Monthly Archives: May 2012

Foodstamp Usage Remains At All Time High, Record Number 46.5 million recipients | ZeroHedge

May 31, 2012

46.5 million recipients and the number of households actually receiving benefits increased to a new record of 22.2 million. Lastly, the average monthly benefit per household slide to a multi-year low of $277.27.  Households on foodstamps and average benefits: Please continue reading at: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/foodstamp-usage-remains-all-time-high-record-number-households-receive-277-poverty-assistance-m
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Fish reduces risk of colorectal cancer by as much as 12%.

May 31, 2012

Our findings from this meta-analysis suggest that fish consumption is inversely associated with colorectal cancer…current evidence that suggests that fish consumption may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by as much as 12%. The American Journal of Medicine http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343%2812%2900123-4/fulltext
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Study reflects sunshine vitamin can melt the fat

May 31, 2012

The authors investigated whether correction of hypovitaminosis D in a cohort of overweight adults can improve the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its components. Adult nondiabetic Saudis were advised to expose themselves to sunlight for set periods twice a week and to follow a vitamin D-enriched diet. Mean serum 25-OHD level increased and there was a concomitant significant decrease in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Read more of this Storyhttp://www.metabolismjournal.com/article/S0026-0495%2811%2900319-2/fulltext
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NSAID use reduces skin cancer risk, study

May 31, 2012

People who use common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, are less likely to develop melanoma and squamous-cell skin cancer than non-NSAID users, according to a study published online in Cancer. Read story at Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/29/us-painkillers-cancer-idUSBRE84S03Z20120529
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Incidence of kidney stones in U.S. roughly doubles since 94′ reached 1 in 11.

May 31, 2012

Data from the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed that the prevalence of kidney stones nearly doubled in 16 years. One person in 20 had the condition in 1994, and in 2010 the rate had reached 1 in 11. Researchers found that individuals with obesity, diabetes or gout had a greater risk of kidney stones. The findings appear in the journal European Urology via MyHealthNewsDailyhttp://www.myhealthnewsdaily.com/2642-kidney-stone-rate-doubles-16-years.html
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It’s Official: OSHA Doesn’t Kill Jobs. Protects Workers at a $6 billion savings to employers

May 30, 2012

From OSHA QuickTakes Newsletter: 9.4% drop in injury claims at workplaces in the four years following an inspection 26% average savings on workers’ compensation costs compared to similar, non-inspected companies $355,000 average savings for an employer (small or large) as a result of an OSHA inspection $6 billion estimated savings to employers nationwide Key findings of the study on OSHA inspections A landmark new study by business school economists at the University of California and Harvard University confirms that OSHA’s inspections not only prevent workers from getting hurt on the job, they also save billions of dollars for employers through reduced workers’ compensation costs. The study, entitled “Randomized Government Safety Inspections Reduce Worker Injuries with No Detectable Job Loss,” appeared in the top scientific journal Science and reports that workplace injury claims dropped 9.4% at businesses in the four years following a randomized OSHA inspection, compared with employers who were not inspected. Those same employers also saved an average of 26% on workers’ compensation costs, compared to similar companies who were not inspected. This means that the average employer saved $355,000 (in 2011 dollars) as a result of an OSHA inspection. Benefits were observed among both small and large employers.
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Groundwater depletion in semiarid regions of Texas and California threatens US food security

May 30, 2012

Groundwater depletion has been most severe in the purple areas indicated on these maps of (A) the High Plains and (B) California’s Central Valley. These heavily affected areas are concentrated in parts of the Texas Panhandle, western Kansas, and the Tulare Basin in California’s Central Valley. Changes in groundwater levels in (A) are adapted from a 2009 report by the US Geological Survey and in (B) from a 1989 report by the USGS. Credit: US Geological Survey The nation’s food supply may be vulnerable to rapid groundwater depletion from irrigated agriculture, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere. Please continue reading at: http://phys.org/news/2012-05-groundwater-depletion-semiarid-regions-texas.html
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The new LEED draft includes a drastic change – the Avoidance of Chemicals of Concern now references REACH

May 30, 2012

ACA on May 28 submitted comments to the U.S. Green Building Council regarding LEED 2012. The U.S. Green Building Council opened this unexpected – and very short – fourth public comment period on May 11 in response to concerns regarding the drastic changes in LEED 2012 from the previous 2009 iteration.  The new LEED 2012 draft includes a drastic change – the Avoidance of Chemicals of Concern now references the European Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical Substances, or REACH, and requires U.S. manufacturers to comply with this system.  LEED 2012 also includes a credit for disclosing 99 percent of the ingredients in building materials, and a new credit system for Low-Emitting Interiors, which contains emissions standards for furniture, ceilings, flooring, architectural coatings, and adhesives and sealants. Under the Low-Emitting Interiors credit, at least 90 percent of interior paint and coatings applied to walls, floors, and ceilings, and 90 percent of interior adhesives and sealants applied on-site must comply with emissions testing requirements.        With regards to the Low-Emitting Interiors credit, ACA expressed concern that requiring nearly all interior architectural coatings, adhesives, and sealants to undergo emissions testing is not practically feasible in the current marketplace, and will limit access
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EPA is hosting a FREE Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) training webinar on June 6

May 30, 2012

EPA is hosting a Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) training webinar on June 6, 2012 from 2-3 pm (EDT), entitled “Showcasing Sustainability in Your TRI Report.”  The webinar will focus on the pollution prevention portion of the TRI form, which offers facilities the opportunity to report and describe pollution prevention activities and other environmentally friendly practices related to listed toxic chemicals.  Providing this information enables TRI to present a more complete picture of a facility’s management of toxic chemicals and helps make TRI a more effective tool for highlighting and promoting pollution prevention successes.  To learn more about reporting pollution prevention activities to TRI and about EPA’s plans to utilize and promote this information, we invite you to register for the webinar at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/976321289
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Fukushima radiation mostly within accepted levels: WHO

May 30, 2012

Radiation affecting residents in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture since the nuclear plant disaster is below the reference level for public exposure in all but two areas, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. Please continue reading at: http://phys.org/news256986498.html
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Scientists slam federal changes to Canada’s Fisheries Act.

May 30, 2012

The federal government is sabotaging its own legislated requirement to protect endangered freshwater fish by weakening the Fisheries Act and shuttering research facilities, Canadian scientists say in a letter to be sent to the Harper government Tuesday. Please continue reading at: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Scientists%20slam%20federal%20changes%20Fisheries/6691364/story.html
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Scientific Literacy vs. Concern Over Climate Change

May 30, 2012

 “An interesting study reported in Nature Climate Change indicates that concern over climate change did not correlate with scientific literacy nearly as much as with cultural polarization. Quoting: ‘For ordinary citizens, the reward for acquiring greater scientific knowledge and more reliable technical-reasoning capacities is a greater facility to discover and use—or explain away—evidence relating to their groups’ positions. Even if cultural cognition serves the personal interests of individuals, this form of reasoning can have a highly negative impact on collective decision making. What guides individual risk perception, on this account, is not the truth of those beliefs but rather their congruence with individuals’ cultural commitments. As a result, if beliefs about a societal risk such as climate change come to bear meanings congenial to some cultural outlooks but hostile to others, individuals motivated to adopt culturally congruent risk perceptions will fail to converge, or at least fail to converge as rapidly as they should, on scientific information essential to their common interests in health and prosperity. Although it is effectively costless for any individual to form a perception of climate-change risk that is wrong but culturally congenial, it is very harmful to collective welfare for individuals in aggregate to form
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CRS — Chemical Regulation in the European Union: Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals

May 30, 2012

Chemical Regulation in the European Union: Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of ChemicalsSource: Congressional Research Service (via Open CRS) On June 1, 2007, the European Union (EU) began to implement a new law governing chemicals in EU commerce: Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). It is intended to protect human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals while at the same time protecting the competitiveness of European industry. REACH evolved over eight years and reflects compromises reached among EU stakeholders. The final regulation reduces and coordinates EU regulatory requirements for chemicals new to the EU market and increases collection of such information for chemicals already in the EU market, thus potentially removing disincentives to innovation that existed under the former law. It also shifts responsibility for safety assessments from government to industry and encourages substitution of less toxic for more toxic chemicals in various chemical applications. Some U.S. chemical industry representatives believe that REACH is “impractical,” in part due to the large number of chemicals and difficulties of identifying end uses of chemicals in many products. In contrast, some public-interest groups are urging U.S. legislators to adopt a similar legislative approach. Please read full and follow at: http://fulltextreports.com/2012/05/29/crs-chemical-regulation-in-the-european-union-registration-evaluation-and-authorization-of-chemicals/
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CBO | H.R. 4471, Gasoline Regulations Act of 2012 – kinda big deal

