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News Stories

September 28, 2009

Published on the New York Times Website - September 23, 2009

Harvard University is using fungi, bacteria, microbes and roots fed with compost and compost tea to create beautiful grass on 25 acres. Learn more...

February 24, 2009

.According to Reuters, Japan's No.2 automaker is targeting global sales of 200,000 Insights a year, with half of that in North America and 60,000 in Japan. At a US estimated retail price of $19,980 and an estimated mpg of 61, this is exciting news! Learn more...

January 13, 2009

After reading an article from the Associated Press, the Green Business Association contacted Dry Creek Dairy southwest of Murtaugh, Idaho and spoke with the owner, Louis Bettencourt.

According to Mr. Bettencourt, they had some technical difficulties in the methane production, but it is now running smoothly. He also said that selling methane gas to the local utility company is a "win-win sitution. We are now providing enough methane gas to power 12,000 homes." When asked about the resulting cow pie without the methane, he said that it is composted and sold to various operations mainly to be used to enhance garden soil.

To read the Associated Press article by John Miller, that was published in the Spokesman Review on December 20th, 2008 go to www.spokesman.com/stories/2008/dec/20/cow-pie-central/).
Learn more...

January 13, 2009

The North American International Auto Show in Detroit is generating excitement this week with electric cars by Tesla and Fisker. There are several good websites including http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/jan/14/niche-automakers-hope-buyers-plug-in/ and http://industry.bnet.com/auto/1000538/detroit-auto-show-henrik-fisker-on-start-up-pros-cons/ that go into more detail about the Fisker Karma selling for $87,000 which can drive gas-free for 50 miles and the Tesla all-electric two-seat Roadster sports car, selling for $109,000. There is also information about the Tesla Model S all-electric sedan, which is expected to sell for approximately $60,000.

Most of us have seen the current version of the gas-powered Smart fortwo car selling at a base price of $11,990 and getting up to 41 mpg. Last year Daimler sold 24,000 Smart cars in the U.S.

One thousand of the Electric Smart microcars will available by lease only beginning in 2010. The Green Business Association is trying to find out more information about the Electric Smart microcar; for example how much the lease price will be, what an estimated sales price will be and how far it will go on a charge. We will update this information when it becomes available to us. In the meantime, these two websites explain a lot about the Electric Smart microcar: http://cbs5.com/local/tesla.daimler.smart.2.907450.html & http://www.contracostatimes.com/business/ci_11445254 Learn more...

January 1, 2009

The state of Washington began accepting e-waste for free in January of 2009. To read a more detailed story by Tom Sowa, that gives local information for the Spokane area, go to www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/jan/07/e-waste-finds-a-home.

www.ecyclewashington.org and http://1800recycle.wa.gov websites will give you complete recycling information for the state of Washington; www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/index.htm will give information for all 50 states. Learn more...

December 17, 2008

According to NASA, 2005 was the warmest year since 1880: a website article can be found at www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/2005_warmest.html. A McClatchy news story written by Renee Schoof and printed in the Spokesman Review on 12/17/08 reported that nine of the warmest years since 1880 occurred in the past 11 years. This article can we accessed at www.spokesman.com/stories/2008/dec/17/2008-joins-warmest-years-on-record-nasa-reports/. Another article by NASA addressing the topic of global warming can be found at http://www.nasa.gov/worldbook/global_warming_worldbook.html.

The Green Business Association highly recommends reading these articles. There are expectations of global warming in this century that will show a much faster increase in temperatures than we are seeing today. The articles printed in the website links explains the reasoning behind thesestatements. Learn more...

December 17, 2008

Montana is poised to be a major player in the growing of camelina oil as a bio-fuel.

Camelina is in the family Brassicaceae which includes rapeseed. At one time, it was used in Europe as a fuel for oil lamps.

According to an article that appeared in the Spokesman Review on December 17th, 2008, Japan Airlines plans a one-hour flight out of Tokyo on Jan. 30, using a jet fuel blend using camelina oil. Read the complete article at http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2008/dec/17/emerging-biofuel-will-get-test-flight/.

Another article can be found at this website link http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/14718. Learn more...

December 16, 2008

Body beware

Many researchers are sounding the alarms over personal-care products that are loaded with chemicals

By Edward M. Eveld
McClatchy Newspapers - printed in the Spokesman Review 12/16/08

Jesse Chapman, of Kansas City, posing with her many of her personal care products, has agreed to take the challenge to try to use healthier, more eco-friendly products. McClatchy-Tribune

Now we’re really getting personal. We’re focused on your private place – the bathroom. That’s generally where you use all that soap, body wash, shampoo and lotion. And deodorant, perfume, shaving cream, lip balm, lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, hair gel, mousse, hairspray, anti-aging serum …

It all gets applied to your body, including all of the chemicals within.

Diane MacEachern, author of “Big Green Purse,” suggests a fun little exercise: Gather all those products in one place and take a count. You won’t be alone if the number hits 12 or 15. Learn more...

December 15, 2008

Chu brings colorful science background and work on climate change to post

By DAVID IVANOVICH Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau
Dec. 15, 2008, 11:40PM


He won a share of the Nobel Prize in physics for trapping atoms.

WASHINGTON — Back in high school, Steven Chu constructed a pendulum to measure gravity. He later developed a method to trap atoms with laser light, which earned him a share of the Nobel Prize in physics. And as head of one of the U.S. national laboratories, he encouraged work on climate change and renewable energy.

On Monday, President-elect Barack Obama formally announced he would nominate this 60-year-old scientist to become the nation's next energy secretary.

Chu's appointment, Obama said in a Chicago news conference, will send "a signal to all that my administration will value science." Learn more...

December 14, 2008

State’s growers adapting to climate change
By Lynsi Burton
Special to The Spokesman-Review

State growers adapting to climate change

Dustin Tobin, the assistant winemaker at Thurston Wolfe Winery, pumps out some recently pressed fruit into steel barrels for fermenting on Nov. 11.

When Rick Small began growing wine grapes in the 1970s as a third-generation farmer in Lowden, Wash., winemaking in the state was largely an experimental venture.

“I wasn’t sure that it was going to be successful,” said Small, co-owner of Woodward Canyon Winery. “I just was excited about the possibilities.”

