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Pollution

To Cope with Oil Shock, Emulate Japan
June 9, 2008 08:58 AM - Dilip Hiro, Global Policy Innovations Program

With the price of oil rocketing to the unprecedented level of $130 a barrel, there is a talk of another oil shock. Unfortunately, unlike past instances, this one is unlikely to subside, and may indeed keep intensifying. The only way out is for Western nations, the gluttonous users of petroleum, to cut their consumption and emulate Japan in its consistent drive for energy efficiency and alternate sources. The present explosion in oil prices is the fourth of its kind, but different from the previous ones in 1973—74, 1980, and 1990—91.

Modest African footprint still approaching limits
June 9, 2008 08:22 AM - WWF

Individual Africans might consume less on average than residents of any other continent, but rising population is bringing Africa close to its ecological limits, the first ever detailed assessment of Africa’s ecological footprint has found. Africa-Ecological Footprint and human well-being, prepared for WWF by the Global Footprint Network and released at the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment today finds the average African had an Ecological Footprint (an estimate of the area of land or sea used annually in providing for personal consumption) of 1.1 global hectares in 2003, well below the global average of 2.2 hectares per person.

In conversation, Albright lays out global challenges facing the next president
June 6, 2008 09:57 AM - Stanford News Service

In a conversation with Scott Sagan last week, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright discussed a wide range of international conflicts facing the next president, as well as her experience as a high-powered woman in politics. As Sagan, a professor of political science, and Albright rhetorically toured the globe, pausing at hot spots to probe serious policy issues, Albright delivered her advice with a dose of humor.

"Kick the CO2 Habit" - UNEP Says It May Be Easier Than You Think
June 6, 2008 09:51 AM - United Nations Environment Programme

Adopting a climate-friendly lifestyle needn't require drastic changes or major sacrifices. People in the developed world, as well as some rapidly developing countries and cities - from Manchester and Manhattan to Moscow and Mumbai - can start right away to "Kick the C02 Habit", the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) says.

European Union Poised to Increase Recycling
June 6, 2008 09:42 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

The European Union is currently debating waste management targets that could significantly increase recycling rates throughout Europe. Legislators on the European Parliament's Environment Committee overwhelmingly supported reforms earlier this year that would halt the steady rise in the region's garbage. By 2012, waste production would have to stabilize at 2009 levels, the committee recommended.

Toyota develops improved hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle
June 6, 2008 08:49 AM - Reuters

Toyota Motor Corp said on Friday it has developed an advanced fuel-cell vehicle that can run for 830 km (516 miles) on a single tank of hydrogen and in temperatures as low as 30 degrees Celsius below freezing (-22 F). The zero-emission FCHV-adv will be leased to government agencies, among other possible users, in Japan starting later this year, a spokeswoman said.

Mexico City smog hurting people's sense of smell
June 5, 2008 09:18 AM - Reuters

Chronic pollution in Mexico City, which stains the sky yellow and can trigger government warnings to stay indoors, could be killing off residents' sense of smell, scientists say. Tests showed people in Mexico City -- a sprawling metropolis crammed with around 20 million people and 4 million cars -- struggled to sniff out everyday odors like coffee and orange juice compared to residents of a nearby town.

Flying High on Algae - KLM Tests Algae-Based Kerosene for Airplane Fuel
June 5, 2008 09:07 AM - , Triple Pundit

Dovetailing nicely into my post last week about the work GreenFuel is doing with algae and their emissions-to-fuel process, air carrier KLM reported last week their intention to begin testing airplanes that run on an algae-based fuel. In a pilot program with AlgaeLink, a Netherlands-based global manufacturer of algae growing equipment and “earth-to-engine” technology, KLM expects to conduct test flights this fall. AlgaeLink will also open two plants this year in the Netherlands and Spain.

World Environment Day calls for end to CO2 addiction
June 5, 2008 09:03 AM - Reuters

The United Nations urged the world on Thursday to kick an all-consuming addiction to carbon dioxide and said everyone must take steps to fight climate change. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said global warming was becoming the defining issue of the era and will hurt rich and poor alike.

DOE Taps Manufacturers to Advance Wind Power

The Dept. of Energy joined forces with six major wind turbine makers this week in a bid to grow wind energy production high enough to account for a fifth of total generation by 2030. The DOE and GE, Vestas, Siemens Power Generation, Clipper Turbine Works, Suzlon Energy and Gamesa Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding to advance wind energy manufacturing and address issues such as turbine reliability and standards, site strategies and workforce development.

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