Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 16:24.
Today's environmental tip: Protect yourself from sun overexposure! In summer, always apply sun block SPF 15 or more to protect your skin from solar UV radiation. Just five or more sunburns can really increase your risk of developing skin cancer. The sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so at the times, seek shade or wear protective clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 03:17.
March 29, 2011, the Union of Concerned Scientists reported: "In a bold move to bolster one of the few bright spots in California’s economy and set a precedent for strong renewable electricity standards nationwide, the California Legislature today approved a bill that would require utilities in the state to obtain at least 33 percent of their electricity from clean, renewable sources, such as the wind and sun, by 2020. Promoted by the governor and legislative leaders in both houses as part of a green jobs stimulus package, the bill would create the most aggressive renewable energy requirement in the country and position California as a national leader in clean energy investments."
“This bill establishes California as the national leader in clean energy, improving the environment and stimulating the economy while protecting ratepayers from excessive costs,” Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto has said of Senate Bill ("SB") X1-2 he sponsored, which is expected to be signed into law by California Governor Brown.
Below is an overview of the Ohio Public Utilities Commission’s Renewable and Advanced Energy Portfolio Standard, which requires that by the year 2025 25 percent of the electricity sold by each utility or electric services company within Ohio must be generated from alternative energy sources, and Senate Bill ("SB") X1-2, which requires California's electric utilities to increase their renewable generation to 33% by 2020. Passage of that legislation is the culmination of years of effort to increase California's Renewable Portfolio Standard ("RPS") from its current 20%.
WASHINGTON (March 9, 2011) – The cost of constructing or retrofitting coal-fired electric power plants and the rising cost of coal have made coal power an extremely risky long-term investment, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The report, “A Risky Proposition: The Financial Hazards of New Investments in Coal Plants,” also identified a number of other factors that make investing in coal a gamble, including its continuing threat to public health and the environment.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 00:16.
David L. Sokol, above, and Warren E. Buffett say he has done nothing wrong.
In a March 30, 2011, press release (below), Warren E. Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, announced the resignation of David L. Sokol, Chairman of several Berkshire subsidiaries, who orchestrated Buffett's near-$10 billion acquisition of Cleveland's Lubrizol, and who is now suspected of insider trading in connection with the Lubrizol deal. As reported in a New York Times editorial today - Excuses, Excuses, Excuses:
Let’s recount the story, shall we? On Dec. 13, some investment bankers meet with Sokol to pitch possible acquisitions. He expresses an interest in Lubrizol and tells them to convey his interest to its chief executive, James Hambrick. He then buys 2,300 shares, selling them a week later. (Go figure.)
The plot soon thickens. In early January, Sokol goes back into the market and buys 96,000 shares at around $100 apiece. A week later, Sokol calls Hambrick and has a preliminary discussion about a possible deal. Sokol then takes the idea to Buffett, mentioning “in passing” that he owns some Lubrizol stock.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 04/01/2011 - 22:44.
Living in Cleveland, fighting against excessive polluting by popular local industrial interests, I've found environmental and climate awareness here brain-dead... zombified... people walking in an unnatural smog, accepting unnatural death around them. So I appreciate a mathematical explanation of how an entire city of 500,000 may become dominated by environmental zombies - from today's Climate Progress, which references a study of the proliferation of zombies finding they will drive humanity to the collapse of civilization.... I believe this effectively explains Cleveland (and much of America) today:
The model showed two equilibria: the disease-free equilibrium (with no zombies) and the doomsday equilibrium (where everyone is a zombie). The application of a linear stability analysis showed that — in the absence of further interventions — the disease-free equilibrium was unstable and the doomsday equilibrium was stable. This finding was not promising.
Simulations based on a city of roughly 500,000 people demonstrated that an entire such city would be replaced by zombies [rapidly]. Were this mass replacement of a population to occur in a city such as Washington, DC, it may be unlikely anyone would notice.
There is a solution: "the most effective way to contain the rise of the undead is to attack hard and attack often":
It pains me to see any one who feels disenfranchised and marginalized in our society--if it offends any one--why can't we remove it? It especially saddens me, because I love baseball--and a lot of US love baseball.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 04/01/2011 - 19:04.
Today's environmental tip: Reduce your carbon footprint! Leaving your car at home twice a week can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1,600 pounds per year. Save up errands and shopping trips so you need to drive fewer times. If you commute to work, ask if you can work from home at least some days, and you'll reduce air pollution and traffic congestion - and save money.
