Save Our Earth : Campaigning to save the Tropical Rainforests

 
Save Our Earth - Twitter
Save Our Earth - Facebook
Save Our Earth - Add RSS Feed
 
Search


Environmental, Campaign & Website News > Environmental News Network News Summary (21st May-4th June)

Environmental News Network News Summary (21st May-4th June)

Date : 4th June 2002, Source : ENN


21st May 2002

ADOPTING KYOTO IS AN UPHILL BATTLE

Everyone, it seems, is talking about the Kyoto Protocol. Canada's environment minister is talking about it, the premier of Alberta is talking about it. Even the prime minister is talking about it. But adopting it — that's a different matter.

Source: David Suzuki Foundation


ICELAND ACCUSES U.S., OTHERS OF SCUTTLING WHALE BID

A furious Iceland, whose bid for full membership in the International Whaling Commission was rejected on Monday, slammed antiwhaling nations for keeping it out and said it might have to review its ties to the group. "What we saw is that countries that want us out are going to great lengths to keep us out," said an angry Stefan Asmundsson, head of Iceland's IWC delegation.

Source: Reuters


ANIMALS HAVE RIGHTS TOO, SAYS LEGAL EAGLE

Steven Wise has represented a dolphin in court, got vicious dogs off death row, and was the first person to teach an animal rights course at a U.S. law school. But then he realized that it wasn't enough to save the lives of a few hundred dogs, an occasional deer, or the odd ape. So he set about the ambitious task of trying to change the law so that entire species notably dolphins, chimpanzees, and gorillas could be granted basic legal rights.

Source: Reuters


POLAR BEARS THREATENED BY GLOBAL WARNING, SAY EXPERTS

Polar bears, the magnificent predators of the Arctic, roam the top of the world in plentiful numbers, protected from humans by the harshness and remoteness of the icy kingdom they rule. So why are conservationists sounding the alarm about the fate of the world's largest land carnivores? They say there is mounting evidence that warming temperatures in polar regions could obliterate the bears' delicate frozen habitat in the coming decades. Many scientists blame the warmer temperatures on human activities far removed from the Arctic.

Source: Reuters


NEW PLAN FOR ALASKA FOREST DRAWS MIXED REVIEWS

Eighteen years after the U.S. Forest Service proposed protecting parts of Alaska's Chugach National Forest as wilderness areas, the agency recently issued a plan for establishing such zones. The plan recommends that Congress designate as wilderness 1.4 million acres of the 5.5 million-acre Chugach, the second-largest U.S. national forest. The Chugach sprawls over mountains, glaciers, islands, and tidal regions of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound area.

Source: Reuters


STATES TACKLING GASOLINE EMISSIONS WITH NEW CONTAINERS AT A HIGHER COST

Old rusty or plastic gasoline cans stored in garages and basements would eventually give way to more environmentally sound and more expensive gas containers under a proposed state regulation. Similar efforts to get rid of old cans — more prone than newer versions to produce gas spills and emissions — have spread to the East Coast from California, with states from Virginia to Maine joining the movement, according to the Ozone Transport Commission, created by Congress in 1990 to enact regional air pollution controls.

Source: Associated Press


22nd May 2002

WTO TO TEST SENSITIVE, NO-GO AREAS, SAYS SUPACHAI

The incoming chief of the World Trade Organization (WTO) set bold targets on Tuesday for the Doha global trade talks, saying members would tackle agriculture subsidies head on and open new, sensitive areas to WTO oversight. "We are trespassing into the nontrade areas within the Doha round, we'll be seeing negotiations in areas of trade and environment, we'll be looking at the social dimension of globalization,'' the former Thai deputy prime minister, Supachai Panitchpakdi, said in a speech in Hong Kong.

Source: Reuters


JAPAN'S LOWER HOUSE APPROVES KYOTO PACT BILLS

Japan's Lower House of parliament on Tuesday approved bills linked to the Kyoto climate change pact, setting the stage for ratification next month. Tokyo is expected formally to ratify the pact, aimed at cutting the emission of greenhouse gases, early next month after the bills, one on ratification and another mapping out related domestic steps, clear the upper chamber.

