Cleaner aviation depends on supplies of not so clean materials
July 23, 2012 12:52 PM - EurActive
From the flight deck to the wheel brakes, new generations of aircraft that produce far less pollution increasingly rely on imported raw materials which are themselves dirty to produce. EurActiv reports from the Farnborough International Airshow. China and Russia are dominant suppliers of some forms of titanium — a lightweight metal used in airframes and parts — while China holds the lock on production of rare earth metals. Dependable supplies of these resources are vital as European and American airplane manufacturers juggle backlogged orders and address forecasts of exponential growth over 20 years. "It's an area that is going to increasingly become a challenge in the industry," said Dr Andy Jefferson, programme director at the industry-financed Sustainable Aviation research organisation in the United Kingdom.
Did Deepwater Horizon Accident contribute to Dolphin Deaths?
July 23, 2012 06:28 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM
In the first four months of 2011, 186 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were found dead in the Gulf of Mexico, nearly half of them dolphin calves many of whom were perinatal, or near birth. Researchers now believe a number of factors may have killed the animals. Writing in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, scientists theorize that the dolphins died a sudden influx of freshwater from snowmelt after being stressed and weakened by an abnormally cold winter and the impacts of the BP oil spill. According to researchers, oil leaking from the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon could have decimated the dolphin's prey base, leaving a larger than usual number of dolphins suffering from malnutrition.
Nighttime light exposure linked to health impacts, AMA encourages more study
July 22, 2012 09:16 AM - JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH, THE JERUSALEM POST, NoCamels
The American Medical Association has issued an official statement warning against the health hazards posed by exposure to artificial light for hours at work or during sleep. Prof. Abraham Haim of the University of Haifa’s Israeli Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Chronobiology has conducted research on the subject. "The fact that the AMA has taken this matter seriously and come to the conclusion that exposure to light at night is indeed a health hazard is a form of recognition for the various studies that experts such as Prof. Haim have been conducting over recent years," the university stated on Monday. The AMA’s policy announcement supports Haim's research conclusions, it said.
Women in Asia Need more Equality to Achieve Climate & Poverty Goals
July 21, 2012 07:52 AM - EurekAlert
New research released today by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) shows that despite more understanding, more resources, and policy recommendations, women continue to be largely marginalized and ignored or exploited in resource management processes throughout Asia — to the detriment of global climate and poverty reduction goals. This suite of analyses, released today at the International Workshop on Gender and Forest Tenure in Asia and Collective Forest Tenure Reform in China, demonstrate that exclusion and inequality on gender grounds are still rife and complicated by the intersection of cultural and social norms, economic pressures, and inadequate legal and institutional frameworks. Authors of the studies call for emerging programs and policies to combat climate change or encourage sustainable development to incorporate lessons learned.
Mobius Motors creates a car specifically for Africa
July 20, 2012 06:19 AM - Editor, Justmeans
Joel Jackson arrived in Kenya in 2009 and immediately had a social innovation idea—yet it had nothing to do with the not-for-profit farming organisation that he had come with. It wasn't farming that caught Joel's attention, it was the state of the African roads: the lack of appropriate transport that has affected many parts of rural Africa, keeping areas remote. Joel Jackson rolled up his sleeves and set about building a vehicle that would serve the African market; a $6,000 (£3,850) car called the Mobius One. Africa's poorest are largely immobile and do not have appropriate transport services. Every day millions of people often walk 10+ miles to get to basic amenities such as clean drinking water, schools, hospitals and jobs. Chronic government underinvestment in roads and public transit has restricted travel. Africa's most disadvantaged cannot afford to buy a car, yet need reliable transport services to prosper.
EPA Authority to Regulate Greenhouse Gases Survives Another Challenge
July 19, 2012 02:25 PM - Shakuntala Makhijani, Worldwatch Institute
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to regulate greenhouse gases have been under attack ever since the 2007 Massachusetts v. EPA Supreme Court ruling that confirmed its authority to do so. In 2010, just before efforts to pass a cap-and-trade climate bill were abandoned in the Senate, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski sponsored failed legislation to nullify the Supreme Court decision and block EPA from moving forward with greenhouse gas regulations. Attempts to undermine EPA's regulatory authority were once again thwarted last month when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected several legal challenges and upheld EPA's 2009 endangerment finding for greenhouse gases.
Olympic Athletes facing London pollution, city accused of not following EU rules
July 19, 2012 06:18 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN
With the Summer Olympics only days away, athletes are facing some of the worst air pollution in Europe. London's NOx and Ozone concentrations have the potential to adversely affect athletes, and the huge crowds that will be attending the games. Athlete performance is likely to be impacted, and attendees with health conditions should be aware to take care to not overdue their own exertion. Environmental lawyers are preparing to ask Britain’s highest civil court to force the government to comply with EU air quality standards. The ClientEarth legal organisation argues that the British government is breaching the 1 January 2010 EU deadline for complying with air quality plans for London and 16 other cities. The group contends that the government is neglecting its EU obligations to reduce emissions that contribute to urban smog and particulate pollution. "We've seen lots of headlines but very little action from the government," Alan Andrews, a ClientEarth lawyer in the case, told EurActiv in a telephone interview. Air quality, he said "just doesn’t get the attention it should deserve."
July 18, 2012 09:58 AM - Andy Soos, ENN
A debate has raged for years as to whether natural gas is better or worse overall than coal and oil from a global warming perspective. The back-and-forth findings have been due to length of the studied time, the details of natural gas extraction, and the electricity-generating efficiency of various fuels. A new study from Cornell addresses this question by comparing the reduction of greenhouse warming that would result from substituting gas for coal and some oil to the reduction which could be achieved by instead substituting zero carbon energy sources. It was shown that substitution of natural gas reduces global warming by 40% of that which could be attained by the substitution of zero carbon energy sources. the study does not consider secondary considerations, such as economic, political, or other environmental concerns and focuses instead on global warming only.
Which Species Must Die?
July 18, 2012 09:37 AM - Sarah Simpson, Discovery News
Looks like you're on your own, rockhopper penguins. If you can't wing it in this world alone, we'll just have to say adieu. The costly, long-shot measures needed to protect you are more than most cash-strapped conservation organizations can justify.
Johnson & Johnson making great progress on aggressive sustainability goals
July 18, 2012 06:45 AM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit
Johnson & Johnson just released its new CSR report, which highlights the company’s many achievements. In a few areas the company exceeded its goals, including reducing carbon emissions by seven percent by the end of 2010 from 1990 levels. Johnson & Johnson exceeded that goal by achieving a 23 percent reduction. Waste reduction is another area where the company exceeded its goal to reduce hazardous waste disposed by 10 percent and non-hazardous waste disposed by 10 percent from its 2005 baseline. The company decreased hazardous waste disposed by 25 percent and decreased non-hazardous waste disposed by 12 percent. Every CSR report touts a company’s achievements, and when it comes to managing climate change risks, Johnson & Johnson is on top of things. Every year it provides $40 million for energy and green gas reduction projects. In the last seven years, 112 energy reduction projects have been approved, and 94 of them have been completed. To date, $208 million has been spent.