Saturday, November 28, 2009


What a waste
By Jennifer Rankin
26.11.2009 / 04:45 CET
A look at what is being done to reduce the amount of electronic waste.

The EU directives on the recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and on restricting the hazardous substances (RoHS) from which they are made are rarely to be found in grand speeches or declarations. Neither law got a mention in José Manuel Barroso's list of priorities for his second term as European Commission president. But these directives – which will be debated in the European Parliament next week (1 December) – are among those unsung laws that have a major impact on businesses and consumers in Europe and beyond.

The laws are intended to ensure that Europe's unwanted toasters, tumble dryers and fridges do not damage the environment or human health by rotting in rubbish dumps. Every year European consumers buy around 9.3 million tonnes of new electrical gadgets. The consequence is Europe's fastest-growing type of waste.

The two laws came into force in 2004, and are now due for a routine update. But they have already had a difficult life. The Commission's red-tape snippers earmarked the WEEE directive as a candidate for simplification. And since the revision process got under way last year, opinions have become sharply divided over how these laws should evolve.

European Voice spoke to the two MEPs who will be guiding the debates in the Parliament. Although their political backgrounds vary, two common themes stand out. Both MEPs will press for more ambitious proposals than envisaged by the Commission and many national governments. Second, neither of these draft directives will be agreed quickly. Neither MEP is going for a quick agreement at first-reading, to the frustration of Sweden's EU presidency. “I wouldn't envisage that. There is a lot to debate,” says Jill Evans, a UK Green MEP who is drafting the Parliament's position on RoHS.

“I prefer quality over time,” says Karl-Heinz Florenz, a centre-right (EPP) German MEP, who thinks the Parliament has had too many quick agreements recently, citing the climate and energy package as one example.

The European directive on recycling electronic waste was a landmark for EU environmental law, but remains little loved in member states. In 2008 the Commission found that only a third of electronic waste was being treated in line with the law, with the rest going to landfill or being ineffectively treated outside the EU.

Karl-Heinz Florenz, who was the lead MEP when the original directive went through the Parliament, rejoices at “the birth of the European WEEE baby”, but he fears that its “education has not been so successful”. If the EU does not take its errant child in hand, Florenz expects that there will be around 4.3 million tonnes of electronic waste by 2020, with severe consequences for the environment.

For Florenz, one of the main problems is that the directive takes too much of a ‘one size fits all' approach. The law obliges countries to recycle four kilograms of waste per citizen each year. Some countries are exceeding this target, while others lag far below it. Austria recycles 16 kilograms of electronic waste per citizen per year, while Italy manages less than one kilogram, says Florenz. This leaves manufacturers, who are responsible for waste collection, facing a big disparity in costs.
Ambitious targets

The Commission would like to stretch the best and worst performers. Under the new proposal, countries would be obliged to recycle waste equivalent to 65% of the average weight of new goods put on the market over the preceding two years. Florenz approves of this approach, but favours a more ambitious starting point than the currently proposed 2016 deadline. He favours an interim target of 50% or 55% by 2013.

The MEP is a strong supporter of the directive's guiding principle that producers should be responsible for recycling and disposal – a contentious point for manufacturers, who want to share the burden with local government. But Florenz counters that “the company is the only one who has an influence on the design process”.

He adds: “The producers should have a high responsibility and I will underline this, I will strengthen it.” For instance, he says that a fridge manufacturer would be more likely to invest in making its products from easily recyclable materials if it had to take that product back one day for recycling. Producer responsibility “is not a punishment, it is a design economy”, he says.

But the MEP also wants to make life easier for companies, especially small businesses. He wants to see a single European point where companies can register. Under current rules, one model of hairdryer sold throughout the EU may have to be registered 27 times, which Florenz estimates costs business €66 million in ‘excess' registration fees every year. This point is proving controversial among member states. The MEP suspects that they are keen to keep the revenue source.

For Florenz, this law is not the end of the story. Ultimately, Florenz would like to see worldwide regulation to counter illegal waste shipments. He is increasingly concerned that a lot of valuable scrap is being sent to China, where it is inappropriately treated. “We are not only losing valuable raw materials, but this equipment is disposed of in a catastrophic way for human beings and the environment.”
Divisions over which hazardous substances need to be on the banned list

The RoHS law is best known for its ban on lead and other chemical nasties from use in electrical and electronic equipment. But while the original law phased out four heavy metals and two brominated flame retardants, the Commission sees this revision more as a tidying-up exercise, rather than a chance to add to the list.

For Jill Evans, who sits in the Greens/ European Free Alliance group, this is a mistake. The revision is “an excellent opportunity not just to stand still but to expand the list,” she says. She would like to add two halogenated flame retardants and PVC to the list.

Evans thinks that the “best” manufacturers are already in tune with this move. “Big companies like Apple and Sony Ericsson have not just complied with RoHS but have gone beyond it. They predicted that the legislation would go further and that PVC and brominated flame retardants would come under the scope of RoHS, so they have decided to go ahead and phase out [these chemicals] themselves.”

Other industry groups are more cautious. For instance, the European engineering industries association, Orgalime, is worried that the Commission's current proposal for revising RoHS creates unnecessary bureaucracy and overlaps with other laws, notably the REACH chemicals regulation.

Evans responds: “RoHS was specifically designed to stand alone. PVC and flame retardants are not covered by REACH. It has quite a different purpose.” She adds that REACH is still in its infancy, so RoHS has to continue operating on its own terms.

One of the grey areas still to be resolved by the Council of Ministers and the Parliament is the scope of the regulation. Should a singing birthday card or a talking toy (ie, goods with an electronic component) fall under the scope of the law? Such questions have divided the Council. But Evans is clear on this point: “The problem with enforcement [so far] was uncertainty over the scope of legislation. We want to see everything covered unless it is specifically exempted.”

The MEP also stresses that exemptions should not automatically be set for four years, as shorter time periods may suffice for manufacturers to come up with alternative chemicals.

“My aim is to ensure that we have the strongest legal policy on restrictions to ensure that there are no effects on health and environment, and to ensure that companies can comply and will comply.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the leaders of Congress and other legislative branch offices should work together to establish and implement a coordinated... (Introduced in House)



1st Session

H. RES. 938

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the leaders of Congress and other legislative branch offices should work together to establish and implement a coordinated program for the reuse, recycling, and appropriate disposal of obsolete computers and other electronic equipment used by offices of the legislative branch.


November 19, 2009

Mr. THOMPSON of California (for himself, Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas, Mrs. BONO MACK, and Mr. BILBRAY) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on House Administration


Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the leaders of Congress and other legislative branch offices should work together to establish and implement a coordinated program for the reuse, recycling, and appropriate disposal of obsolete computers and other electronic equipment used by offices of the legislative branch.

