Activism

Published on July 6th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

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Weekly Green News Roundup

July 6th, 2011 by

Our weekly wrap-up of other green stories from around the web.

Activism

  1. Collaboration is Better than Competition in the War Against Climate Change Collaboration is essential to the kinds of innovation that are required to meet the challenges posed by climate change. Collaboration can make commerce more efficient and more sustainable….
  2. Protesters demand French nuclear plant closure Thousands of demonstrators formed a human chain outside France’s oldest nuclear power plant on [June 26] to demand the site be closed as the government mulls whether to extend its life by a decade….
  3. Mattel’s controversial career choice for Barbie: rainforest destroyer For over 50 years now Mattel has been choosing Barbie’s career for her. She’s had a lot of different professions over the years but Mattel’s latest choice for Barbie: ‘Rainforest Destroyer’, is arguably the most controversial career choice yet. It means a whole new look for this iconic doll and a lot of new accessories. If you’re a creative type, a budding designer, just enjoy dressing dolls – or know someone else who might fit the bill - join in the contest to design the Rainforest Destroyer look for Mattel’s most famous toy.

Green Living

  1. The Declaration of Interdependence When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Okay, the Declaration of Interdependence sounds a lot like the Declaration of Independence….
  2. New PV Mounting System To Prevent Solar Panel Theft Installing solar panels is like hoisting $50,000 on your roof and leaving it there for all the world to see. A new security brings peace of mind to those worried about theft and vandalism….
  3. Mental Accounting Explains Why You Buy Things You Don’t Need Would you drive 20 minutes out of your way to save $5 on a $15 calculator?

    Would you drive the same distance to save $5 on a $125 leather jacket?

    According to research from Richard Thaler at University of Chicago, 68% of respondents would drive to get the calculator but only 29% for the leather jacket.  On the surface, this result is illogical – the savings is the same ($5) in both cases.  The decision seems to be based on the inherent concept of getting a deal.  One third off of an inexpensive calculator is a more powerful motivator than 4% of a leather jacket….
  4. Calculating the Leap to Driving Less On various cycling Websites, including this one, you will find articles as well as calculators estimating the amount of money you can save by cycling instead of driving. Yet, I haven’t found one yet that tells the whole story….
  5. Interstate bike highway effort reappears An effort to develop interstate bike corridors — such as Bicycle Route Interstate 87, which would cover roughly the same ground as I-5, and Bicycle Route Interstate 95 which would shadow Highway 101 down the Oregon Coast — is getting new life….
  6. Adventurous Writer Travels From S.F. to L.A. Using Only Public Transportation It’s easy to drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles. It’s fairly easy to fly once you’re through the notorious TSA. It’s sort of easy to bus or take a train. But… how easy is it to use public transportation to get down the coast of California?…
  7. Rest of the World Keeps US on our Toes Just when you think things are going well and US cities are making great progress towards being more bike-friendly (which they are…), somewhere like Copenhagen comes along and reminds you just how far we have to go! I just read the incredible bi-annual Bicycle Account published by the City of Copenhagen. The 2010 report does actually show a decline in the percentage of trips to work made by bike – down from 37% in 2008 to a paltry 35%, but this drop is attributed to two harsh winters and is made up for by a significant increase of 40,000 in the number of kilometers traveled by bike every day (up to 1.21 million) and a drop in the number of serious crashes to just 92 (3 fatals)….
  8. Online Climate Explored at Google I recently attended a gathering of scientists, communicators and information technologists at Google’s headquarters. The core participants were 21 Google Science Communication Fellows, a batch of accomplished researchers who were invited to come brainstorm and then seek grants for projects that employ “technology, new media and computational thinking” in the communication of climate science to diverse audiences. 

    The challenge they face is accentuated by the latest report out today from the “Six Americas” survey tracking Americans’ views of human-driven climate change. The survey has found nearly everyone falls into one of six groups:
    climate viewsYale/George Mason University

    There’s been some migration among the various camps. I’m a big fan of this survey, but don’t see much significance in short-term shifts. As I’ve asserted many times, views on global warming seem like water sloshing in a shallow pan — a lot of movement, no depth (and thus no determination to act).

