Palm oil: Cooking the Climate
November 13, 2007 08:33 AM - Greenpeace US
If, as you read this, you're eating a KitKat or reaching into a tube of Pringles, you might be interested to know that these products contain palm oil that is linked to the destruction of forests and peatlands in Indonesia. As our new report "How the palm oil industry is cooking the climate" shows, it's a recipe for disaster.
The manufacturers of these products - Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever - are sourcing their palm oil from suppliers who aren't picky about where they site their plantations. As the volunteers at the Forest Defenders Camp in Sumatra have seen, this includes tearing up areas of pristine forest then draining and burning the peatlands.
Clean, carbon-neutral hydrogen on the horizon
November 13, 2007 08:22 AM - Penn State
Hydrogen as an everyday, environmentally friendly fuel source may be closer than we think, according to Penn State researchers.
"The energy focus is currently on ethanol as a fuel, but economical ethanol from cellulose is 10 years down the road," says Bruce E. Logan, the Kappe professor of environmental engineering. "First you need to break cellulose down to sugars and then bacteria can convert them to ethanol."
Waste Water Plus Bacteria Make Hydrogen Fuel: Study
November 12, 2007 06:20 PM - By Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bacteria that feed on vinegar and waste water zapped with a shot of electricity could produce a clean hydrogen fuel to power vehicles that now run on petroleum, researchers reported on Monday.
These so-called microbial fuel cells can turn almost any biodegradable organic material into zero-emission hydrogen gas fuel, said Bruce Logan of Penn State University.
This would be an environmental advantage over the current generation of hydrogen-powered cars, where the hydrogen is most commonly made from fossil fuels. Even though the cars themselves emit no climate-warming greenhouse gases, the manufacture of their fuel does.
Millions of jobs at risk from climate change: U.N
November 12, 2007 04:15 PM - Laura MacInnis -Reuters
GENEVA (Reuters) - Millions of jobs worldwide could be casualties of climate change, though efforts to mitigate its effects will also create huge new waves of employment, United Nations officials said on Monday.
The heads of the U.N. climate and weather agencies told diplomats that global warming could decimate the world fisheries sector, threaten the tourism industry and cause widespread job losses among those displaced by its impacts.
Bali Climate Talks: Stiffer 2020 Emissions Goals
November 12, 2007 09:28 AM - Reuters, Jeremy Lovell
Top U.N. Official Warns Against Inaction on Climate
November 12, 2007 09:23 AM - Reuters, Richard Waddington
VALENCIA, Spain - The United Nations' top climate official on Monday warned scientists and government officials from some 130 countries that failure to act on climate change while there was time would be "criminally irresponsible."
Addressing the U.N.'s climate panel, joint winners of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Yvo de Boer, head of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, said the message to world leaders was clear.
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.