Goats to the Rescue in Fire-Prone Bay Area
June 3, 2014 02:47 PM - S.E. Smith, Care2
How does the saying go? Only you can prevent forest fires, or only goats can prevent forest fires? You'll understand the confusion when you meet the Bay Area's latest fire prevention crews: goats. California is facing a forecast for what may be the worst fire season ever, thanks to drought conditions and a large buildup of tinder. Fire management professionals are working ahead of time to try to clear brush, high grass and other fire hazards, in the hopes of reducing the spread of the inevitable wildfires that are already streaking across the state. When it comes to brush clearance crews, it can be tough to find someone willing to do the job. It's backbreaking labor conducted in the hot sun, and it takes hours to make a dent in overgrown shrubs and brush, which are often filled with tangles of thorns and other unpleasant surprises. Brush clearance can get extremely expensive, and it requires constant maintenance. That's one reason why people have been turning to rental goats to clear brush and keep areas like road verges, medians and hillsides trimmed.
EU reacts to Obama's Clean Power Plan
June 3, 2014 10:11 AM - Editor, ENN
After the US EPA announced their plan to cut US power plant emissions 30% by 2030, the European Union (EU) reacts, praising the Emission Performance Standard (EPS) for its vision while serving as a "positive signal" to other countries. "This proposed rule is the strongest action ever taken by the U.S. government to fight climate change," the EU's climate action commissioner, Connie Hedegaard said in a reaction statement. "If implemented as planned, this measure will help the country meet its 2020 emissions target."
US EPA Releases Clean Power Plan Proposal
June 2, 2014 01:27 PM - Editor, ENN
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is releasing the Clean Power Plan proposal today. This is the first attempt to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, the single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. According to the EPA, power plants account for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. While there are already standards for the level of arsenic, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particle pollution that power plants can emit, there are currently no national limits on carbon pollution levels.
Reducing emissions to combat climate change
June 2, 2014 08:22 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
Climate engineering is unlikely to provide an effective or practical solution to slowing global warming, according to a new study. Reducing the release of carbon remains the only likely answer to tackling climate change ahead of fanciful projects such as positioning giant mirrors in space to reduce the amount of sunlight being trapped in the earth's atmosphere or seeding clouds to reduce the amount of light entering earth's atmosphere.
Utility emissions in US trending down
May 31, 2014 09:16 AM - NRDC
A new report on U.S. power plant emissions from the country's top 100 electric power producers shows a downward trend in nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxides (SO2), mercury and carbon dioxide (CO2) since 2000, with CO2 emissions decreasing 13 percent between 2008 and 2012. The findings show that the industry is already shifting toward a combination of increased energy efficiency and lower carbon fuel sources, which should help it meet new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carbon standards expected to be announced on June 2. "The electric power industry is firmly on the path toward a low carbon energy future, and history shows that it is not only capable of meeting new pollution limits, but that it can do so while keeping our lights on and our economy growing," said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, a nonprofit sustainability advocacy group which helped produce the report. "EPA's proposed standards will stimulate further investment in low-carbon, low-risk resources like renewable power and energy efficiency."
British Airways Turns Garbage into Jet Fuel: Sustainable Solution or Incineration in Disguise?
May 30, 2014 02:03 PM - Alexis Petru, Triple Pundit
Can garbage power your plane ride from New York to London? That’s the idea behind a new production plant that will transform waste from London's homes and businesses into a jet fuel that costs about the same price as conventional petroleum-based fuel but burns cleaner and produces fewer carbon emissions.
Airport pollution worse than the freeways in LA?
May 30, 2014 07:44 AM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen
A new study has found that heavy airplane traffic contributes to even more pollution to the skies above Los Angeles than the city’s congested freeways. And the research results, published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, revealed the effect continues for up to 10 miles away.
Rules to cut carbon emissions also reduce harmful air pollution
May 28, 2014 08:58 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen
Setting strong standards for climate-changing carbon emissions from power stations would provide the added bonus of reducing other air pollutants that can make people sick and damage the environment. A first-of-its-kind study released today by scientists at Syracuse University and Harvard has mapped the potential environmental and human health benefits of power plant carbon standards and found potential for reductions of more than 750 thousand tons of other harmful air pollutants across the US.
EPA doles out grants to replace old diesel engines on tug boats
May 27, 2014 03:17 PM - Allison Winter, ENN
The shipping industry is one of the most under-regulated industries in the world due to outdated and international regulations that are difficult to enforce on a global scale. And as these ships enter our harbors and ports close to home, their operations have the potential to generate smog-forming emissions and other pollutants that are linked to various health problems in susceptible populations. In an effort to combat some of the pollution expelled from dirty diesel engines, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has allotted over one million dollars to help two specific organizations replace their old engines with less polluting models. According to the EPA, the projects will cut emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides and particulate matter among other pollutants which are linked to asthma, lung and heart disease and premature death.
Ancient soils found to contain significant amounts of carbon
May 27, 2014 11:31 AM - University of Wisconsin-Madison, via ScienceDaily
Soils that formed on Earth's surface thousands of years ago and that are now deeply buried features of vanished landscapes have been found to be rich in carbon, adding a new dimension to our planet's carbon cycle. The finding, reported in the journal Nature Geoscience, is significant as it suggests that deep soils can contain long-buried stocks of organic carbon which could, through erosion, agriculture, deforestation, mining and other human activities, contribute to global climate change.