The Murdoch Phone-Hacking Scandal may have just metastasized. The so-called “Climate-Gate” controversy — in which e-mails about global warming were stolen from researchers at Britain’s University of East Anglia in November, 2009 — now turns out to bear the stamp of Neil Wallis, one of the key figures in Murdoch’s hacking of the phones, voicemails, and other electronic communications of thousands of people.
July 22, 2011
Look for a sea change in the way climate denial is handled (everywhere but Fox News…)
Those of us who care about such things have for years been pointing out that, we don’t present “both sides” of the flat earth debate, we don’t put people on TV (usually) who claim to have a perpetual motion machine or a reverse engineered flying saucer in their garage, and we don’t give a whole lot of attention to the people who say HIV does not cause AIDS — yet we’ve seen gross distortion in the amount of air time given to climate skeptics, way out of proportion to their (vanishingly small and getting smaller) representation in the scientific community.
Now, the BBC is getting the message. Can the American media be far behind? (ok, don’t answer that, but at least it’s a ray of hope)
When I drove to the offices of a start-up called Switch Lighting last week, I wasn’t expecting much. A company representative had promised to show me something amazing—an alternative light bulb that uses a fraction of the energy of a traditional incandescent bulb and lasts 20 times as long, but that plugs into a standard socket and produces the same warm, yellowish, comforting glow that we’re all used to seeing when we flip the switch.
Background on climate changeThe issue of global climate change has received much attention in recent years. Most scientists predict that climate change will affect almost every aspect of our environment, including North America’s wetlands and waterfowl. Projections for the next 100 years indicate an acceleration of ongoing impacts, including extensive warming in many areas, shifting patterns of precipitation, sea level rise, changes in the timing and length of the seasons, declining mountain snow packs, and increasing frequency and intensity of severe weather events.
House Republicans fighting the Obama administration’s environmental agenda are finding themselves making decisions that threaten the party’s carefully nourished relationship with the hook and bullet crowd.
Anglers and hunters once courted by President George W. Bush don’t like what they’re seeing in the GOP’s mad dash to cut spending and have made their feelings clear in meetings this month with top aides to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).
July 21, 2011
A shroud of high pressure has taken a foot-hold over the U.S. from the Plains to the Northeast, and with it has brought temperatures well into the 90’s and 100’s for half of the country. This animation shows the predicted daily high temperatures from NOAA’s high resolution North American Model (NAM) from July 13-21, 2011. Credit: NOAA
Bottom line: Yes they have mercury – vanishingly small, and getting smaller amount. (see below) The coal burning that your bulb help us avoid will keep more mercury out of the environment than exists in the bulb.
No, incandescent bulbs are not banned – the efficiency standard simply says they have to meet a certain performance level, like the mileage standard on your car.
And anyway, the whole issue will become moot as high quality LED bulbs, even more efficient than compact fluorescents, with no mercury, drop in price over the next few years.
The conservative media campaign in support of House GOP efforts to overturn light bulb efficiency standards signed into law by President Bush centers on two primary claims: 1) That we will all be forced to use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) when the standards take effect and 2) That CFLs are terrible.
It is simply not the case that consumers will have to use CFLs, contrary to what conservative media outlets claimed in at least 40 instances over the past seven months. Moreover, these media outlets have used false and misleading attacks to demonize CFLs, which can save households more than $57 per bulb, according to Consumer Reports.
MYTH: CFL Bulbs Pose Serious Health Risk
Product Safety Group: “If Disposed Of Properly, Mercury In CFLs Shouldn’t Be A Safety Hazard.” According to a report on CFLs and mercury from the product safety certification organization Underwriters Laboratories:
CFLs contain a small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing – approximately 5 milligrams – a hundred times less mercury than found in a single old-style glass thermometer. No mercury is released when the lamps are intact or in use and if disposed of properly, mercury in CFLs shouldn’t be a safety hazard. [Underwriters Laboratories, accessed 3/22/11]
Lawrence Berkeley Lab Researchers: Breaking A CFL Comparable To Eating Tuna. According to Yahoo! News, researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found that mercury exposure from broken CFLs is comparable to eating tuna:
But, just how dangerous is a broken bulb? Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory set out to answer that question. They compared how much exposure you’d get from breathing in the amount of mercury released from a broken CFL bulb to how much mercury you’d take in from eating Albacore tuna.
If you do a common sense job of cleaning up (open the windows, clean up, and remove the debris), then your mercury exposure would be the equivalent of taking a tiny nibble of tuna, according to Francis Rubinstein, a staff scientist at Berkeley Lab. What if you did the worst job possible, say closed all the doors and smashed the bulb with a hammer? It’s still no big deal, says Rubinstein, who points out that it would be the equivalent of eating one can of tuna. [Yahoo! News, 5/7/09]