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Mary Ellen Harte

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Climate Change This Week: Ozone Damage, Pipe Power and More

Posted: 07/30/2012 1:22 pm

Climate Change Is Damaging Ozone Layer: via severe thunderstorms that inject water into the stratosphere and cause damaging chemical reactions with leftover refrigerant gases, say Harvard researchers, reports Henry Fountain at the New York Times. And here all I thought we had to worry about was floods, droughts, megastorms, megafires, mega blizzards, ocean acidification, rising sea levels...

"Pass the Pipe, Man" Department: LucidEnergy has developed a way to harvest hydropower inside utility pipes carrying water downhill, reports Steve Law at the Portland Tribune, with a single stretch able to power about 100 homes. Way to go, man!

US Ramps Up Solar Production Out West - YeeeHa!: The Obama administration is offering incentives for solar developers to cluster projects on nearly 300,000 acres of federal land in the western U.S and opening almost 20 million more acres of the Mojave Desert for new power plants, reports Julie Cart at the LA Times. The plan is expected to generate nearly 24,000 megawatts of power by 2030.

"Least Desired Win" Department: The US is by far the highest cumulative emitter of the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, and that is a major factor in diplomatic requests from around the world for the US to take the lead in solving global warming, reports Bill Blakemore at ABC News.

And Away We Go... On a Zero: electric motorcycle, that is, reports Michael Lemonick at Climate Central. The Zero all-electric motorcycle requires little maintenance, emits no noise or greenhouse gases, and is much more maneuverable in city traffic than conventional ones, making this an excellent city vehicle.

Save Baby Arctic Chicks! Climate change has melted the ice pack food source of Arctic ice birds from 7 miles to 250 miles away from them and is even starting to melt the frozen core of their nesting habitat, Cooper Island, making it a prime target for hungry polar bears. These Arctic "penguins" and puffins need more bear-proof nesting boxes from humans to keep their chicks safe. Time is running out. The bears are coming in August. You can help here, and find out more about how dramatically climate change is changing their lives.


Every day is Earth Day, folks, as I was reminded by this photo of gentians I took not far from our research cabin. Making the U.S. a global clean energy leader will ensure a heck of a lot more jobs, and a clean, safe future. If you'd like to tell Congress that you're voting for candidates that will support clean energy, join the increasing numbers of people doing so here. For more detailed summaries of the above and other climate change items, audio podcasts and texts are freely available.


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