Whereas electronic waste (or `e-waste') that is generated from obsolete computers and other electronic equipment is rapidly becoming a serious concern to State and local governments;

Whereas e-waste is one of the fastest growing sectors in the solid waste stream;

Whereas the disposal of e-waste is essentially unregulated at the Federal level;

Whereas e-waste generated in the United States is most likely to be exported to developing countries;

Whereas the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that, `A substantial quantity [of exported used electronics] ends up in countries where the items are handled and disposed of in a manner that threatens human health and the environment';

Whereas GAO has also found that `Federal agencies . . . are not required to track the ultimate destination of their donated or recycled e-waste' and therefore `have little assurance that their e-waste is ultimately disposed of in an environmentally responsible matter';

Whereas the United States has a growing domestic e-waste disposal industry that employs hard-working Americans;

Whereas the United States owns and operates UNICOR, the trade name for Federal Prison Industries, Inc., which employs offenders incarcerated in correctional facilities under the Federal Bureau of Prisons;

Whereas UNICOR operates 8 e-waste recycling facilities in direct competition to privately owned and operated e-waste disposal facilities in the United States;

Whereas the Basel Action Network (BAN) has designed the e-Stewards Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Equipment, which forbids the export of e-waste to developing countries and the use of prison labor for recycling services; and

Whereas Congress should lead by example to address this growing problem: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the leaders of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and other legislative branch offices should work together to establish and implement a coordinated program for the reuse, recycling, and appropriate disposal of obsolete computers and other electronic equipment used by offices of the legislative branch, using only those companies certified by accredited e-Stewards certification bodies to be in conformance with the requirements of the e-Stewards Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Equipment.


Motorola Establishes U.S. Take-Back Recycling Program for Enterprise Mobility Solutions Customers

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SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Nov. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) announced today that it has established a take-back recycling program for its U.S. Enterprise Mobility Solutions (EMS) customers to help them responsibly dispose of used equipment.

The products covered in the program include all Motorola-branded enterprise mobility equipment, such as mobile and portable two-way radios; handheld mobile computers; barcode scanners; imagers; in-vehicle mobile workstations; accessories; network infrastructure equipment; and computers, laptops and monitors. Batteries are also included but must be removed from the equipment before they are shipped for recycling. There is generally no cost incurred by the customer; however, freight charges may be applied in some cases.

"Recycling conserves resources, reduces impact on the environment and makes good business sense," said Tom Collins, senior vice president, Worldwide Supply Chain & Operations, EMS, Motorola. "We've established this program to make it easier for our customers to recycle, while supporting Motorola's goals of reducing the environmental impact of our own products."

To return smaller or more portable items, customers can arrange shipment to one of Motorola's e-waste recycling partners online. For larger equipment returns, customers are contacted for pick-up by a Motorola e-waste partner. Motorola audits its recyclers to ensure they comply with laws governing the disposal of electronic equipment, following the company's supplier code of conduct and industry standards.

In 2008, Motorola collected more than 2,560 tonnes of electronic and electrical equipment waste for recycling. This includes take-back programs, internal electronics recycling efforts and community electronics recycling events sponsored by Motorola.

Additional recycling programs at Motorola

Motorola participates in electronics equipment take-back programs in countries covered by the European Union's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive. In other countries, take-back bins are located at various collection points, including Motorola service centers, shops and offices. Authorized contractors will collect and transport items to approved recycling facilities.

In the U.S., consumers may print a postage-paid label at to return Motorola-branded modems, routers and cordless phones, as well as mobile phones and mobile phone accessories from any manufacturer, at no charge. Consumers may contact their local service providers to return Motorola cable set-tops.

Motorola offers or participates in mobile phone take-back programs in 70 countries around the world. The Race to Recycle program enables K-12 schools in the U.S. to earn extra cash for recycling mobile phones. A portion of the proceeds generated from returned mobile phones is distributed to participating schools.

Motorola's recycling programs are part of the company's overarching commitment to environmental sustainability. To learn more visit

About Motorola

Motorola is known around the world for innovation in communications and is focused on advancing the way the world connects. From broadband communications infrastructure, enterprise mobility and public safety solutions to high-definition video and mobile devices, Motorola is leading the next wave of innovations that enable people, enterprises and governments to be more connected and more mobile. Motorola (NYSE: MOT) had sales of US $30.1 billion in 2008. For more information, please visit

Thursday, November 19, 2009

dan sandoval in recycling today

EPA Orders Company to Submit Plan to Remove CRTs
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered ZKW Trading, Monterey Park, Calif., to submit a management plan for nearly 32,000 pounds of cathode ray tubes (CRTs) that the company is said to have illegally shipped to Hong Kong in violation of the U.S. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The shipment was rejected by Hong Kong customs authorities and returned to the U.S.

“The EPA is ordering ZKW Trading to submit a plan detailing how it will ensure that thousands of pounds of CRTs are managed in an environmentally sound manner,” says Jeff Scott, director of Waste Programs for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “Electronic recyclers, freight forwarders and shipping brokers must obey federal regulations for exporting electronics or else face possible legal action.”

In June 2009, ZKW Trading reportedly consigned 38 pallets of CRTs—listing the cargo as plastic scrap—for shipment to Hong Kong. In July, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection informed the EPA of the return of ZKW’s shipments to the United States.

ZKW Trading had 30 days to remove its cargo and 45 days to submit a plan to the U.S. EPA detailing how it would reuse, recycle or discard the CRTs in question or face fines of up to $37,500 per day for noncompliance for each violation.

New regulations (available at took effect January 2007 requiring U.S. exporters shipping CRTs outside of the country for recycling to notify the EPA and receive written consent from the receiving country before shipments can be made.

Baltimore County Passes Electronics Recycling Law
The County Council for Baltimore County, Md., has passed a law that requires residents to deliver a host of electronic equipment to a certified electronics recycling facility.

The bill passed by a vote of 5-to-2 at the county council meetings Sept. 8 and Oct. 23. Councilman Vincent Gardina sponsored the bill.

The electronic devices covered under the new law include computers, computer-related equipment and peripherals, television sets, VCRs, DVDs, fax machines, telephones and other personal electronic devices. Appliances are not included under the new law.

The legislation stipulates that a person may dispose of a home electronic device by delivering it to a recycling facility or to a manufacturer or retailer that has established a program for the collection and recycling of home electronic devices.

Residents who dispose of a home electronic device in violation of the law could be found guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction would be subject to a fine of not less than $500. This section is subject to a civil penalty of $100.
Baltimore County has a population of nearly 750,000 people and includes suburbs surrounding the city of Baltimore, but does not include the city.

Round2 Earns ISO, OHSAS Certifications
Round2 Inc., Austin, Texas, has announced the receipt of its ISO 9001: 2008, 14001: 2004 and OHSAS 18001: 2007 certifications.

Ian Bagnall, Round2’s CEO, says, “Round2 is committed to continually exceeding the highest QEH&S (quality, environmental, health and safety) standards. Successfully completing the rigorous certification processes is a testament to our team’s desire to execute our business in the most socially responsible manner with a keen focus on safety. We believe the growth we enjoy, both at the local level as well as with Fortune 1,000 clients, is directly attributed to these important and measurable commitments.”

Round2 President Randy Weiss says, “The market is demanding a comprehensive recycling solution that is transparent and auditable. In today’s competitive business environment it is important that we take the necessary steps to separate and distinguish ourselves inside the market place. ISO and OHSAS certifications give us yet another competitive edge.”

from tech republic

Going green with IT in a legislative environment

* Date: November 18th, 2009
* Author: Stewart J. Miller

The catch phrase of the 21st Century is sustainability of resources: the ability of societies throughout the world to manage its needs for renewable or recyclable resources so that these resources will be available for future generations. Going green, especially as it refers to computing and IT, means that IT users must look for ways to preserve our finite resources for future generations.

Traditionally, resources fall within two broadly defined categories: non-renewable and renewable resources. Non-renewable resources, such as ores, minerals, petroleum, and coal, have finite supplies and are only sustainable while new reserves continue to replace consumed reserves. Renewable resources-timber, harvested domestic and naturally occurring livestock, groundwater-have the ability to replenish its reserves if society manages its depletion rate to allow for natural or managed recoveries. Renewable applies to IT manufacturing resources, as well. Going green is forcing IT users to think of ways to reuse or recycle displaced IT assets in more environmentally responsible ways.
The IT data protection/e-waste horizon

Businesses, governments, and society store more operational/personal data in digital form every day. As the volume of data increases, so do the needs to protect sensitive and/or personal data. Federal and state legislation has stepped in to control the management of data security:

* Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX): Companies must establish and maintain adequate internal control structures; Procedures and processes must be in place to assess the effectiveness of internal controls
* Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (GLBA): Targeting financial data, businesses are required to ensures that the security and confidentiality of customer records and information that could result in substantial harm to its customer base is protected
* Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA): Organizations must ensure confidentiality of its health records and related information; also true for patient information and employee records within an organization
* Fair & Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA): Under the Disposal Rule, businesses must institute disposal practices and provide steps that prevent the unauthorized access or use of discarded information derived from consumer reports

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study published in July 2008 says that a small percentage of retired electronic equipment was actually recycled from 2000 through 2007 (Electronics Waste Management in the United States published by the Office of Solid Waste at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, July 2008). The EPA study reported that of the 2.25 Million tons of the electronics produced in 2007, only 414,000 tons of end-of-life assets were recycled-about 18.4 percent. This makes electronic waste, or e-waste, one of the fastest growing waste streams on the planet.

With the growing need to dispose of e-waste safely, individual states have adopted legislation setting limits and/or outright bans on the disposal of e-waste into landfills. Starting January 1, 2012, the Illinois Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act (State Bill 2313) will ban the disposal of televisions, computers, monitors, printers, and a widening array of electronics from landfills. State Bill 2313-one of the nation’s most aggressive e-waste laws-provides incentives for reusing raw materials in the remanufacture of electronics.

Businesses, governments, and citizens need to work with IT hardware providers and e-waste recyclers to handle the disposal of obsolete technologies. End-of-life assets pose several issues for proper disposal and potential environmental consequences. These liabilities, combined with the social pressure of “green” practices, will drive businesses, governments, and communities to seek safe, responsible recycling solutions. In addition, management of personal information requires businesses to eradicate data from hard drives before third-party reuse or before recycling responsibly.

Discarded electronics represents a rapidly growing waste stream. Made from valuable resources, electronic products contain precious and other metals, engineered plastics, glass, and other materials. Throwing away old electronic equipment also throws away valuable resources that generate additional pollution. Some electronic products (cathode ray tubes or CRTs, circuit boards, batteries, and mercury switches) contain hazardous or toxic materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, and some types of flame-retardants in amounts that may cause them to test hazardous under Federal law. In particular, the glass screens, or CRTs, in computer monitors and televisions can contain as much as 27 percent lead.
Green IT

Governments, manufacturers, and society will have to think green in ways that previous generations have not had to think-to sustain its renewable resources through managed processes that will allow these resources to recycle through to future generations. Sustainability of resources comes with costs that will affect the bottom line-whether real or hidden. However, the “value of going green,” as stated in an IBM Executive Report Green and beyond, postulates that organizations will have opportunities to reduce costs “while overcoming operational barriers . . . strengthening reputations while meeting regulatory requirements . . . and [create] products and services that can satisfy customer demands and give rise to new markets.” Sustainability of resources for future generations mandates that “changes can . . . build smart sustainability within [organizations and their stakeholders throughout] the value chain.

As a society, we must begin to think with the beliefs, the ideals, and the standards as a call for the protection of our environment. The call for action for sustainability of our resources will cause businesses, governments, and society to protect the environment for future generations.

(The Green and beyond white paper is available for download from IBM’s Green and beyond web site located at

Mats Björkin sent m this facscinating link--

to propaganda films made by Shell

john-paul gutierrez sent me this link

November 18, 2009, 4:45 pm new york times
California Approves TV Efficiency Rules
Shutterstock On Wednesday, California regulators unanimously approved rules to cut the electricity consumption of televisions sold in the state.

California regulators on Wednesday approved the nation’s first energy efficiency standards for televisions, requiring their electricity consumption to be cut nearly in half by 2013.

“This is a consumer protection measure, a measure that will protect the environment and which will save us from building a massive new power plant,” said Karen Douglas, chairwoman of the California Energy Commission, at a meeting in Sacramento.

The five energy commissioners voted unanimously to require television manufacturers to produce new models that use 33 percent less electricity by 2011 and 49 percent less electricity by 2013.

In recent years, televisions have become one of the home’s biggest energy hogs as ever-larger flat-screen models have proliferated.

Energy commission staff estimate that televisions and various set-top boxes now account for about 10 percent of residential electricity consumption in California, up from 3 to 4 percent in the 1990s. Without imposing standards, as California has done for a number of other home appliances, electricity use by televisions could jump to as much as 18 percent by 2023, according to the commission.

“By any reasonable standard, any appliance that is approaching 10 percent of energy consumption warrants energy efficiency standards,” said Julia Levin, an energy commissioner, adding that the regulations would save consumers nearly $1 billion a year in electricity.

The Consumer Electronics Association, a trade group, as well as Sony, Panasonic and other television manufacturers, strongly opposed the standards, arguing they would stifle innovation and lead to higher costs.

“Television manufacturers will see an increase in the cost of compliance due to increased research and development, component sourcing, design and development,” wrote Tim Brison, a senior vice president for Sony Electronics, in a Nov. 2 letter to the commission.

The manufacturers were joined by California retailers, who contended that consumers would abandon local stores and drive across the border to Nevada or go online to buy televisions not required to meet the state’s standards.

The energy commissioners, however, said that there were about 300 televisions on the market that already complied with the 2013 energy efficiency standards.

California’s largest utilities supported the new televisions standards, which Massachusetts is also considering adopting.

“This represents an important advance,” for the state in reaching its energy efficiency goals, Gary Fernstrom, a program engineer with Pacific Gas and Electric, told the commissioners on Wednesday.

Jason Oxman, a senior vice president with the Consumer Electronics Association, criticized the energy commission for relying on what he characterized as outdated studies to draft the energy efficiency standards.

“The consumer electronics industry and California consumers bear the burden of the regulations so PG&E can meet its energy milestones,” Mr. Oxman said during a news conference on Wednesday.

The regulations do not apply to televisions with screens larger than 58 inches. That led Noah Horowitz, a senior scientist with Natural Resources Defense Council in San Francisco, to urge the commissioners to later revisit establishing energy efficiency standards for those televisions.

“They are coming down in cost, and TVs are getting bigger all the time, and we need to make sure they don’t take off on us,” Mr. Horowitz, who was deeply involved in pushing for the new regulations, said.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


STRATEGY PAPER - From Mine to Mobile Phone:
The Conflict Minerals Supply Chain

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The scramble for minerals did not spark the conflict in eastern Congo, but war profiteering has become the fuel that keeps the region aflame and lies beneath the surface of major regional tensions, notes a strategy paper released today by the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress.

