Category: Blogs

Ozone Action Days — What they mean, and what you can do to minimize air pollution in Central Texas

We are all familiar with the term “Ozone Action Day” and typically associate it with a hot summer day. But what does it really mean? It means that sunlight is interacting with VOCs and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) (from car emissions and other sources) to create unhealthy air. Deanna Altenhoff explains how you can protect yourself and help Central Texas reduce this problem.

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Bookstores, savor the last chapter

I am saddened when I visit most bookstores these days, and that goes even for the big chain stores that I know have made it difficult for local booksellers. I feel for all of them, because no matter what time of day I visit, it seems a little quieter at that time than it used to be.

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Arkansas leak a sign of things to come?

While details regarding the cause of the rupture and the magnitude of the spill are still coming in, the Mayflower tar sands spill is yet another demonstration of the risks that tar sands pipelines pose to the communities and sensitive water resources they cross. At about a tenth of the full capacity of the Keystone XL tar sands pipelines, the 90,000 bpd Pegasus pipeline rupture offers us a small sample of the risk that tar sands pipelines pose to American communities.

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Stop the Frack Attack rallies in Dallas

Dozens of people worried about the environmental effects of gas and oil drilling in the US, gathered at the Stop the Frack Attack conference in Dallas this weekend. Highlights included presentations by people whose water and land have been contaminated by fracking, and a Skype address by Gasland director Josh Fox, who urged people to “stand and fight.”

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How we can cultivate a better food system in 2013

s we start 2013, many people will be thinking about plans and promises to improve their diet and health. But we think a broader collection of farmers, policy-makers, and eaters need new, bigger resolutions for fixing the food system – real changes with long-term impacts in fields, boardrooms, and on plates all over the world. These are resolutions that the world can’t afford to break with nearly one billion still hungry and more than one billion suffering from the effects of being overweight and obese. We have the tools—let’s use them in 2013!

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Wind power breaks record in Texas; deserves continued federal tax credits

Despite having escaped this summer without rolling blackouts and the kind of heat we experienced last year, Texas is still dealing with the energy crunch issue. Luckily, our state is home to the nation’s largest wind power industry and it contains about a fifth of the country’s wind turbines. The Electric Reliability Grid of Texas (ERCOT), the Texas grid operator, announced that earlier this month wind throughout the state contributed 26 percent of the load on the grid, setting a new record…This is in addition to wind helping Texas avoid blackouts in February of last year, when a cold front proved too much for many traditional power plants.

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The ‘sad green story’ is a fantasy; green energy is growing

To get back to some non-election topics…A couple weeks ago, New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote an op-ed entitled “A Sad Green Story” about the (supposed) travails of the green movement over the last 10 years. The idea that the clean technology sector is failing, or that it’s a bad investment, is common enough in the business world and pundit class. But it’s patently false. So what is Brooks talking about and what’s really true here?

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