Environment

Bird-B-Gone Inc.® Now Performs In-house Testing Under ISO 1806...

PR Web - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 19:48

Bird-B-Gone Inc. performs in-house ISO 1806 & 9001 protocol testing on all colors of their bird netting. Testing is done at their manufacturing facility in Santa Ana, California.

(PRWeb January 23, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11513486.htm

Categories: Environment

SAE International’s Powertrains, Fuels & Lubricants Meeting to be...

PR Web - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 19:48

Journalists are invited to attend SAE International's 2014 Powertrains, Fuels & Lubricants Meeting, which will be held at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, England, Oct....

(PRWeb January 23, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11516185.htm

Categories: Environment

Garden Media Group Unveils Its 2014 Garden Trends Whitepaper:...

PR Web - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 19:48

Dive Deeper into the twelve trends that will impact gardening habits in 2014 and beyond.

(PRWeb January 23, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11516372.htm

Categories: Environment

Oasis Energy Rewards Customers with Complimentary Tree Planting

PR Web - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 19:48

All of Oasis Energy’s electricity and natural gas plans now include a free tree code, allowing consumers to have a tree planted in their name.

(PRWeb January 23, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11517651.htm

Categories: Environment

Biocides Market (Halogen Compounds, Metallic Compounds, Organosulfurs)...

PR Web - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 19:48

Biocides Market provides a comprehensive review of major market drivers, restraints, opportunities, winning imperatives, challenges, and key issues in the market....

(PRWeb January 23, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/biocides/market/prweb11515350.htm

Categories: Environment

Oil and water: As Texas’ Keystone pipe opens, neighbors organize to protect their aquifer

Grist.org - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 19:14

Wednesday at 10:45 a.m., Keystone XL South was supposed to begin piping tar sands crude from  Cushing, Okla. to refineries in Texas. That’s what the pipeline’s builder, Transcanada, had announced.

The pumps that keep crude moving through the pipeline were running last Thursday, as TransCanada performed last-minute tests of the system. But on Friday they went silent, according to observers in the area, and so far it looks like they haven’t started up since.

“Last week we heard info from two different sources that they had a major leak,” says Kathy DaSilva, of Nacogdoches, Texas, who has been involved in the fight around KXL South for the last three years. “But we have not been able to verify or find where the leak was.”

Leaks are a big concern for DaSilva. While the national campaign against Keystone XL was framed as a climate change issue, regionally, it was about water. When TransCanada split Keystone into two pipelines — North (which crossed the Canadian border, and which Obama has yet to approve) and South (which crossed several states, but no borders, and therefore needed no Presidential approval, but then somehow mysteriously got it anyway) — attention shifted to the Obama/Romney race, and KXL arguably became a regional issue again.

But: It’s a big region. The Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer, which the pipeline passes through, supplies drinking water to 60 counties in Texas. This summer, people living along the path of the pipeline noticed that segments that had been completed and buried six months ago were being dug up and replaced.  The replacements were impelled by “an abundance of caution” at Transcanada, a spokesperson said.  TransCanada’s CEO Russ Girling called it “the safest oil pipeline built in America to date.” DaSilva has her doubts.

In September, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which is charged with regulating the pipeline, posted two notices of violation about contractors working on the pipeline. DaSilva asked that the pipeline be retested before it reopened, but the PHMSA turned her down. She later found that the agency closed both cases the day that the letters were sent, with no signs of enforcement. “It was a case of covering their asses,” she said.

Later that night, DaSilva was planning on going out with NacSTOP (Nacogdoches County Stop Tar Sands Oil Permanently) and the Autonomous Light Brigade, setting up LED signs in front of the Nacadogches Memorial Hospital. “It’s considered a ‘green’ action or ‘safe’ action,” DaSilva said. “People who might not be so comfortable in participating in what might be an arrestable action, this is a way to participate.”

The tar-sands pipeline campaign has been a recent example of just how much Homeland Security has complicated direct action protests in the U.S. A waitress and youth pastor in Oaklahoma faced threats of felony terrorism charges from local police after they unfurled a handmade Hunger Games-inspired banner (The Odds are Never in Our Favor) inside the headquarters of Devon Energy. In Michigan, four protesters go to trial on felony charges later this month for locking themselves to construction equipment that Enbridge, TransCanada’s main competitor, was using to replace and increase the capacity of 6B — the pipeline that once, notoriously, dumped 800,000 gallons of tar sands crude into the Kalamazoo River.

