Daily Green Wrap-up 14.October, 2012

Germany is joining the ranks of countries (e.g., US, UK, France, Japan, China, and India) that are debating the value of government subsidies and showing frustration with the turtle-like sales pace of electric vehicles (EVs). Germany has plans to subsidize EVs after its next general election to meet its target of one million (sound familiar?) units sold by 2020, but support may be waning.
Earlier this month, Starbucks launched a store in Colorado that, for many, is completely unrecognizable from their typical coffee shop. No longer can a customer buy a coffee, relax, and work for hours on end in comfortable leather chairs. In fact, there are no chairs, no outlets, and no space to work. This Starbucks drive thru looks like a strange art installation, but is in fact a LEED-certified Starbucks that only has enough room for the employees and the coffee.
Ahead of next week’s meeting of the parties on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad, India, a paper has been published putting some real numbers to the question: just how much financing do we need to meet our promises about biodiversity?
The current and past presidents of Iowa Renewable Fuels Association were able to chat with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday, asking for his endorsement of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and ethanol. IRFA president Brad Albin and past president Walt Wendland approached Romney and put him on the spot while an associate filmed (watch it after the jump). Romney’s response? “I do support the RFS and ethanol.”
On September 28, 2012, Governor Brown announced the signing of AB 1442, which has potentially important implications for entities handling pharmaceutical items, including pharmacies, retailers, groceries, hospitals, medical clinics, and other such facilities which handle pharmaceutical and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. AB 1442 comes at a time when increased attention is being paid to the disposition and handling of these pharmaceutical items both in California and nationally, including the EPA’s recently renewed efforts to establish standards for the handling and disposal of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals.
A new study conducted by researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital concludes that prenatal mercury exposure is linked to ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in children. According to senior study author Dr. Susan Korrick, “A hair-mercury level in the mother of about 1 part per million (ppm) or more was associated with a 60% increased risk of ADHD-related behavior.” Oddly, the same fish that carry mercury may also counteract this effect.
For those dedicated to protecting the environment, it is fairly surprising that much of the world still continues to treat precious resources with flagrant disrespect. Whilst more than 1 billion people are without access to clean water, those of us sat comfortably in the developed world routinely leave taps running and use dishwashers and washing machines when they are only half-full.

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