The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.

It’s Bottoms Up For Antarctic Ice Sheets

“You can think of Antarctica as an amazing layer cake, made from millions of layers of snow that gradually turns to ice. But a new study finds that’s not always the case. Some of the ice in Antarctica is actually forming from underneath the glaciers, instead of being piled on from the top, according to a report published online by Science magazine.

This surprising discovery stems from a research blitz to Antarctica a few years back. Robin Bell from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory was part of the scientific gold rush, called the International Polar Year.

“We went to the middle of East Antarctica because this was the last unexplored mountain range on our planet,” Bell says.”

Calls Renewed For Friendlier Sources Of Oil

“Many of the biggest oil suppliers are in harm’s way as political strife besets North Africa and the Middle East. At the same time, worldwide demand for oil is up, which means gas prices are rising. That’s put the subject of “energy independence” back into the political spotlight.

With places like China and Brazil growing fast and the U.S. economy shaking off its recession, the crisis in Libya, Egypt and parts of the Middle East just adds a second layer of distress, says Richard Newell, who heads the government’s Energy Information Administration.

“Even before the last several weeks we had seen increases in oil prices which had moved into and affected increases in gasoline prices,” Newell says.”

Navigating In A Changing Climate

“Is climate change a national security issue? Rear Adm. David Titley, a meteorologist and Navy oceanographer, discusses how melting glaciers, changing sea ice and rising sea levels might affect Navy operations in the Arctic and around the world — and how the Navy is preparing.”

Arch Coal to Pay $4 Million to Settle Clean Water Act Violations in Appalachian Mining Operations

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Justice Department announced today that Arch Coal Inc., the second largest supplier of coal in the United States, has agreed to pay a $4 million dollar penalty for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act in Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Under the settlement, Arch Coal will implement changes to its mining operations in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky to ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act. “

EPA Report Underscores Clean Air Act’s Successful Public Health Protections/Landmark law saved 160,000 lives in 2010 alone

“A report released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the benefits of reducing fine particle and ground level ozone pollution under the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments will reach approximately $2 trillion in 2020 while saving 230,000 people from early death in that year alone. The report studied the effects of the Clean Air Act updates on the economy, public health and the environment between 1990 and 2020.”

Earth’s limits: Why growth won’t return – water

“Rivers and streams are being overdrawn, aquifers are being depleted, both surface water and groundwater are being polluted, and sources of flowing surface water–snowpack and glaciers–are receding as a result of climate change”

Corporations are fueling our peak oil crisis

“Radio and television host and author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight Thom Hartmann talks about ways we can all help combat global warming. Speaking from the grounds of Wisconsin’s 2010 Fight Bob Fest, Hartmann insists that Americans need to change the way we live if we are going to save the planet, and the first step has to be getting active in the political process.”

Spain to lower speed limit as oil prices rise

“Spain will lower motorway speed limits, cut train prices and use more biofuel in a bid to combat rising oil prices due to Libya unrest. Spain will lower motorway speed limits, cut train ticket prices and use more biofuel under an emergency energy-saving initiative because of soaring oil prices brought on by unrest in Libya, an official said Friday.The Libya crisis has sharply reduced exports from the oil-rich nation, and about 13% of the oil Spain consumes comes from Libya.Deputy prime minister, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, said Spain’s energy supply is not in danger, despite shutdowns by oil companies operating in Libya, but the national energy bill will rise significantly because of the sharply higher petroleum prices. He said a €10 per barrel (£8.50 per barrel) increase in oil prices will cost Spain an extra €500m (£425m) per month.”

‘Air hybrid’ cars would be cheaper than electric hybrids, claims researcher

“Storing energy as compressed air rather than in batteries would reduce the cost of green hybrid cars, say researchers in Sweden. On the road with the Airpod air-powered carElectric cars and electric hybrid cars already make use of brake energy to power a generator that charges the batteries. However, according to Per Tunestål, a researcher in Combustion Engines at Lund University in Sweden, air hybrids, or pneumatic hybrids as they are also known, would be much cheaper to manufacture.”

Following the Pleasure Principle: How to Create a Sustainable Economy That Makes Daily Life Better

“For too long, environmentalists have been viewed as self-righteous killjoys demanding that everyone overhaul their wasteful habits. It’s time to change that.”

NPR has a page of Science News which includes links on environment and energy.
The New York Times Beyond Fossil Fuels series is also an excellent source and their Science page has additional stories. The Washington Post blog Post Carbon includes stories and commentary on climate and energy issues.

Here are some other links you may find worthwhile:
Climate Change News Digest
Climate Progress from Center for American Progress
Rocky Mountain Institute “an independent, entrepreneurial nonprofit think-and-do tank™ that drives the efficient and restorative use of resources.”

At BPI Campus our Progressive Agenda is:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.


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