Environmental Policy

Planning for Climate Change
December 3, 2012 06:04 AM - TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

The Metcalf Institute at the University of Rhode Island recently held the second in series of seminars on climate change. Here are a few noteworthy points that were offered Nov. 30 by 15 scientists, engineers, planners and other experts: Snowpack in the Northeast has decreased its annual volume by 11 percent since 1900. Sea level is projected to rise between 2.5 and 6 feet by 2100. "If you want to see what 5 feet of sea level rise will look like, you look at Hurricane Sandy," said Bryan Oakley, a URI researcher and professor of earth sciences at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Electronic Waste - the Asia-Pacific Problem
December 1, 2012 08:48 AM - Crispin Maslog, SciDevNet

Instead of limiting imports of electronic waste, the Asia—Pacific region should set up a robust recycling system, says Crispin Maslog. Garbage in, garbage out is a phrase to describe what happens when computers find the wrong solution in response to the wrong input data. But when computers and other electronic products have outlived their usefulness, they literally do become rubbish and join an ever-growing mass of e-waste or e-scrap. Up to 50 million tonnes of this waste is generated worldwide every year. The biggest exporters of e-waste are Europe, Japan and the US. And much of it is being dumped on developing nations.

Kenya Bans Imports of GM Food
November 30, 2012 06:33 AM - Otieno Owino, SciDevNet

Scientists fear that Kenya's recent banning of the import of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) may be a significant blow to progress on biotechnology research and development in the country. A cabinet meeting chaired by Kenya's president, Mwai Kibaki, this month (8 November), directed the public health minister to ban GMO imports until the country is able to certify that they have no negative impact on people's health. In a statement to the press, the cabinet said there was a "lack of sufficient information on the public health impact of such foods".

Study reveals extent of Mekong dam food security threat
November 29, 2012 03:38 PM - Prime Sarmiento, SciDevNet

The planned construction of hydropowered dams on the Mekong River in South-East Asia could jeopardise livelihoods, water access and food security for 60 million people, across Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, according to a study. The study reports that dams will block fish migration routes and decimate fish supplies in the lower Mekong region.

Meet your Meat
November 29, 2012 08:06 AM - Emily Borland, Guest Contributor

Six weeks ago, I chopped the head off of a live chicken. Then I plucked, cleaned, and cooked it. All in the name of animal ethics. After almost a full semester in Animals and Ethics class, I said enough to antibiotic-filled poultry. I decided to take my food choices into my own hands”Śliterally. So I attended a Meet your Meat workshop at the Duke Campus Farm in Hillsborough, NC. At the farm, I learned how to "kill, de-feather, and process a live chicken in a humane and efficient manner."

Administration says no to EU Carbon Tax on Airline Flights to Europe
November 28, 2012 06:18 AM - AirWise

President Barack Obama signed a bill on Tuesday shielding US airlines from paying for the carbon their planes flying into and out of Europe emit, despite a recent move by Europe to suspend its proposed measure for one year. The carbon fee bill was the first piece of legislation debated on the House floor after Congress returned from recess on November 13, and had been cleared by the Senate in September in a rare unanimous vote. It directs the US transportation secretary to shield US airlines from Europe's carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS) if he or she deems it necessary.

Doha Climate Summit off to a Rocky Start
November 26, 2012 06:04 AM - EurActive

The EU will not commit to renew climate funding which runs out in 2013 ahead of talks at the Doha climate summit, which opens today (26 November). But new climate aid may be announced in the conference’s second week. Development NGOs reacted angrily to an EU statement on 23 November which said only that in Doha, the EU would "discuss with its developing country partners how major flows of EU climate finance can continue in 2013-2014". "If the EU and other developed countries are serious about making climate action a reality for the period 2013-2020, they can't afford to come to Doha empty handed," Lies Craeynest, Oxfam’s EU policy adviser told EurActiv.

Greenland becoming more green, thanks to Global Warming
November 23, 2012 08:25 AM - Susan Clark, The Ecologist

I don't want to be told that thanks to Global Warming - now accepted by the majority (77%) of Americans and so therefore, in my opinion, a new Tipping Point - strawberry plants can now survive a Greenland winter. I don't want to see neat little rows of budding lettuce plants growing outside a polytunnel. OUTSIDE a polytunnel; over-wintering under the snow but come the Spring, still alive and sprouting new shoots; cabbage and potatoes to follow. And I don't want to hear a Greenlander livestock farmer telling me that (once again, thanks to Global Warming) he now has enough newly ice-free pasture land to double the size of his 20,000-strong flock of sheep.

Last decade was warmest on record in Europe
November 22, 2012 07:59 AM - EurActive

European temperatures in the last decade were 1.3 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average — the warmest since records began — according to new research by the European Environment Agency (EEA), the EU’s climate advisory body. Their report finds that since 2002, rainfall has decreased in southern Europe, while increasing in the north, and there have been more extreme weather events. Meanwhile, the Greenland ice sheet, Arctic sea ice and many European glaciers are melting. "Climate change is a reality around the world, and the extent and speed of change is becoming ever more evident," said Jacqueline McGlade, the EEA's executive director.

Emissions Gap report warns of urgent need for climate change action
November 21, 2012 06:40 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

Action to tackle climate change needs to be urgently scaled up if the world is to have any chance of keeping a global temperature rise below 2 degrees C this century, according to UN Environment Programme (UNEP) research. The Emissions Gap Report, coordinated by UNEP and the European Climate Foundation, and released days before the convening of the Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Doha, shows that greenhouse gas emissions levels are now around 14 per cent above where they need to be in 2020. Instead of declining, concentration of warming gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) are actually increasing in the atmosphere-up around 20 per cent since 2000.

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