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Preventing Pollution

Federal Government Will Cut Its GHG Emissions 28% by 2020

Many of us were disappointed by the State of the Union address Wednesday night.  Sure the president stressed the tramadol c o d saturday delivery importance of a climate bill and look there 50mg cialis retail price clean energy development, but he also committed to pursuing more nuclear energy, new offshore oil drilling and "clean" coal.

That makes today's announcement that the Federal Government will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent by 2020 very welcome news.  The largest energy consumer in the U.S. will cut its emissions by making gains in efficiency and using more renewable energy.  The government spent $24.5 billion on drug cialis electricity and fuel in 2008 alone and hopes to save $8 - 11 billion over the next decade through this initiative.

Each agency had to submit a 2020 emission reduction target from their 2008 baseline and the 28 percent reduction goal is an aggregate of it's great! generic cialis canada those reports.  The Office of Management and Budget will validate and score each agency's plan and annual progress will by reported online to cialis generic best price the public.

You can check out some of the emission cutting projects that are underway here.

via White House release




Sponge-Like Glass Cleans Contaminated Water

A new glass material engineered by Dr. Paul Edmiston at the College of Wooster has the ability to clean polluted water by absorbing contaminants like a sponge.  What can't nanotechnology do?

The material is called Osorb and has amazing properties.  It's a reactive glass, allowing it to bind with gasoline and other pollutants containing volatile organic compounds, but it's also hydrophobic, so it doesn't bind with water.  As it collects pollutants it swells up to eight times it size.  Once full, it floats to the surface to be skimmed up, removed of contaminants and then reused.

The substance could revolutionize groundwater pollution clean-up because it's relatively low cost and has the ability to rid a site of VOCs that other conventional cleaning methods can't.

Dr. Edmiston has formed a company called Absorbent Materials to market five different types of Osorb and it's already collecting venture capital.

via CleanTechnica



Starfish: Carbon Storage Heroes

According to mexico levitra no prescription a new study by British researchers, starfish and their fellow echinoderms (sea urchins, sea lilies, etc) act as a significant sink for CO2.  The ocean bottom-dwellers store about 2 percent of womans viagra annual human CO2 emissions.

Researchers knew echinoderms store large amounts of calcium carbonate, some have bodies made up of 80 percent of the stuff, but they were still shocked by the results.  It turns out, the small animals capture about 0.1 gigatonnes of carbon per year, compared to the 5.5 gigatonnes of carbon human activity pumps into the air annually.

The team came up with the figure by gathering carbon measurements of different echinoderms from various sample sites at latitudes around the world.  They combined their measurements with population data and mortality data for the different classes to figure out how much carbon the animals stored and how quickly that carbon was buried after death.

They think the number could actually be greater since they had to form estimates for areas like the cheap levitra online Equatorial Pacific which aren't well studied and likely have large populations.  The scientists worry what increased acidification of the oceans will mean for these carbon suckers and how it will affect the global carbon cycle if they're greatly impacted.

via Nature News


4 Great Moves by the EPA, and 1 Step Backwards

In most respects, this adminstration's EPA is getting things done.  They're regularly throwing out bad policies and implementing better ones.  Here are four things the agency has announced recently that made us cheer and one that made us boo - loudly.

The Good

1.  They're overhauling the Toxic Substances Control Act.

The TSCA was introduced in 1976 and hasn't been updated since.  At the time, 60,000 chemicals were on the EPA inventory, since then, 24,000 have been added, but only 200 have been tested and only five banned.  Even scarier is that about 20 percent of those chemicals are kept secret through a loop hole in the act that doesn't require companies to report chemicals used in manufacturing if they're considered "proprietary."  The EPA is creating a list of chemicals of levitra purchase concern, including phtalates, short-chain chlorinated paraffins, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and perfluorinated chemicals, all of which have raised health and environmental concerns.  The list will put pressure on chemical companies to either prove they're safe or cease production.  It's likely that the new legislation will address the loop hole allowing chemicals ingredients to be kept from the public.

2.  They're cracking down on smog pollution.

The agency is tightening the standards for ozone in the air from 75 parts per billion to 60-70 parts per billion.  If the new rule is passed, states and cities will have implement tougher regulations of air pollution sources like cars and power plants.  The change will cost $19 - $90 billion to implement, but will save an equal amount in health care costs for people with asthma and other lung conditions.


Action on Climate Change Delayed: Copenhagen Won't be Binding, Congress Won't Pass Bill This Year

As reports have indicated for the past several weeks, a binding agreement won't be reached in Copenhagen this December.  Leaders attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation this past weekend met and decided that the Copenhagen conference would be used to come up with an interim "politically" binding agreement and to buy cheap levitra set a date and time for a legally binding one sometime next year.

The goal of cutting global emissions by 50 percent by 2050 has been scrapped and instead a 2007 goal of reducing energy intensity - emissions per unit of economic output - by 25 percent by 2030 is being restated, but again, it won't be binding.

A big reason for the push back is Congress's inaction on a climate change bill this year.  Without a clear commitment from the U.S. to cut emissions, other countries are hesitant to make any pledges of their own.  In the past few days, members of Congress have said a decision on a climate bill won't happen before the first half of ordering propecia 2010.

For those of us who were keeping our hopes up for a significant agreement to come out of Copenhagen and for a climate bill this year, this news is cialis in canada incredibly disappointing.  One positive thing to hold onto is that the administration seems determined to make some progress even while Congress falters, most notably with the EPA gearing up to regulate greenhouse emissions starting in 2011.

via NY Times

Image via APEC Singapore 2009


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