----Filmmaker and public speaker Reggie Bullock is one of the most sought after motivational speakers in the United States. On March 15, 2009, Reggie’s short film "A War For Your Soul" was independently released on the internet, and has catapulted as a “stirring, epic and inspirational” video for today’s generation”. Over 6 million internet viewers have watched “A War For Your Soul” in 1 year.
To support the goal announced by President Obama today to reduce America’s oil imports by one-third by 2025, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it will be accepting applications for $12 million in funding for laboratory or small pilot-scale projects that support the development of advanced biofuels. Successful projects will develop technologies that will be able to replace refinery feedstocks or directly replace gasoline, diesel, or jet fuels without requiring modifications to vehicles or fueling infrastructure. These projects will continue to accelerate innovations in the renewable biofuels industry as part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to build a cleaner, safer, and more secure energy future for America that ultimately breaks our dependence on foreign oil and moves our nation toward a clean energy economy that creates jobs and boosts U.S. competitiveness.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 03/30/2011 - 18:13.
As a citizen interested in clean energy and renewable fuels, who lives in an environmental injustice hotspot, heavily polluted by fossil fuel emissions, that needs cleaner energy solutions in our region, I have been excited to see President Obama and his core department leadership - especially Department of Energy Secretary Chu and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Jackson - embrace and champion the urgency of moving America beyond our dependency on ecologically-destructive fossil fuels, toward development of a sustainable, localized, environmentally, socially and economically positive biomass and biofuels energy economy, which shall include industrial hemp grown in the United States of America once again, beginning in 2011.
We’re already paying a price for our inaction. Every time we fill up at the pump, every time we lose a job or a business to countries that are investing more than we do in clean energy, when it comes to our air, our water, and the climate change that threatens the planet that you will inherit -– we’re already paying a price. These are costs that we are already bearing. And if we do nothing, the price will only go up.
So at moments like these, sacrificing these investments in research and development, in supporting clean energy technologies, that would weaken our energy economy and make us more dependent on oil. That’s not a game plan to win the future. That’s a vision to keep us mired in the past. I will not accept that outcome for the United States of America. We are not going to do that. (Applause.)
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 03/30/2011 - 04:33.
You don't need to drive far south or west of Cleveland to find life springing renewed from the soil and plants, and appreciate we will soon have an abundance of sunshine, warm weather and opportunity to grow healthy, local food in our yards here in Ohio, again.
Home-grown food picked fresh from the garden is much more flavorful and environmentally friendly than most food available in markets - much more convenient and far less expensive... essential in times of economic and price uncertainly. This Winter, we ate tomato sauce made from tomatoes we grew last Summer, and froze, and it tasted as fresh as a Summer day - and the tomatoes were free, and as near at hand and low-carbon as the unused back corner of the freezer.
Because of concern about the economy, environment, and our health, I expect our family will grow significantly more food at home this year than last. For inspiration and reasons to plant large, abundant gardens this year, and help others in the community grow local food at home, as well, here is an excellent article from Alternet suggesting you "Garden As If Your Life Depended On It, Because It Does":
Tremors in food supply chains and pricing will make gardening look like a lot more than a hobby, a seasonal workout, a practical way to fill your pantry with your summer favorites, or a physically, spiritually and mentally healing activity, or all four. Gardening and small-scale and collective farming, especially of staple crops and the ones that could stave off malnutrition, could become as important as bringing home the bacon, both the piggy and the dollar kind. Why?
Medical marijuana is now a $1.7 billion market, according to a report released Wednesday by See Change Strategy, an independent financial analysis firm that specializes in new and unique markets. The figure represents estimated sales of marijuana through dispensaries in states with medical marijuana laws. It is the first time a definitive dollar figure has been given to the emerging medical cannabis industry.
To put that number in perspective, sales of medical marijuana rival annual revenue generated by Viagra, a $1.9 billion business for Pfizer.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 03/26/2011 - 21:53.
I'm writing today with an update on the situation in Libya, including the actions we've taken with allies and partners to protect the Libyan people from the brutality of Moammar Qaddafi. For further details, please take a moment to watch this morning's Weekly Address (above).
Sending our brave men and women in uniform into harm's way is not a decision I make lightly. But when someone like Qaddafi threatens a bloodbath that could destabilize an entire region, it is in our national interest to act. In fact, it’s our responsibility.
Comparison of relative temporal changes in lead concentration in tooth enamel and lake sediments, and relative changes in the total amount of lead additives to gasoline. Maximum absolute values and symbols are: 4.94 μg/g (teeth, smoothed data, uninterrupted line), 72.7 ppm (“new core Lake Erie sediment, triangles), 41.1 ppm (Graney et al., 1995 Lake Erie sediment, open circles), and 253,000 mt of lead additives to gasoline produced in the US, closed circles (see Methods).
