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Cook Organic not the Planet Campaign

Climate Crisis Coalition Newsfeed (Sept 12, 2006)

Bicyclists Winning a War of Lanes in San Francisco .
By Daniel B. Wood,
The Christian Science Monitor,
September 12, 2006
.

“About 40,000 residents say they commute by bike regularly… They are led by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC), which has secured backing from the public and the city to develop plans for more bike lanes, official bike routes, bike parking, and bike racks on buses. But not all residents are embracing the city's five-year plan. Critics filed a lawsuit to put the brakes on it. And in June, a San Francisco Superior Court judge put the plan on hold, preventing it from going forward until the court rules on the case. The hearing is scheduled for Sept. 13… The size and influence of the SFBC has made it a model for large cities such as Miami and St. Louis, which also seek ways to ease traffic, parking, noise, and air pollution. ‘This movement is spreading to cities all across America,’ says Dave Snyder, director of program development for the Thunderhead Alliance, a national coalition of state and local bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups.”

 

Europe, Asia Pledge to Cut Emissions .
By Robert Wielaard,
The Associated Press,
September 11, 2006
.
European and Asian leaders pledged Monday to keep cutting greenhouse gases after the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. But delegates at the two-day EU Asia summit, in Helsinki, stopped short of setting new targets beyond the Kyoto agreement, reflecting Asian concerns that sharp emissions cuts could sap the strength of energy-hungry developing economies… The commitment of Europe and Asia to continue with cuts in greenhouse emissions appeared designed to pressure the United States into a more activist role on climate change than the administration of President Bush has displayed to date… Leaders promised to push this commitment forward, by working with international financing and development institutions to encourage investment in clean energy. The summit brought together the leaders of the 25 EU nations and those of China, Japan, South Korea, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.”

 

Gore Issues Challenge to Austalia ns .
New.com.au,
September 10, 2006
.
“In Sydney to launch his documentary about the dangers of global warming, Al Gore urged Prime Minister John Howard to join the fight against the growing environmental problem… Mr Gore said, ‘Australia is in many ways the nation more at risk than any other because you have climate extremes already. The fact is, if Australia acted and changed and joined the world effort to solve this problem, you would put enormous new pressure on the U.S. to do the right thing to act.’ Mr Gore said he would speak with Mr Howard on the telephone and hoped the prime minister would change his position on signing up to Kyoto… But Mr Howard said he did not take policy advice from films, even documentaries based on fact. ‘Our policies are based on fact, too, and the fact is that if we signed the Kyoto protocol we would destroy a lot of Australian industry and we would send Australian jobs to countries like China and Indonesia and India.’”

 

Gore Takes Heat from Australian Officials .
The Sydney Morning Herald,
September 11, 2006
.
“Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane has dismissed Al Gore's climate change documentary, saying he would not be taking advice from an unsuccessful presidential candidate… ‘
There are three places I do not go for advice on climate change,’ Mr Macfarlane said. ‘One of them is to unsuccessful candidates for the U.S. presidency who cannot even convince their own people that they are right. The second place is the movie ... the third place is the Labor Party, who promote a policy that will cost jobs in Australia.’ Both the U.S. and Australia have refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol… Mr Gore has urged Prime Minister John Howard to join the fight against the growing environmental problem. But Mr Howard has said he will not be meeting Mr Gore during his Australian visit.”

 

Biodiesel Production Responds to Rising Demand .
By Susan Moran,
The New York Times,
September 12, 2006
.
Growth in the last year has been ‘phenomenal, almost frightening,’ said Joe Jobe, chief executive of the National Biodiesel Board, a trade association... About 76 commercial biodiesel plants are in production today, up from 22 in 2004. The average business operates one plant that yields 30 million gallons a year of fuel and costs up to $20 million to build. Some companies are planning refineries capable of brewing up to 100 million gallons a year. Nationwide production of the fuel tripled last year over 2004 to 75 million gallons. The board estimates that production will double this year, but Mr. Jobe estimates that the number could reach as much as, if not more, than 250 million gallons by year’s end. That’s still a drop in the bucket compared with the nearly 140 billion gallons of gasoline the United States consumes each year. It also pales in comparison with ethanol.”