During the Kalamazoo river leak, Enbridge employees responsible for watching remote sensors were monitoring data from multiple pipelines, working twelve-hour shifts. After the spill happened, sixteen separate alarms went off. But with these sensors, false alarms are so common, and so expensive, that the monitors assumed that what looked like a leak was just a large bubble working its way down the line. It was 17 hours before Enbridge realized it had a spill.

According to data from PHMSA, between 2002 and July 2012, remote sensors detected only 5 percent of the nation’s pipeline spills. Pipeline company employees who arrived at the scenes of accidents reported 62 percent. The other 22 percent were reported by the general public. Enbridge is responsible for $3.7 million in damages for the Kalamazoo river spill. Still, its stock is going gangbusters. Its five-year average return has been 133 percent, while TransCanadas has been 45 percent – a circumstance that the Financial Post credits to the delays and regulatory uncertainties that still surround KXL.

TransCanada has tried to diversify away from Keystone and focus more on Canadian pipelines. It also renamed KXL South as the Gulf Coast pipeline right around the time the pipeline was split, possibly hoping a new name would lift the taint of controversy. Meanwhile Russ Girling, TransCanada’s CEO, argues that after five-plus years of regulatory scrutiny of Keystone XL, TransCanada is better equipped “than anybody in the marketplace” to get pipelines approved.  “I’m comfortable we can get there,” he said.

“I never, ever wanted to know this much about pipelines,” says DaSilva. Now that KXL South is complete, that knowledge has shifted from how to stop the pipeline to how to live with it as safely as possible. The Kalamazoo leak could have been detected hours earlier if police who responded to a 911 call about a petroleum smell near the river had investigated more closely.  Warning signs posted along KXL South identify it as a crude oil pipeline, with no mention of its carrying heavy, rather than light, crude. You need a very different approach to cleaning up a heavy crude spill than a conventional oil spill — so the next step for DaSilva and her allies is to pressure TransCanada to change the signs so a spill’s first responders know what they’re dealing with.

Even now that the Keystone XL South is complete, lawsuits filed against its construction by landowners continue to work their way through the court system. The lawsuits argue that the eminent domain used to build the pipeline violates court rulings that say that eminent domain can only be used for infrastructure projects that benefit more than one company.  “I don’t know if they’ll ever see their money,” says DaSilva, of people who rejected payouts from TransCanada and went with litigation, “but their trees are gone and the pipeline is there.”

Meanwhile, DaSilva and other pipeline activists will be looking for people along the route of KXL South, talking to them and telling them that if they notice patches of dead vegetation or any other signs of an underground leak, they should relay that information to the newly formed Texas Pipeline Watch, as well as to the EPA. “We know the reality,” says DaSilva. “If we are not out watching, we are going to have a contaminated aquifer. We’re going to have to police this ourselves and document it ourselves.”

It is at the point where she mentions the pipeline’s neighbors that her voice unexpectedly brightens. She has met so many wonderful people, she says: “That’s one positive from being in this three-and-a-half-year fight.”


Filed under: Business & Technology, Climate & Energy, Politics
Categories: Environment

Cyclists, here’s a comprehensive list of the cars you should avoid

Grist.org - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 18:56

Like it or not, your car says something about you. A car with an “I share the road” bumper sticker? Hopefully someone who checks the bike lane before a right turn. A Hummer? Would anyone normal drive a Hummer?!

In that vein, Bike Safe Boston put together a funny, gif-ified Guide to Vehicular Profiling. “If you know what to look for, you can stay streets ahead of these bozos,” Bike Safe writes. Here are a few of the telltale cars:

  • Zipcars. While you’d THINK “sustainability-minded non-driver,” Bike Safe says this translates into “Beware! Hasn’t logged a ton of hours driving alongside cyclists.”
  • Big Cadillacs (bonus: Florida plates). Look out for slow reflexes and bad vision, the guide says. Uh, kinda ageist, Bike Safe!
  • New Hampshire plates. Apparently you don’t have to get car insurance in New Hampy, which seems downright crazy. “Live Free or Die” now sounds like a threat.
  • PT Cruisers. “They’re basically boats, really ugly boats,” snarks Bike Safe. “Anyone who would elect to drive a car like this has no idea what they’re doing.” We have to agree.

