Pollution

Beach Closing Days Nationwide Top 20,000 for Fourth Consecutive Year
July 29, 2009 12:15 PM - NRDC

The water at American beaches was seriously polluted and jeopardized the health of swimmers last year with the number of closing and advisory days at ocean, bay and Great Lakes beaches reaching more than 20,000 for the fourth consecutive year, according to the 19th annual beachwater quality report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). "Pollution from dirty stormwater runoff and sewage overflows continues to make its way to our beaches. This not only makes swimmers sick – it hurts coastal economies," said Nancy Stoner, NRDC Water Program Co-Director. "Americans should not suffer the consequences of contaminated beachwater. From contracting the flu or pink eye, to jeopardizing millions of jobs and billions of dollars that rely on clean coasts, there are serious costs to inaction."

U.S. and China sign memorandum on climate change
July 29, 2009 07:00 AM - Sue Pleming, Reuters

The United States and China, the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases, signed an agreement on Tuesday that promises more cooperation on climate change, energy and the environment without setting firm goals. Chinese and U.S. officials signed the memorandum of understanding at the State Department following two days of high-level economic and strategic talks.

J&J On Track To Meet 2010 Climate Goal
July 28, 2009 11:18 AM - ClimateBiz, GreenBiz

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has cut emissions at its company-owned and larger leased facilities by 9 percent between 1990 and 2008, a period in which its worldwide sales have grown by more than 400 percent. Though the company is currently meeting its goal of reducing emissions by 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2010, emissions increased in 2008. Its carbon footprint, which includes 364,000 metric tons of carbon offsets, grew 3.3 percent in 2008 compared to the year before, the company said in its 12th sustainability report published last week.

European Nations Wary on Environmental Protectionism
July 28, 2009 10:56 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

European nations are wary about a perceived trend in France and the United States to use international competition as a reason to back off on Carbon reduction pledges. They are concerned that carbon tariffs could be used to fend off competition from countries which have not committed to reducing emissions, in effect triggering a green trade war.

New study backs UN panel on ocean rise
July 28, 2009 06:47 AM - AFP, Environmental Health News

The UN's climate panel has been backed over a key question as to how far global warming will drive up sea levels this century, a study published on Sunday says. The UN experts are right that the oceans are unlikely to rise by an order of metres (many feet) by 2100, as some scientists have feared, it says. But, its authors caution, low-lying countries and delta areas could still face potentially catastrophic flooding if the upper range of the new estimate proves right.

Nissan’s New Electric Hatchback
July 27, 2009 04:31 PM - Chuck Squatriglia, Wired from Autopia

Nissan showed off its latest EV prototype today, a slick four-door, five-passenger hatchback that’s good for 100 miles and tells you when and where to charge up. Although it’s just a mule wearing a Tiida body, the car provides the best glimpse yet of the production EV we'll see for the first time Sunday. Nissan plans to offer an all-electric vehicle in Japan and the United States next year, then roll it out globally in 2012. "Nissan will be a leader in zero-emission vehicles," Toshiyuki Shiga said in Tokyo, according to Canadian Press. "EV is the answer."

Vote For the "7 Wonders of the Natural World"
July 27, 2009 02:38 PM - M. Molendyke, ENN Community

Recently, 28 finalists were announced in the search for the "SevenWonders of the Natural World" initiative, being sponsored by the New 7 Foundation. Of the 28, the public has been given the task of voting to choose 7, and the foundation hopes to get over 1 billion votes. This program was launched to foster conservancy, both of the specific wonders and of the world's ecosystems in general, and the nonprofit hopes to inspire the citizens of the world through ecotourism and increased publicity and public sympathy for conservancy. You can vote online. Visit the ENN Community: http://blog.enn.com/

Comment on the Latest News on the US Climate Bill
July 26, 2009 10:09 AM - Molly Molendyke, ENN Community

Yesterday, Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin spoke out about the upcoming formation of a US climate bill, saying that the bill needs an "off ramp" built into the bill itself in case other nations fail to meet their climate legislation’s goals. This "off ramp" should, according to an article by Reuters’ Charles Abbott, "allow the United States to relax its greenhouse gas rules if other nations fail to control theirs." The price of farm upkeep is expected to climb with the instatement of a formal climate law, and Harkin casually explained his thinking with "If other countries don’t join us... hey, we’re off the ramp." Farm groups are the biggest proponent of the ramp idea because "US farmers would be at a disadvantage on the export market if other nations kept their prices low by not curbing carbon emissions," according to Abbott.

Advance in Geothermal Energy
July 26, 2009 09:49 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

A new method for capturing significantly more heat from low-temperature geothermal resources holds promise for generating virtually pollution-free electrical energy. Scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are testing a new innovative approach to safely and economically extract and convert heat from vast untapped geothermal resources.

EPA reconsiders lead-monitoring plans foiled by Bush White House
July 24, 2009 10:29 AM - Brendan Borrell, Scientific American

The EPA announced this week that it was reconsidering plans to beef up its airborne lead monitoring network in response to a petition from environmental and health groups.

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