THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS Tuesday 23 February 2010 UNEP and the Executive Director in the News Coverage of th

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					                      THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                         Tuesday, 23 February, 2010

                  UNEP and the Executive Director in the News

               Coverage of the UNEP Governing Council Meeting

   Jakarta Post (Indonesia): Green Watch: Can the United Nations environmental summit in
    Bali succeed?
   VOA (US): International Community Meets in Bali to Address Environment
   UN Daily News: As e-waste Mountains soar, UN urges smart technologies to protect health
   Guardian (UK): UN calls for action on growing electronic waste
   Jakarta Post (Indonesia): E-waste flooding developing countries, warns UNEP report
   Telegraph (UK): There‘s gold in them there rubbishy computers
   Deutsche Welle (Germany): UN conference to tackle growing problem of 'e-waste'
   CTV News (Canada): Developing nations face e-waste wave: report
   PC World (US): UN Warns Developing Countries of Growing E-waste
   USA Today (US): E-waste report warns of hazardous mountains of old cellphones,
    computers
   CBC News (Canada): E-waste mounting in developing countries: UN
   Press Association (UK): Electronic waste threatens world
   Oregonlive (US):U.N. report says global e-waste grows by 40 mil. tons a year+
   Information Week (US): Developing Nations Risk E-Waste Crisis
   Silicon India (India): Developing countries may face e-waste crisis: UN
   BD News24 (Bangladesh): Computer waste in India to grow 500 pct by 2020 – report
   TG daily (Blog): E-waste set to rocket, says UN
   Auburnpub (US): UN warns about tech waste in developing world
   Jakarata Post (Indonessia): Treaties help developing countries
   International News (Pakistan): Indian actions on water don‘t go unnoticed, says Jamaat
   Bernama (Malaysia: Indonesia Is Vulnerable To Trafficking In Hazardous Substances,
    Wastes
   Softpedia (US): UN: Surge in E-Wastes Inevitable
   Telegraph (UK): UN warns world could be swamped by electronic waste
   BBC News:'Mountains' of e-waste threaten developing world
   STV (UK): Bonn to host extra U.N. climate talks, treaty unsure
   Cordis News (Luxembourg): UN warns of looming surge in e-waste
   Earth Times (Blog): UN says tougher targets needed to avert climate disaster
   Peoples Daily Online (China): UN urges countries to boost green economy
   BBC News: No tire su celular viejo, ¡recíclelo!
   Eldia (Argentina): Advierten por el peligro de la basura electrónica
   Les Echos (France): Les pays en développement doivent eux aussi retraiter
   Umweltruf (Germany): UNO warnt vor Elektroschrott-Bergen in Schwellenländern
   Eco Agencia (Blog): Nações Unidas pedem medidas urgentes para lixo eletrônico
   Neoteo (Spain): El desperdicio electrónico, en aumento
   Eco Diario (Spain): La ONU advierte del peligro de "las montañas" de desechos
    electrónicos


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       CRI Online (China): Convoca ONU reunión en Bali para discutir manejo de residuos
        químicos dañinos
       Terra (Spain): ONU advierte sobre basura tecnológica en países en desarrollo
       Publico (Spain): La basura electrónica de India crecerá un 500% en 2020
       IT Pro (Blog):世界の電気・電子機器廃棄物は年間4000万トン増加、国連調査

                                       Other UNEP News

       Business Wold (Philipines): Threats to Philippine coastal ecosystems cited
       Himalayan times (Nepal): Rwanda to host celebrations
       Philippine Star (Philipines): UN calls for 'more ambitious action' to cut greenhouse gas
        emission
       Publico (Spain): La ONU convoca en Bonn una nueva reunión sobre el clima



                                      IPCC in the News

        Fox News (US): New Climate Agency Head Tried to Suppress Data, Critics
         Charge
        Toronto Sun (US): A worldwide fervor over climate change orthodoxy
        Sydney Herald (Australia): Start preparing Sydney, warming is inevitable
        Red Orbit (Blog): Rising Sea Level Claims Retracted
        Huffington Post (US): Screwups in Climate Science
        Detroit News (US): If climate science is dubious, shouldn't governments give
         carmakers a break?
        Fox News (US): Scientists Retract Paper on Rising Sea Levels Due to Errors
        Edmonton Journal (Canada): Climate alarmists feeling more heat
        Washington Post (US): Climate science tantrums

                                 Other Environment News

        AFP: Climate meeting in April aims at reviving UN process
        AFP: Japan opposes trade ban on bluefin tuna
        Guardian (UK): True climate sceptics must stop the war on science
        Telegraph (UK): Climate change could be accelerated by 'methane time bomb'
        Guardian (UK): Climate wars damage the scientists but we all stand to lose in the
         battle

                       Environmental News from the UNEP Regions

        RONA
        ROA

                                       Other UN News

        Environment News from the UN Daily News of November 22nd February 2010
        Environment News from the S.G.‘s Spokesperson Daily Press Briefing of 22nd
         February (None)




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                   UNEP and the Executive Director in the News

               Coverage of the UNEP Governing Council Meeting


Jakarta Post (Indonesia): Green Watch: Can the United Nations environmental
summit in Bali succeed?

23 February 2010

The largest global environmental gathering since the Copenhagen climate change summit
last year is now being held in Bali, where ministers from over 100 countries are convening
together with scientists and ecology experts, business and non-governmental
organizations.

Arranged by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), participants are coming
from all over the world for a wide range of different meetings taking place at the Bali
International Conference Center all week.

In addition to the so-called 11th Special Session of the Governing Council/Global
Ministerial Environment Forum, there will be meetings of the parties to three important
conventions about safeguarding the adverse impacts of chemicals and waste on the
health of people and our the planet.

As is the usual practice for UN meetings, the proceedings will be highly complex,
constrained by international governance protocols and overwhelmed with jargon and
acronyms that are guaranteed to make the gathering of little interest the general public.

Perhaps some of the gobbledygook will be dispelled thanks to a workshop being staged to
"bring journalists into an active dialogue with experts, politicians and civil society leaders
on current key environmental issues such as biodiversity loss, opportunities of the green
economy and the future of environmental governance".

Forgive my cynicism, but the recent failure of the Copenhagen summit to deliver a legally-
binding climate change treaty has left me wondering whether environmental protection is
safe in the hands of the UN.

Grandly titled topics to be covered in the neatly-titled "Reporting Green" media workshop
will be "Pricing Nature: The Economic and Social Value of Ecosystems and Biodiversity",
"The Way Forward, Global Markets: The Green Economy Option" and "The International
Year of Biodiversity".

There is no doubt that these are all vitally important issues, but the big question is whether
any of the meetings in the beautiful resort of Nusa Dua will achieve anything more than
just hot air.

In spite of the disappointing outcome in Copenhagen, perhaps member states should be
blamed, rather than the UN itself, which has many laudable specialist agencies doing
much good in the world.



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The brainchild of the United Nations Environmental Program, the International Year of
Biodiversity, is a celebration of biological diversity and its value for life on Earth, and is
meant to help raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity through activities and
events in many countries, including Indonesia.

Biodiversity is the scientific term for variety of life on Earth. It is essential to sustaining the
living networks and systems that provide us all with health, wealth, food, fuel and the vital
services our lives depend on.

Humans are a part of nature, but some of our activities are threatening the diversity of life
on Earth, which is diminishing at a rapidly accelerating rate.

Loss of biodiversity can be irreversible and damage the life support systems on which we
depend for our very survival

Indonesia is extraordinarily rich in biodiversity and may well be home to more species than
any other country on Earth.

This country among the top five on plant diversity with an estimated 38,000 higher plant
species; leading the world list in palm diversity with 477 species; and has over half of the
350 species of dipterocarp trees.

Indonesia also ranks behind only Brazil and possibly Columbia in freshwater fish diversity,
with around 1,400 species.

The nation has long been a place of considerable interest to environmentalists and
ecologists.

Sir Stamford Raffles, a well-known English naturalist, discovered the siamang, the world's
largest species of gibbon in Sumatra.

Sulawesi is where entomological expert Anthony Bedford Russell identified a giant tree
nymph named Idea tambusisiana, which has a wingspan of more than 17 centimeters.

In 1911, the bird expert Erwin Stresemann collected an adult female of a beautiful species
of crested starling at Bubunan on the northern coast of Bali known as Rothschild's Mynah.

And this Green-Watch column has reported many other magnificent examples of
Indonesia's wealth in biodiversity

This week's UN gathering in Bali is important to the future wellbeing of Indonesia and our
planet.

Unlike the Copenhagen meeting, the climate summit in Bali was universally regarded as a
success, which was much attributed to the skillful diplomacy conducted by Indonesia.

Sadly, Rachmat Witoelar, the gracious Chair of that illustrious summit, has predicted that
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) is now doomed
to failure.



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And it's much respected Secretary-General, Yvo de Boer, has just announced he is
moving to the private sector, conceding that "the real solutions must come from industry".

Let's hope that the inherent weaknesses in the UN systems and processes can be
overcome again in Bali, for the sake of the world's biodiversity.

With the meetings being convened on the Island of the Gods, perhaps we can expect a
triumphant outcome.

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VOA (US): International Community Meets in Bali to Address Environment

22 February 2010

More than 140 governments will convene this week in Indonesia under the banner of the
U.N. Program for the Environment, the largest such gathering since the climate change
summit last December in Copenhagen.

Since the Copenhagen summit did not manage to reach any binding agreement to reduce
carbon emissions, U.N. Program for the Environment Director Achim Steiner says it will be
difficult to bounce back.

"Copenhagen, in my mind, will be in history books as a moment where [sic] humanity has
failed in its responsibility to act," he said. "A deal has become more difficult than in
Copenhagen".

Experts in Bali insist the issue remains urgent. While the environment continues to be
threatened by human activities, climate change could accelerate.

"Acting on environment is not by definition something that has to impoverish you," Steiner
said.

 "And I find a bitter irony: we are destroying the ecosystem that is sequestering the carbon,
while spending billions of dollars betting on the next power station generation that will
capture and store and sequester the carbon by a method that is as yet an hypothesis!"

Steiner insists the responsibility of finding an agreement is shared by the entire world.

"You can always find reasons not to act because of someone else not doing the right
thing," he said. "And for Mexico, I think it will take leaders, and it is not only from the big
ones.

 I think there is this suggestion right now that it is only if China and America agree. The G-
20 also did not deliver, neither did the major economies forum for that matter. So please
take another look at the question of whether multilateralism is dead".

The Bali meeting is the first large international gathering since the Copenhagen summit of
last year. Expectations remain high that an effective leadership could arise on the
international stage for the climate change issue.


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UN Daily News: As e-waste Mountains soar, UN urges smart technologies to protect
health

22 February 2010

With the mountains of hazardous waste from electronic products growing exponentially in
developing countries, sometimes by as much as 500 per cent, the United Nations today
called for new recycling technologies and regulations to safeguard both public health and
the environment.

So-called e-waste from products such as old computers, printers, mobile phones, pagers,
digital photo and music devices, refrigerators, toys and televisions, are set to rise sharply
in tandem with growth in sales in countries like China and India and in Africa and Latin
America over the next 10 years, according to a report issued by the UN Environment
Programme (UNEP).

The study, Recycling – from E-Waste to Resources, launched at a meeting of hazardous
wastes experts in Bali, Indonesia, predicts that by 2020 e-waste from old computers will
have jumped by 500 per cent from 2007 levels in India, and by 200 to 400 per cent in
South Africa and China, while that from old mobile phones will be 7 times higher in China
and 18 times higher in India.

At the same time, most e-waste in China is improperly handled, much of it incinerated by
backyard recyclers to recover valuable metals like gold, practices that release steady
plumes of far-reaching toxic pollution and yield very low metal recovery rates compared to
state-of-the-art industrial facilities.

―This report gives new urgency to establishing ambitious, formal and regulated processes
for collecting and managing e-waste via the setting up of large, efficient facilities in China,‖
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said.

 ―China is not alone in facing a serious challenge. India, Brazil, Mexico and others may
also face rising environmental damage and health problems if e-waste recycling is left to
the vagaries of the informal sector.

―In addition to curbing health problems, boosting developing country e-waste recycling
rates can have the potential to generate decent employment, cut greenhouse gas
emissions and recover a wide range of valuable metals including silver, gold, palladium,
copper and indium. By acting now and planning forward many countries can turn an e-
challenge into an e-opportunity.‖

The report, issued at a conference of parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm
Conventions dealing with hazardous wastes ahead of UNEP‘s Governing Council meeting
in Bali, recommends that countries establish e-waste management centres of excellence,
building on existing organizations working in the area of recycling and waste management.

China‘s lack of a comprehensive e-waste collection network, combined with competition
from the lower-cost informal sector, has held back state-of-the art e-waste recycling plants,


                                                                                                6
it said, while noting a successful pilot in Bangalore, India, to transform informal e-waste
collection and management.

Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Morocco and South Africa are cited as places with great
potential to introduce state-of-the-art e-waste recycling technologies because the informal
e-waste sector is relatively small. Kenya, Peru, Senegal and Uganda have relatively low e-
waste volumes today but these are likely to grow. All four would benefit from capacity
building in so-called pre-processing technologies such as manual dismantling of e-waste,
the report says.

It notes that China already produces about 2.3 million tonnes of e-waste domestically each
year, second only to the United States with about 3 million tonnes, while it remains a major
dumping ground for developed countries despite having banned e-waste imports.

―One person‘s waste can be another‘s raw material,‖ said Konrad Osterwalder, Rector of
the UN University (UNU), which was among the co-authors of the report together with the
Swiss EMPA research institute and Umicore, an international speciality materials group.

―The challenge of dealing with e-waste represents an important step in the transition to a
green economy.

―This report outlines smart new technologies and mechanisms which, combined with
national and international policies, can transform waste into assets, creating new
businesses with decent green jobs. In the process, countries can help cut pollution linked
with mining and manufacturing, and with the disposal of old devices.

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Guardian (UK): UN calls for action on growing electronic waste

22 February 2010

The world must do more to cope with the drastic rise in electronic waste, according to a
UN study published today.

The report suggests that in some countries, the amount of e-waste being produced –
including mobile phones and computers – could rise by as much as 500% over the next
decade. Such rapid growth, it argues, will create intractable problems for people's health
and the environment as the waste, much of it containing toxic material, decays.

"The issue is exploding," said Ruediger Kuehr, who oversees zero-emission initiatives at
the United Nations University. "We see the hunger for mobile phones, computers and also
any other kind of electronic and electrical equipment in some developing countries."

The findings are being unveiled at a meeting of the UN Environment Programme (Unep) in
Bali today, along with a call for greater efforts to fix the problem.

"This is a global question," said Guido Sonnemann, programme officer for Unep. "This
problem is not going away, it's growing."



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While many of the materials used in electronic equipment can be reused in new products,
recycling capacity is being outstripped by the growth in demand for phones, computers
and other devices.

Despite a number of conventions aimed at preventing the indiscriminate dumping of e-
waste, the problem is snowballing, with billions of people now regularly using advanced
electronics.

The problem is particularly acute in parts of west Africa, where ship-loads of e-waste are
dumped on a daily basis and scavenged by children who break down the electronics to
recover valuable metals that they can sell.

Kuehr said the issue was vitally important for countries where economic growth is highest
and dumping most prevalent.

"It's definitely in the countries which have substantial increase in consumption – countries
like China and India, which are still substantial targets for illegal imports of e-waste," he
said. "The same applies for countries like Nigeria."

The problem is not confined to developing countries, however.

"There's still a high growth rate in developed countries," said Kuehr. "It's an increasing,
growing and pressing problem everywhere, including Europe. The collection rates are
simply too little."

Although there is legislation to encourage e-waste recycling in some parts of the world –
including the WEEE initiative in Europe – the UN argues that this alone is insufficient.

Instead, it advocates a number of solutions, including supporting local communities to
increase the amount of "informal" recycling, where valuable materials are scavenged for
resale and reuse.

It also wants better enforcement of recycling and anti-dumping laws and greater action
from manufacturers, and is urging local governments and consumers to recycle old
technology rather than dump it.

"We see the need for stronger awareness and action to solve the e-waste problem," said
Sonnemann. "You need to get a process that is not harming health or the environment."

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Jakarta Post (Indonesia): E-waste flooding developing countries, warns UNEP
report

23 February 2010

Developing countries face serious environmental and health problems from the alarming
increase in hazardous waste from electronic devices, a report launched Monday by the
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warned.



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The report, "Recycling - From E-waste to Resources", listed old and dilapidated desktop
and laptop computers, printers, mobile phones, pagers, digital photo and music devices,
refrigerators, toys and televisions as main sources of waste.

It used data from 11 representative developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin
America to estimate current and future e-waste generation.

"Developing countries will face rising environmental damage and health problems if e-
waste recycling is left to the vagaries of the informal sector, unless action is stepped up
to properly collect and recycle materials," said UNEP executive director Achim Steiner.

"It is urgent to establish an ambitious, formal and regulated process for collecting and
managing e-waste by setting up large and efficient facilities.

"By acting now and planning forward, many countries can turn an e-challenge into an e-
opportunity."

The report was revealed at the newly opened three-day meeting of the Basel Convention
and other world chemical authorities prior to the UNEP Governing Council meeting in
Nusa Dua, Bali, later this week.

The report said China produced about 2.3 million tons of e-waste domestically a year,
second only to the United States with 3 million tons.

By 2020, e-waste from old computers in South Africa and China is predicted to jump by
200 and 400 percent respectively from 2007 levels, and by 500 percent in India.

By the same year in China, e-waste from discarded mobile phones will be about seven
times higher than 2007 levels, and 18 time higher in India, the report says.

More e-waste is expected to be dumped in developing countries in the wake of rocketing
sales and aggressive marketing of cell phones and other electronic appliances.

Steiner said the environmental agenda in the 21st century was not about telling people
to switch off, but to ensure those who buy a computer, a cell phone or other electronic
product also took responsibility for the consequences of e-waste-related issues.

"What we're trying to do is not to stop people from buying those goods, but to make
them safer so that people don't suffer in terms of health and environment," he told The
Jakarta Post later.

"That's why we have to tackle *the e-waste problem* both at national and international
levels. Buy safer products; companies have to accept responsibility for recycling and
governments must put incentives in place, because if they don't, then very soon the
world will say they won't buy these products because they're too dangerous."

Jim Puckett, from the Basel Action Network, said around 50 to 100 containers of e-waste
went into Chinese ports each year.

"We also checked recycling facilities in the United States and found they didn't do
recycling," he said.


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"Consumers unwittingly think they do the right thing by handing them over to recycling
facilities, when in fact the companies simply load up the waste in container ships and
send them mostly to China."

Recently, he said, the network had tracked nine containers of hazardous e-waste from
one such facility in the United States and found the containers were shipped to
Indonesia, but managed to foil the attempt by calling Indonesian authorities.

The containers were then sent back to the United States.

Key Facts -Global e-waste generation is growing by about 40 million tons a year.
-Production of mobile phones and PCs consumes 3 percent of gold and silver mined
worldwide annually; 13 percent of palladium; and 15 percent of cobalt.
-Modern electronics contain up to 60 different elements - many valuable, some
hazardous, and some both.
-Globally, more than 1 billion mobiles phones were in use in 2007, up from 896 million in
2006.
-In the United States, more than 150 million mobile phones and pagers were sold in
2008, up from 90 million five years before.

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Telegraph (UK): There’s gold in them there rubbishy computers

22 February 2010

Old computers, mobile phones and other electronic equipment make up the world‘s
fastest-growing waste problem. Such ―e-waste‖ is soaring by 40 million tons a year world-
wide, a new United Nations report concludes. Over a billion new mobile phones are sold
each year, it says, often to be thrown out within a few months and replaced by a newer
model.

The report, published today at an unprecedented joint meeting of the parties of the three
international treaties that cover chemicals and toxic waste – the Basel, Rotterdam and
Stockholm conventions - in Bali, says that modern electronics contain up to 60 different
substances.

Some are hazardous and pose an increasing threat to health in poor countries like China
and India where they are shipped from rich nations anxious to get rid of them. And it‘s
going to get worse.

The report concludes that waste from old computers will more than double in China from
2007 levels and increase five fold in India by 2020, and that the amount from discarded
mobile phones will rise seven and 18 times respectively.

But some of the other substances are valuable. Three per cent of all the gold and silver
mined each year goes into making the phones and computers, and so does 13 per cent of
its palladium and 15 per cent of its cobalt.



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Since one person‘‘s waste can become another‘s raw material, recycling them safely could
make money and boost the transition to a green economy.

Or, as Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program puts
it: ―In addition to curbing health problems, boosting developing country e-waste recycling
rates can have the potential to generate decent employment, cut greenhouse gas
emissions and recover a wider range of valuable metals.‖

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Deutsche Welle (Germany): UN conference to tackle growing problem of 'e-waste'

22 February 2010

Billed as the largest global environmental meeting since Copenhagen, a UN summit in Bali
this week will focus on the growing threat in the developing world through discarded
electronics such as computers.

A report by the United Nations published on Monday warned that developing countries
face increasing environmental and health hazards from electronic waste. The report's
release is timed to coincide with a week-long UN conference in Bali, Indonesia, on the
topic which brings together officials and environmentalists from than 100 countries.

Called 'Recycling - from E-Waste to Resource,' the UN report said that China already
produced more than 2.3 million tons of e-waste a year - second only to the US - and had
also become a dumping ground for waste from other countries.

It warned that without immediate action to ensure safe and proper collection and disposal
of materials, many developing countries "face the specter of hazardous e-waste
mountains with serious consequences for the environment and public health."

The report said the problem could worsen in the next 10 years with sales of electronic
devices set to rise sharply, particularly in China and India.

"Managing this waste has become not just important, it has become absolutely urgent,"
Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP)
said in a news conference.

Not a new problem, but a growing one

It's not the first time that e-waste has been the focus of a major UN summit. Nor is the
issue new. Reports of children toiling away in inhuman and dangerous scrap yards in the
developing world to strip down computers, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners and mobile
phones from industrialized nations and extract parts that can be sold on the high street
have made headlines for several years.

The job involves exposure to a number of toxic chemicals such as mercury and lead and
acids, which are used in the process of extraction, and then often dumped into the soil
from where they enter the groundwater.



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Experts say exposure to chemicals from e-waste - including lead, cadmium, mercury,
chromium and polybrominated biphennyls - could damage the brain and nervous system,
affect the kidneys and liver, and cause birth defects.

The reports and campaigning by environmental groups have spurred a flurry of
international agreements to regulate the global trade in hazardous waste.

More than 150 countries have signed up to the UN Basel Convention, an international
treaty which came into effect in 1992 and aims to minimize the generation and movement
of electronic waste across borders.

Companies in western nations that have ratified the Convention - only the US has not
ratified - cannot export non-working computer equipment unless they go through a
complex government-level process. This is supposed to ensure the waste will be disposed
of properly in the importing country.

'Flourishing black market'


But that hasn't happened. Experts say that, as with so many well-intentioned agreements,
many of the regulations in the treaty are not implemented and remain confined to paper.

"E-waste is still exported by industrialized nations to developing countries in complete
violation of international law," Benjamin Bongardt, an expert on electronic waste at the
Berlin-based environmental organization NABU told Deutsche Welle.

He said there was a "flourishing waste black market" in Europe with some firms dodging
the laws by labelling their waste as "second-hand."

"It's simply cheaper for some waste disposal companies in the West to rent a container,
stuff it with discarded electronics and send it for 'recycling' to Asia and Africa," he said.

Bongardt called for a better enforcement of the laws and a willingness by governments to
crack down on firms involved in illegally dumping electronic waste in the developing world.

Pressure on electronic goods producers

Many point out that for the measures to have real teeth, it's crucial to rope in electronic
makers and pressure them to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products.

"It all begins with how electronic products are designed, what materials they contain and
how they're marketed," Tom Dowdall, who coordinates a campaign for greener electronics
for Greenpeace, told Deutsche Welle.

"Electronics have become a disposable item today - you're constantly being asked to
upgrade your gadgets. Consumers need to ask hard questions about what happens to
their old phones once they switch to a new one."

Greenpeace has been ranking consumer electronic makers for the sustainability of their
products. Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia topped the latest list for its product take-back



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policies while US computer maker Apple showed the best record on eliminating toxic
chemicals from its products.

Lots of work to be doneIndonesia says Bali is an apt venue for the conference

While an increasing number of IT firms are keen on burnishing their green credentials,
there is no global framework regulating producer responsibility.

Within the European Union, producers of electrical equipment are responsible for funding
the end of life recycling under a 2005 EU directive called WEEE - Waste Electrical and
Electronic Equipment.

But no such legislation exists for the millions of electronic products sold in Africa, Asia and
Latin America.

It's hoped that the week-long Bali conference will help in linking the various initiatives to
tackle e-waste to form a robust global action plan to deal with the problem.

And the figures from the latest UN report have underlined the urgency of quick action. It
said that global e-waste is growing by a whopping 40 million tons a year.

The report's authors also warned that by 2020, e-waste in South Africa and China will
have soared by 200-400 percent from 2007 levels, and by 500 percent in India.

Indonesia particularly vulnerable

The location of the conference is also poignant. Indonesian Environment Minister Gusti
Muhammad Hatta said as a vast archipelagic nation, Indonesia was vulnerable to illegal
trafficking of hazardous substances and wastes, estimating that 2,000 locations in the
country were potential entry points for such materials.

Industrial emissions also include persistent organic pollutants or POPs, chemical
substances that persist in the environment, accumulate through the food chain, and pose
a risk to health and the environment, he said.

"We therefore believe that international cooperation and agreements, at both global and
regional level, are crucial in tackling these challenges," he said.

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CTV News (Canada): Developing nations face e-waste wave: report

22 February 2010

Developing countries must improve their methods of disposing of old cellphones,
computers and other consumer products, as their levels of electronic waste products soar
over the next decade, says a new report.

The United Nations Environment Programme says sales of electronic products will soar in
many developing countries by 2020, creating a massive e-waste junk accumulation in


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places with underdeveloped e-recycling capabilities. Even today, the amount of e-waste is
growing at an estimated 40 million tons each year.

China and India are two of the examples cited in the report, entitled "Recycling: From E-
Waste to Resources":

In China, e-waste levels will grow well above the 2.3 million tonnes it produces today,
according to UN estimates. By 2020, the Asian superpower will have between 200 and
400 per cent more e-waste than it did in 1997. It will also discard seven times as many
cellphones and throw out up to twice the number of television sets than it previously did.

A similar picture emerges in India, where the general public will be throwing out 18 times
the number of cellphones than they did in 1997. The number of discarded refrigerators
could triple. Overall, the country will be tasked with getting rid of 500 per cent more e-
waste than it did in the past.

While large developing countries deal with these challenges, the UN also predicts
problems for places that serve as dumping grounds for the discarded electronic products
of other countries -- China and India also import e-waste.

But the UN says there is a silver lining to the expected tidal wave of junked electronics.

"One person's waste can be another's raw material," said Konrad Osterwaler, the UN
undersecretary-general and rector of United Nations University, in a statement released
Monday.

In other words, there is money to be made in the proper recycling and disposal of e-waste.

Precious metals -- including Platinum, Palladium and Gold -- can be extracted from
various electronic waste products, which make them lucrative to recover. However, these
products also contain highly toxic substances that can pose health risks if not handled
properly.

While some developing countries have some individual strengths in e-waste recycling, the
UN report recommends establishing "innovation hubs and centres of excellence" to
improve their overall capabilities in terms of technology and practices.

Osterwaler said the report prescribes policies and approaches to e-waste recycling that
can help developing countries improve their carbon footprint, as well as their bottom line.

"The challenge of dealing with e-waste represents an important step in the transition to a
green economy," he said.

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PC World (US): UN Warns Developing Countries of Growing E-waste

22 February 2010




                                                                                             14
Developing countries need to prepare for an avalanche of e-waste generated by PCs,
consumer electronics and appliances, the United Nations said in a study released
Monday.

By 2020, the e-waste levels from old computers will jump by 500 percent in India and by
200 percent to 400 percent in countries like South Africa and China from the 2007 levels,
the study said.

E-waste from discarded mobile phones in 2020 will be about seven times higher than
2007 levels in China and about 18 times higher in India, the U.N. said.

Developing countries currently have no proper e-waste recycling infrastructure, said the
study by the United Nations Environment Program and EMPA, a materials testing
laboratory in Switzerland.

Unorganized recycling and e-waste disposal methods, including the incineration of
computers and mobile phones, could seriously affect human health and the environment.

"This report gives new urgency to establishing ambitious, formal and regulated processes
for collecting and managing e-waste via the setting up of large, efficient facilities in China,"
said U.N. Under-Secretary General Achim Steiner, who is also the executive director of
UNEP, in a statement.

"China is not alone in facing a serious challenge. India, Brazil, Mexico and others may also
face rising environmental damage and health problems if e-waste recycling is left to the
vagaries of the informal sector," Steiner said.

Developing countries are also dumping grounds for e-waste, the study said. Electronics
are incinerated by recyclers in China to recover valuable metals like gold, which could
release toxic fumes into the environment.

Mobile phones contain base metals such as copper, cobalt, silver and gold, which could
represent about 23 percent of the weight of a phone, the U.N. said.

Electronics also contain hazardous substances, including lead, mercury and arsenic, and
burning such devices releases toxic fumes into the air. Hazardous substances like
mercury are also used to treat e-waste to retrieve metals like gold, which could release
toxic fumes, the U.N. said in the study.

But if done properly, precious metals and other materials can be recovered in an
environmentally friendly and inexpensive manner, the U.N. said.

E-waste could be handed over to countries with sufficient facilities to sort, dismantle and
treat electronic waste, minimizing the environmental impact. For example, e-waste from
Central European countries could be handled by Hungary, which is better equipped to
treat e-waste, the report said.

The U.N. also suggested ways of effectively recycling materials, such as by freezing
consumer electronics and appliances to remove hazardous parts or by establishing
manual or automated dismantling lines to remove elements.



                                                                                              15
Manual dismantling is not only ecologically efficient, but could also create sustainable
business opportunities in developing countries.

Many consumer electronic companies are making efforts to reduce hazardous substances
used in PCs and consumer electronics. Apple and other PC makers have made
commitments to phase out the use of chemicals like brominated fire retardants and
polyvinyl chloride in components and circuit boards.

The European Union in 2003 adopted the ROHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances
Directive), which restricts the use of hazardous substances in electronics.

 Efforts are under way in the U.S. to promote responsible recycling of consumer
electronics, with recyclers, nonprofits and companies like Waste Management creating a
certification program to promote safe and ethical e-waste disposal.

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USA Today (US): E-waste report warns of hazardous mountains of old cellphones,
computers

22 February 2010
Unless developing countries act quickly, a United Nations report warns, they will be
inundated with overwhelming hazardous e-waste mountains of old cellphones, computers
and gadgets that endanger the environment.

The study released today by the U.N. Environment Programme says that most e-waste in
China, for example, is improperly handled, with backyard incinerators used to recycle and
recover valuable metals like gold.

The study says such practices "release steady plumes of far-reaching toxic pollution and
yield very low metal recovery rates compared to state-of-the-art industrial facilities."

Here are some of the findings from the study:

In South Africa and China, by 2020 e-waste from old computers will have jumped by 200
to 400% from 2007 levels, and by 500% in India.

By that same year in China, e-waste from discarded mobile phones will be about 7 times
higher than 2007 levels and, in India, 18 times higher.

By 2020, e-waste from televisions will be 1.5 to 2 times higher in China and India while in
India e-waste from discarded refrigerators will double or triple.

China already produces about 2.3 million tons domestically, second only to the United
States with about 3 million tons.

And, despite having banned e-waste imports, China remains a major e-waste dumping
ground for developed countries.

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CBC News (Canada): E-waste mounting in developing countries: UN

22 February 2010

Electronic waste is becoming an increasingly pressing problem in developing countries as
sales of electronics surge and enforcement of environmental laws remains lax, a UN
agency warned Monday.

The United National Environment Program (UNEP) says developing countries like China
and India risk serious consequences to the environment and human health unless they
institute proper e-waste collection and recycling programs.

The report predicts that by 2020, e-waste from mobile phones in China will be about seven
times greater than what it was in 2007, and waste from old computers will be up to five
times greater.

The growth in India will be even higher, the report suggests, with e-waste from mobile
phones in 2020 being 18 times greater than in 2007, and e-waste from computers six
times greater.

The report estimates that in 2010, China will produce 2.3 million tonnes of e-waste,
second only the U.S., which produces about three million tonnes.

China has banned the import of e-waste but remains a dumping ground for electronic
waste from developed countries, and most of it is improperly handled.

The UNEP report says that informal e-waste recycling in China involves incinerating circuit
boards and other components in backyard recyclers to recover valuable metals like gold,
silver and palladium.

These small operations produce toxic pollution that is a hazard to the workers and the
surrounding environment. They are also less efficient at recovering the metals than
industrial recycling facilities.

"This report gives new urgency to establishing ambitious, formal and regulated processes
for collecting and managing e-waste via the setting up of large, efficient facilities in China,"
said UN under-secretary-general Achim Steiner, executive director of UNEP, in a
statement.

The report said the problem is most serious in China and India but that countries in Latin
America and Africa also have growing e-waste problems. Senegal and Uganda should
expect e-waste from personal computers to increase four to eight times by 2020, the
report said.

The amount of e-waste generated around the world is growing by about 40 million tonnes
every year, the report said.

The report was written with the global think tank Solving the E-waste Problem (StEP), the
Swiss research group EMPA and the United Nations University.


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Press Association (UK): Electronic waste threatens world

22 February 2010

The world faces being swamped with a tidal wave of electronic waste as sales of
household gadgets boom over the next decade, according to a report.

It will wreak environmental havoc if no new strategies are produced to deal with the
discarded TVs, mobile phones and computers, the UN study said.

The environmental and health hazards posed by the globe's mounting electronic waste are
particularly urgent in developing countries, which are already dumping grounds for rich
nations' high-tech trash, the UN Environment Programme study said.

Electronic waste is piling up around the world at a rate estimated at 40 million tons a year,
the report said.

China produces 2.6 million tons of electronic waste a year, second only to the United
States with 3.3 million tons, it said.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said the globe was ill-prepared to deal with the
explosion of electronic gadgets over the past decade.

"The world is now confronted with a massive wave of electronic waste that is going to
come back and hit us, particularly for least-developed countries, that may become a
dumping ground," he said.

He said some Americans and Europeans have sent broken computers to African countries
falsely declared as donations. The computers were dumped outside slums as toxic waste
and became potential hazards to people, he said.

