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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Anonymous Patrick S. O'Donnell said...

"Application of Biotechnology for Functional Foods"--This one caught my eye if only because of the Orwellian phrase 'functional foods.' The description and discussion therein is not encouraging either.

5/27/2007 6:30 PM  

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