Also making the list: taxis, UHauls, anything rusted, and huge pickups with out-of-state plates. OK, your turn, cyclists — what cars do YOU avoid on the road?


Filed under: Living
Categories: Environment

The madding cloud: When forecasting the future, scientists’ blind spot is above them

Grist.org - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 18:15

Chris Bretherton’s office on the seventh floor of the Atmospheric Sciences building at the University of Washington is like a scene from the Cloud City, only without the nonstop sunset. All that’s visible outside the plate-glass windows is an endless stream of cars filing across the I-5 bridge through the soup of Seattle’s infernal January fog.

I’ve come to talk to Bretherton, one of the nation’s leading experts on cloud science, because I’m hoping he can shed some light on a recent report, published in the journal Nature, that has generated some alarming headlines. The study used patterns of cloud formation in the tropics to project that we’ll likely see warming of more than 3 degrees Celsius by the end of the century — that’s 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit, a worst-case scenario in the scheme of broadly accepted future forecasts.

Here’s HuffPo: “Climate Change Worse Than We Thought, Likely To Be ‘Catastrophic Rather Than Simply Dangerous.’” The Washington Post‘s editorial board picked up on the study and proclaimed, only 30 years too late, that “to take no action [on climate change], on the hope that nothing too bad is in store, is to place a foolish bet with humanity’s future.”

The study’s lead author, Australian climate scientist Steven Sherwood, was happy to fan the flames: “This degree of warming would make large swaths of the tropics uninhabitable by humans and cause most forests at low and middle latitudes to change to something else,” he told National Geographic, adding that the changes would take us “back to the climate of the dinosaurs or worse, and in a geologically minuscule period of time — less than the lifetime of a single tree.”

According to the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, if we raise global temperatures between 2.6 and 4.8 degrees C — the likely result, scientists say, of “unmitigated” pollution — we will drive up the level of the seas 1.7 to 3.2 feet. A rise like that would swamp large sections of Miami and other cities, even before we throw massive hurricanes into the mix. And the IPCC’s projections are notoriously conservative.

But could a single study really change our thinking this dramatically? And beyond that, could a single variable in our unbelievably complex climate models — those puffy clouds the kids like to find animal shapes in — really have that much impact?

The answer to the latter question is, apparently, yes. In fact, a great deal of the uncertainty in climate models’ projections of future temperatures (and therefore just about everything else) derives from our limited ability to predict what warming will do to clouds — low-level clouds in particular.

“Clouds are a big lever in the climate,” Bretherton tells me. Because they’re light in color, they’re reflective, taking 10 to 20 percent of the sunlight that reaches the Earth and reflecting it back into space. “Just a 1 or 2 percent change in cloud cover is significant in terms of warming,” Bretherton says. “Remove all the clouds and the climate would warm big time — a lot more than doubling the CO2 in the atmosphere.”

Of course, Bretherton isn’t suggesting that climate change is going to obliterate all the clouds — and neither did the Nature study. Up to this point, climate models have posited two main scenarios when it comes to clouds: In the first, global warming melts away some of the planet’s protective cloud cover, creating a positive feedback loop that leads to 4 to 5 degrees C of warming over the next century. But in the second scenario, warming actually increases cloud cover — not enough to cancel out the effect of greenhouse gases, but not contributing to global warming, either.

The Nature study falls in line with the first scenario. Using 43 different computer models, the researchers concluded that, as temperatures climb, water vapor will circulate more extensively than previously anticipated between the different layers of the atmosphere. As a result, we’ll have fewer low-level clouds, and more of the Earth will be exposed to the sun’s rays. All this points toward “relatively severe warming.”

But cloud science is tricky business, Bretherton explains. For starters, many of the tropical thunderstorms that the Nature study speaks of are very small — on the order of 4 or 5 kilometers across. Climate models work on a grid 100 to 200 kilometers across. “It’s unrealistic to think that a model like that is going to accurately generate a thunderstorm,” Bretherton says — much less a world’s worth of thunderstorms 100 years hence.

