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Archive for June, 2006

CLIMATE SCIENTISTS BREAK THE BAD NEWS TO CONGRESS

Posted in Global Warming, News Brief on June 22nd, 2006

WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MUCH OF GLOBAL WARMING

earthwarming.jpg The Earth is the hottest it has been in at least 400 years, probably even longer. The
National Academy of Sciences, reaching that conclusion in a broad review of scientific work requested by Congress, reported Thursday that the “recent warmth is unprecedented for at least the last 400 years and potentially the last several millennia.”

A panel of top climate scientists told lawmakers that the Earth is running a fever and that “human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming.” Their 155-page report said average global surface temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere rose about 1 degree during the 20th century.

The report was requested in November by the chairman of the House Science Committee, Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (news, bio, voting record), R-N.Y., to address naysayers who question whether global warming is a major threat.

Read On….

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GLOBAL WARMING POLLUTION HAS DOUBLED IN TWENTY-EIGHT STATES SINCE 1960

Posted in Global Warming, News Brief, Toxin Alert! on June 21st, 2006

globalwarming1.jpg The U.S. Public Interest Research Group released an analysis of government data today showing that 28 states more than doubled their carbon dioxide emissions between 1960 and 2001.

One major culprit of the spike in emissions: Increased combustion of oil to fuel our cars and trucks, which accounted for 40% of the total rise. Oil emissions from the transportation sector soared over the period due to a dramatic rise in vehicle travel and the stagnating fuel efficiency of vehicles, while oil emissions from every other sector peaked in the 1970’s.

Read On….

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BANK OF AMERICA OFFERS INCENTIVES TO BUY HYBRIDS

Posted in Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Cool Products, Eco -Chic, Miscellaneous, Sustainable Transportation on June 12th, 2006

altfuelcars.jpg Driving a hybrid car already means free parking at meters in one Connecticut city and reserved parking spots near the front door of a New Hampshire company. Now, some Bank of America Corp. employees will receive $3,000 cash if they buy one of the fuel-efficient vehicles.

On Wednesday, the bank announced the incentive program for 21,000 employees in Boston, Los Angeles and Charlotte, N.C., joining other companies and communities nationwide in pushing the hybrids.

Environmental officials said they hope the pilot program by the nation’s largest retail bank has broad effects.

“When you have a major institution like Bank of America that is involved with so many other companies, there is a spin-off effect where they inspire other companies to follow their lead,” said the Environmental Protection Agency’s regional director, Bob Varney.

The city of New Haven, Conn., for instance, already offers free parking at city meters for residents, while footwear and apparelmaker Timberland Co., based in Stratham, N.H., created reserved parking spaces to go along with its own $3,000 cash incentive for employees who buy hybrids.

Google Inc., based in Mountain View, Calif., offers $5,000 cash to purchase and $2,500 to lease fuel-efficient cars — not just hybrids — that get at least 45 miles per gallon. Bank of America offers its rebate to any employee who buys a hybrid and lives within 90 miles of the three cities.

Anne Finucane, global marketing and corporate affairs executive for Bank of America, said her company’s program was “enlightened self interest” because it will improve local environmental quality, strengthen its appeal to job seekers and attract new customers by boosting its corporate image

In an interview at the company’s Charlotte, N.C., headquarters, Chief Administrative Officer Steele Alphin said, given the bank’s size, it should lead efforts to protect the environment. “Shame on us if we did not,” he said.

He said the company would evaluate the program in the fall to determine if it should be offered to all 202,000 of its employees.

The program was introduced as high gas prices spur economic worry and political posturing. House Republicans floated a proposal — quickly shot down — to give citizens $100 cash to help pay for higher fuel prices. And General Motors Corp. has tried to boost car sales in key markets by offering $2-per-gallon gas to new car buyers through the end of 2007.

Hybrids are powered by a gas engine and an electric motor, increasing fuel efficiency and reducing emissions. The hybrid Honda Civic, for example, gets 50 miles per gallon, compared to 34 miles per gallon for the regular Civic, according to hybridcars.com. But hybrid cars also cost more.

The Bank of America rebate matches a $3,000 federal tax credit for buying a hybrid. On Wednesday, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pushed a bill his administration drew up with Senate leaders that would provide a $2,000 state tax credit, and move the cost of hybrid closer to a regular car. The bill has not been passed by the House.

Romney said the nation must reduce dependence on oil to avoid financing sometimes hostile, oil-rich regimes, and reduce pollution. The Bank of America program shows the nation is serious about better fuel economy, he said.

“So what they’ve done is make an enormous statement,” Romney said. “This is going to have Detroit listening. The whole nation is going to be listening.”

