Trump orders review of Obama-era fuel economy standards

March 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

In another move aimed at dismantling former President Barack Obama’s climate change legacy, President Donald Trump on Wednesday told car executives and auto workers gathered near Detroit that he would order a review of the fuel economy standards for cars and trucks that were put in place by the Obama Administration in 2012. The rules would have raised average fleetwide fuel efficiency to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 — well above the current 35.5 mpg requirement that has been credited with decreasing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that climate scientists say are the primary drivers of global warming. Trump spoke at a former WWII bomber factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan that is being repurposed to test autonomous vehicles. The president said that he would “ensure that any regulations we have protect and defend your jobs, your factories,” adding that the White House is “setting up a task force in every federal agency to identify and remove any regulation that undermines American auto production.” Related: US vehicle emissions hit record low as fuel economy climbs to record high While Trump talked of ending the “assault” on the US auto industry, it is unclear exactly what he is referring to. Despite carmakers complaining about the EPA’s fuel economy standards, a recent report from the regulatory agency found that Detroit was actually outperforming the GHG emission standards while at the same time selling a record number of new cars and trucks. Last year automakers sold a record 17.55 million vehicles  in the US — the seventh straight year of rising sales. Also, Trump didn’t mention that Obama has been credited with helping to save the domestic auto industry. A bipartisan congressional oversight panel concluded that the government intervention resulted in the industry becoming more efficient, allowing automakers “to become more flexible and better able to meet changing consumer demands, while still remaining profitable.” Via The Christian Science Monitor Image 1 , 2 via Wikimedia

Continued here:
Trump orders review of Obama-era fuel economy standards

Swiss resident begins peddling jars of Alps mountain air starting at $97

March 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Swiss resident begins peddling jars of Alps mountain air starting at $97

Got an extra $97 lying around? With that money you can now purchase a jar of fresh mountain air from Switzerland . Resident John Green has started collecting air from the Alps and peddling it online, saying “the air in the mountains is like champagne [so] I decided I had better start selling it.” Born in London, Green says he’s resided in Switzerland for 20 years. He’s now decided to sell that fresh Swiss air from his website MountainAirFromSwitzerland.com , in three sizes. A pint costs $97, a quart $167, and a 3/4 gallon jar will run you $247. He includes a certificate of authenticity with each purchase, and captures the air in what he describes as a secret location. “Let’s just say it’s collected by a babbling mountain stream, fed by melt water from a famous glacier , near a very famous mountain,” says the website. Related: Australian entrepreneurs are selling canned fresh air to polluted China But anyone brave enough to shell out that money will also get GPS coordinates, according to the website, so they can pinpoint the location of their air on a map. Green suggests owners put the jar in the freezer first for the full effect should the owner decide to open the jar. On the website he says, “I seriously feel almost reborn every time I go to the Alps and breath the fresh air; there’s definitely something magic in that air. So get your little bit of magic right here, right now!” Green even says he’s donating 25 percent of profits to World Vision . He told The Local, a Swedish publication, “I know it’s a bit crazy but it’s a fun idea and it helps give some money to a charity that I think is deserving.” As for the price, he said he wants to make the business sustainable and must consider the costs of shipping the air worldwide. “And also don’t forget, it’s Swiss air! Everything in Switzerland is expensive.” When asked if anyone had been willing to purchase the air, he said, “It’s starting slowly, let’s put it like that!” + Mountain Air from Switzerland Via The Local Images via Wikimedia Commons and Mountain Air from Switzerland

More: 
Swiss resident begins peddling jars of Alps mountain air starting at $97

Air pollution is the leading environmental cause of death worldwide

February 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Air pollution is the leading environmental cause of death worldwide

