Saturday, May 12, 2007

Literary Warrant [10]

  • Georgii A. Alexandrov, Carbon Stock Growth in a Forest Stand: The Power of Age Carbon Balance and Management, v.2, no.4 (March 26, 2007)

    "Understanding the relationship between the age of a forest stand and its biomass is essential for managing the forest component of the global carbon cycle. Since biomass increases with stand age, postponing harvesting to the age of biological maturity may result in the formation of a large carbon sink. This article quantifies the carbon sequestration capacity of forests by suggesting a default rule to link carbon stock and stand age.

    "The results of this study imply that forest age could be used as an easily understood and scientifically sound measure of the progress in complying with national targets on the protection and enhancement of forest carbon sinks."—Abstract.

  • C40 Large Cities Climate Summit (May 14-17, 2007)

    "[L]eaders of municipal governments and international businesses from over thirty world cities convened in New York City for the second C40 Large Cities Climate Summit. Cities are responsible for three-quarters of the world's energy consumption, and as such, the world's largest cities have a critical role to play in the reduction of carbon emissions and the reversal of dangerous climate change."

  • Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), Campaign Exposes Naked Truth About New Energy Efficient Washing Machines (Press release) (May 16, 2007)

    "The federal government's new energy efficiency standards for washing machines have destroyed the ability of many top-loaders to get clothes clean, according to the latest issue of Consumer Reports. Today the Competitive Enterprise Institute is launching a new campaign, calling on Americans to protest this fiasco by sending their underwear to the Undersecretary of Energy."

  • Docuticker, Recent/Updated CRS Reports (May 14, 2007)

    Links to numerous reports addressing:

  • Aasgeir Helland et al., National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Reviewing the Environmental and Human Health Knowledge Base of Carbon Nanotubes Environmental Health Perspectives (doi:10.1289/ehp.9652) (May 10, 2007)

    "The widespread projected usage of CNT makes it important to understand their potential harmful effects. This environmental health review observed a remarkable spread of results in some toxicology studies. The comparability should be improved by further standardization and introduction of reference materials. However, in the meantime the findings of this review suggest several key points: There are different types of CNT and therefore they cannot be considered a uniform group of substances. In environmental compartments CNT can be bioavailable to organisms and their properties suggest a possible accumulation along the food chain and high persistence. In organisms the absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity of CNT depend on the inherent physical and chemical characteristics, such as CNT functionalisation, coating, length and agglomeration state, which are influenced by the external environmental conditions during the CNT production, usage and disposal stages. Characterized exposure scenarios could therefore be useful when conducting toxicological studies. However, CNT will produce a toxic response once reaching the lungs in sufficient quantity, reactions produced in a time and dose dependent manner. The identification of possible risks to human health and environment is a prerequisite for a successful introduction of CNT in tomorrow's applications."—Abstract.

  • Indiana University-Bloomington School of Law & Federal Communications Bar Association, The Crisis in Public Safety Communications, Federal Communications Law Journal (March 2007)

    "On December 8, 2006, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University sponsored a symposium entitled 'The Crisis in Public Safety Communications.' Public safety communications has recently become a priority for the Federal Communications Commission, and in response we decided to add the pieces produced for the symposium to this Issue. We are honored to have four distinguished Authors contribute to our Journal on such an important topic."—Editor's Note.

  • Frances Irwin & Janet Ranganathan, World Resources Institute, Restoring Nature's Capital: An Action Agenda to Sustain Ecosystem Services (2007)

    "The authors contend that governance—who makes decisions, how they are made, and with what information—is at the heart of sustaining healthy ecosystems. With this as their fundamental tenet, the authors present an action agenda for reversing degradation of ecosystems and sustaining their capacity to provide vital services for generations to come. The action agenda identifies how decisions about development projects and investments can be made in ways that lead to healthy ecosystem services. These decisions, made by local and national governments, corporations, and international financial institutions, involve billions of dollars, affect huge swaths of land and water, and affect millions of people."

