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Environmental News Wrap: July 6-12

GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:

Picks of the Week:

Natural Gas has been touted as a green way to shift our economy off of petroleum, but the public is slowly realizing that things like shale gas are not such a great new revelation. Natural Gas still involves an extraction and refinement process that is comparable to petroleum.

Scientific American covers Obama’s dedication of $2 billion to two renewable energy companies to create 5,000 jobs, that’s $4 million per job.

The EPA is finally regulating green house gas emissions from dirty power plants due to a 2008 Supreme Court ruling ordering them to do so. This move is significant since the Clean Air Act of 1963 does not apply to plants operating before its enactment. Now these grandfathered plants are being regulate.

The Week covers the question, “Should Exxon buy BP?” Exxon is the fusion of the two most powerful east coast parts of the Standard Oil Company. Standard Oil was broken up into 32 companies in 1911 by court order for their tyrannical rule over the oil market. BP also owns legacies of the Standard Oil Company, including Amoco (Standard Oil of Indiana).

In the past year Australia finished some desalination plants built in response to a long drought. Australia has created a great water system for itself but it has also doubled the price of tap water. Some believe that this the cost of climate change, others think that desalination plants are an overreaction from environmentalists.

The renewable energy sector in Europe is forecasted by this Technology Review article to stay vibrant in the next year. Solar panel manufacturers are having a hard time staying profitable because of so much pressure to cheapen their products while installers should be able to make a decent profit.

The Christian Science Monitor asks, “are there greener ways to travel? The article ends by mentioning carbon offset companies that you can pay to do something green to make up for the damage done by flying in an airplane. I used carbonfund for my trip to Europe last summer, but always do your own homework before deciding on where to spend your money.

Near my hometown of Seattle is the infamous Hanford Plant in Eastern Washington. Apparently the plant now has 3 times more radioactive waste beneath it than previously thought. The Hanford plant was used for weaponry in world war two, and then became a huge money pit for ongoing clean up that started in the 1990s.

Environmentalism is Altruism. The NY Times published this book review about an American scientist that wondered; where does Altruism come from? Besides being a book review it is a great exploration of Altruism in animals.

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