news & media (1198)
Friday, 30 April 2010 12:39 Written by Ivan Chan
Oil from the offshore spill in the Gulf of Mexico has washed ashore including in ecologically rich areas of Louisiana. About 5,000 barrels or 210,000 gallons a day of oil are estimated to be flowing from the well, and it could take up to 90 days to stop the spill. The total amount of oil from the spill could exceed the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska. The spill followed an explosion on April 20th at an offshore drilling rig that killed 11 workers. Residents along the Gulf are preparing for disruption, including shrimp and oyster fisheries, and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana has declared a state of emergency. Jindal listed at least 10 wildlife refuges in Louisiana and Mississippi in the path of the oil that are likely to be impacted, warning that billions of dollars in coastal restoration could be wasted. The President meanwhile has said he will use "every single available resource at our disposal" to contain and address the spill. The Navy has been called in to help with containment. Making it difficult is that the oil is arising from approx. 5,000 ft. below the ocean surface, and currents break apart the oil, spreading the slick out. It is now estimated to be over 100 miles wide on the ocean surface. With weekend storms in the Gulf expected, more oil will reach coastlines along Gulf Coast states.
On Capitol Hill, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) said he would introduce legislation to block the Interior Department from acting on the administration's recently announced proposal to expand offshore drilling. He also called for a halt to test wells and other exploratory operations in coastal waters. Two House panels, including the Committee on Energy and Commerce, plan to investigate or hold hearings on the accident. The oil spill is also affecting the proposed Senate bill on energy and climate. In garnering votes, backers of the proposed bill included provisions for expanding offshore oil exploration and drilling. The provisions have now come under increased scrutiny and should require Congress to rethink whether they should be part of a bill to increase domestic energy production while addressing environmental impacts of energy including climate change. Images Courtesy of Reuters, AP
Thursday, 29 April 2010 17:24 Written by Paul Burman
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="406" caption="Wind turbines in Europe viewed close up"][/caption] The Cape Wind renewable energy project has been approved by Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, clearing the latest hurdle for the project. Since 2001, Cape Wind - an offshore wind farm proposal located just off the Massachusetts coast - has struggled through multiple battles in the courtroom and in the media from local residents including some heavy hitters like members of the Kennedys. The privately financed project will feature 130 wind turbines spread over 25 square miles off the coast of Massachusetts that will generate up to 468 megawatts and average 182 megawatts of power over the course of the year. At its peak production, the turbines will power 700,000 houses - or about 75% of the electricity demanded at Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island. The project is expected to create several hundred construction jobs and cut carbon dioxide emissions from conventional power plants by up to 700,000 tons annually. That is equivalent to removing 175,000 cars from the road for a year. The controversy with the project has centered around the potential environmental and aesthetic impacts that the turbines will have on the historic Cape Cod area. Located 5 miles off the coast on a shoal, some residents including members of the Kennedys are concerned about views. Extensive underwater environmental impact assessments have been undertaken, with more to come; they have thus far determined that the turbine bases will have minimal impacts on the local environments. There's still no assurance yet that the turbines will be built as more lawsuits are expected; however, the Interior Department's approval is important news for US wind and clean energy development.
Progress on a landmark climate change bill seems to have reached a standstill, as a key Senate backer Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has announced that he is withdrawing his support. Senator John Kerry was scheduled to unveil the energy and climate change legislation on Monday. It has now been put on hold.
The current Senate bill has been months in the making, for the House bill that passed ten months ago did so by a slim margin. Supporters in the Senate have added provisions for offshore drilling, revenue sharing, and loan guarantees for nuclear power plants to appeal to moderate Democrats and Republicans. Such provisions were not included in the original House bill. Sen. Kerry, with the backing of key environmental groups, aspires to cut emissions of harmful greenhouse gases 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 with this legislation. The loss of Graham’s support, however, is a huge blow, and the outlook for climate change legislation in 2010 appears more uncertain. When, if ever, will our legislators realize that climate change is real, and that a call to action cannot wait? Image Credit: Harry Hamburg, AP
Wednesday, 28 April 2010 18:52 Written by Ivan Chan
Concern about climate change and the environment edges the general economy as the greatest threat in the Global Pulse Survey of city dwellers by HSBC Bank USA. 38% of those surveyed believe climate change and environmental issues comprise the biggest threat, while 35% said the economy generally. However, when unemployment and poverty, which are listed separately in the survey, are factored in, economic issues still concern people around the world the most. A unique aspect about the survey is it asks what the greatest concern is among many leading issues globally, from international relations and public health to energy and the environment. Incidentally, energy came in 6th at 19%.
The Survey focuses on spending and investing habits and the opinions of respondents in 11 cities around the world, including 4 in the US (New York, Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles). To learn more about the survey, take a look at this article in Environmental Leader, which published the above chart.