Today, Washington is second to California in wine production in the United States, and the Washington wine industry contributes nearly $3 billion to the state economy.

Warming trends have helped make the thriving Northwest wine industry possible, at least one expert believes. Learn more...

December 13, 2008

By Edward Cody
Washington Post  - printed in the Spokesman Review 12/13/08

BRUSSELS, Belgium – The leaders of Europe adopted what they described as a historic pact to combat global warming Friday and challenged President-elect Barack Obama to join in their commitment to drastically reduce greenhouse gases despite the global economic crisis.

The 27 European Union nations also endorsed a $260 billion economic stimulus plan, equivalent to 1.5 percent of the bloc’s gross domestic product, and urged the Obama administration to prepare similarly ambitious measures and financial reforms.

The European leaders, particularly President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, who holds the union’s rotating presidency, committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Europe by 20 percent before 2020 – and by 30 percent if other countries make comparable pledges at a U.N. environment conference scheduled next year in Copen- hagen.

To reach their goals, the leaders pledged that 20 percent of their energy will come from renewable sources by 2020, leading to predictions of windmill farms across the European countryside and carpets of solar panels. Learn more...

December 8, 2008

Les Blumenthal
McClatchy - Printed in the Spokesman Review
December 8, 2008

WASHINGTON – A 75-gallon tank of goo that in the course of a week or so changed color from lime green to almost black was one of the stars of last summer's Farnborough International Air Show in England.

As airlines ordered hundreds of planes worth billions of dollars at the world's largest air show, the tank, or bioreactor, was a near-perfect breeding ground for what could become the fuel of the future: the lowly algae.

Aerospace companies and airlines are betting that algae – simple organisms that come in some 30,000 species, many of which can be genetically modified – will prove to be a green fuel that can power jet planes. Algae also could be blended into diesel and gasoline, and perhaps could even replace petroleum-based diesel and gasoline one day.

As the infant industry organizes, algae proponents must make their case for the kinds of tax breaks, market incentives, loans, and research and development backing that other biofuel sectors have. Though corn and soybean growers long have lobbied in Washington, the Algal Biomass Organization is a new kid on the block. Learn more...

November 24, 2008

Hospitals could save money, cut greenhouse gas output

Rachel Stults
Tennessean - printed in the Spokesman Review
November 24, 2008

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Hospitals and surgical centers across the country release thousands of gallons of anesthetic into the air each year, as the chemical is exhaled from a patient's body, vacuumed from the operating room and funneled out of the hospital into the atmosphere.

Now, doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center say they have come up with a method to reduce hospitals' carbon footprints and save millions of dollars. The hospital is the first in the country to do pilot testing of a new system that collects air containing exhaled anesthetic and condenses it so it can be recycled, doctors say.

Because more than 500,000 gallons of anesthetic are released into the atmosphere in the United States each year, doctors say the environmental and economic impact of such technology will be huge.

Vanderbilt spends $1 million a year on anesthetic. With the new technology, Vanderbilt would reduce that cost to $100,000 per year. Learn more...

November 19, 2008

President-elect eyes major emissions cuts

Margot Roosevelt
Los Angeles Times - Printed in the Spokesman Review
November 19, 2008

President-elect Barack Obama sent an explicit message Tuesday to international negotiators of a new global warming treaty that, under his administration, the U.S would move to greatly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, and "help lead the world toward a new era of global cooperation on climate change."

The videotaped message, played to a conference on climate change in Los Angeles, electrified more than 700 delegates from 22 countries gathered to debate strategies for cutting planet-warming pollution.

"It looks as if we're about to have a climate emissions Terminator in Washington," panel moderator Steve Howard, CEO of the London-based nonprofit Climate Group, told the conference, which was convened by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Several European countries reportedly approached Obama's transition team asking that he signal his intentions to diplomats who will gather in Poland next month to craft a successor to the 2005 Kyoto Protocol. Some environmentalists have called publicly on the president-elect to attend the talks, despite the fact that the Bush administration will be in charge of the U.S. delegation.

In his message, Obama pledged "a new chapter in America's leadership on climate change. … That will start with a federal cap-and-trade system. We will establish strong annual targets that set us on a course to reduce emissions to their 1990 levels by 2020 and reduce them an additional 80 percent by 2050." Learn more...

November 17, 2008

Dan Hansen
Staff writer - Spokesman Review
November 17, 2008

John Daschel, owner of Discovery Honda in Moses Lake. Wash. points out features of the first Honda Civic GX natural gas vehicle for sale in Eastern Washington. (CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane Community College is being cited as evidence by those who believe Honda is suppressing sales of a car the federal government calls "the cleanest internal-combustion vehicle in the world."

The college, which plans to begin training mechanics to work on hybrid cars this winter, hopes also to become a training center for those who would work on cars burning compressed natural gas – CNG, as it's called by advocates and carmakers.

But while hybrids such as the Toyota Prius are common, mass-produced cars burning compressed natural gas are still so rare that the community college has spent more than a year trying to get one. Until last week, when a Honda Civic GX showed up at a Moses Lake dealership, there were none in any Eastern Washington showroom. Learn more...

November 16, 2008

Climate change experts forecast potentially violent scenarios

By Scott Canon
McClatchy - printed in the Spokesman Review
November 16, 2008

A warmer planet could find itself more often at war.

The Earth's fast-changing climate has a range of serious thinkers – from military brass to geographers to diplomats – predicting a spate of weather-driven armed conflicts.

Shifting temperatures lead to shifting populations, they say, and that throws together groups with long-standing rivalries and thrusts them into competition for food and water.

"It's not hard to imagine violent outbursts," said Julianne Smith, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Smith helped write one of four major studies published in little more than a year by centrist organizations in Europe and the United States warning that climate change threatens to spark wars in a variety of ways.

Each report predicted starkly similar problems: gunfire over land and natural resources as once-bountiful soil turns to desert and coastlines slip below the sea. They also expect violent storms to unsettle weak governments and set up dispirited radicals in revolt. Learn more...

