Friday, March 30, 2012

NASCAR speeds transition to green

When NASCAR raced onto the track at Fontana’s Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, it did so accompanied by the distinct whiff of environmentalism. To help neutralize the carbon-dioxide emissions generated from the race, the track’s owners will plant 100 trees around the community as part of the NASCAR Green Clean Air program. To reduce waste, Coca-Cola set up a portable processing center capable of recycling 1,000 containers per minute, adding to the 6 million containers the company will recycle at NASCAR events this year; Sprint was handing out postage-paid envelopes for fans to recycle their unwanted cellphones when they got home.,0,2411381.story?track=rss

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times Greenspace by Susan Carpenter



Fear grows in O.C. cities near San Onofre nuclear plant

Concern over the safety of the San Onofre nuclear power plant is growing among Orange County cities closest to the facility, which has been shut down since January because of system failures.

Officials in nearby San Clemente and Laguna Beach — both within 20 miles of the San Onofre facility — have registered their fears after significant wear was found on hundreds of tubes carrying radioactive water inside the plant's generators.,0,7730812.story

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Rick Rojas

Pesticides suspected in mass die-off of bees

Scientists have identified a new suspect in the mysterious die-off of bees in recent years — a class of pesticides that appear to be lethal in indirect ways.

The chemicals, known as neonicotinoids, are designed to target a variety of sucking and chewing insects, including aphids and beetles. Bees are known to ingest the poison when they eat the pollen and nectar of treated plants, though in doses so tiny that it was not seen as a threat.,0,4969345.story

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Eryn Brown

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

H2-Whoa! How much water is in a day of food?

How much water is on your plate? About 70 percent of the world's "blue water withdrawals" irrigate agriculture. World Water Day is March 22, and this year's theme examines food production. To see how many gallons of water bring common foods from field to plate, take our H2-Whoa! quiz. 

Q: How much water does it take to produce one person's daily food?

A) About 530 to 1,320 gallons.

B) Depends on the location.

C) These saltines are so dry there is no way water went into their production. 


A: Both A and B. It takes about 530 to 1,320 gallons for one person's daily food, but this number could vary depending on the climate and agricultural practices of the consumer's location. 

To lose the water weight in your diet, save (and eat!) leftovers or prepare smaller meals. About 30 percent of the food produced worldwide is never eaten. Avoid throwing out food and you'll ultimately avoid wasting water.

--image courtesy of iStock/Okea



Monday, March 19, 2012

Just Say No to Smog!

There is currently no federal limit on how much life-threatening carbon pollution can be spewed by coal plants -- pollution that is linked to significant health hazards like asthma-inducing smog.   

The EPA knows that 158 million Americans live in counties with unacceptable air pollution levels -- which is why they are about to make history by proposing first-ever carbon pollution protections.1 There is currently no federal limit on how much life-threatening carbon pollution can be spewed by coal plants -- pollution that is linked to significant health hazards like asthma-inducing smog.

Article courtesy of  The Sierra Club by Mary Anne Hitt

Friday, March 16, 2012

Oil extraction method widely used in California with little oversight

Energy companies across California are injecting a mysterious mix of chemicals into the ground to tap oil deposits while frustrating attempts to regulate the controversial process, known as hydraulic fracturing.,0,4631157.story
Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Michael J. Mishak

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Groundwater nitrate contamination grows in California farm areas

Nitrate contamination of groundwater in some of the state's most intensely farmed regions has grown worse in recent decades and will continue to spread, threatening the drinking water supplies of more than 250,000 people, according to a new study.,0,6923826.story

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Bettina Boxall



New figures: More of US at risk to sea level rise

WASHINGTON—Global warming-fueled sea level rise over the next century could flood 3.7 million people in 544 U.S. cities temporarily, according to a new method of looking at risking of rising seas published in two scientific papers.

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe from the Associated Press by Seth Borenstein

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Public "Food Forest" Planned for Seattle

Seven acres at the edge of a Seattle park are slated to be turned into the nation's largest public "food forest." Beacon Food Forest is designed on permaculture principles, combining the concepts of urban farms, orchards, and natural forest to produce food from trees, shrubs and perennial plants. Food forests have been called the next evolution in urban farming, with Beacon Food Forest notable for its aim to create an edible landscape on public land through community effort.

Article courtesy of Smart Growth Online-Newsletter

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tsunami debris could reach U.S., experts say

Material dragged to sea by the tsunami could reach the northern Hawaiian Islands this winter, arrive on the U.S. West Coast in 2013 or early 2014 and then be drawn back to the main Hawaiian Islands between 2014 and 2016, according to researchers with the University of Hawaii and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who discussed their most recent findings at a news conference Tuesday.,0,2992800.story

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Tony Barboza