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Environmental, Campaign & Website News > Environmental News Network News Summary (25-28th June)

Environmental News Network News Summary (25-28th June)

Date : 28th June 2002, Source : ENN



June 25th 2002

EARTH CAN'T MEET HUMAN DEMAND FOR RESOURCES, SAYS STUDY

The consumption of forests, energy, and land by humans is exceeding the rate at which Earth can replenish itself, according to research published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, conducted by California-based Redefining Progress, a nonprofit group concerned with environmental conservation and its economics, warned that a failure to rein in humanity's overuse of natural resources could send the planet into "ecological bankruptcy."

Source: Reuters


FIREFIGHTERS MAKE FIRST PROGRESS AGAINST ARIZONA BLAZE

Firefighters battling a huge wildfire raging just outside this Arizona town said Monday they were getting a handle on the blaze and hoped to prevent a "wall of flames" from roaring across the small mountain community. A smoky haze blanketed parts of Show Low, hampering air operations by fire crews massed to fight the biggest wildfire in Arizona state history, now burning just a mile away from the town center.

Source: Reuters


RUSSIAN FLOODS KILL 53, MANY MORE MISSING

Floods raging through Russia's southern fringes have killed more than 50 people, left an unknown number missing, and made tens of thousands homeless, emergency officials said on Monday. The Emergencies Ministry put the known death toll from some of Russia's most disastrous flooding in the past 10 years at 53.

Source: Reuters


WHO HOSTS URGENT MEETING ON ACRYLAMIDE IN FOOD

Alarmed about new studies indicating that potato chips, french fries, and certain types of bread contain a substance that may cause cancer, the World Health Organization has convened an emergency meeting to evaluate the research and decide what action to take. The three-day meeting, which opens Tuesday, follows the publication in April of a Swedish study that some starch-based foods cooked at high temperatures contained acrylamide.

Source: Associated Press


NEW ZEALAND GREENS HOLD KEY IN ELECTION

Buoyed by a late surge in popularity, the Green Party is close to sharing government in New Zealand, analysts said on Monday. However, it could find its hardline stance on genetic engineering blocks the way. The Green's opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMO) has taken center stage ahead of New Zealand's election on July 27, adding spice to an otherwise dull campaign.

Source: Reuters


AS WHALING CONTINUES, KILLING METHODS BECOME FOCUS OF DEBATE

The Whalegrenade-99 is a far cry from the hand-thrown harpoons of old. Fired from a powerful cannon, it is tipped with a red, stainless steel cartridge about two inches wide that contains 20 grams of the explosive penthrite. When the tip has penetrated about a foot into a whale, the penthrite detonates, creating temperatures of several thousand degrees.

Source: Associated Press


SENATORS DEMAND WHITE HOUSE ENVIRONMENT DOCUMENTS

The Senate Environment Committee on Thursday will vote on whether to subpoena the White House for documents about its decision to relax air pollution rules for aging coal-fired power plants, the panel said on Monday. Environmental groups and Democrats have criticized the Bush administration's decision earlier this month giving U.S. utilities and refineries more leeway in repairing and expanding old plants without buying costly equipment to control smog, acid rain, and soot.

Source: Reuters


SOUTH AFRICA ACTIVISTS SAY THEY WILL DEFY POLICE ON SUMMIT

Radical South African activists said Monday they would defy police plans to crack down on their protests during a global environment summit in two months' time. Police said Thursday they would get tough with protesters targeting the meeting, dubbed Earth Summit 2 and expected to draw 100 leaders. They have banned "spontaneous gatherings" in a bid to avoid the chaos seen at other summits in recent years.

Source: Reuters


June 26th 2002

ANHEUSER BUSCHS SPECIAL BREW: CONTINUOUS ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT

From a bottom-line perspective, linking environmental and business objectives is simple: efficient operations mean minimum resource consumption and waste production. But how can businesses push their environmental programs beyond efficient production and minimal resource use? The Global Environmental Management Initiative's (GEMI) upcoming conference in Atlanta, Ga., will examine innovative methods for integrating environmental values and business value in order to green business operations from the supply chain up.

Source: GreenBiz.com


U.S. HOUSE PANEL BACKS CONSERVATION IN SPENDING BILL

With no debate, a House panel Tuesday unanimously approved a bill providing millions more than President Bush had requested for energy and nature conservation programs and for fighting wildfires like those now ravaging the U.S. West. The House Appropriations interior subcommittee took just a few minutes to clear the $19.7 billion spending bill for public lands and some energy programs in fiscal year 2003, which starts on Oct. 1. The total is some $800 million above Bush's budget request and $500 million above current spending levels.

Source: Reuters


SENATORS WANT EPA OMBUDSMAN BACK; INSPECTOR GENERAL SAYS SHE CAN DO JOB

A group of senators pressed the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday to reinstate a watchdog who they say was key in cleaning up the World Trade Center and other polluted sites. Robert Martin quit his job as ombudsman in April after EPA Administrator Christie Whitman restructured his office and incorporated it into the agency's inspector general. Martin said the move robbed him of power and independence and was made to punish him for challenging EPA officials.

Source: Associated Press


GOVERNMENT HAS YET TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET WASTE TO YUCCA MOUNTAIN SAFELY

Every year the Navy and a few utilities ship about 60 loads of highly radioactive used reactor fuel from submarines and atomic power plants over short distances, usually by rail, without public notice or protest. The national numbers will soar as shipments start moving by rail or truck through all but a handful of states if a nuclear waste dump is put 90 miles from Las Vegas, as President Bush hopes to do.

Source: Associated Press


WHITE ZIMBABWE FARMERS CHALLENGE LAND ORDER

Two white Zimbabwean farmers filed suit Tuesday to stop a government order that would force them to abandon their farms in a test case closely watched by 3,000 others also facing eviction. The government order was the latest move by the government in its battle to seize white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks, which it asserts is needed to redress the imbalances of the colonial era.

Source: Reuters


INDONESIA SAYS PERMANENT LOG EXPORT BAN IN PLACE

Indonesia has imposed a permanent ban on log exports to protect its dwindling tropical forests, Forestry Minister Muhammad Prakosa said on Tuesday. Prakosa said around 5,000 hectares (12,300 acres) of the country's lush forests had been lost to illegal logging every day for the past five years.

Source: Reuters


ENVIRONMENTALISTS ANGERED OVER PESTICIDE APPROVAL FOR LOUISIANA RICE

Louisiana rice farmers have received emergency approval from the federal government to use a severely limited pesticide, a move that has angered bird groups. The Environmental Protection Agency restricted the pesticide Furadan in the 1990s after more than 80 bird kills around the country. It hasn't been allowed on rice since 1998.

Source: Associated Press


EPA SAYS 28 PERCENT OF U.S. LAKES HAVE CONTAMINATED FISH

More than one-fourth of the nation's lakes have advisories warning consumers that fresh-caught fish may be contaminated with mercury, dioxins, or other chemicals, the Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday. The EPA said state regulators issued 2,618 fishing advisories or bans in 2001 because of contaminants.

Source: Reuters


ENVIRONMENTALISTS IN PUERTO RICO MOBILIZE PROTESTS AGAINST RAMPANT DEVELOPMENT

Next to a busy expressway, protesters camp out in tents amid signs with slogans saying, "Stop killing trees." Their protest, intended to save a tree-shaded strip of land from advancing chain saws that already have brought down some 240 trees, has succeeded in halting work on an overpass for nearly two months.

Source: Associated Press


June 27th 2002

HUMAN TB INFECTS AFRICAN MEERKATS AND MONGOOSES AND OTHER STORIES

A major killer in human populations, tuberculosis has now jumped into populations of Africa's meerkats and mongooses. The culprit is ecotourism, a phenomenon once thought to be agreeably benign. Apparently, the hotel system now operating in the continent's once-isolated bush country has exposed the fauna to more human diseases.

Source: California Academy of Sciences


CHINESE STORMS KILL 543, BUT OFFICIALS SAY LARGE-SCALE SUMMER FLOODING UNLIKELY

Storms have killed 543 people over the past two months in China, but forecasters don't expect a repeat of the disastrous summer flooding of 1998 when thousands died, disaster officials said Wednesday. About 1.4 million people have been forced from their homes in western and central China, said Wang Junyao, vice director general of the Civil Affairs Ministry.

Source: Associated Press


EPA OFFICIALS TRYING TO AVOID SUBPOENA BEING CONSIDERED BY SENATE COMMITTEE

Environmental Protection Agency officials met with Senate aides Wednesday as they tried to avoid a subpoena for agency documents on a Bush administration proposal to relax pollution controls on some coal-burning power plants. The chairman of the Senate Environment Committee said he would decide Thursday whether to ask his committee to issue the subpoena to EPA Administrator Christie Whitman.

Source: Associated Press


THREATENED ARIZONA TOWN SPARED FROM FLAMES FOR YET ANOTHER DAY

With the worst wildfire in Arizona history gaining ground, firefighters fought back with flames, helicopters, and bulldozers to try to fend off a galloping blaze that has burned 375,000 acres (150,000 hectares) and destroyed at least 390 homes. After witnessing the destruction by air Tuesday, President George W. Bush declared the region a disaster area and told evacuees at a high school in Eagar that people across America are pulling for them. "They understand that a lot of you are living in tents when you'd rather be in your own bed," Bush said. "They cry for you, and they hurt with you."

Source: Associated Press


NATIONAL PARK SERVICE SAYS SOME SNOWMOBILING ACCEPTABLE IN YELLOWSTONE

The National Park Service said this week it is willing to allow snowmobiling to continue in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks but with "very strict limitations," including use of the latest technology to limit air pollution and noise. Park Service officials met with state and county representatives from Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming to discuss the controversial issue of winter activities in the two parks. The overall policy is still being refined.

Source: Associated Press


AGENCY WILL NOT LIST ORCAS UNDER ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT

A group of Puget Sound orca whales that has suffered years of population decline will not be listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, the National Marine Fisheries Service said this week. The agency said it would take other steps to obtain greater federal protection for the "southern resident" killer whales, which summer in Puget Sound.

Source: Associated Press


PENNSYLVANIA REDUCES LAND IN GAS-DRILLING LEASE SALE BY MORE THAN HALF

Reacting to largely negative public reaction to a proposal for the largest gas-drilling rights auction in history, the state has scaled back by more than half the acreage that would be leased to gas exploration companies. The revised proposal calls for auctioning off gas-drilling leases on 218,210 acres, mostly in the woods of north-central Pennsylvania - a substantially smaller project than the 450,000-acre auction in 1983, which stands as the largest in the state's history.

Source: Associated Press


FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERS CONSIDERATION OF CALIFORNIA'S STATE FISH FOR ENDANGERED LIST

A federal judge has given the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 90 days to consider listing California's state fish, the golden trout, as an endangered species. A conservation group sued last November, claiming the agency and Interior Secretary Gale Norton failed to act on its request last year to list the fish.

Source: Associated Press


THREE BANKS LOAN COMPANY $376 MILLION FOR KUWAITI WASTEWATER PROJECT

Three local banks have extended a 114.25 million dinar (US$376 million) loan to the Utilities Development Co. to build a major wastewater treatment plant in Kuwait, one of the banks said on this week. The National Bank of Kuwait said in a statement it will act as the agent and account bank for this 25-year loan with an annual interest rate of 2 percent above Kuwait's interbank offered rate.

Source: Associated Press


June 28th 2002

U.S. SENATE PANEL PASSES FIRST GREENHOUSE GAS CURBS

The Senate Environment Committee on Thursday narrowly passed a bill that would impose the first-ever limits on emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the United States, but Republicans called the measure dead before it gets to the Senate floor. The panel voted 10-9 largely along party lines to send to the full Senate the Clean Power Act, which also sets strict caps on three other pollutants spewed by many U.S. utilities. The pollutants from electricity generating plants have been linked to asthma attacks and other respiratory illnesses.

Source: Reuters


DEVASTATED APACHES COUNT COST OF ARIZONA BLAZE

As firefighters made strides combating a monster Arizona wildfire, there were sighs of relief Thursday in the mountain town of Show Low, which officials now expect to survive one of the most destructive blazes ever to scorch the U.S. West. Not far away, however, on the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation, there was nothing but bad news.

Source: Reuters


SCIENTISTS CITE REAL CONCERN ABOUT ACRYLAMIDE IN FOOD

People who consume excessive amounts of french fries and starchy snack foods may be risking not only obesity and heart disease but cancer as well. There are growing fears that staples like fries and potato chips contain high levels of a potentially carcinogenic substance called acrylamide.

Source: Associated Press


NEGOTIATORS TO OPEN U.S. ENERGY POLICY OVERHAUL TALKS

Senate and House negotiators meet for the first time Thursday to hammer out compromise legislation that would overhaul American energy policy for the first time in a decade. Clashes are expected over the Republican-led House's desire to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and to distribute some $33 billion in energy tax credits. The Democratic-controlled Senate's version of an energy bill would triple the use of ethanol-blended gasoline and spend $14 billion on tax breaks.

Source: Reuters


BEAR FALLS VICTIM TO G8 SECURITY

Canada's effort to stage an environmentally friendly summit of world leaders suffered a blow this week with news that a wildlife officer accidentally killed a bear near the venue. Canadian officials have thrown a ring of steel around the secluded mountain resort hosting the Group of Eight summit to keep the leaders safe from terrorists, protesters, and bears that roam the Canadian Rockies.

Source: Reuters


DRY COLORADO ONCE HOSTED RAINFOREST, STUDY SHOWS

It may be so dry now that forest fires are raging across the state, but Colorado 64 million years ago may have been home to a tropical rainforest, researchers said Thursday. They have excavated a site south of Denver that looks very much like a present-day Amazonian rain forest, full of trees and other plants, the team at the Denver Museum of Nature and Sciences said.

Source: Reuters


REJECTED FOR 16 YEARS, INCINERATOR ASH GETS PENNSYLVANIA HOMECOMING

Shunned by ports and dumps around the hemisphere for 16 years, a wandering load of 2,500 tons (2,275 metric tons) of incinerator ash began arriving Thursday at a rural Pennsylvania landfill. The ash had languished on a barge in Florida the past two years until Pennsylvania agreed to take it back. About 20 tons (18 metric tons) arrived Thursday at the landfill in south-central Pennsylvania near the Maryland border; the rest is to arrive by truck and rail over the next three weeks.

Source: Associated Press


MODIFIED POLLEN TRAVELS FAR BUT NOT WIDE, SAYS STUDY

Pollen from genetically modified crops can spread to neighboring fields but may only fertilize a small percentage of plants there, Australian researchers said Thursday. Pollen from a new breed of canola plant spread as far as 1.8 miles away but only fertilized a small percentage of the plants in those fields, Mary Rieger of the University of Adelaide and colleagues found. The researchers did not use genetically modified canola but said the new breed was different enough from conventional strains for their study, published in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

Source: Reuters


GLOBAL WARMING THREATENS U.S. PARKS AND WATERS, SAYS GREEN GROUP

Global warming is threatening many U.S. parks, forests, marine sanctuaries, and wildlife refuges, and the federal government must act to protect them, a report by the environmental group Bluewater Network said. Average global temperatures may increase by 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit this century, which could raise sea levels by almost 3 feet, increase catastrophic wildfires and storms, and wipe out entire species, the group said. The report was released Thursday by the group and California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Source: Reuters





Document last updated on Tuesday 30 August 2011

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