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Climate Crisis Newsfeed (October 17, 2006)

Climate Crisis Coalition Newsfeed

Climate Crisis Coalition Newsfeed
www.climatecrisiscoalition.org
Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Click the highlighted headlines for links to these stories.


The Fight Over California's Prop 87 Gets Serious . By Samantha Young and Noaki Schwartz, The Associated Press, October 16, 2006."In any other year, a $60 million opposition campaign fueled by a deep-pockets industry would almost certainly spell doom for a California ballot initiative. But the infusion of $40 million by a Hollywood producer has given environmentalists pushing Proposition 87, an oil-production tax, plenty of financial firepower against the petroleum companies that oppose it... [Stephen Bing has made] the largest donation by an individual to an initiative in state history, according to California Common Cause, which tracks campaign activity. In all, supporters have collected $45.7 million. Yes on 87 spokesman Yusef Robb said the producer wants to give advocates enough money to fight back against the oil industry... The battle over the so-called oil tax has become the costliest initiative campaign in California history... Proposition 87 would tax companies drilling for oil in California until the state has generated $4 billion. The money would be set aside for loans, grants and subsidies to promote alternative fuels and more energy-efficient vehicles. A Field Poll from early October showed 44 percent of likely voters supported the initiative, down from 52 percent in July. Historically, California voters have approved 40 percent of ballot initiatives."


Property-Rights Initiatives Threaten Open Space in Four Western States . By Dan Wipple, Grist Magazine, October 16, 2006. "On Election Day, voters in Arizona, California, Idaho, and Washington will face statewide ballot initiatives that would require taxpayers to pay landowners if a zoning rule or environmental law reduces the speculative value of their property. In some places, if a government couldn't pay, it would have to waive rules that limit what, or where, a landowner may build. These 'regulatory takings' initiatives are styled after a controversial initiative, Measure 37 that Oregon voters approved in 2004... Backers of the initiatives... are falsely equating limits on development with government seizure of homes."


Schwarzenegger in NYC to Link to Northeast's Greenhouse Gas Initiative . By Karen Matthews, The Associated Press, October 16, 2006. "California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gov. George Pataki on Monday announced a partnership that would bring California together with a group of Northeast states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Schwarzenegger said he would sign an executive order on Tuesday that calls for a program that would allow his state to work with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at power plants in the Northeast beginning in 2009. It allows power plants to trade emissions credits as a way to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions in the region. The partnership is the first step in creating a system that helps California's largest manufacturers comply with stricter environmental regulations. Industrial corporations and utility companies in California must cut their greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 25 percent by 2020 as part of a landmark global warming law."


UN Meeting in Amsterdam: The World Urgently Needs Post-Kyoto Climate Deal . By Anna Mudeva, Reuters, October 17, 2006. "The world urgently needs a long-term post-Kyoto agreement to fight global warming to provide security for investors and raise more funding, the U.N. top climate official said on Tuesday. Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, told a conference in Amsterdam that governments had so far failed to generate enough funding to tackle climate change, especially in poor countries. 'To guarantee continuity for investments, a post 2012 agreement is urgently needed,' de Boer said. 'At present, the financial resources provided to developing countries do not suffice to meet the needs for mitigation and adaptation as required by ... the Kyoto protocol.' ... De Boer said he pinned high hopes on the German presidency of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialised countries in 2007 to allow post-Kyoto talks to begin."


Booming Populations Threaten East Asian Coasts . By Ben Blanchard, Reuters, October 16, 2006. "Growing populations and booming economies are threatening fragile coastal areas in East Asia, and the region's coral reefs could face total collapse within 20 years, according to a new United Nations study... 'Growing populations and their migration to coastal areas, dynamic economic growth, and rising global demands for fishery and aquatic products ... have combined to exert tremendous pressure on East Asia's marine environment and coastal resources... Large areas of mangrove in Indonesia and Vietnam have been removed to make way for shrimp farms or to convert into farmland,' the report said."


US Population Reaches 300 Million . BBC News, October 17, 2006. "The US population has hit 300 million people, just 39 years after it reached 200 million, according to US Census Bureau estimates. The population reached the milestone at 7:46 a.m. EDT - a timing based on calculations that factor in birth and death rates and migration. The bureau's math suggests that the US gains one person every 11 seconds. But it is not possible to say if the 300-millionth American was a new-born or crossed one of the US borders... there is not expected to be the same hullabaloo as when the figure of 100 million was reached in 1915, or the double century in 1967... There were 2.5 million cars in 1915, 98.9 million in 1967 and 237.2 million in 2006."


Shrinking Ponds Signal Warmer, Drier Alaska . Press release, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, October 12, 2006. "A first-of-its kind analysis of fifty years of remotely sensed imagery from the 1950s to 2002 shows a dramatic reduction in the size and number of more than 10,000 ponds in Alaska. The analysis, by University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists and published this week in the Journal of Geophysical Research, indicates that these landscape-level changes in arctic ponds are associated with recent climate warming in Alaska and may have profound effects on climate and wildlife. Over the past 50 years, Alaska has experienced a warming climate with longer growing seasons, increased permafrost thawing, an increase in water loss due to evaporation from open water and transpiration from vegetation, and yet no substantial change in precipitation. The shrinking of these closed-basin ponds may be indicative of widespread lowering of the water table throughout low-lying landscapes in Interior Alaska, write the authors. A lowered water table negatively affects the ability of wetlands to regulate climate because it enhances the release of carbon dioxide by exposing soil carbon to aerobic decomposition."


Search Power Takes a Stand for Sun Power . By Matt Richtel, The New York Times, October 17, 2006. "The Google service called Google Earth captures images of the planet from satellites. Now the search engine company is trying to capture the sun. Google said Monday that it would build a large solar electricity system to provide about 30 percent of the electricity used each day at its one-million-square-foot office complex in Mountain View, Calif. The system, which would use 9,200 solar cells — capable of powering 1,000 average California homes — would be one of the largest corporate solar installations."




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Many of the stories we post are sent in by our readers to tstokes@kyotoandbeyond.org . Opinions presented in our selections do not necessarily represent positions taken by CCC.