Ecosystems

Radioactive Minerals Dumped in Congo: Authorities
November 7, 2007 08:32 AM - Reuters

KINSHASA  - Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have launched an inquiry into the suspected dumping of 18 tonnes of highly radioactive minerals into a river in southeast Katanga province, officials said on Wednesday.

The minerals, including 17 tonnes of copper ore with a level of radioactivity 50 times the tolerable limit, were seized last month in the southern Katanga mining town of Likasi en route for export.

What's Killing the Bees?
November 6, 2007 05:23 PM - Bay Paul Tukey, Author and HGTV Host

The author of this commentary is Paul J. Tukey, HGTV Co-Host & Executive Producer,  Publisher, named by People, Places & Plants magazine the 2006 COMMUNICATOR OF THE YEAR by the American Horticultural Society, the author of The Organic Lawn Care Manual, National Spokesperson and the co-founder of safelawns.org.

60 Minutes is on the case. NPR recently published an expose. The media everywhere is scrambling for an angle on one of the most chilling and compelling questions of our time: what is killing the bees?

And while it’s exciting to see all the attention on this subject — since bees’ pollination accounts for about one third of the food we consume daily — it’s also enormously frustrating for beekeepers when many of our media brethren stop just short of telling the beekeepers’ version of the story.

Experts on edge as Indonesia's volcanoes rumble to life
November 6, 2007 08:21 AM - Ahmad Pathoni -Reuters

Indonesia's top volcano watcher, Surono, has had a frantic time in the past month. No fewer than four volcanoes on his watch have suddenly rumbled to life, giving the 52-year-old geophysicist and his staff many sleepless nights.

The head of Indonesia's Centre for Vulcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation and his colleagues are keeping a close eye on the famous Anak Krakatau, or "Child of Krakatau," and on Java's Mount Kelud, which is particularly hard to monitor because of its crater lake.

Indonesia says volcano Kelud spewing ash
November 4, 2007 07:21 PM - Heri Retnowati, Reuters

GAMBAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Indonesia's Mount Kelud volcano spewed ash on Sunday as clouds and fog turned daytime to dusk, sharply reducing visibility in the area.

A top official said the volcano had spewed ash about 500 meters into the air, a day after confusion over whether it had already started erupting.

An estimated 350,000 people live within 10 km (6 miles) of the volcano, which is about 90 km southwest of Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city and one of its busiest airports.

 

 

 

 

Bush vetoes popular water projects bill
November 3, 2007 10:34 PM - Christopher Doering, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Friday vetoed a bill that would have authorized hundreds of water projects across the United States, escalating a battle with congressional Democrats over domestic spending.

Bush had long threatened to veto the $23 billion bill, targeted for projects including coastal restoration in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and improving the Florida Everglades, saying it was too expensive because it had unneeded projects supported by individual lawmakers.

Democrats said they would try to override the president's veto as early as next week. The measure passed both houses of Congress with more than the two thirds majorities needed to override a presidential veto.

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino called the measure "fiscally irresponsible" and said Bush cast the fifth veto of his presidency before leaving for a trip to South Carolina.

Army drafts drought plans
November 2, 2007 09:53 AM - Matthew Bigg -Reuters

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed on Thursday reducing the flow of water from Georgia rivers into Alabama and Florida in a bid to resolve a tussle among the three states over water use during a drought.

The states will also work on a fresh plan for the corps on how to respond to the drought, U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne told a news conference that followed a meeting of the governors of the three southeastern states.

Nordic nations sound alarm over melting Arctic
October 31, 2007 02:18 PM - Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

OSLO (Reuters) - Nordic nations sounded the alarm on Wednesday about a quickening melt of Arctic ice and said the thaw might soon prove irreversible because of global warming. Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland also urged all governments to agree before the end of 2009 a broader U.N. plan to curb greenhouse gases in succession to the Kyoto Protocol. "The Arctic and the world cannot wait any longer," environment ministers from the five nations said in a joint statement after talks in Oslo. The five all have Arctic territories.

Cemeteries not just for the dead, say architects
October 31, 2007 01:50 PM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Cemeteries should not just be for the dead but could become places of relaxation and exploration, a British architects' lobby group said on Wednesday. CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, said cemeteries were originally intended as public open spaces and, in some towns and cities, cemeteries account for up to half of the green open spaces. "Cemeteries should not be considered solely as resting places for the dead, they should be designed with the living in mind too," said CABE director Sarah Gaventa.

Parrotfish on menu puts coral at risk
October 31, 2007 01:37 PM - Ben Hirschler, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - The delicate balance of the Caribbean's coral reefs is in jeopardy as more parrotfish end up on dinner plates, international scientists said on Wednesday. The colorful grazing fish, named for their parrot-like beaks which are used to scrape up algae, play a vital role in stopping seaweed from smothering coral. But their numbers are now being threatened by over-fishing. New research based on computer modeling shows parrotfish are a key defense in preventing the vulnerable Caribbean reefs from becoming a very different ecosystem -- one dominated not by living coral but by blooms of algae or seaweed.

US To Study Wildlife Vs. Wind Turbines
October 31, 2007 12:22 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Washington - A special wind turbine advisory committee will study and advise the Secretary and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on ways to avoid or minimize the impact f wind turbines on wildlife and their habitats. The study only concerns land-based wind energy facilities.Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today named 22 individuals to serve on the panal. "By some estimates, wind power could provide clean and renewable electricity to meet up to 20 percent of the nation's energy needs," said Secretary Kempthorne. "This committee will help examine issues, such as site selection and turbine design, so we can develop wind resources while protecting wildlife."

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