Thursday, November 30, 2006

New Crops needed to combat climate change

"A group of leading agricultural research institutes will on Monday launch a major drive to prepare the most vulnerable people in the world for the devastating effects of global warming.
With large parts of the world facing dramatic crop losses from rising temperatures and changed rainfall patterns, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) says action is needed immediately and at all levels."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Eco-friendly gifts

Check out Greenfeet, an online source for eco-friendly products and gifts.

Suprene Court Hears Climate Change Case

The U.S. Supreme Court heard a case on climate change today. The court heard arguments in a case to determine whether the Environmental Protection Agency should regulate emissions of carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Rulings aren't expected until next summer. The suit is being brought by 12 states, some cities, and other groups. Read an account of the oral arguments here. Read an analysis in the New York Times here.

Europe to cut CO2 Emissions

The European Union is considering a stringent CO2 emissions trading plan to take effect 2008-2012 to combat global climate change. Read about it here.

Poll: Faith groups should push Climate protection

"A majority of Americans, 57%, agree that religious and faith groups should take a stand on global warming, compared to 41% who disagree and 2% who don't know. But less than half (45%) say their own convictions -- moral, ethical or religious -- compel them to solve global warming by changing their own personal habits. Of those who would, most have already purchased energy efficient products and services, reduced their auto emissions and voted for candidates who actively address global warming." Read the full article at Earthtimes.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Clouds and Climate Change

"Scientists are peering into the clouds near the top of the world, trying to solve a mystery and learn something new about global warming. The mystery is the droplets of water in the cluds. With the North Pole just 685 miles away, they should be frozen, yet more of them are liquid than anyone expected. So the scientists working out of a converted blue cargo container are trying to determine whether the clouds are one of the causes — or effects — of Earth’s warming atmosphere. " Read the rest of this story here.

National Climate Change Service?

Prominent climate researchers are advocating a national climate change service. Unlike the National Weather Service, which forecasts weather a week or two in advance, a climate change service would make weather predictions 6 months to a year in advance. It would also project 100-year climate change scenarios for some regions. Read more about this proposal here.

Monday, November 27, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth DVD

An Inconvenient Truth is now out on DVD. Read what Al Gore has to say about the DVD release. Buy the book and DVD at Amazon.

Kenya provides Climate Change Clues

Past changes in Kenya's climate yields important information about the changes global warming will bring, according to a new study. Read about it here.

The Katrina Cottage

Designed as an alternative to FEMA trailers, the Katrina Cottage is 308 square feet, the same size as a FEMA trailer. See and read about it at Inhabitat, a blog that features green building.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Louise Feldman, Jewish Environmentalist

This is a Courant story about Louse Feldman, a longtime supporter of the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network, who died November 5. She will be missed.

"Ecobabes" fight climate change with calendar

A controversial new calendar is designed to raise funds for a Sonoma County California Climate Protection Campaign. Self-proclaimed "ecobabes" posed for the calendar, and though it shows little skin, it is causing controversy. The idea behind the calendar, said Ann Hancock, the executive director of the campaign, is "to inspire and compel" people to take action. See the "ecobabes" and read about the ambitious Sonoma Climate Protection Plan here.

Enviroman Says Blog

This is just a plug for another Environmental blog, Enviroman Says. Very cool and filled with practical tips. Check it out here.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Voices of Faith at UN Conference

BRITAIN and other rich countries must reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions drastically as the world’s climate rapidly approaches a man-made tipping point, a representative of the World Council of Churches told the UN Climate Conference in Nairobi, in Kenya, last Friday. Read the story in the Church of England's Church Times.

Solar Brightening and Climate Change

How much global warming is attributable to the sun's rays becoming brighter? It could be a factor in climate change, even though the primary cause is most likely greenhouse gasses. Read about it in Grist

Progress at UN Climate Change Conference?

Was there progress at the UN Climate Change Conference in Kenya that wrapped Nov. 17? It depends who you ask. An article in the Epoch Times International cites an agreement that greenhouse gasses need to be cut 50% as a breakthrough. Forbes sees the glass as half-full at best. Read both stories to get a fuller picture.

