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Archives - July 2002

July 31, 2002

"Cosmic rays linked to global warming" - "Researchers studying global warming have often been confounded by the differences between observed increases in surface-level temperatures and unchanging low-atmosphere temperatures. Researchers have proposed for the first time that interstellar cosmic rays could be the missing link between the discordant temperatures observed during the last two decades." (American Geophysical Union)

"Experts warn of disasters from climate changes" - "BANGKOK, Thailand - Climate changes caused by global warming will inundate small island states and seriously threaten agriculture, forests, marine ecosystems and public health, a U.N. expert warned Tuesday.

"The earth's atmosphere is now warming at the fastest rate in recorded history, a trend that is projected to cause extensive damage to forests, marine ecosystems and agriculture," said Ravi Sawhney of the Bangkok-based United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, or ESCAP." (Associated Press)

Letter of the moment: "This science not 'junk,' but simplistic" - "I read with interest "The science behind the Kyoto protocol" (July 24), but remain deeply concerned that the authors' attempt to sustain so naive a link between carbon dioxide emissions and climate change, and between the technical reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the more-politicized "Summary for Policymakers."

The science espoused is not "junk" science, but, by necessity, simplistic." (Philip Stott, Times Colonist)

"Responses of Agricultural Crops to Free-Air CO2 Enrichment" - "Summary: Thirteen years ago, a group of visionary scientists conducted the world's first large-scale free-air CO2 enrichment experiment in an Arizona cotton field; and from that pioneering effort has come a whole new approach to global change research, with upwards of thirty scientific consortiums now employing the same technology to determine how everything from deserts to forests responds to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. A recent review of what has been learned about agricultural crops within this context forms the basis of this week's editorial." (co2science)

"Subject Index Summaries; Feedback Factors (Biophysical)" - "Summary: There are a host of different ways in which various components of the biosphere tend to mitigate global warming, some of which are driven by increases in air temperature and some of which are driven by increases in the air's CO2 content. We here review a number of recent papers that describe several of these phenomena." (co2science)

"Global Warming and Tick-Borne Encephalitis" - "Summary: Will the former lead to more of the latter? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 267: 1741-1744." (co2science)

"Aerosol Effects on Clouds" - "Summary: Are they significant? And if they are, are they of global or only regional significance? Science 295: 834-838." (co2science)

"Stations cut costs, not emissions" - "A decade after the electricity industry was deregulated, Australia's power stations are producing 10 per cent more greenhouse gases and burning more coal per kilowatt hour of electricity, according to a report by energy consultant Bardak.

The report found deregulation and the creation of a competitive national market had dramatically increased the financial efficiency of power stations. Staff cuts and improved work and maintenance practices mean lower operating costs, and breakdowns and maintenance blackouts have been greatly reduced." (The Melbourne Age)

Cooler Heads Project, Vol. VI, No.15 (Competitive Enterprise Institute)

"El Nino stimulates West Coast bird reproduction" - "SEATTLE - El Nino produces more than a climate change. It also brings a baby boom among migratory songbirds in the Pacific Northwest, scientists have found. Wrens, western tanagers and warblers that fly north from Mexico each spring produce two to three times as many young during an El Nino weather pattern, according to a study by the Institute for Bird Populations in Point Reyes Station, California." (Associated Press)

"Ford Excursion Near the End, Sources Say" - "The Ford Motor Company has decided not to build a second generation of the Excursion sport utility vehicle, which is seven feet tall and able to seat a softball team." (New York Times)

"Surge in Carbon Dioxide Emissions Cited (washingtonpost.com)" - "U.S. cars and light trucks produce a fifth of all carbon dioxide in this country associated with problems of global warming, and those emissions have begun to surge after decades of steady decline, a new study says. The report by Environmental Defense, a New York-based advocacy group, blames the problem on an auto industry that has catered to mounting consumer demand for light trucks, sport-utility vehicles and minivans that provide more room and power but less fuel efficiency."

"HELL-CAR BURNS MODEL'S HOME" - "VERONICA Webb's eco-friendly electric car turned into a fire-spewing death machine the other night, burning down her Key West house and killing her beloved dog, Hercules.

Despite her long devotion to various green causes, the six-month pregnant supermodel says she's through with electric cars after her Chrysler Gem overloaded while charging late last Monday night, sending flames through her air conditioning system and consuming everything in its wake.

"We got the car because it was supposed to be great for the environment, but no one ever warns you how dangerous they are," Webb tells PAGE SIX's Ian Spiegelman.

Firefighters who rushed to the scene told Webb that good intentions often turn lovely homes into blazing death zones. "They said they see this kind of thing with electric cars all the time," she says. "Electric cars and golf carts are always overloading their chargers and burning up, but no one knows about it." (pagesix.com, July 30)

"UN's 'risky' Earth Summit gambit" - "The United Nations' strategy for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) is a risk, a senior UN official says. It aims to secure consensus on uncontentious issues, and purely voluntary agreements on more ambitious goals. The approach could go a long way to make the summit's goals a reality. But there are fears it may play into the hands of governments unwilling to make real changes. The acknowledgement that the UN's strategy is fraught with problems comes from Jan Pronk, the special envoy to the WSSD of the UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan." (BBC News Online)

"Defenders of Earth; Are humans Gaia's immune system?" - "The Gaia hypothesis, which holds that Earth is a living organism in its own right, typically has been used to highlight man's role in messing up the environment. But if the latest warning of a possible ecological catastrophe turns out to be accurate, people could end up helping Gaia rather than harming her." (Ronald Bailey, Reason)

"Agent Orange victims need urgent help, experts say" - "STOCKHOLM - Sick and disabled Vietnamese people need help now and cannot wait for studies to prove whether their illnesses are caused by the Agent Orange herbicide dumped on Vietnam during the war, experts said this week." (Reuters)

"Belgium bans some fluoride supplement products" - "BRUSSELS, Belgium — Belgium said Tuesday it would ban the sale of chewing gum, tablets, and drops that contain fluoride because officials feared they could cause health problems in people who use them to excess. The ban, the first of its kind in the European Union, will stop short of removing toothpaste with fluoride from store shelves, said Frans Gosselinckx, a Health Ministry adviser. However, a ministry spokeswoman said Health Minister Magda Aelvoet wanted to discuss with her E.U. counterparts the possibility of banning use of fluoride in toothpaste for children." (Reuters)

Back on the phthalate trail: "Some kids' modeling clays may pose health risk: Group" - "NEW YORK - Certain polymer modeling clays may pose a health risk for children and should be removed from the market for further safety testing, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG), a consumer watchdog organization." (Reuters Health)

"Caffeine boosts stress level all day long: study" - "NEW YORK - People who consume caffeine may experience an increase in blood pressure, feel more stressed and produce more stress hormones than on days when they opt for decaf, US researchers report. Furthermore, Dr. James D. Lane and his colleagues at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina found that the effects of caffeine appear to persist until people go to bed, even if they don't consume any caffeine after 1 pm. Given the long-lasting effects of caffeine, the authors suggest that regular consumption of the substance could contribute to the risk of developing heart disease. Furthermore, Lane told Reuters Health that any condition influenced by stress could also be aggravated by caffeine." (Reuters Health)

"Consumer group: Trans fat silently lurking in foods" - "NEW YORK - A number of popular pastries, fried foods, and other products may contain more fat than you think, largely because "trans fat" does not have to be listed on their food labels, a consumer health group said Monday. Trans fat is formed when vegetable oils are partially hydrogenated to make them more stable and solid, and recent evidence suggests that they may be as bad for the heart as saturated fat. However, products list the amount of total fat and saturated fat, but do not necessarily include the amount of trans fat, according to the Washington, DC-based Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)." (Reuters Health)

"Ben & Jerry's Fudging The Truth, Says CSPI; Nothing 'All Natural' About Artificial Ingredients" - "WASHINGTON, July 30 -- Ben & Jerry's misleads customers by falsely claiming that some of its ice cream and frozen yogurt products are "All Natural," when they contain artificial
flavors, hydrogenated oils, or other factory-made substances, according to a complaint filed today by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The group wants the Food and Drug dministration (FDA) to take enforcement action against the company, a unit of the multinational food conglomerate Unilever." (U.S. Newswire)

"Zambia to Accept U.S. Transgenic Food Aid" - "LUSAKA, July 29, 2002 - Zambia is expected to import genetically modified maize (corn) from the United States to feed its 2.3 million starving citizens, according to the Biotechnology Trust of Africa, a regional charitable trust. Zambia has decided not to follow in the footsteps of hungry Zimbabwe, which two months ago rejected 10,000 metric tons of genetically modified maize from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)." (ENS)

"Africa Mulls GMO as Debate Rages, Hunger Claws" - "JOHANNESBURG - The prospect of the United States delivering genetically modified food aid has inflamed a debate in starving southern Africa about the gene-altered foods. At stake are the lives of 13 million people in six countries in the region in desperate need of food. Without urgent assistance, their situation will deteriorate to famine in the next few months, aid agencies have warned." (Reuters)

"U.S. agriculture secretary says China promises rules on genetically modified crops won't hamper trade" - "BEIJING - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said Tuesday she had "received assurances" from Chinese officials that Beijing's new rules on genetically modified farm goods won't hamper trade between the two countries. The rules have been a key trade issue with the United States, which worries about their effect on its dlrs 1 billion-a-year sales of soybeans to China." (Associated Press)

July 30, 2002

"They'll Second That Amendment; Michigan Democrats embrace gun rights" - "The antigun set went bonkers in Michigan a year ago when the courts stymied their efforts to gut a new law expanding gun rights. The Michigan Supreme Court threw out the gun-control advocates' ballot initiative, saying the issue couldn't be challenged with a referendum. Having failed there, the antigunners took aim with the only weapon left in their arsenal: inflated rhetoric. Relaxing gun restrictions, they warned, would bring Wild West-style shootouts, blood in the streets and a severe political backlash against Republicans and conservative judges." (Thomas J Bray, Wall Street Journal)

"Asteroid to miss - this time around" - "Astronomers have ruled out an Earth impact from asteroid 2002 NT7 on 1 February 2019 - but they say, as yet, future collisions have not been completely excluded. 2002 NT7, a two-kilometre-wide (1.4 miles) chunk of rock, was discovered on 9 July. Initial estimates of its orbit suggested there was a small chance of it colliding with our planet in 17 years' time. However, the latest observations accumulated over the last few days have confirmed the asteroid will fly harmlessly by." (BBC News Online)

"Sex genes of fish disrupted by common household products" - "Scientists have found that the problem of fish endocrine disruption by traces of household products is worse than expected because the compounds work against the sex gene in the brain of fish rather than at estrogen receptors in other tissues." (University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute)

"High Court dismisses Pill case" - "The High Court has dismissed a test case brought by more than 100 women who claimed they had been damaged by the third generation contraceptive pill. In one of the first cases of its kind, the women claimed the the third generation Pill, which was launched in the 1980s, increased their risk of blood clots and caused serious side-effects." (BBC News Online)

"Newsday.com - Still Searching" - "Of all the ideas that came out of the breast cancer movement on Long Island, the most powerful was the one that sat for 18 months on Lorraine Pace's dining-room table a decade ago. It was a 10-foot-wide, color-coded map of breast cancer cases in West Islip, and it proved irresistible to just about everyone who saw it. Pace's friends and neighbors took one look and volunteered to help survey almost 9,000 homes in their community. Soon, cancer activists from other communities were knocking on her door, and so were hordes of reporters and politicians."

"University of Georgia researchers link increased risk of illness to sewage sludge used as fertilizer" - "Burning eyes, burning lungs, skin rashes and other symptoms of illness have been found in a study of residents living near land fertilized with Class B biosolids, a byproduct of the human waste treatment process. This study is the first linking adverse health effects in humans to the land application of Class B biosolids to be published in a medical journal." (University of Georgia)

"Bush Sends Congress Plan for Clean Power Plants" - "WASHINGTON - The Bush administration sent its long-awaited plan to slash power plant emissions to Congress on Monday, but prospects for its passage are questionable, especially in the Senate. President Bush in February unveiled his so-called "Clear Skies" proposal to cut three harmful power plant emissions by 70 percent by 2018 through a cap-and-trade system to control smog, acid rain and soot." (Reuters)

"Air pollution linked with risk for exercise-induced heart damage" - "Breathing polluted air, especially smoky exhaust that billows from factory smokestacks and the tailpipes of some diesel-powered buses and trucks, is bad for people with heart disease, according to the first study of its kind reported in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association." (American Heart Association)

"Who's going to drive Miss Daisy? Questions arise as more older Americans outlive driving privilege" - "As people live longer and more older drivers give up their driving privileges, family, friends and public officials may find themselves asking, as it was in a popular film, "who's going to drive Miss Daisy?" The question could become a critical one as America ages, according to a new study, which finds older men and women who outlive their ability or willingness to drive may be dependent on alternative transportation for more than a decade in later life." (NIH/National Institute on Aging)

"Newsday.com - GM says stationary fuel cell power generators key to producing vehicles" - "HONEOYE FALLS, N.Y. -- General Motors Corp. plans to have fuel cell powered electric generators commercially available by 2005, which could provide the revenue and technology for meeting its goal of widely available fuel cell vehicles by the end of the decade, the automaker said. "If we're producing hydrogen for a fuel cell that's producing power ... we have the power to produce a fueling station," Tim Vail, director of distributive generation solutions, told reporters at the GM's new fuel cell research facility dedicated Monday."

"IUCN GOES CARBON NEUTRAL TO THE SUMMIT" (PDF) - "The World Summit on Sustainable Development, now only a month away, aims to forge a global partnership for sustainability. Even though the outcome of the Johannesburg Summit may still be a question mark, one thing that we all can ensure is that the Summit itself makes a visible contribution to sustainable development through concrete projects that show tangible action. The Johannesburg Climate Legacy initiative is a straightforward but powerful way in which everyone can take part. As part of an umbrella effort to 'green the WSSD' managed by IUCN-South Africa, we are partnering with key South African and international stakeholders to offset an estimated 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas that the WSSD delegates are expected to emit by virtue of their participation at the Summit through air flights, ground transport and hotel pollution." Achim Steiner, IUCN Director General." (IUCN)

"FEATURE - Political climate cools for fight on global warming" - "BRUSSELS - The world woke up to global warming at the 1992 Rio Earth summit, but 10 years on, what some consider the planet's biggest environmental danger has fallen off the agenda of a major follow-up conference. Next month's summit of world leaders in Johannesburg will focus on poverty, not pollution - a worry for some environmentalists who say the poor will suffer first if climate change is not stopped." (Reuters)

"GM-wine ban leaves tipplers with a headache" - "It's a wine drinker’s dream - a bottle of plonk which doesn’t give you a hangover. The drink traditionally linked with headaches the morning after could now offer a built-in pick-me-up to those who have over-indulged. Professor Sakkie Pretorius, a world expert on genetically modified (GM) wines, claims the days of wine with a hangover cure are not far away." (The Scotsman)

"NZ PM: Ban On GMOs To End Next Year; Conflict With Greens" - "WELLINGTON - New Zealand Prime Minister-elect, Helen Clark, said Sunday that the existing ban on the commercial development of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will lapse late next year. Speaking a day after her center-left Labour Party won 41% of the vote in a general election, Clark told Radio New Zealand the current moratorium on GMOs will end next year despite fierce opposition from her allies in the Green Party. The prime minister said she believes Labour and the Greens ''can work together on many issues'' in the next Parliament, but she can't offer the Greens any olive branch on the GMOs issue." (Dow Jones Newswires)

July 29, 2002

"Newsday.com - Tattered Hopes" - "A $30-Million Federal Study of Breast Cancer and Pollution On LI Has Disappointed Activists and Scientists." | Newsday.com - Making History | Newsday.com - So Many Things Went Wrong

"Huntingdon about to step back from brink" - "Brian Cass, the managing director of Huntingdon Life Sciences, is expected to show on Wednesday that the company is trading profitability, just 18 months after it faced bankruptcy." (Daily Telegraph)

"Anchorage Daily News | Even mosquitoes have defenders" - "It's part of summer life in Alaska: the tinny buzzing, the piercing bites, and itchy welts on arms, legs and faces. And so is the dream of purging neighborhoods of that poking pest, the mosquito. Alaskans have waged a futile war with open palm, smelly smoke and pesticides. The village of Larsen Bay on Kodiak recently proposed debugging the town with Mosquito Magnets, machines that suck biting insects to a mummylike death in a dehydrating net. But lost in these visions of mass extinction is thought of what might happen if we actually succeeded in ridding our state of skeeters. In other words, are mosquitoes good for anything? Lots, it turns out, according to ecologists and people who study bugs."

"What apocalypse?" - "Fears: End-of-the-world warnings have long been with us, but the dire predictions of demise also have resulted in 'good research' to help address ecological problems." (Baltimore Sun)

"Is the American public at increased risk for food poisoning?; Changes in lifestyle and eating habits could lead to greater exposure to toxic organisms" - "Orlando, FL - Walking into a fast food restaurant or a seafood diner could be a high risk proposition. Most people would scoff at that notion but for 8,000 Americans last year, eating contaminated food led to death. At the beginning of the 21st century, one would expect improved sanitary conditions to eliminate the threat of food poisoning. But even in advanced nations, the public can be at threat water supplies contaminated by pesticides, a salmonellosis epidemic in New England eggs, salmonellosis in Illinois milk, and listeriosis, found in California-Mexican cheese. (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)

"Disease expert turns up heat over health risk" - "Australia lags dangerously behind other Western countries in its response to the expected resurgence and spread of infectious diseases resulting from rising global temperatures, a world expert on climate change and health has warned. Tony McMichael, director of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, has called on the Federal Government to broaden its focus on climate change." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Nature's clock goes awry as birds, bees and flowers celebrate spring three weeks early" - "Winters in Britain are moving into spring earlier, according to a survey of wildlife's response to climate change. Warmer temperatures are sparking a range of early activity, including insects emerging, trees, shrubs and plants coming into leaf and flowering, and birds nesting." (Independent)

"Farm Smog Targeted by EPA" - "The agriculture industry's exemption from clean-air controls may be nearing an end as federal air quality officials announced this week that they will move ahead with plans to begin regulating farms in California. The California Farm Bureau, however, quickly filed suit to block the action. Unlike most other industries, agriculture is exempt from stringent smog controls, a loophole the state Legislature granted a generation ago and that air quality officials tacitly honored until now." (Los Angeles Times)

"Detroit and California Rev Their Engines Over Emissions" - "DETROIT — IF Detroit and California ever made a sitcom together, it would be sort of like "Dharma and Greg." Detroit, the strait-laced company town, just can't figure out that wacky California. Is it the nation's biggest car market, or is it the most troublesome? Is it the land of Ronald Reagan and Lee Iacocca, or of tree hugging hippies who want every car to be electric?" (New York Times)

"A bad deal on 'clean air' -- The Washington Times" - "While "clean air" is something we all naturally want, some cost-benefit analysis must come into play. It's too easy to demagogue the issue when what's being discussed may result in an inconsequential reduction in pollution, but one which will come at great economic cost. That's the crux of the debate over pending new emissions-control requirements for the diesel engines used in heavy commercial trucks. The air may get a little cleaner, but it's not going to be cheap. And, as the economy struggles to regain its equilibrium, it's reasonable to ask whether imposing huge new costs on the trucking industry - an integral component of the U.S. economy - makes sense at this particular juncture."

"Drought in Africa 'could become a catastrophe'" - "The drought in southern Africa could become a catastrophe because of Zimbabwe's refusal to allow commercial imports of grain to enable better-off Zimbabweans to feed themselves, Clare Short, the International Development Secretary, warned yesterday.

She said 106 world leaders, including Tony Blair, attending next month's Earth Summit in Johannesburg, could find their attempts to address the effects of poverty on the world's environment overshadowed by a famine which was at least partly man-made.

Miss Short said she had volunteered not to go to the Johannesburg summit, which is estimated to be using the same amount of energy as nearly half a million Africans would use in a year. But she was prevailed on to attend, along with a delegation of 70 ministers and officials including John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, because of her close links with developing countries.

Miss Short warned western environmentalists like Friends of the Earth that it would be "immoral" if their concerns about globalisation were to derail an agreement that could help the 2.4 billion people without proper sanitation over the next 15 years." (Daily Telegraph)

"NFU report reveals organic farming’s struggle" - "SHOCK figures released by the National Farmers Union show that one-third of organic farmers in Britain are losing money.

The NFU’s latest Organic Farming report shows that producers have been left fighting for survival alongside traditional farmers, despite organic production having been hailed by some as the potential saviour of British agriculture.

While the amount of land in organic production in the UK rose by one-third last year, the number of organic farmers making a loss has almost doubled in the past five years." (The Scotsman) | Cash crisis puts organic farming 'at risk' (Independent)

July 28, 2002

"Stockholm conference reviews Agent Orange" - "Experts are gathering in Sweden to debate the environmental consequences of the Vietnam War. The three-day conference brings together scholars, scientists and officials from non-government organisations for a far-reaching look at the economic, ecological and health effects of war." (Radio Australia)

"Schools offered cash to put 'health risk' masts on site; Cancer clusters spark call for inquiry into telecoms bonanza" - "Schools and hospitals in Britain are making millions of pounds from deals to site mobile phone masts on their premises despite health concerns." (The Observer)

"BSE fears send B.C. water buffalo to slaughter" - "DUNCAN, B.C. - Acting on suspicions that a herd of water buffalo may be contaminated with mad cow disease, federal officials seized 14 of the animals Saturday from a farm on Vancouver Island. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency took them from a farm near Duncan so that they can be slaughtered and studied. Scientists will look for evidence of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)." (CBC News)

"UB researcher observes strong statistical correlation between prevalence of diabetes, air pollution" - "A dramatic statistical correlation between the prevalence of diabetes and air pollution levels has been demonstrated by a University at Buffalo researcher who publishes his observations in the August issue of the journal, Diabetes Care." (University at Buffalo)

"Newsday.com - Bush Admin. Moves Ahead on Pollution" - "WASHINGTON -- Bush administration officials said Thursday they are pressing ahead with tough new standards to cut pollution from large diesel trucks, despite efforts by two major Midwest engine manufacturers and some lawmakers to fight an October deadline for compliance."

"Newsday.com - EPA Proposes Boat, Motorcycle Rules" - "WASHINGTON -- The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed tougher emission standards for new motorcycles and gasoline-fueled recreational boats. Emissions of hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide from motorcycles would be cut by 50 percent, while emissions of evaporative hydrocarbon from boats would be reduced by 80 percent, EPA officials said. The new standards are scheduled to go into effect in 2006 for new motorcycles and in 2008 for new boats, including sport, fishing and jet boats."

