Pollution

Haley Barbour pins the BP oil spill on a sad bird

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour thinks the disastrous economic effects of the Gulf oil spill were the fault of BP, where “BP” stands for “brown pelican”: So people saw on TV the same brown pelican coated with looked like 3 inches of oil, I mean, looked like a chocolate pelican. And they showed it every hour, every day, 24 hours a day for weeks and weeks and weeks. And the news media, particularly 24-hour cable TV, gave citizens the impression the whole Gulf Coast was coated in oil. People deduced from that that it was unsafe, unpleasant, don’t want to go …

Let’s point and laugh at the United States’ weeny little pollution taxes

Awwwwww, look at the teeny little bar graph representing U.S. pollution taxes! I bet everybody tells the U.S. it's "average," but it's clearly not. Don't worry, America; it's not how big it is, it's what you do with it! And we … use it to fund wars, I guess? 

Critical List: EPA gives chemical industry a pass; Rolls-Royce owners snubs EVs

The EPA could ask chemical companies to report on Americans' exposure to their products, but it's not. "Where's there's coal, there's opportunity": The energy industry funds brainwashing — sorry, "education" — for students. The Grand Calumet river ferries about 200,000 cubic yards of toxic crap into Lake Michigan each year. The federal government is cleaning it up. Slowly. Bill McKibben lays out the strategy for pushing back on Obama's energy choices. Rolls-Royce owners poo-poo electric cars. The company's CEO thinks it's because his customers live in sprawly suburbs where 100 miles, the range of most EVs, just won't cut it.

Sarah Palin loves the smell of emissions in the morning

Sarah Palin is still being coy about whether she's going to run for president, but as usual, she's enjoying whatever attention she can get. Her latest stunt: Hopping on the back of a Harley to ride with 400,000 bikers through D.C., like she was Hell's own angel. Palin's take on the ride? Pollutalicious! "I love that smell of the emissions," she told Fox News. The bike event, Rolling Thunder, is an annual Memorial Day ride to the Vietnam Memorial, organized by Vietnam vets to draw attention to missing and captured service members. But hey, why make a respectful statement about …

Critical List: No more nuclear power in Germany; angry moose attack

Germany plans to close its nuclear reactors by 2022. Electricity generation in 2010 created more carbon emissions than ever before. Canada just looooves tar sands. So much that the country sorta kinda forgot to mention to the U.N. that pollution from the oil-sands industry increased by 20 percent in 2009. European countries are banning imported cucumbers, after an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant E. coli infected more than 1,200 people in Germany. Sixteen people have died so far. Man, even phallic vegetables aren’t funny this morning. Food prices may double by 2030, Oxfam reports. In Brazil, a third anti-logging rainforest activist was …

Pollution

Cancer is now the leading cause of death in China

As China’s pollution soars, so do rates of cancer. This post was written by Janet Larsen, director of research for the Earth Policy Institute. Additional resources at www.earth-policy.org. Cancer is now the leading cause of death in China. Chinese Ministry of Health data implicate cancer in close to a quarter of all deaths countrywide. As is common with many countries as they industrialize, the usual plagues of poverty — infectious diseases and high infant mortality — have given way to diseases more often associated with affluence, such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer. While this might be expected in China’s …

Coal

Down with coal! The grassroots anti-coal movement goes global

The article was coauthored by Bob Burton (CoalSwarm, Australia), Christine Shearer (CoalSwarm, U.S.), Cynthia Ong (LEAP, Malaysia), Jamie Henn (350.org, U.S.), John Hepburn (Greenpeace, Australia), Joshua Frank (CoalSwarm, U.S.), Justin Guay (Sierra Club, U.S.), Kate Hoshour (International Accountability Project, U.S.), and Mark Wakeham (Environment Victoria, Australia). In Thailand, 10,000 people call on their government to quit coal.Photo: Athit Perawongmetha of GreenpeaceIn the United States and Europe, the triple whammy of recession, cheap alternatives, and aggressive anti-coal campaigning has helped halt the expansion of coal use. Since 2004, plans to build more than 150 coal plants in the U.S. have been …

Greener cars and fuel mean fewer deaths tied to vehicle emissions

Cars idling in traffic lead to more than 2,200 premature deaths each year, according to a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health. But lower vehicle emissions and cleaner fuels have been driving down that number for past decade, and the number of deaths will continue to decrease until about 2025, the study says. Here's a graph from the study showing projected premature deaths connected to congested traffic from 2000-2030: What happens in 2025? Presumably, increased emissions from congestion begin to overtake gains from greener fuel and car design. The study was funded by a coalition of transportation …

Climate Policy

Bombshell: High and rising price for carbon pollution emerges as credible deficit reduction strategy

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation funded six groups from across the political spectrum to put forward plans addressing our nation’s fiscal challenges. All the plans are here. The Center for American Progress (CAP) plan, “Budgeting for Growth and Prosperity” [PDF], brings the deficit below 2 percent of GDP within six years and fully balances by 2030. The CAP budget does so while boosting clean energy research and deployment funding roughly $10 billion a year — and instituting a high and rising CO2 price. The plan achieves the CO2 reduction targets from the 2009 House climate and clean energy jobs bill …

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