"From Mine to Mobile Phone: The Conflict Minerals Supply Chain,” describes in detail the path that “conflict minerals” travel between their extraction during mining in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and their use in the manufacture of cell phones, laptops, MP3 players, and video game systems. The Enough Project paper identifies six separate steps in this complex supply chain.

"Understanding how the supply chain works is critical to persuading electronics companies to finally produce verifiably conflict-free cell phones and computers," says Sasha Lezhnev, the paper's co-author. "Conflict minerals lie beneath the surface of major regional tensions. Those who benefit from this deadly trade know full well that they are dealing with illegally exploited minerals, and they do so with a wink and a nod from governments and larger purchasers that have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo."

John Prendergast, the paper's co-author and a co-founder of the Enough Project, adds: "Because companies do not currently have a system to trace, audit, and certify where their materials come from, all cell phones and laptops likely contain conflict minerals from Congo. By demanding conflict-free products, consumers have a critical role to play in ensuring that Congo’s minerals to benefit its people rather than the armed groups that prey upon them."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Recargeable Battery Recycling Corporation

--can be found here


Digital cloud plan for city skies
By Jonathan Fildes
Technology reporter, BBC News

A giant "digital cloud" that would "float" above London's skyline has been outlined by an international team of architects, artists and engineers.

The construction would include 120m- (400ft-) tall mesh towers and a series of interconnected plastic bubbles that can be used to display images and data.

The Cloud, as it is known, would also be used an observation deck and park.

The unconventional structure was originally envisaged as a centre piece of the city's Olympic village.

Its designers plan to raise the funds to build it by asking for micro-donations from millions of people.

"It's really about people coming together to raise the Cloud," Carlo Ratti, one of the architects behind the design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) told BBC News.

"We can build our Cloud with £5m or £50m. The flexibility of the structural system will allow us to tune the size of the Cloud to the level of funding that is reached."

The size of the structure will evolve depending on the number of contributions, he said.

Paola Antonelli, senior curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York who has seen the design described it as a "sculptural spectacle" and "a celebration of technology".

'Data streams'

The Cloud was shortlisted in a competition set-up by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

The mayor has committed to build a tourist attraction in the Olympic Park "with a legacy for the east end [of London]".

Other finalists are thought to include the former Turner prize winner Anish Kapoor and Antony Gormley, the designer of the Angel of the North.

The mayor is still in the "process of deciding" which design will be commissioned, according to a spokesperson.

However, the team, which also includes the writer Umberto Eco and engineers from Arup, has decided to push ahead and publish details of its design.

The structure draws on work by artist Tomas Saraceno, a German-based designer who has previously shown off huge inflatable sculptures.

It is envisaged that the spheres would be made of a plastic known as Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), the material used to build the Beijing Aquatic Centre.

The different spheres would act as structural elements, habitable spaces, decoration and LCD screens on which data could be projected.

"We could provide a custom feed of… searches made by Londoners during the Olympics to give a real time 'barometer' of the city's interests and mood," said Google, one of the supporters of the project, which has also offered to provide the information feeds.

The team also envisage projecting weather information, spectator numbers, race results or even images of the Olympic Torch on to the building.

Ramps, stairs and lifts would carry people to the top of the structure to look out over the city.

'Zero power'

The inflatable elements of the building would sit on top of slender, lightweight towers, stabilised by a net of metal cables.

Damping technology, similar to that used in Japanese skyscrapers to resist earthquakes, would prevent the towers being buffeted by the wind.

"Many tall towers have preceded this, but our achievement is the high degree of transparency, the minimal use of material and the vast volume created by the spheres," said professor Joerg Schleich, the structural engineer behind the towers.

Professor Schleich was responsible for the Olympic Stadium in Munich as well as numerous lightweight towers built to the same design as the Cloud.

The structure would also be used to harvest all the energy it produces according to Professor Ratti.

"It would be a zero power cloud," he said.

As well as solar cells on the ground and inside some of the spheres, the lifts would use regenerative braking, similar to that in some hybrid cars.

That way, the designers say, potential energy from visitors to the top of the tower can be harnessed into useful electricity.

The team have launched a fundraising website called and are now looking for a site for the tower.

Google has already offered to provide free advertising for the so-called "cloud-raising" effort.

The firm has offered a sponsored link at the top of the page advertising a "£1 for 1 pixel" concept to people who search for terms relevant to London 2012.

"It will be a monument to crowd-sourcing," said Professor Ratti.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2009/11/11 08:14:46 GMT


For the bourgeois-E

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

pr-inside says..

Global E-Waste Market 2008-2012

2009-11-10 19:03:50 - TechNavio Insights announces the release of the report "Global E-Waste Market 2008-2012"

Globally, around 40 million metric tons of e-waste is generated each year. Such waste is mainly generated by obsolete computers, printers, and electronic & electrical equipment
. Others contributors to e-waste include plastics, screens, printed circuit boards, pollutants, metal plastic mixtures, and cables. In the IT industry, personal computers are the major contributor to e-waste.

TechNavio Insight has announced the release of the report “Global E-Waste Market 2008-2012.” According to TechNavio, “The global e-waste market is forecast to reach 53 million tonnes by 2012 from 42 million tonnes in 2008; thus growing at a CAGR of 6 percent.”

“Metals comprise 60.1 percent of the total e-waste,” says one of the TechNavio experts, “These metals include iron, aluminium, gold, silver, platinum, and hazardous metals like arsenic, lead, etc.”

The report provides global e-waste estimates, projected growth rates, composition by segment, ICT segment contribution, ICT e-waste growth estimates, market trends, and growth drivers. It also profiles some of the e-waste management vendors.

do you have a spare few thousand dollars? If so, support your local 'deep dive' capitalist

Global E-Waste Market 2008-2012

28 April 2009, Pages – 17
The IT industry is grappling with the problem of e-waste, which seems to be growing with the industry's prosperity. IT companies equipment such as desktops, printers, copiers, CDs, floppy drives, and other hardware equipment have an impact on the environment. Also, with the advancement in technology, there has been an increase in adoption and decrease in lifetime of IT products. Such factors result in the growth of ICT e-waste.
The e-waste management market comprises revenues generated from recycling e-waste. The various products obtained from recycling such as metals, plastics, glass are the main purveyors of the market’s revenues. ICT e–waste, especially computers, contains precious metals such as gold, copper, etc. Extracting these metals and selling them has become a lucrative business, considering the soaring prices of gold and silver. Also, the process involved in extraction is cost effective.
The report by TechNavio Insights forecasts the size of the Global E-Waste Market over the period 2008-2012. Further, it discusses the key market drivers and market trends of the Global E-Waste Market, and profiles some of the key vendors of this market.
Infiniti Research specializes in deep dive custom research for leading Fortune 500 companies. The company conducts more than 200 market intelligence projects every year. TechNavio is the company’s market intelligence platform. TechNavio Insights is a series of 400+ reports based on this market intelligence platform.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
1.1 Recycling Process of E-waste
1.2 Sources of E-waste:
1.3 Composition of e-waste
2. Market Size and Forecast
2.1 E-waste Market
2.2 E-waste Management Market
2.3 ICT (e-waste) Market
3. E-waste Market Trends
4. E- waste Market Drivers
5. E-waste Market Vendors
5.1 Electronic Recyclers International
5.2 Sims Recycling solutions
5.3 Cimelia
5.4 LifeSpan Recycling Technologies
5.5 Centillion Environment and Recycling Ltd.
Other Reports in this Series
List of Exhibits
Exhibit 1.1: Source of e-waste (2008)
Exhibit 1.2: Composition of e-waste (2008)
Exhibit 2.1: Global e-waste forecast 2008-2012 (in million tonnes)
Exhibit 2.2: Global e-waste Market forecast 2008-2012 (in US$ billions)
Exhibit 2.3: Global ICT e-waste forecast 2008-2012 (in million tonnes)

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from murdoch's australian paper

Fears over e-waste glut

* Karen Dearne
* From: The Australian
* November 10, 2009 12:00AM
AUSTRALIA'S largest electronic waste recycler warns of insufficient capacity to handle an expected avalanche of obsolete equipment as industry-run computer and TV recycling programs start to come onstream.

