A photo of my friends Tom and Karen B's solar panel at their ranch in Steamboat. It does not appear that the solar panel was generating much energy on this particular day but their intentions are in the right place!
Thanks to my friend Michael E. who met the author of this new book, David de Rothschild, at the World Economic Forum Davos.
The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook is the official companion volume to the Live Earth concerts, 24 hours of nonstop concerts broadcast from around the world on July 7, 2007. The book presents 77 essential skills for stopping climate change--and for living through it. It is a fun, compelling, and sly deconstruction of a survival guide (think Boy Scouts of America crossed with WorldChanging atop the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook) that offers equal parts tongue-in-cheek suggestions, practical advice, factual information, and bluesky dreaming of ways to save the world. Each skill is presented on a spread featuring a bright, full-color instructional illustration, a brief introduction to the skill and its core ideas, a set of instructions, spin-off ideas, and scientific and environmental facts. The book also includes a resource guide that provides useful resources for the eco-conscious reader.
WASHINGTON - The Senate voted Thursday to require average fuel economy of 35 miles per gallon for new cars, pickup trucks and SUVs by 2020, raising efficiency standards that have not changed significantly for nearly two decades.
The fuel economy measure was added to a broad energy bill without a roll call vote even as senators were holding a news conference announcing the compromise.
Republicans earlier blocked Democratic efforts to raise oil taxes by $29 billion and use the money to promote renewable fuels and other clean energy programs.
Democratic leaders hoped to complete the energy bill Thursday night, but senators close to the auto industry began an effort to derail the entire bill.
“We will be continuing to oppose it,” said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., “This is not over by any stretch.”
The legislation for the first time would establish a single fuel economy standard applicable to not only cars, but also SUVs and pickups which currently have to meet less stringent requirement.
Fuel efficiency requirements would vary for different classes of vehicles based on weight and size. But manufacturers would be required to meet an overall fleetwide average of 35 mpg.
“It closes the SUV loophole,” declared Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., referring to current requirements that allow much less stringent fuel efficiency standards for SUVs and pickup trucks than for cars. “This is a victory for the American public.”
The compromise, approved without floor debate, was crafted over several days behind closed doors with the aim of heading off attempts by senators sympathetic to the auto industry to press a less stringent proposal.
The Senate energy bill won a key test vote Thursday, indicating
that it is likely to win Senate passage.
one of the bill's major provisions was blocked — it would have
subsidized green technology mainly by taking away tax breaks from big
oil companies. Democratic leaders say that provision is bound to be
Meanwhile, Senators approved a compromise on increasing vehicle fuel economy standards.
We are at a pivotal moment in US history. This auto mileage bill is the last chance in this congress to move our country toward energy independence.
And IT IS GOING DOWN THE TUBES.
Carl Levin's 'Compromise Bill' is a disaster. It is so watered down and has so many outs as to be worthless.
We need to call on all Bloggers and all our friends to start acting. We can do all the innovating we want but if we don't force Detroit to start making more fuel efficient cars, then we are not going to make a dent in global warming and we can forget about energy security.
As you may know, 62% of the oil the US consumes is for cars and SUVs. These vehicles' oil consumption must be drastically reduced, and it must be reduced NOW. US Auto companies advocate waiting until 2025 for action. This is too late! Each car sold is on the road for an average of 13 Years!!
The US Auto companies said 10 years ago that if we raised CAFE than they would have to close factories and fire workers. What have they done for the last ten years? They've closed factories and fired workers.
Fuel efficiency standards in Europe are 37.5 miles per gallon, and their auto industry has not suffered any dire catastrophe. Next year even China will increase their standards to 36 miles per gallon, meaning that many US-made automobiles cannot be sold in China! This is embarrassing and unacceptable.
One tie not adequately discussed is that John Dingell's wife works for GM as Trustee and Executive Director of National Corporate Activity. Auto company lobbyists have used her name and this relationship in DC. Can you imagine if the Congresswoman responsible for killing anti-tobacco legislation had a husband who worked for a tobacco company?!
Friends, if we don't act now then we will have missed a HISTORIC opportunity. The American People - Republicans and Democrats - have become united around the need for energy security and the need to combat global warming. But our politicians in Washington are going to waste this opportunity. Encourage your senators to oppose the Pryor-Bond-Levin Amendment and support Senator Feinstein's original bill. We can't go down on this one without a fight.
Grab your phone! The U.S. Senate will cast a vote tonight or tomorrow that will determine whether America starts kicking the oil habit and breaking the automakers' stranglehold on our environmental future.
At long last, the Senate is on the verge of passing an energy bill that would improve fuel economy standards for our gas-guzzling nation. The vast majority of Americans want these tougher standards -- to break our oil addiction, slash global warming pollution and save billions of dollars at the pump.
But the auto giants are not about to surrender their hammerlock on your car, your environment and your wallet without a fight. They've engineered an amendment that would throw America into full reverse.
