What Have Been The Top 10 Environmental Stories Over The Last Couple Of Years?

Happy New Year Everyone! So how has the environment been doing lately?

Top Environmental Stories of 2006


1) Global Warming Continues to Make News

2) Water, Water Everywhere, but Not Enough to Drink

3) China to Invest $175 Billion in Environmental Protection Over Five Years

 4) Federal Agencies Investigate Claims that Bush Administration Muzzled Scientists

5) U.S. Surgeon General Reports Indisputable Dangers of Secondhand Smoke 

6) Lebanese Oil Spill May Rival Exxon Valdez Disaster

 7) An Inconvenient Truth

8) U.S. Supreme Court Hears Landmark Global Warming Case

9) California Passes Breakthrough Bill to Help Curb Global Warming

10) EPA Accused of Weak Environmental Oversight and Harmful Actions


Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2007


1. What Al Gore Hasn’t Told You About Global Warming by David Morris, AlterNet

2. You Call Yourself a Progressive — But You Still Eat Meat? by Kathy Freston, AlterNet 

 3. Ten Ways to Prepare for a Post-Oil Society by James Howard Kunstler, Kunstler.com

 4. Top 100 Ways Global Warming Will Change Your Life by Center for American Progress

 5. The Great Biofuel Hoax by Eric Holt-Gimenez, Indypendent

 6. Ice Caps Melting Fast: Say Goodbye to the Big Apple? by Paul Brown, AlterNet

 7. Fighting the Corporate Theft of Our Water by Tara Lohan, AlterNet

 8. Why Having More No Longer Makes Us Happy by Bill McKibben, Mother Jones

9. Do You Live in One of the World’s 15 Greenest Cities? by Grist Magazine

10. The Property Cops: Homeowner Associations Ban Eco-Friendly Practices by Stan Cox, AlterNet


Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2008


1.Chris Ayres : Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol

2. Ben Webster: Nuclear powered passenger aircraft to transport millions says expert

3. Alexi Mostrous: Series of blunders turned the plastic bag into a global villain

4. Marie Woolf: Blow to the image of the ‘green’ reusable nappy 

5. Chris Smyth, Richard Lloyd Parry and David Lister: Solar Eclipse awes spectators across the world

6. Magnus Linklater and Dominic Maxwell: Wind farms a threat to national security

7. Jonathan Leake: Chill out you beautiful people – Versace beach is refrigerated

8. Lewis Smith: 5000 evacuated as Chilean volcano erupts into the sky

9. Lewis Smith: Doomsday vault for world’s seeds is opened under Arctic mountain

10. Dipesh Gadher: Eco-Warrior Prince attacks big families


What is on your list?


Man Made Global Warming Is Not Happening – So these experts say

Ah the liars strike back. SO TAKE THAT you you you environmentalists you.


Denialists scraping the bottom of the barrel 

Category: Global Warming
Posted on: December 28, 2008 10:22 AM, by Tim Lambert

You have to think that global warming denialist Matt Drudge must be getting desperate when he touts a column by Christopher “White asbestos is harmless” Booker arguing that winter has disproved man-made global warming:

First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.

But this time of the year you normally have the whole of Canada and half the US under snow. Look at the graph below from the Rutgers Global Snow Lab. If you move your mouse over it, it will show current snow cover. Not much different, is it?

Despite a strong La Nina this year, 2008 was nowhere near as cold as the years at the start of the 20th century.

So what’s the second part of Booker’s disproof of AGW?

Secondly, 2008 was the year when any pretence that there was a “scientific consensus” in favour of man-made global warming collapsed. At long last, as in the Manhattan Declaration last March, hundreds of proper scientists, including many of the world’s most eminent climate experts, have been rallying to pour scorn on that “consensus” which was only a politically engineered artefact, based on ever more blatantly manipulated data and computer models programmed to produce no more than convenient fictions.