  • Michael Le Page, Climate Change: A Guide for the Perplexed, New Scientist Environment (May 16, 2007)

    "[F]or those who are not sure what to believe, here is our round-up of the 26 most common climate myths and misconceptions."

  • Miranda M. Loh et al., National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Ranking Cancer Risks of Organic Hazardous Air Pollutants in the United States Environmental Health Perspectives (doi:10.1289/ehp.9884) (May 15, 2007)

    "In conclusion, this analysis has attempted to estimate cancer risk from exposure to hazardous air pollutants to a general population, as well as high risk scenarios for certain compounds. The risk to the general population is two orders of magnitude larger than the EPA acceptable risk level. Including risks from highly exposed and susceptible subpopulations would increase this risk. Because regulatory decisions are based on risk evaluations, it is important to know where exposures are coming from and to include as much of the current toxicological information as possible. Our analyses provide insight not only about the high-risk compounds, but also about the predominant sources of exposure for those compounds, which will allow for more effective means of exposure reduction. Future research should focus on refining toxicity evidence for the high-risk compounds in our analysis and on filling some identified microenvironmental exposure gaps, to further reduce uncertainties in decisions regarding prioritization among HAPs (hazardous air pollutants) control measures."

  • Karl Mallon, Director, Transition Institute, Australia; Greg Bourne Chief Executive, WWF-Australia; & Richard Mott, Vice President, WWF-US, Climate Solutions: The WWF Vision for 2050 (2007)

    "This WWF [World Wildlife Foundation] report seeks to answer the question: 'Is it technically possible to meet the growing global demand for energy by using clean and sustainable energy sources and technologies that will protect the global climate?' In other words, can a concerted shift to the sustainable energy resources and technologies that are available today meet the more than doubling of global energy demand projected by 2050, while avoiding dangerous climatic change of more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels?

    "The report's conclusion is that the technologies and sustainable energy resources known or available today are sufficient to meet this challenge, and there is still sufficient time to build up and deploy them, but only if the necessary decisions are made in the next five years. Yet it is clear that the economic policies and governmental interventions needed to propel this transition are not now in place, or even in prospect in most cases. This is a matter to which the world needs to give urgent attention."—Executive Summary.

  • Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology, Application of Biotechnology for Functional Foods (2007)

    "This report looks at the potential to develop functional foods through the application of modern biotechnology. The first section describes some recent scientific advances that could lead to functional foods on grocery store shelves, and the second section analyzes the legal authorities that could govern the use of biotechnology-derived functional foods.

    "The analysis of relevant statutory authorities suggests that there is ample legal authority to cover the kinds of functional foods currently being explored in laboratories, but that different authorities may come into play for different kinds of foods and that the application of different authorities can have significant consequences for product developers, food manufacturers and consumers. Different authorities impose different safety and labeling standards, have different requirements for regulatory review and clearance or approval, and could result in different levels of transparency to the public. The use of modern biotechnology to produce functional foods will not likely fundamentally challenge existing regulatory structures, but may challenge the boundaries of some regulatory classifications."—Preface

  • Physicians for Civil Defense, Global Warming Primer, Civil Defense Perspectives, v.23, no.3 (March 2007)

    "Climate catastrophe from rising CO2 emissions is an implausible hypothesis that has been decisively disproved. In contrast to the trivial greenhouse effect of CO2, its powerful fertilizing effect has been ignored or denied. The proposed 'remedy' for the natural warming trend is to 'decarbonize' energy, either by keeping carbon-based fuels in the ground or pumping CO2 emissions back into the ground at enormous expense. This policy would starve the economy of energy, its lifeblood—and the biosphere of the basic building block of all life. A carbon-limited world is one that limits life itself, as well as freedom and prosperity. The temporary beneficiaries are unprincipled people who seek money and power. The price is poverty, misery, oppression, and death."—Conclusions.

