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Green Doesn't Mean Sacrificing Lifestyle

MIAMI - Americans do not need to pare back their lifestyles to help protect the global environment but may need to use sugar or orange peel to power their energy-guzzling Hummers and Cigarette boats, Florida's governor said on Tuesday.  Gov. Charlie Crist, who in July signed executive orders setting new limits on greenhouse gas emissions in his state, said he did not believe the American lifestyle was incompatible with the need to address climate change and reduce fossil fuel consumption.

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Iran Dam Sparks Row About Ancient Persian Relic

PASARGADAE, Iran - For the people protesting against it, a new dam near these sun-drenched ruins may be more than an environmental upheaval: in it they scent an affront to the country's pre-Islamic identity.  For 2,500 years, the tomb of Cyrus the Great has stood on the plain at Pasargadae in southern Iran, a simple but dignified monument to a king revered as the founder of the mighty Persian empire. But some fear the dam and reservoir pose a threat to the ancient structure.

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Ecotourism May Benefit India’s Environment, Economy

INDIA - Recent assessments of the state of the environment in 32 states across India indicate that the country’s rising economic prosperity is putting the environment under stress, the Hindustan Times reports. Experts cite tourism as a leading cause of the environmental degradation in some areas. But “ecotourism,” if properly implemented, has the potential to benefit both the economy and the environment. >> Read the Full Article

Climate Change Seen Posing Big Risk For Insurers

SYDNEY  The global insurance industry faces substantial risks from climate change due to the increased incidence of cyclones, floods, drought and bushfires, a major European reinsurer told the Greenhouse 2007 conference.  Losses from tropical cyclones were increasing particularly strongly, Eberhard Faust, head of climate risks at Munich Re (MUVGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), he told the conference organized by the Australian government-backed Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.

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Japan Looks to Batteries to Clean Up Cars

TOKYO - Achieving a breakthrough in battery technology is the key to tackling pollution caused by cars and sustaining a rapid growth in car ownership worldwide, an official at the Japanese automakers' lobby said.  An estimated 700 million cars are on the road today and this is expected to double "in no time" given rapid motorization in China, India and other emerging markets, said Minoru Taniguchi, head of the environment department at the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

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New method could advance development of hydrogen-fueled cars

Los Angeles, California - Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a model that could help engineers and scientists speed up the development of hydrogen-fueled vehicles by identifying promising hydrogen-storage materials and predicting favored thermodynamic chemical reactions through which hydrogen can be reversibly stored and extracted.

The new method, published online in the peer-reviewed journal Advanced Materials, was developed by Alireza Akbarzadeh, a UCLA postdoctoral researcher in the department of materials science and engineering; Vidvuds Ozolins, UCLA associate professor of materials science and engineering; and Christopher Wolverton, professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern University in Illinois.
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Movie Smoking Linked To Teen Smoking

San Francisco, California - New study findings show that exposure to on-screen smoking in movies has a strong correlation with beginning to smoke or becoming established smokers among young adults 18-25, a critical age group for lifelong smoking behavior.

The research was conducted by a team from the University of California, San Francisco. Previous studies from around the world found that viewing on-screen smoking was linked to recruitment of adolescent smokers, but this is the first time that smoking among young adults has been associated with their exposure to smoking scenes on screen, said senior author Stanton Glantz, PhD, professor of medicine and director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.

"Ages 18 to 25 are critical years, when one-third of smokers start and others who began smoking as adolescents either stop smoking or become regular smokers," he said.
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Expert says China would follow U.S. lead on climate

NEW YORK (Reuters) - China would soon follow the U.S. lead if Washington agrees to tackle its emissions in the next few years because China's government takes the threat of global warming more seriously than the United States does, a climate expert said on Tuesday.

"My impression is that the national government -- top level ministry officials -- in China regard the threats of global warming to their country with a much higher level of seriousness than their counterparts do here in the United States," said David Hawkins of the environmental group National Resources Defense Council.

Hawkins, head of the group's climate center, spoke by telephone to the Reuters Environment Summit in New York.

If the United States agrees to cut emissions deeply with a baseline that gets tougher over time, it would spur U.S. manufacturers to build low-emissions technologies like alternative energy and coal plants that store carbon dioxide underground.

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Obama would seek nuclear ban if elected

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Tuesday if elected president he would pursue a global ban on nuclear weapons as he sought to pick up ground on his front-running rival, Hillary Clinton.

"Here's what I'll say as president: America seeks a world in which there are no nuclear weapons," Obama said.

Obama marked the five-year anniversary of a speech he gave as a U.S. Senate candidate outlining his opposition to the Iraq war, noting it came just 10 days before his top rival for the party nomination, New York Sen. Clinton, voted to back the invasion of Iraq.

"Let's be clear: without that vote, there would be no war," Obama told DePaul University students. "This is not just a matter of debating the past. It's about who has the best judgment to make the critical decisions of the future."

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Leaders of divided Koreas to hold formal talks

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's president will hold formal talks with reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-il on Wednesday, after the second summit of two states technically still at war got off to a cool start.

Roh Moo-hyun has said he wants the summit to ease tensions between the foes along the Cold War's last frontier and help the economy of his northern neighbor, which is in international talks to give up its ambition to be a nuclear weapons power in exchange for massive aid and an end to its pariah status.

Kim barely spoke to Roh on his arrival in Pyongyang on Tuesday as only the second South Korean leader to visit the communist state.

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