The report predicts that China's waste rate from old computers will quadruple from 2007
levels by 2020. Meanwhile in India waste from old refrigerators - which contain hazardous
chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbon gases - could triple by 2020.

It said the fastest growth in electronic waste in recent years has been in communications
devices such as phones, pagers and smart phones.

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Oregonlive (US):U.N. report says global e-waste grows by 40 mil. tons a year+

22 February 2010




                                                                                           18
Waste from dilapidated electronics grows globally by about 40 million tons a year with
computer waste in India expected to jump by 500 percent from 2007 levels by 2020,
according to a U.N. Environment Program report released Monday.

The report, issued during a meeting on Bali of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and
Stockholm Conventions dealing with hazardous electronic waste, saw a sharp increase of
the sales of electronic products in developing countries in the next 10 years.

It predicted that by 2020, the e-waste, which includes old and discarded desk and laptop
computers, printers, mobile phones, pagers, digital photo and music devices, refrigerators,
toys and televisions, will increase by up to 400 percent from 2007 levels in China, as well
as in South Africa.

"This report gives new urgency to establishing ambitious, formal and regulated processes
for collecting and managing e-waste via the setting up of large, efficient facilities in China,"
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said.

"China is not alone in facing a serious challenge. India, Brazil, Mexico and others may also
face rising environmental damage and health problems if e-waste recycling is left to the
vagaries of the informal sector," he added.

According to the report, the United States is the biggest producer of e-waste with about 3
million tons every year.

It is followed by China which produces about 2.3 million tons of e-waste annually. Despite
having banned e-waste imports, the country remains a major e-waste dumping ground for
developed countries.

The report also said that by 2020, e-waste from discarded mobile phones in China will be
about seven times higher than 2007 levels, while in India it will be about 18 times higher.
Globally, more than 1 billion mobile phones were sold in 2007, up from 896 million in the
previous year.

However, Konrad Osterwalder, rector of the United Nations University, which coauthored
the report, stressed that if properly handled, e-waste can be transformed into assets and
create new businesses with decent green jobs.

"In the process, countries can help cut pollution linked with mining and manufacturing, and
with the disposal of old devices," he said.

Steiner said boosting developing country e-waste recycling rates can have the potential to
curb health problems, generate decent employment, cut greenhouse gas emissions and
recover a wide range of valuable metals including silver, gold, palladium, copper and
indium.

"By acting now and planning forward, many countries can turn an e-challenge into an e-
opportunity," he said.

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Information Week (US): Developing Nations Risk E-Waste Crisis

22 February 2010

Unless proper electronic-waste recycling is established in developing countries, they will
face serious environmental and public health consequences, a United Nations report says.

The urgency in addressing e-waste disposal is driven by the sharp rise in sales of
electronic products expected over the next 10 years in countries like China and India,
across continents such as Africa, and over large regions including Latin America, the U.N.
said.

Such imports are expected to add millions of tons of e-waste in regions where recycling
efforts are inadequate to handle even current e-waste levels.

For example, most e-waste in China is improperly handled today, with much of it
incinerated by backyard recyclers to recover valuable metals like gold. Such practices
release steady plumes of toxic pollution and yield very low metal recovery rates compared
to state-of-the-art industrial facilities.

While such grossly inadequate recycling efforts are not being properly addressed, the
mountain of e-waste that exists today is growing. For example, e-waste from old
computers is expected to jump from 2007 levels by 200% to 400% in South Africa and
China and by 500% in India.

E-waste from discarded mobile phones will be about seven times higher than 2007 levels
in China and 18 times higher in India, the report released Monday from the U.N.
Environment Programme said. E-waste from televisions will be 1.5 to two times higher in
China and India.

This year, China is expected to produce about 2.3 million tons of e-waste domestically,
second only to the United States with about 3 million tons.

"This report gives new urgency to establishing ambitious, formal, and regulated processes
for collecting and managing e-waste via the setting up of large, efficient facilities in China,"
said Achim Steiner, U.N. under-secretary general and executive director of UNEP, in a
statement.

In calling for action in e-waste recycling in developing nations, the U.N. report, "Recycling -
- From E-Waste To Resources," points out that boosting recycling rates can generate
employment, cut greenhouse emissions, and recover a wide range of valuable metals,
including silver, gold, palladium, copper, and indium.

"By acting now and planning forward, many countries can turn an e-challenge into an e-
opportunity," Steiner said.

In places like China, developing an effective national recycling scheme will be difficult and
slow because of the lack of a comprehensive e-waste collection network, combined with
competition from the lower-cost informal sector.




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However, other countries, such as Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Morocco, and South Africa,
have great potential to introduce state-of-the-art e-waste recycling technologies because
the informal sector is relatively small.

Among the recommendations in the report is for countries to establish e-waste
management centers of excellence that build on existing organizations working in the area
of recycling and waste management.

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Silicon India (India): Developing countries may face e-waste crisis: UN

22 February 2010

If proper electronic-waste recycling is not established in developing countries, they will
face serious environmental and public health consequences, says a report by United
Nations.

 According to UN, the urgency in addressing e-waste disposal is driven by the sharp rise in
sales of electronic products expected over the next decade in emerging countries like
China and India, across continents such as Africa, and over large regions
including Latin America.

Such imports are expected to add millions of tons of e-waste in regions where recycling
efforts are inadequate to handle even current e-waste levels, reports InformationWeek.
While inadequate recycling efforts are not being properly addressed, the quantity of e-
waste that exists today is growing.

For example, e-waste from old computers is expected to jump from 2007 levels by 200
percent to 400 percent in South Africa and China and by 500 percent in India.

E-waste from discarded mobile phones will be about seven times higher than 2007 levels
in China and 18 times higher in India, the report released Monday from the UN
Environment Programme said.

 E-waste from televisions will be 1.5 to two times higher in China and India. This year,
China is expected to produce about 2.3 million tons of e-waste domestically, second only
to the U.S. with about three million tons.

Among the recommendations in the report is for countries to establish e-waste
management centers of excellence that build on existing organizations working in the area
of recycling and waste management.

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BD News24 (Bangladesh): Computer waste in India to grow 500 pct by 2020 – report

23 February 2010



                                                                                             21
Waste from discarded electronics will rise dramatically in the developing world within a
decade, with computer waste in India alone to grow by 500 percent from 2007 levels by
2020, a UN study released on Monday said.

E-waste -- a term describing electronics including phones, printers, televisions,
refrigerators and other appliances -- grows globally by 40 million tonnes a year. Toxins are
emitted when it is improperly burned by scavengers looking for valuable components,
such as copper and gold.

A report released in Bali on Monday by the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) predicted that by 2020, e-waste from computers would grow by up to 400 percent
from 2007 levels in China and South Africa.

"This report gives new urgency to establishing ambitious, formal and regulated processes
for collecting and managing e-waste via the setting up of large, efficient facilities in China,"
said Achim Steiner, executive director of UNEP.

"China is not alone in facing a serious challenge. India, Brazil, Mexico and others may also
face rising environmental damage and health problems if e-waste recycling is left to the
vagaries of the informal sector," he said in the report.

The report, co-authored by EMPA of Switzerland, specialty materials group Umicore and
the United Nations University, said that the United States is the biggest producer of e-
waste, creating around 3 million tonnes a year.

Close behind is China, which produces around 2.3 million tonnes domestically and is
where a lot of the developed world's e-waste is sent, EMPA said.

EMPA is the research institute for material science and technology of the Swiss Federal
Institute of Technology.

ILLEGAL SHIPMENTS

The study predicted that mobile phone waste in China would be about seven times higher
than 2007 levels by 2020, while in India it would be about 18 times higher.

The report advocated transporting some e-waste, such as circuit boards and batteries,
from poorer countries to OECD-level countries better equipped to dispose of them
properly.

Indonesian environment minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta said in a speech on Monday that
Indonesia was vulnerable to illegal trafficking in hazardous waste.

Jim Puckett from the U.S.-based NGO Basel Action Network, which tracks illegal
trafficking in e-waste, said Indonesian authorities recently discovered a shipment of nine
40-foot shipping containers of e-waste that had been sent from the US state of
Massachusetts.

"They were full of hand-stacked cathode ray tubes, computer monitors, basically. It was
old junk that people wanted to get rid of because everyone wants flat-screens now," he
said.


                                                                                             22
He said Indonesian authorities sent the shipment back.

If properly managed, though, e-waste represented a business opportunity, said Konrad
Osterwalder, rector of the United Nations University.

"This report outlines smart new technologies and mechanisms which, combined with
national and international policies, can transform waste into assets, creating new
businesses with decent green jobs.

"In the process, countries can help cut pollution linked with mining and manufacturing, and
with the disposal of old devices," he said.

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TG daily (Blog): E-waste set to rocket, says UN

22 February 2010

A report released today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) predicts
that by 2020, e-waste from old computers will have risen by five times in India, and
between two and four times in South Africa and China.

In China, e-waste from discarded mobile phones will be about seven times higher than
2007 levels and, in India, 18 times higher.

China already produces about 2.3 million tonnes domestically - second only to the US
with about three million tonnes.

And, despite having banned e-waste imports, China remains a major e-waste dumping
ground for developed countries, says the report.

Most of this is badly handled, much of it incinerated by backyard recyclers to recover
valuable metals like gold.

"This report gives new urgency to establishing ambitious, formal and regulated
processes for collecting and managing e-waste via the setting up of large, efficient
facilities in China," says UN Under-Secretary-General Achim Steiner, Executive Director
of UNEP.

"China is not alone in facing a serious challenge. India, Brazil, Mexico and others may
also face rising environmental damage and health problems if e-waste recycling is left to
the vagaries of the informal sector."

The way forward, says the report, is to develop more efficient recycling facilities in these
countries.

"In addition to curbing health problems, boosting developing country e-waste recycling
rates can have the potential to generate decent employment, cut greenhouse gas
emissions and recover a wide range of valuable metals including silver, gold, palladium,


                                                                                          23
copper and indium - by acting now and planning forward many countries can turn an e-
challenge into an e-opportunity," added Steiner.

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Auburnpub (US): UN warns about tech waste in developing world

22 February 2010

Sales of household electrical gadgets will boom across the developing world in the next
decade, wreaking environmental havoc if there are no new strategies to deal with the
discarded TVs, cell phones and computers, a U.N. report said Monday.

The environmental and health hazards posed by the globe's mounting electronic waste
are particularly urgent in developing countries, which are already dumping grounds for
rich nations' high-tech trash, the U.N. Environment Program study said.

Electronic waste is piling up around the world at a rate estimated at 40 million U.S. tons
(36 million metric tons) a year, the report said, noting that data remain insufficient.

China produces 2.6 million U.S. tons (2.3 million metric tons) of electronic waste a year,
second only to the United States with 3.3 million U.S. tons (3 million metric tons), it said.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said the globe was ill-prepared to deal with the
explosion of electronic gadgets over the past decade.

"The world is now confronted with a massive wave of electronic waste that is going to
come back and hit us, particularly for least-developed countries, that may become a
dumping ground," Steiner told The Associated Press ahead of a UNEP executive
meeting in Bali.

He said some Americans and Europeans have sent broken computers to African
countries falsely declared as donations. The computers were dumped outside slums as
toxic waste and became potential hazards to people, he said.

The report predicts that China's waste rate from old computers will quadruple from 2007
levels by 2020. Meanwhile, in India, waste from old refrigerators _ which contain
hazardous chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbon gases _ could triple by
2020.

It said the fastest growth in electronic waste in recent years has been in communications
devices such as cell phones, pagers and smart phones.

Most of the recycling of electronic waste in developing countries such as China and India
is done by inefficient and unregulated backyard operators. The environmentally harmful
practice of heating electronic circuit boards over coal-fired grills to leach out gold is
widespread in both countries.

The report called for regulations for collecting and managing electronic waste, and urged
that technologies be transferred to the industrializing world to cope with such waste.


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While electrical products such refrigerators, air conditioners, printers, DVD players and
digital music players account for only a small part of the world's garbage, their
components make them particularly hazardous.

Prof. Eric Williams, an Arizona State University expert on industrial ecology who did not
participate in the UNEP study, said it was difficult to comment on the credibility of the
electronic waste growth forecasts because the report gives little explanation of how they
were calculated.

"It is the environmental intensity of e-waste rather than its total mass that is the main
concern," Williams told the AP via e-mail.

"If e-waste is recycled informally in the developing world, it causes far worse pollution
than the much larger mass of regular waste in landfills," he said.

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Jakarata Post (Indonessia): Treaties help developing countries

23 February 2010

Developing countries will benefit most from the synergy of three international
environment treaties as it may provide more funding and technical assistance to deal
with chemical and waste management issues.

Indonesian Environment Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta said that as a vast
archipelagic country, Indonesia is particularly vulnerable to illegal trafficking of
hazardous substances and waste with about 2,000 potential entry points.

The country‘s agricultural industry and others are also potential chemical emitters,
including those categorized as Persistent Organic Pollutants, he added.

―Therefore, international cooperation and agreement, at global and regional levels, are
crucial
in tackling these challenges,‖ he said.

On Monday, the Indonesian minister officially opened the Simultaneous Extraordinary
Meetings of the Conference of Parties to the three conventions.

The three are the Basel Convention on Hazardous Waste; the Rotterdam Convention on
the
Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in
International Trade; and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

The three-day event is attended by about 1,200 participants from around 140 countries.

On Wednesday, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is slated to officially open the
United Nations Environment Program‘s (UNEP) governing council meeting that will be
attended by around 100 environmental affairs ministers from various countries.


                                                                                            25
Hatta, president of the COP9 Basel Convention, is leading negotiations along with COP4
Rotterdam Convention President Judy Beaumont of South Africa and COP4 Stockholm
Convention‘s Gholamhossein Dehghani of Iran.

Efforts to synchronize the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions were discussed
during the extraordinary meetings of the conventions‘ parties Monday.

It was the first time hazardous chemicals and waste were discussed taking the life cycle
approach.

The meeting is focusing on six issues, including joint action, joint managerial functions,
joint services, synchronization on budget cycles and a joint audit account.

Member of the Indonesian de-legation from the Environment Ministry, Rasio Ridho Sani,
said the synergy of the three conventions would streamline processes in dealing with
chemical and waste management issues.

―And with synchronization in budget, there will be more funds allocated to capacity
building in developing countries as we are aware that these countries lack the capacity
to tackle these issues,‖ he said.

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International News (Pakistan): Indian actions on water don’t go unnoticed, says
Jamaat

23 February 2010

Indus Water Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah says none of Indian actions regarding
Pakistan‘s water rights under the Indus Basin Treaty went unnoticed of the government.
However, the government did not share all information with the public.

He was addressing a seminar on ―50 years of Indus Basin Treaty‖ organised by the
Sustainable Development Policy Institute here on Monday. Former chairman Wapda
Shamsul Mulk presided over the seminar.

Jamaat Ali Shah said India did not send information on Wuller Barrage in time and when
Pakistan requested to stop work on the project it had already been done.

He said that the Indus Basin Treaty was a World Bank proposal and Pakistan accepted
the formula in the face of technicalities. He said grey areas in the treaty are now being
projected.

Shafqat Kakakhel, former deputy executive director of UNEP, said that water is an
extremely complex issue. He referred to disputes between the countries and between
provinces.




                                                                                            26
He said India closed water of eastern rivers to Pakistan in 1948 and released the same
after signing of an agreement in Simla under which India agreed to release water for six
months and Pakistan agreed to pay for this water.

He said that Pakistan later protested saying the treaty was signed under duress to save its
farmers from starvation. Bashir A Malik, former UN technical adviser, said that the World
Bank was not a guarantor of the treaty but a guarantor of the finances to implement the
treaty.

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Bernama (Malaysia: Indonesia Is Vulnerable To Trafficking In Hazardous
Substances, Wastes

23 February 2010

Indonesia is vulnerable to illegal trafficking in hazardous substances and wastes, Antara
news agency cited Environment Minister Prof Muhammad Hatta as saying.

As a vast archipelagic country, Indonesia had about 2,000 locations which were potential
entry points, Prof Muhammad Hatta said in his opening address at the Simultaneous
Extraordinary Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties (COPS) to the Basel, Rotterdam
and Stockholm Conventions.

The agriculture-based industry and other industries in Indonesia are also potential emitter
of chemicals included those categorized as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), he said.

"We therefore believe that international cooperation and agreements, at both global and
regional level, are crucial in tackling these challenges," the minister said.

Indonesia hosts the Basel Convention Regional Center for South East Asia (BCR-SEA).
Indonesia and Switzerland have jointly involved in the Country-Led Initiative (CLI) on the
Ban Amendment of the Basel Convention, according to Minister Hatta.

"During the last 20 years Indonesia has played an active role in global environmental
management initiatives and cooperation, including in the implementation of the Multilateral
Environmental Agreements (MEAS)," he said.

Indonesia is also signatory to several international conventions, including the UNFCCC
(United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), the Convention on
Biodiversity, and the Basel and Stockholm Conventions.

The Simultaneous Extraordinary Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties (COPS) to
the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions is organized by the United Nations
Environment Program (UNEP).

The meeting will last until Feb 24 and is being attended by around 1,200 participants from
140 countries.




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On Feb 24 to Feb 26, UNEP will hold the 11th Special Session of the Governing
Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, also at the Bali International Convention
Center, Nusa Dua.

The meeting is expected to be officially opened by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
and attended by around 100 environmental affairs ministers from various countries.

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Softpedia (US): UN: Surge in E-Wastes Inevitable

23 February 2010

Countries such as China and India should be aware of the impending rise in electronic
wastes (e-wastes) that is on its way.

 As sales of mobile devices, cell phones, gadgets, computers, laptops and other electronic
devices are increasing substantially, the governments in these nations should be aware
that their countries are in for many wastes from these products being dumped on their
territories. The developed world has become especially good at discarding its used
products on the other side of the world, in poor African nations, and in poor regions of
China and India.

 These countries have developed a workforce specialized in handling these e-wastes,
cooking them up literally and saving the gold and other precious elements they may
contain.

However, this is done without adequate protection, and mostly by children and seniors.

These people are many times forced to spend at least ten to 15 hours each day inhaling
the toxic fumes that are produced when high-tech components are being burned on
improvised stoves.

The United Nations says that instances in which this happens may become commonplace
in the developing world unless measures aimed at properly collecting and recycling these
materials are set in place.

―This report gives new urgency to establishing ambitious, formal and regulated processes
for collecting and managing e-waste via the setting up of large, efficient facilities in China.
China is not alone in facing a serious challenge.

 India, Brazil, Mexico and others may also face rising environmental damage and health
problems if e-waste recycling is left to the vagaries of the informal sector,‖ the Executive
Director of the United Nations Environment Program, UN Under-Secretary-General Achim
Steiner, says.

The official highlights that the Asian nation is still the main dumping ground of e-wastes
from the developed world, in spite of having banned imports some time ago.




                                                                                             28
―One person's waste can be another's raw material. The challenge of dealing with e-waste
represents an important step in the transition to a green economy.

This report outlines smart new technologies and mechanisms which, combined with
national and international policies, can transform waste into assets, creating new
businesses with decent green jobs.

In the process, countries can help cut pollution linked with mining and manufacturing, and
with the disposal of old devices,‖ the Rector of the United Nations University, UN Under-
Secretary General Konrad Osterwalder, adds.

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Telegraph (UK): UN warns world could be swamped by electronic waste

23 February 2010

The growing mountain of e-waste will wreak environmental havoc if no new strategies are
produced to deal with the discarded televisions, mobile phones and computers, the UN
Environment Programme study said.

The environmental and health hazards posed by the globe's mounting electronic waste are
particularly urgent in developing countries, which are already dumping grounds for rich
nations' high-tech trash, it said.

Electronic waste is piling up around the world at a rate estimated at 40 million tons a year.

China produces 2.6 million tons of electronic waste a year, second only to the United
States with 3.3 million tons, it said.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said the globe was ill-prepared to deal with the
explosion of electronic gadgets over the past decade.

"The world is now confronted with a massive wave of electronic waste that is going to
come back and hit us, particularly for least-developed countries, that may become a
dumping ground," he said.

He said some Americans and Europeans have sent broken computers to African countries
falsely declared as donations. The computers were dumped outside slums as toxic waste
and became potential hazards to people, he said.

The report predicts that China's waste rate from old computers will quadruple from 2007
levels by 2020. Meanwhile in India waste from old refrigerators - which contain hazardous
chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbon gases - could triple by 2020.

It said the fastest growth in electronic waste in recent years has been in communications
devices such as phones, pagers and smart phones.

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BBC News:'Mountains' of e-waste threaten developing world

22 February 2010

Urgent action is needed to tackle the "mountains" of e-waste building up in developing
nations, says a UN report.

Huge amounts of old computers and discarded electronic goods are piling up in countries
such as China, India and some Africa nations, it said.

India could see a 500% rise in the number of old computers dumped by 2020, found the
survey of 11 nations.

Unless dealt with properly the waste could cause environmental damage and threaten
public health, it said.

Precious hazard

The report gathered information about current levels of e-waste in 11 nations and also
looked at how those totals might grow in the next decade.

Globally, e-waste is growing at a rate of about 40 million tonnes per year as consumers, in
both developed and developing nations, buy new gadgets and discard their old ones.

Many of the older items end up in developing nations. By 2020, China and South Africa
could see e-waste generated by old computers rise by 400% by 2007 levels.

In a decade, estimated the report, e-waste from mobile phones will be seven times higher
in China and 18 times higher in India.

Some nations are happy to take in e-waste to use in order to extract some of the precious
materials and metals that go into making modern consumer electronics.

For instance, said the report, in an average year global production of mobile phones and
computers uses 3% of the silver and gold mined, 13% of the palladium and 15% of the
cobalt.

However, it found, in some places efforts to extract these metals are inefficient and do not
do enough to handle the hazardous materials recovery produces.

For instance, it said, e-waste treatment in China typically involved back yard incinerators
which were a wasteful and polluting way to recover precious materials.

"China is not alone in facing a serious challenge," said Achim Steiner, executive director of
the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) which issued the report. "India, Brazil, Mexico
and others may also face rising environmental damage and health problems if e-waste
recycling is left to the vagaries of the informal sector."

The report said Bangalore in India was a good example of how local initiatives could
reform the gathering and treatment of e-waste.


                                                                                          30
It urged nations such as Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Morocco and South Africa to set up
state-of-the-art e-waste treatment centres now, while the amounts they produced were
relatively small.

"One person's waste can be another's raw material," said Konrad Osterwalder, rector of
the UN University. "The challenge of dealing with e-waste represents an important step in
the transition to a green economy."

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STV (UK): Bonn to host extra U.N. climate talks, treaty unsure

22 February 2010

Germany will host an extra session of U.N. climate talks in April but it is too early to say if
the world will agree a new treaty this year after falling short at a summit in Copenhagen in
December, Denmark said on Monday.

"The negotiations are picking up speed again after Copenhagen," Danish Climate and
Energy Minister Lykke Friis, who presides over the U.N. negotiations, told Reuters by
telephone.

She said that 11 representatives of key nations decided at a one-day meeting at the
headquarters of the Bonn-based U.N. Climate Change Secretariat to add an extra session
of senior officials from 194 nations in the Germany city from April 9-11.

"There was a positive and constructive atmosphere and all parties were eager to move
forward with the negotiations," she said of the first formal meeting since Copenhagen.

Until now, the calendar had been limited to a session of officials in Bonn from May 31-
June 11 and ministerial talks in Cancun, Mexico from November 29-December 10. That
was a sharp slowdown from the five preparatory talks last year before Copenhagen.

Friis said she was unsure if U.N. talks would end this year with a new U.N. treaty to
combat global warming and succeed the existing Kyoto Protocol. "We are working for an
agreement in Cancun but it's too early to say," she said.

TREATY

Last year, many nations had hoped that the Copenhagen summit would agree a legally
binding treaty to slow rising emissions of greenhouse gases blamed by the U.N.'s panel of
climate experts for floods, droughts, mudslides, heatwaves and rising seas.

The summit ended with the non-binding Copenhagen Accord, which seeks to limit a rise in
temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) above pre-industrial times. It also
promised $10 billion a year in aid from 2010-12, rising to $100 billion a year from 2020.




                                                                                             31
The April meeting, of senior government officials, would be preceded by one-day
preparatory talks among key groups of nations. The April talks would also decide if more
U.N. meetings were needed before Cancun.

Many nations have become gloomy about Mexico, partly because U.S. carbon-capping
legislation seems stalled in the Senate. President Barack Obama wants to cut U.S.
emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, or 4 percent below 1990 levels.

In Nusa Dua, Indonesia, the head of the U.N. Environment Programme said developing
nations could be able to apply within three months for some of the $30 billion in climate aid
promised by rich nations for 2010-12 under the Copenhagen Accord.

Rules for disbusing aid are unclear in the Accord and Achim Steiner said that one
developing nation recently asked him if there was a phone number to ring to ask about the
cash.

"If, in three months' time, there still isn't a phone number then I expect that part of the
accord to be in trouble, but I expect there to be one," he said in an interview on the
sidelines of a major U.N. environment conference in Nusa Dua, on the Indonesian island
of Bali.

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Cordis News (Luxembourg): UN warns of looming surge in e-waste

22 February 2010

A landmark EU-funded report co-produced by the United Nations University (UNU) warns
of a significant increase in waste from electronic products (e-waste) over the next decade.

Soaring sales of mobile phones, computers and other electronic products is likely to
impact public health and the environment in countries ill-equipped to properly handle the
surge in waste material.

Titled 'Recycling - from E-Waste to Resources', the report received funding from the
European Commission's Directorate-General for the Environment.

It was co-authored by EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and
Research), Umicore, and UNU - all part of the global think tank StEP (Solving the E-waste
Problem).

The report presents findings of data collected from 11 developing countries across the
globe on national policies, skills, waste collection networks and informal recycling. The
results are used as a way to illustrate the current e-waste problem and to predict future
trends at a global level.

In 2007, more than 1 billion mobile phones were sold on the international market. Over
150 million mobiles and pagers were sold in the US alone in 2008, almost double the
amount sold 5 years prior.



                                                                                            32
These sales figures inevitably mean a dramatic increase in the volume of e-waste
generated worldwide, a figure which currently sits at 40 million tonnes per year.

Compared with 2007 statistics, the report predicts that waste from old computers will
skyrocket to 400% in both China and South Africa by 2020.

Waste from discarded refrigerators will double or triple in India while old mobile phones in
the country will increase 18-fold. By 2020, e-waste from computers in countries like
Senegal and Uganda will increase fourfold to eightfold.

China is the second largest receptacle of e-waste (although e-waste imports were banned,
the country still receives waste from developed countries). At approximately 2.3 million
tonnes, China trails behind the 3 million tonnes level held by the United States.
Importantly, the majority of China's e-waste is improperly disposed of using practices that
release toxic pollution.

UN Under-Secretary-General Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP), said: 'This report gives new urgency to establishing
ambitious, formal and regulated processes for collecting and managing e-waste via the
setting up of large, efficient facilities in China.' He added that China is not the only country
that will be confronted with the challenge.

The threat of environmental damage and health problems as a result of poor e-waste
recycling is likely to be faced by Brazil, India, Mexico and other countries.

As well as cutting greenhouse gas emissions, preventing health problems and recovering
valuable metals, Mr Steiner explained that better waste recycling can mean a boost to
employment. 'By acting now and planning forward, many countries can turn an e-
challenge into an e-opportunity,' he said.

'One person's waste can be another's raw material,' added Konrad Osterwalder, UN
Under-Secretary General and Rector of UNU in Japan. 'The challenge of dealing with e-
waste represents an important step in the transition to a green economy.'

Mr Osterwalder concluded, 'This report outlines smart new technologies and mechanisms
which, combined with national and international policies, can transform waste into assets,
creating new businesses with decent green jobs. In the process, countries can help cut
pollution linked with mining and manufacturing, and with the disposal of old devices.'

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Earth Times (Blog): UN says tougher targets needed to avert climate disaster

23 February 2010

Countries need to set tougher targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions if the world is to
avert a climate-change catastrophe, according to a new United Nations report released
Tuesday.




                                                                                              33
A study compiled by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates that
between 2020 and 2050, global emissions need to fall by between 48 and 72 per cent.

The report said the political will to cut greenhouse gases by around 3 per cent a year
between 2030 and 2050 is needed for a "medium" likelihood - or at least a 50/50 chance -
of keeping the global temperature increase at less than 2 degrees Celsius.

Under the non-binding Copenhagen Accord agreed at the UN climate change conference
in December, countries pledged to cut and limit greenhouse gases by 2020.

"Yes, the Copenhagen Accord represents a significant step in the direction of managing
emissions, but even in the best assumptions no one should assume for the moment that
will be enough," UNEP executive director Achim Steiner said at a news conference.

The study was published ahead of a meeting of global environmental ministers from
Wednesday through Friday in the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

It analyzed the pledges of 60 developed and developing countries which were recently
submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The study suggested that annual greenhouse gas emissions should not be larger than 40
to 48.3 gigatons of equivalent carbon dioxides in 2020, and should peak sometime
between 2015 and 2021.

Steiner said Monday that the failure to reach a binding accord in Copenhagen has made
efforts to reach such a deal more difficult.

"Copenhagen, in my mind, will be in history books as a moment where humanity has failed
in its responsibility to act," he said.

But he said the whole world shared a responsibility to act in the next annual climate
conference in Mexico in December.

"You can always find reasons not to act because of someone else not doing the right
thing," he said. "And for Mexico, I think it will take leaders, and it is not only from the big
ones (nations)."

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Peoples Daily Online (China): UN urges countries to boost green economy

23 February 2010

United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) on Tuesday urged countries to develop
further green economy as it is proved to be beneficial for human and environment.

Pavan Sukhdev, UNEP's Head of Green Economy Initiative, told a journalist workshop that
the environment-friendly concept could be adopted in many areas such as transportation,
infrastructure, recycling as well as food and agriculture.



                                                                                                  34
"That's because green economy has objectives as engine of growth, creating decent
employment and solution of poverty," said Sukhdev.

According to estimate by German consultant Roland Berger, the global market for
environmental products and services currently runs at around 1,370 billion U.S. dollars
and could double to 2, 740 billion dollars in 2020.

The UNEP's data showed that renewable energy create new jobs.

"Globally, some 300,000 people are employed in wind power and at least 170,000 in solar
one," said the data.

While in food and agriculture, sales of organic food globally have surpassed 100 billion
dollars with great potential for green jobs growth.

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BBC News: No tire su celular viejo, ¡recíclelo!

22 February 2010

Un nuevo informe de Naciones Unidas indica que los aparatos electrónicos descartados,
como computadoras y teléfonos móviles, representan una importante amenaza para el
medio ambiente y la salud pública.

El informe, recopilado por el Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente
(PNUMA), pide que se formulen nuevas regulaciones para asegurar que el desperdicio
electrónico se recicle de una manera concienzuda.

El llamado coincide con la reunión este lunes del consejo directivo del PNUMA en Bali,
Indonesia.

clic Lea: Telefonía celular verde, negocio rentable

El auge de la industria electrónica ha tenido implicaciones negativas, especialmente en
los países en desarrollo, donde los esfuerzos por reciclar celulares, computadoras y
televisiones no se ajustan a los grandes volúmenes de venta.

La agencia ambiental de la ONU estima que el desperdicio electrónico, o basura-e, está
creciendo a un ritmo de 40 millones de toneladas al año.

MONTAÑAS DE BASURA-E

Se estima que la basura-e en India y China aumentará en un 500% en diez años.
En países como India y China se calcula que la basura tan solo generada por las
computadoras descartadas aumentará 500% en la próxima década.

Los dispositivos electrónicos contienen metales y algunos elementos potencialmente
tóxicos, así que su reciclaje es complicado.



                                                                                           35
Pero en muchos países, entre ellos China, estos desperdicios son incinerados en
vertederos, emitiendo gases venenosos a la atmósfera.

México y Brasil también están entre los países que enfrentan crecientes montañas de
chatarra electrónica.

Naciones Unidas advierte que sin las medidas inmediatas para asegurar el recolección y
eliminación segura de estos residuos, muchos países se verán inundados en desperdicios
electrónicos que tendrán serias consecuencias para la salud de la pública.

El informe pide establecer procesos formales regulados para el manejo y reciclaje de la
basura-e.

El PNUMA reconoce que este programa sería costoso de introducir pero, a la larga,
generaría empleos, recuperaría metales preciosos como el oro y plata contenidos en
electrónicos y contribuiría a un ambiente limpio y saludable.

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Eldia (Argentina): Advierten por el peligro de la basura electrónica

23 February 2010

Los países en vías de desarrollo se enfrentan con graves problemas medioambientales y
de salud a causa de la acumulación de ingentes cantidades de basura electrónica, según
advierte el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente(PNUMA) en un
informe presentado ayer.

El informe señala que en todo el mundo cada año se producen 40 millones de toneladas
de basura electrónica compuesta, entre otros productos, por computadoras, teléfonos
móviles, impresoras, televisores, reproductores de música y cámaras digitales.

"El tratamiento de esa basura ha llegado a ser no sólo importante, sino que es
absolutamente urgente", afirmó el director ejecutivo del PNUMA, Achim Steiner, en
conferencia de prensa en la isla turística indonesia de Bali, donde esta semana se
reunirán los ministros de Medio Ambiente de más de 100 países.

Sin embargo, muchos países en vías de desarrollo carecen de una política para el
reciclaje adecuado o la eliminación ordenada de esos productos, advierte el informe.

Los expertos advirtieron que la exposición a los productos químicos tóxicos de la basura
electrónica, como el plomo, el cadmio, y el mercurio, puede causar daños cerebrales,
afectar el sistema nervioso, los riñones y el hígado, y causar malformaciones.

El PNUMA informó que China, India, Brasil y México corren el riesgo de sufrir graves
daños medioambientales y problemas de salud por la manipulación inadecuada de la
basura electrónica.

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Les Echos (France): Les pays en développement doivent eux aussi retraiter

23 February 2010

L'explosion des quantités de « e-déchets » (ordinateurs, téléphones portables…) va finir
par être néfaste pour l'environnement et pour la santé des habitants des pays en
développement, avertissent les responsables du Programme des Nations unies pour
l'environnement (PNUE) dans un rapport publié hier.

En 2020, les quantités de vieux ordinateurs auront grimpé de 500 % en Inde et de 200 %
à 400 % en Afrique du Sud ou en Chine par rapport à 2007.

La Chine produit déjà environ 2,3 millions de tonnes de déchets d'équipements électriques
et électroniques par an et commence à se rapprocher des Etats-Unis (3 millions).

