Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Global Warming’

The worst Texas drought since the 1950s has a handful of cities facing a prospect they’ve never encountered before: running out of water.

Many lakes and reservoirs across the state are badly depleted after more than a month of 100-degree temperatures and less than 1 inch of rain. The worst-off communities are already trying to run pipes to distant water, drilling emergency wells bringing on systems that turn waste water into tap water and banning water use for virtually anything beyond drinking, bathing and keeping businesses working.

Worst-case scenarios have a few towns running out of water in a matter of months.  Although Texas cities have gone bone-dry before —Throckmorton in 2000 — the nearly 500 water systems statewide now under some mandatory restrictions appear unprecedented.

Prayer gatherings for rain have been held across the state, the most notable being called by Governor Rick Perry in July.  So far, these measures have not brought even the promise of rain for most of us.

In the town of Llano, near Austin, which went to Stage 5 water restrictions back around the 4th of July weekend, officials have made a contingency plan to roll trucks of bottled water into town if rain doesn’t start to replenish the water supply, and workers are drilling test wells into parched, rock-like soil. Water restrictions are in effect in unprecedented in places like Midland, where barely a half-inch of rain has fallen since October of 2010.

If La Nina conditions return this fall, which the Climate Prediction Center says is likely, Texas is unlikely to see any significant relief from this drought well into next year.

As I sit at my desk with the sun pouring through the window heating everything around me, knowing that just outside the front door it is still a soil scorching 103 degrees F, I think that it may be time to raise the specter of (duhn-duhn-duhhhhhhn) CLIMATE CHANGE.  Even if Governor Perry is traveling around the country telling everyone that scientists have cooked up the data on global warming for the cash, the numbers here in Texas seem to be refuting his claim and you can expect to see us blogging about it soon.

Read Full Post »

Pearl Brewery San Antonio

Pearl Brewery, San Antonio - home of one of the largest solar roofs in the region

We’re in the midst of a heat wave and drought that are on record to be Texas’ worst in recorded history. (and now imagine if global warming actually kicked in, the way all those scientists say! *wink*)

But we have a few options. Cope, adapt, or conquer. I much prefer the last solution to the first.

First, we can cope. Rep. Joe Barton from here in Texas once famously said in a Congressional hearing that his constituents don’t have to worry about global warming- they’ll just find some shade. Well, we can do that. We can also do what is more likely which is just go sit in our homes and offices and blast the air conditioning as much as we can to make these ever-warming, record-breaking hot, dry summers as tolerable as possible.

The only problem is, all that electricity comes from somewhere. And with record-breaking demand on the ERCOT grid, they have been warning Texans to conserve or risk rolling blackouts. And while blasting the a/c may seem like an affordable luxury for the people who live in the McMansions of West Austin, I don’t know about the rest of you, but most Texas families can’t afford the huge energy bills that would be associated with just setting the thermostat at 70 and letting it go.

We can already see what coping is getting us.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Statewide organizations support youth as they appeal TCEQ decision
denying petition to reduce carbon emissions and prevent climate catastrophe

Three Texas youth and one young adult filed for judicial review today of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) denial of their petition to force action on climate change. Specifically, the rulemaking petition requests TCEQ to require reductions in statewide carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels consistent with what current scientific analysis deems necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change.

“TCEQ and the Texas government have failed to live up to their responsibility to protect my future and take the urgent action needed to halt climate change,” said 15 year-old plaintiff, Eamon Umphress. “My generation will be hurt the most by climate change, but instead of taking action, Texas is putting short-term profits for corporations above a livable planet for me and future generations.”

As part of the iMatter Campaign, a petition was filed on May 5th in conjunction with legal actions in 47 other states, the District of Columbia, and against the federal government on behalf of youth to compel reductions of CO2 emissions in an effort to counter the negative impacts of climate change that these youth expect to manifest in their lifetime.

The petition relies upon the long established legal principle of the Public Trust Doctrine that requires all branches of the government to protect and maintain certain shared resources fundamental for human health and survival. Science, not politics, defines the fiduciary obligation that the government, as the trustee, must fulfill on behalf of the beneficiary—the public.

