Earthgauge news for the week of February 28
Wind-Powered Car Succeeds In Hard Australian Voyage – Reuters
A car powered primarily by wind and kites has made it across a vast swathe of Australia, enduring searing heat and freezing cold along the way — and all for roughly $10 Australian.
Canada escalates appeal on EU seal ban – CBC News
Canada is taking its fight against a European ban on seal products to a new level, the government said Friday. Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea said in Ottawa that the government is following through with its promise to take formal action at the World Trade Organization over the European Union’s ban on seal products.
Growing number of farm animals spawn new diseases – msnbc.com
A growing number of livestock, such as cows and pigs, are fueling new animal epidemics worldwide and posing more severe problems in developing countries as it threatens their food security, according to a report released on Friday.
Australia to introduce carbon tax – The Australian
Australia’s Labor-led government plans to introduce a fixed carbon price from July 1, 2012 with a compensation scheme for some industries, the Australian newspaper reported on Saturday, a proposal its key coalition ally had earlier rejected.
Climate Change Keenly Felt In Alaska’s National Parks – Reuters
Thawing permafrost is triggering mudslides onto a key road traveled by busloads of sightseers. Tall bushes newly sprouted on the tundra are blocking panoramic views. And glaciers are receding from convenient viewing areas, while their rapid summer melt poses new flood risks.
How Green School Buildings Help Children Grow – The Tyee
New avenues of research into the effects of school buildings on human health and productivity are producing evidence that greener schools could be producing healthier, more productive and more environmentally aware students.
Obama 2012 budget provides $8 billion for clean energy: Scientific American
President Barack Obama proposed on Monday boosting funds for clean energy research and deployment in his 2012 budget by slashing subsidies for fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal. Where is Canada’s clean energy budget? Oh yeah, we’ve got the tar sands instead.
Japan suspends annual whale hunt – CNN
Japan has suspended its annual Antarctic whale hunt because an anti-whaling group is tailing its ship, a government official said Wednesday.
The hidden cost of coal – Grist
Our economy gone mad: The United States’ reliance on coal to generate almost half of its electricity, costs the economy about $345 billion a year in hidden expenses not borne by miners or utilities, including health problems in mining communities and pollution around power plants, a study found.
Alberta Backs C$5 Billion Oil Sands Refinery Plan – Reuters
Meanwhile, tar sands expansion continues. The Alberta government is backing construction of a C$5 billion bitumen refinery planned by Canadian Natural Resources Ltd and North West Upgrading Inc as it seeks to develop energy-processing facilities in the province and create jobs.
Climate change and extreme flooding linked by new evidence – guardian.co.uk
A paper, by Seung-Ki Min and others, shows that rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have caused an intensification of heavy rainfall events over some two-thirds of the weather stations on land in the northern hemisphere. The climate models appear to have underestimated the contribution of global warming on extreme rainfall: it’s worse than we thought it would be.
Trillions in Global Investments at Risk Due to Climate Change – ICTSD
Investors could risk losing trillions of dollars due to the effects of climate change according to a new report on long term investments and portfolio risk. The report outlines the many possible factors related to climate change that pose a threat to the global economics.
The California Carbon Rush (Hold the Eureka) – Vancouver Sun
The California Carbon Rush officially gets underway next year. Power plants, factories and other companies will have to obtain an “allowance” permit for every ton of carbon dioxide they produce. Allowances will be sold at state auctions and on an open market.
EU to ban toxic chemicals in household plastics: Scientific American
The European Union will ban six toxic chemicals within three to five years, three of which are commonly used in plastic household items.