 Les quantités de téléviseurs usagés devraient doubler également en Chine et en Inde
entre 2007 et 2020.

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Umweltruf (Germany): UNO warnt vor Elektroschrott-Bergen in Schwellenländern

23 February 2010

Elektroschrott aus Computern und Mobiltelefonen wird nach UN-Angaben in
Schwellenländern zunehmend zu einer ernsthaften Bedrohung für Menschen und Umwelt.

Der Verkauf von Elektrogeräten werde in China, Indien sowie in Afrika und Lateinamerika
in den kommenden zehn Jahren stark zunehmen, warnte das UN-Umweltprogramm
UNEP in einem Bericht.

Wenn nicht die Anstrengungen zur sachgemäßen Sammlung und Wiederverwertung des
Materials erhöht würden, drohten vielen Entwicklungsländern "gefährliche
Elektromüllberge mit ernsthaften Folgen für die Umwelt und die allgemeine Gesundheit".

In dem Bericht wird in elf Schwellenländern die erwartete Zunahme von Elektroschrott aus
Geräten wie Computern, Handys, Druckern, Fotoapparaten, Musikspielern, Fernsehern
und Kühlschränken beschrieben. Die UN-Experten gehen demnach davon aus, dass sich
die Menge an Müll aus Elektrogeräten verglichen mit 2007 bis 2020 in China und
Südafrika verdoppelt bis vervierfacht.

 In Indien befürchtet UNEP sogar eine Verfünffachung der Elektroschrottmenge. Müll aus
alten Mobiltelefonen versiebenfacht sich in Indien den Schätzungen zufolge in diesem
Zeitraum. In China wird die Zahl der weggeworfenen Handys bis 2020 laut Bericht 18 Mal
so hoch sein.

UNEP-Chef Achim Steiner forderte, die Entsorgung des Gerätemülls in den
Schwellenländern besser zu organisieren, um Schäden für Umwelt und Bevölkerung zu
vermeiden.


                                                                                           37
Dadurch könnten zudem Arbeitsplätze geschaffen, der Ausstoß klimaschädlicher
Treibhausgase verringert und wertvolle Metalle wie Gold, Silber, Palladium und Kupfer aus
den Geräten wieder verwendet werden.

"Indem sie jetzt handeln und im Voraus planen, können viele Länder das E-Problem in
eine E-Chance umwandeln", erklärte Steiner.

Anlass zur Sorge gibt laut Steiner neben wirtschaftlich aufsteigenden Ländern wie Indien,
Brasilien und Mexiko besonders China.

Das asiatische Land produziert dem Bericht zufolge bereits 2,3 Millionen Tonnen
Elektromüll und liegt damit auf dem weltweit zweiten Platz hinter den USA, die für drei
Millionen Tonnen verantwortlich sind.

Zudem importiert China trotz eines offiziellen Verbots noch immer den Geräteschrott aus
anderen Entwicklungsländern. Oft verbrennen Müllsammler die Geräte, um Metalle wie
Gold zu gewinnen, anstatt die alten Computer und Handys fachgerecht zu entsorgen.

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Eco Agencia (Blog): Nações Unidas pedem medidas urgentes para lixo eletrônico

22 February 2010

Estudo elaborado por especialistas da ONU alerta para consequências perversas para o
meio ambiente e a saúde pública; relatório prevê que, entre 2007 e 2020, o lixo provocado
por computadores velhos na África do Sul e na China irá duplicar para 400%.

Muitos países em desenvolvimento enfrentam o pesadelo de toneladas de lixo eletrônico
com consequências perversas para o meio ambiente e a saúde pública.

O alerta foi lançado nesta segunda-feira em Bali, na Indonésia, em estudo publicado por
um grupo de especialistas das Nações Unidas.

O documento indica que a venda de produtos eletrônicos, incluindo celulares,
computadores, máquinas digitais de fotografia e televisores, vai aumentar de forma
significativa nos próximos 10 anos, em países como a China e a Índia, e em continentes
como África e América Latina.

Os especialistas recomendam a tomada de medidas urgentes na forma como esses
materiais são recolhidos e reciclados.

O relatório prevê que, entre 2007 e 2020, o lixo provocado por computadores velhos na
África do Sul e na China irá duplicar para 400%.

O documento alerta para a forma inadequada como o lixo eletrônico é gerido na China.




                                                                                          38
 A maior parte dos materiais são incenerados em locais ilegais para a coleta de metais
valiosos como ouro. A prática libera poluição tóxica e uma taxa muito baixa de
recuperação de metais quando comparada a infraestruturas sofisticadas de reciclagem.

O diretor-geral do Programa das Nações Unidas para o Meio-Ambiente, Pnuma, Achim
Steiner, disse na cerimônia de lançamento do relatório que é urgente criar sistemas mais
eficazes de coleta e gestão de lixo eletrônico na China.

Ele indicou também que países como Índia, Brasil e México enfrentam problemas
crescentes de saúde pública e degradação ambiental se a reciclagem de lixo eletrônico
continuar sendo feita pelo setor informal.

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Neoteo (Spain): El desperdicio electrónico, en aumento

22 February 2010

Lamentablemente, en la mayoría de los países la basura electrónica es tratada de la
misma manera que la basura convencional, y termina siendo arrojada en un vertedero o
en lugares pobremente adecuados para ello.

Alguien puede pensar que una placa expuesta al ambiente no es del todo perjudicial, pero
nada está más lejos de la verdad.

En componentes electrónicos descartados es posible encontrar elementos peligrosos
como mercurio, cadmio o plomo, los cuales son liberados al ambiente por procesos de
reciclado defectuosos que sólo buscan obtener metales preciosos como el oro y la plata.

Un reporte presentado por el Programa Ambiental de Naciones Unidas, nos muestra un
panorama preocupante. Las cantidades de desperdicio electrónico están muy lejos de
reducirse: De hecho, se espera un aumento significativo de la basura digital dentro de los
próximos diez años.

En India, el desperdicio electrónico aumentará cinco veces, mientras que en países como
Sudáfrica y China, aumentará entre dos y cuatro veces.

En la actualidad, la basura generada por teléfonos móviles obsoletos en China ha
aumentado siete veces desde el año 2007, y unas perturbadoras dieciocho veces en
India. Aún así, el país que más desperdicio electrónico posee sigue siendo Estados
Unidos, con unas tres millones de toneladas, seguido de cerca por China con 2.3
millones.

En muchos países, los protocolos de reciclado electrónico son inexistentes, por lo que
esta basura es exportada a estos mega-vertederos electrónicos.

Achim Steiner, director ejecutivo del Programa Ambiental de Naciones Unidas, menciona
que este reporte plantea una nueva urgencia para aplicar procesos "ambiciosos, formales
y regulados" que permitan recolectar y administrar el desperdicio electrónico a través de
"grandes y eficientes" centros de procesamiento en China.


                                                                                         39
El desperdicio electrónico es un problema que no sólo está presente en Oriente. Países
como México y Brasil también podrían verse afectados por esta clase de basura si no
implementan programas firmes que permitan un procesamiento adecuado.

Además, un reciclado eficiente de este desperdicio abre posibilidades ya conocidas:
Fuentes de empleo, reducción de gases y recuperación de metales preciosos muy
utilizados en electrónica como oro, plata, paladio e iridio.

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Eco Diario (Spain): La ONU advierte del peligro de "las montañas" de desechos
electrónicos

22 February 2010

El drástico crecimiento de las cantidades de desechos electrónicos (ordenadores,
teléfonos móviles...) provocará graves problemas sanitarios y medioambientales si no se
toman rápidamente medidas de reciclaje, advirtió este lunes la ONU.

"Las ventas de productos electrónicos en países como China e India y en los continentes
africanos y sudamericanos deberían aumentar fuertemente en los próximos diez años",
prevé un informe del Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente (PNUMA).

"Si no se lanza ninguna política para colectar y reciclar estos equipos, numerosos países
van a encontrarse con montañas de desechos electrónicos peligrosos, con graves
repercusiones para el medio ambiente y la salud pública", advierte.

La cantidad de residuos electrónicos generados por los ordenadores debería crecer un
500% en India, y entre un 200 y 400% en Sudáfrica o en China respecto al nivel de 2007.
La progresión será también considerable para los teléfonos móviles, televisiones o las
neveras.

China ya produce alrededor de 2,3 millones de toneladas de residuos electrónicos
anuales, por detrás tan sólo de Estados Unidos (3 millones). Una gran cantidad de esta
basura "no es tratada debidamente", apunta el PNUE.

El informe, que estudia once países representativos, se publica cuando los expertos de la
convención de Basilea sobre los residuos peligrosos se reúnen este lunes y el martes en
Bali, antes de la celebración de una asamblea general del PNUE.

Para Achim Steiner, director del PNUMA, "China ya no está sola para enfrentarse a este
inmenso desafío" que también concierne a "India, Brasil, México y otros países".

Afirma que es "urgente" poner en marcha métodos de reciclaje que "ofrezcan el potencial
de generar empleo, reducir las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero y recuperar
importantes cantidades de metales, como la plata, el oro, el paladio, el cobre o el indio"




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Los equipos electrónicos actuales integran hasta 60 componentes diferentes. Los
teléfonos y los ordenadores portátiles consumen el 3% del oro y plata extraídos cada año,
el 13% del paladio y el 15% del cobalto.

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CRI Online (China): Convoca ONU reunión en Bali para discutir manejo de residuos
químicos dañinos

22 February 2010

Las reuniones extraordinarias simultáneas de las Conferencias de las Partes de los
Convenios de Basilea, Rotterdam y Estocolmo, organizadas por el Programa de las
Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente (PNUMA), fueron inauguradas este lunes en
Bali, Indonesia.

Las reuniones tienen como objetivo discutir el manejo efectivo de los residuos químicos
peligrosos y otros problemas relacionados con el medio ambiente.

Las reuniones, de seis días de duración, constituyen el foro ambiental de mayor magnitud
en el mundo después de la Cumbre de Copenhague.

 El Ministerio de Protección Ambiental de China ha enviado representantes al evento, en
el cual se discutirá el control efectivo transnacional de los residuos químicos peligrosos; el
valor económico y social del ecosistema y la biodiversidad; los desafíos que enfrenta la
biodiversidad y sus soluciones; el cambio climático en 2010; la calidad de agua y los
recursos hidráulicos, así como la economía ecológica.

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Terra (Spain): ONU advierte sobre basura tecnológica en países en desarrollo

22 february 2010

Las ventas de aparatos electrónicos domésticos aumentarán en gran medida en la
próxima década en los países en desarrollo, lo que causará un desastre ambiental si no
se crean estrategias nuevas para procesar tantos televisores, celulares y computadoras
de desecho, dijo el lunes un informe de Naciones Unidas.

Los riesgos ambientales y sanitarios que presenta la creciente cantidad de basura
electrónica en todo el mundo son especialmente urgentes en los países en desarrollo, ya
que algunos reciben los desechos de las naciones ricas, dijo el estudio del Programa
Ambiental de la ONU (UNEP en inglés).

Los desechos se están acumulando en todo el planeta a un ritmo de 36 millones de
toneladas por año, dijo el informe, que aclaró que los datos disponibles no son suficientes.

Estados Unidos produce 3,3 millones de toneladas de basura electrónica por año y China
lo sigue con 2,3 millones de toneladas, afirmó.


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El director ejecutivo del programa, Achim Steiner, dijo que el mundo no estaba preparado
para enfrentar la explosión en el consumo de artefactos electrónicos que sucedió en la
última década.

"El mundo enfrenta ahora una ola masiva de basura electrónica que volverá y nos
golpeará, en particular a los países menos desarrollados, que podrían convertirse en un
basurero", dijo Steiner a The Associated Press antes de la reunión ejecutiva del UNEP en
Bali.

Algunos estadounidenses y europeos, aseguró, han enviado a países africanos
computadoras rotas declaradas falsamente como donaciones. Las computadoras
terminaron siendo descartadas cerca de barrios pobres y se convirtieron en un peligro
para la salud de los habitantes, dijo.

El informe predijo que en 2020 la cantidad de computadoras viejas que descarta China se
cuadruplicará respecto de 2007. En India, los refrigeradores viejos, que contienen gases
peligrosos, se podrían triplicar para esa fecha.

El mayor crecimiento en los últimos años ha sido de celulares y aparatos similares,
agregó.

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Publico (Spain): La basura electrónica de India crecerá un 500% en 2020

22 February 2010

Los desechos de productos electrónicos crecerán espectacularmente dentro de una
década, y la basura informática sólo en India crecerá un 500% desde los niveles de 2007
para 2020, según un estudio de la ONU difundido el lunes.

Un término en el que se incluyen teléfonos móviles, impresoras, televisiones, neveras y
otros aparatos - crece globalmente en unos 40 millones de toneladas al año. Se emiten
toxinas cuando es quemada inapropiadamente por quienes buscan componentes
valiosos, como el cobre y el oro.

Un informe difundido el lunes en Bali por el Programa de Medio Ambiente de las Naciones
Unidas (UNEP) predijo que para 2020 la basura electrónica de los ordenadores crecería
un 400% desde los niveles de 2007 en China y Sudáfrica.

"Este informe plantea una nueva urgencia para establecer procesos ambiciosos, formales
y regulados para recoger y gestionar la basura electrónica mediante el establecimiento de
instalaciones grandes y eficientes en China", dijo Achim Steiner, director ejecutivo de
UNEP.

"China no está sola a la hora de enfrentarse a un desafío serio. India, Brasil, México y
otros podrían también enfrentarse a un daño medioambiental creciente y a problemas de
salud si el reciclaje de la basura electrónica se deja al capricho del sector informal", dijo
en el informe.


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El estudio, del que son co-autores la EMPA de Suiza, el grupo de especialización de
materiales Umicore y la Universidad de Naciones Unidas, dijo que Estados Unidos es el
mayor productor de basura electrónica, creando alrededor de 3 millones de toneladas al
año.

De cerca le sigue China, que produce unas 2,3 toneladas domésticamente y además es
donde se envía mucha de la ciberbasura del mundo desarrollado, dijo EMPA.

EMPA es el instituto de investigación de material científico y tecnológico del Instituto
Federal Suizo de Tecnología.

CARGAMENTOS ILEGALES

El estudio predijo que los desechos de teléfonos móviles en China serían alrededor de
siete veces mayores que los niveles de 2007 en 2020, mientras que en India serían
alrededor de 18 veces mayores.

El informe recomendó transportar alguna de la basura electrónica, como cuadros de
mandos y baterías, desde los países más pobres a otros al nivel de la OCDE mejor
equipados para eliminarlos apropiadamente.

El ministro de Medio Ambiente de Indonesia Gusti Muhamad Hata dijo en un discurso en
lunes que Indonesia era vulnerable al tráfico ilegal de vertidos tóxicos.

Jim Puckett, de la ONG con sede en EEUU Basel Action Network, que rastrea el tráfico
ilegal de basura electrónica, dijo que las autoridades descubrieron recientemente un
cargamento de contenedores de ciberbasura que había sido enviada desde el estado de
Massachusetts.

"Estaban llenos de tubos de rayos catódicos apilados, monitores de ordenadores,
básicamente eran desechos de los que la gente quería deshacerse porque ahora todo el
mundo quiere pantallas planas", dijo.

Agregó que las autoridades indonesias devolvieron el cargamento.

Si se gestiona adecuadamente, la basura electrónica representa una oportunidad de
negocio, dijo Konrad Osterwalder, de la Universidad de Naciones Unidas.

"Este informe pone de relieve nuevas tecnologías inteligentes y mecanismos que,
combinados con políticas nacionales e internacionales, pueden transformar basura en
activos, creando nuevos negocios con empleos ecológicos decentes", dijo.

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IT Pro (Blog):世界の電気・電子機器廃棄物は年間4000万トン増加、国連調査

23 February 2010




                                                                                           43
国連環境計画(UNEP)はインドネシアのバリで開催された会議において現地時間2010
年2月22日、電気・電子機器廃棄物(E-
Waste)に関する調査結果を発表した。それによると、E-
Wasteは世界で年間約4000万トン増えているという。

EWasteとはテレビ、パソコン、プリンタ、携帯電話、デジカメ、冷蔵庫などの廃棄物を
指し、その材料には有害物質が含まれる場合がある。今後10年間に中国やインド、アフ
リカおよび中南米諸国におけるエレクトロニクス製品の販売が急増する見通しであるこ
とから、適切な回収・再利用に取り組まなければ多くの発展途上国で有害な廃棄物の山
が積み上がることになると、UNEPは警告している。

2020年の廃棄コンピュータは2007年の水準と比べ、南アフリカと中国で3~5倍に、イン
ドでは6倍に増加する見込み。

2020年における携帯電話の廃棄物は、中国で2007年の7倍、インドで18倍に増加する。
テレビの廃棄物は中国とインドで1.5~2倍に、冷蔵庫の廃棄物はインドで2~3倍に拡大
するとみる。

中国では2010年に推定230万トンの電子製品を国内で生産しており、米国の300万トンに
次いで世界で2番目に多い。さらに複数の先進国がE-
Wasteを中国に輸出しているが、中国ではほとんどのE-
Wasteを適切に処理していない。リサイクル業者が金などの貴金属を抽出しようと裏庭
で焼却するため、有害な煙による広範な汚染を引き起こしている。

中国以外にも、インド、ブラジル、メキシコなどが同様の深刻な問題に直面しつつある
と、国連事務次官でUNEP執行ディレクタのAchim Steiner氏は指摘している。

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                                 Other UNEP Coverage

Business Wold (Philipines): Threats to Philippine coastal ecosystems cited

22 February 2010

Better management of marine and coastal resources requires better supervision of related
economic activities, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a report
published last Friday.

A statement on the report cited poorly regulated shipping, poorly planned construction of
tourism infrastructure, as well as illegal fishing and overfishing as the economic activities in
the Philippines that have greatest negative impact on the country‘s coastal and marine
ecosystems.

Philippines, along with other East Asian economies with vast coastlines, should prioritize
management of marine resources in its development agenda, since environmental
degradation -- coupled with the adverse impact of climate change -- could worsen poverty.


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The report, titled: "State of the Marine Environment Report for the East Asian Seas,"
warned that economically viable coastal habitats and ecosystems are under pressure,
since 40% of coral reefs and half of mangroves in the region have already been lost.

The report noted that in the Philippines -- with its 26,289-kilometer coastline -- the
population lives within 100 km of the coast, implying great dependence on marine
resources.

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Himalayan times (Nepal): Rwanda to host celebrations

22 February 2010

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today announced that Rwanda, an
East African Country, will be hosting the World Environment Day 2010.

World Environment Day (WED), which aims to be the biggest global celebration for
positive environmental action, is coordinated by UNEP every year on June 5.

This year‘s theme for the celebrations is ‗Many Species. One Planet. One Future‘ — a
message focusing on the importance of the globe‘s wealth of species and ecosystems to
humanity, which supports this year‘s UN International Year of Biodiversity.

Justifying the selection of the venue, UNEP said in a press statement that Rwanda‘s
combination of environmental richness, including rare and economically important species
such as the mountain gorilla, allied to newly evolving and pioneering green policies were
some important reasons for selecting Rwanda as the host country.

Rwanda‘s capital Kigali will be the venue for this global celebration, with a myriad of
activities over several days to inspire Rwandans, East Africans and people around the
world to take action for the environment, the statement said.

According to UNEP, it aims to mobilise more people than ever for the celebrations, with a
huge variety of activities ranging from school tree-planting drives to community clean-ups,
car-free days, photo competitions on biodiversity, bird-watching trips, city park clean-up
initiatives, exhibits, green petitions, nationwide green campaigns and much more.

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Philippine Star (Philipines): UN calls for 'more ambitious action' to cut greenhouse
gas emission

23 February 2010
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) said Tuesday that countries will have to
be far more ambitious in cutting greenhouse gas emission if the world is to effectively curb
a rise in global temperature at 2 degrees Celsius or less.



                                                                                          45
In its Year Book 2010 released on the sidelines of the 11th Global Ministerial Environment
Forum and the Chemical Ministerial Convention at Nusa Dua of Bali province, the UNEP
said that annual global greenhouse gas emissions should not be more than 40 to 48.3
Giga tons (GT) of equivalent CO2 in 2020 and should peak sometime between 2015 and
2021.

The report also estimated that between 2020 and 2050, global emission need to fall by
between 48 and 72 percent, indicating that an ambition to cut greenhouse gases by
around 3 percent a year over the 30 years' period is also needed.

"Such a path offers a 'medium' likelihood or at least a 50/50 chance of keeping a global
temperature rise at below 2 degrees Celsius," said the report.

It also said that the expected emissions for 2020 range between 48.8 to 51.2 GT of CO2
equivalent should be fulfilled. In order to meet the 2 degrees Celsius aim in 2050,
emissions in 2020 need to be between 40 and 48.3 GT.

Thus, the report said, even with the best intentions, there is a gap between 0.5 and 8.8 GT
of CO2 equivalent per year, amounting to an average shortfall in emission cuts of 4.7 GT.

Achim Steiner, the UN Under-Secretary General and the UNEP Executive Director, told
journalists that the report provided an indication of where countries are and perhaps more
importantly where they need to aim.

"The 'Giga ton gap' needs to be bridged quickly if the national community is to pro-actively
manage emissions down in a way that makes economic sense," Steiner said, adding that
more delay in taking action, more cost would be.

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Publico (Spain): La ONU convoca en Bonn una nueva reunión sobre el clima

22 February 2010
Alemania acogerá en abril una sesión extra de las negociaciones climáticas de Naciones
Unidas, pero es demasiado pronto para decir si el mundo logrará acordar un nuevo
tratado este año después de no conseguirlo en diciembre en una cumbre en
Copenhague, según indicaron el lunes la autoridades danesas.

"Las negociaciones están ganando velocidad de nuevo después de Copenhague", dijo
por teléfono a Reuters Lykke Friss, ministra danesa de Energía y Clima, y que preside las
negociaciones de Naciones Unidas.

La ministra explicó que 11 representantes de naciones clave decidieron en una reunión
de un día en la sede del secretariado de Cambio Climático de la ONU en Bonn añadir una
sesión extra que reunirá a altos cargos de 194 países en la ciudad alemana entre el 9 y el
11 de abril.

"Había una atmósfera positiva y constructiva y todas las partes estaban deseando
adelantar las negociaciones", dijo de la primera reunión formal que se celebra desde la
cumbre de Copenhague.


                                                                                           46
Hasta ahora, el calendario sólo contemplaba un encuentro de representantes en Bonn
entre el 31 de mayo y el 11 de junio, y reuniones de ministros en Cancún, México, entre el
29 de noviembre y el 10 de diciembre. Ese plan implicaba una drástica bajada de ritmo
frente a las cinco reuniones preparatorias que se celebraron el año pasado antes de
Copenhague.

Friis dijo no estar segura de que las reuniones de la ONU terminen este año con un nuevo
tratado contra el cambio climático que suceda al Protocolo de Kioto. "Estamos trabajando
por un acuerdo en Cancún, pero es demasiado pronto para decirlo", señaló.

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                                     IPCC in the News

Fox News (US): New Climate Agency Head Tried to Suppress Data, Critics Charge

22 February 2010

The scientist who has been put in charge of the Commerce Department's new climate
change office is coming under attack from both sides of the global warming debate over
his handling of what they say is contradictory scientific data related to the subject.

Thomas Karl, 58, was appointed to oversee the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center, an ambitious new office that will
collect climate change data and disseminate it to businesses and communities.

According to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, the office will "help tackle head-on the
challenges of mitigating and adapting to climate change. In the process, we'll discover new
technologies, build new businesses and create new jobs."

Karl, who has played a pivotal role in key climate decisions over the past decade, has kept
a low profile as director of National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) since 1998, and he has
led all of the NOAA climate services since 2009.

His name surfaced numerous times in leaked "climate-gate" e-mails from the University of
East Anglia, but there was little in the e-mails that tied him to playing politics with climate
data. Mostly, the e-mails show he was in the center of the politics of climate change
decisions

According to a school biography published by Northern Illinois University, Karl shared the
Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore and other leading scientists based on his work at the UN's
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and he was "one of the 10 most
influential researchers of the 1990s who have formed or changed the course of research in
a given area."

His appointment was hailed by both the Sierra Club and Duke Energy Company of North
Carolina. Sierra Club President Carl Pope said, "As polluters and their allies continue to try
to muddy the waters around climate science, the Climate Service will provide easy, direct
access to the valuable scientific research undertaken by government scientists and


                                                                                             47
others." And Duke Energy CEO Jin Rogers said the new office, under Karl, will "spark the
consensus we need to move forward."

But Roger Pielke Sr., a climatologist affiliated with the University of Colorado who has
crossed horns with Karl in the past, says his appointment was a mistake. He accused Karl
of suppressing data he submitted for the IPCC's most recent report on climate change and
having a very narrow view of its causes.

The IPCC is charged with reviewing scientific data on climate change and providing policy
makers and others with an assessment of current knowledge.

Pielke said he agrees that global warming is happening and that man plays a significant
role in it, but he said there are many factors in addition to the release of carbon into the
atmosphere that need to be studied to fully understand the phenomenon. He said he
resigned from the IPCC in August 2005 because his data, and the work of numerous other
scientists, were not included in its most recent report.

In his resignation letter, Pielke wrote that he had completed the assessment of current
knowledge for his chapter of the report, when Karl abruptly took control of the final draft.
He said the chapter he had nearly completed was then rewritten with a too-narrow focus.

One of the key areas of dispute, he said, was in describing "recent regional trends in
surface and tropospheric temperatures," and the impact of land use on temperatures. It is
the interpretation of this data on which the intellectual basis of the idea of global warming
hangs.

In an interview, Pielke reiterated that Karl "has actively opposed views different from his
own." And on his Web site last week, he said Karl's appointment "assures that policy
makers will continue to receive an inappropriately narrow view of our actual knowledge
with respect to climate science."

He said the people who run the agencies in charge of climate monitoring are too narrowly
focused, and he worries that the creation of the new office "would give the same small
group of people the chance to speak on the issue and exclude others" whose views might
diverge from theirs.

Responding to the criticism, Karl told the Washington Post, "the literature doesn't show
[Pielke's] ideas about the importance of land use are correct."

Calls to The Commerce Department and to Karl's office went unanswered.

The IPCC in recent weeks has come under severe criticism after e-mails, hacked from a
prestigious climate center, revealed some of the political infighting that occurred as its
assessments were being put together and called into question its impartiality.


Climate change skeptics, meanwhile, say Karl's appointment was unnecessary and pulls
scarce resources from more pressing needs.




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"The unconstitutional global warming office and its new Web site climate.gov would be
charged with propagandizing Americans with eco-alarmism," wrote Alex Newman of the
Liberty Sentinel of Gainesville, Fla.

On the popular skeptic site "Watts Up With That," Anthony Watts called the climate.gov
site a "waste of more taxpayer money" and charged that it is nothing more than a "fast
track press release service." He wrote that putting Karl in charge was an issue, because
he had fabricated photos of "floods that didn't happen" in an earlier NOAA report.

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Toronto Sun (US): A worldwide fervor over climate change orthodoxy

22 February 2010

Can you hear me? You‘ve been incognizant, but it‘s over and you‘re going to be OK. Take
deep breaths and relax until your vision clears.

The world is not going to end because of climate change, at least not in the near future.

You are a most fortunate individual. You have been a participant in the biggest inter-
dimensional cross rip since the Tunguska blast of 1909! No wait, that‘s Ghostbusters.

Let me put it differently: There has never been anything quite like this — ever.

The entire world has been embroiled in a persistent, free-floating global fervor (and a
really nasty one, too) allegedly based on fervor-less, dispassionate science.

Recently, there was a huge explosion in the climate change orthodoxy factory that was set
off by objective evidence we have been deceived and manipulated.

The evidence was the leaked e-mails of the University of East Anglia‘s Climate Research
Unit (CRU), which are now subject to several official investigations, forcing the head of the
CRU to step aside.

The e-mails tell a lurid tale of unbecoming, unwarranted, organized and fierce hostility to
skeptical climatic researchers, as well as data tampering, anti-scientific secrecy,
manipulations of scientific journals, and distortions of peer review that make George
Orwell look like a prophet.

This could be dismissed as an isolated case if the CRU were some marginal backwater.
But what was produced there was central to the scientific case, such as it was, mounted
by the United Nations‘ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The CRU was global warming central! That makes the recent admission by its deposed
head to the BBC stunning. He said there was actually no statistically significant global
warming for 15 years. That‘s contrary to more than a decade of overheated, hysterical
rhetoric and news stories, ultimately based in large part on the CRU‘s now-discredited
positions.



                                                                                              49
Of course the counter spin was desperate and pathetic: The e-mails were illegally
obtained; it was a plot by skeptics/deniers funded by corporations, facilitated by foreign
governments; OK, it‘s bad, but even putting CRU data aside there‘s still ―overwhelming‖
evidence.

This was blown away in the subsequent explosion of pent-up complaints about faulty
science that have been hushed up for years by silencing skeptics and likening them to
criminals.

With new eyes paying attention to the complaints, what was old seemed new.

For example, one IPCC myth was even debunked before it was adopted. In the first, 2002,
edition of my book, Taken By Storm, with Ross McKitrick we showed the Himalayan
glaciers were not at risk due to global warming. Yet this invention, attributed to the World
Wildlife Federation, still appeared, five years afterward, in the 2007 IPCC report.

The IPCC author responsible subsequently admitted he put it in to scare people.

Finally in 2009, seven years afterward, the head of the IPCC had to answer embarrassing
questions about it.

Rule number one: Don‘t believe anything you read or hear in the news about ice. Count on
it to be a tart up of a pre-tarted position.

So many of these seemingly ―new‖ one-sided ―errors‖ have burst out that unanticipated
developments ensued: India threatened to pull out of the IPCC, Greenpeace called for the
head of the IPCC‘s head, while IPCC stalwarts rushed to distance themselves from the
IPCC.

It‘s been like watching the conclusion of a classic Bond movie where an enormous
explosion consumes Dr. No‘s fortress.

The serious damage of the great fervor was not from these noisy secondary cultural
explosions. It was from the sustained, immoral attacks on scientific skepticism and
skeptical scientists. The attacks began the moment science became subordinate to policy.

That is corruption of science, and we will all eventually suffer if it is not consciously
stopped.

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Sydney Herald (Australia): Start preparing Sydney, warming is inevitable

23 February 2010

Action to reduce greenhouse emissions is lagging so far behind what the science tells us
is necessary that some degree of warming is now inevitable, an expert warned yesterday.

Cities such as Sydney should take pragmatic measures to prepare for an inevitable
degree of warming, for example by planning to lift port infrastructure as sea levels rise,


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building new water supply systems and devising plans to minimise heatwave-related
deaths, said Michael Oppenheimer, a geoscientist at Princeton University and a lead
author of the third and fourth assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change.

''The solution isn't just about reducing emissions,'' he said. ''It's important for individuals
and communities to be prepared for a warmer climate, because there's going to be more
warming before we get our act together.

''We're heading in a direction which if not averted will eventually give us a much higher sea
level and drown much of the coastal zone as we know it today,'' he said.

Professor Oppenheimer received a lot of public attention recently following the news that
volume two of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment report contained a glaring error: a claim that
80 per cent of the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035.

It had been missed by the report's three-layered peer review process, and caused serious
embarrassment to the IPCC, despite the in-depth projection on glacier decline being
correctly covered elsewhere in the report.

He said the mistake was ''embarrassing, because … it's the kind of question that the IPCC
ought to be working very hard to address correctly''.

He hoped the humiliation would improve IPCC processes, but said that there was only
''one actual cold error'' in a three-volume report with 2500 expert authors ''really is a
testament to the fact the IPCC has worked very hard to avoid making mistakes''.

In his view, there is no arguing with the science; but the politics of what to do about it is fair
game.

''There's been confusion on both sides about the distinction between scientific facts and
political judgments,'' he said. ''Anybody is entitled to political judgments, but the scientific
facts are what they are.

''Global warming is happening whether my president wants to do something about it or not.

''Just because I'm a scientist and have a big mouth, doesn't mean you should listen to me
on the politics.''

Professor Oppenheimer has a two-decade association with the IPCC, overlapping his long
service as chief scientist at the Environmental Defence Fund, a US non-governmental
organisation.

He describes himself as ''congenital'' optimist. ''I have the expectation that humans and
even governments are rational and will act on this problem. Perhaps not as expeditiously
as I hoped, but they'll act to stem the worst possible outcomes.''

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Red Orbit (Blog): Rising Sea Level Claims Retracted


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22 February 2010

A 2009 claim that sea levels would rise up to 32 inches by the end of the century, is being
retracted, as the original report‘s author says the real estimate is still not known.

Scientists have discovered mistakes that undermine the projected sea level increase that
would be affected by global warming. The study, published in the journal Nature
Geoscience, confirmed the conclusions of a 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change. The 2009 study collected data from the previous 22,000 years to
predict that sea levels would rise by between 3 and 33 inches by the year 2100.

The IPCC said their estimates placed the sea level to rise to be between 7 and 23 inches,
but stressed this was based on incomplete information and that the true rise in sea levels
could be even higher.

Scientists have criticized the IPCC for being too conservative in their approach. Several
papers have been published suggesting that the sea could rise even more.

Martin Vermeer of the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland and Stefan Rahmstorf of
the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany published a paper in
December that predicted a rise of up to 75 inches by the end of the century.

Announcing the formal retraction of the paper from the journal, Mark Siddall, from the
Earth Sciences Department at the University of Bristol, said: ―It's one of those things that
happens.

People make mistakes and mistakes happen in science.‖ There are two separate mistakes
in the paper, which were pointed out by scientists after it had been published. A formal
retraction was required, rather than a correction, because the errors undermined the
conclusion of the study.

―Science is a complicated game and there are set procedures in place that act as checks
and balances,‖ Siddall told the Guardian, adding that retraction is a regular part of the
whole publishing process.

It was the first retraction from the Nature Geoscience journal since it was first published in
2007, said publisher Nature Publishing Group.

The paper used fossil coral data and temperature records taken from ice-core
measurements to reconstruct how the sea levels have changed with temperature since the
last ice age.

The paper also projected how much it could rise with the warming conditions over the
several decades. However, the mistakes caused a huge impact on the reliability of the
estimates.

Authors of the paper said they can no longer draw a sturdy conclusion regarding sea
levels in the next 90 years without further research.




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The mistakes that undermined the study were miscalculation and not allowing fully for
temperature changes over the past 2,000 years.

―Because of these issues we have retracted the paper and will now invest in the further
work needed to correct these mistakes,‖ the authors said.

