The Weekly: Oil Spreads, Forest Are Spared, and Green Ideas Sprout

Image credit: National Geographic

Another Bad Week, Or a Really Good One? Good news grows as slow as a tree, but bad news flows like a broken oil main. That seems to be the lesson from this week as BP, the U.S. government and an armada of ships and volunteers tried but mostly failed to contain the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Though BP had some success at slowing the spigot, oil is pooling in the wetlands of the Mississippi Delta and resides at unmeasured quantities in the deeps. There it has joined the Loop Current with a probable next stop in Florida.

Meanwhile, 1,500 miles north, an equally momentous event drew little attention: an agreement to curtail or end logging on 72 million acres of Canada’s boreal forest, an area roughly the size of France. An unlikely consortium of logging companies and Greenpeace agreed to halt the chainsaws altogether for three years in an area as big as Montana, and to develop a sustainable-forestry program for the remainder. The accord might be the forerunner to permanent protection for an area that encompasses two-thirds of Canada’s logging concessions.

The Week’s Best Green Ideas: This week, GreenTech TV took a look at how Rush University Medical Center has become one of the greenest hospitals in the country. Read Part 1 and Part 2.

At Cleantechies, Chuck Colgan told California building owners, brokers and managers how to prepare for AB 1103, a California law that asks for 12 months of energy-consumption records when a building is sold, re-leased or financed.

Triple Pundit produced a field guide to the three organizations that can help a company develop a framework for its  energy use: The Climate Registry, the US EPA Climate Leaders program, and the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Also, the U.S. Green Building Council told President Obama how his administration can make America’s buildings far more efficient without asking permission from those squirrelly congressmen.

Too Hot? Bring Your Own Water. Last month was the warmest April in recorded history, according to the United Nations. If you’d like to contemplate this alarming news from the shores of Walden Pond, carry your own hydration — the city of Concord has become the first in the country to ban plastic water bottles.

Will Nissan Leaf You Out? Pre-orders for the hit Japanese electric car reached 13,000 this week, a thousand more than Nissan planned to make. If you’d rather not crash the dealership, wait ’till next year and rent one from Hertz.

Quiet Excitement: At Infineon Raceway in California, the TTXGP race pitted electric motorcycles against each other in the first — and the quietest — race of its kind.

Price Check, Aisle Nine: At the Lightfair International convention in Las Vegas, Sylvania, Toshiba and Philips debuted their new LED bulbs for use in home lamps. Each bulb, as well as General Electric’s, will retail by early 2011 or sooner, for $40 to $60.  Also, at the National Hardware Show, Honeywell announced that its $6,500 home wind turbine would arrive at Ace Hardware stores by August.

A Tweet that Really Matters: Populations of 150 North American bird species are plummeting as their habitat is destroyed. Could one source of their salvation reside as an app on your phone?


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