Eco-news in brief 1-29

By CG News Editor April Jaynes

Local anti-fracking group seeks to expand cause

The Athens-based Bill of Rights Committee (BORC) announced in a press release Friday that they will contact surrounding cities such as Logan, Nelsonville, Albany and Lancaster, in an effort to urge these areas to ban fracking for oil and gas. The committee also announced its plans to place an initiative on the November ballot that would ban fracking and disposal of fracking wastes in the Athens area. The initiative is based on the grounds that by endangering the aquifer, the process will violate citizens’ civil rights to a clean and safe environment. The BORC is in the process of drafting the ordinance. Defenders of deep-shale drilling argue that the practice is environmentally benign, that the state of Ohio strictly regulates it, and that its economic benefits outweigh any likely problems.

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New study says urban ‘waste heat’ impacts global climate 

According to a recent study released Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change,
“waste heat” from burning oil, coal, and gas provides enough warmth to alter the northern hemisphere’s climate at significant distances from the sources of the heat. Waste heat is different from the “urban heat-island effect,” in which cities are warmer than surrounding rural areas. Waste heat represents heat that isn’t converted to energy as long-buried fossil fuels are unearthed and burned.  The researchers reported that waste heat’s effect on warming is small compared with the effect from carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases being pumped into the atmosphere. Researchers estimate that where CO2’s effect on climate has increased global average temperatures by around 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) over the past century, urban waste heat contributes about 0.01 degrees C to the climate’s global average temperature in a given year.

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National Geographic determines ’10 Ways Obama Could Fight Climate Change’

1) Sunset coal with new incentives and regulations.

2) Invest federal stimulus money in nuclear power.

3) Kill the Keystone pipeline.

4) Protect the oceans by executive order.

5) Experiment with capturing carbon.

6) Grow government research for new energy sources.

7) Tax carbon.

8) Dial back the federal government’s energy use.

9) Build a scientific clearinghouse for climate information.

10) Keep talking.

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