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 03/18/2011 - 06:55.
Draft Plan EJ 2014 Implementation Plans
Toaccomplish the goals outlined in Plan EJ 2014, the EPA developed nine Draft Implementation Plans which will guide agency actions in rulemaking, permitting, compliance and enforcement, community-based action, Administration wide action, science, law, information, and resources. The Draft Implementation Plans outline EPA goals, strategies, activites, deliverables, and milestones for each of the nine areas.
For each of the Draft Implementation Plans, we are asking for feedback from the public on how we can continue to address the issues that are most important to ensuring the protection of the air, water and land that support all of our nation’s communities and will result in environmental and economic health benefits.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 03/17/2011 - 18:24.
An important announcement from the publisher of The New York Times
Dear New York Times Reader,
Today marks a significant transition for The New York Times as we introduce digital subscriptions. It’s an important step that we hope you will see as an investment in The Times, one that will strengthen our ability to provide high-quality journalism to readers around the world and on any platform. The change will primarily affect those who are heavy consumers of the content on our Web site and on mobile applications.
This change comes in two stages. Today, we are rolling out digital subscriptions to our readers in Canada, which will enable us to fine-tune the customer experience before our global launch. On March 28, we will begin offering digital subscriptions in the U.S. and the rest of the world.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 03/15/2011 - 14:15.
U.S. Fossil Fuel Carbon Dioxide Map (red = most polluted, blue = least polluted)
I'm certain more people than ever in history are interested in the subject of global air pollution monitoring, as a deteriorating cluster of nuclear power plant disasters in Northern Japan are already contaminating the Earth's atmosphere with deadly radioactive emissions, which will blow across the Pacific Ocean and in other directions to all points downwind until they settle back to Earth, on us, our land, in our water, and into our food-streams.
If the Japanese nuclear core were to melt, certain radioactive materials, such as iodine, strontium and cesium, would also be released. These particles are one-quarter the size of a grain of salt and can be carried by winds. The larger the grains, the more quickly they would fall out of the air.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 03/15/2011 - 12:25.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics just released its U.S. IMPORT AND EXPORT PRICE INDEXES – FEBRUARY 2011 - reporting ongoing significant price increase trends in core sectors of the global economy - like US import and export food and energy prices - that indicate US annual inflation in the double-digits for many products and services impacting daily life in America... like the price of gasoline, milk and bread. The impacts worldwide - especially in developing countries - will be staggering... radicalizing.
Kendall Law Group, led by former federal judge Joe Kendall, is investigating The Lubrizol Corporation (NYSE: LZ) for shareholders in connection with the proposed acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The national securities firm's investigation seeks to determine whether Lubrizol and its Board breached their fiduciary duties by entering into the agreement without properly shopping for a deal that would provide better value for shareholders. If you are a Lubrizol shareholder and would like additional information about your rights, contact the Kendall Law Group at 877-744-3728 or by email at skendall [at] kendalllawgroup [dot] com.
On March 14, 2011, the companies announced the definitive merger agreement under which Lubrizol would be acquired by Berkshire Hathaway, in a transaction valued at approximately $9 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, Lubrizol stockholders will receive $135.00 in cash for each share of Lubrizol/LZ common stock held. According to Thompson/First Call, analysts have set a price target as high as $148.00 per share for Lubrizol stock. Earlier this year, Lubrizol reported higher-than-expected fourth quarter profits and issued a "bullish forecast for 2011," with Chief Executive Officer James Hambrick stating: "I reiterate my deep confidence in our ability to deliver an eighth consecutive record year of earnings." The firm's investigation seeks to determine whether Lubrizol and its Board negotiated a deal that provides the best value available to shareholders.
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 03/14/2011 - 07:14.
EPA's 2005 National Air Toxins Assessment looks at human health impacts from estimated, chronic inhalation exposures based on emissions data from the
2005 National Emissions Inventory for hazardous air pollutants, assuming these emissions remain constant throughout one's lifetime
On March 11, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent a press release (below) and held conference calls supporting release of the fourth update of the National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) - a computer tool that helps federal, state, local governments and other stakeholders better understand the potential health risks from exposure to air toxics. The EPA states: "the National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) contains 2005 emissions data submitted primarily from the states for 178 pollutants. Models are used to make broad estimates of health risks for areas of the country. The tool is not designed to determine actual health risks to individuals living in these areas." "Because the data submitted varies from state to state, it is also not possible to use the data to compare risks between different areas of the country."