Bride of Frankencorn?

The USDA has approved for human consumption a type of genetically engineered rice that had contaminated domestic rice supplies last summer.

The USDA said Friday that its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service decided to deregulate the experimental long-grain rice after a review of scientific evidence indicated it was as safe as its traditionally bred counterparts. Read about it in the Washington Post.

Nevada Nuke Dump Proposal in Trouble

Residents of Nevada are poised to kill a proposal to put a Nuclear waste dump there. Read about it in the Washington Post.

Energy Companies Deal with Climate Change

The times, they are a changin'. Major energy firms are seeking federal caps on greenhouse emissions, believing that it will be easier for them that way than dealing with a patchwork of state and regional regularions. Exxon Mobil Corp., the highest-profile corporate skeptic about global warming, said in September that it was considering ending its funding of a think tank that has sought to cast doubts on climate change. Read about it in the Washington Post.

This story mentions regional regulations passed by several Northeastern States, Including Connecticut, and the new Boulder Colorado "green tax" mentioned an a post earlier this month on Eco-Justice Blog.

Friday, November 24, 2006

'Locavores' Take Eating Locally Seriously

Eating food produced within a 100-mile radius is the focus of this story. Folks are hosting eat local dinner parties/potulucks. Find some helpful how-tos and links in Wired. Listen to a story about how eating locally may be better for your health from NPR's Talk of the Nation.

Christian Coalition Pro-Environment Leader Resigns

The Rev. Joel Hunter said he quit as president-elect of the group founded by evangelist Pat Robertson because he realized he would be unable to broaden the organization's agenda beyond opposing abortion and same-sex marriage.
He hoped to include issues such as easing poverty and saving the environment.
"These are issues that Jesus would want us to care about," Hunter said.
The resignation took place Tuesday during an organization board meeting. Hunter said he was not asked to leave. Read the full story here.

Europe Confronts Sprawl

Urban sprawl – which is "when the rate of land-use conversion exceeds the rate of population growth" - is on the rise in Europe just as it is in the United States. If the trend continues, Europe's urban area will double in just over a century, warns the European Environment Agency. Europe is already one of the most urbanized continents. 75 percent of its population lives in urban areas.By 2020, that percentage will increase to 80 or even 90 percent in some member states. Read the full story here.

UK Debates Green Taxes

A story about the pros and cons of instituting so-called green taxes in the UK. Read about it here.

Future Trade Agreements linked to Climate?

The need to link climate change rules with global trade agreements has been highlighted at a meeting of academics and diplomats in Sydney.

The European Union is hosting a forum on strengthening international environmental governance. Read the full story here.

Drive Beyond Oil

Read the blog about a cross-country National Resources Defense Council tour to promote energy alternatives at Drive Beyond Oil.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Brother combines Science and Faith

Brother James Lockman, new director of the Mission Saint Luis Rey, says his new mission home, where he arrived in May, is a great place to live out his passion for botany and the teachings of St. Francis, founder of the Roman Catholic religious order that runs the mission.

"I found I had a natural affinity with the Franciscans because I have the same relationship with nature," he said, adding that St. Francis is the patron saint of ecology as well as of animals. "Evolution has never been an issue for Catholics. There is no fundamental contradiction. The problem comes when the words of Scripture are taken literally, and that wasn't the genre in which they were written." Read the full story in the San Diego area North County Times.

Are there Nukes in Our Future?

Seven partners representing half the world's population have agreed to build an experimental fusion reactor in southern France that could revolutionize global energy use for future generations.

The European Union, China, India, Russia, Japan and South Korea will attempt to combat global warming by offering an alternative to fossil fuels. Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

Decline of worm spells trouble

The decline in population of the tiny Antarctic nematode spells potential trouble for the atmosphere. The worms are responsible for preventing the release of significant amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Read the full story in the New York Times.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Have an Eco-Friendly, Alternative Holiday

Alternatives to traditional holiday gifts and celebrations at the Center for a New American Dream's holiday survival page.

New Global Pact not expected until 2010

A new global pact to curb greenhouse gas emissions is not likely until 2010, the UN now says. Environmental groups are pushing for it to happen in 2008 or 2009. Read the story here.

