Thursday, October 01, 2009

Friday Hope Blogging

More companies are taking a stand against the US Chamber of Commerce's climate denialism:

GE is the latest in a growing list of companies unhappy with the Chamber's position on climate. Yesterday, Nike announced that they are resigning from the board of directors, though they plan to maintain membership. The country's largest electric utility, Exelon, announced on Monday that they are leaving the group, joining California utility PG&E and New Mexico utility PNM in secession.
The EPA is taking additional steps to limit GHG emissions:
The EPA proposal will require large industrial facilities that emit more than 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year to obtain permits covering these emissions. These permits must demonstrate the use of the best available emissions-control technologies and energy efficiency measures to minimize greenhouse gas emissions when facilities are constructed or significantly modified.

“Today, the Obama administration has taken another step to implement the Clean Air Act, our nation’s strongest and most successful tool for reducing greenhouse pollution,” said Kassie Siegel, director of the Climate Law Institute at the Center for Biological Diversity. “But with global warming accelerating, the administration should be moving more quickly to achieve all the benefits that the Clean Air Act offers.”
It looks as though four dams will be removed from the Klamath River:
In a development that could herald the largest dam removal in modern history, 29 parties signed a draft agreement today to destroy four dams on the Klamath River to restore salmon and steelhead runs that have been partially blocked for the better part of the past century on the California-Oregon border.

The agreement is the product of years of often bitter negotiations among electric utilities, government officials, commercial fishers, farmers, native tribes and environmental groups. It calls for the breaching and removal of four Klamath River hydroelectric plants owned and operated by PacifiCorp.
Yet another of BushCo's "plans" for "managing" wilderness areas has been ruled illegal:
[T]he court ruled that the Bush-era West Mojave Plan violated the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the National Environmental Policy Act by favoring off-road vehicle use over protection of sensitive desert resources such as endangered species and archeological sites.

“This is a huge win for the California desert,” said Lisa Belenky, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The court’s decision takes the Bureau of Land Management to task for designating thousands of miles of off-road vehicle routes while ignoring the significant damage these vehicles cause to our public lands and the wildlife that depend on these lands for their survival.”
Diesel emissions are way down at two California ports:
A program to cut diesel emissions at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach by phasing out older cargo trucks is far ahead of schedule, and already has delivered cleaner air to nearby neighborhoods that have been enveloped by fumes, the mayors of both cities said Thursday.

A year after the adjacent ports launched their "clean trucks" program, new, low-emission big rigs now account for about a third of the trucks hauling cargo to and from the complex, the busiest harbors in the nation. Officials said they expect to reduce diesel truck emissions at both ports by 80% by the end of 2010 -- a year ahead of schedule.
Two Massachusetts police departments have dropped out of the idiotic 287(g) program, which allowed them to enforce immigration laws:
The program had stirred anger and fear among advocates for immigrants who said it would terrify immigrants and deter them from reporting crimes.

Framingham Chief Steven Carl said he withdrew from the program today because federal officials pressured the department to broaden its enforcement. He said he signed up two years ago exclusively to tap into federal databases to investigate crime, and balked when federal officials wanted him to detain immigrants, transport them and even testify in immigration court.

Carl said that could hurt the police's relationship in the community, where 26 percent are immigrants. "It doesn't benefit the police department to engage in deportation and immigration enforcement," Carl said today. "We're done. I told them to come get the computers."
Efforts to protect the Ganges River dolphin seem to be paying off:
India’s booming human population, like China’s, is taking too much water from its largest river, radically altering its flow, and pumping too much waste in. The dolphins, which need deep, clean water and often drown in fishing nets, have paid the price.

At Raja Karna, however, the tide might just be turning. In recent years locals have been encouraged to stop fishing and to use home-made organic compost instead of chemical fertilisers and they have been taught how to build small, basic sewage treatment facilities. The results have been striking: since the early 1980s the dolphin population has more than doubled from 20 to about 55 animals. Everywhere else along the Ganges the population has fallen.
Canadian researchers have found a simple way to reduce bat fatalities around wind turbines:
Slowing the speed of the turbines at night during peak bat migratory periods reduces fatalities by 60 per cent, according to a joint study by the University of Calgary and power company TransAlta published in the Journal of Wildlife Management....

The University of Calgary researchers will now continue their work on finding out what is attracting the bats to the turbines in the first place in the hope of reducing the mortality rate even further.
Researchers claims to have made a new and improved form of concrete from coal plant waste:
Researchers have created an impressive new kind of concrete that's made out of waste products from coal plants--concrete that could both last for hundreds of years and reduce carbon emissions by 90%. The cement industry is one of the most polluting industries there is, contributing 5-8% of the world's greenhouse gases. This new 'geopolymer concrete' could cut a major chunk out of that. And the best part is, it's made from fly ash--one of the most common industrial byproducts on the planet....

[I]t could reduce the need for fly ash disposal sites--like the one that burst open in Tennessee last December and spread toxic byproduct over hundreds of acres. There are now some 600 coal ash dump sites around the US--and that could all theoretically be turned into perfectly safe concrete.
An African artist is turning wildlife snares into sculptures:

That's about it for this week, I'm afraid. Except for Inconstant Moon. And the invective of flowers. And more matches. And some vintage hairstyle placards. And a survey of one thousand billion worlds. And via Plep, some Japanese magic lantern slides.

(Illustration at top by Mark.Weaver.)

4 comments: said...

There's a whole additional component to this that the Chamber has failed to grasp. If Congress does not pass some kind of carbon legislation, the EPA will make the rules and that's the last thing utilities want.

I predict we will see more companies try to pressure the US Chamber as the EPA moves forward on its own.

four legs good said...

Oh, dood, "this is about it"??

this is plenty. I especially like the news about turning the coal ash into safe concrete. that's truly fabulous news.

constant gina said...

At some point someone with the resources has got to enjoin some lawyers and sue The 0bamanation and Congress for some of these laws. There have to be some violations of The Constitution in there, I would think.

Phila said...

At some point someone with the resources has got to enjoin some lawyers and sue The 0bamanation and Congress for some of these laws. There have to be some violations of The Constitution in there, I would think.

I'm sure they'll get on it right after they reveal the Awful Truth about his birth certificate.