From: ENN
Published August 25, 2006 12:00 AM

August 21st - 25th

Top Ten Articles of the Week

In the news August 21st - 25th: Fighting water corruption, tackling high-tech junk, restoring wetlands, saving mangroves, and mush more.


1. Ozone-Friendly Chemicals Lead to Warming
Cool your home, warm the planet. When more than two dozen countries undertook in 1989 to fix the ozone hole over Antarctica, they began replacing chloroflourocarbons in refrigerators, air conditioners and hair spray. But they had little idea that using other gases that contain chlorine or fluorine instead also would contribute greatly to global warming.


2. Judge Rejects Bush Plan to Log in Sequoia National Monument
A federal judge blocked a Bush administration plan to allow commercial logging in Giant Sequoia National Monument, home to two-thirds of the world's largest trees. The plan would have allowed up to 7.5 million board feet of timber -- enough to fill 1,500 logging trucks -- to be removed each year from the monument in Sierra Nevada, the plaintiffs said.


3. China Targets Rising Mountain of High-Tech Junk
China has issued rules to reduce the country's rising mountain of discarded computers and other electronics by telling manufacturers, retailers and users to take responsibility for high-tech junk.The State Environmental Protection Administration said a new policy issued on its Web site on Wednesday would encourage "polluter responsibility" for electronic waste.


4. Dam Broken to Restore California Wetlands
The ocean flowed into historic wetlands Thursday for the first time in more than a century after bulldozers peeled back the last layer of an earthen dam. Environmentalists who worked for 30 years to restore the massive Bolsa Chica area cheered and sipped champagne as the salty water poured into the fragile ecosystem that had been tapped as an oil field for decades.


5. New Shrimp Farm Rules Aim to Save Asian Mangroves
Environmental regulation of shrimp farming operations across Asia takes a major step forward next month, when the U.N. food agency considers adoption of a set of tougher industry guidelines published on Tuesday.


6. Biofuels Could Strain U.N. Goals of Ending Hunger
Rising production of biofuels from crops might complicate U.N. goals of ending hunger in developing countries, where 850 million people do not have enough to eat, a senior U.N. official said on Wednesday. Production of fuels from sugar, maize, soybeans and other corps is surging, spurred by oil prices above $70 a barrel and a drive for more environmentally friendly fuels from renewable sources.


7. Leading Canada Liberal Proposes Type of Carbon Tax
The man often regarded as the front-runner in the race to head Canada's opposition Liberal Party, Michael Ignatieff, proposed Monday a modified carbon tax to try to limit climate change. Unveiling his policy, Ignatieff said federal taxes on transportation fuels should be restructured to be heavier on those like gasoline and diesel that emit more carbon and lighter on cleaner natural gas and propane.


8. New Alliance Seeks to Fight Water Sector Corruption
Water experts and businesses teamed up on Tuesday to fight corruption feared to be siphoning off billions of dollars from projects to supply drinking water to the Third World. The Water Integrity Network (WIN), launched at a meeting of 1,000 water experts in Stockholm, would combat graft in a sector where huge contracts are needed to meet U.N. goals of halving the proportion of people with no access to clean water by 2015.


9. Researchers Hope Bugs Speed Methane Take
Researchers are studying whether microbes can be manipulated by science to expand the life of coal-bed methane wells in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming. So far, results look "very promising," said Seth Snyder, a researcher at Argonne National Laboratory. Argonne, located 25 miles southwest of Chicago, is one of the U.S. Department of Energy's largest research centers.


10. Philippines Hopes to Break World Record with Mass Tree-Planting
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo took part Friday in a massive tree-planting campaign aimed at improving air quality in the Philippines while breaking a world record. The "Green Philippine Highways" project initially aimed to simultaneously plant 500,000 trees on 3,439 kilometers (2,137 miles) of roads across the sprawling archipelago, but Environment Undersecretary Francisco Bravo said the figure may have been higher.


Photo: Greenpeace volunteer Albert Lozada, assists a group of local fisherman from Tando Village, Guimaras Island in the Philippines assisted by Greenpeace volunteers collect oil from beaches by hand. The spill began on August 11 when Solar I, a single hull vessel carrying 2.1 million litres of oil sank in the Guimaras Strait, about 500km southeast of Manila. Photo credit: © Greenpeace/Gavin Newman.


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