For Energy Consumption, There's No Place Like Home.
October 8, 2007 09:32 AM - , Private Landowner Network
According to a survey commissioned by the Johns Manville company (a leading manufacturer of an extensive line of energy-efficient building products, such as insulation materials) most Americans think that the transportation sector (cars, trucks, buses, etc) is the number one user of energy in the country. Americans are incorrect in their thinking. The family car is not the number one energy hog, it’s the family home. (Since most homes are energized by fossil fuels, American homes are also responsible for the most greenhouse gas emissions.)
Move over, blood diamonds
October 7, 2007 08:55 PM - Carmel Crimmins
BANGKOK (Reuters) - The gem merchants of Bangkok display their glistening wares proudly; diamonds from Africa, sapphires from Sri Lanka and rubies, of course, from Myanmar.
The red stones from the country formerly known as Burma are prized for their purity and hue. But they have a sinister flaw.
The country's military rulers rely on sales of precious stones such as sapphires, pearls and jade to fund their regime. Rubies are probably the biggest earner; more than 90 percent of the world's rubies come from Myanmar.
International outrage over the generals' brutal crackdown on pro-democracy rallies encouraged the European Union this week to consider a trade ban on Myanmar's gemstones, a leading export earner in the impoverished country.
Customs find beetles stuffed with cocaine
October 6, 2007 06:54 PM - Reuters
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch customs officers found 100 dead beetles stuffed with cocaine while examining a parcel from Peru, Dutch authorities said Thursday.
Columbus Day protest in Denver leads to arrests
October 6, 2007 06:50 PM - Keith Coffman, Reuters
DENVER (Reuters) - About 75 protesters, including American Indian activist Russell Means, were arrested on Saturday after blocking Denver's downtown parade honoring the Italian-born discoverer Christopher Columbus, an event they denounced as "a celebration of genocide."
Police loaded protesters onto buses after they refused orders to disperse. Most will be charged with obstruction of a roadway or disrupting a lawful assembly, Denver Police Lt. Ron Saunier said.
Police delayed the parade's start for more than an hour as they tried to head off confrontations.
American Indian groups and their supporters have disrupted the city's annual Columbus Day parade every year for nearly two decades, leading to clashes with Colorado's Italian-American community over the century-old celebration, the longest-running such commemoration in the United States.
World moves into the ecological red
October 6, 2007 06:25 PM - Jeremy Lovell, Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - The world moved into "ecological overdraft" on Saturday, the point at which human consumption exceeds the ability of the earth to sustain it in any year and goes into the red, the New Economics Foundation think-tank said.
Ecological Debt Day this year is three days earlier than in 2006 which itself was three days earlier than in 2005. NEF said the date had moved steadily backwards every year since humanity began living beyond its environmental means in the 1980s.
"As the world creeps closer to irreversible global warming and goes deeper into ecological debt, why on earth, say, would the UK export 20 tonnes of mineral water to Australia and then re-import 21 tonnes," said NEF director Andrew Simms.
U.S. court imprisons Afghan drug lord for 15 years
October 6, 2007 06:22 PM -
NEW YORK (Reuters) - An Afghan heroin kingpin was sentenced on Friday to more than 15 years in prison for heading a drug trafficking ring, U.S. officials said.
Baz Mohammad was the first person to be extradited to the United States from Afghanistan, U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia and Karen Tandy, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, said in a statement.
He pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court in July to heading an international heroin trafficking ring that manufactured and distributed millions of dollars worth of the drug in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Sam's Club recalls Cargill-made hamburgers in U.S.
October 6, 2007 06:18 PM -
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Sam's Club is pulling frozen hamburgers made by agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. from its stores shelves across the United States as Minnesota health officials investigate four cases of E. coli associated with the burgers.
In a statement dated Friday, Sam's Club owner Wal-Mart Stores Inc said the warehouse club is removing the American Chef's Selection Angus Beef patties from U.S. locations and giving refunds to customers who already purchased the burgers.
All four cases of E. coli being investigated occurred in children, the Minnesota Department of Health said in a statement. The cases are associated with eating ground beef patties purchased from Sam's Club stores in late August and September.
Sam's Club customers should return or destroy any American Chef's Selection Angus Beef purchased from Sam's Club since August 26, the department of health said.
Blind people: Hybrid Cars Pose Hazard
October 5, 2007 04:55 PM - AP, Ben Nuckols
BALTIMORE - Gas-electric hybrid vehicles, the status symbol for the environmentally conscientious, are coming under attack from a constituency that doesn't drive: the blind. Because hybrids make virtually no noise at slower speeds when they run solely on electric power, blind people say they pose a hazard to those who rely on their ears to determine whether it's safe to cross the street or walk through a parking lot.
Saving the World One Handbag at a Time
October 5, 2007 04:49 PM -
Los Angeles - With concern for the environment reaching a fever pitch worldwide, celebrities who are at the forefront of the green living movement are moving beyond endorsing hybrid cars to embracing eco-fashion. New York’s recent Fashion Week featured “green” fabrics as well as vintage and recycled clothing, and it’s no surprised that Hollywood celebrities are now toting environmentally friendly handbags. Eva Longoria, Heidi Klum, America Ferrara, Kate Walsh and Serena Williams own Half the Sky Design’s “Rebagz™”; stylish and vibrant bags in a variety of shapes and sizes made from recycled juice pouches and nylon rice bags.
Affordable Solar Power On The Horizon
October 5, 2007 08:10 AM - University of Cambridge
Cambridge, UK - Environmentally friendly solar panels may be an affordable alternative to conventional power sources within the next ten years, as a result of a new initiative launched this week.
The project, funded by the Carbon Trust, will be led by the University of Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory in collaboration with The Technology Partnership.
Currently solar panels are made from silicon, which makes them expensive to manufacture and therefore cost prohibitive for many. However, new technology being researched at Cambridge uses plastic to create solar cells, a much more cost effective and energy efficient method.