Agriculture

Clean Diesel Program is Clear Success, Says US EPA
October 21, 2009 06:43 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The EPA says in a report to Congress that the Clean Diesel Program is working as planned. The program, funded at $50 million last year, allowed EPA to fund the purchase or retrofitting of 14,000 diesel-powered vehicles and pieces of equipment, reducing the potential for respiratory illnesses and saving money in communities nationwide.

US Pressured to Help Fight Tropical Deforestation
October 19, 2009 11:44 AM - Ben Block, Worldwatch Institute

As the U.S. Senate prepares to debate its own climate change legislation, a chorus of politicians, businesses, environmentalists, and scientists is uniting to request that U.S. climate policy help tropical nations in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia protect their forests. Known as the Commission on Climate and Tropical Forests, the group suggests that U.S. cap-and-trade legislation raise an annual $5 billion and $9 billion in public and private investments, respectively. Without forestry offsets, comparable domestic emissions reductions would cost the U.S. economy an additional $50 billion by 2020, the group estimates.

China to Move Residents Near Smelter
October 19, 2009 07:07 AM - Phyllis Xu and Lucy Hornby, Reuters

China plans to move 15,000 residents in its biggest lead smelting area away from the plants in order to allow them to keep operating, after tests showed over 1,000 children had excessive lead in their blood.

September Global Surface Temperature Second Warmest Since 1880
October 18, 2009 03:07 PM - R. Greenway, ENN

The northeast is getting snow already, and low temperatures. Does this mean global warming is a myth? Not necessarily. A new analysis of global temperatures show that the combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the second warmest September on record, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Based on records going back to 1880, the monthly National Climatic Data Center analysis is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides.

Hurricane Rick strengthens to Cat 5
October 18, 2009 11:04 AM - Reuters

Hurricane Rick intensified to a top Category 5 storm off Mexico's Pacific coast on Saturday as it headed toward resorts on the Baja California peninsula next week, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

El Niño to Help Steer U.S. Winter Weather
October 17, 2009 01:42 PM - R. Greenway, ENN

NOAA released a study this week projecting United States winter weather for the coming winter season. Using forecast E Niño conditions, the study predicts temperature and precipitation trends for the mainland US and Hawaii.

Supporting Fair Trade, One Latte at a Time
October 16, 2009 08:33 AM - Carly Smolak, Triple Pundit

Coffee accounts for 80% of all Fair Trade certified products sold in the US, and with 40 million pounds of Fair Trade coffee purchases in 2009, Starbucks is by far the largest buyer of Fair Trade coffee on the planet. Starbucks’ commitment to Fair Trade is commendable, and in fact seems exceptional, in a world where the vast majority of companies engage in less-than-ethical business practices. TransFair USA, the only third-party Fair Trade certifier in the US, calls the relationship between the non-profit and Starbucks “deeply transformational” to thousands of farmers and their communities.

U.S. Climate Plan will Boost Nuclear, Renewables
October 16, 2009 06:41 AM - Timothy Gardner, Reuters

A U.S. cap-and-trade market on greenhouse gases should be designed carefully to avoid unfair economic pain in fossil fuel industries and other parts of the economy, experts told lawmakers on Wednesday. The aim of a cap-and-trade market on greenhouse gases at the center of the climate bill introduced by Senate leaders this month would transform the economy from being based on fossil fuels to more nuclear and renewable power.

Global Warming Threatens to Upset Arctic Carbon Trapping
October 15, 2009 06:35 AM - R. Greenway, ENN

The US Geological Survey, in partnership with the Ecological Society of America, University of Alaska Fairbanks published the results of a study on the changing climate and the important role that the Arctic plays in sequestering carbon. The study shows that the arctic could potentially alter the Earth’s climate by becoming a possible source of global atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Ireland to Ban Genetically Modified Crops
October 13, 2009 02:09 PM - GM-Free Ireland, Organic Consumers Association

The Irish Government will ban the cultivation of all GM crops and introduce a voluntary GM-free label for food - including meat, poultry, eggs, fish, crustaceans, and dairy produce made without the use of GM animal feed. The policy was adopted as part of the Renewed Programme for Government agreed between the two coalition partners, the centre-right Fianna Faíl and the Green Party, after the latter voted to support it on Saturday.

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