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EarthTalk: How Do Hybrid Cars Get Better Fuel Efficiency than Traditional Cars?

Hybrid cars get better gas mileage and pollute less because their highly efficient electric motors run on recycled waste energy generated during normal driving. These cars actually have two engines under the hood: a traditional gasoline-powered motor used for acceleration, and an electric motor that kicks in and out of service when the car is maintaining cruising speeds and when the car is idling or backing up. Excess power generated by the gasoline engine is stored in batteries and used to fuel the electric engine, so owners never need to plug the cars in. >> Read the Full Article

U.S. Accuses U.N. of Dragging Feet over Locusts

The United States accused the U.N. agriculture body recently of mismanaging the locust crisis afflicting vast swathes of West Africa. >> Read the Full Article

New England environmentalists, lobstermen gear up to save whales, livelihood

The endangered North Atlantic right whale has virtually no natural enemies, but for 100 years it has found a foe in fishing lines. Nearly three-quarters of these leviathans have scars from getting tangled in fishing gear, and some have died from their wounds. >> Read the Full Article

West Virginia conservation groups seek new status for national forest tracts

Matt Keller leaned over a relatively dry section of brackish, mossy wetland known as a sphagnum bog and collected a handful of ripe cranberries from the lacy runners that connected the fruit to its tiny, delicate leaves and roots. >> Read the Full Article

British firms realize benefits of going green

The message is getting through to small firms that going green is good for business. And by being environmentally aware, they might be doing more for their local communities than they realize. >> Read the Full Article

Proposed Vehicle Tours on Protected Georgia Barrier Island Rev Up Environmental Battle

Cumberland Island is the largest undeveloped barrier island on the Eastern Seaboard, and about half of it is federal wilderness area, meaning visitors and National Park Service employees are supposed to hike rather than drive. But the island has a handful of permanent residents who are free to drive on the three roads. >> Read the Full Article

Soil Disease in Singapore Kills 23 This Year and Prompts Bio-warfare Fears

A spate of deaths earlier this year by a soil-borne bacterial disease prompted Singapore to investigate whether it had been made into a weapon and was being used as a bio-warfare agent — a possibility that was ruled out. >> Read the Full Article

Japan Donates $11 million to Restore Iraqi Marshes

Japan donated US$11 million (euro8.96 million) to restore Iraqi marshes drained during the regime of the ousted leader Saddam Hussein, the Japanese environment minister said Tuesday. >> Read the Full Article

Coalition's vehicle demo in California promotes fuel-cell technology

If you think hybrid cars are cool, try sitting behind the wheel of a fuel-cell vehicle. >> Read the Full Article

Riverside County, Calif., issues fines for improperly disposed medical waste

Three hospital systems in Riverside County have been fined this year for dumping unsterilized medical wastes such as blood-soaked bandages, bloody intravenous lines and human tissue into county landfills. Other hospitals may face similar waste-dumping allegations, county officials said. >> Read the Full Article