Archive for January 2008
It’s not a tough as it sounds.
Find out tonight, Wed Jan 30 and 8 pm EST by listening in to live and free webcast of experts to explain what it would take for the US to make a 2% cut in emissions each year for the next decade.
By Stephen Leahy*
In announcing that they are giving up efforts to help the jaguar population recover, U.S. authorities have handed a death sentence to the big cat that was once plentiful along the border with Mexico.
Jan 28 (Tierramérica).- Jaguars have no place in the United States, although a handful still roam the Southwest. Environmentalists suspect the real reason U.S. officials will let the jaguar become extinct is the “security” wall being built along the Mexican border.
Ecologists have long warned that the border wall — actually a series of walls — will have big impacts on wildlife and the region’s fragile and unique ecology.
“There is no question that jaguars (Panthera onca) in the U.S. and northern Mexico would be significantly affected by the wall,” says Joe Cook, expert in mammal biology at the University of New Mexico.
“As best we can tell, the few remaining U.S. jaguars are part of a larger population based in Northern Mexico,” Cook told Tierramérica.
By Stephen Leahy
Jan 25 (IPS) – U.S. biofuels production is driving up food prices around the world, giving billions of poor people a very good reason to hate U.S. policy, say environmentalists.
“The U.S. has led the fight to stem global hunger, now we are creating hunger,” said Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, an environmental think tank in Washington.
The booming U.S. ethanol industry is diverting enormous amounts food into fuel: 81 million tonnes of grain in 2007 and 114 million tonnes this year, equaling 28 percent of the entire U.S. grain harvest, Brown told IPS.
Previous eras of high grain prices were mainly the result of bad weather, but these price hikes are the result of government policy, he said.”Grain prices are at record or near-record highs and they will go higher,” he said. “We might be the first society in history to use public tax dollars to drive up its own food prices.” Read the rest of this entry »
By Stephen Leahy
Jan 21 (IPS) – With a tax on carbon emissions appearing to be inevitable, some of the world’s largest corporations will be asking their suppliers to report on their carbon emissions as part of future reduction efforts.
“Investors are demanding that companies know what their carbon emissions are and consumers want companies to be green,” said Paul Dickinson, CEO of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an independent not-for-profit organisation in Britain that is coordinating the effort.
“A global price for carbon is coming and we are helping companies to prepare to operate in a carbon-constrained world,” Dickinson told IPS. Read the rest of this entry »
By Stephen Leahy*
TORONTO, Jan 18 (Tierramérica) – Hurry! Hurry! See the polar bears, penguins, Arctic glaciers, small pacific islands before they disappear forever due to global warming.
Tourism companies are now using climate change as a marketing tool: Visit the pacific island paradise of Tuvalu before rising sea levels swallow it in the next 30 to 50 years. See the Arctic while there is still ice and polar bears.
“Some companies are using climate change as a marketing pitch, a ‘see it now before it’s gone’ kind of thing,” says Ayako Ezaki, communications director for the International Ecotourism Society, based in Washington DC.
By Stephen Leahy
Jan 17 (IPS) – Imagine it’s a glorious new era and everything you’ll do as part of your normal day helps to stabilise the climate and the global population, eradicate poverty, and restore the earth’s damaged ecosystems.
It better not be because that is what it will take to prevent the end of human society as we know it, according to a new book, “Plan B 3.0: Mobilising to Save Civilisation“.
The crisis we face is both dire and urgent, requiring a transformative effort like the mobilisation of nations during World War II, says author Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, an environmental think tank in Washington. Read the rest of this entry »
Turning food into biofuel pits the car owners of the world against the two billion poor who struggle to get enough to eat says Lester Brown of the World Policy Institute.
Who do you think is going to win?
“This will be seen as one of the great tragedies in history,” says Brown.
See previously published articles on biofuels/energy:
Ethanol: The Great Big Green Fraud – Government subsidies amount to $15 billion in 2007
Greenest Ethanol Still Unproven - Cellulosic ethanol is long way off and may not be a solution
ENERGY REVOLUTION NEEDED NOW – Efficiency improvement is fastest, cheapest and easiest
Canada’s oil sand companies continue to pollute the air, water and landscape of a large portion of northern Alberta to supply America’s oil.
Canadian pollution regulations are far less stringent than the US and voluntary for the most part. Now a groundbreaking study by the Pembina Institute and the World Wildlife Fund, released Thursday, shows government reliance on industry to voluntarily do the right thing for the land, water and air of northern Alberta has failed.
For the complete story on the Oil Sands Project that supplies much of America’s oil see: Destroying Canada’s Boreal Forest for America’s Oil – 30-page eBook
By Stephen Leahy
Jan 9 (IPS) – There appears to be hope for the planet yet.
After much urging and dire threats, the global economy, much like a stubborn and temperamental toddler, is starting to reluctantly turn towards sustainability, according to the “State of the World 2008” report released by the Worldwatch Institute Wednesday.
“Innovative green efforts by governments and business are becoming commonplace,” said Gary Gardner of Worldwatch, a U.S.-based environmental think tank.
Jan 7 (IPS) – China’s booming medical biotechnology industry is producing controversial drugs and gene therapy treatment programmes for domestic use, as well as to treat critically ill foreigners seeking potential cures unavailable elsewhere.
China’s Beike Biotechnologies harvests stem cells from the umbilical cord or amniotic membrane and injects them into patient’s spinal region. More than 1,000 patients, including 60 foreigners, have been treated for a variety of conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, autism, brain trauma, cerebral palsy and spinal cord injury, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Biotechnology.
“We met foreigners there who were happy with Beike’s treatments,” said Peter Singer of the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health at the University of Toronto and co-author of the study. Read the rest of this entry »