04 May 2010

Leak's political fallout starting, "code green", Chicago Climate exchanged, and other green news and information for business

Top Stories

Will the Oil Reach Washington? The Spill's Political Effects.reliability medium.
A roundup of comments about the potential impact of the Deepwater Horizon leak on attitudes toward offshore drilling in Washington. From Solveclimate blogs.

Calif. governor ends support for offshore drilling.reliability high.
California's Republican governor has withdrawn his support from a deal that would have allowed new drilling in California waters from an existing rig located in federal waters off Santa Barbara. The deal would have provided revenues for the state, and was approved by some environmental groups since it included a commitment to shut down other drilling activities over coming decades. This means no new drilling off California for the foreseeable future. See Yahoo from AP.

Is Greener Code the Answer to Greener Data Centers?reliability medium.
"If the code running on all the servers in a data center was inherently more energy-efficient and governed by its own energy-aware logic, deploying fewer servers emerges as a less costly option in reducing data center energy use. As Facebook’s own experiments with code optimization have proven, lowering CPU overhead not only translates into energy savings, it also reduces the number of servers required to provide the same functionality. ... The answer may lie in new tools from Microsoft Research and Intel. For developers, Microsoft’s Joulemeter and Intel’s Energy Checker SDK open the door to new levels of code optimization." Story at earth2tech.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Rag pickers in clean-up war.reliability high.
"Rag pickers may soon become integral to reducing plastic waste in the city [of Bangalore]. The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) is exploring the possibility of using their services in collecting and recycling plastic waste. 'Rag pickers work in an unorganised manner. If we can give them some aid, a place to store the recyclable material and device a machanism to handle them they can help us reduce the impact of plastic,' said M S Goudar, member secretary, KSPCB. 'This is the only inexpensive and practical means to collect the plastic that is being dumped indiscriminately.' Scrap dealers pay rag pickers Rs 6 for a kilogram of plastic." From ExpressBuzz.

Offshore windfarms to be used for air defence.reliability high.
"the wind farm industry will spend at least £16m on advanced radar defence systems to be integrated into new offshore windfarms, clearing the way for a significant boost in the UK's supply of renewable energy. The agreement involves a consortium of windpower firms purchasing US-manufactured Lockheed Martin radar equipment so that Britain's eastern airspace approaches can be protected after turbines are erected around the Wash. In return, the MoD has lifted planning objections to five new offshore windfarms that will include almost a 1,000 wind turbines. The deal is expected to trigger a fresh wave of applications to install windfarms." See The Guardian. [Green business opportunities in unlikely places.]

Sale of Chicago Climate Exchange to ICE Reinforces Weak Carbon Market.reliability high.
"On Friday, Sandor and the other shareholders of parent company Climate Exchange cashed out of this big idea for about $600 million. The IntercontinentalExchange (ICE), an electronic futures and derivatives platform based in Atlanta and London, announced it had agreed to purchase the three exchanges, the Chicago Climate Exchange, Chicago Climate Futures Exchange and European Climate Exchange." Story in The New York Times.

Edison Award Winners Cover the Whole Spectrum of Green.reliability high.
"Kohl's Department Stores and hip upcycler TerraCycle are among the winners of the inaugural Edison Green Awards, the latest category to be added to the 23-year-old competition that honors innovative new products and the companies that make them. ... Four other Edison Award categories, although not specifically green awards, recognized firms and products contributing to energy or fuel efficiency, reduced waste and other environmentally friendly efforts." From GreenBiz. See list of winners here.

Marks & Spencer's mini wine range goes a shade greener with plastic bottles.reliability high.
"Small bottles of wine, often provided as an in-flight tipple, will this week become a shade greener. Marks & Spencer is the first UK retailer to convert its entire range of 25cl still wine bottles from glass to environmentally friendly plastic, meeting growing consumer demand for lighter and unbreakable" containers." More about wine packaging. Story in The Guardian.

Apparel retailer offers online recycling.reliability high.
"Asos, the web-based fashion retailer, is to launch an online market-place that will allow its customers to trade their unwanted clothes on its site. ... Its main target market is the 16-34 year old bracket and, attracting over 7.5 million unique visitors a month, the potential volume of recycled clothes available could divert thousands of items from ending up in landfill. ... 'We have 7.5 million fashion-loving customers coming to the Asos website every month and I want them to be able to recycle their wardrobes among each other,' Asos chief executive Nick Robertson told the UK’s Financial Times." See EcoTextile News. [If you can't reduce, sell those too-tight slacks so someone else can reuse or recycle them. Also provides a second chance for lightly-used wedding gowns, Nehru jackets, hunting pinks.]

Government and Regulation

US agencies aim to clean up cow manure climate crisis.reliability high.
"The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has signed an inter-agency agreement with the Department of Agriculture to expand the AgSTAR programme, which was founded in 1993 to support and encourage the development of methane recovery technologies across the agricultural sector. Under the agreement, the government will provide a number of farms with almost $4m (£2.6m) over the next five years to accelerate the rollout of biogas recovery systems. ... Existing livestock biogas recovery systems operating in the US already reduce methane emissions by about one million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually. But according to the two agencies, roughly 8,000 farms across the US could benefit from capturing and using biogas, a rollout that would reduce methane emissions by more than 34 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year while generating more than 1.5GW of renewable energy." See BusinessGreen.

Science and Economics

'Green' exercise quickly 'boosts mental health'.reliability high.
"Just five minutes of exercise in a 'green space' such as a park can boost mental health, researchers claim. ... Study leader Jules Pretty, a researcher at the University of Essex, said those who were generally inactive, or stressed, or with mental illness would probably benefit the most from 'green exercise'. ... 'Employers, for example, could encourage staff in stressful workplaces to take a short walk at lunchtime in the nearest park to improve mental health.' " Results were published in Environmental Science and Technology. Story at BBC News. Abstract of study here.

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2010 HaraBara, Inc.]