Sci/tech

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.

Clean Diesel Program is Clear Success, Says US EPA
October 21, 2009 06:43 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The EPA says in a report to Congress that the Clean Diesel Program is working as planned. The program, funded at $50 million last year, allowed EPA to fund the purchase or retrofitting of 14,000 diesel-powered vehicles and pieces of equipment, reducing the potential for respiratory illnesses and saving money in communities nationwide.

Pakistan Village Finds Shelter in New Eco-Friendly Homes
October 20, 2009 10:53 AM - Zafreen Ebrahim, IPS

Twenty-five of the poorest households in Village Haji Jaffar Jamari, Pakistan were chosen as beneficiaries for the People’s Housing Program, dubbed 'Benazir Model', named after the late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. It was launched on May 1, 2009 to provide energy-efficient, low-cost and disaster-proof housing for the poor in Sindh province. The housing program, which will see the construction of 500 units for the poor, is being jointly undertaken by the provincial government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Loggerheads in Danger: 2009 Nesting Data Shows Alarming Decrease
October 20, 2009 08:58 AM - , Oceana

Oceana announced yesterday that 2009 was one of the worst years on record for loggerhead sea turtle nesting from North Carolina to Florida. In Florida for example, loggerhead nesting decreased by more than 15 percent in 2009. Florida accounts for nearly 90 percent of loggerhead nesting in the United States and is one of the two largest nesting hot spots for the population in the world.

Toyota launches new hybrid, Honda warms to electric
October 20, 2009 06:13 AM - Chang-Ran Kim and Cheon Jong-woo, Reuters

Toyota Motor Corp is ramping up its push on gasoline-electric hybrids, launching a new model in Japan and taking on up-and-coming rival Hyundai Motor Co in its Korean home market with its flagship Prius. Looking a step beyond hybrids, the head of Honda Motor Co said he was considering launching electric vehicles in the United States, Europe and Japan, indicating a shift in the strategy of Japan's No.2 car maker for zero-emission cars.

Our Own Solar System Still Holds Surprises!
October 19, 2009 08:32 PM - Roger Greenway, ENN

NASA scientists have discovered a mysterious ribbon around our solar system, a stripe made of hydrogen. This was entirely unexpected, and inconsistent with what scientists thought the edge of the solar system might look like.

Finally, Some (Almost) Good News About Ice Sheets!
October 19, 2009 03:16 PM - Vanessa L. Bourlier, ENN

New ground measurements made by the West Antarctic Global Positioning System (GPS) Network (WAGN) project suggest the rate of ice loss of the West Antarctic ice sheet has been slightly overestimated. The project is noteworthy because is the first time researchers have directly measured the vertical motion of the bedrock at sites across West Antarctica using the US Global Positioning System.

Carbon Emissions Trends: A Hurting Economy Can Help the Planet
October 19, 2009 11:12 AM - Janet Raloff , ScienceNews

Sometimes what’s bad for the economy can be good for the planet. Or so argued Lester Brown, president of Earth Policy Institute, yesterday. This environmental trend spotter pointed to several developments that may have escaped our attention as the global economy alternately sputtered and entered periods of freefall throughout the past 18 months.

China to Move Residents Near Smelter
October 19, 2009 07:07 AM - Phyllis Xu and Lucy Hornby, Reuters

China plans to move 15,000 residents in its biggest lead smelting area away from the plants in order to allow them to keep operating, after tests showed over 1,000 children had excessive lead in their blood.

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