‘The streets are paved with gold!’ NYC clear-air vigilantes reveal how they’re claiming up to $225,000-a-year by reporting idling trucks to city’s green agency and taking cut of the $350 fine slapped on drivers

Sneaky New Yorkers taking advantage of a city clear-air initiative are making up to $225,000-a-year by reporting idling trucks to the city, then claiming a cut of the $350 fine. 

Leaving a truck engine idling for more than three minutes is an offense in NYC, with anyone who submits video proof to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) handed an $85 bonus by the department, for every proven violation they submit. 

Environmental lawyer Ernest Welde, 47, says he submitted proof of thousands of violations last year, which are yet to be processed, but which he estimates will earn him between $200,000 and $225,000.  

And busybody former Marine Paul Slapikas, 81, says he netted $64,000 in 2021 by doing the same thing. Truckers caught with idling engines have been known to lash out at anyone they suspect of filming them – so Slapikas, who lives in Queens, has devised a clever routine to throw them off the scent.

He stands in front of an idling truck acting like a lost tourist- equipped with a camera hanging from his neck and a city map and a flip phone. But he is secretly recording idling trucks with a concealed iPhone and once he’s done he walks away satisfied, potentially just earning his cut of the fine. 

Welde bragged: ‘The money, it’s awesome!’ with Slapikas agreeing while joking that ‘They say the streets are paved with gold.’   

In 2018 NYC’s Department of Environmental Protection launched Citizens Air Complaint Program allowing everyday New Yorkers to file ‘citizen complaints’ of idling vehicles. 

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Power Outage? Too Bad. California Just Banned the Sale of Gas-Powered Generators, Lawnmowers, & Leaf Blowers

In an effort to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted this month to ban the sale of new off-road engines such as those found in leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other equipment by 2024. The ruling also bans portable generators by requiring new models to meet more stringent standards in 2024 and meet zero-emission standards starting in 2028.

The decision by the board follows an executive order issued by California Governor and covid tyrant, Gavin Newsom (D) to bar the sale of gas-powered lawn equipment to curb emissions.

“Today’s action by the Board addresses these small but highly polluting engines. It is a significant step towards improving air quality in the state, and will definitely help us meet stringent federal air quality standards,” CARB chair Liane Randolph said in a statement. “It will also essentially eliminate exposure to harmful fumes for equipment operators and anyone nearby.”

The new standards for generator sales for 2024 will reportedly require generator manufacturers to improve their efficiency by somewhere between 40% and 90%, eventually being zero emissions by 2028. The improvements by 2024 are likely unrealistic meaning it will be extraordinarily hard to find a generator in the state by 2024.

The state has set aside $30 million to help landscapers and mowing companies make the transition. But $30 million is a drop in the bucket given the fact that there are hundreds of mom and pop shops currently selling small engines across the state and thousands of landscape and mowing companies.

It is important to point out that folks who currently own a gas powered generator will still be able to use them, however, those who want to get one in a future emergency will soon be out of luck.

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China and India set to receive £1.5billion climate aid windfall – despite scuppering COP26 coal pledges

China and India are set to receive a £1.5 billion climate aid windfall despite scuppering a COP26 deal on reducing reliance on coal power.

Richer countries agreed to double funding for developing nations to prepare for global warming at the Glasgow conference earlier this month.

Despite having two of the fastest growing economies in the world, the UN designates China and India as ‘developing states’.

Analysis shows that the two countries received a total of about £700 million from developed countries in 2019, the latest figures available, as well as millions more from investment foundations and private donors.

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Biden tours Rome with 85-vehicle motorcade ahead of ‘climate’ summit

President Biden on Friday cruised through Rome with an 85-vehicle motorcade — drawing criticism for the poor optics ahead of a global warming summit in Glasgow, Scotland, to which Biden is bringing about a dozen top US officials.

“Biden arriving at the Vatican. His motorcade is lonnnnnng,” tweeted Washington Post reporter Chico Harlan, along with a video of the procession.

“#Decarbonize this,” one person captioned the video.

“America’s Marie Antoinette class is Washington’s elites – and that shows it,” another person responded.

Biden routinely says there’s a “climate crisis” caused by fossil fuels. It’s unclear how many of the motorcade vehicles are electric plug-ins or hybrids, but they appeared to be standard gas-guzzling limos, SUVs and vans.

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Nearly 1.6 billion disposable masks polluted oceans in 2020, will take 450 years to decompose

Nearly1.6 billion disposable face masks ended up in the earth’s oceans in 2020, out of the roughly 52 billion produced in response to the pandemic, according to a new study.

While governments around the world continue to support mask mandates in public spaces, the impact of disposable masks is only just emerging.

The report, by the Hong Kong-based marine conservation group OceansAsia, title “Masks on the Beach,” also estimated that roughly 5,500 tons of plastic pollution entered the ocean in 2020 from masks.

The figure is equal to 7% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a mass of plastic debris floating in the ocean that is twice the size of Texas.

While a cigarette butt or plastic bag takes 20 years or less to degrade in the ocean, according to Visual Capitalist, a plastic bottle, disposable diaper or a disposable mask takes nearly 450 years to fully break down. 

The majority of disposable masks – like N95 respirators and surgical masks – were produced in China factories, which were reportedly producing 450 million masks per day in April 2020. 

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