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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Apple is Worth Almost as Much as ExxonMobil – And That’s Good News For the Planet

Posted by Corey Kaster on October 25, 2010

via GNN

Apple is the second most valuable private company in the world, but steadily gaining on Exxon Mobil, which is currently worth about $338 billion to Apple’s $300 billion.

This shouldn’t be only of interest to investors. It holds far broader political and cultural significance. It’s not just about value, but values.

There couldn’t be a more stark contrast between the new economy and the old than the comparison of these two companies–a sleek tech giant versus a dirty fossil energy monster.

(READ the analysis in Discovery)


Posted in Apple, Economy, Environment, Technology | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Confirmed: Microbes are Eating BP Oil Without Using Up Oxygen

Posted by Corey Kaster on September 14, 2010

Written by Geri via GNN

NOAA government scientists studying the BP disaster are reporting the best possible outcome: Microbes are consuming the oil in the Gulf without depleting the oxygen in the water and creating “dead zones” where fish cannot survive.

Outside scientists said this so far vindicates the difficult and much-debated decision by BP and the government to use massive amounts of chemical dispersants deep underwater to break up the oil before it reached the surface.

Larry McKinney, director of a Gulf of Mexico research center at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, said the new federal data showed that it was a “nearly perfect” outcome.

(READ the AP story in WTOP News)

Posted in Environment, Good News | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Supreme Court Favors Consumers in First-Ever Case on Genetically-Engineered Crops

Posted by Corey Kaster on June 25, 2010

Posted by geri via GNN

Friday, 25 June 2010

The United States Supreme Court announced its decision Monday in Monsanto v. Geerston Farms, the first genetically modified crop case ever brought before the high court. As a result, the ban on planting Roundup Ready Alfalfa still stands, until and unless future deregulation by federal agencies occurs. The Center for Food Safety calls it a “major victory” for conventional farmers and consumers.

In a 7 to 1 vote, the court ruled on 3 issues and held that any further attempt to commercialize Roundup Ready Alfalfa (RRA), which has been engineered to survive weed killer, may require an Environmental Impact Study that would be subject to legal challenge. The Court further recognized that the threat of transgenic contamination is harmful and onerous to organic and conventional farmers and that the injury allows them to challenge future biotech crop commercializations in court.

(Photo by KConnors, via

Following the ruling, more than 50 U.S. lawmakers called on the U.S. Agriculture Department to keep Monsanto’s biotech alfalfa out of farm fields. The lawmakers said the biotech alfalfa presents too great a risk to conventional and organic agriculture to ever allow it.

“While the decision is complicated, given that it overturns a ban on the planting of RRA, this Court opinion is in many ways a defeat against Monsanto,” wrote CFS’s Executive Director, Andrew Kimbrell. “Especially because despite the ruling, it is still illegal to sell or plant genetically modified alfalfa.”

Monsanto asked the Supreme Court to rule on three main issues: (1) to lift the injunction on GMO alfalfa; (2) to allow the planting and sale of GMO alfalfa; (3) to rule that contamination from GMO crops not be considered irreparable harm.

The court only ruled on the first request which it did affirm by stating that the injunction was overly broad and should be overturned. However, the Court ruled in favor of The Center for Food Safety on the other two issues, which in many ways are more important because the fact remains that the planting and sale of GMO alfalfa remains illegal.

The justices ruled that an injunction against planting was simply unnecessary since, under lower courts’ rulings, Roundup Ready Alfalfa became a regulated item and illegal to plant. In other words, the injunction was “overkill’ because our victory in lower federal court determined that USDA violated the National Environmental Protection Act and other environmental laws when it approved Roundup Ready alfalfa. The court felt that voiding the USDA’s decision to make the crop legally available for sale was enough.

The High Court did not rule on several arguments presented by Monsanto about the application of federal environmental law. As a result, the Court did not make any ruling that could have been hurtful to National Environmental Policy Act or any other environmental laws. In addition, the opinion supported the Center’s argument that gene flow is a serious environmental and economic threat. This means that genetic contamination from GMOs can still be considered harm under the law, both from an environmental and economic perspective, another huge victory for CFS.

Posted in Environment, Food, Health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Toyota, Tesla Will Build Electric Cars Together in California

Posted by Corey Kaster on May 25, 2010

Posted on GNN via Jenny Cellander

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Toyota and Tesla Motors have announced a surprise joint venture, augmented by Tesla’s purchase of a sprawling auto plant, recently closed near San Francisco.

The remarkable turn of events creates the potential for Toyota to become more involved in the production of electric cars, and a boost for the recently embattled Tesla, as well as a huge rebound for the factory that just last month produced its last Toyota Corolla before closing its doors.

Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla Motors, said the company has already begun hiring some former workers and will continue to hire more.

