The state Supreme Court has decided not to take up an appeal of a lower court ruling that Malibu can’t limit chain stores or force major development projects to be put to a vote of the people. The determination filed late Wednesday appeared to mark the end of the road for the beach city’s Measure R ballot measure limiting development, handing a major victory to developers and for a project that would bring a Whole Foods store to the city.
The drive to replace polluting petrol and diesel cars with a new breed of electric vehicles has gathered momentum in recent weeks. But there is an unanswered environmental question at the heart of the electric car movement: what on earth to do with their half-tonne lithium-ion batteries when they wear out?
. . . in the EU as few as 5% (pdf) of lithium-ion batteries are recycled. This has an environmental cost. Not only do the batteries carry a risk of giving off toxic gases if damaged, but core ingredients such as lithium and cobalt are finite and extraction can lead to water pollution and depletion among other environmental consequences.
Widespread adoption of “cool roofs” – typically made of light-colored materials that reflect a large fraction of the sun’s rays – has the potential to increase certain types of air pollution, researchers from the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the University of Southern California reported yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. . . .The widespread adoption of cool roofs will decrease annual average daily high temperature in the basin, the researchers found – a generally positive effect. However, the lower temperature on land is likely to weaken sea breezes and alter the mixing of air from different levels of the atmosphere. In turn, these changes will slightly increase PM2.5 concentrations throughout the basin. . . . they found that widespread installation of cool roofs is likely to increase the concentration of ozone in the South Coast Air Basin. This is because UV rays contribute to the formation of ozone.
There’s a limit on how much renewables will be able to do, going forward. Wind and solar are intermittent by nature, and can’t be relied upon to replace more consistent energy sources like nuclear power or coal en masse. Germany’s reactors would have made a nice foundation on which to build this renewables revolution, but Merkel’s mind seems made up. But however hard she tries to position herself as the virtuous green, the fact remains that German emissions rose last year, while America’s fell three percent (thanks to cheap, abundant shale gas displacing coal). Words matter, but so do numbers, and the data tells us that lately—whatever Trump is trumpeting—the United States is doing more to combat climate change than Germany.
A new analysis by the National Center for Public Policy Research found that Gore's Tennessee home "guzzles more electricity in one year than the average American family uses in 21 years." In one month last year, the report found, Gore's home consumed more electricity than the average family uses in 34 months. The electricity used just to heat Gore's swimming pool would power six homes for a year. And this is after Gore spent tens of thousands of dollars installing "green" upgrades, which he was embarrassed into doing when his energy-hogging home first came to light a decade ago. In fact, according to the NCPPR report, Gore's home used more electricity last year than it did in 2007, before he installed all those energy-reducing features.