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Energy

Solar energy boom may help world's poorest
October 31, 2007 01:06 AM - Gerard Wynn, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - A surge in investment in solar power is bringing down costs of the alternative energy source, but affordability problems still dog hopes for the 1.6 billion people worldwide without electricity.

The sun supplies only a tiny fraction -- less than one tenth of 1 percent -- of mankind's energy needs. But its supporters believe a solar era may be dawning, boosted by western funding to combat oil "addiction" and climate change.

Governments from Japan to Germany and the United States are helping the public wean themselves off fossil fuels.

Merkel asks India to do more on climate change
October 30, 2007 04:01 PM - Y.P. Rajesh, Reuters

NEW DELHI - German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged India, one of the world's biggest polluters, to do more to combat climate change on Tuesday, saying her country was willing to help New Delhi make progress. Merkel, a former environment minister who has pushed global warming to the top of her international agenda, said rich nations and emerging economies needed to strike a balance over the amount of responsibility they need to shoulder to prevent climate change and not fight over it. "We have to prove that we are willing to strike a balance," Merkel told business leaders in New Delhi during a four-day visit to India. "Multilateral agreements are of the essence."

Honduras finds radioactive material in container
October 29, 2007 11:11 PM -

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - Honduras authorities have found strong traces of radioactive material in a Hong Kong-bound shipping container carrying steel debris from an Atlantic coast port, officials said on Monday.

During a security scan on Sunday, officials detected high readings of radioactivity emanating from the container at the Puerto Cortes port, 115 miles north of Honduras' capital, Tegucigalpa.

"We immediately declared an alert and have seized the container for inspection," Edwin Araque, the manager of Honduras' port authority, said on Monday.

Nike, Converse Green Truck Fleet at LA, Long Beach Ports
October 29, 2007 06:57 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

SACRAMENTO, CA – Nike, Inc. and its affiliate company Converse announced today that they would be switching a significant portion of their Los Angeles area harbor drayage fleet from diesel to new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fueled vehicles. The “green fleet” announcement was made in conjunction with news that Nike has joined the Coalition for Responsible Transportation (CRT), a group advocating for policies and public/private partnerships that encourage the use of cleaner truck technologies in port communities.

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.

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