“Dr. James Hansen, a prominent and widely respected climate scientist, has warned that our window of opportunity is quickly closing to take serious action to avoid the worst impacts of climate change,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, Director of Public Citizen’s Texas Office. “Since 1991, TCEQ has had the authority to regulate greenhouse gases but has lacked the political and moral will to do so. The moral failure of the leadership of Texas, particularly Governor Perry and TCEQ Commissioner Shaw, is shameful and betrays future generations. We urge the courts and TCEQ to follow the science and take action to protect the climate and future generations by reducing CO2 emissions now.”

“The Public Trust Doctrine requires TCEQ, as a trustee, to protect and preserve vital natural resources, including the atmosphere, for both present and future generations of Texans,” said Adam Abrams, an attorney with the Texas Environmental Law Center. “TCEQ’s fiduciary duties as trustee of the public trust cannot be disclaimed.”

TCEQ’s decision states that any reduction in CO2 emissions will not impact the global distribution of these gases in the atmosphere. “But as the largest emitter in the United States, reductions in Texas can make a difference in overall reductions,” said Dr. Neil Carman, Clean Air Director for the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. “Every ton of carbon contributes to global warming, and fewer emissions means less heating in the pipeline and a better chance of reversing Earth’s current energy imbalance.”

“Texas is not only the largest contributor of greenhouse gases in the U.S., the state is also reeling from severe impacts of climate change right now—namely heat waves, droughts, and wildfires,” said Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas. “The U.S. Global Change Research Program states in its 2009 report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, that with rising high temperatures, droughts and heat waves will become more frequent and severe, and water supplies are projected to become increasingly scarce. Just last month, the federal Department of Agriculture declared 213 counties in Texas disaster areas, due to ‘one of the worst droughts in more than a century.’” Texas has “sustained excessive heat, high winds and wildfires that burned hundreds of thousands of acres,” and many farmers and ranchers “have lost their crops due to the devastation caused by the drought and wildfires,” USDA stated in its press release. “We call on Texas government officials to take these impacts seriously and act now to reduce CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels,” stated Metzger.

To protect Earth’s natural systems, the best available science shows that average global surface heating must not exceed 1° C and concentrations of atmospheric CO2 must decline to less than 350 ppm this century. We are currently at around 390 ppm. To accomplish this reduction, Dr. Hansen and other renowned scientists conclude that global CO2 emissions need to peak in 2012 and decline by 6% per year starting in 2013. The rulemaking petition seeks a rule that would require a reduction of statewide CO2 emissions at these levels. Click here to read Dr. Hansen’s recent paper.

“The Texas government continually claims that any kind of regulation on CO2 is a regulation that would hurt business and the economy. This does not have to be the case,” said Karen Hadden, Executive Director of the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition. “The shift to an economy based on energy efficiency and renewable energy instead of fossil fuels is not only technically but economically feasible, and with the right policies in place, our economy could flourish in new green jobs from this shift. Wind energy is comparable in price to coal and the cost of solar is falling, as San Antonio’s recent investment in a 400-megawatt solar project demonstrates. While touting the possible negative impacts on the economy that reductions in CO2 emissions could have, Texas consistently fails to consider the negative economic impacts of climate change—such as the increased weather extremes of heat waves, drought, and hurricanes—already felt by many Texans.”

“We have a moral duty to provide our children and our children’s children with a livable planet,” said Brigid Shea, mother of 15 year-old plaintiff, Eamon Umphress, and former Austin City Council member. “The Texas government must live up to its responsibility to protect and preserve our planet and our atmosphere. We need to end our reliance on fossil fuels and live as if our children’s future matters.”

###

By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

Our Children’s Trust is a nonprofit focused on protecting earth’s natural systems for current and future generations. We are here to empower and support youth as they stand up for their lawful inheritance: a healthy planet. We are mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers. We are adults, part of the ruling generation, and we care about the future of our childrenand their children’s children. www.ourchildrenstrust.org/

iMatter is a youth-led campaign of the nonprofit group, Kids vs Global Warming, that is focused on mobilizing and empowering youth to lead the way to a sustainable and just world. We are teens and moms and young activists committed to raising the voices of the youngest generation to issue a wake-up call to live, lead and govern as if our future matters. www.imattermarch.org/

 

 

Read Full Post »

An unnamed Republican campaign veteran told the Washington Post that Texas Governor Rick Perry has decided to run for President, though the official word from the Perry camp is still a definite maybe, stating that Mr. Perry has surveyed the field and decided to get in the race later this summer.  The thinking from republican sources  is that apparent front-runner Mitt Romney “does not reflect the Republican Party” and is therefore vulnerable to a credible challenge from the right, especially after Mr. Romney’s recent squishy remarks on global warming.  So the Texas governor is running as a climate change denier.

In a Stanford University report researches have found that “candidates running for office can gain votes by taking green positions and might lose votes by expressing skepticism about climate change.” A study entitled “The Impact of Candidates’ Statements about Climate Change on Electoral Success in 2010: Experimental Evidences,” reveals that taking a “green” position on global warming attracts votes from Democrats and Independents, while expressing skepticism about the warmist theory alienates those same voters. On the Republican side there was no significant impact either way, so it looks like Perry intends to look to his base.

Read Full Post »

Drought plagued cotton field in Lubbock, Texas just two weeks ago - photo by Betsy Blaney, AP

More than half the state of Texas is now gripped by the most extreme level of drought measured by climatologists and as I look out my window at the lush green strip of lawn in front of the office building across the street, I wonder how long they will be able to keep watering to maintain that look.

A report released Thursday by national climate experts shows that Texas saw the highest levels of drought — rated as “exceptional” — jump from 43.97 percent of the state to 50.65 percent of the state.  Folks living in these regions of the state are experiencing thousands of wildfires, dried up grazing land needed for cattle, and the loss of thousands of acres of wheat and other crops.

It has been estimated that Texas farmers and ranchers have already lost $1.5 billion in revenues this year, and officials say if the drought continues into June, losses will top $4 billion, making it the costliest season on record, impacting the entire nation since Texas is the nation’s second largest agriculture producer .

Texas could be well on its way to breaking the record of 2006 as we contemplate this May’s estimated rainfall totals, which were only about 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 inches of rain across the state.  This would make the March-May spring period the driest on record once the totals are confirmed.

Texas has a long history with droughts,  but it is still early and we will have to wait a bit to determine how this year ranks in the history of Texas droughts, but it is not looking good and so far the governor’s call for prayer for rain has yet to be answered.

The persistent drought in the south comes even as too much rain has been falling to the north with flooding prompting wide-spread evacuations, and tornadoes spawning as disturbances move through from Dallas north and eastward, devastating communities in their wake.  How much weather related devastation do we have to endure before our governments begin to seriously consider means to mitigate the effects of climate change?

Read Full Post »

Bad Bill Alert Vote NO on SB 875

The House passed on 2nd reading a bill which would give polluters a shield against being sued for nuisance over their greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, greenhouse gases include all sorts of bad pollution, like methane, and even the pollutants that cause smog: NOx and ozone. 

Even worse, there is concern that the Bonnen amendment would apply to every area of the state of Texas water code. 

This is a bailout for polluters and would take away your rights to stop emissions in your backyard that affect your family, your home, your farm, or ranch.

They say this is just about global warming, but it’s not!

Please call your Representative and tell him or her to

VOTE NO ON SB 875

Talking points to tell your legislator when you get their staff on the phone:

This bill is far more than a global warming bill – it’s immunity for polluters

The original bill was a bad concept, but it only limited local governments’ right to bring nuisance or trespass lawsuits for greenhouse gases.  The new version significantly expands the scope of the bill and TAKES AWAY PEOPLES’ (INDIVIDUALS, FARMERS, RANCHERS, BUSINESSES AND LOCAL GOVTS) RIGHT TO PROTECT THEIR PROPERTY FROM POLLUTION.

The Bonnen amendment went way too far

Please vote no

Read Full Post »

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has agreed to close 18 coal units over the next 6 years. This is a major victory in the battle for clean air, particularly in regards to TVA, who has been sued many times for their air pollution violations as well as being responsible for one of the worst environmental disasters in history: the TVA Kingston Coal Ash spill. Hopefully this signifies a shift overall throughout the country, and throughout the world, away from coal and towards an energy system based on renewables instead of fossil fuels.

My favorite quote so far comes from this Time article:

If there is a war on coal, environmental forces may have just won the Battle of Midway.

You can also read more about this accord at The New York Times.

