May 1, 2008 09:34 AM - , Global Policy Innovations Program
Despite modern marvels such as the space toilet, much of the world still endures a medieval level of sanitation. Nearly 2.6 billion people live without basic services, forced to defecate on the ground or line up to pay for the use of soiled latrines. Some historians give the flush toilet mythological origins in the court of King Minos of Crete. Queen Elizabeth I had one as well, built by her godson in 1596. In the nineteenth century, architects started to incorporate water closet innovations into their designs and the modern toilet was born. Thomas Crapper, a British plumber, had a hand in perfecting the cistern to make flushing quieter and more polite.
Pittsburgh, Los Angeles have worst U.S. air pollution
May 1, 2008 06:29 AM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pittsburgh, a former steel-making center once known for its sooty skies, is the worst U.S. city for short-term particle pollution, the American Lung Association announced on Thursday. It was the first time a city outside California topped any of the association's three lists for different kinds of pollution in its annual "State of the Air" report.
Rich world must back 80 percent carbon cuts: Stern
April 30, 2008 02:07 PM - Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - Rich countries must commit to cutting carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 and developing nations must agree that by 2020 they too will set their own targets, leading economist Nicholas Stern said on Wednesday. He said the only way the world could defeat the climate crisis was by ensuring that global carbon emissions peaked within 15 years, were then halved from 1990 levels to 20 billion tonnes a year by 2050, and cut to 10 billion thereafter.
Mass Mobilizations in Mexico Temporarily Stop Bush-Calderon Oil Privatization
April 30, 2008 09:20 AM - , Organic Consumers Association
The Peaceful Civil Resistance Movement in Mexico has entered a new stage in their struggle against the U.S.-led offensive to privatize Pemex, Mexico's national oil corporation. On Friday, April 25, the deputies of the three political parties that make up the Broad Progressive Front (FAP) ended their 16-day takeover/occupation of the Senate and National Assembly chambers in Mexico after a deal was worked out with the legislative coordinators of the two ruling parties in Mexico: the PRI and the PAN.
Safe water? Lessons from Kazakhstan
April 29, 2008 09:48 AM - www.nottingham.ac.uk
Despite significant efforts to improve access to safe water and sanitation, a new report co-authored by an expert at The University of Nottingham, argues that much more needs to be done. A major survey in Kazakhstan found that, despite meeting the UN definition of what constitutes safe water, a large number of people reported suffering from illnesses like hepatitis and gastroenteritis.
Plan to reverse global warming could backfire
April 25, 2008 05:15 AM - Reuters
CHICAGO (Reuters) - A proposed solution to reverse the effects of global warming by spraying sulfate particles into Earth's stratosphere could make matters much worse, climate researchers said on Thursday. They said trying to cool off the planet by creating a kind of artificial sun block would delay the recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole by 30 to 70 years and create a new loss of Earth's protective ozone layer over the Arctic.
EU considers truck pollution charges
April 24, 2008 08:35 AM - , The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
EU countries would be allowed to charge heavy road users for the costs they incur on society, including congestion, air pollution and noise — something prohibited by EU law up till now — according to an early draft of a Commission proposal to revise its 'Eurovignette Directive'. The draft document seen by EurActiv suggests that toll prices on roads could be raised to include medical care for health problems relating to air and noise pollution, but also related productivity losses and welfare costs — for example due to sleep disturbance.
Report confirms ozone pollution can kill
April 22, 2008 07:01 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Even breathing in a little ozone at levels found in many areas is likely to kill some people prematurely, the National Research Council reported on Tuesday. The report recommends that the Environmental Protection Agency consider ozone-related mortality in any future ozone standards, and said local health authorities should keep this in mind when advising people to stay indoors on polluted days.
Greece suspended from UN Kyoto carbon trading
April 22, 2008 11:40 AM - Reuters
OSLO/LONDON (Reuters) - Greece has been suspended from U.N. carbon trading in an unprecedented punishment for violating greenhouse gas reporting rules that underpin a fight against global warming, officials said on Tuesday. A group of legal experts enforcing compliance with the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol also said it was opening proceedings against Canada for alleged violations of rules on accounting for heat-trapping gases.
Clean Air Watch to car companies: stop fibbing, start making cleaner cars
April 22, 2008 08:13 AM - , Clean Air Watch
It’s a lovely Friday in our nation’s capital, but it’s being marred by the emissions of a new lobbying blitz by car companies and car dealers. They held a press briefing today. The target here is any attempt to reinstate the right of California and other states to set greenhouse gas standards for motor vehicles. There they go again! The same companies that literally fought for decades against better fuel economy standards now claim new standards enacted by Congress are just peachy.