Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Cities

Comments

Sore Like an Eagle

The greatest threat to the bald eagle is no longer pesticides, but development and suburban sprawl, say environmental scientists. The bald eagle has starred in one of the most successful species-restoration stories in U.S. history; thanks to the banning of DDT in 1972 and the careful efforts of environmental advocates, the eagle has soared back from the brink of extinction. Still, bald eagle populations have generally risen fastest in states with the lowest rates of population growth. The growth in numbers of vacation and second homes has put pressure on the birds throughout the Northeast. "Loss of habitat is the …

Read more: Cities

Comments

Oily Residue

Judge Imposes $4.5 Billion in Damages in Exxon Valdez Case A federal judge in Alaska on Wednesday imposed $4.5 billion in punitive damages on ExxonMobil Corp. for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill in Prince William Sound. The judgment marks the third time the case has been through federal court; on two previous occasions, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals deemed the award excessive and sent it back for review. Exxon expects to appeal yet again. It's been almost 15 years since the tanker, piloted by a relapsed alcoholic who faced only misdemeanor charges, ran aground on a …

Comments

Going on the Rails on a Crazy Train

Study Find Trains Best Transportation Solution for California Building a high-speed rail system that would connect California's major cities would be more cost-effective and less environmentally destructive than expanding the state's highways and airports, says a long-awaited government environmental study released today. The study -- which considered ways of linking the Bay Area and San Francisco with Los Angeles and San Diego to accommodate population growth over the next two decades -- considered three alternatives: increasing traffic flow on existing transportation infrastructure, building new highways and expanding airports, and constructing a high-speed rail system. It concluded that the first would …

Read more: Cities

Comments

That Ken-do Spirit

London's Mayor Pushes Solar Panels London's lefty mayor, known (either fondly or derisively, depending on whom you talk to) as "Red Ken" Livingstone, is calling for the "vast majority" of new homes built in London to include photovoltaic solar panels. The requirement is part of a set of strict building and planning rules for local authorities that will go into effect next month. The plan is being released on the heels of a World Wildlife Fund study showing that Britain's leading house-construction firms are not using sustainable building practices. Industry groups protested the rules, saying that focusing on upgrading old …

Read more: Cities, Living

Comments

The Big Apple of Our Eye

World Trade Center Reconstruction Will Set New Eco-Friendly Standard Reconstruction of New York City's World Trade Center area -- site of the 2001 terrorist attacks -- is set to make a green splash as one of the largest eco-friendly building projects ever undertaken. Under environmental guidelines expected to be released today for public comment, new structures on the massive site (which will contain as much commercial space as the city of Indianapolis) would have, among other features, roofs that catch rainwater for use in toilets and in efficient cooling systems. The guidelines would also encourage builders to use renewable and …

Read more: Cities

Comments

Houston, We Have a Solution

Supporters Claim $300 Billion Energy Plan Would Create 3.3 Million Jobs A coalition called the Apollo Alliance released a report on Wednesday proposing and outlining a 10-year, $300 billion investment in alternative energy sources, which it claimed would create 3.3 million jobs and more than pay for itself through energy savings and economic stimulation. The 10-point plan -- which contains prescriptions for everything from more efficient factories to modernized electrical plants to hybrid cars -- contrasts sharply with the Bush administration's proposed energy plan, which would heavily subsidize the oil, gas, and nuclear industries. The report prompted criticism from economists …

Comments

They’re Going to Pump You Up

Supreme Court to Review Two Important Environmental Cases In what court-watchers are calling an unusually in-depth review of environmental issues, the Supreme Court is set to hear two cases today with potentially nationwide implications for clean air and water regulations. The first is an appeal by oil companies and diesel manufacturers (supported by the Bush administration) who are challenging a Los Angeles-area requirement that diesel-fueled buses, trash trucks, and airport shuttles be replaced with cleaner-burning models. The second is a suit brought by the Florida Everglades-based Miccosukee tribe against a water-pumping station that for years has been piping polluted runoff …

Comments

All-wheel Jive

Subaru Outback to Become "Light Truck" to Avoid Fuel Economy Rules As of next year, Subaru's Outback sedan will be classified as a "light truck," thanks to some technical modifications to its ground clearance and back bumper position. The revised classification will place the car ... er, truck in a category requiring (as of 2005) 21.2 miles per gallon; in contrast, each automaker's fleet of standard passenger cars must average 27.5 mpg. More than semantics are at stake: Since the regulatory categories were put in place in the 1970s, the automotive industry has developed the minivan and the SUV, both …

Comments

We Love to Fly and It Shows

Britain Mulls Ways to Limit Impact of Aviation Industry With the holidays looming, the airports and skies are fuller than ever -- unfortunately for the environment. Air travel is the most environmentally damaging way to get around, with planes using vast quantities of fossil fuels and emitting toxic byproducts and greenhouse gases. The issue is looming large on the radar screen in Britain, where the government just released a white paper on the future of aviation. Environmentalists were disappointed by the contents of the paper, which they say failed to adequately address the problems of pollution, airport expansion, and greenhouse …

Read more: Cities

Comments

The word on relatively green cars and positively green bicycles

Hy-wire act. Photo: DOE. My daughter Maya, who is 9, saw a picture of the General Motors Hy-wire, the company's super-sleek experimental fuel-cell car, and immediately decided we should have one. Unfortunately, I had to explain to her that the hydrogen-powered, zero-emission, fossil-fuel-free car would be perfect for us in all respects except one: It's not available. So it goes with U.S. manufacturers and innovative, efficient automotive technology -- all promise, no delivery. So what's an environmentally minded would-be car owner to do? First, make sure you really need a car. Motor vehicles take a heavy toll on the environment, …

Read more: Cities