Source: Associated Press

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COMMENTARY: BIG OIL DECLARES WAR ON GORE

Posted in Clean Energy, Corporate Polluters, Eco Thugs, Eco Warriors, Global Warming, News Brief on June 11th, 2006

IN A WORLD WHERE TRUTH IS IMMATERIAL. IT ALL COMES DOWN TO WHO HAS THE MOST MONEY TO INVEST TO SELL THEIR VERSION TO THE MOST PEOPLE.

algore3.jpg One of the bright spots in politics lately is the news that Al Gore, tempered by six years in the private sector, is seriously considering another run at the White House.

This news, as is to be expected, has those in certain circles more than a little concerned – chief among them, the boys and girls that run Big Oil.

So it is not too surprising that said executives have targeted the former Vice President with the first misinformation salvo of the 2008 Presidential election.

Selected to do the dirty work, the legitimate sounding Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), the pro-business think tank funded by Big Oil through the American Petroleum Institute.

It is this group, with their position that the earth is not warming cataclysmically because of the burning of coal and oil, that is the architect of much of today’s environmental insanity.

According to Progressive Blog Site, Think Progress, CEI, plans to unveil two 60-second TV ads focusing on what it calls global warming alarmism and the call by some environmental groups and politicians to reduce fossil fuel and carbon dioxide emissions.

The ad, which will be aired in more than a dozen cities across the country, is being timed to steal the fire generated by Mr. Gore’s global warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, which Paramount will debut in Los Angeles and New York on May 24th.

What makes this campaign particularly heinous is that there is not one shred of scientific fact to support CEI and the oil industry’s argument. In fact, all data points otherwise.

Just last year, Science Magazine analyzed 928 peer-reviewed scientific papers on global warming, published between 1993 and 2003, and found that not a single one challenged the scientific consensus that the earth’s temperature is rising due to human activity.

This fact was reiterated by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, which concluded, humans are driving the warming trend through greenhouse gas emissions.

Joining the choir is the EPA, which declared that the recent warming trend is real and has been particularly strong within the past 20 years, due mostly to human activities.

So the good news is that we have science on our side.

The problem is, in the world of Republican politics, truth is immaterial. It all comes down to who has the resources to sell their version to the most people. Here the green movement may be outflanked by Big Oil with their billions in blood money to invest in this issue.

With the candidacy of Al Gore, this all so important issue would be center stage. With the future of the earth as we know it hanging in the balance, it deserves no less.

So, right on, Al. We supported you the last time, and would do so again in a flash. As I have stated here in this space before, the environmental crisis in our world today is far more threatening to the earth than the actions of any tinhorn wanna be dictator named George, for most of what he can do is thankfully, only temporary, while devastation caused by environmental issues is usually permanent.

Just remember Al, small simple sentences and maybe a smirk or two.

LIB

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NEWS FLASH: WEST’S FAILURE TO REACT TO CLIMATE CHANGE COULD KILL AS MANY AS 182 MILLION AFRICANS

Posted in Global Warming, News Brief, Toxin Alert! on June 11th, 2006

earthmoon.jpg The poorest people in the world will be the chief victims of the West’s failure to tackle global warning, with millions of Africans forecast to die by the end of the century, Christian Aid says in a report out today.

The potential ravages of climate change are so severe that they could nullify the efforts to end the legacy of poverty and disease across developing countries, the charity says.

The report highlights the fact that, despite hand-wringing in the West about the threat to its coastlines from rising temperatures, it is the poorest who are likely to suffer most. It estimates that a “staggering” 182 million people in sub-Saharan Africa could die of disease directly attributable to climate change by 2100. Many millions more face death and devastation from climate-induced floods, famine, drought and conflict.

Read On….

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COMMENTARY: IMMIGRATION PLANS THREATEN BORDER WILDLIFE

Posted in Endangered Species, Sustainable Values on June 10th, 2006

ch_wp11.jpgWe received this earlier today from Defenders of Wildlife, via Macman, Paul Hillson of Paul Hillson Design, a regular contributor to this and our other website, recoveringliberal.com.

It is an important aspect that should be considered by our elected officials when structuring any immigration bill, but unfortunately will be overlooked unless we do our part by letting them know how we feel.

LIB

Illegal immigration — and America’s efforts to control it — has taken a heavy toll on America’s border wildlife. But this week we have a chance to do something to protect the jaguars, wolves and other wildlife along our borders.

The Senate is now considering its immigration bill, and you can help ensure that wildlife is protected. Please call your Senators and urge them to support wildlife-sensitive border security.

About half of the land along the Mexican border and a quarter of the land along the Canadian border are federal and tribal lands.

