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Environmental, Campaign & Website News > Environmental News Network News Summary (10th-17th September)

Environmental News Network News Summary (10th-17th September)

Date : 17th September 2002, Source : ENN


10th September 2002

EXOTIC ANTARCTIC SPECIES FACE CLIMATE WIPEOUT

Thousands of the world's most exotic species of sea animals from spiders the size of dinner plates to giant woodlice face extinction if Antarctic sea temperatures rise as predicted, a scientist said on Monday. "If the models are correct, we are likely to lose large populations of scallops, giant isopods, bivalve molluscs, and giant sea spiders among others," said scientist Lloyd Peck of the British Antarctic Survey. "So far we have looked at 11 species and the answer has come up the same each time. At a temperature rise of two to three degrees, they asphyxiate," he said at the British Association for the Advancement of Science annual festival.

Source: Reuters


IN ALASKA, AN ANCESTRAL ISLAND HOME FALLS VICTIM TO GLOBAL WARMING

Stripped to his shirt sleeves on a desolate polar beach, the Inupiat Eskimo hunter gazes over his Arctic world. The midnight sun glitters on navy waves surrounding his island village. The town sits amid the ruins of dugouts that his ancestors chipped from the permafrost when Pharaohs were erecting pyramids in the hot sands of Egypt.

Source: Associated Press


EXPERTS START TALKS ON REDUCING MERCURY EMISSIONS

Experts from around the globe gathered here Monday to look at ways of reducing the health problems and environmental damage caused by mercury. "We need to make mercury poisoning a thing of the past," said Klaus Toepfer, head of the U.N. Environment Program, which is organizing the weeklong meeting of 150 experts.

Source: Associated Press


HONG KONG AIR POLLUTION HITS RECORD HIGH

A gray blanket of smog shrouded Hong Kong on Monday as air pollution hit a record high at a suburb near the city's airport. The general air pollution index soared to 185, a level at which people with heart or respiratory conditions are advised to avoid places with heavy traffic and reduce physical exertion.

Source: Associated Press


U.S. NAVY SAYS SUNKEN SHIP OFF VIEQUES ISN'T RADIOACTIVE; ISLAND LEGISLATURE PLANS HEARINGS

A ship once used in nuclear tests in the Pacific is stirring controversy in Puerto Rico three decades after the U.S. military sunk it off the outlying island of Vieques. The Navy says the decommissioned USS Killen was used in nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in the late 1950s and was moved to the waters off Vieques in 1963, where for about 10 years it was used as a target ship during Navy bombing exercises.

Source: Associated Press


PRIVATE CONSORTIUM PICKS TENNESSEE FOR URANIUM FUEL PLANT

A private consortium picked Tennessee's Trousdale County as the site of a $1.1 billion high-tech uranium enrichment plant to make fuel for nuclear reactors, company officials announced Monday. The site in Hartsville is on property where the Tennessee Valley Authority began building a nuclear power plant more than two decades ago before eventually abandoning construction.

Source: Associated Press


11th September 2002

CALIFORNIA'S EFFICIENT WASHING MACHINE LAW PUTS MANUFACTURERS IN SPIN CYCLE

California is changing the way it handles its dirty laundry. A law signed by Gov. Gray Davis on Sunday requires all residential clothes washers to be at least as water efficient as commercial washers starting in January 2007.

Source: Associated Press


FLOODING, STORMS LEAVE AT LEAST 26 DEAD IN SOUTHERN FRANCE

Torrential rains that battered southeast France for two days killed at least 26 people, authorities said Tuesday. Rescuers were searching for several dozen people who were reported missing. Eleven of those who drowned were from the village of Aramon, which was inundated after a dam gave way early Monday, said Renaud Nury, a spokesman for the Gard regional prefecture.

Source: Associated Press


APPALACHIAN TOWNS FIGHT TO KEEP COAL MINES FROM MOVING EVER CLOSER

Susan Skeens and other folks in Lick Creek sprang into action when a coal company moved to open a mine near their homes in this little Appalachian community where the loudest sound at night is often the mournful call of a whippoorwill. "Everything I have will be covered with black dust," said Skeens, whose home is some 250 feet from the proposed entrance to the mine.

Source: Associated Press


GOLDEN, COLO., FACES MANDATORY WATER RESTRICTIONS AFTER LOSING APPEAL IN WATER COURT

The city of Golden has banned all outdoor water use after it lost an appeal of a state order saying it must shut off nearly half its water supply and allow the water to flow to drought-stricken neighbors downstream. The city, one of the few in the state that had not restricted water use, planned to send workers door to door to advise residents and establish 24-hour patrols to enforce the restriction, City Manager Mike Bestor said after Monday's ruling in state district Water Court in Greeley.

