User: flenvcenter Topic: Transportation-National
Category: Alternative Fuel :: Ethanol
Last updated: Apr 17 2014 20:18 IST RSS 2.0
 
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The 20 Best Cities For Solar Power As America Prepares For An Energy 'Revolution' 17.4.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
In a speech this week at the University of Hawaii, former Vice President Al Gore called one key factor a "game changer" in the fight against climate change. The exponential growth in photovoltaic solar panels, he said, is "unstoppable," as is the consumers' demand for lower prices in the energy marketplace. "This is a revolution," he warned, and it's being embraced across political and geographic lines. Look no further than Atlanta, Georgia, Gore noted, where the "Green Tea Coalition" -- an unlikely alliance between the Tea Party and the Sierra Club -- helped promote renewable energy in the state because the Tea Party believed in increasing choice in the energy marketplace and driving down prices for everyone. It was, as The Week quipped, " laissez faire wattage ." Gore equated the staggering growth in solar to that of cell phones just twenty years ago, saying increased demand, lower costs, freedom from utility companies and the ability of developing nations to "leap frog" old technology all make solar ...
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Court Upholds Original EPA Emission Standards For Air Pollutants 16.4.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's first emission standards for mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants. In its ruling, the court rejected state and industry challenges to rules designed to clean up chromium, arsenic, acid gases, nickel, cadmium as well as mercury and other dangerous toxins. The EPA's determination in 2000 that regulating emission standards is appropriate and necessary, and the agency's reaffirmation of that determination in 2012, "are amply supported by EPA's findings regarding the health effects of mercury exposure," said the court. Congress did not specify what types or levels of public health risks should be deemed a hazard under federal law. By leaving this gap in the statute, Congress delegated to the EPA the authority to give reasonable meaning to the term "hazard," said the court. In the majority were chief judge Merrick Garland and judge Judith Rogers, both appointees of ...
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You Can't Buy Ikea's Newest Item In Stores, But It Just May Change The World 12.4.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Ikea just got one step closer to going off the grid. The Swedish home goods giant, best known for its affordable and efficiently flat-packed furniture, announced Tuesday the purchase of a 98-megawatt wind farm in Hoopestown, Ill. “It’s about taking care of the environment and living within our means," Rob Olson, chief financial officer of Ikea U.S., told the Tribune Thursday. The Hoopestown wind farm is currently under construction and expected to be up and running by the first part of 2015, the company said in a statement. Upon its completion, the farm is expected to generate up to 380 gigawatt hours of renewable energy a year, or the equivalent of taking 55,000 cars off the road annually . The company says the projected output represents the energy consumed by 70 Ikea stores or 18 percent of the electricity used by the Ikea Group worldwide. “We are committed to renewable energy and to running our business in a way that minimizes our carbon emissions, not only because of the environmental impact, but ...
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Biofuel Production Declines 10.4.2014 Worldwatch Institute
New Worldwatch Institute analysis examines the trends in global biofuel production    Washington, D.C.—In 2012, the combined global production of ethanol and biodiesel fell for the first time since 2000, down 0.4 percent from the figure in 2011. Global ethanol production declined slightly for the second year in a row, to 83.1 billion liters, while biodiesel output rose fractionally, from 22.4 billion liters in 2011 to 22.5 billion liters in 2012. Biodiesel now accounts for over 20 percent of global biofuel production, writes Tom Prugh in the Worldwatch Institute’s latest Vital Signs Online trend ( www.worldwatch.org ). Biofuels are a subset of bio-energy, which is energy derived from biomass (plant and animal matter) and which can range from manually gathered fuelwood and animal dung to industrially processed forms such as ethanol and biodiesel. Biomass can be used directly for heat, turned into biogas to produce electricity, or processed into liquid forms suitable as alternatives or supplements to ...
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Industry Hype & Bad Science Undercuts Real Energy/Climate Solutions 9.4.2014 Commondreams.org Newswire

Scientists and environmentalists today condemned a recent press release by researchers at the University of British Columbia announcing they have created genetically engineered (GE) poplar trees for paper and biofuel production, opening the prospect of growing these GE trees like an agricultural crop in the future. [1]

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Fresh looks at 'creeping ecological disaster' of U.S. grassland conversions 8.4.2014 MinnPost
From the American Prospect comes a fine piece of enterprise journalism on the shocking rates at which native grasslands are being converted to row crops in a region stretching from western Minnesota across the Dakotas, Nebraska and Iowa. "Plowed Under," written by Jocelyn C. Zuckerman and published last week with support from the Food & Environment Reporting Network , takes the reader on a tour of perhaps familiar terrain where losses of natural landscapes and plant communities are leading to soil erosion, degrading water quality, habitat destruction and more — often with the strong support of federal farm policies. This is not a new trend but clearly an accelerating and also, I think, a significantly under-reported one. Last November, the Associated Press touched on grassland losses in its investigation of unintended environmental harm said to be flowing from federal promotion of biofuels. This aspect was one of the project's major strengths, as I said at the time , but the focus was on policies thought ...
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Cheap Solar Power Is Fueling Global Renewable Energy Growth: Report 8.4.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
From Climate Central's Bobby Magill: The share of total global electricity production generated by renewable energy is climbing, mainly because solar photovoltaic systems are becoming less expensive, according to a report released Monday by the United Nations Environment Programme and Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Wind, solar and other renewables, excluding hydropower, were 8.5 percent of total global electric power generation last year, up from 7.8 percent in 2012, the report says. That comes just after Bloomberg and Pew Charitable Trusts issued a report last week saying investments in renewables worldwide has been declining since their peak in 2011, with the U.S. lagging behind China in overall investments in wind, solar and other renewables. The reports come about a week after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the second part to its fifth assessment report , stating with certainty that humans are going to have to adapt to a world enduring climate change caused by greenhouse gas ...
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How the Zebra got its Stripes 7.4.2014 Agricultural and Biofuel News - ENN
Why zebras have black and white stripes is a question that has intrigued scientists and spectators for centuries. Evolutionary theories include a form of camouflage, a mechanism of heat management, and disrupting predatory attack by confusing carnivores. In order to better understand the black and white stripe evolution, a research team led by the University of California, Davis, has now examined this riddle systematically, and what they found is that biting flies, including horseflies and tsetse flies, play a major role as the evolutionary driver for zebra stripes. The team mapped the geographic distributions of the seven different species of zebras, horses and asses, and of their subspecies, noting the thickness, locations, and intensity of their stripes on several parts of their bodies. Their next step was to compare these animals' geographic ranges with different variables, including woodland areas, ranges of large predators, temperature, and the geographic distribution of glossinid (tsetse flies) ...
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Society Must Change to Address Climate Crisis, say Scientists 7.4.2014 Commondreams.org Newswire

Avoiding dangerous climate change will require not just rapid reductions in fossil fuel use but also a revolution in the structures of our economies and societies, according to a momentous UN scientific report on climate change to be released on April 13 in Berlin. [1]

