Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Roadless Area Conservation Rule

In January 2001, the U.S. Forest Service adopted the Roadless Area Conservation Rule to protect 58.5 million acres of undeveloped land in 39 states. This rule is vital as, among other reasons, it protects pristine forests that provide habitat for 1,600 threatened or endangered plants and animals and includes watersheds that provide unpolluted drinking water to 60 million Americans. These are some of the last wild places left in the United States, but they are threatened by logging and development following the Bush administration’s efforts to undermine the Roadless Rule, which contributed to conflicting court cases.

The Pew Environment Group, coinciding with the college basketball tournaments in March, recently released a video asking President Obama “take a time out” and uphold the Roadless Area Conservation Rule in order to protect America’s wildlife, water quality, wild-lands, and natural resources. Check out the video here. In the Bush administration, the interests of mining, drilling, and logging superseded environmental protection, threatening our last wild forests. Let’s take the opportunity to support PEG in asking President Obama to uphold the rule, leaving our remaining national forests protected.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Greenhouse Gases a Danger to the Public

E.P.A. Proposal Calls Greenhouse Gases a Danger to the Public

Obama Touts Stimulus, Budget Funds for 'Clean Energy Future'

Problems persist two decades after ‘Exxon Valdez’ oil spill

American Birds Sending Troubling Message About The Environment

Friday, March 20, 2009

Secretary Steven Chu helps create a few thousands jobs

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and the Obama Administration made history today, offering the first loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, a loan guarantee that will help Solyndra, a solar energy company, build a new factory to produce solar panels. Not only will those panels reduce our dependence on dirty sources of energy like coal and oil, building and installing them will create thousands of jobs in California and across the country:

From Solyndra's estimates:

* The construction of this complex will employ approximately 3,000 people.

* The operation of the facility will create over 1,000 jobs in the United States.

* The installation of these panels will create hundreds of additional jobs in the United States.

* The commercialization of this technology is expected to then be duplicated in multiple other manufacturing facilities.

This is what we've been talking about. This is how investing in clean energy and reducing global warming pollution can help kick-start our economy. This is a great start.

Read the Department of Energy release here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Insurance industry required to disclose risks of global warming

Great news from Ceres: Insurance companies must now let their investors know about the financial risks of climate change. As these investors start to realize just how much global warming will cost them, more and more of them will join our call for swift action from Congress.

From Ceres's press release:

Regulators Require Insurers to Disclose Climate Change Risks and Strategies
State Insurance Commissioners Break New Ground By Mandating Climate Disclosure from World’s Largest Industry

SAN DIEGO, CA - The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) today approved a groundbreaking mandatory requirement that insurance companies disclose to regulators and investors the financial risks they face from climate change, as well as actions the companies are taking to respond to those risks.


Solar energy production more than doubled in 2008

A new report from Solarbuzz shows that 2008 was a record setting year for the production of clean, renewable energy production worldwide. Though solar energy production more than doubled, the US came in third in overall solar production.

America should be the world's leader in renewable energy, but it will take meaningful investments in new technologies. That's one reason why LCV supports President Obama's budget, which includes $150 billion in clean energy investments.

Read about the record production of 2008 at Sustainable Energy Transition.

A Greener St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day: A good time and America’s #1 green holiday. The League of Conservation Voters wishes you a safe and happy celebration. For those of you who want to do more than wear green this St. Patrick’s Day, LCV offers these tips on making your holiday as green as possible:

1) Turn off the TV, shut down the computer, and head to a nearby parade. After the parade’s over, pick up a few beer cans and put them in the recycle bin. (Note: If you see people throwing away recyclables or littering, pinch them. Hard.)

2) Before you go out, make plans to take public transportation: it’s safer, greener and you’re far more likely to meet interesting people. The American Public Transportation Association makes it easy to find public transit options in your area.

3) To get in the spirit, a fake Irish accent (although somewhat offensive) is cheaper and creates less waste than a tacky plastic hat.

4) Protect yourself from pinching: put on green clothes. Don’t go shopping for a new shirt, make your own! Grab an old white t-shirt and color it green with a cheap, natural dye.

5) If you feel compelled to drink green beer, drink real “green” beer, as determined by our friends at the Sierra Club. If you’re committed to Guinness, at least drink it warm. It’s how the Irish drink it and it’ll save energy. The Greenest Dollar blog has also identified a greener way to drink wine for those who prefer it.

6) After dinner, bring your corned beef and cabbage leftovers home without styrofoam. Thanks to Enviromom for a great idea.

7) To work off the excess calories you’ve consumed today and to make a total fool of yourself. Now it’s time for Irish dancing. We can't come up with a reason that dancing is particularly "green," but we’d hate to be the only ones on the dance floor.

8) Leave the gold alone and let the rainbows be. It’s up to all of us to stop human encroachment on the natural habitat of the endangered North American Leprachaun.

If you can measure it, you can conserve it!

Google is working on a great project to help consumers lower their energy consumption; thereby protecting the environment.

Take a look.