Saturday, September 27, 2003

This one coming in on ENN is so important and so good for us that I want it on the weblog intact for future reference. I'm going to hold publication of anything else until next week so this can stay right here at the top for a couple of days. I went to high school in Madison and I lived in Dallas, TX for awhile, and I remember the farmer's markets fondly:

Local farmers' markets are a healthy choice

Friday, September 26, 2003
By Laura Faye Taxel, E/The Environmental Magazine

Howard and Mary Hall don’t get much sleep during the summer. They start picking salad greens at sun up every Friday, harvest produce all through the day, and cut flowers late in the afternoon.

On a good day, they finish washing, sorting, and packing what they’ve grown on their 75-acre farm in Medina, Ohio, by midnight. On Saturdays, they’re out of bed at 4:30 a.m. With the help of their three teenagers, they feed the sheep, milk the goats, water the seedlings, fill the pick-up truck and trailer. They’re on the road by 6 a.m., heading for the North Union Farmers' Market at Shaker Square in Cleveland.

When they arrive an hour later, the place is already busy. Farmers, dairy owners, ranchers, and small-scale food producers from all over northeast Ohio are unloading trucks and filling their tables with a luscious array of local products: ripe, ready-to-eat fresh fruits and vegetables; herbs; homemade cheese; grass-fed, free-range, and hormone free meats and poultry; eggs; mushrooms; honey; preserves; and baked goods.

Shoppers, arrive early too, before the market officially opens at 8 a.m., in order to have the best selection. Good product sells quickly.

Mark Welton, a farmer with a four-acre spread in Norton, Ohio, specializes in mesculun greens and arugula, grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. "In season I bring up 50 pounds of hand-cut salad mix and it’s gone by 10 a.m.," he said.

Farmers' markets like North Union, committed to selling only regionally grown products, exist throughout the country. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there’s been a 63 percent increase in the number of farmers markets nationwide since 1994. There are more than 3,000 farmer’s markets currently in operation, generating more than $1 billion annually. This impacts more than what goes on the plate.

These markets are dependable sources of truly fresh, high-quality foods. New York City's Greenmarket, founded in 1976, is one of the oldest and the largest, with 31 locations throughout the metropolitan area. The produce Greenmarket sells is supplied by 170 farmers operating within 120 miles of the city.

"Our customers come from all walks of life, all income levels," said special projects market manager Gabrielle Langholtz. "You don't need to be a gourmet to recognize how much better this food tastes."

Unlike the fruits and vegetables from big commercial growers, which are bred for durability and their suitability for mechanical harvesting and handling, Greenmarket vendors choose varieties for their flavor and pick them at the peak of ripeness.

It's estimated that food processing, packaging, transportation, and marketing consume 75 to 85 percent of the energy used in the commercial food industry. Farmer's markets are the lynchpin of a nationwide, grassroots effort to create an alternative: sustainable food systems that directly connect growers and producers with their customers.

The aim is to bring good food products to consumers in a cost-effective, resource-efficient way. This helps to preserve farmland and the rural landscape; insures the continued economic viability of the small family farm; counters the growth of agribusiness with its devastating impact on people and places, while supporting clean, environmentally sensitive farming practices; conserves energy; helps maintain biodiversity in food plants; and contributes to regional prosperity.

The traditional food distribution chain uses huge amounts of fossil fuels to move products from one end of the country to the other. The so-called fresh produce in supermarkets is often weeks old and may have traveled 1,300 miles before reaching your local store, no matter where you live. To make the journey, produce is often picked green, treated with chemicals to retard ripening, dipped in wax, and packed in bags, boxes, and crates that end up in landfills.

In contrast, locally grown food travels only a short distance from farm to table. It's pulled from the ground or plucked from trees and bushes 24 hours before consumers purchase it and brought to market in re-useable containers. The result is less waste, less consumption of fuel and materials, and better food quality.

"Fruits and vegetables contain their highest levels of nutrients when harvested fully ripe and eaten soon afterwards," said Lola O'Rourke, a registered dietician in Seattle and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "The wonderful flavor of truly fresh produce tempts people to eat more of it, and that's a real health benefit for virtually everyone."

Brad Masi, founder of the Northeast Ohio Foodshed Alliance (NOFA), said, "Approximately 80 percent of every food dollar spent pays for advertising, trucking, processing, packaging, and disposal. Supporting farmers by buying locally grown food keeps that revenue in the community and connects our personal health with the health of the land and the regional economy."

Each of us can be part of building a sustainable food system in our own communities.

"Consumers have the most power to create change by creating demand," said Masi. "Pay attention to where your food comes from and where your food dollars go. Patronize farmer's markets."

The Dane County Farmer’s Market in Madison, Wis., founded in 1972, is the largest producers-only market in the nation. By giving Wisconsin growers viable marketing opportunities, it enables individual farmers to actually make a living using ecologically sound farming methods.

And by choosing their produce and shopping at a farmer's market, each buyer becomes part of the larger sustainability cycle. That cycle is defined by the focus on products and practices that improve the quality of life while protecting and preserving the environment and its capacity to provide natural resources and livable places now and in the future. It's being put into action around the nation at farmer's markets.