OK, lets look at the list of “climate experts” who signed the Manhattan declaration. I don’t see many eminent climate scientists there. Of the 619 authors of the IPCC AR4 WG1, precisely zero signed the Manhattan declaration. There are a couple of eminent climate scientists there: Reid Bryson and Bill Gray, but the vast majority are not climate scientists at all, and the list includes entries like this:

John McLean, Climate Data Analyst, Post-graduate Diploma of Computer Studies, B. Arch., Climate Data Analyst, Computer scientist, Melbourne, Australia

Even if you repeat it, “Climate Data Analyst” is just a title he made up. Study the graphs above of climatic data. Congratulations! You’re analyzing climate data, so you can call yourself a Climate Data Analyst as well.


But Booker is a serious author right? Here is one of his little triumphs:


I must end this year by again paying tribute to my readers for the wonderful generosity with which they came to the aid of two causes. First their donations made it possible for the latest “metric martyr”, the east London market trader Janet Devers, to fight Hackney council’s vindictive decision to prosecute her on 13 criminal charges, ranging from selling in pounds and ounces to selling produce “by the bowl” (to avoid using weights her customers dislike and don’t understand). The embarrassment caused by this historic battle has thrown the forced metrication policy of both our governments, in London and Brussels, into total disarray.

Since Hackney backed out of allowing four criminal charges against Janet to go before a jury next month, all that remains is for her to win her appeal in February against eight convictions which now look quite absurd (including those for selling veg by the bowl, as thousands of other London market traders do every day). The final goal, as Neil Herron of the Metric Martyrs Defence Fund insists, must then be a pardon for the late Steve Thoburn and the four other original “martyrs” who were found guilty in 2002 – after a legal battle also made possible by this column’s readers – of breaking laws so ridiculous that the EU Commission has even denied they existed (but which are still on the statute book).


The EVIL METRIC people must be defeated….HAHAHAHAHAHA 

Energy Tax Credits For 2009 – The last parting shot from GWB


Energy-Efficiency Home

and Vehicle Tax Credits

Energy-Efficiency Home

and Vehicle Tax Credits

President Bush has signed into law new consumer tax credits for energy efficiency home improvements, as well as purchases of plug-in hybrid vehicles. These provisions were included in H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which the president signed on October 3, 2008. The homeowner tax credits are largely the same – but not identical – to those that expired at the end of 2007, and begin again on January 1, 2009.

Taxpayers who claimed some but not all of the $500 federal income tax credit for energy efficiency home improvements that was in effect in tax years 2006 and 2007 may utilize the unused portion in 2009, the IRS has informed the Alliance to Save Energy. Please consult your tax advisor for details.

What’s New:

  • The consumer tax credits for energy-efficiency home improvements have been revived with a few tweaks for the calendar year 2009. To be eligible, most qualifying products must be purchased and installed between January 1 and December 31, 2009. There also are some new eligible products. Please see below for additional details. Efforts to have Congress further extend the consumer tax credits continue! This web page will be updated to reflect any new legislation.

Energy Efficiency Can Lower Your Federal Tax Bill as Well as Your Energy Bills

  1. Introduction to Tax Credits
  2. Consumer Tax Credit Information
  3. Hybrid and Diesel Vehicle Tax Credit
  4. Home Energy-Efficiency Improvement Tax Credit
  5. Geothermal Heat Pumps, Solar Energy, and Fuel Cells
  6. Additional Information


Federal Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency

Energy-Efficient New Homes Tax Credit for Home Builders

Last DSIRE Review: 10/09/2008

Incentive Type: Corporate Tax Credit
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Applicable Sectors: Construction
Amount: $1,000-$2,000, depending on energy savings and home type
Maximum Incentive: $2,000
Website: http://www.irs.gov/
Authority 1: 26 USC § 45L
Date Enacted: 8/8/2005 (Amended 2008)
Effective Date: 1/1/2006
Expiration Date: 12/31/2009
Authority 2: H.R. 1424: Div. B, Sec. 304 (The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008)
Date Enacted: 10/3/2008
Expiration Date: 12/31/2009


Energy Efficient Mortgage

Home Owner Guide

THE ENERGY EFFICIENT MORTGAGE means comfort and savings. When you are buying, selling, refinancing, or remodeling your home, you can increase your comfort and actually save money by using the Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM). It is easy to use, federally recognized, and can be applied to most home mortgages. EEMs provide the borrower with special benefits when purchasing a home that is energy efficient, or can be made efficient through the installation of energy-saving improvements.