The other problem with cloud science is a shortage of strong data. Scientists studying sea levels can look back in time via beaches that are thousands of years old. Researchers looking at atmospheric gases can draw samples from glacial ice cores. But the only cloud data pre-dating the arrival of weather satellites in the 1970s and ’80s came from shipboard observers. Surprisingly, sailors had a system for measuring cloud cover by “octas,” or eighths of the sky, but the measurements are clouded (ahem) by differences in the way countries and individuals used the system — and the contents of their canteens. (The phrase “drunk Russian sailors” comes up…) Even the space age data is sullied, Bretherton says, because satellites move around, different orbiters provide different angles on the same clouds, etc.

“We have spent an enormous amount of time trying to account for all the variation” in the satellite data, Bretherton says, “and we are just now beginning to see things we think are trends.” Specifically, scientists believe that there has been a slight decrease in the cloud cover over the tropics, with a slight increase over higher latitudes. But that is still controversial.

In the meantime, Bretherton says, scientists are left to seek out patterns in the current climate that fit one of the two main climate model scenarios — “signals” that suggest that clouds will or will not be a significant contributor to warming. “We see the model that best fits the current conditions and say, ‘This is the best model,’” he says.

The Nature paper found current conditions that appear to match the worst-case scenario, but that doesn’t mean that the debate is settled. “It’s fundamentally still a correlation-equals-causation argument,” Bretherton says. “Sherwood has a plausible explanation, but for me, it’s not convincing.”

The Nature study isn’t alone in pointing to a worst-case future, however. A recent paper out of UCLA also suggests that clouds will contribute significantly to warming, albeit via a different mechanism than Sherwood suggests. But it may be decades before the matter is settled.

In the meantime, Bretherton says, we’re essentially “flying blind.” We don’t have all the information we need to make pinpoint predictions of what the Earth’s climate will do in the years to come. But as the Washington Post editors so belatedly pointed out, we need to act now, or potentially face an even worse fate.

But here’s where the WaPo editors got it wrong: Looking at the range of IPCC projections, they described the span between best- and worst-case scenarios as “the difference between relatively small effects and significant consequences for human welfare.” But there’s nothing even “relatively small” about the effects of the IPCC’s blue-sky forecast, which calls for warming of “only” 1.5 degrees C. Even that could be devastating ecologically, economically, and otherwise.

As Bretherton says, the debate boils down to whether climate change is “a terrible problem or a really, really terrible problem.” Either way, it’s time to get our heads out of the clouds.


Filed under: Article, Cities, Climate & Energy
Categories: Environment

The hacker collective Anonymous is punishing people for dolphin deaths

Grist.org - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 17:42

In Japan’s Wakayama Prefecture, in the city of Taiji, fishermen go out to sea once a year, drive dolphins into the city’s cove, and either capture them for sale or slaughter them for their meat. (Some are released.) Lots of people are not down with this activity — including, it seems, members of the loose hacking collective Anonymous. And Anonymous is fixing to do something about it.

Earlier this week, Anonymous briefly shut down Wakayama Prefecture’s website — to send a message, the group said, that the dolphin killing should stop. And, if it doesn’t, well, the group said this was just a warning:

We are allowing the Taiji Prefecture Website to breath again! That was another Warning Japan! Expect us February 9th #OpKillingBay

— Anonymous Priest (@YourAnonPriest) January 21, 2014

What can a group of hackers do — upgrade the dolphins’ hardware so they can fight back? Actually, uh, maybe.


Filed under: Living
Categories: Environment

Enviros step up fight over oil shale mine in Utah

Grist.org - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 17:26
zeesstofThe mining is planned for Utah’s Book Cliffs.

Environmentalists are, unsurprisingly, not happy about a scheme to strip-mine parts of the Utah desert and toast them at 725 degrees for months on end to get at oil shale deposits.

Oil shale doesn’t actually contain oil, but it can be processed into synthetic oil via an elaborate and expensive process. This Utah project would be the first oil shale mine in the U.S.

Environmental groups are ratcheting up their fight against the plans. Here are the details from a press release put out Wednesday by the Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Trust, and three other groups:

Oil shale strip mining atop Utah’s Book Cliffs is being challenged by conservation groups. The challenge is a “request for agency action” filed Tuesday, over the ground water discharge permit approved by the Utah Department of Water Quality. The permit, which authorizes Red Leaf Resources to test an oil shale mining facility, lacks measures to prevent or detect surface or groundwater pollution, in violation of state law. …

“The scheme used by Red Leaf Resources is basically the same as it was for failed ventures a century ago: mine it, crush it, sort it, put it in an oven, heat it, gather the liquid into a sump, hope that it doesn’t burn the facility down, and get it to a refinery before it congeals,” said John Weisheit, conservation director with Living Rivers.