May 29, 2012

H.R. 4471 would establish an interagency committee—the Transportation Fuels Regulatory Committee—to analyze and report to the Congress in 2013 on the impact a variety of rules and actions taken by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would have on gasoline and diesel fuel prices. The Secretary of Energy would chair the committee, which would consist of representatives from various agencies, including EPA, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Transportation. The committee would analyze the potential economic impact of specific EPA rules and actions that are scheduled to become final in 2016 and 2020. The bill also would delay the implementation of several EPA rules until six months after the release of the committee’s report. Finally, the bill would require that revisions to any national standards regarding ozone and ambient air quality take into account feasibility and cost. …H.R. 4471 would require the Transportation Fuels Regulatory Committee to conduct a variety of analyses of certain EPA rules and actions, including the Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards, new or revised standards under section 111 or 112 of the Clean Air Act applicable to petroleum refineries, and new Renewable Fuels Program rules. Such analyses would include estimates of the
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OSHA GHS Final Rule NOW Effective

May 29, 2012

John Gran (@FishSouthBay) – The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) finally makes its debut. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of time yet to comply. OSHA has announced that the final rule for GHS, or Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, will become law effective May 25, 2012. The effective date of the final rule is 60 days after March 26, the date of the rule’s publication in the Federal Register. The new GHS rule will be added to OSHA’s existing hazard communication standard, or worker right-to-know law. OSHA says the GHS rule will help prevent 43 worker fatalities and 585 occupational injuries and illnesses from chemical exposures every year. According to OSHA, the GHS rule will affect over 5 million workplaces and 40 million workers. There are two primary groups of employers that will be affected by the GHS rule: 90,000 employers that are chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors 5 million other employers where their employees use, handle, or store chemicals 4-Year Transition Period 4 Year Transition Period OSHA will allow employers the following phase-in or transition period to comply with the new GHS requirements: December 1, 2013 – All employers that use, handle, store chemicals.  Train employees about the
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Pumping Well Water Out of the Ground May Be a Culprit in Rising Sea Levels

May 29, 2012

Pumping Water From the Ground Eventually, it ends up in the ocean. USDA When we think of rising sea levels, we think of global climate change and melting ice caps. Yet there’s a disparity in the raw data. During the second half of the last century, global sea levels rose 1.8 millimeters per year, according to tide gauges. But it’s been determined that melting ice caps and glaciers have only contributed to 1.1 millimeters per year of that. So where did the other 0.7 millimeters come from? A new study has a remarkably simple answer: from you. The extra rise in sea level not accounted for by melting ice caps can be explained by taking into account all the water we are pumping out of the ground and dumping into the ocean, says a team of researchers reporting in Nature Geoscience. Which actually makes a lot of sense. When humans pump water out of the ground for irrigation, industrial processes, or even simple residential use, some of it is returned to aquifers straight through the ground. Some of it goes into tributaries and rivers and ends up trapped in reservoirs both natural and man-made. But a lot of it wends
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Huge Subsidies ($6.5B) for Electric Vehicles Are Giving Taxpayers High-Voltage Shocks, Simply put, subsidizing electric vehicles doesn’t make economic sense.

May 29, 2012

From my McClatchy editorial, out for national distribution this week, here is a link to the version in today’s Sacramento Bee:  “Since 2008, taxpayers have spent or provided loan guarantees of $6.5 billion for electric vehicles. That includes $2.4 billion for battery and electric drive component manufacturing, $3.1 billion in loan guarantees for electric vehicle projects, and $1 billion in tax credits for the vehicles. The price that American taxpayers pay for commercializing electric vehicles is painfully evident in the billions spent on green projects that are driven by politics rather than performance. Using taxpayer dollars to favor one automotive technology over another is contrary to the free-market principles that undergird our economy. Simply put, subsidizing electric vehicles doesn’t make economic sense. The surest way to guarantee a product’s failure is to subsidize it. Over time, cars that succeeded in the marketplace have been those that were developed and commercialized without government involvement. If a technology isn’t capable of succeeding on its own economic merits, there’s no amount of taxpayer support that will ever make it a commercial success.“ Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/24/4513475/huge-subsidies-give-american-taxpayers.html#storylink=cpysdfasdfaf Please read full and follow at: http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2012/05/huge-subsidies-give-american-taxpayers.html
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Autism’s rising rates increasingly blamed on toxic chemicals.

May 27, 2012

To date, science has not directly linked any environmental exposures with any of the disabling behavioral and cognitive conditions that fall along the autism spectrum. But rising rates of autism along with the increasing breadth and reach of synthetic chemicals raises questions for which scientists are beginning to offer a few answers. Read more at:http://huff.to/LDy4uF Autism’s rising rates increasingly blamed on toxic chemicals. via Environmental Health News on 5/27/12 To date, science has not directly linked any environmental exposures with any of the disabling behavioral and cognitive conditions that fall along the autism spectrum. But rising rates of autism along with the increasing breadth and reach of synthetic chemicals raises questions for which scientists are beginning to offer a few answers.
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‘Asian Brown Cloud’ Threatens U.S. – ScienceNOW

May 26, 2012

China and India are some of the world’s top polluters, with countless cars, factories, and households belching more than 2 million metric tons of carbon soot and other dark pollutants into the air every year. These pollutants aren’t just bad news for the countries themselves. A new study reveals that they can affect climate thousands of kilometers away, warming the United States by up to 0.4°C by 2024, while cooling other countries. Some forms of pollution—especially light-colored aerosols such as sulfates that spew from power plants and volcanoes—scatter light back into space, cooling Earth. But dark aerosols, such as soot from diesel engines and power plants, absorb more sunlight than they scatter, gaining heat and warming the air around them. Rapidly developing countries, especially China, India, and those in southeastern Asia, are prolific sources of such aerosols. Over the past few decades, the pall hanging over the region has come to be known as “the Asian brown cloud.” Previous studies have shown that even though layers of air polluted with carbon aerosols become substantially warmer, the cloud slightly cools temperatures at ground level, by some estimates reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the surface by between 10% and 15%. The
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Solar Energy Generation Costs to Compete with Fossil Fuels by 2017

May 25, 2012

Despite recent clashes between the US and Chinese solar industries, it seems that the entire solar power sector is prospering. As stated in a new report from GlobalData, with the ever-increasing number of solar power installations, the cost of energy generation is falling. In fact, it is falling so quickly that the report predicts that by 2017 it’ll be cheaper than generating power from traditional fossil fuels. Read the rest of Solar Energy Generation Costs to Compete with Fossil Fuels by 2017
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The Mathematics of #Obesity #health- @Slashdot

May 25, 2012

“The NY Times reports that Carson C. Chow, an MIT-trained mathematician and physicist, has taken a new look at America’s obesity epidemic and found that a food glut is behind America’s weight problem, with the national obesity rate jumping from 20 percent to over 30 percent since 1970. ‘Beginning in the 1970s, there was a change in national agricultural policy. Instead of the government paying farmers not to engage in full production, as was the practice, they were encouraged to grow as much food as they could,’ says Chow. ‘With such a huge food supply, food marketing got better and restaurants got cheaper. The low cost of food fueled the growth of the fast-food industry. If food were expensive, you couldn’t have fast food.’ Chow and mathematical physiologist Kevin Hall created a mathematical model of a human with hundreds of equations, boiled it down to one simple equation, and then plugged in all the variables — height, weight, food intake, exercise. The slimmed-down equation proved to be a useful platform for answering a host of questions. For example, huge variations in your daily food intake will not cause variations in weight, as long as your average food intake over a year is
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Due To Industry Pressure FDA Delays New Sunscreen Labeling Rules for 6 Months

May 25, 2012

The FDA announced on May 11 that they’ll be delaying implementation of pending sunscreen regulations that were supposed to mandate how sunscreens are labeled and marketed.  These changes that would have make it easier for consumers to choose safe and effective sunscreens have been put off, apparently due to pressure from cosmetic industry groups.  This means that unfortunately, we’ll have to spend another summer with inadequately labeled sunscreen. Click ahead to learn more about the regulations and why they’ve been delayed. READ MORE >
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U.S. Army tests renewable energy systems for soldiers in the field

May 25, 2012

U.S. military scientists have started to test microgrids that would provide clean energy to soldiers in the field, in a bid to mitigate the risks associated with fuel transportation to dangerous areas and to make soldiers’ work less technically complex. Since 2009, scientists from the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) have been developing two systems – RENEWS and REDUCE – which are being tested at the Fort Irwin National Training Center in California, and by U.S. Africa Command. .. Continue Reading U.S. Army tests renewable energy systems for soldiers in the field
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Ohio doctors can’t reveal drilling chemicals to public.