Sims Recycling Solutions senior vice-president Kumar Radhakrishnan welcomed last week's decision by state and federal environment ministers to adopt a product stewardship approach, but warned "significant new investment" would be needed to ensure appropriate handling of collected material.

Mr Radhakrishnan said the national capacity for e-waste recycling stood at about 30,000 tonnes per annum, with 20,000 tonnes of that supplied by Sims' hi-tech plant at Villawood, in Sydney's west. NSW alone generates some 20,000 tonnes of electronic waste each year.

"There are a few recyclers like us who have taken a bold step and invested in the technologies needed to recycle the various waste streams that come out of obsolete electronics, but really this is just the start," he said.

Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.
Related Coverage

* PC recycling free of charge Australian IT, 5 days ago
* E-waste, but not drink bottles Perth Now, 5 days ago
* Ready for e-waste recycling Adelaide Now, 5 days ago
* Waste tops environment ministers' agenda Adelaide Now, 5 days ago
* Coping with a future of trash TV, 8 days ago

End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

"Much of the present capacity involves manual labour, and while you can theoretically increase capacity by taking on more people, that's not a viable solution for a developed country like Australia because of the labour cost.

"That's why you need intensive, mechanical solutions, based on high throughput."

Mr Radhakrishnan said federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett's announcement that 80 per cent of all outdated TVs and computer products would be put into recycling by 2021 - compared with about 10 per cent now - would give businesses confidence to invest.

The government would have to tackle "unscrupulous traders" who flouted international obligations, prohibiting the movement of hazardous waste without strict controls, he warned. "Yes, there is some e-waste that goes offshore (to specialist recyclers) under Basel permits, but there is also lots that goes without a permit to various countries where there is cheap labour," Mr Radhakrishnan said.

"That's not good for the people or the environment, and defeats the whole purpose of these programs. So there needs to be strong enforcement to prevent these sorts of movements."

Mr Garrett released a new National Waste Policy in Perth last week after the Environment Protection and Heritage Council agreed to the 10-year plan, which puts TVs and computers at the forefront of recycling initiatives, backed by new legislation.

"This is a fundamental shift in our approach, leading to less waste and better management of waste as a resource," he said.

The scheme will enable householders to drop off old equipment at local collection points, at no charge.

Mr Garrett said 16.8 million TVs, computers and related products reached the end of their useful lives in 2007-08, with 84 per cent ending up in landfill.

"If we were to continue without any form of producer responsibility scheme, it's estimated around 44 million TVs and computers would be discarded in 2028," Mr Garrett said.

A spokesman for Mr Garrett said the new collection programs would not be hampered by a lack of processing capacity.

"Existing facilities in Australia that deal with e-waste currently have unused capacity that will allow for initial expansion," he said.

"The National Waste Policy provides industry with the certainty that is likely to to drive the development of new infrastructure, including the potential introduction of the kinds of technology used overseas, which speeds up the recycling process."

The spokesman said because the new policy would create markets for handling waste domestically, "there will be less incentive to bypass the system by exporting without a permit".

In 2008-09, the Environment Department only issued two permits for the export of e-waste; these involved shipments totalling 3940 tonnes sent for recycling and metal recovery in Singapore and Thailand.

"Consistent with our obligations under the Basel Convention, permits are only supplied where safe handling and disposal is assured by the receiving country," he said.

Meanwhile, government backing for industry-run recycling schemes has been welcomed by manufacturers and consumers who have long lobbied for such an approach.

Australian Information Industry Association chief executive Ian Birks said all technology importers would need to participate in an accredited Producer Responsibility Organisation scheme or run the risk of fines and other government sanctions.

"Initially, there will be two industry PROs - the AIIA will support one for the computer industry and there will also be a television industry scheme - and we expect to start collecting product from consumers early in 2011," he said.

"The cost will be borne by our industry members but, based on international experience and with our Byteback computer recycling trial in Victoria, we believe the cost for recycling will probably be less than $2 per item."

As recycling was an economies of scale business, Mr Birks said, the AIIA had proposed a national ban on computer waste in landfills.

"However, it shows the level of commitment we have to making this happen and we feel it would be an appropriate mechanism to help us reach our targets."

It would be possible to extend the Byteback model nationwide, Mr Birks said, but the other states were "still looking at the opportunities" for similar programs by 2011.

Monday, November 9, 2009

more sustainable filmmaking

Rozelle Protocol - Australia

Dear Sir/Madam,

The Rozelle Protocol, established in June 2007, is a national convention of commercial production companies, advertising agencies and their clients, who are committed to slowing climate change.

There are two levels of involvement in the Rozelle Protocol. You or your company can become either a signatory or an advocate. As an advocate you are committed to endorsing the protocol and encouraging other’s involvement. As a signatory you are additionally dedicated to implementing an environmental levy on all your productions.

A CO2 audit commissioned by Rozelle Protocol, of several television commercials, revealed that a levy of only 0.8% of direct costs on each production would offset the greenhouse gas emissions created by that production.

For more information on which offset programs we recommend or how to become invloved, please see the list of frequently asked questions.

If you have any further queries or would like to join the Rozelle Protocol please contact any of the signatories below.

To see how green you are, please see our environmental scorecard.

Thank you for your interest.

Yours faithfully,

Emma Lawrence, Producer
Caravan Pictures Matt Long, Executive Producer
Goodoil Films Garth Davis, Director
Exit Films
Christina Wilmot,
Agency Producer Michael Cook, Executive producer
The Feds Wilf Sweetland, Producer
Exit Films
Ben Lawrence, Director
Caravan Pictures Sean Meehan, Director
Soma Films Roy De Giorgio, Freelance Producer
Michael Berry, CD/Partner
Hayesberrytehan - ADVOCATE Harriet McKern, General Manager
ADG - ADVOCATE Rick Schweikert, Managing Director
Matt Inglis
Tigertale Films - ADVOCATE Nicole Sorby, Editor
The Production Book - ADVOCATE Geoff Brown, Executive Director




Vendors back national e-waste scheme
The Federal Government's e-waste management program praised for its holistic program and cost advantages
Matthew Sainsbury 09 November, 2009 08:07:00
Tags: sony, Panasonic, fuji xerox, Express Data, e-waste

Vendors have thrown their support behind the Environmental Protection Heritage Council’s (EPHC) national e-waste management program but admit more details are needed to understand its full cost and requirements. Announced last week, the program will be based on a consistent policy regulating electronic products disposal in Australia including computers, monitors and TVs. The policy is expected to come into effect in 2011 and all manufacturers and importers of electronic equipment will be required to join a Government-accredited Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO).