  9. Beginner’s guide to cycling with kids Riding can be a great excuse to get away from the kids and the other half, but it’s also a great way of spending some quality time with your nearest and dearest. Here we look at the best ways to get children onto two wheels and riding safely and confidently….
  10. Could This Guy Be Cycling’s Secret Sauce? (Video)

More green living stories:

  1. The Four Best Electricity-Free iPhone Speakers
  2. Why You Should Get A No-Nose Seat: “When You Sit On A Regular Bike Saddle, You’re Sitting On Your Penis.”
  3. Three Easy, Low-Tech Ways to Keep Container Gardens Watered
  4. World’s Top-Selling Weedkiller Causes Birth Defects, Scientists Say
  5. UBC Researchers Develop ‘Bikeability Index’

Animals

  1. Why is this Great White Shark smiling?

    For this Great White Shark, it’s even better now in the Bahamas.The long-running tourist slogan has a new meaning for all 40 of the shark species around the Caribbean island chain after the Bahamian government banned all commercial shark fishing in the approximately  243,244 square miles  (630,000 square kilometers) of the country’s waters….
  2. Right Whales Return to New Zealand a Century After Being Hunted to Local Extinction A new study shows that a small number of southern right whales have returned to their ancestral New Zealand breeding grounds more than a century after the species was hunted to local extinction….
  3. BAN THE USE OF WILD ANIMALS IN CIRCUSES Animal Aid has joined forces with nine other animal protection organisations to call on the Prime Minister to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. In recent weeks, Defra announced that it cannot introduce such a ban because of a lawsuit taking place in Austria. However, there is no such lawsuit and Defra had to admit a ‘mistake’….
  4. Polar bear deserves protections of Endangered Species Act, says court A federal judge upheld the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision that the polar bear be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and continue to receive the protections afforded by the law [June 30]. The following is a statement from Jason Rylander, senior attorney for Defenders of Wildlife….
  5. NOAA steps up effort to address sea turtle mortality, seeks public input As part of stepped-up efforts to address an increase in sea turtle strandings in the Gulf of Mexico, NOAA announced today it will explore new rules to reduce unintended catch and mortality of sea turtles in the southeastern shrimp fishery, as it continues to enforce vigorously existing regulations meant to protect sea turtle populations….
  6. Right Whales Return to New Zealand After a Century Southern right whales were once a common sight along the coast of New Zealand, though in the 19th century overhunting brought the species to the brink of extinction. But now, after a decades of being virtually non-existant off New Zealand’s shores, wildlife experts are seeing endangered right whales finally returning to their ancestral calving grounds — offering hope that the whales’ are rediscovering a ‘cultural connection’ to this region after a century-long hiatus….

Politics

  1. France Becomes First Country To Ban Fracking; Gas Drilling Still A Go In a major setback for the oil and gas industry, the French Senate last week voted 176 to 151 to ban hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. fracking), the controversial gas industry drilling method facing scrutiny the world over due to water contamination and other concerns. Once the legislation receives presidential approval, France will be the first country to permanently outlaw fracking….
  2. Canada Causes Cancer: Government & Industry Collude to Keep Asbestos Off UN Hazardous Chemical List Last week, the Canadian government successfully and unilaterally stonewalled efforts to list chrysotile asbestosas a hazardous chemical at a United Nations conference in Switzerland.According to Michael Stanley-Jones of the UN Environment Program, “[Canada] intervened in the chemicals contact group meeting … and opposed listing”. This is the third time that Canada has derailed efforts to list the deadly mineral under the Rotterdam Convention….
  3. American climate skeptic Soon funded by oil, coal firms Willie Soon, a U.S. climate change skeptic who has also discounted the health risks of mercury emissions from coal, has received more than $1 million in funding in recent years from large energy companies and an oil industry group, according to Greenpeace….
  4. MPs demand end to World Bank’s coal funding Environmental Audit Committee report recommends UK withhold World Bank funding if it continues to back unabated coal-fired power plants….
  5. Groups Press FDA to Give Consumers Important Health Information About Mercury in Seafood Petition asks the Agency to label packages and post signs at marketsConsumer protection advocates and members of the medical community pressed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today to provide consumers with clearer, more accurate, and more accessible guidance on the mercury content of the seafood they consume….
  6. Rep. Kelly, Millionaire Investor In Oil And Gas Companies, Defends Subsidies Against Angry Town Hall Constituents Late last week, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) held a town hall meeting in Meadville, Pennsylvania where constituents challenged the freshman congressman on his support for subsidies to oil and gas corporations. Earlier this year, Kelly joined every House Republican in voting to protect the $4 billion in subsidies that go to oil and gas companies every year. However, unlike many of his House colleagues, Kelly has a significant personal financial stake in the matter….
  7. After Getting Sick From Algae Bloom Exacerbated by Heat Wave and Drought, Inhofe Jokes the “Environment Strikes Back” Irony can be so ironic.  A day after cancelling his keynote address at the Heartland climate denial conference because he felt “under the weather,” Republican Senator Jim Inhofe today insisted his sickness was due to a toxic algae bloom on the Grand Lake in Oklahoma where he has a home – joking to a local newspaper that “the environment strikes back” and ”Inhofe is attacked by the environment.”…
  8. Judge Rejects Sarah Palin On Global Warming, Keeps Polar Bears On Threatened List In 2008, the U.S. government placed the polar bear on the threatened species list because of the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice, becoming “the first to be designated as threatened because of global warming.”But in 2008, media mega-star Sarah Palin was still the governor of Alaska. Fearing that protecting the polar bear would “cripple oil and gas development” off Alaska’s coasts, Palin — a well-wornclimate science denier — sued the government to remove the species from the list. Palin pointed to the high population of polar bears in 2008 and dismissed climate models that predict continued loss of sea ice as “unreliable,” “uncertain,” and “unproven.”…
  9. How climate science deniers spread doubt for political ends Ian Enting, Professorial Fellow at Melbourne University, looks at the front groups and writings of Australia’s deniers . This is an extended excerpt from The Conversation series on climate….
  10. Bill McKibben: If Brazil Has to Guard Its Rainforest, Why Does Canada/U.S. Get to Burn Its Tar Sands? It was big news in Canada when, in 2008, the country slipped from the top-ten list of the world’s most peaceful countries (all the way to eleventh). By this year, it was back in eighth, 74 places above the U.S. and, when liberals in the U.S. feel despairing, what dominates their fantasy life but “moving to Canada?”

More politics stories:

  1. New Jersey Senate Passes Fracking Ban
  2. Voters Strongly Oppose Michele Bachmann’s Proposal to Abolish the EPA
  3. When Facts Don’t Matter: Proving The Problem With Fox News
  4. Texas And Florida Governors Skip Climate Emergencies For Koch Denier Confab
  5. Poll: Public Understanding of Climate Science Rebounds, Majority See Environment vs. Economy as a ‘False Choice’
  6. New Coal Industry Ad: Wind Farms May Blow Earth Off Orbit
  7. GOP Candidates’ Positions on Climate Change Are Not Consistent With Their Religious Leaders
  8. Will an Ideological Opposition to Climate Science Prevent Republicans from Making Government More Efficient?

Global Warming & Environmental Science

  1. EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING ‘MASKED’ BY ASIA POLLUTION, STUDY SAYS A new study says rising sulfur emissions from the growth of Asian industry triggered a cooling effect that partially offset the effects of global warming for a decade….
  2. Global Warming Causes Worst Wildfires Since The Last Ice Age As the largest wildfire in Arizona history still burns, the Las Conchas wildfire is becoming the largest wildfire in New Mexico history….
  3. How the Media Gets It Wrong on Climate Change: The False, the Confused and the Mendacious The Conversation wraps up its climate series with a statement from leading Australian acientists:  The debate is over. Let’s get on with it….
  4. Speaking Science to Climate Policy in a World Where “the Melting and Breakdown of Polar Ice Sheets Seems to Be in the Vicinity of a Couple of Degrees Warming” James Risbey, an atmospheric and marine researcher at CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, explains why it’s not “alarmist” to describe the threat of climate change to the public and how the climate system will respond to half measures.  This is a repost from The Conversation….
  5. The Radiative Forcing of the CO2 Humans Have Put in the Air Equals 1 Million Hiroshima Bombs a Day Australian scientists have been contributing to a multi-part series, “Clearing Up the Climate Debate” at “The Conversation” website.  I’m reposting some of the best.  Here, Mike Sandiford, Director of the Melbourne Energy Institute and Professor of Geology explores the staggering ways we influence the the globe and the climate….
  6. Not Your Average Weather Map These days, extreme weather and climate is on everyone’s mind, thanks to the Southwestern wildfires, the Missouri and Mississippi River floods and the most active month on record for tornadoes, which occurred in April. There are so many headline-grabbing weather events taking place at the same time, in fact, that a lot of people are asking scientists, what’s the connection to long-term climate change?…
  7. Average U.S. temperature increases by 0.5 degrees F – New 1981-2010 ‘normals’ to be released this week According to the 1981-2010 normals to be released by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) on July 1, temperatures across the United States were on average, approximately 0.5 degree F warmer than the 1971-2000 time period….