May 25, 2012

Doctors given new access to the proprietary chemical recipes that oil and gas drillers use to crack into Ohio shale would be prohibited from sharing the information with the public under an energy proposal moving through the Ohio House. Please continue reading at: http://www.urbanacitizen.com/main.asp?SectionID=3&SubSectionID=5&ArticleID=159930
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Gasoline-powered diesel-like engine could boost fuel economy by 50 percent

May 25, 2012

With both gasoline and diesel engines having their own particular advantages and disadvantages, automotive component manufacturer Delphi is looking for a best-of-both-worlds solution with a gasoline-powered engine that uses diesel engine-like technology for increased fuel efficiency. According to MIT’s Technology Review, such an engine has the potential to increase the fuel economy of gasoline-powered cars by 50 percent and give hybrid vehicles a run for their money in the fuel economy stakes… Continue Reading Gasoline-powered diesel-like engine could boost fuel economy by 50 percent
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Africa is Experiencing Some of the Biggest Drops in Child Mortality Ever Seen, Anywhere in the World

May 25, 2012

The Economist has an article titled “The Best Story in Development” about a recent World Bank study finding that 16 of the 20 African countries that have had detailed surveys of living conditions since 2005 reported declines in their child-mortality rates (deaths of children under five per 1,000 live births).  Twelve countries had decreases of more than 4.4% a year (see vertical blue line in chart above), the rate of decline needed to meet the millennium development goal (MDG) of cutting child-mortality rates by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. The top three countries in the group – Senegal, Rwanda and Kenya – have achieved declines of more than 8% a year, almost twice the MDG rate and enough to  cut child mortality by one-half in the next decade. It is, says Gabriel Demombynes, of the World Bank’s Nairobi office, “a tremendous success story that has only barely been recognized.” Michael Clemens of the Center for Global Development calls it simply “the biggest, best story in development.” It is the huge decline in child mortality now gathering pace across Africa. The decline in African child mortality is speeding up. In most countries it now falling about twice as fast as during
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Ohio State Has 6.3 Full-Time Non-Teaching Employees for Every One Full-Time Professor

May 25, 2012

From the NY Times article “Slowly, as Student Debt Rises, Colleges Confront Costs“:  “At a time of diminished state funding for higher education and uncertain federal dollars, Ohio State University president Mr. E. Gordon Gee says that public colleges and universities need to devise a new business model to pay for the costs of education, beyond sticking students with higher tuition and greater debt.  “The notion that universities can do business the very same way has to stop,” said Mr. Gee, who is also the chairman of a commission studying college attainment, including the impact of student debt. Please continue reading at: http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2012/05/ohio-state-employes-63-full-time-non.html
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University of Wisconsin Bioenergy Researchers Win DOE Early Career Awards | Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center

May 25, 2012

From: http://www.glbrc.org/news-25 Two University of Wisconsin-Madison professors, both researchers in the field of bioenergy, have been selected to receive U.S. Department of Energy Early Career Awards. The DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research selected Jennifer Reed and Garret Suen based on their outstanding research proposals, which were two of the 68 winning entries in a pool of 850. Though from different scientific backgrounds, both Reed and Suen conduct research to support the development of technologies for producing ethanol and advanced biofuels from renewable resources. Their research subjects include bacteria, and cellulosic biomass—the leaves, stems, and other non-edible parts of plants like grasses and corn. An assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and a researcher in the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), Reed was selected for her proposal on “Systems Approach to Engineering Cyanobacteria for Biofuel Production.” Reed uses a systems biology approach to study microorganisms that can produce biofuel as part of their metabolic processes. She also uses computational modeling to engineer strains of bacteria with improved metabolic and regulatory systems, which could help increase the efficiency of biofuel production. Suen is also interested in bacteria, but his research focuses instead on how they can break down the cellulose
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The National Toxicology Program’s Report on Carcinogens, bad for whose bus

May 25, 2012

…the National Toxicology Program’s Report on Carcinogens (RoC). The House Republicans’ scrutiny of the RoC coincides with industry objections to the Report’s listing of styrene as a possible carcinogen. It also follows a strategy common to previous debates over chemical regulation – that of sowing doubt about scientific findings in hopes of averting action on a hazardous substance.  Read the rest of this post by Elizabeth Grossman
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Carbon Emissions, Driven by China, Reached Record Levels in 2011 – U.S. declined

May 25, 2012

Global carbon dioxide emissions reached record levels in 2011, driven largely by a 9.3-percent increase in Chinese emissions, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). According to preliminary estimates, worldwide carbon emissions climbed to 31.6 gigatonnes in 2011, a 3.2-percent increase from 2010. India’s emissions rose by 8.7 percent, passing Russia to become the world’s fourth-biggest emitter (behind China, the U.S., and the European Union). Such increases offset a reduction in emissions in the EU and the U.S., where a sluggish economy and an increased shift from coal to natural gas contributed to a 1.7-percent decline in carbon emissions. “The new data provide further evidence that the door to a two degrees Celsius trajectory is about to close,” said Fatih Birol, IEA’s chief economist, citing concerns among scientists that emissions must begin being significantly reduced by 2020… Please read full and follow at: http://e360.yale.edu/digest/carbon_emissions_reached_record_levels_in_2011_report_says/3480/
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Rossi Energy Cold Fusion Catalyzer, Defkalion and other LENR Updates

May 24, 2012

Ecat World reports that the most recent issue of the American Chemical Society’s Chemical and Engineering News magazine includes an article entitled, “Reviving Cold Fusion.” written by Steven K. Ritter. The brief summary reads, “After 20-plus years of outcast status, unconventional heat-producing nuclear reactions still seem plausible”. The article is really a review of the history and current state of LENR, much of its content is what people following recent developments in LENR research already know. Ritter contacted a number of people involved in the field, including Dennis Bushnell of NASA, Robert Duncan of the University of Missouri, Steven B. Krivit of New Energy Times, and Andrea Rossi. Quite a bit of the article is devoted to describing Rossi’s E-Cat, and emphasizes that as yet it is unproven. Bushnell maintains that, “From more than two decades of experiments producing heat and transmutations, ‘something’ is real and happening.” Krivit says of the E-Cat, ““Rossi has no credible evidence for his extraordinary claims, I have stopped paying attention to him.” Duncan states, ” “I don’t need to have an opinion about the E-Cat. Nobody does. Rossi is claiming to be going commercial with it. If he does deliver to the marketplace, then
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WWII chemical exposure spurs obesity, autism, researcher says.

May 24, 2012

The World War II generation may have passed down to their grandchildren the effects of chemical exposure in the 1940s, possibly explaining current rates of obesity, autism and mental illness, according to one researcher. Please continue reading at: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/05/21/bloomberg_articlesM4DRCL6KLVR401-M4E16.DTL
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Leaked memo: Afghan ‘burn pit’ could wreck veterans’ hearts, lungs.

May 23, 2012

For years, U.S. government agencies have told the public, veterans and Congress that they couldn’t draw any connections between the so-called “burn pits” disposing of trash at the military’s biggest bases and veterans’ respiratory or cardiopulmonary problems. Now a leaked memo contradicts that claim. Please continue reading at: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/05/bagram-health-risk
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Head of US nuclear safety agency to step down.

May 23, 2012

The embattled chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission resigned Monday after a tumultuous three-year tenure in which he pushed for sweeping safety reforms but came under fire for an unyielding management style that fellow commissioners and agency employees described as bullying. Please read more from source: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Head-of-US-nuclear-safety-agency-to-step-down-3573857.php
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Safer Flame retardant now being tested for health risks

May 23, 2012

From: The Chicago Tribune By the early 2000s, the flame retardant known as penta had become a villain. Packed by the pound into couches and other furniture, the chemical was turning up in the blood of babies and in breast milk around the world. The European Union voted to ban penta after researchers linked it to developmental and neurological problems in children, and manufacturers pulled it from the market. But the only U.S. company that made penta soon introduced a replacement, hailing it as the beginning of an eco-friendly era for flame retardants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, whose mission is to safeguard America’s health and environment, praised the withdrawal of penta as a “responsible action” and promised that the new flame retardant had none of the problems of the old one. Unlike penta, Firemaster 550 would neither stick around in the environment nor build up in people and wildlife, a top EPA official declared in a 2003 news release. Today, in sharp contrast to the promises of industry and government, chemicals in the flame retardant are being found everywhere from house dust in Boston to the air in Chicago. There also are signs the chemicals are building up in
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Natural cancer drug available from soaking soybeans- #health # cancer

May 23, 2012

A group of plant scientists at the University of Missouri have discovered a new, inexpensive approach to extracting an powerful anticancer chemical from soybeans. The incidence of a number of common cancers (breast, colorectal, prostate, bladder, lymphoma, and oral cancers) is lower in Japan by a factor of two to ten times than in North America or Western Europe. The medical profession is edging toward a conclusion that a significant portion of the reduction in alimentary system cancers and breast cancer is associated with the importance of the humble soybean to Japanese diets. .. Continue Reading Natural cancer drug available from soaking soybeans
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A cool 1956 sterling waste heat fan | Modern Mechanix

May 23, 2012

HOW DOES IT WORK? In the base of tlie fan is an oil lamp which heats a cylinder containing two pistons. Light the lamp and the blades slowly pick up speed. The fans were part of a shipment made up for a long forgotten African hunting expedition. Please read more from source: http://blog.modernmechanix.com/how-does-it-work-oil-lamp-fan/
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Interview: Taking Green Chemistry Out Of the Lab and into Public Policy

May 22, 2012

Paul Anastas is credited with coining the term “green chemistry,” the movement to make chemicals and industrial processes more environmentally friendly, and during two stints in Washington, D.C., he has worked to Michael Marsland/Yale University Paul Anastas promote those principles at the U.S. Environmental Protection. Anastas, 49, recently left his post as EPA assistant administrator and science advisor to return to teaching at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about his role in EPA’s decision to approve the use of chemical dispersants after the BP oil spill, why a chemical-by-chemical approach to toxicity testing is not the best model for protecting the environment or human health, and why companies are increasingly applying the concepts of green chemistry to the design of materials and products. “For every one process or product that’s being reinvented using green chemistry and green engineering,” he says, “there may be a hundred or a thousand that have yet to be rethought under these terms.” Read the interview
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Alternative Energy low-cost, large-area piezoelectric nanogenerator

May 22, 2012

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have created a new piezoelectric nanogenerator that promises to overcome the restrictions found in previous attempts to build a simple, low-cost, large scale self-powered energy system… Continue Reading KAIST develops low-cost, large-area piezoelectric nanogenerator
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Diesel-Like Engine Could Boost Fuel Economy 50%

May 20, 2012

Slashdot“Autoparts manufacturer Delphi has developed a diesel-like ignition engine running on gasoline, providing a potential 50 percent efficiency improvement over existing gas-powered engines. Engineers have long sought to run diesel-like engines on gasoline for its higher efficiency and low emissions. Delphi’s engine, using a technique called gasoline-direct-injection compression ignition, could rival the performance of hybrid automobiles at a cheaper cost.” Please read full and follow at: http://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/05/18/1538252/diesel-like-engine-could-boost-fuel-economy-by-50?
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#Apple Commits To 100% #Renewable #Energy Sources for Data Center

May 20, 2012

“Stung by continued criticism from Greenpeace and protests at Apple’s headquarters over its use of electricity from non-renewable sources, Apple has promised that its data center in Maiden, North Carolina will use 100 percent renewable electricity,, 60 percent of it generated by Apple itself. The update is possible because it is building a second giant solar array, and because its data center only needs 20MW at full capacity, instead of the 100MW which Greenpeace had estimated.” Please read full and follow at: http://apple.slashdot.org/story/12/05/19/145259/apple-commits-to-100-renewabl…
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Now the majority of chronic, costly, deadly disease in America is “self induced”

May 20, 2012
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Classic Varvel: No fat future – what’s wrong with this picture? Please read classic Varvel at http://blogs.indystar.com/varvelblog/2012/05/19/caption-this-winners-119
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Economy ‘your fired’ warns Donald Trump – Massive Inflation Coming

May 20, 2012

Billionaire Donald Trump says the U.S. economy is poised for “massive inflation” and is warning investors to take steps now to protect themselves. In the gripping CNBC interview, Trump also told investors they should not trust official government statistics. He even questioned the “official unemployment” numbers. “It’s over 20 percent. It’s not 8.3 percent,” Trump said.  Trump also thinks skyrocketing oil prices will cripple the U.S. economy. “Right now, is at an all-time record for this time of the year, in the summer they predict $5 gasoline, maybe $6.” But Trump isn’t the only expert warning the U.S. economy may go off the cliff. Robert Wiedemer, author of the New York Times best-selling book Aftershock, stated in a recent interview, “The data is clear, 50% unemployment, a 90% stock market drop, and 100% annual inflation . . . starting in 2012.” Read more: Massive Inflation Coming, Warns Donald Trump
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EPA Announces NAS’ Review of IRIS Assessment Development Process

May 20, 2012

Release Date: 05/16/2012Contact Information: Latisha Petteway (News Media Only), petteway.latisha@epa.gov, 202-564-3191, 202-564-0455 WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will conduct a comprehensive review of the agency’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program’s assessment development process. The IRIS program helps EPA protect Americans’ health and the environment by conducting health assessments of over 550 chemicals that may be present in our environment.  “EPA is committed to a strong and robust IRIS program,” said Lek Kadeli, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “This program plays a significant role in protecting the health of our country’s citizens and the environment in which they live. We welcome the NAS’ review of the IRIS assessment development process and look forward to working with them to continue to strengthen the program.” NAS will conduct a review of the IRIS assessment development process and the changes that are currently being made or planned by EPA in response to NAS’ April 2011 recommendations. NAS will also review current methods for weight of evidence analyses and recommend approaches for weighing scientific evidence for chemical hazard identification.  More information about IRIS: http://www.epa.gov/iris Please read more from source: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/1CE2A7875DAF093485257A000054DF54
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Robert Reich of Berkley, New College Graduates: ‘You’re F*cked’

May 20, 2012

So much of what was once considered “knowledge work” – the kind that college graduates specialize in – can now be done more cheaply by software. Or by workers with college degrees in India or East Asia, linked up by Internet Please read more from source: http://robertreich.org/post/23301640941
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Cap-and-trade to generate billion$ for rich on California tax payer energy cost increases

May 19, 2012

I am a huge advocate of clean energy programs… But this is NOT what they look like. California is slowing become a model of how “not to do clean energy” and will slowly kill market with these kinds on miss guided programs. Another “Billion dollar Disaster in California” as Big, green energy firms take billions of tax payers dollars for carbon trading ponzi scheme…. If you thought selling bottled water was a genius scam, these guys are selling “hot air”  sfgate The auction of emission permits, known as allowances, could generate $1.8 billion next year by one estimate, growing to $5.8 billion in 2015. The amount Californians pay for electricity and gasoline could rise as a result, unless some of the money is returned to them as rebates or dividends. “That’s part of the intent of cap and trade – it’s to embed a carbon price signal throughout the economy, and that includes electricity rates,” said Jordan Parrillo, a regulatory analyst with the utilities commission’s consumer affairs branch – the Division of Ratepayer Advocates. “These decisions are now upon the state,” said F. Noel Perry, founder of Next 10. “They’re upon the Legislature and the governor and the people of California. I’m not
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From PHD Graduate School to Welfare – highly educated not insulated them from financial hardship.

May 19, 2012

Laura Segall For The Chronicle Melissa Bruninga-Matteau, a medieval-history Ph.D. and adjunct professor who gets food stamps: “I’ve been able to make enough to live on. Until now.” By Stacey Patton “I am not a welfare queen,” says Melissa Bruninga-Matteau. That’s how she feels compelled to start a conversation about how she, a white woman with a Ph.D. in medieval history and an adjunct professor, came to rely on food stamps and Medicaid. Ms. Bruninga-Matteau, a 43-year-old single mother who teaches two humanities courses at Yavapai College, in Prescott, Ariz., says the stereotype of the people receiving such aid does not reflect reality. Recipients include growing numbers of people like her, the highly educated, whose advanced degrees have not insulated them from financial hardship. “I find it horrifying that someone who stands in front of college classes and teaches is on welfare,” she says. Please read more from source: http://chronicle.com/article/From-Graduate-School-to/131795/#comment-521363098
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China takes aim at rampant antibiotic resistance.

May 19, 2012

A young man in China has so little confidence in the hygiene of his company’s cafeteria that he supplements each meal with antibiotics. That is his undoing. When the man later falls ill, drugs fail to save him. An autopsy reveals why: His body is riddled with multiple strains of drug-resistant bacteria. Please continue reading at: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/336/6083/795.full
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100-Foot Subsea Turbine Successfully Installed at World’s First Tidal Farm Off the Coast of Scotland

May 19, 2012

Tidal farms, which use underwater turbines to harness the power of the planet’s oceans and convert it into electricity, are something that we frequently mention here at Inhabitat. While there are plans to build them all over the world, Scotland achieved a major milestone this week by successfully installing a 10MW tidal power array in the Sound of Islay, off the coast of Orkney. Read the rest of 100-Foot Subsea Turbine Successfully Installed at World’s First Tidal Farm Off the Coast of Scotland
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Mega-lawsuit alleging death, cancer and other illnesses from radioactive emissions from two defunct fuels plants

May 19, 2012

The nearly 100 plaintiffs alleging death, cancer and other illnesses from radioactive emissions from two defunct Armstrong County nuclear fuels plants are awaiting a trial date for what is likely to be a second set of a multimillion-dollar federal lawsuit. Please read more from source: http://triblive.com/news/1811236-74/apollo-nuclear-baron-cancer-lawsuit-court-filed-motley-rice-claims
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Apple’s Main Data Center Will Use Only #Green Power by 2013