Home owners with lower utility bills have more money in their pocket each month. They can afford to allocate a larger portion of their income to housing expenses. If you have more cash, why not buy a better, more comfortable home? There are two options with the Energy Efficient Mortgage.


Finance Energy Improvements!


Cost-effective energy-saving measures may be financed as part of the mortgage!


Increase Your Buying Power!


Stretch debt-to-income qualifying ratios on loans for energy-efficient homes!





Qualify for a larger loan on a better home!




Sell your home more quickly.




Get all the EEM benefits without moving.


Pay for energy improvements easily, through your mortgage. Your lender can increase your loan to cover energy improvement costs. Monthly mortgage payments increase slightly, but you actually save money because your energy bills will be lower!

HERS, or Home Energy Rating Systems

A HERS report is similar to a miles-per-gallon rating on a car. HERS are programs which provide evaluations of an individual home’s energy-efficiency. A HERS report is prepared by a trained Energy Rater. Factors such as insulation, appliance efficiencies, window types, local climate, and utility rates are used to rate the home and calculate energy costs.

A HERS Report Includes:


Overall Rating Score of the house as it is.


Rating scores are between 1 and 100. Higher scores indicate greater efficiency. Cost-effective upgrades are those which will save more money through energy savings than they cost to install.

U.S. Department of Energy recommended Home Energy Ratings contain a numerical score from 1 to 100, a one to five star-plus rating, and the estimated energy costs. Higher scores indicate greater efficiency. Cost-effective upgrades are those which will save more money through energy savings than they cost to install.

A HERS rating usually costs between $300 and $800. This could be paid for by the buyer, seller, lender, or real estate agent. Sometimes the cost of the rating may be financed as part of the mortgage. No matter how the rating is paid for, it is a very good investment because an EEM could save you or your buyer hundreds of dollars each year.


Seems like a lot doesn’t? The boat has a hole in it and he hands us 3 buckets. That is a recipe for one sunk boat.


Hydrokinetic Turbines Are Another Arrow In The Green Quiver – Side hung generators should be in every stream in America

This starting to feel like Christmas:


 Nation’s First ‘Underwater Wind Turbine’ Installed in Old Man River

By Alexis Madrigal EmailDecember 22, 2008

The nation’s first commercial hydrokinetic turbine, which harnesses the power from moving water without the construction of a dam, has splashed into the waters of the Mississippi River near Hastings, Minnesota. The 35-kilowatt turbine is positioned downstream from an existing hydroelectric-plant dam and — together with another turbine to be installed soon — will increase the capacity of the plant by more than 5 percent. The numbers aren’t big, but the rig’s installation could be the start of an important trend in green energy.And that could mean more of these “wind turbines for the water” will be generating clean energy soon.“We don’t require that massive dam construction, we’re just using the natural flow of the stream,” said Mark Stover, a vice president at Hydro Green Energy, the Houston-based company leading the project. “It’s underwater windpower if you will, but we have 840 or 850 times the energy density of wind.”Hydrokinetic turbines like those produced by Hydro Green and Verdant capture the mechanical energy of the water’s flow and turn it into energy, without need for a dam. The problem for companies like Hydro Green is that their relatively low-impact turbines are forced into the same regulatory bucket as huge hydroelectric dams. The regulatory hurdles have made it difficult to actually get water flowing through projects.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has oversight of all projects that involve making power from water, and the agency has recently shown signs of easing up on this new industry. In the meantime, the first places where hydrokinetic power makes in impact could be at existing dam sites where the regulatory red tape has already been cut.