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Badger Culls in England Will Not Expand 6.4.2014 Agricultural and Biofuel News - ENN
This is great news for most of the badger population of England. Plans to roll out the controversial badger cull pilots nationwide across England have been dropped by the Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, after an independent report found the shoots were not effective or humane. The pilot programs were run in Gloucestershire and Somerset in an effort to stop the spread of Bovine Tuberculosis among cattle, and the environment department's original plan was to announce up to 10 new cull areas each year.
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What analysts are saying 6.4.2014 Star Tribune: Business
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Monarch Butterflies: Industrial Agricultural Warfare Is Killing Them, Us 4.4.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
The nonprofit organization Make Way for Monarchs is calling for April 14, 2014, the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson's death, to be a day of action and contemplation for monarch butterflies and other imperiled pollinators. As genetically modified (GM), herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops such as corn, soy and cotton overspread our agricultural lands, farmers spray the land with herbicides. Those herbicides kill the milkweeds that monarchs depend on. Three-quarters of the world's food depends upon pollinators, primarily wild insects, for reproduction. The orange-and-black monarch, flying from flower to flower for sips of "flight fuel," or nectar, provides the essential service of pollination. The travel habits of monarch butterflies are nothing short of miraculous. Starting in March, up to five consecutive generations of monarchs flutter and glide from Mexico to Canada. In October, a single generation of these seemingly flimsy bits of life starts the arduous flight -- of 2000 miles or more -- all the way ...
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Ethanol, Railroad Groups Clash 4.4.2014 Wall St. Journal: US Business
U.S. ethanol and railroad industry groups clashed Thursday over transportation constraints that have triggered soaring prices for the biofuel in recent weeks.
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Filipino vulnerability 3.4.2014 Agricultural and Biofuel News - ENN
Climate change has been a constant reality for many Filipinos, with impacts ranging from extreme weather events to periodic droughts and food scarcity. The most affected populations are coastal residents and rural communities that lack proper disaster preparedness.
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Wild Bees Improve Farm Revenues by Boosting Crop Yields 3.4.2014 Environmental News Network
Investing in habitat that attracts and supports wild bees in farms is not only an effective approach to helping enhance crop pollination, but it can also pay for itself in four years or less, according to Michigan State University research. The paper, published in the current issue of the Journal of Applied Ecology, gives farmers of pollination-dependent crops tangible results to convert marginal acreage to fields of wildflowers, said Rufus Isaacs, MSU entomologist and co-author of the paper.
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Redesigned crops could produce far more fuel 3.4.2014 New Scientist: Health
A genetic tweak has made it far easier to unlock the valuable chemicals held inside plants. It could lead to more environmentally friendly ...
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This Company Thinks Remote Green Energy Sources Are Looking Up -- Way, Way Up 3.4.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a ... high-altitude flying wind turbine. A company by the name of Altaeros Energies, borne from the labs at MIT, is poised to break the record for the highest wind turbine ever deployed , with plans to float an electricity-generating device at an altitude of 1,000 feet above a site south of Fairbanks, Alaska. The blimp-like powerhouse, which Altaeros refers to as a Buoyant Airborne Turbine (BAT) , aims to improve on more conventional, tower-based turbines by tapping into the stronger, more consistent winds found at higher altitudes. As an added benefit, Altaeros' CEO Ben Glass says in a release, the "BAT can be transported and setup without the need for large cranes, towers, or underground foundations that have hampered past wind projects.” This makes it ideal for isolated communities where electricity is either nonexistent or prohibitively expensive. In remote parts of Alaska, for instance, where the BAT may be deployed, a significant amount of electricity currently comes ...
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Gas hits $4 a gallon in California once again 1.4.2014 San Jose Mercury News: Breaking News
An increase of 10 to 15 cents more is expected through the spring and summer.
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Panera, BioFuel Energy, BlackBerry, Prana and Lions Gate are big market movers 1.4.2014 Star Tribune: Nation
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Revealed For The First Time: The Surprising Biodiversity Of Algae 'Reefs' 31.3.2014 Environmental News Network
Most people are familiar with coral reefs, but very few have ever heard of their algal equivalent – rhodolith beds. Yet, these structures provide crucial habitat for many marine species. In the first study of its kind, published in mongabay.com’s Tropical Conservation Science, researchers unveil just how important these beds are for bottom-dwelling organisms, and the species that depend on them. Superficially similar to coral, rhodoliths are made up of various kinds of photosynthetic red algae (Corallinaceae and Rhodophyta species) that form hard structures as they grow. They drift along with the currents, gradually accumulating calcium carbonate in their cells, until they get too heavy for water to move them.
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