November 12, 2008

Some see rural idea as trendsetter

Fern Prairie Cemetery is offering "green burials," as seen here in Camas, Wash. Associated Press (Associated Press )

Erik Robinson
(Vancouver, Wash.) Columbian printed in the Spokesman Review Nov. 12, 2008
November 12, 2008

FERN PRAIRIE, Wash. – One of Clark County's oldest cemeteries is reviving a pioneer-era style of burial, in the hopes of appealing to modern environmental sensibilities.

Near the shadow of a grove of towering oaks, two graves stand out among hundreds of others scattered throughout the bucolic setting north of Camas. Each of those graves is topped by a mound of bare dirt surrounded by a frame of 2-by-6-inch boards.

As the coffins and their contents decompose, the mound will settle.

"As soon as it goes down, I'll smooth it out and plant it just like everything else around here," said William Zalpys, the cemetery district commissioner who introduced the idea and began offering the service earlier this year. Learn more...

November 2, 2008

Mike Prager
Staff writer - Spokesman Review
November 3, 2008

Using mass transit is the single biggest thing the average person can do to slow global warming, a national leader in public transportation said in Spokane last week.

Riding the bus can reduce a person’s “carbon footprint” by two tons a year, said William Millar, president of the American Public Transportation Association.

“That’s about 10 percent of the average household’s carbon production,” he told a group of Spokane transit officials.

That’s more of a carbon reduction than can be achieved by replacing conventional light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, weatherizing a home and getting a new energy-efficient refrigerator, he said.

In a two-adult household with two vehicles, getting rid of one of the two automobiles and using mass transit results in even larger gains while saving $8,000 to $9,000 a year in automobile-related expenses, Millar said.

In addition, using mass transit creates demand for U.S. products. Learn more...

November 1, 2008

Researchers see rapid decline of species

Doyle Rice
USA Today
November 1, 2008

From Walden Pond in Massachusetts to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, climate change has already begun to dramatically affect the flora and fauna of these American treasures, according to two studies in Monday's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The studies show that the warming of the Earth's atmosphere over the past few decades has caused a loss of many of the flowers that Henry David Thoreau recorded in his book "Walden" and also has contributed to a decline in several species of native animals once common in Yellowstone. Learn more...

October 29, 2008

Partnership says prices are still too low for Inland Northwest farmers

Becky Kramer
Staff writer - Spokesman Review
October 29, 2008

Carl Mattson gets a small cash bonus for practicing no-till farming on his 4,000-acre dryland wheat farm near Chester, Mont.

Seeding his fields without plowing keeps carbon locked in the soil. "We don't expose the organic material to oxygen, so we aren't releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere," explained the third-generation farmer, who sells credits from his greenhouse gas-reducing farm practices on the Chicago Climate Exchange.

At the moment, the credits are worth 70 to 80 cents per acre – a pittance for Mattson, who spends about $100 per acre seeding his fields with the hard red wheat grown on Montana's prairies.

"No one's interested in this for 70 to 80 cents per acre," said Mattson, a speaker at Tuesday's annual meeting of the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership in Spokane. "We're interested in the potential, if this stuff goes to $20 to $30 per acre."

Part of the solution to global warming is locking up carbon, said researchers at the Big Sky partnership, a six-state effort headquartered at Montana State University.

Carbon dioxide can be pumped into salty, underground aquifers; stored in the pores of basalt rocks found in the Columbia and Snake River flood plains; captured by trees in temperate forests; or contained in prairie soils.

Storing carbon keeps it out of the atmosphere, helping buffer climate change. But without mandatory limits on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, there's little market incentive to develop carbon sequestration projects, speakers said. Learn more...

October 24, 2008

BY STACEY ALTHERR | stacey.altherr@newsday.com
October 24, 2008

The Sachem school board has approved a sweeping $16 million energy conservation project that will bring about enough savings to cover the cost of the project, officials said.

"I'm ecstatic," said Superintendent Charles Murphy. "Not only are we going to receive $16 million in building upgrades, but we are thinking green and clean energy."

The district does not need to put the project up for a vote because there is no cost to residents, Murphy said.

The project, which the district calls the biggest energy conservation project on Long Island, will save an estimated $858,378 annually, which will be put toward the project's cost. In addition, state aid will pay $11 million of the cost. Learn more...

October 18, 2008

State's energy tax credit attracts German manufacturer

Mary Hudetz
Associated Press
October 18, 2008

HILLSBORO, Ore. – In the thick of Oregon's "silicon forest" and far from his home in Germany, SolarWorld founder Frank Asbeck walked through his company's newest plant Friday with the excitement of a child in a toy factory.

"This is like my playing field," said the 49-year-old Asbeck as he walked down a quarter-mile-long corridor and passed machines converting chunks of silicon into crystals. "Our parents didn't buy us enough toys when we were little."

The $440 million plant, which opened its doors Friday, covers 480,000 square feet. SolarWorld, with headquarters in Bonn, says the plant will make the company North America's largest solar cell manufacturer.

By 2011, the Hillsboro facility is expected to make enough cells to generate 500 megawatts of electricity a year, about as much as many coal- or natural gas-fired plants. Learn more...

October 18, 2008

Charmaine Noronha
Associated Press
October 18, 2008

TORONTO – Canada said Friday it was declaring a controversial chemical widely used in food packaging a toxic substance, allowing it carry out a promised ban on plastic baby bottles made with bisphenol A.

The Canadian government published its decision Friday to place the chemical, known as BPA, on the toxic list and said it would issue a formal declaration over the weekend.

"Today's confirmation of our ban on BPA in baby bottles proves that our government did the right thing in taking action to protect the health and environment for all Canadians," said Environment Minister John Baird in a statement Friday.

The announcement comes six months after Canada's health ministry labeled BPA as dangerous. BPA is used in hardened plastics and in a wide range of consumer goods, including the lining of food cans, eyeglass lenses and hundreds of household items. Learn more...

October 17, 2008

Bush administration rejects Gov. Palin's claims

Kenneth R. Weiss
Los Angeles Times
October 18, 2008

The Bush administration on Friday declared a small, isolated population of beluga whales in Alaska's Cook Inlet as endangered species, rejecting claims from Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin that these small, white whales were on their way to recovery.

The National Marine Fisheries Service decided to extend federal protections to these whales near Anchorage after their numbers declined nearly 50 percent in the 1990s and the whales failed to rebound despite a decade-long program to revive the species.

