U.S. survey ties biofuels to high food costs, hunger
October 29, 2007 02:38 PM - Andrea Hopkins, reuters
CINCINNATI (Reuters) - Six in 10 Americans believe the use of corn to make ethanol has raised food prices and caused more people to go hungry, the latest evidence of a growing global backlash against alternative "green" fuels.
The Hormel Hunger Survey released on Monday also showed 53 percent of Americans polled believe government subsidies for ethanol production will help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, but nearly as many -- 47 percent -- oppose the subsidies because they increase food prices.
German carmakers blast motorway speed limit idea
October 29, 2007 11:27 AM -
HAMBURG, Germany (Reuters) - Imposing a standard speed limit of 130 kph (80 mph) on German motorways would have scant impact on the environment and only hurt domestic carmakers, the country's VDA auto industry group said on Monday.
"Such fixed speed limits would be an ecological zero-sum game and would damage the German auto sector," VDA President Matthias Wissmann said in a statement to Reuters.
Germany is unusual in that stretches of its motorways still have no speed limit, and the country's influential car industry has lobbied hard against any national rules.
Survey: Cape Wind Project Backed By 61 Percent of Cape Cod and Island Residents
October 26, 2007 06:34 PM -
Boston, Mass. - More than three out of five Cape Cod/Island residents (61 percent) -- including a bipartisan 54 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of Democrats and 50 percent of Independents -- favor the Cape Wind project, according to a major new scientific survey of 501 Cape and Island residents conducted by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) for the Newton, MA.-based Civil Society Institute, a nonprofit and nonpartisan think tank.
The Civil Society Institute survey tests six arguments made against Cape Wind by critics of the project and finds that not one of the arguments succeeds in persuading half or more of Cape/Island residents to oppose the project. In fact, fully half of the arguments -- tourism/the regional economy, boating and commercial fishing -- backfire and generate more support than opposition for Cape Wind.
Dutch car wins Australia's outback solar race
October 26, 2007 12:44 PM -
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Dutch solar car Nuna4 won the 20th World Solar Challenge, a 3,000 km (1,864 mile) race through the Australian outback, race officials said on Friday.
"Non-Flying Dutchmen" Push Climate Awareness
October 26, 2007 12:21 PM -
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch environment group launched a campaign on Friday called "Proud to be a non-Flying Dutchman" to get the travel-happy Dutch to reduce their air miles for the sake of the climate.
"We want to discourage Christmas shopping in London, disco nights in Ibiza, Milan weekends and stag nights in Barcelona," Dutch Friends of the Earth said on Friday.
Oil hits new record above $92
October 26, 2007 10:41 AM - Reuters
Oil rallied to a fresh record high above $92 a barrel on Friday as the dollar tumbled to a record low, Washington imposed new sanctions on Iran and gunmen shut more oil production in Nigeria.
Oil's bullish momentum has pulled in increasing amounts of speculative investment and waves of technical buying have been triggered as U.S. oil pierced successive lines of resistance.
More Cars or More Transportation Alternatives: What Will the World Choose?
October 26, 2007 09:18 AM - , Worldwatch Institute
As Tata Motors, one of Asia’s leading automakers, prepares to tap into India’s middle-class market by releasing the “world’s cheapest car” in 2008, other countries with a long history of car dependence are grappling with ways to limit the social, health, and environmental costs of motorized transport. One alternative is so-called bus rapid transit (BRT), which operates like rail transport but offers more flexibility in routes. The systems are gaining popularity in cities in the automobile-loving United States as well as in rapidly developing nations in Asia and Latin America.
Toyota to Halve Hybrid Price, Size for Next Prius
October 25, 2007 07:51 PM - Chang-Ran Kim, Reuters Asia Auto Correspondent
TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp will slash the price and size of its hybrid system by around half for the next-generation Prius model, and use a nickel-metal hydride battery instead of lithium-ion, a top executive said.
"When we went from the first-generation Prius to the second-generation, we did the same thing," Executive Vice President Kazuo Okamoto, in charge of Toyota's research and development, told reporters in Tokyo.
Toyota, the world's biggest automaker, has not publicly disclosed a timeframe for the introduction of the third-generation Prius model. Some media reports have speculated the planned late-2008 launch would be delayed because of concerns over the safety of lithium-ion batteries.
Energy Consumption Reduced 60 percent, Minnesota Glimpses 'Greenest' Building
October 25, 2007 04:18 PM -
MINNEAPOLIS - It's 10 degrees below zero outside in late January and the thermometer hasn't topped the freezing mark in days, yet the thermostat at your high-rise office building is idle, your teeth aren't chattering and you don't need an ice-scraper to see your computer screen. Welcome to the frozen North's office of the future. The Canadian developers of a cutting-edge green building designed specifically for cold weather climates visited the Twin Cities today to share their visionary project with local engineers and students during the University of Minnesota's "Green Building North" event, hosted by the Center for Sustainable Building Research and the Consulate General of Canada. The 690,000 square foot 22-story Manitoba Hydro head office, now under construction in downtown Winnipeg, will be 60 percent more energy efficient than a modern conventional office building.
Kettle Chips Wins Leeds Gold with Wind, Sod and More
October 25, 2007 03:18 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
Beloit, Wisconsin - Wind turbines, native prairie grasses and biodiesel conversion won for Kettle Foods the presteigeous recognition for building the greenest food manufacturing plant in the U.S.. The U.S. Green Building Council today awarded the potato chip maker Gold level certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The award recognizes Kettle's committment to minimizing the environmental footprint of its new factory in Beloit, Wisconsin.