Source: Reuters


ICELAND STORMS OUT OF IWC, JAPAN REJECTED ON MINKE

A furious Iceland stormed out of the annual world whaling summit on Tuesday, and fellow pro-whaler Japan suffered a blow when the International Whaling Commission voted down its bid to expand its catch. The setbacks underlined deepening divisions in the 56-year-old whaling authority as nations eager to whale and those wanting to protect the huge marine mammals jostle for control over the organization.

Source: Reuters


IN INDIANA TOWN, SOME RESIDENTS HAUNTED BY HUM; OTHERS CAN'T HEAR A THING

It started as a low hum, barely noticeable. But within months, the endless throbbing was like a corkscrew twisting into Diane Anton's temple. The walls of her home vibrated. Her bed shook. Bouts of nausea, short-term memory loss, and hand tremors followed.

Source: Associated Press


GREENPEACE BLOCKS ESSO'S LARGEST REFINERY IN FRANCE

Greenpeace activists blocked land and river access to Exxon Mobil Corp's largest refinery in France on Tuesday, dubbing the world's biggest oil company "Climate Enemy No. 1." Around 60 environmentalists, some dressed as Esso's tiger mascot, used trucks and dinghies to halt traffic to and from Esso's Port Jerome refinery and petrochemical plant near Le Havre in northern France, Greenpeace said.

Source: Reuters


ISLANDERS PLACED ON ALERT AS PAPAU NEW GUINEA VOLCANO SPEWS ASH

Several thousand inhabitants of a remote Papua New Guinea island have been placed on evacuation alert after a volcano began rumbling and spewing ash, emergency officials said on Tuesday. Lava, thick ash, and smoke began spewing from the volcano on Manam island, 630 km (390 miles) northwest of the capital Port Moresby, two days ago, Papua New Guinea National Disaster and Emergency Services Director-General Henry Mokono said.

Source: Reuters


23rd May 2002

OZONE HOLE COOLING ANTARCTICA AND OTHER STORIES

The same ozone hole that makes sunning in Australia a burning proposition may be contributing to the cooling of Antarctica. Instead of being absorbed in the atmosphere by ozone molecules, ultraviolet radiation zips directly to the ground, is reflected by Antarctica's snow and ice, and bounces back out into space. The result: a net cooling of the Antarctic atmosphere.

Source: California Academy of Sciences


WORLD FACES CRITICAL CHOICES ON ENVIRONMENT

The world is at an environmental crossroads, where the choice between greed and humanity will decide the fate of millions of people for decades to come, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) said on Wednesday. "Fundamental changes are possible and required," UNEP executive director Klaus Toepfer told a news conference, presenting the third Global Environment Outlook report. "It would be a disaster to sit back and ignore the picture painted."

Source: Reuters


ALBERTA WON'T OK KYOTO, MAY TAKE OTTAWA TO COURT

Alberta, which pumps the lion's share of Canada's oil and gas, will refuse to implement the Kyoto treaty on global warming and may take the federal government to court to fight its case if Ottawa ratifies the pact, a senior minister said on Wednesday. Reinforcing Alberta's staunch opposition to the treaty and perhaps further cutting the odds that Ottawa will sign it, Alberta environment minister Lorne Taylor said the province will not cooperate if Ottawa ratifies the Kyoto pact.

Source: Reuters


FINLAND SET TO BOOST ATOMIC POWER AGAINST E.U. TREND

Finland looks set to become the first west European country in more than a decade to approve the construction of a new nuclear reactor in a move aimed at meeting future energy needs and greenhouse gas targets. Parliament is expected to approve Friday by a very slim majority the five-party coalition government's proposal to build a fifth nuclear power station, but as some members are undecided, it is not yet a done deal, according to recent opinion polls.
Source: Reuters


WAVE POWER PIONEER TURNS TO RAIN-MAKING

A British scientist who pioneered wave power 30 years ago is now turning his talents to making rain with floating wind turbines. Stephen Salter, an engineer at the University of Edinburgh, believes his invention will not only create rain but could prevent deserts from spreading, improve soil quality, save rain forests, and lessen the impact of climate change.