 Another approach by Verdant:




And yet another approach:


State of River Energy Technology”

Jahangir Khan, Powertech Labs, British Columbia, Canada.  2006.Based on the available formal literature, the very first example of river turbine that was developed and field tested is attributed to Peter Garman. An initiative by the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG) in 1978 resulted in the so-called Garman Turbine specifically meant for water pumping and irrigation. Within a period of four years, a total of nine prototypes were built and tested in Juba, Sudan on the White Nile totaling 15, 500 running hours. Experience gained during this venture indicated favorable technical and economical outcome. Initial designs had a floating pontoon with completely submerged vertical axis turbine, moored to a post on the bank. Later designs consisted of an inclined horizontal axis turbine with almost similar floatation and mooring system. Detailed investigation on a low cost water pumping unit indicated 7% overall efficiency and concluded with emphasis on societal and cost issues. More recent commercial ventures resulting from this work are being pursued by Thropton Energy Services, Marlec Engineering Co. Ltd. , and CADDET Center for Renewable Energy.




Merry Christmas From Everyone at Community Energy Systems

If you think Christmas is about crass comercialism than go here:


But if you think Christmas is about lowering your use of fossil fuels, and other scare resources, please try here:



SeaGen – Need I say more?

A generation ago those of us in the alternative energy world, utility policy and energy conservation had a one word battle cry. Hood River. The town in Oregon that demonstrated many of the priniciples that we had fought for and Energy Corporate America had fought against. Well SeaGen is one of THOSE.


SeaGen Shatters Tidal Power Generation Record

 Written by Timothy B. Hurst

Published on December 18th, 2008

Posted in alternative energy

 Since its inception, we have been keeping a close eye on Marine Current Turbine’s SeaGen project in the UK, the world’s first commercial scale tidal stream turbine. Well, today there is more big news to report from the strong tidal flows of Strangford Lough as SeaGen has generated at its maximum capacity of 1.2MW for the first time. Thus far, this is the highest power produced by a tidal stream system anywhere in the world and exceeds the previous highest output of 300kW produced in 2004 by the company’s earlier SeaFlow system, off the north Devon coast.

Generating at full power is an important milestone for the company, and in particular our in-house engineering team. We are very pleased with SeaGen’s performance during commissioning,” said Martin Wright, Managing Director of Marine Current Turbines (MCT). “It demonstrates, for the first time, the commercial potential of tidal energy as a viable alternative source of renewable energy.”

According to company officials, now that SeaGen has reached full power it will move towards full-operating mode for periods of up to 22 hours a day, with regular inspections and performance testing undertaken as part of the project’s development program.



Or You can go to the website itself:


Welcome to the SeaGen

Project Website


SeaGen is the name given to the 1.2MW tidal energy convertor that will be installed in Strangford Lough in April 2008. Sea Generation Ltd is the project company which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marine Current Turbines Ltd. SeaGen has been has been licensed for a maximum installed duration of 5 years.

Marine Current Turbines Ltd have been operating the 300kW Seaflow tidal energy system at Lynmouth, Devon since May 2003 and are recognised as being one of the worlds leading tidal energy system developers.



Oil Prices Fall Below 40$$ Per Barrel – We are all going to die!

I predicted this almost a year ago. BUT be prepared. By next summer oil will be back up in the 100$$ range probably topping out 132$$ per barrel. Why? Because this commodity market have never been destabilized by speculators before and it will BOUNCE around. Back and forth. Back and forth. Until it settles down where it started and where the Saudi’s say it should be at 70$$ per barrel. Will we survive all that whipsawing? Probably not. By then maybe we will be off the damn stuff and no one will care.

Family Throws Nothing Out For A Year – Why can’t we all do that?

Why do we throw things Away? Beginning next year I am goin to visit that question from a behavioral perspective but here is someone who doesn’t through things away.


A rubbish life for LA marathon recycler


LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Dave Chameides has spent almost an entire year living a life full of utter garbage, and hoping he can inspire other Americans to do the same.