"Concerned consumers who were raised eating out-of-season peaches in November and corn in April are learning to think globally by eating locally," explains Greenmarket’s Langholtz. "At a time when just 10 grocery chains control the purchase of 50 percent of the fresh food in this country, knowing who grows your food and where it comes from is a joyful responsibility. Eating the bounty of local family farms is a delicious way to enact environmental, social, and political change."

Donita Anderson, North Union market manager and one of its founders, drew inspiration and know-how from the Dane County Market and New York's Greenmarket. All have common goals.

"We support family farms," said Anderson. "They bring fresh, local produce to city people and build community. Urban farm markets make cities more livable, and the simple, pleasurable act of buying something good to eat is a powerful way to use your shopping dollars to do good. Every dollar spent at a farmers' market circulates through the state economy seven times."

She continued, "Moreover, when growers reap the rewards of their efforts directly, without the expense of middleman, they have a better chance of staying in business. That translates into keeping green spaces around our cities because when small-scale farming is not economically feasible, housing developments grow instead and malls take over the countryside. To me what happens when people buy food at the market is almost magical. There’s such a huge ripple effect."

Ron Pardini, executive director of the Urban Village Farmers' Market Association, a nonprofit, mutual benefit corporation formed in 1997, with six certified producer to consumer market locations in the San Francisco area, sums it up in a single sentence. "For health, environmental, spiritual, and culinary reasons, I believe we need farmers' markets."

Related Link

State-by-state directory of farmers' markets

Source: E/The Environmental Magazine
From Alt Power Digest on Yahoo! Groups:

There are 2 messages in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

1. Hydrogen Storage Remains Significant Challenge
From: (Alternate Power)
2. Re: Wind Power Cheaper than Coal


Message: 1
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2003 20:28:06 -0700 (PDT)
From: (Alternate Power)
Subject: Hydrogen Storage Remains Significant Challenge

From: (Green Bean) Date: Thu, Sep 25, 2003, 2:51pm
Fuel-Cell Experts Say Hydrogen Storage Remains Significant Challenge
Fuel-cell technology has advanced steadily, yet hydrogen storage remains a significant challenge still to be met if fuel-cell vehicles are to succeed commercially. That's just one of the findings published in a recent report based on interviews with 34 fuel-cell experts throughout the world.
"Three years ago, there was enormous debate about whether fuel-cell vehicles would carry hydrogen or make it on board from a liquid fuel," says Sheila Lynch, executive director of the Northeast Advanced Vehicle Consortium (NAVC), which published the report Future Wheels II: A Survey of Expert Opinion on the Future of Transportation Fuel Cells and Fuel Cell Infrastructure. "Since then, consensus has formed around carrying the hydrogen, but now the big debate is how to store enough of it on board to satisfy customer needs."
The report also identifies other signs of progress -- or lack thereof -- related to fuel-cell technology. For example, it notes quick advances in the prospects of fuel cells in such applications as laptop computers and cell phones, while some experts are raising new concerns about fuel cells in the transit market. Also, the report notes that transportation fuel cells have moved from the laboratory to field trials over the past three years, resulting in an increased focus on manufacturing processes and consolidation among industry players.
The complete report is available as a free download at
The Future Wheels II report was funded by the Defense Department's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Boston-based NAVC is a public-private partnership of organizations working to promote advanced vehicle technologies in the northeast United States. It was established in 1993.


Message: 2
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 18:06:52 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: Wind Power Cheaper than Coal

In case anyone missed this article. MikeF.
Information submitted by Vivian Stockman:
Wind power is now cheaper than coal in the U.S., according to a study
published in the journal Science. The study's researchers, two Stanford
engineers, priced wind power at 3 to 4 cents per kilowatt hour, already
competitive with the market price for coal power. After factoring in
health and environmental costs, they put the true price for coal power
at 5.5 to 8.3 cents per kilowatt hour. For wind power to take off,
however, the researchers say that lawmakers will need to give the
industry the same investment opportunities and tax breaks historically
given to fossil fuel industries. The researchers propose this
bargain-basement deal: eliminating nearly two-thirds of coal-generated
electricity and single- handedly dropping the country's greenhouse gas
emission levels below 1990 levels by building 225,000 wind turbines --
at an initial cost of $338 billion.
Poll * 5815 responses [Since no information available to the editor
about sampling procedures, cannot say if these results are statistically
Do you support the proposal to build 225,000 wind turbines across the
Yes, it's the kind of energy vision needed – 83%
No, it's a costly pie in the sky scheme – 15%
Can't decide – 3%
"There is no reason not to invest in wind at this point," said Mark
Jacobson, a Sanford University professor of environmental engineering.
"Wind is so obviously cheaper if we look at total costs."
Writing in the journal Science, Jacobson and Stanford colleague Gilbert
Masters calculated that wind-generated energy costs 3 to 4 cents per
kilowatt hour. Coal power is priced around there as well, but if you
factor in the indirect health and environmental costs the price is more
like 5.5 to 8.3 cents per kilowatt hour, the engineers calculated.
The researchers also noted that coal dust kills 2,000 U.S. mine workers
annually and has cost taxpayers about $35 billion in monetary and
medical benefits to former miners since 1973.
Karen Batra, a spokeswoman for the National Mining Association,
acknowledged that coal mining has an environmental impact, but said "we
are all working toward a goal of reducing emissions and have made
tremendous strides in reducing emissions in the past 30 years since the
Clean Air Act."
Critics of wind power argue that the turbines – which look like giant
propellers – have been linked to the accidental deaths of migratory
birds that get caught inside the propeller blades, and that the turbines
take up a tremendous amount of space. But Jacobson said these problems
could be avoided by selecting sites out of migration paths and by paying
farmers to put them on their land.
"Wind has trivial health and environmental problems associated with it
in comparison with coal," Jacobson said.
Although wind power is the fastest growing source of energy in the
world, the United States has been slow to use it because coal is so
cheap and wind has received no government incentives, Jacobson said.
Wind power provides the United States with less than 1 percent of its
energy, compared to 52 percent from coal, according to the U.S.
Department of Energy.
Analysts say the U.S. market will see 1,500 megawatts of new wind power
installed by the end of the year.
For America to catch up with major wind power nations such as Germany,
Spain and Denmark, political backing by the Bush administration and
Congress is essential, Jacobson said.
In order to build more wind farms in the United States, lawmakers must
be willing to offer the same investment opportunities and tax incentives
given to the more established coal, gas and oil industries, he added.
The energy bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this
month focuses heavily on boosting domestic oil, coal and natural gas
production, doing far less to promote wind power as an energy source.
The Senate, still working on its version of the energy legislation, is
virtually certain to focus on conservation and energy efficiency.
Depending on where you live, you might be able to shop around for
cheaper, and if you're so inclined, greener power sources. Click on a
state to see if it offers green power programs. (West Virginia offers no
green options).
Global Warming Payback
The authors added that a massive campaign to build turbines, while
costly, would have an additional payback: a sharp drop in carbon dioxide
emissions, one of the gases that many scientists fear are warming Earth
by trapping heat via a greenhouse effect.
If around 225,000 turbines were built, Jacobson noted, it would cost an
initial $338 billion with a minimum of $4 billion annually for
maintenance. But doing so would eliminate almost two-thirds of
coal-generated electricity and thereby reduce greenhouse gas emissions
to below 1990 levels, the authors estimated.
That 1990 goal is already envisioned by the 1997 U.N. Kyoto Protocol on
climate change, which the Clinton administration signed but which the
Bush administration has spurned.
"If you really want a massive change then you need to do something big,"
Jacobson said. "It's expensive but the wind turbines, which have an
average life span of 20 years, would pay for themselves in that time."


All-Energy News and Discussion


Friday, September 26, 2003

Great Lakes Daily News: 26 September 2003
For links to these stories and more, visit

Did you miss a day of Daily News? Remember to use our searchable story
archive at

Trail to connect river, lake, bay
After more than four years of negotiations, plans for the 4.7-mile
Irondequoit Lakeside Trail connecting the Genesee River, Lake Ontario and
Irondequoit Bay have come together. Source: Rochester Democrat and
Chronicle (9/26)

Minnesota DNR get wider boat searching rights
Minnesota's 1.7 million anglers are again subject to having their boats
inspected -- without probable cause and without granting permission -- for
possible fishing violations, state officials said after a state Supreme
Court ruling Thursday. Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune (9/26)

Ontario trash violates Michigan standards
Trash from Ontario dumped in Michigan contains more yard waste and beverage
containers than loads from inside the state, according to a study released
Tuesday. Source: The Detroit News (9/26)

EDITORIAL: Unrealistic to ban smoking on beaches
While smoking in the first place isn't a healthy idea, banning cigarettes
from beaches is going a bit too far. Source: Indiana Post-Tribune (9/26)

COMMENTARY: Great Lakes chinook run late, but good
They took their time about it, but chinook salmon are pouring into streams
all along the Great Lakes, and the next couple of weeks should provide the
best river fishing of the year. Source: Detroit Free Press (9/26)

EDITORIAL: Lake drilling ban needs to extend internationally
Currently, Canada has 1,000 natural gas rigs off Lake Erie's shore in
Ontario. Ohio and other Great Lakes states need to force this issue with
other states and with Canada through Great Lakes coalitions and the
International Joint Commission, which includes officials from both
countries. Source: Port Clinton News Herald (9/25)

Lake Ontario air pollutants are targeted
The effect of air pollution on Lake Ontario is being studied by researchers
from Fredonia State and Oswego State colleges and Clarkson University in
Potsdam. Source: The Buffalo News (9/25)

Ferry project should be making waves
The Canadian side is dragging its heels on the current Lake Ontario ferry
project connecting Rochester and Toronto. Source: Canadian National Post

COMMENTARY: Would you know Asian carp if you saw one?
The latest threat to the Great Lakes is literally inching its way through
our back yard, heading up the Des Plaines River and the Sanitary and Ship
Canal toward the locks in downtown Chicago. Source: The Illinois Star
Newspapers (9/25)

Michigan to monitor Lake Huron beaches for E. coli
Swimmers who think northern beaches don't have water quality problems like
those in metropolitan areas should think again. Source: The Bay City Times

For links to these stories and more, visit

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Information Network ( and the Great Lakes Radio
Consortium (, both based in Ann Arbor, Mich.
TO SUBSCRIBE and receive this Great Lakes news compendium daily, see or send an e-mail message to with the command 'subscribe dailynews' (minus
the quotes) in the body of the message.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

AWEA Small Wind News and Alerts:
The AWEA Small Wind News and Alerts list is a timely source for information updates, news clips and action alerts focusing on small wind energy. This list is announcement-only with low-traffic, weekly mailings.