Express Data productivity and training manager, Kellie Winning, expected vendors would leverage distributors’ expertise in logistics to fulfil the requirements of the new legislation.

“I have a couple of vendors who are interested in take-back programs and have asked us to help them,” she said. “I see Express Data acting as the middle man to help as a logistics centre and value-add for vendor and reseller partners.” In addition to the environmental benefits, such a scheme would result in cost savings for vendors, sustainability manager for Byteback participant Fuji Xerox, Amanda Keogh, said.

She highlighted the vendor’s Eco-Manufacturing Centre in Sydney as an example of possible savings. The centre has already remanufactured 250,000 parts and sub-assemblies annually to a ‘new’ quality, equating to a $6 million cost saving in the 2008/2009 financial year compared to sourcing and importing new parts.

However, some organisations will potentially lose out as new compliance regulations are built into the program.

“Vendors not already collecting e-waste will be hit with a cost,” Keogh said. “A reverse logistics process needs to be set-up to remove the equipment.”

Product Stewardship founding member, Panasonic, was likewise impressed with the EPHC’s announcement, claiming it was long overdue. Product Stewardship is a non-profit industry organisation with a consumer electronics focus, aimed at helping recover and recycle electronic and electrical products in an environmentally sound manner. Similarly to the Australian Information Industry Association, it has been lobbying the Government for a national e-waste scheme.

Panasonic Australia managing director, Steve Rust, said a national program would prevent organisations from bypassing responsibility by manipulating a state-by-state system. It also reduces costs for all involved by allowing large contracts with recyclers to be formed, delivering favourable economies of scale.

Sony national technical services manager, Stuart Clark, was hoping PRO-holding organisations will collaborate for the removal of waste.

Consumer electronics and IT will be treated as separate concerns when it comes to earning PRO status, but as the finer details of the program are sorted through, collaboration will help differing organisations work together where necessary, Clark said.

“There will need to be a huge communication effort from the industry targeting at consumers and our retail partners to help them understand their roles to play in the scheme,” he added.

For more on this story, check out this week’s edition of ARN.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


US Government Officials Ask Electronics Industry to Take Back NYC Law Suit, and Take Back Gadgets
by Jaymi Heimbuch, San Francisco, California on 11. 5.09
Science & Technology (electronics)

For years, New York City has been working to toughen up electronics recycling laws, and for years the electronics industry has been less than thrilled. The city has gone forward with a plan that requires electronics manufacturers to offer free door-to-door pick-up service of used devices. However, electronics companies say this too expensive, too labor intensive, and too annoying - so they sued. Now, government officials from across the nation are asking the electronics industry to drop the suit, saying that it's not about a troublesome e-cycling regulation, it's about trying to take power away from the states to regulate e-waste.

State and local government representatives from 18 states wrote a letter to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC), who filed the lawsuit, expressing their continued support for state and local laws that give the electronics manufacturers responsibility for financing effective takeback services for all the products they are selling in those states.

It is no surprise that many of the officials hail from among the 19 states that have take-back laws similar to NYC's, and the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court on July 24, argues that the New York City e-waste recycling law passed in April 2008 is unconstitutional. None of the states want to see a similar lawsuit flung at them, and indeed, none of them should.

"This lawsuit isn't really about the New York City e-waste law," said Wisconsin State Senator Mark Miller, sponsor of Wisconsin's new e-waste law, which passed two weeks ago. "This is really about the rights of states and cities to say that the manufacturers of toxic products need to be responsible for their products when consumers are ready to discard them. The outcome of this case could impact producer responsibility laws in all of our states, on a whole host of products."

The other states are working hard to help New York City show that their laws are perfectly valid. According to the press release, "Earlier this week, local governments from New York State, Oregon and California and an independent government association submitted an amicus brief to the court - providing legal arguments challenging the industry claims in the lawsuit, and in support of New York City's right to enact its producer takeback law. Two states, Maine and Washington, have provided affidavits that were submitted as part of the New York City's legal filings. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has also intervened in the case, in support of the City's law, and is now a party to the case."

Voluntary recycling programs on the part of manufacturers do little good in collecting the millions of pounds of electronic waste generated annually. Mandatory laws ensure that far more is collected and properly recycled, and far less ends up contaminating landfills.

"While many of these electronics companies have voluntary recycling programs, most of them don't actually collect significant volumes of e-waste. The exception is where strong state laws make them do it," said Barbara Kyle, National Coordinator of the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, a national environmental coalition that has supported state laws promoting "producer takeback" laws for electronics. "The industry complains about the 'patchwork of state solutions', but the truth is that if their voluntary takeback programs were better, states and cities wouldn't be passing these laws."


The Digital TV Switch Causes 70% Rise in e-Waste
by Jaymi Heimbuch, San Francisco, California on 11. 5.09
Science & Technology

We worried about the rise in dumped TVs when the switch to digital in the US occurred back in June. The UK is also switching to digital and figures show a frightening rise in dumped TVs, rising by 70% in the past year, with over half of them being upgradable. But they were dumped instead. As more areas switch to digital over the next two years, including London, just how much more of an impact can we expect, and can citizens be convinced that they don't need to dump their TVs at all?

The Guardian reports that the digital switch happened yesterday in the north-west of England. "This year, the council has recycled 50,000 analogue TVs thrown away by households, of which 30,000 could have been upgraded to receive digital TV signals with a simple £20 set-top box."

As in the US, most TVs don't need to be replaced - only a new box is needed. Yet many consumers are upgrading to new TVs anyway. Simon Birch, who is investigating the environmental impact of the digital switchover for Ethical Consumer magazine, blames Digital UK for the crush of discarded TVs, saying it isn't doing a good enough job telling consumers that they don't have to toss their televisions.

The eco-impact of televisions is under debate, though, as the Energy Saving Trust notes that a TV with a built-in digital tuner requires only one power supply and can save £7 and 20kg of carbon each year compared with an equivalent analogue TV combined with a set-top box.

However not factored in is the environmental cost of recycling a television, or worse, seeing it head to landfill, or worst, seeing it head to e-waste dumps in developing nations. In the US, only about 18% of the 23.9 million toxic CRT TVs thrown out in 2008 were recycled. And Sarah Westervelt, a Basel Action Network official, said about 80% will actually be shipped abroad to be "recycled" in China and Africa - and that is a violation of provisions of the Basel treaty that ban the shipment of toxic waste from the rich countries to poor ones. The same problems are to be expected in the UK, where e-waste in landfills is already a significant problem.

Over the long run, it is likely better to have an extra set-top box and not a new TV. It's just a matter of actually telling people this, and encouraging them to keep what isn't broken.


National policy targets e-waste

Posted Thu Nov 5, 2009 4:16pm AEDT
Updated Thu Nov 5, 2009 6:26pm AEDT

A national scheme will see 80 per cent of all televisions and computers in Australia recycled by 2021. (ABC News )

* Related Story: National plan needed for e-waste

Computers and televisions will be recycled under a new National Waste Policy to be implemented next year.