Vermeer and Rahmstorf are thanked for bringing to light the issues and errors regarding
the paper on rising sea levels, Said Siddall and his colleagues in the Nature Geoscience
retraction.

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Huffington Post (US): Screwups in Climate Science

22 February 2010

Recent events have given climate science a black eye, but nowhere near the knockout
punch depicted in the media.

E-mails documenting overly partisan behavior on the part of a group of climate scientists
should not and cannot be dismissed out of hand. To be sure, those involved have had to
contend with unrelenting attacks by climate skeptics, but that's no excuse. It's time for a
little self-reflection on the part of the climate science community and a renewed affirmation
of our commitment to the scientific method.

Similarly, the revelations of errors and poor scholarship in the latest assessment of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are serious, although not surprising
given its sheer volume (four separate reports totaling almost 3,000 pages) and the number
of scientists who helped prepare it.

Perhaps more damaging was the initial response by IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri
who, rather than calmly considering them, called the reported errors "voodoo science."
The IPCC should assess its own mission, organization, and procedures before
undertaking its next scientific assessment.

These mistakes are unfortunate and disappointing, but their depiction in much of the
blogosphere and media has grossly overblown their significance. Here are two examples
where media outlets have fallen well below their own standards for accurate, objective
reporting.

ON TRICKS AND HIDING IN HACKED MESSAGES

Much has been written about the e-mail hacked from Phil Jones, director of the University
of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit, that mentions using a statistical "trick" to "hide the
decline."

The use of the word trick has been interpreted as evidence of nefarious data-manipulating.
Unlikely. Trick is a term of art commonly used in statistics and science as shorthand for a
clever, elegant method. For example, on February 14, 2010, a New York Times piece on



                                                                                            53
advances in biotechnology reported that a "firm ... similarly tricked out yeast to produce an
antimalarial drug." No suspicions of underhandedness there.

The words "hide the decline" have been widely suggested to mean that scientists colluded
to obscure falling temperatures, specifically those purportedly from the first decade of the
2000s. This is simply wrong.

The e-mail in question, written in November 1999, came hot on the heels of arguably the
warmest year on record (1998). So what decline would they be hiding?
A careful examination of the messages' content, including "Mike's trick," reveals that Jones
was referring to a poorly understood decline in the density of tree wood, starting in the
1960s, that causes the temperatures inferred from tree rings in the 20th century's later
years to diverge from the instrumental record.

To be sure, this divergence is not a welcome development for scientists like those at the
University of East Anglia who have been using tree rings to infer temperatures over the
past millennium.

Perhaps in hiding the divergence they were trying to make the results look cleaner. But
they could not have been trying to cover up any data. The divergence was already well
known among climate scientists and discussed in detail in the scientific literature (e.g.,
here and here).

Finally, for the record, there has been no long-term decline in global temperatures.
Temperatures in the first decade of the 2000s were higher on average than those of the
'90s.

So why so many misinterpretations of Jones' and his colleagues' intention? Perhaps the
reason is that so many press items placed the word "temperature" directly after the phrase
"hide the decline."

Here's an example from the New York Times: "Jones ... said he had used a 'trick' ... to
'hide the decline' in temperatures."

And another from the Washington Post: "he had used 'a trick' to 'hide the decline' in a
chart showing global temperatures."

This from a Wall Street Journal opinion piece: "In [the e-mails] scientists appear to ... give
tips on how to 'hide the decline' of temperature in certain inconvenient data."

And this from a Washington Times editorial: "Mr. Jones talked to Mr. Mann about the 'trick
of adding in the real temps to each series ... to hide the decline [in temperature].'"

Were these pieces intended to mislead the public? I have no idea. Did they end up
misleading? I believe so. (To their credit, some media reports got this right. See here.)
Himalayan Meltdown

The IPCC incorrectly stated the near-term fate of Himalayan glaciers with this: "Glaciers in
the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world ... and, if the present
rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner
is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate.


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Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by the year 2035
(WWF, 2005)." We now know that this was inaccurate [pdf] and that the IPCC review
process [pdf] failed to catch the error.

The media have accurately reported such details, but what's been left out -- the whole
story -- has led to misconceptions by lots of people I've spoken to.

The statement that Himalaya's glaciers will vanish in a few decades was clearly not the
IPCC's consensus finding. By my own count, the assessment discusses their fate in three
other places, all in a much more nuanced, more accurate, and less alarmist context.

Here's an example from the IPCC summary for policy makers which prefaces the report
containing the error: "Glacier melt in the Himalayas is projected to increase flooding, and
rock avalanches from destabilised slopes, and to affect water resources within the next
two to three decades. This will be followed by decreased river flows as the glaciers
recede."

THE BOTTOM LINE

Did the IPCC make a mistake? Yes? Are such mistakes of concern? Absolutely
(especially in light of revelations of other errors). But does this undermine the entire
assessment's credibility? I think not. Are the mistakes a sign of a concerted effort to
mislead the public? Hardly.

The worst thing we scientists can do at this point is contend that these missteps are
inconsequential.

But it's egregious for the media, through inaccurate inference, exaggeration, and a failure
to give all the facts, to over-blow their significance.

Doing so will undermine and erode public confidence in the state of our understanding of
global warming. In fact the scientific evidence that the globe is warming and that this
warming is connected to human activities remains strong.

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Detroit News (US): If climate science is dubious, shouldn't governments give
carmakers a break?

19 February 2010

In a sane world, European governments would be scrambling to rescind tight regulation
and extortionate taxation introduced in the name of saving the planet from the ravages of
global warming, induced by CO2 emissions from cars.

After all, the science justifying action to raise the cost of energy generally and forcing the
European automotive industry to raise its fuel economy to unattainably high levels, has
been shown to be in doubt, if not downright fraudulent.



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At the very least, you would expect some acknowledgment of the fact that all these
swingeing taxes, which will ratchet down on the European car manufacturers over the next
10 years, might not be justified.

But it seems that our leaders in Europe and not to mention the U.S. are turning a blind eye
to mounting evidence that humans are not in fact warming the climate.

This matters a lot because the threat of climate change has been the excuse for
governments to introduce taxation and regulation raising the cost of electricity and energy
in general, and threatening to imperil the automotive industry in particular.

Experts are divided over what action should be taken. Some say the EU rules should be
watered down, and the most stringent delayed for up to five years.

 Others say being forced to comply with tight fuel efficiency rules will be a long-term plus
for European manufacturers because the global car market will be increasingly biased
toward small, fuel-sipping cars. This also threatens to isolate American manufacturers,
which face less stringent targets.

EYE-WATERING REGULATION

In Europe, car manufacturers, starting in 2012, must raise the average fuel economy of
their fleets in stages to about 43 miles per U.S. gallon by 2015. By 2020, this must be
raised close to an eye-watering 60 miles per U.S. gallon equivalent.

The 2015 rules will be hugely expensive, adding $675 to $1,350 to the cost of every car
made in Europe, according to Deutsche Bank, and some would say massively pointless,
given that Europe's car makers already achieve close to an average 35.5 mpg, which U.S.
car makers must achieve by 2016.

(European lawmakers use "grammes per kilometer" to measure the output of CO2, but the
actual miles per gallon equivalent is easier to follow).

If this massive investment in fuel efficiency really was going to save mankind from
disastrous global warming, nobody would argue.

But evidence from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC), used by governments to push policies that they say will save the world, has been
tainted by claims of political interference and accusations that scientists involved in
collecting the data have been exaggerating numbers which point to global warming and
ignoring evidence to the contrary.

GLACIER CANARD

News last year that Britain's Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, a
major contributor to IPCC reports, had fiddled with the numbers was followed by the
Himalayan glacier canard.

This purported to prove that all the glaciers in the Himalayas would melt by 2035, but was
based on hearsay, not science. The same was true for reports on Amazon jungle retreat
and accelerating hurricane activity; both shown not to be linked to human CO2 activity.


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This was in addition to the "hockey stick" controversy, said to show a recent surge in
warming after about 1,000 years of steadiness. In fact, researchers used an algorithm
designed to ignore evidence of previous warming, exaggerate recent data, and produce a
graph which was flat for a thousand years, but surged over the last century producing a
hockey stick shape.

And just last week professor Phil Jones, formerly director of the Climatic Research Unit,
conceded that the world might have been warmer 1,000 years ago, suggesting a lack of
human impact, and said for the past 15 years there has been no "statistically significant"
warming.

Science fiction writer Michael Crichton wrote a satire in 2004 called "State of Fear," in
which radical activists were so sure that action needed to be taken to stop humans killing
the planet, that they induced all kinds of disasters to "prove" that they were right.

Crichton was moved to write the book because, as a scientist, he had delved into the
justification for human induced global warming, and found to his astonishment that the
evidence was very thin indeed. As Reuters' Science and Technology Correspondent in the
1990s I came to a similar conclusion.

WAS IT A SATIRE?

It seems that "State of Fear" might not have been such a satire after all.

And European politicians are behaving as if nothing has happened.

Connie Hedegaard of Denmark, briefly chairman of the U.N. Climate conference in
Copenhagen
last December, took up her position this month as new European Union Climate Change
Commissioner, and quickly talked about action to fix global warming and climate change
as though nothing had happened to cast doubts on the conventional wisdom.

This week, press reports from Germany said the European Commission, the EU's
executive branch, wants to introduce a continent wide CO2 tax, to save the planet.
Europeans already often pay more than three times what Americans pay for a gallon of
gasoline. In Britain, gasoline taxes add about 70 percent to the price.

According to Garel Rhys, emeritus professor at Cardiff University's Business School and
automotive industry expert, European politicians should postpone the 2020 requirement of
close to 60 mpg, and make the earlier rules easier to meet, pending a re-examination of
the science which attributes global warming to human activity.

"If what is taken as gospel in terms of global warming turns out not to be the case, then the
automotive industry has been encouraged and forced to spend huge amounts of money
effectively for nothing," Rhys said.

"At the very least, the EU should rejig the timetable so that 2020 standards are put back to
2025, and that would give a chance for the truth or otherwise about the climate debate to
come to the fore. The 2020 standards are impossible to meet with petrol and diesel
engines alone, and we are assuming a breakthrough in battery technologies," Rhys said.


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Score two out of three

Battery vehicles aren't yet capable of getting close to the internal combustion engine,
which provides speed, acceleration and range. Battery engines can only serve up two out
of three of these.

"The consumer has been left out. They will be reluctant to buy a product which is inferior,"
Rhys said.

Roger Helmer, British Conservative and member of the European Parliament, wonders
why politicians have taken aim at the car industry in their quest to cut CO2, when the
insulation of buildings can reap gains at least as big, at relatively little cost.

"So why does the commission choose to hit on the auto industry rather than insulate
buildings? Because beating up the auto industry is sexy and macho and gets great
headlines, whereas insulating buildings is boring," Helmer said.

TRANSPORT AND ENVIRONMENT

Not surprisingly, environmental groups aren't keen on cutting any slack for car makers.
Dudley Curtis, spokesman for Brussels-based Transport & Environment lobby group,
doesn't believe that the EU rules will stop healthy manufacturers from making profits, or
that the case for human influence on the climate has been undermined. Apart from
anything else, greater gas mileage will benefit people.

"Fuel efficiency targets mean people get cars that use less fuel, so they save money,
where is the problem?" Curtis said.

Professor Peter Cooke of Britain's Buckingham University thinks forcing Europe's
manufacturers to raise their fuel efficiency will pay long-term dividends for them because
the car market is becoming ever more global and new markets in Asia and South America
will want small, fuel efficient cars.

David Bailey, professor of International Business Strategy and Economics at Coventry
University, agrees.

"Manufacturers want stability and a set of targets they have to achieve. We should use
regulation to stimulate green technology which will be a long-term benefit. I don't think we
should change targets, but we should help them financially to get there. I'd like to see
activist industrial policy that supports green technologies," Bailey said.

HEAD START FOR EUROPE

"Even if that was the case (doubts about climate change science), and I don't think things
have changed that much, Europe should get a head start to give it a competitive edge.
The EU rules are a sensible way to get ahead and give Europe a head start on the rest of
the world," Bailey said.

Cardiff University's Rhys is not convinced, and says the car manufacturers are facing a
double whammy. The recession and weak markets are making it difficult to make any


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money at all, while regulators dream up new ways to make production more expensive
and profits more elusive.
"This new (CO2) regulation is costing literally billions of euros, but given the nature of the
market place, they will not be able to recoup spending, so profits have been cut very thinly
indeed. On top of this the manufacturers are having to meet social needs, which includes
extra safety, noise, as well as tougher fuel efficiency requirements," Rhys said.

MIDDLE WAY

Perhaps there is a middle way, which both sides can accept.

Everyone knows fossil fuels will run out sooner rather than later, and that remaining
supplies should be used economically and sensibly, while providing research funds to
make sure that fuel cells or wind, tidal, nuclear fission or fusion technologies can be up
and running in time. Surely this can be done without governments insisting our cars be
ridiculously small, affordable only to the rich, and trying to shame us into submission by
saying if we don't comply, we all die.
Neil Winton, European columnist for Autos Insider, is based in Sussex, England.

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Fox News (US): Scientists Retract Paper on Rising Sea Levels Due to Errors

22 February 2010

Scientists have been forced to retract a paper that claimed sea level were rising thanks to
the effects of global warming, after mistakes were discovered that undermined the results.

The study was published in Nature Geoscience and predicted that sea levels would rise by
as much as 2.7 feet by the end of the twenty-first century.

The paper also highlighted that it reinforced the conclusions of the U.N.'s controversial
Fourth Assessment report, which warned of the dangerous of man-made climate change.

However, mistakes in time intervals and inaccurately applied statistics have forced the
authors to retract their paper -- the first official retraction ever for the three-year-old journal,
notes the Guardian. In an officially published retraction of their paper, the authors
acknowledged these mistakes as factors that compromised the results.

"We no longer have confidence in our projections for the twentieth and twenty-first
centuries, and for this reason the authors retract the results pertaining to sea-level rise
after 1900," wrote authors Mark Siddall, Thomas Stocker and Peter Clark.

Since the leak of e-mails from the U.K.'s top global warming scientists in early December,
many other errors and sloppy mistakes have been uncovered in leading report by the
U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Flaws in weather stations have led some to question claims of rising temperatures, sloppy
math led to holes in postulates that the Himalayas were rapidly melting and fears of a
man-made food shortage in Africa seem unsubstantiated as well.


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Announcing the formal retraction of the paper from the journal, Siddall told the Guardian,,
"It's one of those things that happens. People make mistakes and mistakes happen in
science." A formal retraction was required, rather than a correction, because the errors
undermined the study's conclusion.

"Retraction is a regular part of the publication process," he said. "Science is a complicated
game and there are set procedures in place that act as checks and balances."

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Edmonton Journal (Canada): Climate alarmists feeling more heat

21 February 2010

The empire has begun to strike back.

It was only a matter of time before the climate alarmists got their feet back under them.
There is too much at stake politically, too many careers and reputations on the line, too
much grant money for researchers and donations for environmental groups, too much
green-tax revenue for governments, too much prestige in academic circles at risk for those
who have asserted for more than a decade that man is causing damaging climate change
to slink away in defeat.

So it is of little surprise that in the past couple of weeks many alarmists have begun
asserting that despite all the revelations of the past three months about how key climate
scientists and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
have corrupted the scientific process in an obsessive drive to prove that climate change is
real, nothing has undermined the "fact" that the Earth is warming dangerously.

Since late November, the True Believers have watched in stunned silence as the
foundation of the climate-change theory has suffered one body blow after another.

First it was the revelation that scientists at the Climate Research Unit (CRU) in England --
perhaps the most influential of the three sources the United Nations relies on for most of
its climate data -- were fudging their data to show more warming in recent decades than
had actually occurred.

At the same time, these scientists were doing their best to upend the peer-review process
at major scientific journals so scientists who disagreed with them would be unable to get
published. And they were withholding their raw data and computer codes from other
scientists and government investigators so no one else could validate or debunk their
research by attempting to replicate it.

The alarmists have recently begun to rally around Phil Jones, the discredited head of the
CRU. Nearly two week ago, Jones gave an interview to the BBC in which he admitted
there had been no "statistically significant" global warming in the past 15 years.




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Some news sources and global-warming skeptics overplayed Jones's exact words. Last
Sunday's Daily Mail in Britain, for instance, claimed Jones had performed a "U-turn" in his
claims for warming.

Jones, in fact, continues to insist the Earth is warming. But what he now admits is that it is
not warming that rapidly (just 0.12 C per decade) and not "at the 95-per-cent significance
level," the level needed to assert statistical certainty.

He also now allows that there may have been other periods in the past 1,000 years that
were as warm as or warmer than today.

While this is not a complete about-face, it is hardly business-as-usual, as the alarmist
would have us believe. Even if Jones is still insisting that global warming is happening,
there is now a measure of doubt in his claims that never existed before. What makes
Jones's words significant is not that they reveal some 180-degree change in his thinking,
but that for the first time he admits significant uncertainty in the so-called settled science of
climate change.

If leading climate scientists had spent the past 15 years saying the warming they were
seeing wasn't all that significant or that there remained many uncertainties about
predictions of future climate or that some pre-industrial periods had been warmer, would
there have been a Kyoto accord or a Copenhagen Earth summit? Would Al Gore's An
Inconvenient Truth have made $100 million? Would environmentalists have been asked to
write government policy? Would there be any support at all for green taxes and carbon
capture and other measures aimed at curbing carbon dioxide emissions?

Likely not.

Even though alarmists are correct that Jones has not recanted his earlier belief in the
warming theory, he has undergone a significant change.

Or take the assertion, recently very common among alarmists, that NASA's climate
scientists are still finding global warming occurring, so it must still be happening.

Frankly, NASA's climate scientists have hardly more credibility than the CRUs or IPCCs.
NASA is another of the three repositories of climate data relied upon by the UN, but three
years ago a significant error was found in its records. In the 1990s, NASA had begun
keeping temperature records differently, but it had failed to adjust all its pre-1990s records
(about 120 years' worth) to match the new method. When it reconciled its old records to its
new method, recent warm years ceased to be as remarkable. For instance, 1934 replaced
1998 as the warmest year. And 1921 became the third-warmest.

In 2008, NASA substituted September's global temperatures for October's (they claimed
accidentally), thereby distorting upward the worldwide averages for the fall of that year --
an otherwise rather cool year.

And most recently, NASA has been shown to be cherry-picking the Earth stations it uses
to calculate global average. It has been eliminating stations in colder locations (polar, rural,
mountainous) and over-relying on warmer ones (mid-latitudes, urban).




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Alarmists may want to believe this changes nothing, but that simply makes them the new
deniers.

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Washington Post (US): Climate science tantrums

21 February 2010

Science, many scientists say, has been restored to her rightful throne because
progressives have regained power. Progressives, say progressives, emulate the cool
detachment of scientific discourse. So hear the calm, collected voice of a scientist lavishly
honored by progressives, Rajendra Pachauri .

He is chairman of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC), which shared the 2007 version of the increasingly weird Nobel Peace Prize.
Denouncing persons skeptical about the shrill certitudes of those who say global warming
poses an imminent threat to the planet, he says:

"They are the same people who deny the link between smoking and cancer. They are
people who say that asbestos is as good as talcum powder -- and I hope they put it on
their faces every day ."

Do not judge him as harshly as he speaks of others. Nothing prepared him for the
unnerving horror of encountering disagreement.

Global warming alarmists, long cosseted by echoing media, manifest an interesting
incongruity -- hysteria and name-calling accompanying serene assertions about the
"settled science" of climate change. Were it settled, we would be spared the hyperbole
that amounts to Ring Lardner's "Shut up, he explained."

The global warming industry, like Alexander in the famous children's story, is having a
terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Actually, a bad three months, which began Nov. 19 with the publication of e-mails
indicating attempts by scientists to massage data and suppress dissent in order to
strengthen "evidence" of global warming.

But there already supposedly was a broad, deep and unassailable consensus. Strange.

Next came the failure of The World's Last -- We Really, Really Mean It -- Chance, a.k.a.
the Copenhagen climate change summit. It was a nullity, and since then things have been
getting worse for those trying to stampede the world into a spasm of prophylactic statism.

In 2007, before the economic downturn began enforcing seriousness and discouraging
grandstanding, seven western U.S. states (and four Canadian provinces) decided to fix the
planet on their own. California's Arnold Schwarzenegger intoned, "We cannot wait for the
United States government to get its act together on the environment." The 11 jurisdictions
formed what is now called the Western Climate Initiative to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions starting in 2012.


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Or not. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer recently suspended her state's participation in what has
not yet begun, and some Utah legislators are reportedly considering a similar action.

Brewer worries, sensibly, that it would impose costs on businesses and consumers. She
also ordered reconsideration of Arizona's strict vehicle emission rules, modeled on
incorrigible California's, lest they raise the cost of new cars.

Last week, BP America, ConocoPhillips and Caterpillar, three early members of the 31-
member U.S. Climate Action Partnership , said: Oh, never mind. They withdrew from
USCAP . It is a coalition of corporations and global warming alarm groups that was formed
in 2007 when carbon rationing legislation seemed inevitable and collaboration with the
rationers seemed prudent. A spokesman for Conoco said: "We need to spend time
addressing the issues that impact our shareholders and consumers." What a concept.

Global warming skeptics, too, have erred. They have said there has been no statistically
significant warming for 10 years.

Phil Jones, former director of Britain's Climatic Research Unit, source of the leaked
documents, admits it has been 15 years . Small wonder that support for radical remedial
action, sacrificing wealth and freedom to combat warming, is melting faster than the
Himalayan glaciers that an IPCC report asserted, without serious scientific support, could
disappear by 2035 .

Jones also says that if during what is called the Medieval Warm Period (circa 800-1300)
global temperatures may have been warmer than today's, that would change the debate.
Indeed it would. It would complicate the task of indicting contemporary civilization for
today's supposedly unprecedented temperatures.

Last week, Todd Stern, America's special envoy for climate change -- yes, there is one;
and people wonder where to begin cutting government -- warned that those interested in
"undermining action on climate change" will seize on "whatever tidbit they can find ."
Tidbits like specious science, and the absence of warming?

It is tempting to say, only half in jest, that Stern's portfolio violates the First Amendment,
which forbids government from undertaking the establishment of religion.

A religion is what the faith in catastrophic man-made global warming has become. It is
now a tissue of assertions impervious to evidence, assertions that everything, including a
historic blizzard, supposedly confirms and nothing, not even the absence of warming, can
falsify.

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                                Other Environment News


AFP: Climate meeting in April aims at reviving UN process

22 February 2010


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Talks will take place in April under the UN flag for planning the next steps in the effort
toward a global treaty on climate change, Danish Minister for Climate and Energy Lykke
Friis said Monday.

The April 9-11 meeting will take place in Bonn gathering senior officials of signatories of
the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said Friis, whose country
currently chairs the negotiating process.

The date was set at a meeting of the UNFCCC bureau, tasked with drawing up a calendar
of meetings for 2010 in the aftermath of the controversial climate summit in Copenhagen
in December, the Danish news agency Ritzau said.

Negotiators will be asked to sketch out a work programme for the end of the year, it said.

The December meeting yielded a last-minute compromise deal brokered by around two
dozen countries but it failed to get official backing from the entire forum.

The so-called Copenhagen Accord sets a goal of limiting warming to two degrees Celsius
(3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and pledges nearly 30 billion dollars in aid to poor countries in
total by 2012.

But it does not spell out the means for achieving the 2C (3.6 F) objective, and the
emissions pledges made under it are only voluntary.

Green groups and scientists say the document falls far short of what is necessary for
tackling the problem posed by greenhouse gases.

The document did not gain approval at a UNFCCC plenary session and so far has not
been officially endorsed by major developing emitters which helped craft it.

As a result, there is confusion as to how the accord fits into the highly complex two-track,
194-nation process. Some negotiators privately say the deal has little future other than as
a benchmark of political will.

The April meeting adds to the two other scheduled dates in the UNFCCC calendar this
year.

One meeting will take at the level of senior officials in Bonn from May 31-June 11. The
next, likewise starting at the official level but ending at ministerial level, will take place in
Mexico from November 29-December 10.

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AFP: Japan opposes trade ban on bluefin tuna

22 February 2010




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Japan opposes plans to list the Atlantic bluefin tuna, which is highly prized in sushi and
sashimi, as a most-endangered species and to ban its international trade, an official said
on Monday.

The UN-backed wildlife trade agency supports a call to stop cross-border trade in the
fish when 175 member nations to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species (CITES) meet next month in Doha, Qatar.

Marine wildlife experts say that, despite fishing quotas, bluefin tuna stocks have plunged
by 80 percent in recent decades in the Western Atlantic and Mediterranean, threatening
the predator species with extinction.

Japan -- which consumes three-quarters of the global bluefin tuna catch from both the
Atlantic and Pacific oceans -- says it opposes such a trade ban and prefers other
mechanisms to make the catch more sustainable.

Farm and Fisheries Minister Hirotaka Akamatsu said this month that Japan's answer to
the proposed trade ban is "a clear no", and a fisheries official said Monday that Japan
may "take a reservation" and ignore a ban if it is passed.

"We have been saying that is one of our options," Shingo Ota, a senior negotiator for
Japan fisheries, told AFP.

"We are not saying we will definitely reserve it. We are doing our best so that it won't be
adopted. Our final decision will come after the vote."

The EU Commission is due to propose that the 27 EU governments ban commercial
bluefin tuna fishing, at a meeting of farm and fisheries ministers in Brussels, sources
have told AFP.

France, the biggest producer of bluefin tuna for consumption, has spoken in favour of a
ban, but for a limited duration and not for another 18 months. But Spain, Greece, Cyprus
and Malta have opposed a ban.

Atlantic bluefin tuna, a metallic-blue hunter up to four metres (13 feet) long, roams the
Atlantic but returns every spring to the warmer waters of the Mediterranean Sea, as well
as the Gulf of Mexico, to spawn.

In the hunt for the prized fish, industrial-scale fishing fleets have often used spotter
aircraft and helicopters to locate tuna schools and scooped the fish up with giant drag
nets.

Many of the fish are fattened up in offshore cages to produce a low-cost version of "toro"
or fatty tuna, which is highly valued in sushi and sashimi, mostly for export on freezer
ships to Japan.

As bluefin tuna has become more rare, its price has shot up, especially in East Asia. A
single fish, weighing up to 650 kilograms (1,400 pounds), can fetch as much as 120,000
dollars, CITES has said.



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Guardian (UK): True climate sceptics must stop the war on science

23 February 2010

Believe it or not, I've always had a soft spot for climate sceptics. Not the obsessive trolls
who patrol the blogosphere, nor unpleasant, twisted extremists like the Telegraph's
James Delingpole, but genuine, independent-minded sceptics, people who like to think
for themselves and reach their own conclusions.

Contrary to popular assumptions, most climate scientists are sceptics. Not about the
basic physical principles of greenhouse gases, obviously – which are undeniable to
everyone except the aforementioned trolls and Delingpoles – but certainly about almost
everything else.

Forcing a humiliated colleague to retract a high-profile scientific paper is every
academic's dream, as the correspondence pages of all the leading journals attest.

Only this week, a paper on sea level rise was embarrassingly retracted from the journal
Nature Geoscience thanks to flaws uncovered after rigorous fact-checking not by
ignorant Telegraph bloggers but by diligent fellow climate scientists.

Note also that the Himalayan glacier error was sparked not, once again, by the denial
lobby, but by glaciologists who knew from their own research that the disappearance of
all Himalayan glaciers by 2035 was virtually impossible.

Also in the honourable sceptic tradition I would place David Davis, former shadow home
secretary and one of my opponents in an Intelligence Squared climate change debate on
Sunday evening held at Wellington College.

Davis seems to me to personify some of the best qualities of true conservatism, as his
principled resignation over the 42 days issue and continuing work against the erosion of
liberties in this country attests.

In his speech to the debating hall, Davis traced the roots of his scepticism to a radio
interview where a green campaigner declared the scientific debate "over" and demanded
government action.

True to form, Davis saw environmentalist attempts to close down the debate as an
assault on freedom of speech, a politically motivated assault which – following the
hacked emails from the University of East Anglia – he now suspects scientists of
participating in.

I think Davis is wrong on this, particularly on the hacked email issue, but more
interesting is the fact that, through his objection to the environmentalist position, climate
scepticism felt to him like the most natural position to take given his libertarian political
views. Clearly, he is not alone: climate scepticism in this country and elsewhere is



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overwhelmingly advocated by the political right – in reaction, I suspect, to the perceived
monopolisation of the climate change issue by egalitarian greens and the political left.

Also probably sharing Davis's objection to the conventional framing of the climate
change debate are his Tory colleagues Peter Lilley and Nigel Lawson. Indeed, Lord
Lawson's book, An Appeal to Reason, has become something of a bible in sceptical
circles. (I must confess to not having read it, but even the Royal Meteorological Society's
in-house journal, Weather, last month published a favourable review.)

Also in his debating speech on Sunday, Davis made what I consider to be the serious
error of assuming that climate scientists are all leftish environmentalists. Indeed, he
suggested that this presumed subjective bias (as opposed to an active conspiracy) must
lie at the root of all the "flawed" scientific work supporting the prevailing global warming
consensus.

This certainly doesn't accord with my experience. Consider Oxford's Myles Allen, one of
the UK's top atmospheric physicists and someone who has no truck with bone-headed
deniers, but a right-winger nonetheless (I've heard him referred to in the corridors of
Oxford University as "a massive Tory"). In a recent article, Allen admits that he shares
the "horror" of climate-sceptic Czech president Václav Klaus in viewing some of the
proposals for climate change mitigation.

"But where are the alternatives?" Allen asks. "Because most of those opposed to big
government have spent the past decade in denial, there is nowhere for people like me,
who take the problem seriously but don't like the sound of a Kyoto-style solution, to go.
Whose demonstration would I join in Copenhagen?"

This, I believe, is the challenge that Davis, Lawson and their colleagues now must rise
to. Denial may work for a while, but it can only postpone the inevitable.

As Allen laments, the political right has made an enormous mess of climate change,
missing opportunities for framing the debate and preferring a reactionary attack on the
science to making a serious effort to come up with carbon mitigation proposals of its
own. "While they [the right] are busy grubbing around in scientists' hacked emails,
climate policy is being made elsewhere."

In desperation, Allen makes his own proposal for reducing emissions, which involves
bypassing "big government" and instead taking a regulatory approach aimed at
business, mandating large fossil fuels producers to remove as much carbon from the
atmosphere as they extract from the ground. Would it work? I'd like Davis and others to
decide.

Here's my suggestion: true sceptics on the right should convene a process, perhaps in
collaboration with free-market thinktanks such as the Adam Smith Institute, to formulate
carbon mitigation proposals of their own.

A war against science can never succeed. Shooting the messenger is just dumb. If you
don't like the solutions the greens have come up with, try proposing some of your own.

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Telegraph (UK): Climate change could be accelerated by 'methane time bomb'
22 February 2010
Atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gas, which is as much as 60 times more potent
than carbon dioxide, appear to have risen significantly for the past three years running,
scientists say.
Experts have long feared that vast amounts of the natural gas trapped in the frozen
tundra of the Arctic could be unlocked as the permafrost is melted by rising
temperatures, triggering a "methane time bomb" that could cause temperatures to soar.
More melting of the Arctic ice caused by accelerating warming would release further
gases, setting off a "feedback" mechanism which could send climate change spinning
out of control.
Methane (CH4) traps solar heat in the earth‘s atmosphere even more effectively than
CO2, which has been the focus of climate change fears for decades. Scientists believe it
could cause 60 times more warming than carbon over a period of 20 years, though it
also decays more quickly.
Atmospheric methane levels began rising in 2007, when an Arctic heatwave caused sea
ice to shrink significantly. Now new preliminary results suggest levels have continued to
rise through 2008 and 2009.
The new figures will be disclosed this morning at the start of a two-day conference on
greenhouse gases at the Royal Society in London.
Professor Euan Nisbet, of Royal Holloway College of the University of London, and Dr
Ed Dlugokencky of the Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder Colorado, will set
out their findings in a presentation on "Global atmospheric methane in 2010: budget,
changes and dangers".
After a decade of near-zero growth in methane levels, the two scientists will reveal that:
"globally averaged atmospheric methane increased by [approximately] 7 ppb (parts per
billion) per year during 2007 and 2008."
They will go on: "During the first half of 2009, globally averaged atmospheric CH4 was
[approximately] 7 ppb greater than it was in 2008, suggesting that the increase will
continue in 2009.
There is the potential for increased CH4 emissions from strong positive climate
feedbacks in the Arctic where there are unstable stores of carbon in permafrost ... so the
causes of these recent increases must be understood."
Professor Nisbet told The Independent at the weekend that the new figures did not
necessarily mark a departure from the trend.
"It may just be a couple of years of high growth, and it may drop back to what it was," he
said. "But there is a concern that things are beginning to change towards renewed
growth from feedbacks."
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Guardian (UK): Climate wars damage the scientists but we all stand to lose in the
battle
23 February 2010
So the case is closed. The release of private emails between climate scientists at the
University of East Anglia that show malpractice and conspiracy have had their effect.
Public acceptance of the reality of global warming has dipped, politicians are retreating
and changes to how science is done and scientists behave are required.
I do not accept this. I believe this seductively simple narrative is based on ignorance,
scientific illiteracy and hypocrisy. Worse, it is dangerous and will erode the very public
confidence it seeks to restore.
This is perhaps not a common view right now. In newsrooms up and down the country,
scandal and hand-wringing are afoot and it is open season on climate science and
climate scientists.
Inquiries are under way and if scientists are found guilty of misconduct they should be
sacked. If scientific results change as a result, then the corresponding academic papers
should be corrected or withdrawn.
But if this sorry affair is remembered in a year or so for anything other than yet another
attempt to smear the people involved, only then will I accept its significance.
Take the influence on public opinion. A recent BBC poll revealed the number of Britons
who believe in climate change has dropped from 44% to 31% since November. A
Guardian editorial blamed this on events at East Anglia, a link that was reinforced in a
news story.
 But the poll results do not show this. In fact, they show the opposite. Yes, the decline in
overall acceptance is clear, but the pollsters also asked whether respondents had seen
media reports of flaws and weaknesses in climate science. Some 57% said yes, and
these people were questioned further: have these reports made you more or less
convinced of the risks of climate change. Almost three-quarters, 73%, said it made no
difference.
And while 11% said, yes, the controversies had made them less concerned about the
risks, 16% said the reports of flaws and weaknesses had made them even more
concerned.
The evidence shows that the battle for hearts and minds in the fight against climate
change has been strengthened, not weakened, by the East Anglia affair. It is a bizarre
finding and I make no attempt to explain it, only to point out the dangers of rushing to
see desired results in a series of data, or a simple narrative in a complicated picture.
There is a process that society has developed to avoid such confirmation bias. It is
called science.
The headline reduction in acceptance of global warming, incidentally, seems more likely
down to the record-breaking cold winter, which 83% of people said they were aware of.
The other 17% are clearly made of strong stuff.
When news of the East Anglia emails broke in November, it was a phrase that climate
scientists had used a "trick" to "hide the decline" that got most people excited. Media
reports, including in this newspaper, reported that climate sceptics believed they had



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found a smoking gun that proved scientists who worked on global warming were up to
no good, and by extension that the problem was exaggerated or a falsehood.
This was the "WMD-in-45 minutes" claim that drove the email story around the world and
earned it the drearily predictable "climategate" tag. It was also total nonsense.
The decline was not in recorded global temperatures, as was sometimes said, but in
temperatures inferred from a series of tree rings over the last few decades. The trick is
to ignore the obviously faulty information.
This statistical technique has its critics, and it raises questions about why the decline
occurs and whether earlier data can be relied on, but these questions have been openly
addressed by scientists for years. The issue appears in text books and even has its own,
rather more pedestrian, name — the divergence problem.
The misrepresentation and lies spread over the divergence problem (and see how the
controversy drains from the issue when we call it that) is now widely understood, but the
stink it created lingers. Even its collapse was problematic, for it created a vacuum into
which a string of other accusations rushed.
To their credit, many discussions of these other issues now try to make clear they do
nothing to question the basic science of global warming. But, to many people who do not
follow this closely, how can accusations of poor behaviour by climate scientists do
anything but?
Chief among these is a claim that a 1990 paper on land surface temperature rise is
flawed. Worse, the scientist involved, Phil Jones, the head of the university's Climatic
Research Unit (CRU) concealed these flaws. The climate science community has
responded to the allegations with a barely concerned shrug of the shoulders. Are they
complacent? Closing ranks?
At the heart of the issue are the locations of weather stations in developing China, which
provided data for the study. Jones and his colleague Wei-Chyung Wang cannot produce
records to verify some locations, and this rightly raises questions. Jones admits it is not
best practice.
Wang has already been investigated and cleared of misconduct by his university.
Why is this important? Because critics say if the stations have been moved then this
invalidates statements in the 1990 paper, and raises questions about subsequent
studies that base their conclusions on its findings.
What have they done about it? Nature, the journal that published the 1990 paper, says it
has looked into the issue and is happy with the explanation offered by the scientists, but
will look again and correct if necessary, it just needs someone to send them specific
evidence of a problem.
Almost three years after Jones published all the location data he had for the stations on
the internet, Nature has yet to receive any such complaint.
Peer review is also under the spotlight. The process by which scientists judge each
others work as fit for publication has always been where objective science dashes on the
rocks of subjective human opinion, but the emails are alleged to show much worse —
censorship, exclusion of critics and deliberate attempts to steer the process to keep
away unfavourable results.



