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Environmental concerns

Environmental news: 2008

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Media reports on the environment:

bullet2008-JAN-12: Indonesia: A report on the UN climate conference: "This is True #708" 1 repeated a report from the Sydney Morning Herald:

"Attendees at a United Nations climate conference in Bali, Indonesia, were disturbed when they noticed that a temporary air conditioning system set up to keep the 10,000 delegates cool not only used ozone-destroying CFCs, but the system, which used plastic pipes, was noticeably leaking. They counted 700 cylinders containing enough of the refrigerant gas to cause as much damage to the atmosphere as 48,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide -- 'nearly the equivalent of the emissions of all [of the] aircraft used to fly delegates to Indonesia'."

"This is true" titled the report: "Keep Your Cool." They commented: "In other news, none of the attendees was able to state the definition of 'irony'."

bullet2008-MAR-29: Earth Hour was observed in Sydney, Australia during the evening of 2007-MAR-31 when 2.2 million people and 2,100 businesses turned off their lights during Earth Hour. Energy consumption in the city was reduced by 10.2% for that hour. On 2008-MAR-29, it is being observed by some cities around the world. Citizens are urged to turn off their lights between 8 and 9 PM local time. Brisbane, Chicago, Copenhagen, Manila, Melborne, Sydney, Toronto, Tel Aviv and other cities are participating. More info.
 
bullet2008-JUN: A "cap and trade" bill promoted by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), John Warner (R-VA), and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), stalled in the Senate. It would have required a 19% reduction from current levels of in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and a 71% reduction by 2050. Even if passed by Congress, the bill would have faced a certain veto by President Bush. 4
 
bullet2008-JUL-01: Penguin populations falling steeply: Dee Boersma, a biologist at the University of Washington, reports that global warming, oil pollution, depletion of fisheries and rampant coastline development are threatening breeding habitats for many penguin species. She notes that African penguins decreased from 1.5 million pairs a century ago to 63,000 pairs in 2005. Galapagos Islands penguins have dropped from 10,000 in the 1970s to 2,500 now. There are only 43 penguin breeding sites, almost all of which are in the Southern Hemisphere. She recommends that an international effort be mounted to at least check on the largest colonies at least every five years. 2
 
bullet2008-JUL-09: USA: Allegations of a cover-up by Bush administration: Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) accused the Bush administration of a "cover-up" aimed at stopping the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from tackling greenhouse emissions. She said: "This cover-up is being directed from the White House and the office of the vice president." Jason Burnett, the EPA's former associate deputy administrator who appeared at a news conference with Senator Boxer said that the EPA made a preliminary finding in 2007-DEC that "greenhouse gases may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public welfare."

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, when asked about the administration's actions, said, "I don't know if that is criminal. I doubt it. OK. But I know it is immoral. ...The health of my grandchildren, my children and me are affected by this head-in-the-sand that global warming doesn't exist." 3
 

bullet

2008-AUG-19: USA: Major global warming bill being written: Democratic aids of the House Energy Committee are preparing a major global warming bill. Because of a near certain veto by President Bush, the bill is apparently being prepared now for submission in the next Congress. Both presidential nominees, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama support global warming legislation in some form.  4
 

bullet

2008-DEC-19: World: Environmental Distance Education: :The Centre for Environment at the University of Toronto offers a selection of online environmental courses and certificate programs that are designed for new beginners, professional development for environmental practitioners, professionals, and management, as well as recent graduates and potential or recent immigrants to Canada." See: http://distanceed.environment.utoronto.ca/
 

bullet

2008-DEC-21: North America: Anonymous Internet posting believed to be at a Canadian blog: "Barack Obama puts a Nobel laureate physicist in his cabinet as energy secretary. Stephen Harper appoints a chiropractor as [Canadian] science minister. Draw your own conclusions." {Stephen Harper is head of the Conservative Party of Canada and is the current Prime Minister of Canada.}   

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Randy Cassingham has been publishing "This is True," a weekly syndicated newspaper column, since 1994. You can subscribe to them for free at: http://www.thisistrue.com/
  2. "Penguin populations falling steeply: biologist," World Science, 2008-JUL-01, at: http://www.world-science.net/
  3. Richard Cowan, "White House in climate change 'cover up'," Reuters, 2008-JUL-089, at: http://www.reuters.com/
  4. "House Democrats at work on major global warming bill," Carbon Insider, 2008-AUG-19, at: http://carboninsider.com/

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Copyright 2008 & 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2008-JAN-13
Latest update: 2009-JAN-20
Author: B.A. Robinson


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