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News Briefs:

Hot Nights, Summer In The City

Take it Back! Coming Soon

Recycling Our Land

A Clean Government: It Should Put Its Money Where Its Mouth Is

New Wind Power Goals Established

USCM Launches New Conservation Initiative

Business Leaders On Smart Growth

Global Warming Policies: An Economic Engine

Initiative Focuses New Resources On Green Building

First American Green Dream House Underway

Conservatives To Conserve: What Will They Think Of Next?

 



The News Briefs section of EcoIQ Magazine is underwritten by Gryphon Communications. To find out more about Gryphon Communications...


Hot Nights, Summer In The City

A new report from the Environmental Defense Fund details the potential consequences of global warming for New York City. Street, airport, and subway flooding and closures, coastal and beach

"The New York region of the future could be flooded with problems if the US doesn't take action."

- Dr. Michael Oppenheimer
EDF Chief Scientist

erosion, and heat waves and heat-related deaths could all increase markedly, according to the report.

"The infrastructure that keeps the New York region going, Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Airports, the train, subway and automobile tunnels are all at serious flood risk in a greenhouse future," said Dr. Janine Bloomfield, an EDF scientist and principal author of the study. "Weather related shut-downs of these facilities could become the rule, rather than the exception, if global warming is not controlled."

"The New York region of the future could be flooded with problems if the US doesn't take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions now," said Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, EDF chief scientist. "Our children and grandchildren could be faced with 90 degree-plus days nearly all summer long. Heat waves of such persistence and intensity would pose a grave health threat for the very young, the elderly and the impoverished." In 1995 there were 500 weather-related deaths during a Chicago area heat-wave.

For more details, click here.


Take it Back! Coming Soon

A pathbreaking conference on recycling and extended producer responsibility (EPR) will be held February 28 through March 1, 2000 at the Furama International Hotel, Los Angeles Airport. Called Take it Back!, it will feature leading experts on producer responsibility policy, packaging design, and electronics takeback.

The conference is being designed to brief corporate, government, and non-profit decision-makers on the status of EPR policy worldwide. Packaging and product managers will learn how to cope with the new patchwork of takeback laws in 28 countries. Policy-makers will have an opportunity to discuss the pro's and con's of EPR from all sides.

Take It Back! will include sessions on compliance with California's recycled content mandate on rigid plastic containers, case histories on electronics packaging and products, and a special track for policy-makers. A unique plenary session will bring all sectors together to debate "Does Industry Need a Law to Make Progress on EPR?"

The promoters hope to encourage participants to establish a new California Council on Packaging and Environment.

For further information, call toll-free 877-279-8388 or check the web site at http://www.raymond.com.


Recycling Our Land

Paul Helmke"We recycle glass, paper and aluminum cans, but as a nation, we donít fully recycle our land. This pattern of throwing away our land must change if we are to create more livable communities," says Fort Wayne Mayor Paul Helmke.

Helmke, long a leader in the cause of reusing Brownfields, spoke in reaction to findings in the report Recycling Americaís Land released by The United States Conference of Mayors and the Environmental Protection Agency. Brownfields are abandoned or underutilized properties where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.

Among the reportís major findings:

  • Within 180 U.S. cities, an estimated 178,000 acres of brownfields sites exist, a figure representing the combined total land area of Atlanta, Seattle, and San Francisco.
    .
  • Two-thirds of the cities surveyed estimated that if their local brownfields sites were redeveloped, it would bring in additional tax revenues of between $955 million and $2.7 billion annually.
    .
  • More than 675,000 jobs could be created on former brownfields sites.

Edward Thompson of the American Farmland Trust, also reacting to the reportís findings, stressed the importance of recycling brownfield properties back into productive uses as a means of helping preserve farmland and other greenspaces.

For more details, click here.


A Clean Government: It Should Put Its Money Where Its Mouth Is

The Renewable Energy Policy Project (REPP) recently released a report, Clean Government: Options for Governments to Buy Renewable Energy, evaluating the role of governments at all levels in the advancement of renewable energy. "It may be necessary for the government to put its money where its mouth is," says REPP, by expanding its purchases of clean energy.

"Government procurement is only a single element of a larger strategy to provide renewables with the market exposure they deserve," say the authors of the REPP report. "The procurement process must prepare renewable energy firms for the private sector markets on which they ultimately will have to depend, rather than making them dependent on the nebulous world of government contracts. If this can be done ó and we believe it can ó government procurement will expose citizens to the potential of renewable energy, while providing responsible government through sustainable energy."

To review the Clean Government report, click here.


New Wind Power Goals Established

The Clinton Administration has created a new initiative, Wind Powering America, to promote the use of wind energy in the United States. TurbinesThe initiative sets a goal of providing 5 percent of the nation's electricity from wind power by 2020, with the federal government leading the way by buying 5 percent of its electricity from wind power by 2010. The initiative also aims to expand the number of states in which wind power is being generated.

To find out more, click here.


USCM Launches New Conservation Initiative

The United States Conference of Mayors has formed a new National Council for Resource Conservation (NCRC). The Council will strive to develop a "national strategy for conserving energy, natural resources, and materials."

"The work of the NCRC will consist of a number of components," according to the USCM, "including a public education campaign to help make resource conservation part of the public mindset; a series of local, state, and federal guidelines and recommendations; a volunteer initiative to promote resource conservation; and a best practices compendium by which citizens, business and all levels of American government can measure their environmental commitment to conserving Americaís resources."

For more details, click here.


Business Leaders On Smart Growth

The National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals (NALGEP) has released a study titled Profiles of Business Leadership on Smart Growth: New Partnerships Demonstrate the Economic Benefits of Reducing Sprawl.

The study is an outgrowth of NALGEPís Smart Growth Business Partnership Project, and it explains how sprawl is undercutting businesses' profitability and competitiveness and what business leaders are doing about it.

To order the report, visit http://www.nalgep.org.


Global Warming Policies: An Economic Engine

A comprehensive new study finds that early, aggressive policies to curb global warming pollution would spur substantial job and economic growth throughout the United States. By using a mix of financial incentives, regulatory changes and market measures, the country would save as much as $43 billion per year and create more than 870,000 new jobs by 2010, according to findings released by the Tellus Institute and the World Wildlife Fund.

"With smart policies, climate protection could even become an economic engine, unleashing entrepreneurial creativity."

- Jennifer Morgan
WWF Climate Policy Officer

The policies would double the emission cuts specified in the Kyoto climate treaty to 14 percent below 1990 levels.

A state-by-state ranking in the study predicts job growth in every state. California tops the list with almost 95,000 new jobs, followed by Texas (67,800), New York (49,900), Florida (44,500) and Ohio (40,900). Twenty-nine states gain at least 10,000 new jobs each. Other major winners include Michigan (33,200) and New Jersey (26,300). In the South, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia post increases over 20,000. Nationwide, the annual wage gains total $27 billion.

Based on extensive real-world data and expanded use of proven technology, the findings dispel notions that the climate treaty would damage our economy. The results come from a mix of policies designed to drive innovation in energy resources and technology, including: incentives for efficient vehicles and equipment; elimination of regulatory impediments; new efficiency standards for buildings, cars and other gear; enhanced R&D; and improvements in land-use and infrastructure. The measures also entail tax reform and reductions in subsidies to polluters.

"This research shows that crucial environmental protection and economic growth are fully compatible," said Jennifer Morgan, a World Wildlife Fund Climate Policy Officer. "With smart policies, climate protection could even become an economic engine, unleashing entrepreneurial creativity on a problem that threatens huge economic and environmental costs."

For a summary of the report, click here. The entire report can be downloaded (in PDF format) here. State-by-state results are available here.


Initiative Focuses New Resources On Green Building

Fannie Mae, the nation's largest source of financing for home mortgages, and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) have announced an environmental partnership that will focus on green building methods and help further them nationwide.

As part of this new initiative, Fannie Mae and NAHB will begin working with home builders, lenders, and others to develop a menu of mortgage financing products based on environmentally efficient "green building" criteria.

Six pilot cities have been identified where local home builder associations and Fannie Mae Partnership Offices will begin to work together. These six cities are: Atlanta, GA; Columbus, OH; Albuquerque, NM; Denver, CO; Los Angeles, CA; and Seattle, WA.

Fannie Mae is also providing an additional $100 million for investment in environmental product initiatives that test new housing finance products, support local green builder efforts, and develop creative solutions to environmental issues with community partners in these cities.

For more details, click here.


First American Green Dream House Underway

The first American Green Dream House, being built in Killeen, Texas, illustrates how you can maximize energy efficiency, limit environmental impacts, and incorporate recycled-content building products. It is solar heated, energy efficient, and made largely of recycled materials -- including synthetic gypsum wallboard made from power plant stack scrubbing wastes. In fact, the variety of recycled-content materials used in this "dream house" is amazing.

To find out more, click here.


Conservatives To Conserve:
What Will They Think Of Next?

In a new report entitled Does Transit Work? A Conservative Reappraisal, the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation counters arguments that public transit is too costly and does not serve enough citizens.

To read the complete report, click here.


The News Briefs section of EcoIQ Magazine is underwritten by Gryphon Communications. To find out more about Gryphon Communications...



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