For those of you around Texas and throughout the United States, take this to heart: we are winning the fight against coal and we will continue to win as long as we keep up the pressure. Our best thoughts go out to all the folks gathered at Power Shift 2011 (going on all weekend) – you all have something to celebrate tonight!

###

By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

Read Full Post »

A new study from Cornell Professor Robert Howarth shows that natural gas from shale beds extracted through hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” has the same effect on the climate as burning coal, tarnishing one of the natural gas industry’s major claims of being a less polluting and more climate friendly fossil fuel.

A megawatt of electricity from a natural gas power plant will generally produce anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 of the greenhouse gas emissions, specifically CO2, compared to a megawatt from a coal plant.  And since coal plants have rightfully been targeted as the biggest climate polluters the natural gas folks have been positioning themselves as the cheaper, cleaner alternative.

Not so fast, since methane, the main component of natural gas, is also a greenhouse gas that the EPA rates as having 20 times the heat-trapping capacity of CO2.  Since so much methane is released into the atmosphere during the fracking and drilling process, Howarth’s study questions that assumption, implying the climate benefits are minimal, if they even exist.  From The Hill:

More broadly, many gas supporters see domestic reserves as a “bridge” fuel while alternative energy sources are brought into wider use.

Howarth’s study questions this idea.

“The large GHG footprint of shale gas undercuts the logic of its use as a bridging fuel over coming decades, if the goal is to reduce global warming,” the study states.

But [natural gas industry spokesmen] also note that gas has other advantages over coal as an energy source, due to its lower emissions of conventional pollutants including nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide.

The study cautions that the research is not meant to justify continued use of oil and coal, but rather to show that using shale gas as a substitute might not provide the desired checks on global warming.

Howarth and Cornell engineering Prof. Anthony Ingraffea, who also worked on the study, acknowledged uncertainties in the nexus between shale gas and global warming in a presentation last month.

“We do not intend for you to accept what we reported on today as the definitive scientific study with regard to this question. It is clearly not. We have pointed out as many times as we could that we are basing this study on in some cases questionable data,” Ingraffea said at a mid-March seminar, which is available for viewing on Howarth’s website.

“What we are hoping to do by this study is to stimulate the science that should have been done before, in my opinion, corporate business plans superceded national energy strategy,” he added.

This is an incredibly important discussion to have, especially given the impacts that fracking is having on our air, water, health, and our state budget.

UPDATE: The Texas Energy Report got some good response from around the Capitol and we couldn’t help include it:

“Sounds like the coal industry may have funded it,” joked Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay), author of Senate Bill 15, which would create a 20-year energy and environmental policy council for Texas.

“The direction they’re going is exactly opposite of what we hear that natural gas is cleaner with less greenhouse emissions. We’ve always worked under that premise,” said Fraser who is also chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

***“I would like to see it. I don’t know what they’re drawing their conclusions on. I would say it’s interesting – significant I don’t know,” said Rep. Jim Keffer, chairman of the House Energy Resources Committee.  “We’ll have to take a look at it. I’m sure there’ll be another side.”

Keffer is the author of a bill to require oil and gas companies drilling for shale gas to disclose the contents of chemicals they inject into the ground with water and sand during fracking. Fracking involves high-pressure injections of water into the ground to fracture rock formations and release gas.

The Environmental Defense Fund of Texas, which has embraced Keffer’s bill as the most significant fracking disclosure measure in the nation, said more work is needed to determine the air quality implications of fracking.

“Though we have questions about the study’s emissions estimates, it nevertheless highlights the importance of getting better data,” said Ramon Alvarez of the EDF.

###

By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

Read Full Post »

Could your trip down to the neighborhood meat market, or your favorite burger joint be contributing to the demise of the Amazon rainforest?  Cattle ranching in Brazil is the leading cause of deforestation in the Amazon. This is old news though.  Cattle ranching has been the leading cause of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest since the 70s.  The cattle industry in Brazil is responsible for 80% of the deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon region to be exact.  This means that the ever growing cattle sector in Brazil is also a huge contributor to the greenhouse effect.  According to Greenpeace, statistics show that 2.5 acres of the rainforest is destroyed every 18 seconds.  To compound the situation, the number of cattle in Brazil has nearly doubled since 1990.  Back in the 90s, Brazil only produced enough beef to feed its own population.  Today, the cattle production industry, located in the heart of the Amazon on a territory known as Mato Grosso, has increased by at least 50 billion.  Here in Mato Grosso, pasturelands have been cleared for cattle grazing the size of Portugal!

Pie chart of deforestation in the Amazon

Recently, Brazil has also just earned itself the title of largest beef exporter in the world, exporting everywhere from Hong Kong, the European Union, and even to the United States (primarily fast food restaurants).  According to the Center for International Forestry Research, ‘between 1990 and 2001 the percentage of Europe’s processed meat imports that came from Brazil rose from 40-75 percent’ and by 2003 for the first time ever, ‘the growth in Brazilian cattle production—80% of which was in the Amazon—was largely export driven.’

The United States has recently been in dispute with Brazil over the cotton production industry, and (thank heavens!) placed a ban on the import of Brazilian beef…but hold on folks:  that ban is set to expire at the end of this year.  Another important note to consider: this ban on Brazilian beef imports is not a complete ban, in fact, many restaurants and other fine dining businesses in the US continue to partake in the destruction of the Amazon.  The ban only pertains to grocery stores, and is currently in debate as to whether or not it will be lifted.  The ban depends upon the dispute over cotton production industry between the two countries.  The ban was originally instated in the US due to the high levels of foot and mouth disease prominent in Brazilian beef. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Americans tend to think of climate change as a ‘down the road’ future phenomenon. But the fact of the matter is that although the world isn’t coming to an end tomorrow, we are being impacted by climate change, and much more than we may think.  We may feel like we don’t know anyone dealing with the repercussions of climate change, but the effects are closer than we think. In fact, think of that cattle ranch down the road, it’s probably dealing with the effects of climate change, like drought, and extreme heat waves, and most of us don’t even know it.

Climate change can affect livestock, especially here in Texas, aka the cattle country.  This occurs principally through variations in appetite, and distribution in energy between maintenance and growth.  The potential for disease incidence becomes increased as well. Does this become worth the cost for those who raise cattle? Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that it is not.

Cattle during a roundup session

My family has owned a working cattle ranch for as long as I can remember.  The cattle were left to openly graze through the pastures and wander about the ranch, to the fishing pond and beyond.  I can remember countless times driving in only to be stopped by a cow standing blatantly in the middle of the road munching on some mesquite.  A few months ago, the decision was made to slowly get rid of the cattle on the ranch.  Why you ask? For one, the expense it costs to maintain such a production is becoming more than the profit.  The cattle are eating everything in sight, not allowing the wild game to acquire enough to eat to reach their full mass potential.  This essentially decreases the amount of hunting leases the ranch receives, since the game isn’t at its full potential, size wise.  As long as the cows continue to eat, they’ll also continue to erode everything in sight, especially since they’ve been grazing for so long out in the pastures.  And specifically speaking of extreme heat waves, I can remember a few times in my lifetime when we’ve had cows die right in the pastures as a result of the brutal Texas heat.  That seems to be a pretty clear indicator of the serious catastrophic risks that the effects of warming have on the hard-working cattle ranchers. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Submit a commentRepower America, wants to share an important piece of news with you.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to limit global warming pollution from big fossil fuel industries like power plants and petroleum refineries. These industries alone account for about 40% of the global warming pollution in the U.S. — making them the two largest sources of emissions.

Here’s where you come in. The EPA is charged with developing rules called New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) that will protect public health, reduce the pollution that causes climate change, and send a signal to polluters that they need to invest in clean energy technologies.

It’s crucial that the EPA sticks to its schedule and develops strong rules. Between now and March 18, the EPA is accepting comments on their plans. They will definitely be receiving comments from the coal, gas and oil industries. Make sure they hear from you, too.

These rules are common sense. The EPA was created to understand our impact on our environment and protect the health of our people. An overwhelming majority of scientists are united in their understanding of the effects of global warming pollution and the EPA is charged with developing rules based on that science. Yet strong special interest groups are working to derail that process.

The EPA needs to hear that you support their efforts to limit global warming pollution from these industries. That’s why you need to encourage the EPA to issue strong New Source Performance Standards without delay.

The science is clear: Climate change is happening. Unfortunately, big polluters will make big profits if they mislead the American public about that fact. RePower America needs you to counteract and counterbalance their money and their voice by sending a comment to the EPA today.

