Environment & Weather
Governor Quinn Announces Grant to Improve Energy Efficiency at Amtrak Train Yard on Earth Day PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Andrew Mason   
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 07:30

Illinois Energy Now Program Reduces State’s Environmental Footprint, Creates Energy Savings, and Helps Amtrak Save $2 Million Per Year

CHICAGO – April 22, 2012. Today on Earth Day, Governor Pat Quinn announced that the state awarded Amtrak a $300,000 energy efficiency grant to assist the passenger rail agency with upgrading its train yard in Chicago. The grant, funded through the Illinois Energy Now (IEN) program, will significantly reduce Amtrak’s natural gas consumption and empower them to save millions of dollars annually.

“Illinois is already a leader in energy efficiency and sustainability, and investments in our public facilities will ensure we make the greatest impact,” Governor Quinn said. “Programs like Illinois Energy Now continue to strengthen our commitment to creating 21st century jobs and making Illinois the greenest state in America.”

The modern energy efficiency project has allowed Amtrak to replace an inefficient steam heat system, and eliminate thousands of feet of steam piping, un-insulated piping, leaks, and defective traps, to much more effectively control and monitor heat sources. The new system is projected to reduce natural gas consumption by more than two million therms each year. At least 30 construction jobs were created over a two-year period as a result of the project.

“We’re always looking for ways for energy conservation and environmental management to reduce our carbon footprint and make Amtrak an even more efficient mode of transportation, said Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman, who pointed out the Amtrak-Illinois partnership extends for more than 40 years in providing passenger rail service under contract, and Amtrak is a major employer with about 1,500 employees statewide. “We appreciate the state’s help with our Chicago facilities.”

The IEN grant, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), was crucial to Amtrak obtaining capital funding to perform energy efficiency projects around the country. This $300,000 grant helped Amtrak leverage $5.54 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding. As a result, the company will see an estimated savings of $2 million per year in natural gas costs. In addition, the estimated natural gas consumption savings of 2.1 million therms per year make the Chicago rail yard system replacement the largest natural gas project funded through IEN this year.

“The energy efficiency investments we’re making today will pay dividends in the future by creating significant energy savings and keeping the cost of doing business low, which will make Illinois even more attractive to investment,” said DCEO Acting Director David Vaught. “This is a great example of how sustainability and economic development go hand in hand.”

Illinois Energy Now is an energy efficiency program administered by the State of Illinois that provides millions of dollars in rebates to public facilities that make large-scale equipment improvements to their electric and natural gas systems. More than $70 million is available annually to specifically help fund these projects. Funding comes from a utility surcharge included on customers’ utility bills that is directed toward energy efficiency projects to work make Illinois more energy efficient.

“Under Governor Quinn’s directive to expand green transportation practices, the Illinois Department of Transportation continues to increase passenger rail service in our state, reducing energy consumption and cutting down on harmful emissions,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “This investment in the Amtrak’s primary Chicago yard means train travel in Illinois will become an option that’s even more friendly to the environment.”

Ridership on state-supported Amtrak routes in Illinois has doubled in the last five years alone, reaching more than 1.7 million riders in fiscal year 2011, as more and more travelers seek an alternative to the automobile and high gas prices.

For more information on Illinois Energy Now and other sustainability programs, visit www.illinoisenergy.org.  For more information on why Illinois is the right place for any business, visit www.illinoisbiz.biz.

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Statement from Governor Pat Quinn PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Nafia Khan   
Friday, 20 April 2012 12:54

On Durbin – Kirk Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act

 

SPRINGFIELD – April 19, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today issued the following statement regarding the Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act proposal introduced by Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Mark Kirk.

 

“I salute and support the Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act proposed by Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Mark Kirk. After deadly tornadoes hit Harrisburg and Ridgway, we saw firsthand how communities devastated by a disaster can lose out on critical assistance simply because they are part of a populous state. The Durbin-Kirk proposal ensures that FEMA considers the economic impact of the disaster on people, businesses and the impacted areas.

 

“This proposal will level the playing field for communities throughout Illinois and across America so that when a disaster strikes, their applications for federal help will receive more comprehensive and fair consideration. Small communities in big states that have suffered tremendous losses from a disaster would no longer be penalized.

 

“I encourage Congress to approve the Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act to improve FEMA’s current process.”

 

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$10,000 to Everglades Restoration PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 19 April 2012 15:34
Saw Palmetto Raises Money for ‘River of Grass’

Yes, it’s true: Restoring and protecting the Everglades – the largest tract of U.S. wilderness east of the Rockies – can help protect men’s prostates.

