Category Archives: general

Study finds 6,000 rare Irrawaddy dolphins off Bangladesh

Independent: Thousands of rare Irrawaddy dolphins have been found in Bangladeshi waters, a wildlife advocacy group said today, a hopeful sign for a vulnerable species found only in small numbers elsewhere. However, the newly discovered population is already threatened by climate change and fishing nets, the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society said. Nearly 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins, which are related to orcas or killer whales, were found living in freshwater regions of Bangladesh’s …

United Kingdom: Tesco tells shoppers: too much packaging? Leave it with us

Guardian: Tesco is to encourage customers to discard unwanted and excessive packaging near the tills, in an experiment along the lines of a similar "take-back" scheme in Germany. The supermarket chain has already cut back on what it regards as "wasteful" packaging, such as bulky dog food bags and unnecessary plastic wrapping on food. A regional trial will now try to find out which kinds of packaging consumers are prepared to do without. Common customer gripes include the amount of plastic, …

Canada: Oil sands company now says 1,606 ducks died

Associated Press: Eleven hundred more ducks died after landing on a toxic waste pond in northern Alberta last year than was originally estimated, a Canadian oil sands official acknowledged Tuesday. The carcasses of 1,606 ducks were collected from the oily waters, compared to the 500 originally counted, Syncrude Canada chief executive Tom Katinas said. The deaths of the mallards last April drew widespread attention and prompted Prime Minister Stephen Harper to lament that Canada’s international …

U.S. needs another year to test higher ethanol blend

Reuters: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday it will take another year to complete government testing on whether higher levels of ethanol can be blended into gasoline without harming engines. Ethanol is now approved to make up 10 percent of gasoline in cars and trucks. Producers are pushing the government to allow higher ethanol blend levels, as more ethanol will be required each year under federal law. Congress required 9 billion gallons of ethanol and other …

Northeast compact inspired climate change bill

Boston Globe: A groundbreaking climate change bill unveiled yesterday by leading House Democrats takes some inspiration from a pact among 10 Northeastern states that was the first in the United States to place a mandatory cap on carbon emissions and begin trading pollution allowances. The bill would set strict new limits on greenhouse gases, cutting emissions by 20 percent by 2020 and by 85 percent by 2050. Pollution credits would be given or auctioned off to utilities and businesses, and would …

UN climate talks: Save the forests — but how?

Agence France-Presse: Deforestation, one of the main drivers of global warming, has barged its way to the heart of UN climate talks, which resumed in Bonn this week. But which makes the better incentive for saving the carbon-absorbing tropical woodlands: market mechanisms or public funding? This question has split nations, divided green groups and tossed in yet another factor to bedevil efforts to agree a pact by year’s end for tackling climate change. Reducing emissions from deforestation …

U.S. court upholds power plant cooling water rule

Reuters: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can compare costs with benefits to determine the technology that must be used at power plant water-cooling structures, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in a setback for those seeking greater protection for aquatic life. By a 6-3 vote, the high court handed a victory to the EPA, Entergy Corp, units of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc and the Utility Water Act Group, which consists of individual energy companies that operate power …

Wanted: Mayor for polluted China city

Agence France-Presse: A city in northern China notorious for its pollution and deadly mining accidents is having trouble finding willing candidates for mayor and Communist Party chief, state media reported Wednesday. The two top posts have been vacant since September in Linfen, regularly cited as one of China’s most polluted cities, when their former occupants were sacked over a mining disaster that killed 270 people, the China Daily said. The paper quoted political experts as saying the posts were …

PC makers are failing the environment, says Greenpeace

Guardian: Greenpeace has accused three of the world’s biggest PC manufacturers of failing to live up to their promises to make more environmentally friendly computers. Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Lenovo have all been singled out in a report from the environmental campaign group, which claims they have failed to deliver new machines that do not depend so heavily on toxic chemicals. "HP, Lenovo and Dell had promised to eliminate vinyl plastic (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from …

Democrats up ante with draft US climate bill

Business Green: The race to develop a US climate change bill entered a new phase yesterday with the release of a discussion draft bill from the House Energy and Commerce Committee that would set even more ambitious emission reduction targets than those being proposed by Barack Obama. The American Clean Energy and Security Act, which has been put forward by senior House Democrats Henry A. Waxman and Edward J. Markey, sets out plans for a nationwide cap-and-trade scheme designed to deliver cuts in …