  • Elizabeth Ridlington, Policy Analyst, Frontier Group & Rob Sargent, Energy Program Director, U.S. PIRG Education Fund, The Clean Cars Program: How States Are Driving Cuts in Global Warming Pollution (May 2007)

    "Rising global temperatures, unpredictable weather and alarming scientific predictions have led to increasing public concern about the impacts of global warming on the environment, health and society. But while the Bush administration continues to resist efforts to reduce global warming pollution, many states are taking effective actions to address the threat—including the adoption of the 'Clean Cars Program,' which sets limits on global warming pollution from cars, light trucks and SUVs."—Executive Summary.

  • Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, The International Day for Biological Diversity: Biodiversity and Climate Change (May 22, 2007)

    "Given the importance of climate change-biodiversity links, it is important to:

    • conserve biodiversity that is especially sensitive to climate change,

    • preserve habitats so as to facilitate the long-term adaptation of biodiversity,

    • mprove our understanding of climate change – biodiversity linkages, and

    • fully integrate biodiversity considerations into mitigation and adaptation plans."
    • —Responding Actions.
    The web site includes links to literature and other resources on climate change and biodiversity.

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), A Literature Review of Wipe Sampling Methods for Chemical Warfare Agents and Toxic Industrial Chemicals (EPA/600/R-07/004) (January 2007)

    "Wipe sampling is an important technique for the estimation of contaminant deposition in buildings, homes, or outdoor surfaces as a source of possible human exposure. Numerous methods of wipe sampling exist, and each method has its own specification for the type of wipe, wetting solvent, and determinative step to be used, depending upon the contaminant of concern. The objective of this report is to concisely summarize the findings of a literature review that was conducted to identify the state-of-the-art wipe sampling techniques for a target list of compounds. This report describes the methods used to perform the literature review; a brief review of wipe sampling techniques in general; an analysis of physical and chemical properties of each target analyte; an analysis of wipe sampling techniques for the target analyte list; and a summary of the wipe sampling techniques for the target analyte list, including existing data gaps.

    "In general, no overwhelming consensus can be drawn from the current literature on how to collect a wipe sample for the chemical warfare agents, organophosphate pesticides, and other toxic industrial chemicals of interest to this study. Different methods, media, and wetting solvents have been recommended and used by various groups and different studies. For many of the compounds of interest, no specific wipe sampling methodology has been established for their collection. Before a wipe sampling method (or methods) can be established for the compounds discussed in this report, two steps must be taken: (1) conduct investigative research to fill in the gaps in wipe sampling knowledge, and (2) conduct method validation to optimize the methods."—Abstract.

  • The World Bank, The Little Green Data Book 2007 (2007)

    "Public discussion of climate change intensified during 2006 and early 2007. The Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change published the fourth in its series of reports on the current scientific understanding of the impacts of climate change on natural, managed, and human systems; the capacity of these systems to adapt; and their vulnerability. The reports deem human causation of climate change to be very likely. Late 2006 saw the publication of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, which emphasizes the major economic costs of climate change under different emission scenarios and suggests that early action to curb emissions will reduce costs substantially. As a response to this renewed attention to climate change, the Focus section of The Little Green Data Book 2007 takes a closer look at carbon dioxide emissions."—Foreword.

  • World Resources Institute, Climate Change and Energy Security Impacts and Tradeoffs in 2025

    "U.S. policymakers are now considering a range of options to address the issues of future U.S. energy security and climate change. Energy policies are often proposed to address some combination of these. Yet not all policy options have equal impacts across both, and many options have negative impacts with respect to one or the other.

    "This chart shows how selected energy options compare, with respect to energy security and climate change impact. Bubble size corresponds to energy provided or avoided in 2025 with respect to a 'business as usual' mix in 2025. Options in the upper-right quadrant have positive impacts with respect to climate change and energy security, while those in the lower-left have negative impacts to both. Those in the other quadrants involve tradeoffs. As depicted by the size of the bubbles, policy options vary significantly in their potential to meet future energy demand."