Group home page:

Post message: [message posting moderated by AWEA]


There is 1 message in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

1. NY Small Turbine Installer Training
From: "Jim Adams"


Message: 1
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2003 09:04:29 -0400
From: "Jim Adams"
Subject: NY Small Turbine Installer Training

Hello all!

Attached is a document announcing the fall NYSERDA sponsored New York Small
Wind System Installation Workshop, which is being held on the Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute campus in Troy, NY. This workshop will consist of the
installation of a 10 kW Bergey Excel-S on an 80 ft tilt-up tower under the
direction of Pieter Hubner from Bergey Windpower and staff members of AWS
Scientific Inc. The dates of this workshop are October 20 - 24, 2003.

Please contact me if you have any questions!

Best regards,

James Adams, Environmental Scientist
AWS Scientific, Inc.
255 Fuller Road, Suite 274
Albany, NY 12203
Phone: 518.437.8657
Fax: 518.437.8659

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Also from ENN, interesting shennannigans in governmental energy policy by the Fed:

Wednesday, September 24, 2003
By Tom Doggett, Reuters

WASHINGTON — Republican leaders trying to finalize a broad energy bill skipped requiring a boost in federal mileage requirements for cars, vans, and gas-guzzling sports utility vehicles. Instead, the lawmakers released draft language late on Tuesday that would order the Transportation Department to consider the impact on vehicle safety and autoworker jobs when deciding whether to raise fuel economy standards.

Environmental groups argue that stronger mileage requirements are the only way to significantly reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil. However, Republicans and some automakers say that a large boost in fuel economy may make vehicles less safe because they would be smaller and built from lighter-weight materials, and they could result in thousands of lost autoworker jobs.

Nonetheless, the draft bill requires the Transportation Department to study and report back within a year on the feasibility and effects of significantly reducing the amount of fuel used by automobiles by 2012.

Separately, the lawmakers proposed...(Read on in: U.S. energy bill skips raising fuel standards)
Now from ENN, dire news for Austrailia:

Wednesday, September 24, 2003
By Michael Byrnes, Reuters

SYDNEY — Australia may be facing a permanent drought because of an accelerating vortex of winds whipping around the Antarctic that threatens to disrupt rainfall, scientists said on Tuesday.

Spinning faster and tighter, the 100-mile (160 km) -an-hour jetstream is pulling climate bands south and dragging rain from Australia into the Southern Ocean, they say. They attribute the phenomenon to global warming and loss of the ozone layer over Antarctica.

"This is a very serious situation that we're probably not confronting as full-on as we should," said Dr. James Risbey of the Center for Dynamical Meteorology and Oceanography at Melbourne's Monash University. "There has been real added impetus here in Australia to try to study (the wind vortex) because we've been faced with an almost precipitous rainfall decline, particularly in the southwest of Western Australia," Risbey said.

Australia, one of the world's top agricultural supply nations, has just been through its worst drought in 100 years. Risbey and other Australians are part of an international band of scientists and meteorologists focusing on the vortex as an explanation for declining rainfall.

Rainfall has declined by nearly 20 percent in the past seven years over parts of southwestern Western Australia, through to Victoria and into southern New South Wales state, Risbey said. At the same time, temperatures have...(Read on in: Scientists see Antarctic vortex as drought maker)
From Alt Power Digest yesterday:

Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2003 15:16:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: Green Bean (
Subject: Schwarzenegger's plan for hydrogen fuel

Schwarzenegger's plan for hydrogen fuel called
Big technological hurdles before emissions could be

Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to cut air pollution by
50 percent within a decade -- mostly by urging drivers
to use hydrogen-powered vehicles -- was described as
unrealistic by environmentalists and scientists, even
as they praised him for promoting the new fuel cell

At an event Sunday near Santa Barbara, the leading
Republican in the Oct. 7 recall election pledged to
reduce air pollution by half in California by 2011. He
pledged to sign an executive order requiring hydrogen
fueling stations every 20 miles on interstates and
highways to encourage consumers to buy the
pollution-free vehicles.

But even supporters of fuel cells said daunting
technological hurdles associated with hydrogen-powered
cars -- combined with consumers' preference for
gas-guzzling vehicles -- mean that his pledge of
lowering emissions is probably pie-in-the-sky.

Daniel Sperling, an engineering professor and director
of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC
Davis, said the impact of hydrogen-powered vehicles on
emissions in the next few years is zero.

"In 10 years, it maybe will start to make a
difference," Sperling said. He noted that the
Department of Energy is starting a pilot project to
produce hydrogen-fueled cars, but no automaker has
plans for widespread commercial production.

"I'm an avid enthusiast of hydrogen, but hydrogen is a
long-term strategy. And if we are really concerned
about air quality and climate change and energy
conservation in the next 20 years, hydrogen is not the

Scientists have long believed that hydrogen, the most
abundant element, could be a relatively cheap and
mobile source of electricity to power vehicles,

with water vapor and heat as the only waste products.

