Friday Edition: Offshore Wind, PB&J and Smog

photo goober grape

Flickr via RVWithTito

From Nov. 19 Environment Report on Q-90.1 FM, Delta College.

1.

Michigan legislators including Jeff Mayes of Bay City have unveiled a plan to guide wind energy development in the Great Lakes.

The bipartisan legislation, introduced in the House and Senate, would offer greater community control in the development of offshore wind energy projects.

According to Dan Scripps of Leland, the plan would put a framework in place to attract beneficial wind projects to MIchigan.

Under the legislation, at least four public hearings would be required before an offshore wind project is approved.

The law also would prohibit wind projects from being built within six miles of the Michigan shoreline, unless communities agree to an exemption.

Lawmakers say time is of the essence. They say Michigan needs to pass the guidelines before the end of the year, or risk losing out on development opportunities for offshore wind, and associated jobs.

The legislation is based on recommendations from the Michigan Great Lakes Wind Council, or GLOW.

The council includes Bay County Executive Thomas L. Hickner, and held a public input meeting earlier this year at Saginaw Valley State University.

2.
Are you concerned about climate change?

Try eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Seriously.

According to the PB&J campaign, an online nonprofit, a plant-based lunch like peanut butter and jelly will reduced your carbon footprint by 2.5 pounds of emissions compared to an animal-based lunch like a hamburger or chicken nuggets.

Those 2.5 pounds of emissions at lunch are about 40 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions you’d save driving around for the day in a hybrid instead of a standard sedan.

The PB&J campaign is supported by a registered charity called Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs and can be found at pbjcampaign.org.

Sure, it’s a goofy way of discussing climate change. But the Great Lakes could benefit from more PB&Js, based on predictions from government scientists.

The potential effects of climate change on human health in the Great Lakes region are of concern, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Weather disturbances, drought, and changes in temperature and growing season brought on by climate change could affect crops and food production in the basin. Changes in air pollution patterns as a result of climate change also could affect respiratory health, causing asthma, and new disease vectors and agents could migrate into the region.

— Photo Credit: RVWithTito

3.

The American Lung Association of Michigan is one of a handful of groups in the state to endorse pending EPA pollution limits for smog.

A national coalition of more than 200 public health, advocacy and faith-based groups is endorsing the limits, which they say would save 12,000 lives and prevent tens of thousands of asthma and heart attacks each year.

The groups cite research that shows stronger limits on ozone would do more to protect public health.

Smog, also called ground-level ozone, is connected to emissions from factories, power plants and motor vehicle exhaust, when chemicals react in the presence of sunlight.

Ozone burns lungs and airways, and cause everything from chest pain and coughing to premature death. Children and seniors are particularly vulnerable.

The EPA plans to release a new smog standard by the end of the year. Stricter standards would require businesses to spend billions of dollars on new pollution controls.

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2 Responses to “Friday Edition: Offshore Wind, PB&J and Smog”

  1. Matt H. Says:

    Mmmm… Goober Grape.

  2. links for 2010-11-30 | Great Lakes Echo Says:

    [...] Friday Edition: Offshore Wind, PB&J and Smog « Mr Great Lakes Michigan legislators including Jeff Mayes of Bay City have unveiled a plan to guide wind energy development in the Great Lakes. (tags: great_lakes) [...]


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