Nuclear vs Solar: Clash of the Numbers

A very interesting and controversial study emerged recently, comparing nuclear and solar costs no less. The study focused on the costs of electricity in North Carolina (US), describes the solar photovoltaic (PV) business, summarizing its history of sharply declining prices, along with the very different path taken in recent years by nuclear power, whose costs have been steadily rising.

When Pigs Fly: Halliburton Makes the Dow Jones Sustainability Index

When we think of companies that stand out as role models of exceptionally responsible behavior in the realm of sustainability, Halliburton is hardly one of the first to spring to mind. Which is why I was a little surprised to learn that "the company we love to hate" was just named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) as both a North American and a World leader. This means that they were considered to be in the top 10% among companies in the oil field services sector.

Florida orange groves still shrinking

Florida's orange groves are still shrinking as the state battles the tree-killing citrus greening disease and farmers sell their land, the annual Department of Agriculture census showed on Thursday. The number of commercial orange trees and total acreage devoted to orange groves have steadily shrunk over the last five years in Florida, which accounts for two-thirds of U.S. citrus fruit production. The state has 63.78 million commercial orange trees, down about 1.9 percent from 2009, the USDA said.

Red Snapper in the Gulf

NOAA’s Fisheries Service announced today that recreational red snapper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico will reopen for an added season to allow fishermen to catch the quota they did not reach because a portion of the Gulf was closed due to the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill. Recreational fishing will be allowed on Fridays through Sundays for eight weeks, from October 1 through November 21.

S. 510: The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a sweeping overhaul of the federal food safety law – S. 510. The House food safety bill passed last year (HR 2749) included several measures that threaten small-scale organic producers, including a registration fee of $500 and blanket application of complicated monitoring and traceability standards - regardless of one's farm size.

US delays approval for fast-growing GM salmon

The US has delayed its decision to approve a new breed of fast-growing genetically modified (GM) salmon for human consumption. The salmon, owned by biotech company AquaBounty Technologies, has been genetically altered to grow faster than conventionally farmed salmon and would be the first GM animal allowed to be sold to and eaten by consumers. Campaigners say approval for the genetically modified salmon would carry 'great risk' and pave the way for more GM animals to enter the market

Coral Bleaching in the Caribbean

Due to above-average water temperatures in the Caribbean Sea, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that coral bleaching will be very likely this year. It may even be as severe as 2005 when 80 percent of corals were bleached and 40 percent died. There have been reports from several sites already in the Caribbean as well as from other parts of the world.

Free entrance to national parks this Saturday

This Saturday, Sept 25, the National Park Service is offering free access to 392 national parks to commemorate National Public Lands Day, reports the America’s Great Outdoors Campaign, a community-based conservation awareness effort.

Ocean cold snap paused global warming in 70s

A cold snap in northern oceans around 1970 may have caused a dip in world temperatures that briefly interrupted a trend of global warming, scientists said on Wednesday. Many experts had previously explained a slight global cooling around 1970 as a side-effect of a slow build-up of sun-dimming air pollution from factories, power plants and cars that cleared up in later years with stricter air pollution laws.

The Dusty Colorado River

Snow melt in the Colorado River basin is occurring earlier, reducing runoff and the amount of crucial water available downstream. A new study by NASA/UCLA shows this is due to increased dust caused by human activities in the typically arid American southwest region during the past 150 years.