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  • Dodge Bawl

    Earlier this year, U.S. environmental groups and automakers met with congressional members to back a tax credit for fuel-efficient hybrid cars. Now enviros are saying the auto industry has violated the spirit of the agreement by pushing for tax credits for hybrid SUVs with low mileage ratings. Under a House bill, for example, a hybrid […]

  • Sonic Bust

    The emissions from Boeing’s new high-speed plane, the Sonic Cruiser, may pose a direct threat to the ozone layer. Two years ago, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that 1,000 supersonic aircraft flying in the stratosphere would thin the ozone layer by about 1 percent a year. Boeing expects to sell, gulp, several […]

  • Footloose and Fancy Fleet

    In a decision that could affect air pollution policy nationwide, a federal judge ruled yesterday that California officials can order public agencies to buy cleaner vehicles. Two industry associations challenged a rule by the South Coast Air Quality Management District that requires agencies to purchase low-emission or alternative-fuel cars, buses, and trucks, instead of diesel-powered […]

  • Bahn Stormer

    German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder kvetched this week that taking steps to protect the environment was causing the cost of highway construction to soar. “I don’t have anything against frogs,” he said as he inspected a just-completed segment of a long-delayed highway, “but the expenditures we make for protecting the environment while building roads are enormous.” […]

  • Humpty Dumpty Sat on the Great Wall

    Claims by China that it has significantly reduced its greenhouse gas emissions may be a bunch of hooey. A Japanese scientist funded by the World Bank found that coal production hasn’t gone down nearly as much as represented by China. Other researchers assert that oil consumption is increasing in the country at a faster clip […]

  • Oh Baby, Baby, It's Dry World

    Some 450 million people in the world are now confronting water-shortage problems. That’s grim enough — but experts meeting this week in Stockholm to discuss water scarcity say the number could grow to 2.7 billion within 25 years. North Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, and parts of India and China, as well as areas in […]

  • A review Fast Food Nation

    Given my distaste for fast food and the general knowledge of its detrimental effect on the American diet, I didn't expect to find any revelations in Fast Food Nation. But journalist Eric Schlosser's thoroughly researched and well-written probe into the industry that has transformed American roadsides, eating patterns, and agriculture was actually an eye-opener.

  • Driving the Numbers Up

    The percentage of households in the U.S. with three or more cars (18.3 percent) is nearly double the percentage of households with no cars (9.3 percent), and more than 76 percent of Americans say they drive to work alone, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Only 11 percent of people carpool, and merely 5 percent […]

  • Iceland Iceland Baby

    Iceland is gunning to be the world’s first carbon-free economy. The country is in something of a bind, as it now has very low carbon-dioxide emissions and the Kyoto treaty on climate change gives it little room to expand its economy in a way that would increase its emissions. Already, 67 percent of Iceland’s energy […]

  • Fright Train

    Sometime this summer, the feds are planning to transport nuclear waste from power plants via train from New York to a U.S. Energy Department reservation in southeastern Idaho. Dubbing the shipment a “mobile Chernobyl,” anti-nuke advocates plan to raise a ruckus when the freight train comes through. Although the shipment across the country will be […]