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Literary Warrant [9]

  • beSpacific, President Declares Major Disaster For Kansas (May 7, 2007)

    Links to press releases and other resources related to the tornado and flooding disaster.

  • Gretchen Beyer, Senior Vice President, TechNet, Green Technologies: An Innovation Agenda for America (Recommendations of the TechNet Green Technologies Task Force) (2007)

    "TechNet, the bipartisan political network of chief executives that promotes the growth of the innovation economy, today unveiled comprehensive policy recommendations to spur the development and adoption of new technologies to improve energy efficiency, encourage use of renewable energy and protect the environment."—Press release (March 14, 2007)

  • Climate Change?

    Figuratively speaking, that is, as in Lawsuit Climate 2007: Ranking the States. "The 2007 State Liability Systems Ranking Study was conducted for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform among a national sample of in-house general counsel or other senior corporate litigators to explore how reasonable and balanced the tort liability system is perceived to be by U.S. business. The 2007 ranking builds on previous years' work where each year all 50 states are ranked by those familiar with the litigation environment in that state. Prior to these rankings, information regarding the attitudes of the business world towards the legal systems in each of the states had been largely anecdotal. The State Liability Systems Ranking Study aims to quantify how corporate attorneys view the state systems."—Executive Summary.

  • Mike Daulton, Director of Conservation Policy, National Audubon Society, Impacts of Wind Turbines on Birds and Bats (Testimony...Before the Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans) (May 1, 2007)

    "As the threats of global warming loom ever larger, alternative energy sources like wind power are essential. Many new wind power projects will need to be constructed across the country as part of any serious nationwide effort to address global warming. This shift toward renewable energy is well underway. According to the American Wind Energy Association, over the past year the U.S. wind energy industry installed more than 2,400 megawatts of new power generation, making wind one of the largest sources of new power generation in the country at a time of growing electricity demand. The state of Texas recently announced its intention to become the country's wind power capital. Audubon supports the expansion of properly-sited wind power as a solution to global warming, and supports federal legislation, such as the Production Tax Credit and a Renewable Electricity Standard, which would further encourage this expansion and help to reduce pollution from fossil fuels.

    "At the same time, it is critical that this expansion be managed responsibly, because it is clear that wind facilities are capable of killing a large number of birds and other wildlife. Some early wind projects like Altamont in California are notorious for killing many raptors, including Golden Eagles. The lessons learned from Altamont still loom over the industry: if wind turbines are located in the wrong places, they can be hazardous and they can fragment critical habitat. In cases where the birds affected are already in trouble, such as sage grouse in windy parts of the Plains States, the turbines could push them closer to extinction."

  • Mark Gaffigan, Acting Director Natural Resources and Environment, Government Accountability Office (GAO), Maritime Security: Opportunities Exist to Further Clarify the Consequences of a Liquefied Natural Gas Tanker Spill (Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of Representatives) (May 7, 2007)

    "The six studies GAO reviewed examining the potential effect of a fire resulting from an LNG spill produced varying results; some studies also examined other potential hazards of a large LNG spill and reached consistent conclusions on explosions. Specifically, the studies' conclusions about the distance at which 30 seconds of exposure to the heat (heat hazard) could burn people ranged from less than 1/3 of a mile to about 1-1/4 miles. Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) conducted one of the studies and concluded, based on its analysis of multiple attack scenarios, that a good estimate of the heat hazard distance would be about 1 mile. Federal agencies use this conclusion to assess proposals for new LNG import terminals."—What GAO Found.

  • Duncan Hollis, Opinio Juris (blog), Passing Gas through Passamaquoddy Bay (May 9, 2007)

    "Two different liquefied natural gas (LNG) companies are seeking approval from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build storage terminals along Maine's coastline abutting Passamaquoddy Bay. One proposal would have the LNG facility lie within the Passamaquoddy tribe’s Pleasant Point reservation (The Quoddy LNG project) while another would have it in Robbinston, Maine (the Downeast LNG project). There's already some tension between the two competing projects that may effect how the issue plays out down the line, but for now FERC is proceeding with its 18 month approval process on both applications. The Quoddy LNG projects appears our in front, having signed a contract a few weeks ago to buy a 300 acre parcel from the Passamaquoddy tribe for the terminal site.

