Green-News: Thursday 1.29.09

  • Experts fear global warming could create dead zones in the ocean, carbon dioxide-heavy ecosystems devoid of sea life, and these pockets of environmental inactivity could last for up to two millennia. Runoff from agriculture is already causing dead zones; the AFP explains.
  • Using available acreage for growing biofuel crops might exacerbate global food shortages and push up prices. That’s why South Korean scientists have developed a way to use marine algae or seaweed to produce ethanol, instead occupying land; NewScientist investigates.
  • The green industry could fire up the U.S. economy. In California, green-collar jobs are on the rise. Improved efficiency standards have created 1.5 million jobs over the last three decades, such as wind-energy technicians and solar panel installers; The Los Angeles Times reports.

Image credit: Clinton Steeds

Green-News: Tuesday 1.13.09

  • People are getting hip to green energy, like wind and solar. Now, solar panels might be the cool new thing to stick on your house. But there’s a problem. When it snows, they get covered, rendering them powerless! So, many solar system owners are calling for a solution; The New York Times investigates.
  • California is considering legislation that would require retailers to only sell the most energy efficient LCD and plasma TVs. Naturally, industry leaders are opposing the laws, saying it’ll drive up prices and some manufacturers fear they won’t be able to meet increased standards; The Los Angeles Times explains.
  • Nowadays, even fitness is high-tech. Most gyms look like arcades. Seems like nobody just runs in the park anymore! So, if you’re looking to green your workout, consider buying a reusable water bottle, taking a bike ride, wearing organic workout clothes or encourage your gym to go green; via Huddler.
  • States in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, including New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, have agreed to cut carbon emissions from transportation fuels. The effort will focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adopting sustainable usage of renewable fuels; SustainableBusiness News reports.
  • Drinking water in the U.S. is in trouble. A new report has detected 11 unusual pollutants, including gemfibrozil, an anti-cholesterol drug, and naproxen, a painkiller and anti-inflammatory drug associated with heighten asthma risk. Experts say the low levels do not pose a health risk; via NewScientist.

Green-News: Monday 12.22.08

  • Sails power boats by wind, but Japan has launched the first solar-powered cargo ship. It can carry 6,400 cars and is outfitted with 328 solar panels, costing $1.68 million dollars. This power system with generate 40 kilowatts and covers 0.2% of the boats energy needs; the AFP reports.
  • Speaking of chilly temps, the United States wants to protect 7 species of penguins. The list includes 6 varieties classified as threatened and the African penguin that is an endangered species. But the penguins also live beyond the U.S., so protection could be limited; from MSNBC.

Green-News: Thursday 12.18.08

  • This year the Vatican will recycle its Christmas tree. At 33 meters, it’s the tallest tree ever displayed in St. Peter's Square in Rome. And instead of just chucking it into the wood chipper, the Vatican will use the wood from 120-year-old tree to make toys for poor children; Reuters reports.
  • The U.S. is now growing a lot of maize for biofuels. But experts insist the lack of crop-diversity is messing with bug populations. Meaning there are less insects to eat pests that harm crops. Maize fields attract fewer ladybugs to eat the aphids that damage soybeans; NewScientist explains.
  • We all assume temperatures are constantly on the rise, but according to a new report, 2008 was actually the 10th warmest year since 1850. But, without humans mucking up the climate we would have been 50% less likely to see a year as warm as 2008; The New York Times investigates.
  • Despite their bad reputation, Cuba is a leader in the “eat local” movement. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Cuba planted thousands of local gardens to make up for the lack of imported food, setting up urban gardens next to parking lots and even on city rooftops; via ENN.

Green-News: Tuesday 12.16.08

Green-News: Friday 12.12.08

  • Here’s more oceans news, according to a recent computer model, ozone depletion, i.e. holes in the ozone layer, is causing ocean acidification, resulting in weaker carbon sinks. The ocean is the earth’s largest carbon sink, soaking up 40% of the world’s greenhouse gas; from NatureNews.

Green-News: Thursday 12.4.08

  • Nuns of the Conventus of Our Lady of Consolation in the U.K. are going green, inspired by a saint’s vision of a world living in light. They’ll be moving into a solar-powered monastery with rainwater harvesting, woodchip boiler and other eco-innovations; The Guardian reports.
  • And more bad news, the Whitehouse has approved regulations allowing coal mining debris to be dumped into nearby streams and valleys. Environmental groups are upset, claiming this ruling will accelerate the destruction of mountains, forests and streams; The New York Times explains.
  • At a U.N. conference on climate change in Poland, environmentalists criticized the U.S. and other rich nations for not making commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions. And speakers cite a lack of trust between the developed and the developing word; The Associated Press reports.
  • Back to coal, Greenpeace activists were briefly arrested in Denmark for attempting to board a cargo ship carrying South African coal to Denmark. Protestors contend it’s outrageous that a small country like Denmark burns 8.3 tons of coal every year; the AFP investigates.
  • Here’s more protesting. This time 10,000 German metal workers came out against the European Union’s plans to combat climate change, which they feel will hurt their industry. Last year 27 members of the E.U. agreed to a 20% reduction in emissions by 2020; more from the AFP.

Green-News: Wednesday 11.26.08

Green-News: Wednesday 11.19.08

  • Pollution has plateaued, following 6 years of growth, says a new report by the United Nations report, but there’s a catch. Data for the previous 2 years has not be announced; via The New York Times.