That’s why Euromed USA (www.euromedusa.com) and its customers recently donated $10,000 to the non-profit Everglades Foundation, which is working to conserve and restore the fragile damaged “River of Grass.”

“Older gentlemen all over the world rely on saw palmetto to keep their prostates healthy, and saw palmetto comes from just one place in the world – Florida,” says Euromed president and general manager Joe Veilleux, a registered pharmacist.

“The Everglades in South Florida is a fascinating, one-of-a-kind environment that has sustained a lot of serious damage from us humans,” he says. “We chose it as our mission because we want to be part of its restoration and raise awareness about its value as a national treasure. We chose the Everglades Foundation because it does a fantastic job – it’s a very large, very well-organized group.”

Euromed’s Glade-iator program (www.glade-iator.org), which launched last year, makes a donation to the Everglades Foundation in the purchaser’s name every time a customer buys its saw palmetto extract. The customers – large companies that produce pharmaceutical products and nutritional supplements – are also encouraged to become Glade-iator’s official partners and raise awareness with promotional materials provided by Euromed. Those partners now include GNC, Gaia Herbs and Tishcon, among others.

“Our customers have been enthusiastic about this program,” Veilleux says. “Most have signed up as partners. They see it as an unusual situation where business interests and the environmental interests all line up.”

The Everglades Foundation is also enthusiastic. The 19-year-old organization conducts scientific research, helps fund work that benefits the unique ecosystem, and supports legal actions to protect it.

“Contributions like the one from Euromed will propel our restoration and preservation efforts in the coming year,” says Susan Ervin, the foundation’s vice president for development. “Our board covers 100 percent of our administration and fundraising costs, so all donations go directly to science and conservation.”

The Everglades is home to about 20,000 acres of saw palmetto in pineland forests that comprised more than 160,000 acres before South Florida was developed. It’s also home to many endangered species, including manatees, American crocodiles, and the colorful roseate spoonbill.

Euromed harvests saw palmetto berries from all over Florida using sustainable methods that don’t damage the mother plant. The berries contain free fatty acid and sterols that help patients with the bothersome effects of benign prostate enlargement (BPH), a common problem for men over 40. Saw palmetto is the most popular natural remedy in the world for that purpose, according to a Mayo Clinic report that says it appears to address hormonal issues associated with aging and has anti-inflammatory properties.

About Euromed USA

Euromed USA supplies standardized botanical and herbal extracts and natural active substances for use in the pharmaceutical, health food and cosmetics industries. By extracting the necessary chemicals, the company can guarantee its products meet the precise chemical specifications necessary. Euromed was founded 40 years ago. Its parent company is the 100-year-old Rottapharm-Madaus based in Italy.

 
Five Ways to Go Green in a Iowa Home PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Douglas Patch   
Tuesday, 17 April 2012 15:12

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 (Davenport, IA) – From large scale renovations to quick redecorating projects, there are many great ways to go green while making updates to your home.  In celebration of Earth Day, Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home offers these five tips on making your project a little greener:

1. Repurposing vintage and antique furniture is one of the best ways to be kind to the planet. Family members’ garages, yard sales, and online auction sites like eBay and Craigslist are great places to start. A repurposed piece might need some work but often times, a quick coat of paint or a good cleaning can reveal the perfect piece to add a layer of uniqueness to a new design.

2. Choose a paint that has no VOCs – volatile organic compounds – like Benjamin Moore’s Natura® line. VOCs are also what cause that paint smell so this green choice will also make do-it-yourself painting projects a little more enjoyable.

3. Look for green options in unexpected places. “Many people are surprised to find that there are so many options for eco-friendly flooring,” said Douglas Patch, of Northwest Carpet One Floor & Home. “And you’re not just limited to hard surface. There are carpet options that are green too.” At Carpet One Floor & Home, they indicate eco-friendly products with the Green Select label to make them easier for customers to find.

4.  Often times a home project is so focused on what is new that the old is forgotten. Donating old furniture and making sure that construction materials are disposed of properly is a big part of a green remodel. Gently used furniture can be sold in a yard sale or donated to charity. Even carpet can often be reused or recycled - gently used carpet can be cleaned and donated and certain types of carpet can be recycled. It make take a little extra work to keep your old room out of the landfill, but donating and recycling as much as possible is important for green home project.

