Environment

Tired of the climate change guilt? Blame this lil’ guy instead

Grist.org - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 23:23

I know, I know, it’s hard knowing that we’ve messed with the climate so radically that we may send most of the Earth’s ecosystems into a tailspin. Well, anthropogenic guilt complex, meet your new best friend: rodentogenic climate change.

It turns out that a few tiny mammals may play an outsized part in the ongoing climate ruckus, so much so that scientists may have to revise models to account for them. Here are a few scape-rodents to point a finger at next time you feel particularly conscience-plagued:

Arctic ground squirrels: Adorable, yes, but a new study out of Siberia finds that they’re digging up the warming arctic tundra, hastening the release of sequestered carbon dioxide in the process. The study also found that when arctic rodents do their business, they fertilize the soil, causing the permafrost to melt even faster.

As researcher Nigel Golden explained to the BBC: “They break down the soil when they are digging their burrows, they mix the top layer with the bottom layer, they are bringing oxygen to the soil, and they are fertilizing the soil with their urine and their feces.”

Since the Arctic tundra hold something like 1.6 trillion tons of locked-up carbon — twice what the atmosphere holds — this is not good news for the rest of us.

Shutterstock

Beavers: We used to be able to count on beavers to make us look bad by sequestering carbon in all those dams. BUT NOW, according to new research, it seems that beavers are actually contributing to climate change, thanks to a buttload of methane emissions — 880,000 tons each year, worldwide, to be precise.

Technically, this methane comes from the shallow standing water in beaver-dammed ponds, but we won’t correct you if you decide beaver farts make for a better story. Beaver populations have recovered so much from the high-hatted fur-trapping heyday that now the creatures are responsible for 200 times more methane than they were 100 years ago. NOW WHO’S THE NO-GOOD SLACKER, BEAVERS?!

Shutterstock

Marmots: We already knew that marmots love climate change. They must be in on this somehow.

So take a load off — for starters, the 1.0912882 × 1010 tons of CO2 humans emitted in 2013 — and leave it to beavers to ruin the whole dam planet.


Filed under: Climate & Energy, Living
Categories: Environment

Oxford City Football Club, Inc. (OTCQB:OXFC) Confirms That They Have...

PR Web - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 22:55

Looking to tap into the Hispanic community, a new ownership group takes the helm in Beaumont, Texas making it the first minority and female owned professional team in the MASL.

(PRWeb December 18, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/12/prweb12405528.htm

Categories: Environment

Temperature Sensors and Switches: Shifts in Global Economics will Roil...

PR Web - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 22:55

The plunge in oil prices and the subsequent collapse of new project starts for oil & gas will greatly affect the outlook for temperature instrumentation manufacturers.

(PRWeb December 18, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/12/prweb12402838.htm

Categories: Environment

The Lodge at Woodloch Encourages Guests to Find Their Fitness in 2015

PR Web - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 22:55

A Fitness Routine Requires Commitment and Dedication- Find a Fitness Routine Soul Mate by Exploring New Classes by Guest Fitness Experts Offered This January at Award-Winning Destination Spa, The...

(PRWeb December 18, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/12/prweb12406117.htm

Categories: Environment

Montclair State Professor's Research Concludes That Birds Lost...

PR Web - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 22:55

Robert Meredith, an assistant professor of biology and molecular biology at Montclair State University, is a lead author of “Evidence for Tooth Loss and the Acquisition of a Horny Beak in the Common...

(PRWeb December 18, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/12/prweb12406391.htm

Categories: Environment

Walking is so hard insurance companies will pay us to do it now

Grist.org - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 20:58

I regret to inform you that the day has come in which health insurance companies are paying people to walk. Paying. People. To. Walk. Arrrggggggghhhhhh, my head is exploding.

Co.Exist has the story:

Oscar Insurance, a New York-based startup, now sends members a free Misfit wristband to track their steps, and whenever someone reaches a daily goal for a certain number of steps, the company pays them.

