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

Drought in east Africa the result of climate change and conflict

“Aid agencies say that weather in the region has become more erratic and years of war leave populations especially vulnerable “

Sulphur from Chinese power stations ‘masking’ climate change

“Research reveals decade of global warming from China’s coal power stations has partly been offset by ‘cooling’ effect of sulphur pollution”

Politico – Ceres: Higher CAFE Standards to Create Jobs

“Tough new fuel economy limits could help create 700,000 full-time jobs by 2030, including 60,000 in the auto industry, according to early findings from a coalition of green-minded investors and environmental groups.

Boston-based Ceres said the employment boom would come if the Obama administration adopted this fall a 6 percent increase per year in Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, which would roughly equal 62 miles per gallon by 2025”

See Also: United States Can Reduce Oil Dependence By 79 Billion Gallons

US and Russia stir up political tensions over Arctic

“Heavy-hitting US politicians enter debate about the future of the far north, fuelling concerns about a new cold war.

The US is putting itself at the centre of the debate about the future of the far north at a time when a new oil and mineral “cold rush” is under way as global warming makes extraction more easy.”

Algae Biofuel Holds Great Promise, But Can Its Production Grow?

“Algae holds great promise as a source of biofuel: it’s rich in oil like corn, but it can be cultivated without competing for land with food crops, and researchers are developing energy-efficient ways to process it.

Recent tests have demonstrated that algae is a viable fuel for long-distance flights, and for use in naval helicopters. But questions still loom over the private sector’s ability to produce sufficient quantities for widespread, routine use.”

See Also: Andersons add cheap U.S. wheat to corn-based ethanol

EPA Issues New Standards For Coal-Burning Plants

“The Environmental Protection Agency sent a strong message Thursday to power plants that burn coal. It’s time to clean up dirty exhausts that travel long distances, and 75 percent of Americans will breathe healthier air as a result.

The new EPA transport rule is designed to clean up the pollution that blows from power plants into other states. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says it’s about fairness.”

See Also: New EPA rule will clean the air for 240 million Americans
See Also: EPA Reduces Smokestack Pollution, Protecting Americans’ Health from Soot and Smog

Lawsuits Predicted as New York Towns Ponder Whether to Block Fracking

“New York environmental officials have released a blueprint for regulations that eventually would allow hydraulic fracturing to begin in most parts of the state—except for key watersheds and aquifers and on state land.

Drilling is still months away at the earliest, but talk has already begun about legal challenges from energy companies and landowners in the areas where high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, would be prohibited.

“I think some of the bans and setbacks are legally questionable,” said Tom West, an oil and gas attorney in Albany, N.Y., who represents a number of drilling companies in the state. “When they start putting areas off limits to drilling or production that raises a significant legal issue.”

West said the ban would deprive landowners and leaseholders of the right to develop their property.”

See Also: France Bans Fracking for Shale Gas

Tourists to experience a day in the life of an Icelandic whaler

“Icelandic whalers, fed up with animal welfare groups telling them to stop killing whales, have found a new way to make money and persuade people of their point of view. From next month they will invite tourists to go out to sea with them to watch minke and other whales close-up. The holidaymakers will then get to “experience” the life of a whaler, see and hear harpoons being fired, touch a whale tail, inspect the internal organs of whales and sit down for a tasty meal of blubber and whale meat with the captain.”

Polar bear ancestors came from Ireland

“Modern polar bears are partly descended from extinct brown bears that lived in Ireland during the last ice age, scientists have discovered.”

Australia steps up climate fight, unveils sweeping carbon plan

“(Reuters) – Australia unveiled its most sweeping economic reform in decades on Sunday with a plan to tax carbon emissions from the nation’s worst polluters, reviving hopes of stronger global climate action with the largest emissions trade scheme outside Europe.”

See Also: Shell’s drilling off Australia could ‘devastate’ endangered marine life
See Also: Industrialized Countries are Now Losing the Clean Energy Race
See Also: Europe ‘falling behind’ in green investment race

Solar Can Be Baseload: Spanish CSP Plant with Storage Produces Electricity for 24 Hours Straight

“While Americans celebrated U.S. history on the Fourth of July yesterday, a company in Spain celebrated an historic moment for the solar industry: Torresol’s 19.9 MW concentrating solar power plant became the first ever to generate uninterrupted electricity for 24 hours straight.”

See Also: Anatomy of a Solar PV System: How to Continue “Ferocious Cost Reductions” for Solar Electricity

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 do the Science and Environment pages 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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