In less than a decade, clean energy has grown from a small, niche industry to a significant source of trade, investment, manufacturing and job creation. “The clean energy sector is emerging as one of the most dynamic and competitive in the world, witnessing 630 percent growth in finance and investments since 2004,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director, Pew Clean Energy Program. “In 2010, worldwide finance and investment grew 30 percent to a record $243 billion.”
Backers of the fund say it's important for Congress to keep pumping money into it as the nation loses roughly 3 million acres to development each year. They say it's a race against time, noting that one out of every three developed acres in the nation was developed from 1982 to 2007. The National Park Service has identified 1.8 million additional acres that it wants to acquire, at a cost of $1.9 billion.
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Once released into the environment, genetically modified seed contaminates and destroys organic seed for the same crop. For example, soon after Monsanto introduced genetically modified seed for canola, organic canola became virtually extinct as a result of contamination. Organic corn, soybeans, cotton, sugar beets and alfalfa now face the same fate, as Monsanto has released genetically modified seed for each of those crops, too. Monsanto is developing genetically modified seed for many other crops, thus putting the future of all food, and indeed all agriculture, at stake.
The inspector general’s report, released Wednesday, said sites where coal ash was used as wallboard “may represent a large universe of inappropriate disposal applications with unknown potential for adverse environmental and human health impacts.” EPA is considering imposing stricter regulations for coal ash, or fly ash, a byproduct of burning coal at power plants. The rule changes were prompted by a 2008 environmental disaster at a Tennessee power plant that released more than 5 million cubic yards of ash into a river and nearby lands.
Spent nuclear fuel is about 95 percent uranium. About 1 percent are other heavy elements such as curium, americium and plutonium-239, best known as fuel for nuclear weapons. Each has an extremely long half-life — some take hundreds of thousands of years to lose all of their radioactive potency. The rest, about 4 percent, is a cocktail of byproducts of fission that break down over much shorter time periods, such as cesium-137 and strontium-90, which break down completely in about 300 years.
Lowe’s, the nation’s No. 2 home improvement chain, is offering as much as $100,000 in cash to customers who can prove they bought drywall from the retailer and also prove that it caused at least $4,500 in damages. The contaminated drywall releases high amounts of sulfur gas, which can corrode copper wiring and cause air conditioners and other electrical appliances to fail. Some homeowners have also complained that the drywall has affected their health by triggering respiratory problems, bloody noses and headaches.
According to the federal National Institute of Mental Health, while ailments like depression occur in about one in four adults, roughly 6 percent of the U.S. population has a serious mental illness like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. That’s nearly as many people as live in the New York metropolitan area, and it makes mental illness the leading cause of disability in the United States and Canada.