The nation's environment ministers today agreed to a national scheme which is expected to see 80 per cent of all televisions and computers recycled by 2021.

In 2007-2008 only one in 10 televisions and computers in Australia was recycled.

Green groups have been calling for the policy.

Piers Verstegen from the Boomerang Alliance says a national recycling scheme is needed because e-waste is increasing by 17 per cent each year.

"We know that in Australia we have a serious waste problem. We've got a problem with electronic waste, we've got a problem with tyres and we've certainly got a problem with bottles and cans," he said.

Computers and televisions will be recycled under a new National Waste Policy to be implemented next year.

The nation's environment ministers today agreed to a national scheme which is expected to see 80 per cent of all televisions and computers recycled by 2021.

In 2007-2008 only one in 10 televisions and computers in Australia were recycled.

Green groups have been calling for the policy.

Piers Verstegen from the Boomerang Alliance says a national recycling scheme is needed because e-waste is increasing by 17 per cent each year.

"We know that in Australia we have a serious waste problem. We've got a problem with electronic waste, we've got a problem with tyres and we've certainly got a problem with bottles and cans," he said.

Industry groups welcome new policy

John Gertsakis from Product Stewardship Australia says the scheme has been a long time coming.

"The television industry has been patiently waiting for regulation for the last four years," he said.

"This now provides the confidence for us to fund the scheme."

Ian Birks from the Australian Information Industry Association has also welcomed the policy.

"We believe it will be a positive thing for the community, for the environment and for the industry at large"

The new system is expected to add up to two dollars to the cost of a new computer or television.

National plan needed for e-waste

By Brigid Glanville for AM

AM |

Posted Thu Nov 5, 2009 10:00am AEDT
Updated Thu Nov 5, 2009 10:10am AEDT
E-waste is increasing by 17 per cent each year.

E-waste is increasing by 17 per cent each year. (AFP Photo: Raveendran)

When it comes to recycling, Australians are excellent with their household rubbish but seriously dragging the chain when it comes to disposing of computers and mobile phones.

A leading environmental group is pushing for a national recycling plan and it says old televisions and computers, known as e-waste, are the fasting growing problem.

It is almost two decades since the government devised a national policy on recycling.

Green groups want today's meeting of state and federal environment ministers to address the country's mountainous waste once again.

E-waste is increasing by 17 per cent each year and Piers Verstegen, from the Boomerang Alliance, says Australians are not recycling enough.

"We know that in Australia we have a serious waste problem. We've got a problem with electronic waste, we've got a problem with tyres and we've certainly got a problem with bottles and cans," he said.

"When recycling is one of the best ways to reduce carbon emissions and to increase investment and clean jobs in Australia, we need the Federal Government and the states to be taking leadership and taking action in respect of these waste issues."

A number of environmental groups formed the Boomerang Alliance. They want a national recycling scheme so all states and territories can follow it.

While the manufacturers of various goods such as televisions and computers support recycling, the Total Environment Centre's Jeff Angel says many states do not do it.

"Some states don't recycle very much, such as West Australia and Queensland," he said.

"States such as New South Wales have become static and in fact we don't believe will achieve their targets. And the case of Victoria, only in the last year they reported they went backwards on recycling.

"So we have a new round of challenges. We have new types of products like e-waste and batteries, burgeoning numbers of beverage containers, that we really have to start a new recycling push on."

Environmental groups say a national policy is needed to incorporate a container deposit scheme, offering consumers refunds on beverage cans and bottles. South Australia currently recycles more than 80 per cent of its cans and bottles.

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett says today's meeting in Perth will discuss all options.

"I think we've got an obligation to look at the growing piles of e-waste," he said.

"It's really accelerating at a very rapid rate. I believe that we've got the opportunity to do something constructive and positive here which hasn't been done before.

But we're going to have to have a really thorough and what I expect to be pretty engaged discussion about that when we sit down in Perth."

green filmmaking

Ecollywood: At the L.A. premiere of '2012'
From star John Cusack to director Roland Emmerich, the movie crew was on a mission to make this disaster movie as Earth-friendly as possible. MNN hits the red carpet to learn more.
By Gerri Miller
Thu, Nov 05 2009 at 8:53 AM EST
Read more: CELEBS

FILM IT GREEN: Cusack and Emmerich on the red carpet in Los Angeles. (Photo: Eric Charbonneau/SPE, Inc.)
For a special effects disaster movie costing in the neighborhood of $200 million, 2012 is surprisingly green, and as we reported last week, its producers won an EMA award for their eco-production efforts. We found out more at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. “After making The Day After Tomorrow, I said to myself, ‘From now on my movies should have a green footprint,” vowed director-writer-producer Roland Emmerich, who drives a Prius and powers his home with solar energy.

His producing partner Michael Wimer explained exactly what was done. “We bought carbon offsets, we used biofuel for all of our generators, we recycled our sets and what we couldn’t recycle we donated to Habitat for Humanity. It was important to us,” said Wimer, figuring these things may have saved half a percent of the cost of the movie, but that wasn’t the point — they wanted to prove that carbon neutrality was possible and not contribute to the destruction of the planet, off screen at least. Reiterating what he said at the EMAs, “You don’t inherit the Earth from your parents, you borrow it from your children,” reminded Wimer, who ‘s driven an electric Rav-4 for seven years. “Changes are happening to the planet, and you either take responsibility or you don’t.”

2012 star John Cusack told us he recycles and tries to conserve energy at home, and though he’d like to, “I haven’t been able to get off the grid yet,” he said. Making the movie required a different kind of energy, as it was physically taxing — Cusack was often cold and wet. “I got injured a few times,” he noted. “But it was more a matter of keeping my body warm for 12 hours a day.”

American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert (right), who sings the movie’s theme “Time For Miracles” (also a bonus track on his debut CD For Your Entertainment, due out Nov. 23), confided that he isn’t living green at home “because I’m hardly ever home.” Indeed, Lambert will be traveling for promo appearances and is planning a concert tour. After performing his CD’s title track on the American Music Awards Nov. 22, he’ll appear on Good Morning America and Late Show with David Letterman. He doesn’t believe in the 2012 doomsday prophecy. “I don’t think the world is going to end. I think it’s a symbol of the end of one time and the beginning of another, a change of consciousness and the beginning of a new way of thinking.” For his part, he said, “ I’m just trying to be positive and spread love and happiness.”

* * *

Tiffani Thiessen has been renovating her Los Angeles home to be more eco-friendly, with “everything from organic fabrics to recycled furniture to using eco-friendly paints. We don’t have solar yet, but we’re redoing our landscaping to conserve water. We got smart timers that are on a GPS system that tell us what areas need water and we have things that catch the rainwater and we use it to water our plants,” says the White Collar actress. While she’s not a mom yet, “I want my kids to have a wonderful, beautiful place to live. We put too much stress on our environment.”

Lately, Thiessen has been commuting to New York for her Friday night USA series, in which she plays Elizabeth, the wife of FBI agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay). “This is the role that's the closet to me in real life that I've ever done,” says Thiessen, best known for Saved By the Bell and Beverly Hills 90210. “I like that I’m playing a married woman who’s my age and successful and smart, all the things that I want to be,” she says.

