Feed aggregator

“Years of Living Dangerously”, “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"...

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:20

Climate scientists, high-profile television, film and theatrical works, films, and ethical business honored with Pongo Environmental Award at Orang Utan Republik Foundation's Annual Fundraiser.

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/PongoAwards/prweb12257152.htm

Categories: Environment

Alltite Creates Sparkless Pump to Prevent Well Fires

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:20

Alltite (http://www.alltite.com), created a new solution for the bolting industry by launching the first hydraulic over hydraulic pump.

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/10/prweb12266158.htm

Categories: Environment

Best Cheap Hosting USA Has Recently Announced The Best Cheap Web...

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:20

Best Cheap Hosting USA is among the most distinguished review websites in the world. The site has recently announced that iPower is the best cheap web hosting supplier for people from around the...

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/10/prweb12268417.htm

Categories: Environment

Southern Oregon Is West’s Most Drought Proof Fresh Water Region Say...

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:20

Art Bernstein and Zach Urness, authors of “Hiking Southern Oregon,” Discuss the California Drought and High Cascades Aquifer with Bio Logic Aqua Research Founder and Water Advocate Sharon Kleyne.

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/10/prweb12268463.htm

Categories: Environment

Vinyl Institute to Work with U.S. Green Building Council to Advance...

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:20

VI invited to serve on newly constituted Working Group that will look at how materials and resources are part of LEED v4.

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/10/prweb12258982.htm

Categories: Environment

Expats Enjoy Healthy, Low-Cost Living in Chiriquí—Panama’s...

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:20

Farmers markets, verdant soil, running rivers, rolling hills—Panama’s Chiriquí Province invites expats to enjoy a healthy lifestyle from $1,000 a month – InternationalLiving.com reports.

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/10/prweb12260876.htm

Categories: Environment

Animal Defenders of Westchester Endorses Rob Astorino for Governor

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:20

Westchester Activists say he is NYS's best choice for leadership.

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/10/prweb12265950.htm

Categories: Environment

CLEARLINK ranked thirty-ninth for outstanding growth by Mountain West...

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:20

Award recipient for 8th consecutive year

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/10/prweb12267440.htm

Categories: Environment

Winston Containers Reusable Packaging Solutions Launches New Website,...

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:20

The Tampa, Florida-based company, Winston Containers, recently launched a new website that is dedicated to customer service and finding packing solutions for any organization

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/Winston-Containers/reusable-packaging/prweb12268543.htm

Categories: Environment

These teens are taking their climate lawsuit all the way to the Supreme Court

Grist.org - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:00

Those feisty, litigious climate-hawk kids just won’t go away. Back in 2011, we wrote about a group of witty whippersnappers that filed a lawsuit against the federal government. The premise: The government must take action to protect the atmosphere for future generations.

On Oct. 3, those same five teenagers, represented by Oregon-based nonprofit Our Children’s Trust, filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking for a legal lifeline to keep the case alive.

Let’s be clear: The petition is a crazy longshot. The Supreme Court grants about one percent of such petitions, leaving the decisions of lower courts to stand without review in the other 99 percent of cases. And in this case, the lower court ruled against the teens: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found in June of this year that there is no “federal constitutional foundation” for the suit — protecting natural resources is a matter of state law.

So, even while trying to push its federal case to the Supreme Court, Our Children’s Trust is also now pursuing similar legal action in every state of the union. And the basic idea behind the kids’ lawsuits — that the government must protect the atmosphere as it would other natural and cultural resources — has the potential to change how we think about ownership of nature and the climate crisis. Ecological economist Bob Costanza even coined a catchy name for it: “claim the sky.”

—–

This all officially kicked off on May 4, 2011, when the youth-and-lawyer team sued the government for not looking after our atmosphere, employing a well-established legal principle called the public trust doctrine. Public trust law — the idea that governments must safeguard certain critical natural systems from significant harm, such that we and our descendents can continue to benefit from them — dates back to ancient Roman civil law and can be traced through the Magna Carta to today’s federally managed forests, parks, and waterways. Applying the principle to the climate, however, is a relatively new experiment, called atmospheric trust litigation.

