In an alternate universe, the U.S. government is discussing a host of cybersecurity reforms to safeguard its electoral system after the Russian government waged a cyber-campaign to swing the election against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. In this universe, the United States is led by President Donald Trump, who seems to go out of his way to blame others or downplay Russia's role in the cyber-campaign. On Thursday in Poland, Trump did it again. SEE ALSO: Trump’s Tech Week did not make America great "I think it could very well have been Russia but I think it well could have been other countries and I won't be specific." That much is clear! Despite that the CIA, FBI, and NSA all concluded that Russia meddled in the election, Trump continues to deny and obfuscate the facts—and we kept track of every time he did it. After the Democratic National Committee was hacked in the run-up to the Trump-Clinton presidential debates, Trump said he … [Read more...] about All the times Trump refused to acknowledge Russia hacked the U.S.
Each year the intelligence community puts together a "Worldwide Threat Assessment" report, and it inevitably scares the hell out of Congress and the public by detailing all the dangers facing the U.S. (Hint: there are a lot of them.) This year's report, published Thursday and discussed at a congressional hearing, makes for particularly disquieting reading. While it focuses on the increasing danger that North Korea's nuclear weapons program poses as well as cyberterrorism threats, one environmental concern stands out on the list: climate change. Â According to the new report, delivered to the Senate Intelligence Committee by Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence (DNI), warns that climate change is raising the likelihood of instability and conflict around the world. This is surprising given the Trump administration's open hostility to climate science findings.Â "The trend toward a warming climate is forecast to continue in 2017," the report states, noting that … [Read more...] about Intelligence agencies cited this surprising threat to U.S. security. Dont tell Trump.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been hemorrhaging members in recent weeks after opposing legislation curtailing greenhouse gas emissions. Today, Apple joined companies like Nike, Exelon and Pacific Gas & Electric, who have also quit or scaled down participation in the organization to take a stronger stance on climate change issues. But it's the first technology company to do so - which could touch off a trend in eco-conscious Silicon Valley. The Chamber of Commerce is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington, supposedly representing the interests of 3 million dues-paying companies of all sizes. But the rift intensified last week when the Environmental Protection Agency released plans to reign in emissions from 14,000 coal-fired power plants. The Chamber accused the agency of moving forward with regulations that would harm U.S. businesses in an already shaky economy. "While we'll continue to represent the broad majority of our membership on this goal, we recognize … [Read more...] about Apple becomes first tech co. to ditch U.S. Chamber of Commerce over emissions
When the Chamber recently took a strong stance against federal policy and other legislative proposals that will regulate greenhouse emissions, it forced several companies to quit the Chamber in protest. These companies, including large California utility PG&E and Apple, argue the Chamber's stance is archaic and incompatible with their views. Because he's been dragged into the news, the Chamber's president Tom Donohue is getting more scrutiny. And it turns out that he serves on the board of Union Pacific Railroad. That's significant for two reasons. First, the railroad is heavily dependent on the business of transporting coal for its revenues and has admitted it could be adversely affected by the legislation: "We May Be Affected by Climate Change and Market or Regulatory Responses to Climate Change…Restrictions, caps, taxes, or other controls on emissions of greenhouse gasses, including diesel exhaust, could significantly increase our operating costs…[and] could also … [Read more...] about Is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce corrupt? And why it matters
Fisker has already received $529 million in loans from the U.S. Department of Energy to make its plug-in extended-range vehicles. The majority of the loans are going toward the development of the Nina, a mid-priced family car, to be built in a former GM plant in Delaware. The manufacturing delay means that the creation of thousands of promised new jobs will also be postponed. Fisker now plans to start production in 2013. "Yes there have been delays, but we have created a totally new car, based on a new technology and started a company and raised finance for it in less than 4 years since the company was formed - and all in an economic downturn," Roger Ormisher, Fisker's director of global communication told VentureBeat. A $169 million chunk of the government's loan has gone to development of Fisker's Karma, a luxury sedan made in Finland that costs $96,000 (pictured above). However, even though the factory is in Finland, Fisker and the Department of Energy say the loan money is not … [Read more...] about U.S.-backed electric car maker Fisker misses early goals, delays production
