Sci/tech

Europe Offers to Cut CO2 Emissions 95%
October 26, 2009 06:12 AM - Ian Traynor, guardian.co.uk, Environmental Health News

Europe attempted to reassert its international leadership in the fight against global warming today, offering to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 95% by 2050 and by 30% by 2020 if a climate change pact is sealed in Copenhagen in six weeks' time. "This should be seen as a clear message to the world," said Andreas Carlgren, the Swedish environment minister who chaired the Luxembourg meeting. "We expect to reach an agreement in Copenhagen," he added, after environment ministers from 27 countries finalised a common EU negotiating position.

EU leaders seek treaty, climate change deals
October 25, 2009 09:45 AM - Reuters

European Union leaders hope to reach a deal at a summit this week removing the last obstacles to a treaty to give the bloc more global clout, but face a battle over funding for a global climate change agreement. Failure to break the deadlock would risk leaving the 27-country bloc looking impotent when it is trying to strengthen its role on the world stage and the influence of emerging powers such as China is growing following the economic crisis.

EPA to develop rule to cut toxic emissions at power plants
October 24, 2009 10:25 AM - Tom Doggett, Reuters

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agreed to issue rules by November 2011 to cut toxic air pollution at electric generating plants that burn coal or fuel oil, a federal court ruled. The court-ordered agreement issued on Thursday will reduce mercury pollution and soot that cause asthma, bronchitis and other heath problems, particularly in children.

Polar Express - Polar Bear Habitat to be Protected
October 23, 2009 07:24 AM - Yereth Rosen, Reuters

A vast swath of icy sea, barrier islands and coastal land on Alaska's oil-rich North Slope will be granted special protection because of its importance to the threatened polar bear, under a proposal released Thursday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Are you repelled by insect repellents?
October 22, 2009 04:10 PM - Roger Greenway, ENN

Many people are concerned about what might be in the insect repellants they apply to their skin or clothing. To repel some mosquitoes, ticks, or other pests, we risk exposure to toxic chemicals with potential health effects. Not to worry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a new Web page containing product information on certain skin-applied insect repellents. EPA’s goal is to provide the public with information on registered insect repellents and their effectiveness claims in a clear, consistent, and user-friendly format.

Programmable Thermostats: Saving the Planet While Saving You Money
October 22, 2009 09:38 AM - , Sierra Club Green Home

If you have a programmable thermostat, you can automate your heating and cooling systems to save energy when you’re not at home or asleep. In winter, for example, your house can be a nippy 60ºF while you are at work, and then–while you are still boarding the bus for your commute back home–it can automatically move up to a toasty 68º or 70ºF. When you step in the door, the temperature is right where you want it.

EU ministers plan to curb CO2 from planes, ships

European environment ministers agreed on a proposal on Wednesday to curb global emissions from planes and ships by 10 percent and 20 percent over the next decade in the fight against climate change.

Space Agencies and Google Join Forces to Track Deforestation via Satellites
October 21, 2009 01:20 PM - Vanessa L. Bourler, ENN

Space agencies around the world are teaming up with Google Inc. and the conservation organization Group on Earth Observations (GEO) to annually monitor deforestation rates using satellite imagery. This data can be used to evaluate forest carbon stocks across the globe.

U.K.'s Royal Society Pushes GM Crop Use as Hunger Solution
October 21, 2009 12:20 PM - David Adam, The Guardian, Environmental Health News

Research to develop genetically modified crops must be stepped up as part of a £2bn "grand challenge" to avoid future food shortages, an influential panel of scientists said yesterday. In its report, the British Royal Society said that GM techniques would be needed to boost yields and help crops survive harsher climates, as the global population rises and global warming worsens.

Power Generating Parking Lots Planned in Palmdale, CA
October 21, 2009 08:31 AM - Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times

In an effort to tap one of the high desert's most abundant resources, Palmdale is allowing large shopping centers and business parks to install small wind turbines in their parking lots to save on electricity costs. A 17-turbine plot is already in the works at Sam's Club, a members-only retail warehouse owned by Wal-Mart.

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