commentary

AskPablo: What's up with "Clean Coal" and Carbon Capture and Sequestration?
November 12, 2007 08:20 AM - Pablo

Many people have asked me about the feasibility of "clean coal" paired with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) as a genuine option for a more sustainable future. In a previous article I wrote about coal-fired power plants (see AskPablo: Coal-Fired Power Plants) so I won't beat that dead horse too much. However, I will discuss coal-to-liquids as well as the feasibility of CCS.

Some politicians will have you believe that coal-to-liquids is a viable and sustainable alternative to our dependence on oil-based fuels. Whether or not these politicians are from coal-rich states, or which party they belong to I will leave up for you to explore.

Grooming goes green
November 9, 2007 10:51 AM - By Terri Coles

TORONTO (Reuters) -- Who ever thought that putting on your face in the morning might be dangerous. On the heels of massive recalls of lead-laced toys, a cosmetics safety campaign has found the offensive metal in several popular brands of lipstick. France, Italy, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom all have standards in place for organic cosmetic products, though some are industry standards and not government regulations.

 

 

SF Bay Oil Spill: Vessel Traffic Lanes Threaten National Marine Sanctuaries, Expert Says
November 8, 2007 05:43 PM - Robert Ovetz, Phd, Director of Seaflow.org

This commentary is provided by Robert Ovetz, Ph.D., Executive Director of Seaflow. Seaflow is an educational nonprofit organization working internationally to protect whales, dolphins and all marine life from active sonars and other lethal ocean noise pollution. Dr Ovetz urges state and federal governments to address the dangers of allowing large vessels into or near protected areas.

 

 

Sausalito, California — Marine conservation organization Seaflow is warning that the bunker fuel spill by the Cosco Busan container ship yesterday is a symptom of allowing traffic lanes for large cargo vessels and oil tankers in our National Marine Sanctuaries and State Marine Protected Areas. Immediate action by the state and federal governments to address the heightened risk to the marine environment from oil spills as well as ship strikes and rising levels of ocean noise pollution from large vessels is needed.

 

 

“The federal government is running a superhighway through our Yosemite on the sea. Every cargo vessel and oil tanker that enters San Francisco Bay passes right through at least one of our three contiguous National Marine Sanctuaries and through or alongside critical state marine protected areas,” warned Robert Ovetz, Ph.D., executive director of Seaflow.

 

Sustainable Spain: Policies Support Sustainability
November 7, 2007 04:19 PM - By Juan Paredes, U.S. Director, Galician Institute for Economic Promotion

With the presidential elections in full swing, concerns over climate change and crippling dependence on foreign oil have emerged as hot topics of debates.  But instead of prolonging the back and forth of politically charged arguments, the US can look across to Galicia, Spain for a successful example of policies that addresses oil dependence and spurs growth in renewable energy.

Over the last decade, Galicia, a region formerly entirely dependent on imported fossil fuels committed itself to turn to renewables and has recently emerged as a global leader in both the wind and solar energy sector.  As a region, Galicia matches and often surpasses entire nations in wind energy production.  Galicia is ranked sixth worldwide in wind energy production after Germany, the U.S., the rest of Spain, Denmark and India, producing more wind energy than California and Texas combined.  Galicia is also emerging as a leader in various solar innovations as well.

Sustainable Spain: Policies Support Sustainability
November 7, 2007 04:19 PM - By Juan Paredes, U.S. Director, Galician Institute for Economic Promotion

With the presidential elections in full swing, concerns over climate change and crippling dependence on foreign oil have emerged as hot topics of debates.  But instead of prolonging the back and forth of politically charged arguments, the US can look across to Galicia, Spain for a successful example of policies that addresses oil dependence and spurs growth in renewable energy.

Over the last decade, Galicia, a region formerly entirely dependent on imported fossil fuels committed itself to turn to renewables and has recently emerged as a global leader in both the wind and solar energy sector.  As a region, Galicia matches and often surpasses entire nations in wind energy production.  Galicia is ranked sixth worldwide in wind energy production after Germany, the U.S., the rest of Spain, Denmark and India, producing more wind energy than California and Texas combined.  Galicia is also emerging as a leader in various solar innovations as well.

Greening the Holiday Season One Gift at a Time
November 7, 2007 02:23 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Portland, Oregon – Imagine a gift basket that thinks local and acts global. That's what an Oregon businesswoman did and created what she describes as a 'green tool kit', which, is an assortment of simple tools that each make significant contributions to a greener world. The idea is a a thoughtful alternative to the traditional gift basket.

The tool kit includes simple, everyday products that conserve and sustain. Look inside, and you'll find tire gauges, reusable grocery bags, aluminum water bottles and biodegradable doggy business bags, and more. A wide assortment of products- all simple, all green.

What's Killing the Bees?
November 6, 2007 05:23 PM - Bay Paul Tukey, Author and HGTV Host

The author of this commentary is Paul J. Tukey, HGTV Co-Host & Executive Producer,  Publisher, named by People, Places & Plants magazine the 2006 COMMUNICATOR OF THE YEAR by the American Horticultural Society, the author of The Organic Lawn Care Manual, National Spokesperson and the co-founder of safelawns.org.

60 Minutes is on the case. NPR recently published an expose. The media everywhere is scrambling for an angle on one of the most chilling and compelling questions of our time: what is killing the bees?

And while it’s exciting to see all the attention on this subject — since bees’ pollination accounts for about one third of the food we consume daily — it’s also enormously frustrating for beekeepers when many of our media brethren stop just short of telling the beekeepers’ version of the story.

Protecting Organic From GMO's - New Standards Proposed
November 3, 2007 11:15 PM - Ken Roseboro

Baltimore, MD - A draft standard for verifying the non-GMO status of natural and organic foods was introduced at a meeting held at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore in September. The Board members of the Non-GMO Project, an industry initiative to verify the non-GMO status of natural and organic foods, discussed the draft non-GMO standard.

Is Organic the Answer for Seafood?
November 2, 2007 06:26 PM - Rachel Hopkins and Urvashi Rangan, PhD

This commentary was authored by Rachel Hopkins, Communications Consultant, Pure Salmon Campaign and Urvashi Rangan, PhD, Senior Scientist and Policy Analyst, Consumers Union.

Close to 20 years ago, the U.S. defined what organic means in the U.S. Organic Food Production Act of 1990, expressly written for food grown in the ground and animals raised on land.

But as the organic movement has evolved into the organic industry, other products have started to carry erroneous “organic” claims. Enter the current debate raging in the U.S. regarding the development of “organic” standards for fish. The U.S. Department of Agriculture decided a couple years ago that wild fish are not eligible for the organic label because their living conditions are impossible to monitor and control.

 

 

 

Is Organic the Answer for Seafood?
November 2, 2007 06:26 PM - Rachel Hopkins and Urvashi Rangan, PhD

This commentary was authored by Rachel Hopkins, Communications Consultant, Pure Salmon Campaign and Urvashi Rangan, PhD, Senior Scientist and Policy Analyst, Consumers Union.

Close to 20 years ago, the U.S. defined what organic means in the U.S. Organic Food Production Act of 1990, expressly written for food grown in the ground and animals raised on land.

But as the organic movement has evolved into the organic industry, other products have started to carry erroneous “organic” claims. Enter the current debate raging in the U.S. regarding the development of “organic” standards for fish. The U.S. Department of Agriculture decided a couple years ago that wild fish are not eligible for the organic label because their living conditions are impossible to monitor and control.