• Pittsburgh Paints Goes EcoGreen

    PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh Paints, a global paint product manufacturer, today announced a major greening of it's product lines. The 2008-2009 season will see the introduction of a line of no VOC paints and a new color palette called "EcoEcho". Aside from being free of carcinogenic volotile organic compounds, the paints are pigmented to echo the growing interest in the ecological and environmental lifestyle choices and themes.

    The paints, the company says, represent a cultural shift toward balance and authenticity as well as a quest for more organic and eco-friendly colors in the home. Part of the new line includes a thematic approach to colors called the 'Voice of Color' program. This approach to colors is based on the idea that every color has an emotional association and that individuals are drawn to different colors for reason inherently tied to their unique personalities. It's an ancient design notion, applied on a grand scale for the first time by a major paint manufacturer.

     

     

     

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  • Beijing meeting Pledges but Pollution a Concern: U.N.

    BEIJING  - Beijing's air pollution remains a concern for the 2008 Olympics, even though the city is well on its way to fulfilling the environmental pledges made when it bid to host the Games, a United Nations report said on Thursday. The 163-page report, by the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP), highlighted some "concerns and missed opportunities" but said the Chinese capital had made "significant strides" towards hosting a "Green Olympics."

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  • GE hopes to cut mercury in "green" light bulbs

    NISKAYUNA, New York (Reuters) - General Electric Co is working to cut the amount of mercury in energy-saving fluorescent lightbulbs which have soared in popularity.

    Residents and businesses are buying up compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) because they reduce power bills as well as emissions of carbon dioxide, the main gas blamed for global warming. CFLs use only one-fourth to one-fifth the energy of incandescent bulbs producing the same light and can last 10 years.

    The corkscrew-shaped devices are made by many companies and on average contain about 5 milligrams of mercury, a toxic metallic element, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Five milligrams is tiny amount, about the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen, and much less than the amount that was held in old thermometers. But with sales of CFLs hitting 150 million units last year, and more expected this year, some scientists and environmentalists are worried that most of the bulbs are ending up in landfills instead of being recycled.

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  • Conoco unit pleads guilty to hiding Alaska spill

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - A shipping company owned by ConocoPhillips' pleaded guilty to concealing a 2004 oil spill in the ocean off Alaska and was ordered to pay $2.5 million for the offense, officials said.

    Polar Tankers Inc. entered its guilty plea in U.S. District Court on Tuesday and was ordered to pay a $500,000 fine and a $2 million community-service payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

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  • EU court annuls ship pollution law on technicality

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union's top court struck down an EU law holding captains and shipowners criminally responsible for polluting the sea on Tuesday, saying the legislation had not been properly drafted.

    The law was agreed in 2005, shortly after oil tanker spills damaged coastlines in France and Spain.

    The legislation will now have to rewritten after the Luxembourg-based court said in a statement that national governments had ignored the executive European Commission during the legislative process.

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  • Tim Robbins wages crusade against noise in new film

    ROME (Reuters) - Have you ever dreamt of smashing up that car in your neighborhood whose burglar alarm has the bad habit of going off in the middle of the night?

    U.S. director Henry Bean used to do that just that, breaking into other people's cars to disable their alarms, so he could get a good night's sleep. He ended up in court and in jail, until he decided to stop and make a film about it.

    "Noise", Bean's provocative second film, casts Tim Robbins as David, an upper-class family man driven insane by New York's loud sounds -- grinding garbage trucks, horns honking, back-up beepers and worst of all, car alarms squealing at all hours.

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  • US Govt Study: Source of Nitrate in Precipitation Is Coal Power

    Denver, CO - Nitrate found in precipitation occurring in rural areas of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States is primarily caused by emissions from stationary sources located hundreds of miles away, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study. Stationary sources include coal-burning power plants and other industrial facilities. Although vehicles are the single largest emission source of nitrogen oxides in this region, distant stationary sources may have a greater impact on nitrate found in rain and snow.

     

     

    Stationary sources include coal-burning power plants and other industrial facilities. Although vehicles are the single largest emission source of nitrogen oxides in this region, distant stationary sources may have a greater impact on nitrate found in rain and snow.

     

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  • Brazil Will Burn Sugarcane Fields Until 2017

    SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Almost 100 sugar and ethanol mills in Brazil's main sugar cane state Sao Paulo have agreed to stop the practice of burning cane fields by 2017, the Sugar Cane Industry Union (Unica) said on Monday.

    These mills crush more than 50 percent of the cane output in Sao Paulo, Brazil's No. 1 cane producing state that accounts for around 63 percent of the national crop.

    In June, Unica had signed an agreement with the state government in which mills were to ban cane burning in the state by 2017, well before 2031 target mandated by a state law.

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  • Germany Supporting Chilean Renewable Energy Efforts

    Santigo, Chile - The German government has pledged up to US$126 million to fund Chilean research into renewable energy and energy efficiency.

    The Chilean minister of energy, Marcelo Tokman, announced the agreement during an official visit to Berlin, Germany, this month.

    A spokesperson for Chile's National Commission of Energy told SciDev.Net that the German government will donate US$11.5 million and lend up to US$114.5 million.

    During the visit, Tokman also formally accepted an invitation for Chile to become one of the founder countries of the new International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

    IRENA — an initiative led by Germany — aims to promote the use of renewable energy sources such as solar energy, wind power, regenerative biomass, wave and tidal power worldwide.

    It will also support national energy planning, research centres and technology transfer, especially from industrialised nations to developing countries.

     

     

     

     

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  • China Needs More Than Electric Cars: Toyota

    TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese carmaker Toyota is working to improve its hybrid cars and develop electric cars for the future, but an official said on Monday that these vehicles would not help reduce CO2 emissions in China.

    "In France, 80 percent of electricity is produced by nuclear stations so if electric cars replace fossil fuel cars then you have a clear reduction in the emission of CO2," said Tatehito Ueda, a managing officer at Toyota Motor Corp.

    "But in China they make electricity by burning coal, so China is not the place for electric cars," he told the Nikkei International Automotive Conference in Tokyo.

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