When Our Children’s Trust first filed its federal suit, the plaintiffs were hopeful that the court might heed their request for immediate action to tackle an impending crisis that worsens with each day of inaction. Three litigious years later, the tortuous legal process has not obliged. But the plaintiffs believe previous rulings to throw out the case were erroneous; now they’re hoping for some justice from the highest court in the land.

Yet even if the justices do choose to take this case and rule that the federal government does in fact have to protect nature as a public trust, the litigation still won’t be resolved. The case would then return to the lower U.S. Court of Appeals to determine whether the atmosphere is included in that responsibility.

These kids may be bigger underdogs than native species in a changing climate or local booksellers in the age of Amazon, but don’t despair. The campaign to claim the sky is just getting started.

—–

Our Children’s Trust has actually had some limited success in its state-level lawsuit in Oregon. An Oregon trial court initially tossed the suit out, but in June, the state’s Court of Appeals reversed that ruling, declaring that the trial court has to consider the case on its merits and determine whether safeguarding the climate is part of the state’s public trust obligation. The kids in the federal case can only hope that SCOTUS sees it like the Oregon judges. This case got some national publicity last month when one of the plaintiffs — an 18-year-old walking across the country as part of the Great March for Climate Action — appeared on Bill Moyer’s TV show.

In another state case brought by youth, a Texas judge found back in 2012 that the atmosphere and air are public trusts, but still hasn’t made the state’s environmental agency write new rules to defend these resources.

Andrea Rodgers, an attorney working on atmospheric trust litigation in Washington state, says progress is slow not only because the legal process is so convoluted. So far, judges don’t want to be the ones who decide how (or even if) a state must address climate change.

“Most of the courts … have ruled that the judiciary doesn’t have a role in the climate change debate,” she says. “They’ve ruled that it’s a political question.”

Rodgers adds, “Judges are very leery to step in and make sure that the state legislatures are fulfilling their responsibility.”

—–

So, since we don’t have much time to dawdle when it comes to reducing emissions, it’s fair to ask: Is this drawn-out atmospheric trust thing even useful? A number of legal scholars and climate strategists think so.

Underneath all the legal muck, there’s a new framework for thinking about climate change. We all own the atmosphere, so stop treating it like a waste dump, dammit!

Costanza, a professor at the Australian National University, recently wrote that the “claim the sky” slogan represents more than just using the legal system. “Claim the sky” has the potential to become a rallying cry for climate advocacy, a new way for the public to pressure lawmakers. Sure, the courtroom battles are important, Costanza told me, “but you also need the civil society movement and activity like the climate march just to keep things moving. And you need the government involvement.”

Author-activist Naomi Klein, whose new book is all the rage in climate circles, recognizes the power in mass movements, even when it comes to affecting the judiciary. She contends that “the courts, too — however much they may claim to be above such influences — are inevitably shaped by the values of the societies in which they function.”

Rodgers points to the movements for civil rights and gay marriage as evidence that what the citizens deem to be just and unjust can shape how judges apply the law. And framing the legal question of who should be held accountable for fixing the climate around future generations — that is, the children — could just be the spark that the climate movement needs.

“In a way this is our next civil rights movement,” she says. “These are kids whose right to a healthy and livable future are being denied.”

And the legal action could go beyond suing governments to demand they implement climate recovery plans. The litigation plan described by legal scholar Mary Wood, who quite literally wrote the book (reviewed here) on protecting the environment through public trust law, also involves suing the heck out of fossil fuel companies. As Wood explains, “Corporations that pollute the ocean through accidental spills, for example, are held accountable for natural resource damages. The same principle can extend to the atmosphere.”

Some law aficionados got excited about climate change–related suits last year when a study published in the journal Climatic Change found that just 90 companies are responsible for two-thirds of human-caused emissions. But Grist’s own Ben Adler served up some real talk about the limits of such a strategy in the United States: Legal experts say citizens can’t sue companies over their greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. federal court, and even if they could, proving that one company’s emissions caused some particular harm would be impossible.

