EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"BEIJING -- China in recent years established global dominance in renewable energy, its solar panel and wind turbine factories forcing many foreign rivals out of business and its policy makers hailed by environmentalists around the world as visionaries. But now China’s strategy is in disarray. Though worldwide demand for solar panels and wind turbines has grown rapidly over the last five years, China’s manufacturing capacity has soared even faster, creating enormous oversupply and a ferocious price war."
"WASHINGTON -- Companies wishing to market their products as 'eco-friendly' or good for the environment had better have data to back up the claims, the Federal Trade Commission warned Monday, laying out guidelines for so-called green marketing."
"More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday.
As global average temperatures rise due to greenhouse gas emissions, the effects on the planet, such as melting ice caps, extreme weather, drought and rising sea levels, will threaten populations and livelihoods, said the report conducted by humanitarian organization DARA.
"A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service circulated yesterday evening backed up supporters' claim that pricing carbon could be a powerful tool for reining in the federal deficit."
The biosafety level 3 facility on Plum Island in Long Island Sound has been converted from biowarfare to studying animal diseases, harmless to humans, that could come into the U.S. from abroad. Some of those diseases could devastate U.S. flocks or herds. The secrecy and message-control surrounding the facility is intense. But is the secrecy meant to protect the U.S. public or to protect the financial interests of the agriculture industry?
"Global grain production is expected to hit record levels this year, despite the drought that gripped most of the Midwest, the Worldwatch Institute said in a report released yesterday."
25 Senators are asking the White House to spend more money on dredging harbors and channels -- a special problem in the Great Lakes, where near-record low water levels caused by drought and possibly climate change are costing shippers money.
"The wind industry’s main trade association is predicting that new installations will fall to zero without a renewal of the production tax credit, which applies only to projects finished by New Year’s Eve. Since renewal is iffy, some wind machine factories are already shutting down, as my colleague Diane Cardwell reported on Friday."
"Recent action by Koch Oil Sands pulls the curtain back further on the Koch family's deep but quiet involvement in Canada's oil sands industry."
"A coal-fired power plant in Billings, Montana, will be mothballed starting in April 2015 because it will cost too much to comply with new emissions reductions required by the government, plant owner and operator PPL Montana said on Wednesday."
"Searing droughts in the United States and Russia will deplete harvests of wheat, corn and soybeans, the U.S. government said on Wednesday, but global food supplies were not hurt as badly as many had feared."
"If you get to talking to Eric Latino about his 1969 Pro Modfied Camaro, which he'll be racing this weekend in the 'Thunder by the Beach' drag-racing meeting at the Grand Bend Motorplex, he might tell you that race cars are painted almost any colour except green."
"The number of poor Americans who repeatedly ran short of food shot up by 800,000 in 2011 to nearly 17 million compared with 2010, the U.S. government said on Wednesday."
The dramatic drop in the price of natural gas as a result of the U.S. fracking boom may doom the profitability of future coal-burning power plants. It is just one example of how imperfect information about the future makes energy markets uncertain and risky.