Pollution

Soot tops NASA's climate blacklist
January 5, 2009 08:40 AM - Canberra Times

Governments could slow global warming dramatically, and buy time to avert disastrous climate change, by slashing emissions of one of humanity's most familiar pollutants soot according to NASA scientists. A study by the space agency shows that cutting down on the pollutant can have an immediate cooling effect and prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths from air pollution at the same time.

EU seals historic climate and energy package
January 3, 2009 08:02 AM - World Business Council for Sustainable Development

MEPs formally approved an unprecedented package of six new climate and energy laws in Strasbourg on Wednesday. A year of intense negotiations was wrapped up in a mere twenty minutes of voting. Over 550 MEPs backed the package, while fewer than 100 voted against. The package is designed to cut EU greenhouse gas emissions by twenty per cent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels, as pledged by European leaders at their spring summit in 2007. The EU will aim for a 30 per cent cut if other industrialised countries take on equivalent commitments in a new international climate treaty to be agreed at UN talks in Copenhagen next December.

Metal Levels Found High in Tributary After Spill
January 2, 2009 08:24 AM - New York Times

An environmental advocacy group’s tests of river water and ash near the site of a huge coal ash spill in East Tennessee showed levels of arsenic, lead, chromium and other metals at 2 to 300 times higher than drinking water standards, the group said Thursday.

Tenn. ash spill larger than thought
January 2, 2009 08:09 AM - Boston.com

A coal ash spill that blanketed residential neighborhoods and contaminated nearby rivers in Roane County, Tenn., earlier this week is more than three times larger than initially estimated, the Tennessee Valley Authoritysaid. Coal ash, a byproduct of burning coal, contains toxic heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and selenium that can cause cancer and neurological problems.

Can aircraft trails affect climate?
January 1, 2009 09:48 AM - Nature News

Grounding planes after the 11 September attacks may not have caused unusual temperature effects. When all commercial air traffic in the United States was grounded after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, scientists got an unexpected opportunity to test ideas about the climate effects of the condensation trails left behind by jets.

Beijing's New Year resolution: scrap polluting cars
December 31, 2008 09:09 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing, beset by choking traffic and heavy air pollution, will take more than 350,000 high-polluting vehicles off inner city streets from Thursday, local media reported. China's capital has banned cars from the roads on one out of five weekdays based on the number of license plates as part of a six-month trial in the wake of broader restrictions during the Olympic Games in August that cleared skies and eased congestion.

Green Goal of 'Carbon Neutrality' Hits Limit
December 30, 2008 08:47 AM - The Wall Street Journal

ROUND ROCK, Texas -- Computer giant Dell Inc. said this summer that it has become "carbon neutral," the latest step in its quest to be "the greenest technology company on the planet." What that means, and what it doesn't, may surprise Dell customers and other consumers who have been bombarded with bold environmental promises from major corporations.

Federal appeals court backpedals on critical power plant standards
December 29, 2008 08:57 AM - Blog for Clean Air

This could prove a holiday gift to breathers. A federal appeals court is backpedaling on its earlier decision to vacate critical EPA rules designed to reduce power plant emissions — the so-called Clean Air Interstate Rule. (CAIR)

Responses to plastic pollution
December 29, 2008 08:54 AM - The New Nation

After seeing through the dreadful negative effects, movements have already been launched against plastic pollution. For instance, a United States law, implementing an international agreement called MARPOL Annex V, became effective on December 31, 1988. It prohibits the disposal of plastics into the marine environment and requires ports to provide reception facilities for ship-generated plastic wastes. More recently, in response to increasing public concern over environmental hazards caused by plastic, many countries are conducting various solid waste management programmes including plastic waste reduction by development of bio-degradable plastic materials.

Bush eyes oil reserves off California coast
December 29, 2008 08:26 AM - www.sfgate.com

The federal government is taking steps that may open California's fabled coast to oil drilling in as few as three years, an action that could place dozens of platforms off the Sonoma, Mendocino and Humboldt coasts, and raises the specter of spills, air pollution and increased ship traffic into San Francisco Bay. Millions of acres of oil deposits, mapped in the 1980s when then-Interior Secretary James Watt and Energy Secretary Donald Hodel pushed for California exploration, lie a few miles from the forested North Coast and near the mouth of the Russian River, as well as off Malibu, Santa Monica and La Jolla in Southern California.

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