A new report shows that air pollution is the leading environmental cause of death in the world – and the number five cause of death overall. China and India lead the way with a combined 2.2 pollution-related deaths in 2015. These rising trends continue to put pressure on governments and industries that could make a difference. The State of Global Air 2017 report revealed how long-term exposure to harmful, small particulate matter in the air contributed to over 4 million premature deaths in 2015 – the equivalent of 103 million years of healthy life. The study, a combined effort by the Health Effects Institute (HEI) and Institute for Health Metrics and Evalution’s Global Burden of Disease Project , showed China and India as the nations suffering from the most health effects and early deaths due to air pollution. CNBC notes that UK air pollution deaths are also on the rise at 40,000 per year. Related: Beijing creates new environmental police force to crack down on smog “We are seeing increasing air pollution problems worldwide,” HEI President Dan Greenbaum said in a statement. “The trends we report show that we have seen progress in some parts of the world – but serious challenges remain.” Sadly, particulate matter tends to affect the very old and the very young, leaving the most vulnerable populations at a higher risk. Via CNBC Images via Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

More here: 
Air pollution is the leading environmental cause of death worldwide

Congressman makes statement with ‘Keep the EPA Great’ hat

February 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Congressman makes statement with ‘Keep the EPA Great’ hat

Democratic Congressman Don Beyer’s Northern Virginia district is home to thousands of federal workers who make the daily commute across the Potomac River to their jobs in Washington — and many of them are EPA employees working to ensure clean air, clean water and a livable climate for their fellow Americans. On Tuesday, Beyer stood up for the agency, which is under attack from President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress who want to abolish it . During a hearing, Beyer used his speaking time to run down the agency’s accomplishments in protecting the environment and human health, before donning a red cap similar to the Trump campaign’s “Make America Great Again” hats — except Beyer’s said “Keep the EPA Great.” https://www.facebook.com/RepDonBeyer/videos/1870037156576073/ The House Science Committee is chaired by climate change denier Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who used the first hearing after Trump’s inauguration to bash the EPA with baseless accusations of politicization and questionable science. Beyer refuted Smith’s assertions, reminding the committee that the EPA was responsible for banning the pesticide DDT, reducing acid rain, mandating lead-free gasoline, regulating toxic chemicals and establishing a national commitment to protect the nation’s air and water. Related: Florida Republican introduces bill that would abolish the EPA Many EPA employees are on edge after Trump nominated anti-EPA crusader Scott Pruitt to head the agency and chose professional climate science denier Myron Ebell to lead the EPA transition team. In a recent interview, Ebell said that Trump would seek significant reductions to the EPA’s 15,000 staff and $8 billion annual budget. Ebell explained that the aim was to cut the agency down to a Nixon-era level of 5,000 employees. “This Committee should be leading the charge to protect the planet and our environment for future generations,” said Beyer. “Instead it attacks the credibility of scientists, casts doubt on accepted science, and makes life difficult for the people trying to solve urgent crises. The Science Committee’s contribution now is like that of the Emperor Nero, fiddling while Rome burned down around him. This is irresponsible and dangerous. It is not leadership and it will not make the EPA, or America, great.” Via Gizmodo Image via Twitter

Go here to read the rest:
Congressman makes statement with ‘Keep the EPA Great’ hat

EPA: Fiat Chrysler used software to cheat on vehicle emissions

January 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on EPA: Fiat Chrysler used software to cheat on vehicle emissions

Today, the EPA accused Fiat Chrysler of cheating emissions standards in over 100,000 of their vehicles, echoing the scandal that has been rocking Volkswagen . According to the EPA, the company installed software on SUVs and trucks made in 2014, 2015 and 2016 that allowed them to evade standards, allowing poisonous nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. While the current administration has shown it is willing to pursue Clean Air Act violators, the incoming administration could choose not to continue the investigation. The Italian automaker is accused of installing 8 different programs aimed at giving a false emissions picture. If those programs qualify as “defeat devices,” Fiat Chrysler could face a fine of up to $44,539 per vehicle if found guilty of violations of the Clean Air Act. Related: Volkswagen to pay $4.3 billion to US following emissions scandal Fiat Chrysler stated that it had offered to develop software fixes to help ease the problem and that they intend to plead their case to the incoming Trump administration . The company did not disclose the issue, rather, the EPA discovered during testing that the vehicles appeared to be within standards at a moderate speed, but at higher speeds or on longer trips, the emissions violated air quality standards. “FCA US is disappointed that the EPA has chosen to issue a notice of violation with respect to the emissions control technology employed in the company’s 2014-16 model year light duty 3.0-liter diesel engines. FCA US intends to work with the incoming administration to present its case and resolve this matter fairly and equitably and to assure the EPA and FCA US customers that the company’s diesel-powered vehicles meet all applicable regulatory requirements,” Fiat Chrysler said in a statement. via USA Today images via Petr Magera

