Archive for January 2010

Palm oil can be a cheap biofuel, but when forests are destroyed to make room for palm plantations, its use for augmenting gas and diesel fuel is not necessarily a good thing. This report in the Telegraph discusses a British requirement for use of biofuels to augment gas and diesel fuel, but that

Reuters reports on a group of shareholders who ask companies to increase transparency about the effect of their drilling on the environment and encourage companies to switch to less-toxic hydraulic fracturing fluids … “There is real business risk here,” said Larisa Ruoff, an official with the $100 million Green Century Funds. “Companies and regulators must […]

Why in the world would any reputable thinking group of people create a poll that they know from the outset is totally meaningless? That’s what PBS has done with its Sarah Palin poll. It just came in under the transom, and I really am disappointed in PBS. Just because CNN does it does not justify […]

Blueridgeoutdoors has a brief summary of what is known at present about environmental implications of the Haiti earthquake. As is usually the case with catastrophes like this, water and sanitation issues are paramount. Fortunately, there have been few reports of ruptured tanks of fuel and the like, but that could change. One big problem is […]

As reported yesterday in ScienceDaily here, With many companies investing heavily in algae-based biofuels, researchers from the University of Virginia’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have found there are significant environmental hurdles to overcome before fuel production ramps up. The ScienceDaily article summarizes some aspects of a paper by Clarens, et al., “Environmental Life […]

Check your water footprint at, a Dutch site with some other very interesting information on water consumption.

One way to treat mattress materials so they will pass the fire retardant regulation is to mix in a lot of boric acid. I need to learn more about how this is done, but jumping up and down on a bed would, I’d think, release boric acid to the air if its anything like the […]

I’ve been looking at some of the history of the regulation requiring fire retardants in bedding material/mattresses. During rulemaking, people submitted comments for which the Consumer Products Safety Commission developed responses. Below is an interesting comment and response (from the Federal Register, January 13, 2005, Volume 70, No. 9, Pages 2469 – 2514). I need […]

Over the weekend, I met a guy who told me about relatively new mattress laws requiring fire retardants in mattresses. He and his wife have been learning a lot about these laws because new mattresses they bought for their children smelled very bad, and had to be exchanged, yet the replacements also had bad odors, […]