September 17, 2011

Environmental News Summary

US Army announces plans to build 2 MW of solar energy systems on its land. 

VA court says insurance companies don't have to pay for global warming claims. The insurance policy in question requires the insurance company to defend claims "...caused by an occurrence or an accident." The judge ruled that global warming is not an accident. 

President Obama's decision to abandon new air pollution standards for ozone angered health advocates and environmentalists. 
The EPA also confirmed this week that it would not meet a Sept. 30 deadline for issuing rules governing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other major sources. 
In a related move, the administration delayed the release of a health assessment on TCE more than 10 years in the making. 

BP Shortcuts led to Deepwater Gulf Oil Disaster 

NYC announces bike share program with 600 stations and 10,000 bikes

Henry Waxman, the ranking Democratic member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has introduced a searchable online database on the 125 anti-environment votes taken so far by the 112th Congress. Waxman claims that the House is the most anti-environment house in History.

Solar is the "Fastest Growing Industry in America" and made record cost reductions in 2010.

Candidates must deal with facts, not wishes - Kerry Emanuel op-ed (Lexington Resident) 

Scientists have determined  that the Great Oyster Crash of 2007 was directly linked to ocean acidification. "The oceans are the world's great carbon sink, holding about 50 times as much of the element as the air."  As carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels rise, so too does the level of acidity in the oceans.  Once it reaches a certain threshold, ocean acidification becomes lethal to many species, including clams and oysters, which become unable to build the shells or skeletons they need to survive. The threat of ocean acidification spreads far beyond the oyster industry and carries potentially catastrophic implications for the entire food chain. Basically any fish that might find its way onto your dinner plate relies on krill, plankton, snails or other shelled creatures stand to be hit earliest and hardest by acidification.

"No containment" of Texas wildfire - CBS News
The Texas Forest Service said - "No one on the face of this earth has ever fought fires is these extreme conditions." 

The companies with the sharpest focus on climate change have rewarded their investors with double the average return on investment of the world's corporate titans.

On Thursday, September 8, Ft. Belvoir, VA received an astounding 7.03" of rain in three hours and a stunning 13.52" since Monday. According to the National Weather Service, that amount of rain in that amount of time was "off the charts above a 1000-year rainfall."

US coal companies have pumped $1.5 million into House Speaker John Boehner's political operation this year accounting for more than 10% of the $12.5 million he collected in 1H 2011.

University of Bremen physicists reported that Arctic sea ice reached its lowest extent measured since satellite observations began three decades ago. ttp://

Coral reefs 'will be gone by end of the century', the first ecosystem that human activity will eliminate entirely from the Earth, a leading United Nations scientist claims. 

Three agricultural societies recently published a position statement on climate change.  "A comprehensive body of scientific evidence indicates beyond reasonable doubt that global climate change is now occurring and that its manifestations threaten the stability of societies as well as natural and managed ecosystems."
"The potential related impacts of climate change on the ability of agricultural systems, which include soil and water resources, to provide food, feed, fiber, and fuel, and maintenance of ecosystem services … as well as the integrity of the environment, are major concerns."

The Empire State Building in New York City has been awarded LEED Gold certification following a two-year retrofit that is expected to cut energy use in the landmark building by 38 percent by 2013.

The TRAIN Act (H.R. 2401) is an assault on our clean air that would indefinitely delay the clean-up of dangerous power plant air pollution. It puts a year's delay on instituting Cross-State Air Pollution Regulations and Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants while for the first time allowing for their indefinite delay. The information above comes from the Mom's Clean Air Force. 
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