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    March 17: Where role might biomass play in our energy future?

     

    EarthTalkTM
    From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

    Dear EarthTalk: There’s a lot of talk today about solar and wind power, but what about biomass? How big a role might this renewable energy source play in our future? Couldn’t everyday people burn their own lawn and leaf clippings to generate power? – Deborah Welch, Niagara Falls, NY

    The oldest and most prevalent source of renewable energy known to man, biomass is already a mainstay of energy production in the United States and elsewhere. Since such a wide variety of biomass resources is available—from trees and grasses to forestry, agricultural and urban wastes—biomass promises to play a continuing role in providing power and heat for millions of people around the world. (more…)

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    March 17: Polar bears in trouble

     

    EarthTalkTM
    From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

    Dear EarthTalk: Some say that polar bears are going to disappear in 50 years, but Alaskan officials insist their populations are recovering. What’s the real story?          Harper Howe, San Francisco, CA

    There is no doubt that polar bears are in serious trouble. Already on the ropes due to other human threats, their numbers are falling faster than ever as a result of retreating ice due to global warming. The nonprofit International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which added the polar bear to its “Red List” of the world’s most imperiled wildlife back in 2006, predicts a 30 percent decline in population for the great white rulers of the Arctic within three generations (about 45 years). (more…)

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    March 17: Press Release: Imperial Systems, Inc. Launches new website!

     

    Imperial Systems, Inc., a leader in the dust collection industry, has launched a fully redesigned website at www.isystemsweb.com.  The new content-rich site provides viewers with easy-to-navigate paths to help guide and simplify dust collection decisions. 

    Product areas of the site include features and technical data, downloadable literature, customer installation photos, videos and more.  Visitors to the site can also search by application and can browse Imperial Systems extensive library of educational materials including technical articles, case studies, testimonials and industry alerts. (more…)

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    March 12: Aerial wolf hunting

     

    EarthTalkTM
    From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

    Dear EarthTalk: What is aerial wolf gunning and why does Alaska governor Sarah Palin endorse the practice?                                                                                               – Vivian Anderson, Seattle, WA

    Aerial wolf gunning involves stalking and shooting wolves from low-flying planes and helicopters. The practice yields better results than traditional ground-based hunting since it allows hunters to cover lots of ground quickly and track prey from an unobstructed “bird’s eye” vantage point. For these very reasons, some hunters—as well as many environmentalists and animal rights advocates—consider aerial hunting unsportsmanlike and even inhumane since it violates the “fair chase” ethic. (more…)

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    March 10: Going from Red to Green: A New Revolution in China?

    Here is a great article wriiten by Elizabeth Balkan and posted by our friends over at http://www.sustainablog.org.

    Previous studies of a similar ilk, like the Stern Review, have incorporated social benefits to partially offset the cost of scaling up energy efficient and clean technologies. In contrast, the latest McKinsey report considers only technology-related costs and attaches a figure to the cost of green initiatives in China.

    So what is the final damage? While costs are negative for upgrades in some industries, like buildings, due to the savings generated from energy efficiency improvements, a total 1.5-2 trillion yuan (USD 220-295 billion) would have to be spent every year until 2030 in order to reach McKinsey’s alternative scenario.

    The alternative scenario assumes extensive deployment of some of the 200 energy efficiency, clean energy, and carbon management technologies considered across six key areas: (more…)

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    March 10: If your plug-in hybrid or electric car gets its power from a polluting source, does it really work out better for the environment than burning gasoline?

     

    EarthTalkTM
    From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

    Dear EarthTalk: If you have an electric or plug-in hybrid car, you’re paying for electricity rather than gasoline all or most of the time. How does that cost compare to a gas-powered car’s cost-per-mile? And since the electricity may be generated from some other polluting source, does it really work out to be better for the environment?                       Kevin DeMarco, Milford, Connecticut

    When you compare battery to gasoline power, electricity wins hands down. A 2007 study by the non-profit Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) calculated that powering a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) would cost the equivalent of roughly 75 cents per gallon of gasoline—a price not seen at the pump for 30 years. (more…)

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    March 4: Obama to the (Green) Rescue? Environmental Groups are Hopeful, says Leading Green Magazine

    President Obama has pledged to make green priorities his priorities — and thus far he appears to be keeping his word. Environmental groups are praising his initiatives — including support in the new stimulus package for energy efficiency and renewable energy research, greening federal buildings, weatherizing homes, and creating green jobs – but caution that much more is needed to make the U.S. a true leader in staving off irreversible climate catastrophe.
     
    The March/April 2009 issue of E – The Environmental Magazine (now posted at www.emagazine.com) looks at many of the most pressing environmental concerns facing the new administration. These include protecting public forests, setting strict emissions standards, preserving clean water and reforming the Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency responsible for maintaining many of our nation’s water and related environmental resources. Across the board, environmental groups hope for a reversal of many of the most damaging Bush regulations, and, so far, they’ve been rewarded. On March 3, 2009, President Obama stopped a Bush-era rule that would have weakened Endangered Species Act protections for animals and plants, and he’s set in motion the ability for states to set their own emissions standards. (more…)

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    March 4: Carbon Offsets: Growing Pains in a Growing Market

     

    There’s a market growing in the United States, but unlike markets that trade in tangible commodities, this one trades in the absence of something no one wants: greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Hundreds of companies make it possible for individuals, organizations, businesses, and even events such as rock music festivals to proclaim themselves carbon-neutral by paying someone else to reduce their emissions. Worried about your carbon footprint? No problem. For fees of US$2–50 per ton of “avoided emissions,” an offset provider will funnel your money into an activity or technology that keeps greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. The question is, are offset buyers really getting what they paid for?

    The Offset Market

    According to the nonprofit Ecosystems Marketplace, which tracks the green services industry, the global market for voluntary offsets—which don’t count toward compliance with mandated emissions reductions such as those required by the Kyoto Protocol—more than tripled from 2006 to 2007, reaching US$331 million. (more…)

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    March 3: What is the “green cities” movement?

     

    EarthTalkTM 
    From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine
     

    Dear EarthTalk: What is the “green cities” movement?   – John Moulton, Greenwich, CT 

    Best described as a loose association of cities focused on sustainability, the emerging “green cities movement” encompasses thousands of urban areas around the world all striving to lessen their environmental impacts by reducing waste, expanding recycling, lowering emissions, increasing housing density while expanding open space, and encouraging the development of sustainable local businesses. (more…)

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    March 3: My Cat is a Vegetarian

     

    Vegetarian CatsEarthTalkTM 
    From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine
     

    Dear EarthTalk: I don’t eat meat, for a variety of ethical and environmental reasons, and I’d rather not feed it to my cat, either. Do cats have to be carnivores?      John McManus, Needham, MA 

    Unlike dogs and other omnivores, cats are true (so-called “obligate”) carnivores: They meet their nutritional needs by consuming other animals and have a higher protein requirement than many other mammals. Cats get certain key nutrients from meat—including taurine, arachidonic acid, vitamin A and vitamin B12—that can’t be sufficiently obtained from plant-based foods. Without a steady supply of these nutrients, cats can suffer from liver and heart problems, not to mention skin irritation and hearing loss. (more…)

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