Sunday, 25 April 2010 12:46 Written by Emily Pugliese
Do you enjoy taking pictures and supporting a great cause? If so, enter the "Picture Your World" photo contest sponsored by iVillage and CafePress. The campaign encourages consumers to submit photos that answer the question, “Why on Earth are you saving the planet?” Each participant will receive a free, special edition Earth Month tote bag from CafePress. They will also be entered for a chance to win a grand prize trip to St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. You can also purchase eco-friendly products from CafePress that feature their photo submission, including reusable SIGG water bottles and organic T-shirts and aprons. A portion of proceeds from these items, as well as from all Earth Day-related merchandise available on CafePress, will be donated to Carbonfund.org! No purchase is necessary- visit http://ivillage.cafepress.com/earthday to participate!
Saturday, 24 April 2010 12:33 Written by Emily Pugliese
As part of their Earth Month efforts, Motorola is encouraging their employees to use less paper and plant more trees. For each employee who completes the “Plan Before You Print!” Pledge the Motorola Foundation will make a donation to Carbonfund.org to plant five trees. The pledge encourages employees to take actions to minimize their paper use such as printing double-sided, using “print preview” to minimize printing errors and going print-free one day a week. Deforestation is responsible for roughly 20% of global warming. Motorola’s efforts to minimize their paper use and support tree planting will help restore local habitat, minimize floods and create jobs. To support tree planting today or learn more about our Million Tree Challenge, please visit: www.carbonfund.org/trees. Through July 22, 2010, Carbonfund.org will direct donations to tree planting in Haiti and match your donation 2:1. Please donate today!
Thursday, 22 April 2010 08:46 Written by Ivan Chan
As if earthquakes and poverty were not enough, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere is now facing seasonal rains that can bring flooding and tragedy. To help address this problem, Carbonfund.org today announced that its "Million Tree Challenge" campaign is redirecting all of its donations for the next three months to tree planting in Haiti. The Million Tree Challenge is a campaign launched in March to plant a million trees by making it easy and affordable for businesses and individuals to donate to the campaign. Historically, poor land use practices have magnified the devastating effects of natural disasters like the recent earthquake, resulting in severe flooding and landslides. With the rainy season approaching fast, the need for long-term solutions as well as short-term aid is critically important. As recently as 2008, a series of storms resulted in hundreds of deaths and over $1 billion in damage. "Many of Haiti's problems may seem intractable, but planting trees is something we can do today that will help prevent floods and build communities," said Eric Carlson, President of Carbonfund.org. "By planting trees and restoring native ecosystems, we can do our part to aid the recovery for Haitians today and for future generations." Carbonfund.org also reported that all donations will be matched 2:1 to the Haiti tree planting. Carlson called on companies and individuals to join the Haiti tree planting project. Deforestation is responsible for roughly 20% of global warming. Planting trees today restores local habitat, helps minimize floods and create jobs. To support Haiti by joining the Million Tree Challenge, please visit: www.carbonfund.org/trees.
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 13:00 Written by Michelle Lam
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day this Thursday, April 22, the Earth911 news site is running a Twitter contest with a chance to win great prizes like the CarbonFree® Certified GoECOlife™ SOHO 8-Sheet ULTRA-QUIET™ Paper Shredder. In the 20 days leading up to Earth Day, Earth911 has been giving 2 tips a day as to how people can lead a greener lifestyle and reduce their carbon footprint. For instance, replacing one's incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) is a simple step that reduces energy consumption by up to 75 percent. Contestants must have a Twitter account and need only to Re-tweet the Earth Day Channel as new tips are released to be entered for a chance to win eco-friendly prizes. Up for grabs are, among other things, an Interactive Boxed Set of stationery courtesy of Ecosaurus, eco-friendly T-shirts courtesy of Earth911, and the Carbonfund.org CarbonFree® Certified GoECOlife™ shredder. Winners of the contest will be announced April 23. What are you waiting for? It's a win-win situation: learn how to reduce your carbon footprint, share what you learn with others, and be entered for a chance at a prize!
Monday, 19 April 2010 19:40 Written by Ivan Chan
Your donations to Carbonfund.org's Million Tree Challenge go farther with Staples Copy and Print centers this week only! Staples will be collecting $1 donations from customers at its U.S. stores' Copy & Print centers from April 18-24 and will match customer donations raised during this time, up to $20,000. Already since the launch yesterday the program has resulted in donations to plant over 3,000 trees! Tree planting not only helps reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but provides habitat for local species, reduces erosion and provides jobs for communities in planting and care. Please help Carbonfund.org reach the goal of planting a million trees: visit a Staples Copy & Print center to make a donation that will be matched, or check out our campaign page to learn more and donate today!
Friday, 16 April 2010 18:25 Written by Cameron Lane
Carbonfund.org was featured in The Wall Street Journal about growing consumer participation in carbon offset programs. One of the 5 groups featured, Carbonfund.org was cited as being "one of the first" and the only nonprofit carbon offset provider they reviewed. Carbonfund.org's leadership is also reflected in being voted recently as the best carbon offset provider in the readers' choice awards of the TreeHugger website. The organization's work wouldn't be possible without the work of our supporters and partners: Thank you for your leadership on the environment! With Earth Day coming up, be sure to participate in the Carbonfund.org Million Tree Challenge. You can help us reach our goal of planting a million trees while raising awareness about deforestation by donating a $1 for each tree you'd like planted on your behalf. Please visit www.carbonfund.org/trees today!