The Los Angeles-based cameraman has lived in his comfortable Hollywood home without throwing away a single piece of trash, from wine bottles to chewing gum and pizza boxes.

Instead the 39-year-old Chameides — nicknamed “Sustainable Dave” — recycles his garbage or else stores it in his basement. He says he wants to show that it is possible to dramatically reduce his family’s consumption habits.

And he can show astounding results. Rather than the 1,600 pounds of trash the average American family produces each year, Chameides, his wife and two daughters have amassed only 32 pounds over the last 12 months


Here is his web site. It is way cool:


Win Dave’s Bag!! Sign Up Now

Sign up now for the Sustainable Dave Newsletter and earn a chance to win your very own Dave’s Bag!

That’s right, some lucky winner will win a fabulous backpack with a coffee mug, water bottle, reusable bowl, and much much more. Imagine what your friends will say when you can swear off “disposable” single use items for good!

Be the talk of the town, be the coolest employee in your company. Win Dave’s Bag! And, as an added bonus, the first winners will recieve an actual piece of garbage from Dave’s basement, signed by Dave himself. How cool is that?

Own a piece of history and help Dave get rid of his garbage. Act now. Don’t Delay. Sign Up Today!


Suzlon S. 88 Wind Turbine Has A History of Failure

I wish I had a web Sitation for the orginal story that caught my attention, but I can not find it on the web. The actual story ran in the State Journal Register on November 29 in the business section titled “Bureau board bans S88 turbines written by Karen Newey of the Gatehouse News Service.

I find sitations for in here:


and here:



Posted Nov 11, 2008 @ 07:48 PM

Last update Nov 12, 2008 @ 08:11 PM

Editor’s note: The Bureau County Board this week voted to not allow Walnut Ridge Wind LLC to use S88 turbines produced by India-based Suzlon on seven turbines located in Bureau, Manlius and Walnut townships. The board approved conditional use permits for those turbines. The information was incorrect from a story in some editions of Wednesday’s paper.PRINCETON — Bureau County officials want to try and ensure that a wind turbine failure like what was experienced on a farm southwest of Wyanet last month doesn’t happen again.The Bureau County Board this week voted not to allow future wind farm developments to use the S88 type turbines produced by India-based Suzlon Energy.”I am personally making the motion (to exclude Suzlon) due to the uncertainty of their turbines,” ESDA and zoning committee Chairman Bill Bennett told the board at its meeting Monday. Bennett later amended his motion to the S88 model.

The request comes after a 140-foot fiberglass blade weighing 6 1/2 tons broke off at the stem where the blade connects to the turbine and crashed to the ground Oct. 22 on farmland leased by AgriWind LLC, which operates a small-scale wind farm composed of four 3.1 megawatt turbines. The turbines apparently had a defect, and Suzlon officials said the blades on all four turbines were scheduled to be replaced.


This is not the first time that Turbine has had blade problems:


Suzlon S88 turbine failure

October, 2006
Credits: Scott Riddlemoser


Catastrophic equipment failure at the wind energy facility near Lake Wilson, MN in September and November 2006.



To read more about these failures:


There are net hints that they had trouble in Germany as well, but how big is the problem?


Suzlon to provide Rs 100 cr for retrofit program in Q4.

Publication: The Economic Times
Date: Tuesday, March 4 2008

MUMBAI: Suzlon Energy has reported retrofit program to resolve blade cracking issues discovered during the operations of S88 turbines in the US. The retrofit program involves the structural strengthening of 1,251 blades on S-88 turbines, of which 930 blades are already installed while the remaining blades are in transit.


The retrofit program will be carried out by maintaining a rolling stock of temporary replacement blades, to minimize the downtime for operational turbines, and will completed in six months. The total estimated cost of the retrofit program is at Rs 100 crore, for which a provision will be made in Q4 of FY08.