More climate science stories:

  1. Introducing the Skeptical Science team
  2. How would a Solar Grand Minimum affect global warming?
  3. The greenhouse effect is real: here’s why
  4. Group Condemns Harassment of Climate Scientists
  5. Australian Scientific Community: “Climate Change is Real, We Are Causing It,” Media has Botched the Coverage
  6. American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Blasts Attacks On Climate Scientists
  7. Climate Disasters Have Cost U.S. $23 To $28 Billion This Year Already
  8. Climate Denier Steve King: ‘Unprecedented’ Flood Of Missouri River ‘Couldn’t Have Been Anticipated’
  9. Geologists and Climate Change Denial
  10. Journey into the weird, wacky world of climate change denial
  11. Updated Statistics Show the “Normal” US Climate is Getting Warmer

Other

  1. Climate Crisis: In Drought-Stricken Texas, Drillers Use Billions Of Gallons Of Water For Fracking Texas is facing the driest eight-month period in its recorded history, a drought so bad that Texans are praying for hurricanes to get rain. But as fields dry up and the state’s reservoirs run dry, “plastic-lined pits holding millions of gallons of blue-green water are tucked away in fields chock-full of withering mesquite trees.”The much-needed water, it turns out, is being pumped out of underground aquifers by oil companies that are using it for hydraulic fracking….
  2. Exxon Mobil says oil leaked into Yellowstone River A pipeline operated by Exxon Mobil Corp leaked as many as 1,000 barrels of crude oil into the Yellowstone River in Montana and has been shut down, the company said….
  3. Exxon Pipeline Spill Poisons Yellowstone River The pipe ruptured Thursday night at around 11:30. I woke up around 7:45 a.m. Friday and went outside to do chores — let goats out to graze, feed and water chickens, let horses out, etc. I walked down to our bottom pasture because the river was supposed to flood and I wanted to see if it had come over its banks. Sure enough, there was about two feet of water in the pasture. I got this overwhelming smell of hydrocarbons — a very distinct smell, especially around here because there are three refineries. I checked our local paper and saw that a pipeline had ruptured. Even though this had been going on for over seven hours, and we are right on the river, we received no call, no warning…nothing. I had to find out about it by seeing it in our pastures. Apparently they evacuated people further up stream that were closer to the pipeline….
  4. JP Morgan, Koch, Other Oil Traders May Buy Discounted Strategic Petroleum Reserve Oil And Simply Store It To stem supply disruptions from Libya and to disrupt the grip of nonconsumer oil speculators, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the sale of 30 million barrels of crude as part of the International Energy Agency’s effort to release 60 million barrels into the global oil market. The sale of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as well as the suggestion from the Obama administration that more sales could be announced in the future, has already lowered the price of crude. As the Baker Institute’s Amy Myers Jaffe has noted, the release sends a “signal that should keep rampant speculation at bay.”…
  5. Global Warming Hates The Fourth Of July As fossil fuel pollution heats the planet, one of the casualties is the traditional celebration of the founding of the United States. The record droughts, floods, and storms fueled by global warming are causing widespread bans on fireworks and the cancellation of numerous municipal firework displays, even a celebration for our soldiers in Oklahoma…
  6. Survey ranks San Francisco greenest U.S. city San Francisco is the greenest city in North America, followed by Vancouver and New York, according to the latest survey of green-city rankings….
  7. How Bad is the Texas Drought? “In Austin, They are Praying for a Hurricane” This is “the worst Texas drought since record-keeping began 116 years ago.”  Drought and wildfires have led the US Department of Agriculture “to declare the entire state of Texas a natural disaster.”  Over 70% of the state was in “exceptional” drought last week, with another 20% in “extreme” drought, and “213 counties in Texas have lost at least 30 percent of their crops or pasture.”…
  8. Jared Diamond Video: With Climate Change, Americans Have Unique Chance to Avoid the Fate of Ancient Maya DIAMOND: There are so many societies in which the elite made decisions that were good for themselves in the short run and ruined themselves and societies in the long run….Similarly, in the United States at present, the policies being pursued by too many wealthy people and decision makers are ones that — as in the case of the Mayan kings — preserve their interests in the short run but are disastrous in the long run….

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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