Pollution

U.S. Organic Cotton Production Gains Ground
December 31, 2007 10:00 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

GREENFIELD, Mass. - U.S. acreage planted to organic cotton in 2006 increased 14% from that planted the previous year, according to a 2007 survey conducted by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) and funded by a grant from Cotton Incorporated.

No More Free Ride: Global Warming Pollution from Ships Must be Regulated
December 31, 2007 11:24 AM - , Oceana

Despite their impact on the global climate, greenhouse gases and other global warming pollution from ships remain unregulated by the U.S. Government. These emissions also have not been limited by the Kyoto Protocol or any other international treaty. However, ships are a major source of global warming pollutants, including carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and black carbon.

Taking on the E-Waste Problem
December 31, 2007 11:11 AM - Andrew Burger, Triple Pundit

Ongoing growth in volumes and disposal rates of electronic waste and scrap pose consumers, governments and industry with a growing threat to environmental health and safety. In its 2002 report “Exporting Harm,” the Seattle arm of the Basel Action Network revealed that about 80 percent of electronic waste brought to recyclers in the US is in fact not recycled here but exported to Asia, most likely China, where “it is melted down in primitive, environmentally damaging conditions including the cooking and melting of computer circuit boards in vast quantity.”

Smokers butt out in Germany and France
December 31, 2007 09:15 AM - Reuters

BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) - For years, anyone needing a nicotine fix in a German pub or French cafe didn't even have to light up -- the air was already so full of smoke that they only had to open their mouth and inhale. But that all changes on Tuesday when strict new bans take effect in two of Western Europe's final bastions for smokers, Germany and France. There was long and fierce resistance to the prohibitions on tobacco that other countries imposed.

“The Story Of Stuff ” Challenges American Consumerism
December 30, 2007 10:57 AM - www.storyofstuff.com

Throughout the 20-minute film, activist Annie Leonard, the film’s narrator and an expert on the materials economy, examines the social, environmental and global costs of extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal. Her illustration of a culture driven by stuff allows her to isolate the moment in history where she says the trend of consumption mania began. The “Story of Stuff” examines how economic policies of the post-World War II era ushered in notions of consumerism — and how those notions are still driving much of the U.S. and global economies today.

McDonald's sees restaurants as green laboratories
December 29, 2007 11:32 AM - Reuters

The hamburger chain, whose iconic brand and presence in 118 countries has made it the target of anti-globalization activists, is using its scale and broad franchise ownership to address the issue. It is trying out a slew of individualized environmental initiatives, said Bob Langert, vice president of corporate social responsibility, in an interview, adding that it did not make sense to force one solution onto its entire system.

Prenatal X-rays don't raise kids' brain tumor risk
December 28, 2007 03:43 PM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Overall, children born to women who received an X-ray while pregnant are not more likely than other children to develop a brain tumor, Swedish researchers report based on a study they conducted. However, the study hints that abdominal X-rays during pregnancy may raise the risk of a specific type of brain tumor called primitive neuroectodermal tumors.

Most older adults have brain disease: study
December 28, 2007 03:34 PM - Megan Rauscher, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Results of a brain autopsy study indicate that most older adults have significant brain pathology (disease), regardless of the presence or absence of outward signs of dementia. As part of the long-term Rush Memory and Aging Project, researchers evaluated the spectrum of abnormalities found in the brains of 141 older adults, with and without clinically evident dementia.

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

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio 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.

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