"In spite of protections already in place, Cook Inlet beluga whales are not recovering," said James Balsiger, acting director of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

As a practical matter, the new protections mean that new offshore oil drilling, a new bridge and other industrial activities that involve federal dollars or scrutiny will have to show that they will not harm the estimated 375 beluga whales that remain in local waters. Learn more...

October 12, 2008

Sheets of light provide new method of illumination

Anil Duggal poses with an organic light-emitting device at a General Electric Global Research laboratory
in Niskayuna, N.Y.

Peter Svensson
Associated Press
October 12, 2008

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. – On a bank of the Mohawk River, a windowless industrial building of corrugated steel hides something that could make floor lamps, bedside lamps, wall sconces and nearly every other household lamp obsolete.

It's a machine that prints lights.

The size of a semitrailer, it coats an 8-inch-wide plastic film with chemicals, then seals them with a layer of metal foil. Apply electric current to the resulting sheet, and it lights up with a blue-white glow.

You could tack that sheet to a wall, wrap it around a pillar or even take a translucent version and tape it to your windows. Unlike practically every other source of lighting, you wouldn't need a lamp or conventional fixture for these sheets, though you would need to plug them into an outlet. Learn more...

September 26, 2008

Developing nations now account for more than half of carbon output

Julie Eilperin
Washington Post
September 26, 2008

WASHINGTON – The rise in global carbon dioxide emissions last year outpaced international researchers' most dire projections, according to figures being released today, as human-generated greenhouse gases continued to build up in the atmosphere despite international agreements and national policies aimed at curbing climate change.

Carbon released from burning fossil fuels and cement production increased 2.9 percent in 2007 over 2006 to a total of 8.47 gigatons, or billions of tons, according to the Australia-based Global Carbon Project, an international consortium of scientists that tracks emissions.

This output is at the very high end of scenarios outlined by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and could translate into a global temperature rise of more than 11 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, according to the panel's estimates.

"In a sense, it's a reality check," said Corinne Le Quere, a professor at the School of Environmental Scientists at the University of East Anglia and a researcher with the British Antarctic Survey. "This is an extremely large number. The emissions are increasing at a rate that's faster than what the IPCC has used." Learn more...

September 24, 2008

Elk, Wash., couple leading study of aquatic weed
Pia Hallenberg Christensen
Staff writer - Spokesman Review
September 24, 2008

Ask boaters, dock owners, swimmers or scientists and you're likely to get the same answer: Eurasian milfoil is a good-for-nothing pest.

Since the mid-1970s, the feathery water plant has spread in the Inland Northwest's rivers and lakes, and hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent battling it each year.

Now a couple from Elk, Wash., have come up with a new idea: What if milfoil could be turned into biofuel?

"I got the idea while I was reading a document about biodiversity," said Alanna Mitchell, a supervisor with the Pend Oreille Conservation District. "I made a note in the margin, asking how can you come at problems like milfoil and handle them more comprehensively?"

Currently, milfoil is pulled from lakes and streams using various equipment and simple manpower, or killed off by applying herbicides.

The plant is so nutrient-rich it burns other vegetation when piled on the shoreline.

"It was the harvesting that was the clue," Mitchell said. "I mean, we already have this stuff. I was wondering if we could use it for something."

Another consideration was the debate over using corn as a fuel source. Learn more...

September 21, 2008

Robin Shulman
Washington Post
September 21, 2008

How it works

The idea is simple: As water flows, it spins the rotors and produces electricity. The turbines run according to the tide charts, which are as predictable as phases of the moon.

NEW YORK – On a recent morning, a crane sank a 16-foot rotor into the waters of the East River and divers swam deep to bolt it to the bottom. By early evening, as the northerly current sped up, the rotor began to spin, a big thunk sounded in the control room, a green light went on, and electricity began to power a nearby supermarket.

The scene represents an experiment in tidal power, using turbines that look like underwater windmills, and it is the first of its kind nationwide and one of only a few such pilot projects in the world.

"This is just the beginning of a project, but the project itself is emblematic of a whole new industry," said Trey Taylor, the president of Verdant Power, a small company that created the experiment and hopes to expand it to commercial use with 300 turbines in the East River that could power up to 10,000 homes in the city. Learn more...

September 17, 2008

Higher BPA levels also correlated with liver abnormalities

Lyndsey Layton
Washington Post
September 17, 2008

WASHINGTON – The first large study in humans of a chemical widely used in everyday plastics has found that people with higher levels of bisphenol A had higher rates of heart disease, diabetes and liver abnormalities, a finding that immediately became the focus of the increasingly heated debate over the safety of the chemical.

The research, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association by a team of British and American scientists, compared the health status of 1,455 men and women with the levels of the chemical, known as BPA, in their urine.

The researchers divided the subjects into four statistical groupings according to their BPA levels and found that those in the quartile with the highest concentrations were nearly three times as likely to have cardiovascular disease than those with the lowest levels, and 2.4 times as likely to have diabetes.

Higher BPA levels were also associated with abnormal concentrations of three liver enzymes. Learn more...

September 17, 2008

Compromise bill could head to floor this week

Jim Abrams
Associated Press
September 17, 2008

WASHINGTON – Senate leaders said Tuesday that they had broken a months-long impasse over a tax break package that would bring billions of dollars in relief to individual and business taxpayers, developers of clean energy resources and people threatened by the alternative minimum tax.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and his Republican counterpart on the panel, Charles Grassley of Iowa, said the package could reach the Senate floor this week. The tax package is one of the last major issues that Congress must address in the last weeks before its scheduled adjournment for the year.

The agreement includes some $17 billion in clean energy tax incentives... Learn more...

September 4, 2008

Charmaine Noronha
Associated Press
September 4, 2008

TORONTO – A chunk of ice shelf nearly the size of Manhattan has broken away from Ellesmere Island in Canada's northern Arctic, another dramatic indication of how warmer temperatures are changing the polar frontier, scientists said Wednesday.

Derek Mueller, an Arctic ice shelf specialist at Trent University in Ontario, told the Associated Press that the 4,500-year-old Markham Ice Shelf separated in early August and the 19-square-mile shelf is now adrift in the Arctic Ocean. Learn more...

August 28, 2008

Microsoft cafeteria goes green
Benjamin J. Romano
Seattle Times
August 28, 2008

The orange Styrofoam coffee cups with "Microsoft" printed in white, once as ubiquitous as Windows on the company's Redmond campus, are a thing of the past.

In their place are compostable, dark-green cups, symbolic of a broader, long-term effort at Microsoft to dramatically cut the garbage it sends to landfills.

Just don't leave your green cup half-full of coffee on the desk overnight.

On July 1, Microsoft replaced the plastic and Styrofoam in its cafeterias and kitchenettes with compostable knives, forks, spoons, cups, bowls, plates and clamshell carryout containers. Learn more...

August 27, 2008

Prototypes offer zero emissions but face logistical challenges

Ken Thomas
Associated Press
August 28, 2008

WASHINGTON – Tom Albert drove his loaner Chevrolet Equinox like any other car.

He took it to work during the week, picked up groceries, and loaded up the back with bags of soil at the garden store. When his infant son was fussy, Albert drove the newborn around the block to calm him down.

The normal driving experience ended, however, when it came time to fuel the car. Aboard the silent vehicle, Albert had two filling stations to choose from in the Washington, D.C., area, and the fuel – hydrogen – was anything but typical. Learn more...

August 15, 2008

Hypoxic areas now found all around globe

Joel Achenbach
Washington Post
August 15, 2008

In the latest sign of trouble in the planet's chemistry, the number of oxygen-starved "dead zones" in coastal waters around the world has roughly doubled every decade since the 1960s, killing fish, crustaceans and massive amounts of marine life at the base of the food chain, according to a study released Thursday.

"These zones are popping up all over," said Robert Diaz, a professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science who led the study published online by the journal Science. Learn more...

August 15, 2008

Rechargeable car set to debut in '10

Tom Krisher
Associated Press
August 15, 2008

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Early versions of the Chevrolet Volt's battery packs are powerful enough to run the high-stakes rechargeable car, but dozens of issues remain before General Motors Corp. can start selling the revolutionary vehicle in 2010 as planned.

The Volt's chief engineer is on a tight schedule to figure out how the car will handle the batteries' weight, dissipate their heat and mechanically transfer their power to the wheels. That's not to mention the list of issues that have nothing to do with the fact that the car plugs in to the wall for recharging.

But the 47-year-old veteran GM engineer who was recruited from a GM post in Germany to run the high-profile project is driven by knowing the entire company's future could rest on it. Learn more...

August 10, 2008

by Vicki Cox
First appeared in American Profile, August 10, 2008

Rising 213 feet into the air, the wind turbine towers over the football field at Bureau Valley High School near Manlius, Ill. (pop 355). Adorned with the school’s lightning and storm cloud logo, the fiberglass and steel structure supports three 72-foot blades. Whether in gentle breezes or hat-wrenching gusts, the 3,000-pound blades silently turn, supplying renewable energy for the school of 400 students.

“When we sit in the bleachers and see the Bureau Valley logo up there, it says, ‘Look what this little community has done,’” says resident Barb Bolin, 46. “This is something we’re really proud of.”
The local landmark is the first wind turbine to power an Illinois school, and owes its existence to Barb’s husband, Keith Bolin, a third-generation hog farmer. Learn more...

July 29, 2008

Method would create greenhouse gases

At a glance

Brandt's research found that over the full "life cycle" of the fuel – from its production to its combustion to power a car – fuels from oil shale produced greenhouse gas emissions that were 21 percent to 47 percent higher than those from conventionally produced petroleum fuels if the oil shale is heated underground, and about 50 percent to 60 percent higher if it's mined and heated aboveground. Learn more...

July 28, 2008

Scientists mimic essence of plants' energy storage system
Anne Trafton, News Office
July 31, 2008

In a revolutionary leap that could transform solar power from a marginal, boutique alternative into a mainstream energy source, MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for use when the sun doesn't shine.

Daniel Nocera describes new process for storing solar energy

View video post on MIT TechTV Learn more...

July 19, 2008

Some argue the turbines would ruin scenic views

John Miller
Associated Press
July 19, 2008

BLACKFOOT, Idaho – A lifetime of running cattle above Wolverine Canyon's limestone spires has taught Peggy Stolworthy one absolute about eastern Idaho: The wind here blows like crazy.

Looking to harness that power, Stolworthy and a Seattle-based wind energy company aim to erect dozens of energy-producing turbines on 9,000 acres that have been in her family since the 1930s.
She says the project will help keep livestock on land she could otherwise be forced to subdivide into ranchettes. But Stolworthy has encountered a stiff headwind from a wealthy health care-products mogul who owns land nearby and argues the 5,600-foot mountains here are too precious to be outfitted with industrial turbines that could poke 40 stories into the sky.

Frank VanderSloot, who owns Melaleuca, Inc., paid for advertisements in the local newspaper and erected a sign at the base of the canyon urging drivers to take pictures because "Wolverine Canyon will never be the same."

"You put up those windmills and for me, the nature part is gone," VanderSloot said in an interview at his $800 million Idaho Falls-based company. Learn more...

July 17, 2008

John Flesher
Associated Press
July 17, 2008

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – The Clorox Co., targeted by activists for emitting pollution, has a new partner: the Sierra Club.

The environmental group, better known for suing corporations than forging alliances with them, has agreed to promote a new line of eco-friendly Clorox products in exchange for a share of the profits. Some Sierra Club chapters are crying foul, and officers in northern Michigan even quit over the deal.

"They sold their soul to the highest bidder," said Monica Evans, who helped reactivate the club's nine-county Traverse Group in 2000. She and the group's other five executive committee members resigned in May but only recently made their decision public.

The walkout highlights the passionate debate among members of the Sierra Club over the partnership with Clorox, named one of a "dangerous dozen" chemical companies by the Public Interest Research Group in 2004. PIRG contended in the report that Clorox's handling of chemicals at U.S. production facilities left some 14 million people vulnerable to contamination in the case of an accidental release.

"The Sierra Club has been fighting against Clorox for decades, trying to get them to be responsible," Evans said. "Now we're partners with them? It doesn't make any sense." Learn more...

