Pollution

Researchers Challenge Assumptions Of GMO Agriculture
September 29, 2007 06:42 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Manhatten, Kansas - A  researcher is challenging the assumption that genetically engineered plants are the great scientific and technological revolution in agriculture and the only efficient and cheap way to feed a growing population. They are working on non-GMO methods to accelerate plant breeding. It's called "market-assisted selection". The research is focused on breeding methodology, finding more efficient ways to breed better varieties of corn, sorghum, wheat or barley that yield higher, require less irrigation and are resistant to diseases in farmers' fields. The work was recently published in an edition of the scientific journal Crop Science.

Microbes At Work (Cleaning Up The Environment)
September 29, 2007 06:25 PM -

LIVERMORE, Calif. – It may sound counterintuitive to use a microbial protein to improve water quality. But some bacteria are doing just that to protect themselves from potentially toxic nanoparticles in their own environments, and clean up crews of the future could potentially do the same thing on a larger scale.

A team from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that bacteria from an abandoned mine excrete proteins that cause metal nanoparticles to aggregate. The bacteria are binding and immobilizing the metals in the nanoparticles and the nanoparticles themselves, which are potentially toxic to the bacteria.

 

UK To Airlines: Green Up Or Else
September 28, 2007 07:29 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

London, -- The United Kingdom told airlines to green up, or else, and soon. The government acted decisively today to safeguard the proposed European aviation emissions trading scheme and urged the international aviation community to take greater action to address aviation emissions. Secretary of State for Transport Ruth Kelly, said: "We want to work with our international partners to achieve a global solution to this global problem.  If international negotiations deliver an effective solution then we will have achieved our goal through co-operation.  But I am also clear that the UK, and the environment, cannot wait for ever. That is why we are reserving the right - if an international solution is not found - to act in the wider global interest by extending the EU emissions trading scheme to all flights arriving and departing from the European Union.

Solar Parking Lot Will Deliver 1-Megawatt To Santa Rosa, California
September 28, 2007 07:20 PM -

SAN JOSE and SANTA CLARA, Calif., - SunPower Corporation, a manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, and Agilent Technologies today announced they'll install a 1-megawatt solar tracking system at Agilent's Santa Rosa, Calif., campus on top of a canopy structure in the campus parking lot, providing both shade in the lot and solar electric power for the facility. A lot of power.

The SunPower Tracker, which follows the sun's movement throughout the day. Using SunPower solar panels, the highest efficiency panels on the market today, the system is expected to generate an estimated 1.8 million kilowatt-hours per year, offsetting more than 33 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the next 30 years. This is equivalent to planting more than 4,700 acres of trees or removing 3,300 cars from California's roadways.

Study: Replace Older Woodstoves For Indoor Air Quality
September 28, 2007 07:05 PM - , BuildingGreen

Air-quality test results confirm that it’s possible to reduce the concentration of fine particulate matter, which is harmful indoors even at extremely low concentrations, by using cleaner-burning woodstoves certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

California Cleans Up Indoor Air Cleaners
September 28, 2007 09:37 AM - CA EPA

EU Sticks to Disputed Airline Emissions Plan
September 28, 2007 08:55 AM - Reuters

BRUSSELS - The European Union stuck to its plans to include foreign airlines in its emissions trading system at U.N. meetings this week, despite opposition from the United States.  Airline emissions were top of the agenda of a tri-annual meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations body, in Montreal which ended on Friday.  The European Commission said in a statement there was no clear agreement on how to cut greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation and the EU insisted it had the right to include airlines in its trading system.

EPA Orders Five Illinois Feedlots To Halt Stream Discharges
September 27, 2007 07:49 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

CHICAGO - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has ordered five Illinois feedlots to stop all unauthorized discharges of manure and wastewater into area streams. The feedlots were told they had to comply with the Clean Water Act. The EPA also ordered several of the feedlots to apply to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for discharge permits under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.

So far, none of the lots has been fined.

Federal Courts And Climate Change Suits
September 27, 2007 04:21 PM - Alice Kaswan, Professor of Law

A federal court recently dismissed a landmark lawsuit brought by California against major automakers that sought to recoup the money the state has spent, and will continue to spend, to address the effects of climate change. The suit, which argued that the greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles constitute a public nuisance because they are a significant contributor to climate change, was dismissed Sept. 17 by Judge Martin Jenkins of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on the grounds that it was a political question better suited to the legislative and executive branches of government. The court’s reasoning, however, overlooked the important role that the judiciary has played in addressing politically charged questions throughout the nation’s long and historic common law tradition. While few would question the relative desirability of a regulatory response, when the political branches fail to act, the courts have a key role to play.

Mountain mining called "genocide" of Appalachia
September 27, 2007 08:56 AM - Andrea Hopkins -Reuters

Larry Gibson's tiny house sits in a green oasis on top of the Appalachian peak his family has called home for 230 years. The setting would be peaceful if not for the roar of machinery scraping away the surrounding mountain in search of coal.

"It's a noisy, dusty place. They dynamite constantly," said Gibson, 61. "It's the genocide of Appalachia, the destruction of a people who have lived in these mountains forever."

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