• Green Success: Old Gas Station Given New Life

    Originally a gas station and then a liquor store, the building at the corner of Third Street and North Limestone in downtown Lexington, Ky., is now the home of Doodle's Breakfast and Lunch, a popular eatery. Back in 1945, the Central Shell station was a state-of-the-art facility with an office, two service bays and an exterior of shiny porcelain panels. By the early 1970s, a liquor store named Doodle's occupied the premises until it was sold a couple of times. When Tim and Lynda Mellin, then owners of the Atomic Café across the street, purchased the property in 1993, they wanted the Doodle's property for its parking lot. They later sold the Atomic Café, but made an agreement to allow the café's patrons to park in the Doodle's lot since the two restaurants are not open at the same time of day. This is a positive arrangement for both restaurants. >> Read the Full Article
  • Plans for a Green Inauguration

    With the US Presidential inauguration ceremonies around the corner (kicking off on Monday, January 21), the nation is getting ready for a week of festivities, balls and galas honoring our newly elected officials. This year's official theme is "Faith in America's Future." Inaugurations aren't particularly known for being green, but in an attempt to jump on the eco-friendly bandwagon, sustainable efforts are being made. TriplePundit reports on the "greening" of this year's ceremonies. >> Read the Full Article
  • NASA Satellite Images Reveal Dramatic Increase in Air Pollution Over China

    NASA's Terra satellite acquired natural-color images of northeastern China on January 3 and January 14, highlighting a drastic shift in air quality for the region. According to the images, the opaque, gray areas tend to be clouds or fog, which are saturated with a gray or yellow tint as a result from the air pollution. Areas that are cloud-free appear gray and brown as a result from the smog that hides the cities below. Residual snow is also noted in the images. >> Read the Full Article
  • Update: California Carbon Caps and Market Trading

    Carbon allowances are now available for sale in California. Companies that emit more than 25,000 tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent a year (CO2e) in the power, oil, and industrial sectors will now have to turn in permits for every ton they emit this year and the years to come. Things are moving fast in California right now, so here’s a primer on what’s happening and what to expect for the coming months. Are people really buying carbon permits? Yes. Currently California Carbon Allowances (CCAs) are trading for about $15 a ton on the secondary market. Point Carbon reported a big spike in volume traded since January 1st, as a lot of new companies have entered the markets and are cutting their teeth on West Coast-style carbon trading. >> Read the Full Article
  • Mercury Strategies

    Natural sources, such as volcanoes, are responsible for approximately half of atmospheric mercury emissions. Humans contributed most of the rest through fuel combustion. International negotiators will come together next week in Geneva, Switzerland for the fifth and final meeting to address global environmental controls on mercury. Ahead of the negotiations, researchers from MIT and Harvard University are calling for aggressive emissions reductions and clear public health advice to reduce the risks of mercury. >> Read the Full Article
  • Mercury Contamination Similarities Found Between Birds and People

    Birds aren't that different from people. We learn from our parents, just like zebra finches learn songs from their fathers. We are active and noisy during the day, like birds, and we can also be territorial. Also like birds, we try to attract mates through colorful displays and beautiful songs. Birds are sensitive to pollution in their environment just like we are: harmful elements such as mercury wreak similar havoc on human and bird biology alike. Because our species share so many attributes, studying birds illustrates the connections between them and us. >> Read the Full Article
  • Carbon Dioxide Concentrations and Sea Level

    By comparing reconstructions of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and sea level over the past 40 million years, researchers based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton have found that greenhouse gas concentrations similar to the present (almost 400 parts per million) were systematically associated with sea levels at least nine metres above current levels. The study determined the 'natural equilibrium' sea level for CO2 concentrations ranging between ice-age values of 180 parts per million and ice-free values of more than 1,000 parts per million. >> Read the Full Article
  • Transocean To Pay $1.4 Billion In Gulf Oil Spill Settlement

    Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig where 11 men died in April 2010, has agreed to pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties to resolve Justice Department allegations over its role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. >> Read the Full Article
  • The Thick Haze of Cairo

    The air quality in downtown Cairo is more than 10 to 100 times of acceptable world standards. Cairo has a very poor dispersion factor because of lack of rain and its layout of tall buildings and narrow streets, which create a bowl like effect that traps pollutants. The main air pollution problem in Egypt is the particulate matter. The most notable sources of the dust and small particles is transportation, industry and open-air waste-burning. Another significant source is the wind blowing dust from dry arid areas into the city. The air in Egypt tends to be gray with a thick haze over Cairo. Two years ago when the Egyptian government began fully implementing taxis run on natural gas, there was much praise and fanfare. Air pollution was at monumental levels in the Egyptian capital Cairo and something was needed to curtail the growing problem that was leading to health hazards, including a dramatic rise in cases of asthma among young adults. While the country’s burgeoning taxis have largely made the switch to natural gas, congestion and poor maintenance continues to see air pollution one of the biggest problems facing everyday Egyptians. >> Read the Full Article
  • Extreme Weather Delays Efforts to Regain Control of Run-aground Oil Rig

    On Monday night, an oil drilling rig owned by Dutch Royal Shell ran aground on Sitkalidak Island in southern Alaska, prompting fears of an oil spill. As of yesterday no oil was seen leaking from the rig according to the Coast Guard, but efforts to secure the rig have floundered due to extreme weather. The rig, dubbed Kulluk, contains over 140,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The incident occurred when harsh weather caused the rig to break free from a ship that was towing the Kulluk from the Arctic back to its winter headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Rescuers quickly evacuated. >> Read the Full Article