[GRRN] [earthsystems.org News] July 11, 2000

From: Shay Mitchell (shay@earthsystems.org)
Date: Tue Jul 11 2000 - 14:35:17 EDT

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    earthsystems.org news Volume 2 Issue 28

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    FROM EARTHSYSTEMS.ORG:
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    ISSUE OF THE WEEK:
    Accurate sources for environmental information....Today we
    are flooded with information from a number of sources. Which
    of these sources do you trust to bring credible and reliable
    environmental information?

    http://earthsystems.org/issues.html

    POLL OF THE WEEK:
    Who do you rely on for accurate environmental information?

    http://earthsystems.org/issues.html#poll

    JULY BOOK OF THE MONTH:
    Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams & Mark Carwardine

    Douglas Adams is best know for his fictional works (The Hitchhiker's Guide to
    the Galaxy etc.) However, here he teams with fellow Brit Mark Carwardine
    to travel throughout the world to catch a glimpse of endangered and rare animals.
    Only $8.80 through the earthsystems.org bookstore. A 20% discount.

    http://earthsystems.org/bookstore.html

    GOOD NEWS STRAIGHT FROM THE FLOOR
    Collins & Aikman Floorcoverings was recently honored with an Environmental
    Stewardship Award by the The Council on Economic Priorities (CEP), New
    York, N.Y., during its 14th annual national Corporate Conscience Awards.
    According to Alice Tepper Marlin, CEP president and founder, these awards
    "honor those corporations that demonstrate social accountability through
    innovative programs and policies, and draw attention to these companies as
    developers of best practices worthy of replication by other companies."

    The company has the first and only "take-back" program where customers
    return their old carpet of similar composition (regardless of the original
    manufacturer) for recycling to Collins & Aikman. As a result of this
    program, millions of pounds of discarded carpet have been diverted from
    landfills. This program has resulted in significant savings of virgin raw
    materials which, without the recycling program, would have been mined from
    the earth to make new floorcoverings. The company also created the
    industry's first "dry" adhesive installation system, which essentially
    eliminates volatile organic compounds' (VOC) emissions.

    The CEP, an independent economic research organization, is responsible for
    many of the major benchmarks for measuring corporate social responsibility
    in the U.S. The CEP has been in existence for over 30 years,
    and is considered one of the leading authorities in this field.

    http://www.powerbond.com

    IF THEY BUILD IT MAYBE THEY WON'T COME
    A new field research facility in the Amazon rainforest sponsored by NASA
    and the Brazilian government will be completed this month as part of an
    experiment to study the region's impact on global change and develop
    information for sustainable resource management solutions. Extensive
    ecological field studies get underway this summer during the region's dry
    season.

    First-of-a-kind experiments on the impact of logging on tropical ecosystems
    will be among the studies conducted at the facility near the Amazon River
    city of Santarm in the northern Brazilian state of Par. Over 150 scientists
    and students from Brazil, the United States, Europe, and several South
    American countries are involved in research at the facility.

    Using data from field work and observations from space by Landsat 7, Terra,
    and the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), LBA scientists will
    produce an integrated analysis of the complex biological, chemical, and
    atmospheric processes that drive this massive ecosystem at scales ranging

    from one-meter plots to the entire Amazon region. This analysis will be
    used to study potential future scenarios for the Amazon.

    More information on the LBA project can be found at:

    http://www3.cptec.inpe.br/lba/index.html

    IMAGES (for larger jpg images or TIFF hi-res images, go to:

    ftp://pao.gsfc.nasa.gov/newsmedia/amazon)

    IT'S SINK OR SWIM TIME
    While millions of Americans spend balmy summer days enjoying the nation's
    vast public lands, Senators stuck in the Capitol are scurrying to extend or
    make permanent a controversial fee program during its last full summer in
    effect.

    The Recreational Fee Demonstration Program, passed in 1995 and extended to
    Sept. 30, 2001, allows the Park Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land
    Management and Fish and Wildlife Service to designate up to 100 projects
    each where they will charge user fees. The carrot: 80 percent of the fees
    stay on site for long-overdue repairs and maintenance. Some of the
    "projects" are vast: All of the National Forests in Oregon and Washington
    are listed as one of the Forest Service's 85 projects. The most recent list
    of sites around the nation, number of visitors, and revenue and collection costs is at

    http://sv0505.r5.fs.fed.us/recfees/1999report.htm.

    Environmental groups oppose charging fees for public lands, except for
    National Parks (http://www.wildwilderness.org/docs/scposition.htm).

