Study: Contaminant Levels High in Parks
February 29, 2008 09:00 AM - , Organic Consumers Association
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Pesticides, heavy metals and other airborne contaminants are raining down on national parks across the West and Alaska, turning up at sometimes dangerously high levels in lakes, plants and fish. A sweeping, six-year federal study released Tuesday found evidence of 70 contaminants in 20 national parks and monuments - from Denali in Alaska and Glacier in Montana, to Big Bend in Texas and Yosemite in California.
Brown gets tough with UK retail over plastic bags
February 29, 2008 08:25 AM - Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Friday warned retailers they had to start charging shoppers for the 13 billion plastic bags they currently get for free each year or the government would step in to force them. Most bags end as landfill waste or being blown across the countryside, littering the landscape and harming wildlife. They can persist in the environment for centuries. Producing them involves petrochemicals and climate-damaging fossil fuels.
Indonesia's Koba Tin faces 2nd illegal mining probe
February 29, 2008 06:07 AM - Reuters
JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia's second-largest tin producer, PT Koba Tin, should stop using sub-contractors to mine tin as the company faces its second investigation into alleged illegal mining, a senior government official said on Friday. Indonesia is the world's No. 2 tin producer after China. A government crackdown on illegal tin mining in the Bangka-Belitung islands since late 2006 has led to the closure of several small smelters.
Japan to consider emissions trading system
February 29, 2008 01:44 AM - Reuters
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan will consider a scheme for trading greenhouse gas emissions, the government said on Friday, a week after a powerful business lobby and the trade ministry softened their strong opposition. In a report of new steps aimed at slashing its greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Kyoto protocol, the government also proposed deeper but voluntary cuts for industry, adding to existing measures such as preserving forests and purchasing emissions rights from abroad.
Renewable Energy Accelerates Meteoric Rise
February 28, 2008 10:17 AM - UNEP
Washington, D.C. - The renewable energy industry is stepping up its meteoric rise into the mainstream of the energy sector, according to the REN21 Renewables 2007 Global Status Report. Renewable energy production capacities are growing rapidly as a result of more countries enacting far-reaching policies.
Bad blends: biofuel labeling often inaccurate
February 28, 2008 10:04 AM - ENN
While sampling blended biodiesel fuels purchased from small-scale retailers, researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found that many of the blends do not contain the advertised amount of biofuel. Marine chemist Chris Reddy and colleagues sampled pure biodiesel and blends from more than a dozen distributors across the United States. When testing fuels listed as 20 percent biodiesel (commonly known as B20), they found that the actual percentage of biofuel ranged from as little as 10 percent to as much as 74 percent. Only 10 percent of samples met the specifications for biofuel blends required for vehicles of the U.S. Department of Defense, one of the leading consumers of the products.
Only Austria and Denmark have issued 2008 EUAs: EU
February 28, 2008 09:32 AM - Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - Just two countries have so far met a deadline on Thursday to give their industry permits to emit carbon dioxide, the European Union's executive Commission said, likely delaying a 2008 carbon spot market. Thirteen countries have submitted the necessary information to the Commission to be able to allocate EUAs, and of these, five have received Commission approval to issue.
China cracks down on water polluters with new law
February 28, 2008 06:32 AM - Reuters
BEIJING (Reuters) - China heightened pressure on polluters on Thursday, passing legislation that allows for stiff fines against heads of companies that foul its scarce water resources. The Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law which was passed ahead of the annual full session of China's parliament, or National People's Congress, which opens next week, will take effect on June 1, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
How to Save the Rainforests
February 27, 2008 09:50 AM - , Organic Consumers Association
While we have fixated on our little local worries over the past week, the biggest news story of the year passed unnoticed in the night. The Brazilian government was forced to admit that the destruction of the Amazon rainforest has returned to ecocidal levels. An area the size of Belgium, taking thousands of years to evolve, was destroyed in the past year alone. Some 20 per cent of the forest has now been trashed, with a further 40 per cent set to be slashed in my lifetime. This is steadily happening to all the rainforests on earth.
Hydrogen Gas Fueled Vehicles A Step Closer
February 27, 2008 09:41 AM - University of California - Los Angeles
While liquid hydrogen is denser and takes up less space, it is very expensive and difficult to produce. It also reduces the environmental benefits of hydrogen vehicles. Widespread commercial acceptance of these vehicles will require finding the right material that can store hydrogen gas at high volumetric and gravimetric densities in reasonably sized light-weight fuel tanks.