Economy

EPA Earth Month Tip of the Day - April 6, 2011: Be extra aware of environmental conditions where older people live!

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 04/06/2011 - 13:21.

Earth Month Tip of the Day: Environmental hazards and the elderly.

Today's environmental tip: Be extra aware of environmental conditions where older people live! As we age, our bodies become more sensitive to chemicals and environmental conditions. So you should carefully use products such as pesticides or cleaning solvents near areas where older adults live and sleep. Always follow the directions on the product package or label.

EPA Earth Month Tip of the Day - April 5, 1011: Make it a full load! Run your dishwasher only when it's full.

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 04/05/2011 - 14:31.

Earth Month Tip of the Day: Make it a full load.

Today's environmental tip: Make it a full load! Run your dishwasher only when it's full. Don't pre-rinse dishes - tests show pre-rinsing doesn't improve dishwasher cleaning, and you'll save as much as 20 gallons of water per load. When you buy a new dishwasher, look for one that saves water. Water-efficient models use only about only about 4 gallons per wash.

EPA Compliance and Enforcement: Vice president, two managers of waste treatment facility sentenced for Clean Water Act felonies

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 19:04.

Compliance and Enforcement and Water News (Region 5): Vice president, two managers of waste treatment facility sentenced for Clean Water Act felonies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 4, 2011

Vice president, two managers of waste treatment facility sentenced for Clean Water Act felonies

WASHINGTON - Three officials of Ecological Systems, Inc. (ESI),  an oil reclamation company that operated a centralized waste treatment facility in Indianapolis, IN, were sentenced  in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana  for felony violations of the Clean Water Act. The prosecution stemmed from ESI's intentional discharges of untreated wastewater and stormwater from its facility directly into the Indianapolis sewer system.  

"The Clean Water Act is designed to protect our nation's water resources, and the defendants' repeated attempts to hide the plant's capacity to handle the wastes that ESI accepted  and excess rain water threatened those critical protections," said Randall Ashe, Special Agent in Charge of the EPA Criminal Investigation Division's Chicago Area Office.  "Today's sentences prove that those who willfully circumvent our nation's laws and put Indiana residents and nearby homeowners at risk will be caught and prosecuted."

Today, we are filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign - Barack Obama

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 15:08.

Norm --

Today, we are filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign.

We're doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you -- with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. And that kind of campaign takes time to build.

So even though I'm focused on the job you elected me to do, and the race may not reach full speed for a year or more, the work of laying the foundation for our campaign must start today.

EPA Earth Month Tip of the Day - April 4, 2011: Heading to the beach? Check out the beach water before you go!

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 13:37.

Earth Month Tip of the Day: Check before you go.

Today's environmental tip: Heading to the beach? Check out the beach water before you go! We Americans take almost two billion trips to the beach every year, but people who swim at the beach sometimes get sick because the water is polluted. The good news is in the state where the beach is located, you can check with the state office to find out about the beach water - before you go.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson on National Public Health Week - April 4-10, 2011

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 04/04/2011 - 12:21.

EPA Celebrates National Public Health Week April 4-10, 2011

Posted on April 4th, 2011 - 10:30 AM

By  Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

When we talk about environmentalism, it typically brings to mind sweeping vistas and wide-open landscapes. Some people might think of saving the whales, protecting spotted owls or preserving old-growth forests. Those things are critically important – but they only tell part of the story. When the modern environmental movement got its start in the 1960s, it took hold in our nation’s cities and was led by people concerned about pollution in the air they were breathing, toxins in the water they were drinking and chemicals on the food they were eating.

The effort to safeguard our environment started – and continues to be – an effort to safeguard our health.

Congress's bill of 4 2009 bans incandescent light bulbs by 2014 and requires Americans to buy compact fluorescent bulbs or CFLs.

Submitted by savcash on Sun, 04/03/2011 - 16:52.
cfl.jpg

Toxic "CFL" Bulbs from China That We're Forced to Buy Congress's Clean Energy Bill, H.R. 2454 of April 2009 bans incandescent light bulbs by 2014 and requires Americans to buy compact fluorescent bulbs or CFLs.
The new bulbs contain poisonous mercury and pollute our landfills. It's all wrong.

EPA Earth Month Tip of the Day - April 3, 2011: Don't idle! Remind your school system to turn off bus engines when parked.

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 04/03/2011 - 16:34.