Oil Spill in Lebanon

An oil spill that occurred during the Lebonese-Israeli conflict earlier this year has yet to be cleaned up. Read the full story here.

God is an Environmentalist

There is a thread about Evagelicals and global climate change on the popular website Daily Kos. Much of it centers on the film "The Great Warming" opening in 36 cities. Here is the link.

Science vs. Religion Grudge Match

Some scientists are saying it is time to take the gloves off and challenge religion as the greatest stories ever told. This isn't a story about environmental issues, but about the gulf between science and religion. Read about it in today's New York Times.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Green Gridlock? Environmental Legislation in the New Congress

Will the new Congress be good for the environment? Or will they clash with the president and create partisan gridlock? Analysis by Amanda Griscom Little, a columnist for Grist Magazine. Her articles on energy, technology and the environment have appeared in publications ranging from Rolling Stone to the New York Times Magazine. Her essay appears in Salon (note: you have to watch a brief ad to see the full article.)

Canadian Religious Communities fight Climate Change

Religious communities in Canada join the movement to stop global climate change. The relgious environmental movement in Canada is similar to that in the US. Read about it in the Toronto Star.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

When Turkeys go Berzerkey

Just in time for Thanksgiving--an envoronmental success story with a twist. Listen to the NPR segment here.

Climate Change in Africa

Weather patterns in Kenya are far different than they were a generation ago. There's less snow on the mountaintops, lakes are much lower, and the rainy season has been arriving late. And when the rain finally comes, it falls too hard and fast and sweeps away the precious topsoil that farmers need to plant their harvests

Listen to the NPR story here.

Punk Rockers push clean energy

Now that they've fully mastered three chords, punk/pop stars Green Day have teamed up with the Natural Resources Defense Council to promote clean energy. The band has posted video messages about environmental issues on a new website, where visitors can send messages directly to political leaders.

Middle Eastern Environmental Symposium

A 2-day symposium held in Dubai for Middle Easter communities focused mainly on hazardous waste management. Read about it here.

Underground CO2 Use

This is a story about the use of CO2 to retrieve oil from oil wells. Environmentalists and the oil industry have clashed on this in the past but now may find common ground. It is full of insider jargon but if you have been following the debate about sequestering greenhouse gasses underground, you may find this of interest. Read the full story here.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Boulder Colorado Passes Carbon Emissions Tax

Boulder Colorado has passed what may be the nation's first a carbon emissions tax based on the number of kilowatt hours used. The tax is designed to encourage energy efficiency. Read the entire story here.

Renewable Energy on Talk of the Nation

A new report from the Rand Corp. suggests the United States can get 25 percent of it energy from renewables such as wind and ethanol by the year 2025. The guest, Senior Rand Corp. Economist Mike Toman, used to sing in the church choir at Bethesda United Church of Christ with me. This segment aired Friday, November 17. Listen to the segment here.

Pollution increases as China modernizes

The Yellow River is threatened by polution. Read the full story in the New York Times.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pollution as a drastic solution to global warming

At the UN Conference on Climate Change in Nairobi, Kenya, a group of scientists discussed their drastic short-term fix for climate change--spewing enough pollution to draw a "shade" over the sun temporarily. The Nobel Prize-winning scientist who first made the proposal is himself ''not enthusiastic about it.''
''It was meant to startle the policy makers,'' said Paul J. Crutzen, of Germany's Max Planck Institute for Chemistry. ''If they don't take action much more strongly than they have in the past, then in the end we have to do experiments like this.''

Read the full story here.

A Scientist Appeals to Pastors

In his latest book, ''The Creation, An Appeal to Save Life on Earth,'' scientist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author E. O. Wilson appeals to Christian believers in hopes of saving the Earth from where he sees it heading--toward the biggest mass extinction since the dinosaurs.

''Pastor, we need your help. The Creation -- living Nature -- is in deep trouble,'' Wilson writes in this letter to an imaginary Southern Baptist pastor. ''You might well ask at this point, Why me? Because religion and science are the two most powerful forces in the world today.''

Read the whole article at