Green News For The Weekend Volume 294

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How is everyone’s New Year shaping up? Things going according to plan so far? Take a break from all that planning and check out these green news stories you may have missed from the past week…

The numbers are in: 2012, the year of a surreal March heat wave, a severe drought in the Corn Belt and a huge storm that caused broad devastation in the Middle Atlantic States, turns out to have been the hottest year ever recorded in the contiguous United States. This isn’t hyperbole; the planet is heating up and creating stronger storms. We are in trouble.

In its third year on the market, the updated 2013 Nissan Leaf will have a slightly longer range, a new and lower-priced base model, faster charging, and a more efficient cabin heater. The higher range comes not from a larger battery –the lithium-ion pack remains at 24 kilowatt-hours–but from improvements to aerodynamics, regenerative braking, and energy management. I think Nissan could have a winner on their hands if only they redesigned the entire car. People will buy EVs when they start looking like “regular” cars.

So what exactly is a rain garden? It is a shallow area dug into your garden into which your rainwater or water from your sump pump is diverted. Usually they do not need to be more than 4-8″ deep. Water is held here until it is slowly absorbed into the soil and can enter groundwater aquifers. Great tips for rain gardens here!

Just as the Boy Scouts of America motto preaches, Brooklyn, N.Y., dad Todd Schweikert likes to “be prepared.” And he was prepared to actively disagree with the Boy Scouts’ policy of excluding gay members and leaders. So Schweikert used his own skills in adapting to a hostile environment by forming his own all-inclusive troop. Glad I was only a scout for 2 weeks as a kid and if I had a child I wouldn’t let him near the group. The BSA should be ashamed of itself, and kudos to Mr. Schweikert for doing something about it.

Have a fantastic weekend!

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