But to become an effective fuel source, chains of
hydrocarbons must be "cracked" -- a process that is
both expensive and requires a great deal of energy.
Environmentalists worry that a switch to hydrogen fuel
cells could actually increase reliance on traditional,
polluting sources of electricity.

"Where will the hydrogen come from?" asked Bill
Magavern, legislative representative for the Sierra
Club, which opposes the recall and has endorsed a
Schwarzenegger rival, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, in the
replacement election.

"Under the Bush administration's proposal (for
hydrogen fuel cells), the hydrogen primarily comes
from nuclear and coal-fired power plants, which would
make it really dirty energy. Now if he's proposing
solar-powered hydrogen electricity, we'd be very
supportive of that. We'd like to see him answer that

Schwarzenegger's campaign hasn't specified how the
fuel cells would be produced, although a spokesman
suggested that the market, rather than the government,
should determine how to make fuel cells most cheaply.

Critics also question whether Schwarzenegger would
provide enough money to build fueling stations across
the state. There are just a handful of hydrogen
fueling stations around the state, including one at
the AC Transit bus yard in Richmond. Schwarzenegger
has proposed $60 million for the task, but also would
ask the federal government and corporations to

Schwarzenegger appears to be taking a page out of
President Bush's environmental playbook. In his State
of the Union speech in January, Bush pledged to speed
the push to a hydrogen economy by spending as much as
$1.2 billion for a "Freedom Car" initiative to develop
zero-emissions vehicles.

Sperling said that Schwarzenegger, like Bush, had
found that hydrogen fuel cells are a more palatable
way to address air pollution than calling for stricter
fuel efficiency or tailpipe emissions standards. Gov.
Gray Davis, for example, angered automakers last year
by signing a bill making California the first state to
limit tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases.

"There are no natural political or economic enemies to
hydrogen and there are plenty of supporters and
enthusiasts," Sperling said. "The environmentalists
can't complain directly. The car industry kind of
likes fuel cells. The oil industry is ambivalent about
hydrogen. So, as a politician, what's there not to

There are other concerns with hydrogen. Scientists are
still struggling to devise a safe and efficient way to
store the hydrogen. If stored as a gas in
high-pressure tanks, it could pose a safety risk.

But supporters of the actor say Schwarzenegger should
be praised for promoting the new technology, even if
it doesn't meet the ambitious targets he has set for
emissions reductions.

"This is the sort of thing that Republican candidates
should be saying as a matter of course," said Jim
DiPeso, policy director of REP America, a grassroots
group that backs environmentally oriented Republicans.

"One of the things you often hear about hydrogen is
that it's decades away. Well, it can be decades away
if we want it to be decades away," he said. "With some
concerted effort and intelligent policies that combine
developing fuel cells and transportation and
stationary (fuel cell) sources, we can have a hydrogen
economy much sooner."

E-mail Zachary Coile at


All-Energy News and Discussion


Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Also from ENN, some tactics being thought of to combat global warming in Europe that I think could be very readily adapted here in the USA. More on that after the story link.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003
By Rajiv Sekhri, Reuters

TORONTO — European countries could help meet their Kyoto emissions requirements by using forestry waste products like leftover tree stumps and foliage to produce energy, scientists said this week.

Stumps, branches, tree tops, and other foliage left in forests by logging firms release carbon dioxide over time as they decompose. Using the material as fuel to produce electricity or processing them into pulp and paper could cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, the scientists said in a report released before a World Forestry Congress meeting in Quebec City.

"The idea is economically feasible and has a lot of potential," said Pekka Kauppi, a professor of environmental science and policy at the University of Helsinki. Kauppi is one of about 150 scientists worldwide who have have worked on a report on global forest issues for United Nations University, which, in collaboration with the Finnish Forest Research Institute and the European Forest Institute, started the project in 1996.

"It's already clear that a number of countries will have great difficulty meeting their Kyoto emission targets," said Professor Hans van Ginkel, U.N. undersecretary-general and rector of Tokyo-based United Nations University.

The report shows that using just one-third of the leftover wood from logging could allow the European Union, for example, to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by...(Read on in: Forestry waste could help meet Kyoto targets, says study)

Now about using such things here. Several years ago I had the idea that one could make fire logs out of tree leaves (which we all know are very plentiful in the fall) by compressing them into paper bags after harvesting and then drying them like firewood on racks outside over a couple of years. I'm sure macjhinery could be developed that was yard tractor sized to do something like this fairly automatically, sort of a cross between a yard tractor with a leaf sweep, and a cylindrical trash compactor and an industrial packaging machine. On a larger scale, leaves could be harvested, ground to a fine powder, and blown through a hot air tunnel as leaf dust into a combustion chamber and burned pretty efficiently. The heat generated could produce steam to drive turbines as in a conventional power plant and then the "waste" heat could be used to dry the leaves for grinding and the remainder captured by Stirling cycle engines, yielding a pretty high efficiency. the resulting ash could be returned to the soil as fertilizer so that the soil wasn't deprived of all the nutrients the leaves yield to it as well, and the cycle could be alternated so that an area was only harvested maybe once every three years and each year a different area was harvested. Leaves are extremely plentiful and totally untapped as a power source in most of North America as we all know. I'd encourage thoughts on this idea.
Also in from ENN, there's a new Moon Over Norway...