July 13, 2008

High-tech cabin minimizes impact
Rich Landers
Outdoors editor -Spokesman Review
July 13, 2008

Solar-heated showers and electric lights and stoves powered by a 12-kilowatt hydro plant are some of the ritzy year-round features of backcountry accommodations in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park.

Whether you're a backcountry skier arriving by helicopter or a hiker marching in several hours from the nearest trailhead, the Kokanee Glacier Cabin offers a million-dollar view of Kaslo Lake.

Canada has a tradition of building huts in pristine backcountry areas to shelter visitors and minimize their impact.

However, the Kokanee Glacier Cabin set new standards when it was completed in 2002 as a monumental combination of traditional materials and high-tech enhancements at an elevation of nearly 6,000 feet and five miles from the nearest road.

Because of the electric power, the cabin can keep up to 20 overnight guests awash in hot water and comfortable with baseboard heat. That means no wood must be cut and burned and use of propane is minimized. Learn more...

July 6, 2008

Tycoon plans environmentally friendly resort in British Virgin Islands

Luis Andres Henao
Associated Press
July 6, 2008

NECKER ISLAND, British Virgin Islands – Richard Branson, the adventuring chairman of the Virgin Group of companies, says his two private Caribbean islands have a higher purpose than serving as ultra-luxury retreats for entertainment and business A-listers.

Walking barefoot on the sandy trails of his Necker Island, the British tycoon said his sun-soaked island properties in this British chain will prove that the Caribbean – with its wealth of sun, wind and waves – can lead the globe in renewable alternatives to carbon fuels.

"It is actually inexcusable for the Caribbean to need to use dirty fuels anymore when it has all these natural resources on its doorstep," said Branson, after pointing out Necker Island's thatched-hut villas, cascading infinity pools and a pond occupied by pink flamingos.

Branson, a high school dropout who built the Virgin empire into a world brand – including a record company, an airline, cell phones – plans for his newest property, Mosquito Island, to be transformed into what he touts as the most environmentally friendly resort on the globe. Learn more...

June 10, 2008

A vehicle that runs on Compressed Air Technology (C.a.t.) developed by Motor Development International (MDI), is being brought to the United States by Zero Pollution Motors (ZPM). With a delivery date around the end of 2009, the Air Car will go 90 mph, carry six people, recharge from an outlet or compressed air tank, and cost around $17,000. This You Tube video gives an introduction to the Air Car. www.smm.org/buzz/buzz_tags/motor_development_international

Origianal article by ARTiFactor dated Feb. 23rd, 2008
in Physical Science and Energy Transformations Learn more...

June 8, 2008

Visitors view a lava flow from atop the 500-foot cinder cone at Newberry National Volcanic Monument south of Bend, Ore. It is one of hundreds of more than 400 "one shot" volcanos in the area that spawned miles of lava flows. Associated Press

Gail Kinsey Hill
Newhouse News Service
June 8, 2008
LA PINE, Ore. — For more than 30 years, geologists have boasted about the fiery depths of central Oregon's Newberry Crater, a geothermal resource said to be one of the best in the world. And public and private prospectors have drilled, measured and poked the landscape.

High energy prices and the search for clean, renewable power have returned Newberry Crater to the spotlight, where it is viewed as a potential mother lode of geothermal.

The modern-day miner is Davenport Power, a young renewable-energy company with offices in Connecticut and Bend, Ore., just 25 miles northwest of the crater. It began exploratory drilling on the volcano's western flank in April, and by year's end executives should know whether there's a sufficient brew of heat and water in deep underground fissures to justify full pursuit. Learn more...

June 4, 2008

Firm adds plug-in systems to Vues


SEATTLE -- Sitting at a red light, Ed Furia explained the attributes of his company's new so-called extreme hybrid SUV-150. The speedy vehicle can go 40 miles without using any gas. Learn more...

June 3, 2008

David Bauder
Associated Press
June 3, 2008
The network will immediately be available in 50 million homes – nearly half the nation's cable or satellite customers – because it replaces Discovery Home.
Note: Ludacris will star in "Battleground Earth," a series of competitions between the rapper and rocker Tommy Lee to determine who's the greeenest, on the new Planet Green channel. Learn more...

May 23, 2008

Associated Press
May 23, 2008

OLYMPIA – The state Department of Natural Resources has received "green certification" for 145,000 acres of forest in Western Washington. Officials say it's a seal of approval that shows the state lands are managed to protect wildlife and the environment. Major retailers such as Lowe's and Home Depot prefer green certified wood, and environmentally friendly building practices are growing in popularity. Learn more...

May 10, 2008

By Sid Perkins - ScienceNews
May 10th, 2008; Vol.173 #16

Scientists work to put the greenhouse gas in its place

Today, coal and petroleum each account for about 40 percent of global CO2 emissions. Of the two, however, coal poses by far the larger threat to future climate. For one thing, coal produces more CO2 per unit of energy than any other fossil fuel — about twice that generated by burning natural gas, for example. Also, coal is abundant and therefore relatively cheap: The amount of carbon found in the world’s coal reserves is about triple that locked away in petroleum and natural gas deposits.

Worldwide, coal-fired power plants each year generate about 8 billion tons of CO2, an amount that contains about 2.2 billion tons of carbon. And, says Daniel Schrag, a geochemist at Harvard University, emissions are poised to get even worse: About 150 power plants fueled by pulverized coal are now at various stages in the permitting process in the United States, and China reportedly cuts the ribbon on one such plant every week or so.

All told, the coal-fired power plants built in the next 25 years will, during their projected 50- to 60-year lifetimes, generate about 660 billion tons of CO2, says George Peridas, an analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council office in San Francisco. That’s about 25 percent more than all the CO2 that humans have produced by burning coal since 1751, a period that encompasses the entire Industrial Revolution.

Because coal-fired power plants are point sources of immense volumes of CO2, they’re tempting targets for sequestration efforts, says Tom Feeley, an environmental scientist at the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh. He and his colleagues are studying ways to capture emissions, ranging from using CO2-hungry materials to sop CO2 from smokestacks to building new types of plants that burn coal altogether differently. The goal is to develop techniques for large-scale field tests by 2012 that can capture at least 90 percent of a power plant’s CO2 emissions but boost the price of its electricity by no more than 20 percent.