Read more here: 
EPA: Fiat Chrysler used software to cheat on vehicle emissions

Volkswagen to pay $4.3 billion to US following emissions scandal

January 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Volkswagen to pay $4.3 billion to US following emissions scandal

The long legal saga over Volkswagen ’s attempts to cheat US emissions tests seems to finally be reaching an end. Not only has one of the company’s major executives been arrested , but the company has negotiated a $4.3 billion draft settlement with the US Justice Department as part of a civil and criminal settlement. The company also plans to plead guilty to criminal misconduct. The amount of the settlement still needs the approval of a judge before it’s finalized. While it’s far short of the $15 billion settlement previously reported in October, it appears that President Barack Obama is trying to rush the final settlement through before he leaves office. With incoming President Donald Trump’s steadfast refusal to acknowledge the existence of climate change or the human health impacts of air pollution, it’s probably for the best that the suit is resolved as soon as possible. Related: VW forced to recall nearly 500,000 cars for circumventing smog emission standards The scandal began in 2015, when the company admitted to installing software in diesel vehicles intended to cheat emissions tests. In early 2016, the Justice Department accused the automaker of purposely violating the Clean Air Act and filed suit against the company. Hundreds of thousands of cars in the US were affected, and as many as 11 million worldwide might have similar software installed. Over the next two years, VW will be required to buy back or fix “dirty” US vehicles. There are still a number of unresolved lawsuits from US investors and 20 separate US states, as well. More individual executives may still end up facing charges, a Justice Department source stated to Reuters on Tuesday. The previous CEO of the company, Martin Winterkorn, was forced to resign as a result of the scandal in 2015. Via Reuters Images via Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons

See original here: 
Volkswagen to pay $4.3 billion to US following emissions scandal

China’s crazy smog-sucking vacuum tower is actually working

November 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on China’s crazy smog-sucking vacuum tower is actually working

Studio Roosegaarde ‘s smog-sucking vacuum tower is actually cleaning up the air in China . The Smog Free Tower has been installed in Beijing , a city notorious for its air pollution , and the country’s Ministry of Environmental Protection recently announced the air around the tower is in fact 55 percent cleaner than it was before. According to Studio Roosegaarde , the tower has snatched billions of PM2.5 fine particles out of the polluted air. Over the last 41 days, the Smog Free Tower has busily scrubbed 30 million m3 of air, according to Studio Roosegaarde. That’s equal to the volume of 10 Beijing National Stadiums. Studio Roosegaarde reports that locals referred to his tower as a “clean air temple,” drawing comparisons to China’s famed pagodas. Related: Daan Roosegaarde’s smog-sucking tower will clean the skies of China What to do with all that pollution captured by the tower? Make jewelry out of it, of course. Smog particles sucked up by the Smog Free Tower during its stint in Beijing will make 300 special Smog Free Rings, similar to the rings Studio Roosegaarde has designed in the past . However, these rings can hold even more smog than the ones made with Rotterdam pollution. Daan Roosegaarde was especially inspired to tackle air pollution in China after a trip to Beijing around three years ago, when he noticed children had to stay inside because the air quality outdoors was so poor. According to Studio Roosegaarde, over 80 percent of people dwelling in urban places are “exposed to air-quality levels that exceed World Health Organization limits.” Roosegaarde’s Smog Free Tower aims to combat the issue by sucking 75 percent of PM10 and PM2.5 particles from the air. The Smog Free Tower will continue to tour China, and Studio Roosegaarde will announce soon which city the smog-sucking tower will venture to next. + Studio Roosegaarde Images via Studio Roosegaarde

Read more from the original source:
China’s crazy smog-sucking vacuum tower is actually working

INFOGRAPHIC: NASA’s top houseplants for improving your wellbeing and removing air pollution

