[GRRN] [earthsystems.org News] November 30, 1999

Shay Mitchell (shay@earthsystems.org)
Tue, 30 Nov 1999 12:15:19 -0500

earthsystems.org news Issue 19
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What's new at earthsystems.org

Issue of the Week

The World Trade Organization in Seattle: The WTO meets this week in Seattle
amid an array of protests from environmental and social justice organizations.


Poll of the Week

Do you trust the WTO to protect the environment and the health and safety of
manufacturing workers?


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Environmental News

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>From Tidepool.org

The Editor of Tidepool.org has collected a variety of information sources on
the World Trade Organization (WTO) talks currently being held in Seattle.
Whatever your position on the WTO is you can benefit from taking a look:


Green Christmas: Save Money By Being Environmentally Smart
Christmas season traditionally begins today, as droves of shoppers fill the
malls and once-a-year lumberjacks head to the mountains in search of the
perfect tree. But before you go, consider having a "green" Christmas this

(11.26.99) From the Everett Herald.

>From GIST



GOP presidential contender John McCain said yesterday that he plans to
increase the visibility of environmental issues in his campaign and make a
major policy address on the environment within the next few weeks. McCain:
"I believe the environment may be the sleeper issue of the campaign. There's
great concern throughout this country and there's great dissatisfaction that
Congress and the president aren't doing enough." Meanwhile, Vice Pres. Al Gore
spoke out yesterday against the influence of "big polluters" on the presidential
race, criticizing Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) for accepting large campaign
contributions from polluting industries. Enviros are blaming the Bush
administration for a seven-year low in the number of fines collected from
polluters in Texas during fiscal 1999.

straight to the source: Nando Times, Associated Press, Scott Thomsen, 11.23.99


straight to the source: Fox News, Associated Press, Mike Glover, 11.23.99


straight to the source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jay Root, 11.21.99


earthsystems.org note: As predicted by this editor in one of the first editions of
this newsletter, environment and urban sprawl will become key issues in the
upcoming election. Whatever your viewpoint, let it be known.


More than 30 U.S. farm groups representing tens of thousands of farmers said
yesterday that planting genetically modified crops could imperil farmers'
livelihoods because the crops are becoming increasingly unpopular with
consumers. The groups also warned that inadequate testing of GM seeds could
make farmers vulnerable to "massive liability" from damage caused by drifting
pollen and other environmental effects. The organizations called on biotech
companies to promote the sale of traditional seed varieties for the coming
crop year until an independent assessment of the environmental, health, and
economic impacts of GM seeds is available. Some seed dealers are expecting a drop in
sales of genetically altered seeds, a dramatic shift from last year when many

farmers were enthusiastically buying them.

straight to the source: Washington Post, William Claiborne, 11.24.99



International Paper Co., the world's largest paper company and one of the
biggest private landowners in the U.S., has hired an outside firm to verify
that its forest-management practices are environmentally sound, the company
will announce today. Pressure is growing on the timber and paper industry to
adopt sustainable logging practices, and International Paper said that more
than 100 of its customers, including Home Depot and McDonald's, have asked
whether its products meet various environmental criteria. In part, the
retailers are acting in response to pressure from environmental groups, which
have conducted publicity campaigns and protests pushing for independent forest

straight to the source: Wall Street Journal, Dean Starkman, 11.24.99
(access ain't free)



Nearly 58,000 square miles of land, an area larger than Greece, are turned to
desert each year, affecting more than 1 billion people and forcing many of
them to flee their homes in search of food and work. Officials from more than 150
nations will try to address the problem this week at the U.N. Convention to
Combat Desertification, being held in Brazil as a follow up to discussions on
the issue that took place at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. Desertification
is attributed to logging, grazing, over-farming, population growth, and
climate change. Delegates this week will try to get industrial nations to commit more
funding to alleviate the problem; billions of dollars are needed to stop
desertification and begin recovery efforts, specialists say.

straight to the source: MSNBC, Reuters, 11.22.99


straight to the source: Boston Globe, Associated Press, Harold Olmos, 11.23.99



Dense, acrid smog choked Cairo for the second day in a row yesterday, causing
respiratory problems, sore throats, acute headaches, and flu-like symptoms for
many of the city's 16 million residents. Severe smog problems have plagued
the city for several weeks in October and November. The problems are blamed on
vehicle exhaust, industrial emissions, and burning garbage heaps. Egypt's
Environment Ministry has launched emergency efforts to reduce pollution from
factories and dispose of massive trash mounds that have been burning. In
October, the government ordered the closure of 25 factories in the city that
burn tires for fuel, but apparently the step was not enough to solve the
city's air pollution woes.

straight to the source: Planet Ark, Reuters, Maye Ostowani, 11.23.99



Many analysts believe that fuel cells represent the future of clean cars, and
Ballard Power Systems, which is at the forefront of fuel-cell development,
seems well poised to capitalize on this trend. The fuel cell is an efficient,
nonpolluting electrochemical device that mixes hydrogen and oxygen to create
electricity, and many major automakers and oil companies are investing in
automotive fuel-cell research. Fuel-cell cars have already bested electric
cars with range and acceleration that match conventional vehicles, but
researchers have yet to overcome the high cost of producing fuel cells. For
this reason, and because of growing competition from other types of clean
cars, our investment gurus recommend that you hold off on buying up Ballard stock
for now -- but still keep a close eye on the company and fuel-cell technology in

read it only in Grist Magazine: A hard cell, Patrick McVeigh, 11.19.99


To subscribe to THE DAILY GIST, send an email to grist@gristmagazine.com with
the word "subscribe" in the subject line, or click here,

>From EDF:

An EDF-Pew Alliance for Environmental Innovation report finds that the
companies who last year mailed 17 billion catalogs to American consumers are
doing little to reduce the environmental impacts of their paper use. The
report includes an action plan for he companies and tips for consumers who want to
reduce catalogs.



Once glorious, diving and snorkeling in the Florida Keys has gone downhill in
recent years. The debate rages about why it's happening and what can be done
about it. (From the editors of E Magazine).


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