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Pollution

Expert foresees 10 more years of R&D to make solar energy competitive
April 8, 2008 09:38 AM - American Chemical Society

NEW ORLEANS, April 7, 2008 — Despite oil prices that hover around $100 a barrel, it may take at least 10 or more years of intensive research and development to reduce the cost of solar energy to levels competitive with petroleum, according to an authority on the topic. “Solar can potentially provide all the electricity and fuel we need to power the planet,” Harry Gray, Ph.D., scheduled to speak here today at the 235th national meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). His presentation, “Powering the Planet with Solar Energy,” is part of a special symposium arranged by Bruce Bursten, Ph.D., president of the ACS, the world’s largest scientific society celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Beckman Scholars Program.

Summer gasoline use down first time in 17 years
April 8, 2008 09:31 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Record gasoline prices and a contracting U.S. economy will reduce summer gasoline demand for the first time in 17 years, the government's top energy forecasting agency said Tuesday. U.S. gasoline prices will hit a monthly peak of just over $3.60 per gallon in June, helping to reduce motor fuel demand by 0.4 percent this busy driving season compared to last summer, said the federal Energy Information Administration.

Spain nuclear plant leak below legal limit: watchdog
April 8, 2008 06:38 AM - Reuters

MADRID (Reuters) - Radioactivity from a leak detected at Spain's Asco I nuclear power plant during refueling last November was below legal limits, Spain's nuclear watchdog said on Tuesday. The Nuclear Safety Commission sent inspectors to the plant after being told on Friday that a routine inspection had detected radioactive particles on the outside of buildings at Asco I, in the northeast Catalonia region.

Haze could worsen this year: ASEAN ministers
April 8, 2008 03:40 AM - Reuters

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (Reuters) - Smog from forest fires, which costs Southeast Asian economies billions in lost tourist dollars, could worsen as changing weather patterns cause an unusually dry spell, the region's environment ministers warned on Tuesday. The effects of the La Nina weather phenomenon are expected to wear off in the third quarter of 2008, which could result in arid conditions, the ministers said, quoting a forecast from the ASEAN Meteorological Centre.

IOC head: Beijing air no danger to athletes
April 5, 2008 01:24 AM - Reuters

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The head of the International Olympic Committee said on Saturday that Beijing's poor air quality will not endanger the health of athletes competing in the games in August, but it may affect their performance. "The health of the athletes is absolutely not in danger," Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee said in Singapore.

U.N. body to slash ship fuel pollution by 2015
April 4, 2008 01:07 PM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - The world's top maritime body agreed tough new limits on ship fuel pollutants at a week-long meeting that ended on Friday, an industry source said. The United Nations' International Maritime Organization (IMO) measures will sharply curb harmful sulphur emissions by 2015.

Airborne Study Of Arctic Atmosphere, Air Pollution Launched
April 4, 2008 09:32 AM - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

This month, NASA begins the most extensive field campaign ever to investigate the chemistry of the Arctic's lower atmosphere. The mission is poised to help scientists identify how air pollution contributes to climate changes in the Arctic. The recent decline of sea ice is one indication the Arctic is undergoing significant environmental changes related to climate warming. NASA and its partners plan to investigate the atmosphere's role in this climate-sensitive region with the Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS) field campaign.

Carbon Dioxide Emission Reduction Assumptions Overly Optimistic, Study Says
April 4, 2008 09:29 AM - National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

"In the end, there is no question whether technological innovation is necessary--it is," write the authors in the Nature commentary. "The question is, to what degree should policy focus explicitly on motivating such innovation" The IPCC plays a risky game in assuming that spontaneous advances in technological innovation will carry most of the burden of achieving future emissions reductions, rather than focusing on those conditions that are necessary and sufficient for those innovations to occur."

World Bank accused of climate change "hijack"
April 4, 2008 05:26 AM - Reuters

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Developing countries and environmental groups accused the World Bank on Friday of trying to seize control of the billions of dollars of aid that will be used to tackle climate change in the next four decades. "The World Bank's foray into climate change has gone down like a lead balloon," Friends of the Earth campaigner Tom Picken said at the end of a major climate change conference in the Thai capital.

18 states sue EPA over greenhouse gas pollution
April 3, 2008 08:41 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Eighteen states sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday for failing to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and trucks, one year after the Supreme Court ruled that the agency had the power to do so. The suit seeks EPA's response to the high court's April 2, 2007, ruling, a landmark decision seen as a sharp defeat for the Bush administration's policy on climate change.

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