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


Giant new plant shows coal power isn’t going away

WASHINGTON — The Prairie State power plant, set amid farm fields and woods in southwestern Illinois, will start producing power soon, beginning a life of burning local coal that’s expected to last until at least the 2040s.

As Gas Prices Rise, Natural Gas Vehicles Get A Boost

Interest in natural gas vehicles soared in the 1990s and then faded. Twenty years later, the cost of gasoline is going up while the cost of natural gas is going down. And that difference in price explains the resurgent interest in natural gas vehicles.

Oregon lumber mill cited for toxic chemical leaks and violations

Seattle—Feb. 28, 2012) Sanders Wood Products Company in Liberal, Oregon was found to have a series of PCB leaks and other violations of federal PCB laws at its lumber mill, according to a settlement reached with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The company will pay over $108,000 in penalties.

EPA Provides $15 Million to Help Small Drinking Water and Wastewater Systems Across the Country/Funding will help small systems better serve local communities

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it will provide up to $15 million in funding for training and technical assistance to small drinking and wastewater systems, defined as systems that serve fewer than 10,000 people, and private well owners. The funding will help provide water system staff with training and tools to enhance system operations and management practices, and supports EPA’s continuing efforts to protect public health, restore watersheds and promote sustainability in small communities.

Coral reef study traces indirect effects of overfishing

A study of the tropical coral reef system along the coastline of Kenya has found dramatic effects of overfishing that could threaten the long-term health of the reefs.

Ancient Arabic writings help scientists piece together past climate

Ancient manuscripts written by Arabic scholars can provide valuable meteorological information to help modern scientists reconstruct the climate of the past, a new study has revealed. The research, published in Weather, analyses the writings of scholars, historians and diarists in Iraq during the Islamic Golden Age between 816-1009 AD for evidence of abnormal weather patterns. Reconstructing climates from the past provides historical comparison to modern weather events and valuable context for climate change. In the natural world trees, ice cores and coral provide evidence of past weather, but from human sources scientists are limited by the historical information available.

NASA finds thickest parts of Arctic ice cap melting faster

A new NASA study revealed that the oldest and thickest Arctic sea ice is disappearing at a faster rate than the younger and thinner ice at the edges of the Arctic Ocean’s floating ice cap. The thicker ice, known as multi-year ice, survives through the cyclical summer melt season, when young ice that has formed over winter just as quickly melts again. The rapid disappearance of older ice makes Arctic sea ice even more vulnerable to further decline in the summer, said Joey Comiso, senior scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., and author of the study, which was recently published in Journal of Climate.

Indigenous peoples at forefront of climate change offer lessons on plant biodiversity

Humans are frequently blamed for deforestation and the destruction of environments, yet there are also examples of peoples and cultures around the world that have learned to manage and conserve the precious resources around them. The Yanesha of the upper Peruvian Amazon and the Tibetans of the Himalayas are two groups of indigenous peoples carrying on traditional ways of life, even in the face of rapid environmental changes.


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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