Tuesday, September 23, 2003
By Alister Doyle, Reuters

OSLO, Norway — Homes on the Arctic tip of Norway started getting power from the moon over the weekend via a unique subsea power station driven by the rise and fall of the tide.

A tidal current in a sea channel near the town of Hammerfest, caused by the gravitational tug of the Moon on the Earth, started turning the 10-meter (33 foot) blades of a turbine bolted to the seabed to generate electricity for the local grid. The prototype looks like an underwater windmill and is expected to generate about 700,000 kilowatt hours of nonpolluting energy a year, or enough to light and heat about 30 homes.

"This is the first time in the world that electricity from a tidal current has been fed into a power grid," said Harald Johansen, managing director of Hammerfest Stroem, which has led the project.

The plant in the Kvalsund channel, which had cost about 80 million crowns (US$11 million) by Saturday's launch, is...(Read on in: Moon brings novel green power to Arctic homes)
Interesting stuff from ENN, the ice is melting...

Tuesday, September 23, 2003
By Maggie Fox, Reuters

WASHINGTON — The largest ice shelf in the Arctic, a solid feature for 3,000 years, has broken up, scientists in the United States and Canada said Monday.

They said the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, on the north coast of Ellesmere Island in Canada's Nunavut territory, broke into two main parts, themselves cut through with fissures. A freshwater lake drained into the sea, the researchers reported. Large ice islands also calved off from the shelf, and some are large enough to be dangerous to shipping and to drilling platforms in the Beaufort Sea.

Local warming of the climate is to blame, they said — adding that they did not have the evidence needed to link the melting ice to the steady, planet-wide climate change known as global warming.

Warwick Vincent and Derek Mueller of Laval University in Quebec City, Canada, and Martin Jeffries of the University of Alaska Fairbanks lived at the site, flew over it, and used radar satellite imaging for their study.

Writing in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Vincent's team said...(Read on in: Largest Arctic ice shelf breaks up, says report)

Friday, September 19, 2003

Now this is a totally fascinating article from ENN. Apparently the ancient peoples of the Amazon region did some quite unexpected things, such as organizing urban centers in the rainforest without destroying it. Take a peek:

Friday, September 19, 2003
By Maggie Fox, Reuters

WASHINGTON — Brazil's northern Amazon region, once thought to have been pristine until modern development began encroaching, actually hosted sophisticated networks of towns and villages hundreds of years ago, researchers said Thursday.

Archeological evidence and satellite images show the area was densely settled long before Columbus and European settlers arrived, with towns featuring plazas, roads up to 150 feet wide, deep moats, and bridges, the researchers found.

The report, published in the journal Science, suggests a society that was advanced and complex and that found alternative ways to use the Amazon forest without destroying it.

Nineteen evenly spaced villages were linked by straight roads, and the cluster could have supported between 2,500 and 5,000 people, said the researchers, led by Michael Heckenberger of the University of Florida. The villages were all laid out in a similar manner, and the roads were mathematically parallel.
"This really blew us away," Heckenberger said in a telephone interview. "It's fantastic stuff."

Heckenberger, who worked with indigenous chiefs from the Upper Xingu region as well as a team at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, said the settlements dated to between 1200 A.D. and 1600 A.D.

"Every 3 km to 5 km (mile-and-a-half to two miles) there is another...(Read on in: "Pristine" Amazon hosted large cities, study finds
Where would you like to live? From ENN,

Friday, September 19, 2003
By Reuters

DALLAS — Residents of the arid, high desert city of Santa Fe, N.M., may have thin air and not much water, but they do live in the U.S. city with the healthiest environment.

According to a survey conducted by the magazine Organic Style, Santa Fe has the best scores of any city in the United States for being free of toxins in the environment, while St. Louis, Mo., was at the bottom of the list, at slot number 125.

The survey, released in this month's issue of the magazine, looked at factors such as exposure to agricultural pollutants and general toxins as well as overall air quality. About 5,500 pieces of data were crunched to produce the results.

The top five cities in the survey were Santa Fe...(Read on in: Living clean in Santa Fe while St. Louis has the blues
On the good news side from ENN,

Friday, September 19, 2003
By Lisa Rathke, Associated Press

BURLINGTON, Vt. — This environmentally conscious New England state doesn't want to see manure go to waste.

A coalition of Vermont groups has won a $747,000 federal grant to build technology that would convert manure from small farms into methane gas.

"If small farms could convert waste to cheap, green energy, not only would they manage their waste streams but (they) will be more independent and financially secure," said Dr. Guy Roberts of the Intervale Foundation.

The foundation will use the funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Energy to...(Read on in: Vermont groups win federal grant to turn farm waste into fuel)

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Dear Illinois PIRG supporter,

The Bush administration is continuing to work with polluters on one of the broadest efforts to weaken our clean air protections in the history of the Clean Air Act. We expect that Congress will be making a number of crucial decisions on clean air in September and October.

One such decision is on the New Source Review program of the Clean Air Act. The Bush administration recently issued rules gutting the program, which requires power plants, refineries and other industries to install state-of-the-art pollution controls when they make major, pollution-increasing plant modifications.