Yet law experts Andrew Gage and Michael Byers are hopeful that the tide might soon turn. They recently published a piece called “Why climate litigation could soon go global” in The Globe and Mail:

So far, the fossil fuel industry has successfully opposed litigation for climate damages, brought in the United States by victims of hurricanes and sea level rise. But new areas of litigation often fail at first; in the 1980s, tobacco companies were still boasting that they “have never lost a case to a consumer, have never settled, and do not expect that picture to change.” As the tobacco industry learned, changes to the interpretation and application of laws sometimes occur quite rapidly.

Granted, Gage and Byers are talking about holding the fossil fuel industry accountable, not governments. But, as climate chaos draws closer, atmospheric trust litigation could serve as added legal pressure to hold some entity accountable for climate change.

“There’s no silver bullet, but I think there’s a silver shotgun,” says Costanza. We’d prefer a less violent analogy, but “claim the sky” is certainly a handy shell for holding together our climate-action ammunition.

As Maya Angelou once wrote, “A free bird … dares to claim the sky.”


Filed under: Climate & Energy, Politics
Categories: Environment

Craft brewers join the fight against natural gas pipelines

Grist.org - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 11:02

On a recent afternoon, visitors packed into Blue Mountain Brewery, one of three craft breweries in Virginia’s idyllic Rockfish Valley. Couples and families spilled out of the restaurant onto patios and into gardens, sipping Full Nelson Pale Ale, Kölsch 151, Original Nitro Porter, and more.

Above them, the low-hanging clouds that obscured Afton Mountain’s upper ridges couldn’t mute the bright reds, oranges, and yellows exploding on its slopes. The brewery is just four miles below Rockfish Gap — the mountain pass that marks the southern entrance of Shenandoah National Park, the passage of the Appalachian Trail, and the point where Skyline Drive becomes the Blue Ridge Parkway.

But there’s a storm brewing in this autumnal paradise, as evidenced by a sign in front of the brewery that’s become quite common in the Blue Ridge Mountains of late: “No pipeline.”

Blue Mountain Brewery is part of a Nelson County activist group opposing construction of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a proposed 550-mile transmission line to move natural gas extracted from the Marcellus shale formation from Harrison County, W.Va., through Virginia, and into North Carolina, with an additional spur running east to Virginia’s Hampton Roads.

Blue Mountain joins others in the craft beer sector nationwide that are speaking out for their most important ingredient: clean water. The Natural Resources Defense Council’s “Brewers for Clean Water” campaign has lined up 60 breweries, including craft beer heavyweights like Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and New Belgium Brewing Co., to support and lobby on water quality issues.

“Great breweries grow up around good water sources,” says Taylor Smack, Blue Mountain’s co-owner and head brewer. “Trace minerals in the water affect the chemistry of the mash, the flavor of the beer, how hops are received, the softness and roundness of the beer. We develop our beers around the water source.”

Many breweries are reluctant to get involved in politics for risk of alienating customers, however. That’s the case not just with the NRDC’s campaign, but also with the coastal pipeline proposal that’s won the endorsement of a host of localities and three state governors.

Tom Daly

Taylor Smack and his wife, Mandi, founded Blue Mountain Brewery in Rockfish Valley in 2007, after stints interning in Charlottesville, attending brewing school in Chicago, and managing Goose Island’s brewpubs. Five years later, they opened an additional production facility just down the road. They expect to brew about 10,000 barrels of beer this year.

The story is a familiar one in the brewing world. Craft brewers have staked a growing claim of volume in the industry, from 4.4 percent in 2009 to 7.8 percent in 2013, according to the Brewers Association.

There are now more than 60 craft breweries in the Virgina alone, and there are more on the way. Just this month, San Diego’s Stone Brewing Company announced it would build an East Coast facility in Richmond, and the same city’s Green Flash Brewing Company broke ground on a facility in Virginia Beach.

Now, Smack worries that all this growth could be compromised, thanks to a natural gas drilling boom and construction of interstate pipelines to move it to East Coast population centers.

Smack lays out some of the concerns: “It’s a 42-inch pipeline, which is huge, pressurized to 1,000 PSI,” Smack says. “From a guy that deals with pressure on a daily basis, that’s scary. It runs over sinkholes, over fault lines — we’ve had three earthquakes since we’ve been here.”

He’s also upset with the potential for use of eminent domain to force the line through private property against the wishes of landowners. He’s worried that visitors will be put off by damage to the surrounding mountain views.