“We were fascinated with the U.S. Surgeon General’s recommendation that if you walk around 10,000 steps a day, you will have a real impact on almost all the top killers in the U.S., like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure,” says Mario Schlosser, co-founder of Oscar Insurance. “If you just get a bit more physically active, you can avoid those conditions getting worse, or make them better.”

Members of the insurance plan download an app, and then get a wristband in the mail that automatically syncs up as soon as someone puts it on. Each day, someone can earn a dollar for reaching their goal, and at the end of the month, Oscar Insurance sends them a $20 Amazon gift card.

By some estimates, 10,000 steps is close to five miles. Oscar Insurance starts most walkers off with a 2,000 step per day goal, or about one mile of walking. After monitoring their activity, they gradually bump up step goals from there. Walkers who don’t reach their goals don’t get paid.

The company’s motives are undeniably noble and smart (lower blood pressure, for the win!) — it’s just that taking a carrot-and-stick approach with cash or an Amazon gift card to get people off the couch is kind of the saddest. But hey, if it works, it works.

In the meantime, for all those walkers out there who want to spice up their routines (and up their chances of winning more loot) there’s always high-cardio Prancercise or the tantalizing world of competitive race walking. Lace up dem sneaks, folks!


Filed under: Business & Technology, Living
Categories: Environment

Inmar Holiday Shopping Survey Shows Increase in Spending Influenced by...

PR Web - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 19:55

Coupon Promotions, Optimistic Consumer Outlook Fueling Purchase Activity

(PRWeb December 18, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/12/prweb12405264.htm

Categories: Environment

FiltersFast.com Honors National Complimentary Shipping Day

PR Web - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 19:55

For the first time ever, FiltersFast.com is offering no-cost shipping on all orders over $40 in honor of National Free Shipping Day. This promotion is valid today only, December 18, 2014 and applies...

(PRWeb December 18, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/nationalfreeshippindday/12/prweb12405322.htm

Categories: Environment

Federal Government Response to Call to Action an Important First Step...

PR Web - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 19:55

The Government of Canada has announced that it will set up an advisory committee made up of members from the four Atlantic Provinces, Quebec and First Nations to address the serious decline in wild...

(PRWeb December 18, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/12/prweb12405425.htm

Categories: Environment

International District Energy Association’s 6th Cooling Conference in...

PR Web - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 19:55

Eight leading regional companies recognized for collectively avoiding 1,500,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

(PRWeb December 18, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/12/prweb12405598.htm

Categories: Environment

2015 Water Ski Hall of Fame Award of Distinction Recipients Announced

PR Web - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 19:55

2015 Water Ski Hall of Fame Award of Distinction Recipients Hal Hamilton, Frank Harrison, Michael Morgan, Chet Raley and Gary Warren will be honored at the Water Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on...

(PRWeb December 18, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014WaterSkiHallOfFame/AwardOfDistinction/prweb12405685.htm

Categories: Environment

Hope Foods Debuts Rebrand; Introduces Vibrant New Packaging

PR Web - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 19:55

Hope Foods, the maker of the ever-popular organic Hope Hummus line, is debuting a new look for its lines of premium, organic dips and spreads. Hope's eye-catching new packaging corresponds with...

(PRWeb December 18, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/12/prweb12403706.htm

Categories: Environment

Sullivan Solar Power: First and Only Professionally Accredited Solar...

PR Web - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 19:55

Local firm Recognized as One of Four Accredited Solar Installation Companies in the Nation

(PRWeb December 18, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/12/prweb12405740.htm

Categories: Environment

How to make latkes for Hanukkah, the most energy-efficient holiday of all

Grist.org - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 19:51

Hanukkah is my favorite holiday because it revolves (get it? Like a dreidel!) around two of my most beloved things: controlled fires and fried food.

Some would argue that it’s hard to have said controlled fires — in kitchens, combustible engines, and biblical temples alike — without vast quantities of oil and natural gas. Not necessarily! Today, Americans are using less oil per dollar of GDP than they have in 40 years.

In the video above, we explain how the story of Hanukkah can be an analogy for a new age of energy efficiency — and how to celebrate that by frying up some seasonal vegetables!