    "The real controversy though lies outside the U.S. regulatory process in questions over how the LNG will reach any newly built terminals. To get to the Maine shoreline in Passamaquoddy Bay, tankers would need to traverse Head Harbor Passage and that passage by all accounts falls within Canadian waters. Canada along with several grass roots organizations do not want giant LNG tankers transiting these waters, which are narrow and difficult to navigate, raising the spectre of significant environmental and property damage should an accident (or even a terrorist attack) occur."

  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2007: Mitigation of Climate Change—Summary for Policymakers (Working Group III contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report) (May 7, 2007)

    "The Working Group III contribution to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) focuses on new literature on the scientific, technological, environmental, economic and social aspects of mitigation of climate change, published since the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR) and the Special Reports on COB2B Capture and Storage (SRCCS) and on Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and the Global Climate System (SROC).

    "The following summary is organised into six sections after this introduction:
    • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission trends

    • Mitigation in the short and medium term, across different economic sectors (until 2030)

    • Mitigation in the long-term (beyond 2030)

    • Policies, measures and instruments to mitigate climate change

    • Sustainable development and climate change mitigation

    • Gaps in knowledge."—Introduction.

  • National Governors Association (NGA) Center for Best Practices, A Governor's Guide to Homeland Security (2007)

    "A Governor's Guide to Homeland Security contains practical advice for governors on how to organize their states to prepare for and respond to hazards of all kinds effectively. It shares information and guidance on how to approach issues such as mutual aid, information sharing, obtaining assistance from the military and protecting critical infrastructure. Last published in 2002, the guide includes a significant amount of new and updated information."—Press release (March 15, 2007)

  • Cymie R. Payne, ASIL Insight: U.S. Supreme Court, Greenhouse Gas Regulation and Foreign Policy Considerations, v.12, no.1 (May 3, 2007)

    "In time for Earth Day, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in the well-publicized case, Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, directing the agency to reconsider its refusal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Justice Stevens opens with the facts of climate change that are the background to the case: respected scientists believe a well-documented rise in global temperatures is related to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the harms associated with climate change are serious and well recognized, and the transportation sector is a very large emitter of carbon dioxide. The Court reviews the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the history of U.S. diplomacy, the development of the international climate regime starting with scientific cooperation through the IPCC to the 1992 Earth Summit where the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed, and ultimately the Kyoto Protocol."

  • Kenneth S. Rukstales & Jeffrey J. Love, United States Geological Survey (USGS), The International Geomagnetic Reference Field, 2005

    Strictly speaking, these maps are more "dynamic" than "juris," but they are "five world charts showing the declination, inclination, horizontal intensity, vertical component, and total intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field at mean sea level at the beginning of 2005." Further details, including an informative FAQs, may be found at the National Geomagnetism Program.

  • Edward B. Rust, Jr., & Kerry Killinger, Financial Services Roundtable Blue Ribbon Commission on Mega-Catastrophes, A Call to Action (2007)

    "Federal, state and local governments, the private sector, and American citizens themselves, must be substantially better prepared to face the devastating impact of future mega-catastrophes. Governments at all levels, together with the private sector, must do a better job of attending to the human and economic needs of victims immediately after mega-catastrophes. These are two of the findings released in a new report A Call To Action by the Financial Services Roundtable Blue Ribbon Commission on Mega-Catastrophes. The report identifies other disaster preparedness needs and offers 25 recommendations to better prepare the nation for future catastrophes."—Press release (May 4, 2007)

  • UN-Energy, Sustainable Bioenergy: A Framework for Decision Makers (April 2007)

    "The report pointed out the many benefits of bioenergy systems in relation to poverty alleviation, access to energy services, rural development and rural infrastructure. It reviewed the likely impact of bioenergy in terms of food security, climate change, biodiversity and natural resources, employment and trade. It also identified the vital points decision makers need to consider and stressed that, 'Unless new policies are enacted to protect threatened lands, secure socially acceptable land use, and steer bioenergy development in a sustainable direction overall, the environmental and social damage could in some cases outweigh the benefits.'"—FAO Newsroom press release (May 8, 2007)

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Air Trends: Air Quality and Emissions—Progress Continues in 2006

    "An early look at air quality and emissions data for 2006 shows continued improvement in the nation's air quality over the long term, EPA reports. Emissions of six key pollutants have dropped by more than half since 1970 and the national average concentration for each criteria pollutant is below the level of its air quality standard."—Air Pollution Down, Air Quality Up (Press release) (April 30, 2007)

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) & United States Department of the Interior, Offices of Inspector General, Tribal Successes: Protecting the Environment and Natural Resources (May 2007)

    "Numerous Tribes use innovative practices to protect natural resources and the environment. This report showcases only a small sample of Tribal communities that demonstrate success in achieving natural resource and environmental goals. The overall intent of this report is to highlight examples of successful Tribal practices that will inspire and be useful to others in successfully implementing their own natural resource and environmental programs."—Preface.

  • Urban Land Institute (ULI) & Ernst & Young, Infrastructure 2007: A Global Perspective (2007)

    "The United States' relatively low investment in virtually all aspects of mobility-related infrastructure—airports, public transit, railway systems, roads and bridges—is an 'emerging crisis' that will compromise the ability of the nation’s cities to compete globally, according to a new report co-published by the Urban Land Institute and Ernst & Young.

    "Infrastructure 2007: A Global Perspective offers a comprehensive look at the status of current and planned infrastructure investment and development in a variety of categories in countries worldwide, with a particular focus on the United States, China, Japan, India, and Europe. The first of its kind, the report discusses the evolving infrastructure market, including private and combination public-private systems for funding, construction, operations and management."—Press release (May 9, 2007)

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Literary Warrant [8]

  • American Lung Association, State of the Air: 2007 (May 1, 2007)

    "For the first time since the American Lung Association began issuing its annual air quality report card, data reveal a split picture along either side of the Mississippi River, as particle pollution (soot)—the most dangerous pollutant—increased in the East but decreased in the West, while ozone (smog) decreased nationwide from peaks reported in 2002. The number of counties scoring an A grade for ozone levels increased from 82 in 2000 to 145 this year, but particle pollution levels show an ominous trend, with F grades nearly doubling in just one year, according to American Lung Association State of the Air: 2007."—Press release.

  • John Blodgett, Deputy Assistant Director & Larry Parker, Specialist in Energy Policy, Resources, Science, and Industry Division, Congressional Research Service (CRS), Greenhouse Gas Emission Drivers: Population, Economic Development and Growth, and Energy Use (CRS Report for Congress, Order Code RL33970) (April 24, 2007)

    "Stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions would mean the rate of change equals zero. Globally, with a population growth rate of 1.4% per year and an income growth rate of 1.7% per year, intensity would have to decline at a rate of -3.1% per year to hold emissions at the level of the year that rate of decline went into effect. Within the United States, at the 1990s population growth rate of 1.2% per year and income growth rate of 1.8% per year, intensity would have had to decline at a rate of -3.0% per year to hold emissions level; however, U.S. intensity declined at a rate of -1.6%, leaving emissions to grow at 1.4% per year. President Bush's Climate Change Initiative seeks to increase the rate of intensity decline through 2012 by about -0.4% per year—well short of stabilizing or reducing greenhouse gas emissions."—Summary.

  • Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), CREW Documents Tell Story of Aid Not Used to Help Katrina Victims (April 29, 2007)

    "In light of today's Washington Post article, 'Most Katrina Aid From Overseas Went Unclaimed,' Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is posting the a series of documents obtained by CREW from the Dept. of State as a result of FOIA requests."—Press release.

