[GRRN] [earthsystems.org news]

Shay Mitchell (shay@earthsystems.org)
Wed, 28 Jul 1999 14:27:18 -0400

Here's the second edition of earthsystems.org news you can really use. Visit=
our site for more environmental information.=A0

What's New at earthsystems.org:=20

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>From the Daily Gist, a service of Earth Day 2000:=20
Government regulators are planning to clamp down on diesel trucks, buses,=20
and other vehicles, which make up only 2.5 percent of vehicles on the road=
but account for 26 percent of nitrogen oxides and up to 70 percent of soot=
in urban air. Federal rules permit diesel vehicles to emit much more=20
pollution than standard passenger vehicles. Some states are moving ahead=20
on their own rather than waiting for the feds to act. Last month, nine=20
northeastern states agreed to conduct roadside tests on diesel trucks,=20
ticketing offenders and forcing them to get repairs. California's Air=20
Resources Board has decided to classify diesel-exhaust soot as a=20
cancer-causing "toxic air pollutant," which could lead to lawsuits against=
the industry from people who claim exhaust has made them sick. But the=20
trucking industry and its allies are formally asking the state board to=20
reconsider the classification.
straight to the source: USA Today, Traci Watson, 07.07.99
straight to the source: Wall Street Journal, Marc Lifsher, 07.07.99=20
(access ain't free)

The Clinton administration yesterday finally announced that it would=20
conduct long-term studies of genetically engineered foods, and said that it=
is considering asking the food industry to voluntarily label genetically=20
modified products. But Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said the=20
government would still use all legal means to push genetically modified=20
products into European markets. In the meantime, the Environmental Defense=
Fund has filed a petition with the EPA asking that farmers in the U.S. be=20
required to plant conventional corn around fields of genetically modified=20
corn to prevent the escape of toxic pollen into areas where butterflies=20
feed. Some news outlets are reporting that a number of farmers are=20
disappointed with the performance of genetically modified crops. Biotech=20
companies have promised higher yields and lower pesticide and herbicide=20
needs, but some farmers aren't finding that to be the case, and some=20
genetically modified crops are fetching lower prices on the market than=20
conventional crops.

straight to the source: New York Times, Marian Burros, 07.14.99
straight to the source: BBC News, Susan Watts, 07.14.99
only in Grist Magazine: Pinocchi-Oh-No!

(earthsystems note: Watch for this issue to have increasing visibility as=20
European nations and at least one major US corporation move for more=20
research and assurances that genetically modified foods are not damaging=20
the food chain.)

World population may hit 6 billion today, according to U.S. Census Bureau=20
estimates, meaning human numbers have doubled in less than 40 years. The=20
United Nations predicts the 6 billion mark will be hit on October 12.=20
Either way, humanity is increasing by 78 million people a year, despite a=20
decelerating growth rate, and scientists predict that the human population=
will double again to 12 billion by 2050. In 61 of the world's 191 nations,=
fertility rates have dropped below the replacement level of 2.1 children=20
per woman, but it takes a nation about 70 years to stabilize its population=
even after a balanced fertility rate is achieved.=20
straight to the source: London Guardian, Robin McKie, 07.18.99

Environmentalists are increasingly teaming up with big business to help=20
corporations produce environmentally sound products. Earlier this year,=20
the Marine Stewardship Council sat down with Unilever, the corporate parent=
of Gorton and Birdseye frozen foods, and worked out a "sustainable fish"=20
labeling system for grocery store packages of salmon, haddock, and other=20
fish. European companies seem to be more open to working with enviros than=
companies in other parts of the world. Meanwhile, enviros have been=20
coordinating with managers at a Dow Chemical complex in Midland, Mich., in=
a project to reduce toxic emissions while cutting costs, and both sides=20
have been surprised by the great progress made.
straight to the source: Los Angeles Times, Janet Wilson, 07.18.99
source: New York Times, Barnaby J. Feder, 07.18.99

To subscribe to THE DAILY GIST, send an email to grist@gristmagazine.com=20
with the word "Subscribe" in the subject line.=20


>From earthsystems.org:=20
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