We made three kinds of latkes: traditional (potato), beet, and apple. All latkes are made essentially the same way, so the only real difference between each recipe is the ingredients.

Traditional (potato) latkes:
2 russet potatoes
1 medium onion
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1-1½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten to blend

Beet latkes:
Recipe courtesy of Bon Appetit
4 medium beets (enough to yield 4 cups shredded beets)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large eggs, beaten to blend

Apple latkes:
Recipe slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 pound Granny Smith apples (or similar)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (recipe originally calls for half of this, but we thought these weren’t sweet enough)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, beaten to blend

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Peel your vegetable of choice and shred. I used the grating attachment of a food processor, because I’m lazy efficient. You can also use a box grater. (Special note: For traditional latkes, I pulse the shredded potatoes and onions in the food processor a couple times so the consistency is a bit more mealy.
  2. Drain liquid from shredded vegetables. I do this by tossing them a few times in a colander, and then laying them out on paper towels if I’m feeling particularly ambitious.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine shredded vegetables with remaining ingredients — a combination of flour, salt, pepper, spices, and eggs. (See ingredients list for exact measurements, but feel free to experiment to your liking.) Stir to mix. All ingredients should cling together, but not be too wet. (Special note: For apple latkes, lemon juice should be added before all other ingredients, and we let the shredded apple marinate in the lemon juice for a few minutes.)
  4. Cover the bottom of a heavy pan (cast-iron is ideal) with roughly ¼ inch of vegetable oil, and place over medium-high heat. You want the oil to be hot enough that water splatters, but not so hot that the oil is smoking.
  5. Add latke batter by spoonfuls — you don’t want them to be too large or too thick, so I always pat them down a bit in the pan. Fry until browned and crispy on each side, and remove to drain excess oil on paper bags (which absorb oil better than paper towels!).
  6. If you don’t eat them immediately, you’re stronger than I am, but latkes can be kept warm in the oven and also freeze excellently.

Filed under: Climate & Energy, Food, Living
Categories: Environment

Washington governor proposes big, bold climate plan

Grist.org - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 17:42

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) really wants his state to do something about climate change, but his legislature hasn’t been cooperative. So now he’s got an ambitious new climate proposal, and he hopes lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will give it a chance.

On Wednesday, Inslee proposed the Carbon Pollution Accountability Act, a cap-and-trade program for the state’s biggest polluters, which he estimates would raise about $1 billion a year. The proceeds would go into the state budget, helping to fund a major transportation initiative and education programs. “We can clean our air and our water at the same time we’re fixing our roads and bridges,” Inslee said at a press conference. “It’s a charge on pollution rather than people.” The governor’s proposal would also help the state meet the requirements of a 2008 law that mandates a 25 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2035, and further cuts after that.

A policy brief from the governor’s office explains the bill’s basics:

Through this act, Washington will set an annual limit on the total amount of carbon pollution that emitters may release into the air. Major polluters will need to purchase “allowances” for the pollution they emit. Each year, the number of available allowances will decline to ensure emissions are gradually reduced. This provides emitters the time to adjust and make a choice about how to manage their business. They can either invest in cleaner technology and improve their operation efficiency or simply pay for allowances whose cost will grow over time.

The act, according to the governor’s plan, would go into effect in 2016 and would only cover “sources that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases per year” — of which there are about 130 in Washington state, including a coal-fired power plant, oil refineries, pulp and paper plants, and fuel distributors. Together they account for about 85 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

And where would all that money from allowances go? The governor already has suggestions: $400 million would pay for repairing and greening transportation infrastructure. $380 million would go to public schools. And about $163.5 million would go to help poor families and energy-intensive industries adapt to cost increases that would come with the new program. $3.5 million would help administer the program.

There are other elements to the governor’s new climate plan too. From the Associated Press:

Inslee said he asked state regulators to draft a low-carbon fuel standard similar to California’s first-in-the-nation mandate. Inslee said he wants to hear from lawmakers and others before beginning a formal process on a rule that would require cleaner fuels over time.