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Take the last first. Keith Briffa, deputy head of the CRU, is accused of initiating an
attempt to have a paper rejected because of an email to a scientist who was reviewing
the paper that said: "Confidentially I now need a hard and if required extensive case for
rejecting [an unnamed paper] – to support Dave Stahle's and really as soon as you can.
Please." Briffa says there was no such attempt, and that he was reminding an overdue
referee that he needed the report urgently, which the referee had already indicated
would be negative.
In another example, Jones supposedly unfairly rejected a paper that questioned his own
results, despite the censored paper offering no supporting method, data or analysis. The
peer review system is far from perfect, but it has always been pretty good at keeping out
papers that offer no method, data or analysis to support their conclusions.
To view peer review, and the behaviour of working scientists, only through the prism of
these private emails, and then diagnose fault and demand change is naive and
misguided. It brings to mind the people of the planet Krikkit in Douglas Adams'
Hitchhikers Guide series, who, on penetrating a dust cloud shielding their world and
witnessing the extent of the universe for the first time, immediately declare war on it,
muttering that "it will have to go".
For if peer review is flawed, and it is, then scientists know there is enough slack in the
system that such flaws rarely matter. Good papers may bounce from journal to journal,
but generally find a home.
Bad papers, even those published in good journals, wither on the vine. Fraudulent, or
just plain wrong, papers get caught, often when competitors cannot reproduce the
reported results.
And if there is bias in peer review, which there is, then it affects all sides. Last year, the
high-profile journal Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) published a paper co-authored
by Richard Lindzen, a climate expert at MIT and possibly the world's last climate sceptic
with serious credentials in the field.
The study claimed to show climate models underestimate the amount of heat that
escapes from the Earth but, after publication, was taken to pieces by other climate
scientists. Some have criticised GRL for even publishing the paper, and claim it got an
easy ride because its publisher, the American Geophysical Union, allows authors to
suggest a list of friendly reviewers. The AGU, rightly, has not revealed the referees or
their comments — and the wheels of science grind on.
It is true the East Anglia emails suggest that Jones and other scientists did not enter the
brave new world of open data and Freedom of Information requests with gusto.
In fact, they fought it tooth and nail. Any failure to comply with the regulations should be
punished, but equally we should not forget the context in which many of these emails
were sent.
This is a saga that goes back years, to a time before the current widespread political and
media concern about climate change. Back to when Al Gore was not a Nobel prize
winning campaigner, but a politician blamed for wrecking the Kyoto protocol, and to a
time when well-funded climate sceptics faked scientific papers, hijacked debate and
routinely spread disinformation about scientists and their work, in far greater numbers
than we see now.




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Climate scientists, left to fight this pretty much alone, were seriously angry with those
who they saw as engaged in a systematic effort to undermine their profession.
Yes, some emails are intemperate and unprofessional even. But what exactly are we
accusing those involved of? An instruction to delete emails, which were not deleted. A
boast, which was not followed through, to keep shoddy papers from the report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
A desire to hide behind, apparently legitimate in many cases, technical excuses not to
hand over their data to people who they perceived as opponents who refused to play by
the rules.
Just as every journalist was squirming in their seat and grateful it was Andrew Gilligan's
and not their notebook under such scrutiny in the Hutton review of the David Kelly affair,
so biologists, physicists, civil servants, doctors, in fact those in every profession should
consider how their reputation would survive if years of private correspondence were
filleted for dirt and handed over to critics.
This is the broad illumination with which we must judge the behaviour of those involved
in the East Anglia affair, not the narrow spotlight of spite and double standards.
It is clear that "climategate" has been a public relations disaster for science and
scientists. That is unfair in my view, but things could get worse, and this is where the
flawed simple narrative takes a dangerous turn.
A common response to scrutiny of the emails has been to praise the fairness of the
scrutineers, an eagerness to see the scientists, so long the good guys, get a kicking in
the name of open debate. But it has also encouraged a creeping rehabilitation of climate
scepticism. False balance has been restored to the force.
The genuine issues raised by the emails, such as Freedom of Information requests and
data sharing, should be debated in public. But such debates are unlikely to stay on these
legitimate grounds.
There is a reason why the fight between East Anglia and critics over data access
rumbled in the specialist press for years without troubling the bulletins or newstands. It's
pretty dull. The reasons why the data were not shared? Now there is a story, as long as
it involves conspiracy and dodgy dealings, and that it raises doubts about the science of
global warming. What do you mean it doesn't? Didn't you hear, they used a trick to hide
the decline.
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                              RONA MEDIA UPDATE
                         THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                            Monday, February 22, 2010

                                UNEP or UN in the News




   Foreign Affairs: Beyond Copenhagen
   Business Week: U.S. Aims for Legally Binding Climate Change Agreement in 2010
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   The Washington Post: Global warming advocates ignore the boulders
   The New York Times: Japan Plans to Ignore Any Ban on Bluefin Tuna
   The Detroit News (Opinion): If climate science is dubious, shouldn't governments give
Beyond Copenhagen
Foreign Affairs, February 22, 2010, by Michael Levi

Before last December's Copenhagen climate conference, expectations for an agreement
went from sky high to rock bottom, eventually settling at some perplexing place in
between. Last fall, I wrote in Foreign Affairs that the world should narrow its expectations
for the conference and focus on three basic aims: setting a long-term global goal for
emissions reductions; getting agreement on assistance to the poorest countries for
adaptation to climate change; and establishing the foundations of a system for
subjecting countries' domestic climate efforts to international monitoring, reporting, and
verification.

If one uses this standard to judge Copenhagen, then the conference was a genuine, if
limited and fragile, success. But the process that produced these achievements is
broken. To fix it -- and to achieve real progress at the next climate summit, in Cancún,
Mexico, at the end of the year -- countries should give up on the idea of a
comprehensive and binding global deal in the near term and, at the same time, begin to
look beyond the scope of the sprawling UN process.

In the accord that emerged in the final hours of the Copenhagen negotiations,
participating countries agreed to a target of holding the rise of global temperatures to two
degrees Celsius. Although a target for actual emissions cuts would, of course, have
been more useful, this consensus does provide an important base on which to build
future international efforts.

Countries pledged to devote $30 billion over the next three years to helping the world‘s
poorest countries deal with climate change. They also set a goal of raising $100 billion
annually for climate assistance by 2020; that, however, is far more aspirational, and
these funds would likely be tilted toward mitigation.




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And all countries agreed to report their domestic emissions targets and mitigation
actions in an international schedule, with each state‘s efforts subject to review. This
review process is to be defined, but if it involves analytical heft and mandatory
cooperation, then such a system may provide the kind of verification that countries need
in order to trust the process.

But the Copenhagen accord contained no country-by-country goals for reducing
emissions; these, instead, would be worked out by January 31. Although many feared
that the deal would collapse in the meantime, every major country ultimately delivered
concrete political commitments by the deadline. Taken collectively, as many have
pointed out, these pledges are insufficient to keep global temperatures under the two-
degree target. But it is equally important to recognize that they do not rule it out, either:
whether temperatures are held to a safe level depends not on what countries promise
but on what they do.

Still, many of these promised targets, particularly those from most major developed
countries, came with worrying preconditions. In particular, Australia, the European
Union, and Japan submitted pledges that are entirely or in part contingent on the
achievement of a sufficiently strong global climate deal -- their exact positions before
Copenhagen. This is a bit ridiculous. Copenhagen, for all its flaws, already represents a
global climate deal. If it is not sufficient to trigger these countries‘ commitments, what
would be? By not answering this question, these states are suggesting that Copenhagen
is not actually a deal of any sort. China and India, meanwhile, have submitted goals but
have not formally ―associated‖ themselves with the Copenhagen Accord, which means
that the whole agreement may still collapse.

Regardless of how this is resolved, Copenhagen did make several fundamental points
clear. First, progress on climate change depends on leaders. Copenhagen would have
been a complete bust if national leaders such as U.S. President Barack Obama and
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had not stepped in on the last day of talks to make
compromises that their own negotiators were unwilling to consider. Second, any global
summit with nearly 200 countries requiring near unanimity is inherently unwieldy. As a
result, relying on the United Nations as the only forum for serious climate decisions will
ensure that few actual decisions are taken.

But most countries retain a strong attachment to the UN process, whether for
substantive reasons (China, which uses it to hold on to its ―developing nation‖ status to
avoid obligations) or political ones (the EU, which has made public commitments to the
UN process that would be hard to reverse). In addition, the UN mechanism does have
one advantage that policymakers should remember: it amplifies the voices of vulnerable
developing nations, which makes it difficult for countries such as China to resist taking
action in the name of defending the interests of those states. Instead of moving to fully
replace the UN process, therefore, countries should instead supplement it with more
streamlined forums.

Copenhagen also revealed that sharply focused issues such as deforestation are easier
to manage. At the conference, countries agreed on a detailed set of rules to avoid
deforestation, although they were ultimately shelved at the last minute for technical
reasons.




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Lastly, and perhaps most important, China and India seem unlikely to agree to
internationally binding commitments to emissions-cutting actions any time soon. Both
countries appear to believe that they are unlikely to receive substantial benefits -- large
financial assistance, for instance -- that would, for them, justify adopting such measures,
and developed countries do not seem willing to change that calculus. At the same time,
the United States would be unwise to push for a deal that requires legally binding
commitments while its own domestic efforts remain embroiled in political uncertainty.
All this suggests a modest agenda for the next round of climate talks in Cancún.
Negotiations should focus on a small set of important areas where substantive
conclusions are not only possible but likely. Countries should work out the rules and
parameters for the so-called Copenhagen Green Climate Fund, which was established
in the Copenhagen Accord to support adaptation and mitigation efforts in the developing
world. This will be particularly appealing to Mexico, which has been a prominent backer
of such a fund.

The participants in Cancún should also elaborate on how developing countries will
submit their activities under the Copenhagen Accord to international review. To improve
the odds of reaching agreement on such a scheme, developed countries should submit
to precisely the same sorts of reviews in order to make clear that developing countries
are not being subjected to extraordinary intrusions on their sovereignty. Lastly, a system
should be hammered out for creating incentives to avoid deforestation, a mechanism
that Copenhagen came close to establishing.

Although countries may find one or two other areas where progress is possible -- small-
bore reforms to offset markets might be a viable candidate -- they should be careful not
to overload the agenda. The Cancún meeting is not the time for detailed discussions of
individual countries‘ emissions-cutting efforts or broader arrangements for financing
emissions cuts. In particular, a push to make emissions curbs internationally binding
would probably backfire. Many countries are likely to resist measures to monitor their
emissions and emissions-cutting efforts as long as they fear that such measures would
be used to enforce a legal deal. By backing off the push for a comprehensive legal
agreement, the world may have greater success in moving ahead on actual substance.

But such an agenda, of course, is not enough to strenthen and coordinate the necessary
international effort on climate change. Since Copenhagen, two other forums have been
most discussed: the G20 and the Major Economies Forum, each of which brings
together senior officials from the biggest emitters in the world. (The MEF is a three-year-
old process by which ministers and heads of state from the world‘s 16 largest emitters
discuss energy and climate policy.)

The G20 has much going for it: it includes all the biggest emitters, it already brings
together leaders, and it has real credibility on economic issues. But it also has a heavy
agenda and is not yet firmly established. Forcing it to take on the full set of climate
issues against the wishes of its developing country members could backfire. Instead, the
G20 should focus on climate and energy when these issues line up with its central
priorities of finance and trade. It should continue its push to phase out inefficient fossil-
fuel subsidies and might consider tackling barriers to the trade in and diffusion of clean-
energy technologies.

Much like the G20, the MEF has been able to bring together heads of state, though
unlike the G20, this is not guaranteed in the future. The United States and others need


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to commit to continuing the MEF as a leader-level forum. Unlike the UN process, which
has a strong bias toward legally binding outcomes, the MEF is agnostic toward the legal
form of what it produces and is therefore better suited to the sort of pledge-and-review
approach that Copenhagen has put in place. Compared with the G20, the MEF would
have an easier time establishing a more formal relationship with the UN process; this, in
turn, would help the MEF exploit the positive aspect of the UN process -- namely,
wealthier developing countries have more difficulty claiming to be poor when genuinely
poor countries are at the table attacking them.

The MEF has also been able to spin off more focused efforts. It should now lead the
charge on the new clean energy ministerial process, which was launched at
Copenhagen and holds enormous promise for transforming global markets in clean
technology. If necessary, the MEF could be reformed to include a small number of
representative developing countries, likely as observers, that are not major emitters --
much like the UN Security Council mixes a regular set of great powers and a
representative group of others. States would need to be careful, however, not to distract
the focus from the biggest emitters.

There is, however, a potential paradox to this strategy: if a turbocharged and reformed
MEF is presented as an alternative to the UN process, it will die quickly. But if it is
entirely subordinated to the UN negotiations, as it has been in the past, it will also
produce nothing of its own. Therefore, a new balance and new relationship between the
two must be negotiated over the coming year. The MEF should report to the United
Nations on its progress, in some cases formally, but it should be willing to forge
agreements on its own. The easy choice for the Mexican hosts of this year‘s negotiations
would be to repeat Denmark‘s almost disastrous attempt to pressure countries into a
maximalist UN agreement. The outcome, however, will almost certainly be no better than
it was in Copenhagen. A more modest approach might not bring immediate glory to

Mexico, but it will do far more good for the planet in the long term.

Business Week: U.S. Aims for Legally Binding Climate Change Agreement in 2010
Foreign Affairs, February 22, 2010, by Alex Morales

The U.S. said it wants to reach a legally binding climate-change agreement at a summit
in Mexico in December, a sign President Barack Obama hasn‘t given up the fight for a
global accord to limit greenhouse gases.

The pact should cover ―all major economies,‖ and include elements from the non-binding
Copenhagen Accord made in December, the State Department said in a letter released
today by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC.

With China and India resisting mandatory curbs on their emissions and legislation in the
U.S. outlining domestic commitments stalled in the Senate, Obama is attempting to keep
the talks alive. A two-year push for a treaty ended in December with a voluntary deal that
wasn‘t accepted by all of the 193 nations present.

―Mexico is an ambitious time frame, but a year later it‘s very possible,‖ Saleemul Huq,
head of climate change at the London-based International Institute for Environment and
Development said today in a telephone interview.



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The fight against global warming has been beset in recent months by the failure of the
UNFCCC to secure a treaty in Copenhagen and the resignation last week of its chief
diplomat, Yvo de Boer. Impediments to a legally binding deal include the lack of a U.S.
domestic law and a reluctance of India and China to adopt mandatory emissions targets.

Treaty Ambitions

A treaty would provide clarity about future greenhouse gas emissions caps for the
carbon markets. UN carbon credits have fallen 13 percent since the start of the
Copenhagen meeting, which was aiming to set limits for emissions of carbon dioxide
after 2012.

Today, the U.S. said portions of the Copenhagen Accord should be used for the
eventual agreement in Mexico, along with some of the UN‘s official negotiating texts,
including one on forestry that reflected ―emerging consensus.‖

Obama took office last year pledging to enact a cap-and trade law to reduce output of
carbon dioxide, blamed for damaging the environment. Legislation passed by the House
of Representatives, which would cut emissions by 17 percent by 2020, has stalled in the
Senate, where the Democrats lost a seat last month. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a
California Democrat, has said ―a large cap-and-trade bill isn‘t going to go ahead this
time.‖

China‘s Position

China has said it would take efforts to reduce emissions per unit of economic output by
40 percent to 45 percent in 2020 from 2005, and India pledged an ―intensity‖ cut of 20
percent to 25 percent over the same period.

―If the U.S. were to come with domestic legislation in place, I think the Chinese and the
Indians would be prepared to come forward and agree to something legally binding,‖
Huq said. ―They won‘t be happy -- they‘ll negotiate -- but I think they‘ll eventually sign
up.‖

The UN has said the Copenhagen Accord has no legal-standing within the treaty
negotiations because it wasn‘t accepted by consensus and that any future agreement
should be based on official negotiating documents.

De Boer, who tried for two years to get a treaty agreed, said last week in an interview
that ―while Copenhagen was a disappointment in a formal sense, in a political step it was
an incredibly important push forward.‖ In January, he said it ―remains to be seen‖
whether the two-week Mexican meeting, which starts Nov. 29, will produce a legal text.

Over the past month, countries including Mexico, China and India have said more
negotiating sessions need to be organized prior to the Cancun summit, in additional to
an already-schedule mid-year conference in June. In today‘s letter, the U.S. said smaller
gatherings were preferable.




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―A key lesson of 2009 is that significant negotiating time is less important in reaching
agreement than providing adequate time for countries to consult with each other
bilaterally and regionally,‖ the letter said.

Japan Plans to Ignore Any Ban on Bluefin Tuna
The New York Times, February 19, 2010, by David Jolly

PARIS — Japan will not join in any agreement to ban international trade in Atlantic
bluefin tuna under the United Nations treaty on endangered species, the country‘s top
fisheries negotiator said.

The negotiator, Masanori Miyahara, said in a telephone interview this week that Japan
―would have no choice but to take a reservation‖ — in effect, to ignore the ban and leave
its market open to continued imports — if the bluefin tuna were granted most-
endangered species status.

―It‘s a pity,‖ he said, ―but it‘s a matter of principle.‖

Mr. Miyahara, Japan‘s top delegate to the United Nations Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, referred to as Cites, said the
convention was the wrong forum for managing the fishing of the bluefin tuna.

A formal proposal for a ban — which requires the approval of two-thirds of its 175
member countries — is scheduled to be presented at a Cites meeting next month in
Doha, Qatar.

The position of Japan, which consumes about 80 percent of the bluefin tuna caught in
the Mediterranean, ―is very simple,‖ Mr. Miyahara said. He said Japan believed that a
different organization, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic
Tunas, known as Iccat, should manage bluefin tuna catches and protection.
Mr. Miyahara said Japan acknowledged that the bluefin tuna needed protection, but the
endangered-species convention was ―quite inflexible,‖ he said.

Historically, he said, almost no species added to the Cites endangered species list had
ever been removed. ―We don‘t believe the bluefin tuna is endangered to that extent,‖ he
said.

Meanwhile, Europe appeared to be moving to a compromise.

France, home of the largest Mediterranean bluefin fleet, said on Feb. 3 that it was
prepared to back an international trade ban at the Cites meeting, to take effect after 18
months. But a person with knowledge of the European Commission‘s thinking who
asked not to be identified because the commission had not formally adopted the
position, said on Friday that officials were planning to propose that Iccat be given a last
chance to give depleted stocks of the tuna a chance to recover by temporarily banning
all commercial trade in the fish.

If climate science is dubious, shouldn't governments give carmakers a break?
The Detroit News (Opinion), February 19, 2010, by Neil Winton




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In a sane world, European governments would be scrambling to rescind tight regulation
and extortionate taxation introduced in the name of saving the planet from the ravages of
global warming, induced by CO2 emissions from cars.

After all, the science justifying action to raise the cost of energy generally and forcing the
European automotive industry to raise its fuel economy to unattainably high levels, has
been shown to be in doubt, if not downright fraudulent.

At the very least, you would expect some acknowledgment of the fact that all these
swingeing taxes, which will ratchet down on the European car manufacturers over the
next 10 years, might not be justified. But it seems that our leaders in Europe and not to
mention the U.S. are turning a blind eye to mounting evidence that humans are not in
fact warming the climate.

This matters a lot because the threat of climate change has been the excuse for
governments to introduce taxation and regulation raising the cost of electricity and
energy in general, and threatening to imperil the automotive industry in particular.


Experts are divided over what action should be taken. Some say the EU rules should be
watered down, and the most stringent delayed for up to five years. Others say being
forced to comply with tight fuel efficiency rules will be a long-term plus for European
manufacturers because the global car market will be increasingly biased toward small,
fuel-sipping cars. This also threatens to isolate American manufacturers, which face less
stringent targets.

Eye-watering regulation

In Europe, car manufacturers, starting in 2012, must raise the average fuel economy of
their fleets in stages to about 43 miles per U.S. gallon by 2015. By 2020, this must be
raised close to an eye-watering 60 miles per U.S. gallon equivalent. The 2015 rules will
be hugely expensive, adding $675 to $1,350 to the cost of every car made in Europe,
according to Deutsche Bank, and some would say massively pointless, given that
Europe's car makers already achieve close to an average 35.5 mpg, which U.S. car
makers must achieve by 2016.

(European lawmakers use "grammes per kilometer" to measure the output of CO2, but
the actual miles per gallon equivalent is easier to follow).

If this massive investment in fuel efficiency really was going to save mankind from
disastrous global warming, nobody would argue. But evidence from the United Nations
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), used by governments to push
policies that they say will save the world, has been tainted by claims of political
interference and accusations that scientists involved in collecting the data have been
exaggerating numbers which point to global warming and ignoring evidence to the
contrary.

Glacier canard




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News last year that Britain's Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, a
major contributor to IPCC reports, had fiddled with the numbers was followed by the
Himalayan glacier canard. This purported to prove that all the glaciers in the Himalayas
would melt by 2035, but was based on hearsay, not science. The same was true for
reports on Amazon jungle retreat and accelerating hurricane activity; both shown not to
be linked to human CO2 activity. This was in addition to the "hockey stick" controversy,
said to show a recent surge in warming after about 1,000 years of steadiness. In fact,
researchers used an algorithm designed to ignore evidence of previous warming,
exaggerate recent data, and produce a graph which was flat for a thousand years, but
surged over the last century producing a hockey stick shape.

And just last week professor Phil Jones, formerly director of the Climatic Research Unit,
conceded that the world might have been warmer 1,000 years ago, suggesting a lack of
human impact, and said for the past 15 years there has been no "statistically significant"
warming.

Science fiction writer Michael Crichton wrote a satire in 2004 called "State of Fear," in
which radical activists were so sure that action needed to be taken to stop humans killing
the planet, that they induced all kinds of disasters to "prove" that they were right.
Crichton was moved to write the book because, as a scientist, he had delved into the
justification for human induced global warming, and found to his astonishment that the
evidence was very thin indeed. As Reuters' Science and Technology Correspondent in
the 1990s I came to a similar conclusion.

Was it a satire? It seems that "State of Fear" might not have been such a satire after all.
And European politicians are behaving as if nothing has happened.

Connie Hedegaard of Denmark, briefly chairman of the U.N. Climate conference in
Copenhagen last December, took up her position this month as new European Union
Climate Change Commissioner, and quickly talked about action to fix global warming
and climate change as though nothing had happened to cast doubts on the conventional
wisdom. This week, press reports from Germany said the European Commission, the
EU's executive branch, wants to introduce a continent wide CO2 tax, to save the planet.
Europeans already often pay more than three times what Americans pay for a gallon of
gasoline. In Britain, gasoline taxes add about 70 percent to the price.

According to Garel Rhys, emeritus professor at Cardiff University's Business School and
automotive industry expert, European politicians should postpone the 2020 requirement
of close to 60 mpg, and make the earlier rules easier to meet, pending a re-examination
of the science which attributes global warming to human activity.

"If what is taken as gospel in terms of global warming turns out not to be the case, then
the automotive industry has been encouraged and forced to spend huge amounts of
money effectively for nothing," Rhys said.

"At the very least, the EU should rejig the timetable so that 2020 standards are put back
to 2025, and that would give a chance for the truth or otherwise about the climate debate
to come to the fore. The 2020 standards are impossible to meet with petrol and diesel
engines alone, and we are assuming a breakthrough in battery technologies," Rhys said.



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Score two out of three

Battery vehicles aren't yet capable of getting close to the internal combustion engine,
which provides speed, acceleration and range. Battery engines can only serve up two
out of three of these.

"The consumer has been left out. They will be reluctant to buy a product which is
inferior," Rhys said.

Roger Helmer, British Conservative and member of the European Parliament, wonders
why politicians have taken aim at the car industry in their quest to cut CO2, when the
insulation of buildings can reap gains at least as big, at relatively little cost.

"So why does the commission choose to hit on the auto industry rather than insulate
buildings? Because beating up the auto industry is sexy and macho and gets great
headlines, whereas insulating buildings is boring," Helmer said.

Transport and environment

Not surprisingly, environmental groups aren't keen on cutting any slack for car makers.

Dudley Curtis, spokesman for Brussels-based Transport & Environment lobby group,
doesn't believe that the EU rules will stop healthy manufacturers from making profits, or
that the case for human influence on the climate has been undermined. Apart from
anything else, greater gas mileage will benefit people.

"Fuel efficiency targets mean people get cars that use less fuel, so they save money,
where is the problem?" Curtis said.

Professor Peter Cooke of Britain's Buckingham University thinks forcing Europe's
manufacturers to raise their fuel efficiency will pay long-term dividends for them because
the car market is becoming ever more global and new markets in Asia and South
America will want small, fuel efficient cars.

David Bailey, professor of International Business Strategy and Economics at Coventry
University, agrees.

"Manufacturers want stability and a set of targets they have to achieve. We should use
regulation to stimulate green technology which will be a long-term benefit. I don't think
we should change targets, but we should help them financially to get there. I'd like to see
activist industrial policy that supports green technologies," Bailey said.

Head start for Europe

"Even if that was the case (doubts about climate change science), and I don't think
things have changed that much, Europe should get a head start to give it a competitive
edge. The EU rules are a sensible way to get ahead and give Europe a head start on the
rest of the world," Bailey said.




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Cardiff University's Rhys is not convinced, and says the car manufacturers are facing a
double whammy. The recession and weak markets are making it difficult to make any
money at all, while regulators dream up new ways to make production more expensive
and profits more elusive.

"This new (CO2) regulation is costing literally billions of euros, but given the nature of the
market place, they will not be able to recoup spending, so profits have been cut very
thinly indeed. On top of this the manufacturers are having to meet social needs, which
includes extra safety, noise, as well as tougher fuel efficiency requirements," Rhys said.

Middle way

Perhaps there is a middle way, which both sides can accept.

Everyone knows fossil fuels will run out sooner rather than later, and that remaining
supplies should be used economically and sensibly, while providing research funds to
make sure that fuel cells or wind, tidal, nuclear fission or fusion technologies can be up
and running in time. Surely this can be done without governments insisting our cars be
ridiculously small, affordable only to the rich, and trying to shame us into submission by
saying if we don't comply, we all die.

Neil Winton, European columnist for Autos Insider, is based in Sussex, England.


U.N. report says global e-waste grows by 40 mil. tons a year
OregonLive.com. February 22, 2010, by the Associated Press


(AP) — JAKARTA, (Kyodo)-Waste from dilapidated electronics grows globally by about
40 million tons a year with computer waste in India expected to jump by 500 percent
from 2007 levels by 2020, according to a U.N. Environment Program report released
Monday.
The report, issued during a meeting on Bali of the parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and
Stockholm Conventions dealing with hazardous electronic waste, saw a sharp increase
of the sales of electronic products in developing countries in the next 10 years.
It predicted that by 2020, the e-waste, which includes old and discarded desk and laptop
computers, printers, mobile phones, pagers, digital photo and music devices,
refrigerators, toys and televisions, will increase by up to 400 percent from 2007 levels in
China, as well as in South Africa.
"This report gives new urgency to establishing ambitious, formal and regulated
processes for collecting and managing e-waste via the setting up of large, efficient
facilities in China," UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said.
"China is not alone in facing a serious challenge. India, Brazil, Mexico and others may
also face rising environmental damage and health problems if e-waste recycling is left to
the vagaries of the informal sector," he added.
According to the report, the United States is the biggest producer of e-waste with about
3 million tons every year.



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It is followed by China which produces about 2.3 million tons of e-waste annually.
Despite having banned e-waste imports, the country remains a major e-waste dumping
ground for developed countries.
The report also said that by 2020, e-waste from discarded mobile phones in China will
be about seven times higher than 2007 levels, while in India it will be about 18 times
higher. Globally, more than 1 billion mobile phones were sold in 2007, up from 896
million in the previous year.
However, Konrad Osterwalder, rector of the United Nations University, which coauthored
the report, stressed that if properly handled, e-waste can be transformed into assets and
create new businesses with decent green jobs.
"In the process, countries can help cut pollution linked with mining and manufacturing,
and with the disposal of old devices," he said.
Steiner said boosting developing country e-waste recycling rates can have the potential
to curb health problems, generate decent employment, cut greenhouse gas emissions
and recover a wide range of valuable metals including silver, gold, palladium, copper
and indium.
"By acting now and planning forward, many countries can turn an e-challenge into an e-
opportunity," he said.

Climate Change and Open Science
The Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2010, by Gordon Crovitz

'Unequivocal." That's quite a claim in this skeptical era, so it's been enlightening to watch
the unraveling of the absolute certainty of global warming caused by man. Now even
authors of the 2007 United Nations report that "warming of the climate system is
unequivocal" have backed off its key assumptions and dire warnings.

Science is having its Walter Cronkite moment. Back when news was delivered by just
three television networks, Walter Cronkite could end his evening broadcast by declaring,
"And that's the way it is." The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report
likewise purported to proclaim the final word, in 3,000 pages that now turn out to be less
scientific truth than political cover for sweeping economic regulations.

Equivocation has replaced "unequivocal" even among some of the scientists whose
"Climategate" emails discussed how to suppress dissenting views via peer review and
avoid complying with freedom-of-information requests for data.

Phil Jones, the University of East Anglia scientist at the center of the emails, last week
acknowledged to the BBC that there hasn't been statistically significant warming since
1995. He said there was more warming in the medieval period, before today's allegedly
man-made effects. He also said "the vast majority of climate scientists" do not believe
the debate over climate change is settled. Mr. Jones continues to believe in global
warming but acknowledges there's no consensus.

Some journalistic digging into the 2007 U.N. climate change report revealed that its most
quoted predictions were based on dubious sources. The IPCC now admits that its
prediction that the Himalayan glaciers might disappear by 2035 was a mistake, based on


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an inaccurate citation to the World Wildlife Foundation. This advocacy group was also
the basis for a claim the IPCC has backed away from—that up to 40% of the Amazon is
endangered.

The IPCC report mistakenly doubled the percentage of the Netherlands currently below
sea level. John Christy, a former lead author of the IPCC report, now says the
"temperature records cannot be relied on as indicators of global change." As the case
collapsed, the top U.N. climate-change bureaucrat, Yvo de Boer, announced his
resignation last week.

The climate topic is important in itself, but it is also a leading indicator of how our
expectation of full access to information makes us deeply skeptical when we're instead
given faulty or partial information. In just three years since the report was issued, we
have gone from purported unanimity among scientists to a breakdown in any consensus.
Opinion polls reflect this U-turn, with growing public skepticism.

Skeptics don't doubt science—they doubt unscientific claims cloaked in the authority of
science. The scientific method is a foundation of our information age, with its approach
of a clearly stated hypothesis tested through a transparent process with open data,
subject to review.

The IPCC report was instead crafted by scientists hand-picked by governments when
leading politicians were committed to global warming. Unsurprisingly, the report claimed
enough certainty to justify massive new spending and regulations.

Some in the scientific community are now trying to restore integrity to climate science.
"The truth, and this is frustrating for policymakers, is that scientists' ignorance of the
climate system is enormous," Mr. Christy wrote in the current issue of Nature. "There is
still much messy, contentious, snail-paced and now, hopefully, transparent, work to do."

Mr. Christy also makes the good point that groupthink—technically known as
"informational cascades"—is a particular risk for scientists. He proposes a Wikipedia-like
approach in which scientists could openly contribute and debate theories and data in
real time.

The unraveling of the case for global warming has left laymen uncertain about what to
believe and whom to trust. Experts usually know more than amateurs, but increasingly
they get the benefit of the doubt only if they operate openly, without political or other
biases.

