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91 posts from March 2010

March 24, 2010

Daily Roundup: March 24, 2010

Side of Emissions? At yesterday's American Chemical Society convention, it came out that food aromas are one of the leading causes of air pollution. ScienceDaily

EPA Source-rers: Before the first nationwide mandatory greenhouse-gas reporting system begins, the EPA wants additional emission sources be included. ENN

Injection Violations: BJ Services Co. repeatedly told the EPA it was complying with a ban on injecting diesel fuel near drinking-water sources. Documents show, though, that the company didn't report its violations of the ban. New York Times

Approaching the Gates: Toshiba and TerraPower seem interested in Bill Gates's plan to develop a nuclear reactor that turns radioactive waste into fuel. BusinessGreen.com

Trouble in Tajikistan: A new Oxfam report indicates that 1.4 million people in Tajikistan are experiencing food shortages. That number is expected to rise, due to continuing water scarcity and other problems associated with climate change. Celsias

--Nicholas Mukhar

Cue the Ominous Music for Sharks

Shark Three of four proposals to protect endangered sharks were shot down yesterday in Dohar, Qatar, where U.N. officials gathered for the Conventional on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

On the table for debate were stricter trade regulations for the hammerhead, oceanic whitetip, spiny dogfish, and porbeagle shark species. But only the porbeagle won more stringent protection.

Japan, which has long been fighting trade restrictions on marine species, and China, the world's biggest consumer of shark-fin soup, led the opposition to the trade restrictions.

--Nicholas Mukhar

Book Roundup Wednesday: Solutions for Saving the Planet

Books about environmentalismEvery Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. This week, we're recommending books that offer solutions for saving the planet.

Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis (by Al Gore, $27, Rodale, Nov. 2009): This sequel to An Inconvenient Truth is based on more than 30 “Solutions Summits” that Gore has hosted since putting forth his seminal work. It states, in admirably clear and straightforward prose, the complexities of global warming and a broad array of potential solutions to avert catastrophe. The breathtaking photos tell their own frightening and inspiring story.

The Ecotechnic Future: Envisioning a Post-Peak World (by John Michael Greer, $19, New Society Publishers, Oct. 2009): Greer argues that the decline of the industrial age is already underway, leading to a demise of civilization as we know it. He envisions a post-industrial, post-nation world in which people return to the self-sufficient practices, such as organic farming and reliance on local economies, which sustained earlier generations. He sounds a hopeful note in pointing out that we can ease the transition by embracing these practices now.

Continue reading "Book Roundup Wednesday: Solutions for Saving the Planet" »

Women's History Month: Protecting Oceans

Don't let trash end up in the ocean March is Women's History Month, so this week we're highlighting important events in the lives of pioneering women and providing a related tip that you can use whether you're female or male. 

Event: In 1926, Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim the English Channel, setting a new record in the process.

Tip: Discarded plastic pollutes oceans and threatens marine life. You can reduce your plastic use by opting for reusable shopping bags and bottles. Beach cleanups offer an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while doing something good for the environment. 

Share your tips: How do you protect our oceans?

March 23, 2010

Daily Roundup: March 23, 2010

Mounting Momentum: Now that health care reform has passed, some key senators, including John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), are concentrating on ensuring similar success for climate-change legislation. Yahoo! Green

Urban Stars: The EPA today issued the second annual ranking of U.S. cities with the most Energy Star-labeled buildings. Topping the list, in order: Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Denver, and Chicago. EPA

Rocky Mountain High: Colorado's governor, Bill Ritter, signed a bill that will require his state to derive 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Denver Post

Greening Big Biz:
The former CEOs of RadioShack and Sprint launched a phone-recycling company. Meanwhile, Ford decreed that its employees turn off their computers each night to save $1.2 million and up to 25,000 carbon tons per year. Scientific American and TreeHugger

Online Onslaught: During the in-progress Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Doha, Qatar, it’s becoming clear that people illegally selling rare animals on the internet are a major threat to being able to enforce the protection of thousands of species. NPR

--Avital Binshtock

How Much Water Do You Use? Now You Can Know.

Water The average American family uses 400 gallons of water every day — and the toilet alone accounts for more than a quarter of that. It's time to cut down, especially since this is World Water Week.

Underwriters Laboratories just launched a new feature on its site. Called the "Save Your Water" consumption calculator, it estimates how much water you use daily, weekly, and yearly. Want to know your numbers? Go try the fun, interactive calculator. You can sign a pledge to reduce your water consumption, and for each of the first 15,000 pledges, UL will donate $1 to Water For People. The site also provides conservation tips such as shortening showers and filling up your dishwasher rather than washing by hand.

Bonus: Check out our water-conservation tips, or visit your local water utility's website for more ideas.

--Sophie Matson

Find Me on Jumo

Jumo Early adopters, take note: Chris Hughes, the 26-year-old co-founder of Facebook and the creator of My.BarackObama.com, is planning to debut his new venture, a social-networking site called Jumo, this fall.

Jumo's modest goal? To connect people and organizations around the world to change the world. And to provide a platform on which its philanthropy- and volunteerism-minded members will be able to discuss causes and concerns.

Jumo won't fully launch until at least September, but if you visit the site now, you can enter your e-mail address to get updates about its progress. You can also answer a short questionnaire about yourself to help Jumo's developers make it more relevant to you.

--Nicholas Mukhar

Bloomingdale's Brown Bag Gets Greener

Bloomingdale's green bag That iconic brown bag just got a bit greener. From April 1 to 22, Bloomingdale's will join the National Resource Defense Council for a green-awareness campaign that will include eco-friendly merchandise and in-store events.

Customers can visit the stores' "Little Green Boutiques" to buy reusable water bottles, tote bags, even a sustainable umbrella. A portion of proceeds will benefit the NRDC.

--Jessi Phillips

Women's History Month: Voting

Use the power of the green vote March is Women's History Month, so this week we're highlighting important events in the lives of pioneering women and providing a related tip that you can use whether you're female or male. 

Event: In 1916, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress. 

Tip: Though Jeannette Rankin's home state of Montana had already granted women the right to vote, she was elected to the House of Representatives before the passage of the 19th Amendment. Celebrate your right to vote by supporting politicians with green agendas. Take action by writing letters to your representatives to tell them that protecting the environment is important.

Share your tips: How do you influence local politics?

March 22, 2010

Daily Roundup: March 22, 2010

Pure Motives: Today, World Water Day, the EPA announced new strategies to rid drinking water of contaminants and to better monitor public water systems. The agency will solicit input from the public on the matter. EPA

Legacy Lives On: Former interior secretary and congressman Stewart L. Udall died on Saturday at age 90. He was a key champion of developing the national-park system and fought on behalf of radiation-exposure victims. Los Angeles Times

Choking State: Hong Kong’s air-pollution levels today reached the highest level ever recorded — up to 14 times the amount recommended by the World Health Organization — leading government officials to discourage people from engaging in outdoor activities and physical exertion. New York Times

Wave Hello: In a move that could make Scotland the world leader in tidal energy, the nation has approved ten ocean-based projects that would provide electricity for a third of its homes by 2020. Yale Environment 360

Fire and Ice:
A volcano erupted in Iceland over the weekend, out of craters on the Eyjafjallajokull glacier. Some 500 people were evacuated, and no injuries were reported. Reuters

--Avital Binshtock

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