IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Goodbye Tax Day '08, Hello Tax Day '09 (with big new incentives to sweeten the deal); Birds taking the long way home; "Greenwashing"; PLUS: Solar power...in SPAAAAACE.... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (links below): Six Degrees of Tom Delay, or How a Climate Denier Helped the EPA Get Its Groove Back; abandoned housing developments reverting to nature; Norway lays claim to (part of) the Arctic; the high energy cost of spam; AND: the Somali pirate problem --- toxic dumping and overfishing to blame? ....See below for more!
Info/links on stuff we talked about on today's episode, plus MORE green news, all follows below...
- With tax credit, consumers give turbines, solar panels a second look: The stimulus package allows buyers to claim a 30 percent tax credit for renewable-energy products
The stimulus legislation allows consumers to claim a 30 percent tax credit in 2009 and 2010 for the purchase and installation of renewable-energy products such as wind turbines, solar panels, and geothermal heat pumps. Taxpayers may also claim a 30 percent credit, up to $1,500, for qualifying energy-efficient home improvements including insulation, ultra-efficient heating and cooling systems, and replacement windows.
The tax credits are already boosting consumer interest, says Dave Moody, director of field marketing for Service Experts Inc., a heating and cooling company with 120 branches nationwide. “It’s having the desired intent,” he says. “It’s driving people toward energy conservation and more efficient appliances, from our observation.”
- What the expanded remodeling tax credit means for consumers: The federal credit for many improvements to make homes more energy-efficient has been tripled to 30%
- Birds face biggest threat since Ice Age, scientists suggest
- The final frontier: Solar power from space
Solaren proposes placing solar panels on a satellite to generate electricity that is converted to radio frequency energy on-board and sent to a ground station in California. The receiver then converts the radio frequency energy to electricity and it is fed into the power grid.
- Solar power captured in space, beamed to Earth
- PG&E makes deal for space solar power: Utility to buy orbit-generated electricity from Solaren in 2016, at no risk
- California's new power source a solar farm
- Coral Fossils Suggest That Sea Level Can Rise Rapidly
- The Mobile Solar Computer Classroom: a complete classroom in the back of an SUV
The Maendeleo Foundation: Technology and Knowledge Fighting Poverty
- Most "green" products seen to make false claims
"The good news is that the growing availability of green products shows that consumers are demanding more environmentally responsible choices and that marketers and manufacturers are listening", said TerraChoice Chief Executive Scott McDougall. "The bad news is that TerraChoice's survey of 2,219 consumer products in Canada and the U.S. shows that 98 percent committed at least one sin of greenwashing and that some marketers are exploiting consumers' demand for third-party certification by creating fake labels or false suggestions of third-party endorsement."
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': More green news not covered in today's audio report... .... See below!
- From the Irony Dept: Tom Delay to Thank for EPA Emissions Authority
Take Tom Delay, the former congressional GOP leader with a longstanding hatred for the U.S. EPA and doubt about climate change, and figure out how, by six degrees of separation, he triggered the Supreme Court ruling that’s now giving Congressional Democrats leverage to push climate policy through Congress.
Does not compute, right? This is the guy who once called the EPA the “gestapo of government” and tried to virtually eliminate toxic waste laws during his Washington heyday in the 1990s. Well, the Obama administration energy czar, Carol Browner, drew the connection in six degrees at MIT’s conference on energy policy this week. Here’s how...
- Empty Florida homes may return to nature:
The Georgetown apartment complex in Tampa was slated to be replaced with luxury condos --- until the market fell in. Now the land could become a bayfront park.
- Oslo sets limit on Arctic seabed, short of North Pole
Agreement on shelf limits gives states the right to exploit resources on and beneath the seabed, such as oil and gas or the genes of marine organisms, officials said.
A U.S. official report last year said the Arctic contains enough oil and gas to meet current world demand for three years, or 90 billion barrels. And global warming may make the region more accessible.
- Study: energy cost of spam comes from user intervention:
McAfee, a maker of antivirus software, has commissioned a study of the energy cost of spam. The report suggests that it's substantial, but the biggest cost isn't in the filtering; it comes from all the user intervention required.
- How Overfishing Almost Got Capt. Phillips Killed by Pirates
- More on Toxic Waste Dumping & Illegal Fishing Helping Get Us Into a Piracy Mess in Somalia: Some Background Info