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January 14, 2011

This Week's Blogosphere Soup

Fridaysoup
A quick review of this past week's happenings in the blog world

There was a lot of news items related to energy and the environment this week, but for the most part it flew under the media's radar. For one thing, the Obama administration chose to delay important decisions on biomass, according to Solve Climate News. On the other hand, the EPA unleashed its inner Michael Jordan and dunked on Big Coal's head with a major decision on a West Virginia mountaintop removal proposal. And the oil-spill commission appointed by the president released its anticipated report on the BP mess. Its findings: the disaster was preventable. And there are ways we can keep this sort of thing from happening again. Click here for Michael Brune's take.

This report makes a strong case for adopting a balanced national energy policy that addresses national security, economic, human safety, and environmental issues. But left unsaid is the fact that the only way to succeed on all of those fronts will be to get our nation off of oil as quickly as possible. If the Navy and Marine Corps can cut oil use in half by the end of this decade, why can't the rest of the country?

Other happenings in the blogosphere:

-- "The Most Inspirational Unofficial NASA Commercial Ever."

-- I'm a guy who's paranoid about my cell phone's radiation. Grist's Umbra thoroughly addresses health concerns and cell phones here.

-- There's another global price surge for food. Onlookers wonder if this won't be temporary.

-- Cutting down on your meat intake is one effective climate solution. Here's something I'm going to try putting together: vegan enchiladas.

-- A team of UT Austin folks is figuring out how to extract hydrogen energy from the sun. "The 'Fuels from Sunlight' team hopes to show how to efficiently absorb sunlight and split water into clean hydrogen (H2) fuel without production of CO2, a greenhouse gas responsible for global warming. [...] Hydrogen from sunlight is not 20–30 years off. Indeed, the UT Austin team believes there is a good chance that the discoveries of efficient photomaterials and electrocatalysts can be made within the next five years."

-- Carbon that was injected underground in Saskatchewan is leaking.

-- "Measuring greenhouse gases is getting to be a good business."

-- You can use a Gary Larson "Far Side" cartoon to describe climate deniers.

-- And last but not least, a car that runs on solar broke a record by hitting 49 mph. I hope that wasn't in a 25 zone! Have a good weekend.

-- Brian Foley

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