* * *

“I recycle, I try to turn off lights as much as possible, I try not to leave the water running,” says Sarah Hyland (left) who plays sulky teenager Haley on the hit ABC comedy Modern Family. Her concern for the environment is just one of the ways the actress, who turns 19 on Nov. 24, is more mature than her character. “She cares about looks and materialistic things. I’m not really high maintenance. The only thing we have in common is I constantly have my phone in my hand,” compares Hyland, a native New Yorker who moved west after the cancellation of Lipstick Jungle (she played Brooke Shields’ daughter), booked Modern Family within three weeks, got her driver’s license, and lined up a car and apartment. “It’s so different here, but I love it,” she says.

* * *

NCIS: Los Angeles is the highest-rated new drama of the season. It’s also an eco-friendly work environment. The stage housing its headquarters “has been totally renovated. We’re the first production here, so it’s as green as it possibly can be,” says producer Shane Brennan, who also bought biodegradable reusable plastic bottles for the cast and crew. “We’ve got water coolers so they can fill up. Everyone has embraced it. And we’ve had a financial savings, something like $1,000 an episode. It’s a small thing, but it’s a start.”

* * *

Shooting the syndicated fantasy series Legend of the Seeker in New Zealand makes it easy to be green, says star Bridget Regan. “You get great local produce and dairy,” she explains. Co-star Craig Horner does something one can do anywhere, however: “I’m a water conservationist,” he says. “I have two-minute showers. And I haven’t flushed the toilet in a week!” The pair returns in the series’ second season on Nov.7.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Wow--the CEA really is a dinosaur--oh sorry, people out there in this benighted land don't believe in dinosaurs. I keep forgetting. Anyway, this is a valuable story from the San Jose Mercury

ReprintPrint Email Font Resize
Wolverton: Tech group looking backward on efficiency rules

By Troy Wolverton

Mercury News Columnist
Posted: 11/01/2009 04:00:00 PM PST
Updated: 11/03/2009 05:28:02 AM PST

For an organization that prides itself on representing one of America's most forward-looking industries, the Consumer Electronics Association has sounded more like the stodgy old Chamber of Commerce lately.

A case in point is the tech trade group's response to California's proposal to make televisions more energy-efficient, scheduled for final approval this week.

It's not just that the CEA, whose membership includes a broad spectrum of tech companies, such as Intel, Microsoft and Apple, has challenged the regulations with dubious claims that they'll raise TV prices by hundreds of dollars, lead to thousands of job losses and millions of dollars in lost tax revenue.

It's not just that the organization has been on a fear-mongering crusade that the rules will curtail the number and kind of TVs that Californians can choose from, and potentially stymie new technologies such as 3-D television.

No, the organization's rear-guard action goes much further by challenging the very idea that California and its Energy Commission should be putting a cap on energy use by TVs.

As Doug Johnson, the CEA's senior director of technology policy, put it, the proposed regulations are "an egregious action. They're neither justified nor necessary."

Such a hard-line stance resembles the one taken lately by the Chamber of Commerce, which has a history of opposing regulation, in resisting legislation that would attempt to curb global
warming through establishing a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions. And it's similarly out of touch with reality.

Because here's the thing: Attempts to curb energy usage didn't begin with TVs — and they're not going to stop there.

Already, the federal government has set efficiency standards for light bulbs that will effectively ban standard incandescent bulbs by 2014. The state Energy Commission, which has been at the forefront of demanding improved energy efficiency, has already set standards for everything from air conditioners to refrigerators. In recent years, it's begun to eye the consumer-electronics industry, setting rules for how much electricity can be consumed by power plugs and by devices in standby mode.

The growing concerns about both global warming and foreign fuel imports inevitably mean that there will be more standards to come. And tech gadgets are a fat target because they represent a big and growing portion of consumer electricity use.

Not only do we have more gadgets than ever in our homes and use them more often, but many of those gadgets aren't particularly efficient. Desktop PCs, digital video recorders and video game consoles can all consume 100 or more watts, which is in the same neighborhood as the televisions that the energy commission is considering regulating. Making them more energy-efficient will be great for consumers, who will see lower power bills.

What's more, just as is the case with the Chamber of Commerce and global warming, some of the CEA's own members are questioning its stance. California-based TV manufacturer Vizio supports the new regulations, as does the LCD TV Association, which is composed of TV manufacturers and TV part makers such as Dolby, Corning and Westinghouse.

Despite this, the CEA has repeatedly fought against efficiency standards for tech products. It opposed the standby power regulations, it opposed efficiency standards for digital television converter boxes and it opposed the efficiency rules for power adapters. Employing similar language as it has used in the TV debate, the organization argued the measures would stifle innovation and limit consumer choice. That didn't happen before and almost certainly won't this time.

By opposing nearly all mandatory efficiency standards, the CEA runs the risk of being ignored in the policymaking processes — and as a result, seeing even stiffer regulations that its members would have even more difficulty meeting.

Some resistance should be expected, of course. No business or industry likes the government telling them what to do.

But with more efforts to spur energy conservation clearly coming, you'd hope that the CEA would take a less confrontational, more cooperative stance. Instead of fighting the notion that there should even be any rules, it should be working with regulators to make sure the ones they impose are reasonable for both consumers and the industry.

Johnson said the CEA has been attempting to do just that. The group isn't opposed to all regulation and it supports the goal of energy efficiency, he said. But he also charged that the state energy commission's regulatory process is "incredibly unbalanced and biased against our industry" and that the commission has "no interest in responding to legitimate concerns."

The fact is that regulators at both the state and federal level have shown they can be flexible. The federal law on lighting efficiency, for example, exempted three-way bulbs and set lower efficiency standards for incandescents than for fluorescents. Similarly, the state Energy Commission recently decided to exempt TVs larger than 58 inches from its initial efficiency requirements and has incorporated several of CEA's suggestions into its draft rules on TV energy use.

It's time for the CEA to show similar flexibility. If not, the organization risks looking as out of touch and irrelevant as the chamber.

And that's not something you'd want from a group that's supposed to have its eyes on the future.

Contact Troy Wolverton




--and it's free on-line!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

effective albeit problematic supermodel video re climate change?


Carmike goes green in Tenn.
Opening certified eco-friendly 12-plex in Nov.

By Carl DiOrio

Oct 22, 2009, 12:49 PM ET
Carmike Cinemas will open a 12-plex in Chattanooga, Tenn., featuring a politically correct marketing hook: certification by the U.S. Green Building Council as the nation's first standalone theater boasting energy and environmental sensitive design.

Set to open Nov. 6, the cinema features deluxe amenities such as stadium-style rocking chair seats and upgraded food and beverage offerings including alcoholic drinks. The Carmike Majestic's green credentials include use of recycled construction materials, roof-mounted solar energy panels, energy efficient light and water recycling for landscaping and restrooms and low-pollutant a maintenance program.

"We realize environmental challenges and concerns facing our planet are becoming more critical with each passing day," Carmike chief David Passman said. "For this reason, we especially look forward to bringing the first-ever 'green' entertainment complex to the people of Chattanooga and the surrounding communities."

Ted Turner on newspapers

“You’re chopping all these trees down and making paper out of them and trying to deal with all the waste paper. It’s the biggest solid waste problem that we have.”

- Ted Turner voices his well-known environmentalist tendencies to Bloomberg anchor Betty Liu


rick maxwell sent me these excellent sites