May 18, 2012

Apple Inc. has received approval to build two solar power installations at its main data center in North Carolina, allowing the technology giant to run the center entirely with renewable energy by next year. The two solar farms, which will cover 250 acres near its core data center in Maiden, N.C., will utilize high-efficiency solar cells and an advanced solar-tracking system provided by SunPower Corp and startup Bloom Energy. The solar arrays will generate 84 million kWh of electricity per year. Apple, which produces the popular iPhone and iPad, says that all three of its main data centers ultimately will be powered by coal-free electricity. “I’m not aware of any other company producing energy onsite at this scale,” Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer told Reuters. The company is also developing a 5-megawatt fuel cell facility on the Maiden site. A recent Greenpeace report cited Apple, whose data centers require an ever-expanding amount of power, for lagging behind in efforts to use clean energy Please continue reading at: http://e360.yale.edu/digest/apples_main_data_center_will_use_only_green_power_by_2013/3472/
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ALERT! Protest Sea Shepherd Leader Paul Watson’s Extradition on Shark Poacher and Whaler Accusations

May 18, 2012
ALERT! Protest Sea Shepherd Leader Paul Watson’s Extradition on Shark Poacher and Whaler Accusations

TAKE ACTION HERE NOW! Paul Watson, the founder and leader of the aggressive and highly effective marine conservation group “Sea Shepherd” – known mainly for disrupting whale hunts, documented on the reality TV program “Whale Wars” – has been detained in Germany at the request of Costa Rica, which wants him extradited on trumped up charges from shark fin poachers and whale killers. Ecological Internet strongly supports Sea Shepherd and their forthcoming “global campaign to save sharks from extinction”. We agree with Captain Hammarstedt that “Captain Paul Watson belongs on a ship on the high seas protecting sharks, whales, and other marine life, not in some jail cell here in Germany.”
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U.S. cutting back on Evacs and drills around nuke plants

May 18, 2012
More than 20 million people live and work within a 50-mile radius of the Indian Point nuclear reactors, located just 24 miles north of New York City. The peak injury zone includes portions of New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

The Associated Press reports: Without fanfare, the nation’s nuclear power regulators have overhauled community emergency planning for the first time in more than three decades, requiring fewer exercises for major accidents and recommending that fewer people be evacuated right away. The revamp, the first since the program began after Three Mile Island in 1979, also eliminates a requirement that local responders always practice for a release of radiation. The widespread contamination in Japan from last year’s Fukushima nuclear accident screams out for stronger planning in the United States, not weaker rules.At least four years in the works, the changes appear to clash with more recent lessons of last year’s reactor crisis in Japan. And some view as downright bizarre the idea that communities will now periodically run emergency scenarios without practicing for any significant release of radiation. These changes, while documented in obscure federal publications, went into effect in December with hardly any notice by the general public. An Associated Press investigative series in June exposed weaknesses in the U.S. emergency planning program. The stories detailed how many nuclear reactors are now operating beyond their design life under rules that have been relaxed to account for deteriorating safety margins. The series
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CDC Lowers ‘Lead Poisoning’ levels to 5 mcg/dL now considered hazards

May 17, 2012

The CDC has lowered by half the danger threshold for lead levels in children’s blood, one of more than a dozen advisory committee recommendations that the agency has accepted in principle. From now on, blood levels of lead exceeding 5 mcg/dL will identify children “living or staying for long periods in environments that expose them to lead hazards,” according to a CDC statement released Wednesday. And the CDC now flatly states that any level of lead in the blood is a potential health hazard. Starting in 1991, the agency had set 10 mcg/dL as the “level of concern” for children’s lead exposure. The lower value represents the 97.5th percentile of blood lead levels in children, which the Advisory Committee for Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention recommended as the reference value. The CDC also accepted the panel’s recommendation to stop using the term “level of concern” to indicate a specific threshold for action, insofar as it may imply that lower levels are safe. Read more By John Gever, Senior Editor, MedPage Today http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/EnvironmentalHealth/32737
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Fighting a Billion dollar #renewable army.

May 16, 2012

The Defense Department wants to run the military on more renewables and less oil, but some members of Congress don’t think it’s worth one billion dollars. House Republicans complain that the Department of Defense is advancing a political agenda instead of a military one. Please continue reading at:http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=12-P13-00009&segmentID=2
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@jimleape, EARTH is not enough, Soon we’ll need 3 Earths to support our lifestyles #ECO #CHOICE #sustainable

May 16, 2012

If we all lived like the average person in America we would need four planets, the report spells out.Dr Dan Barlow, head of policy at WWF Scotland, said: “We are continuing to consume resources faster than the planet can provide, with our current path demanding potentially double those the planet can sustain by 2030. “Unless we act now, our economic security and livelihoods will be threatened as resources become more scarce and natural systems further degraded, dramatically pushing up the price of food, raw materials and other key commodities.” …The report, compiled every two years, also highlights that wildlife populations around the world have declined by almost a third (30 per cent) in the past four decades, as they are put under pressure from human demand for resources. Tropical species have suffered the most, seeing populations tumble by 60 per cent since 1970, according to the study, produced in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Global Footprint Network. Jim Leape, director general of WWF International, said: “We are living as if we have an extra planet at our disposal. “We are using 50 per cent more resources than the Earth can provide, and unless we change course
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#OSHA QuickTakes #Safety Newsletter for May

May 16, 2012

Subscribe here OSHA kicks off summer campaign to prevent heat-related illnesses and fatalities among outdoor workers: Educational materials and mobile application available OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign: New OSHA and stakeholder educational materials on fatal falls NIOSH researchers find respirable crystalline silica hazard for workers engaged in hydraulic fracturing operations Assistant Secretary speaks on OSHA outreach at Kentucky Governor’s Safety and Health Conference OSHA posts new application materials to bring transparency to the variance approval process DeMoulas Super Markets agrees to correct hazards, enhance employee safety at all Market Basket stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire OSHA orders Tennessee trucking company to reinstate whistleblower, pay more than $180,000 in back wages and damages OSHA issues willful citations to Wisconsin pump service, Rhode Island contractor, and Ohio excavation company for exposing workers to trenching hazards OSHA’s Free On-Site Consultation Program helps NC wood pallet manufacturer to protect workers OSHA poster on young workers’ safety and health rights now available for high schools and colleges OSHA and the Laser Institute of America renew Alliance to protect workers from laser hazards Updated Workers’ Memorial Day page covers events held to honor fallen workers around the country OSHA welcomes Alliance members and families to kick
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Biochar Promises to Provide Carbon Negative Fuel and Better Soil

May 16, 2012

Could what’s in this little container keep our planet healthy? The simple reality is we need to find a way to put carbon back into the soil, and making something called ‘biochar’ is perhaps the best way to do that. While attending the World Renewable Energy Forum in Denver, it was hard not to be attracted to what could be the lowest tech solution to our carbon problem — simply stabilize it and put it back into the ground from where it came. Biochar is a valuable soil amenity and fuel source, so its potential is just being tapped. The net-carbon negative process is being taken very seriously as the best, and thus far, only proven way to store carbon for the long term in large quantities. Read the rest of Biochar Promises to Provide Carbon Negative Fuel and Better Soil
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WikiHouse: Get ready to design, “print” and construct your own home!

May 16, 2012

Created by a group of young designers from London, WikiHouse is an open source construction solution that aims to make it possible for almost anyone, regardless of skill level, to freely download and build affordable housing. The WikiHouse construction system was on display during last month’s Milan Design Week, where the creators themselves demonstrated how the technology can be applied. “We believe this could herald in a new industrial revolution,” co-founder Nick Ierodiaconou told Gizmag. “The factory of the future will be everywhere and the designer will be everyone.” .. Continue Reading WikiHouse: Get ready to design, “print” and construct your own home!
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Dwarf plants could reduce demands for water, fertilizer, nutrients and pesticides

May 16, 2012

Aside from arable land, most farm crops require significant amounts of water, fertilizer, nutrients and pesticides to grow. While specialized breeding is often used to help produce plants that require less of these inputs, Purdue University researcher Burkhard Schulz has found a way to create tiny versions of plants that suffer no reduction in yield through the addition of a cheap and widely available chemical. .. Continue Reading Dwarf plants could reduce demands for water, fertilizer, nutrients and pesticides
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EPA announces standards for small particle pollution.