These areas include national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, forests and wilderness. Jaguars, the highly endangered Sonoran pronghorn, desert tortoises and other imperiled wildlife all make their home in these beautiful and often remote places.

Unfortunately, Border Patrol activities and illegal crossings have severely damaged these sensitive areas in ways that could take decades to repair.

A decade ago, the Border Patrol increased enforcement efforts in urban areas, shifting undocumented border crossings into more remote areas. These crossings and efforts to stop them — have serious impacts for sensitive desert habitat and the wildlife that needs it to survive.

Trails and roads carved by illegal immigrants can destroy sensitive vegetation and wildlife habitat. The fragile desert soils and plants could take over a century to recover.
Trash and human waste left behind during illegal border crossings affect soil and water quality. Abandoned vehicles are expensive to remove and towing them causes additional damage.

Similarly, low-level helicopter flights by the Border Patrol disturb wildlife and habitat. Off-road vehicle patrols also damage sensitive regions vital to local wildlife. And U.S. road-, light-, and fence-building projects disturb wildlife, destroy habitat and shift animal migratory patterns.

Senators Craig Thomas (R-WY), John Kyl (R-AZ), Ken Salazar (D-CO) and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) have offered an amendment to the immigration bill that would address many of these issues, and Defenders is urging wildlife supporters like you to support it.

Help support responsible border control efforts. The Senate could vote on the immigration bill any minute, so please call your Senators now (if they don’t answer, please leave a message).

Thanks for standing up for sensible border security and responsible management of our country’s borderlands and the precious wildlife that lives there.

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EARTH’S AVENGER

Posted in Eco Warriors, Sustainable Values on June 9th, 2006

AlGorerecent.jpg When history derailed the presidency of Al Gore, it may actually have increased his power to save the planet. Freed from the restraints of elected office, the former vice president is now widely regarded as America’s most persuasive and passionate spokesman on global warming. “Rescuing the environment from climate collapse was a — if not the — defining issue of my political career,” says Gore, 57. “And you can be damn sure I’m not giving up on it now.”

No public figure has a deeper working knowledge of the climate crisis. Gore studied the effects of greenhouse-gas emissions at Harvard and held the Senate’s first hearing on the science of climate change. In 1988, when he ran for president at the age of forty, his “primary motivation was to push the global-warming issue.” Four years later, he wrote Earth in the Balance, the best-selling book on global warming. Not long after that, Bill Clinton, who calls Gore “one of the greatest political and scientific intellects of our time,” asked him to be his running mate.

Read On….

SOURCE: Rolling Stone

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NEWS FLASH: TWO MORE US CORAL REEF ECOSYSTEMS THREATENED

Posted in Corporate Polluters, Endangered Species, News Brief on June 9th, 2006

500,000 YEAR OLD ECOSYSTEM HAS DECLINED BY APPROXIMATELY 97 PERCENT SINCE THE 1970S.

elkhorncoral.jpg Elkhorn and staghorn coral in Florida and Caribbean waters, ecosystem anchors for nearly 500,000 years are at risk of extinction due to warmer waters and other factors, and thus merit Endangered Species Act protection, the Bush administration said Thursday.

The National Marine Fisheries Service said the administration will list the two species as threatened under the law, a listing that would require drafting a recovery plan and protecting critical habitat.

This listing is highly significant for coral reef conservation, as these are the first coral species to be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, Conrad Lautenbacher, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said in a statement. It is extremely important that we protect corals as they are a major source of ocean life.

Read On….

Source: MSNBC

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COMMENTARY: ALI HEWSON – ECO WARRIOR

Posted in Eco Warriors, Sustainable Fashion, Sustainable Values on June 1st, 2006

alinewsonbono.jpg U2 frontman, Bono and his wife, Ali Hewson are among the latest individuals to enter the highly competitive clothing business with their collection, Edun, which for the uninitiated is nude spelled backwards.

Edun’s earthy but chic chemises, jeans and dresses are created from organic materials in family-run factories in South America, India and Africa.

Together with their designer/partner, Rogan Gregory of the boutique jeans line, Rogan, the Hewsons venture is different than most in the rag trade in that their company guarantees their employees humane treatment and a fair wage. This sets them apart from so many clothing companies today that think nothing of exploiting their workers while failing to provide for their safety and well-being.

Like her famous pop star husband, Ali Hewson has for years been quietly campaigning behind the scenes for fair trade with Africa as well as working with anti-nuke causes. Edun is her first foray into the spotlight.

We at EarthWatch wish her well and name this fair-trade clothing entrepreneur our first Eco Warrior.

LIB

SHOP: EDUN

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