Thursday, November 8, 2007

Cargo Ship Spills after Hitting Bridge

Spill closes SF Beaches
Jonathan Curiel, Peter Fimrite, Jane Kay, SF Chronicle, November 8, 2007

Approximately 58,000 gallons of heavy-duty bunker fuel oil spilled from a container ship when it rammed the Bay Bridge on Wednesday. Some 8,000 gallons of oil have been contained since Wednesday's accident, U.S. Coast Guard Capt. William Uberti said this morning. Large patches are still floating in the bay and some has washed up on several San Francisco beaches and the Marin Headlands, officials said today. Some officials say the impacts to beaches will worsen early this afternoon as the tide rushes out of the Golden Gate.

Read the complete story here:

The Energy Cost of Water

An interesting talk about the connection between water and energy given a few months ago by Heather Cooley at the Commonwealth Club of California.

Carbon Calculus

Accounting for the True Cost of Energy
Matthew L. Wald, NY Times, November 7, 2007

On Thursday, a Senate subcommittee approved a bill to establish a cap-and-trade system for carbon dioxide, and the Democratic leadership is eager to have the Senate pass it by year’s end. But prospects in the House are less certain. Carbon dioxide is what economists call an “externality,” something that imposes a cost on somebody other than the manufacturer. At some point, the thinking goes, Congress will force industries to pay those costs, either with a tax or a cap-and-trade system in which allowances will cost money. Cost for fuels that result in hefty emissions, like coal and oil, as well as "closet carbon" fuels like corn-based ethanol, would likely increase. And some — sunlight, wind, uranium, even corn stalks and trash, as well as natural gas — would probably cost much less.

Read the complete story here.

And, more green business stories in the NY Times.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Green Festival November 9-11!

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Go to the Green Festival in San Francisco!

One of four nationwide events, Green Festivals highlight what is working in our communities, for people, for businesses and for the environment. Each festival features more than 200 visionary speakers and 400 green businesses, how-to workshops, green films, yoga and movement classes, green careers sessions, organic beer and wine, delicious organic cuisine and live music.

You can:
- attend lectures and workshops by thought leaders, business visionaries and community activists
- connect with like-minded individuals and organizations who are committed to a better world
- learn about organizations effecting positive and sustainable change in our region, our country, and the around the planet
- have fun meeting interesting people who share common interests
- eat delicious, healthy, organic, and sustainably produced food and listen to local musicians

A 3-day festival pass is only $25, and children under 12 are free. Daily tickets are $15.

Learn more about the festival at greenfestival.

Lecture on Climate Change Implications of Waste Treatment

Tuesday, November 13th
5:30pm - 7:00pm
Room 112, Wurster Hall, UC Berkeley

Perry L. McCarty
Silas H. Palmer, Professor Emeritus, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University
Winner of the 2007 Stockholm Water Prize

Meet the speaker, 5:15pm - 5:30pm

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that four percent of the equivalent anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in the world result from methane and nitrous oxide produced from wastewater, solid wastes, and animal manure. However, if such methane gas is collected and used as a biofuel, not only would the methane emissions decrease, but also the need for fossil fuels could be decreased as well. Indeed, the potential to produce methane from wastewater treatment might be exploited to a greater extent than it has at present to turn a potential problem into a significant benefit for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. How might wastes best be handled in the future to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and how might this change our current practices?

For more information, contact the Water Resources Center Archives at (510) 642-2666 or, or check out the Colloquium web site:

PDF of flyer for this lecture: