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CleanTechnica: Former Vice President Al Gore delivered a powerful address to a packed house at the Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa this week. Environmentally, Gore is most famous, perhaps, for his 2006 speaking tour and subsequent documentary called An Inconvenient Truth, but as opening speaker Senator Brian Schatz pointed out, Mr. Gore has been a climate change and environmental champion throughout his long career. Schatz, the current U.S. Senator from Hawaii, said he was inspired by Earth...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 7:55 pm
Washington Post: The geological marvel known to Texas oilmen as the Eagle Ford Shale Play is buried deep underground, but at night you can see its outline from space in a twinkling arc that sweeps south of San Antonio toward the Rio Grande. The light radiates from thousands of surface-level gas flares and drilling rigs. It is the glow of one of the most extravagant oil bonanzas in American history, the result of the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. After the passage of a landmark...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 7:11 pm
Economist: WHAT more could one want? It is cheap and simple to extract, ship and burn. It is abundant: proven reserves amount to 109 years of current consumption, reckons BP, a British energy giant. They are mostly in politically stable places. There is a wide choice of dependable sellers, such as BHP Billiton (Anglo-Australian), Glencore (Anglo-Swiss), Peabody Energy and Arch Coal (both American). Other fuels are beset by state interference and cartels, but in this industry consumers--in heating, power...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 6:43 pm
Nature World: People of color tend to live in neighborhoods that expose them to higher levels of air pollution when compared to Caucasians, a new nationwide study indicates. This study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, is the first of its kind to show a racial divide when it comes to air quality. Researchers at the University of Minnesota studied nitrogen dioxide (NO2) air levels in urban areas across the country and differentiated between specific areas in terms of their "nonwhite" or "white" populations....
Posted: April 19, 2014, 5:02 pm
Dallas Business Journal: The Keystone XL Pipeline hit a delay again Friday as the federal government announced it needs more time to study the controversial project, according to a statement by the Department of State. TransCanada, the company that proposes to build the pipeline from Alberta to Kansas, had hoped that a final decision would be reached this spring so construction could start this summer and the pipeline would be operating by 2016. “We are extremely disappointed and frustrated with yet another delay,”...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 5:02 pm
National Public Radio: In a surprising discovery, scientists have found evidence of a tundra landscape in Greenland that's millions of years old. The revelation goes against widely held ideas about how some glaciers work, and it suggests that at least parts of Greenland's ice sheet had survived periods of global warming intact. "Glaciers are commonly thought to work like a belt sander," a news release from the University of Vermont says. "As they move over the land they scrape off everything - vegetation, soil, and...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 4:01 pm
Examiner: The die is cast and if the world doesn't start to eliminate the enormous amount of pollution in our oceans and drastically reduce green house gases the already noticeable harmful effects of global warming will spiral out of control sooner than we think. The Obama White House has already outlined a plan of action to utilize the technology developed to cut and eventually eliminate all together the sources of green house emissions. The United Nations confers that the cost of inaction would be catastrophic...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 3:58 pm
USA Today: Massive wildfires are on the increase in the Western USA due to rising temperatures and worsening drought from climate change, and the trend could continue in the decades to come, new research suggests. Overall, the number of large wildfires increased by a rate of seven fires a year from 1984 to 2011, while the total area damaged by fire increased at a rate of nearly 90,000 acres per year, according to the study, published this week in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 3:45 pm
Pacific Sunday News: Climate change continues to warm the waters around the islands in the Pacific Ocean, causing various types of damage to the surrounding reefs. One ecologist from the University of Guam believes "localized stressors" have a large impact on the recovery time of coral reef communities. But if looked at from a stakeholder approach, he's confident island communities can clearly define the future of coral reef communities. Peter Houk, coral reef ecologist from UOG's Marine Laboratory, presented...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 3:30 pm
National Public Radio: Jonathan Henderson of New Orleans-based Gulf Restoration Network is flying Louisiana's coast looking for oil. As usual, he's found some. "I just noticed something out of the corner of my eye that looks like a sheen that had some form to it," he says. "We're going to go take a closer look and see if there's a rainbow sheen." It's a target-rich environment for Henderson, because more than 54,000 wells were planted in and off this coast — part of the 300,000 wells in the state. They're connected...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 3:07 pm
EcoWatch: Yesterday’s Keystone XL news from DC is both important and murky. In brief, the Obama administration announced yet another delay in their decision about the pipeline, meaning it may be past the midterm elections before a final call is made. Three things strike me: In pipeline terms it’s a win. Every day we delay a decision is a day when 830,000 barrels of oil stays safely in the ground. Together we’ve kept them at bay for three years now, and will continue to until perhaps the beginning of...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 2:05 pm
Herald: The latest United Nations report on the impacts of climate change is playing out like a Greek tragedy. In the Greek myth, Cassandra was given the gift of prophecy by Apollo. When she failed to return his love, Apollo issued a curse so that her prophecies would not be believed. Climate scientists, who for over two decades have been sending us warnings about global warming, must feel like Cassandra -- cursed by Apollo. The 772 scientists who wrote and edited the UN report warn that world leaders...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 2:00 pm
Canberra Times: In the 1960s asbestos mining was a very profitable business. And it created a lot of jobs. Asbestos was very useful - indeed, one of the best insulating materials known to humankind. The link between asbestos and cancer was known as early as the 1930s. But mining continued. Hot water pipes were sheathed in it. In Australia, it was mined into the 1970s despite the known risk. Asbestos was mixed with cement to make building materials and sprinkled in roofs to insulate Canberra houses from the cold....
Posted: April 19, 2014, 2:00 pm
Economist: SOME HISTORIANS BELIEVE that Marco Polo never went to China. But even if the 13th-century Venetian merchant did not lay eyes on the coastal city of Hangzhou himself, he certainly reflected the awe it inspired in other foreign traders when he described it as “beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world”. And, “incredible as it may seem”, he wrote, Hangzhou (which he called Kinsay) was but one of more than 1,200 “great and wealthy cities” in southern China. “Everything appertaining to this...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 2:00 pm
Daily Record: Chickadees aren’t signs of spring, since these cheery little birds are year-round Jersey residents. But they could signal a warming climate. An interesting new study focuses on “hybrid” chickadees — the offspring of northern black-capped chickadees and their southern relatives, Carolina chickadees — in places where the two ranges overlap. Because the hybrid birds are infertile and can’t reproduce, they’re found only in a long, narrow strip of territory stretching from Kansas to New Jersey. The...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 2:00 pm
Bloomberg: The Obama administration’s announcement yesterday that it was delaying a ruling on the Keystone XL oil pipeline drew an angry reaction from supporters of the $5.4 billion project, including some who said it was designed to push the issue beyond the November election. “This decision is irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable,” Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, said in a statement that called the move “nothing short of an indefinite delay.”...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 2:00 pm
Blue and Green: The European Union has given the go-ahead to a UK-based carbon capture and storage (CCS) project that would help clean up a fossil fuel plant by capturing emissions and burying them deep under the North Sea. The White Rose CCS project will combine the existing coal-fired power station in Selby, North Yorkshire, with a carbon dioxide transportation network across Yorkshire and the Humber. It will capture some 2 million tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to 90% of all the emissions from the plant – and...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 1:32 pm
Associated Press: The U.S. energy boom is blurring the traditional political battle lines across the country. Democrats are split between environmentalists and business and labor groups, with the proposed Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline a major wedge. Some deeply conservative areas are allying with conservationists against fracking, the drilling technique that's largely responsible for the boom. The divide is most visible among Democrats in the nation's capital, where 11 Democratic senators wrote President Barack...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 7:24 am
National Geographic: The long wait for a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline grew even longer Friday, when the U.S. State Department announced it would allow more time for eight federal agencies to submit their views on the proposed project. The State Department said additional time was needed because of ongoing litigation in the Nebraska Supreme Court that leaves uncertainty over the pipeline's route. The proposed pipeline would carry crude oil from Alberta, Canada, through Nebraska and five other states to refineries...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 6:57 am
Environment News Service: An agreement that settles decades of conflict over water in the Upper Klamath River Basin was signed today by officials from the federal government, the states of Oregon and California, tribal authorities and water users. Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Commerce Undersecretary Kathryn Sullivan, California Resources Secretary John Laird, Klamath Tribal Chair Don Gentry, and members of the Klamath Basin Task Force...
Posted: April 19, 2014, 5:30 am
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