"Car Makers to Challenge State's New Emissions Law" - "DETROIT -- Auto makers say they plan to take California's new emissions law to court and stop it in its tracks, much as the industry did in derailing the state's attempt to mandate zero-emission vehicles.

The industry acknowledges that putting up a fight could create a public opinion backlash, but the manufacturers say they remain committed to introducing vehicles that emit fewer greenhouses gases and pollutants and get better mileage--just at a more realistic pace." (Los Angeles Times)

"Little benefit at a big price" - "A new law that would give the unelected bureaucrats in California the power to design the cars you drive may sound like a clichéd Hollywood script. But now the governor has signed legislation to do just that.

The California law would give the state Air Resources Board unprecedented authority to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) from motor vehicles. Since the only way to produce less CO2 is to combust less fuel, this measure is really a back-door attempt to subvert federal fuel-economy standards." (Josephine Cooper, USA Today)

"Tax boost for nuclear power" - "The prospect of a carbon tax on 'dirty' forms of power generation is growing as Ministers identify the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as the key goal in their forthcoming energy White Paper. A charge on generators, primarily those burning coal, levied through the electricity trading system, will recognise the environmental cost of carbon emissions and help to guarantee the future of nuclear power and renewable sources of energy. Recent reports suggested such a measure would not be accepted by the Government, but officials indicate that it is very much under consideration and has been endorsed as 'workable' by industry regulator Ofgem." (The Observer)

"European Enron?" - "What do the proposed European Commission directive for trading CO2 emissions credits and the current malaise affecting American corporate life have in common?" (William O'Keefe, TCS Europe)

"Fires in Alberta emit more carbon dioxide than cars: study" - "CALGARY - Environmentalists in Alberta are worried about the connection between huge forest fires and gas emissions." (CBC News)

"Organic farming in Britain put at risk by cheap foreign imports" - "Organic farmers, hailed as the saviours of British agriculture, are struggling to stay in business. A new report shows one in three organic farmers will make a loss this year. A survey by the National Farmers' Union (NFU) of 2,000 organic producers shows the number of organic farmers losing money has almost doubled in the past five years. While organic farming is increasingly popular, its economic viability is now being cast into doubt. Ben Gill, the NFU's president, said: "The message coming out of our report is clear: organic production in Britain is at risk." (Independent)

"Charles wins organic cash boost" - "BRITAIN’S organic farmers have got their green revolution at last. The government will announce plans this week to divert farm subsidies worth hundreds of millions of pounds into organic farming. Under the new scheme, farmers will be paid up to £600 a hectare (£243 an acre) simply for growing crops organically, no matter how inefficient they are. The grants will be among the most generous in Europe and aim to persuade thousands more farmers to go organic." (The Sunday Times)

"Just What the Doctor Ordered" - "Did you ever think an ear of corn would save your life? Or that eating bananas might protect you from hepatitis B or save millions of children in underdeveloped countries from a deadly form of diarrhea? Welcome to the wonderful new world of molecular farming with genetically engineered plants." (Michael Fumento, TCS)

"GM crops 'could help save environment'" - "GENETICALLY modified crops could help to preserve biodiversity and wildlife, according to a report this week from Klaus Toepfer, director of the UN Environment Programme (Unep). He says such crops could allow more food to be grown on less land. “There may be environmental problems with some GM crops but this technology cannot now be stopped. Indeed it may bring many benefits, such as increasing crop yields on cultivated land. That will reduce pressure to clear wild areas,” he says. Unep will this week publish an atlas showing that half the Amazon rainforest and 48% of the Congo basin will be gone by 2032 if present economic growth continues." (The Sunday Times) [Complete]

"'Open debate' called on GM crops" - "A public debate on the issues surrounding genetically modified crops has been announced by the government. Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett said she wanted a "genuinely open and balanced discussion" to help people make their minds up on the issue. The launch of the debate follows an attack on the motives of GM crop protesters by Prime Minister Tony Blair, who said unjustified protests could stifle scientific progress. But on Friday the chief scientific adviser for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, told the BBC there must be more research before GM crops are widely available." (BBC News Online)

"Zambia May Reject US Shipments Of Gene-Modified Food" - "LUSAKA, Zambia - Zambia's government warned Friday it may reject U.S. grain, which is available to ease the country's looming hunger crisis, because it may have been genetically modified. Vice President Enock Kavindele said the government would seek advice from Zambian scientists on the safety of the grain before deciding whether to accept a $50 million loan from Washington to buy genetically modified corn from America." (Dow Jones Newswires)

"S. Africa Urged on Modified Grain" - "JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The reluctance of southern African nations to accept genetically modified grain could hurt efforts to avoid famine in the region, an American relief expert warned Friday. Roger Winter, a senior USAID official, said American aid deliveries could be delayed up to six weeks while African countries check the safety of the modified grain, and millions of people could starve in the interim." (AP)

July 26, 2002

"Organic Industry’s Thin Skin" - "Whole Foods Market can dish it out, but they sure can’t take it. The largest organic foods retailer developed a mega-profitable business by scaring consumers about conventionally produced foods supposedly "contaminated" with chemicals and biotechnology. Now Whole Foods is having a mega-hissy fit because someone says its products might not be so unadulterated after all." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"New research supports the link between cooking and carcinogens" - "The first peer-reviewed study of acrylamide levels in common foods suggests that cooking potato products can produce dangerous levels of this suspected carcinogen. The paper, which sparked the much-publicized announcement by the Swedish National Food Administration in the spring, reveals a clear temperature dependence of acrylamide formation and also gives detailed information about the analytical methods used to measure acrylamide levels." (American Chemical Society)

"Pregnant women should limit tuna intake, panel says" - "BELTSVILLE, Md. — Pregnant women should limit consumption of tuna fish, a Food and Drug Administration panel recommended Thursday in a bid to balance concerns about mercury poisoning with the need for a healthy diet.

The FDA's food advisory panel stopped short of calling for pregnant women to cut the nation's most popular seafood from their diets entirely, as it has done for swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish due to concerns that they may contain enough methyl mercury to damage fetal development.

Environmentalists had hoped that the panel would direct the FDA to add tuna to the list because it can contain as much harmful mercury as these other fish, but the panel instead told the agency to study the issue further and in the meantime tell pregnant women to limit the amount of tuna they eat." (Reuters)

"New EC directive threatens life-saving trials" - "Europeans should wake up to the threat of a new European Directive, which will make many potentially life-saving studies performed in emergency medicine impossible, warn researchers in this week's BMJ." (BMJ-British Medical Journal)

"Chemical firms 'promote pollution'; Cartel allegation over refrigeration standards" - "A group of the world's largest chemical companies are being accused of forming a cartel to force consumers and industry to use polluting and expensive chemicals in fridges and air conditioning units. The European commission has launched an investigation into whether multinational companies have obtained undue influence on the committees which set standards for cooling equipment. The complaint has been brought by a group of independent experts, green groups and companies selling cheaper and environmentally benign alternatives to the chemicals." (The Guardian)

"Caveat Impactor" - "An asteroid with almost no chance of hitting Earth made big headlines this week." (Science @ NASA)

"Daschle vs. the environmentalists" - "Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle has pretty much settled the debate over whether obstruction by environmentalists has slowed needed tree thinning in federal forests. As The Washington Times reports, Daschle stuck some language in a bill on defense spending that would allow crews to start thinning Black Hills forests imperiled by the threat of wildfire. Shockingly, the provision would exempt the state from all challenges allowed under the National Environmental Protection Act." (Rocky Mountain News)

"Great Alaskan Shootout" - "Alaska's surface pitches and yaws as the temperature bubbles above and below, freezing and thawing as it has been for millennia. The land, ice and ecosystem respond to those temperature swings. In 1976-77, Alaska's average surface temperature jumped up and as a result glaciers melted, pavements buckled and utility poles toppled. Both pink and sockeye salmon became established in the Alaskan waters. All these signs pointed to warming. Thermometer readings from various locations around Alaska indicate that a warming occurred during the last five decades. But can this Alaska warming be connected to the air's increased carbon dioxide concentration from human activities like fossil fuel consumption?" (Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon, TCS)

"The Seattle Times: Local News: Less snow might fall, state scientists predict, but who's listening?" - "It seems impossible in this land of rivers and rain to imagine a time when the Cascades' mighty snowpack could be stunted by global warming. But that's the warning of climatologists, who forecast that within 20 years even a slight warming could dramatically — and with surprising speed — shrink the snows that blanket Northwest mountains. And since that snowpack plays a crucial role in dispensing precious water in dry summer months, salmon, farms and people could compete even more for something the region often takes for granted."

"Strength increase in Asian southwest monsoon may be result of warming" - "A new study headed by a Colorado scientist indicates the Asian southwest monsoon, which affects the livelihood of millions of people, appears to have increased in intensity during the last four centuries, perhaps as a result of warming in the Northern Hemisphere." (University of Colorado at Boulder)

"Reef coral bleached - but still healthy" - "Recent heat waves in eastern Australia are responsible for widespread coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef — but the news is not all bad. Ecologist Dr Terry Done of the Australian Institute of Marine Science and a team from the CRC Reef Research Centre recently surveyed five reefs over two days, prompted by data showing sea temperatures in the area were much higher than normal due to the hot weather." (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)

"Antarctic glacier may yield clues to global climate change" - "Antarctica's Lambert glacier will provide researchers with data -- garnered by remote sensing satellites -- to search for clues to predict global climate change. Hongxing Liu, a geography professor in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University, along with Kenneth Jezek of Ohio State University, has been awarded nearly a quarter of a million dollars from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to analyze remotely sensed data from the glacier." (Texas A&M University)

"Greenhouse gases 100pc over target and rising" - "CARS, cows and coal fires are the big problem in this country. Between them they generate 70pc of our greenhouse gases and push us right up to the top of the euro table for gas emissions per capita. It cannot continue, according to the report. Greenhouse gases cause climate changes. We are currently 100pc over the intended target and the State is obliged to cut back to achieve new EU air quality standards between 2005 and 2010." (Irish Independent)

"Pew Report Offers Controversial Climate Policy" - "WASHINGTON, DC, July 24, 2002 - The Pew Center on Global Climate Change has released a report proposing methods of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while allowing energy growth.

"Designing a Climate-Friendly Energy Policy: Options for the Near Term" examines a number of energy policy options that the Pew Center argues would advance U.S. energy policy goals during the upcoming decades while at the same time contributing to efforts to curb global warming." (ENS)

"Fusion experiment disappoints" - "The idea that we could build nuclear fusion reactors that relied on the extraordinary pressures and temperatures experienced inside tiny, collapsing bubbles in a liquid has suffered a grievous blow. New calculations all but rule out the controversial suggestion, made earlier this year by US and Russian researchers." (BBC News Online)

"Depleted uranium may pose risk to children - study" - "LONDON - Soil contaminated with debris from depleted uranium shells could be putting children in the Balkans and the Gulf at an increased risk of developing cancer and kidney damage, New Scientist magazine said this week. Youngsters who play in areas where the shells created clouds of uranium dust when they hit their targets are most endangered, according to Italian researchers." (Reuters)

"The winds of discontent" - "PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, Ont. - The powerful gales of wind that sweep off Lake Ontario through this idyllic rural community are stirring up tensions among its residents.

Officials in Prince Edward County, a sprawling peninsula south of Belleville, in eastern Ontario, are considering a plan to install 32 towering wind turbines on a 280-hectare stretch of leased farmland near Point Petre, the area's southwestern tip.

But the plan has pitted struggling farmers and proponents of green energy against avid birders and residents who moved here to escape city life. They worry the turbines' swooshing blades could threaten endangered species and ruin their pastoral landscape." (National Post)

"£30bn wind power scheme outlined by Greenpeace" - "Fifteen thousand offshore wind generators stretching between the Thames and Humber estuaries could be built under ambitious plans unveiled by Greenpeace and TXU, a US energy company. Their proposal follows the first large-scale feasibility study into offshore wind power that claims to show the technology could supply a quarter of Britain's electricity needs by 2020. But the £30bn scheme, which would see thousands of 130-metre towers built off East Anglia, will have to overcome a list of obstacles almost as long as the coastline it seeks to dominate." (Financial Times)

"UK energy sector improves green performance - agency" - "LONDON - The UK's energy sector comes out near the top of the class for improved environmental business performance in Britain but is still responsible for serious pollution, the country's Environment Agency said this week. "The environment is getting better but some companies are not - we can't afford to be complacent," said Barbara Young, the agency's chief executive." (Reuters)

"EU could miss its green energy goals - study" - "LONDON - The European Union (EU) will miss its target to boost electricity output from green energy unless it makes it easier for companies to enter the growing market, a report said yesterday.

"Research for this report finds that European Commission production targets will not be met unless other European countries follow the examples set by Spain and Germany," a report by market research company Reuters Business Insight said." (Reuters)

"Greens defy oil giant ExxonMobil by moving website" - "LONDON - Campaign group StopEsso said this week it would move its French language website to an American internet provider after a court in France ruled it could not continue using its logo on the site.

The latest round of the London-based environmental group's cat-and mouse battle with U.S. oil giant Exxon Mobil comes after Exxon subsidiary Esso France took it to court to stop it using an adapted version of the company's trademark.

"We're moving offshore, to Texas, to the home of Exxon," Cindy Baxter of StopEsso told Reuters, adding that U.S. laws would guarantee them freedom of speech on the Internet." (Reuters)

"GM crops 'need more research'" - "More research is needed before widespread commercial production of GM crops is allowed in Britain, a senior government scientist has warned. Not enough is known about the impact that genetically modified crops may have if they cross-breed with natural varieties, Professor Howard Dalton told BBC News. The chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), said this was why a precautionary approach was necessary." (BBC News Online)

July 25, 2002

"Science panel blasts EPA pesticide review" - "WASHINGTON - A report by a panel of scientific advisers calls into question whether the Environmental Protection Agency's review of a group of pesticides will be adequate to protect children's health. The independent panel suggested the EPA prematurely concluded 28 pesticides were safe without an adequate review of whether they are particularly harmful when combined. The five-member panel, whose conclusions were made public this week, found that the EPA used an inadequate margin of safety for fetuses, infants and children when it reached its preliminary decision to approve the use of all but two of 30 organophosphorus pesticides. EPA used a threefold factor, rather than the tenfold default safety factor generally required by the Food Quality Protection Act. The agency set people's maximum exposure to the chemicals at 1 percent of what is considered safe for animals, then added the additional threefold default safety factor for children." (AP)

"Women Beware" - "American women enjoy excellent healthcare, and in the last two decades have benefited from advances in nutrition, drugs, and other medical treatment that have combated diseases, improved quality of life, and extended longevity by an average of five years. American women could be enjoying even better healthcare, though, if the federal Food and Drug Administration weren't regularly hijacked by activist groups that misrepresent health risks, unnecessarily frighten the public, and pressure the agency to slow down, and occasionally stop, medical advances." (Melana Zyla Vickers, TCS)

"Americans' consumption of refined sugar keeps rising" - "Americans love the sweet life, and the proof is in the flabby flanks and oversized hips you see on the streets that reflect the huge amounts of sugar the average citizen consumes each day. Although more than a century of research has produced an array of new artificial sweeteners used by 163 million Americans - and the federal government is considering a handful of even sweeter sugar replacements - nutritionists point out that Americans can't get enough of the real thing. The daily use of sugar has increased steadily since 1983, with the latest Agriculture Department estimates finding the average American consumed 152 pounds of sugar in 1996, the latest date available. That reflects a 32-pound increase in per capita sugar consumption over that period, and includes the cane sugar sprinkled on breakfast cereals or made into candy, and the corn syrups in soft drinks, ice cream and food." (Scripps Howard News Service)

"COSMIC® safety a down-to-earth matter" - "CSIRO and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) are working together to ensure a new grain fumigant developed by the CSIRO can be released in Australia and, potentially, onto lucrative overseas markets.

CSIRO is confident its new product, COSMIC®, will become a significant addition to the armoury of chemical weapons arrayed against insects which threaten Australia's, and the world's, grain stores.

A Principal Toxicologist with the TGA, Dr Andrew Bartholomaeus, is working within CSIRO's Stored Grain Research Laboratory (SGRL) to ensure that all human health hazards associated with using COSMIC® are accurately identified.

"COSMIC® has the potential to replace the ozone-depleting fumigant methyl bromide which is still being used widely, especially for quarantine fumigations," Dr Bartholomaeus says.

"However, with methyl bromide being phased out in line with the requirements of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the global grain industry urgently needs an effective replacement for methyl bromide." (CSIRO)

"Variability in West Antarctic ice streams normal" - "Variability in the speed of the ice streams along the Siple Coast of West Antarctica is not an indication the ice sheet is stabilizing, but rather, that capriciousness in the ice streams, their rates and the location of the grounding line is normal and will continue to occur, according to Penn State geoscientists." (Penn State)

"Reuters - Record Sea Temperatures Threaten Great Barrier Reef" - "SYDNEY (Reuters) - Sea temperatures at Australia's Great Barrier Reef last summer were the warmest on record and this year's El Nino event means the risk of mass coral bleaching has increased considerably, scientists reported on Thursday. The Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has just completed an atlas of sea temperatures over the past decade and amalgamated it with historical data to show 2002 was the warmest year for water temperatures off northeast Australia since 1870."

"A New Metric to Detect CO2 Greenhouse Effect Applied To Some New Mexico Weather Data" - "Abstract: The arid environment of New Mexico is examined in an attempt to correlate increases in atmospheric CO2 with an increase in greenhouse effect. Changes in the greenhouse effect are estimated by using the ratio of the recorded annual high temperatures to the recorded annual low temperatures as a measure of heat retained (i.e. thermal inertia, TI). It is shown that the metric TI increases if a rise in mean temperature is due to heat retention (greenhouse) and decreases if due to heat gain (solar flux). Essentially no correlation was found between the assumed CO2 atmospheric concentrations and the observed greenhouse changes, whereas there was a strong correlation between TI and precipitation. Further it is shown that periods of increase in the mean temperature correspond to heat gain, not heat retention. It is concluded that either the assumed CO2 concentrations are incorrect or that they have no measurable greenhouse effect in these data." (Slade Barker, Still Waiting For Greenhouse)

"New Zealand Herald - Kyoto plan rests on poll result" - "New Zealand's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change may have to wait until other countries move first, as a result of Saturday's early election. A bill giving the Government power to ratify the protocol was not passed before Parliament was dissolved for the election. Now, a survey of parties' positions on the issue, published by the Vote for the Environment group this week, has found the election may rob Labour of majority support for early ratification."

"Sunny Cali-fear-nia" - "Fears over the alleged catastrophic effects due to man-made greenhouse gases continues to terrorize Californians.

Assembly Bill 1058, authored by Assemblywoman Fran Pavley (D-Woodland Hills), and signed by Gov. Gray Davis "instructs" the California Air Resources Board to come up with regulations that allow "maximum and cost-effective" cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and light trucks by the years 2006-2009.

But why the rush to action called for in AB 1058?" (Willie Soon, TCS)

"The Nando Times: JAY AMBROSE: California's auto-emissions law" - "California has enacted a law aimed at limiting auto emissions, and some politicians, environmentalists and pundits are saying, glory, glory, hallelujah, we are about to put the wicked auto industry in its place and cool the Earth. Excuse me, but may I make a point? The law is a farce."

"Californian law may indirectly benefit aluminum makers" - "NEW YORK - Aluminum producers may benefit from a new California auto emissions law, but industry experts said rewards would not come for several years and not directly from California's move but from indirect pressure on automakers to lighten vehicle weight by using light-weight metals." (Reuters)

"Green issues could hurt energy firm stocks - report" - "WASHINGTON - If the stock slump wasn't bad enough, shareholder value at some top oil and natural gas companies could fall by another 6 percent because of environmental costs and risks in the coming decade, according to yesterday's report by an environmental think tank. The World Resources Institute (WRI) warned that future actions to curb global warming and limit drilling for oil and gas in environmentally sensitive areas could cause investments in energy companies to drop. "Investors ignore environmental issues at their own peril," said Duncan Austin, WRI economist and co-author of the report. "Environmental issues can have a significant impact on a company's bottom line and stock price." (Reuters) |  WRI report warns environmental risks could reduce shareholder value of leading oil and gas companies (WRI)

"High costs cap China's nuclear power programme" - "SINGAPORE - China will more than double nuclear power capacity to 8,500 megawatts in the next three years, but high development costs versus fossil fuels are likely to stymie growth in generation beyond 2005, Chinese experts say." (Reuters)

"New drug discovery spin-off from CSIRO" - "CSIRO Entomology today announced the establishment of a company dedicated to producing a wide range of therapeutic drugs from a virtually untapped source - insects. "Entocosm Pty Ltd has been established to develop the leading global position on developing drugs from insects," CSIRO's Chief Executive, Dr Geoff Garrett, said. There are around 250,000 plant species on earth but there are more than four million insect species. Microbial diversity is also huge, although 99% of bacteria cannot be cultured in the laboratory." (CSIRO)

"Scientists zero in on 'green revolution' gene" - "A team of CSIRO Plant Industry scientists has isolated the gene that produces the shorter, more productive, varieties of rice that led the 'green revolution' in the 1960s.

With funding from Graingene* and using information from the publicly available rice genome sequence, the team was able to isolate the 'semi-dwarfing' (sd-1) gene, and develop 'perfect' markers to identify it." (CSIRO)

"GM crops dumped in London" - "PROTESTERS yesterday dumped sacks of genetically modified (GM) crops outside a government building after tearing them up from 17 trial sites across Britain. About 250 men, women and children targeted the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) demanding to meet a minister after travelling from all over the country. Instead, the department’s director of communications met them on the steps of the building in Smith Square, London, where he was barracked by the crowd. The protesters, some of whom were dressed as bumble bees, grim reapers, DNA spirals, flowers and vegetables, brought their crops in wheelbarrows, trolleys and rucksacks before discarding them in sacks outside an entrance to the building. The demonstration came as the Scottish Executive announced plans to beef up the growth of GM crops, including better consultation." (The Scotsman)

July 24, 2002

"Space rock 'on collision course'" - "An asteroid discovered just weeks ago has become the most threatening object yet detected in space. A preliminary orbit suggests that 2002 NT7 is on an impact course with Earth on 1 February 2019, although the uncertainties are large.

