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BLM Launches Effort to Facilitate Renewable Energy Development on Federal Lands

In response to the increased national demand for clean renewable energy, the Bureau of Land Management today announced it will prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) analyzing areas with high potential for geothermal energy development. According to a notice published in today’s Federal Register, the PEIS will examine the environmental impacts of boosting geothermal leasing in areas with high potential for near-term exploration and development of geothermal resources. If deemed appropriate by the PEIS, the BLM will amend the land use plans in those areas to allow for expanded leasing. >> Read the Full Article

Beijing Traffic Restriction Not a Silver Bullet for Air Pollution

A recent traffic restriction that limited driving in China’s capital city during the four-day “Good Luck Beijing” Olympic test games initially resulted in a measurable improvement in the city’s haze, according to Beijing officials. But over the full period of the restriction, air pollution levels in fact showed a slight increase, The Washington Post reported. Zhao Yue, vice director of the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, noted on the agency’s Web site that humid, windless conditions had trapped particulate matter in the city, preventing greater improvement. >> Read the Full Article

Smoking increases risks for head and neck cancers for men and women

Smoking significantly increases the risk for head and neck cancers for both men and women, regardless of the anatomic site. Published in the October 1, 2007 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, a large, prospective study confirmed strong associations between current and past cigarette smoking and malignancies of the head and neck in both genders. >> Read the Full Article

Polluted China rivers threaten "sixth" of population

Polluters along two of China's main rivers have defied a decade-old clean-up effort, leaving much of the water unfit to touch, let alone drink, and a risk to a sixth of the population, state media said on Monday. Half the check points along the Huai River and its tributaries in central and eastern China showed pollution of "Grade 5" or worse -- the top of the dial in key toxins, meaning that the water was unfit for human contact and may not be fit even for irrigation, national legislators were told. >> Read the Full Article

Indonesia hopes to include peat in new climate deal

Indonesia wants emission cuts from preserving its vast carbon-rich peatlands to be eligible for trade in a new deal on combating global warming at upcoming climate talks, a forestry official said on Monday. Under the Kyoto Protocol, developed nations can pay poor countries to cut emissions from activities such as the manufacture of refrigerants and fertilizers as well as capturing greenhouse gases from farm waste and rubbish dumps. >> Read the Full Article

Germany's Merkel Presses China On Climate Change

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged China on Monday to do more to halt climate change, prompting the response that the developed West has been polluting the skies for much longer than the newly developing Chinese. Merkel is on her second visit to China as Chancellor and the trip comes four months before world environment ministers meet in Bali to try to launch new talks to extend the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012. She pressed for stronger protection of intellectual property rights and said the ground rules for gathering resources should be the same worldwide, an apparent criticism of China's relations with Sudan. >> Read the Full Article

Median Price Of Homes Seen Falling

NEW YORK - Forecasters expect the median price of U.S. homes to fall between 1 percent and 2 percent this year in what would be the first such decline since 1950, when federal agencies began tracking such statistics, the New York Times reported on Sunday. >> Read the Full Article

Greek Fires Kill 56, Threaten Ancient Olympia

ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece - Firefighters battled to save ancient Olympia on Sunday as Greece's worst forest fires in decades ravaged hills around the historic site and the death toll rose to 56. Thick black smoke billowed above the ancient ruins as dense pine and cypress woods burned around the site of the first Olympic Games and fire brigades evacuated nearby villages on Greece's southern Peloponnese peninsula. >> Read the Full Article

Rain eases in Midwest but flood threat remains

Residents of parts of Ohio, Illinois and Indiana struggled on Saturday to recover from nearly a week of destructive thunderstorms while preparing for more floods from overburdened rivers and streams. The worst of the storms, which have been blamed for 14 deaths throughout the Midwest, was believed to over but power outages still plagued the region. >> Read the Full Article

Greek fires kill 51 and threaten Olympia

EU firefighters and planes joined the battle on Sunday against the fires raging in Greece for three days, killing 51 people and threatening areas near ancient Olympia, historic site of the first Olympic games. Greece declared a state of emergency on Saturday as towering walls of flame cut a swathe of destruction through the southern Peloponnese peninsula and across other areas of the country. >> Read the Full Article