Laborers happily scrap "toxic" ship
October 10, 2007 09:45 AM - Rupam Jain Nair -Reuters
After over a year of protests by environmentalists, poor workers in west India have happily begun dismantling a controversial cruise liner, ignoring potentially serious risks to their health. The breaking of the 46,000-ton Blue Lady was given the go-ahead by India's Supreme Court last month after a long-running legal battle led by environmentalists, who said the Norwegian ship contained 900 tons of toxic waste like asbestos.
U.N. urges preparedness for more frequent disasters
October 9, 2007 09:01 PM -
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Amid a dramatic increase in climate-related disasters, international relief agencies are calling on countries to increase their commitment to disaster risk reduction, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
"Climate change is already driving an increase in the frequency and intensity of heat waves, floods, droughts and tropical cyclones. We believe that more needs to be done to contain these natural disasters at the outset," said U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes.
"Disaster risk reduction is a key part of the global response to climate change."
Widespread weight loss may reap health benefits
October 9, 2007 06:22 PM -
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - If a large swath of the population cut down on calories and took up exercise, the resulting health benefits could be extensive, a new study suggests.
The findings are based on an analysis of the economic crisis in Cuba from 1989 to 2000. While the circumstances were dire, and Cuban citizens' health suffered in certain ways, researchers found that significant health benefits also emerged.
Specifically, people's overall calorie intake declined, while their physical activity levels climbed -- mainly as a result of walking or biking instead of paying for public transportation.
Anheuser Busch Using Genetically Engineered Rice in Beer: Greenpeace
October 9, 2007 05:24 PM -
Washington, United States — Greenpeace released the results of analyses showing the presence of an experimental genetically engineered (GE) strain of rice at an Anheuser-Busch operated mill in Arkansas that is used to brew Budweiser. An independent laboratory test, commissioned by Greenpeace, detected the presence of GE rice (Bayer LL601) in three out of four samples taken at the mill.Bayer LL601 rice was the source of the 2006 contamination of at least 30 percent of rice stocks in the United States. The GE contamination had a massive negative economic impact on the U.S. rice industry as many countries subsequently stopped or significantly restricted the import of U.S. rice.
Study: Bad Relationship Can Cause Heart Attack
October 9, 2007 10:09 AM - Michael Kahn
LONDON (Reuters) - It has been the stuff of great romantic novels and blockbuster films. Doctors have long suspected it. A study of 9,000 British civil servants has at last established it is possible to die of a 'broken heart'.
The study, reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found the stress and anxiety of hostile, angry relationships can boost the risk of developing heart disease. Chances of a heart attack or chest pain rose by 34 percent compared to people on good terms with a spouse or partner.
"A person's heart condition seems to be influenced by negative intimate relationships," researchers wrote. "We showed that the negative aspects of close relationships...are associated with coronary heart disease."
Book Review: Climate Change and Can We Stop It?
October 9, 2007 08:01 AM - Bill McKibben, Organic Consumers Association
A review of controversial books on climate change and the environmental movement by Bjørn Lomborg and Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger.
During the last year, momentum has finally begun to build for taking action against global warming by putting limits on carbon emissions and then reducing them. Driven by ever-more-dire scientific reports, Congress has, for the first time, begun debating ambitious targets for carbon reduction. Al Gore, in his recent Live Earth concerts, announced that he will work to see an international treaty signed by the end of 2009. Even President Bush has recently reversed his previous opposition and summoned the leaders of all the top carbon-emitting countries to a series of conferences designed to yield some form of limits on CO2.
Man Wins Contest With 1,524-Lb. Pumpkin
October 9, 2007 07:54 AM - Associated Press
An Oregon man won the annual pumpkin weigh-off here, presenting a gigantic gourd that came it at 1,524 pounds. Thad Starr, of Pleasant Hill, Ore., set a contest record with the pumpkin. He'll get $6 a pound, bringing his winnings to $9,144.
China Clothing Exports to Europe Monitored
October 9, 2007 07:53 AM - Associated Press
The European Union and China have agreed to monitor Chinese clothing exports to Europe until the end of 2008, the European Commission said Tuesday - a move that should ease trade tensions.
Boston Irish Hotel Goes Green with Constellation NewEnergy
October 9, 2007 07:32 AM - , Green Progress
BOSTON - Constellation Energy today announced that its subsidiary, Constellation NewEnergy, has entered into a green electricity purchase agreement with the Jurys Boston Hotel. As part of the agreement, Constellation NewEnergy will provide approximately 7 million kilowatt hours of Green-e certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for 100 percent of the hotel's electricity usage, making Jurys one of the first hotels in Boston to match its entire load with green energy sources.
Global warming may aggravate Argentine energy woes
October 8, 2007 06:25 PM - Hilary Burke, reuters
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The effects of global warming could worsen Argentina's energy crunch in the coming years as water levels fall at some dams, and renewable options are costly and scarce, government officials said on Monday.
Less precipitation has been falling in some areas along the Andes mountain range in Argentina, lowering water levels at key hydroelectric plants in the Comahue region of Patagonia, for example.
This phenomenon could continue with average temperatures expected to rise by one degree during the 2020-2040 period, according to a study on climate change that Argentina will submit to the United Nations.