May 16, 2012

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday announced regulations on PM2.5, or particulate matter of less than 2.5 micrometers, setting the standards at a maximum 35μg/m3 daily mean concentration and a maximum 15μg/m3 annual mean concentration. Please continue reading at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2012/05/15/2003532871
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Whoops! There Is Way More Plastic In The Ocean Than We Thought

May 16, 2012

Media reports about marine pollution have tended to fixate on the idea of “great garbage patches”–huge floating islands of waste circulating in the gyres of the major oceans. Outlets have often spoken of patches “twice the size of Texas”, giving the impression of trash blankets easily visible from planes or satellite. The reality, say scientists, is something less tangible, though no less alarming. The trash–most of it plastic–may not be easy to see. But it is there, suspended in tiny pieces, on the surface, and below the waves. And new research indicates that the problem may even be worse than previously understood. According to Giora Proskurowski, a project scientist at the University of Washington, what lies on the top of oceans is only a fraction of what lies beneath. On average, the next 100 feet below the waterline contains 2.5 times the plastic of what’s on the surface, he says. And, when winds are really churning up the water, there could be as much 27 times more plastic in the water column. Please continue reading at: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679826/whoops-there-is-way-more-plastic-in-the-ocean-than-we-thought
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Beyond #LEED: The challenge of creating living buildings, the environmentally friendly structures around

May 16, 2012

The Living Building Standard results in some of the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly structures around. It’s also incredibly difficult to achieve. Is it truly changing the way we design buildings? Please continue reading at: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679825/beyond-leed-certification-the-importance-of-creating-living-buildings
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If a kid can build a $3,000 electric car why don’t we have ANY affordable ones?

May 16, 2012

According to a Missouri local news station, Don Gibson, a high school senior, converted his 1994 Geo Metro into an electric car by pulling out the gas engine and replacing it with an electric forklift engine he bought on eBay for around $200. Don spent $3,000 total in his electric car but said that if he were to do it again, he could do it for $2000. … Doing the math here, that is equivalent to spending $0.016 or 1.5 cents per mile. Or as the article states, he is getting an equivalent of around 200 miles per gallon compared to a gas engine. (He had an unfair advantage—no government involvement or subsidies. The article blames “big oil” for blocking such, but at this cost, and small manufacturer could build them, if there was a demand. ~Bob.) Please continue reading at: http://immizen.com/2012/05/06/if-a-high-school-kid-can-build-one-why-dont-we-have-more-electric-cars/
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REACH #chemical #safety review: Re-opening a can of worms?

May 15, 2012

Five years after its adoption, the European Commission is preparing to review the controversial REACH regulation, which for the first time required chemical manufacturers to justify that their products are safe for consumers before placing them on the market. Please continue reading at:http://www.euractiv.com/sustainability/reach-chemical-safety-review-opening-worms-linksdossier-512446
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Bees are being killed: Beekeepers take first step to sue EPA over pesticides.

May 15, 2012

The battle of the bees and the deadly insecticides killing them en masse has taken a first step in a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency for negligence in not protecting the bees. Please continue reading at: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/buzz-bees/2012/may/10/bees-are-being-killed-beekeepers-sue-epa-over-pest/
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Despite strong opposition from environmentalists, #Solar project in desert gets boost from California Legislature.

May 15, 2012

Despite strong opposition from environmentalists, the state Assembly on Thursday approved controversial legislation that allows a solar energy developer to bypass local agencies in seeking to build a large-scale power plant. Please read more from source: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-solar-calico-20120511,0,2786948.story
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Energy saving light bulbs ‘contain cancer causing chemicals’?

May 15, 2012

Their report advises that the bulbs should not be left on for extended periods, particularly near someone’s head, as they emit poisonous materials when switched on. Peter Braun, who carried out the tests at the Berlin’s Alab Laboratory, said: “For such carcinogenic substances it is important they are kept as far away as possible from the human environment.” The bulbs are already widely used in the UK following EU direction to phase out traditional incandescent lighting by the end of this year. But the German scientists claimed that several carcinogenic chemicals and toxins were released when the environmentally-friendly compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) were switched on, including phenol, naphthalene and styrene. Andreas Kirchner, of the Federation of German Engineers, said: “Electrical smog develops around these lamps. Please continue reading at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/8462626/Energy-saving-light-bulbs-contain-c…
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Household chemicals’ ‘cocktail effect’ raises cancer concerns for watchdog.

May 15, 2012

Europe’s environmental watchdog, the European Environment Agency, has warned that products containing endocrine disrupting chemicals should be treated with caution until their true effects are better known. Please continue reading at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/may/10/household-chemicals-cancer-concern-watchdog
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International regulations are changing American #toxic chemical supply chains.

May 15, 2012

Arguments against chemical regulation have been top of mind recently; the odds seem to be stacked against large-scale reform of US legislation. But that doesn’t mean US companies are off the hook when it comes to toxic chemicals. Please continue reading at:http://www.forbes.com/sites/amywestervelt/2012/05/10/how-international-regulations-are-changing-american-supply-chains/
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Environmental, Health & Safety Manager #Job SE Wisconsin

May 14, 2012

JOB DESCRIPTION:Responsible for managing Corporate EHS programs and training, ensuring regulatory compliance, and promoting best practices as well as the development and growth of a strong safety culture for all manufacturing facilities. EH&S Manager is responsible for implementing corporate policies, procedures, training programs, and initiatives. This position should foster a zero tolerance culture, ensuring environmental and safety compliance.  RESPONSIBILITIES:·Develops, implements and maintains site specific EH&S programs, policies and procedures as needed.·Contribute to training / orientation of new employees.·Develop and conduct EHS and DOT compliance training and OSHA compliance training. ·Maintains OSHA 300 logs.·Timely incident reporting and documentation, and reporting unsafe conditions / activities·Company EHS rep to regulatory agencies, insurance auditors & engineers, contractors and sales reps. ·Manage Chemical Safety Program including Hazardous Communication Program.·Maintain MSDS’s.·Develop / maintain safety committee structure.·Supports facility construction, fire suppression, new machinery & equipment installs, equipment renovation for safety and environmental requirements. ·Manage Company Hearing Conservation program to comply with all testing requirements.·Coordinate eye safety program.·Develop and maintain Job Hazard Analysis.·Manage emergency response program.·Conduct inspections and compliance audits.  EDUCATION AND WORK EXPERIENCE:·BS in Occupational Health and Safety and/or Environmental Management or related discipline with a minimum of 5 years practical field experience in a service or
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Trillion$ dumped into Carbon capture & storage (#CCS): A shiny new pipe dream.

May 14, 2012

Capturing the carbon dioxide from power stations is not hard. But it is expensive. A new project in Norway aims to make it cheaper. …There was a rush of interest in CCS in the late 2000s, including $3 billion for it in America’s stimulus package of 2009. But many projects are now being cancelled. Either the developers have lost confidence in government commitments to support them or their costs have turned out higher than expected. Mongstad—a billion-dollar development owned jointly by the Norwegian government and three oil companies, Statoil, Shell and Sasol of South Africa—is a rare exception that has actually opened. Hence the hoopla. Please read more from source: http://www.economist.com/node/21554501
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#Lead Poisoning in #Mining Practice Needs Necessary Medical #Care and #Safer Conditions

May 14, 2012

Nigerian Government Must Ensure Clean Up of Affected Area, Along With Necessary Medical Care and Safer Mining Practices The Nigerian government must commit significant resources to respond to a lead poisoning epidemic in Zamfara State, which has sickened thousands of children since 2010, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and other delegates at an international conference on the epidemic said today. Decision-makers from the Nigerian government and the ministers of mines, environment, and health were not present at the International Lead Poisoning Conference, held May 9–10 in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. No concrete action by the Nigerian federal government was announced. “There has been plenty of talk, but now is the time for action,” said Ivan Gayton, MSF country representative in Nigeria. “MSF will consider this conference to be a success when all of the poisoned children are living in a safe environment and receiving treatment.” Delegates at the conference endorsed an action plan calling for the Nigerian government’s commitment to resolve the crisis, which included three key pillars: medical care; environmental remediation; and safer mining. To succeed, the Nigerian government, in particular the ministries of mines, environment, and health at both the federal and state
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#Energy Department Announces Milestone in Fuel Cell Use

May 14, 2012

In support of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Energy Department today announced that more than one thousand fuel cells were deployed through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Over the last three years, nearly 1,200 fuel cells have been deployed in emergency backup power units and material handling equipment, such as forklift trucks. “Funded with $9.7 million under the Recovery Act, more than 500 fuel cell powered lift trucks are now operational at end-user sites, along with fueling systems, data collection and analysis, and operator training to support them. Hydrogen fuel cells do not emit any harmful air pollutants and can be rapidly refueled, boosting productivity.” This investment is a part of the Department’s commitment to U.S. leadership in innovative fuel cell technologies to give American businesses more options to cut energy costs and reduce petroleum use. Full story at EERE News 
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#Microsoft seeks carbon neutrality? #sustainable #biz #dogood

May 14, 2012

The largest software company in the world is pledging to shrink its corporate carbon footprint – big time. Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington,with facilities in over 100 countries, is going carbon neutral, cutting greenhouse gases using a method most companies, and countries, have yet to consider: basically, a self–imposed tax. Please continue reading at: http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=12-P13-00019&segmentID=3
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Orange County groundwaters $200 million toxic plume.