Source: Reuters


24th May 2002

MOST OIL POLLUTING THE OCEANS COMES FROM RUNOFF, RIVERS, SMALL BOATS, NOT TANKER SPILLS

Leaking oil tankers produce dramatic photos, but a new study says the vast majority of the human-related petroleum released into U.S. coastal waters comes from consumers, not the ships that carry the oil. The National Research Council reported Thursday that about 29 million gallons of oil enters the oceans around North America each year as a result of human activities. Of that, the largest share, 15.6 million gallons, comes from rivers and runoff, largely from such things as street runoff, industrial waste, municipal wastewater, and wastewater from refineries.

Source: Associated Press


BUSH ADMINISTRATION TO REOPEN TO MINING AREA CONSIDERED FOR NATIONAL MONUMENT

The Bush administration will open most of the 1.2 million acres of federal land in southwestern Oregon to mining claims, drawing the ire of environmentalists who say the action threatens salmon and steelhead protected by the Endangered Species Act. The area covers about 90 percent of the 1.2 million acres of Siskiyou National Forest and 152,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land. In the waning days of the Clinton administration, then–Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt had imposed a two-year moratorium on new mining claims on the land; the Bush administration canceled that ban this week.

Source: Associated Press


EL SALVADOR COFFEE FARMERS CASH IN ON ENVIRONMENT

The estimated 100,000 people who depend on coffee for their income in El Salvador are not alone. Previously undiscovered species of trees, ferns, and wasps live a secret life amid dark green leaves in the cool shade of the Central American nation's 20,000 coffee farms.

Source: Reuters


EPA SAYS BIGGEST POLLUTERS ARE HARD-ROCK MINING COMPANIES AND COAL-BURNING POWER PLANTS

Hard-rock mining companies and coal-burning power plants are America's largest toxic polluters, responsible for nearly two-thirds of the poisonous contaminants in the nation's air and water, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday. In its most comprehensive inventory of pollution and its sources, the EPA said mining of hard-rock minerals — gold, silver, uranium, copper, lead, zinc, and molybdenum — was responsible for 3.4 billion pounds of toxic pollutants in 2000. Coal-burning electric generating plants were responsible for another 1.2 billion pounds.

Source: Associated Press


SWEDEN SAYS CUT SUBSIDIES ENDANGERING ENVIRONMENT

State support to coal mining and large-scale farming poses a major threat to the environment and should be cut, both in Europe and worldwide, Sweden's environment minister said on Thursday. Sweden, often in the lead on environmental and development issues, wants the Johannesburg summit on sustainable development in late August to tackle subsidies and set clear targets on issues such as clean water, bio-diversity, and poverty reduction.

Source: Reuters


RUSSIA PLANNING NUCLEAR WASTE BURIAL FACILITY ON ARCTIC ARCHIPELAGO

Russia is considering plans to build a burial facility for nuclear waste on an Arctic archipelago, officials said Thursday, denying that the site would become a dumping ground for spent nuclear fuel imported from abroad. Vitaly Nasonov, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Ministry, said the ministry had approved tentative plans for the facility at a meeting Wednesday. A "working design" for the project is now being developed, he said.

Source: Associated Press


28th May 2002

KEY TALKS ON EARTH SUMMIT 2 KICK OFF IN INDONESIA

The United Nations on Monday opened a vital meeting in Indonesia where 6,000 delegates will try to bridge differences before an August summit that aims to cut poverty while saving the environment. Some officials fear the World Summit on Sustainable Development, opening in South Africa in August and dubbed Earth Summit 2, will be a failure unless talks on Indonesia's resort island of Bali achieve clear commitments.

