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Today's Top Stories on the Climate Crisis

Bush Plans Vast Protected Sea Area That Includes Hawaii

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/15/science/earth/15hawaii.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
By Andrew C. Revkin,
The New York Times,
June 15, 2006.

"President Bush will create the world's largest protected marine area today, designating as a national monument a 1,200-mile-long chain of small Hawaiian islands and surrounding waters and reefs that are home to a spectacular array of sea life, senior administration officials said last night. In his second use of the 100-year old National Antiquities Act, which empowers the president to protect important cultural or geological resources instantly, Mr. Bush will enact a suite of strict rules for the area, including a five-year phasing out of commercial and sport fishing, officials said. The chain of largely uninhabited atolls, seamounts, reefs and shoals, which sweeps northwest from the big islands of Hawaii, is called the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and is home to some 7,000 species of marine life. The region [is] 140,000 square miles [or] nearly the size of California." (For an account of the plan by Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post, click here http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/14/AR200606140 2455.html )

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank Says Cape Wind Project Is 'Good Idea'

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2006/06/15/frank_sa ys_wind_farm_project_is_good_idea/ .
By Michael M. Grynbaum,
The Boston Globe,
June 15, 2005.

"In a letter to constituents Wednesday, US Representative Barney Frank said he supports a proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound, becoming the first member of the Massachusetts delegation to publicly endorse the controversial Cape Wind project. Frank had previously supported efforts by Senator Edward M. Kennedy to pass federal legislation that would have allowed Governor Mitt Romney to veto the project. In an interview, the Newton Democrat said that he was 'never opposed' to the wind farm, but had been deferring to his congressional colleagues on district matters.  'I think wind power is a good idea. I think it's perfectly reasonable to have it south of Massachusetts,' Frank said. He added, 'I am for these principles subject to the navigation being worked out,' referring to concerns over the project's potential effect on maritime traffic in the area." (The Cape Cod Light Compact, an entity responsible for securing a power supply for customers in the 21 towns on Cape Cod and Martha's Vinyard, tabled a resolution on Wednesday declaring support for wind energy projects and voted unanimously to postpone until September further discussion about the Cape Wind proposal, the Cape Cod Times reported http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/compactsilent15.htm .)

Floating Atomic Plant for Russia

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5080732.stm .
BBC News,
March 14, 2006.
"Russia is to build the world's first floating nuclear plant, designed to provide power for remote areas. Under a contract signed on Wednesday, the plant will be built at an Arctic site where atomic submarines are made. Work is expected to start next year on two nuclear reactors and the 144m (475ft) platform for them, despite environmentalists' concerns. Nuclear industry leaders said fears about the safety of the $336m (£183m) facility were unfounded. S Charles Digges, editor of the Norwegian-based Bellona website, told the Associated Press that floating nuclear plants were Oabsolutely unsafe - inherently so'."

Carbon Pricing to Encourage New Nuclear Power Stations

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/green/story/0,,1796945,00.html .
By Patrick Wintour,
The Guardian (U.K.),
June 14, 2006.
"The British nuclear industry will build new nuclear power stations without direct state subsidies so long as the government sets a high price on carbon-polluting electricity, Malcolm Wicks, the energy minister, said Tuesday. He said a proposed carbon pricing framework will encourage use of all non-carbon electricity sources including renewable energy, nuclear and even micro wind turbines for home supply. His remarks represent the clearest explanation yet of how the government believes the nuclear industry will be encouraged to make the huge capital investment investment Tony Blair regards as essential to secure British energy supplies. Mr Wicks is leading the government's energy review that includes a controversial examination of how to replace Britain's ageing nuclear and coal fired power stations."

Scientists Urge G8 Not to Ignore Global Warming

http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=scienceNews&storyID=2 006-06-14T112127Z_01_L14523354_RTRIDST_0_SCIENCE-ENVIRONMENT-ENERGY-DC.XML

By Jeremy Lovell,
Reuters,
June 14, 2006.
"World leaders must not allow concern for energy security to distract them from taking promised action on global warming, top world scientists said on Wednesday. Climate change solutions agreed at the G8 summit in Scotland a year ago risked being pushed off the agenda at next month's G8 summit in Russia by worries about security of energy supply, they said. Britain pushed global warming to the top of the agenda during its presidency of the G8 in 2005, eliciting promises of action from some of the world's major polluters. But energy supply worries have increased as Russia briefly turned off gas supplies in December in a dispute with Ukraine, Iraq's insurgency has escalated as has a nuclear row with Iran, factors that boosted oil prices to record levels. Environmentalists say the topic has dominated discussions in the lead up to the G8 summit from July 15-17, pushing a follow-up to the resounding Gleneagles climate change declarations all but off the agenda."

Night Flights Worsen Climate-Change Peril

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060614/sc_afp/climatewarmingplanes 

Agence France-Presse,
June 14, 2006.
"Restrictions on night flights could ease the aviation industry's fast-growing contribution to global warming, a study published on Thursday says. At certain altitudes, aircraft produce contrails -- the vapour wake caused when water in the chilly atmosphere is condensed by the plane's hot exhaust. These contrails have a surprisingly big but also complex effect on the climate. Because they are clouds, they trap heat that is emitted by the Earth's surface, creating a 'greenhouse effect' that adds to warming. Yet during daytime, these clouds have a cooling effect because they are white and thus reflect some of the Sun's energy back into space. In certain conditions, contrails can exist for several hours." A report on the study by meteorologists at the University of Reading, southern England, appears in the journal Nature.

Investors Seek Climate Change Information

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/15/business/15green.html?ex=1308024000&en=87 7bb79024ba5dcd&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
The New York Times,
June 15, 2006.
"Investors worried about the possible financial fallout from greenhouse gas emissions have asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to require that companies disclose their financial vulnerability to changes in climate. Wednesday, a group of 27 investors who collectively manage more than $1 trillion in assets sent a letter to the S.E.C. chairman, Christopher Cox, asking that financial risks linked to climate change http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/science/topics/globalwarming/index.html? inline=nyt-classifier  issues be included as part of routine corporate financial reports."

Andes Gold Mining Project Approved

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/2/hi/americas/5080678.stm
.
BBC News,
June 14, 2006. 
"Chile approves plans by an international company to mine for gold in the Andes despite environmental concerns. Chile's National Environmental Commission, Conama, gave final approval on Tuesday, hearing just two of 46 complaints filed against the Pascua Lama project. Opponents argue that the Pascua Lama operation will lead to the destruction of glaciers, so contaminating pure water sources and affecting the livelihood of indigenous farmers. A recent report drawn up by Chile's Diego Portales University warned that the project could have devastating consequences for community water rights and for indigenous farmers in the area."



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