May 14, 2012

An eight-square-mile plume of toxic contamination moving slowly through northern Orange County groundwater could take decades to clean up — with costs running as high as $200 million. Please continue reading at: http://www.ocregister.com/news/water-353775-district-county.html
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Dwindling fish stocks leave China high and dry.

May 14, 2012

A severe decline in stocks has nearly paralyzed the fishing industry in east China, leaving many boats anchored at harbor during what should be the prime fishing season. Please continue reading at: http://english.eastday.com/e/120513/u1a6551170.html
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Research adds to #BPA fear of #cancer. #toxic #health

May 14, 2012

New findings suggests a link between breast cancer risk and prenatal exposure to bisphenol A, or BPA, giving more ammunition to groups that want to ban the substance, which is found in baby bottles, food containers and numerous other consumer products. Please continue reading at: http://www.argusleader.com/article/DF/20120512/NEWS/305120031/Research-adds-BPA-fear-cancer?odyssey=nav%7Chead
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Peru’s coffee growers turn carbon traders to save their farms from climate change.

May 14, 2012

Global warming threatens the future of Peru’s poorest coffee farmers, but one brand thinks it has found an answer on the financial markets. Please continue reading at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/may/13/peru-coffee-climate-change-carbon-trading
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EPA red lights palm oil as #biofuel

May 14, 2012

The Environmental Protection Agency says that palm oil based biofuel does not meet renewable fuel standards. Some say that palm oil fuel emits more greenhouse gas emissions than other vegetable oils, and that the creation of palm plantations leads to deforestation. Please continue reading at: http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=12-P13-00019&segmentID=2
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Isotopes help clear up concerns about chloroform in groundwater.

May 14, 2012

When communities in Denmark pump groundwater for drinking water, officials monitor the levels of chemicals such as chloroform that might signal the presence of industrial contaminants. But not all chloroform travels with human-made pollution. Please read more from source: http://cen.acs.org/articles/90/web/2012/05/Isotopes-Help-Clear-Concerns-Chloroform.html
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EPA Promotes #Safer #chemical Alternatives to persistent and highly #toxic

May 13, 2012

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released the final report on alternatives to nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) through the Design for the Environment (DfE) Alternatives Assessment Program. NPEs are widely used surfactants with a range of industrial applications and are commonly found in consumer products, such as laundry detergents. When released into the environment, they can be persistent and highly toxic to aquatic organisms Please read more from source: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/837566F324A4BBBF852579F90069BA00
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Nicholas Carr – the Internet discourages attentive, contemplative thinking

May 13, 2012

Nicholas Carr Foresees Brains Optimized for Browsing Nicholas Carr… the Internet discourages attentive, contemplative thinking – and if so, is the price worth paying, in any case, for all the speed and convenience it brings? Are you happy to swap your mind for an “outboard brain.”  http://www.internetevolution.com/author.asp?section_id=466&doc_id=243837&
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EPA Updates Clean Air Act Requirements for Gas Stations to Reflect New Vehicle Technologies / Widesp

May 13, 2012

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that the systems used at gas station pumps to capture harmful gasoline vapors while refueling cars can be phased out. Modern vehicles are equipped to capture those emissions. This final rule is part of the Obama Administration’s initiative to ensure that regulations protect public health and the environment without being unnecessarily burdensome to American businesses Please read more from source: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/4DA9A5693E0C5215852579FA00499E35
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#energy #grid storage system that can buffer power fluctuating #solar power

May 13, 2012

Siemens has developed an energy-storage system that can act as a buffer in electrical power grids. The aim is to provide a buffer against short-term fluctuations in output from renewable energy sources. Such fluctuations can last for seconds or several minutes long. The modular designed Siestorage battery is based on lithium-ion rechargeable battery technology and fits into a normal shipping container. In its big layout it stores 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity. That’s about the average daily power consumption of 50 households. The Italian power company Enel recently switched on the first Siestorage installation, which has a capacity of one megawatt. Enel is using the installation, which is connected to its primary distribution network, to study how voltage can be stabilized. The electrical output of photovoltaic arrays doesn’t only fluctuate with the seasons or between night and day. It’s also affected by local weather. For example, power production sags for a few seconds (or even minutes) if clouds drift over the modules. Consequently, the grid experiences brief drops in voltage. Energy storage devices deal with these fluctuations within milliseconds in the power grid itself. As a result, there’s no need to adjust controls at power stations – a procedure that reduces efficiency and increases
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The Rise of Chemophobia – #consumer fear of #chemicals

May 12, 2012

“American news outlets like The New York Times seem to thrive onchemophobia — consumer fear of the ambiguous concept of ‘chemicals.’ As a result, Pulitzer-prize winning science writer Deborah Blum has decided to call out New York Times journalist Nicholas Kirstof for his secondary crusade (she notes he is an admirable journalist in other realms) against chemicals. She’s quick to point out the absurdity of fearing chemicals like Hydrogen which could be a puzzler considering its integral role played in life-giving water as well as life-destroying hydrogen cyanide. Another example is O2 versus O3. Blum calls upon journalists to be more specific, to avoid the use of vague terms like ‘toxin’ let alone ‘chemical’ and instead inform the public with lengthy chemical names like perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) instead of omitting the actual culprit altogether. Kristof has, of course, resorted to calling makers of these specific compounds ‘Big Chem’ and Blum chastises his poorly researched reporting along with chemophobic lingo. Chemists of Slashdot, have you found reporting on ‘chemicals’ to be as poor as Blum alleges or is this no more erroneous than any scare tactic used to move newspapers and garner eyeballs?” Please continue reading at: http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/05/09/172219/the-rise-of-chemophobia-in-the-news?
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Wall Street holds the public hostage to private finance infrastructure deals

May 11, 2012

Here is how the “infrastructure trust” works: the city pays for upgrades to its roads, rail or schools with dollars pooled by Emanuel’s friends from the banking and investment world. Meanwhile, the city retains “ownership” of the infrastructure, though this comes at the cost of having to ensure a revenue stream for the fund. Emanuel’s favorite example is his $225 million pet project to green-retrofit some of the city’s older buildings. The savings on energy usage stemming from the renovations are then extracted and used to pay off investors. Of course, the city could also sell municipal bonds to raise necessary funds, and then use the savings in energy costs to pay the loan back at a much lower cost to taxpayers. But then Emanuel’s friends (and campaign donors) would not be the richer for it. Please read on at:http://www.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2012/04/chicago-approves-its-infrastructure-bank-cities-across-country-watch-and-wait/1848/
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Forget Retirement and Retirement Savings…reason it and the US hasn’t gone bankrupt yet

May 11, 2012
Forget Retirement and Retirement Savings…reason it and the US hasn’t gone bankrupt yet

Jeff Berwick You’ve been sold a bill of goods for the last four to six decades. You’ve been told that nation-states, democracy and socialism is good. You’ve been told our monetary system prevents instability. And, while the government and central banks put your unborn children or grandchildren into debt for life they’ve been telling you that there will be a socialist safety net to protect you and that the “American dream” includes retiring in your 50s or 60s to a wonderful life of golf and lying on the beach. It even appeared to work for a short while thanks to demographics and the greatest advances in human history. The baby boom caused by the nation-state (which created World War II) and central banking (which created the depression and funded World War II) was truly a boom creating a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make it appear as though some of these inane socialist theories could work. A look at the number of workers per retiree in the US shows this plainly. And, with the advent of the internet, productivity also increased massively in the 1990s and 2000s, further obscuring the collapse to come. And it is coming. In fact, it’s already started.
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Baby Boomers: A ‘Gray Wave,’ Now Permanently #Job less rate for over 55 triple that of people under 20 years of age.

