Pollution

Toward A Greener Blacktop
June 13, 2008 10:04 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

When it comes to greening America's transportation system, most people focus on cars - producing their fuel differently, using different forms of energy, or shifting commutes away from them entirely. But what of the roads we drive on? Asphalt, which is used to pave over 90 percent of American roads, is processed in Western countries through a process requiring the tar-like substance to be heated to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, an energy-intensive procedure that also produces carbon emissions.

Rich nations fail to take lead at climate talk: U.N.
June 12, 2008 08:24 AM - Reuters

Industrialized nations are failing to lead enough at U.N. climate talks in Bonn even as developing states are showing interest in a new global warming treaty, the U.N.'s top climate official said on Wednesday. Yvo de Boer also predicted that U.S. climate policy would be more ambitious under either Democrat Barack Obama or Republican John McCain, the two main candidates to succeed President George W. Bush from January 2009.

MIT: European system for cutting CO2 emissions is working well
June 11, 2008 09:34 AM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In a bid to control greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change, the European Union has been operating the world's first system to limit and to trade carbon dioxide. Despite its hasty adoption and somewhat rocky beginning three years ago, the EU "cap-and-trade" system has operated well and has had little or no negative impact on the overall EU economy, according to an MIT analysis.

As oil rises, Americans rediscover the railroad
June 11, 2008 09:17 AM - Reuters

Amtrak, America's struggling passenger railroad, saw record numbers in May when ridership rose 12.3 percent from a year earlier, and ticket sales climbed 15.6 percent, according to company data.Amtrak President Alex Kummant said the numbers point to a sixth straight year of record passengers.

Science academies urge 50 pct CO2 cuts by 2050
June 10, 2008 09:04 AM - Reuters

Major economies should aim to halve world emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 and work out ways to bury gases in a wider assault on climate change, the science academies of 13 nations said on Tuesday. "Progress in reducing global greenhouse gas emission has been slow," the academies of the Group of Eight (G8) nations and China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa said in a statement targeting leaders at July 7-9 summits in Japan.

How coal got a dirty name
June 9, 2008 09:34 AM - Chicago Tribune

When developers raised the idea of building a new coal-fired power plant in Will County five years ago, the Midwest was leading a resurgence of interest in the dirty-but-plentiful fossil fuel. But growing concerns about global warming, lingering problems with noxious air pollution and skyrocketing construction costs are slowing the nation's coal rush to a crawl.

Vehicle idling adds to greenhouse gas emissions
June 9, 2008 09:11 AM - The Plain Dealer

It's not the biggest contributor to global warming. But unlike the length of our commutes or the fuel efficiency of our SUVs, it's something we can change, right now. We can simply stop idling: Turn off the engine while waiting to pick up the kids from school. Park and enter McDonald's to order lunch.

To Cope with Oil Shock, Emulate Japan
June 9, 2008 08:58 AM - Dilip Hiro, Global Policy Innovations Program

With the price of oil rocketing to the unprecedented level of $130 a barrel, there is a talk of another oil shock. Unfortunately, unlike past instances, this one is unlikely to subside, and may indeed keep intensifying. The only way out is for Western nations, the gluttonous users of petroleum, to cut their consumption and emulate Japan in its consistent drive for energy efficiency and alternate sources. The present explosion in oil prices is the fourth of its kind, but different from the previous ones in 1973—74, 1980, and 1990—91.

Modest African footprint still approaching limits
June 9, 2008 08:22 AM - WWF

Individual Africans might consume less on average than residents of any other continent, but rising population is bringing Africa close to its ecological limits, the first ever detailed assessment of Africa’s ecological footprint has found. Africa-Ecological Footprint and human well-being, prepared for WWF by the Global Footprint Network and released at the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment today finds the average African had an Ecological Footprint (an estimate of the area of land or sea used annually in providing for personal consumption) of 1.1 global hectares in 2003, well below the global average of 2.2 hectares per person.

In conversation, Albright lays out global challenges facing the next president
June 6, 2008 09:57 AM - Stanford News Service

In a conversation with Scott Sagan last week, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright discussed a wide range of international conflicts facing the next president, as well as her experience as a high-powered woman in politics. As Sagan, a professor of political science, and Albright rhetorically toured the globe, pausing at hot spots to probe serious policy issues, Albright delivered her advice with a dose of humor.

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