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

New Doubts About Turning Plutonium Into a Fuel

“On a tract of government land along the Savannah River in South Carolina, an army of workers is building one of the nation’s most ambitious nuclear enterprises in decades: a plant that aims to safeguard at least 43 tons of weapons-grade plutonium by mixing it into fuel for commercial power reactors. “

See Also: Fukushima Vs. Chernobyl: Still Not Equal

Scientists seek nuclear power without radioactive waste

“As the world watched a nuclear disaster slowly unfold in Japan, University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists continued working on technology that could someday produce nuclear power without radioactive waste.

“It’s the holy grail of alternative energy research,” said Robert Wilcox, a graduate student working on one of several UW-Madison fusion projects.

In a fusion reaction, superheated atoms are joined to give off energy, as opposed to fission, in which the energy is released when atoms are busted apart. At UW-Madison, dozens of researchers are studying fusion to better understand and control the superhot substances in which the reactions take place.”

See Also: HEMMED In – Coming together for a brighter future

Melting Antarctic Ice Causing Penguins to Starve

“Every year since 1979, marine biologist Wayne Trivelpiece and his wife, Susan, both of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division in San Diego, California, have braved frigid temperatures and wind speeds that average 40 kilometers per hour to track the feeding, breeding, and migrating of chinstrap and Adelie penguins. During this time, populations they studied on the West Antarctic Peninsula and in the nearby Scotia Sea have declined drastically, and a few have gone extinct, victims of a warming planet that deprives them of their sea ice habitat. Now, in a compilation of over 30 years of data collected from numerous bases around Antarctica, the researchers conclude that the penguins are not only running out of room but also starving.”

See Also: Climate Change: Making The Nation’s Bears Hungry?

Research Survives in 2011 Budget After Earlier Scare

“Whew. That’s what officials at U.S. science agencies and science lobbyists are saying this morning after learning the details of the weekend agreement between the White House and Congress on funding the government for the rest of 2011. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the measure tomorrow, followed by the Senate on Thursday.”

A reminder: Carbon Emissions Giants

“Interactive map showing carbon emissions”

Students Strive For Fuel Economy In Vehicle Contest

“High school and college students from across North America are in Houston for the annual Shell Eco-marathon, where teams compete to see who can build the most fuel-efficient vehicle.

Among the 70 teams this year are six girls dubbed the “ShopGirls” of Granite Falls High School in Granite Falls, Wash.”

See Also: New ‘shock wave’ engine could revolutionize hybrid vehicles

CLIMATE CHANGE: World Bank Under Fire for Role in New Global Green Fund

“The World Bank is facing mounting opposition from a broad network of green and grassroots activists over its role in a new global Green Climate Fund (GCF) aimed at helping developing countries combat the ravages of climate change.”

Bolivia enshrines natural world’s rights with equal status for Mother Earth

“Law of Mother Earth expected to prompt radical new conservation and social measures in South American nation. Bolivia is set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as “blessings” and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry.The country, which has been pilloried by the US and Britain in the UN climate talks for demanding steep carbon emission cuts, will establish 11 new rights for nature”

Gas Industry Spent Record Amount Of Money Lobbying To End New York Fracking Moratorium

“New York is a hot spot to watch in the controversy over gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. fracking), which the state placed a temporary ban on last year. A new report [PDF] from Common Cause/New York shows the historic levels of money dirty energy companies are spending to promote gas drilling and to overturn New York state’s ban on fracking. In the state’s last legislative session, more than thirty gas-related bills aiming to create panels, commissions and task forces were proposed in order to investigate a wide range issues ranging from environmental impacts to economics, as well as two fracking moratorium proposals.”

See Also: Shale gas may be worse than coal

NPR has a page of Science News which includes links on environment and energy.
The New York Times covers Environmental news 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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