Source: Reuters


FINNISH GREENS OPT TO QUIT GOVERNMENT AFTER NUCLEAR VOTE

Finland's Green Party said on Sunday it would leave the country's coalition government after parliament voted to proceed with controversial plans to build the country's fifth nuclear reactor. The departure, which was expected following Friday's vote, will not threaten the ruling coalition's majority, which will fall to 130 seats in the 200-member house with the loss of the 11 Green parliamentarians.

Source: Reuters


MEXICO BECOMES WORLD'S LARGEST WHALE SANCTUARY

Mexico recently announced an accord to protect whales in its waters, making it the world's largest national sanctuary for the giant mammals, environmental groups said. The office of Mexican President Vicente Fox said the Area of Refuge accord would provide added protection in areas such as reproduction, growth, and migration to 39 whale species that spend time in Mexican waters. The accord was signed at the International Whaling Commission meeting in Shimonoseki, Japan.

Source: Reuters


PENN STATE FINDS ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY WAY TO RECYCLE WASTEWATER

Something seems out of place in these lush woods just outside State College. The sycamores and silver maple just don't belong — and neither does the sprinkler system. For years, Penn State University used its treated wastewater for irrigation, showering about 1 billion gallons per year on the state gamelands north of State College and on nearby university-owned farmland.

Source: Associated Press


29th May 2002

SHAKLEE HEATS UP ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENT BY GOING CLIMATE COOL

Four years ago, the Shaklee Corporation began a ground-breaking partnership with the nonprofit Climate Neutral Network by developing a unique portfolio of carbon-offset projects that delivered both environmental and socioeconomic benefits in the communities they served. The partners aimed to create the first certification program for products, services, or enterprises that reduce and offset the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their production or operations.

Source: GreenBiz.com


CANADIAN PRAIRIES BRACE FOR PLAGUE OF LOCUSTS

Western Canadian farmers are readying for battle against swarms of voracious grasshoppers that are poised, like the Biblical plague of locusts, to decimate millions of dollars worth of crops, prairie officials said Tuesday. "While we don't want to be overly pessimistic and while Mother Nature may help us, at this stage we certainly are expecting one of the highest outbreaks in 30 years,'' said John Knapp, director of the rural services division with Alberta Agriculture.

Source: Reuters


30th May 2002

PARCEL DOUBLES BIG SUR WILDLANDS AND OTHER STORIES

The wildlands of Big Sur have just grown a lot bigger. The Nature Conservancy and the Big Sur Land Trust have purchased 10,000 acres of pristine oak and redwood wilderness linking 13 Big Sur parks and open spaces for between $37 and $38 million. The parcel doubles the size of existing regional open spaces. Known as Palo Corona Ranch, it will eventually be turned over to state and regional park agencies for administration.

Source: California Academy of Sciences


U.S. PROTECTS FLORIDA BEACHES, PARK FROM DRILLING

President Bush said Wednesday the U.S. government would pay about $235 million to buy mineral rights near the Everglades and parts of the Florida coast, preventing oil and gas drilling and handing his brother Florida Gov. Jeb Bush a political bonanza. The moves will likely help the Republican governor, who is up for re-election this November, with the vast majority of Florida residents who oppose offshore drilling. They will also give a boost to the president in the state that gave him the White House in the disputed 2000 presidential election.

Source: Reuters


EPA URGES RECYCLING, NOT DUMPING, COMPUTERS

Where do worn-out computer monitors and televisions go when they die? Under a new recycling program proposed Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fewer of the lead-contaminated relics would be buried in local landfills.

Source: Reuters


DEAD SEALS FOUND IN SWEDEN AS DANISH PLAGUE SPREADS

A virus that kills seals has spread to Sweden from Denmark, and the painful disease could claim many more victims among the sea mammals, a marine biologist said Wednesday. Between 10 and 15 seals have been found dead on Sweden's southwestern coast in the past two days following an outbreak of seal plague in Denmark where more than 250 have died.

Source: Reuters


CANADA-U.S. INDUSTRIAL WATER WASTE IS RISING, SAYS STUDY

Industrial pollution dumped into U.S. and Canadian lakes, rivers, and streams rose 26 percent from 1995 to 1999, overshadowing an almost equal reduction in toxic air emissions, an environmental watchdog agency said Wednesday. In its annual study on pollution in Canada and the United States, the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, a Montreal-based agency created under the North American Free Trade Agreement, said the total amount of toxic releases and transfers fell only 3 percent during the five-year period.

Source: Reuters


MOST E.U. BEACHES UNPOLLUTED, HOLIDAYMAKERS TOLD

Almost all of the European Union's beaches have passed the E.U.'s pollution test and are safe for swimmers, holidaymakers were told Wednesday. The European Commission's annual report on bathing water showed 97 percent of beaches in the 15-country bloc were up to the mark.

Source: Reuters


TRAMS TO RETURN TO CONGESTED CENTRAL LONDON

Trams are to return to central London's traffic-choked streets for the first time in 50 years in a bid to cut congestion, the capital's mayor said on Wednesday. Mayor Ken Livingstone said two tram routes will cost a total of 500 million pounds (US$729.4 million) and will be paid for by a mix of private and public money.

Source: Reuters


31st May 2002

GREEK PARLIAMENT RATIFIES KYOTO GLOBAL WARMING PACT

Greece's parliament on Thursday ratified the Kyoto Protocol for reducing air pollution, one day before a deadline set by the European Union for its 15 members to formally approve the climate control treaty. Greece's 300-member unicameral parliament ratified the protocol by a majority vote, with the governing socialist party, the main opposition conservative party, and the left-wing coalition all voting in favor.

Source: Associated Press


DEMAND FUELS ILLEGAL LOGGING, SAY ACTIVISTS AT U.N. CONFERENCE

Illegal logging will continue in poor countries unless demand from rich nations drops and law enforcement is stepped up, activists at a U.N. development conference in Bali said on Thursday. Forestry is one of dozens of development and environmental issues being debated by around 6,000 international delegates at the 12-day meeting.

Source: Associated Press


CHINA TO CRACKDOWN ON SMUGGLING OF E-TRASH, REPORT SAYS

China will crack down on illegal imports of junked computers and other high-tech trash following reports of health and environmental damage caused by unsafe recycling, the official Xinhua News Agency said Thursday. Chinese environmental officials will also shut down factories where toxic chemicals are being released by the improper recycling of e-trash — mostly printers, computer screens, and circuit boards from countries like the United States, the report said.

Source: Associated Press


ENVIRONMENTALISTS THREATEN TO SUE EPA TO FORCE TOUGHER AIR QUALITY STANDARDS

The Environmental Protection Agency is "dragging its feet" in implementing tougher air quality standards, a group of environmentalists said Thursday while threatening a lawsuit. The environmental groups formally notified EPA Administrator Christie Whitman that they planned to ask the courts to impose a timetable for the already five-year-old ozone regulation if steps are not taken within six months.

Source: Associated Press


GOLD DIGGERS DRAW IRE FROM ENVIRONMENTALISTS

What if gold were no longer an object of desire but an object of disgust? What if environmentalists were able to do to the image of the glittering metal what animal rights activists did to the fur coat: paint it as a symbol of cruel and thoughtless vanity, not of brilliant success? Many environmentalists, who insist gold mining is dangerous to people's health and ruinous to the environment, want just that, but it's not yet an idea whose time has come.

Source: Reuters


ORGANIC FARMING MORE EFFICIENT, SWISS STUDY FINDS

Organic farming may produce lower yields, but in the long run it is more efficient and is much easier on the environment, Swiss researchers reported Thursday. Organic farms have more fertile soil and a higher biodiversity, both of which have been shown to increase efficiency, the researchers report in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

Source: Reuters


FEDERAL CHEMICAL BOARD SUGGESTS GOVERNMENT BROADEN RULES ON EXPLOSIVE CHEMICALS

Additional chemicals should be added to federal safety lists, and data from industrial chemical accidents should be centralized to prevent future injuries and damage, a government safety board said. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board concluded in a study to be presented Thursday that 108 workers died in 167 uncontrolled chemical reactions from 1980 to June 2001.