  • Defenders of Wildlife, Navigating the Arctic Meltdown: Arctic Cod (Wildlife and Global Warming) (2007)

    "Global warming could cause a drop in the number of Arctic cod, which are the most important prey species in northern seas and a key component of the Arctic food web, according to the latest chapter of Defenders of Wildlife's global warming series Navigating the Arctic Meltdown."—Press release (April 30, 2007)

  • Peter DeShazo, Sarah Ladislaw & Tanya Primiani, Natural Gas, Energy Policy, and Regional Integration: Brazil and the Southern Cone (Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS] Policy Papers on the Americas, v.XVIII, study 1) (April 2007)

    "The wave of economic liberalization that swept through Latin America during the
    1990s had a profound effect on the energy sectors of most countries in the region.
    The broad trend toward privatization and deregulation provided an impetus for
    domestic and foreign investment in energy, with natural gas taking the lead role in
    several countries, most notably Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru."—Introduction. This publication summarizes presentations at a March 2007 CSIS Americas Program conference.

  • Environmental Working Group, Rigged Game: How Oil & Gas Drilling on Public Lands Threatens Habitat—and Hunting (2007)

    "In just five Rocky Mountain states, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, the federal government has currently leased almost 27 million acres of habitat for four key game species for oil and gas drilling. Drilling on these lands has doubled this decade with an average of 2,053 wells drilled per year between 2001 and 2006 compared to only 1,036 wells drilled per year between 1993 and 2000."—

  • Charles D. Ferguson, Council on Foreign Relations, Nuclear Energy: Balancing Benefits and Risks (CSR no. 28) (April 2007)

    "Nuclear Energy: Balancing Benefits and Risks is a sobering and authoritative look at nuclear power. Dr. Ferguson argues that nuclear energy, despite its attributes, is unlikely to play a major role in the coming decades in strengthening energy security or in countering the harmful effects of climate change. In particular, the rapid rate of nuclear reactor expansion required to make even a modest reduction in global warming would drive up construction costs and create shortages in building materials, trained personnel, and safety controls. There are also lingering questions over nuclear waste, as well as continued political opposition to siting new plants. Nonetheless, the report points out steps the United States could take—such as imposing a fee on greenhouse gas emissions—to level the economic playing field for all energy sectors, which over the long run would encourage the construction of new nuclear reactors (if only to replace existing ones that will need to be retired) and help reduce global warming."—Richard N. Haass, Foreword.

  • Government Accountability Project (GAP), Orders to Play Down 'Climate Change' Came From Wolfowitz' Office (April 27, 2007)

    "The Government Accountability Project (GAP) has acquired an internal World Bank document that summarizes a February 2006 meeting of World Bank officials regarding climate change and clean energy. The document indicates that orders to tone down references to 'climate change' in an environmental strategy paper originated in the office of Bank president Paul Wolfowitz."—Press release.

  • Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education, prepared for the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, The Governors Speak—2007: A Report on the State-of-the-State Addresses of the Nation's and U.S. Territories' Governors (April 2007)

    Among the governors' highest priorities: "Energy and the Environment. Almost all governors (92 percent; 47 of 51) highlighted policies on the environment, energy, and natural resources. This year, 88 percent of governors (45 of 51) discussed efforts to develop traditional or alternative sources of energy or promote conservation, an increase from 69 percent in 2006 and 45 percent in 2005."—Introduction and Executive Summary.

  • Randal O'Toole, Cato Institute, The Perfect Firestorm: Bringing Forest Service Wildfire Costs under Control (Policy Analysis no. 591) (April 30, 2007)

    "In the policy analysis The Perfect Firestorm: Bringing Forest Service Wildfire Costs under Control, O'Toole indicts bad science and bureaucratic growth for sticking Americans with a burgeoning tax bill to fund the Forest Service. The Forest Service's long history of manipulating research and public opinion to justify increased fire budgets began in 1908, when Congress took the extraordinary step of giving the agency a blank check for fire suppression. While Congress repealed that law in 1978, it continues to give the agency almost anything it requests for fire, and the Forest Service fire managers continue to operate as if there were no spending limits.