November 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on INFOGRAPHIC: NASA’s top houseplants for improving your wellbeing and removing air pollution

Next time you’re cruising Amazon for an air purifier, consider heading to your local nursery instead. Thirty years ago, NASA studied houseplants as a way to help clean the air on the space station. Since then, study after study has proven that plants can clean the air in your home, too. Not only that, but plants have been proven to increase positivity, calmness and creativity and to help you sleep better. This infographic  breaks down the best plants for your home to remove those deadly toxins and increase your wellbeing – click on to get all the deets. + Chadwicks

See more here:
INFOGRAPHIC: NASA’s top houseplants for improving your wellbeing and removing air pollution

US Army delays Dakota Access Pipeline on Corps lands near Lake Oahe

November 15, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on US Army delays Dakota Access Pipeline on Corps lands near Lake Oahe

Standing Rock Sioux members and their supporters protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline just got a piece of good news. Yesterday the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a statement on the pipeline saying before they’re willing to grant an easement to Energy Transfer Partners , they want to hold more discussions with the tribe. They said that during these conversations, pipeline construction near Lake Oahe on Corps land will halt. The Army said it has finished its review begun September 9, 2016, and has determined “additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands” and because of how important Lake Oahe is to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe . Related: President Obama says Army is exploring rerouting the Dakota Access Pipeline The Army’s statement doesn’t completely stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Rather, the goal of the discussions they mention is to talk about easement conditions to lower the risk of ruptures or spills along the oil pipeline and expedite response to such disasters “or otherwise enhance the protection of Lake Oahe and the Tribe’s water supplies.” In a statement in response to the Army letter, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chair Dave Archambault II said, “We are encouraged and know that the peaceful prayer and demonstration at Standing Rock have powerfully brought to light the unjust narrative suffered by tribal nations and Native Americans across the country…Not all our prayers were answered, but this time, they were heard.” The Army made it clear they have not yet decided whether or not they will grant Energy Transfer Partners an easement, which the company needs to construct the part of the pipeline that goes underneath the Missouri River at Lake Oahe. While discussions are held, “construction on or under Corps land bordering Lake Oahe cannot occur.” Via NBC News Images via Fibonacci Blue on Flickr and Takver on Flickr

Read the rest here:
US Army delays Dakota Access Pipeline on Corps lands near Lake Oahe

New Delhi has the worst air pollution of any city on earth

November 9, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on New Delhi has the worst air pollution of any city on earth

New Delhi’s toxic smog is literally off the charts – and according to its Air Quality Index rating, it’s the most polluted city on earth. Measurements recorded at the United States Embassy in Delhi reveal that the city’s AQI is a staggering 999 – but the AQI standard chart ends at 500. Particle counts in some areas of the city are 16 times the level considered safe by the Indian government. What’s causing the smog in New Delhi ? Some blame fireworks during the Hindu celebration Diwali, but NASA satellite images show crop burning has a role to play in the pollution too, as farmers burn leftover straw. Construction and vehicles are probably also contributing to the poor air quality . Related: Mexico City bans over one million cars as air pollution skyrockets PM 2.5 particles – the most unhealthy type of particles – spiked to levels of 700 micrograms per cubic meter this week. Exposure to this level of pollution is as bad as smoking over two cigarette packs daily, according to experts cited by The New York Times . Over the weekend, people protested outside Parliament and the chief minister of Delhi tried to take some action to curb the dramatic pollution. Construction will cease for five days, around 1,800 schools will close for three days, and a power plant will be closed for 10 days. The government suggested people cleanse their eyes with water and go to the hospital if they experienced “breathlessness, giddiness, chest pain, and chest constriction.” Centre for Environmental Health at the Public Health Foundation of India manager Bhargav Krishna told The New York Times, “These are all decent emergency measures, but they’re not solving the long-term problem.” While some hope for a reprieve as weather changes, during the winter some people in Delhi have to burn trash to stay warm, and as such trash often includes rubber and plastic, the practice will likely contribute to continued pollution. Via The New York Times and CNN Images via Ville Miettinen on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

Read the original here:
New Delhi has the worst air pollution of any city on earth

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1141 access attempts in the last 7 days.