The Bush administration's newly issued rules will let as many as 17,000 industrial facilities across the nation keep polluting, which would exacerbate the smog and soot pollution that sends hundreds of thousands of Americans to emergency rooms each year. Even worse, the Bush administration is trying to force every state in the nation to adopt these weaker air pollution programs, even states that prefer more stringent requirements.

In January, Sen. John Edwards (NC) introduced an amendment to block this attack on the Clean Air Act that failed by just a few votes. Sen. Edwards pledged to keep fighting, and the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote very soon on the similar Edwards-Lieberman clean air amendment, which would allow states to continue to regulate pollution under their own more protective programs.

We're expecting the vote to be close, so your senators need to know that the public supports this clean air amendment.

Please take a moment to call and ask your senators to protect the Clean Air Act. You can reach your senators at 202-224-3121 (just tell the operator which state you're from and they can connect you to your senators - you may have to call twice to reach both senators). Here's a sample message you can leave:

"Hello, my name is _____ and I live in _______. Please vote for the Edwards-Lieberman amendment to stop the Bush administration from forcing states to weaken their air pollution control programs."

Then, please take a moment to let us know you called so that we can keep track of the number of calls we generate.

To report your call, click on this link or paste it into your web browser:

Today, more than 140 million Americans live in areas where ozone smog levels are high enough to cause health problems like asthma attacks. Soot cuts short the lives of 30,000 Americans annually. Other severe environmental impacts from air pollution include acid rain, mercury contamination and haze in our national parks and wilderness areas.

Incredibly, the Bush administration is taking giant steps backward on air pollution. A coalition of oil, coal and utility lobbyists have persuaded the Bush administration to weaken the Clean Air Act, including the New Source Review program that requires power plants, refineries and other industries to install state-of-the-art pollution controls when they make major, pollution-increasing plant modifications. Each year, this program has kept more than a million tons of air pollution out of our skies.

The EPA has approved a set of changes that add up to the largest regulatory weakening of our clean air protections in the 30-year history of the Clean Air Act. These rule changes dramatically weaken the New Source Review program and could allow pollution to increase from over 17,000 facilities across the nation. And other proposed changes would go even further, weakening the New Source Review program to the point of uselessness.

In taking this action, the EPA has ignored more than a dozen requests from Congress for detailed analysis of the rule changes' impact on public health and requests for public hearings to comment on the rule changes.

In January, Sen. John Edwards (NC) introduced an amendment that would have stopped the Bush administration from going forward with their plans to weaken the Clean Air Act's New Source Review program that failed by just a few votes. Sen. Edwards pledged to keep fighting, and the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote this week on the similar Edwards-Lieberman clean air amendment, which would allow states to continue to regulate pollution under their own more protective programs. This vote was scheduled to occur in July, but was delayed when Congress adjourned for their August recess.

We're expecting the vote to be close, and your senators need to know that the public supports this amendment. Please take a moment to call and ask your senators to protect the Clean Air Act. You can reach your senators at 202-224-3121 (just tell the operator which state you're from and they can connect you to your senators - you may have to call twice to reach both senators). Here's a sample message you can leave:

"Hello, my name is _____ and I live in _______. Please vote for the Edwards-Lieberman amendment to stop the Bush administration from forcing states to weaken their air pollution control programs."

Then, please take a moment to let us know you called so that we can keep track of the number of calls we generate.

To report your call, click on this link or paste it into your web browser:


Diane E. Brown
Illinois PIRG Executive Director

P.S. Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to share this e-mail with your family and friends.
Good news from ENN,

Thursday, September 18, 2003
By H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Some of the country's major corporations are embracing the idea of thinking green when buying electricity in hopes of spurring the development of renewable energy sources — while in many cases also helping their own bottom line.

The World Resources Institute brought together a dozen major U.S. companies and got them to pledge that by 2010 at least 1,000 megawatts of the power they use will come from renewable sources such as wind, solar, and hydrogen fuel cells.

While still small compared to the total amount of electricity used by many of the companies, that would be equal to the electricity generated by a typical large coal-burning power plant. It's about the same amount of power used to supply 750,000 homes.

In a major step toward achieving the goal, the coalition of companies, known as the Green Power Market Development Group, on Wednesday was announcing...(Read on in: Some companies are attracted to green energy)

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Great Lakes Daily News: 17 September 2003
For links to these stories and more, visit

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archive at

Toronto waterfront dominates mayoral debate
Toronto's waterfront is the main issue in the mayoral election, based on the
more than 500 people packed into a gym at the Harbourfront Community Centre
last night to question candidates on their plans for revitalizing the
waterfront. Source: The Toronto Star (9/17)

COMMENTARY: Unclear nuclear policy threatens Wisconsin
The Wolf River Batholith, a geological feature covering more than 1,000
square miles in Northeast Wisconsin, has been proposed by the Department of
Energy as a potential site for large-scale nuclear waste disposal. Source:
The Green Bay News-Chronicle (9/17)

Montreal's drinking water is fine
Montrealers can rest assured that the water running from their tap is safe,
say water conservation activists and city officials. Source: The Montreal
Gazette (9/16)

Dreyer completes stage 5 of Lake Michigan length swim
Endurance swimmer Jim Dreyer has finished the fifth of 16 stages of his
attempt to swim the length of Lake Michigan. Source: Booth Newspapers (9/16)

