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This Week’s Top Eco Stories

April 12, 2012

by Lindsay E. Brown

NASA Scientist: Climate Change is a Moral Issue on a Par with Slavery
Jim Hansen, one of the most influential and respected figures in climate science, likened global inaction on climate change to the refusal to end the slave trade. In his lecture yesterday, he proposed a global carbon tax which he based on the latest analysis of CO2 levels in the atmosphere and their impact on global temperatures and weather patterns.

California’s Unregulated Fracking Problem
The film Gasland exposed the perils of fracking. Now we’re catching wind that the earthquake-prone state of California has been turning a blind eye to fracking, and its Governor, Jerry Brown, may be trying to sweep it all under the carpet.

Matt Damon to star in ‘The Promised Land’ Anti-Fracking Movie
While California state may be turning its back on fracking, Hollywood star Matt Damon is attempting to tackle the issue head on. He’s co-wrote “The Promised Land,” a film about hydraulic fracturing which he’s set to star in. We know little about the plot, only that “a salesman experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town.” A star-studded cast will join him, including Jim Halpert from the Office, aka Jon Krasinski.

Pink Slime versus LFTB: Family Farmers Rally at Iowa State University to Protest Collusion Between Industrial Meat Production and our Political System
Today a rally will be held in Iowa to counter meat industry spin, protesting the deliberate propaganda put forth by industrial meat producers and our political system.

The recent controversy surrounding pink slime has brought to the public’s attention — through a barrage of media reports — that an estimated 70 percent of ground beef in the U.S. contains an inferior grade beef parts mixture known as pink slime, or “lean, finely textured beef.” You may have seen the images. LFTB is a low-cost filler made from leftover trimmings, once relegated to pet food and other byproducts. Because all beef trimmings are at risk for E. coli or Salmonella contamination, the company, Beef Products Inc., adds a mixture of ammonia and water (ammonium hydroxide) to kill bacteria. The product, which is 90 percent lean, is then mixed in with other, higher fat content ground beef.

Robin Wilson’s New Healthy Home Bedding Collection
There’s long been a need for a line of hypoallergenic and healthy bedding available at affordable prices. Well, now we can all rest with peace of mind. Robin Wilson’s recently-launched collection of eco-healthy bedding will give you the good night’s sleep you deserve.

Prius and Volt Set New Sales Records Thanks to High Gas Prices
At least there’s some good to come out of the exorbitantly high gas prices that have put a dent in many Americans’ wallets. If you can’t walk or bike your way around town, there’s no better way to drive — and curb costs and gas emissions — than in a fuel-efficient vehicle. Toyota’s Prius sales were up 52 percent in February compared to the previous year, and Chevrolet’s Volt sold 2,289 units in March.

Here’s a fun tidbit: Oil-rich, former President George H.W. Bush bought his son Neil a Volt last week. We’re not kidding.

Google Saves Energy By Cooling Its Building With Ice
Google’s a pretty progressive bunch, so it’s no surprise that the company’s new $700 million data centers in Taiwan will include thermal storage systems which use ice at night to cool buildings during the day. Watch this video and learn about these systems.

Less Snow, Means Several Cities See Savings
The unusually warm weather required fewer expenditures for many cities on snow and ice removal. The savings were significant, but perhaps we shouldn’t be so gleeful about the dramatic change in weather. What do you think? We’d love to hear from you.

FDA Rejects  A Call to Ban BPA
Tisk, tisk. We’ve reported countless about the dangers of BPA, but the FDA seems to not see a need for a ban. Interesting. Well, now you can do something about it. Check out the steps that you can take if you’re as unhappy about this decision as we are.

Have a tip you’d like us to include in our next roundup? Tweet @LauraSeydel and@LindsEBrown using hashtag #EcoRoundup

Photo Credit : AP

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