Friday, April 17, 2009

In the NEWS

Kennedy touts future of alternative energy - 04/17/2009
Wind, solar and geothermal power are the nation’s environmental destiny, according to environmental activist and attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. The son of the late senator and U. S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy Sr. was the guest speaker at a free forum Thursday in the Koessler Athletic Center at Canisius College.

Currently serving as senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, Kennedy has amassed quite a reputation as a defender of the environment. Before his lecture Thursday, he spent about 15 minutes with local media representatives outlining his support for alternative fuel and energy sources that, he said, will not only save the planet, but save billions of dollars, as well. Read the report in The Buffalo News.

Will Obama’s ambitious agenda end America’s reliance on oil?
WASHINGTON — Steven Chu, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who is President Obama’s energy secretary, recently gave a speech about energy efficiency, electricity transmission lines and renewable energy sources. Afterward, Chevron Vice Chairman Peter Robertson noted disconsolately that “it would be nice to hear a bit about oil and gas.”

Oil and natural gas, however, are not what’s lighting up the Obama energy agenda. The new president is setting out to change the very nature of American energy, from the way we use it to the way we generate it. It’s a goal that drives his policy on automakers, which he wants to push to manufacture more fuel-efficient cars. Read the full story in The Buffalo News.

Outlook bright as solar group plans to hold conference here - 04/09/2009
Organizers eager to put region in ‘green’ light
Pray for sunshine — the nation’s biggest solar energy conference is coming to town. Plans for Solar 2009, the May 11-16 annual convention of the American Solar Energy Society, were announced Wednesday at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

“Why not solar in Buffalo? If it works here, it will work anywhere,” said Walter Simpson, co-chairman of the Western New York Sustainable Energy Association and member of the local organizing committee for the conference. Read the report in The Buffalo News.

Radical ideas on climate eyed - 04/09/2009
WASHINGTON — Tinkering with Earth’s climate to chill runaway global warming by "geoengineering" — a radical idea once dismissed out of hand — is being discussed by the White House as a potential emergency option, the president’s new science adviser said Wednesday.

That’s because global warming is happening so rapidly, John Holdren told the Associated Press in his first interview since being confirmed last month. He emphasized that geoengineering is not something to rely on: “It would be preferable by far,” he said, “to solve this problem by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.” Read the report in The Buffalo News.

Have you seen a lilac yet? Report it! - 04/12/2009
Phenology is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how they are influenced by seasonal and yearly climate variation. The subject is principally concerned with the dates of first occurrence of biological events in their annual cycle.

Collected phenology records provide information about climate change and global warming and cooling. One of the interesting correlations exposed by a study of European grape harvest records was about Mount Tambora which had erupted in 1815 and volcanic dust in the upper atmosphere caused sharply lower temperatures. As one consequence, the 1816 grape season was delayed five weeks. For the full story, read Nature Watch by Gerry Rising in The Buffalo News.

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