    The American Recreation Coalition -- whose membership includes motorized
    recreation groups, trails organizations, hotel/motel associations, youth
    hostelers, and major oil companies -- generally supports fees as long as
    they are equitable and the money is used to benefit the site and the people
    it comes from. http://www.funoutdoors.com/policy.html.

    TO KNOW SMOG IS TO NOT KNOW IT'S THERE
    The House of Representatives made news June 21 by adding a rider to the HUD
    appropriation forbidding EPA from designating nonattainment areas using its
    tougher new ozone (smog) standard. Environmentalists viewed it as a
    right-to-know issue: suppression of information telling people whether they
    were breathing dirty air. Industry groups have challenged the new standard
    in court as too expensive.

    Want to know if you live in a nonattainment area-to-be, the information is
    already available (unofficially). The Clean Air Network published a
    report in June listing cities and counties that would flunk the standard.
    They used the same pollution data that EPA will use and measured it against
    the same new 8-hour health standard for ozone. EPA's official results could
    vary slightly, but the bottom line is that about 117 million Americans in over
    300 counties sometimes breathe air that violates the ozone standard.

    Background: http://www.epa.gov/oar/oaqps/greenbk/oindex.html. CAN report,
    "Dirty Smog Spots and Clean Air Solutions,"
    http://www.cleanair.net/smogwatch2000.htm.
    http://www.uschamber.org/media/releases/0006/062100a.html.

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    FROM GRIST:
    http://www.gristmagazine.com/grist/gist
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    THY STAFF, THEY COMFORT ME
    A harsh internal report leaked to the press yesterday accuses the

    World Bank of violating its own environmental and human rights
    policies by agreeing to fund a controversial resettlement project in
    western China. The $40 million project, which the bank tentatively
    approved last year, seeks to move about 58,000 poor farmers to areas
    traditionally inhabited by ethnic Tibetans and Mongols. Critics say
    the project would dilute Tibetan ethnic identity, put more pressure
    on groundwater resources, and lead to pesticide and fertilizer
    pollution. The World Bank's board is set to decide on July 6 how to
    proceed; some staffers have recommended a new 15-month, $2 million
    study of the project's potential impacts.

    straight to the source: New York Times, David E. Sanger and Joseph Kahn, 06.27.00
    http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/global/062700bank-tibet.html

    straight to the source: San Jose Mercury News, Ken Moritsugu, 06.27.00
    http://www.sjmercury.com/premium/world/docs/worldbank27.htm

    ERODE, ERODE, ERODE YOUR HOUSE, GENTLY OUT TO SEA
    At least a quarter of the houses within 500 feet of coastlines in the
    U.S. may be lost to erosion in the next 60 years, according to a
    study conducted for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The
    problem, which may hit the Atlantic Coast especially hard, could be
    made even worse if sea levels rise due to global warming. The study
    found that property damage could be minimized and coastal
    environmental quality improved by setting up development-free zones
    in areas prone to erosion. It also recommended that FEMA include the
    expected cost of erosion losses when setting flood insurance rates.
    Critics of FEMA say its current flood insurance program encourages
    unsound development by offering coverage to coastal homeowners that
    private insurers wouldn't provide.

    straight to the source: New York Times, Cornelia Dean, 06.28.00
    http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/062800sci-environ-erosion.html

    straight to the source: San Francisco Chronicle, Glen Martin, 06.28.00
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/06/28/MN28508.DTL

    straight to the source: MSNBC, 06.28.00
    http://www.msnbc.com/news/426061.asp

    TALKIN' BOUT POWER GENERATION
    Vice President Al Gore began unveiling a plan yesterday to spend more
    than $125 billion over the next decade to put the U.S. on the path to
    clean energy and reduce its dependence on foreign oil. He proposed
    tax breaks and other incentives for businesses that clean up their
    polluting power plants and factories and invest in clean energy.
    Tomorrow, Gore will propose tax breaks for consumers who buy
    eco-friendly homes, cars, and appliances, and Thursday he'll propose
    aid to help cities and states build clean mass transit. In a dig at
    his Republican opponent, oil scion George W. Bush, Gore stressed that
    the use of clean alternative energy could help end American
    vulnerability to "big oil." Meanwhile, Bush pledged yesterday to
    create political good will with oil-producing nations and convince
    them to increase the amount of crude they supply to the U.S.

    straight to the source: New York Times, Frank Bruni, 06.28.00
    http://www.nytimes.com/library/politics/camp/062800wh-gore.html

    straight to the source: Los Angeles Times, Bonnie Harris, 06.28.00
    http://www.latimes.com/print/asection/20000628/t000061101.html

    straight to the source: New York Times, Katharine Q. Seelye, 06.28.00
    http://www.nytimes.com/library/politics/camp/062800wh-bush.html

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