May 11, 2012

Moneynews The total number of “long-term” unemployed of all ages — people out of work for a year or more — is close to 30 percent, Pew found, nearly 4 million of the 13.3 million officially unemployed. Yet the long-term jobless rate for people over 55 was well over triple that of people under 20 years of age. Among the older group, 44 percent had been jobless for more than a year, compared to 12 percent for the youngest segment. Things are tough all over, for sure. “The percentage of jobless workers who had been unemployed for a year or more in the first quarter of 2012 was more than twice the rate it was at the beginning of the Great Recession (the first quarter of 2008) for all age groups,” Pew reported. Since 2011, those numbers had begun to improve for many workers, but “for older workers, the long-term unemployment situation continued to worsen during the last year,” Pew researchers said. Officially, unemployment now stands at 8.1 percent. The government’s definition of long-term unemployed, those out of a job for 27 weeks or more, is at 5.1 million, compared to 12.5 million total unemployed. The broader U-6 measure, which
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The New Wall Street Racket Looting Your City, One Block at a Time |

May 11, 2012

New schemes hold the public hostage to private finance. When Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced a “new and innovative” financing tool last month to help Chicago renovate failing infrastructure without precipitating another budget crisis, many in the city were understandably critical. Chicagoans have already endured the notorious 75-year lease of their parking meters to a consortium headed by Morgan Stanley. That sale promulgated a system wherein the public is held hostage by private finance, due largely to the inclusion of arcane legal stipulations like “non-compete clauses” and “compensation events” in the language of the contract. alternet…The city essentially acts as an insurer for the meter merchants, with the return being a one-time injection of roughly a billion dollars that the previous mayor, Daley the Second, haphazardly exhausted on closing budget deficits in the waning years of his two-decade tour at the helm. With the current infrastructure deal, Emanuel has repeatedly claimed that this is not privatization: This is not like the parking meter deal. Can the public believe him?Here is how the “infrastructure trust” works: the city pays for upgrades to its roads, rail or schools with dollars pooled by Emanuel’s friends from the banking and investment world. Meanwhile, the city
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Cheap, cooler #energy efficient ARM processor Cortex-M0+ may usher in the Internet of Things

May 11, 2012

The newest entry in ARM’s Cortex line, the Cortex-M0+ is claimed to be the world’s most energy-efficient processor, delivering 32-bit performance on around one third of the typical energy requirements of an 8- or 16-bit processor. Targeting low-cost sensors and microcontrollers, the M0+ will come with a very modest price tag and could act as a crucuial stepping stone to a world in which everyday objects communicate with each other, sharing data to make smart, coordinated decisions that will improve our quality of life… Continue Reading Cheap, energy-efficient ARM Cortex-M0+ may usher in the Internet of Things
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GE to launch 100-watt equivalent LED replacement bulb

May 11, 2012

GE Lighting has announced that it is getting in on the 100 W-equivalent LED replacement act. The 27 W Energy Smart LED bulb joins its range of incandescent bulb replacements that already includes 40 W and 60 W equivalents. And like an incandescent bulb, GE claims its LED bulb emits light evenly in all directions. But how does the 100 W equivalent stack up performance-wise?.. Continue Reading GE to launch 100-watt equivalent LED replacement bulb
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OriginOil and Algasol enter #algae #energy #fuel development deal Harvesting algae is cost driver

May 11, 2012

OriginOil and Algasol, two companies working to develop algae into renewable fuel, have announced a collaboration on growth and harvest technology. The companies hope the partnership will help them reduce cost and improve performance, therefore increasing commercial prospects for algae as fuel source. Harvesting algae is one of the main cost drivers associated with this type of raw material. Algae are microscopic and live in suspension on liquid. When the time comes to harvesting it, the water/algae ratio can be as high as 1,000/1. In order to make it suitable for commercial applications, that ratio needs to be reduced to around 10/1. .. Continue Reading OriginOil and Algasol enter algae development deal
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9 of 10people don’t know the early signs of lung #cancer Spot Lung Cancer Early

May 11, 2012

John Cherrie Anyone who has had a cough for three weeks or more or has some of the other symptoms of lung cancer should visit their doctor. The things to look out for are: a cough that has got worse or changed repeated chest infections coughing up blood breathlessness feeling more tired than usual for some time losing weight for no obvious reason an ache or pain in the chest or shoulder that has lasted some time. Detecting lung cancer early makes it easier to treat, and so seeing your doctor quickly may save your life.  If you know anyone who has any of these symptoms then tell them to go and see their doctor. Download the NHS leaflet. Read more at: OH-world.org: Nine out of ten people don’t know the early signs of lung cancer
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EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative to #renewable #energy in #communities – Webinar

May 11, 2012

REMINDER: On May 22 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm EST, EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative will host a webinar: Tools for Local GovernmentsThis webinar will provide an overview of tools available to local governments to help them get renewable energy projects built on contaminated land in their community. Through its RE-Powering America’s Land initiative, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging renewable energy development on current and formerly contaminated land and mining sites. EPA has identified thousands of acres of Brownfield, Superfund, mining, and other potentially contaminated sites with potential for utility scale renewable energy facilities. Siting renewable energy facilities on brownfields offers significant benefits to communities. During this session, Shea Jones with EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative will highlight some of the recent tools developed by EPA, including two decision trees that were created to screen potentially contaminated and underutilized sites for solar and wind potential and a draft best practice guide for siting solar on landfills. Joshua Huneycutt with DOE’s Sun Shot Initiative will discuss DOE’s compilation of best practices titled “Solar Powering Your Community: A Guide for Local Governments.” Anjali Patel with the National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals (NALGEP) will provide an overview of
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#Safe paint #bio-based techniques for dry-stripping paint with wheat starch.

May 11, 2012

… book chapter by Denis Monnette from Canada about the state-of-the-art coating removal technologies in the aerospace industry . This explains how in North America DCM was substituted in the early 1980s because of concerns about health and environmental risks, However, this was not the case in the UK where Mr Wood and his colleagues were using this paint stripper in the early 1990s and it is only from 6 June 2012 that all use of DCM-based paint strippers by professionals outside industrial installations will have to cease.  Use in industrial situations can continue with certain restrictions. Monnette describes the various alternative technologies for paint stripping. He highlights that the increasing popularity in the aerospace industry of dry-stripping using plastic and other abrasives delivered in a compressed air jet and bio-based techniques for dry-stripping with hydrothermally extruded wheat starch. These approaches are said to be intrinsically safer than the chemical-based strippers. The removal of chromium and other toxic materials from coating systems is also helping to make dry-stripping processes safer. Denis Monette is speaking about all of this at the Surfair conference on 31st May and 1st June 2012 in  Biarritz,  France. Read on at:http://johncherrie.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/safe-stripping.html
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#Superbug killing coating “magnetically” draws in bacteria #health and #safety

May 11, 2012

Scientists at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have created a “magnetic-like” coating that traps and destroys 99 percent of the bacteria and fungi that it encounters. The antibacterial coating has been shown to be effective against superbugs like Staphylococcus aureus and is already being used in the manufacture of contact lenses. As well as finding numerous biomedical and household applications, the research could lead to new wound treatments and even be used to target bacterial infections inside the body without the use of conventional antibiotics… Continue Reading Superbug-killing coating “magnetically” draws in bacteria Section: Health and Wellbeing Tags: Bacteria, Infections, Lenses, Medical, NTU Related Articles: Antibiotic resistant bacteria discovered in isolated New Mexico cave Cold plasma therapy could provide an alternative to antibiotics Dissolving wound dressing could vastly improve treatment for burns victims Nanoscale coating for surgical equipment and hospital surfaces safely kills MRSA Nasty bacteria get gagged with plastic Frog skin could thwart antibiotic-resistant germs http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GizmagEmergingTechnologyMagazine/~3/yhiaXiCJAoc/ Sent with MobileRSS HD FREE
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World record 1,626 miles on one tank of #diesel #sustainable #energy

May 11, 2012

Apparently not happy with collecting over 40 world driving fuel economy records, the husband and wife team of John and Helen Taylor – also known as “the world’s most fuel efficient couple” – have been back on the road to claim the world record for the longest distance traveled on a single tank of fuel. The record 1,626.1 mile (2,616.95 km) journey was achieved in a stock 2012 Volkswagen Passat powered by a 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel inline four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual transmission… Continue Reading World record 1,626 miles on one tank of diesel
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Lack of Profitability Drives U.S. Company Out of #Biofuels Business

May 11, 2012

A U.S.-based company that used genetic engineering to develop a technology to convert sugar into biofuel has announced that it will stop producing the fuel, at least temporarily, because the process simply isn’t profitable. Amyris, a San Francisco firm that also produces cosmetic products, had engineered a type of yeast that can eat sugar and secrete an oil similar to diesel. While the company had some success using this process in the production of biofuels, including for use by buses in Brazil, it achieved greater profits selling the chemicals for use in other products, such as moisturizers and fragrances, according to a report by MIT’s Technology Review. According to the report, the average selling price for the company’s products is about $7.70 per liter ($29 per gallon), which is far higher than the cost of petroleum-based diesel…. Please continue reading at: http://e360.yale.edu/digest/lack_of_profitability_drives_us_company_out_of_biofuels_business/3459/
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Court Finds Monsanto Guilty of Chemical Poisoning. #health #environmental #safety

May 10, 2012

A court in Lyon, France has ruled in a landmark case in favor of the people over Monsanto, finding the biotech giant guilty of chemical poisoning. In the case decided by the court, grain grower Paul Francois stated that Monsanto failed to provide proper warnings on the Lasso weedkiller product label which resulted in neurological problems such as memory loss and headaches. The court ordered an expert opinion to determine the sum of the damages, and to verify the link between Lasso and the reported illnesses. The result was a guilty charge, paving the way for further legal action on behalf of injured farmers. Since 1996, the agricultural branch of the French social security system has gathered about 200 alerts per year regarding sickness related to pesticides. However only 47 cases were even recognized in the past 10 years.  Read on at http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/13/us-france-pesticides-monsanto-idUSTRE81C0VQ20120213
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