“I understand they’re going to blaze a mohawk, 75 feet wide, right through our viewshed,” Smack says.

A pipeline route in New York stateAri Moore

But the politics get complicated.

For example, a recent proposal from the Environmental Protection agency has split the industry. The Waters of the United States rule would clarify the Clean Water Act to give the agency regulatory authority over an additional 2 million miles of stream and 20 million acres of wetlands. The Brewers for Clean Water alliance, and many independent brewers, support the proposal. But the Hill reported in September that farmers who grow their ingredients oppose it.

If there’s division within the industry over the new water rule, there’s near silence when it comes to the question of natural gas.

The Atlantic Coast pipeline proposal, put forward by four energy companies who operate in different territories along the route, is part of a larger effort to develop East Coast infrastructure to move gas out of the Marcellus shale field. Hydraulic fracturing technology, or fracking, has opened the geological feature to mining, growing production from 2 billion cubic feet per day in 2010 to roughly 15 billion cubic feet per day today, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. It now accounts for roughly 40 percent of U.S. shale gas production.

“The gas is there. What’s not there are pipelines to get it from where it is to where it’s needed,” says Jim Norvelle, communications director for Dominion, one of the four Atlantic Coast pipeline partners.

Norvelle dismissed Smack’s concerns about the pipeline’s potential impact on water quality. Crossing running water, he says, “is the most regulated activity that we will have to do on the pipeline. We will have federal, state, and local regulators involved every time we want to cross a river or stream or anytime we come anywhere near a well. It’s not done haphazardly; it is done under great regulatory scrutiny.”

A second pipeline through Virginia, called the Mountain Valley Pipeline, has been proposed by a different set of partners for a more southwestern route that also would transport natural gas to North Carolina. It too has met opposition from local residents.

The pipeline proposals come at a time when EPA regulations on mercury and greenhouse gas emissions are pushing power companies away from coal-burning plants to those that run on natural gas. Dominion Virginia Power, for example, is shuttering two Virginia plants powered by coal, “so we’ve got to find the megawatts to take their place,” Norvelle says.

The so-called “War on Coal” still drives votes in the Appalachian coalfields of southwest Virginia and West Virginia, but the market has dictated the shift to natural gas as much as EPA regulations. Although the debate over fracking continues, natural gas burns cleaner than coal, making it a viable “bridge fuel” to a renewable future in the eyes of many — including President Obama and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

The specter of mountaintop removal in Appalachia, paired with a series of oil train derailments across the country, has only boosted natural gas’ reputation as the best of all viable alternatives at the moment.

Friends of Nelson County

So while Blue Mountain Brewery is allying itself with anti-pipeline activists, its larger, higher profile neighbor, Devil’s Backbone Brewing Co., has remained on the sidelines.

Devil’s Backbone currently brews about four times as much beer as Blue Mountain. And with a developing reputation as the darling of the Great American Beer Festival every year since 2009 — the brewery won five medals this year, including Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year and a gold for German-style Schwarzbier — it’s set to ramp up production even more.

Devil’s Backbone founder and CEO Steve Crandal, a self-described “conservative tree-hugger,” has implemented water protection measures on his farm, such as planting trees in riparian zones and adding water troughs to keep his livestock off streams. Additionally, Devil’s Backbone dedicates a dollar per case of its Striped Bass Pale Ale to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Crandall, however, has been more cautious about taking on the Atlantic Coast pipeline. That’s partly due to his feeling that natural gas offers a smaller carbon footprint than many other energy sources, and partly due to the fact it’s used in Devil’s Backbone’s larger production brewery, located to the southwest in Rockbridge County. (Its smaller brewpub in Nelson County uses propane instead.)

“We all use steam to boil water for our beer, and we use steam to clean our tanks,” Crandall says. “That’s all done through a gas boiler. You’re either going to use natural gas or you’re going to use propane to do that. Natural gas is a much preferable option to propane. It costs less and has less of a carbon footprint.”

Crandall does see a potential 75-foot blaze over the mountains as a “blight on the county,” and says he doesn’t understand why the pipeline can’t run alongside previously used rights of way, such as Interstate 64 or electric transmission lines.