    "The result has been a massive shift in the priorities for national forest management, as some national forests are getting 60 percent or more of their funds from fire programs. Yet research shows that the Forest Service's one-size-fits-all solution to fire hazards can ecologically damage many forests even as it wastes taxpayers' money."—Press release.

  • Joaquin Sapien, The Center for Public Integrity, Superfund Today: Massive Undertaking to Clean Up Hazardous Waste Sites Has Lost Both Momentum and Funding (Wasting Away) (April 26, 2007)

    "Toxic waste still plagues American communities 27 years after the U.S. government created a program to identify and clean up the country's worst sites, according to a two-part investigation by the Center for Public Integrity. Wasting Away: Superfund's Toxic Legacy reveals the beleaguered state of the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund effort, uncovers the companies and government agencies linked to the most sites and tracks progress of the cleanup."—Press release.

  • John B. Stephenson, Director, Natural Resources and Environment, United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), Climate Change: Financial Risks to Federal and Private Insurers in Coming Decades are Potentially Significant (Testimony Before the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, U.S. House of Representatives) (GAO-07-820T) (May 3, 2007)

    "In this testimony, GAO (1) describes how climate change may affect future weather-related losses, (2) provides information on past insured weather-related losses, and (3) determines what major private insurers and federal insurers are doing to prepare for potential increases in such losses. This testimony is based on a report entitled Climate Change: Financial Risks to Federal and Private Insurers in Coming Decades are Potentially Significant (GAO-07-285) released on April 19, 2007."—Why GAO Did This Study.

  • United States Army War College and Triangle Institute for Security Studies, Strategic Studies Institute, Global Climate Change: National Security Implications (Colloquium Brief) (2007)

    "The national security implications of climate change are proportional both to the speed of change and the extent. Public awareness should follow a coordinated strategic communication plan that focuses on maintaining credibility."—Key Insights.

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) EPA Recognizes Largest-Ever Corporate Green Power Purchase (April 30, 2007)

    "EPA has recognized PepsiCo's commitment to purchase 100 percent green power. At more than 1.1 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), this is the largest purchase to date under the agency's Green Power Partner program, and is enough to power 90,000 average American homes each year."—Press release.

  • United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Inspector General, EPA Can Improve Its Managing of Superfund Interagency Agreements with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Audit Report no. 2007-P-00021) (April 30, 2007)

    "EPA needs to better justify and support its decisions to enter into Superfund IAGs with the Corps. Decision memorandums used to justify awarding Superfund IAGs to the Corps did not contain comparisons of alternatives considered. Further, EPA did not develop independent cost estimates. This occurred because EPA generally believes the Corps has more construction and contracting expertise to manage Superfund projects than its own personnel. As a result, EPA has limited assurance that the Superfund IAGs it awards to the Corps are based on sound decisions. EPA regions have initiated some corrective actions, but further steps are needed."—What We Found.

  • The World Bank, Carbon Expo 2007: World Bank, UNFCCC, Private Sector Call for an Expanded Carbon Market (May 2, 2007)

    "The seventh annual World Bank carbon market intelligence study, released today at CARBON EXPO, shows that the global carbon market tripled in 2006—to US$30 billion from US$10 billion in 2005. The market was dominated by the sale and resale of European Union Allowances (EUAs) at a value of nearly US$25 billion. The projects-based market in developing countries and in countries with economies in transition grew sharply to US$5 billion in 2006, more than doubling over the previous year...'These numbers are relevant because they demonstrate that the carbon market has become a valuable catalyst for leveraging substantial financial flows for clean energy in developing countries,' said Warren Evans, World Bank Director of Environment."—Press release.

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