We need scientists who apply scientific objectivity, or the closest approximation of it, and
then present their information with enough transparency that people can weigh the
evidence. Instead of a group of scientists anointed by the U.N. telling us what to think,
the spirit of the age is that scientists need to provide open access to information on
which others can make policy decisions.

The lesson of the chill of the global-warming consensus is this: Those who want to
persuade others of the truth as they see it need to make their case as transparently as
possible. Technology enables access to information and leads us to expect open



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debates, conducted honestly and in full view. This is inconvenient for those who want to
claim unequivocal truth without having the evidence. But that's the way it is.

Scientists Retract Paper on Rising Sea Levels Due to Errors
Fox News, February 22, 2010

Scientists have been forced to retract a paper that claimed sea level were rising thanks
to the effects of global warming, after mistakes were discovered that undermined the
results.

The study was published in Nature Geoscience and predicted that sea levels would rise
by as much as 2.7 feet by the end of the twenty-first century.

The paper also highlighted that it reinforced the conclusions of the U.N.'s controversial
Fourth Assessment report, which warned of the dangerous of man-made climate
change.

However, mistakes in time intervals and inaccurately applied statistics have forced the
authors to retract their paper -- the first official retraction ever for the three-year-old
journal, notes the Guardian. In an officially published retraction of their paper, the
authors acknowledged these mistakes as factors that compromised the results.

"We no longer have confidence in our projections for the twentieth and twenty-first
centuries, and for this reason the authors retract the results pertaining to sea-level rise
after 1900," wrote authors Mark Siddall, Thomas Stocker and Peter Clark.

Since the leak of e-mails from the U.K.'s top global warming scientists in early
December, many other errors and sloppy mistakes have been uncovered in leading
report by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Flaws in
weather stations have led some to question claims of rising temperatures, sloppy math
led to holes in postulates that the Himalayas were rapidly melting and fears of a man-
made food shortage in Africa seem unsubstantiated as well.

Announcing the formal retraction of the paper from the journal, Siddall told the
Guardian,, "It's one of those things that happens. People make mistakes and mistakes
happen in science." A formal retraction was required, rather than a correction, because
the errors undermined the study's conclusion.

"Retraction is a regular part of the publication process," he said. "Science is a
complicated game and there are set procedures in place that act as checks and
balances."

UN warns of threats from high-tech waste in developing countries
The Canadian Press, February 22, 2010, by Jim Gomez

BALI, Indonesia — Sales of household electrical gadgets will boom across the
developing world in the next decade, wreaking environmental havoc if there are no new
strategies to deal with the discarded TVs, cellphones and computers, a U.N. report said
Monday.



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The environmental and health hazards posed by the globe's mounting electronic waste
are particularly urgent in developing countries, which are already dumping grounds for
rich nations' high-tech trash, the U.N. Environment Program study said.

Electronic waste is piling up around the world at a rate estimated at 40 million U.S. tons
(36 million metric tons) a year, the report said, noting that data remain insufficient.

China produces 2.6 million U.S. tons (2.3 million metric tons) of electronic waste a year,
second only to the United States with 3.3 million U.S. tons (3 million metric tons), it said.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said the globe was ill-prepared to deal with the
explosion of electronic gadgets over the past decade.

"The world is now confronted with a massive wave of electronic waste that is going to
come back and hit us, particularly for least-developed countries, that may become a
dumping ground," Steiner told The Associated Press ahead of a UNEP executive
meeting in Bali.

He said some Americans and Europeans have sent broken computers to African
countries falsely declared as donations. The computers were dumped outside slums as
toxic waste and became potential hazards to people, he said.

The report predicts that China's waste rate from old computers will quadruple from 2007
levels by 2020. Meanwhile, in India, waste from old refrigerators - which contain
hazardous chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbon gases - could triple by
2020.

It said the fastest growth in electronic waste in recent years has been in communications
devices such as cellphones, pagers and smart phones.

Most of the recycling of electronic waste in developing countries such as China and India
is done by inefficient and unregulated backyard operators. The environmentally harmful
practice of heating electronic circuit boards over coal-fired grills to leach out gold is
widespread in both countries.

The report called for regulations for collecting and managing electronic waste, and urged
that technologies be transferred to the industrializing world to cope with such waste.

While electrical products such refrigerators, air conditioners, printers, DVD players and
digital music players account for only a small part of the world's garbage, their
components make them particularly hazardous.

Prof. Eric Williams, an Arizona State University expert on industrial ecology who did not
participate in the UNEP study, said it was difficult to comment on the credibility of the
electronic waste growth forecasts because the report gives little explanation of how they
were calculated.

"It is the environmental intensity of e-waste rather than its total mass that is the main
concern," Williams told the AP via email.



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"If e-waste is recycled informally in the developing world, it causes far worse pollution
than the much larger mass of regular waste in landfills," he said.

McGuirk contributed from Jakarta, Indonesia.


U.N. Report to Quantify the Environmental Impact of Major Companies
The New York Times, February 19, 2010, by Sindya Bhanoo

A United Nations report to be released this spring finds that the world‘s top 3,000
companies cause $2.2 trillion in environmental damage per year, according to the
consulting company commissioned to write the report.

The report is being compiled by the United Kingdom-based environmental consulting
firm Trucost, and is based on eight years of research on large companies.

―It‘s a kind of examination of company impacts and also impacts of supplied goods and
services,‖ said Richard Mattison, the chief operating officer of Trucost. ―Things like
greenhouse gas emissions, local pollutions, particulate emissions, use of timber and
water.‖

Mr. Mattison would not reveal what companies the report investigates, but said that it
includes all 500 companies on Standard & Poor‘s list of the largest publicly traded
companies in the United States.

This includes companies like Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble and Apple.

One of the challenges Trucost faced was in assessing a company‘s environmental
impact through the entire supply chain, assessing the impact of not only a company, but
also their suppliers, often located in countries where there are fewer regulations and
records.

Currently, ―some of those risks don‘t become inherent in the supply chain and indeed
pose a risk to the countries involved,‖ he said.

The intent of the report is to educate investors who want to affect positive environmental
change through business decisions, Mr. Mattison said.

―One of the things investors can do is engage with companies in a collaborative way,‖ he
said.

The study was commissioned by two groups: the United Nations Principles for
Responsible Investment and the United Nations Environment Programme and will be
available in May.

Climate alarmists feeling more heat
The Edmonton Journal, February 21, 2010, by Lorne Gunter

The empire has begun to strike back.



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It was only a matter of time before the climate alarmists got their feet back under them.
There is too much at stake politically, too many careers and reputations on the line, too
much grant money for researchers and donations for environmental groups, too much
green-tax revenue for governments, too much prestige in academic circles at risk for
those who have asserted for more than a decade that man is causing damaging climate
change to slink away in defeat.

So it is of little surprise that in the past couple of weeks many alarmists have begun
asserting that despite all the revelations of the past three months about how key climate
scientists and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
have corrupted the scientific process in an obsessive drive to prove that climate change
is real, nothing has undermined the "fact" that the Earth is warming dangerously.

Since late November, the True Believers have watched in stunned silence as the
foundation of the climate-change theory has suffered one body blow after another.

First it was the revelation that scientists at the Climate Research Unit (CRU) in England -
- perhaps the most influential of the three sources the United Nations relies on for most
of its climate data -- were fudging their data to show more warming in recent decades
than had actually occurred.

At the same time, these scientists were doing their best to upend the peer-review
process at major scientific journals so scientists who disagreed with them would be
unable to get published. And they were withholding their raw data and computer codes
from other scientists and government investigators so no one else could validate or
debunk their research by attempting to replicate it.

The alarmists have recently begun to rally around Phil Jones, the discredited head of the
CRU. Nearly two week ago, Jones gave an interview to the BBC in which he admitted
there had been no "statistically significant" global warming in the past 15 years.

Some news sources and global-warming skeptics overplayed Jones's exact words. Last
Sunday's Daily Mail in Britain, for instance, claimed Jones had performed a "U-turn" in
his claims for warming.

Jones, in fact, continues to insist the Earth is warming. But what he now admits is that it
is not warming that rapidly (just 0.12 C per decade) and not "at the 95-per-cent
significance level," the level needed to assert statistical certainty.

He also now allows that there may have been other periods in the past 1,000 years that
were as warm as or warmer than today.

While this is not a complete about-face, it is hardly business-as-usual, as the alarmist
would have us believe. Even if Jones is still insisting that global warming is happening,
there is now a measure of doubt in his claims that never existed before. What makes
Jones's words significant is not that they reveal some 180-degree change in his thinking,
but that for the first time he admits significant uncertainty in the so-called settled science
of climate change.




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If leading climate scientists had spent the past 15 years saying the warming they were
seeing wasn't all that significant or that there remained many uncertainties about
predictions of future climate or that some pre-industrial periods had been warmer, would
there have been a Kyoto accord or a Copenhagen Earth summit? Would Al Gore's An
Inconvenient Truth have made $100 million? Would environmentalists have been asked
to write government policy? Would there be any support at all for green taxes and
carbon capture and other measures aimed at curbing carbon dioxide emissions?

Likely not.

Even though alarmists are correct that Jones has not recanted his earlier belief in the
warming theory, he has undergone a significant change.

Or take the assertion, recently very common among alarmists, that NASA's climate
scientists are still finding global warming occurring, so it must still be happening.

Frankly, NASA's climate scientists have hardly more credibility than the CRUs or IPCCs.

NASA is another of the three repositories of climate data relied upon by the UN, but
three years ago a significant error was found in its records. In the 1990s, NASA had
begun keeping temperature records differently, but it had failed to adjust all its pre-1990s
records (about 120 years' worth) to match the new method. When it reconciled its old
records to its new method, recent warm years ceased to be as remarkable. For instance,
1934 replaced 1998 as the warmest year. And 1921 became the third-warmest.

In 2008, NASA substituted September's global temperatures for October's (they claimed
accidentally), thereby distorting upward the worldwide averages for the fall of that year --
an otherwise rather cool year.

And most recently, NASA has been shown to be cherry-picking the Earth stations it uses
to calculate global average. It has been eliminating stations in colder locations (polar,
rural, mountainous) and over-relying on warmer ones (mid-latitudes, urban).

Alarmists may want to believe this changes nothing, but that simply makes them the new
deniers.

Iceberg Ahead
Newsweek, February 19, 2010, by Fred Guterl

One of the most impressive visuals in Al Gore's now famous slide show on global
warming is a graph known as the "hockey stick." It shows temperatures in the Northern
Hemisphere rising slowly for most of the last thousand years and turning steeply upward
in the last half of the 20th century. As evidence of the alarming rate of global warming, it
tells a simple and compelling story. That's one reason the U.N.'s Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change included the graph in the summary of its 2001 report. But is it
true?

The question occurred to Steven McIntyre when he opened his newspaper one morning
in 2002 and there it was—the hockey stick. It was published with an article on the debate
over whether Canada should ratify the Kyoto agreement to curb greenhouse-gas


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emissions. McIntyre had little knowledge of the intricate science of climate change; he
didn't even have a Ph.D. He did have a passion for numbers, however. He also had
some experience in the minerals business, where, he says, people tend to use hockey-
stick graphs when they are trying to pull one over on you. "Reality usually isn't so tidy."

As every climate scientist must know by now, McIntyre's skepticism of the hockey stick
launched him on a midlife career change: he has become the granddaddy of the global
warming "denial" movement. McIntyre asserted that the data of Michael Mann, head of
Penn State's Earth System Science Center, did not support his conclusions, and that a
true graph of temperatures would suggest a cyclical cause of recent warming. Following
in his footsteps, a cottage industry of amateur climatologists have dug into the climate
literature, tried to poke holes in the arguments, and demanded supporting data from
scientists, sometimes under the auspices of Freedom of Information Act requests.

The scientists have resisted these efforts just as fiercely. For the past six years the
conflict has played out in blogs, in the halls of Congress, and in deliberations of the
IPCC. It came to a crescendo with the theft of private e-mails from the University of East
Anglia in England in November, which raised questions about the scientific objectivity of
several prominent researchers, including Phil Jones, who resigned in December as head
of the Climatic Research Unit.

The battle between "alarmists" and "deniers" has taken a huge toll, not just on the
reputations of Jones and the other "climategate" scientists. It has also damaged the
credibility of climate science itself, and threatened more than a decade of diplomatic
efforts to engineer a global reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions. The effort, which
has kept a forward momentum since the Kyoto meeting in 1997, came to a cold stop in
Copenhagen in December. The conference was originally intended to bring the U.S. and
China into a global agreement, but produced nothing of substance. Indeed, the climate
project bears a striking resemblance to health-care reform in the United States—stalled
by a combination of political resistance and hubris.

What went wrong? Part of the blame lies, of course, with those who obstructed the
efforts of the IPCC and the individual scientists, including bloggers who tried to sandbag
scientists with spurious FOIA requests, and the perpetrators (as yet unknown) of the
hack at the Climatic Research Unit. Part of the blame also falls on the climate scientists
themselves. Many of them—including perhaps Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC head—may
have stepped too far over the line from science to advocacy, undermining their own
credibility. Some scientists, as a result, are now calling for a change in tone from
antagonism to reconciliation. Climate science, they say, needs to open its books and be
more tolerant of scrutiny from the outside. Its institutions—notably the IPCC—need to go
about their business with greater transparency. "The circle-the-wagons mentality has
backfired," says Judith Curry, head of Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric
Sciences.

The first thing to fix is the institution that has borne the brunt of the recent public-
relations disaster: the IPCC itself. Recently there have been several minor revelations of
sloppiness. A line in the group's 2007 report stating that glaciers in the Himalayas will
melt entirely by 2035 turns out to have come not from the peer-reviewed literature, but
from a 1999 article in New Scientist, a popular magazine in the U.K. More damaging,
IPCC chairman Pachauri has been acting as a consultant to financial institutions,
including Deutsche Bank and Pegasus, an investment firm. Although he says he has


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donated the proceeds to the nonprofit organization he founded in Delhi to promote
charitable programs in sustainability, many people have wondered whether the head of a
scientific organization that calls itself "policy neutral" should be consulting with banks.
Some have called for his resignation.

Other scientists have gone further than Pachauri in casting aside the appearance of
impartiality. James Hansen—head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and
adjunct professor in the department of earth and environmental sciences at Columbia
University—has unimpeachable scientific credentials. He was a pioneer in building
computer simulations of climate and piecing together the temperature record. But in
recent years he's become an unabashed advocate for draconian cuts in greenhouse
gases, coming out against cap-and-trade—the preferred mechanism of the IPCC and its
parent, the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, to limit greenhouse--gas
emissions by setting a ceiling and allowing countries to trade emissions credits. He has
also gotten himself arrested while protesting mountaintop coal mining in West Virginia
last summer. Has his and his colleagues' advocacy come at the expense of their
scientific reputations? "Absolutely," says Hansen. "But what are we supposed to do? Tell
our grandchildren to buzz off, that we don't give a darn about them?"

Climate science is losing ground with the public, at least in the U.S. In April 2008, 47
percent of Americans believed that human activity is the cause of climate change and 34
percent thought the warming was due to natural geological causes. According to the
polling firm Rasmussen Reports, the numbers in recent months have flipped: the
anthropogenic crowd dropped to 34 percent, and 47 percent now blame nature.

The hockey-stick saga is an example of why advocacy and hubris may have been the
wrong reaction to the assault of McIntyre & Co. The original idea—conceived by Penn
State's Mann while still a postdoctoral researcher—was to surmise temperatures, going
back 1,000 years, from such data as the thickness of the rings of bristlecone pine trees,
which grow faster in warm summers than in cool ones. The method, for technical
reasons, didn't work for the last two decades of the 20th century. It also required some
massaging of the data. This is not to say Mann was conspiring to deceive; the National
Academy of Sciences gave this work a thumbs-up in a 2006 review. The troubles started
after the results were published, when McIntyre began asking Mann for his data.
McIntyre says Mann gave him raw data, but not the meta-data needed to make sense of
them. Mann insists that he handed over all the data it was in his power to divulge. Some
of the most damning passages in the climategate e-mails, however, involve some of the
scientists discussing ways of fending off requests from McIntyre and other bloggers.
Penn State recently cleared Mann of wrongdoing.

Rather than shun the amateurs, climate scientists might find that giving them access to
their data goes a long way to building trust. It might even lead to better science. New
Zealand computer programmer John Graham-Cumming found errors in temperature
data of the U.K.'s Met Hadley research center that an official acknowledged early this
month.

 "I'm not a climate skeptic," Graham-Cumming told The Times of London. "I think it's
pretty sure that the world is warming up, but this does show why the raw data, and not
just the results, should be available."




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That also jibes with Curry's personal experience. As coauthor of a 2005 paper arguing
that the frequency of severe hurricanes has doubled in the past 30 years due to a
warming climate, she felt the sting of criticism from bloggers who questioned her science
and demanded to see her data.

 "I know what it's like to be attacked, and it isn't pleasant," she says. Unlike Jones and
the other climategate scientists, however, Curry obliged her critics. She emerged from
the experience chastened (they found mistakes), but also convinced that her fellow
climate scientists are doing themselves and the public a disservice by ignoring bloggers
and skeptics.

Another way to build trust might be to toughen up standards on the science itself. In an
issue as intensely politicized as climate, where billions of dollars are riding on policy
decisions based on the outcome of the next study, maintaining scientific objectivity
cannot be easy.

In particular, climate scientists are often doing what's known as meta-analyses, which
are studies that draw together data from other studies. They could be more vulnerable to
charges of bias.

Plans to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and institute cap-and-trade measures are now
mired in politics and a poor global economy. In the U.S. the House cap-and-trade bill is
almost certain to die in the Senate.

The Obama administration will probably be able to push through measures to cut
greenhouse-gas emissions, mainly through the EPA, but until jobs recover it isn't likely to
press too hard toward the goal of 17 percent reductions by 2020.

Any new initiatives on climate, say White House aides, are going to have to come as
part of an energy bill that emphasizes the development of new green technologies, such
as alternative forms of energy and energy-efficiency improvements. President Obama's
$8 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear-power plants is a case in point.

The climate woes will make it harder for the West to push Beijing to curb emissions
when the two sit down at the negotiation table in Cancún, Mexico, in December. China
isn't likely to commit to any big cuts unless the U.S. agrees to follow suit.

 "To get a deal in Cancún, insofar as the Chinese see it, the first thing on the list is that
the U.S. has to act," says William Chandler, an expert on China's energy policy at the
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. That's a new twist on the old standoff: one
reason the U.S. never ratified Kyoto was because it let China and India off the hook.

That leaves the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, which has focused
climate talks almost exclusively on emissions cuts and cap-and-trade, with no viable
program. What's needed is a Plan B: promoting new energy technologies, helping poor
countries adapt to a warmer world, developing aerosols that could lower temperatures
should warming go haywire.

The resignation last week of Yvo de Boer, who led the U.N. organization through the
Copenhagen talks, offers the opportunity for a fresh start.




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Twenty years ago, before anybody outside a small circle of meteorologists cared about
climate, Phil Jones completed a study that reads like a parody of dull science. Called
"Assessment of Urbanization Effects in Time Series of Surface Air Temperature Over
Land," it was essentially a look at thermometers around the world. Even Al Gore
probably gave it a miss.

For the past few months, however, tabloid headlines (climategate chaos and how
climategate boss broke rules by hiding key data) have screamed at Jones for missing
documents that don't have an impact on the study's results, among other indiscretions.

Last week Jones told Nature that his team's handling of the missing documents from the
1990 study was "not acceptable." It was a welcome moment of contrition from one of the
world's eminent scientists. If we're lucky, it will mark a turning point.


Climate science tantrums
The Washington Post (Opinion), February 21, 2010, by George F. Will

Science, many scientists say, has been restored to her rightful throne because
progressives have regained power. Progressives, say progressives, emulate the cool
detachment of scientific discourse. So hear the calm, collected voice of a scientist
lavishly honored by progressives, Rajendra Pachauri .

He is chairman of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC), which shared the 2007 version of the increasingly weird Nobel Peace Prize.
Denouncing persons skeptical about the shrill certitudes of those who say global
warming poses an imminent threat to the planet, he says:

"They are the same people who deny the link between smoking and cancer. They are
people who say that asbestos is as good as talcum powder -- and I hope they put it on
their faces every day ."

Do not judge him as harshly as he speaks of others. Nothing prepared him for the
unnerving horror of encountering disagreement.

Global warming alarmists, long cosseted by echoing media, manifest an interesting
incongruity -- hysteria and name-calling accompanying serene assertions about the
"settled science" of climate change. Were it settled, we would be spared the hyperbole
that amounts to Ring Lardner's "Shut up, he explained."

The global warming industry, like Alexander in the famous children's story, is having a
terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Actually, a bad three months, which began Nov.
19 with the publication of e-mails indicating attempts by scientists to massage data and
suppress dissent in order to strengthen "evidence" of global warming.

But there already supposedly was a broad, deep and unassailable consensus. Strange.

Next came the failure of The World's Last -- We Really, Really Mean It -- Chance, a.k.a.
the Copenhagen climate change summit. It was a nullity, and since then things have
been getting worse for those trying to stampede the world into a spasm of prophylactic
statism.


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In 2007, before the economic downturn began enforcing seriousness and discouraging
grandstanding, seven western U.S. states (and four Canadian provinces) decided to fix
the planet on their own.

California's Arnold Schwarzenegger intoned, "We cannot wait for the United States
government to get its act together on the environment." The 11 jurisdictions formed what
is now called the Western Climate Initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions starting
in 2012.

Or not. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer recently suspended her state's participation in what has
not yet begun, and some Utah legislators are reportedly considering a similar action.
Brewer worries, sensibly, that it would impose costs on businesses and consumers. She
also ordered reconsideration of Arizona's strict vehicle emission rules, modeled on
incorrigible California's, lest they raise the cost of new cars.

Last week, BP America, ConocoPhillips and Caterpillar, three early members of the 31-
member U.S. Climate Action Partnership , said: Oh, never mind.

They withdrew from USCAP . It is a coalition of corporations and global warming alarm
groups that was formed in 2007 when carbon rationing legislation seemed inevitable and
collaboration with the rationers seemed prudent. A spokesman for Conoco said: "We
need to spend time addressing the issues that impact our shareholders and consumers."
What a concept.

Global warming skeptics, too, have erred. They have said there has been no statistically
significant warming for 10 years. Phil Jones, former director of Britain's Climatic
Research Unit, source of the leaked documents, admits it has been 15 years .

 Small wonder that support for radical remedial action, sacrificing wealth and freedom to
combat warming, is melting faster than the Himalayan glaciers that an IPCC report
asserted, without serious scientific support, could disappear by 2035 .

Jones also says that if during what is called the Medieval Warm Period (circa 800-1300)
global temperatures may have been warmer than today's, that would change the debate.
Indeed it would. It would complicate the task of indicting contemporary civilization for
today's supposedly unprecedented temperatures.

Last week, Todd Stern, America's special envoy for climate change -- yes, there is one;
and people wonder where to begin cutting government -- warned that those interested in
"undermining action on climate change" will seize on "whatever tidbit they can find ."
Tidbits like specious science, and the absence of warming?

It is tempting to say, only half in jest, that Stern's portfolio violates the First Amendment,
which forbids government from undertaking the establishment of religion.

 A religion is what the faith in catastrophic man-made global warming has become. It is
now a tissue of assertions impervious to evidence, assertions that everything, including
a historic blizzard, supposedly confirms and nothing, not even the absence of warming,
can falsify.



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                               General Environment News




   LA Times: Ecuador effort to protect nature reserve in peril
   Canoe.ca: Reports explore impact on environment
   The New York Times: Obama Mounts a Last-Ditch Attempt to Pass a 'Hybrid' Climate
    and Energy Bill
   The Montreal Gazette: Public sector getting greener
   Environmental Leader: Canada Proposes National Wastewater Regulation
   The Telegraph-Journal: Charest makes case for switch to renewable energy
   The New York Times: EPA Budget Hearings to Serve as Battleground for Climate
    Policies
   Reuters: Senate weighs final push to move climate bill
   Reuters: Caterpillar Joins FutureGen Clean Coal Alliance
   Reuters: Water Waste A Kink In New York Shale Gas Future
   Reuters: House Committee Probes Natgas Drilling Practice
   Reuters: EPA Announces Plan To Clean Up Great Lakes
   The New York Times: Agreement Reached on Klamath River
   LA Times: Saving the Amazon may be the most cost-effective way to cut greenhouse gas
    emissions
   LA Times: Clean energy is mired in politics
   LA Times: Experts settle hurricane and global warming feud; predict bigger storms, but
    fewer ones
   The Vancouver Sun: Figuring out how 'global warming' becomes 'no global warming'
   Nature: Fixing the communications failure


Ecuador effort to protect nature reserve in peril
LA Times, February 21, 2010, by Chris Kraul

Reporting from Quito, Ecuador — Ecuador is trying to salvage its campaign to enlist
international sponsors to protect a pristine nature reserve in the Amazon, after an initial
drive ended in disarray and doubts about whether President Rafael Correa would leave
the park's oil riches untouched.

Correa recently appointed former Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa to head a
new panel to seek donations from Arab and Asian countries for the 2.4-million-acre
Yasuni National Park, one of the world's most biodiverse nature reserves.

Members of a previous panel of environmentalists, as well as Foreign Minister Fander
Falconi, resigned last month after Correa publicly berated the Yasuni proposal they had
spent two years developing, calling them "infantile environmentalists." The panel had
completed a draft proposal and secured tentative commitments from the governments of
Spain, Germany, Belgium and Sweden to contribute $1.7 billion -- about half the amount
demanded by Correa.




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"The president has declared his commitment to continue with the Yasuni initiative,"
Espinosa told reporters last month. "He has asked me to coordinate, supervise and
organize the work, but who is really behind this big dream is the president himself."

Ecuador's plan to preserve Yasuni won international plaudits when it was unveiled in
2007. Foreign governments concerned about global warming and pollution would in
effect pay Ecuador to leave 870 million barrels of Yasuni oil in the ground, 20% of the
country's known reserves.

The goal was to save Yasuni's rain forest from the ravages of oil development that has
stained other parts of Ecuador, particularly around Lago Agrio. Oil spills there have
created health issues, including high cancer rates, and blighted the environment,
according to a $27-billion lawsuit filed against Chevron by Ecuadorean
environmentalists.

Chevron denies that it is at fault. The company in 2001 acquired Texaco, which explored
for and extracted oil in Lago Agrio beginning in 1964 in partnership with Ecuador's state
oil company, Petroecuador.

The draft proposal by the previous panel, headed by former Quito Mayor Roque Sevilla,
called for the money to go into a trust fund administered by the United Nations
Development Program. The interest from the fund was to have paid for reforestation,
social aid to indigenous communities and clean-energy projects. The principal would
remain untouched -- unless Ecuador exploited Yasuni's oil, in which case it was to be
returned to donors.

Many environmentalists mourned the collapse of the deal that would have preserved a
rain forest of uniquely concentrated biodiversity at the meeting place of the Amazon, the
Andes mountains and the equator.

The United Nations in 1989 declared the park a "world biosphere reserve" for its unique
"bank" of wildlife and plants. Yasuni is also home to several indigenous communities,
including the Huaorani, that live in voluntary isolation.

"In one hectare you have more species of trees and shrubs than in Canada and the U.S.
combined," said Quito biologist and Yasuni expert David Romo Vallejo, a professor at
the University of San Francisco of Quito. "Yasuni has 630 species of birds, or 44% of
what's in the Amazon basin, and 130 amphibian, 80 bat and 90 reptile species."

Members of Sevilla's team pursuing the trust fund concept had hoped to unveil it at
December's Copenhagen climate-change summit, thinking they had Correa's support.
But presidential advisor Alexis Mera cautioned them to wait, citing legal problems.

In early January, Correa issued harsh criticism of the panel, prompting the resignation of
member and former Environment Minister Yolanda Kakabadse, who in May was named
the president of World Wildlife Fund. She was not available for comment.




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During one of his regular Saturday television programs, Correa said last month that he
wanted a plan that would preserve the environment but allow for responsible exploitation
of Yasuni oil reserves.

He also said that a trust fund managed by the U.N. would be a violation of Ecuadorean
sovereignty. "We aren't going to let donors set shameful conditions," Correa told his
television audience.

Some observers are pessimistic that foreign sponsors who were once ready to commit
to the trust fund concept will be willing to let the Ecuadorean government, with its history
of instability and fiscal mismanagement, control billions of their donated dollars.

Nor, observers say, will contributors want to pay for a reserve that in effect won't be one
if Correa decides to drill for Yasuni's oil.

Reports explore impact on environment
Canoe.ca, February 22, 2010, by David Canton

Industry Canada recently released four reports which explore the environmental impact
of product design and supply chains. They enable businesses to understand current
trends and recognize the benefits of adopting new and more environmentally friendly
practices.

The reports are relevant to any business that designs or manufactures products, or is
involved in shipping them to retailers or consumers. They are available on the Industry
Canada website at

A key finding is that "firms are using several Design for Environment strategies including:
design for resource and emission efficiency; design for recyclability, disassembly, and
environmentally friendly disposal; and design for reduced packaging". At the same time,
however, small and medium scale businesses may lack the knowledge and resources to
implement the Design for Environment strategies and are less aware of the business
benefits. This report may help those businesses.

The second report -- Green Supply Chain Management: Retail Chains & Consumer
Product Goods -- was prepared by Industry Canada in partnership with Supply Chain
and Logistics Association Canada and Retail Council of Canada. It explores the concept
of Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM), which "is becoming increasingly important
for Canadian retail chains and consumer product goods (CPG) business partners".

One of the key findings is that "many retail chains and CPG manufacturers are seeing
improvements in energy usage, waste reduction, packaging reduction, and greenhouse
gas emissions in distribution activities". This report is beneficial to those in the Canadian
retail and consumer products supply chain.

The third report - Green Supply Chain Management: Manufacturing - was prepared by
Industry Canada in partnership with Supply Chain and Logistics Association Canada and
Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. It explores the trends and the benefits




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associated with adopting GSCM practices in distribution activities and is geared towards
Canadian manufacturing supply chain executives.

One of the key findings is that "the reduction of energy consumption and lowered
greenhouse gas emissions in distribution activities are the two main environmental
improvements arising from the adoption of GSCM practices". It is noted that "since many
GSCM practices require limited investment, are low-risk, and offer short-term return-on-
investment periods, businesses of all sizes are able to engage in these activities".

The fourth report - Green Supply Chain Management: Logistics & Transportation
Services - was prepared by Industry Canada and Supply Chain & Logistics Association
Canada. This report "provides unique insights to help Canadian logistics and
transportation services executives understand the current trends and to recognize the
benefits of adopting GSCM practices".

One of the key findings is "most logistics and transportation service providers
implementing GSCM practices see improvements in energy reduction, waste reduction,
and reduced packaging in distribution activities".

Obama Mounts a Last-Ditch Attempt to Pass a 'Hybrid' Climate and Energy Bill
The New York Times, February 22, 2010, by Joel Kirkland

The White House is mounting a last-ditch effort to piece together an energy and climate
change bill that has enough incentives for nuclear power, natural gas and the coal
industry to muster the votes needed to pass it this year.

As Democrats enter a turbulent and high-stakes political season, President Obama is
striving for consensus on a path forward that can deliver substantial greenhouse gas
emissions reductions and satisfy concerns in the Senate about energy security. In an
address to the nation's top CEOs at a Business Roundtable meeting scheduled for
Wednesday, Obama is expected to discuss his energy plans and, according to sources,
roll out a proposal meant to incentivize coal-burning power plants to switch to cleaner-
burning natural gas.

Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, said the ongoing efforts are
aimed at a bill that is a "hybrid of ideas" that would attract enough votes from fence-
sitting Democrats whose states are heavily reliant on coal and from Republican ranks to
secure passage through the Senate.

"I've never seen everyone so engaged in something that conventional wisdom thinks is
dead," Krupp said, explaining that recent White House proposals providing more
government support for nuclear power plants and incentives for the coal industry to
adopt carbon capture and sequestration technology will probably be part of the evolving
package.

He said both the White House and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), along with some
industry and environmental groups, are moving with a "sense of urgency" toward a
hybrid energy-climate bill because the time for passing legislation is already growing
short in an election year. Graham has become the lead Republican deal-maker on such




                                                                                      98
an approach. "Everyone realizes the window closes at some point," Krupp said. "I think
the package has to gel in the next couple of months for something to happen."

The prospect of passing an economywide cap-and-trade climate bill in the Senate
appears tenuous at best. A number of political and economic factors started eroding
support almost as soon as the House passed its legislation in June. In addition, the
election of Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts in January reshuffled the
deck by breaking the Democrats' filibuster-proof majority. Stubborn jobless numbers in a
still-ailing economy and political tides suggesting Democrats could lose a slice of their
big majority in Congress after midterm elections have pushed top administration officials
to seek more consensus from traditional sectors of the energy industry and from coal-
country senators.

White House moves to sweeten the pot

Obama continues to call for a broad approach that wraps together energy and climate
provisions. In his latest public comments, which came in a town hall meeting in Nevada
on Friday, Obama stuck to his guns in explaining the need for an eventual price on
industrial carbon emissions, though he made no mention of the House's cap-and-trade
legislation.

"That's the only idea that we're trying to talk about when it comes to these greenhouse
gases causing global warming," he said, referring to the use of price signals as
incentives for companies to transition to high-efficiency technology and cleaner fuels.

"The idea has been that if we put a price on these carbons," he told the audience, "then
maybe that would be a way that companies would all respond and start inventing new
things that would make our planet cleaner."

But Obama also pivoted toward traditional fuels. "It's going to take some time. We're still
going to be getting our electricity from coal," he said, adding that utilities will also
continue to rely on nuclear power and natural gas. Graham and his negotiating partners
on climate, Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) have all said some
form of hybrid energy-climate bill has the best chance of passing the Senate.

Obama is tethered to an accord reached at the U.N. summit in Copenhagen in
December that has the United States cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent
below 2005 levels by 2020. The goal is just that, a nonbinding statement of U.S.
intentions, but sources said Obama faces sharp international criticism and environmental
critics if U.S. energy initiatives appear too weak to meet the emissions target.

At the White House, sources say, the exact policy direction remains in flux. But this
month the administration began sweetening the pot of policy pieces that could entice
senators to support a broader bill. The administration in its 2011 budget request included
$36 billion more for the nuclear loan guarantee program, and Obama charged an
interagency task force with advancing five to 10 commercial demonstrations of carbon
capture and sequestration (CCS) technology by 2016.