Regarding the possibility of an impact, Dr Yeomans, of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, said the uncertainties were large. "The error in our knowledge of where NT7 will be on 1 February 2019 is large, several tens of millions of kms," he said. Dr Yeomans told BBC News Online that the world would have to get used to finding more objects like NT7 that, on discovery, look threatening, but then become harmless." (BBC News Online)

"The Feds' Low-Fat Fib" - "Just days ago, I sat at an outdoor cafe in Budapest watching the thin people. Scores would walk by before I would see so much as a small potbelly. Now I'm back in the Land of the Fat, Home of the Broad. America is already the fattest nation on earth, yet we grow wider by the year. What has gotten into us?

There's no one explanation for the obesity epidemic, but much of it can be laid at the feet of the low-fat myth spread by the food industry, diet-book authors and — most perniciously — our own trusted government health officials." (Michael Fumento, The New York Post)

"FDA Looks Into Pregnant Women, Fish" - "BELTSVILLE, Md. -- Critics charge the Food and Drug Administration needs to tell pregnant women just how many types of fish are contaminated with enough mercury to hurt their unborn baby's developing brain.

The FDA has four species on its don't-eat-while-pregnant list -- shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish -- but says a few servings a week of most other fish is healthy.

But amid fierce criticism from some consumer advocates that tuna and other species should be avoided, the FDA's independent scientific advisers have opened a three-day inquiry to judge if the agency erred -- and if American women need stronger warnings." (AP)

"Convenience foods bring poison risk" - "Alarm that the trend for chilled "fresh" meals in supermarkets, hospitals and sporting stadiums is exposing consumers to the risk of botulism has spurred a former health department food controller to discover a natural protection against the poison. University of Western Sydney researcher Svetlana Rodgers described freshness as the trend of the decade.

But Ms Rodgers said the marketing appeal of food labelled low in salt and free from chemical preservatives meant refrigeration was usually the only barrier to deadly bacterias that traditional food processing, such as canning, cuts out. And unlike food manufacturers, the catering businesses that frequently supply these meals often do not have the necessary safety expertise." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Newsday.com - EPA and GE reach agreement to begin sampling in Hudson River" - "WASHINGTON -- General Electric Co. will begin sampling PCB-laden soil in the Hudson River as early as next month under an agreement the company reached Tuesday with federal environmental officials. But GE has only committed to reimbursing $5 million of the $37 million in past costs the Environmental Protection Agency incurred creating the dredging blueprint. And the EPA has yet to cement a deal with the company on the larger questions of the project design and the actual cleanup."

"This old house may put its occupants on path to good health" - "Residents of urban and suburban homes built before 1974 are much more likely than residents of newer homes to walk a mile or more at least 20 times each month, according to new research." (Center for the Advancement of Health)

... or people who like walking choose to live in more 'walkable' neighbourhoods, or neighbourhoods laid out prior to anti-sprawl zealots gaining sway are more walker-friendly, or people who live in older houses can't afford to drive, or dwellings constructed prior to the introduction of ventilation-destroying 'energy efficiency' standards have healthier occupants, or...

"Research shows climate change could push bats northward" - "Research published in the most recent edition of Nature, shows that climate change will cause the northern limit of the winter range of the North American little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) to extend northward by approximately 5 km per year over the next century. (University of Alberta)

"Environmental refugees policy bid" - "The Commons international development committee cautioned that a consistent approach to ``environmental refugees`` will become ever more pressing as the effects of global warming, such as rising sea levels encroaching on coastal areas, become more pronounced. The MPs noted an estimate that in 1999, out of 43 million refugees worldwide, 25 million were environmental refugees. In a report on global climate change and sustainable development, the committee noted that such people are not entitled to the same rights as refugees fleeing conflict and persecution." (UTVInternet.com)

"Just Ask the Experts" - "In 2001 the National Science Foundation surveyed 1,500 people nationwide and found that 77% believed that "increased carbon dioxide and other gases released into the atmosphere will, if unchecked, lead to global warming ..." Yet half of those polled believed that humans and dinosaurs co-existed on Earth, despite the scientific fact that the dinosaurs went extinct tens of millions of years before the earliest hominids appeared. Worse, only 22% of the respondents understood what a molecule - for example, carbon dioxide - is." (Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon, TCS)

"San Francisco Chronicle - Emissions law a win-win for Davis" - "Legislation signed Monday by Gov. Gray Davis could change the cars Californians drive in 2009. This fall, it may mean political gold as the Democratic governor works to shore up support with liberal voters. With environmentalists and luminaries like actor Robert Redford at his side during a ceremony in San Francisco's Presidio, Davis made California the first state to force automakers to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from vehicles."

"California in the Clouds" - ""There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact." -- Mark Twain

Twain didn't live to see the modern California government, but his words describe it pretty well. Its politicians have now decided to take a whole lot of conjecture about global warming and use it to raid the pocketbooks of car drivers in all 50 states." (The Wall Street Journal) [Subscription Required]

"Gray Davis' noxious regime -- The Washington Times" - "Enjoy your SUV while you can. Gov. Gray Davis, California Democrat, on Monday signed landmark legislation mandating reductions in carbon dioxide "emissions" beginning with model year 2009 new cars and trucks sold in the state. Since the only way to decrease the amount of carbon dioxide produced by an internal combustion engine is to burn less fuel, the automakers will have no choice but to decrease the size of vehicles and the engines used to power them."

"Polar Ice Sheets and Global Sea Level: How Well Can We Predict the Future?" - "Summary: Would you believe extremely well? Moderately well? Less-than-sufficiently well? An expert in the field provides his professional analysis of the subject. We don't think it will surprise you ... unless, of course, your previous exposure to the topic has been provided solely by climate alarmists." (co2science.org)

"Subject Index Summaries Droughts (Solar-Induced)" -"Summary: Climate alarmists are always associating droughts with high temperatures, so they can claim that rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are responsible for both phenomena. However, just as earth's temperature appears to be more closely related to the activity of the sun than anything else, so too does the balance of evidence suggest the same with respect to drought." (co2science.org)

"Enriching the Air with CO2 Enables Plants to Sequester Carbon at Higher Temperatures Than They Do Currently" - "Summary: Like the elixir of life that it truly is, atmospheric CO2 - in greater abundance than what we enjoy today - enables plants to better withstand the physiological ravages of high-temperature stress that are a common occurrence for nearly all plants at one time or another in their various life cycles, either seasonally or diurnally. And by keeping plants going and growing under these stressful circumstances, elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 enable them to continue removing CO2 from the atmosphere and preparing it for eventual storage in the soils in which they grow." (co2science.org)

"Spatial Heterogeneity in Annual Mass Accumulation on the Greenland Ice Sheet" - "Summary: This not-unexpected phenomenon masks the overall history of the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet and makes it extremely difficult to determine how it may have responded to the warming of the past two centuries. Journal of Geophysical Research 106: 33,839-33,851." (co2science.org)

"Cloud Carbon Content" - "Summary: Several anthropogenic-produced organic carbon compounds that have the capacity to enhance the cooling power of clouds are identified, quantified and shown to be linearly related to the black carbon concentration of cloud water. Atmospheric Environment 36: 1553-1558." (co2science.org)

"Six Thousand Years of Sea Level Rise and Storm Activity in the Chukchi Sea" - "Summary: What horrors do the data portend for the planet? Global and Planetary Changes 32: 13-23." (co2science.org)

"Australia wasting A$1bln on greenhouse efforts - report" - "MELBOURNE - Australia's Mandated Renewable Energy Target program aimed at encouraging new investment in renewable energy could be wasting more than A$1 billion on established projects, a industry association report has found. The Australian EcoGeneration Association's report, released yesterday, claims that large scale hydroelectric power stations will earn about 30 million Renewable Energy Certificates through the program without making new investments or reducing emissions." (Reuters)

"$600 Million Needed For Protecting Ozone Layer Over Next Three Years, Say Experts, Taking Ozone Fund To $2 Billion Mark" - "Representatives from some 100 countries are meeting in Montreal from 23 to 25 July to review an expert report on how much money will be needed for a three-year replenishment of the Multilateral Fund for the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer." (UNEP)

"Recirculated airplane cabin air does not cause more colds" - "Passengers flying in airplanes with recirculated air report no more colds than do people traveling in planes using 100 percent fresh air for ventilation, according to a "natural experiment" conducted by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco and their colleagues." (University of California - San Francisco)

"Lawmakers Join Effort to Fight Diesel Rule (washingtonpost.com)" - "House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and other lawmakers are pressing the Bush administration to postpone a tough new anti-pollution standard for long-haul diesel trucks on behalf of a major Illinois truck manufacturer that is facing stiff penalties because it can't meet the deadline for compliance."

"One Coin, Two Sides" - "Apocalypse is not my line of business, but it only takes a glance at the headlines to understand that humanity is doomed. In fact, we are dead already but haven't taken the time to notice.

Everyday, we are told that the first attributes of the market economy -- growth and technological innovation -- are positively lethal. According to deep ecologists, the question is: To what extent should we refrain from technological risks in order to attain greater safety? The answer: It's the wrong question." (Jacob Arfwedson, TCS Europe)

"Reuters - New Research to Find Environment-Cleansing Bugs" - "WASHINGTON - Microbes that thrive on nuclear waste, that can scrub greenhouse gases from the air and turn toxic soil pure again are the targets of new federal research funds, the Department of Energy said on Tuesday. It announced it was funding $103 million in grants to 26 laboratories to use genome science to try and make such bugs useful to humankind, part of its "Genomes to Life" program."

"Zimbabwe Faces Famine if Food Aid Stalled - Agency" - "HARARE, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe could have a famine on its hands by September if President Robert Mugabe's government delays a decision on whether to accept genetically modified food aid, a senior American aid official said Tuesday. Roger Winter, an assistant administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development, said Zimbabwe had "expressed concerns" over genetically modified foods, limiting the amount of food the agency can bring in to help feed thousands of needy people." (Reuters)

July 23, 2002

"More Drugs, Less Crime?" - "Drug czar John P. Walters, writing in last Friday's Wall Street Journal (link for Journal subscribers only), argued that legalizing drugs would not reduce America's crime problem, and would add a public health problem on top. Some academics, on the other hand, have recently argued that a hard line stance on drug enforcement directly contributes to a nation's problem with violent crime. Their case, however, is far from proven.

The argument is analogous to a strong theory about gun ownership. The suggestion that fewer restrictions on gun ownership decrease rather than increase crime has looked increasingly valid in recent years (John Lott of the American Enterprise Institute's groundbreaking book "More Guns, Less Crime" is the classic in this area). Academic attention is now turning to ask whether the same can be true about drugs." (Iain Murray, TCS)

" Pesticide trucks blocked from Winnipeg street" - " Residents of a normally quiet Winnipeg neighbourhood blockaded their street for two nights this weekend in a bid to keep out pesticide-spraying trucks the city has dispatched to kill off mosquitoes headed west across the country and carrying the West Nile virus with them." (National Post)

"HRT over-reaction is the real danger to women" - "The news that government scientists found Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) so dangerous to women that they stopped their long-term trial of the therapy panicked women worldwide and sent pharmaceutical industry stocks into a nose de. Yet the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, appears to be one of the biggest over-reactions in the medical world in recent years. Given a close look, the actual risks the researchers found are so minuscule that they could well be due to chance." (Iain Murray, Buffalo News)

"Debate Over Whether to Defend Animal Tests" - " The story of an Ohio State professor who conducted AIDS research on cats provides a glimpse into how universities wrestle with the issue of animal experiments. " (New York Times)

"When the placebo works" - "WASHINGTON – News that a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found sham surgery to be just as beneficial as regular knee operations for arthritis seemed to be another blow to modern science. Many doctors agreed that patients who had arthroscopic surgery had not benefited greatly. However, rather than being an indictment of unnecessary surgery, this research provides further evidence of one of the great mysteries of science – the placebo effect." (Iain Murray, The Christian Science Monitor)

"Reuters - EU Demands Proof States Are Protecting Ozone Layer" - "BRUSSELS - Not a single European Union country has shown it is doing enough to protect the ozone layer from damage by man-made chemicals, EU authorities said on Monday. The European Commission said none of the 15 member states had shown how they intended to ensure ozone-depleting chemicals in scrapped refrigerators or old fire extinguishers would be safely removed to stop them worsening the hole in the ozone layer."

"Calif. Governor Signs Landmark Auto Emissions Law" - "LOS ANGELES - California Gov. Gray Davis Monday signed a landmark bill making the state the first in the nation to regulate the vehicle greenhouse gas emissions scientists say contribute to global warming." (Reuters) | Carmakers balk at Calif. bill to cut global warming (USA Today)

"Californian emissions bill - a new global warming fight" - "SAN FRANCISCO - A new California law setting tough auto emissions standards to fight global warming may spur other U.S. states to follow suit, marking one of the most serious environmental challenges to the auto industry in decades, state officials say." (Reuters)

"UK faces battle to meet 2010 CO2 emissions cut" - "LONDON - Britain will struggle to meet its target of a big cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2010 as generators burn more coal to fill the gap left by the closure of nuclear power plants, a report published yesterday said." (Reuters)

"Britain's power change 'failing'" - "The government's failure to give effective encouragement to the promotion of renewable energy sources is so "extraordinary" that its share of the market declined last year, a committee of MPs reported yesterday. Thanks to the "unsustainably low level" of prices for fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas, the increase in renewables over the past decade rose by only 1% to 2.8% of the total British market - and dropped to 2.6% in 2001, a worse record than any other EU state except Luxembourg and Belgium." (The Guardian)

"Keen on climate change solutions but no to Kyoto, says Australian Environment Minister" - "Australia has pledged AU$1 billion (US$0.55 billion) to greenhouse gas reduction, but the Government remains intransigent on the issue of signing the Kyoto Protocol. This was the message received from Dr David Kemp, the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage in a speech made in London this week." (Edie News)

"smh.com.au - Push to cut excise on cleaner fuel so it sells" - "The Petroleum Institute of Australia and the NRMA have called on the Federal Government to provide an incentive for Australia's oil refineries to upgrade to new, cleaner fuel. The Herald reported yesterday that leading European car makers likened Australia's fuel quality to that used in some Third World countries. The executive director of the Australian Institute of Petroleum, Brian Nye, blamed the Federal Government for "not encouraging" better fuel quality. "We need an incentive before we make the investment," he said. Australia uses EU2 fuel, with 500 parts sulphur per million. The latest world's best practice, EU4 fuel, has 50 parts sulphur per million. High sulphur content damages catalytic converters and reduces the exhaust's ability to filter ozone-depleting emissions. The petrol excise to the Federal Government last year was $17.14 billion, or about 38¢ a litre, Mr Nye said. "In the fuel taxation inquiry, the only thing they agreed to was a recommendation to proceed with an exemption for low-sulphur fuels, however, the Government hasn't said how it will do that," he said. Australia should follow Britain and Germany's lead and provide a tariff concession to oil refiners to upgrade to the new fuel sooner, he said."

"ABC News - New coal technology better for the environment" - "World-first technology developed in Cessnock, in central eastern NSW, is being tested in Japan next month, and if successful could lead to several major coal energy developments in the Hunter region."

"'Mad' Brazilian coffee farmer has last laugh" - "OURO FINO, Brazil - When coffee grower, agronomist and writer Jose Peres Romero bought a remote farm in the dusty hills of southern Minas Gerais 40 years ago people thought he was mad. "They called me an idiot, saying the land wasn't even fit for grazing cattle," said sprightly 73-year-old Romero. But armed with new ideas and aided by sons Joao and Jose Filho, he transformed the barren slopes into a green goldmine. He achieved a long-term yield of 31 60-kg bags per hectare, compared with a national average of under 20 kg. His coffee won prizes from the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association and fetches prices more than four times the market average. Jose Romero sought to show that the so-called "third way" of farming - caring for the land, wildlife and workers - was sustainable. It contrasts with large-scale, capital intensive farming on the one hand and small-scale subsistence farming on the other." (Reuters)

"China's double standards over GM foods" - "Watching biotechnology develop in China is a lot like observing a game of Chinese checkers, that popular game in which players try to move their marbles to the opposite side of a star-shaped board.

On the home front, China is rushing to be the world's biotech superpower. It is developing more biotechnology products than any country outside North America, including genetically modified food crops like rice, wheat, potatoes and peanuts. A survey by a team from the University of California found that Chinese research centers report developing 141 genetically modified plants." (The Wall Street Journal)

"A Dogged Silence" - "The American and British media in their coverage of genetically modified crops lately have acted much like the dog in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's story "Silver Blaze." (Duane D. Freese, TCS)

"It's green and clean - and now it's the battleground for the world's first GM election" - "The clean, green reputation of New Zealand - an image worth millions, according to the environment industry - is under threat along with its popular and progressive government in a row over genetically modified crops that is overwhelming this week's general election.

Nearly 4 million voters in one of the last countries in the world where the entire food production is GM-free go to the polls on Saturday, and the outcome of the furious debate is as likely to decide the balance of power as security, health or the economy." (The Guardian)

July 22, 2002

"San Francisco Chronicle - It's PETA vs. greens in tiff over lab rats Traditional allies split on EPA animal tests" - "A fight has erupted between environmental groups and the nation's leading animal rights organization over the issue of laboratory animal testing. The dispute is the result of a media campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals against three mainstream environmental groups: the World Wildlife Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense. PETA has denounced the three organizations for their support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's use of laboratory animals to test toxic compounds. Such tests are unnecessary, PETA claims, and could be replaced with toxicology evaluations that don't use animals. The animal rights organization has initiated a letter-writing campaign against the three groups, taken out media ads urging people to stop donating money to them and created a "Mean Greenies" Web site accusing the groups of "greenwashing" their support of animal testing."

"Fears over herbal remedy tests" - "Health food shops could face closure if tighter EU laws on herbal remedies come into force in the UK, opponents have warned. Celebrities Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney are backing protests against the proposal to subject herbal remedies to the same rigorous checks as pharmaceutical drugs." (BBC News Online)

"A renewed role sought for DDT in malaria war" - "Ever since local author Rachel Carson attacked the use of DDT 40 years ago in her book "Silent Spring," the pesticide has come to symbolize the devastation humans can cause to the environment.

But now, many health experts and activists around the world say DDT should be reintroduced to fight one of the deadliest diseases on the planet -- malaria.

The issue is especially critical in sub-Saharan Africa, a region that accounts for more than 90 percent of the world's malaria deaths. There, several countries are considering once again using the pesticide to kill the mosquitoes that carry the parasitic disease, which strikes children particularly hard.

At the time the United States banned DDT in 1972, the global crusade against malaria had achieved substantial success. But when most African nations were no longer able to use DDT, the disease rebounded and is now back to its pre-1972 levels." (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

"The Advertiser: Disease major threat to frogs [22jul02]" - "A DEADLY frog disease, recorded in Adelaide, has been identified as a major threat to native frog species. Chytrid fungus, linked to the extinction of six native frog species, has been listed under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. The listing means a threat-abatement plan will be developed. The fungus attacks a frog's skin layers, damaging the keratin layer, and could kill the animal by releasing toxins that are absorbed."

"Kemp Acts to Protect Threatened Frogs" - "The Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today announced the listing of a deadly frog disease as a key threatening process under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

'The chytrid fungus is an infectious disease contaminating frogs worldwide and has already been recorded on the east coast of Australia, southwest Western Australia, Adelaide and the central Kimberley region,' Dr Kemp said.

'It is believed to have been a factor in the extinction of six Australian frog species and has reduced populations of many others. It is understood that another forty-three amphibian species in Australia are infected with the fungus." (media release)

"Global Warming" - "Picture a moister Southwest, where grasses invade what used to be deserts. Perhaps frequent El Niños bring more winter moisture to Northern New Mexico. If this is the case, global warming doesn't sound too bad, right?

On the other hand, it's hotter than anyone can remember. Hot can lead to dry, and drought is often accompanied by fire. What if the increased precipitation actually comes in big bursts, as opposed to scattered rainfall? Timing is key. Given the heat and a landscape that evolved with little precipitation, that water could wash right down the gullies, causing erosion problems without doing much for vegetation." (The New Mexican)

"Those bitter winds of drought - theage.com.au" - "The one thing Professor Gray, a frequent visitor to Australia, is certain of is that El Nino is anything but man-made, which is to say, a result of global warming. "You guys in Australia have gone mad over this," he said. "The implication, of course, is that humans are causing this and that's just a bunch of crap. They can have a very small (impact) on the temperature, but nothing like what's required. "Don't believe the human-induced global warming thing. We've had El Nino events for thousands of years. We've had them since way before humans began putting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere."

"Associated Press - Air pollution changes rainfall, say scientists who implicate it in killer drought of last century" - "Nearly two decades after one of the world's most devastating famines in Africa, scientists are pointing a finger at pollution from industrial nations as one of the possible causes. The starvation brought on by the 1970-85 drought that stretched from Senegal to Ethiopia captured the world's attention with searing images: skeletal mothers staring vacantly, children with bloated bellies lying in the sand, vultures lurking nearby. Before rains finally returned, 1.2 million people had died. Now, a group of scientists in Australia and Canada say that drought may have been triggered by tiny particles of sulfur dioxide spewed by factories and power plants thousands of miles away in North America, Europe and Asia."

"Heat's on climate change levy" - "The climate change levy is a major increase to business costs despite government claims it is "fiscally neutral", according to the Federation of Small Businesses. It found 88pc of the small companies that pay the levy are worse off." (Daily Telegraph)

"San Francisco Chronicle - State's air law to steer nation Automakers fear spread of car emissions policy" - "Sacramento -- With the stroke of a pen Monday, Gov. Gray Davis will commit car- loving California to a historic seven-year campaign to make the state's enormous auto market greener. Davis plans to sign a bill that will make California the first state to force automakers to curb greenhouse-gas emissions from vehicles. The legislation could spark similar efforts in other states and in Congress, putting pressure on President Bush to change what many environmentalists view as a go-slow approach to addressing global warming."

"Calif. Takes Lead on Auto Emissions (washingtonpost.com)" - "LOS ANGELES -- California today will enact legislation that for the first time will reduce the amount of greenhouse gases coming from the tailpipes of all passenger vehicles sold in the state, even the beloved SUV, in a move that could change the kinds of cars Americans drive in coming years."

"California Takes on Air Pollution . . . (washingtonpost.com)" - "SACRAMENTO -- California has long been the nation's leader in the fight against air pollution. And with my signature today on groundbreaking legislation to curb carbon pollution and greenhouse gases, California will become an international leader in the fight as well."

