It’s Friday again, and you know what that means… a green news roundup!
New figures compiled by Bloomberg New Energy Finance find that China installed 15.9 gigawatts (GW) of wind power in 2012, a number which accounts for 35 percent of the world’s new onshore wind capacity. China may lead in emissions but this is a good sign for the future of wind power generation.
In his second inaugural address, President Obama promised to take on climate change as a priority in his second term. “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” he said at the start of one of the longest passages devoted to a single subject in the speech. We’ll see about that, but I have my doubts that anything substantial will be done.
The recent shift away from coal and toward natural gas to generate electricity in the U.S. has had major impacts across the country, from rapid economic growth and pollution concerns in rural Pennsylvania and Ohio to lost jobs in the coal-mining belt of Appalachia. Now another ripple effect can be added to the list of energy market-related shifts, with data from freight railroad operators showing a major decline in the amount of coal transported by train in the U.S. in 2012, at the same time as oil shipments have dramatically increased. Fantastic news here. It’s amazing how much coal is moved around the country by rail, as I see quite a bit when riding Amtrak across the country.
Even if you don’t eat honey, bees are a critical part of your food supply. Pollinators like bees are a critical part of the life cycle for almost 1/3 of our food crops and 90 percent of wild plants. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has been a mystery for many years, but the more researchers dive into what’s killing off bee populations, the more signs point to one thing: pesticides. Bayer is a major culprit when it comes to bee die-off, despite what the biased research they funded might say. Take Action: Tell Bayer to Stop Killing Bees.
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