Red Leaf Resources is dismissing the environmentalists as carbon haters. Deseret News reports:

Jeff Hartley, Red Leaf’s spokesman, said the objection by the environmental groups is less about water and more about energy philosophy.

“My response to criticism of oil shale is that either you hate carbon-based energies or you don’t. And if you hate carbon-based energy sources, you will never like oil shale,” he said. “And if you realize that oil, gas and coal are part of our energy portfolio, you have to embrace oil shale, that it will be successful, and that is what Red Leaf will prove out.” …

Hartley said the goal is for Red Leaf to be producing 300,000 barrels of oil by the end of 2015 — representing the world’s first commercial production of oil shale in decades.

No, Mr. Hartley, to “realize” that gas and oil are currently a part of our energy portfolio most certainly does not mean that one has to “embrace oil shale.” That’s some bullshit logic.


Filed under: Business & Technology, Climate & Energy
Categories: Environment

Cavitation Technologies, Inc. Granted Another U.S. Patent

PR Web - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 16:48

Cavitation Technologies, Inc. announced today that the Company's U.S. Patent Application, entitled ‘High-Throughput Cavitation And Electrocoagulation Apparatus’ was allowed by the United States...

(PRWeb January 23, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11512723.htm

Categories: Environment

Seventy Regional Partners Assemble at GreenSchoolsConnect to Advance...

PR Web - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 16:48

GreenSchoolsConnect (GSC), powered by Earth Force, is coming to Minnesota linking regional networks of school district teams with sustainability leaders and practitioners from corporate, higher...

(PRWeb January 23, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11512356.htm

Categories: Environment

EnerG2 Announces Major Breakthrough in Lithium-Ion Battery Capacity...

PR Web - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 16:48

Commercially Scalable, Viable and Cost-Effective Solution Blends Carbon and Silicon to Replace Commonly Used Graphite Materials and Dramatically Extend the Range of Electric Vehicles

(PRWeb January 23, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11514478.htm

Categories: Environment

BCC Research Publishes a New Report On Global Microbiology Equipment...

PR Web - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 16:48

This report is intended for professionals who work in fields that employ microbiology operations as a part of revenue-generating operations. This would include scientific staff, quality control...

(PRWeb January 23, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11515853.htm

Categories: Environment

The 10 Most Important Words and Phrases For Italy Train Travel

PR Web - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 16:48

ItaliaRail offers up the best in basic Italian phrases to help you with your 2014 Italy train travel experience.

(PRWeb January 23, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11497811.htm

Categories: Environment

TerraGo Unveils New Version of Geospatial Collaboration Software

PR Web - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 16:48

TerraGo webinar to demonstrate latest version of its industry-leading field data collection and collaboration software, which empowers Esri ArcGIS users to share interactive, portable GeoPDF®...

(PRWeb January 23, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11512345.htm

Categories: Environment

Achievements of 2013 Position Scaled Agile, Inc. for Sustained Growth...

PR Web - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 16:48

Major Milestones Include 300 Percent Growth, Move to New Corporate Headquarters, and Global Expansion of Partner Network

(PRWeb January 23, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11512595.htm

Categories: Environment

Baby Chicks Taking a Peep Photo Wins USDA Contest

PR Web - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 16:48

A flock of fluffy baby chicks peeping out a window won the USDA sponsored Cutest Bird Photo Contest for December 2013. Amy Long of Lenoir City, TN, submitted the winning image.

(PRWeb January 23, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11513363.htm

Categories: Environment

Baby Chicks Featured as December 2013’s USDA Photo Contest Winners

PR Web - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 16:48

A flock of chicks peeping out a window and a mother hen snuggling with her baby are the winners in the USDA’s Cutest Bird Photo Contest for December 2013. Shelly Pringle of Chesapeake, VA and Amy...

(PRWeb January 23, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11513659.htm

Categories: Environment

2014 Edition Now Shipping: AHA Hospital Statistics®

PR Web - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 16:48

The 2014 edition of AHA Hospital Statistics® began shipping on January 22, 2014.

(PRWeb January 23, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/HospitalStatistics/prweb11514353.htm

Categories: Environment

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