Compared to the 35 mpg standard in the energy bill, their Pryor-Levin-Bond Amendment would raise our gasoline bill (by $31 billion) . . . worsen our addiction to oil (by 800,000 barrels per day) . . . and increase global warming pollution (equal to 20 million more cars and trucks!).
Fight back by calling your two Senators tonight if at all possible -- or else Friday morning:
Senator Barbara Boxer (202) 224-3553
Senator Dianne Feinstein (202) 224-3841
Your Senators' staffers will be happy to register your opinion on this fast-moving amendment. Urge your Senators:
* Vote NO on the Pryor-Levin-Bond amendment to the energy bill (H.R.6).
* If the Pryor-Levin-Bond amendment passes, then vote NO on the energy bill (H.R. 6).
If you get your Senator's answering machine, please leave a message opposing the amendment. If the voice mailbox is full, please try again Friday morning. Every call counts!
After you've placed your call, please reply to this email message so we can track the progress of our campaign on Capitol Hill.
We've waited two decades for Congress to pass legislation that could start breaking the chains of our enslavement to oil. We have a rare opportunity to do that this week -- if we can beat back this disastrous amendment.
Call your Senators now. Tell them to obey the will of the people, not the bidding of the car companies!
The Indian government has spent half-a-billion dollars trying to clean up Delhi's Yamuna River. It's only gotten worse, says Fortune's Daniel Pepper. FORTUNE Magazine By Daniel Pepper, Fortune June 4 2007
(Fortune Magazine) -- At dawn, under the belly of a wrought-iron bridge, 12-year-old Somnath Dantoso drops a dumbbell-shaped magnet from his makeshift raft into New Delhi's Yamuna River. It is a routine he has followed daily for four years. The magnet sinks 30 feet below the river's inky surface and on a good day brings up about 50 rupees' ($1.22) worth of coins that commuters toss in for good luck. "When people stop throwing coins, I'm going to open a grocery shop," he says. "Otherwise I'll do this the rest of my life."
The coins are the least of the Yamuna's problems: The stretch of river where Somnath works is so contaminated that it can hardly sustain marine life. Garbage cascades down its banks, giving off a fetid stench. And half of the city's raw sewage flows into its waters. "The river is dead," says Sunita Narain, director of the Centre for Science and Environment, a watchdog group in New Delhi. "It just has not been officially cremated."
The blighting of the Yamuna is a symptom of India's unchecked urban growth and poor oversight. The government has spent nearly $500 million trying to clean up the river, most of it going to waste-treatment stations, yet pollution levels more than doubled from 1993 to 2005. And they continue to rise.
The problem is that 11 of the city's 17 sewage-treatment plants are underutilized; a quarter of them run at less than 30 percent capacity. That's because the city's sewer system is so corroded and clogged it can't deliver to the treatment plants the waste of the 55 percent of New Delhi's 15 million inhabitants who are connected to the sewage system.
And even if the plants were fully utilized, there would still be the waste from 1,500 unplanned neighborhoods, where sewage "finds its way into the drains and the river," says Arun Mathur, head of the Delhi Jal Board, the government agency responsible for the city's water supply.
BETHEL ISLAND — For 20 years, Jim Saathoff has built his private refuge from the urban hustle, making his home on an island in the vast freshwater delta that feeds into San Francisco Bay.
Water skiers ply the gray-green river within view of his front porch. A short walk from his home, he can cast off to fish for sturgeon, salmon and striped bass. His two children ran wild exploring the farm fields, marinas and hideaways of the fertile islands where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers twine.
Saathoff's idyllic life may not last forever. By the time his 11-year-old grandson is ready to have children of his own, scientists predict the Delta's network of islands will be imperiled by the rising tides and mountain flood waters caused by global climate change.
Morning Edition, June 15, 2007 · Drought has hit many parts of the country, including Florida, where the giant Lake Okeechobee became so dry and so low, dry grasses on the lake floor caught fire. But the weather isn't the only reason for the state's water woes, the author of a new book says.
"Florida's groundwater has been overallocated — not just in South Florida, but all over the state," says Cynthia Barnett, author of Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern United States. "In addition, we just haven't taken conservation as seriously as other parts of the country."
Much like Las Vegas in the early 1990s, Florida seems to be in denial about the need to conserve water, she tells Renee Montagne.
"Many homeowners associations in Florida not only require sod, but they have guys in golf carts driving around measuring the shade of green," Barnett says. And if you don't have the right shade, you get a nasty letter from the homeowners association and a fine."
Farmers are also big water consumers, using nearly half of Florida's public supply, Barnett says.
In some parts of the state, city wells have been closed because of saltwater intrusion — sea water creeps in when freshwater aquifers drop too low.
That problem isn't limited to Florida. Several cities along the East Coast are struggling with it, too.