Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Energy, Environment, and Activism

Here are some news articles and action opportunities relating to energy and the environment:

First Time Ever: Renewable Energy Accounts for Largest Share of Annual Increase in US Electrical Capacity
Some good news 'mongst all these ongoing recession woes: progress continues to be made on the alternative energy front. For the first time, renewable energy sources accounted for the biggest share in the increase of US's electrical capacity. This means that, thanks mostly to the burgeoning wind power industry, more renewable energy sources sprung up in 2007 than environmental ne'er do wells like coal-burning plants.

More Clean than Dirty Power Installed in 2007
For all we talk about solar and wind power, they still produce tiny amounts of the United States' (and the World's) electricity. But now we've finally got some numbers reflecting just how exciting renewables are. In 2007, the U.S. the majority of new power installed was wind power, and total production of coal-fired power actually shrunk!

Renewable energy enjoys vigorous growth, surpassing nonrenewable energy in the overall market. Coal power is even dropping! This demonstrates that companies can be green and competitive.

Economic Recovery Goes Green
In the next few days Congress is going to vote on the economic recovery package that everyone's been talking about for the last two months.
For the environment, the big question remains: Will Congress vote to create a stronger, more sustainable economy by investing in green jobs and a green economic recovery?
The answer: Not without your action this week. Click here to urge your member of Congress to support green jobs and a green economic recovery.

I'm a bit dubious of the new stimulus plan. Obviously the economy needs much help, and investing in infrastructure and green-collar jobs seems like a promising approach. But I'm not entirely convinced that all the money will be well spent, instead of disappearing into politicians' and CEOs' pockets. Previous stimulus projects have spent huge amounts of money with minimal effect -- the unemployment benefits relieved misery but didn't spur the economy. So, I'll just provide this action option, and let you folks decide whether you favor this stimulus package or not.

Petition to Protect the Verde River
According to U.S. Geological Survey reports, the first 24 miles of the Verde River, also referred to as the upper Verde, rely on springs originating from the Big Chino aquifer for at least 80 percent of the baseflow. Hydrologists predict that, in time, pumping water from the aquifer will reduce the Verde’s flow by an amount equal to the pumpage. If pumping exceeds the natural discharge from the aquifer to the Verde, baseflow from the Big Chino will cease. Without baseflow, a stream is a dry wash, flowing only during storm runoff.</font></font></p>

This action is a lot more solid. Outstripping water supplies is becoming a serious and widespread problem in America. It's important to avoid overuse of locally available water, because that can lead to an abrupt crash in water supply with devastating effects on residents, agriculture, and manufacturing. History demonstrates that human settlements near a large reliable water source are the most sustainable over the long term. We need to avoid overpopulating areas with a low water supply. Furthermore, the river system is vital to distributing both ongoing water flow and seasonal rises. Wreck the riparian and wetland zones, and it worsens natural disasters including floods, droughts, and wildfires -- all of which wreak material and economic havoc. Put simply: we need to live within our water budget. Please sign the petition to protect the Verde River.

Have you folks heard other news on these topics?
Tags: economics, energy, environment

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