In current power plants, CO2-absorbing materials would be placed in a stream of 200°C emissions, mostly nitrogen with between 3 and 15 percent CO2. The active materials could either absorb the gas, just as a sponge sops up water, or chemically bind to it. Learn more...

March 26, 2008

USGBC In the News Details

Author: Andrew C. Burr
Source: CoStar Group
Date Written: 3/26/2008

A new study by CoStar Group has found that sustainable "green" buildings outperform their peer non-green assets in key areas such as occupancy, sale price and rental rates, sometimes by wide margins.

The results indicate a broader demand by property investors and tenants for buildings that have earned either LEED® certification or the Energy Star® label and strengthen the "business case" for green buildings, which proponents have increasingly cast as financially sound investments.

According to the study, LEED buildings command rent premiums of $11.24 per square foot over their non-LEED peers and have 3.8 percent higher occupancy. Rental rates in Energy Star buildings represent a $2.38 per square foot premium over comparable non-Energy Star buildings and have 3.6 percent higher occupancy. Learn more...

January 13, 2008

Posted by Wayne Cunningham
The XH-150 uses ultra-capacitors for fast acceleration.
(Credit: CNET Networks/Sarah Tew)
AFS Trinity Power Corporation showed off its plug-in hybrid SUV, the XH-150, at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. The car's power train represents a refinement of the hybrid concept by employing ultra-capacitors for fast acceleration under electric power. Learn more...

December 7, 2007

Brewers pioneer eco-friendly beer production

By Tom Bowers
(509) 459-5486

Published in the Spokesman Review on December 7, 2007

A crafty way to save the world

Brewers pioneer eco-friendly beer production

Craft brewers maintain a reputation for radical thinking. Since the 1980s, they’ve turned a generic, canned industry into a diverse market known for adherence to pre-industrial age traditions tempered by modern experimentation. No wonder they’re among the pioneers of eco-friendly brewing practices in the United States, adapting to changes in the economic and global climate by using alternative energy and producing organic products. "Economically, it made sense,” said Ted Vivatson, founder of Eel River Brewing in Fortuna, Calif., which last year started buying energy made from recycled waste materials. “Environmentally, it was a no-brainer.”

Eel River came early to the eco-party when it became the first certified organic brewery in the United States in 2000.

Learn more...

July 25, 2007

Mayors latest to criticize bottled water craze

Consumers are awash with choices when buying bottled water. Associated Press (Associated Press)

Fast facts
•Bottled water sales in the United States exceeded 8.25 billion gallons in 2006.
•Americans, on average, drink 27.6 gallons of bottled water per person annually.
•Sales in of bottled water were more than $10.8 billion in 2006.
Learn more...

June 16, 2007

Scientists suspect link in bee deaths
Genaro C. Armas
Associated Press
June 16, 2007

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Scientists investigating a mysterious ailment that has killed many of the nation's honeybees are concentrating on pesticides and microorganisms as possible causes of the disorder, and some beekeepers are refusing to place hives near chemically treated fields.

Scientists from Penn State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are leading the research into the disease, which has killed tens of thousands of bee colonies in at least 35 states.
The die-off has threatened the livelihood of commercial beekeepers and strained fruit growers and other farmers who rely on bees to pollinate more than 90 flowering crops, including apples, nuts and citrus trees.

Learn more...

June 10, 2007

Doug Struck
Washington Post
June 10, 2007
QAQORTOQ, Greenland – The biggest island in the world is a wind-raked place, gripped by ice over four-fifths of its land, prowled by polar bears, its coastlines choked by drifting icebergs and sea ice. Many of its 56,000 people, who live on the fringes of its giant ice cap, see the effects of global warming – and cheer it on.

"It's good for me," said Ernst Lund, one of 51 farmers raising sheep on the southern tip of Greenland.

His farm is isolated from the nearest town by a long boat ride threading past drifting mounds of ice, followed by a jolting truck trip along seven miles of gravel road.

"I can keep the sheep out two weeks longer to feed in hills in the autumn. And I can grow more hay. The sheep get fatter," he said.

Learn more...

June 7, 2007

Experts testify before Congress
Les Blumenthal
June 7, 2007

WASHINGTON – With snowfall diminishing at "statistically significant" rates, spring runoff coming earlier and a dead zone the size of Rhode Island in the ocean off the Oregon coast, U.S. senators were told Wednesday that global climate change is already being felt in the West.

Dam operators, water district managers, farmers, conservationists and scientists all predicted mounting problems as scarce water supplies dwindle further in an area stretching from the Pacific Northwest to the desert Southwest.

Learn more...

June 6, 2007

Honda will discontinue its slow-selling Accord model
Associated Press
June 6, 2007
NEW YORK — With gas prices reaching record high levels and increasing public interest in environmentally friendly technologies, you would think that any car labeled as a hybrid would sell easily.
But Honda Motor Co. on Tuesday announced that it will discontinue the hybrid version of its Accord sedan, citing disappointing sales.
Learn more...

June 3, 2007

Coal-burning power plants chief U.S. culprit
In the Northwest

The states of the Pacific Northwest are among the lowest producers of carbon dioxide per capita in the United States. In an analysis by the Associated Press, Washington ranked 43rd, Oregon 45th and Idaho 50th in the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per person.

Learn more...

March 22, 2007

"Report cites drawbacks, need for cooperation

Work crews will erect hundreds more giant windmills across the Pacific Northwest within 17 years to generate enough electricity to light five cities the size of Seattle.

The projects are key to meeting the region's power needs, but aren't a cure-all, regional power experts said in a report released Wednesday.

While wind is free and doesn't pollute, it does carry problems.

To make it work, wind needs backup generators - namely the hydropower dams that for decades have distinguished the region as a place of abundant, reliable and affordable electricity, according to the Northwest Power and Conservation council report. "

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March 11, 2007

“HARTFORD, Conn. - Georges Zidi is the real frugal gourmet.

Zidi is executive chef at the venerable and private Hartford Club, where members dine in style in a Georgian-revival townhouse.

But Zidi lives in Yorktown, in Westchester County, N.Y., and endures a round-trip commute of 180 miles daily to whip up dishes like roasted duck with raspberry sauce.

