The silent emergency

Ajocular former paratrooper, Amadou Toumani Touré was once dubbed Mali's "soldier of democracy", the man who ousted a dictator in a 1991 coup before organising elections and handing power to a civilian administration the following year. He was elected president himself in 2002 and has since acquired a new title: he is, in the pantheon of world leaders, the biggest champion of clean water and functioning toilets. That is what development workers call him and he describes it as a compliment.

Ex-Soviet bloc leads rises in CO2 emissions: U.N.
November 17, 2008 07:56 AM - Reuters

Greenhouse gas emissions in many industrialised nations are still rising, especially in the former Soviet bloc, despite agreements to cut back, the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat said on Monday. Emissions by 40 industrialized nations grew by 2.3 percent to the equivalent of 18.0 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2006 from 17.6 billion in 2000, it said. They dipped 0.1 percent in 2006 compared with 2005 but underlying trends were still up.

Giant Asian smog cloud masks warming impact: U.N.
November 13, 2008 08:52 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - A three-kilometer thick cloud of brown soot and other pollutants hanging over Asia is darkening cities, killing thousands and damaging crops but may be holding off the worst effects of global warming, the U.N. said on Thursday.

A global race for the plug-in hybrid battery hits the back stretch

The ingredients for a multibillion-dollar global technology race sit on a table here in this Milwaukee suburb. They make the process seem pretty simple: Two strips of specially coated foil and a thin, plastic-like material called a separator are carefully wrapped together in a layered spiral that technicians here call the "jelly roll."

Japan CO2 hits record
November 12, 2008 08:31 AM - Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's greenhouse gas emissions rose to a record high in the year to March, putting the world's fifth-largest carbon dioxide producer at risk of an embarrassing failure to achieve its Kyoto target over the next four years.

In Mayor's Plan, the Plastic Bag Will Carry a Fee
November 10, 2008 08:48 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

In its struggle to make New York more green, the Bloomberg administration has tried discouraging people from using plastic bags. It has taken out ads beseeching residents to use cloth bags and set up recycling bins for plastic bags at supermarkets. But now the carrots have been put away, and the stick is out: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has called for charging shoppers 6 cents for every plastic bag needed at the register.

Scientists say a rock can soak up carbon dioxide
November 9, 2008 10:55 AM - Reuters

A rock found mostly in Oman can be harnessed to soak up the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide at a rate that could help slow global warming, scientists say. When carbon dioxide comes in contact with the rock, peridotite, the gas is converted into solid minerals such as calcite.

China tells rich polluting nations to change lifestyle
November 7, 2008 08:25 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said rich nations must abandon their "unsustainable lifestyle" to fight climate change and expand help to poor nations bearing the brunt of worsening droughts and rising sea levels. Wen told the opening of a conference Friday the financial crisis was no reason for rich nations to delay fighting global warming.

US automakers can now apply for Energy Dept. loans

The White House said on Thursday that automakers are now able to apply for government loans from the Energy Department to help them retool older plants and equipment to produce energy-efficient vehicles. The Energy Department on Wednesday night published rules for participation in the loan program, which now allows automakers to apply for financing, the White House said.

Levels of the greenhouse gas methane begin to increase again
November 6, 2008 09:13 AM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The amount of methane in Earth's atmosphere shot up in 2007, bringing to an end a period of about a decade in which atmospheric levels of the potent greenhouse gas were essentially stable, according to a team led by MIT researchers.

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