October 3, 2012 |
Centuries before the Industrial Revolution or the recognition of global warming, the ancient Roman and Chinese empires were already producing powerful greenhouse gases through their daily toil, according to a new study. The burning of plant matter to cook food, clear cropland and process metals released millions of tons of methane gas into the atmosphere each year during several periods of pre-industrial history, according to the study, published Thursday in the journal Nature. Although the quantity of methane produced back then pales in comparison with the emissions released today - the total amount is roughly 70 times greater now - the findings suggest that man's footprint on the climate is larger than previously realized.
September 20, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO -- Corporate executives and workers from dozens of refineries, glass-makers and other business groups bombarded members of the California Air Resources Board with complaints about an upcoming auction of credits allowing them to release greenhouse gases. The first auction Nov. 14 will be the cornerstone of the country's most extensive, market-based, cap-and-trade program for reducing carbon dioxide and other pollutants that contribute to global warming. Critics, including the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Manufacturers & Technology Assn.
September 17, 2012 |
The decline of my 10-year-old refrigerator started with an unsettling wheezing sound and ended with a death rattle that would have cost $500 to fix. So I, like 10 million other Americans each year, dropped money on a new fridge and had the broken one hauled away. But I was nagged by a lingering concern: What happened to my hulking old Amana? The Pacific Sales where I bought my new Samsung offered a free haul-away service, but what did that company do with it? Where, exactly, was it hauled away to?
August 21, 2012 |
Many people want to eat in a way that's good for their health and also good for the environment. One does not necessarily translate to the other. For one thing, the word “sustainable” is easy to bandy about but involves a whole medley of considerations: greenhouse gas emissions, how and where a food was grown, how much water was used to grow it, from what distance it was shipped, how much goes to waste and how leftovers are disposed of, whether people can make a living producing it, and more.
August 14, 2012 |
Texas oil company Tesoro is going Californian in a big way. Is it getting hot in here? For Californians of an environmental bent (which describes most Californians), the name Tesoro does not conjure happy memories. In 2010, the company teamed with a bigger San Antonio-based oil company, Valero, to put Proposition 23 on the state ballot. The measure was a highly cynical attempt to pretend that the state's unemployment problem, which was and is a function of the nation's housing and financial crises, was actually related to AB 32, California's pioneering effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
August 2, 2012 |
The Earth's ability to soak up man-made carbon dioxide emissions is a crucial yet poorly understood process with profound implications for climate change. Among the questions that have vexed climate scientists is whether the planet can keep pace with humanity's production of greenhouse gases. The loss of this natural damper would carry dire consequences for global warming. A study published in Thursday's edition of the journal Nature concludes that these reservoirs are continuing to increase their uptake of carbon — and show no sign of diminishing.
June 26, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court has upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate gas emissions from power plants and vehicles, dealing a setback to fossil fuel industries, states and lobbying groups that have fought for years to delay taking steps to address climate change. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday dismissed four sweeping lawsuits that asserted that the Clean Air Act did not give the EPA the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
May 7, 2012 |
Dinosaurs' gassy guts may have contributed to global warming tens of millions of years ago, according to a new study that finds a group of plant-eating dinosaurs could have produced about as much methane as all of today's natural and man-made sources of the greenhouse gas. British researchers reported in Tuesday's edition of the journal Current Biology that the methane emissions from sauropods far outstripped those of today's cattle, goats and...
April 30, 2012
Re "Electric or gas? Choice comes into Focus," Business, April 26 Having trouble deciding between an electric or gasoline car? I have experience with both. A Nissan Leaf, after federal and state rebates, costs about $25,000, the same as a gas-powered Ford Focus. An electric Focus will cost a couple thousand more. With the gas car, over 10 years you'll spend $25,000 on fuel and emit asthma-causing pollutants and more than 100,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that is irreversibly changing our climate.
April 18, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - TheU.S. Environmental Protection Agencyissued regulations that for the first time will curtail air pollution from natural gas wells that use a controversial production technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The regulations will limit emissions of volatile organic compounds, which react with sunlight to create smog. The rules also will curb carcinogens and methane, the main component of natural gas and a potent contributor to climate change. The rules are expected to affect about 11,000 new wells annually that undergo fracking and an additional 1,200 that are re-fracked to boost production.