“I hate the idea my neighbors are being forced to swallow this project,” says Crandall. “The other side of the equation is, we use a lot of gas — we use it to make our beer.”

And from a big-picture energy perspective, Crandall understands the impetus for the Atlantic Coast pipeline. “Gas is not perfect by any means — you’ve got to frack for it, and methane does escape — but it burns cleaner than just about anything else we’ve got,” he says.

click to embiggen Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The four energy companies collaborating on the Atlantic Coast pipeline are set to make a pre-filing to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this fall, followed by a formal application next summer. If approved, the pipeline could be up and running by late 2018.

Blue Mountain Brewery has jumped into the fight against the current route, agreeing to host meetings of the Friends of Nelson, a local group formed around opposition to the Atlantic Coast pipeline. To the north, in Cooperstown, New York, Brewery Ommegang has likewise taken a vocal stance against fracking.

At this point, though, those breweries still tend to be outliers. Karen Hobbs, a senior policy analyst with NRDC who heads up the “Brewers for Clean Water” campaign, says it’s not unimaginable that others may eventually join them, however.

“We want to take on issues important to our brewers,” Hobbs says. “We want a true partnership with them so we can engage on issues they’re concerned about that affect their breweries. If one of those is fracking, we’ll have that conversation — but we haven’t had it yet about fracking except with a couple of brewers.”


Filed under: Climate & Energy, Food
Categories: Environment

A Plugin was announced today, ProSharpen from Pixel Film Studios for...

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 09:20

Announcing a new plugin from Pixel Film Studios, ProSharpen, which includes full control over sharpening media designed for Final Cut Pro X

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/final-cut-pro-x-plugin/2014-10/prweb12253196.htm

Categories: Environment

EasyTurf One Week from Unveiling Water-friendliest Turf at Long Beach...

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 09:20

EasyTurf is scheduled to showcase their industry leading synthetic turf at the 2014 Long Beach Landscape Expo in Long Beach, Calif. Oct. 29, 30.

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/10/prweb12261615.htm

Categories: Environment

Asheville GreenPower, French Broad Food Co-op and Living Web Farms...

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 09:20

Green Power Asheville, a student group at AB-Tech Community College, is cooperating with local filmmaker Jeremy Seifert, the French Broad Food Co-op, and Living Web Farms to educate the community...

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/10/prweb12261642.htm

Categories: Environment

Come Visit RBI/Renusol at Solar Power International 2014

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 09:20

RBI will be at booth #1400 and Renusol will be at #3135. Stop by and take a look at the latest ground mount, roof mount, landfill, and solar carport racking solutions.

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/10/prweb12262671.htm

Categories: Environment

The Wild Horses of Sable Island Book Signing at Environment Furniture...

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 09:20

Join famed photographer Roberto Dutesco to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of an extraordinary photographic journey of the Wild Horses of Sable Island

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/10/prweb12263555.htm

Categories: Environment

In Our World, PlanetShoes’ Video Series, Features Spring Step Shoes

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 09:20

PlanetShoes’ video series highlights Spring Step shoes and the reasons why their shoe-admiring employees love this intricate, detailed footwear.

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/10/prweb12263933.htm

Categories: Environment

Squirrel King Turns Kid's Craft Kits into “A Halloween Treat” with...

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 09:20

Squirrel King Enterprises today released the latest in its series of zany, stop-motion videos featuring the company's craft kit squirrels. This Halloween-themed video is one way the company is...

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/10/prweb12264523.htm

Categories: Environment

Roll off Dumpster Rental Provider in Jacksonville Supplying Services...

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 09:20

Sunshine Recycling in Jacksonville is providing their dumpster rental services to the development site of a new community for adults with disabilities.

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/rentdumpstersjacksonville/rolloffdumpsters/prweb12266573.htm

Categories: Environment

CLT airport parking reviews show that Greenbee Parking...

PR Web - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 09:20

Greenbee Parking, a rising new airport parking firm, has been applauded as one of the most popular and preferred provider for travelers using the Charlotte (CLT) airport. The latest CLT airport...

(PRWeb October 22, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/10/prweb12268284.htm

Categories: Environment

Pages