Inflation Fuels Global Hunger
November 12, 2007 08:24 AM - Christina L. Madden, Global Policy Innovations Program
Most economists will tell you inflation is like red wine: a little is good for you, but too much can lead to confusion and paralysis. And both can put a dent in your wallet.
Despite the best efforts of central bankers everywhere, inflation is making a comeback. 1,500 retirees recently took to the streets of St. Petersburg, Russia to protest the effect that rising prices have had on the purchasing power of their pensions. Earlier this year, thousands of Mexicans demonstrated after a 400 percent rise in the price of corn flour in just three months. Even markets for luxury goods such as fine red wines have seen prices double and triple.
Rich urged to bear climate change costs
November 11, 2007 09:57 PM - By Jeremy Lovell, Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - The rich caused the problem and must therefore pay the price of fixing the global climate change crisis, a new report said on Monday.
Christian Aid, an agency of British and Irish churches, said industrialized nations were historically responsible and therefore morally liable to foot the multi-billion dollar cost of tackling the problem of man-made emissions of carbon gases.
"Nations that have grown rich in part by polluting without facing the costs of doing so must now repay their carbon debt to the developing world," said Andrew Pendleton, author of "Truly Inconvenient - tackling poverty and climate change at once."
Scientists strive to pinpoint warming forecasts
November 11, 2007 09:50 PM - By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
OSLO (Reuters) - Moving on from the risk of global warming, scientists are now looking for ways to pinpoint the areas set to be affected by climate change, to help countries plan everything from new crops to hydropower dams.
Billion-dollar investments, ranging from irrigation and flood defenses to the site of wind farms or ski resorts, could hinge on assessments about how much drier, wetter, windier or warmer a particular area will become.
But scientists warn precision may never be possible. Climate is so chaotic and the variables so difficult to compute that even the best model will be far from perfect in estimating what the future holds.
Remnant of Yellowstone volcano rising: study
November 10, 2007 06:49 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A big blob of molten rock appears to be pushing up remnants of an ancient volcano in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, scientists reported on Friday.
They say no volcanic explosion is imminent -- that already happened 642,000 years ago, creating the volcanic crater known as a caldera where part of Yellowstone Lake sits.
But satellite readings show just how volcanically active the area remains, the researchers reported in the journal Science.
U.N.'s Ban says global warming is "an emergency"
November 10, 2007 06:00 PM - Juan Jose Lagorio, Reuters
EDUARDO FREI BASE, Antarctica (Reuters) - With prehistoric Antarctic ice sheets melting beneath his feet, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for urgent political action to tackle global warming.
The Antarctic Peninsula has warmed faster than anywhere else on Earth in the last 50 years, making the continent a fitting destination for Ban, who has made climate change a priority since he took office earlier this year.
"I need a political answer. This is an emergency and for emergency situations we need emergency action," he said during a visit to three scientific bases on the barren continent, where temperatures are their highest in about 1,800 years.
Norway seeks land power for offshore fields
November 9, 2007 12:24 PM - By Wojciech Moskwa
OSLO (Reuters) - Norway's centre-left government pushed ahead on Friday with controversial plans to power some offshore oil and gas platforms by electricity produced on land, in an effort to cut carbon emissions by the oil industry.
The Energy and Petroleum Ministry linked its approval for BP's Skarv field development with pledges by field partners to help develop technology that brings electrical power to offshore platforms or floating production vessels.
Politics of ethanol is to make more, Iowans agree
November 9, 2007 12:21 PM - By Andrew Stern
MUSCATINE, Iowa (Reuters) - For Iowans, ethanol is a home-grown success story few presidential candidates would dare sully in their search for votes as the harvest season ends and campaigns ramp up in earnest.
In stump speeches and position papers, Democratic and Republican hopefuls vying for Iowa's January 3 first-in-the-nation caucuses pay regular homage to the biofuels industry.
The industry has created tens of thousands of jobs in Iowa -- and more than 150,000 across the United States -- and is credited with lifting the prices paid to farmers for their crops, and even eased the pain at the gas pump.
UN climate panel to meet, add pressure for action
November 9, 2007 11:47 AM - By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
OSLO (Reuters) - About 130 governments meet in Spain next week to agree a stark guide to the mounting risks of climate change that the United Nations says will leave no option but tougher action to fix the problem.
The U.N. climate panel, winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, will meet in Valencia from November 12-17 to condense 3,000 pages of already published science into a 20-page summary for policy makers.
China emission-cutting fund to reap up to $3 bln
November 9, 2007 08:45 AM - Lindsay Beck -Reuters
China could have as much as $3 billion coming to a state-owned fund that supports emissions-reducing ventures, if a slate of projects on its books win U.N. approval, the Finance Ministry said on Friday.
As of last month, China had approved 885 projects, which would prevent emissions equivalent to 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide and generate credits worth $15 billion.
California sues EPA over car emissions
November 8, 2007 04:32 PM - By Adam Tanner, Reuters
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, demanding a quick federal decision that would allow the nation's most populous state to limit greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.
"California is ready to implement the nation's cleanest standards for vehicle emissions, but we cannot do that until the federal government grants a waiver allowing us to enforce those standards," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said.
The long-threatened legal action follows a 2005 California law requiring new vehicles to meet tighter standards for emissions, starting with 2009 models introduced next year.