Climate

USDA's Conner: Crop supplies "dicey" in 2008
December 20, 2007 02:38 PM - Charles Abbott, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. farmers will win the race to grow enough corn, wheat and soybeans to satisfy food, feed and biofuel needs although 2008 will be "very dicey," said acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner on Thursday. "I would never bet against our farmers on this issue," Conner said in looking ahead to 2008 crops. For the second year in a row, zooming demand for U.S. crops will require a huge harvest to avoid shortfalls. "We have said it is going to be very dicey."

EPA Denies States the Right to Fight Global Warming
December 20, 2007 12:10 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stunned the nation today by denying California and 17 other states the right to proceed with regulations that would reduce global warming pollution from new automobiles. "EPA is not following science or the law," said Jim Tripp, general counsel for Environmental Defense. "This decision is like pulling over the fire trucks on their way to the blaze," said Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense "For 40 years, EPA administrators have recognized the important role that California plays in innovating new standards to fight pollution."

City of Pasadena Greenlights The Pasadena EcoHouse
December 20, 2007 12:00 PM -

PASADENA, Calif. - The Pasadena EcoHouse is a step closer to reality today, after the City of Pasadena approved the homeowners' hillside building permit at last night's meeting. When completed, The Pasadena EcoHouse will be the first single-family, structural concrete insulated panel (SCIP) home in the nation to earn the coveted Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes Green Building Rating System(TM), as well as the first LEED Platinum home in Pasadena. To earn the Platinum rating, The Pasadena EcoHouse will score points in several categories, including design, location, site impact, water and energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and green building awareness and education.

Plant Debris may be hazardous to global health
December 19, 2007 03:57 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL - A new study looks at a poorly understood process with potentially critical consequences for climate change. Emma Sayer, postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Jennifer Powers, an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota's department of ecology, Evolution and Behavior, and Edmund Tanner, researcher at Cambridge University, published the findings of their long-term study on the effects of increased plant litter on soil carbon and nutrient cycling in the Dec. 12 edition of PLoS ONE.

Experts: Pricy Oil Will Push Renewable Fuels Development
December 19, 2007 03:02 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL - researchers at the University of Minnesota has discovered a silver lining in the increasing cost of oil. Midwest experts in research, government, business and nonprofit sectors who attended the university’s E3 conference last month were surveyed on what they think will promote sustainable energy research within their geographic domain. Forty percent of the respondents said the cost of oil is the primary driver.

Texas vows to attract other carbon-capture plants
December 18, 2007 06:59 PM - Reuters

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A Texas regulator said Tuesday that while the state was not able to land a $1.5 billion "near-zero" emission coal plant, he wants to find ways to attract other projects that seek to capture and store carbon dioxide, a gas blamed for global warming. Mattoon in central Illinois was named Tuesday as the home for the proposed FutureGen coal plant, beating out Jewett and Odessa, Texas, and another Illinois site in a national competition.

A Unique Way To Lower Energy Costs
December 18, 2007 01:32 PM - UC San Diego, California Newswire

San Diego, California - UC San Diego undergraduate students have designed, built and deployed a network of five weather-monitoring stations as a key step toward helping the university use ocean breezes to cool buildings, identify the sunniest rooftops to expand its solar-electric system, and use water more efficiently in irrigation and in other ways. The network, which will be expanded to 20 stations in 2008, is unprecedented in the United States for the density of weather data to be collected.

Major US electric vehicle manufacturing plant announced
December 18, 2007 12:38 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Tyne & Wear, UK - Smith Electric Vehicles, the world's largest manufacturer of road-going electric vans and trucks, is to establish a major production facility in the USA.The factory will have the capacity to produce up to 10,000 zero emission vehicles per year, from 2010.

South American countries join forces to boost biofuels
December 18, 2007 12:29 PM - Paula Leighton, SciDevNet

Members of the Southern Agricultural Council (CAS) have agreed to carry out research and develop policies to increase biofuel production in the region.The decision was made last week (4 December) during the 13th CAS Regular Meeting, in AsunciĆ³n, Paraguay.CAS is a forum for the ministers of agriculture and livestock of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Indonesian court clears Newmont in pollution suit
December 18, 2007 03:13 AM - Reuters

JAKARTA (Reuters) - An Indonesian court has cleared the local unit of Newmont Mining Corp. over pollution allegations filed in a civil case by an environmental group, the chief judge said on Tuesday. Indonesian environmental group, Walhi, had accused Newmont in a suit filed at the South Jakarta court in March of carelessly disposing of mining tailings causing environmental problems and endangering the health of the community around the firm's now defunct gold mine in North Sulawesi province.

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