Inslee also proposed extending a break on sales tax for the first $60,000 on the cost of an electric vehicle, creating a $60 million fund to support clean-energy research and improving state incentives for solar energy.

Inslee has a long history as an environmentalist and climate hawk. He campaigned for governor in 2012 promising to boost clean energy in Washington. However, after winning the governorship, his green ambitions have been repeatedly foiled by the Republican majority (created by two Democrats who caucus with Republicans) in his state’s Senate. Now, after the 2014 elections, Inslee’s climate battle will be even more uphill: The Republican Senate majority only increased in November, while the Democratic majority in the state’s House of Representatives decreased, despite big money spent in the state by Tom Steyer and other green donors to try to turn the legislature Democratic.

Inslee hopes his new cap-and-trade proposal will draw bipartisan support because of the revenue it will bring in for good causes during a time when the state is facing a budget gap of about $2 billion. And Inslee’s allies in the environmental community (like Steyer, for better or worse) are already on board. Alan Durning, executive director of the Sightline Institute, a Seattle-based sustainability think tank, told The Seattle Times that Inslee’s plan would be “the most comprehensive and probably the most progressive carbon-pollution regulation system anywhere in the world.”

Becky Kelley of the Washington Environmental Council noted that the plan would also be a positive step forward for the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, a.k.a. the Pacific Coast Collaborative. California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia all signed a pact to work together on climate issues in October 2013. Among other economy-greening items, the pact called for the states and province to set a consistent price on carbon; California and British Columbia already have carbon pricing in place, and Inslee has been struggling to catch his state up. The act would be a big step in the right direction.

But many of Inslee’s statehouse adversaries aren’t enthusiastic. “An energy tax is really a tax on mobility and a tax on freedom,” declared Sen. Doug Ericksen (R), who chairs the Senate’s energy committee. Industry groups and conservative think tanks echoed that sentiment. “There’s lots of things we can do going forward. But the big rub going forward is if the governor insists on a big energy tax. That’s going to be a hard one.” Ericksen said he intends to hold hearings on the bill and consider counter-proposals. There will be a fight, and it’s optimistic to hope that the governor’s plan will make it through intact.

But Inslee has that optimism. “Unfortunately, from years past, people have looked at [climate] through ideological lenses,” he said. “Fortunately, that day is past.”

We’ll see.


Filed under: Climate & Energy, Politics
Categories: Environment

Racer Boxes Now Provides Cartons Made By High Precision Machinery

PR Web - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 16:55

Renowned printing and box manufacturing company in Vancouver now provides boxes made by high precision machinery. More information is available at...

(PRWeb December 18, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/12/prweb12398300.htm

Categories: Environment

The Chrysler Foundation Awards $25,000 Grant to the SAE Foundation...

PR Web - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 16:55

The Chrysler Foundation has awarded $25,000 to the SAE Foundation Canada in support of its efforts to advance math and science education through the award winning A World In Motion® program,...

(PRWeb December 18, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/12/prweb12403790.htm

Categories: Environment

New Update to SAE International Digital Library Allows Easier Search,...

PR Web - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 16:55

SAE International announces a new update to its Digital Library platform. The new update includes an all-new interface that provides easier use on almost any screen or device.

(PRWeb December 18, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/12/prweb12403865.htm

Categories: Environment

Larson Electronics Releases a 14 Foot Telescoping Light Mast with...

PR Web - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 16:55

Industrial lighting equipment leader Larson Electronics has announced the release of a fourteen foot telescoping light mast with 360° rotating capabilities. The LM-14-8-FM-500LB is a telescoping...

(PRWeb December 18, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/larsonelectronics/telescopinglightmasts/prweb12404441.htm

Categories: Environment

National Storm Damage Center Creates Strategic Partnership with Pride...

PR Web - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 16:55

Collaboration provides consumers with the most critical resources, tools and ongoing education about storm-damage loss and insurance ramifications never previously available to homeowners.

(PRWeb December 18, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/12/prweb12404580.htm

Categories: Environment

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