Source: Associated Press


COURT UPSETS GERMAN GOVERNMENT PLANS TO SPUR RECYCLING WITH A DEPOSIT ON CANS

Plans to spur Germans to even greater recycling efforts suffered a blow Tuesday when a court ruled against a new regulation putting a deposit on drink cans and many previously deposit-free bottles. The administrative court in Duesseldorf said the impact of the deposit for consumers and companies was too great to be settled by government decree and should have been put before parliament.

Source: Associated Press


12th September 2002

POORER COUNTRIES REJECT OPEN WTO DISPUTE HEARINGS

Developing countries recently rejected a call from the United States to open World Trade Organization dispute meetings to the public, arguing that this would only favor rich powers. The U.S. proposal came in talks on reforming the system for solving trade rows fiercely criticized by environmental and development groups based in the North who often portray the WTO as a secretive body working at the behest of big business.

Source: Reuters


GIANT DAM COULD CAUSE GEOLOGICAL DISASTERS, SAYS CHINA

A 600-km (365-mile) reservoir that will start filling behind China's giant Three Gorges Dam next year could cause geological disasters in the surrounding area, state media said on Wednesday. The government had set aside 4 billion yuan (US$480 million) to prevent landslides and other disasters at almost 2,500 dangerous sites identified around the reservoir, the official Xinhua news agency quoted a top official as saying.

Source: Reuters


ELECTRIC MOTOR EFFICIENCY MEANS BIG ENERGY SAVINGS

Almost one-fourth of the electricity in the United States is consumed by electric motor systems that hum along in buildings and factories with little notice by the top executives who sign off on their purchase or repair. Energy experts say that if those executives did the math, they'd be shocked to find out that even a 1 percent improvement in efficiency could translate into millions of dollars in savings.

Source: Associated Press


U.S. STUDY SAYS ALL CLONES GENETICALLY ABNORMAL

Cloned mice have hundreds of abnormal genes, which explains why so many cloned animals die at or before birth and proves it would be irresponsible to clone a human being, scientists said. The process of cloning introduces the genetic mutations, and there seems no immediate way around the problem, Rudolf Jaenisch and colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reported.

Source: Reuters


LEBANON SAYS IT HAS FULL RIGHT TO PULL WATER FROM RIVERS ON ISRAELI BORDER

Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group said it will "cut off Israel's hands" if the Jewish state uses military force to stop a project to divert water from a shared river. The warning comes a day after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met senior army officers to discuss a Lebanese project to divert water from the Hasbani River, and its tributary Wazzani River, that flows from Lebanon into Israel's Sea of Galilee, Israel's largest water reservoir.

Source: Associated Press


13th September 2002

WATCHDOG SAYS GREAT LAKES CLEANUP GOING TOO SLOW

Canada and the United States are moving too slowly to clean up the five Great Lakes to ensure that the vast freshwater system remains safe for drinking, swimming, and fishing, an international watchdog agency said Thursday. In its biennial report, the International Joint Commission, an independent body formed to make policy recommendations to Ottawa and Washington, said the two countries are making only slow progress on their pledge to restore and maintain the chemical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes Basin.

Source: Reuters


CHARGES FILED AGAINST TANKER'S OFFICERS OVER OIL SPILL

Two officers of a Bahamian-registered tanker have been charged with causing an oil spill near an ecological reserve on Newfoundland's southern coast. Charges filed this week against Capt. Celso F. Ruedas and Reynaldo Y. Galindo, the chief engineer, accuse them of dumping oil and failing to report a spill in violation of Canada's Migratory Birds Act, the Fisheries Act, and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Source: Associated Press


BRAZIL ARRESTS AMERICANS FOR SELLING AMAZON LAND

A Brazilian court Thursday ordered three U.S. citizens to be held in custody on suspicion of selling land in the Amazon over the Internet under the name of an environmental fund founded by the British rock star Sting. U.S. couple Donald and Mary Davis and Brazilian-born Joao da Cruz Veloso, a naturalized American, allegedly sold bonds worth US$25 to $100 through a Web site called Rainforest Foundation, the name of Sting's nongovernmental organization.

Source: Reuters


SOME OF BOTSWANA'S INDIGENOUS BASARWA MOVE BACK TO EXPROPRIATED LAND

Several members of Botswana's Basarwa tribe have moved back onto land the government had pressured them to leave in a massive game reserve, according to state radio. At least three families were seen in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, according to the reports Wednesday. In response, President Festus Mogae created a task force to deal with the Basarwa's grievances.

