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

Poll: Public Understanding of Climate Science Rebounds, Majority See Environment vs. Economy as a ‘False Choice’

“In an exclusive interview with Science Progress, Yale polling expert Dr. Tony Leiserowitz attributes part of the drop in public understanding of climate science since its fall 2008 peak to the collapse in media coverage.

Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, reports a partial rebound in the public’s understanding of climate change this year:

The number has climbed back up, though not to the fall 2008 levels. About half of the distance, about seven points until May of this year, we found that 64 percent of Americans said that climate change is happening.”

See Also: American Association for Advancement of Science Slams Harassment and Attacks Aimed at Climate Scientists
See Also: Oxford academic wins right to read UEA climate data

How Industrial Farming ‘Destroyed’ The Tasty Tomato

“If you bite into a tomato between the months of October and June, chances are that tomato came from Florida. The Sunshine State accounts for one-third of all fresh tomatoes produced in the United States — and virtually all of the tomatoes raised during the fall and winter seasons.

But the tomatoes grown in Florida differ dramatically from the red garden varieties you might grow in your backyard. They’re bred to be perfectly formed — so that they can make their way across the U.S. and onto your dinner table without cracking or breaking.”

See Also: WorldWatch: With 370 Million Tons of Food Lost or Wasted Each Year, “We Can’t Afford to Overlook Simple, Low-Cost Fixes”

White House Pushes For Higher Fuel Efficiency

“The Obama administration and auto industry executives are starting talks over new fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, which are to be announced in September. Sources say the administration is pushing for the average fuel economy for each carmaker’s fleet to rise to 56 mpg by 2025. The companies want something closer to 47 mpg. The heavyweight in these negotiations could turn out to be California, which plans to set its own standard if the federal government doesn’t go high enough.”

See Also: Ceres: Stronger Fuel Economy Standards will Save Consumers $150 Billion, Create 700,000 Jobs by 2030

Biofuels land grab in Kenya’s Tana Delta fuels talk of war

“The eviction of the villagers to make way for a sugar cane plantation is part of a wider land grab going on in Kenya’s Tana Delta that is not only pushing people off plots they have farmed for generations, stealing their water resources and raising tribal tensions that many fear will escalate into war, but also destroying a unique wetland habitat that is home to hundreds of rare and spectacular birds.”

See Also: E.coli seen spawning biofuel in five years

Solar Cell Breaks Efficiency Record

“A photovoltaic cell that reaches record-breaking efficiency could make solar energy competitive with fossil fuels, says the company that created the cell.

Alta Devices, a start-up in Santa Clara, Calif., presented research at the 37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, in Seattle, this week that claims its thin-film gallium-arsenide cell can convert 27.6 percent of the sunlight striking the cell into electricity, under standardized conditions”

See Also: Solar developers scrapping thermal for photovoltaic

Aluminum Panels Set To Take On Pollution As ‘Smog Eaters’

“In the witch’s brew of gases and particles that make up smog in most cities, nitrogen oxides are a plentiful ingredient. The pollutants also help create ground-level ozone, a nasty irritant for lungs, and bothersome fine particles.

The family of chemicals, called NOx in shorthand, can inflame people’s airways and trigger asthma attacks, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Reducing emissions is one way to curb NOx pollution. But aluminum giant Alcoa has another idea for taking on NOx: a building panel with an special coating, called EcoClean, that the company says can turn buildings into smog eaters.”

See Also: Cutting Building Energy Use 20% by 2020: Clinton Global Initiative Launches Major Efficiency Program

New Coal Industry Ad: Wind Farms May Blow Earth Off Orbit

The Onion has put out another piece of comedic gold.

In this “In the Know” segment, pundits debate a new coal industry ad that claims wind turbines will blow the earth off orbit and solar energy will exhaust the sun’s resources. Unfortunately, with all the misinformation being spread about climate science and renewable energy, this conversation doesn’t seem like much of a stretch.”

New York steps closer to allowing hydrofracking

“New York state would throw open its share of one of the world’s richest natural gas deposits to drilling under recommendations made by its environmental agency, creating a potential boom feared by environmentalists.”

See Also: Analysis: U.S. shale gas sector girds for next battle: pipeline
Editor’s Note: Irony Alert – The only land in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, that has not been leased for shale gas exploration is beneath graves.

NPR has a page of Science News which includes links on environment and energy.
Reuters has a page on Green Business and their Science page has additional stories as does the Science page at the Guardian.

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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