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New Combatant Against Global Warming: Insurance Industry . By Ron Scherer, The Christian Science Monitor, October 13, 2006. “Insurance companies, who like to stay out of the limelight, are becoming leading business protagonists in the assault on global warming. • Next week, Travelers, the giant insurance firm, will offer owners of hybrid cars in California a 10 percent discount. It already offers the discount in 41 other states and has cornered a large share of the market. • This fall, Fireman's Fund will cut premiums for "green" buildings that save energy and emit fewer greenhouse gases. When it pays off claims, it will direct customers to environmentally friendly products to replace roofs, windows, and water heaters. • In January, Marsh, the largest insurance broker in the US, will offer a program with Yale University to teach corporate board members about their fiduciary responsibility to manage exposure to climate change. The insurance industry's clout is sizable. It's the second-largest industry in the world in terms of assets, and has a direct link to most homeowners and businesses. It insures coal-fired power plants as well as wind farms, so it can influence the power industry's cost structure.”

Bush Says Lower Oil Prices Won’t Blunt New-Fuel Push . By Alexei Barrionuevo, The New York Times, October 13, 2006. “At a conference to promote bio-fuels, President Bush suggested that the push to wean America from its oil addiction would be a priority of the last two years of his presidency. ‘Let me put it bluntly,’ Mr. Bush said. ‘We are too dependent on oil.’ Mr. Bush promised that his administration would continue to pay for research into breakthrough technologies in ethanol, hybrid vehicles and nuclear power, and would uphold tax credits that he said were encouraging private investment to flood into the sector. While saying that corn-produced ethanol was good for farmers and good for the country’s economy, he also said ethanol from noncorn crops, like wood chips and switchgrass, a tall, drought-resistant prairie grass, would be needed to supply enough of the fuel to substantially blunt America’s dependence on oil… The conference was an unusual collaboration between the Energy and Agriculture Departments, which jointly organized the event.”

Expert Federal Panel Urges New Look at Land Use Along Coasts in Effort to Reduce Erosion . By Cornelia Dean, The New York Times, October 13, 2006. “Unless there are major changes in the regulation of land use along the United States’ sheltered coasts, many landscapes in the nation’s estuaries, bays, lagoons and mudflats will be damaged or destroyed by erosion, an expert panel reported yesterday. The panel said a rising sea level was accelerating erosion on these coasts, even as more people seek to live along them. The panel said a rising sea level was accelerating erosion on these coasts, even as more and more people seek to live along them. Seawalls, bulkheads and other engineered barriers can offer short-term protection from erosion, the experts said, but long term they often result in the loss of landscapes vital for birds, fish and shellfish and important for their recreational and aesthetic value… The panel was convened by the National Research Council , the research arm of the National Academy of Sciences . Its report, “Mitigating Shore Erosion Along Sheltered Coasts,” was posted yesterday at .

Home Wind Turbines Turn Fashionable in Britain . By Oliver Bullough, Reuters, October 12, 2006. “The [British] government is so far showing no signs of making turbines compulsory, but earlier this year it launched an initiative that will devote 80 million pounds ($150 million) over the next three years to develop and promote microgeneration…. About 80,000 homes in Britain are producing electricity with small renewable power generation units such as turbines… Small turbine producers have sprung up in Britain. One manufacturer, Futurenergy, sells domestic wind turbines for 695 pounds ($1,200) on its Web site ( and began shipping them four months ago. They now sell about 100 a week to customers all over the world.”

The Vanishing Snows of Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya . The Associated Press, October 13, 2006. “Ice will disappear from Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, and Mount Kenya, the second-highest, if deforestation and industrial pollution is not stopped, said Fredrick Njau of the Kenyan Green Belt Movement. Kilimanjaro has already lost 82 percent of its ice cover over 80 years, said Njau. Mount Kenya, one of the few places near the equator with permanent glaciers, has lost 92 percent of its ice over the past 100 years. Mount Kilimanjaro, which is in Tanzania, and Mount Kenya, the highest mountain in Kenya, are major attractions for mountaineers, hikers and other tourists. ‘The two mountains will lose their ice mass in the coming 25 to 50 years if deforestation and industrial pollution are not brought to an end,’ said Njau, who heads the organization's Mount Kenya Bio-Carbon Project."

The American West: A Warming Epicenter . By Electa Draper, The Denver Post, October 13, 2006. “The globe is warming, but the American West is really cooking - hotter and faster on average than the rest of the U.S. Denver Post… It's not just the farm and shorter irrigation seasons at stake. It probably means shorter skiing and rafting seasons but longer droughts, worse floods, sweatier summers and more dead trees. The West is already 2 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than its average annual temperature, calculated using more than 100 years of records, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Most scientific studies peg the rise in the Earth's average temperature since 1880 at 1 degree Fahrenheit, making it the warmest it has been in the past 400 years.”

Keep on Truckin’. By Shia Levitt, Living On Earth, NPR, Week of October 6, 2006. “Inspired by Willie Nelson’s advocacy of biodiesel, a growing number of American truckers are hitting the road powered by the homegrown renewable fuel. BioWillie fuel is showing up at service stations around the country, as truckers’ demand for the alternative fuel increases. There are now almost five hundred truck stops in the country that sell biodiesel fuel. The eco-friendly fuel blend has become popular among truckers; it’s even getting a push on satellite radio’s trucker station… Many truckers feel a tie to farmers because they transport agricultural products. And so far, biodiesel is not allowed to travel by pipeline. Instead, it's hauled by rail or tanker truck, so it's a source of work for truckers, too. The National Biodiesel Board ranks trucker outreach as one of its top priorities.”

Earth After Man ... You Wouldn't Know We'd Been Here,23599,20571085-401,00.html . By Lewis Smith, The Austalian, October 13, 2006. “If man were to vanish from the face of the Earth today, his footprint on the planet would linger for the mere blink of an eye in geological terms. Within hours, nature would begin to eradicate it. In 50,000 years, all that would remain would be some archaeological traces. Only radioactive materials and a few man-made chemical contaminants would last longer - an invisible legacy. Homo sapiens has managed just 150,000 years on Earth, and its earliest - debatable - ancestor only six million. By contrast, the dinosaurs populated the planet for 165million years.”

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