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Preventing Pollution

President Obama Calls for Reduction of Carbon Pollution, Outlines Climate Action Plan

President Obama has laid out a new national climate action plan in a speech given at Georgetown University. “I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing,” the president said. The three-part plan involves cutting carbon pollution, helping states and cities prepare to weather the impact of climate change, and--in distinctly American language--“lead[ing] the world in a coordinated assault on a changing climate.”

In addition to calling for continuing increased reliance on clean energy, increasing funding for renewable energy development, and reducing energy waste, President Obama spoke in favor of federal limits to the amount of carbon pollution that power plants can release into the air, one of the major sources of carbon pollution in America. “We limit the amount of toxic chemicals like mercury and sulfur and arsenic in our air or our water, but power plants can still dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air for free,” said President Obama. “ That’s not right, that’s not safe, and it needs to stop.” As part of this new carbon pollution initiative, the Environmental Protection Agency would set new pollution standards for current and future power plants.

President Obama commended states’ efforts in reducing carbon pollution. “More than 25 have set energy efficiency targets. More than 35 have set renewable energy targets,” said the president, stating further that it was “time for Washington to catch up with the rest of the country.” The president’s plan, however, did include continued production of fossil fuels. “Transitioning to a clean energy economy takes time,” President Obama said. The Keystone pipeline also gained mention, and the president said that the State Department is in the final stages of evaluating the proposal. “The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward,” President Obama said. To applause, the president called for public financing to stop for new coal plants overseas, "unless they deploy carbon-capture technologies, or there's no other viable way for the viagra online generic poorest countries to generate electricity."

House Speaker John A. Boehner condemned the president’s proposals, stating “These policies, rejected even by the last Democratic-controlled Congress, will shutter power plants, destroy good-paying American jobs and raise electricity bills for families that can scarcely afford it.” In response to claims like this, the president pointed out that economic growth and limiting pollution are not mutually exclusive. He discussed the history of environmentally-concerned legislation, like the Clean Air Act, fuel standards for automobile makers, and CFC regulation, which did not destroyed the economy: “When we phased out CFCs, the gases that were depleting the ozone layer, it didn’t kill off refrigerators or air-conditioners or deodorant. American workers and brand cialis for sale businesses figured out how to viagra seizures do it better without harming the canadian rx viagra environment as much.” President Obama also mentioned that GM, Nike, and over 500 other businesses recently issued a Climate Declaration that calls for the federal government to take action on climate change, and that if addressing climate change was bad for businesses, shareholders, and customers, these companies wouldn’t rally behind a call for action.

While some critical details were absent, like just how much carbon pollution is acceptable from power plants, overseas coal plants, and the proposed Keystone pipeline for it to move forward, President Obama did not sugar coat the reality of generic viagra from canada the problems at hand. "Sticking your head in the sand might make you feel safer, but it’s not going to protect you from the coming storm. And ultimately, we will be judged as a people, and as a society, and as a country on cialis prescriptionsgeneric cialis sale where we go from here." The president urged his audience to "speak up for the facts" and take action: "Convince those in power to reduce our carbon pollution. Push your own communities to adopt smarter practices." A pdf of the climate action plan may be access here. The White House also released an infographic on climate change and the president’s plan to i recommend viagra online 50mg address it here.

image screen capture via White House YouTube Channel


New Cap-and-Trade Auction Takes Place

The eighth largest economy in the world has a new carbon cap-and-trade program in place. And no, it's not a country in Europe, it's the State of California, which this week auctioned the rights to emit 60 million tons of carbon dioxide.

The California Air Rights Board auction serves to set a price on the emission of a ton of CO2. Companies can decide whether to invest in cleaner, more efficient systems, or can choose to pay for the right to pollute. As noted in the Marketplace report, "We've been living in a world where there is no price on pollution," says Dan Kammen, a professor of energy policy at U.C. Berkeley. "It doesn't send the right signals. It doesn't reward innovators."

Absent such a system, industry has been free to exhaust CO2 into the atmosphere without regard to impact on others. Establishing a market for carbon emissions will begin to put a price on that right, and to allow the true costs of carbon emissions to be more accurately reflected in the economy.

The California Chamber of Commerce has filed a lawsuit to object to the auction, but the Air Rights Board believes that the auction will withstand legal challenge.

image: CC BY-SA 3.0 by Dori/Wikimedia Commons

via: Marketplace


Rogue Geoengineering Project in the North Pacific

Like the plot of a low-budget spy movie, this past July, roughly 100 tons of iron sulphate was dumped into the waters of the Pacific Ocean by a "controversial American businessman." The program was not part of any governmental- or consensus-based program, but is instead a private project to effect large-scale change to buy viagra uk the planet.

The rationale for this is a belief that it will promote growth of plankton, which will grow (in a plankton bloom) and absorb carbon dioxide before sinking to the ocean bed. The CO2 will remain sequestered if the plankton do not subsequently break down on the sea floor. However, earlier tests have not proved successful.

Tests caried out a few years ago showed only limited succes with ocean fertilization. Critics point out a number of potential unwanted side effects to this approach:

"It is difficult if not impossible to detect and describe important effects that we know might occur months or years later," said John Cullen , an oceanographer at Dalhousie University. "Some possible effects, such as deep-water oxygen depletion and alteration of distant food webs, should rule out ocean manipulation. History is cialis and canada custom full of visit web site buy viagra 50 mg examples of ecological manipulations that backfired."

The California-based businessman behind this dumping has been involved in previous failed projects do visit web site real levitra similar things near the Galapagos and the Canary Islands. His earlier efforts are also credited as part of the incentive for the United Nations to pass an international moratorium on ocean fertilization experiments.

image: Public Domain - US EPA

via: Guardian


Hawaii Has Statewide Plastic Bag Ban

The beaches of Hawaii will be a little cleaner; the streets a little neater, now that an effective statewide ban on disposable plastic bags has gone into effect. Although it's not a law at the state level, the bag ban is effectively a statewide ban, since all of the counties of Hawaii have enacted plastic bag bans individually. Of course, it's easier when there are only four counties involved.

Bags are still permitted in some instances, including uses for pharmaceuticals, frozen foods, newspaper delivery, live fish and dry cleaning, to name a few. But non-biodegradable non-reusable bags are otherwise now subject to ban, and businesses that still use them face fines for each day of violation.

image: CC BY-SA 3.0 by Ivy Main / Wikimedia Commons


Pollution-Absorbing Paint Cleaning Up the Air in Manila

Manila is one of the top five dirtiest cities when it comes to air pollution. Residents have high rates of asthma and air pollution is responsible for about 4,000 deaths a year. The city is trying to cialis professional 100 mg tackle the problem with an innovative solution -- paint.

The city has begun using a paint called Boysen KNOxOUT that is able to filter out nitrogen oxides from the air. The chemical within the paint reacts with sunlight and use levitra water vapor making it absorb NOx at a rate of levitra in canada about 20 percent. The city is also taking a beautifying approach by not just slathering the viagra cost paint on surfaces, but by using it to paint murals along the main highway in Manila, putting the paint right at the source of much of the smog while also making it a more attractive place.

The scientists that developed the paint say that one square foot of the paint absorbs the same amount of pollution as a full-grown tree. The city is painting 11,000 square feet of murals, which means the city will see the same air quality benefits as if they planted 11,000 trees. Cities in the U.S., especially somewhere like Los Angeles that suffers from its own heavy share of smog, could benefit from a little of this paint as well.

via BBC
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