"In California, Clean Air Rules Force Changes in Autos" - "DETROIT, July 21 — While automakers rail against landmark California legislation that would force them to cut greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade, they face a much more immediate challenge from the state. On Monday, Gov. Gray Davis of California will sign a bill requiring automakers to cut carbon dioxide emissions by the 2008 model year. The bill directs the California Air Resources Board to decide how much to reduce emissions over all and how to do it." (New York Times)

"Battery-power police car low on street cred" - "Police in one of the country's smallest forces are complaining that a new, environmentally friendly patrol car is making them a laughing stock." (Daily Telegraph)

"Fill 'er up - and make it super cheap and nasty - smh.com.au" - "The quality of Australia's fuel is the same as some Third World countries - and well behind world's-best practice - a leading European car maker has claimed. And, because our fuel matches that used in "Africa, Tahiti and some parts of the Caribbean", our cars are less efficient and produce more ozone-depleting gases. Volkswagen Australia's managing director, Peter Nochar, said Australia's use of outdated fuel meant the country was missing out on vehicles which lead the world in frugality and ultra-low emissions. "Australia is so advanced in so many ways yet we lag behind the rest of the developed world with poor quality fuel," he said. "Australia has EU2 fuel, which puts it in the Third World category as far as we're concerned."

"Indoor Air Pollution as Hazardous as Smog; Low-income homeowners at greater risk, study finds" - "SUNDAY, July 21 -- It's not only the smog outside that you have to worry about. Indoor air pollution could be a potential health threat for you and your family, too. That may be especially true if you live in a low-income household, says a Cornell University study that measured levels of such indoor pollutants as radon, mold, lead and asbestos in 328 houses and 75 child-care facilities in six New York state counties." (HealthScoutNews)

"Eat up your vaccine; Plant extracts provide measles immunity on a plate" - "Lettuce might replace booster shots in the next generation of vaccines. Researchers have raised the immunity of mice to measles by feeding them a booster vaccine derived from plants. The study is a step towards an edible measles vaccine for developing countries that would not require refrigeration or skilled medical personnel to deliver jabs. Measles is one of the most contagious human viruses, and kills an estimated 800,000 people a year, predominantly African infants." (NSU)

July 21, 2002

"By Any Means Necessary" - "There's an old maxim in moral philosophy that says, "the ends never justify the means." Of course, lots of utilitarians think that is so much moral posturing and nonsense. They proffer hypothetical arguments to debunk that maxim, such as: "If stealing a loaf of bread meant achieving world peace, wouldn't you do it?" There's really no end to this debate. After all, it really does depend on what ends and -- more importantly, perhaps -- what means." (Nick Schulz, TCS)

"Specious claims" - "Following the publication on 10 July 2002 of a report by WWF (no, not the World Wrestling Federation, but the conservation organisation formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund), it was widely reported that more than one in three animal species have been wiped from the face of the Earth since 1970." (Stuart Blackman, sp!ked)

"What's at Stake in Jo'burg" - "At the end of August, up to sixty thousand people are expected to descend on Johannesburg, South Africa, for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. This leviathan jamboree organised by the United Nations was originally intended as a follow-up to the 1992 'Earth Summit', but has since taken on a life of its own, with a plethora of new issues being laid on the table. Indeed the plate of the negotiators is so full that some have questioned whether there will be any agreement at all. There has even been talk of a repeat of the fiasco that embroiled last year's Racism summit in Durban, South Africa, which ended in disarray. In many respects this would be a 'positive' outcome. Certainly it would be better than agreement on some of the daft ideas being pushed by NGOs and the UN." (Julian Morris, TCS Europe)

"Badwater" - "The hottest temperature ever recorded on earth was 58°C (136°F) set at Al Aziziya, Libya, in 1922. That was 80 years ago.

The stage is now set for the all-time global record to be broken again, this time not by some accident of nature, but by the deliberate siting of a weather station in a natural hothouse - Badwater, a local sun trap in America's hottest region - Death Valley in California." (John Daly, Still Waiting For Greenhouse)

"U.S. flyers go to clouds for global warming secrets" - "BOCA CHICA KEY, Fla. - A team of 300 scientists and engineers is working in an unused hangar at a U.S. Naval Air Station to try to forecast the future of climate change. Operating on the belief that a significant global warming has already taken place, the NASA-led research team is studying the high tropical cirrus clouds in the southern Florida sky in an effort to discover how these clouds filled with ice crystals may be affecting the changing climate all over the world." (National Post)

"EurekAlert: New research site established in Australia to help predict climate change" - "Since acute weather conditions, like monsoons and drought, can wreak havoc on a region's economy and population, these events need to be accurately simulated and forecasted by weather and climate models. Drought and monsoons are conditions that occur at the U.S. Department of Energy's newest Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) site in Darwin, Australia, a location that will enable scientists to collect new data important to refining computer models that simulate climate change."

"The Japan Times Online - Cabinet to have ministries cut their emissions by 7%" - "In an effort to lead by example, the Cabinet approved a plan Friday that commits the national government to cutting greenhouse gas emissions at ministries and affiliated bodies by 7 percent of fiscal 2001 levels by fiscal 2006. "Greenhouse gas reduction efforts have not necessarily shown adequate results," Environment Minister Hiroshi Ohki said after the Cabinet meeting. "This is one way for the government to take the lead and show what should be done."

"Cars Can Get Much Cleaner" - "On Monday, Governor Gray Davis of California is expected to sign into law legislation to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, the prime contributor to global warming, from automobiles sold in California. Cars account for 40 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in that state. Under the federal Clean Air Act, the other 49 states have the option of following suit, and California's example may well spur them to do so. The question now is: What will the car companies do?" (Fred Krupp, New York Times)

"Coal protest ends in Philippine arrests" - "SUAL, Philippines -- Philippine police have detained five environmentalists belonging to pressure group Greenpeace after they protested at a pier against the unloading of coal for a power plant, witnesses said. Sunday's protest was part of Greenpeace's campaign to persuade Asian governments to use alternative sources of energy instead of coal, which it says emits greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming." (Reuters)

"Peer attacks Prince's organic ideals" - "Prince Charles' summer tour of Wales has been overshadowed by criticism of his support for organic farming. A senior Labour peer has accused him of believing that everyone should live in a "feudal society" where they payed more for food. The criticism came from Lord Haskins, who was appointed by Prime Minister Tony Blair as the rural recovery co-ordinator in the aftermath of the foot-and-mouth disaster. He said Prince Charles belonged to that group of farmers who "look backwards and not forwards". And he added that the organically-grown food, advocated by the Prince, was too expensive for most people." (BBC News Online)

"Lost in the maize" - "After yet another round of scare stories about genetically modified Mexican maize, it seems that media campaigners are more interested in promoting worst-case scenarios than pursuing the truth." (Toby Andrew, sp!ked)

"Monsanto backs strict RP rules on biotech products" - "Global agricultural research company Monsanto recently said it supports the Philippine government in its strict approach to the adoption and commercialization of plants and plant products that have undergone the biotechnology or genetic engineering process." (The Philippine Star)

July 19, 2002

"IV-Bag Scare Drips Junk Science" - "Question: When is no data all the data you need for a health scare? Answer: When the driving force is the insidious "precautionary principle." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"New EU green soft-touch opens door for PVC deal" - "BRUSSELS - The European Commission said has it wants to use less red tape to fight pollution by getting industry to take more voluntary action, and raised the possibility of negotiating a deal with the PVC sector." (Reuters)

"Scaremongering reporting criticised by scientists" - "17/07/02 - Apparently worrying research reported last week in several UK newspapers has been dismissed as inaccurate scaremongering by the scientists who carried it out. The story referred to allegedly new research which showed a link between mothers following a meat-free diet and the risk of hypospadias – a deformity of the penis – in their children." (NutraIngredients)

"Mercury News | 07 17 2002 | Mother loses suit over mold in classroom" - "A Pleasanton student whose mother accused the school district in a lawsuit of failing to do enough to clean up a moldy classroom that she said exacerbated her daughter's health problems has lost her legal battle."

"Councils get £40m for fridge mountain" - "An extra £40m was allocated yesterday for dealing with the UK's disused fridges and freezers, a "mountain" of 900,000 units that is still growing. Michael Meacher, the environment minister, said he hoped more recycling plants would soon come on stream to "erode the ever growing stockpile", but admitted that more money would be needed and years might pass before the problem was solved." (The Guardian)

"Science to publish UAF glaciologist findings" - "Glaciologists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute have used a laser measuring device to reveal that many Alaska glaciers are melting dramatically. Their findings will be published in the journal, "Science" on July 19, 2002." (University of Alaska Fairbanks)

"Scientisist to study changes in highest clouds via satellite" - "Scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute will be teaming with those at ten other institutions to take part in the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) mission over the next six years. The mission, recently funded by NASA as part of the Small Explorer program, will study clouds at the edge of space to resolve why they form and why they have been increasing over the last 30 years." (University of Alaska Fairbanks)

"Hibernating animals to move further north: study" - "EDMONTON - A scientist in Alberta has developed a model to predict how hibernating animals could react to climate change. Biologist and post-doctoral researcher Murray Humphries works at the University of Alberta and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He and his colleagues developed the model by looking at hibernation patterns of brown bats. Their study appears in Wednesday's issue of the journal Nature." (CBC News)

"Wind farm group shelves £330m scheme" - "Government hopes of building a successful renewable energy sector were in trouble last night after a leading wind farm developer shelved a pioneering €500m (£330m) scheme. EnergieKontor blamed rows with the Ministry of Defence as one reason why it has become the first of 18 new licence holders to hand back its permit." (The Guardian)

"Coal deals worth billions to boost power and jobs - theage.com.au" - "Three private power companies may spend up to $8 billion on new energy projects in the Latrobe Valley after winning the State Government's exploration tenders for brown coal. Australian Power and Energy Ltd, HRL Developments and Loy Yang Power were chosen from a field of 10. It is the first time private companies have been allowed to develop brown coal mines in Victoria since the SEC was formed in 1924."

"Why the green groups are seeing red over brown - theage.com.au" - "Pumping and storing carbon dioxide underground was risky and unproven, environmentalists warned yesterday. The State Government's decision to award three exploration permits for brown coal was a "severe blow" to Victoria's renewable energy industry and would do little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conservationists said. "Coal is not a fuel for the future," said Environment Victoria's Darren Gladman. "Instead of directing investment into unproven technologies, the government should focus on renewable energy which is low risk and sustainable."

"Monsanto cotton seeds a sell-out with farmers" - "JUDGING by the initial response from farmers and seed dealers, the `Bollgard' (Bt) cotton of Monsanto and the Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co Ltd (Mahyco) has been a total sell-out in its very first season of commercial planting." (The Hindu Business Line)

July 17, 2002

"Researchers suggests a potentially damaging effect of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields" - "A new study, published in the Cancer Cell International, presents experimental evidence to show that extremely low frequency electro-magnetic fields can have a potentially damaging effect on the process of cell division in (already) radiation-injured cells, which could lead to them becoming cancerous." (BioMed Central)

"Foot and mouth computer data was inadequate" - "Computer models used to formulate policy in last year's foot and mouth epidemic relied on inadequate data, making the contiguous cull a "blunt instrument", the official scientific inquiry into the crisis said yesterday." (Telegraph)

"Boston Globe Online Health | Science Glacier lake puts global warming on the map" - "MACUGNAGA, Italy - The people of this Alpine resort village long ago learned to cope with the floods that sometimes accompany the melting snow in the spring. But nothing prepared them for the catastrophic flood threat they now face - a glacier rapidly melting from unusually warm temperatures."

"STUDY OF CLOUD ICE CRYSTALS MAY IMPROVE CLIMATE CHANGE FORECASTS" - "Studies of cirrus clouds by some 450 scientists may lead to improved forecasts of future climate change. During July in southern Florida, scientists from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. will join others to investigate high tropical cirrus clouds composed of tiny ice crystals.The researchers hope to determine how the clouds form, how they limit the amount of sunlight reaching the surface of the Earth and how they trap heat rising from the surface and lower atmosphere. This key information will help improve computer programs that forecast global climate change." (NASA/GSFC)

"In Defense of James Hansen's "Alternative Scenario" for Fighting Global Warming" - "Summary: Have we actually crawled into bed with one of the greatest global warming gurus of all time? It's hard to spit the words out, but it's sure beginning to look that way." (co2science)

"Subject Index Summaries - Droughts (North America)" - "Summary: Climate alarmists claim that global warming will result in ever-worsening drought conditions. A good test of this claim is to see what the global warming of the past century or two has wrought in this regard. In this mini-review of the recent pertinent literature, we thus pursue this course with respect to North America." (co2science)

"Precipitation Trends of the Twentieth Century" - "Summary: They are not what the climate models have been predicting. International Journal of Climatology 21: 1899-1922." (co2science)

"Extreme Weather Events in Europe During the Holocene" - "Summary: Contrary to the climate-alarmist claim that global warming will produce greater and more frequent weather extremes, the correlation of such events with climate change during the Holocene suggests just the opposite. Quaternary International 91: 25-32." (co2science)

"Fertilizing the Earth with CO2" - "Summary: Can it account for the so-called carbonaceous missing sink? Climate Research 19: 265-270." (co2science)

"Global Warming Helped Italian Agriculture" - "Climate alarmists are fond of telling us that global warming will threaten our farms and food supplies by causing more droughts, floods, and storms. But 122 years of detailed climate records from Italy’s University of Pisa say the rapid half-degree Centigrade warming of the past century has actually helped that region’s farmers." (Dennis T. Avery, Hudson Institute)

"State Officials Ask Bush to Act on Global Warming" - "LOS ANGELES, July 16 — In a letter that attacks what it says is the Bush administration's failure to address the looming crisis of global warming, the attorneys general of 11 states have written to the president pressing for strong federal measures to limit emissions of so-called greenhouse gases." (New York Times)

"Governors vs. the Constitution" - "New England's Governors will travel to Quebec this summer and likely sign an agreement with Eastern Canada's premiers to essentially implement the Kyoto Protocol's caps on carbon dioxide. Last year the group adopted climate change action plans agreeing to implement Kyoto; this year they have some specific goals and implementation schemes in mind." (Jon Reisman, TCS)

"Independent - Analysis: Coal has gone. Gas is low. So is Britain running on empty?" - "The closure of Britain's biggest mining complex at Selby in North Yorkshire, with the loss of more than 5,000 jobs, is yet another reminder of the looming crisis in our energy supply. King Coal has long since been dethroned as the nation's favourite fuel but the effects of its overthrow are still being felt more than two decades after the UK decided on a "dash for gas".

Britain is the only G7 country other than Canada that is still largely self-sufficient in energy, thanks to its huge reserves of North Sea gas and oil. But that is about to change. Within the next few years – in 2005, according to some government analysts – the UK will for the first time in living memory have to become a net importer of fuel if it is to keep its lights from going out."

"GM genes found in human gut" - "British scientific researchers have demonstrated for the first time that genetically modified DNA material from crops is finding its way into human gut bacteria, raising potentially serious health questions. Although the genetically modified material in most GM foods poses no health problems, many of the controversial crops have antibiotic-resistant marker genes inserted into them at an early stage in development. If genetic material from these marker genes can also find its way into the human stomach, as experiments at Newcastle university suggest is likely, then people's resistance to widely used antibiotics could be compromised. The research, commissioned by the food standards agency, is the world's first known trial of GM foods on human volunteers. It was last night described as "insignificant" by the agency but as "dynamite" by Friends of the Earth." (The Guardian)

July 16, 2002

"Newsday.com - FDA Warns of Chemical in Plastic" - "WASHINGTON -- Sick baby boys may be at highest risk from a chemical used to soften such plastic medical devices as blood bags and IV tubes, the government says in advising hospitals to consider using devices made of different materials to treat them."

Doh! "'Obesity sleuths' find chronic diseases linked to behavior contrary our DNA" - "The results of the most extensive research investigation into the relationship between chronic health conditions and physical inactivity have been released by a team of "obesity sleuths." They conclude that today's skyrocketing levels of chronic diseases are due to the collision between the body's total gene complement of a set of chromosomes -- programmed 10,000 years ago to anticipate physical exertion, and the inactivity endemic to 21st century sedentary societies." (American Physiological Society)

"NYT Retracts - Sort of..." - "The New York Times was caught out recently with a story on Alaskan temperatures, dated 24th June 2002, claiming a warming there of 5 to 10°F. However, the Alaska Climate Research Center denounced the NYT story and pointed out that the warming at the selected locations  was only one third of that claimed by NYT. (See original `stop press' story here) 

The NYT then `corrected' the story on 11th July, but instead of coming completely clean with the public, they essentially `split the difference' by now claiming a  warming of 5.4°F instead.

This has resulted in an update to the original rebuttal by the people who should know - the Alaska Climate Center, who point out that the NYT's `corrected' figure is still double the proper figure." (John Daly, Still Waiting For Greenhouse)

"CSIRO on Sea Levels" - "In a brochure titled `The Facts: Global Sea Level Rise',  Australia's CSIRO Marine Research Division presented `facts' about Australia's sea level history in such a way as to prop up IPCC claims about global sea levels having already risen 10-20 cm during the last 100 years." (John Daly, Still Waiting For Greenhouse)

"Toyota to cut eco-friendly China peat to cool roofs" - "TOKYO - Japan's top automaker, Toyota Motor Corp, said yesterday its latest eco-friendly venture was to cut peat in China for use in rooftop greening to help to cool overheated Japanese cities." (Reuters)

"Atlanta Journal-Constitution: ajc.com: OUR OPINIONS: Back burner is no place to keep global warming" - "If you smelled smoke in your kitchen and noticed flames shooting from electrical outlets, the most prudent course of action would be to call the fire department pronto to save loved ones and protect property. The idea of waiting awhile to call 911 would never occur to you. But when it comes to global warming, the common sense it takes to respond quickly to possible catastrophe seems lost on President Bush. His administration has now publicly acknowledged that human activities are playing havoc with the planet's natural thermostat, yet the White House continues to honor the procrastinators' creed: "Don't just do something, stand there."

"Mercury News | 07 15 2002 | State could set auto trend" - "GLOBAL-WARMING BILL LINKED TO GAS MILEAGE - With Gov. Gray Davis expected to sign a landmark global warming bill this month, California may be on the verge of exporting another trend to the rest of the United States: tougher gas mileage standards. For two decades, Detroit Democrats and Texas Republicans have helped defeat efforts in Congress to increase fuel economy rules for cars and trucks. But now, in a dramatic end-run around Washington, D.C., that has environmentalists cheering and car companies fuming, state lawmakers have sent a bill to Davis that would make California the first state to require automakers to reduce ``greenhouse gases,'' which many scientists say contribute to global warming, from cars, light trucks and sport utility vehicles."

"California's dreamin' -- The Washington Times" - "From the birthplace of fads, the place that prides itself on being "the first" to do whatever, comes the first law to restrict emissions of carbon dioxide from cars to slow global warming. It passed by one vote in the California Senate last month. In essence, this global warming law (AB 1493) mandates significant increases in fuel efficiency. Californians seem to "care" more about the environment than the rest of us mere Americans. They care so much, for example, that years ago they mandated that 10 percent of new cars in 2003 be "zero emission" automobiles. When no electric car (which really does "emit" from the power plant down the road) that was useful and salable appeared, Californians rolled back the legal compliance date to 2009. Caring does not necessarily imply sincerity."

"Mercury News | 07 15 2002 | What's `pollutant' is big question" - "DEFINITION COULD DOOM GAS BILL - If the battle over California's greenhouse-gas bill ends up in court, the entire, multibillion-dollar issue may come down to the definition of the word ``pollutant.'' Is carbon dioxide a pollutant? If so, California can regulate it. If not, it can't. Automakers say it is not."

"Court told of pollution threat from traffic fee" - "A scheme to charge motorists £5 to drive into central London was condemned in the high court yesterday as unlawful and likely to increase air pollution and adversely affect the quality of city life. Westminster council and the Kennington Association asked a judge to block the congestion charge project, which is set to be introduced in February." (The Guardian)

"Mad-science experiment postponed" - "A Co2 experiment that sounds more like bad science fiction than a global solution has been delayed because of international pressure. But the message is clear. Countries that are not yielding to pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are quietly manoeuvring in the background to find hi-tech solutions rather than make the right move to green energy." (Greenpeace)

"An Icelandic Battle of Wildlife Versus Voltage" - "NORTH OF VATNAJOKULL GLACIER, Iceland — This is Europe's second-largest wilderness, a high plateau of lakes and virgin rivers, jagged canyons and snowy former volcanoes linked by swards of treeless tundra inhabited by thousands of reindeer and geese. It is also the alpine spillway for billions of gallons of glacial melt that Iceland's national power company plans to use in the $3 billion Karahnjukar Hydropower Project, an undertaking so big it equals nearly a third of the country's gross domestic product." (New York Times)

"New Zealand News - Dialogue - GE ought to be judged on its products -- not its processes" - "One of the difficulties in following a debate that has moved into politics is that hard facts are often replaced by hyperbole. With genetic modification, objective information is available but most of it is buried in technical journals and written in incomprehensible jargon. By necessity, everything we read is filtered through a third party sometimes trying to remain unbiased, but sometimes plucking choice pieces of information to bend the tone to suit their own opinions."

July 15, 2002

"The Indianapolis Star - Lilly in lawyers' cross hairs again" - "No one knows for sure why autism is spreading among young children, but that hasn't stopped some trial lawyers from targeting a prime suspect in their eyes: Eli Lilly and Co."

"No Suits Allowed (washingtonpost.com)" - "Five weeks after Dawn and Scott Richardson and their family moved into their new $300,000 house in Austin, they moved out. Dawn Richardson says the house had become so contaminated with toxic mold and volatile chemicals -- benzene and formaldehyde and more -- that she and her then-16-month-old daughter suffered bloody noses, rashes, dizziness, shortness of breath and neurological disorders.

In March, nine months after abandoning their home and its contents, the Richardsons sued the builder, David Weekley Homes, seeking millions of dollars for property damage, physical pain and mental anguish.

But they discovered they couldn't take their case to court. The six-page construction agreement they had signed contained a clause that said all disputes had to be resolved through binding arbitration."

"A Pesticide-Parasite Role in Frogs' Deformities?" - "Research suggests that an aquatic parasite and wetland contamination, acting in concert, could be causing deformities in frogs in the United States and Canada." (Washington Post)

"Rise in sightings of exotic sea life enchants Devon and Cornwall" - "Seeing exotic marine life no longer requires journeys to far-flung corners of the globe. Instead, head for Cornwall and Devon where sightings of sea creatures more associated with tropical or Mediterranean waters – and birds of the Antarctic and Pacific Latin America – are creating a buzz of excitement among naturalists.

