Pollution

Carbon cap would cost U.S. households 1 percent: report
April 21, 2008 01:22 PM - Reuters

Capping carbon emissions would cost U.S. households less than one cent on the dollar over the next two decades, an environmental group reported on Monday, disputing critics who say mandatory limits on greenhouse gases would cost jobs and damage the economy. "The United States can enjoy robust economy growth over the next several decades while making ambitious reductions in greenhouse gas emissions," the study by Environmental Defense Fund concluded. "And in the long run, the coming low-carbon-economy can provide the foundation for sustained American economic growth and prosperity."

Climate talks advance, but split on 2050 goals
April 19, 2008 09:55 AM - Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - Major economies made progress in defining the building blocks of a new U.N. deal to fight climate change on Friday but ended split over whether to set a goal of halving world greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The U.S.-led meeting of 17 nations accounting for 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, ended with common ground on sharing clean technologies, financing and possible sectoral emissions goals for industries such as steel or cement.

Houston, LA named top CO2 polluters
April 18, 2008 08:05 AM - Reuters

Counties in the main U.S. petrochemical and driving hubs top the country's output of the planet-warming gas carbon dioxide, emitting about three times more CO2 than the top county in New York does, researchers said on Thursday. Harris County in Texas emitted more than 18.6 million tons of CO2 in 2002, the latest year for which data was available, according to Vulcan, a three-year project funded by NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy. The county is home to oil and natural gas plants and Houston, which has about 2 million people.

BigBelly Solar Trash Receptacle
April 17, 2008 08:56 AM - , The Alternative Consumer

Upon first glance you may think that a solar trash can is an extravagance municipalities can certainly do without, but perhaps we need to take a closer look. The BigBelly is a self-powered compacting trash receptacle. Instead of drawing electricity from the power grid this trash can uses solar power for 100% of its energy. From the company: “The unit takes up as much space as the ”˜footprint’ of an ordinary receptacle—but its capacity is five times greater. Increased capacity reduces collection trips and can cut fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by 80%. BigBelly also provides cost efficiencies from labor savings, fuel cost and maintenance savings, as well as environmental benefits from reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.”

Toxic Chemical in Plastic Bottles & Cans Damaging Children's Brains & Reproductive Organs but Government & Chemical Industry Remain Unconcerned
April 17, 2008 08:44 AM - Marla Cone , Global Policy Innovations Program

A controversial, estrogen-like chemical in plastic could be harming the development of children's brains and reproductive organs, a federal health agency concluded in a report released Tuesday. The National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, concluded that there was "some concern" that fetuses, babies and children were in danger because bisphenol A, or BPA, harmed animals at low levels found in nearly all human bodies.

Bush climate plan criticized for lacking urgency
April 17, 2008 08:38 AM - Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - The world needs tougher action to combat global warming than a plan by President George W. Bush to halt a rise in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions only by 2025, delegates at a climate conference in Paris said on Thursday. South Africa, one of 17 nations at the two-day global warming talks that started on Thursday, called Bush's proposals "disappointing" and unambitious when many other industrialized economies are already cutting emissions.

Bush to announce intermediate goal for CO2 emissions
April 16, 2008 07:20 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush plans to announce on Wednesday an intermediate goal to limit greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, but will not make specific proposals, the White House said on Tuesday. Bush will "articulate a realistic intermediate goal for reducing greenhouse gasses" and press for incentives for technology aimed at cutting emissions, said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

Top emitters meet in Paris, worries on UN overlap
April 15, 2008 08:17 AM - Reuters

OSLO (Reuters) - The world's top greenhouse gas emitters meet in Paris this week to work out ways to slow global warming with uncertainty about whether the U.S.-backed talks will help or hinder plans for a new U.N. climate treaty. Washington says the April 17-18 meeting, with a workshop on sectoral industrial greenhouse targets on Wednesday, is a step towards agreement by the end of 2008 on curbs by countries that emit 80 percent of the world's greenhouse gases.

Solar Energy: Popcorn-ball Design Doubles Efficiency Of Dye-sensitized Solar Cells
April 15, 2008 08:15 AM - University of Washington

A new approach is able to create a dramatic improvement in cheap solar cells now being developed in laboratories. By using a popcorn-ball design -- tiny kernels clumped into much larger porous spheres -- researchers at the University of Washington are able to manipulate light and more than double the efficiency of converting solar energy to electricity. The findings were presented in New Orleans at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society April 10.

Nature's Answers to the Sanitation Challenge
April 14, 2008 08:56 AM - United Nations Environment Programme

At a prison on the East coast of Africa, in-mates are pioneering a sanitation project that is working with nature to neutralize human wastes. The initiative, involving the development of a wetland to purify sewage, is expected to cost a fraction of the price of high-tech treatments while also triggering scores of environmental, economic and social benefits.

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