair when a large quantity of material, including the major part of a fair stand are simply thrown away. Photovoltaic manufacturer, Yingli Green Energy was looking for a way to ‘green’ its event and trade fair material (more…)