Less than a week after regulators called out Volkswagen for using “defeat device” software to cheat on emissions tests for 11 million vehicles worldwide, the integrity of some other German automakers is being called into question. [More]
The next time you see a Google Street View car cruising down your block, it might be doing more than just snapping photos — it could be tracking air pollution.
An amateur drone pilot in Texas was flying a simple rig with a point-and-shoot camera attached for fun, and noticed something strange in a creek. There was an awful lot of dark red in the water. He notified the county, and a Department of Health and Human Services investigation showed that the substance discoloring the water was blood. Raw pig blood from a nearby meatpacking plant. [More]
Proposing to relax emissions standards for power plants in 10 states, the Environmental Protection Agency is allowing power plants to send more pollution across state lines than previously allowed. And plants that ignore the relaxed Cross-State Air Pollution Rule guidelines and keep on going pollution-crazy won’t have to pay any penalties until 2014 rather than previously-planned 2012. [More]
A journalist who was searching the Florida Gulf Islands National Seashore for signs of oil pollution got a silly reason to go home from federal agents. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service representative told the WEAR ABC 3 Pensacola reporter, who was using a shovel to dig through the sand, that he needed to produce a permit that said he could do so. Soon after, a National Parks Service rep told the reporter the same thing. [More]
Newly released court documents indicate that over a half-dozen companies knew about the rotten egg smells exuding from Chinese drywall since 2006, but they stayed quiet and kept selling the junk. [More]
Are the disconnected cul-de-sacs so popular in suburban development actually strangling their communities? [More]
The National Geographic Greendex survey of sustainable consumption is out, and most of the 17 countries in the study have improved over the past year. In the lowest-scoring one, though, consumers are actually less concerned about the environment and think that the whole issue is being exaggerated. And a majority in that country believe their current habits are unsustainable, but they’re cool with letting their grandkids deal with it. [More]
Do you like farts? Documents and depositions unearthed by ProPublica and the Sarasota Harold-Tribune show exchanges between homebuilder WCI Communities and drywall distributor Banner that reveal the sulfur-emitting drywall problem was known as far back as 2006, and yet customers and authorities were not notified. In one deposition, a Banner executive refuses to admit that sulfur-stinking drywall might bother others, seeing as he himself, on certain occasions, enjoys the sweet aroma of another man’s butt gas: [More]
Yesterday the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced some findings from its study of the problematic Chinese drywall, which 1,900 Florida homeowners have complained stinks and makes people sick. The commission told the Associated Press that “no connections have been made yet,” but that they’re doing more tests—which means there’s still no definitive answer on who should be held financially responsible if the homes have to be gutted and repaired, which the Wall Street Journal says could cost as much as $25 billion dollars.
You know all that delicious Tamiflu we humans have been taking in order to reduce our suffering as various strains of regular, swine, and bird flu fly around the globe? Yeah, um, turns out that it doesn’t break down in our bodies and can’t be removed by water treatment plants. The combination of Tamiflu-polluted waters and wild birds may result in resistant strains of avian flu.
You may want to think twice about covering up that stench in the bathroom by lighting up 25 votives. A new study by researchers at South Carolina State University found that “paraffin-based candles — the most popular kind — emitted toxic chemicals like toluene and benzene.”
Heartland Automotive Services, Inc., which runs 31 Jiffy Lubes in the Austin area, has to pay a $300,000 fine after admitting to pumping used oil into the city’s sewer system instead of recycling it. Normally shops are paid by the gallon for used oil, but in this case a damaged wall let water seep into the oil collection area and create a toxic mess that couldn’t be sold—so instead of paying to remove it, they pumped it down the drain.
Gregg saw this cheerful environmentally-friendly message on the side of his Sam’s Club soda cup. Wait, what? We guess it saves Sam’s Club fuel costs to ship the cups, but that sounds more like a profit-friendly quality. Gregg notes another benefit of the cup: “[it] may never biodegrade but at least it’s easy on my drinkin’ elbow.”
Enpalo is an online calculator that lets you estimate the flight emissions of your next airplane jaunt—you choose an airline, enter your origin and destination, then sit back and light up a cigar while you laugh about how many baby polar bears you’re drowning.
Today the EPA announced that California and 16 other states will not be allowed to make their own laws governing greenhouse gas emissions, because “The Bush administration is moving forward with a clear national solution, not a confusing patchwork of state rules.” California’s robot leader of the future and erstwhile killing machine promptly announced that California will be suing the federal government, and in a press conference today said that “It’s another example of the administration’s failure to treat global warming with the seriousness that it actually demands.”
As everyone knows, in the future, we shall all ride in automatic go-karts powered by our own sense of self-satisfaction. But in the meantime, there’s quite a bit of hub-bub about America becoming “energy independent”. Justin Fox over at CNN Money examines whether or not this is a good thing, and makes some salient, if a tad obvious, points: