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Tag Archive | "environmental news"

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Have Ecologists Lost Their Way?


In a recent interview with the former deputy editor of the Ecologist Paul Kingsnorth, he states that the environmentalist movement has lost its way by obsession over carbon emissions reductions and has lost sight of what we should be focusing on – nature.

“The main narrative is that we have to reduce emissions (CO2) by a certain percentage within a certain period of time and there is a small window we’ve got to act, and if we don’t use it, there’s global doom approaching. If we are honest, there is no window. It closed a long time ago.”

Kinsnorth discusses that while the growing denial of climate change amongst people in America is going up, talk in the main stream is to focus on emissions targets and when those targets can’t be met no one will listen to the environmentalists.

When asked what the future of the green movement means, Kingsnorth went on to say; “We need to move towards an ecocentric view – this is not a new concept but it needs to become more central to the movement. A lot of environmentalism now still acts as if humans are the point of the planet and that we are saving the planet to save people.”

You can read the entire interview at TheEcologist.org

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EPA Rules Greenhouse Gases Harmful to Humans


This just in, water is wet, fire is hot and greenhouse gasses are dangerous to humans. After a long discussion with Captain Obvious the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just ruled that six greenhouse gases, are harmful to human health. Carbon dioxide along with five other greenhouse gases will be listed with the other pollutants controlled by the Clean Air Act.

The official EPA report lists greenhouse gases as being responsible for increasing drought, flooding, heat waves and wildfires, increase in sea level rising, increased storm intensity, and finally damage to water resources, agriculture and ecosystems.

While no decision has been made on how greenhouse gases should be regulated, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has already suggested that each state will be allowed to produce greenhouse gas regulations of their own.

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Environmental Regulators Crap in Washington Creek


A smelly slice of of irony recently went down in Washington State in Vancouver’s Burnt Bridge Creek. The state environmental regulators who had been baffled for weeks over why raw sewage was polluting the creek draining into Vancouver Lake, discovered that their own offices, the Washington state Department of Ecology, as well as those of the Department of Fish and Game were the source of the problem. A sewer line was mistakenly connected to a storm drain, rather than the municipal sewer main.

The result was sewage being pumped directly into the creek and subsequently Vancouver Lake.

Jay Manning, the environmental agency’s director, says the realization that it was their own offices making the mess was “embarrassing and upsetting.”

“As a person who loves her area and the environment, it was like, ‘Holy crap, let’s get this taken care of,’” said Laura Sauermilch, a spill-response specialist. No word on whether or not the pun was intentional.

Employees at the office were immediately notified to not use the restrooms and port-a-potties were brought in. The building’s owner is apparently funding immediate repairs.

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EPA Wants Companies to Audit Greenhouse Gas Emissions


The Environmental Protection Agency is working with the federal government to require companies to start disclosing the amount of greenhouse gases they release into the atmosphere.

On Tuesday, the EPA proposed mandatory reporting of the gases blamed for global warming from approximately 13,000 companies that are large emitters of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, such as oil refiners and automobile manufacturers, in the U.S. Under the new regulations, companies would be required to begin auditing their own greenhouse gas emissions as of 2010.

“We do not expect to have a significant impact on small businesses,” said Dina Kruger, the director of the agency’s climate change division.

Currently, the EPA only requires reporting of greenhouse gases only from power plants. It also releases an annual inventory that merely estimates the CO2 released from other large corporations such as those in transportation and electricity production.

“Our efforts to confront climate change must be guided by the best possible information,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a statement announcing the proposed regulation.

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Obama to Force Power Plants to Reduce Mecury Pollution


The Huffington Post reports that the Obama administration is seeking to enforce more regulation when it comes to mercury pollution produced by power plants, reversing the plan made by the Bush administration, which had allowed utilities to purchase emission credits instead of actually reducing emissions.

The Environmental Protection Agency added that it would instigate new regulations limiting mercury emissions from power plants, which are the leading source of mercury.

“It is yet another Bush administration policy they are not going to go forward with,” said David Bookbinder, the Sierra Club’s chief climate counsel.

The EPA will also be reviewing the Bush administration’s decision to deny California and other states the right to control emissions of cars largely responsible for global warming.

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Bush’s Last Ditch Environmental Good Deed


Areas around three uninhabited Pacific island chains are being set aside as National Monuments by President George W. Bush to protect them from oil and gas extraction and commercial fishing. This is going be the largest marine conservation effort in history, and only second time Bush has used the law to protect marine resources. Two years ago, the president turned a section of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands into a national monument.

The three areas, which total some 195,274 square miles, include the Mariana Trench, the Northern Mariana Islands, Rose Atoll in American Samoa and seven islands dotted along the equator in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. All will be protected under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The law allows the government to immediately phase out commercial fishing and other exploitative uses.

Environmentalists are saying that the move is an attempt to boost the environmental record of Bush, who has been criticized for not doing enough environmental good deeds during his lackluster Presidency. In fact, he famously lifted a moratorium on oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, which has been called a grave disaster by most environmental groups.

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US Government – 190 Million Acres for Geothermal


The US Department of the Interior has unlocked more than 190 million acres of federal lands to be leased for renewable, geothermal power development. These acres, which are contained in 12 different states, are reportedly capable of producing over 5,000 megawatts of power by 2015 and over 12,000 megawatts by 2025, enough to power millions of homes.

Unlike some of more controversial oil drilling sites, the geothermal legislation is careful to exclude all national parks or designated wilderness areas from geothermal development. Of course, the geothermal developers themselves will also have to meet local environmental standards and regulations. The profits from the geothermal electricity produced will be split between the state hosting the power plant, the local county and the a federal fund being dedicated to future development of geothermal power.

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