Today I wanted To Post About SeaGen – But I made the mistake of typing in skinny car

into a search engine. I WAS still looking for that gosh darn #$@%!&*(”_) beetle like car that I saw in San Francisco. I turned up the Tango and just loved it. We shall take up SeaGen on Monday. Have a Good Weekend and may God Bless.




 Even though it’s Ferrari red, zooms from zero to 60 in four seconds, and has a sensuous black leather dash with the same Motech data display found in Grand Prix race cars, this is not your typical little red sports car.

For starters, it’s smaller. Or rather, smallest. At 39 inches wide and 8 feet 5 inches long, it’s skinnier than some motorcycles and shorter than many a living-room couch. It runs on batteries, not gas. And, if the thing ever makes it out of Spokane and into consumer production — a big if — this two-person, commuter concept car could very well alleviate air pollution, cruise past freeway congestion, shimmy through urban gridlock and actually find a parking spot.

At the moment, however, U.S. Patent No. 6,328,121 (Ultra-Narrow Automobile Stabilized with Ballast) is causing a jam in front of Spokane’s Northtown Mall. Traffic stops, drivers gawk.

“Cool,” declares a 20-year-old strawberry blonde, snapping a paparazzi shot. “Can I borrow it and drive to California?” A silvery couple in matching pink polo shirts inquires about the nearest dealership. A woman with toddlers wants to know about safety.

Remarkably, though trapped by the rubberneckers, everyone smiles at the little red car, including a mall-security guy who, instead of unblocking the lanes, gives a thumbs-up: “Awesome!” 

It all started with a sailboat…


 Rick and Brian Woodbury refurbished an ocean-going 35-foot junk-rigged schooner, Sea Witch, to sail Puget Sound. It was the sailboat, in a strange way, that launched the skinny car. “Mom hated it,” Bryan recalls. Alice Woodbury never acquired sea legs, feared her family would drown, and didn’t like her husband and son spending every weekend across state at Bainbridge Island’s Eagle Harbor, where Sea Witch moored for free. So Alice issued an ultimatum: The boat. Or her.

Kickstart. Father and son sold Sea Witch and started work on the Tango

Compared to that, creating the Tango was quick, cheap and clean. In 1998, Rick and Bryan took their $20,000 profit from selling the boat and haunted junkyards and used-car lots buying parts. In Seattle, they found a 1968 Fiat 850 Spyder that had been converted to electric, trailered it home to Spokane and tore it apart in their garage. Within two months, they’d built a new frame, mounted wheels, brakes and steering components and rolled the chassis down the street, neighbor kids chasing alongside. By winter they had a drivable car, and by fall, they were racing it on autocross tracks. Working from a photo-shopped picture of a 1998 Mercedes A-Class hatchback morphed to ultra-narrow dimensions, Bryan hand-sculpted a body for the car out of Urethane, fiberglass, epoxy and Bondo, sanding large areas with a cheese grater. They hired a pro to finish and paint the body, then took the car to California.


Turns out they have their own page:


Meet the Tango

Introducing the world’s fastest urban car

The revolutionary commuter vehicle that combines the speed and agility of a motorcycle with the security and comfort of a high-performance sports car.

Beat Traffic:

The Tango’s ability to maneuver through traffic is second to none. Like a motorcycle, it can change lanes to gain advantage in traffic better than any car in history. Unlike a motorcycle, it is safe, dry, climate controlled, and can securely carry a reasonable amount of cargo. Where lane splitting is permitted (i.e., driving between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic), such as California, Europe, and Asia, the advantage can be staggering. In extremely heavy traffic, a Tango or motorcycle can travel in 20 seconds the distance that cars travel in 20 minutes.

Help forge a congestion-free future:

The Tango can fit in a 6-foot half-lane with more clearance than a truck has in a full 12-foot freeway lane. This virtual doubling of lane capacity can make the traffic jam a fading memory.


A Tango can park perpendicular to the curb, in left-over spaces between cars or driveways, next to buildings, or in unused corners of parking lots–in thousands of heretofore-unusable parking spaces.


For more than you ever cared:





It really is a cute little car (:=}