Greening the Herds – Trying to Limit Cows' 'Emissions' – NYTimes.com

‘Frank Mitloehner, a University of California, Davis, professor who places cows in air-tight tent enclosures and measures what he calls their “eruptions,” says the average cow expels — through burps mostly, but some flatulence — 200 to 400 pounds of methane a year.

More broadly, with worldwide production of milk and beef expected to double in the next 30 years, the United Nations has called livestock one of the most serious near-term threats to the global climate. In a 2006 report that looked at the environmental impact of cows worldwide, including forest-clearing activity to create pasture land, it estimated that cows might be more dangerous to Earth’s atmosphere than trucks and cars combined.’

via Greening the Herds – Trying to Limit Cows’ ‘Emissions’ – NYTimes.com.

In California, Desalination of Seawater as a Test Case – NYTimes.com

‘SAN FRANCISCO — The vast $320 million desalination plant approved this week by San Diego’s regional water authorities is likely to serve as a test case for whether such a large project can meet its goals while safeguarding its Pacific environment.

Environmentalists have battled the project in lawsuits, raising concerns about the amount of fish that will be killed by the pumping process and about potential change to the aquatic ecosystem when leftover brine is returned to the sea. So far they have not won any victories.’

via In California, Desalination of Seawater as a Test Case – NYTimes.com.

China ready to roll with $440bn green energy plan – BusinessGreen.com

‘The Chinese government is putting the finishing touches to a $440bn (£272bn) incentive package designed to boost use of solar and wind power in the country.

According to various reports, new incentives for solar farms and rooftop panels are to be introduced, possibly as early as next month, while government funding will also be made available for large-scale wind farm projects.’

via China ready to roll with $440bn green energy plan – 29 May 2009 – BusinessGreen.com.

Report – The Relevance of Chinese Agricultural Technologies for African Smallholder Farmers

There is a new agricultural report from the University of Stellenbosch Center for Chinese Studies, “The Relevance of Chinese Agricultural Technologies for African Smallholder Farmers: Agricultural Technology Research in China

Excerpt: ‘The study team considers that water and soil related technologies offer the best Chinese examples for transfer to Africa. Africa is generally a water-challenged land, and soil degradation is a problem. Here China offers packages that can be applied, especially when focusing on small-scale farmers. This includes water saving and augmenting techniques, tillage and planting methods, soil enhancing methods such as mulching, and the maximisation of fertilizer usage by soil testing and application techniques. For the purposes of this research we have not studied mechanisation techniques, and only touched upon rural energy sources, but consider there are some lessons here to be learned. Similarly, we feel that Chinese aquaculture has much to offer Africa.’

Report – Climate Change: The Anatomy of a Silent Crisis

The Global Humanitarian Forum of Geneva has issued a new Human Impact Report, “Climate Change: The Anatomy of a Silent Crisis”, available as a 135 page download, which discusses existing impacts of climate change on human populations.

Time magazine reports on this report:

‘1. The scale of the problem: “Climate change is already seriously affecting hundreds of millions of people today and in the next twenty years those affected will likely more than double — making it the greatest emerging humanitarian challenge of our time…. The number of those severely affected by climate change is more than ten times greater than for instance those injured in traffic accidents each year, and more than the global annual number of new malaria cases. Within the next 20 years, one in ten of the world’s present population could be directly and seriously affected.’

China Cleantech Business Forum

‘On July 7-8, 2009, China Entrepreneurs will present, “The China Cleantech Business Forum” at the world’s famous Shangri-La Kerry Centre in Beijing, China. This forum will gather executives, entrepreneurs, investors, and international business professionals from various sectors of the cleantech industry to listen to cleantech experts discuss key topics for succeeding, investing, and understanding the cleantech industry.’

via China Cleantech Business Forum.

Slow US Climate Legislation May Affect Global Treaty

‘BONN, Germany — The United States may miss a December deadline for committing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, but that should not block an international agreement on global warming, the chief U.S. negotiator said Wednesday.’

However…

‘Other countries have said they will make no firm commitments until they know what the U.S. will do. The European Union has pledged to cut its emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, but said it could increase that figure to 30 percent depending on U.S. plans.’

via Slow US Climate Legislation May Affect Global Treaty.

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