Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Literary Warrant [34]

Hurricane, Miami

Another grey image: Hurricane, Miami

  • Center for Public Integrity, Perils of the New Pesticides (July 30, 2008)

    "Pyrethrins, extracted from the chrysanthemum plant, and their synthetic relatives, pyrethroids, have exploded in popularity over the last decade. They are now used in thousands of consumer products from Hartz Dog Flea & Tick Killer to Raid Ant and Roach Killer. These chemicals are found in bug-repellant clothing, flea collars, automatic misting devices, lawn-care products, and carpet sprays. Manufacturers developed them as safer alternatives to a class of compounds, derived from Nazi nerve gases, called organophosphates, found in products such as Dursban. The chemicals were widely used in American homes as recently as the late 1990s but are no longer approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for indoor use."—Introduction.

  • Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), Pork Alert: Interior and Environment (June 30, 2008)

    "Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today released its preliminary analysis of the House version of the Fiscal 2009 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. There are 247 projects, costing taxpayers $134.9 million."—Press release.
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  • Energy Information Administration, United States Department of Energy (DOE), International Energy Outlook 2008: Highlights (Report no. DOE/EIA-0484(2008)) (June 2008) (full report available August 2008)

    "The International Energy Outlook 2008 (IEO2008) presents an assessment by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the outlook for international energy markets through 2030. U.S. projections appearing in IEO2008 are consistent with those published in EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2008 (AEO2008), which was prepared using the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS)."

  • Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) & of the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), Evaluation of the Role and Contribution of UNDP in the Environment and Energy: Executive Summary (DP/2008/46) (July 14, 2008)

    "The report argues that environment and energy are central to the core UNDP mission of poverty reduction, and makes recommendations about how to improve the UNDP programming."—UN Pulse (August 6, 2008)

  • Henry Lee, William C. Clark & Charan Devereaux, Biofuels and Sustainable Development: An Executive Session on Grand Challenges of the Sustainability Transition (Summary Report) (May 2008)

    "The report stems from a two-day workshop in May 2008 hosted by Harvard Kennedy School, in cooperation with the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea Protection of Italy and Venice International University. The workshop convened 25 of the world’s top experts on biofuels, economic development and ecology. The purpose of the two-day session was to explore the actions needed to foster the sustainable development of biofuels investments while simultaneously mitigating the impacts on food prices and the environment."—Press release (July 29, 2008)

  • Jeffrey Logan & Stan Mark Kaplan, Specialists in Energy Policy, Resources, Science, and Industry Division, Congressional Research Service (CRS), Wind Power in the United States: Technology, Economic, and Policy Issues (CRS Report for Congress, Order Code RL34546) (June 20, 2008)

    "Rising energy prices and concern over greenhouse gas emissions have focused congressional attention on energy alternatives, including wind power. Although wind power currently provides only about 1% of U.S. electricity needs, it is growing more rapidly than any other energy source. In 2007, over 5,000 megawatts of new wind generating capacity were installed in the United States, second only to new natural gas-fired generating capacity. Wind power has become 'mainstream' in many regions of the country, and is no longer considered an 'alternative' energy source.

    "Wind energy has become increasingly competitive with other power generation options. Wind technology has improved significantly over the past two decades. CRS analysis presented here shows that wind energy still depends on federal tax incentives to compete, but that key uncertainties like climate policy, fossil fuel prices, and technology progress could dominate future cost competitiveness."—Summary.

  • Robert J. Meyers, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Air and Radiation, Letter to the Honorable Henry J. Waxman, United States House of Representatives, Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (July 23, 2008)

    "In response to Chairman Waxman’s inquiry, EPA provided analyses EPA had conducted of reductions that would be necessary from the transportation sector to meet a range of global warming goals."—News release (August 5, 2008)

  • National Science and Technology Council, Executive Office of the President, Two New Reports on Climate Change (2008)

    Scientific Assessment of the Effects of Global Change on the United States and Revised Research Plan for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program.

  • Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, Biodiversity Indicators, Postnote, n.312 (July 2008)

    "The UK is committed to a demanding European target to halt biodiversity loss and a less stringent global target to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. Biodiversity indicators measure progress towards these targets. This POSTnote explains the different suites of indicators that will be used and looks at issues surrounding them."

  • PhysOrg.com, Dutch Town Tests 'Air-Purifying' Concrete (August 6, 2008)

    "A road in the small Dutch town of Hengelo is to be paved with air-purifying concrete in a trial that could lead to a breakthrough in the fight against rising pollution, scientists said Wednesday."

  • United States Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), Our Changing Planet: The U.S. Climate Change Science Program for Fiscal Year 2009 (A Report by the Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research, A Supplement to the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2009) (July 2008)

    "The document describes a wide range of activities including examples of CCSP’s contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as significant progress in understanding Earth system components of the global climate system, how these components interact, and the processes and forces bringing about changes to the Earth system. It provides details on progress towards understanding the ongoing and projected effects of climate change on nature and society, such as the relationship between climate change and shifts in storm tracks and how this may affect water availability in the southwestern United States. The document also describes how observational and predictive capabilities are being improved and used to create tools to support decisionmaking at local, regional, and national scales to cope with environmental variability and change. The report also describes the program’s 21 scientific synthesis and assessment products and its recently completed Scientific Assessment of the Effects of Global Change on the United States. To date, eight of the synthesis and assessment products have been completed and the remaining products will be completed in the coming months. These products are being widely disseminated and briefed to stakeholders, including Congress. They are also providing important input to CCSP’s ongoing strategic planning."

  • United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) (July 31, 2008)

    "The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released today the National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP) to address gaps and determine solutions so that emergency response personnel at all levels of government and across all disciplines can communicate as needed, on demand, and as authorized. The NECP is the nation's first strategic plan to improve emergency response communications, and complements overarching homeland security and emergency communications legislation, strategies and initiatives."—Press release.

  • United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General, Hurricane Katrina Multitier Contracts (OIG 08-81) (July 2008)

    "We initiated this audit in response to Congressional concerns that, in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, multitier subcontracting (1) increased costs to the government, (2) limited opportunities for small and local businesses to participate in response and recovery efforts, and (3) resulted in layers of subcontractors being paid profit and overhead while adding little or no value to the work performed under the contract. Our objectives were to determine the validity of these concerns, as well as to determine the potential effect Section 692 of the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 could have on future disaster contracting.

    "It does not appear that multitier subcontracting, as an isolated factor, caused significant increases in costs to the government, nor did it reduce subcontracting opportunities for small and local businesses. The prime contractors subcontracted a significant amount of the value of their contracts to small and local businesses."—Executive Summary.

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