The evidence seems to contradict fears that the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Drift, which keep Britain's climate warm with water from the Caribbean, may be slowing down due to melting polar ice caps caused by global warming." (Independent)

Editorial dreamin': "California cleanin'" - "IF THE UNITED States ever begins a serious effort to curtail greenhouse gases, much of the credit should go to the California legislators who this month approved a bill to limit carbon dioxide emissions from cars sold in that state. The action stands in striking contrast to the inaction of President Bush, who walked away first from his campaign pledge to limit carbon dioxide emissions by power plants and then from a report by his own Environmental Protection Agency on the threat of global warming. Industry lobbyists applied to the California lawmakers the same pressure for inaction used so successfully on the Bush administration. But the Californians did not cave in to it, and as a result the state is on track to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from their single biggest source: motor vehicles." (Boston Globe)

"Kyoto rejection 'costing Australian contracts, jobs'" - "A peak [environment] industry group has called on the Australian Government to reassess its decision not to ratify the Kyoto protocol on climate change. The Government says it will not sign the protocol for economic reasons, because the United States has opted out and it would be useless without the world's greatest contributor to greenhouse emissions, and because it does not involve the developing industrial giants such as China and India. Environment Business Australia is the latest to issue a warning on the dangers of this policy. It has been suggested that not signing the protocol will cost jobs and see companies move offshore. The group, which covers companies in the environment and sustainability industries, said [Environment Business] Australia stood to lose "significant commercial opportunities." (Canberra Times) | Govt's trade risk over Kyoto (The Australian)

"Boston Globe Online Editorials | Opinions Our energy future is in the wind" - "THE ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency's new Climate Action Report makes it official: a heat-trapping blanket of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is smothering the earth. Human activities - particularly the burning of fossil fuels - are causing global warming. And human activities - such as our use of New England's beautiful coastline, vulnerable to rising sea levels - will be dramatically affected unless global warming is arrested."

"UK's new electricity market drives up CO2 emissions" - "LONDON - Britain's power stations are puffing out more pollution after last year's launch of new electricity trading rules, casting another shadow over the government's efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions." (Reuters)

"China adds nuclear power plants on east coast" - "SINGAPORE - China recently added two nuclear rectors totalling 1,500 megawatts along its east coast, boosting its nuclear power generation capacity to 3,600 megawatts, Chinese industry officials said." (Reuters)

"Monsanto urges farms to lobby for GM crops" - "The chemical giant Monsanto has written to more than a thousand Australian farmers asking them to lobby the Federal Government in support of its genetically modified canola crops. Monsanto has two applications before the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator for field trials of GM canola in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. It also applied three weeks ago for the first Australian commercial licence to grow GM canola. In a letter dated June 27, Monsanto asked farmers to write to the regulator expressing their support for GM canola." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"New Report Finds Genetically Engineered “Biopharming” Poses New Threats" - "A new report prepared by the Genetically Engineered Food Alert coalition details the threats that biopharmaceutical and biochemical crops pose, the extent to which they have been planted across the U.S., the failure of regulatory agencies to serve the public, and a set of recommendations. The report, entitled Manufacturing Drugs and Chemicals in Crops: Biopharming Poses New Threats to Consumers, Farmers, Food Companies and the Environment, warns against another possible contamination incident like StarLink, which came close to destroying the US corn market." (gefoodalert.org)

"Biotechnology and Farmers' Rights" - "As agriculture provides livelihood for the majority of the Indian population, achieving a high growth rate and substantial reduction in poverty depends on the farm sector. While a significant growth rate was achieved in the 1970s and the 1980s, the 1990s showed signs of a slowdown, especially in foodgrain production. The demand for food has been increasing at about 2.75 per cent due to increase in population and income. In addition, many new problems related to chemical technologies, irrigation practices and management have also cropped up, raising barriers to agricultural production." (Gopal Naik, Business Line (The Hindu; India))

July 14, 2002

"But What If I Don't WANT To Eat Like A Caveman?" - "One of the freedoms we Americans hold dear is freedom of choice — we want to be free to choose where we live, our type of transportation, what we wear (or don't), who our leaders are, and what we eat and drink. And in most cases, we really do have a lot of choice. Nowhere is this more true than with respect to food. It would be nice, however, if we could make reasonable, informed choices about our diets. Since most of us aren't nutrition experts, we rely on those who are to help us make at least some of those choices, at least some of the time. Lately, however, such reliance has been more difficult than usual." (Ruth Kava, ACSH)

"Does green grass come with health risks?" - "Experts are split on whether chemically treated lawns can be harmful to the health of pets and people, prompting many lawn keepers to make a difficult choice during the summer months between organic lawn care or using chemicals." (CNN)

"Winnipeg widens mosquito campaign after West Nile scare" - "WINNIPEG - Some people in Manitoba's capital city are furious that the province has expanded a chemical spraying campaign against mosquitoes." CBC News)

"Bangladeshis Sipping Arsenic as Plan for Safe Water Stalls" - "CHOTOBINAR CHAP, Bangladesh — The arsenic, a slow, sadistic killer, has just about finished its work on Fazila Khatun. She teeters now. The fatigue is constant. Pain pulses through her limbs. Warts and sores cover the palms of her hands and the soles of her feet, telltale of the long years of creeping poison.

Mrs. Khatun is hardly alone in this suffering. Bangladesh is in the midst of what the World Health Organization calls the "largest mass poisoning of a population in history." Tens of thousands of Bangladeshis show the outward signs of the same decline. Some 35 million are drinking arsenic-contaminated water, the poison accumulating within them day by day, sip by sip.

This calamity is accompanied by paradox. For two decades, the government, along with Unicef and various aid groups, desperately worked to wean the nation from pond water, often an incubator for lethal disease. People were instead urged to install tube wells, tapping into the plentiful supply of underground aquifers. Regrettably, no one had tested these subterranean sources for arsenic." (New York Times)

"Bush warned on global warming" - "John Kerry, chairman of the US Senate commerce subcommittee and a leading prospect for the Democratic presidential nomination, on Thursday warned senior Bush administration officials they were undermining international efforts to combat global warming.

Accusing the administration of engaging in a "useless, ceaseless stupid fight" against the Kyoto climate change pact, Senator Kerry said the US had worked in international negotiations to "marginalise" the findings of scientists on the dangers of climate change. "Other leaders scratch their head in befuddlement over our unwillingness to accept the science." (Financial Times)

"Bush's Climate Echo" - "The Bush administration tried to defend its policies on climate change on Capitol Hill yesterday and failed spectacularly. Sitting before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, Glenn Hubbard, the Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) and Jim Connoughton, the Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) took turns fending off questions from Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who was chairing a hearing on the administration's recently released Climate Action Report. Efforts to defend its policy are now a fool's errand - and the administration's position will prove politically costly in the future." (Nick Schulz, TCS)

"The ice age cometh" - "A new ice age is due now, says ANDREW KENNY, but you won't hear it from green groups, who like to play on Western guilt about consumerism to make us believe in global warming." (Sunday Mail, Queensland)

"Ice ages looked like El Niño; Climatologists find familiar fluctuations in Pacific's past" - "During past ice ages, the tropical Pacific Ocean behaved rather as it does today in an El Niño event, bringing downpours to some places and drought to others, say US researchers. The link might help us to understand and predict how and why the Earth's climate can change rapidly.

For example, it could explain the low atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, during the last ice age. It is not clear whether this was a cause or a consequence of the difference in global climate, but such decreases would have lowered global temperatures still further, maintaining ice-age conditions." (NSU)

Don't look now but your PDO is showing: "El Nino Weakened by North Pacific Weather System" - "NEW YORK - A North Pacific weather system appears to have blunted formation of a strong 2002 El Nino, which in 1998 was blamed for catastrophic drought and rampant flooding in the Asia-Pacific rim, forecasters said Friday.

Scott Yuknis, senior meteorologist at Minneapolis-based Meteorlogix, told Reuters that creation of the El Nino -- an abnormal warming of waters in the equatorial Pacific which spawned devastation in 1997-1998 and 1982-1983 -- has been hindered by changes in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).

The PDO causes changes in water temperatures in the northern Pacific Ocean every 30 years and may impact long-term climatic patterns, particularly over North America, over the next two decades.

"I think the idea of strong El Ninos is something we won't see for many years to come," Yuknis said, adding it is "extremely difficult" for the weather anomaly to bloom due to the effect of the PDO." (Reuters)

"Summit Participants Can Pay to Offset Emissions" - "JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 11, 2002 - Each of the some 60,000 people expected to attend the World Summit on Sustainable Development taking place in South Africa later this summer will generate greenhouse gas emissions. Transport from their homes to the conference site in Johannesburg, and electricity used to stage the gathering are among the uses of fossil fuels that will emit the gases linked to global warming. South African officials will compensate for these emissions, and conference participants can help. Mary Metcalfe of the MEC Department for Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Land Affairs, of Gauteng Province, where the conference is taking place, is asking participants to pay for their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by joining the Johannesburg Climate Legacy." (ENS)

"Calls for curbs on ozone-forming pollutants" - "Scientists meeting in the Swiss resort of Interlaken are examining the role of ozone in climate change." (SwissInfo)

"UK to lead world in greener motoring" - "The world's most radical programme for turning the streets over to green cars will be announced by ministers this week.

The new strategy – which will go a long way towards meeting one of the key aims of The Independent on Sunday's asthma campaign – will ensure that hundreds of thousands of low-polluting vehicles will be put on the road each year. It could mark the biggest change in driving habits since the invention of the internal combustion engine.

Backed by Tony Blair – who believes that it will give UK car plants a competitive edge as the world seeks to clean up motoring – the initiative will combat pollution which causes global warming, asthma and other diseases. It will also boost the development of vehicles running on hydrogen, vegetable oils, electric batteries and ultra-efficient petrol engines." (Independent)

"Cluster" Busby rides again: "Resort near nuclear plant is worst cancer cluster" - "Cancer rates in a Somerset town close to a nuclear power station are up to six times higher than average.

Burnham-on-Sea will be named this week as the most significant 'cancer cluster' so far discovered near a British nuclear plant. The revelation will provide fuel for anti-nuclear campaigners who say the industry pollutes the environment and is potentially lethal for people living nearby.

The residents of Burnham, which lies five miles downwind of the Hinkley Point plant, have demanded an official inquiry into the figures, which were compiled by Dr Chris Busby, a government radiation adviser." (The Observer)

"Homer's powerful nuclear lesson for Scots" - "D’OH! Bumbling cartoon character Homer Simpson is more likely to influence people’s thinking on the nuclear industry than the government, a new study has revealed. Rather than turn to official sources, Scots are more likely to rely for information on the exploits of the beer-guzzling cartoon dad - best known for his catastrophic blunders while working as a safety inspector at a nuclear power plant. The startling finding, which would no doubt cause Homer to smack his forehead in disbelief, is revealed in a study commissioned by the Scottish Executive examining public attitudes towards nuclear dumping." (The Scotsman)

"Soil now blamed for GM scare" - "Sweetcorn seeds that sparked the genetic modification scare may have been contaminated by nothing more than soil from a Gisborne farm. Crop & Food Research yesterday revealed what a genetic scientist calls ''the missing piece of the puzzle'' to explain an apparent false positive result after the seed was tested for any GM contamination." (New Zealand Herald)

"GM conspiracy bubble bursting" - "ERMA director Lindie Nelson has joined the growing swell of scientific voices rejecting claims by lobbyist Nicky Hager that the Government allowed genetically engineered corn to be planted and harvested in New Zealand -- and then conspired to cover the event up.

Ms Nelson authored a memorandum that is at the core of Mr Hager's allegations. On Friday, she said the concerns she raised in the memo had been fully dealt with and that Hager left out a few inconvenient facts in his book -- primarily, what happened after she sent the memo." (National Business Review via The Life Sciences Network)

July 12, 2002

"The Fat Police Indict Margarine" - "No amount of margarine is safe to eat. Nor are there safe amounts of vegetable shortening, dairy products, pastries, crackers, fried foods — even breast milk. That's the latest dubious report from alleged experts at the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"Faster, CNN, Kill! Kill!" - "The Center for Science in the Public Interest started its campaign against trans fats six years ago, and ACSH warned back then that the folks at CSPI are a bunch of irresponsible scare-mongers, always claiming in the fine print that they don't mean to alarm anyone but always knowing that their periodic anti-food pronouncements do just that. (Trans fats, like any fats, can be bad for the heart if eaten in excess, but there is nothing strange or toxic or especially insidious about them.) If America's "consumer advocate" organizations are a bunch of attention-seeking scare-mongers, it would be nice to be able to turn to journalists for a skeptical second opinion, but you won't get that from CNN." (HealthFactsAndFears.com)

"The scary fat end of the wedge" - "Next week, Senators Bill Frist and Jeff Bingaman plan to introduce their "obesity bill" - the first legislation introduced in Congress specifically addressing Americans' bulging girth. The obesity bill is a mild piece of legislation, authorising federal agencies to spend more money educating the public on the dangers of excess weight. But activists say the proposal is significant because it shows the issue is at last moving on to the radar screen of the US government. It is also ringing alarm bells with foodmakers, soft drinks companies and fast-food chains. They fear they will be made to take sole blame for a health problem with complex causes - including not just unhealthy eating but also increasingly sedentary lifestyles - and end up where the tobacco industry did: in court." (Financial Times)

"Revved-Up Reality" - "This week John Stossel hosts 20/20 and takes on "media hype." We look at how the media sensationalizes and scares and how you can be misled by us. We'll show you how we in the press sometimes fall far short of our goal of informing, and how bad journalism can be worse than no journalism at all. Tune in Friday at 10 p.m. ET for our full report." (ABCNews.com)

"BBC News | HEALTH | Dioxin exposure threat to baby boys" - "Teenage boys exposed to organic pollutants are less likely to father boys, warn scientists. A study in Taiwan on the sex of children born to individuals exposed to the Yucheng mass dioxin poisoning scare in the 1970's has shown they are less likely to have male children if they are exposed to the chemical before the age of 20. The particular chemical involved in the 1979 Taiwanese disaster, polychlorinated byphenyls (PCBs) has now been banned, but researchers are worried that lower levels of dioxins in the environment could have similar effects. Researcher Dr Iliana del Rio Gomez, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said it was vital the number of pollutants were cut."

"Number of boys born to men exposed to polychlorinated byphenyls" - "We studied the sex of children born to individuals involved in the Yucheng oil disaster, Taiwan, who were exposed to polychlorinated byphenyls (PCBs) after an oil contamination accident in 1979. Men exposed to PCBs before age 20 years had a lower chance of having a baby boy than did age-matched and neighbourhood-matched controls (odds ratio 0·65, 95% CI 0·45-0·93). The male-to-female sex ratio of children born to men exposed to PCBs after age 20 years, however, approached that seen in controls (0·90, 0·59-1·35). We noted no significant difference in the birth ratio of infants born to exposed and unexposed mothers (0·93, 0·77-1·12). Our findings suggest that paternal exposure to PCBs before age 20 years affects the sex of a subsequently born child." (Iliana del Rio Gomez, Tom Marshall, Peichien Tsai, Yu-Shuan Shao, Yueliang Leon Guo, Lancet 2002; 360: 143-44)

"Judge Says 2 Agencies Erred and Set New PCB Standard" - "A federal judge has ruled that in denying an application for dumping off the coast of Sandy Hook, N.J., the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency improperly set a new, tougher federal standard for PCB levels.

The decision on Wednesday, by Judge Jed S. Rakoff of Federal District Court in Manhattan, has sent citizens' groups, lawyers, administrators and environmentalists at federal and state agencies scrambling to interpret the ruling, and to minimize what they fear could be a rush by shipping operations to apply for dumping permits under the prior, less stringent standard. The ruling essentially put that previous standard back into effect." (New York Times)

"Clear outlook: Study finds no link between weather and stroke" - "Challenging previous reports of a little-understood link between stroke and weather, a Canadian study found no discernible connection between the two, researchers report in the July issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association." (AHA)

"Strongest medical evidence seldom considered newsworthy" - "The strongest medical evidence is seldom regarded as newsworthy and is underreported in British newspapers, according to researchers in this week's BMJ." (BMJ-British Medical Journal)

"Thousands of women told to stop HRT" - "Combined hormone replacement therapy should not be used for long-term preventive treatment, an Australian expert committee established by the Federal Government has ruled." (Sydney Morning Herald) | Last word on Dangerous and destructive nonsense! (John Brignell, Number Watch)

"Pestering the third world" - "Many environmental activists and food experts are keen to ban pesticides from British farming and to convert the whole country to organic agriculture.

In spring 2002, members of parliament debated a Private Members' Bill calling for 30 percent of British farming to be organic by 2010. Campaigners have persuaded Marks and Spencer and the Co-Op to ban a range of pesticides from the food they sell - and the top five supermarkets are under pressure to follow suit.

But pesticides have actually helped to improve Britain's diet. Until the 1900s, the only weapons against animal and insect pests were the ancient, unreliable techniques of rotating crops, breeding tougher plant varieties and adjusting sowing dates. None of these was very effective, and farmers often faced the risk of severe infestation, or loss, of their entire harvest." (Jan Bowman, sp!ked)

"Why we need DDT" - "Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, the environmentalists' bible, is 40 years old this year. In 1936, Carson became the first woman biologist hired by the US Bureau of Fisheries, and later became its Head of Information Services. She left government service in 1952 to focus on writing. Silent Spring appeared in 1962; Carson died of breast cancer two years later." (Dave Hallsworth, sp!ked)

"Responsible Investing – A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing to the Chemical Industry?" - "ZURICH, Switzerland - The chemical industry is seen by responsible investors as an acceptable, sometimes even a desirable investment, concludes a study just completed by Atlantic Consulting. Companies such as Praxair and Sigma-Aldrich are seen as pioneers in social responsibility. Companies such as Du Pont and Bayer are seen as best-in-class in social and environmental responsibility. In responsible investment funds, chemicals shares are ‘market weighted’, i.e. the chemical sector is weighted similarly to its weighting by market capitalisation. A majority of the largest chemical producers – 14 of the top 20 – are found in a master portfolio of responsible investments that was compiled for this study." (CSRwire)

"Iceland glacier flood fears" - "UK scientists have detected signs of unusual geothermal activity beneath two ice caps in Iceland. They say this has caused the appearance of two deep depressions, known as cauldrons, in one of the caps. Beneath the other they have recorded seismic movements which could be the precursor of a big eruption. The scientists say there is little threat at present, but cannot predict how the activity may develop. The two ice cauldrons, about 12 km (eight miles) apart, are on the Tungaarjokull glacier, on the western edge of the Vatnajokull ice cap in southern Iceland." (BBC News Online)

Nice interest piece by Alex Kirby - wonder if The Observer's Robin McKie will repeat the Big J Award-winning performance of October 2000 and claim these events as evidence of 'global warming' too?

"U.S. May Need Years for Climate Study" - "WASHINGTON - Defending their approach toward global warming, President Bush's advisers said Thursday that costly near-term measures to reduce emissions aren't justified but they will develop a 10-year research plan to better understand climate change." (AP)

"Democrats Say Bush Global Warming Plan 'Baloney'" - "WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats on Thursday dismissed the Bush administration's plan for voluntary cuts in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions as "baloney" and said it will not help slow global warming. The White House plan depends on U.S. companies to voluntarily curb industrial emissions of carbon dioxide and links reduction targets to American economic growth. Democrats prefer a mandatory approach that dictates specific cuts." (Reuters)

"Bush advisers say withdrawal from climate treaty aids economy" - "WASHINGTON - President Bush's advisers defended their approach toward global warming yesterday, telling senators that withdrawing from an international climate treaty with mandatory controls for industry will, in the long run, preserve billions of dollars and millions of jobs." (AP)

"NWF Report: Energy Department Data Reveal President's Global Warming Plan Would Accelerate Nation's Greenhouse Gas Emissions" - "WASHINGTON, July 11 -- President Bush's global warming plan would allow more greenhouse gas pollution to occur at a faster rate than if the nation maintained the pollution trends of the past five years, according to a National Wildlife Federation (NWF) report released today. "Beneath the Hot Air", which analyzes newly released Department of Energy data, finds the Bush Administration's claim that their plan will slow global warming is nothing more than hot air when it comes to protecting people, wildlife and the environment." (U.S. Newswire)

Clive's at it again: "New Zealand Herald - Counting costs of a Kyoto snub" - "Across the Tasman attention is starting to shift from the costs of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol to the costs of not ratifying it, says Dr Clive Hamilton, an expert on climate change policy. Hamilton, executive director of the Australia Institute, a Canberra thinktank, was in New Zealand recently for the annual conference of environmental group ECO."

Clive is the ED (and, some say, sole member of) the (anti-)Australia Institute - a clinging-to-the-left-edge-of-the-flat-earth misanthropic prognosticator of eco-doom down under.

"Utilities Say New York Is Facing Summer Power Shortages" - "The New York region is unexpectedly facing the potential for serious power shortages over the next couple of months, utility executives and energy experts say." (New York Times)

"UPDATE - California sweats through new energy crunch" - "SAN FRANCISCO - Blistering heat and soaring energy demand pushed California's fragile power system close to the breaking point this week, forcing utilities to cut power to several of their biggest customers to stave off the threat of blackouts." (Reuters)

"Let the Sun Shine In" Editor's note: This article is the third in a series. - "In our last installment we discussed solar energy -- directly converting sunlight to electricity by the use of devices called photovoltaic cells. These cells can be arrayed in panels to combine power from individual cells.

One significant drawback of solar energy is that without an attached storage device, a photovoltaic system supplies electricity only in sunlight. Nighttime and times of poor weather mean that solar panels alone produce electricity intermittently." (Sallie Baliunas, TCS)

"Environmentalists clash over wind farm plan" - "HYANNIS - For decades it's been a favorite of environmentalists in search of cleaner, cheaper, renewable forms of energy: harnessing the power of the wind to generate electricity. Offshore wind farms, fueled by an endless supply of blustery raw material, surely could supplant fossil fuels, particularly along the gusty coastline of New England. Or so the argument goes. But, with the country's first large offshore wind farm inching closer to reality off the coasts of Hyannis and Nantucket, it was a group of environmentalists that came out against the plan yesterday." (Boston Globe)

"UK CHP power investment falls, threatens green goals" - "LONDON - A British government report will show investment in energy-efficient combined heat and power plants fell steeply in 2001, threatening UK goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions, an industry source said this week." (Reuters)

"Exposed: The double standards of dirty energy exports" - "Export credit agencies help flog coal, nuclear technologies to developing countries." (Greenpeace)

"'Greenpeace Go Home'?" - "OSLO -- A majority in the Finish parliament recently allowed a fifth nuclear reactor to be built. The Green Party has left the broad-based government as a result.

