Friday, October 28, 2011

Obama administration announces desert 'solar energy zones'

The Obama administration on Thursday unveiled its road map for solar energy development, directing large-scale industrial projects to 285,000 acres of desert land in the western U.S. while opening 20 million acres of the Mojave for new development.,0,7889585.story


Article courtesy of The Los Angeles times by Julie Cart

Plastic water bottle-makers sued by California over green claims

California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris filed a lawsuit against three companies Wednesday for allegedly making false and misleading claims about their plastic water bottles' recyclability and biodegradability. The lawsuit is the first to enforce California's environmental marketing law, which  makes it illegal to label a plastic food or beverage container as biodegradable because plastic takes thousands of years to break down naturally and may never do so in a landfill.

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times –Greenspace-Posted by Susan Carpenter



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Burning oil from BP spill produced carbon plumes

Chalk up another environmental impact from last summer's Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Nine weeks of burning off oil slicks from the surface of the Gulf of Mexico following the BP spill released an estimated 1 million pounds of soot into the atmosphere, according to a study released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


Article courtesy of the Los Angeles Times –Greenspace-posted by Julie Cart

Up to 20 millions tons of tsunami debris headed for U.S. shores

Prepare for a garbage deluge.

An estimated 5 tons to 20 tons of debris sucked into the ocean during Japan's massive tsunami is due to hit U.S. shores, University of Hawaii scientists say. The wall of water struck in March, so that means the garbage should be here -- sometime in 2014.

Hey, it takes a long time to cross the Pacific Ocean if you’re a couch. Or a fridge. Or a piece of a house. Or a Coke can.

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times-Nation Now –posted by Deborah Netburn



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

California has 1 in 4 U.S. solar energy jobs, study says

Reporting from Sacramento

One in every four solar energy jobs in America is held by a Californian, and growth in the clean-tech industry is burgeoning nationwide, a new study said.

In August, California had an estimated 25,575 solar-related jobs out of 100,237 for all 50 states, according to the National Solar Jobs Census 2011. The census is scheduled for release Monday by the Solar Foundation, a research and education organization in Washington.

California's solar jobs tally was more than four times greater than runner-up Colorado, which had 6,186 solar jobs,0,3230671.story

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Marc Lifsher



Robots built to help autistic children

Robots aren't known for their soft side. They build cars and defuse bombs; they don't, as a rule, make friends or deal with feelings. But a few groups of researchers around the world are working to build robots for an unusual purpose: Making emotional connections with autistic children who often struggle to interact with humans.,0,5798122.story

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Chris Woolston, Special to the Los Angeles Times


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Target commits to 100% sustainable, traceable fish by 2015

The second largest discount retailer in the U.S. announced Thursday that it will sell only sustainable, traceable fish by 2015. Minneapolis-based Target Corp. operates 1,762 stores, many of which are converting to incorporate PFresh markets that sell fresh and frozen foods, including fish.

In 2010, Target stopped selling farmed salmon, Chilean sea bass and orange roughy due to various sustainability issues. It currently sells 50 different brands of fish certified by either the Marine Stewardship Council or the Global Aquaculture Alliance

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times -Greenspace posted by Susan Carpenter

Polar bears and greenhouse gases: Can one live with the other?

A federal judge ruled Monday that the government did not breach its obligations under the Endangered Species Act by failing to consider greenhouse gas emissions in efforts to protect the polar bear.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan also concluded that federal officials were within their authority in a rule allowing "incidental" harm to polar bears that might occur as a result of oil and gas activities in the Arctic -- provided that those activities already are authorized under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times-Nation Now posted by Kim Murphy

New Zealand fears oil spill from ship may worsen

A stricken cargo ship carrying tons of oil threatened to break apart off the coast of New Zealand late Monday and dislodge from the reef it rammed this month.

Salvage crews halted attempts to pump oil from the Liberian-flagged Rena as weather in the area worsened. The ship, which ran aground Oct. 5 on a reef 14 miles offshore, has spilled tons of heavy oil that has washed up on pristine beaches near the town of Tauranga on New Zealand's North Island.,0,1472943.story
Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by John M. Glionna

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Australia moves closer to law establishing carbon tax

The Australian government's goal of implementing a carbon tax passed its toughest test today as the lower house of Parliament overwhelmingly approved a package of bills that institutes a phased-in carbon tax, to be followed by a carbon-trading system.

The 18 bills now go to the Senate, where the law is all but assured of passage in mid-November.

According to Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the system will reduce Australia's carbon emissions by 159 million tons by 2020. Australia is the largest per-capita carbon polluter, with an economy deeply dependent on coal.

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times –Greenspace posted by Julie Cart


Boston public housing going smoke-free in 2012

Boston is set to become the first big city in Massachusetts - and the largest in the nation - to ban smoking in public housing, beginning in September 2012.

In the next few weeks, about 25,000 tenants will receive letters announcing that their buildings will be smoke-free and that they will have to agree to the new policy when they sign their annual leases.

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe by Kay Lazar




Thursday, October 6, 2011

Believe it: Bob Dylan is favored to win Nobel Prize in literature

According to Ladbrokes, Bob Dylan is the odds-on favorite to win the Nobel Prize for literature. The British betting house has Dylan as the top possibility, running at 5-to-1 odds, ahead of Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, who is in second place, and Syrian poet Adonis in third.
Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times -Jacket Copy posted by Carolyn Kellogg

Mattel drops paper company linked to Indonesia deforestation

It's official: Barbie has broken up with Asia Pulp and Paper.

Responding to a campaign by Greenpeace, toy giant Mattel, maker of the famed Barbie doll line, announced Wednesday that it will stop buying paper and packaging that the environmental group has linked to rain forest destruction in Indonesia.

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times -Greenspace posted by Geoff Mohan

The value of being greener

Farmers find that energy efficiency pays off by saving money, protecting environment

There was a time when farm life was impossible without a big, beefy truck. Carting bales of hay and hauling equipment took a burly gas-guzzler.

At Otter River Farm, David Smith’s utility vehicle uses no gas at all. Zipping around his dairy in Winchendon, home to Smith’s Country Cheese, on a zero-emissions golf cart, Smith is blazing a path for greener and cleaner times in agriculture.

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe-Green Blog by kathleen Pierce Globe Correspondent

Scientists seek to document later fall colors

PORTLAND, Maine—Clocks may not be the only thing falling back: That signature autumn change in leaf colors may be drifting further down the calendar.

Scientists don't quite know if global warming is changing the signs of fall like it already has with an earlier-arriving spring. They're turning their attention to fall foliage in hopes of determining whether climate change is leading to a later arrival of autumn's golden orange and red hues.

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe by Davdi Sharp/Associated Press