The Poo Theory of Life
November 30, 2007 09:06 AM - , Environmental Graffiti
The Cambrian period began a little over 500 million years ago. Before the Cambrian period, life on earth consisted of mostly single-celled organisms and bacteria. Afterwards the evolutionary ancestors of all the major groups of living things today were hanging around the planet. So what caused this evolutionary leap? According to one scientist, poop.
Biogeochemist Graham Logan published his opinion on the matter a few years ago. He points out that feces producing creatures, ones that ate food then excreted it like humans today, first arrived around 40 million years before the Cambrian period. He argued that their poo was what allowed oxygen levels to rise, and evolution to explode.
Will China "Lose" the 2008 Olympics?
November 30, 2007 08:21 AM - Ian Bremmer, Global Policy Innovations Program
When the International Olympic Committee awarded Beijing the 2008 Summer Games in July 2001, the announcement ignited wild celebrations across the country. The Chinese Communist Party hoped to use the Games to showcase the country's emergence as a dynamic, modern nation. But as China's leaders begin final preparations for the Games next August, they may be wondering if hosting the event was such a good idea after all. They have significant reasons for doubt.
Retailers keep "green" behind the scenes
November 29, 2007 02:40 PM - Reuters
COLUMBIA, Maryland (Reuters) - Retailers may be touting their environmental-friendliness this year, but just about the only "green" in evidence for the holidays is in the usual Christmas decorations.
Thick catalogs continue to clog mailboxes, store personnel keep handing out free gift boxes, and plastic bags are everywhere.
Climate change may cost Florida $345 billion a year: study
November 28, 2007 04:29 PM - Reuters
TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) - If nothing is done to combat global warming, two of Florida's nuclear power plants, three of its prisons and 1,362 hotels, motels and inns will be under water by 2100, a study released on Wednesday said.
In all, Florida could stand to lose $345 billion a year in projected economic activity by 2100 if nothing is done to reduce emissions that are viewed as the main human contribution to rising global temperatures, according to the Tufts University study.
That equals about 5 percent of what economists project the state's gross domestic product will be by the end of the century.
Discovery sees Planet Green in 70 million homes
November 28, 2007 12:48 PM - Reuters
Discovery Communications said on Wednesday it expects to reach as many as 70 million homes with its upcoming Planet Green cable network within three years of its launch, up from a start of 52 million.
The company is converting its Discovery Home Channel into Planet Green, the first 24-hour U.S. television network dedicated to eco-friendly lifestyle programming that will launch in 2008.
U.N. seeks about $100 mln to fight hunger in Indonesia
November 28, 2007 05:30 AM - Reuters
JAKARTA (Reuters) - The United Nations' food agency launched on Wednesday a drive to raise nearly $100 million from international donors to fund food aid for 840,000 people in Indonesia facing hunger.
World Food Programme (WFP) officials warned that the agency had not yet received any major pledges for the three-year programme, which could curtail its work in the developing Southeast Asian nation.
Stock car racing going green -- at own pace
November 27, 2007 02:14 PM - Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) - NASCAR, the U.S. car racing circuit, is waving the green flag. Like other leagues, companies and organizations, NASCAR has studied a variety of ways to become more environmentally sensitive, including using alternative fuels in the racing cars, Chairman Brian France said on Tuesday.
Iceland best place to live, Africa worst: UN
November 27, 2007 08:59 AM - Reuters
Rich free-market countries dominate the top places, with Iceland, Norway, Australia, Canada and Ireland the first five but the United States slipping to 12th place from eighth last year in the U.N. Human Development Index.
France and Germany seek to break GMO deadlock
November 26, 2007 12:36 PM - Reuters
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Agricultural powerhouses France and Germany sought on Monday to break the deadlock that has kept genetically modified crops out of most of Europe, saying rules must be changed to ease their approval.
"This authorization process of GMOs is highly unsatisfactory and worrying, it cannot stay like this," German Agriculture Minister Horst Seehofer told reporters on arriving for a meeting of EU farm ministers.
Farmworkers Target Tobacco Giant After Deaths in the Fields
November 26, 2007 08:58 AM - Paul Abowd , Organic Consumers Association
"Workers say the hardest part of tobacco is the summer heat. Workers often aren't allowed a break, and the chances of heat sickness are high." Tobacco kills in many ways. Long before that first puff lies yet more lethality, hidden in the fields where the tobacco leaf is grown. Last year alone, heat stroke claimed nine North Carolina field workers.