The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.
Prime California wine country areas like the Napa Valley could soon be facing rising temperatures, according to climate change studies. So some wineries are thinking of switching to grapes that are better suited to a warmer climate. But when vineyards have staked their reputations on certain wines, adapting to climate change is a tough sell.
Explore a global warming issue and see what NPR has reported from around the world.
Remember those haunting images of animals stuck in plastic soda rings? This is worse. Since 2009, photographer Chris Jordan has been documenting birds on Midway Atoll way out in the Pacific Ocean — near what’s known as the “Pacific Garbage Patch” or, essentially, a swirling heap of plastic the size of Texas.
What Jordan found on those islands were carcasses of baby birds that have died an unnerving death: According to the BBC, “about one-third of all albatross chicks die on Midway, many as the result of being mistakenly fed plastic by their parents.”
Every year, about 8 million tons of fallen leaves end up in landfills.
That’s according to Melissa Hopkins of the National Audubon Society, who offers alternatives to raking up leaves and throwing them away.
“A lot of people think that when leaves fall, you need to really quickly scoop them up and get rid of them,” she tells NPR’s Melissa Block as they take a look Block’s backyard in Washington, D.C., covered in a blanket of leaves. “We think about leaves as vitamins. They are free vitamins that naturally occur in your yard.”
In the coming months, the Obama administration will decide whether to approve the Keystone pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil from Canada through the U.S. down to the Gulf of Mexico.
Environmental advocates will try to encircle the White House on Sunday in a show of solidarity against the project. Steady protests have made this one of the most high-profile environmental decisions of the Obama presidency.
See More: MAP: TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline
The global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide has jumped by a record amount, according to the US department of energy, a sign of how feeble the world’s efforts are at slowing man-made global warming.
The figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago.
The lights are going out for incandescent bulbs, as China pledges to replace the 1 billion it uses annually with more energy efficient models within five years.
Beijing’s move is a major step in efforts to improve lighting efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Lighting accounts for 19% of electricity use worldwide, according to a 2007 estimate from the International Energy Agency, a figure that could drop to 7% if the rest of the world followed China’s lead, the Global Environment Facility fund said.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that it is reinstating Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements for hydrogen sulfide. This action is part of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s ongoing efforts to provide Americans with helpful information on chemicals they may encounter in their daily lives.
The Forest County Potawatomi Tribe has completed a solar photovoltaic installation project in Milwaukee, funded in part with $2.6 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The project is one of five Community Renewable Energy Deployment (CommRE) projects that received DOE funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and is the first to be completed. DOE’s CommRE projects help communities implement long-term renewable energy technologies, create jobs, and provide examples for replication by other local governments, campuses, and small utilities.
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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