But in the streets of Helsinki demonstrators held banners with the somewhat unusual slogan: "Greenpeace go home". Opinion polls show that a substantial majority of the business-minded Finns support the decision." (Jan Arild Snoen, TCS Europe)

"Fungus Linked to Stunted Growth in West African Children" - "IBADAN, Nigeria: 11 July 2002 — A research team from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (a Future Harvest Center), and the University of Leeds, UK, announced this week that young African children show the kind of stunted growth usually associated with malnutrition when they eat food contaminated with fungal aflatoxins." (futureharvest.org)

"New Book - GE Contamination Coverup" - "Prime Minister Helen Clark and a few key Ministers of the Labour-Alliance Government kept a large accidental release of genetically engineered (GE) sweet corn plants secret and allowed them to be grown, harvested and sold to New Zealanders and export markets.

The detailed story of GE contaminated sweet corn crops, and subsequent efforts to hide the story from the public, most of Cabinet and the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification, is revealed today with the release of Nicky Hager's new book, ‘Seeds of Distrust'.

The books are on sale from 9am Wednesday, 10 July 2002." (press release by Nicky Hager via Life Sciences Network)

"Talk to officials, says Clark, on GE corn claims" - "Prime Minister Helen Clark today offered opposition parties and media access to official advice as she sought to calm fears that genetically engineered (GE) corn has been grown in New Zealand.

Activist-author Nicky Hager yesterday said in his book Seeds of Distrust that GE-contaminated corn was planted in Hawke`s Bay, Gisborne and Marlborough.

Both Hager and the Green Party claimed a massive cover-up, and party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons called for tests on land where the GE corn was said to have grown to ensure no contamination had occurred." (New Zealand Herald)

Some facts about alleged GM contamination of maize (Life Sciences Network)

"Greens playing Kiwis for suckers" - "The Green Party is playing New Zealanders for "a bunch gullible suckers" over the GM issue, according to Terry Dunleavy, national convener of Bluegreens, a voluntary organisation that advises the National Party on environment and heritage issues. "And they're being helped by gullible media who seem thus far to have swallowed the Greens' propaganda," he added." (press release via Life Sciences Network)

July 11, 2002

"Worried women flood doctors' telephone lines" - " Post-menopausal women reacted with fear and anger yesterday after learning long-term hormone replacement therapy might do more harm than good. Doctors were overwhelmed with calls from patients after U.S. researchers announced they abandoned a major study of combined hormone replacement therapy three years early because of an increased risk of breast cancer. Experts suggested doctors should not prescribe the combination for long-term use." (National Post) | Hormone therapy study stopped due to increased breast cancer risk, lack of overall benefit (NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) | Dangerous and destructive nonsense! (Number Watch)

Not here as science but a good topical commentary: "Why it is worth taking the risk" - "After 20 years on HRT Claire Rayner developed breast cancer. Despite research showing a possible link, she does not regret taking the drug - and has no intention of giving up." (The Guardian)

"UMass researcher helping the EPA to determine health effects of spent rocket fuel" - "A University of Massachusetts scientist is part of a panel of experts helping the Environmental Protection Agency determine how to deal with tons of spent rocket fuel that has seeped into aquifers in parts of the American Southwest. The panel is looking at a chemical known as perchlorate, a salt that has been a major component in rocket fuel for roughly 50 years." (University of Massachusetts at Amherst)

More from Health sCare Without sHame: "Cosmetics full of suspect chemicals" - "WASHINGTON - Cosmetics ranging from perfume to hair gel contain chemicals shown to cause birth defects in animals, a group that lobbies on health issues says. It listed 52 products that contain phthalates, which are used to make fragrances last longer and to soften plastics. Only one listed phthalates on the label. Although there is no evidence that phthalates are harmful to humans, the group argues that they should be removed from cosmetics until they can be shown to be safe. Health Care Without Harm, a coalition of health, religious, labour and environmental groups, has been lobbying against phthalates for years." (Reuters)

"Meat-free diet puts infants at risk" - "Children of parents who eat no meat are more likely to suffer from birth defects than children of parents with a wider diet, according to new research in the UK. Researchers from the University of Bristol analysed 8,000 babies and discovered that those exposed to a meat-free diet in the womb were up to five times more likely to develop deformities. The discovery has prompted the European Union to begin a study of 3,000 babies to investigate why the risk is so high among vegetarians, a particularly worrying development given the steady growth in the number of vegetarians in recent years following BSE and other meat-related food scares." (NutraIngredients)

"Big Food struggles to shrug off organic flop" - "BIG Food Group, owner of the Iceland frozen food chain, reported a drop in first-quarter sales and said the shortfall in its final salary pension scheme had widened to £110 million.

Like-for-like sales slipped 0.9 per cent in the 13 weeks to 28 June, hurt by a 5.8 per cent drop at Iceland, which accounts for about one-third of the group’s business. Iceland operates 760 stores in the UK, including 67 in Scotland. Adjusted for Easter, sales were flat while those of Iceland were down 3.5 per cent.

Big Food said sales at Iceland were affected by tough comparatives following promotional activity in May 2001. Known as Iceland until last February, Big Food is still recovering from a catastrophic attempt in 2001 to switch to pricey organic food that alienated Iceland’s thrifty customers." (The Scotsman)

"Genome Therapeutics, University of Southampton and Schering-Plough identify novel asthma gene" - "In a study released today in the journal Nature, researchers at Genome Therapeutics, University of Southampton and Schering-Plough describe the identification of a specific susceptibility gene linked to asthma. Scientists used a positional cloning platform to identify the gene, known as ADAM33, from a large, outbred population drawn from the U.K. and the U.S. Begun in 1996 to develop novel therapies for the treatment and prevention of asthma, the program has progressed to high-throughput screening." (Genome Therapeutics Corporation)

"Virus in babies may cause asthma later on" - "While most scientists believe that allergies cause asthma, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are uncovering a second potential cause for this common respiratory illness. Their new model suggests that a viral infection in the first years of life may leave a lasting mark on the immune system, causing chronic respiratory problems later on." (Washington University School of Medicine)

"Truth Under Fire; Environmentalist claims of vindication go up in smoke" - "Talk about starting a fire in your own backyard.

Last month, environmental groups across the country hollered like banshees when politicians and local communities began taking them to task for the massive wildfires that are today gutting the West. The crescendo came when Arizona's Gov. Jane Dee Hull, watching half a million acres of her state go up in smoke, flatly blamed greenies for obstructing work to clean up national forests. She was talking about the never-ending stream of appeals and lawsuits they file to halt thinning, road building and firebreaks.

The only thing was, just as the enviros were taking some richly deserved heat, they suddenly surfaced with what looked like an ironclad defense--in the form of a General Accounting Office report." (Kimberley A. Strassel, The Wall Street Journal)

"Report: Environmentalists add to fire danger" - "WASHINGTON — Nearly half the projects designed to reduce fire risks in national forests since 2001 were stalled by appeals, usually by environmentalists seeking to stop logging, an internal Forest Service report says. Critics say the delays left forests overgrown, contributing to the worst fire year on record in the West, where more than 3.1 million acres have burned so far. The report said that of 326 cases in the past two years in which the service planned to cut down excess small trees that could fuel forest fires, 155 were delayed by administrative appeals and 21 of those cases ended up in court." (AP)

"Administration officials say climate change forecasts could take five years; people may be a major factor in global warming" - "WASHINGTON - The Bush administration told Congress Wednesday it needs up to five years to develop scientific forecasts before deciding how best to address global warming." (Associated Press)

"Aus, US launch climate plan" - "AUSTRALIA and the United States, which both earned international disapproval for refusing to ratify the Kyoto protocol on climate change, have launched a joint bid to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Both countries announced a work program under an initiative known as the US-Australia Climate Action Partnership - agreed to earlier this year after Australian Environment Minister David Kemp met senior US officials. "Australia and the US share the view that there needs to be global action to address climate change and will continue to work together closely to address this long-term challenge," US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said." (AFP) | Australia and the United States Working Together on Climate Change (Media release)

"Green campaigners put brake on car lobby in land of the freeway" - "The future of car design could be changed by the signing of a bill in Sacramento, California this week. In what its supporters claim is the most significant environmental step in the motor industry in two decades, the new law would regulate the exhaust emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

The car and oil industries are already mobilising fierce opposition to the bill. They warn that it is a form of "social engineering" that could lead to more deaths on the roads, higher taxes and petrol costs, and the outlawing of the popular four-wheel drive SUV (sport utility vehicle) which has been blamed as one of the worst polluting culprits." (The Guardian)

"Genetics "fashion" boosts EU animal testing - expert" - "BRUSSELS - A new trend in experimenting on genetically modified animals is hampering the European Union's drive to cut animal testing, a top scientist said this week." (Reuters)

"Revive the extinct Tasmanian tiger – through cloning?" - "SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Ask any American who grew up on Sunday morning cartoons, and he or she will surely be able to recognize the infamous Tasmanian devil – one of Bugs Bunny's ferocious yet lovable sidekicks from Down Under. Ask the same people about the Tasmanian tiger, and they will most likely draw a blank. That's because the Tasmanian tiger became extinct long before it had a chance to audition for Warner Brothers." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"EU commission's farm proposal omits genetically altered crops" - "BRUSSELS - The European Commission's proposals to promote more environmentally friendly farming, scheduled to be unveiled Wednesday, ignore one tool with a proven track record of environmental benefits: genetically modified crops.

The biotechnology industry on Tuesday blasted the commission for the omission and accused it of caving in to political pressure in failing to embrace expanded use of ''green'' biotechnology in Europe. ''It's ludicrous to discuss sustainable farming without discussing the potential of green biotechnology,'' said Hugo Schepens, secretary-general of EuropaBio, an umbrella group representing 40 biotech companies and 18 national associations." (The Wall Street Journal)

Schmeiser's story changes again? "No crops safe from contamination, claims farmer" - "Australian farmers would be destroyed by genetically modified crops, a Canadian farmer warned on Tuesday, IndustrySearch.com reports. Canadian Percy Schmeiser said Australia would be unable to contain the spread of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Schmeiser has been fighting a multinational company in the Canadian courts for four years. The legal battle arose when genetically engineered canola, which Schmeiser never planted, was found in his 1998 crop.

The genetically engineered canola came from a neighbouring farm but the company which developed the canola, Monsanto, instigated legal action against Schmeiser for violating its patent. He was ordered to pay more than $150,000 in compensation by Canadian courts, a decision he has appealed. Schmeiser said Australia's practice of publishing where GM trial crops were located was inadequate. "I don't know of a single test plot or a trial plot (in Canada) where GMOs have not escaped," he said." (FoodNavigator) [Complete]

Actually, that isn't what happened in the Percy Schmeiser case at all. Schmeiser was adjudged a thief who tried to grow RR Canola with seed saved from the previous year's crop without paying the same license fees rightly paid by other farmers. He was cheating on everybody for personal gain and was caught. Schmeiser has since become the darling of the anti-biotech crowd and jet sets around the world propagandising on their behalf.

Readers should be aware that Monsanto has never demanded compensation from farmers in cases of accidental appearance of Roundup-tolerant crops. Indeed, the highly publicised case of Percy Schmeiser versus Monsanto Canada had nothing to do with GM crops showing up on a farmer's field by accident and a farmer being prosecuted as a result.

According to the Regina Leader Post in May this year, Monsanto's court costs of $153,000 were also awarded against Schmeiser.

With his appeal against his conviction Schmeiser took a new tack, declaring recently that he had indeed deliberately planted the Roundup Ready canola, but that as a farmer, it was his right to brown bag seed or purchase it from a neighbour - so much for it "blowing off passing seed trucks" and "contaminating his fields."

"Zambia changes stance, seeks GM maize for food aid" - "LUSAKA - Zambia, which initially rejected genetically modified (GM) maize in food aid, has now asked the World Food Programme to buy the cheaper GM corn to feed about 2.3 million people, the U.N. food body said yesterday." (Reuters)

"Russia to restrict GM feed imports from Oct 1-AgMin" - "MOSCOW - Russia will restrict imports of animal feed containing genetically modified (GM) material from October, First Deputy Agriculture Minister Sergei Dankvert said this week. "From October 1 we will import only registered products," Dankvert told reporters. A government resolution, to take effect from October 1, authorises the Agriculture Ministry to issue registration certificates for feeds containing GM components, which will serve as import permits." (Reuters)

July 10, 2002

HCWH - again: "Babies 'exposed to cancer chemicals'" - "Hospitals are exposing patients, including babies and young children, to high levels of potentially dangerous chemicals, a report suggests. A study by researchers in the UK and US has found that medical equipment, like tubes and blood bags, may contain high levels of phthalates - a chemical that has been linked to cancer and infertility. In a report, published simultaneously in London and Washington DC, they warned that when used in combination these pieces of equipment could be delivering harmful doses of the chemical to patients." (BBC News Online)

"BBC News | HEALTH | Pesticides 'threat to rural dwellers'" - "Pesticides are threatening the health of people living in rural areas, a government advisory committee will be told this week. The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) believes tighter safeguards are needed. Alison Craig, a PAN spokeswoman told the BBC that the group was aware of cases where people had been made very ill by pesticides."

"allAfrica.com: UN Body Got It Wrong On DDT" - "Maligned, yet life-saving, insecticide should not be part of dirty-dozen pollutants"

"UK: 32 more people may die in 2002 due to 'mad cow'" - "LONDON - Thirty-two Britons will die in 2002 from the human form of "mad cow" disease if current trends continue, government-backed scientists said on Tuesday. A total of 104 deaths from definite or probable variant CJD (vCJD) have already been reported in the UK as of the end of 2001. The victims are believed to have contracted the brain-wasting illness by eating meat from cows with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or "mad cow" disease." (Reuters Health)

"Humanity will pay for abuse of the environment, warns WWF" - "Future generations can expect to see a severe fall in living standards as humanity begins to pay for its huge environmental "overdraft" with planet Earth, a leading conservation group has claimed. Human development will begin to plummet within 30 years because we are fast running out of space and resources to sustain the turbo-charged lifestyle of the developed world, says WWF International.

The report was published 50 days before the start of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which begins in Johannesburg on 26 August." (Independent) [See also: WWF release, with link to Living Planet Report 2002 (WWF)]

"Reckless 'Abandon'" - "A World Wildlife Fund (WWF) study, to be released today, warns that over-consumption will force human colonization of other planets within fifty years unless it is curtailed immediately. The WWF report warns that the seas will become emptied of fish, all forests will be destroyed and supplies of drinking water will become polluted or disappear.

However, according to reliable data, the Day of Judgment is not just around the corner. In fact, economic and scientific advances have made it possible for the developed world to be more efficient in its natural resource usage, to find or make new resources, and maintain or revive endangered species." (Howard Fienberg, TCS)

"WWF: Earth to 'Expire by 2050'" - "The UK's Sunday Observer newspaper reports that Earth's population will be forced to colonize two planets within 50 years if natural resources continue to be exploited at the current rate, according to a report out this week.

The study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) warns that the human race is plundering the planet at a pace that outstrips its capacity to support life.

In a condemnation of Western society's consumption levels, it adds that the extra planets (the equivalent size of Earth) will be required by the year 2050 as existing resources are exhausted.

In "Natural Resources Aren't Finite," the late Cato Senior Fellow Julian Simon explains that because progress and technology create new resources that substitute old depleting ones, the finality of currently used materials is "impossible to construct."

In "The Law of Increasing Returns," Ronald Bailey explains that "the United States today farms less than half of the land that it did in the 1920s but produces far more food now than it did then. The key, of course, is technology. In fact, available farming technology from developed countries could prevent, and in many cases reverse, the loss of tropical forests and other wildlife habitat around the globe. Unfortunately, institutional barriers, the absence of secure property rights, corrupt governments and a lack of education prevent its widespread diffusion and, hence, environmental restoration." (Cato Institute)

"EU rules seen doubling cost of UK waste dumping" - "LONDON - The cost of dumping rubbish in Britain may double over the next two years after new legislation from Brussels, designed to cut the amount of waste sent to landfill, takes effect this month, a UK Environment Agency official said." (Reuters)

"Study Claims Global Warming Helped US Avert Deeper Recession" - "A climatologist who believes humans are causing global warming says last winter's mild temperatures in the United States helped save the country from a deeper economic recession following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The mild and generally snow-free winter of 2001-2002, which many environmentalists have said was the result of global warming, helped save consumers $21 billion, according to climatologist Stanley Changnon, a professor of geography at the University of Illinois." (CNSNews.com)

"U.S. voters want strict greenhouse gas cuts, says survey" - "WASHINGTON — Three-fourths of voters surveyed want the U.S. government to require power plants and industry to cut emissions linked to global warming and not rely on voluntary cuts endorsed by the White House, according to a poll released by an environmental group on Tuesday. The Zogby survey of 1,008 likely U.S. voters across the nation was commissioned by the Union of Concerned Scientists, an activist group that backs a Senate proposal for strict cuts in industrial emissions of carbon dioxide." (Reuters) | Poll (UCS) | Making sense of surveys; when to trust polls (American Sociological Association)

"Global Warming Coming to Bay Area, Scientists Say" - "If you think it's hot now, scientists expect global warming to bring average temperatures in the Bay Area up by four degrees in the next 50 years.

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory have pictures to prove it. The images look a lot like satellite maps, but they are new climate simulations created by a supercomputer. The models tell researchers that the global and Bay Area climate is changing.

"We can predict the future weather within three to four days," said Dr. David Nowak, with the Atmospheric Science Division. "With the global climate, we can predict the climate in 10, 20, 50 years into the future." (KPIX/KCBS)

"A Pitiable Ploy to Promote the Kyoto Protocol: Predicted Shutdown of the Marine Thermohaline Circulation" - "Summary: In a recent article in Science magazine, Brian C. O'Neill and Michael Oppenheimer urge immediate implementation of the Kyoto Protocol to prevent what they view as the three most dangerous biospheric impacts of global warming. We here discuss the third of their trio of planetary meltdown scenarios, exposing the flaws in their specious arguments." (co2science.org)

"Subject Index Summaries: Agriculture (Species -- Other)" - "Summary: A brief review of some of the recently published literature suggests that increases in the air's CO2 content will enhance rates of photosynthesis and biomass production in nearly all agricultural crops, even under stressful environmental conditions." (co2science.org)

"Subject Index Summaries: Droughts (Africa)" - "Summary: Each new drought, it seems, serves as grist for the climate alarmist catastrophe mill; and Africa has had some good ones. But does the continent's drought history provide any evidence that the ongoing rise in the air's CO2 content is exacerbating the situation?" (co2science.org)

"Carbon Sequestration Commentary: Rising Seas Trigger Carbon Sequestration in Tidal Marshes" - "Summary: An important new study adds to the mounting evidence that rising seas promote the sequestration of huge amounts of carbon in the soils of coastal marshes, thereby providing a significant negative feedback to counter potential CO2-induced global warming." (co2science.org)

"A Climate Model Reality Check" - "Summary: Out of 23 state-of-the-art climate models trying to pass the "replicate-just-a-part-of-the-real-world" test, one might think that at least one of the models would succeed. But, as this revealing study shows, if one did think that, one would be thinking wrong. Climate Dynamics 18: 403-420." (co2science.org)

"More Evidence that Algae Help to Regulate Earth's Climate" - "Summary: A 30-month-long study of the role of temperature in driving marine biological activity that results in the production of cloud condensation nuclei that can lead to the creation of more and brighter clouds adds to the mounting evidence for the reality and effectiveness of one of the many ways by which earth's biosphere has the capacity to "put a lid on" global warming. Atmospheric Environment 36: 929-938."

"Organic Vapors from Trees Produce Cloud Condensation Nuclei" - "Summary: This phenomenon adds a whole new dimension to the question of future climate change - like will the planet warm at all if, in the words of the new study's authors, "complex feedback processes involving, for example, the coupling of emissions, radiative balance, and aerosol and cloud formation" conspire to negate the impetus for warming produced by anthropogenic CO2 releases to the air. Nature 416: 497-498." (co2science.org)

"Model Simulations of CO2-Induced Growth Responses in N-Poor and N-Rich Grasslands" - "Summary: Will atmospheric CO2 enrichment have a larger impact on the productivity of nitrogen-poor or nitrogen-rich ecosystems? Model simulations of photosynthesis and biomass production in Lolium perenne grasslands provide the answer. Global Change Biology 4: 431-442." (co2science.org)

"Differential Effects of Elevated CO2 on Old and New Soil Carbon Pools" - "Summary: The greatest terrestrial reservoir of organic carbon is the soil organic carbon pool. In this study, the authors investigated how elevated CO2 impacted the movement of carbon into and out of various components of this reservoir in a Mediterranean grassland ecosystem. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 33: 365-373." (co2science.org)

"VIRTUAL CLIMATE ALERT July 8, 2002 Vol. 3, No. 22" - "ABC News reports that global warming is melting Alpine glaciers. A July 7 segment contends numerous melt-water lakes threaten towns and villages below with flooding. Italian engineers were taped busily at work in an effort to drain a lake that looms over Macugnaga, a resort town of population 700. Local officials worry that such media attention will frighten away tourists. So, despite their efforts to quietly undertake steps that are intended to alleviate a potential threat and preserve their local economy (in other words, to adapt to changing conditions), their next-to-the-worst nightmare comes true. One of the world’s largest media outlets made Macugnaga a poster child for the horrors of earth’s changing climate." (GES)

"Green Alert July 3, 2002 Vol. 1, No. 34" - "Many arid and semi-arid land surfaces are covered by a thin crust of living and dead lichens and/or algae. This is called a cryptobiotic soil crust and performs important functions. The crust reduces wind and water erosion (Evans and Johansen, 1999), helps preserve soil moisture (Yair, 1990), and provides much-needed nitrogen for larger vascular plants because of the lichens’ and algae’s nitrogen-fixing activities (Evans and Belnap, 1999). The lichens and algae (and their remains) seem inconspicuous but play an outsized role in helping stabilize shifting desert sands and help make it possible for "higher" plants to gain a foothold in regions that otherwise would be inhospitable to them.