Where's the cap?




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A source familiar with discussions on Capitol Hill and with ties to the White House said
the administration and congressional leaders are at this point considering four basic
policy options.

The most aggressive option would steer clear of an all-in-one economywide approach by
adopting a strong clean energy bill and pared-down climate provisions that include a cap
on electric utility emissions. If policymakers pursue that option, utilities would likely call
for the proposal to include a phased-in cap on industrial emissions from other corners of
the economy.

That option is a step removed from the economywide cap supported by the U.S. Climate
Action Partnership, a coalition of major corporations and environmental groups, and the
precariously balanced consensus among investor-owned utilities organized by the
Edison Electric Institute. EEI spokesman Jim Owen last week said the group still
supports legislation that would cap industrial emissions across the economy, reiterating
comments made by the group's president, Tom Kuhn, to industry analysts earlier this
month.

"We still believe that an economywide approach is the best way to go," he said. But
Owen also said EEI doesn't intend to sit out discussions about different options. "There
are still votes for that, but as other approaches come up and get discussed and debated,
we're not going to be on the sidelines."

Krupp, in an interview, said a utility-only emissions cap is considered a non-starter by
many involved in policy discussions. "Not only do you not get the emissions reductions
that we need, but for many senators, energy security is of paramount concern," he said,
"and utility-only doesn't even get close to dealing with that."

"Is there room to treat different sectors differently and still achieve economic efficiency
and deliver substantial emissions reductions?" Krupp continued. "Yes, and that is what
many people are working on right now."

A split among utilities

The second option is for the White House to get behind an aggressive clean energy bill
that jettisons an emissions cap but includes clean energy standards. It would also lean
heavily on energy efficiency measures.

A third option under consideration is to set aside the idea of pressing for passage of an
energy bill this year. Under that political calculation, sources say the White House would
continue pushing Republicans to engage the issue, but no bill would be introduced.
A final option is that Congress decides to vote on a broad energy bill sponsored by Sen.
Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) that passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources
Committee in June. That bill includes provisions requiring power companies to generate
15 percent of their electricity from renewable resources, allows more oil and natural gas
leases in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, overhauls federal financing for clean energy
projects, boosts energy efficiency programs and includes new federal authority to site
major electric transmission lines.

That bill garnered bipartisan support, including yes votes from Republicans Lisa
Murkowski of Alaska, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Bob


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Corker of Tennessee. The bill's supporters and its detractors, including Democratic Sen.
Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, said they had hoped to boost the bill's incentives for nuclear
power.

Graham also says a compromise he and other Republicans could support would include
incentives to expand the nation's nuclear power fleet and put in place an aggressive
program to commercialize technology to capture and store emissions from coal-burning
power plants.

Almost any option policymakers pursue, said one former energy aide for a Senate
Democrat, has to gain the support of EEI. Members of EEI reached a deal on the
distribution of emissions allocations before the House passed its climate bill, but now it
appears there is a split. Low-carbon utilities such as Chicago-based Exelon Corp. and
relatively high-carbon utilities such as Atlanta-based Southern Co., both influential
members of EEI, disagree on whether climate legislation can be crafted in a fair and
equitable way for the power industry.

Graham, according to sources, warned the group at a meeting in Arizona in January that
time is running out to reach consensus on a bill that could make it through the Senate.
"I still hear from Graham, Kerry and Lieberman that they want an economywide cap. I
don't have any indication from those offices that they are splitting on that," said Chelsea
Maxwell, a former climate adviser to retired Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) who now works
for the Clark Group.

More White House incentives coming

This week, Obama is expected to float a couple more energy sweeteners for Congress
during his talk with members of the Business Roundtable. This group includes chief
executives from the nation's biggest companies. Its executive board includes Rex
Tillerson of Exxon Mobil Corp., Michael Morris of American Electric Power, Jeffrey
Immelt of General Electric Co., Michael Duke of Wal-Mart Stores and David Cote of
Honeywell International.

Most of these executives have met with White House or Treasury Department officials in
recent months to discuss energy policy, according to multiple sources and White House
logs.
By late last week, White House officials had not decided whether Obama will speak
publicly or privately to the group, according to a Business Roundtable spokesman.

Obama is expected to propose financial incentives aimed at spurring the use of natural
gas for power generation. Gas-burning electricity generators emit half as much carbon
dioxide into the atmosphere as coal-burning power plants.

A policy decision to incentivize the use of natural gas would please large oil companies,
including Exxon, that are pursuing domestic gas reserves. Independent gas producers
through well-financed media campaigns have also pressed for broader public recognition
that domestic gas is a rapidly expanding resource that is reliable enough to use as a
transition fuel for power generators.

America's Natural Gas Alliance, a group of the independent gas producers formed last
year to lead the charge in Washington for climate bill incentives for power generators to


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use more natural gas, called it "premature to get into a discussion of specific policy
proposals."

"We are closely following all the proposals and believe that greater use of natural gas
will be a key component of our nation's clean energy future," the group's vice president,
Tom Amontree, said in an e-mail.

Exxon's decision in late December to spend more than $30 billion to buy XTO Energy,
which has big holdings in unconventional gas fields, reset the discussion about gas's
role as a potential short-term way to cut heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions. Exxon's
purchase has helped shift the industry's attention to exploiting vast U.S. shale gas
formations, where smaller independent producers that pioneered state-of-the-art drilling
technology paved the way, such as in the Barnett Shale in eastern Texas.

The fleet of oil and gas industry spokespersons and U.S. agencies estimate the
domestic gas supply has doubled from a projected 50-year supply to at least a 100-year
supply. Once the deal clears regulatory hurdles, as expected, Exxon will be America's
largest natural gas producer as well as one of the biggest spenders on Washington
lobbying.
Gas producers feel ignored

Bill Whitsitt, vice president for public affairs for Devon Energy, one of the largest U.S.
gas producers, said that for power generators heavily reliant on coal to make a switch,
natural gas has to be plentiful and cheap, but U.S. EPA also needs to shift its attitude
about the fuel. He says EPA is reluctant to encourage utilities to install gas-fired power
turbines rather than install expensive scrubbers in part because of a long-standing
concern about supply. If Obama urged utilities to switch to gas, that could help shift the
ingrained regulatory reluctance to push power generators to use the fuel.

"That would send a powerful message, and that doesn't require a very large incentive
program," he said. "We are collectively as an industry scratching our heads, wondering
how the president can talk about incentives for nuclear, coal, solar and wind, and natural
gas is never mentioned."

Price volatility and supply uncertainty have also spooked many members of Congress.
Ten years ago, the conventional wisdom was that conventional wells were running dry
and an increasing amount of natural gas would need to be imported from the Middle
East and Russia. Quietly, as Whitsitt and others in the gas industry tell it, smaller
independent oil and gas producers started buying tracts in northern Texas, Louisiana,
Arkansas, Oklahoma, western Pennsylvania and upstate New York.

"There is so much natural gas now that we've moved into the shale plays, the real
challenge is, how do you use the available gas to meet near-term energy goals?" he
said. "It takes the government to get out of the way and do the things it can do."

Obama this week is also expected to embrace ideas included in a House-passed bill and
Senate proposals that call for the creation of multibillion-dollar funds to deploy CCS
technology. Clean-coal proposals spearheaded by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) could
become part of a White House attempt to get greater support from Democrats in coal-
burning states in the upper Midwest and from senators in the Southeast concerned that
any climate regime would saddle their constituents with high electricity prices.


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Public sector getting greener
The Montreal Gazette, February 20, 2010, by Derek Sankey

The intensifying focus on environmental issues by governments at all levels, and the
infusion of federal stimulus funding, is increasing the number of green jobs opening up
across the country.

"With the stresses being put on governments to be more environmentally conscious and
represent their constituents, they are taking the environment very seriously," says Grant
Trump, president of the federally funded Environmental Careers Organization (ECO)
Canada.

Environmental professionals are in high demand for everything from new green
remediation technologies and reclamation projects to major infrastructure construction. It
will be a long-term trend as governments address serious environmental concerns,
experts say.

"There is no doubt that governments - federal, provincial, municipal and aboriginal - are
major environmental employers, whether it be on the regulatory side, bylaw enforcement
officers dealing with the environment all the way through to the development of public
policy," says Trump.

Soil scientists, waste management experts, geophysicists, horticulturalists and
alternative power specialists are just some of the jobs in high demand.

Daniel Charrette, an ex-officio member of ECO Canada who now works with Industry
Canada, has a mandate to track, monitor and understand the level of competition in
environmental industries such as water technology and waste management.

"Jobs in the clean technology sector are going to be in more demand moving forward,"
says Charrette. Where there are environmental challenges, there is also potential for
Canadian companies to develop and implement new technologies.

"Our job is to look at potential impacts and opportunities for Canadian industry related to
the environment," he says.

Most public sector bodies, from Environment Canada to Public Works, have an
environmental component to their operations. Many federal and provincial governments
have research facilities that employ environmental professionals.

ECO released a study in January that examined staffing requirements at municipal
water, waste water and solid waste management facilities to help them better determine
short- and long-term staffing needs.

Even private sector activity boosts public sector employment in green jobs, since
regulatory requirements must be overseen by highly skilled government workers.




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"It's led to greater competition between the private and public sector for a similar pool of
candidates," says Trump. "In some cases, we're seeing people moving back and forth
between the private and public sectors."

Numerous remediation projects across the country have been accelerated as a result of
stimulus funding and they are increasingly incorporating greener technologies, including
wind, solar and bio-fuels.

When the funding runs out within two years, many of those projects will continue.

Because the public sector tends to offer more job security, there is a trend among
environmental workers to seek out those jobs.

"For new- and mid-career (professionals), I think we're seeing that gravitation happening
because of the stability," says Trump.

The environment has become such a hot global issue that workers in the sector also
have greater mobility than some other fields.

"The increasing standard of living in developing countries means they're going to want
clean water, better waste management strategies and things like that," says Charrette.

Universities have recognized the increased focus on the environment in a wide range of
areas and developed programs or even schools dedicated to the relationships between
the environment and industry.

Canada Proposes National Wastewater Regulation
Environmental Leader, February 19, 2010

Canada‘s Environment Minister Jim Prentice has proposed a national wastewater
regulation that will set discharge standards for all wastewater facilities in Canada.

Proposed under the Fisheries Act, the new regulations are expected to reduce risks for
human and environmental health and fishery resources associated with the release of
wastewater effluents.

The proposed municipal wastewater systems effluent regulations will provide regulatory
clarity on standards and rules on reporting for more than 4,000 Canadian wastewater
facilities, and will no longer allow wastewater facilities to directly release raw sewage into
the waterways. The draft is available for public consultation.

The Environment Minister made the announcement at the Maple Leaf Environmental
Equipment/Filter Innovation facility in Brockville, Ontario, that provides technologies for
wastewater treatment. The company manufactures Membrane-Biological-Reactor (MBR)
systems for the treatment of municipal and industrial wastewater.

The MBR wastewater treatment systems already exceed the proposed new standards,
according to a press release (PDF). Other benefits cited include a small footprint,
reliability, and low maintenance.



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MBR systems are said to be robust enough to withstand variations in operational
conditions due to fluctuating sludge concentration, sludge age and organic load, which
make them well-suited for wastewater treatment plants with significant seasonal or daily
variations in wastewater loading.

The finalized regulations will be a key component in implementing Canada‘s Strategy for
the Management of Municipal Wastewater that was endorsed by the Canadian Council
of Minister of the Environment (CCME) in 2009.

The Government of Canada has supported wastewater projects under the Green
Infrastructure Fund and Building Canada Fund. Canada‘s Economic Action Plan
expanded the existing $33-billion federal investment in infrastructure with nearly $12
billion in new infrastructure stimulus funding over the past two years.

In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency set plans in motion last September to
revise existing standards for water discharges from coal-fired power plants to reduce
pollution. Once the rule is finalized, the new standards will be incorporated

Charest makes case for switch to renewable energy
The Telegraph-Journal, February 22, 2010, by Brett Bundale

WASHINGTON - Quebec Premier Jean Charest is urging United States lawmakers to
consider large-scale hydroelectric power a renewable resource, a designation that would
reap economic benefits for the province's giant utility Hydro-Québec.

During a meeting between U.S. governors and Canadian premiers in Washington
Saturday, Charest said, "Quebec sells clean, renewable hydroelectricity to our
neighbours. We should seize that opportunity."

"There should be a recognition that large-scale hydro is renewable energy," he told the
gathering of 20 governors and six premiers in a hotel near the White House.

Charest made the same pitch to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa
Jackson, on Friday.

Although the recognition of large-scale hydro is a file of the U.S.

Department of Energy, the EPA could offer advice to the department.

"I think we all understand the EPA has the ability to do a number of things if there is no
legislation that is adopted in congress," Charest said.

"We had a good conversation with Lisa Jackson. It was interesting in regards to climate
change."

Charest said the designation of massive hydroelectricity as renewable would help Hydro-
Québec secure long-term contracts with states like Vermont and New York.




                                                                                         105
"We believe that would be an incentive to long-term contracts," he said. "That's very
much in the interests of our American neighbours for whom security of supply is a
central issue."

Although Hydro-Québec currently sells large amounts of hydro energy into the U.S.,
Charest said the utility needs to secure markets for electricity that will come online soon
because of new projects being constructed in Quebec.

"Being considered renewable would create an incentive to sell more energy to the United
States," he said.

The proposed $3.2-billion deal to sell the bulk of NB Power's generating stations to
Hydro-Québec would give the utility guaranteed access to transmission lines into Maine.

The deal is a strategic move for the hydroelectric utility - the fourth largest in the world -
that plans to drastically increase its hydroelectric capacity and exports in the coming
years.

Hydro-Québec launched the "Northern Plan" in 2008, which will add 3,500 megawatts of
renewable energy - the bulk of it from large-scale hydro - to its portfolio by 2035. Charest
said the response from U.S. governors and other senior officials in the capital was
"mixed."

"It's not a slam dunk yet," he said. "But we're raising the issue now with the hopes of
seeing large-scale hydro considered renewable in the future."

However, it's not only in Quebec's interests to have large-scale hydro considered a
renewable resource. Toronto Centre MP Bob Rae said it's an important issue across
Canada.

"Getting large-scale hydro recognized as renewable is critical," he said. "Manitoba is a
huge exporter, British Columbia is a huge exporter and Newfoundland and Labrador is
potentially a big exporter, so this is very important for the country."

Large-scale hydro plants - generally considered to be hydroelectric generating stations
that produce more than 30 megawatts of electricity - have been controversial because of
the impact they can have on the environment.

Unlike small hydro, large hydro requires the construction of dams and reservoir tanks,
which can impact the surrounding environment by limiting water flow.

This can alter the migration of fish and wildlife, interrupting an ecosystem's natural flow.

Small-scale hydro facilities, however, tend to be positioned by rivers or canals and cause
less of an environmental impact.

EPA Budget Hearings to Serve as Battleground for Climate Policies
The New York Times, February 22, 2010, by Robin Bravender




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U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will defend the White House's request to increase
funds for climate regulations when she testifies before House and Senate panels this
week.

Jackson will testify tomorrow before the Senate Environment and Public Works
Committee and will appear Wednesday at the House Interior Appropriations
Subcommittee to discuss President Obama's $10 billion budget request for EPA.

The fiscal 2011 request would cut the agency's total funding by about $300 million from
2010 levels while allotting $56 million -- including $43 million in new funding -- for
regulatory programs to curb greenhouse gas emissions (Greenwire, Feb. 1).
The recommended boost comes as EPA prepares to regulate stationary and mobile
emissions of greenhouse gases an effort that has drawn the ire of many Republican and
some Democratic lawmakers who say EPA climate rules will cripple the already
struggling economy.

GOP lawmakers -- some of whom have been vocal critics of the Obama administration's
climate policies -- are likely to use this week's budget hearings to blast the proposed
spending levels.

"When the president released his EPA budget proposal, he proved that jobs aren't really
his top priority," Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said Friday in a statement. Barrasso,
ranking member of the EPW Oversight Subcommittee, has been one of the Senate's
leading critics of EPA climate rules.

"The more money the EPA receives, the more power it will exert to issue job-killing
regulations for small businesses and other employers," Barrasso added. "If the
administration is serious about addressing unemployment and reducing the deficit, it will
decrease the size of the EPA."

Last year, a host of lawmakers sought to use the EPA budget as a vehicle to handcuff
the agency's ability to implement new climate rules. And as EPA prepares to roll out its
first climate rules next month, lawmakers are expected to pursue similar tactics.

Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) -- who has introduced a bill to strip EPA of its authority to
regulate greenhouse gas emissions -- said earlier this month that he will fight during the
appropriations process to remove any funding that would go toward curbing the heat-
trapping emissions.

But Jackson and Democratic lawmakers are expected to staunchly defend the draft
budget.

"The president's 2011 budget is a responsible strategy," given the economic challenges
facing the country, Jackson told reporters earlier this month. "There's no moving away
from a commitment to a greener, more sustainable economy, and the work EPA does is
the backbone of that" (E&ENews PM, Feb. 1).

Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
and state regulators have endorsed the White House proposal to ramp up funding for
programs to curb greenhouse gas emissions (E&E Daily, Feb. 2).



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Some Republicans may also challenge the overall size of EPA's budget. Rep. Mike
Simpson (R-Idaho), ranking member of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee,
last month called for cuts in some areas of the federal budget, particularly at EPA, which
received a 36 percent boost in fiscal 2010 over 2009 levels (E&E Daily, Jan. 27).

Simpson added that, given the administration's agenda, he expects "that they will do all
they can to protect the climate change money."

Climate, air programs

Of the president's requested $56 million for climate regulatory programs, $25 million
would aid states as they begin to account for greenhouse gases in New Source Review
and operating permits; $7 million would go toward developing New Source Performance
Standards to curb greenhouse gases from major stationary sources; $6 million would be
used to implement EPA's pending greenhouse gas standards for automobiles and
developing other mobile source regulations; and $5 million would be used to develop the
best available practices and technologies for controlling emissions.

Obama also requested $21 million to implement the agency's greenhouse gas reporting
rule, which requires large facilities to monitor their emissions this year. That marks a $4
million boost from fiscal 2010 levels. EPA plans to begin making that data publicly
available by June 15, 2011.

The administration also pledged to protect air quality by working to attain national
standards for ozone, particulate matter and other criteria pollutants, and to reduce
regional haze by slashing regional transport of pollutants. EPA will also continue to
develop and issue national technology-based and risk-based standards to reduce toxic
air pollutants emitted by industrial facilities and urban sources.

Water programs

The president proposed a cut for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving
Funds, which finance state and local clean water projects. The funds would get a total of
$3.3 billion, down from $3.5 billion in the fiscal 2010 spending bill. The number still would
be more than double what the programs received in fiscal 2009.

Great Lakes cleanup efforts would receive $300 million, down from $425 million in fiscal
2010, to continue projects to clean up contaminated sediments and toxic chemicals, fend
off invasive species and curb pollution and habitat degradation. That program still has
money left over from last year's allocations, Jackson said.

Chesapeake Bay restoration would get $63 million under the proposal, up from $50
million in fiscal 2010. Obama has marked the ecosystem for extra federal attention,
issuing an executive order in May calling for a more serious cleanup effort.

The budget proposes $17 million in new funding for the Mississippi River Basin. EPA
and the Agriculture Department would use the money to target pollution runoff from
farms in an effort to reduce nutrient pollution that contributes to the severely oxygen-
depleted "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico.




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Science, toxics cleanup

Obama proposed to cut the Brownfields Economic Development Initiative, which the
White House said was duplicative of other programs. Instead, the budget proposes
funding larger brownfield cleanup efforts, providing $138 million for fiscal 2011, $38
million more than Congress approved last year.

Cash for Superfund would decrease slightly from $1.31 billion in fiscal 2010 to $1.29
billion in the White House proposal. Funding for EPA's Office of Inspector General would
remain roughly level at $46 million, a slight increase from last year's $45 million, as
would money for EPA's leaking underground storage tank cleanup, which would receive
$113 million.

Science and technology funding would see a slight boost in fiscal 2011, from $846
million in 2010 to $847 million. Part of the funding would be slated for land preservation
and restoration, with research focused on contaminated sediments in groundwater and
the fate of nanomaterials in the environment. Funding would also be directed to the
agency's healthy communities research agenda, focusing on mercury, pesticides and
toxic chemicals, and nanotechnology, as well as broader human health research and
risk assessments.

Senate weighs final push to move climate bill
Reuters, February 21, 2010, by Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A last-ditch attempt at passing a climate change bill begins in
the Senate this week with senators mindful that time is running short and that
approaches to the legislation still vary widely, according to sources.

BARACK OBAMA

"We will present senators with a number of options when they get back from recess,"
said one Senate aide knowledgeable of the compromise legislation that is being
developed. The goal is to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse
gases that scientists say threaten Earth.

The options will be presented to three senators -- Democrat John Kerry, independent
Joseph Lieberman and Republican Lindsey Graham -- who are leading the fight for a bill
to battle global warming domestically.

The aide said the Senate's drive for a bill got a boost last week with President Barack
Obama's announcement of an $8.3 billion government loan guarantee to help start
expanding the nuclear power industry, a top Republican priority. "The administration is
really putting their money where their mouth is," the aide said.

The Senate trio's success or failure likely will have a profound impact on international
efforts to reduce carbon emissions and prevent Earth's temperature from exceeding a
possibly dangerous 2 degree Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) increase from pre-industrial times.

For Wall Street, the Senate has the power to make or break the start-up of what
eventually could be a $1 trillion market for power plant, oil refinery and factory pollution
permits traded on a regulated exchange.



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Congressional elections will be held on November 2 and there is wide agreement that if
the Senate cannot pass a climate bill by mid-year, already hard-edged political
partisanship will become hyperactive, making it nearly impossible for Congress to move
on much of anything.

"We're getting to the point where I think we need to start seeing senators coalesce
around an approach," said Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global
Climate Change, which wants comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions control.

SKEPTICISM ABOUNDS

There is plenty of skepticism about whether Kerry, who is spearheading the effort, can
pull off passage of such a difficult bill in an election year since the bill would increase
future energy prices. But supporters are not giving up as they draw parallels to the last
major environmental fight.

"In 1990, we had a midterm president, a Mideast war, a banking crisis following a real
estate bubble and a recession, yet Congress still passed updates to the Clean Air Act by
overwhelming margins," said Representative Edward Markey, the co-author of the
Waxman-Markey climate bill that narrowly passed the House of Representatives last
June.

Tested over 20 years, those Clean Air Act updates are credited with effectively cutting
"acid rain" air pollution through a cap-and-trade system that some now want to employ to
reduce the carbon emissions blamed for global warming.

Under cap and trade, companies need government permits to emit an ever-dwindling
amount of pollution. Fuel-efficient firms that end up holding more permits than they need
can sell them to companies that are bigger polluters.

For carbon dioxide, cap and trade would eventually make the cost of using coal and
other dirty-burning fossil fuels so high that cleaner, more expensive energy sources such
as wind and solar power would emerge.

In recent months, many conservatives who do not want the federal government to
mandate pollution reductions, have seized upon newly discovered errors in scientific
reports underpinning the link between human activity and climate problems such as
drought, flooding and rising sea levels.

Republican Senator James Inhofe, a leading critic, said the U.N. Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change had fallen victim to "outright fraud" and deceit. It is further
evidence Congress should not rush legislation, he has argued.

SIDE ISSUES

Meanwhile, "so much political juice" is now being expended by U.S. environmental
groups on a side-issue to the climate bill, said Frank O'Donnell, president of Clean Air
Watch. He was referring to green groups' attempts to stop Republican Senator Lisa
Murkowski from advancing her bill blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from
regulating carbon emissions, starting with vehicles.

The Obama administration would prefer to let Congress set climate change policy. But if
it is unable to, the White House wants the EPA as a fallback.



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Graham has talked about cobbling together a "hybrid system" for reducing carbon
emissions.

Claussen said, "If I was going to guess, it's probably cap and trade for electricity," which
accounts for about 40 percent of carbon emissions, and maybe a separate oil industry
tax or fee, with consumers being protected from price increases.

Tackling carbon emissions from factories making steel, cement, paper, glass and other
large manufacturers either could be put off "for much later" or they could be given
options for participating, she said.

Such an approach could gain the support of Midwestern senators who fear U.S. factories
could be put at a competitive disadvantage against foreign manufacturers under a cap-
and-trade program.

But it also has risks, others say, underscoring splits among Washington interest groups,
politicians and others who want a climate change bill.

Robert Shapiro, chairman of the Climate Task Force and an advocate of a carbon tax,
said a dual system would not make economic sense and could make for more volatile
energy prices.

Caterpillar Joins FutureGen Clean Coal Alliance
Reuters, February 22, 2010

NEW YORK, Feb 8 - Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) said Monday it will join the FutureGen
Alliance to build a $1.5 billion near zero emissions coal-fueled power plant to produce
hydrogen and electricity while capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide underground in
Mattoon, Illinois.

Last month, Exelon Corp (EXC.N), the nation's biggest power company, also said it
would join the FutureGen Alliance.

The U.S. Department of Energy plans to provide more than $1 billion to help fund the
275-megawatt project as part of federal efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
such as carbon dioxide while keeping coal in the nation's power generation mix.

Coal is the most carbon intensive fossil fuel but it generates about 44 percent of the
country's electricity.

The United States has enough coal to last more than 100 years - some say 250 years -
at current rates of consumption, according to federal and other data.

But clean power is not cheap.

The FutureGen project, which will generate power for about 150,000 homes, will cost
about three times more than a traditional pulverized coal fired power plant.

The Alliance expects the plant will prove the technical and economic feasibility of
producing low cost power and hydrogen from coal while nearly eliminating emissions.




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FutureGen will use integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) technology, which
turns coal into gas before removing impurities such as sulfur dioxide, particulates and
mercury before burning the coal gas to generate power.

The FutureGen Alliance's total anticipated financial contribution is $400 million to $600
million, based on a goal of 20 members each contributing $20 million to $30 million over
a four to six year period.

Water Waste A Kink In New York Shale Gas Future
Reuters, February 22, 2010, by Edith Honan

BINGHAMTON, New York - Technological advances that have unlocked natural gas
from shale rock deep beneath the surface have outpaced advances in water waste
disposal, meaning that gas drilling could begin in New York state before a waste
disposal program is in place.

"There is a shortage of treatment facilities that can handle this very salty water, so that's
going to become a bit of a bottleneck for the industry when they do start issuing drilling
permits," said hydrogeologist John Conrad, head of the environmental consulting firm
Conrad Geoscience Corp.

The booming shale gas business accounts for 15 to 20 percent of U.S. natural gas
production and is seen increasing fourfold over the next 15 years, providing a relatively
clean energy source for a country sensitive to its dependence on foreign oil and looking
for ways to reduce carbon emissions.

But millions of gallons of water are needed for each shale gas well, leaving drillers to
deal with the tainted waste water. Some companies such as Chesapeake Energy have
employed a "closed-loop" system that reuses water, which experts and environmental
critics see as part of the solution.

New York state, which sits on top part of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale, has placed a
virtual moratorium on high-volume drilling while it completes an environmental review.

Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee is
investigating the environmental and public health impact of the drilling technique known
as hydraulic fracturing, and the Environmental Protection Agency said it would start
working with Congress to study the matter.

In hydraulic fracturing, millions of gallons of water are mixed with sand and diluted
chemicals and blasted into shale rock at a pressure high enough to break the rock and
free the trapped methane gas.

Environmentalists and people living near drilling operations worry that the drilling
process might contaminate ground water, even when heavily diluted. They have also
raised concerns about benzene, arsenic and low-level radioactive matter coming up from
the shale.




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The shale gas industry considers environmental opponents of drilling misguided, saying
drilling is heavily regulated and that there has never been a documented case of ground
water contamination because of hydraulic fracturing.

"I know it doesn't make for very sexy or controversial news but the plain truth is that
processes that we have in place are very protective and the evidence all points to that,"
said Paul Hagemeier, vice president of regulatory compliance at Chesapeake Energy,
an Oklahoma City based company that has the lease for one million acres in New York
state.

INVESTMENT NEEDED

Around a third of the millions of gallons of water used in fracturing comes back to the
surface where it is either reused, stored on site or trucked to treatment plants.

Conrad said companies that can build crystallizer plants -- specialized waste treatment
plants that distill salt out of waste water -- are unwilling to make an investment in New
York until the state begins issuing drilling permits.

"The investment in these treatment plants won't happen until there's somewhat of a
guarantee of a return," Conrad said.

Chesapeake has begun using a closed-loop system in its wells in neighboring
Pennsylvania -- a technique that limits fracturing fluid contact with the environment and
allows the backflow water to be reused.

The company says it plans to use that system in all of its wells in New York.

Backflow water can be reused up to 12 times without the need for treatment, Conrad
said. It makes economic sense for the industry because it limits the costs of moving the
waste off site and reduces the amount of water the company needs for its next drilling
operation.

In Pennsylvania, where the industry is rushing to exploit the massive Marcellus shale
formation, critics say there isn't enough capacity to remove toxic chemicals from waste
water. As a result, some waste gets pumped into rivers and creeks with little or no
treatment, critics say. Some residents have accused tank trucks of dumping waste water
on rural roads.

"Without adequate laws in place, it's our experience at Riverkeeper that midnight
dumping will be an absolute certainty. You see it all the time," said James Simpson, a
staff attorney at environmental group Riverkeeper.

Another option is to inject waste into wells that are no longer in use. While this process is
common in Gulf Coast drilling sites, geologists say it is less viable in the U.S. Northeast.

Earlier this month, Chesapeake withdrew an application to store waste in Pulteney, in
New York's Finger Lake region, after community groups protested the plan.




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"I've been consistent in my stance that it's more important to get it right than to get it
fast," Congressman Eric Massa, who opposed the application, said in a statement.
"Ultimately if we don't stake the necessary steps to protect our land and our water for the
next generation, then we have nothing."

House Committee Probes Natgas Drilling Practice
Reuters, February 22, 2010, by Ayesha Rascoe

WASHINGTON - U.S. lawmakers on Thursday announced an investigation of a drilling
method that has allowed companies to tap abundant supplies of natural gas in shale
beds but has also generated complaints about polluted drinking water.

Some Congress members want to give the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing technology.

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee said it was investigating the impact
of the technology on the environment and public health, and the EPA said it would start
working with Congress to study the matter.

"As we use this technology in more parts of the country on a much larger scale, we must
ensure that we are not creating new environmental and public health problems," said
committee chairman, Representative Henry Waxman.

"This investigation will help us better understand the potential risks this technology
poses to drinking water supplies and the environment, and whether Congress needs to
act to minimize those risks," he said.

Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," injects a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into
rock formations at high pressure to force out oil and natural gas. The practice is used to
stimulate production in old wells, but is now also used to tap oil and gas trapped in shale
beds across North America.

"There are compelling reasons to believe that hydraulic fracturing may impact ground
water and surface water quality in ways that threaten human health and the
environment, which demands further study," the EPA said in a statement.

"To address those concerns and strengthen our clean energy future, a budget has been
proposed to fund a comprehensive scientific study of hydraulic fracturing and EPA is
working with Congress to start that study as soon as possible."

The committee is seeking information from eight energy companies that use hydraulic
fracturing to extract oil and natural gas from unconventional sources, including shale
rock.

The companies the committee is requesting information from include Halliburton, BJ
Services and Schlumberger.




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The lawmakers also asked for information from five smaller fracking companies that
make up a growing share of the market: Frac Tech Services, Superior Well Services,
Universal Well Services, Sanjel Corporation and Calfrac Well Services.

Fracking is essential to shale gas production, which has sharply boosted U.S. gas
output.

The Energy Information Administration estimates this resource could make the United
States self-sufficient in natural gas supply by 2030. But environmentalists have warned
that fracking, without a national safety standard, endangers human health by
contaminating ground water.

Environmental Defense Fund expert Scott Anderson said natural gas was important
because it emits less greenhouse gases than coal and oil. But he said extraction
technology should not hurt health or the environment.

Residents in gas-drilling areas have complained that their well water was discolored or
foul-smelling and that children became sick.

Oil and gas companies say the criticisms are unfounded. They say gas drilling is done
thousands of feet below ground, much deeper than most water resources, and note that
officials have not linked public health problems to hydraulic fracturing.

Energy In Depth, an interest group backed by independent oil and gas operators, said it
welcomed the Congressional probe. Executive Director Lee Fuller touted the industry's
safety practices.

"To the extent the committee's inquiry into this process helps clear up some of the
misconceptions that have come to be associated with it, it's a study we look forward to
contributing to," Fuller said in a statement.

EPA Announces Plan To Clean Up Great Lakes
Reuters, February 22, 2010, by Lisa Lambert

WASHINGTON - A year after President Barack Obama proposed a plan to clean up the
Great Lakes, the government Sunday laid out its plan to improve the ecology of the
major bodies of water that support much of U.S. agriculture and industry.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson met with governors of
states that touch the inland waterways to describe an "action plan" that will focus on
eliminating invasive species, cleaning up pollutants, and remediating more than a half
million acres of the area's wetlands, she told reporters.

"It's about creating a new standard of care for the Great Lakes system," Jackson said.
"Instead of minimizing harm, our new standard of care is to leave the Great Lakes better
for the next generation than the condition in which we inherited them."

At the end of last year, Congress authorized $475 million to be spent on improving the
ecosystem that contains 21 percent of the world's fresh water. Obama proposed in his



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budget earlier this month putting an additional $300 million into the program for the fiscal
year that starts in October.

Some $60 million will go to fighting Asian carp, a non-native species threatening to
disrupt the fishing industry in Lake Michigan.

Jackson said that in future years -- the plan covers 2010 through 2014 -- funding will
return to the $475 million.

"I'm glad the plan is an action plan and not a study," said Ohio Governor Ted Strickland
at the news conference with Jackson during the National Governors Association
meeting, adding that the lakes need immediate attention.

As a candidate, Obama pledged to improve the five lakes -- Superior, Michigan, Huron,
Erie and Ontario -- most of which run along the border between the United States and
Canada. Currently the countries are renegotiating their water quality agreement for the
area.

"What the administration is doing here is making it clear we are well behind an effort ...
to invest in the Great Lakes. That is one of the guiding tenets as we approach the
negotiations with our neighbors in Canada," Jackson said about the plan.

Saving the Amazon may be the most cost-effective way to cut greenhouse gas
emissions
LA Times, February 21, 2010, by Margot Roosevelt

An hour outside Manaus, the Amazon's biggest city, the blackened remains of a virgin
forest smolder. Chain saws whine. And Jonas Mendes tosses logs, one after another,
into his kiln.

