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Archive for February 2010

Winter athletes blast Canada’s tar sands industry

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The Winter Olympics this year in Vancouver, BC is an opportunity to be little more than the usual venue for endless corporate advertising and big money sponsorship of “amateur” athletes, thanks to the Sierra Club and its campaign targetting Canada’s tar oil sands extraction industry.

Winter athletes, including sliers and snoboarders, are joining with various international environmental groups to call on Canada to “save the Winter Olympics” and end oil sands destruction.

It’s a combination of athletic self-interest and environmental activism, with the world watching.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

February 24, 2010 at 9:25 am

Climate change office to reside in Commerce Dept. agency

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While crazy Glenn Beck draws bizarre diagrams on a chalkboard in a crusade to debunk climate change, a more rational approach is emerging from a little-known agency within the Commerce Department, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NOAA will become the Obama Administration’s hub for real, useful and actionable climate change information and services.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke says NOAA is launching a separate unit, NOAA Climate Service, to address the nation’s “fast-accelerating climate information needs.” The agency is also creating a web portal for climate science and services. It will serve as a single entry point for the agency’s data on climate information, products and services.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

February 15, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Bicycles go on the juice

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Many cities are bicycle-friendly, some more than others, but if you if live in one with major hills, such as San Francisco or where I live in Seattle, and you happen to be a little older perhaps (ahem) or simply not quite in Tour de France shape, then an electric-bike is the way to go.

The electric-bike business is booming for several reasons: They are way more affordable than EV cars and spiffy new and lighter designs are multiplying worldwide.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

February 9, 2010 at 9:45 am

Vessel emissions reduction system proposed by WSC

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Rather than dealing with a strew-pot full of environmental emissions regulations and fees, a group comprising the world’s largest international liner shipping companies is proposing a new global vessel efficiency system (VES) intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The 29-member World Shipping Council’s proposal is asking the UN’s International Maritime Organization take the lead in applying vessel efficiency design standards for new and existing vessels in the world fleet that will improve their carbon and fuel efficiency.

Under the VES proposal, newly-built vessels would be subject to mandatory efficiency standards requiring them to be built with features and technologies that further improve the energy efficiency to reach defined levels, according to a WSC statement. “These standards would be similar in nature to the fuel efficiency standards required of cars and trucks in many countries around the world today. The standards would also be tiered with higher standards required over time as technology developments allow further improvements.”

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Written by William DiBenedetto

February 1, 2010 at 5:28 pm

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