Archive for March, 2013


China faces growing environmental damage costs (NY Times).

A study links a 2011 earthquake to wastewater disposal (NY Times).

The administration is criticized for new fuel regulations (Washington Post).

Restoring a Malibu beach has been expensive and difficult (LA Times).

A Wyoming power plant proposal has languished for decades (Washington Post).


The EPA will move forward with regulations for cleaner gasoline and lower vehicle emissions (Washington Post). It will also require certain ships to better clean ballast waters (Washington Post).

New York says climate change may hurt its finances (NY Times).

The Sierra Nevada snowpack is half its normal level (LA Times).

Drought season has come early (Bloomberg).

A poll finds that most Americans are concerned about sea level rise (LA Times).

The first sign that Pope Francis had a strong will to help fight climate change came before we had a glimpse of the new pontiff. It came when the world heard his chosen name: “Francis,” in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, a Catholic saint whose ties to animals and the environment are legendary. Therefore, Francis’ push for the environment comes as no surprise.

At his first press conference, Pope Francis mused, “These days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, do we?”
No, we don’t—neither as an economically-driven global society, nor as a Catholic institution. Sure, Vatican City pledged to become the first carbon-neutral country; but first-world folks in pews, especially in the United States, are unused to heeding this message.

The pope’s push didn’t fall on deaf ears as St. Anthony’s Shrine in Boston announced a plan this week to replace all of the shrine’s bulbs with LEDs. The hope is more than bulbs, however. If Pope Francis can mobilize Catholics across the world to come together and reach an agreement on climate change emissions, it would be close to a miracle. But, more realistically, if he could get most Catholics to really look at the emissions they use and the waste they create then he could create a path forward that starts with conservation. Catholics have mobilized in the past against poverty and abortion – if they can drum up the same type of support against climate change, it’d be a wave in the momentum.

“Doing more by using less” is one of Lights Out, Green In’s motto. If it became the motto of 1.2 billion Catholics, that’d be a major step in the fight against climate change.

(Sorry for the posting delay)

The U.S. could be doing better with renewable energy (NY Times)

A natural gas study by the Energy Secretary nominee is faulted for industry ties (Bloomberg)

Britain is at risk of major flooding (NY Times)

A big Bahamian resort tries to be green (NY Times).

A billboard turns air into water (BBC)


China struggles to fight pollution (NY Times).

Administration won’t trade ANWR drilling for clean energy fund (Washington Post).

LED bulbs are getting cheaper (NY Times).

Wind power projects are helped by the renewed tax credit (NY Times).

Nike tries to make textiles more sustainable (Bloomberg).

Earth Hour has been around as long as Lights Out, Green In, getting its worldwide introduction in 2008. The movement calls for lights to be turned off worldwide from 8-9 p.m.

I’ve made the case before that I wish the hour were during the week, and more importantly during the day. Having people sit in the dark does them no good and has little practical value. Having them use natural sunlight and get into the habit of being able to use natural sunlight is useful. It’s why the 11-1 daily pledge of Lights Out, Green In makes such great sense. If you’re reading this and you haven’t pledged to turn off your lights daily from 11-1, please sign up now.

While some critics remain — and make the case that the movement could use more emissions than it cuts — the movement is growing. And the upside of Earth Hour really is felt by the growing momentum to fight climate change. Articles, such as this one in the Guardian, add to the movement by educating people about climate change. Whether or not Earth Hour saves emissions seems secondary.


The Obama administration may delay proposed power plant rules (Washington Post).

Car fuel economy had its biggest gain since 1975 (Bloomberg).

Ethanol has seen better days (NY Times).

Obama tries to stimulate alternative fuel cars (NY Times). He’s also invoking a Nixon-era climate change law (Bloomberg).

Some western conservationists are buying mineral leases to prevent drilling (NY Times).


Natural gas is booming in Ohio (NY Times).

Shell was unprepared for Arctic drilling, a federal report says (Washington Post).

India lacks drinkable water (NY Times).

Railroads transport more and more oil (Bloomberg).

Obama discusses Keystone XL with House Republicans (Washington Post).

2012 was a big year for US solar installations (NY Times).

All you have to do is look at what is happening in Massachusetts’ Plum Island and recognize one thing: This is climate change.

This is what happens when sea levels rise a bit and nasty storms become more frequent and slightly stronger than in the past. The sea surges forward and destroys homes on the ocean’s edge. Forget all the talk of climate change in the abstract, it has become reality – and the climate change community should seize upon this show people the effects our new reality.

It sounds abstract to people to talk about sea levels rising 3 feet by the end of this century. It becomes less abstract when you show a house falling into the ocean. It becomes less abstract when you show a house in shambles in Rockaway, N.Y.

A lot of this country’s population lives in old port towns and in spots along the oceans. I know that those who live in the middle of the country would rather keep mining for coal or fracking for gas, but it’s those of us who live near the shore who will feel the effects while the Midwesterners reap the economic benefits. Is that right? Is that fair?

Every climate change activist in this country needs to be shouting from the rooftops of the houses that still stand in this country. They need to be pointing to shorelines devastated by climate change and push for a grand bargain to help the environment. Let no more Plum Islands waste away.


Global temperatures are their highest in 4,000 years (NY times).

Climate change catches Wall Street’s attention (Bloomberg).

Many insurers are unprepared for climate change (Bloomberg).

A vote on shark conservation is under much pressure (BBC).

The Interior nominee faces skeptical senators (LA Times).

Whole Foods will require GMO labeling in 2018 (LA Times).