May 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Worldwide levels of the chief greenhouse gas that causes global warming have hit a milestone, reaching an amount never before encountered by humans, federal scientists said Friday. Carbon dioxide was measured at 400 parts per million at the oldest monitoring station, which is in Hawaii and sets the global benchmark. The last time the worldwide carbon level was probably that high was about two million years ago, said Pieter Tans of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
March 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is leaning toward revising its landmark proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants, according to several individuals briefed on the matter, a move that would delay tougher restrictions and could anger many environmentalists. The discussions center on the first-ever greenhouse gas regulations for power plants, which were proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency nearly a year ago. Rewriting the proposal would significantly delay any action, and might allow the agency to set a separate standard for coal-fired power plants, which are roughly twice as polluting as those fueled by natural gas. While the move could bolster the administration's legal justification for regulating power plants' carbon emissions, any delay on the rules would be a blow to environmental groups and their supporters, who constituted a crucial voting bloc for President Obama and other Democrats in last year's elections.
January 9, 2013
DEPARTING U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson did well by the public, especially with the tighter emissions rules she imposed on coal-fired power plants. But her successor will need to move Congress closer to meaningful legislation on climate change and rebuild the program that funds much of the nation's sewerage work. Ms. Jackson, the first African American to lead the EPA, helped secure landmark fuel-efficiency standards for autos. She infused new life in the agency after eight years of foot-dragging and rollbacks by former President George W. Bush's administration.
November 30, 2012 |
GLACIERS ARE shrinking so rapidly we might have to change the definition of the word "glacial. " To proceed at a glacial pace nowadays means to move backward at a rapidly accelerating rate - like, say, the Eagles. The process is chronicled in the new documentary "Chasing Ice," which uses time-lapse photography to show just how drastically fast ice sheets up yonder are turning to water, raising sea levels. But wait, you say, not all glaciers are receding. Some are advancing, right?
August 17, 2012 |
PITTSBURGH - In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the United States has fallen dramatically, to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal. Many of the world's leading climate scientists didn't see the drop coming, in large part because it happened as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere.
April 20, 2012 |
FUNNY THING about the lists of "helpful planet-saving tips" that show up as Earth Day (Sunday) approaches: They rarely include, much less spotlight, the daily action that could have the most impact: cutting down your meat and dairy consumption. The United Nations has repeatedly stated that we must drastically change our eating patterns, given that somewhere from 18 percent (if you credit the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization 2006 estimate) to 51 percent (Worldwatch Institute's estimate, 2009)
January 12, 2012 |
Seven Pennsylvania coal-fired power plants are among the 100 highest industrial emitters of greenhouse gases in the United States, according to data released Wednesday by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Ranking 12th on the national list is FirstEnergy Generation Corp.'s Bruce Mansfield plant in Beaver County, the state's biggest. The other plants are Brunner Island, Conemaugh, Hatfield's Ferry, Homer City, Keystone, and Montour. No New Jersey plants made that top 100 list.
December 12, 2011 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The hard-won deal at a U.N. global climate conference in South Africa keeps talks alive but doesn't address the core problem: The world's biggest carbon polluters aren't willing to cut emissions of greenhouse gases enough to stave off dangerous levels of global warming. With many scientists saying time is running out, a bigger part of the solution may have to come from the rise of climate-friendly technologies being developed outside the U.N. process. Scientists say that if levels of greenhouse gases continue to rise, eventually the world's climate will reach a tipping point, with melting of some ice sheets and a catastrophic rise of several feet in sea levels.
July 25, 2011 |
The heat on meat consumption keeps rising. For decades, environmentalists have insisted that vegetables and other plant foods are the way to go. The latest lob comes from the Environmental Working Group, which adds new number-crunching to the debate. The national nonprofit commissioned a life-cycle analysis of 20 common foods - meat, fish, dairy, and vegetables. In a report released last week, "Meat Eater's Guide to Climate Change and Health," the group ranked them according to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram - roughly four ounces - of the food.