"I know it's wrong to cut down the trees," said Mendes, 48, sweat streaming down his
neck and torso. "But I have no other way to make a living."

Under a lean-to, his teenage son hacks charcoal into pieces with a machete. His wife
fills 110-pound plastic bags that sell for $4 each.

If the Obama administration succeeds in its pledge to curb climate change, billions could
flow from the U.S. to help forest dwellers such as Mendes change their ways.

Governors of the Brazilian Amazon's nine states are pushing the U.S. and other
industrial nations to invest in projects under rules known as REDD -- or Reducing
Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation -- that are being designed through the
auspices of the United Nations.

Under pending legislation to cap greenhouse gases, the U.S. government would auction
emission allowances, funneling as much as $3 billion from the annual proceeds into rain
forest protection. U.S. companies facing carbon controls could meet part of their
obligations by investing as much as $13 billion a year by 2020 to preserve forests.

And several Amazon governors have signed agreements with California Gov. Arnold


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Schwarzenegger to measure the carbon in their forests with the goal of selling carbon
credits in California‘s cap-and-trade market, set to begin in 2012. The program would
allow California businesses to use the credits to meet their emission caps, and thus
funnel several hundred million dollars a year into tropical forest protection.

The reason? Slash-and-burn deforestation accounts for about 15% of humanity's carbon
dioxide emissions. Despite activists' efforts, forests have been disappearing at the rate
of about 34 million acres a year for the last two decades. Globally, Indonesia and Brazil
are the third- and fourth-largest emitters respectively of greenhouse gases, after China
and the U.S., because of their breakneck pace of forest destruction.

Saving the Amazon, Earth's largest tropical jungle, can be a cheaper and faster way to
avoid greenhouse gas emissions than replacing coal-fired power plants with renewable
energy or switching to electric cars -- although all such measures are considered
necessary by climate experts.


President Obama acknowledged as much last fall.

"It is probably the most cost-effective way for us to address the issue of climate change,
having . . . mechanisms in place to avoid further deforestation," he said.

Despite the failure to adopt a long-term climate treaty in Copenhagen last year, the U.S.,
along with Australia, Britain, France, Japan and Norway, promised $3.5 billion in fast-
start funds to help preserve tropical forests.

Forest livelihood

But if nations across Latin America, Africa and Asia are to guard their trees, they must
first alleviate the poverty of 1.2 billion people who depend on forests for their livelihoods.
Many of these developing nations, struggling economically, bristle at preaching from
wealthier countries.

"Let no gringo ask an Amazonian to die of hunger under a tree," Brazilian President Luiz
Inacio Lula da Silva warned recently.

"We want to preserve," he added. "But they should pay."

Beginning in the 1960s, politicians in Brazil pushed to populate the rain forest and to
clear tracts for cattle, soybeans and timber. Across the Amazon, homesteaders were
promised title to their plots if they cut down trees to make the land "productive."

But the policy known as Land Without People for People Without Land has backfired.
Rain forest soil is unsuited to small-scale agriculture. Malaria is rampant. Jaguars devour
livestock. Many settlers never got title because of bureaucratic snafus and thus have
little incentive to protect the forest. Many, like Mendes, survive mainly by felling their
trees for charcoal.

Taruma Mirim, where he ekes out a living, is one of 2,500 Amazon settlements created
by Brazil's Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform. Behind the tin-roofed shack
where Mendes lives with his wife and four children, he drags logs to his kilns with the


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help of a half-starved cow.

Mendes has an infected eye, aggravated by fumes.

"The doctor told me I should keep away from smoke, but I have no choice," he said.

Wooden huts without running water line the road. Mangy dogs and chickens roam
among jaca and cupuacu, local fruit trees.

Since 1991, the family has cut down a third of the trees on its 60-acre plot in the state of
Amazonas. Some neighbors have razed their land entirely, only to abandon it and move
on to repeat the cycle of destruction.

"It was a bad model," said Mariano Cenamo, head of the nonprofit Institute for
Conservation and Sustainable Development of Amazonas. "After a few years of trying to
survive, settlers start selling off."

Cattle ranchers, spreading herds thinly on depleted land, or big soybean growers who
can afford chemical fertilizers then move in.

'Arc of fire'

Today, the Amazon basin, which also covers parts of eight other nations, harbors 45% of
Earth's remaining rain forest. In the last 35 years, about 17% of it has been razed. In
Brazil, the "arc of fire," as it is known, is more than twice the size of California.

But consciousness of the Amazon's worth as a standing forest, rather than as a cut
forest, is mounting. The Amazon stores between 80 billion and 130 billion metric tons of
carbon in its leaves and trunks, which, if burned, would emit about 50 times more carbon
dioxide than the United States' annual output.

As a result, Brazil is beginning to enact tough measures. It has beefed up its space
agency, which now tracks destruction by satellite in real time so police can be speedily
dispatched to halt illegal logging. In the last four years, the government has created
193,000 square miles of forest reserves. The land reform agency has stopped building
settlements in virgin forest, and today, by law, only 20% of an individual's land may be
deforested.

"We are working hard on the topic of climate change," said Environment Minister Carlos
Minc, noting that the government recently signed pacts with the soybean, timber and
mining industries to prevent sales from newly deforested areas. Loans to illegal land
grabbers are being blocked.

New figures show that since 2004, the extent of burning in the Brazilian Amazon has
dropped to 2,705 square miles a year from a peak of 10,588 square miles annually.

But how much of the drop is due to government policy and how much to fluctuating
prices of beef and soy, the main drivers of deforestation, is unclear. Even at today's
levels, more forest land is razed in Brazil than anywhere in the world except Indonesia.

Brazil is the world's largest soybean exporter and the second-largest meat exporter, after


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Australia -- and it wants to stay on top. Vast new acreage is expected to be cleared for
sugar cane to expand Brazil's effort to replace gasoline with biofuel.

The government boasts that it has doubled the number of rangers to 1,400, targeting
areas such as the state of Para, where confrontations have turned violent. But in Taruma
Mirim, settlers dismiss the fiscais, as they call government inspectors, with scorn.

"They see us stoking the kiln," said Gilmar Santana, 29, pausing by the road with a chain
saw on his shoulder. "They say don't do that, but we say we must. Then they go away."

Today, many of the reserves that cover 43% of the Brazilian Amazon remain paper-only
decrees. Government agents issued $1.6.billion in fines for illegal logging last year, but
collected less than 1% of the money.

A recent Greenpeace report, "Slaughtering the Amazon," traced beef and leather from
illegally deforested land as it surreptitiously made its way into global supply chains of
such firms as Nike, IKEA, Kraft Foods and Wal-Mart.

In response, the government promised to implement a program to track cattle with
electronic tags and seize "illegally raised" animals.

Center of conflict

From his office in a modern building in Manaus, Denis Minev, secretary of planning and
development for Amazonas, sits at the center of the conflict.

"I'm considered the devil," he said with a wry smile. He considers conservation a priority
but also favors controversial highways through parts of the forest.

At 32, he is one of Brazil's hip young technocrats, with an undergraduate degree from
Stanford University, an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and
a stint at investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. under his belt.

Minev and other Amazonas officials have successfully enforced price supports for such
forest products as Brazil nuts and rubber, incentives to keep trees standing. A national
effort to clear up titles to land will also make it easier for farmers and ranchers to get
loans to boost productivity of existing plots, thereby lessening the need to raze virgin
forest.

"Previously the forest was seen as a barrier to development," Minev said. "But there has
been a major shift in vision."

Minev has squired U.S. legislators such as Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass), coauthor
of the House climate bill, around the jungle in hopes that Congress will adopt a cap-and-
trade program. Funds from the U.S. could then be used to police conservation areas,
improve land fertility to reduce demand for deforestation and help forest dwellers find
better ways to make a living than by making charcoal.

In Taruma Mirim, settlers have heard that help could be on the way.

"We want to preserve the forest," said Mendes, pausing from his sweaty work. "If the


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money from abroad reaches us, it could change the situation."

The walls of his home are bare except for a clock with a painted scene of Noah's Ark.

Clean energy is mired in politics
LA Times, February 22, 2010, by Jim Tankersley

Reporting from Washington - At a time when the U.S. economy is desperate for jobs and
investment in future growth, a slew of clean-energy projects are on hold largely because
of political stalemate in Washington.

With President Obama's energy and climate proposals bottled up in Congress, business
leaders say they cannot tell what direction government policy will take on a variety of
issues, including new energy taxes, tougher emissions standards for factories and
vehicles, and guaranteed markets for start-up wind and solar power plants.

That has companies reluctant to pull the trigger on green-energy investments that could
create employment and combat climate change. Case in point: New Jersey's largest
utility, Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., is exploring development of a massive wind
farm 16 miles off the state's coast. But it won't commit until the political winds in
Washington are more certain, said Ralph Izzo, PSEG's president and chief executive.

"It's one thing to manage risk," he said. "It's another thing to gamble." The U.S. logjam
stands in sharp contrast with the situation in China and Europe. Green investment there
is booming in large part because their governments have committed to making
renewables a major component of their national energy policies.

Last year, for the first time, China surpassed the United States in private clean-energy
investment. Meanwhile, China's government is poised to outspend the U.S. 3 to 1 on
public clean-energy projects over the next several years.

"The investments being made in China are just huge government investments that the
venture capital industry couldn't hope to match," said Tom Baruch, who heads CMEA
Capital in San Francisco.

At stake for Americans are thousands of new jobs, from low-skilled maintenance work to
high-level engineering, that are expected to result as the world transitions away from
fossil fuels. The International Energy Agency estimates there could be as much as $10
trillion in international spending on clean energy over the next several decades.

Partly because of the bad economy, U.S. venture capitalists cut total clean-energy
spending by half last year from a 2008 peak.

The Obama administration earmarked more than $80 billion in its economic stimulus
package for clean energy, including research ventures, home weatherization programs
and manufacturing tax credits.

But to spur more private investment and job creation, the federal government must
reassure Wall Street that the need for clean energy will grow, experts said.

"The key has to be that you create a sustained demand" for clean-energy technologies,


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said Ethan Zindler, head of North American research for Bloomberg New Energy
Finance, which tracks clean-energy investment globally.

The utility sector is increasingly anxious about what types of power will make economic
sense in the coming decades.

NextEra Energy Resources, which generates power in 26 states, is ready to double its
annual wind energy spending to $4 billion, said Lewis Hay III, CEO of FPL Group Inc.,
the utility's parent company.

But "that's just not going to happen" until Congress passes a climate bill or a renewable
electricity mandate, Hay said.

Obama's preferred energy bill would mandate greater use of renewable power
nationwide and in effect increase the price of fossil fuels by limiting emissions through a
so-called cap-and-trade system.

The nation's largest business lobbying group, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, says the
Obama plan doesn't provide the kind of certainty that will spur clean energy forward.

Karen Harbert, who leads the Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy, said
investors needed to see more streamlined permitting processes and more predictable
tax structures instead of a patchwork of incentives.

"Certainty," she said, "actually means simplicity."

Experts settle hurricane and global warming feud; predict bigger storms, but fewer ones
LA Times, February 21, 2010, by Seth Borenstein

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top researchers now agree that the world is likely to get
stronger but fewer hurricanes in the future because of global warming, seeming to settle
a scientific debate on the subject.

But they say there's not enough evidence yet to tell whether that effect has already
begun.

Since just before Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and Mississippi in 2005, dueling
scientific papers have clashed about whether global warming is worsening hurricanes
and will do so in the future. The new study seems to split the difference. A special World
Meteorological Organization panel of 10 experts in both hurricanes and climate change
— including leading scientists from both sides — came up with a consensus, which is
published online Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience.

"We've really come a long way in the last two years about our knowledge of the
hurricane and climate issue," said study co-author Chris Landsea, a National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration top hurricane researcher. The technical term for these
storms are tropical cyclones; in the Atlantic they get called hurricanes, elsewhere
typhoons.

The study offers projections for tropical cyclones worldwide by the end of this century,
and some experts said the bad news outweighs the good. Overall strength of storms as


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measured in wind speed would rise by 2 to 11 percent, but there would be between 6
and 34 percent fewer storms in number. Essentially, there would be fewer weak and
moderate storms and more of the big damaging ones, which also are projected to be
stronger due to warming.

An 11 percent increase in wind speed translates to roughly a 60 percent increase in
damage, said study co-author Kerry Emanuel, a professor of meteorology at MIT.

The storms also would carry more rain, another indicator of damage, said lead author
Tom Knutson, a research meteorologist at NOAA.

Knutson said the new study, which looks at worldwide projections, doesn't make clear
whether global warming will lead to more or less hurricane damage on balance. But he
pointed to a study he co-authored last month that looked at just the Atlantic hurricane
basin and predicted that global warming would trigger a 28 percent increase in damage
near the U.S. despite fewer storms.

That study suggests category 4 and 5 Atlantic hurricanes — those with winds more than
130 mph — would nearly double by the end of the century. On average, a category 4 or
stronger hurricane hits the United States about once every seven years, mostly in
Florida or Texas. Recent category 4 or 5 storms include 2004's Charley and 1992's
Andrew, but not Katrina which made landfall as a strong category 3.

Outside experts praised the work.

The study does a good job of summarizing the current understanding of storms and
warming, said Chunzai Wang, a researcher with NOAA who had no role in the study.

James Lee Witt, former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said
the study "should be a stern and stark warning that America needs to be better prepared
and protected from the devastation that these kinds of hurricanes produce."

The issue of hurricanes and global warming splashed onto front pages in the summer of
2005 when MIT's Emanuel published a paper in Nature saying hurricane destruction has
increased since the mid-1970s because of global warming, adding it would only get
worse.

Several weeks later Hurricane Katrina struck, killing 1,500 people and the 2005
hurricane season was the busiest on record with 28 named storms and seven major
hurricanes. But then other scientists led by Landsea disputed the conclusions that
storms were already increasing in number or intensity.

Now Landsea and Emanuel are co-authors on the same paper with Knutson.

In 2007, the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said it was "more
likely than not" that man-made greenhouse gases had already altered storm activity, but
the authors of the new paper said more recent evidence muddies the issue.

"The evidence is not strong enough that we could make some kind of statement" along
those lines, Knutson said. It doesn't mean the IPCC report was wrong; it was just based
on science done by 2006 and recent research has changed a bit, said Knutson and the


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other researchers.

Lately, the IPCC series of reports on warming has been criticized for errors. Emanuel
said the international climate panel gave "an accurate summary of science that existed
at that point."

Figuring out how 'global warming' becomes 'no global warming'
The Vancouver Sun, February 22, 2010, by Peter McKnight

Whatever your thoughts about global warming, you have to feel a little sorry for Phil
Jones.

First, the formerly private e-mails of the former director of the Climate Research Unit at
the University of East Anglia in England were hacked, leading to the so-called
climategate scandal. And now, media everywhere are putting words in Jones's mouth,
words that are the exact opposite of those he actually spoke.

In an interview with the BBC last week, Jones said he is "100-per-cent confident the
climate has warmed," and "there's evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is
due to human activity."

One day later, the United Kingdom's Daily Mail newspaper's headline read: "Climategate
U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since
1995."

The fair and balanced FOX-News.comfollowed that up with a story saying that Jones
"dropped a bombshell" in admitting "there has been no global warming over the past 15
years." Similar statements have now been repeated in media and blogs from around the
world.

Now, how does "global warming" become "no global warming?" As the Center for
Environmental Journalism explains, it's easy: When the media either don't, or choose not
to, understand the concept of statistical significance.

Jones was asked specifically whether he agreed "that from 1995 to the present there
has been no statistically significant global warming." He replied: "Yes, but only just. I
calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. The trend (0.12 C) is positive, but not
significant at the 95-per-cent significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the
significance level."

Jones's "admission" then is merely that the observed warming is not statistically
significant. This is far different from admitting there has been no warming -indeed, by
acknowledging a positive trend, he was stating that scientists have observed warming.

The trouble here revolves around the concept of statistical significance. Simply put, a
research result is considered statistically significant if it is highly unlikely to have
occurred by chance. For a result to be significant at the 95-percent level -- the level
accepted, by convention, in the sciences and social sciences -- the probability of the
result occurring by chance has to be less than five per cent.



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If the probability is greater than five per cent, then the result is considered insignificant.
This is the case with global warming between 1995 and 2009. According to Jones, there
is a greater -- though not much greater -- than five-percent probability that the observed
warming trend of 0.12 C occurred by chance.

Does this mean that the warming was just a chance event, that there has been no global
warming?

No. Real warming may have occurred even if the observed warming is statistically
insignificant. This is, in fact, quite possible given that Jones was speaking of a 15-year
period -- a very short period, and it's extremely difficult to find significant results with a
short period.

On the other hand, if the period is very large -- thousands of years, say -- then a very
small change in temperature would be statistically significant.

Jones clearly recognizes this, as he told the BBC: "Achieving statistical significance in
scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods and much less likely for shorter
periods."

In other words, whether a change in temperature is statistically significant depends on
more than the real change temperature -- sample size, or the period of time, is crucial.

That's not all. Statistical significance tells us nothing at all about whether a difference, in
temperature or anything else, is practically significant. We see this frequently in
medicine, where the small benefit produced by a given medical intervention might not be
statistically significant, but might make an enormous difference in patients' lives.

Similarly, a statistically insignificant change in temperature might have profound effects
on the environment. Moreover, a minuscule change that has no practical effect might
nonetheless be significant, particularly if scientists are considering a long time period.

Despite these problems, the scientific community's slavish adherence to statistical
significance continues: Many journals require a study to show significance before it's
published, and according to epidemiologist John Ioannidis there still exists "an ill-
founded strategy of claiming conclusive research findings solely on the basis of a single
study assessed by formal statistical significance."

But fortunately, many statisticians and statistical scientists have questioned the
usefulness of significance testing. In The Cult of Statistical Significance, economists
Stephen Ziliak and Deirdre McCloskey argue that overemphasis on statistical
significance has cost us jobs, justice and lives, and they consequently recommend that
statistical significance be dropped altogether.

The problem is, therefore, much larger than media misreporting.

Yes, the media's decision to ignore statistical significance causes significant problems,
especially for Phil Jones. But the scientific community's decision to attend almost
exclusively to statistical significance causes even more.



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Fixing the communications failure
Nature, January 21, 2010, by Dan Kahan

In a famous 1950s psychology experiment, researchers showed students from two Ivy
League colleges a film of an American football game between their schools in which
officials made a series of controversial decisions against one side. Asked to make their
own assessments, students who attended the offending team‘s college reported seeing
half as many illegal plays as did students from the opposing institution. Group ties, the
researchers concluded, had unconsciously motivated students from both colleges to
view the tape in a manner that favoured their own school1.Since then, a growing body of
work has suggested that ordinary citizens react to scientific evidence on societal risks in
much the same way. People endorse whichever position reinforces their connection to
others with whom they share important commitments. As a result, public debate about
science is strikingly polarized. The same groups who disagree on ‗cultural issues‘ —
abortion, same-sex marriage and school prayer — also disagree on whether climate
change is real and on whether underground disposal of nuclear waste is safe. The ability
of democratic societies to protect the welfare of their citizens depends on finding a way
to counteract this culture war over empirical data. Unfortunately, prevailing theories of
science communication do not help much. Many experts attribute political controversy
over risk issues to the complexity of the underlying science, or the imperfect
dissemination of information. If that were the problem, we would expect beliefs about
issues such as
environmental risk, public health and crime control to be distributed randomly or
according to levels of education, not by moral outlook. Various cognitive biases —
excessive attention to vivid dangers, for example, or self-reinforcing patterns of social
interaction — distort people‘s perception of risk, but they, too, do not explain
why people who subscribe to competing moral outlooks react differently to scientific
data. A process that does account for this distinctive form of polarization is ‗cultural
cognition.‘ Cultural cognition refers to the influence of group values — ones relating to
equality and authority, individualism and community — on risk perceptions and related
beliefs2, 3. In ongoing research, Donald Braman at George Washington University Law
School in Washington DC, Geoffrey Cohen at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California,
John Gastil at the University of Washington in Seattle, Paul Slovic at the
University of Oregon in Eugene and I study the mental processes behind cultural
cognition. For example, people find it disconcerting to believe that behaviour that they
find noble is nevertheless detrimental to society, and behaviour that they find base is
beneficial to it. Because accepting such a claim could drive a wedge between them and
their peers, they have a strong emotional predisposition to reject it.

Picking sides

Our research suggests that this form of ‗protective cognition‘ is a major cause of political
conflict over the credibility of scientific data on climate change and other environmental
risks. People with individualistic values, who prize personal initiative, and those with
hierarchical values, who respect authority, tend to dismiss evidence of environmental
risks, because the widespread acceptance of such evidence would lead to restrictions
on commerce and industry, activities they admire. By contrast, people who subscribe to
more egalitarian and communitarian values are suspicious of commerce and industry,
which they see as sources of unjust disparity. They are thus more inclined to believe that
such activities pose unacceptable risks and should be restricted. Such differences,


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we have found, explain disagreements in environmental-risk perceptions more
completely than differences in gender, race, income, education level, political ideology,
personality type or any other individual characteristic. Cultural cognition also causes
people to interpret new evidence in a biased way that reinforces their predispositions. As
a result, groups with opposing values often become more polarized, not less, when
exposed to scientifically sound information. In one study, we examined how this process
can influence people‘s perceptions of the risks of nanotechnology. We found that relative
to counterparts in a control group, people who were supplied with neutral, balanced
information immediately splintered into highly polarized factions consistent with their
cultural predispositions towards more familiar environmental risks, such as nuclear
power and genetically modified foods. Of course, because most people aren‘t in a
position to evaluate technical data for themselves, they tend to follow the lead of credible
experts. But cultural cognition operates here too: the experts whom laypersons see as
credible, we have found, are ones whom they perceive to share their values. This was
the
conclusion of a study we carried out of Americans‘ attitudes towards human-
papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for schoolgirls. This common, sexually transmitted
virus is the leading cause of cervical cancer. The US government‘s Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended in 2006 that the vaccine be routinely
administered to girls aged 11 or 12 — before they are likely to become exposed to
the virus. That proposal has languished amid intense political controversy, with critics
claiming that the vaccine causes harmful side effects and will increase unsafe sex
among teens. To test how expert opinion affects this debate, we constructed arguments
for and against mandatory vaccination and matched them with fictional male experts,
whose appearance (besuited and grey-haired, for example, or denim-shirted and
bearded) and publication titles were designed to make them look as if they had distinct
cultural perspectives. When the expert who was perceived as hierarchical and
individualistic criticized the CDC recommendation, people who shared those values and
who were already predisposed to see the vaccine

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                             ROA MEDIA UPDATE
                        THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE NEWS
                           Monday, February 22, 2010

                                UNEP or UN in the News



   Gambia: Journalist Sensitized On Bio-Safety Clearing House




Gambia: Journalist Sensitized On Bio-Safety Clearing House

Foroyaa (Banjul): A one day sensitization workshop for journalists on the Biosafety
Clearing House (BCH) was held at the Boabab Holiday Resort on the 17th February



                                                                                        126
2010. The objective of the workshop, according to the organizers, is to raise awareness
among national stakeholders on the use of BCH, with focus on journalists.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Director at the Department of Parks and Wildlife
Management Mr. Sheriff Jallow emphasized the important of the workshop citing the
Gambia as a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992 and it
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) on 24 May 2000.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), he said, is the 'Parent Body' to the
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and that the implementation of the parent body, the
CBD, requires parties to the Convention to take measures to regulate and manage or to
control the risks associated with the use and release of GMOs (Genetically Modified
Organisms) into the environment.

The Director of Parks and Wildlife Management said the Cartagena Protocol on
Biosafety is an international instrument that deals exclusively with GMOs.

Mr. Jallow said in 2007 the government of the Gambia through the Department of Parks
and Wildlife Management of the Ministry of Forestry and the Environment has received
funding from the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) for the implementation
of the BCH Project to build national capacity for effective participation in the Biosafety
Clearing House (BCH) and that the project is an add-on to the UNEP-GEF Biosafety
Framework Project (NBF). http://allafrica.com/stories/201002221671.html


                              General Environment News



   Tanzania: Tanzanian Airline Scores a First in the Reduction of Air Pollution
   Kenya: Sh2 Billion Grant to Fight Changes in Climate
   South Africa: Crumbling Sewerage Infrastructure Threatens Water Quality
   Malawi: Japan Extends Green Aid to Malawi



Tanzania: Tanzanian Airline Scores a First in the Reduction of Air Pollution

East African (Nairobi): A Tanzanian firm has become the first airline to introduce carbon
footprint offsetting, a move that is expected to minimise the effects of pollution by air
transport systems. Regional Air Services says it has chosen to work with Carbon
Tanzania, a scientific and environmental organisation based in Arusha, in offsetting
carbon footprint as part of its corporate social responsibility programme.

The move comes ahead of the launch of a national strategy on carbon offsetting, that is
expected to take place early next month. Mrs Caroline Blumer, Regional Air general
manager, told The EastAfrican that the carbon offsetting would be made possible
through funding by Carbon Tanzania.




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"We, as a safari company in the tourism industry, which aspires to be eco-friendly, will
fund forest conservation on projects such as this to contribute to the sustainable welfare
of the people and the environment," she added.

Regional Air has set aside funds, to be channelled through Carbon Tanzania, which are
geared towards protecting and regenerating the indigenous forests in Tanzania through
the community-based natural resource management programme. Carbon Tanzania's
natural forests are deemed effective carbon sinks, and through reducing measured
deforestation and degradation, the firm is increasing the forests' carbon sequestration
potential. http://allafrica.com/stories/201002221587.html


Kenya: Sh2 Billion Grant to Fight Changes in Climate

Nation (Nairobi): Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Sunday announced that the Japanese
Government has extended a Sh2.24 billion grant to support Kenya's efforts in mitigating
effects of climate change. He said the Japanese have also pledged a further Sh385
million grant to help in the restoration of the Mau Forest Complex.

The PM spoke at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport when he arrived from a week-
long tour of Japan and Thailand. "We went to seek trade and investment opportunities
as opposed to the old habit of begging for aid. But to cope with the impact of global
warming, we encourage promotion of green energy and reforestation projects," he said.

Mr Odinga unveiled some projects foreign companies planned to undertake and
encouraged investors to fully exploit opportunities in green energy production towards
reduction of carbon emission, largely blamed for the global warming.

The PM said that the Japanese wanted to assist Kenya develop a nuclear energy
reactor to bridge the power deficit. He said that car manufacturer, Toyota, expressed
interest in investing in geothermal and solar energy production especially now that it
intends to open a regional assembly plant in the country.

Mr Odinga said that Toyota top executives sanctioned plans for the construction of an oil
pipeline and export terminal from the proposed Lamu Port to Juba Town in Southern
Sudan.

"The company has confirmed plans to make Kenya a logistic hub by September this year
and also put up 30 megawatt solar energy generation plant in Garissa Town," he said.
http://allafrica.com/stories/201002220196.html


South Africa: Crumbling Sewerage Infrastructure Threatens Water Quality

Western Cape News (Cape Town): The dunes at Monwabisi beach, used by tens of
thousands of Cape Flats residents, are covered in large patches of sewage. Normally
treated upstream at the Zandvliet Waste Water Treatment Works, the treated sewage
flows along a stream through the dunes before being piped out to sea.

But on either side of the stream are large, thick patches of stinking untreated sewage.
During an inspection at the site on Tuesday last week (February 9), City of Cape Town


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Utility Committee member Bertus Van Dalen said he was unsure of the exact cause for
the sludge polluting the dunes, but it was likely due to overflows from the Zandvliet
treatment works. This happened because the infrastructure was not maintained, he said.
The problem of untreated, or semi-treated sewage spilling from Waste Water Treatment
Works, was becoming a national problem.

DA deputy shadow minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Annette Lovemore, said
only 32 out of approximately 970 water treatment plants around the country complied
with the requirements for the safe discharge of sewage.

With a compliance level of only 3%, South Africa's rivers and coastal waters are
becoming increasingly polluted, posing a danger to human health, as well as the
environment. Lovemore said the Municipal Wastewater Treatment, Base Information for
Targeted Risk-Based Regulation, 2009, showed the North West showed that not a single
treatment plant in that promise complied with the regulations.

This could cause major environmental damage to water sources, considering that with
an approximately 80% treatment works compliance level in the Western Cape, 27 of
Cape Towns rivers and water bodies have unacceptably high levels of ecoli, according
to the City of Cape Town's Inland and Coastal Water Quality report for the 12 month
period ending September 2009. http://allafrica.com/stories/201002190035.html


Malawi: Japan Extends Green Aid to Malawi

Afrol News (Lilongwe): The Japanese government extended the environmental program
grant aid - the Project for Introduction of Clean Energy by Solar Electricity Generation
System - totaling 660 million JPY to the Republic of Malawi.

Notes to this effect were exchanged on 17 February in Lilongwe, the capital city of
Malawi, between Motoyoshi Noro, Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, and Ken Kandodo,
Minister of Finance.

 In Malawi, most energy consumption is provided by biomass fuel, which produces large
amounts of carbon dioxide. Malawi is working to reduce the ratio of biomass fuel and to
diversify energy sources under the objective of increasing the utilisation rate of
renewable energy.

According to the project outline, this project will provide the necessary funds to install a
solar power generation system connected to the power system in Kamuzu Airport, which
is Lilongwe's international airport. In this way, it will contribute to reducing greenhouse
gas emissions and also to the smooth operation of airport.

The grant aid is a part of Japan's commitment to Africa announced at the Fourth Tokyo
International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV), held in May 2008 to
strengthen cooperation towards efforts in the field of climate change countermeasures
within African countries.http://www.afrol.com/articles/35390

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                               ENVIRONMENT NEWS FROM THE
                                     UN DAILY NEWS
22 February 2010

As e-waste Mountains soar, UN urges smart technologies to protect health

With the mountains of hazardous waste from electronic products growing exponentially in
developing countries, sometimes by as much as 500 per cent, the United Nations today
called for new recycling technologies and regulations to safeguard both public health and
the environment.

So-called e-waste from products such as old computers, printers, mobile phones, pagers,
digital photo and music devices, refrigerators, toys and televisions, are set to rise sharply
in tandem with growth in sales in countries like China and India and in Africa and Latin
America over the next 10 years, according to a report issued by the UN Environment
Programme (UNEP).

The study, Recycling – from E-Waste to Resources, launched at a meeting of hazardous
wastes experts in Bali, Indonesia, predicts that by 2020 e-waste from old computers will
have jumped by 500 per cent from 2007 levels in India, and by 200 to 400 per cent in
South Africa and China, while that from old mobile phones will be 7 times higher in China
and 18 times higher in India.

At the same time, most e-waste in China is improperly handled, much of it incinerated by
backyard recyclers to recover valuable metals like gold, practices that release steady
plumes of far-reaching toxic pollution and yield very low metal recovery rates compared to
state-of-the-art industrial facilities.

―This report gives new urgency to establishing ambitious, formal and regulated processes
for collecting and managing e-waste via the setting up of large, efficient facilities in China,‖
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said.

 ―China is not alone in facing a serious challenge. India, Brazil, Mexico and others may
also face rising environmental damage and health problems if e-waste recycling is left to
the vagaries of the informal sector.

―In addition to curbing health problems, boosting developing country e-waste recycling
rates can have the potential to generate decent employment, cut greenhouse gas
emissions and recover a wide range of valuable metals including silver, gold, palladium,
copper and indium. By acting now and planning forward many countries can turn an e-
challenge into an e-opportunity.‖

The report, issued at a conference of parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm
Conventions dealing with hazardous wastes ahead of UNEP‘s Governing Council meeting
in Bali, recommends that countries establish e-waste management centres of excellence,
building on existing organizations working in the area of recycling and waste management.

China‘s lack of a comprehensive e-waste collection network, combined with competition
from the lower-cost informal sector, has held back state-of-the art e-waste recycling plants,
it said, while noting a successful pilot in Bangalore, India, to transform informal e-waste
collection and management.


                                                                                            130
Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Morocco and South Africa are cited as places with great
potential to introduce state-of-the-art e-waste recycling technologies because the informal
e-waste sector is relatively small. Kenya, Peru, Senegal and Uganda have relatively low e-
waste volumes today but these are likely to grow. All four would benefit from capacity
building in so-called pre-processing technologies such as manual dismantling of e-waste,
the report says.

It notes that China already produces about 2.3 million tonnes of e-waste domestically each
year, second only to the United States with about 3 million tonnes, while it remains a major
dumping ground for developed countries despite having banned e-waste imports.

―One person‘s waste can be another‘s raw material,‖ said Konrad Osterwalder, Rector of
the UN University (UNU), which was among the co-authors of the report together with the
Swiss EMPA research institute and Umicore, an international speciality materials group.

―The challenge of dealing with e-waste represents an important step in the transition to a
green economy.

―This report outlines smart new technologies and mechanisms which, combined with
national and international policies, can transform waste into assets, creating new
businesses with decent green jobs. In the process, countries can help cut pollution linked
with mining and manufacturing, and with the disposal of old devices.

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_________________________________________________________________

UN forum focuses on improving monitoring of climate change impact

The climate change challenge is real and every social, economic and environmental
sector will be affected, said the head of the United Nations weather agency at the opening
of a climatology meeting in Antalya, Turkey, that is focusing on improving climate products
and services.

Some 150 experts from 84 countries are participating in the 15th session of the
Commission for Climatology (CCI) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO),
taking place from 19 to 24 February.

Delegates have been discussing improved climate products and services, including the
establishment of an Open Panel of Experts that will focus on thematic areas including
climate data management, global and regional climate monitoring and assessment,
climate products and services and climate information for adaptation and risk
management.

During his opening remarks, WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud pointed out that the
agency, through the CCI, has been improving climate system monitoring on various
timescales, in particular by incorporating knowledge access and tools for climate change
index analysis.

He also highlighted the agency‘s contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) report which earned the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.


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Meanwhile, a newly released study by the WMO says that while global warming could
cause the number of tropical cyclones worldwide to decrease by the end of the century,
the storms that do form probably will be more intense.

The term ―tropical cyclones‖ encompasses all tropical storms, hurricanes, typhoons and
cyclones.

The study – published online Sunday by Nature Geoscience, a journal of Britain‘s Nature
Publishing Group – was led by Tom Knutson and colleagues from WMO. The findings are
based on an analysis of past storm data as well as computer models that project future
storm activity out to the year 2100.

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                          ENVIRONMENT NEWS FROM THE
                   S.G’s SPOKESPERSON DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
22 February 2010 (None)

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