Tons of big green news stories in one short article.
There are tons of big green news stories out there every day. Although we can’t (and probably shouldn’t) cover all of them here on Planetsave, it drives me crazy not to cover everything I think is big news. Hopefully, a new idea I’ve had to cover big news stories we missed (or shouldn’t cover in-depth on Planetsave anyway) will give me a little more peace on this issue.
I am covering these stories through a short but link-heavy format where I give you the gist of each story in a hopefully fun and easy-to-read way. This is the first such post. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Climate Change Solutions and Failures
Though China has just lept forward with an economically based cap-and-trade system, the US Senate, ExxonMobil & friends and Obama (not environmentalists) have seriously failed us all by killing similar (capitalistic not communistic) legislation in the US, and despite the great efforts of war veterans.
To help cool us down on an increasingly hot planet (where several countries have already set national heat records this year), the Department of Energy’s new ARPA-E program has decided to fund development of a cutting edge “smart metal” that will help address all of our cooling needs in a super energy-efficient way.
On the solar front: Kriss Bergethon at sustainablog gives us 5 affordable and easy ways to start using solar power today to address climate change in our own lives; news is that Chicago has just received the nation’s largest solar installation; and solar power is apparently growing in popularity across the nation.
If you want to live in a more sustainable community but always thought it would be too expensive, a community in Oregon is finding a way to make homes not only environmentally sustainable but also financially obtainable for normal folks. Sounds like a good combination.
Cutting Climate Change with Better Transportation Solutions
Transportation is a key driver of climate change, and a key way to cut climate change pollution is to leave the car at home (or sell it) and cut out the unnecessary flights. London Mayor Boris Johnson, in an effort to get more people out of cars and on bikes (and because he says he’s “militant about cycling“), is pushing for some “cycle superhighways” through London as a run up to the Olympics. (Although, Transport for London says they aren’t as super as he claims.)
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling has just produced a new “Guide for reviewing Public Road Design and Bicycling Accommodations for Virginia Bicycling Advocates” to help bicycling advocates move things forward in the US.
And, in Germany, they’ve found that a good way to cut carbon emissions from transport is just to turn airports into parks. That’s right, instead of cutting the trees to build a runway, turn the runways into a park.
Also in Germany, the world-famous Autobahn was recently shut down to cars and opened up to 3 million people for a huge party. A nice way to get people out of their cars.
Wondering how the oceans are doing? NASA has a new map out showing us where exactly all the ocean deadzones are. Looks like the US, Europe, and Japan don’t like their beaches very much.
Perhaps as a result of deadzones, perhaps for other reasons, 500 dead penguins mysteriously washed up on Brazilian beaches recently, that’s a lot more than the 10/year that is the norm.
Meanwhile, some coral reefs are growing slower than ever due to climate change.
On the positive side, in an effort to build more renewable energy that won’t kill millions of animals and the economy of a whole region if something goes wrong, and that will help address climate change, advocates for clean wind energy have just formed the Offshore Wind Development Coalition in the US.
Obama has also stepped into this arena a bit more with a new executive order to take better care of our oceans, coasts, and the Great Lakes.
Europe Protecting and Hurting the Environment
While the European Commission has just backed environmental projects totaling €250 million across the EU, a new report out finds that UK-imported livestock is destroying South American rainforests.
Going Slow, Dying Fast
We are facing one of the largest extinctions in history due largely to climate change. 10 endangered species of beautiful but slow-moving snails are just some of the many species we will be missing soon.
Photo Credit: hurleygurley via flickr