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.

Tree Blocks: Building imagination with reclaimed trees
February 27, 2008 09:31 AM - , The Alternative Consumer

While cleaning the kids’ playroom for what must be the umpteenth time today I spied the bag of Tree Blocks that our entire family loves to build with. These unusual building blocks are cut from tree branches and make the most beautiful sculptures, keeping little hands busy for at least long enough for me to get a shower. The “elves” at Tree Blocks identify abandoned or end of productive cycle plots of apple, cherry and hazelnut trees and contact the farmers. They then push the old trees over removing the roots. Tree Blocks bridges and blocks are made from the wood purchased and processed by the “elves.” This leaves the farmer clean soil and seed money, so he can get back into production.

Taps shut in central China due to red, bubbly river
February 26, 2008 09:38 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - A spill on the Hanjiang River, in central China's Hubei Province, has affected water supply for 200,000 people living along three tributaries since Sunday, the Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday, citing local media. The water became "red with large amounts of bubbles," Xinhua said, citing Gao Qijin, head of Xingou Township Tap Water Company in Jianli County, which is along the Dongjing River, one of the affected tributaries.

Top China plastic bag maker closes amid green drive
February 26, 2008 04:24 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's largest plastic bag maker has closed following a state-led environmental campaign discouraging plastics use, Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday. China launched a surprise crackdown on plastic bags in January, banning production of ultra-thin bags and forbidding its supermarkets and shops from handing out free carrier bags from June 1.

Could Waste Heat From Car Exhausts Be Recycled To Help Power Cars?
February 25, 2008 10:03 AM - Cardiff University

Professor Mike Rowe's long term research interest at the Cardiff School of Engineering has been in thermoelectric generation - employing thermocouples to convert heat into electricity. The conversion technology is used in everyday applications such as controlling the central heating system or refrigerator temperature.

New solar technology greatly improves performance
February 25, 2008 09:40 AM - ENN

A new coating for solar panels could lead to more efficient solar collection. The energy from sunlight falling on only 9 percent of California’s Mojave Desert could power all of the United States’ electricity needs if the energy could be efficiently harvested, according to some estimates. Unfortunately, current-generation solar cell technologies are too expensive and inefficient for wide-scale commercial applications.

Using organic fertilizers could protect against climate change
February 25, 2008 09:25 AM - ENN

Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, and Singapore (25 February, 2008) — Applying organic fertilizers, such as those resulting from composting, to agricultural land could increase the amount of carbon stored in these soils and contribute significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research published in a special issue of Waste Management & Research (Special issue published today by SAGE).

China orders listed firms to be greener
February 25, 2008 08:54 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing has launched a "green securities" scheme aimed at making it harder for polluters to raise capital and requiring listed firms to disclose more information about their environmental record. The initiative is part of a drive by the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) to enlist other government agencies to give financial and economic policies a green hue.

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