California may be a haven for plug-in electric cars, but it's also home to many of the most-polluted cities in the U.S. Of the 10 most polluted U.S. cities in the American Lung Association's State of the Air report, seven are in the Golden State. Topping the lists if the combined Los Angeles-Long Beach metropolitan area, followed consecutively by Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, Bakersfield, Fresno-Madera, and Sacramento-Roseville. The only other state with more than one city on the list was Texas: Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth were sixth and eighth, respectively, separated by Modesto-Merced, Calif. Rounding off the top 10 were the combined Washington, D.C.-Baltimore-Arlington metropolitan area and the combination of Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada. High pollution is precisely why California has historically set its own emissions standards, mandating pollution controls well before the 1970 establishment of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The state's powerful Air Resources Board … [Read more...] about 7 of the 10 most polluted cities in the U.S. are in California
WASHINGTON -- The rate at which computers and data centers are using power will double in five years, a rate so rapid that the U.S. will need 10 more electric power plants over that period just to keep up, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in a report released today. But like Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, the EPA report predicts a future that can be changed -- or at least tweaked. If IT managers become more Scrooge-like in managing power, and pinch their consumption wherever they can through the adoption of best practices and more efficient technologies, energy consumption can be cut, the EPA argues. But broader efforts will be needed as well, including "objective, credible information" about the performance of new technologies, combined with federal leadership on data center efficiency and a challenge to the private sector to do more to cut power. Standardized performance measures are also needed, the EPA said. That is the upshot of a report that treats … [Read more...] about EPA: U.S. needs more power plants to support data centers
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. is shipping used electronic devices containing toxic substances overseas with little regulation and enforcement to protect people and the environment in those countries, according to a government auditor's report. Many U.S. electronics recyclers appear to be shipping used equipment containing CRTs overseas in violation of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules, and the agency's regulations cover only the export of used and discarded CRT monitors, not other electronic equipment, according to the report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (download PDF). There is a "thriving" market for discarded electronic equipment overseas, but the EPA has "done little" to enforce its January 2007 rule that requires companies to notify the EPA before exporting CRTs, the GAO said. Electronics equipment containing CRTs can contain four pounds of toxic lead, said the report, which was released today. "Concerns have grown ... that some U.S. companies are exporting these … [Read more...] about GAO: U.S. exports harmful e-waste to other countries
A Massachusetts recycler of electronic waste is disputing reports from an environmental group that a recent shipment to Indonesia was illegal and contained computer monitors with hazardous materials. A press release issued Monday by environmental watchdog Basel Action Network (BAN), accusing CRT Recycling of illegally shipping CRT (cathode ray tube) computer monitors to Indonesia is inaccurate, said Peter Kopcych, general manager at CRT Recycling. BAN issued a statement saying that Indonesia in November rejected nine containers filled with CRTs and other electronic waste shipped by Advanced Global Technologies for CRT Recycling. The Ministry of Environment in Indonesia rejected the shipment after BAN raised concerns that the shipment violated Indonesian law and an international treaty on hazardous waste, the Basel Convention, BAN said. But the shipment, which has been returned to the U.S., didn't contain illegal materials, Kopcych said. The seals on the containers shipped to Indonesia … [Read more...] about E-waste shipment from U.S. under dispute
Environmentalists, climate advocates and many world leaders have feared this moment ever since President Donald Trump took office. On Tuesday, with the anticipated signing of an Executive Order, the great climate policy dismantling is slated to begin.Â This will kick off the unwinding of the Obama administration's climate efforts, including the landmark set of regulations known as the Clean Power Plan. This program, administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is America's most comprehensive effort to slash carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and steer the economy away from fossil fuels.Â Trump, it seems, is determined to turn the wheel back toward those dirty fuels, no matter the environmental costs. The regulations require power plants to reduce total carbon emissions by 32 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.Â Despite its flaws, the Clean Power Plan is still the country's best defense against human-driven global warming, energy experts say.Â Absent the … [Read more...] about This might be the last day of climate progress in the U.S. (for a while)