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Archive for the ‘ENVIRONMENT’ Category

Toxic link: the WHO and the IAEA

In NUCLEAR, UNITED NATIONS on 28/05/2009 at 2:56 PM

Fifty years ago, on 28 May 1959, the World Health Organisation’s assembly voted into force an obscure but important agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency – the United Nations “Atoms for Peace” organisation, founded just two years before in 1957. The effect of this agreement has been to give the IAEA an effective veto on any actions by the WHO that relate in any way to nuclear power – and so prevent the WHO from playing its proper role in investigating and warning of the dangers of nuclear radiation on human health. The WHO’s objective is to promote “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health”, while the IAEA’s mission is to “accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world”… The Guardian

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Obama looks at climate engineering

In AMERICA, ENVIRONMENT on 08/04/2009 at 6:05 PM

The president’s new science adviser said Wednesday that global warming is so dire, the Obama administration is discussing radical technologies to cool Earth’s air. John Holdren told The Associated Press in his first interview since being confirmed last month that the idea of geoengineering the climate is being discussed. One such extreme option includes shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays. Holdren said such an experimental measure would only be used as a last resort. “It’s got to be looked at,” he said. “We don’t have the luxury of taking any approach off the table”… Associated Press

Space storm alert: 90 seconds from catastrophe

In AMERICA, ENVIRONMENT on 23/03/2009 at 6:52 AM

It is midnight on 22 September 2012 and the skies above Manhattan are filled with a flickering curtain of colourful light. Few New Yorkers have seen the aurora this far south but their fascination is short-lived. Within a few seconds, electric bulbs dim and flicker, then become unusually bright for a fleeting moment. Then all the lights in the state go out. Within 90 seconds, the entire eastern half of the US is without power. A year later and millions of Americans are dead and the nation’s infrastructure lies in tatters. The World Bank declares America a developing nation… New Scientist

Save the whale (again): Secret plan to lift hunting ban

In JAPAN, WILDLIFE on 22/02/2009 at 8:04 AM

Governments are preparing to breach the worldwide whaling ban, legitimising commercial killing of the giant creatures for the first time in more than 20 years. Key whaling and anti-whaling nations have thrashed out a plan at a series of unpublicised closed-door meetings to allow Japan to kill the leviathans for gain, after outlawing it for two decades. It is to be presented to a special meeting of the official International Whaling Commission (IWC) early next month… The Independent

The eco machine that can magic water out of thin air

In ODD NEWS, WATER on 25/11/2008 at 2:07 PM

Water, Water, everywhere; nor any drop to drink. The plight of the Ancient Mariner is about to be alleviated thanks to a firm of eco-inventors from Canada who claim to have found the solution to the world’s worsening water shortages by drawing the liquid of life from an unlimited and untapped source – the air. The company, Element Four, has developed a machine that it hopes will become the first mainstream household appliance to have been invented since the microwave. Their creation, the WaterMill, uses the electricity of about three light bulbs to condense moisture from the air and purify it into clean drinking water… The Guardian

The Food Chain: Movable Feast Carries a Pollution Price Tag

In AFRICA, ENVIRONMENT, EUROPE on 26/04/2008 at 2:26 PM

Cod caught off Norway is shipped to China to be turned into filets, then shipped back to Norway for sale. Argentine lemons fill supermarket shelves on the Citrus Coast of Spain, as local lemons rot on the ground. Half of Europe’s peas are grown and packaged in Kenya. The movable feast comes at a cost: pollution — especially carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas — from transporting the food. Under longstanding trade agreements, fuel for international freight carried by sea and air is not taxed. Now, many economists, environmental advocates and politicians say it is time to make shippers and shoppers pay for the pollution, through taxes or other measures. “We’re shifting goods around the world in a way that looks really bizarre,” said an Oxford University economist … [who] noted that Britain imports — and exports — 15,000 tons of waffles a year, and similarly exchanges 20 tons of bottled water with Australia… New York Times