5. Green goes beyond the actual remodel or renovation. This is a great time to add features that will save energy for years to come. Installing ceiling fans during a renovation can cut down on energy use year round. Energy efficient appliances are an important feature to consider during kitchen upgrades.   And, if exterior doors are part of the project, make sure they are energy efficient as well.

“I like to keep the environment in mind whenever possible,” says Steve Suraci from Icarus Designs. “Products with earth-friendly labels like Energy Star and Green Select make it easy to make the green choice.” Steve Suraci provides more green ideas in his video “Green Up Your Renovation”

Home renovation projects can be exciting and gratifying. Keeping the earth in mind will make the new space even more enjoyable for years to come.

For more ideas and information on green products mentioned in this article, please visit Carpet One Floor & Home’s Pinterest Board “Green Home”.

 
VETERAN METEOROLOGIST BRIAN SUSSMAN: GLOBAL WARMING'S RECKLESS RHETORIC PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Brian Sussman   
Tuesday, 17 April 2012 13:53
A recent story at American Thinker revealed that an acclaimed environmental studies professor contends those who do not believe humans are causing global warming are mentally ill and need to be "treated."

Keri Norgaard teaches at the University of Oregon and is the author of Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions and Everyday Life.  In her book she compares global warming skepticism to racism, arguing that there is a "cultural resistance" that keeps some people from acknowledging that humans are responsible for global warming.  This condition, she claims, "...must be recognized and treated" as an aberrant sociological behavior.

Norgaard also claims, "Climate change poses a massive threat to our present social, economic and political order.  From a sociological perspective, resistance to change is to be expected." She continues, saying, "This kind of cultural resistance to a very significant social threat is something that we would expect in any society facing a massive threat."

Norgaard even goes so far as to say that such cultural resistance to accepting the theory of anthropogenic global warming is comparable to what happened when slavery was challenged in the Southern United States.

Norgaard has been making such radical pronouncements for years.  In a 2009 interview with Wired magazine, she said, "Global warming...threatens the survival of our species,"

Translated, she's saying that if we don't do something, we're all gonna die.

But Norgaard is not a lone voice of reckless eco-rhetoric.  In fact, green scaremongering is a common practice amongst those in the environmental movement; and such comments have the potential to incite societal panic.

After the shooting of Arizona Congressional Representative Gabrielle Giffords there was a call to tone down the violent political rhetoric, which Democratic congressional members claimed was originating from the right.

Democratic National Committee Chairperson and Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz took to the cameras of CNN, stating, "Words matter."  She then reminded her fellow public servants that, "In terms of civility and tone we have to set an example."

It's too bad the congresswoman won't have the same conversation with her friends in the environmental community.  Let's start at the top with an outlandish quote from Al Gore:

"Global warming, along with the cutting and burning of forests and other critical habitats, is causing the loss of living species at a level comparable to the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.  That event was believed to have been caused by a giant asteroid.  This time it is not an asteroid colliding with the Earth and wreaking havoc: it is us."

If such an asteroid really did slam into the earth, it's thought that the impact would have been thousands of times more powerful than the largest nuclear bomb.  The Nobel Laureate is threatening the public with a catastrophe that defies the imagination. Gore is engaging in dangerous speech that could cause an unbalanced mind to go wobbly and do something awful.

Let's go next to Al's friend, NASA director James Hansen.

"The climate is nearing tipping points," he said in a 2009 opinion piece published in one of London's most popular newspapers. "Changes are beginning to appear and there is a potential for explosive changes, effects that would be irreversible, if we do not rapidly slow fossil-fuel emissions over the next few decades."

Hansen next describes the apocalyptic warning signs.

"As species are exterminated by shifting climate zones, ecosystems can collapse, destroying more species."

Hansen then reveals the primary demon behind such environmental evil-coal.

"Coal is not only the largest fossil fuel reservoir of carbon dioxide, it is the dirtiest fuel. Coal is polluting the world's oceans and streams with mercury, arsenic and other dangerous chemicals... The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains.  Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.

Folks, this is a director of NASA speaking.  An irrational mind might just take this maniacal rhetoric to heart, and strap him-or her-to the train tracks in an attempt to halt such a "death train."

NASA isn't the only federal agency associated with climate scare mongering; the Environmental Protection Agency is also in on the game.  Posted on the EPA's website is a list of Frequently Asked Questions on global warming.  In one response the agency declares, "Climate change health effects are especially serious for the very young, very old, or for those with heart and respiratory problems."

