Day: August 8, 2011

The Biggest Green Scam in America

Read the full story in 5280: The Denver Magazine.

A Denver businessman steals millions with a clean-energy Ponzi scheme.

EPA and USDA Create a Partnership to Improve Drinking Water Systems and Develop Workforce in Rural Communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a national partnership to protect Americans’ health by improving rural drinking water and wastewater systems. Nationwide, small water and sewage treatment facilities with limited funding and resources face challenges due to rising costs and aging equipment and pipes. Today’s agreement will send federal resources to support communities that need assistance and promote job training to help put people to work while addressing the growing workforce shortage in the water industry.

“EPA and USDA have joined forces to leverage our expertise and resources to improve drinking water and wastewater systems in small towns across the country,” said Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “A critical part of this agreement is to ensure that we have a well trained, professional workforce available to replace workers when they leave or retire.”

“The agreement we are announcing today represents an exciting partnership between USDA and EPA that will greatly enhance our investments in water systems and also in developing a skilled workforce to oversee them,” said Jonathan Adelstein, administrator for USDA’s Rural Utilities Service. “By working together, our agencies will strengthen their capacity to provide rural residents with safe, clean, well-managed water and wastewater systems for years to come.”

Under the agreement, EPA and USDA will work together to promote jobs by targeting specific audiences,  providing training for new water careers and coordinating outreach efforts that will bring greater public visibility to the workforce needs of the industry, and develop a new generation of trained water professionals. EPA and USDA will also facilitate the exchange of successful recruitment and training strategies among stakeholders including states and water industries.

The agencies will also help rural utilities improve current operations and encourage development of long-term water quality improvement plans. The plans will include developing sustainable management practices to cut costs and improve performance.

Since taking office, President Obama’s administration has taken significant steps to improve the lives of rural Americans. For instance, the administration has set goals to modernize infrastructure by providing broadband access to 10 million Americans, expanding educational opportunities for students in rural areas and providing affordable health care. In the long term, these unparalleled rural investments will help ensure that America’s rural communities are thriving economically.

In June, President Obama signed an executive order establishing the first White House Rural Council, chaired by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack. The White House Rural Council will work throughout government to create policies that will help realize the administration’s goals for rural communities. Today’s agreement is part of that initiative.

Human Influence on the 21St Century Climate: One Possible Future for the Atmosphere

Read the news release.

New computer modeling work shows that by 2100, if society wants to limit carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to less than 40 percent higher than it is today, the lowest cost option is to use every available means of reducing emissions. This includes more nuclear and renewable energy, choosing electricity over fossil fuels, reducing emissions through technologies that capture and store carbon dioxide, and even using forests to store carbon.

Researchers from the Joint Global Change Research Institute introduced the work, called the RCP 4.5 scenario, in a special July 29 online issue of the journal Climatic Change. The scenario is one of four that scientists will use worldwide to independently study how the climate might respond to different increases of greenhouse gases and how much of the sun’s energy they trap in the atmosphere. It can also be used to study possible ways to slow climate change and adapt to it.

Get on board the non-consumption train

Read the full post at Mother Nature Network.

I sat down at the keyboard this morning, all set to write up a new post when I found this note that I thought was worth sharing. I’ve had it on my computer for a while and, to be totally honest, have no idea where I found it, so I can’t really give credit where credit is due. My apologies to the original author but I assume that, given the nature in which it was written, they won’t mind me sharing it. As I recall, this was printed on a little card that the owner carried in his/her wallet. Every time they went to make a purchase, they were confronted with these questions — all of which spoke to the underlying wish: I want my money to support the environment, not destroy it.

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