How do the lichens and algae that comprise the cryptobiotic soil crust respond to the atmosphere’s increasing concentration carbon dioxide?" (GES)

"Livermore scientists create highest resolution global climate simulations to date" - "Atmospheric scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have performed the first global climate simulations with spatial resolutions of roughly 50 km (30 miles). This capability will be used to assess climate change and its societal impacts." (DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

"MEASURING EARTHSHINE: HOW NEW TERRA DATA ARE IMPROVING WEATHER AND CLIMATE FORECAST MODELS" - "A sensor aboard NASA’s Terra satellite is helping scientists map how much sunlight the Earth’s surface reflects back up into the atmosphere, and this new detailed information should help to greatly improve weather and forecast models." (NASA/GSFC)

"SATELLITE SEES DOUBLE ZONES OF CONVERGING TROPICAL WINDS AROUND THE WORLD" - "NASA's QuikSCAT satellite has confirmed a 30-year old largely unproven theory that there are two areas near the equator where the winds converge year after year and drive ocean circulation south of the equator. By analyzing winds, QuikSCAT has found a year-round southern and northern Intertropical Convergence Zone. This find is important to climate modelers and weather forecasters because it provides more detail on how the oceans and atmosphere interact near the equator." (NASA/GSFC)

"Pouring rain gives us all the summertime blues" - "STORMS lash coastal resorts, severe weather flashes give warning of flooding and the economy dampens under the onslaught. It must be summer. As more rain poured down across many parts of the country yesterday, forecasters said Britain might be heading for its wettest summer for more than 40 years." | Graphic: Two Centuries of Wet Summers (The Times)

"ABC Sci-Tech - 10 07 02 : Norway trials underwater storage of greenhouse gases" - "Norway plans to store several tonnes of carbon dioxide deep in the Norwegian Sea to study whether the procedure can be used to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The pilot project is to be conducted by the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) along with US and Japanese researchers."

"Norway must not permit ocean dumping of CO2" - "Tue 09 July 2002, Oslo, NORWAY - A controversial scheme to dispose of the fossil fuel industry's waste problems has the Norwegian government poised to break international law." (Greenpeace)

"Wind Breaks" - "Why the favorite energy source of environmental activists is unsustainable." (Ronald Bailey, Reason)

"US nuclear plants to add 994 megawatts in 2002 - EIA" - "WASHINGTON - U.S. utilities will increase nationwide nuclear power generation by 994 megawatts, or 2.2 percent, this year because of expansion projects at existing plants, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said this week." (Reuters)

"After years of debate, U.S. Congress approves sending nation's nuclear waste to Nevada" - "WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Tuesday to entomb thousands of tons of radioactive waste inside Yucca Mountain in the Nevada desert, rejecting the state's fervent protests and ending years of political debate over nuclear waste disposal. The vote to override Nevada's objections to the waste dump 90 miles (145 kilometers) northwest of Las Vegas cleared the way for President George W. Bush to proceed with the project, which has been studied for more than two decades." (Associated Press)

"Acid rain threatens forests in more ways than previously thought" - "UC Riverside Earth Scientist Martin Kennedy and colleagues report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that acid rain, by leaching essential metal nutrients (such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium) from topsoil, may pose a far graver threat to forests than has been previously estimated. This result would especially interest ecologists, biologists, geologists, and policy makers." (University of California - Riverside)

"Mercury News | 07 09 2002 | TECH LEADERS' CLOUT AIDS ENVIRONMENT" - "Automakers said the new limits on emissions that state lawmakers were considering would hurt the economy and prevent consumers from buying sport-utility vehicles. Environmentalists said they would help curb global warming. Into the fray stepped Environmental Entrepreneurs, insisting that business and environmental interests are not at odds.

Last week's passage of the Assembly bill limiting greenhouse-gas emissions -- the first of its kind in the country -- was just what Nicole Lederer and Bob Epstein envisioned for Environmental Entrepreneurs, a 2-year-old group of business leaders who support environmental causes.

E2, as the group is known, presented undecided Assembly members with business leaders -- mostly Silicon Valley financiers and tech executives -- who supported the bill. That gave politicians a defense against the charge that they were anti-business.

``They were essential to the passage of the bill,'' said Anne Baker, a staff member for Assemblywoman Fran Pavley, D-Woodland Hills, who created the bill. ``They wrote Op-Eds, they wrote to legislators, they came here and met with members of the state Assembly on a regular basis. They were relentless.''

"Californians are at it again" - "Dishonest and dangerous environmental shibboleths are beginning to have real-world consequences that will cost all of us increasingly larger sums of money. California's July 2 decision to classify the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by car and truck engines a "harmful pollutant" subject to strict regulation is merely the latest — and perhaps most alarming — example of the trend." (Washington Times editorial)

"Frankenfears" - "BRUSSELS -- After years of pandering to fear of genetically modified crops in the European media, protected farm interests and green groups, it is difficult for the European Union to backtrack and claim to support GM crop production and the substantial use of GM foods without a backlash of public opinion. On one hand, the European Commission recently issued tough new rules on GM's, and on the other it is pumping billions of freshly minted euros into biotech research." (Michael Standaert, TCS Europe)

"EU Biotech Industry Blasts Genetic Crop Labeling Law" - "BRUSSELS - A proposed strict labeling law on genetically modified foods increases the possibility of massive fraud, Europe's main biotechnology lobby said Tuesday. The law passed last week by the European Parliament is designed to reassure queazy European consumers. But tests can't detect all so-called GMOs, so many will end up anyhow on supermarket shelves, said Simon Barber of the European Association for Bioindustries or EuropaBio." (Dow Jones)

July 9, 2002

"What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?" - "If the members of the American medical establishment were to have a collective find-yourself-standing-naked-in-Times-Square-type nightmare, this might be it. They spend 30 years ridiculing Robert Atkins, author of the phenomenally-best-selling ''Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution'' and ''Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution,'' accusing the Manhattan doctor of quackery and fraud, only to discover that the unrepentant Atkins was right all along. Or maybe it's this: they find that their very own dietary recommendations -- eat less fat and more carbohydrates -- are the cause of the rampaging epidemic of obesity in America. Or, just possibly this: they find out both of the above are true." (Gary Taubes, New York Times Magazine)

"Stores claim organic prices fair" - "THE main supermarkets have defended the high prices they charge for organic food. Sainsbury’s insisted its profit margin on organic food was the same as for conventional products.

The company, which sells £4 million worth of organic food a week, said its prices reflected the increased cost of producing organic goods. It said customers must be aware of the true costs.

The defence comes after the Prince of Wales warned of the damage being done to the countryside from a ready supply of cheap food. He said consumers needed to be made more aware that the "seemingly endless desire for convenience and the lowest price" had a direct impact on farmers and the countryside." (The Scotsman)

"Organic crops no more nutritional" - "There is no appreciable difference between the nutritional content of organic fruits and vegetables and conventionally grown ones, according to research commissioned by The Globe and Mail and CTV." (Globe and Mail)

Eminently plausible hypothesis but desperately small sample size.

"Deformed Frogs, Pesticides Studied" - "STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Scientists debating whether high rates of deformities in frogs are the result of parasites or pollution may both be right, a study suggests. In an article published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Penn State University biologist Joseph Kiesecker wrote that infection with trematode worms, a common parasite, actually causes the deformities in wood frogs, but that the deformity rates were substantially higher in areas where infected frogs were exposed to pesticide runoff." (AP) | Deformed frogs form when parasites and pesticides combine (Penn State)

"Publish and be biased" - "It seemed too good to be true when the New York Times decided to publish an article on the importance of negative results, but of course, they missed the main point. They seem to think that the main reason for publishing negative results is to save others from repeating the experiments. In fact, it is the almost universal non-publishing of negative results that sustains most of the epidemiological fictions that arise from apparent positive results." (John Brignell, Number Watch)

"How money vanishes in the black hole of aid for aid's sake" - "This is one isolated case floating on a Sargasso Sea of consultancies that in itself is dependent upon an ocean of Western dollars. But the truth is that aid in the developing world is handled by thousands of micro-consultancies - like mine - which exist for one reason alone. They are there to maintain the Great Aid Lie, an expensive exercise in sophistry. Aid is doled out not for the sake of those it is aimed at, but for the sake of aid itself." (Nick Gordon, Daily Telegraph)

"Protecting Monarchs by Trying to Protect Forests" - "MEXICO CITY — For years, conservationists have watched, frustrated, as the Mexican government's declaration of no-logging zones in and around the winter retreats of the monarch butterfly have been ignored. The reason is obvious. In the rural communities around the monarch sanctuaries, subsistence farming is the main way of life, making the cutting of trees — legally or not — a necessity for firewood and building." (New York Times)

"Aid for Farmers Helps Butterflies Too" - "For the butterfly to live you have to have integration with human beings," said Guadalupe Del Río, president and co-founder of Alternare along with fellow biologist and co-founder Ana María Múñiz. "We're proving that this can be done." (New York Times)

"Crossbreeding to Save Species and Create New Ones" - "Using the increasingly powerful tools of genetic analysis, scientists have begun to reveal the underappreciated role of hybridization in evolution."

"Quitting Kyoto" - "'Global warming' has proved a gift for the Fat Boy school of journalism, straight out of Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers: 'I wants to make your flesh creep.'" (Philip Stott, sp!ked)

"Japan, Kazakhstan agree to CO2-cutting move" - "TOKYO - Japan has agreed to buy credits from clean-energy projects in Kazakhstan to help meet Tokyo's carbon dioxide reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol, an official at a Japanese Trade Ministry affiliate said yesterday." (Reuters)

"Esso wins ban on Greenpeace's use of doctored logo" - "ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil company, yesterday won the first round of a bad-tempered legal battle designed to bring a halt to Greenpeace's StopEsso campaign. The result in Paris sent a shiver through the anti-corporate campaign sector which feared the judgment could encourage other companies to resort to legal action." (The Guardian)

"FEATURE - Paperwork, costs cloud Spain's solar potential" - "MADRID - Spain's guaranteed sunshine draws in 10 million German tourists a year, so how come sun-starved Germany has eight times more solar panels installed than Spain? Ignorance, excessive bureaucracy and inadequate subsidies are preventing the Mediterranean country from tapping the energy potential of what is arguably its biggest natural resource, industry sources and environmentalists say." (Reuters)

If it's such a wonderful resource, why are "inadequate subsidies" a problem? Surely an essentially inexhaustible resource must be able to attract virtually unlimited venture capital - if it stands any realistic chance of being practical and profitable. Even if profits are low in the short- to mid-term, SRIs (Socially Responsible Investment funds) tout trillion-dollar investment clout and the patience to profit more slowly for the good of the planet and society. If it's really such a good thing, why does it need public subsidy at all?

"Italy to suspend car tax for 3 yrs on some autos" - "ROME - In a new tax decree the Italian government said it will suspend a car tax on new eco-friendly compact vehicles for three years, a government source said last week. The Italian government had been expected to introduce measures to help struggling carmaker Fiat out of a slump in sales and deepening losses." (Reuters)

"JAY AMBROSE: Only the rootworm loses" - "There's a rootworm, and it hurts the corn crop, and there are the ultra-greenies, who could very well hurt the corn crop, but rescue is on the way in the form of a genetically engineered technique and two federal agencies that are overriding objections to its use." (Scripps Howard News Service)

"Blair to head GM campaign" - "Tony Blair is to lead a three-pronged campaign to win public opinion over to the idea that genetically modified crops should be grown commercially in Britain. The campaign will run in parallel with the last of a three-year series of trials of GM crops. The last 18 experimental sites were announced yesterday. Officially, the exercise is described as a public debate. However, one minister said: "Don't be in any doubt - the decision is already taken." (Daily Telegraph)

"Green groups warn of GM pollen spread as more crop tests unveiled" - "The location of the last round of experimental genetically modified crops to be planted in Britain were announced yesterday amid accusations that they would "spread pollen far and wide." (Independent)

July 8, 2002

"BSE risk over chicken injected with beef" - "Vast quantities of frozen chicken adulterated with beef protein powder, which the authorities admit could present a risk of BSE, are being consumed in Britain, a Guardian investigation has revealed." (The Guardian)

This "Guardian investigation"... involved reading The Irish Times last Thursday did it? [Concern over collagen fibre in food (subscription required - for those who lack access, click here)]

"Earth 'will expire by 2050'" - "Our planet is running out of room and resources. Modern man has plundered so much, a damning report claims this week, that outer space will have to be colonised" (The Observer)

"Environmental enemy No. 1" - "IS GROWTH bad for the environment? It is certainly fashionable in some quarters to argue that trade and capitalism are choking the planet to death. Yet it is also nonsense. As our survey of the environment this week explains, there is little evidence to back up such alarmism. On the contrary, there is reason to believe not only that growth can be compatible with greenery, but that it often bolsters it." (The Economist)

"In WTO regime, toothpick makes eco-pinprick" - "NEW DELHI: Can toothpicks be an environmental pinprick? Apparently, yes. A businessman exporting bamboo toothpicks was suddenly asked if the bamboo was coming from sustainable forestry, and forced to get certification. This small example illustrates the potentially-huge, and possibly disastrous, implications of linking trade and environment issues internationally. Yet, while last year's World Trade Organisation ministerial declaration in Doha mandated negotiations on trade and environment, there has been little debate on it and industry is largely ignorant of the implications." (Times of India)

"Africa needs 100 million jobs in next decade-ILO" - "DURBAN, South Africa, July 6 - Africa needs to create 100 million jobs in the next decade to meet demands of new entrants into the labour market, the head of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said on Saturday. Juan Somavia, the ILO's director-general, told African ministers that it was necessary to boost the growth of African economies in order to produce the required jobs. "We need to concentrate on (building) the local economies. We need to concentrate on development and enterprise," he said, adding that Africa must improve productivity to create jobs." (Reuters)

"The great race" - "SUSTAINABLE development is a dangerously slippery concept. Who could possibly be against something that invokes such alluring images of untouched wildernesses and happy creatures? The difficulty comes in trying to reconcile the “development” with the “sustainable” bit: look more closely, and you will notice that there are no people in the picture." (The Economist)

"Seattle, Chicago headed in opposite directions in holiday temp survey" - "If you think it's hotter on the Fourth of July than it used to be, unless you live in Chicago, Knoxville or a few select cities, chances are it's just a case of faulty memory." (DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

"Caught Red-Handed!" - "The discredited `National Assessment', and the USCGRP which produced it, have been caught red-handed, not just metaphorically speaking but also literally, splashing red and orange all over their maps and charts to convey a false impression of warming in regions where the models cited showed little or none." (Still Waiting For Greenhouse)

"California Leads on Warming" - "Despite heavy industry lobbying, California's Legislature approved a bill last week that for the first time would force automakers to limit emissions of carbon dioxide, the gas largely responsible for global warming. The bill is unquestionably the most important step taken in this country to control greenhouse emissions since the Clinton administration signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1998, an agreement President Bush has since renounced. The bill contains no specific mandates beyond the model year (2009) when cleaner cars have to be on the road. Details will be worked out in negotiations between the companies and state regulatory authorities. Nevertheless, assuming Gov. Gray Davis signs the bill, as he apparently plans to do, it will inevitably drive Detroit and other automakers to manufacture more fuel-efficient vehicles." (New York Times editorial)

"Clearing the air on Bush's new plan -- The Washington Times" - "Whether or not you support President Bush's new air pollution reforms depends on one thing: whether you believe firms should be encouraged or discouraged from modernizing their plants — including reducing air emissions."

"Hoover's Online - Coal-fired plants can induce drought" - "Coal-fired power plants can induce extreme weather conditions like storms and droughts, Greenpeace Southeast Asia warned yesterday."

"Fired up with ideas" - "Capturing and storing carbon dioxide could slow down climate change and also allow fossil fuels to be a bridge to a clean hydrogen-based future." (The Economist)

"UK spearheads world search for 'dream energy' of nuclear fusion" - "Britain is leading a worldwide campaign to harness the sun's energy to beat global warming, the Independent on Sunday can reveal. But environ- mentalists last night condemned the effort – nuclear fusion – as a waste of money on a dangerous technology.

The campaign, led by the Prime Minister, is controversial for backing attempts to recreate the processes that fuel the sun through fusion.

Tony Blair, who has developed great enthusiasm for the energy source, has convinced George Bush, the US President, of the merits of the technology, which could theoretically provide almost limitless energy. But environmentalists dismiss it as a chimera which will probably never work and, if it does, produce radioactive waste." (Independent on Sunday)

"Democrats Against Democracy" - "The California Legislature, controlled by Democrats, just pulled a stunt that makes the corporate bigwigs of Enron, WorldCom and Global Crossing look like pikers." (Larry Weitzman, TCS)

"Car pollutants reduce size of young lungs" - "Scientists have discovered a new health threat to children from a largely overlooked group of pollutants from cars. A four-year study of almost 1,700 schoolchildren aged nine to 13 found that the pollutants, known as acid aerosols, "significantly" damage a child's health by permanently reducing the size and strength of their lungs." (Independent on Sunday)

"Away From Rationality" - "The European Union took yet another step away from the rational regulation of genetically modified crop plants and foods last week, when it became the 22nd party to formally ratify the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. Although it has been heralded by the European Commission as providing a sound mechanism for the regulation of GM organisms, the Protocol will do no such thing. It actually establishes a global regulatory apparatus that will stifle innovation, hinder trade, and focus on the wrong risks. Once the agreement is ratified by 50 signatories and becomes effective—expected to take place by early next year—it will actually make parties worse off, not better." (Gregory Conko and Henry I. Miller, TCS Europe)

"What's In a Label?" - "It's one thing to demand that food that contains detectable traces of genetically modified ingredients be labeled as such. But what's one to do when purists demand that even products with no detectable GMOs be labeled to suggest that they too are, in that charmingly deceptive term invented by Green radicals, ''Frankenfoods''?

This is, unfortunately, not a hypothetical question. Wednesday, the European Parliament approved a series of measures on GM-food labeling. Among them was a provision that would require even certain products derived in part from GMOs be labeled as containing genetically modified material, even if any trace of modified DNA has been eliminated in the process of refinement." (The Wall Street Journal)

July 7, 2002

"Irradiated Mail Syndrome?" - "Congressional investigators reported this week that mail irradiation might be making some congressional employees ill. It’s a conclusion not backed up by any scientifically derived data and analysis." (Steven Milloy, FoxNews.com)

"Science Needs a Healthy Negative Outlook" - "IT seems a fairly obvious idea: when science experiments are successful, the results are published in a well-respected journal for all to see and the body of human knowledge expands. But the sad truth about science is that most experiments fail and the hypotheses that seduced researchers turn out not to be true or, at least, the studies provide no evidence that they are true. Are such studies any less important, any less successful? And what happens to them?" (Gina Kolata, New York Times)

"National flock screened for scrapie; Genetically superior sheep to found next-generation flock" - "British sheep are at the centre of one of the most ambitious projects in genetic science. The national flock is being tested for a gene that confers resistance to the brain disease scrapie. The aim is to use genetically hardy rams to breed scrapie resistance into UK sheep - and thwart a repeat outbreak of BSE which occurred when the blight jumped into cattle." (NSU)

Hmm... ambitious - not the selective breeding part, the definitive statement that BSE is scrapie in cattle.

"American French fry under attack by Californian group" - "LOS ANGELES - Should the great American French fry be carrying a health warning? The nation's top French fry sellers - McDonald's and Burger King - have been targeted by an environmental group in health-conscious California under state laws that have been used against makers of products ranging from crayons and dental braces to fishing tackle and penile implants." (Reuters)

"The Nando Times: LEE BOWMAN: Some news about mosquitoes you'll be itching to read" - "Make sure your bug juice has DEET if you want to keep mosquitoes at bay for any appreciable time, according to a new study of common insect repellents on the market. The study, conducted by scientists at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the University of Florida, found that products without DEET were significantly less effective than those with it." | Herbals Lag as Mosquito Repellents (Washington Post) | Independent study: DEET products superior for fending off mosquito bites (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

"Anchorage Daily News | Judge orders better protection of salmon" - "Grants Pass, Ore. -- A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to begin protecting threatened and endangered salmon from 55 pesticides applied to everything from farm fields to suburban lawns."

"smh.com.au - Sick futures broker fails to make Selleys case stick" - "A Sydney futures broker who sued the Selleys company over a handyman sealant product which he claimed left him in a coma has lost his case after he failed to convince the judge the product was responsible for his illness. Barry Forbes, 44, had claimed his use of the Space Invader product left him brain damaged, and destroyed his marriage and career. Mr Forbes was admitted to intensive care in St Vincent's Hospital in 1997, allegedly suffering from toxic encephalopathy."

"Quebec to ban most non-farm pesticides by 2005 - 7 5 2002 - ENN.com" - "QUEBEC CITY — 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. As of 2005, the ban will be extended to private and commercial lands, Quebec Environment Minister Andre Boisclair told a news conference at a Quebec City park. Pesticide use on agricultural land will not be affected."

"Gentle persuasion eases animal testing furor - 7 5 2002 - ENN.com" - "LONDON — 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. "Apart from the obvious welfare benefits, such as not having to restrain or sedate the animals, they say it makes tests easier to do and produces more reliable results than if the animals are stressed," New Scientist magazine said this week."

"Goodhearted Buddhists set animals free but inadvertently harm environment - 7 5 2002 - ENN.com" - "HONG KONG — 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. Despite the good intentions of everybody on the ferry, not many of the fish got very far. Some stopped flipping almost immediately, and for those who started swimming, fishers were waiting nearby, nets in place. As far as environmentalists are concerned, the fish who do get away are a potential problem. The ceremonial release creates ecological hazards, according to conservationists who say the nature lovers are effectively killing the animals with misplaced kindness."

"Irish Examiner - Environment under greater pressure than ever, says EPA" - "THE country is facing its "most severe test" yet in dealing with environmental problems, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency warned yesterday. Dr Mary Kelly, director general of the EPA, said growing difficulties with waste management, water quality, greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of large-scale intensive farming will continue to provide mounting challenges."

"Irish Times Article - 60% waste increase sets 'most severe test' on environment" - "Houshold and commercial waste in Ireland has increased by over 60 per cent in five years, with a volume equivalent to 600 kg per annum for every person in the State. This startling statistic is one of the 50 key indicators of our performance in the latest assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency, Environment in Focus 2002, published yesterday."

"BBC News | AFRICA | Stark warning for Africa's environment" - "Africa is facing a dramatic increase in air and water pollution, drought and wildlife extinction unless immediate action is taken to clean up the continent's environment, says the United Nations. A report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) calls on African leaders to pursue environmentally-friendly development as well as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid irreparable damage to Africa's environment."

"Hoover's Online - "Visibly irate" Ugandan leader attacks "illiterate" opposition to hydro project" - "President Yoweri Museveni has advised African countries to harness electricity and stop the depletion of natural forests. Museveni, while launching the African Environment Outlook report at the International Conference Centre in Kampala yesterday, blasted Western non-governmental organizations (NGOs) trying to block the construction of the Bujagali hydro-power project. Museveni, who also officially opened the 9th African Ministerial Conference on Environment (Amcen), said the Western lifestyle had led to the heavy pollution of the environment. "You cannot have a lifestyle that generates a lot of greenhouse gases which have now created a hole in the ozone layer. This is not acceptable. This is a new form of aggression and must stop," Museveni said."

