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 Dutch Diplomat Appointed Head of UN Climate Change Convention http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=19472&Cr=climate&Cr1=change . UN News Centre, August 10, 2006. "Yvo de Boer will become the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC http://unfccc.int/2860.php ), which is responsible for gathering and sharing information on greenhouse gas emissions, national policies and best practices, and launching national strategies for addressing the issue, among other measures. Mr. de Boer will assume his role on 4 September, in time to lead the Convention at the UN Climate Change Conference, which takes place in Nairobi, Kenya, in NovemberS  Mr. de Boer, who is 52 years old, is currently Director for International Affairs at the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment. He has also served as Vice-President of the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC and as Vice-Chair of the Commission on Sustainable DevelopmentS [He] will succeed the late Joke Waller-Hunter, also from the Netherlands. She was appointed to the position in 2002 and died last year at the age of 58."

New Studies Indicate Faster Melting of Greenland Ice Sheet not Offset by Additional Snowfall in Antarctic http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/10/AR200608100 1557.html . By Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post, August 11, 2006. "Two new scientific studies measuring Greenland's rapidly melting ice sheet and the pace of Antarctic snowfall suggest that the sea level may be rising faster than researchers previously assumed. The papers, both published yesterday in the journal Science, provide the latest evidence of how climate change is transforming the global landscape. University of Texas at Austin researchers, using twin satellites, determined that the Greenland ice sheet, Earth's second-largest reservoir of fresh water, is melting at three times the rate at which it had been melting over the previous five years. A separate study by 16 international scientists concluded that Antarctic snowfall accumulation has remained steady over the past 50 years, with no increases that might have mitigated the melting of the ice shelf, as some researchers had assumed would occur."

Arctic Thawed in Prehistoric Global Warming
http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article1218041.ece . By Steve Conner, The Independent (UK), August 10, 2006. "Scientists have discovered that the complete disappearance of the Arctic sea ice, 55 million years ago, coincided with a dramatic increase in concentrations of carbon dioxide or methane in the atmosphere - which must have caused global warming."

For Californians, Deadly Heat Cut a Broad Swath http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/11/us/11parched.html?ref=us . Jennifer Steinhauer, The New York Times, August 11, 2006. "A death toll in last month's heat wave of roughly 140, the highest since 1955 [before air-conditioning went mainstream], has shocked and unnerved officialsS  Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered up a task force of health and emergency service officials to study how to avoid such deaths. The length of the heat wave  . By Claudia H. Deutsch, The New York Times, August 10, 2006. "Most analysts expect the water market in the United States alone to be worth at least $150 billion by 2010. Globally, water problems are even more immediate. Many experts estimate that water-related equipment and services already make up a $400 billion global marketS. For now, opportunities for would-be water industry players seem most ample outside the United States. The United Nations Population Fund projects that in 2025, if current rates of water consumption continue, 5 billion of the world's 7.9 billion people will live in areas where safe water is scarceS  In the past few years, units of General Electric have bought four water companiesS  For now, the global water industry remains fragmented, with no company commanding more than 5 percent of sales. But it is consolidating rapidly as big companies like Siemens, GE, Danaher and ITT continue buying."

Industrial Wind Developers Blocked in Vermont http://www.caledonianrecord.com/pages/local_news/story/1f7e3bc72 . By Jeanne Miles, The Caledonian-Record, August 10, 2006. "The future of harnessing the wind to produce electricity in Vermont does not look bright. To some, the future looks downright grim. OWind power in Vermont is dead.' S [said Mathew Rubin, of] East Haven Wind, which was denied a certificate of public good to erect four wind turbines at the site of an old military radar base in East Haven by the Public Service Board in JulyS Gov. Jim Douglas has stated a number of times that industrial wind turbines have no place in Vermont. ONo developer will be able to succeed,' Rubin said. OYou can't go where you are not wanted. There are insurmountable obstacles.'"

Policies Short-Circuit Energy Efficiency, Says Report
http://www.greenbiz.com/news/news_third.cfm?NewsID=33534 . GreenBiz.com, August 10, 2006. Individual utility interconnection and tariff practices continue to be significant barriers faced by combined heat and power projects, according to a new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Ethanol Proponents Cheer Momentum, Eye Challenges
http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/37602/story.htm . By Carey Gillam, Reuters, August 10, 2006. "With sky-high oil prices spooking consumers and environmental worries mounting amid growing evidence of the ill effects of global warming, ethanol is positioned to see rapid growth this year and beyond, according to industry and government leaders gathered in Kansas City Wednesday for the annual American Coalition for Ethanol conference."

Some Environmentalists View Ethanol Policy as a Hype and Empty Promise http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/3514 . By Michelle Chen, The NewStandard, August 10, 2006. "Prompted by climbing gas prices and mandates to promote alternative fuels, Washington is pouring public money into ethanol production. But watchdogs and environmentalists fear that corporate and political agendas are eclipsing environmental concerns in a headlong rush for Ogreen' energy. While they acknowledge its potential as a renewable Obiofuel,' skeptics say that banking on ethanol in its current form is environmentally and economically unsustainable, threatening to squander over $1 billion in tax incentives that Congress has recently lavished on the industry."

Wake Up and Smell the Progress http://www.grist.orgwake%20up%20and%20smell%20the%20progress/ . Commentary by Lisa Renstrom and Bob Perkowitz, Grist Magazine, August 10, 2006. "Wal-Mart is embarking on a comprehensive sustainability program that includes emission reductions and organics -- the whole shebangS If environmentalists want to win, we need to avoid being ineffective, effete purists unable to discern between real progress, bad policies, and destructive demagoguery. We all know that America has the financial and technical wherewithal to stop global warming. We can end our addiction to oil and get back on the path to saving our natural legacy. It is, however, going to take more time and be more difficult if progressives become reactionary and inhibit progress instead of supporting it. Moan and groan if you want. We're heading over to Wal-Mart."  Lisa Renstrom is president of the Sierra Club http://www.sierraclub.org/ . Bob Perkowitz is president of ecoAmerica http://ecoamerica.net/ , a trustee of The Sierra Club Foundation and of Environmental Defense, and a partner at VivaTerra LLC.



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