Pollution

Unethical Ethanol Tariff
December 28, 2007 12:00 PM - Adam Dean, Global Policy Innovations Program

Brazilian President Luiz InĂ¡cio Lula da Silva and U.S. President Bush met last week at Camp David to discuss the future of ethanol. As the world's largest producer of sugar and a pioneer in the production of ethanol, Brazil is a key ally in Bush's plan to reduce America's foreign oil dependence and environmental footprint. Imports of Brazilian ethanol could be a major step toward achieving Bush's goal of reducing American gasoline consumption by 20 percent over the next ten years. As ethanol can be produced from sugar, increased consumption of the fuel in the United States could also lead to a higher commodity price for sugar producers in Brazil, with the potential to lift thousands out of poverty.

Beijing raises air quality goal for Olympics
December 28, 2007 08:09 AM - Reuters

Beijing is aiming for more "good air days" in 2008 as it prepares to host the Olympics in August, a senior official said on Friday, with the city's notorious pollution a major concern for athletes and organizers. Beijing recorded 244 "blue sky days" by December 28 this year, a day short of its 245-day target. The standard of a "blue sky day" has not been widely recognized by international scientists.

Hotels: Energy Star Earns Its Keep
December 27, 2007 04:24 PM - Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News

Washington - There are currently 247 Energy Star labeled hotels listed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star for Hospitality website. Close to 3,000 U.S. hotels have participated in this free government program since it was launched in 2002—mostly hotels in the 200-room range but any property 20 rooms and up can benefit. The two largest hotels that have earned the Energy Star are the Sheraton Waikiki with 2,228 rooms, and the Sheraton Boston Hotel and Towers with 1,215. The smallest hotels with a label are the 60-room Laurel Super 8 Motel in Laurel, Montana, and the 85-room Saybrook Point Inn and Spa, Old Saybrook, Conn.

Survey: Green Takes Strong Hold with Architects, Designers
December 27, 2007 04:06 PM - Glen Hasek, Green Lodging News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Autodesk, Inc. and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) recently announced the results of the 2007 Autodesk/AIA Green Index, an annual survey that measures how AIA member architects in the United States are practicing sustainable design, as well as their opinions about the green building movement. The index shows that green building has taken a firm hold on the industry and has captured the attention of both architects and their clients.

Barcoding An Entire Ecosystem
December 27, 2007 03:33 PM - Sarah Yang, UC Berkeley Newswire

BERKELEY — In the middle of the South Pacific, about 12 miles west of Tahiti, is a tropical island that soon will emerge as a model ecosystem, thanks to the efforts of a U.S.-French research team led by University of California, Berkeley, biologists.

EPA, Dow Chemical Negotiate River Cleanups
December 27, 2007 03:06 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

CHICAGO - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 today extended a deadline with Dow Chemical to negotiate a settlement to conduct and finance an investigation, a study and interim cleanup actions for dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee River system. In October the EPA called for negotiations under provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, or Superfund.

Two Egyptians test positive for bird flu
December 27, 2007 01:32 PM - Aziz El-Kaissouni, Reuters

CAIRO (Reuters) - Two Egyptians have tested positive for the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, a day after an Egyptian woman died of the disease, Egypt's health ministry said on Thursday. "There are two cases today, one in Damietta and one in Menoufia... Today lab results confirmed that they are infected with bird flu," Amr Kandeel, head of communicable disease control at the health ministry, told Reuters. The two new cases, both of whom are currently receiving treatment in hospital, bring the total number of human bird flu cases in Egypt to 41, Kandeel added.

North Korea says may slow nuclear disablement: Kyodo
December 26, 2007 07:58 PM - Reuters

"There is a delay in the implementation of economic compensation obligations to be undertaken by the other countries in the six-party talks," Hyun Hak Bong, deputy director of the North Korean Foreign Ministry's American affairs bureau, was quoted as saying late on Wednesday.

Secondhand smoke may raise child allergy risk
December 26, 2007 01:52 PM - Reuters

Experts have known that exposure to secondhand smoke either renatally or early in life can raise a child's risk of developing asthma symptoms. But the evidence regarding allergies in general has been mixed.

Broken Homes Damage the Environment
December 26, 2007 12:45 PM - Michigan State University Newswire

The data are in. Divorce is bad for the environment. A novel study that links divorce with the environment shows that a global trend of soaring divorce rates has created more households with fewer people, that, in turn, take up more space and gobble up more energy and water. The research of Jianguo "Jack" Liu and Eunice Yu at Michigan State University, which was partially funded by the National Science Foundation, appears in this week's online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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