Earth Month Tip of the Day: Don't idle

Today's environmental tip: Don't idle! Remind your school system to turn off bus engines when buses are parked. Exhaust from idling school buses can pollute air in and around the bus, and can enter school buildings through air intakes, doors, and open windows. Constant idling also wastes fuel and money, and school bus engines really need only a few minutes to warm up.

EPA Earth Month Tip of the Day - April 2, 2011: Be the first to know... Protect yourself from sun overexposure!

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.

Ohio's Renewable Portfolio Standard vs. California's New SB X1-2 vs. America's New Clean Energy Standard

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%.

New Report Warns Against Investments in New or Existing Coal-Fired Power Plants - threat to public health and environment

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 02:25.

Pollution from Cleveland Thermal

Replacing Coal Plants with Cheaper, Cleaner, Less Risky Alternatives Would Save Lives and Curb Climate Change Emissions

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. 

"In our first talk about Lubrizol, Dave mentioned that he owned stock in the company." - Warren Buffett

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 04/02/2011 - 00:16.


Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
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.

Only quick, aggressive attacks can stave off the doomsday scenario: the collapse of society as zombies overtake us all.

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 pained me to watch this, and I am not Black - A War For Your Soul-Birmingham version

Submitted by savcash on Thu, 03/31/2011 - 22:57.
author.jpg

----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.

DOE Announces $12 Million in Available Funding to Support up to 5 Advanced Biofuels Development Projects

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 03/30/2011 - 19:58.

DOE Announces $12 Million in Available Funding to Support Advanced Biofuels Development - March 30, 2011

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.

Obama Administration’s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future Equals Blueprint for a Secure Future for the Hemp Economy in America

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.

From the conclusion of a speech by President Obama, at Georgetown University, today, on the Blueprint for A Secure Energy Future for America:

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.)

Garden As If Your Life Depended On It, Because It Does

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?

See Change Reports: The US market for medical marijuana is worth $1.7 billion in 2011 and could reach $8.9 billion in five years

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 03/26/2011 - 22:33.

March 24, 2011: MSNBC reported -  Medical marijuana becoming blockbuster drug... Annual sales near $2 billion and rising in states with tolerant laws:

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.

"The progress we've made over the past seven days demonstrates how the international community should work..."- Obama

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 03/26/2011 - 21:53.

The White House, Washington

Good morning,

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.

Case Think: 15 years after being effectively removed from the US market, the prolific danger of leaded gasoline becomes clearer

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 03/26/2011 - 18:18.

Thanks to Laura McShane for pointing out an excellent article on lead poisoning research at Case Western Reserve University, in the Fall/Winter 2010 Think Magazine - with multimedia features - on-line at Getting the Lead Out: Fifteen years after being effectively removed from the U.S. market, the prolific danger of leaded gasoline becomes clearer

This reports on Childhood lead exposure and uptake in teeth in the Cleveland area during the era of leaded gasoline - a recent Case Western Reserve University-affiliated analysis of the lead burden of Cleveland children through the period when leaded gasoline was introduced and later phased out (from about 1930 to 1990), surfacing critical implications.

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
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).

JOINT EPA/DOE STATEMENT: Radiation Monitors Confirm That No Radiation Levels of Concern Have Reached the United States

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 03/18/2011 - 18:45.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  - March 18, 2011

Air News Release (HQ): JOINT EPA/DOE STATEMENT: Radiation Monitors Confirm That No Radiation Levels of Concern Have Reached the United States

WASHINGTON – The United States Government has an extensive network of radiation monitors around the country and no radiation levels of concern have been detected.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency RadNet system is designed to protect the public by notifying scientists, in near real time, of elevated levels of radiation so they can determine whether protective action is required.  The EPA’s system has not detected any radiation levels of concern.

In addition to EPA’s RadNet system, the U.S. Department of Energy has radiation monitoring equipment at research facilities around the country, which have also not detected any radiation levels of concern.

As part of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization’s International Monitoring System (IMS), the Department of Energy also maintains the capability to detect tiny quantities of radioisotopes that might indicate an underground nuclear test on the other side of the world.  These detectors are extremely sensitive and can detect minute amounts of radioactive materials.

Draft Plan EJ 2014 Implementation Plans outline actions EPA will take to advance environmental justice in each area of focus

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 03/18/2011 - 06:55.

Draft Plan EJ 2014 Implementation Plans New!

To accomplish 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.

Submit Public Comments on Regulations.gov

An important announcement from the publisher of The New York Times - "as we introduce digital subscriptions"

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.