Another EPA document states, "...climate change will likely increase the number of people suffering from illness and injury due to floods, storms, droughts, and fires, as well as allergies and infectious diseases."[1]

Quite frankly, we should be grateful more people don't react to such wild comments the way a few have.

In 2010 James Jay Lee executed a dangerous hostage plot inside the headquarters of the Discovery Channel.  Armed with what appeared to be pipe bombs and a cheap pistol, Lee claimed to have been "awakened" by Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth.  Lee regarded humans as the "most destructive, filthy, pollutive creatures around."  His desire was to force the Discovery Channel to fill its programming schedule with "solutions to save the planet."  Before he was able to harm innocent life, Lee was shot and killed by police.

Lee is not the first eco-freak to go off the deep end.  In 2005, four years after 9/11, the FBI declared eco-terrorism to be America's number one domestic threat.

Of course the most notorious eco-terrorist is Ted Kaczynski-the Unabomber.  Over a seventeen year period during the Eighties and Nineties Kaczynski sent out mail bombs, killing three people and wounding twenty-two.  He also managed to sneak a bomb onto a 747 passenger jet flying from Chicago to Washington D.C.  Fortunately the bomb didn't go off as planned.  Kaczynski's reign ended in 1996, shortly after he made public his now-infamous manifesto written in his tiny cabin located in the back woods of western Montana.  In it he opined, "One of the effects of the intrusion of industrial society has been that over much of the world traditional controls on population have been thrown out of balance.  Hence, the population explosion, with all that it implies...No one knows what will happen as a result of ozone depletion, the greenhouse effect and other environmental problems that cannot yet be foreseen."

And discovered by the FBI in the Unabomber's hovel?  A well-worn copy of Al Gore's, Earth In The Balance.  Kaczynski apparently was quite taken by Gore's missive.  The Unabomber's copy of Earth In The Balance was dog-eared, underlined, marked and well worn.

The infectious perspective of the environmental movement has slithered into every aspect of American life, including our schools, churches and synagogues, and public policy.  An entire generation and more have now been raised in a perpetual pall that declares the earth is doomed because of mankind's pollution.  These same citizens have been duped into believing that America's experiment with capitalism and free markets has been a complete failure, and the major evidence is climate change.  Having been fed a continual diet of junk science and raised with strict environmental regulations, they believe such stratagems to be the norm, and, consequently, they simply accept it without question.

This is why we must be armed with the truth to confront the eco-lies that surround us, and make sure we elect people of good character into office, to repeal a host of legislation designed to replace American liberty, with eco-tyranny.


ABOUT YOUR GUEST: Bestselling author Brian Sussman attended the University of Missouri dreaming of a career as a television meteorologist.  However, after graduation, his first job was as the nation's youngest television news director, managing the news team at the ABC-TV affiliate in Columbia, Missouri. The small newsroom environment allowed Sussman to write, produce, report, shoot and edit the news, and even hire employees and manage a budget. However, ironically, he never stood before the "green screen" to report the weather.

Moving West toward his home state of California, Brian finally got a shot to do his first weathercast at KOLO-TV in Reno. Deemed an overnight success, he was soon lured into the San Francisco television market where, over the next 20-years, Sussman became a meteorological legend at the CBS-owned KPIX, channel 5.  His weather and science reporting was honored with a handful of Emmy's, 16 "Best Weather" awards from the Associated Press and Radio-TV-News Directors Association, a National Education Association accolade of merit, and a "Brian Sussman Day" from the California State legislature.

Sussman is credentialed through the American Meteorological Society, and holds the esteemed AMS "Seal of Approval." He's served on the Society's board of education.

In 2001, Sussman shocked the California media community by leaving his TV job to venture into conservative talk radio. He was hired by one of the nation's top-talkers, KSFO, and currently hosts the station's popular morning-drive program.

In 2010, Brian neatly combined his journalism and meteorological expertise, releasing the bestseller, Climategate: A Veteran Meteorlogist Exposes the Global Warming Scam.

Now he presents, Eco-Tyranny: How the Left's Green Agenda.

"It's the most damning historical expose' ever written about the environmental movement," says Sussman. "The red roots of the green movement are conclusively uncovered in Eco-Tryanny.  If we want to secure our liberty and restore our economy, the wild branches growing from this insurgent foe--which now reach into every aspect of American life--must be lopped off. I explain how we can achieve this critical task in this must-read book."

 
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