His gasoline bill was running $700 a month until he discovered he could raid the restaurant’s deep-fat fryer – and the fryers in several restaurants back home, too.

Zidi is among a comparative handful of people who have converted a diesel-engine car or truck to burn vegetable oil. It can be done, and it works, and it can save a lot of money."
Learn more...

March 4, 2007

“WASHINGTON – By 2020, the United States will emit almost one-fifth more gases that lead to global warming than it did in 2000, increasing the risks of drought and scarce water supplies.

That projection comes from an internal draft report from the Bush administration that is more than a year overdue at the United Nations. The Associated Press obtained a copy Saturday.

The United States already is responsible for roughly one-quarter of the world’s carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases that scientists blame for global warming."

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March 2, 2007

"There’s an awesome development in the fight against global warming. Wall Street has decided that ignoring it is bad for business. To be specific, two private equity companies are close to signing a deal to buy TXU Corp., an environmentally challenged power company, and turn it green.

We’re not talking about some Earth Day pick-up-the –litter outing. This would be the biggest corporate buyout in history. And it could affect the future of the nearly 150 coal-fired power plants now on drawing boards across the country. Coal plants are a major source of planet-heating gases and ordinary pollution.

In negotiating the $32-billion deal, Kolhberg Kravis Roberts, Texas Pacific and four partners invited two environmental groups to the table. Environmental Defense and Natural Resources Defense Council blessed the agreement after receiving promises to scrap eight of TXU’s proposed 11 coal-fired power plants, spend $400 million to curb energy demand and cut carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. " Editorial written by Froma Harrop
Learn more...

February 27, 2007


AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – European light bulb makers are close to an agreement in principle to work together on phasing out energy-wasting incandescent bulbs for the consumer market, the chief executive of royal Philips Electronics NV’s lighting division said Monday.

Philips is the largest lighting maker globally, followed by Siemens AG, known for the Osram-Sylvania brands. General Electric Co., whose founder Thomas Edison patented the incandescent bulb in 1880, is biggest in the United States.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Theo van Deursen said “the tipping point is very close, to be frank, for the (European) lighting industry” to agree on a phase-out of incandescent bulbs in the home.
Learn more...

February 25, 2007

This year, the Academy, the Oscar telecast producer Laura Ziskin and the entire production team endeavored to select supplies and services with a sensitivity toward reducing the threats we face from global warming, species extinction, deforestation, toxic waste, and hazardous chemicals in our water and food. With guidance and assistance from the Natural Resources Defense Council, a non-partisan environmental and advocacy organization, we learned that it was easy (and often cost effective) to make simple changes to reduce Oscar's ecological footprint. Here are a few of the things we learned (with help from the NRDC website www.nrdc.org):

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February 22, 2007

“Global warming will worsen drought and reduce flows on the Colorado River, a key water source for several Western states, according to a report released Wednesday.

The study, prepared by a National Research Council committee, paints a sobering picture as the water needs of a rapidly expanding population test the limits of a river system strained by the effects of climate change. "

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February 21, 2007

“BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - European Union environment ministers agreed Tuesday on an ambitious target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 in one of the boldest moves yet to contain global warming – a goal likely to lead to mandatory limits for cars and pollution allowances for airlines. "
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January 30, 2007

Goodrich Corp. will pay $510,000 in fines after a pollution investigation by state and local regulators found the company’s eight-year-old factory west of Spokane flushed dangerous chemicals into the sewers and failed to secure proper permits. Learn more...

January 23, 2007

Scientists say most to vanish by 2050

Glaciers will all but disappear from the Alps by 2050 according to scientists studying the melting of continental ice sheets.

Learn more...

January 10, 2007

Last year hottest in over a century

“WASHINGTON – Last year was the warmest in the continental United States of the past 112 years – capping a nine-year warming streak “unprecedented in the historical record,” the government said Tuesday. It also said that climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels has set the stage for increasingly hotter temperatures. " from the Washington Post

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January 8, 2007

General Motors unveiled a gas-electric prototype, the Chevrolet Volt – a plug-in vehicle that could get 150 miles per gallon. Prototype uses a lithium-ion battery, according to a news story written by Sholnn Freeman of the Washington Post; printed in the Spokesman Review on 1/08/07. Learn more...

January 7, 2007

The top 10 resorts in the Ski Area Citizen’s Coalition environmental report card: Aspen Mountain, Colo.; Buttermilk, Aspen, Colo.; Alpine Meadows, Tahoe City, Calif.; Sundance, Utah; Aspen Highlands, Colo.; Mount Bachelor, Bend Ore.; Sierra-at Tahoe, Twin Bridges, Calif.; Wolf Creek, Pagosa Springs, Colo.; Bogus Basin, Boise, Alta, Utah.
Learn more...

November 25, 2006

Demand brings a surge in exploration. U.S. Geothermal expects to begin producing electricity from a hot-water-fired power plant. Utility Idaho Power Co. has agreed to buy enough electricity to light 7,500 homes.

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November 11, 2006

By Sid Perkins - Printed in Science News
November 11th, 2006; Vol.170 #20 (p. 307)

In recent decades, a large part of the U.S. economy has shifted to providing services rather than manufacturing products. Despite the presumption that the change bodes well for the environment, service industries such as the retail trade are creating just as much planet-warming carbon dioxide as the manufacture and operation of motor vehicles do, a new analysis suggests.

Industrial ecologist Sangwon Suh of the University of Minnesota in St. Paul scrutinized the movement of energy, raw materials, and products through various sectors of the economy. In such an analysis, emissions "that happen behind the scenes can then be taken into account," he notes.

In aggregate, all the companies that provide services are directly responsible for less than 5 percent of U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions, says Suh. However, when researchers also account for emissions that are generated in supporting activities such as the manufacture of equipment and supplies for service industries, some of them don't look so green.

For example, the retail trade—everything from large department stores on New York City's Fifth Avenue to small shops on any town's Main Street—boosts greenhouse gases annually in amounts that warm Earth as much as 326.8 million tons of carbon dioxide would. That retail-trade estimate includes the emissions generated in the construction of stores, the manufacture of goods to be sold, and their shipment to the retailer or customer, Suh notes. The total represents 5.4 percent of the nation's planet-warming emissions. Learn more...