 

Going Yellow: Energy Department Says Ethanol Is a an Energy Winner .
By Harry Stoffer,
Auto Week,
September 11, 2006
.
“Along with automakers, the Bush administration wants to end debate over whether ethanol made from corn yields more energy than does the fuel used to produce it. The Energy Department's verdict: It does… The department cites an analysis by the Argonne National Laboratory, which identifies a big positive energy balance for corn ethanol. The calculation includes the natural gas, petroleum products, electricity and coal used to grow corn, distill it into alcohol and deliver ethanol. It does not count solar energy in the corn. The analysis ‘has laid to rest some long-held misunderstandings about ethanol,’ the department says. Critics who call ethanol an energy loser don't account for the improving efficiency of ethanol plants or other benefits, the department adds… ‘Every argument they make is bogus,’ says Tad Patzek, one of the leading critics of ethanol, of the administration's defense. Patzek, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, vows to keep fighting ethanol. Even if the administration's optimistic assumptions are granted, Patzek says, ethanol at best breaks even. That is, the energy derived from ethanol would be no greater than the energy used to make it, he says.”

 

Brazil Ethanol Exports to Rise Sharply .
By Michael Astor,
The Associated Press,
September 11, 2006
.
“Brazil is aggressively expanding its sugarcane plantations and expects to more than double its annual exports of alcohol fuel, or ethanol, by 2010, Mines and Energy Minister Silas Rondeau said Monday. Thanks to the rapid expansion of sugarcane areas, the country will export about 2.1 billion gallons of ethanol in 2010, up from current exports of about 790 million gallons, Rondeau said at the Rio Oil and Gas Expo and Conference.”

 

Clean Technology Key to French Coal Revival .
By Muriel Boselli,
Reuters,
September 11, 2006
.

“Surging demand for energy, coupled with high oil and gas prices have revived France's enthusiasm for coal but it may be short-lived without fast development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. After the 1970s oil crisis, France gradually switched from heavy use of coal to nuclear power. The last coal pit shut in 2004 and a French company's announcement last month that it planned to mine one in central France caused a stir.”

 

Humans 'Causing Stronger Storms' .
By Richard Black,
BBC News,
September 11, 2006
.
“Increases in hurricane intensity are down to humanity's greenhouse gas emissions, according to new analysis. Scientists calculate that two-thirds of the recent rise in sea temperatures, thought to fuel hurricanes, is [boiled] down to anthropogenic emissions. Research published last year found there had been a sharp rise in the incidence of category 4 and 5 storms - the strongest - in recent decades… The latest research... uses 22 computer models of climate to examine a possible link between sea surface temperatures and human-induced global warming… concluding is that the observed temperature increases in hurricane breeding grounds cannot be explained by natural processes alone.”

 

An Interview with James E. Lovelock .
By Andrew C. Revkin,
The New York Times,
September 12, 2006.

Few scientists have elicited such equivalent heaps of praise and criticism as James E. Lovelock, the British chemist, inventor and planetary diagnostician… His conception in 1972 of the planet’s chemistry, climate and veneer of life as a self-sustaining entity, soon given the name Gaia, was embraced by the Earth Day generation and was ridiculed, but eventually accepted (with big qualifications), by many biologists [ Scientists Debate Gaia, MIT Press, 2004]… In his latest book, The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth is Fighting Back – and How We Can Still Save Humanity (Perseus, 2006), Dr. Lovelock says that any risks posed by nuclear power are small when compared with the “fever” of heat-trapping carbon dioxide produced by burning coal, oil and other fossil fuels…
Opponents of nuclear power have started a counteroffensive to Dr. Lovelock’s call for a new nuclear age, arguing that mining uranium and building nuclear plants releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide, and that the danger from accidents or terrorism is too great. In an interview during a stop in Manhattan last week with his wife, Sandy, Dr. Lovelock, still fit and feisty at 87 and seemingly relishing his role as provocateur, said that such objections were baseless and dangerous.”