The BlueGreen Alliance, Carbon Capture, Earth Hour, and Banned Chemicals

March 31, 2009 at 5:34 pm | Posted in environment | Leave a comment

The BlueGreen Aliiance:

While the nation’s news hole was being filled on Friday with President Obama’s announcement of the administration’s policy in Afghanistan, the Blue Green Alliance’s announcement in support of climate-change legislation mostly got ignored. The labor-environmental group alliance, founded in 2006, now includes the United Steelworkers, Sierra Club, Communications Workers of America (CWA), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

In a press release, David Foster, BGA’s executive director said: “For the first time, a substantial number of unions representing workers across a broad section of the American economy have endorsed the principle that the way out of our current economic turmoil is through major investments in solving global warming. The labor and environmental movements have truly embraced a common vision for the future.”

United European airspace will mean less fuel used:

“Currently the European airspace consists of 650 parts with 60 different control centers and 27 air traffic control (ATC) zones. International flights have to switch between national air traffic control zones, also known as “blocks”, when they enter another country. This leads to delays and bottlenecks, causing airplanes to consume more fuel.”

Feds fund 8 carbon capture projects in Western Canada:

“Saskatchewan’s minister of Crown corporations pointed to a project already in place in his province as proof that it works. ‘We have an operation in Saskatchewan operating right now. It’s commercially viable and it’s beyond the test stage, and now we’re taking it to that next level where we’re talking many tonnes of carbon capture and sequestration’.”

Debate intensifies over environmental benefits of carbon capture:

“Some critics say such funds would be far more wisely spent on energy-efficient transportation systems; the development of wind, solar and other renewable power sources; and massive energy-conservation measures to reduce reliance on coal and oil from the oilsands.”

Climate scientists defeated in ocean carbon capture experiment:

The experiment involved “fertilising” a 300-square-kilometre (115-sqare-mile) area of ocean inside the core of an eddy — an immense rotating column of water — with six tonnes of dissolved iron.

As expected, this stimulated growth of tiny planktonic algae or phytoplankton, which it was hoped would take out of the atmosphere carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas blamed for climate change, and absorb it.

However, the scientists from India’s National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) and Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) did not count on these phytoplankton being eaten by tiny crustacean zooplankton.

Earth Hour power drop sometimes small but sends green message: organizers:

“The energy-saving numbers were crunched Sunday and on paper, it might not look like some provinces did much to mark Earth Hour and yet organizers of the event and hydro providers said the lights-out event was a success in Canada.”

Even Vegas does Earth Hour:

Clickity Click the heading to see a simple animated gif of The Las Vegas Strip, Before and During Earth Hour.

NAFTA threat won’t stop Que. ban on lawn pesticides:

“While the federal government would defend Quebec, it is in an awkward position because the federal Health Canada pest management regulatory agency declared 2,4-D safe, if used as directed.”

Ottawa plans limits on flame retardant:

Environment Canada has joined the European Union in prohibiting a chemical known as deca that is widely used as a flame retardant in televisions, computers and textiles.

Deca reduces the fire hazard from electrical products, but its use has raised alarms among many scientists who have found that traces of it are building up rapidly in wildlife and inside homes.

Although there are no human health studies showing harm from deca, the compound known as a polybrominated diphenyl ether is made up of flame-retardant chemicals that have been removed from the market. Researchers worry that PBDEs are able to interfere with thyroid hormone function and are capable of causing conditions similar to attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorders in laboratory test animals.

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