[GRRN] earthsystems.org news

Shay Mitchell (shay@earthsystems.org)
Tue, 05 Oct 1999 15:12:20 -0400

earthsystems.org news Issue 12
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New at earthsystems.org

Issue of the Week:

A bill in Congress could alter the way the Superfund
program works. At issue, liability and
who pays for the cleanup of toxic waste sites.


Poll of the Week:

Who should bear the financial burden
of cleaning up Superfund sites?


Book of the Month

The Ecology of Eden, by Evan Eisenberg, explores the role of
humankind in nature through history, science, and music.


Environmental Events

Remember to visit our Events page for information on
the latest environmental around the world.


>From Gist:


The heads of five prominent environmental groups accused
the Clinton administration yesterday of abandoning environmental
concerns as it prepares for the upcoming World Trade Organization
meeting, to begin in Seattle in late November. The groups --
including the National Wildlife Federation and Friends
of the Earth -- all claim to support global trade, but they
allege that as a result of WTO membership, the U.S. has weakened
protection for air quality and endangered species, sea turtles in
particular. The leaders said that new WTO proposals, which the
U.S. is preparing to support, could lead to more rampant
logging in forests throughout the world. They refused to
criticize any of the disruptive protests being planned by
anti-trade activists for the Seattle meeting. "The forthcoming
WTO summit is shaping up to be probably the most tense
confrontation between the American government and its people
perhaps since the '70s," said Carl Pope of the Sierra Club.

straight to the source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Michael Paulson, 10.01.99


straight to the source: Knoxville News, Scripps-McClatchy, Les Blumenthal, 09.30.99



The U.S. is considering requiring that genetically modified foods
be labeled as such, but no decision has been reached, a U.S.
Department of Agriculture spokesperson said this week. Some
reports indicate that the U.S. hopes to develop a labeling proposal
by the time of the World Trade Organization meeting that will begin
in Seattle in late November. Genetically modified foods are
expected to be a major issue of discussion at the meeting.
Meanwhile, biotech giant Monsanto this month has been holding
talks with Britain's Soil Association, the nation's main organic
campaign group, which has been staunchly opposed to the planting of
GM crops. Monsanto indicated that it is considering a major change
of course in Britain, where anti-GM sentiment runs high. The
company suggested that it may help plant breeders create new plant
varieties through traditional cross-breeding techniques rather
than through genetic modification.

straight to the source: MSNBC, Miguel Llanos, 09.27.99


straight to the source: London Observer, Oliver Morgan, 09.26.99


Some 567 local officials from all 50 states -- including the mayors
of Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. -- are
calling on the federal government to act more aggressively to
combat climate change, in a statement to be released today. As of
late last week, enviros had been saying they'd scored a coup by
getting New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R) to sign the
statement. But Rudy bailed on Friday night. Yesterday, Pres.

Clinton praised the call from local officials. At the same time,
Clinton criticized Congress for cutting funds for a clean air
program and adding measures to spending bills that he said would
"strangle" government efforts to save energy, cut fuel costs
for citizens and businesses, and reduce the pollution that causes
global warming.

straight to the source: Planet Ark, Reuters, Patrick Connole, 09.28.99



A giant blob of radioactive waste is expanding inside a
million-gallon tank buried at the Hanford nuclear reservation
in Washington state, and the Department of Energy and site
contractor Lockheed Martin are baffled by the problem. A pump
that was supposed to dissipate pockets of hydrogen gas in the
tank instead whipped the contents into a state that resembles a
rising souffle, which threatens the functionality of tank
instruments and could eventually overflow, officials say. They
are rushing to pump some of the waste into another tank. In June,
Hanford chemist Stephen Agnew sent an email to project
consultant Donald Oakley saying, "It is amazing that the
level [in the tank] has reached 435 inches and no one is freaked
out yet."

straight to the source: New York Times, Matthew Wald, 09.27.99


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>From EDF:

A green dream has come true for the family of Sgt. First Class
Robert Portillo, who won last year's drawing for a Green Dream
House. The $200,000 Kempner, TX home, built with recycled-content
construction materials, is now a reality. And this year's drawing
is coming up soon.



Locate the names of endangered species in our new interactive
wordsearch game (requires a Java-enabled browser). Have fun and
learn about the beautiful creatures we're trying to save.


To start receiving your own copy of EDF DISPATCH, just fill in this
simple form on the web:


>From tidepool.org

Mosquito Virus Exposes Hole in Safety Net

The recent outbreak of West Nile-like virus is just one of dozens
of hazards to people, crops, livestock, and wildlife that -- after
being hemmed in by oceans for millenniums -- are increasingly free
to hopscotch the world because of the acceleration and growth of
international travel and trade.

(10.4.99) From the ENN Newswire.
New York Case Worries Oregon Mosquito Controlers

(10.2.99) From the Oregonian.

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