Posts tagged: technology

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

technology


    SIGN-UP for our latest news and action alerts:
   Please leave this field empty

Facebook Fans

Featured Campaigns

Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.

ABOUT EARTHJUSTICE'S BLOG

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders.

Learn more about Earthjustice.

View Liz Judge's blog posts
01 October 2010, 1:42 PM
Obama administration announces new goals for cleaner cars in America

Though the Senate may be standing still, America's roads are moving fast toward a clean-energy future.Today the Obama administration announced its goals for its next set of clean cars standards, picking up where the first clean cars program left off and stepping up gas mileage standards and tailpipe emissions controls.

Passenger cars and light trucks are responsible for 57 percent of U.S. transportation oil use and almost 60 percent of all transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, so we know that cutting car pollution and designing cars to get much more mileage for every gallon of gas is one of the best ways we can reduce our dangerous dependence on oil and curb climate change.

We also know that it's good for the economy.

3 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Liz Judge's blog posts
20 September 2010, 1:22 PM
Congressman to block efficiency gains and phase-out of old light bulbs
Rep. Joe Barton wants to spend his time keeping old, outdated light bulbs on store shelves

Joe Barton (R-TX) is proving that he has better things to do than apologize to Tony Hayward and BP. Now, he is trying to repeal energy efficiency standards that save American citizens billions of dollars every year. These standards, ironically, are among the few environmental policies made in eight years of Bush leadership. 

His latest daft idea is to propose legislation to wipe away huge national energy efficiency gains and block energy efficiency standards which have been on the books since 2007 and in the works well before that. These efficiency standards for light bulbs, which were reached as a part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, had strong support from a coalition of light bulb manufacturers, electric utilities, as well as the Bush administration.

Last week Barton, the top recipient of Big Oil funds in Congress and the top recipient of special interest money from fossil fuel industries, introduced a new bill that goes against the work and support of his own party in proclaimed defense of industry in America, despite the fact that the industry itself actually supported and helped reach these standards. 

4 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Liz Judge's blog posts
14 September 2010, 3:43 PM
But there is still a long way to go

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency celebrated the 40th anniversary of one of our nation's most successful and most protective laws, the Clean Air Act.

Commemorating the milestone anniversary with a full day of speakers, keynotes and panel discussions, the agency was joined by a host of industry leaders, business CEOs, clean air advocates and environmental champions to discuss just how far we've come in cleaning up our air and protecting people's lungs and lives from toxic and dangerous air pollution.

For proof on how far we've come, here's some of the pudding:

1 Comment   /   Read more >>
View Tom Turner's blog posts
10 September 2010, 1:30 PM
Someone is not paying very close attention

The White House has reportedly said thanks but no thanks to the offer, reported here, by Bill McKibben and 350.org to return one of the solar panels installed on the White House roof during the Carter administration 35 years ago. No explanation was given (that I know of). One can think that it might be because McKibben was harshly critical of President Obama's role at the Copenhagen meeting last year, but that's only conjecture. It does seem to be a missed opportunity for some good press, which the administration needs just now.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
07 September 2010, 10:48 AM
McKibben & 350.org have a wonderful plan

About 30 years ago, after some prodding from environmental groups, Jimmy Carter had solar panels installed on the roof of the White House. He gave a ringing speech at the time, hoping that this gesture would help build a solar revolution. He established a Solar Energy Research Institute and put Denis Hayes, the director of the first and subsequent Earth Days in charge.

Several years later, Ronald Reagan ordered the panels taken down, having belittled Carter for worrying so much about the energy crisis. He replaced Hayes with a dentist, and SERI was soon abolished. If Carter's bold move had succeeded who knows how much better off we'd be now, but there's no point bemoaning the failures of the past.

Turns out the panels were donated to Unity College in Maine where they've been doing their bit to help the climate problem for most of three decades. Now Bill McKibben and his colleagues at the wonderful 350.org are returning a symbolic panel to where it started. They put one of the panels on a biodiesel-powered truck the day after Labor Day and will deliver it to the White House on Friday, September 10, after stopping for rallies in Boston and New York.

11 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Tom Turner's blog posts
20 July 2010, 10:03 AM
U.S. CO2 emissions drop slightly as China's and India's soar

The indispensable Earth Policy Institute reports that emissions of carbon dioxide by wealthy countries including the United States fell a tiny fraction in the last year, which is welcome news. While China passed the U.S. as the biggest emitter of CO2 a couple of years ago, a recent study out of Stanford calculated that if you take into account the fraction of China's emissions that are the result of manufacturing various items for export to the U.S. and add those to the U.S.'s total, this country still wins first prize for overall carbon emissions.