Source: Associated Press


IRISH ANTINUCLEAR ACTIVISTS SET SAIL TO INTERCEPT BRITISH SHIPS

Irish antinuclear activists led by Greenpeace's flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, left port Thursday to intercept two armed British vessels carrying a cargo of rejected nuclear fuel toward the Irish Sea. The protesters, aboard about 10 vessels, said they wouldn't try to board or block the two ships operated by British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. (BNFL) which runs the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant on England's northwest coast. BNFL said the two ships would stay away from Irish waters, which extend 12 miles (19 kms) off the coast.

Source: Associated Press


DANUBE RIVER FAIRLY CLEAN, SURVEY SHOWS

The Danube is fairly clean in most places, but several branches of the famous European river are badly polluted, according to the first comprehensive survey of the river's pollution levels. "In the Danube River, you can swim. I wouldn't do that in some of the tributaries," said Joachim Bendow, executive secretary of a U.N.-affiliated group that works to protect the Danube, which meanders through 13 European countries from southeastern Germany to the Romanian Black Sea coast.

Source: Associated Press


MINISTER SAYS NGOS EXAGGERATE THREAT OF ARSENIC-CONTAMINATED WATER IN BANGLADESH

Bangladesh's finance minister accused local aid organizations of exaggerating the threat of arsenic-tainted well water that some experts claim could be poisoning nearly half the country's population. "A few nongovernment organizations are making a mountain out of a molehill in magnifying the arsenic problem," Finance Minister Saifur Rahman said in a speech late Wednesday. "Arsenic contamination of water is not a serious problem."

Source: Associated Press


17th September 2002

CONFRONTATION AT SEA AS NUCLEAR SHIPS NEAR ENGLAND

Antinuclear activists and two ships carrying radioactive material confronted each other in the Irish Sea Monday as the shipment neared its English destination after a controversial two-month journey from Japan. A flotilla of boats and dinghies led by the flagship Rainbow Warrior of the environmental group Greenpeace circled the Pacific Teal and the Pacific Pintail, which fired water cannons to keep protesters at bay, according to an activist on board the Rainbow Warrior.

Source: Reuters


U.S. EXPERT INSPECTS WAZZANI RIVER WATER PUMPING PROJECT IN SOUTH LEBANON

A U.S. water expert on Monday inspected a Lebanese project to pump water from a border river shared with Israel, a scheme that has sparked angry dialogue between the volatile Mideast neighbors. Accompanied by Lebanese and U.S. Embassy officials, Jim Franckiewicz watched Lebanese workers lay pipes to pump water from the Wazzani River, a tributary of the Hasbani River which flows into the Jordan River, a major source of water for Israel.

Source: Associated Press


THAILAND'S LAST PRISTINE ISLANDS FALLING VICTIM TO TOURISM ASSAULTS

It's almost like a military operation. First come the reconnaissance teams: the backpackers. They're followed by the light infantry: the local tourist operators. Then the last wave storms ashore: the Thai and international resort developers.

Source: Associated Press


IN DROUGHT-STRICKEN NEW MEXICO, BATTLE BREWING OVER WATER IN RIO GRANDE

The Rio Grande is drying up in drought-stricken New Mexico, putting an endangered fish and the water supply of the state's largest city in jeopardy. Environmentalists want a federal judge to release water owned by Albuquerque into the Rio Grande to prevent the river from going dry in an area where the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow lives.

Source: Associated Press


FIREWISE LANDSCAPING COULD HELP KEEP WOODLAND HOMES FROM BECOMING FOREST LITTER

The nation's extensive, ground-cracking drought should prompt families with homes on woodland lots to consider doing some landscaping this fall. Otherwise, they could be throwing a real fire sale. Oct. 1 is the official start of the fall wildland fire season, and crews, particularly in the East, are mobilizing to head off the usual assortment of runaway blazes.

Source: Associated Press


L.A. BABIES GET LIFETIME'S TOXIC AIR IN 2 WEEKS, SAYS STUDY

A two-week-old baby in the Los Angeles area has already been exposed to more toxic air pollution than the U.S. government deems acceptable as a cancer risk over a lifetime, according to a report Monday by an environmental campaign group. The study of air pollution in California by the National Environmental Trust also said that even if a young child moved away from California, or if the air had been cleaned up by the time he or she reached adulthood, "the potential (cancer) risk that a child rapidly accumulates in California from simply breathing will not go away."

Source: Reuters


MEXICO PUTS CONTROVERSIAL SHARK FISHING LAW ON HOLD, ORDERS REMOVAL OF HAZARDOUS WASTE

The Mexican government will delay implementation of controversial new shark fishing regulations that critics said would have endangered other species, a leading congressman said Monday. The regulation, which had been set to go into effect in September, would have allowed shark fishers to use larger nets and operate closer to shore. It drew a storm of criticism Friday from a broad array of conservationists, sports fishers, and legislators.

Source: Associated Press





Document last updated on Tuesday 30 August 2011

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