(

Posted in Cars, Environment | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Banner Year for U.S. Wind Power Expansion

Posted by Corey Kaster on April 17, 2010

Posted by geri via GNN

Friday, 16 April 2010

The U.S. wind energy industry released their annual report last week touting another record year. More than 10,000 MW of new wind power generating capacity came online last year, the largest year in U.S. history, and enough to power the equivalent of 2.4 million homes or generate as much electricity as three large nuclear power plants.

America’s wind power fleet will conserve approximately 20 billion gallons of water annually that would otherwise be lost to evaporation from steam of cooling in conventional power plants. And, it will eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to taking 10.5 million cars off the road.

In state rankings, Iowa leads in terms of percentage of electricity from wind power, getting 14% of its power from the wind, and also leads in highest number of jobs in the manufacturing sector. Texas consolidated its lead in wind capacity and in largest wind farms installed.

Despite the economic downturn, the demand for small wind systems for residential and small business use (rated capacity of 100 kW or less) grew 15% in 2009, adding 20 MW of generating capacity to the nation. Seven small wind turbine manufacturing facilities were opened, announced or expanded in 2009.

All 50 states have jobs in the wind industry, with 85,000 people employed. Ten new wind turbine manufacturing facilities came online in the U.S. last year, 20 were announced, and nine facilities were expanded. 100 companies to manufacture wind components opened, announced or expanded in the past three years (2007- 2009), bringing the total to over 200.

For the unemployed person looking to join the burgeoning field, 205 educational programs now offer a certificate, degree, or coursework related to wind energy, mostly offered by community colleges or technical school programs.

Posted in Economy, Energy, Environment, Wind Energy | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Smart Energy Glass Turns Windows into Energy Generators

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 25, 2010

Posted by geri via GNN

Saturday, 20 March 2010

An innovative Dutch company, recently developed an organic-based glass coating called Smart Energy Glass. Windows made with this glass are transformed into solar energy collectors. The energy captured can either be used immediately or fed back into a power grid, adding to a building’s energy efficiency and sustainability. (Ode)

The windows can be adjusted as the sun changes to allow in more light or create more privacy, and thus effecting the amount of energy generated.

WATCH the marketing video at

Posted in Energy, Environment, Solar Energy | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

What a cool park! A bunch of concrete, just what we need.

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 17, 2010

Posted in Environment | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Fuel-injection System That Delivers 64 Miles Per Gallon

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 16, 2010

Posted by geri via GNN

Saturday, 13 March 2010

A startup company developed a new fuel injection system with the goal of increasing the fuel efficiency of existing gasoline engines.

The best hybrid cars of today can only deliver about 48 miles per gallon. By using this newly developed fuel injection system, a test vehicle achieved 64 miles per gallon in highway driving — a nearly 50% increase in fuel efficiency.

(

Transonic Combustion

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Posted in Cars, Environment | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Recycle Your Jeans at the GAP for Home Insulation and Get 30% Off

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 12, 2010

Posted by geri via GNN

Friday, 05 March 2010

Beginning today, at 1,000 Gap stores across North America, turn in your old denim and get new denim at a 30% discounted price. The denim drive is called, COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN. Through March 14, consumers across the country can donate old denim at their local Gap, which will then be given a “new life” by being converted into Natural Cotton Fiber Insulation, and donated to communities in need.

Since the initiative was launched five years ago, the COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN denim drive has recycled enough denim to create natural cotton fiber insulation for over 540 homes.

“The two-week denim drive will enable them to give back to communities in need,” said Marka Hansen, President, Gap North America.

As a call to action, Gap will air radio spots in top markets across the U.S. and Canada, and each Gap retail location will feature in-store displays, with specially-branded collection bins.

The in-store program will be featured on Gap’s online consumer site,, as well as the COTTON. FROM BLUE TO GREEN Web site,

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Posted in Environment, Recycling | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Portland Ranks in Top 5 Greenest Cities in the World!

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 12, 2010

Posted by geri via GNN

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The five greenest cities in the world aren’t necessarily those with nothing but trees and parks.

Being a green city is all about sustainability and improving your carbon footprint, and these five are putting themselves on the fast track to becoming sustainable-carbon neutral.

  • Vancouver, Canada has been recognized for trying to make the Winter Olympic games sustainable, but it’s their day-to-day focus that really allows this Canadian city to earn its ranking.
  • Malmo, Sweden is known for its parks, but also innovates in its sustainable urban spaces.
  • Curitiba, Brazil features great transit and parks that are trimmed by sheep.
  • Portland, Oregon focuses upon alternative transit with light-rail and extensive bike path networks
  • Reykjavik, Iceland runs entirely on green power.

(READ MORE about the Green Cities at

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Posted in Environment, Oregon, Portland, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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