Pollution

Russian oil spill threatens drinking water
January 11, 2008 11:18 AM - Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian volunteers on Friday scooped dead ducks out of a river outside Moscow polluted by an oil spill from a nearby power plant that is threatening to spread and contaminate drinking water. The oil leaked into the River Dulov on Sunday. Conservation group WWF said the spill measured around 500 tonnes and accused authorities of playing down its size and being slow to respond.

Ocean Fertilization 'Fix' For Global Warming Discredited By New Research

Research performed at Stanford and Oregon State Universities suggests that ocean fertilization may not be an effective method of reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a major contributor to global warming. Ocean fertilization, the process of adding iron or other nutrients to the ocean to cause large algal blooms, has been proposed as a possible solution to global warming because the growing algae absorb carbon dioxide as they grow.

California agency presses EPA on ship exhaust
January 10, 2008 10:35 PM - Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles-area air quality agency on Thursday petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to immediately set tougher standards on global-warming pollutants for ocean vessels calling on U.S. ports.

Cell Phone Recycling is an Easy Call
January 10, 2008 01:35 PM - Environmental Protection Agency

(Washington, D.C. - Jan. 8, 2008) The nation's leading cell phone makers, service providers, and retailers have teamed up with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to answer America's call for easy cell phone recycling. As part of EPA's Plug-In to eCycling program, partners supporting the cell phone recycling campaign include AT&T Wireless, Best Buy, LG Electronics, Motorola, Nokia, Office Depot, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Sprint, Staples, and T-Mobile.

China Bans the Use of Plastic Bags
January 10, 2008 10:34 AM - , Triple Pundit

China announced this week that production and use of plastic bags in supermarkets and retail shops will be banned beginning June 1. This new law could have a considerably positive environmental impact, given that Chinese citizens "use as many as 3 billion plastic bags a day." The law is part of a larger campaign to fight "white pollution" in China, which includes other forms of rampant plastic and styrofoam use as well. This bold and surprising move demonstrates that the Chinese government is starting to take pollution concerns seriously. While a few city governments here in the U.S. have passed (San Francisco) or are considering passing similar legislation (New York), it is refreshing to see a national government as powerful and influential as the China make such a decision.

Hungary says new CO2 plan to curb windfall profits
January 10, 2008 08:04 AM - Reuters

Hungary's new greenhouse gas emissions plan for 2008-12 will clamp down on windfall profits generated at some firms in the previous allocation period due to oversupply of pollution permits, a ministry official said. Hungary's government seeks to pass a decree on the revised carbon dioxide (CO2) limits under the EU's emissions trading scheme next month after the European Commission cut its proposal by 12.4 percent to 26.9 million tons a year for 2008-12.

Sub-Saharan Africa: The Population Emergency

The report of a demographic study, coordinated by the Centre Population et Développement (CEPED), commissioned by the Agence Fran├žaise de Développement (AFD), was published recently. The work was performed by a joint team involving scientists from the IRD and specialist academics from Belgium, Cameroon, France and the Ivory Coast (2). They examined the recent and projected future population trends in Sub-Saharan Africa and the relationships between these tendencies and the development of the region. This review effectively demolished some generally accepted ideas, in particular the one that Sub-Saharan Africa is underpopulated.

'Green' Energy Efficient Mobile Home Designed
January 9, 2008 09:45 AM - Wiley-Blackwell

But "green" is exactly what Michael Berk, F.L. Crane Endowed Professor of Architecture at Mississippi State, wants mobile homes to be. He hopes to toss traditional thinking about the structures into the recycling bin, salvaging the traditional "mobile home" perception one national award at a time. Working in the Carl Small Town Center--a part of MSU's College of Architecture, Art and Design--Berk created an award-winning, next-generation factory-built unit he calls the GreenMobile. Unlike other lower-end housing, Berk's applies sound construction methods, as well as energy-saving concepts for lower utility costs.

Italy's "trash tsar" takes charge
January 9, 2008 09:27 AM - Reuters

NAPLES (Reuters) - A government-appointed "trash tsar" took charge of a waste crisis in Naples on Wednesday after residents sealed off a suburb with barricades to stop it becoming a dumping ground for mountains of garbage. Images of the historic port city wallowing in its own filth have shocked Italians and embarrassed the ruling centre left coalition of Prime Minister Romano Prodi, which also holds office at the local and regional level in Naples.

New Bans on Plastic Bags May Help Protect Marine Life
January 9, 2008 09:26 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute

China’s surprise crackdown on plastic bags, announced on Tuesday, will prohibit the production and distribution of ultra-thin bags beginning June 1. The ruling bans the manufacture, sale, and use of plastic bags under 0.025 millimeters thick and prohibits supermarkets and shops nationwide from handing out the sacks for free. With the move, China joins a growing list of regions, from San Francisco to South Africa, that are using taxes, bans, and other regulations to try to decrease the prevalence of the ubiquitous bags.

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