"Environmentalist Activists Claim Wildfires Sparked by Global Warming - Crosswalk.com News Channel" - "Hundreds of thousands of acres of forests have gone up in smoke in America's western states, with developers blaming conservation policies they say produced thicker forests that are more vulnerable to fires and environmentalist activists blaming the phenomenon known as global warming. Environmental activists say "agenda driven" politicians and the timber industry are unfairly blaming them for causing the massive wildfires that have already devastated 450,000 acres of forest in Colorado and Arizona."

"Long-range weather forecasts unreliable, study finds; 15% accuracy rate for fifth day, of projection" - "WINNIPEG - Your own best guess might be as reliable as long-term forecasts from Environment Canada or the Weather Network, a Manitoba study suggests." (National Post)

Maybe they need lessons from the IPCC, after all, IPCC publications read as though they claim to be able to forecast 50-100 years.

World Climate Report Volume 7, Number 21, July 8, 2002 is available online (GES)

"US could miss Kyoto greenhouse emissions market" - "WASHINGTON - U.S. companies could miss out on a potential multi-billion dollar market for trading greenhouse gas emission credits unless Washington signs a global treaty to reduce those heat-trapping gases, industry experts said." (Reuters)

"The Japan Times Online - Forum mulls nuts, bolts of Kyoto aims" - " Global warming poses a formidable challenge to the world. Yet if industrialized and developing states cooperate to combat climate change, this may be the impetus to forge sustainable development and an advantageous situation for all, according to participants at a recent forum in Tokyo."

"Is our Kyoto commitment up in smoke? - theage.com.au" - "Sometimes, words speak louder than actions. They certainly did last month for staff at the Australian Greenhouse Office when the Prime Minister announced he would not ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. It was World Environment Day and morale at the agency dedicated to achieving Australia's target finally hit rock bottom."

"Automakers Watch Calif. Emissions Bill (washingtonpost.com)" - "SACRAMENTO, Calif. –– 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 car culture is as embedded as surfing, automakers are watching warily to see if other states will follow California's lead in a mandate to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in cars and light trucks by 2009."

"New terrain in policing emissions" - "SAN FRANCISCO – The bill sitting on California Gov. Gray Davis's desk has been called the beginning of "a new era." In a country that has done little in response to the rising tide of studies about global warming, the Golden State is poised to take a first bold step." (The Christian Science Monitor)

"Californian governor likely to sign auto emissions bill" - "SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Calif. Gov. Gray Davis is likely to sign a controversial bill that would make the state the first in the nation to regulate vehicle greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming, his spokesman said this week." (Reuters)

"The Nando Times: JAY AMBROSE: Walking off a cliff" - "In what they say is an effort to save the world from global warming, California's state legislators have decided to walk off a cliff, taking the auto industry and many of their fellow Americans - not just Californians - with them. They have passed legislation setting up a mechanism to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by cars and light trucks, with likely consequences ranging from bad to worse than bad. If the auto industry meets the standards by making cars smaller, people will have been deprived of choices and more will be killed than would otherwise be the case if they had more options for bigger, safer vehicles."

"UK plans to revive nuclear power industry - report" - "LONDON - Britain is secretly planning measures to revive its ageing nuclear power industry as ministers eye the sector's potential as a source of carbon-free energy, the New Scientist Magazine said this week." (Reuters)

"E.U. Parliament votes for tough GM food labeling" - "STRASBOURG, France — 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.

The new rules, passed in a first reading, require any food and animal feed sold in the E.U. to carry a label alerting consumers to the presence of GM ingredients. This applies even if genetically altered material cannot be tested for because it has been destroyed through processing, as in the case of oils and sugars." (Reuters)

July 3, 2002

"Hormone pollution wrecks sperm" - "Chemicals found in the environment pose a threat to human fertility, scientists say. Men and women may have been exposed to these chemicals from paints, pesticides and cleaning products, as well as beer, vegetables and soya." (BBC News Online) | First direct evidence that environmental oestrogens affect sperm fertility (European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology)

Hmm... so consumers of beer, vegetables and soya are likely to be bred out of existence as will everyone exposed to paints, pesticides and cleaning products (that ought to cover just about everyone on the planet). Population-panicking greenies should be delighted that they will eventually have their wish of a world without the  'cancer' of humanity - how odd that they campaign against these same useful chemical compounds.

"Blood and Soil" - "OSLO -- In May the prominent Dutch rightwing populist Pim Fortuyn was shot to death. The suspected perpetrator is an animal rights activist. This marks the first high-profile murder committed by radical environmentalists in Europe. Sadly, it will probably not be last." (Jan Arild Snoen, TCS Europe)

"Newsday.com - Panel: EPA Sewage Science Outdated" - "WASHINGTON -- The government is using outdated science in assessing the health risks of more than 3 million tons of sewage sludge used as fertilizer each year, a panel of scientists said Tuesday.

When the Environmental Protection Agency set standards in 1993 on the use of treated sludge on soil, it used an unreliable 1988 survey to identify hazardous chemicals in sewage sludge from wastewater treatment plants, said the National Research Council panel."

"The Nando Times: Study examines venison eaters' risk of contracting brain disease" - "The race is on to find out whether a fatal brain disease in deer and elk poses a risk to human venison eaters. "That's what everybody is trying to find out," said Dr. Pierluigi Gambetti, head of a national team studying the occurrence of the deadly protein disease. Perhaps most significantly, a National Institutes of Health laboratory in Montana is planning to experiment with primates to try to determine human susceptibility to chronic wasting disease."

"Fireworks: Breathtaking ... and Deadly" - "In the final December of the 20th century, environmentalists in Sweden, Germany and Australia issued a Global Call for Action, asking the world community to take a stand against 21st century air pollution by halting the globe-circling fireworks displays planned to celebrate the dawn of the year 2000.

"Wouldn't it be nice to be able to greet the new millennium in a dignified, responsible and environmentally friendly way?" the Sweden-based Heavy Metal Bulletin asked. "Is this type of celebration really a good habit to carry into the New Millennium?"

Air-bursting shells -- with picturesque names like chrysanthemum, peony, willow, saturn, strobe, and salute -- are lovely to watch but, when it comes to skyrockets, every silver lining has a cloud. As the Bulletin points out, heavy metal fallout from exploding fireworks poses a threat to "nature, animals and human beings." (Gar Smith, AlterNet)

"Cutting through the smog" - "For decades, North American politicians and environmentalists have based their crusades for lighter cars, catalytic converters, unleaded gas, government tailpipe testing, scrubbers on industrial smokestacks, public transit expansion, smog alerts and hundreds of clean-air regulations on air-quality studies that show thousands die annually from smog. But it has now been learned that those studies contain significant mathematical errors. In Canada, according to results published in the most recent issue of Nature magazine, these errors mean Health Canada's estimate that 5,000 Canadians die each year from inhaling pollutants is too high by at least 1,200 deaths, and very likely by 3,000 to 4,000." (National Post)

"A Pitiable Ploy to Promote the Kyoto Protocol: The Predicted Disintegration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet" - "Summary: In a recent article in Science magazine, Brian C. O'Neill and Michael Oppenheimer urge immediate implementation of the Kyoto Protocol to prevent what they view as the three most dangerous biospheric impacts of global warming. We here discuss the second of their trio of planetary meltdown scenarios, exposing the many flaws in their specious arguments." (co2science)

"Population" - "Summary: Human population has been a near-perfect predictor of atmospheric CO2 concentration since well before the Industrial Revolution, while the historical rise in the air's CO2 content has played a major role in supporting the concomitant population explosion. This synergism will continue in the future, with atmospheric CO2 levels peaking at about 420 ppm and then declining in response to the decline in our numbers that is anticipated to begin somewhere in the vicinity of 2070. Hence, there is no need for the Kyoto Protocol or anything like it." (co2science)

"Climate and Soil in Iceland: Their Fortunes Rise and Fall Together" - "Summary: Warm is good, cold is bad. It's as simple as that. The Holocene 12: 159-167." (co2science)

"Climate and Vegetation in Iceland" - "Summary: In a place as cold as Iceland, one would think that vegetation would grow best during periods of warmer temperatures. And, in fact, such is indeed the case, as modern research clearly demonstrates. Geografiska Annaler 83 A:203-215." (co2science)

"Photosynthetic Consequences of Elevated CO2 in Low Light Environments" - "Summary: Mature forest canopies can severely limit the amount of sunlight that reaches understory saplings beneath them. In such low-light environments, is it possible for elevated CO2 to make much of an impact on photosynthetic carbon uptake? Oecologia 126: 487-499." (co2science)

"Scientists create virtual ocean to study global warming" - "ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Los Alamos National Laboratory has created a virtual ocean in the middle of the desert. It's a comprehensive model, built by lab scientists and designed to provide key information about how global warming will change the Earth's climate. The lab says the device is the most detailed in the world and can measure ocean processes at a smaller scale than any other model in existence. Already the model is testing theories that speculates global warming could lock Europe into a new Ice Age. The model, 10 years in the making, simulates ocean cycles and interactions on a grid that divides the ocean into 2-kilometer chunks." (Scripps Howard News Service)

"A CEO Cries Wolf" - "In US Airways' in-flight magazine, Attaché, exiting company Chairman Stephen Wolf opines in his last column about the "troubling issues facing mankind." Among the most frightening? Global warming from human effects. Wolf discusses a handful of limited weather events - such as the low reservoir and lake levels in the Northeastern U.S. - and suggests that meaningful global climate information can be extracted from them." (Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon, TCS)

"Researchers arming farms to halt increases in greenhouse gases" - "New farm practices and new breeds of crops might someday add to mankind's toolbox for controlling greenhouse gases. Research under way at Purdue University seeks to control carbon dioxide, by corralling carbon on the farm in a process known as carbon sequestration." (Purdue University)

"At the Front on Pollution" - "If a California Assembly bill that would require cuts in tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases is signed by Gov. Gray Davis, automakers would suffer a major defeat." (New York Times)

"San Francisco Chronicle - Bill to cut greenhouse gas from cars goes to Davis California poised to become first state to regulate such emissions" - "Sacramento -- Overcoming a lobbying and media blitzkrieg by automakers and the oil industry, the Legislature approved a landmark bill to make California the first state to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases from cars."

"INTERVIEW - UK's Meacher confident on CO2 emissions target" - "LONDON - Britain's environment minister said he was confident the country would meet its targets to cut harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 2010 to curb global warming despite some reports the country may fall short. "We still expect to do that or come extremely close but we are still eight years away and I see no reason why we shouldn't meet it," Britain's Environment Minister Michael Meacher told Reuters in an interview." (Reuters)

"EU Parliament May Expand Biotech Food-Labeling Rules" - "BRUSSELS - The European Parliament is bracing for a food fight over a measure that would order that any food containing any amount of a genetically modified ingredient be labeled.

Environmentalists and consumer groups are clamoring for a clampdown. Food processors, biotechnology companies and the U.S. government are lobbying against the measure. Parliament's vote Wednesday, following an open debate Tuesday likely will mark the start of what may be a long row between environmentalists and business interests." (The Wall Street Journal)

"Blair orders MEPs to block strict labelling of GM foods" - "Moves to lay down Europe-wide rules on genetically modified (GM) food are expected to provoke a bitter political dispute this week when the Government urges British MEPs to block a strict new labelling regime. The European Parliament is deeply divided over rules for GM food that would force all products containing more than 0.5 per cent of GM organisms (GMOs) to be labelled. The Government has sent British MEPs a briefing note urging them to vote against it, arguing that the issue is low on the list of consumer priorities." (The Independent)

"I'm a poor, poor farmer: Percy Schmeiser" - "An infamous Canadian's traveling sideshow is visiting Down Under this week as part of an on-going personal quest to become a martyr for the poor farmers of the world who are pushed around by multinationals." (The Life Sciences Network)

July 2, 2002

"Much Ado About Nothing?" - "In these days when every scientific study is reported objectively, and immediately, there's one issue that continues to plague the research world: A single study does not always provide the definitive answer. That's becoming evident in at least one issue, the exposure of African frogs to atrazine.

In April, an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences purported to show that exposing African clawed frogs to atrazine, even at low doses, had an impact on their genders and their larynxes. You can check that original information out at EPA Reviews Atrazine Data.

This week there comes the announcement from Ecorisk, a global network of environmental scientists, that three separate studies by university scientists are unable to replicate the results of that earlier work done by the University of California-Berkeley. The new studies are part of an "intensive and ongoing research effort by a panel of eight university scientists to examine the response of fish, amphibians and reptiles to atrazine."

"Newsday.com - Court declines to hear appeals on pesticide notification law" - "ALBANY, N.Y. -- The state's highest court refused Monday to hear challenges from lawn care companies against New York's pesticide notification law, which requires them to provide advance notice before they spray pesticides or herbicides on a nearby lawn."

Says it all... "World Health Organization chief shuns cell phones" - "OSLO - World Health Organization chief Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland warned parents Monday against letting their children spend too much time on mobile telephones and said their electromagnetic waves give her a headache.

Brundtland, the WHO director-general, does not own a mobile phone and forbids anyone to use one in her Geneva office, saying this is to protect herself from the electromagnetic waves. "If you enter my office, you are invited by me. No one who is invited would like to give me headaches," Brundtland said at a news conference in Oslo, Norway, where she attended an international conference on cancer." (Reuters)

"Fish rich diet lowers leptin" - "ROCHESTER, Minn., July 1 -- All things being equal -- including one's genes -- eating a diet rich in fish appears to be healthier for the heart than eating a vegetarian diet, researchers who studied members of an African tribe whose diet varies by village report." (UPI)

"Making sense of surveys; when to trust polls" - "Being able to understand and trust surveys is critical to Americans becoming informed citizens, but mass media often report surveys without the requisite practical guidance on the context of the results or how to interpret and evaluate them. To help guide the public in comprehending the significance of surveys and questionnaires, sociologist Howard Schuman explains in plain language the nature, importance, and problematic aspects of surveys in the summer edition of Contexts magazine." (American Sociological Association)

"More than 10 million developed cancer in 2000" - "The burden of cancer is still increasing worldwide. In the year 2000, 5.3 million men and 4.7 million women developed a malignant tumour and altogether 6.2 million died from the disease." (Norwegian Cancer Society)

"Experts Strive to Put Diseases in Proper Perspective" - "Some advocacy groups present data, researchers say, in ways that may lead people to exaggerate the chance of dying from a fearsome disease." (New York Times)

"Irradiating Mail to Congress May Be Making Workers Ill" - "The process used to sterilize Congressional mail after the anthrax attacks last fall could itself be making Capitol Hill workers sick, a report to be issued on Tuesday says." (New York Times)

"Pollution damages kids' lungs" - "LOS ANGELES, July 1 -- Environmental pollution -- such as vehicle emissions, ozone and nitrogen dioxide -- is damaging children's lungs, which could lead to long-term health effects, researchers reported Monday.

"Day-in and day-out levels of air pollutants, even though they many times fall below the (Environmental Protection Agency's) standards, are probably not healthful," lead study author W. James Gauderman, an associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, told United Press International.

"Even at the current levels, we're seeing some adverse health effects," he said, noting pollution's effect on children's lungs is "similar to second-hand smoke in the house." (UPI)

"EPA computer projections extol virtues of Clear Skies; Environmentalists disagree" - "WASHINGTON — 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.

Last week a Senate committee approved a more expensive rival approach to dealing with air pollution that would regulate heat-trapping carbon dioxide. Neither the Bush plan nor the rival Senate bill is likely to win sufficient support to clear Congress this year." (Associated Press)

"Air pollutants in low-income housing, child-care centers" - "Low income homes have significantly higher rates of radon than higher income homes, and a significantly number of child-care centers have unsafe levels of radon, lead and mold according to new study at Cornell University." (Cornell University News Service)

"California Passes Bill Limiting Carbon Dioxide Emissions" - "After a long and bitter debate, lawmakers in California today passed the nation's strongest legislation to regulate emissions of the main pollutant that can cause warming of the planet's climate, a step that would require automakers to sell cars that give off the least possible amount of heat-trapping gases." (New York Times)

"A global warming quirk" - "Carbon dioxide emissions, a chief cause of global warming, actually declined in the United States last year. This is not something environmentalists are likely to praise. Industrial production fell last year, and carbon dioxide from that source was off by 9.1 percent, according to the Energy Information Administration. That meant a decline in total emissions of 1.1 percent. This illustrates a massive loophole in the Kyoto emissions treaty President Bush has wisely repudiated: It's too easy to comply by letting energy-intensive production (such as steelmaking) migrate to exempt countries like Mexico. On the whole, rising industrial production and the jobs it generates is better for the United States and the world." (Boston Herald editorial)

"Feeling the Heat" - "Many prominent scientists say global warming is one of the most crucial issues facing the world. These scientists maintain that the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal sends carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to a potentially disastrous rise in world temperatures." (Star Telegram)

"BRET STEPHENS'S EYES ABROAD: It's curtains for global warming" - "As it turns out, God really is in the details.

In 1994, David Schmidt, a young Ph.D. candidate in engineering at the University of Wisconsin, was asked by his examiners to explain why thin shower curtains "suck in" whenever the water is turned on.

The solution to the riddle, like Fermat's last theorem, proved remarkably elusive." (Jerusalem Post)

CEI's Chris Horner Debates David Sandalow On Climate Change On CNN's Q&A (Competitive Enterprise Institute)

"Denmark's Red-Ink Wind" - "It's all too easy to criticize the press for distortions and confusions. Almost all of us have done this at one time or another. Usually, however, the press is reporting some news that we don't like, rather than garbling it altogether. Such is not the case with a recent Reuters news report on the Danish wind program." (Herbert Inhaber, TCS)

"Idea of Fighting Fire With Fire Wins Converts" - "That would scare anyone to death when the government says, `I'm here to burn down the forest, trust me,'" said Bob Foster, who owns the Lost Valley Guest Ranch near here, surrounded by Pike National Forest. "I have a little different take on it now." (New York Times)

"New computer model promises detailed picture of worldwide climate" - "Capping two years of research, a nationwide group of over 100 scientists has created a powerful new computer model of the Earth's climate. The model surpasses previous efforts by successfully incorporating the impact of such variables as ocean currents and changes in land-surface temperatures." (NCAR/UCAR)

"Scientists hope knapweed can be secret weapon" - "Scientists in the early 1800s had a hunch that spotted knapweed had a secret chemical weapon allowing it to kill other plants so it could spread prolifically.

But, until now, no one knew exactly what it was.

Researchers at Colorado State University say they've identified the invasive weed's mysterious chemical - and, perhaps more important, say it may be a new, "environmentally friendly" tool that could "revolutionize the war against weeds for homeowners and farmers."

"So far we've tried it on about 20 other weeds, and it worked against all of them," said Jorge Vivanco, assistant professor of horticulture biotechnology at Colorado State." (Billings Gazette)

July 1, 2002

"Deadly decisions on DDT -- The Washington Times" - "It's probably a good thing that U-2's Bono isn't a biologist. But judging by his ideas on foreign aid, he would probably be promoting exactly the same sort of schizophrenic, unscientific and ultimately deadly approach that the United Nations has taken to treating malaria in Africa."

"San Francisco Chronicle - Funds slashed for cleanup of 33 toxic sites Superfund program budget dwindling" - "Washington -- The Bush administration has designated 33 toxic waste sites in 18 states for cuts in funding under the Superfund cleanup program, according to a new report to Congress by the inspector general of the Environmental Protection Agency."

"Boston Globe Online Editorials: Jeffords leads charge on eco issue" - "SENATOR James Jeffords of Vermont organized an important message-sending ritual and also won a victory that was anything but symbolic last week. The message unfortunately cannot become law anytime soon (a filibuster would stop it cold in the Senate, and the House leadership would never permit a vote), but it is the first solid sign that a congressional majority is forming to respond to the overwhelming national majority that favors action to reduce poisonous emissions spewing from electric power plants. The message took the form of the lone Independent's legislation to mount a strong, national attack in this decade against the four major pollutants that attack the ground, water, and air from these big business sources - sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury, and carbon dioxide. It is now officially approved by the Environment and Public Works Committee he has chaired since he gave up on the Republican Party last year."

"IHT: Let's push Bush on warming" - "WASHINGTON It is already too late for the United States to lead the world in the fight against global warming. President George W. Bush saw to that last year, when he abandoned his promise to make power plants reduce the amount of carbon dioxide they send into the air. But if the president won't lead the world, then the business community, the American people and Congress must lead the president."

"Jack Kelly: Sky-falling threats; Liberal Chicken Littles should focus on asteroids" - "On Father's Day, an asteroid the size of a football field came within what for astronomers is a hair's breadth of striking us. Asteroid 2002 MN came within 75,000 miles of Earth, the second-closest recorded near miss by any asteroid. Had it struck the Earth, it would have had the same impact as a 10-megaton nuclear bomb, said astronomers at Britain's National Space Center.

The odds that an asteroid actually will strike our planet are remote, the scientists said. But it's happened. An asteroid a little bit larger than 2002 MN flattened 800 square miles of forest near Tunguska, Siberia, in 1908. A much larger asteroid is thought to have whacked into what is now Mexico 65 million years ago, kicking up dust and debris that covered the entire planet, and triggering a prolonged winter that killed off the dinosaurs.

I offer this up for those of you who enjoy fretting about environmental doom. If one of those big suckers strikes us again -- kaboom! -- that's all she wrote for the human race, the elephants, the squirrels and the furbish lousewort." (Post-Gazette)

"Butterflies now appear in winter" - "Butterflies are appearing nearly a month earlier on average than in the 1940s, a clear signal of climate change. Some are emerging as early as the middle of January. There is evidence that moths are appearing earlier, too." (Telegraph)

"Shake-up for climate models" - "Models simulating global climate don't capture fine-scale ups and downs of temperature." (NSU)

"Meteorologists hit the streets; Cities' pollution overlooked by climate-change models" - "Meteorologists in Edinburgh are getting streetwise. By mounting sensitive detectors high on a city monument they have pinpointed how much carbon dioxide is produced by road traffic, home heating and even construction. Identifying which parts of a city's hustle and bustle contribute to global warming or other forms of atmospheric pollution is crucial to accurate climate modelling and policy-making." (NSU)

"US energy-related emissions down first time in decade" - "WASHINGTON - U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions that are linked to global warming fell by 1.1 percent last year, the first drop in a decade, because of a manufacturing slowdown and warm weather, the government said last week." (Reuters)

"Nissho, Mitsubishi Heavy in Indonesian CO2 project" - "TOKYO - Japanese trading house Nissho Iwai Corp and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd plan to build a large plant in Indonesia to recycle carbon dioxide (CO2) collected from liquefied natural gas (LNG) and power production facilities, a Nissho spokesman said last week." (Reuters)