Major shift in US climate policy sparks hope for global treaty

The United States is no longer insisting that China and other large developing countries must make cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions under proposals tabled by the Obama administration for a new global treaty to combat climate change. In a major shift in US policy, reflecting the views of President Obama, Dr Jonathan Pershing who was in Beijing this week for talks with Chinese officials made it clear that this would not require countries such as China to make cuts, merely to carry out actions .

Water in Africa – Business turns on the tap

Business is stepping in where governments fail to provide clean water in Africa, with Coca-Cola, SABMiller and major platinum miners leading the way. A world running short of water is presenting a new category of risk to businesses that few have begun to appreciate. That was the warning from campaigner WWF and noted research body the Pacific Institute, at the World Water Forum in Istanbul in late March.

Arctic Sea Ice Extent Trending Below Record 2007 Melt
June 14, 2009 11:16 AM - Dan Shapley, The Daily Green

The annual melting of Arctic sea ice is trending toward another record-low. While it's still too early to say whether the 2009 melt will exceed the record 2007 melt -- the annual low-point isn't reached until September -- the trend line for 2009 for the first time has dipped below 2007, according to the latest data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Clean Coal power project back on the burner
June 13, 2009 07:43 AM - Jasmin Melvin, Reuters

Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced on Friday plans to restart the country's first clean coal power project, scrapped by the previous Bush administration as too expensive. Under an agreement with the non-profit FutureGen Alliance, the Energy Department will take the first steps toward developing the first U.S. commercial scale-carbon capture and storage project, to be located in Mattoon, Illinois.

U.S. EPA announces Palos Verdes Shelf proposed environmental protection plan
June 12, 2009 06:04 AM - Editor, ENN

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host public meetings and accept public comments on its proposed Preferred Alternative plan that addresses the risks to human health and the environment at the Palos Verdes Shelf, located near Los Angeles, Calif. The Palos Verdes Shelf site is a large area of DDT- and PCB-contaminated sediment located in the ocean off the coast of the Palos Verdes peninsula south of Los Angeles. The offshore site stretches from Point Fermin in the southeast to Redondo Canyon in the northwest, a distance of about 9 miles. The EPA’s Preferred Alternative plan is an interim remedy that proposes institutional controls, monitored natural recovery and a containment cap. Construction is expected to take 3 years and cost an estimated $36,000,000.

Population and Sustainability: Can We Avoid Limiting the Number of People?
June 11, 2009 10:29 AM - Robert Engelman , Scientific American

Slowing the rise in human numbers is essential for the planet--but it doesn't require population control

Green jobs sector 'poised for explosive growth'
June 11, 2009 06:38 AM - Greenwire

Green-collar workers -- who include everyone from energy-efficiency consultants to wastewater plant operators -- constitute a tiny but fast-growing segment of the U.S. economy, according to a study published today by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Caribbean reefs 'flattened' in just 40 years
June 10, 2009 07:26 AM - Andy Coghlan, New Scientist

In just 40 years, the Caribbean's spectacular branched corals have been flattened. Research reveals that the corals have been replaced by shorter rival species – and points to climate change as at least partly to blame. Most of the reefs have lost all the intricate, tree-like corals that until the 1970s provided sanctuary for unique reef fish and other creatures, as well as protecting coastlines by sapping the energy of waves.

Book Review: GREEN, Your Place in the New Energy Revolution
June 9, 2009 01:50 PM - M Molendyke, ENN

In the last decade or so, Americans have been bombarded by a environmentalist media that is relentless when it comes to highlighting the causes, dangers, and perpetrators of carbon- fueled global climate change. This surge of sensationalism, combined with the perceived lack of ways to “make it better” (outside of the light bulb changing, recycling, hybrid car- buying stories we have heard a thousand times), has lead to a public paralyzed by the thought of an approaching man- made apocalypse. Responding to this stagnation are Jane and Michael Hoffman, a New York City couple who have molded their lives around energy innovation. Their recently published book Green: Your Place in the New Energy Revolution is peppered with lighthearted anecdotes about their own experiences with the green revolution, including a reoccurring allusion to what the couple calls their “Aha!” moment, recognizing the urgency of the climate problem.

USGS Study Links Estrogen to Fish Immunity
June 8, 2009 10:34 AM - Water and Wastewater News

Exposure to estrogen reduces production of immune-related proteins in fish. This suggests that certain compounds, known as endocrine disruptors, may make fish more susceptible to disease.

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