Pollution

Vote For the "7 Wonders of the Natural World"
July 27, 2009 02:38 PM - M. Molendyke, ENN Community

Recently, 28 finalists were announced in the search for the "SevenWonders of the Natural World" initiative, being sponsored by the New 7 Foundation. Of the 28, the public has been given the task of voting to choose 7, and the foundation hopes to get over 1 billion votes. This program was launched to foster conservancy, both of the specific wonders and of the world's ecosystems in general, and the nonprofit hopes to inspire the citizens of the world through ecotourism and increased publicity and public sympathy for conservancy. You can vote online. Visit the ENN Community: http://blog.enn.com/

Comment on the Latest News on the US Climate Bill
July 26, 2009 10:09 AM - Molly Molendyke, ENN Community

Yesterday, Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin spoke out about the upcoming formation of a US climate bill, saying that the bill needs an "off ramp" built into the bill itself in case other nations fail to meet their climate legislation’s goals. This "off ramp" should, according to an article by Reuters’ Charles Abbott, "allow the United States to relax its greenhouse gas rules if other nations fail to control theirs." The price of farm upkeep is expected to climb with the instatement of a formal climate law, and Harkin casually explained his thinking with "If other countries don’t join us... hey, we’re off the ramp." Farm groups are the biggest proponent of the ramp idea because "US farmers would be at a disadvantage on the export market if other nations kept their prices low by not curbing carbon emissions," according to Abbott.

Advance in Geothermal Energy
July 26, 2009 09:49 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

A new method for capturing significantly more heat from low-temperature geothermal resources holds promise for generating virtually pollution-free electrical energy. Scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are testing a new innovative approach to safely and economically extract and convert heat from vast untapped geothermal resources.

EPA reconsiders lead-monitoring plans foiled by Bush White House
July 24, 2009 10:29 AM - Brendan Borrell, Scientific American

The EPA announced this week that it was reconsidering plans to beef up its airborne lead monitoring network in response to a petition from environmental and health groups.

Evidence is Growing That Contaminants Play a Role in Diabetes

Eat right and exercise, conventional wisdom has it, if you want to avoid joining the diabetes epidemic. But a new study adds some muscle to a growing body of research suggesting those steps, although beneficial, might not be enough for people exposed to chemicals in the environment. The scientists linked diabetes and people's body burdens of DDE, a chemical produced as the body breaks down the pesticide DDT, banned in the United States more than 35 years ago.

Coal giant offers cash for biggest clean rival
July 22, 2009 10:59 AM - Tyler Hamilton , TheStar.com

Canada's biggest generator of dirty power has launched a hostile bid for the country's leading developer of clean power, which could be the first of many moves in an energy sector that sees big polluters trying to green up their assets.

Air Pollution Linked to Diminishing IQ of Children

A new study published in the August 2009 edition of Pediatrics shows a possible disturbing correlation between increased urban air pollution and decreased IQ points in children. The study sites polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), or "chemicals released into the air from the burning of coal, diesel, oil, and gas, or other organic substances such as tobacco" as the major perpetrators of inner- city air pollution, with a particular focus on motor vehicle use.

Hydrofluorocarbons, Once a Solution, Now a Problem?
July 20, 2009 07:44 AM - David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post

Scientists say the chemicals that helped solve the last global environmental crisis -- the hole in the ozone layer -- are making the current one worse. They worked: The earth's protective shield seems to be recovering. But researchers say what's good for ozone is bad for climate change.

Fertilizer’s Contamination Legacy
July 19, 2009 07:21 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

Perchlorate-contaminated groundwater could be a widespread legacy of the U.S.'s agricultural past, according to researchers who have pioneered perchlorate forensics. The researchers, led by John Karl Bhlke of the U.S. Geological Survey, used isotopes and other geochemical tracers to identify perchlorate sources. The impact of the historic use of Chilean nitrate fertilizer from the Atacama Desert, which contains naturally occurring perchlorate, is emerging from studies such as one published recently in ES&T.

Mystery of Los Angeles Methane Emissions Probed
July 19, 2009 07:09 AM - New Scientist

The Los Angeles metropolitan area belches far more methane into its air than scientists had previously realized. If other megacities are equally profligate, urban methane emissions may represent a surprisingly important source of this potent greenhouse gas. Atmospheric researchers have long had good estimates of global methane emissions, but less is known about exactly where these emissions come from, particularly in urban areas.

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