Fill out the form by clicking here, and RePower America will deliver your comment to the EPA before the March 18 deadline:

Read Full Post »

In December of 2008 (interestingly the same month as the TVA Kingston Coal-Ash Disaster) a 27-year-old Tim DeChristopher repeatedly bid up 12,000 acres of land intended for oil and gas exploration to a nice, winning number of $1.79 million. The problem? He didn’t have $1.79 million.

Tim is now on trial in Utah – facing up to 10 years in prison for… raising a bid paddle. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Hitchcock classic North By Northwest, where Cary Grant disrupts an auction specifically so that he would be arrested – getting placed in police custody to gain protection from the spies that were out to kill him. (more…)

Read Full Post »

The Senate is about to hear legislation pertaining to coal ash waste regulation. There is an amendment proposed to slash EPA’s funding so that they cannot enforce safeguards at coal ash waste landfills. The following is a message from our friends with Environmental Integrity Project. Please take a few moments to contact your senator and let them know you want enforcement of regulations on these very hazardous and dangerous waste sites.

Dear Friends,

Thank you for helping to influence 183 Representatives in the US House to vote against Congressman McKinley’s amendment to eliminate EPA’s funding to regulate coal ash as a hazardous waste.  Eighteen Representatives were Republicans switching ranks to vote against their party’s leadership and for safe water.

Within one week we MUST defeat this amendment likely to be proposed to the budget bill (Continuing Resolution) that is brought to the floor of the Senate, or this egregious proposal to slash EPA’s funding could become a reality – leaving EPA unable to enforce basic safeguards at toxic coal ash dumps such as liners, covers or monitoring and thousands of American communities nearby in harm’s way.

Nearly a half million Americans submitted comments on the EPA’s proposed coal ash rules with a majority of them in support of safeguards.   More than a thousand concerned citizens who traveled to 8 day-long EPA hearings supported these safeguards.  Clearly, Americans have voiced their support FOR protection of our drinking water and public health by the US EPA.

Please call your Senators today and urge them to vote NO to any amendments to cut the US EPA’s authority to protect our health from toxic coal ash.
Use this link to find phone numbers for your Senators – you just need to type in your zip code: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

1.  Tell your Senators you want them to respect the rule-making process and the comments that their constituents submitted on the EPA coal ash regulation.

2.  Tell them to let the US EPA to do its job and protect public health.

3.  Ask them if you can count on their support for basic safeguards to protect public health from toxic coal ash.

After you make your call, please let us know you’ve made the calls and what their offices said.  Send your responses to: [email protected].

Please let your US Senators know today that Americans throughout the country want to be protected – call them immediately and tell them to uphold our right to safe drinking water.

Thanks for your continuing help and please spread the word.

###

By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

Read Full Post »

Great news from St. Louis! Students and other activists from “Green Action” (at Washington University in St. Louis) and Missourians Organized for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) entered the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark to disrupt a meeting of the National Coal Council – a federal advisory committee to the U.S. secretary of energy (see their extremely dramatic website here).

The meeting was to focus on carbon capture and sequestration technology, but was canceled do to the disruption and chants of “Coal is never clean” and, “Clean coal is a dirty lie.” The group was peacefully escorted out of the hotel by police.

The meeting was canceled, but members of the council stayed to enjoy the private lunch they had already ordered. I’d have a joke about that, but I’m not that funny.

See more details at Washington University’s independent newspaper: Student Life

###

By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

Read Full Post »

The next time you bite into that double quarter-pounder with cheese, you may want to think twice about it.  Literally though, once for your health and once for Mother Nature dearest.

The livestock and agricultural industry is the single largest producer of methane, one of the biggest contributors to global warming.  In fact, 100 million tons of methane is produced each year by the animal agricultural business alone.

About 85% of the people I’ve talked to, had no idea that eating meat had such a big impact on the environment.  It’s understandable that the general public cannot cease use of all fossil fuels, electricity, and gas-guzzling SUVs, but altering your diet toward a more plant-based focus is both one of the easiest things to do to decrease your carbon footprint, as well as quickest.  You may not be in a position to trade in your car for the latest electric vehicle, but you can be aware of the choices you make at the grocery store. (more…)

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »