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Environmental, Campaign & Website News > Environmental News Network News Summary (2nd-9th July)

Environmental News Network News Summary (2nd-9th July)

Date : 9th July 2002, Source : ENN



July 2nd 2002

WAITING TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE IS NOT A VIABLE OPTION

Scientists and environmental groups often paint grim pictures of a world with a substantially altered climate. In this scenario, rising sea levels inundate agricultural land and low-lying areas, creating millions of climate refugees. Many species are unable to adapt to rapid warming, causing extinction and loss of biodiversity. Air pollution becomes much worse, and water becomes scarce in many regions.

Source: David Suzuki Foundation


EPA SAYS BUSH'S PROPOSED CUTS IN SUPERFUND MEAN WORK REDUCTIONS AND HALTS IN 18 STATES

Cleanup projects at toxic waste sites in 18 states are being severely curtailed or halted under a Bush administration plan to reduce spending for the nation's Superfund program, according to an Environmental Protection Agency report. EPA Administrator Christie Whitman previously announced planned cutbacks; an EPA inspector general's report, made public Monday, indicated which sites were affected.

Source: Associated Press


MINE'S MERCURY SPILL LEAVES DIM LEGACY IN PERUVIAN TOWN

Consuelo Chuquitucto stares blankly at the courtyard of her home where donkeys bray and plastic sheeting is strung up as walls but sees nothing. Blind since a mercury spill in this hamlet in Peru's northern Andes two years ago, the 20-year-old's future is as dark as the world that now engulfs her.

Source: Reuters


IN A MOVE THAT MAY HAVE NATIONAL REPERCUSSIONS, NYC ROLLS BACK RECYCLING

New Yorkers are being asked to forget about separating out glass bottles and milk cartons from regular trash the first significant rollback of a recycling program in the nation. Starting Monday, sanitation workers were to collect only paper and metal for recycling. Glass and plastics, which previously were recycled, were to be mixed in with ordinary trash.

Source: Associated Press


MEXICO-U.S. REACH ACCORD TO END BORDER WATER SPAT

Mexico will send to U.S. farmers 6 percent of the water it owes them and get funding for water-conservation projects as part of an agreement unveiled Saturday to end a simmering dispute between the border neighbors. Texas water officials criticized the deal, saying it fell far short of what the state's farmers need.

Source: Reuters


FIRE CREWS GAINING CONTROL OVER WESTERN WILDFIRES

Firefighters gained greater control Monday over two wildfires that reduced more than half a million acres of forest across two states to blackened wasteland, destroying 500 structures and forcing thousands of people to flee their homes. In Arizona, residents who were evacuated when the Rodeo fire raced toward their communities were allowed to return home, as fire crews took advantage of a shift in winds and cooler temperatures to harness much of the the 464,000-acre blaze.

Source: Reuters


EPA COMPUTER PROJECTIONS EXTOL VIRTUES OF CLEAR SKIES; ENVIRONMENTALISTS DISAGREE

The Bush administration produced computer projections Monday that claimed dramatic health and environmental benefits nationwide if its proposal to cut pollution from power plants is adopted. The Bush plan, dubbed "Clear Skies," has been met with little enthusiasm by Democrats in Congress and has been sharply criticized by environmentalists since it was outlined by the president in mid-February.

Source: Associated Press


SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DEVASTATED BY LOW RAINFALL, LESS THAN ONE-THIRD OF NORMAL

Vintage Lakeside Prime Steak and Seafood has a problem this summer: its name. One of the driest years on record in Southern California has shrunk Big Bear Lake, leaving the restaurant a long way from the water's edge. The restaurant's neat lawn now overlooks a 100-foot field of brown grass and dried mud. "We used to be right on the waterfront. It was nicer when the water lapped up by the rocks here," manager Mike Walker said.

Source: Associated Press


MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE OPEN TALKS ON WATER, OTHER DISPUTES

Seeking to resolve disputes over water prices and other issues, the foreign ministers of Malaysia and Singapore urged each other Monday to make compromises to ensure stable relations. The ministers expressed cautious optimism that an agreement could be reached over two days of talks that would settle differences over water, the use of Malaysian air space by Singapore's air force, a proposed bridge, and the location of customs and immigration facilities.

Source: Associated Press


July 3rd 2002

THANKSGIVING COFFEE COMPANY BREWS COFFEE, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION IN ONE CUP

Thanksgiving Coffee Company a California-based company that specializes in certified organic, fair trade, and shade-grown coffees and teas has announced a new line of coffee that that will raise funds to protect endangered species. The program was developed in partnership with Grounds for Sharing and Defenders of Wildlife.

Source: GreenBiz.com


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE OKS GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BILL

The California legislature Monday approved a controversial bill that would make the state the first in the nation to regulate vehicle greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming. The Assembly voted 41 to 30 for the measure, which opponents such as the automobile industry have criticized as an expensive and unfair driving tax intended to push a wedge between Californians and their SUVs, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Source: Reuters


CONCERN GROWING OVER USE OF RECYCLED SLUDGE ON LAND

The dump trucks have begun rolling by Bob Grant's western Pennsylvania farm, carrying recycled sludge by the ton for fertilizing a neighbor's cattle-grazing land. To Grant, the trucks don't just transport treated wastewater sludge. They carry viruses that can be spread by the wind, bacteria that can seep into the groundwater, and of course, the unbearable stench of ammonia.

Source: Associated Press


STATES REACT WITH FRUSTRATION AS FEDERAL FUNDS DRY UP FOR TOXIC WASTE CLEANUP

Granite City is the kind of town where much of the nation's dirty work has been done, a gritty place of steel mills and industrial plants. It also is a place used to disappointment. More came this week when Granite City learned it has one of the 33 Superfund cleanup sites in 18 states and the Virgin Islands whose funding has been cut off by the Bush administration.

Source: Associated Press


ENVIRONMENTAL ESTROGEN SHOWN TO AFFECT SPERM

Scientists have shown for the first time that small concentrations of environmental estrogens affect sperm, which may help to explain the causes of male infertility. Professor Lynn Fraser of Kings College in London told a fertility conference Tuesday that a laboratory study on mice sperm showed the estrogens stimulate sperm, which has an impact on their ability to fertilize a female egg.

Source: Reuters


RADIOACTIVE WATER LEAKS AT SYDNEY'S NUCLEAR REACTOR

Radioactive water leaked from a cooling pond at a nuclear reactor in suburban Sydney, but no contamination of ground water in surrounding areas has been detected, Australia's nuclear safety agency said Tuesday. Though all the contaminated water is believed to have been trapped in a sump designed to contain such leakage, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency immediately ordered tests of the nearby environment.

Source: Associated Press


GEORGIA TO SEARCH FOR NUCLEAR MATERIAL NEAR ABKHAZIA

Georgian authorities will expand a search for nuclear material left over from Soviet days to rough terrain near Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia region, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog said Tuesday. The discovery last December of two containers of radioactive material in Abkhazia deepened fears in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks that nuclear material could fall into the hands of people who would use it to make crude weapons.

Source: Reuters


THREE DIE IN EXPLOSION AT OIL FIELD IN NIGERIA

Three people have died after a barge exploded in southeast Nigeria near an oil field operated by Chevron Nigeria, the company said Tuesday. Wole Agunbiade, a spokesman for Chevron Nigeria, said the bodies of three Nigerian workers were found Tuesday after the barge they were on exploded Sunday near the company's Opuekeba oil field.

Source: Associated Press


U.S. SUBSIDY BILL WON'T HURT WTO FARM TALKS, SAYS SUPACHAI

New U.S. farm legislation that doles out billions of dollar in subsidies to American farmers will not hinder talks for a world trade pact in agriculture, WTO Director-General designate Supachai Panitchpakdi said on Tuesday. Supachai told reporters the farm bill was introduced for domestic reasons ahead of the Congressional elections in November and that the bill would not inhibit the final outcome of the Doha round of talks.

Source: Reuters


July 4th 2002

GETTING OUT OF GRIDLOCK

Jerry Nichols, a British-born musician, nurse, and beer-brewer who lives in suburban Connecticut, has a long morning commute that can double if traffic is bad. His solution is unique to him: Zen-like detachment. "I simply tune it out," he said. "The traffic can be swirling around me, people can be yelling, honking their horns, and I hardly even hear it."

Source: E/The Environmental Magazine


AUTO INDUSTRY HAS LONG-RUNNING BATTLE WITH CALIFORNIA

Californians aren't shy about taking to the open road, and the balance between automotive freedom and environmental stewardship is strong in the nation's largest car market. In a place where the culture of the car is as embedded as surfing, automakers are watching warily to see if other states will follow California's lead in making it mandatory for them to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in cars and light trucks by 2009.

Source: Associated Press


E.U. PARLIAMENT VOTES FOR TOUGH GM FOOD LABELING

The European Parliament voted this week for a tough bill that requires the labeling of genetically modified (GM) food products, risking the ire of U.S. farmers and fanning a trade dispute. But legislators say the new rules could eventually reopen European Union markets to the import of GM goods, dubbed "Frankenstein foods" by critics. At present there is an informal moratorium in the E.U. on authorizing sale or cultivation of GM crops.

Source: By Reuters


GOODHEARTED BUDDHISTS SET ANIMALS FREE BUT INADVERTENTLY HARM ENVIRONMENT

Chanting and cheering, hundreds of Buddhists sent thousands of fish on a swim for freedom, putting them onto a pair of stainless steel slides that dropped off the side of a ferry into the South China Sea. Followers of Buddhism are duty-bound to save any trapped animal, and the Chinese have adopted the practice and made a tradition of buying then freeing fish, birds, and turtles in the belief it can bring good fortune.

Source: Associated Press


AFRICA NEEDS GREEN GROWTH TO FIGHT POLLUTION, SAYS U.N.

Africans are likely to suffer increasing pollution, ill-health, and loss of farmland unless the continent adopts "clean" technologies and the world does more to fight global warming, the United Nations said on Thursday. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) releasing what it called the most authoritative assessment of Africa's environment ever produced, said many African countries were trying hard to protect their farms, coasts, jungles, and deserts.

Source: Reuters


E.U. EYES ENVIRONMENT CLEAN-UP SCHEME IN NORTH EUROPE

The European Union said on Thursday it expected to launch a 1.8 billion euro program next week to help clean the environment in northern Europe, focusing on the threats posed by nuclear waste in Russia. The European Commission, the E.U.'s executive body, said the long-awaited scheme would start if an international donors' conference in Brussels next Tuesday grants it, as expected, at least 100 million euros in initial funds.

Source: Reuters


BUSINESS ROLE CRUCIAL AT GLOBAL SUMMIT, LEADER SAYS

Big business, whose lust for profit is seen as anathema to sustainable development, must contribute to next month's global summit on poverty and the environment, the man leading corporate interests there said. Mark Moody-Stuart, the former chairman of Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell, said this week that business was essential if the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development next month is to succeed.

Source: Reuters


GENTLE PERSUASION EASES ANIMAL TESTING FUROR

Scientists may have found a way to appease animal activists and still use mice, monkeys, and other creatures in medical experiments. Instead of coercing and sedating animals to take part in research studies, scientists are persuading and training them to participate in experiments.

Source: Reuters


QUEBEC TO BAN MOST NON-FARM PESTICIDES BY 2005

Bowing to pressure from the public and environmental groups, the Canadian province of Quebec said this week it will ban the use of most nonfarm pesticides by 2005. Quebec will immediately move to ban the use of 30 highly noxious pesticides on public lands, including parks, schools, day-care centers, and hospitals.

Source: Reuters


July 9th 2002

PROTECTING POPULATION DIVERSITY

Most people have probably heard about how the Earth is rapidly losing biodiversity worldwide. We usually measure this loss by the high rate of species extinction now occurring compared to pre-industrial times.

Source: David Suzuki Foundation


CANADIAN WILDFIRES SPREAD SMOKE, SMOG OVER WIDE AREA

About 600 firefighters battled dozens of forest fires in northern Quebec on Monday as a 200-kilometer (125-mile) -wide pall of smoke crept eastward, with traces of the haze felt as far away as Washington, D.C. Using 18 aircraft and 50 helicopters under conditions so dry that water can evaporate before it hits the ground, firefighters from three provinces had managed to extinguish a dozen fires since Sunday, but 10 out of 33 blazes were still out of control, Quebec forestry officials said.

Source: Reuters


PERU PEASANTS MARCH TO LIMA, PROTEST MINING DAMAGE

After a week of marching from villages across Peru, some 1,000 peasants arrived in Lima Monday to demand government action against what they say is the contamination or seizure of land by big mining companies. "We're not against mining development, but we want local communities to be ... consulted," said Miguel Palacin, head of a pressure group for 1,135 communities affected by mining. "The government is not interested in solving our problems caused by mining companies that contaminate land and rivers and undermine our health," he said.

Source: Reuters


IN THE WEST, BATTLE RAGES AGAINST THE INVASIVE SALT CEDAR

An army of water-sucking soldiers is marching along the banks of nearly every waterway in the West. The soldiers with their skinny leaves and nonnutritious seeds have invaded more than 1 million acres of river and stream banks in New Mexico, Texas, and more than a dozen other arid states. They have pushed out native plants, birds, and other wildlife and sucked dry already dwindling water supplies.

Source: Associated Press


EAST TEXAS TOWN WANTS TIRES RECYCLED, NOT BURIED

More than 30 million tires have reached the end of the road amid the pine forests of northeastern Texas. And state environmental officials are worried. The decaying rubber once intended for recycling now is stacked in mounds up to 25 feet high, posing an extreme fire hazard, officials say. "If that site turns into a blaze, it's a major disaster," said Jeff Saitas, executive director of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. "It is the largest tire pile in the state of Texas and may be the largest in the nation."

Source: Associated Press


NORWEGIAN POLITICIAN ARRESTED IN PROTEST AGAINST ARCTIC PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT

A Norwegian member of parliament was among 17 environmental activists detained Monday while protesting the nation's northernmost petroleum project. Heidi Soerensen, a 32-year-old representative of the Socialist Left party, said she felt a moral obligation to join an action against the Snoehvit petroleum project in Norway's Arctic.

Source: Associated Press


CONGRESSIONAL AUDITORS SAY ENERGY COMPANIES SHOULD BE GIVEN FUTURE CLEANUP GUIDELINES

The Interior Department should give oil and gas companies specific requirements for cleaning up any damage from drilling in Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve, congressional auditors say. A report being released Tuesday by the General Accounting Office (GAO) the investigative arm of Congress, said businesses face potential cleanup costs of $2.7 billion to $6 billion from drilling for oil and natural gas in the 23-million-acre tract in northwest Alaska. The GAO cautioned that those figures are preliminary since they are based on industry estimates.

Source: Associated Press





Document last updated on Tuesday 30 August 2011

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