>Another setback in America’s love affair with the internal combustion industry came this week in a lawsuit filed by Alabama environmental group Black Warrior Riverkeeper. The suit claims that Alabama Biodiesel Corporation has, on at least 24 occasions, discharged waste into the Black Warrior river, causing an oil-like sheen and killing fish. The suit also mentions that Alabama Biodiesel operated for over a year without a pollution discharge permit.
Alabama Biodiesel is one of a host of “clean fuel” plants that have sprung up in the past year – there were only 90 in the U.S. in 2006, but 160 by the end of 2007. In this case, like with many of America’s good ideas, the race for the mighty buck has trumped long-sighted concerns about unintended consequences like pollution and other environmental impacts.
Finally some good news – really good news from the global warming watch. Big business is finally getting the message that the earth is in peril. Either that or banks are just trying to shift focus away from the sub-prime debacle and slumping markets. Either way, today’s news from New York marks a new course for energy investment, making it more difficult to secure loans for coal-fired power plants. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
At 8:00 on Saturday night, the lights went out at Sydney’s Opera House, the Wat Arun Buddhist temple in Bangkok, the Royal Palace in Copenhagen and in thousands of homes in Christchurch, New Zealand (basically a typical Saturday night there — kidding!). Google also showed their support by going Blackle for a day, their tagline reading: “We’ve turned the lights out. Now it’s your turn.” All this to celebrate Earth Hour 2008 – a global event to raise awareness about climate change.
Animal sex is an odd subject to write about and an even more bizarre one to witness. Don’t worry, I didn’t seek it out – but it was imposed upon me by an amorous giraffe at the Los Angeles Zoo. You could tell by the wild shrieks and awkward giggles of the adults (not to mention the shielding of youngsters) that animal sex is an uncomfortable fact to face. It’s kinda like old people having sex — we know it goes on, but we’d rather not know about it.
However, the fearless folks at China’s Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding are facing the issue of panda procreation head on. With only 2,000 notoriously asexual pandas left in the world, it’s imperative that they mate and quickly. After forcing the pandas to view videos of the panda equivalent of Paris Hilton’s most famous movie, researchers tried a new approach. Exercise.
W.R. Grace, made infamous in the movie “A Civil Action”, made news again in March for its irresponsible environmental management. This time, the folks affected live in Libby, Montana, a tiny town bordered by the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness on the south and Kootenai River on the north. An idyllic little piece of the American West that has been nearly destroyed by corporate greed, misinformation and (some allege) outright lies.
Libby is now the focus of one of the largest Superfund cleanups in the nation due to asbestos. W.R. Grace operated a vermiculite mine for years in the hills outside Libby and misled mine’s employees Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
It’s another blow to the Beijing Olympics. Only this time it’s not political, it’s pollutional. Ethiopia’s world record marathoner Haile Gebrselassie announced that he won’t be competing in his normal events in this summer’s games because he’s concerned that Beijing’s pollution will exacerbate his asthma.
According to Reuters, the athlete said, “The pollution in China is a threat to my health and it would be difficult for me to run 42-km in my current condition.” Gebrselassie, who competed in 1996, 2000 and 2004, says he’s not pulling out altogether — he still plans on competing in the 10,000 meter race.
While monitoring the effects of global warming via the movement of ice shelves in the Antarctic seems a little like an overprotective mother assuming that every child’s sneeze is a direct path to pneumonia, it’s hard to ignore the fact that something is changing in the world’s seas.
Scientists recently noticed stages of disintegration in yet another enormous floating ice shelf off the Antarctic Peninsula. This time, the piece in question is the Wilkins ice shelf, a frozen formation that Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Method Guys Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry on G Living’s Room 101
What is the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the word dirty? Sexy Hot? Madonna? Maybe you visualize old rich men with half naked 20 something girls. What ever popped into your dirty little mind, I bet it wasn’t soap. When the guys at Method (the modern green soap company) think about dirty, they think of nothing but soap and how to make it cleaner, greener and look sexier. Yes sexier, so some of your dirty thoughts where on the right track.
It is this type of clean sexy thinking, that enabled the Method Guys (Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry) to build the 7th fastest growing company in the United States, and the fastest growing company in California. The fastest growing company in California, the home of Apple Computer, and a valley full of tech geeks popping out the latest electronic gadgets that will power our homes and do all the thinking for us, beat out by a couple of guys making soap in their bathtub? Come on, really?! Well according to Adam, that is exactly correct and they fully intend to keep growing their business at record speed, while continuing the path to make their company and their products even greener.
San Francisco May Build Green Artificial Island City, on the Existing Treasure Island. One of the largest developers of the United States, Lennar Corporation, proposed to build a self-sustaining city on Treasure Island. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the proposal has 5,500 units of housing in several lowrise buildings, a few high-rise buildings (including a 60-story tower-Treasure Island Tower), restaurants and a ferry terminal facing San Francisco. It also has an organic farm, a wind farm, parkland and tidal marshes. The proposal is designed to be as car-independent as possible, with the ferry terminal and basic goods within a 10 minute walk of the residences. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Fortune Senior Writer Marc Gunther is asking the question, just how green is the magazine business and how green are those magazines writing about green issues. Some of the current big named magazines, such as Oprahs “O”, published by Hearst, and Vanity Fair, published by Conde Nast’s, wouldn’t reply or give information about their paper use or how green the companies are. They wouldn’t even present a plan of action to reduce or change their current paper usage, or reduction in the harmful chemicals used to whiten the paper or on energy usage.
“The time has come to stop looking back at the Kyoto Protocol,” California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said in September of last year (via Reuters). “The consequences of global climate change are so pressing … it doesn’t matter who was responsible for the past. What matters is who is answerable for the future. And that means all of us.”
Apparently that means all of us with the exception of some of us. An article in the Sacramento Bee tells us that the Governator flies back and forth from his office in Sacramento to his Los Angeles mansion “nearly every night” on his private jet. The fact that the cost of these Gulfstream journeys comes from his own pocket (at the cost of around $10,000 an hour) may be comforting to us Californians on a fiscal level, but the global consequences are another matter completely.
The latest ruling by a judge from the U.S. Ninth District Court of appeals provides protection for oceangoing wildlife within 12 miles of the California Coast. Next stop for the Bush administration if they want to keep up the fight: The Supreme Court. And don’t put it past the lame-duck administration that has packed the court with conservatives over the past 8 years.
The Ninth District, comprised of 3 judges and based in San Francisco, upheld most of a lower court finding that restricted the Navy from using powerful, high-intensity sonar within 12 miles of the coast. The Bushies, in their usual paranoia-mongering, protested. The decision, they said, endangered Americans by disallowing Navy training exercises within the 12 mile zone and adding other restrictions on training operations that were designed to protect large mammals farther out in the ocean. Some of these restrictions were eased by the Ninth District to ensure that ships would be ready for combat duty.