IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: It's official, it's a pandemic! (Go ahead and panic); Obama doubles down on mountaintop removal; Green jobs bring in the green; PLUS: Hot shingles! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (links below): "Food, Inc." opens Friday; Anti-oil protests turn deadly in Peru and extremely unpleasant in Ireland; "Bee Fences" in Africa; Wait, the U.S. is NOT 'the Saudi Arabia of coal?!?!'; Solar N' Salt, working together... PLUS: A Solar Explainer .... See below for more Green News!
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...
- WHO: Swine flu pandemic has begun, 1st in 41 years
Many health experts said the world has been in a pandemic for weeks but WHO became bogged down by politics. In May, several countries urged WHO not to declare a pandemic, fearing it would cause social and economic turmoil.
Fear has already gripped Argentina, where thousands of people worried about swine flu flooded into hospitals this week, bringing emergency health services in the capital of Buenos Aires to the brink of collapse. Last month, a bus arriving in Argentina from Chile was stoned by people who thought a passenger on it had swine flu. Chile has the most swine flu cases in South America, and the southern hemisphere is moving into its winter flu season.
- White House promises tougher strip mining oversight
While many environmentalists have hoped that the Obama administration would seek to put an end to the practice of mountaintop removal mining, today’s announcement focused on how to lessen the affect on water quality.
But during a telephone press conference today, officials struggled to describe what practical differences in mountaintop mining would result from the policy changes.
- Study Cites Strong Green Job Growth
A new study says that the number of green jobs in the United States grew 9.1 percent between 1998 and 2007, about two and a half times faster than job growth in the economy as a whole.
- Grist.org: Breaking: Obama says mountain crimes can be regulated
All well-meaning intentions aside, if the Obama administration truly wanted to “enforce” mountaintop removal regulations and protect American watersheds, drinking water, and communities from catastrophic flooding and toxic blasting, it would simply reverse a 2002 Bush and dirty coal lobby manipulation of the Clean Water Act and restore the original definition of “fill” material to no longer include mining waste.
- OPINION: Mountaintop Letdown: President Obama's decision will enrage environmentalists, but it's the right one
His decision reflects energy and political realities. Coal will remain an essential energy source for some time, while ending mountaintop removal mining would require action in Congress. There it would be opposed by coal-state members whose help Mr. Obama needs to get the more ambitious climate-change bill passed.
- READ THE EPA STATEMENT
- China launches green power revolution to catch up on west: Plan to hit 20% renewable target by 2020; $30bn for low-carbon projects
- ANALYSIS: China shakes off image as climate criminal with green revolution: Coal-hungry China's low-carbon ambitions are to its economic advantage as it jostles for position at Copenhagen with the US
- Green collar job creation 'outstripped traditional sectors in US': Report on US job figures up to 2007 also says wind and solar sectors resisting recession better than traditional manufacturing
- Brighter days seen for solar, next-gen biofuels
Market monitor New Energy Finance on behalf of the U.N. Environment Programme issued a report last week showing that alternative-energy sources attracted more investment than fossil fuels for the first time in 2008, netting $155 billion in net capital inflows against $110 billion of new investment in oil, natural gas and coal. That figure includes money for large- and small-scale hydropower, but more than $100 billion in new funding last year went to biofuels, wind and solar companies globally.
- Poachers wiping out Zimbabwe's rhinos as demand surges; Animals' horns sold on lucrative Chinese market, Gangs taking advantage
- Flexible Solar Power Shingles Transform Roofs From Wasted Space To Energy Source
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': More green news not covered in today's audio report... See below!
- WATCH: PBS' NOW: Behind the Food We Love
Americans have a long-standing love affair with food - the modern supermarket has, on average, 47,000 products. But do we really know what goes into making the products we so eagerly consume? David Brancaccio talks with filmmaker Robert Kenner, the director of "Food, Inc.," which takes a hard look at the secretive and surprising journey food takes on the way from processing plants to our dinner tables. The two discuss why contemporary food-processing secrets are so closely guarded, their impact on our health, and another surprising fact: how consumers are actually empowered to make a difference.
- "Police Are Throwing Bodies in the River," Say Native Protesters
- Peruvian indigenous leader seeks asylum in Nicaragua's embassy: Alberto Pizango was charged with sedition following protests in the Amazon rainforest which turned violent
- WATCH: The price of gas: Protesters in the coastal Irish village of Rossport gear up for a summer showdown with Shell, as the company prepares to bring a controversial gas pipeline ashore after a decade-long battle
- Nature's Fencing: Beehive Fences Help African Elephants and Farmers Not Hate Each Other
- USGS: We’re Not The ‘Saudi Arabia Of Coal’
- Chilled beams hit the roof
MIT will incorporate two types of chilled beams: active and passive. Active systems tie into the building's air supply ducts, mixing supply air with cooled air and distributing it through diffusers. Passive technology relies on warm air rising to the beams to be cooled. It then descends without the assistance of fans. In both cases, water cooled to between 59-65 degrees Fahrenheit is pumped from a chilled water system to the coiled piping inside the beam.
- A solar plant that's worth its salt
- LEARN: Scientific American Explains: How does solar power work?