Enviro News Wrap: Big Oil Subsidies; North Dakota Gas Flares; Romney's Pandering Energy Policy, and more...
GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up and comments on the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:
- Oil companies are hugely profitable - to the tune of tens of trillions of dollars - but they still get tax breaks and ample tax loopholes. Renewable energy also gets tax breaks but not at the expense of environmental degradation and often catastrophe caused by fossil energy.
- When extracting fossil fuels sometimes there is excess product that is burned or "flared" off into the atmosphere. Flaring is wasteful and causes pollution, and with the growth of the oil fields in North Dakota flare-off waste gas is rapidly increasing in the US. Flaring is another hidden cost the dirty energy industry.
- "Green" or sustainable building practices have a lot to offer urban and rural communities. But there are many obstacles - writing in Grist, Greg Hanscom points out many of those obstacles and how other cities can learn from Seattle's troubled "deep green" building program.
- The modern meat industry grows food to feed its animals and uses up a lot of land. The inefficiency of growing grain to feed animals might become too large to justify in the future. Some scientist now warn that food shortages could force the world into vegetarianism.
- Mitt Romney is saying that if elected he would allow the States to permit drilling and fracking projects. This is a terrible idea because many States are run by anti-environmentalists and would fast-track projects without any intention of doing an Environmental Impact Assessment.
- An explosion at a gas plant in Venezuela illustrates the dangers of fossil fuels.