Global environmental challenges
Wednesday is the deadline for California’s gas stations to install sophisticated nozzles and hoses to control vapor emissions at the pump, and the Los Angeles Times reports that some one in five station owners are in open defiance of the new state order.
Gas station owners say that the new equipment is so expensive that buying it during the worst economic slump in decades would put them out of business.
“It may be necessary to protect public health, but it’s unaffordable,” James Hosmanek, who owns a Chevron station in San Bernardino, told the newspaper.
Hosmanek, who has already laid off eight employees as his business struggles to survive the recession, said banks and equipment lenders have rejected his requests for some $60,000 in loans he would need to buy eight new nozzles and hoses and that “even if I could get the funding, I couldn’t make the payments.”
A study issued on Thursday hints that it could.
A scuba diver in the South China Sea off Malaysia (above, picture by David Loh of Reuters News) might write a blog if corals looked damaged by ‘bleaching’ – algae that give reefs their colours can start to die off because of higher sea temperatures. It might just turn out that divers far away in Australia, the Caribbean or elsewhere were starting to notice the same thing — perhaps setting off alarm bells about global warming.
As outlined in this story, the Chesapeake Bay’s famous crab fishery is threatened by rampant development as an increasing portion of its watershed succumbs to urban sprawl. In this video, Bruce Sidwell of the environmental group Friends of Sligo Creek explains how increased erosion brought on by development has forced Montgomery County, Maryland to armor its sewer lines to prevent sewage from leaking into Sligo Creek, and then into the Bay.******
This disc on a look-out point by a British Antarctic research station shows places more than 200 km (125 miles) away — and on a clear day you can see them.
The air in Antarctica is so clear, dry, cold and dust- and pollution-free that you can see mind-boggling distances.
Environmental Protection Agency chief-to-be Lisa Jackson said science would be her guide on policy – and that may mean California is in the driver’s seat on setting new global-warming-style regulations on cars. (Not to mention the nearly 20 other states ready to follow in its footsteps.)
Jackson said she would reconsider whether California should get a waiver from the EPA that would allow it to regulate carbon pollution from cars, the San Francisco Chronicle said. The Bush administration has said no to such a waiver – but Jackson said she would focus on the science.
Many people hope to come back from a wildlife safari with close-up pictures of lions or elephants – this picture below is my best attempt from a search for the largest land animals in Antarctica.
If you look hard you can see a reddish blob at the tip of the thumb — it’s Antarctica’s most aggressive land predator, an eight-legged mite known as Rhagidia.
New research shows that both Antarctica and the Arctic are getting less icy – and the best explanation is mankind’s emissions of greenhouse gases.
But will that convert anyone who doubts that global warming is caused by human activities, led by burning fossil fuels?
Kenyan blogger Juliana Rotich is the editor of Green Global Voices, which monitors citizen media in the developing world, and is a regular contributor to this page. ThomsonReuters is not responsible for the content – the views are the author’s alone.
Last month, GV environment looked at Maps, online communities and carbon footprint calculators. Since then there have been more calculators released, and in this post we list some of these new tools for the public to calculate their CO2 emissions.
At issue is a letter Palin sent to Schwarzenegger last month, asking him to veto a bill that would raise shipping container fees to pay for pollution-reduction programs at three major California ports.
Is this the silver bullet everyone’s been waiting for? Or just pie in the sky? Is capturing and storing carbon dioxide the technology breakthrough to cut greenhouse gas emissions without getting in the way of economic growth and industry’s “addiction” to fossil fuels? Or is it just a “greenwash” — a token gesture by some of the utilities responsible for so much of the world’s CO2 to try to persuade an increasingly green public that the great emitters are doing something to fight climate change?
Those are the questions that were hurled at Vattenfall executives on Tuesday when the Swedish-based utility opened the world’s first CCS plant in a small town south of Berlin called Schwarze Pumpe. The company believes it will be economically feasible before long to capture carbon, liquify it, and store it permanently on a large scale underground. This is only a small pilot plant producing enough power for a town of 20,000. But if it works, Vattenfall plans to build two conventional power plants 10 times larger in Germany and Denmark by 2015 and from 2020 they hope CCS will be a viable option for large-scale industrial use.