Source: Associated Press


4th June 2002

U.S. GOVERNMENT REPORT BLAMES HUMANS FOR GLOBAL WARMING

The Bush administration acknowledged for the first time that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions will increase significantly over the next two decades due mostly to human activities — but again rejected an international treaty to slow global warming. A report quietly released last week by the Environmental Protection Agency gave a surprising endorsement to what many scientists have long argued: that oil refining, power plants, and auto emissions are important causes of global warming.

Source: Reuters


CALIFORNIA SEEKS FLORIDA-STYLE DEAL ON OFFSHORE DRILLING

Following a federal deal that blocks new drilling off the Florida coast, California Gov. Gray Davis recently asked the Bush Administration to extend the same protections to his state now fighting to halt more offshore oil drilling along its famous coastline. President Bush said Wednesday the U.S. government would pay about $235 million to buy mineral rights near the Everglades and parts of the Florida coast, blocking unpopular new drilling plans and handing his brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, an election-year political bonanza.

Source: Reuters


ANDES DEFORESTATION THREATENS COLOMBIA'S WATER

Deforestation and other human activity is gnawing away at Colombia's fragile high mountain ecosystems, which could reduce the nation's abundant supplies of fresh water by 40 percent over the next half century, a government scientist said recently. Damage by poor farmers to the vegetation of Andean mountain moorland — known as paramo — reduces the ability of the soil to act as a natural reservoir gradually feeding lowland rivers, said Carlos Castano, director of Colombia's Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology, and Environmental Studies.

Source: Reuters


POROUS PAVING, GREEN ROOFS CAN EASE IMPACT OF DEVELOPMENT ON WATER SUPPLIES

A roof that sprouts plants and a parking lot that drains rainwater like a sieve may not be signs that some maintenance work is needed. Instead, you might be looking at the latest in groundwater conservation. Vegetation to hold water on rooftops and pavement that lets it percolate into the ground instead of racing away through storm drains are some of the latest ways environmental engineers are trying to combat sprawling development and save water tables.

Source: Associated Press


ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP PETITIONS EPA TO TAKE WEEDKILLER ATRAZINE OFF THE MARKET

An environmental group asked the government Monday to ban the use of atrazine, a weedkiller commonly sprayed on cornfields and lawns. The Natural Resources Defense Council filed a petition asking the EPA to take the chemical off the market, charging its leading manufacturer did not properly disclose that 17 workers had developed prostate cancer. The group also said the chemical had been linked to deformities in frogs.

Source: Associated Press


NORTH KOREA RELEASES WATER FROM PROBLEM DAM, SAYS REPORT

North Korea started on Monday to release water from a defective hydroelectric dam which the South had feared would collapse and send a massive wall of water hurtling across the border. Seoul's Yonhap news agency, quoting army officials, said the move to drain some water from the 16-year-old Kumgang Dam, upriver from South Korea, followed the North's notification last week that it would act before the the rainy season in July.

Source: Reuters


NEGOTIATORS TRY TO WRAP UP EARTH SUMMIT PLAN

Negotiators hunkered down in Indonesia on Monday, trying to bridge differences and agree to a plan for a U.N. summit that aims to drag millions out of poverty while protecting the environment. Critics have predicted the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in August would be a flop unless the current Bali meeting revamped a draft agenda, which they say doesn't go far enough to help the world's 1.2 billion people living in poverty.

Source: Reuters


PETS JOIN FIRST TURKISH ANIMAL RIGHTS RALLY

Pet dogs, cats, turtles, horses, donkeys, birds, and rabbits joined about 1,500 people in Turkey's largest city on Sunday to march in the country's first-ever animal rights rally. Activists, some from the international group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, have criticized Turkey for its lack of an animal rights policy. A law aimed at protecting animals has been pending before parliament since July 1999.

Source: Reuters





Document last updated on Tuesday 30 August 2011

Copyright Save Our Earth © 2001-2017
Copyright of articles, information and news remains that of the owner, and permission must be obtained.