The latest EPI report confirms that the oceans, soils, and trees absorb more than half of the CO2 emitted world-wide, but the volume of CO2 is such that the oceans are becoming more and more acidic, which reduces their ability to absorb CO2. At the same time, the razing of tropical forests continues apace, thus reducing their ability to absorb CO2.

Besides the slight drop in CO2 emissions, one other bright spot is the growth of alternative energy systems (wind-farm electricity capacity grew by 30 percent from 2007 to 2009) and the decline of coal (down by 13 percent during this period).

2 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Tom Turner's blog posts
13 July 2010, 11:31 AM
Secretary Salazar issues new rule, hoping to persuade the judge
Sec. Ken Salazar

The Obama administration, having been thwarted in its attempts to declare a six-month moratorium on new deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday issued a new moratorium order, citing new information on the causes of the recent well blowout and other matters. According to a question-and-answer news release from the department:

"What are the differences between the May 28 deepwater drilling moratorium and the new deepwater drilling suspension?

"Like the deepwater drilling moratorium lifted by the District Court on June 22, the deepwater drilling suspensions ordered today apply to most deepwater drilling activities and could last through November 30. The suspensions ordered today, however, are the product of a new decision by the Secretary and new evidence regarding safety concerns, blowout containment shortcomings within the industry, and spill response capabilities that are strained by the BP oil spill.

5 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Ray Wan's blog posts
09 July 2010, 4:27 PM
New social networking tool engages public on the environment

Most people have heard of Facebook and Twitter, but what about Foursquare? I'm not talking about the playground game that involves bouncing a big ball from one square to the next. Foursquare is a new social networking tool that allows users to check in at specific locations using their mobile phones and broadcast their whereabouts to friends via Facebook or Twitter. Earthjustice is using this tool to engage the public and enlist their help in protecting our environment.

Most uses of Foursquare have centered around its gaming aspect—users compete for the title of "mayor" for the most check-ins at a location and earn little virtual badges of honor—but Earthjustice is turning heads by using Foursquare to help raise money for our legal work.

Every time a user checks in at a designated Earthjustice ad in one of San Francisco's BART train stations, a major donor will donate $10 to help our attorneys protect the environment. It's a simple way to engage with the public using social networking tools, while allowing them to do their part to help our environment.

So far, we've gotten great traction from social media sites and blogs, including several articles on the popular social media site Mashable. See what the buzz is all about by taking a look at our ads!

View Liz Judge's blog posts
28 May 2010, 1:14 PM
Proposal out for new and renovated federal government buildings to be green

The Department of Energy today released a proposal to require that all new and renovated federal buildings across America meet a host of sustainable design, siting, and construction requirements. These standards will ensure that when a new post office goes up in your town, or when your local courthouse gets a building makeover, or when your military base builds a new facility, it will be green. And this green government building will stand as an example for the rest of the town, state and country.

We're obviously glad to see DOE finally start to take important action, even though today's standards are just a first step of what is needed, because of the impact that a full energy efficiency upgrade will make nationally once DOE addresses all of the current requirements.

Just to give it some perspective, in a typical year, federal buildings consume nearly 40 percent of all energy used by the government and represent 5 percent of all commerical buildings' energy consumption in the country. Greening our federal buildings will dramatically reduce our nation's overall carbon emissions and save us, the taxpayers, tens of millions of dollars in the process. In 2008, for example, the federal government spent $7 billion to purchase energy for its buildings. Reducing these buildings' energy use will save us dramatically.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
25 May 2010, 9:16 AM
Lovins and RMI on a new video outline an energy future to believe in

If we have any hope of reversing global warming and breaking our addiction to fossil fuels, we will need to find and pay attention to geniuses who can discard traditional thinking and biases and find a way through the current mess to a future energy economy based on efficiency and renewables.

Oh wait. We've had one such person around for nearly 40 years, and his contributions are already legion. He is Amory Lovins and his Rocky Mountain Institute. They have been advising businesses and governments for years, to great effect. Now it's time to take the message global, and fast. To that end, the institute has just released a new six-minute video called "Reinventing Fire" that outlines the beginning of the vision. There's much work to do, but this little movie makes a compelling case that a solution is possible. Take a look.