Divers haul garbage from murky Lake Erie
The sky cleared just in time yesterday for the 11th Put-in-Bay Underwater
Cleanup, allowing volunteer divers to retrieve just about everything in
their quest to rid the bottom of South Bass Island's main harbor of litter.
Source: The Toledo Blade (9/16)

Lake Erie shoreline battle still unresolved
Members of the Ohio Lakefront Group, a grassroots organization started in
Sheffield Lake two years ago, spoke out against what they claim is the Ohio
Department of Natural Resource's recent practice of declaring coastal
property up to the "ordinary high water mark." Source: Port Clinton News
Herald (9/16)

Fast ferry getting closer to reality
Rochester's fast ferry is about eight months away from hitting the water.
Source: WHEC-TV Rochester (9/16)

COMMENTARY: Restoring the Great Lakes
According to Sen. Carl Levin, we must ensure that the federal government
meets its ongoing obligation to protect and restore the Great Lakes. Source:
The White Lake Beacon (9/15)

States say feds falling short on invasives
State officials say the federal government is failing to do enough to stop
invasive species of plants and animals from damaging the environment and
economy. Source: Great Lakes Radio Consortium (9/15)

Coast Guard and auxilliary patrol 3,000 miles of shoreline
As the lead agency in maritime homeland security, the U.S. Coast Guard in
Michigan keeps busy protecting more than 3,000 miles of shoreline and
waterways and patrolling borders. Source: The Macomb Daily (9/15)

Ohio ranks high nationwide in hazardous material spills
Ohio ranked second last year in the number of hazardous-material spills on
highways, railways and in the air - the 10th consecutive year that it has
either had the highest or second highest number of spills, according to the
U.S. Department of Transportation. Source: Dayton Daily News (9/14)

For links to these stories and more, visit

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Tuesday, September 16, 2003

And last for today but not least from ENN,

Tuesday, September 16, 2003
By Associated Press

PARIS — The French government is looking to get on the cutting edge of environmental correctness, boosting funding by euro38.5 million euros (US$43.3 million) for research into cars that limit pollution.

Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Ecology Minister Roselyne Bachelot introduced a plan on Monday to move ahead with cleaner cars.

There are few such vehicles currently on the road. Of the 35 million vehicles in France, only 220,000 light vehicles are considered "clean," using energy sources that drastically limit pollution — unlike gasoline or diesel fuel.

The center-right prime minister wants to change that...(Read on in: France pushes program for 'clean' cars)
Also from ENN,

Tuesday, September 16, 2003
By Robert Evans, Reuters

GENEVA — "It certainly looks like the end of the World Trade Organization as we know it," a Geneva-based diplomatic analyst said Monday after the collapse of talks in Cancun, Mexico, on a new international free trade pact.

His shared widespread gloom in the wake of the failure of what was supposed to be a mid-term review of the Doha round of global trade negotiations launched in November 2001.

The plan had been to end the Round in 15 months with agreements on slashing tariffs, allowing service firms like banks and insurance companies to operate globally and moving toward removal of rich countries' farm subsidies.

The World Bank, always enthusiastic about the role of trade in driving the global economy, had estimated that a good pact would...(Read on in: WTO faces an uncertain future with torn-up map)
Interesting news from ENN,

Tuesday, September 16, 2003
By David Suzuki

This month, millions of children around North America went back to school. But most didn't walk or ride their bikes. Most of those kids were driven. And it's making them fat.

In fact, our suburban, car-centric society is partly responsible for the near-epidemic levels of obesity for all age groups in North America, according to recent reports in the American Journal of Public Health and the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Researchers developed a "sprawl index" to measure patterns of development in communities across the United States. Then they compared the levels of suburban sprawl with the health of 200,000 people living in those communities...(Read on in: Suburban sprawl is bad for people and the planet)
Great Lakes Daily News: 16 September 2003
For links to these stories and more, visit

Did you miss a day of Daily News? Remember to use our searchable story
archive at

Bush touts emissions plan at Monroe plant
President Bush came to a Michigan power plant on Monday to promote his Clear
Skies Initiative and New Source Review proposals, which opponents say will
do little to curb pollution. Source: Detroit Free Press (9/16)

State lawmakers form Great Lakes Caucus
Lawmakers from eight states and two provinces have launched the Great Lakes
Legislative Caucus to help coordinate laws and policies on issues facing the
region as a whole. Source: (9/16)

Land rights needed to finish North Country Trail
Organizers of the 4,600-mile North Country National Scenic Trail hope that
Congress will pass a bill that will enable the National Park Service to
purchase land to finally complete the trail. Source: Great Lakes Radio
Consortium (9/15)

Harmful algae bloom puzzles scientists
A mysterious bloom of algae in Lake Erie is puzzling scientists and
threatening a Great Lakes fishery. Source: Great Lakes Radio Consortium

Meeting's focus is Great Lakes
On Friday and Saturday, hundreds of scientists and policymakers will descend
on Ann Arbor, Mich., for the International Joint Commission's biennial
conference on the Great Lakes. Source: The Ann Arbor News (9/15)

EDITORIAL: Local pressure needed for action on invasive species
The U.S. EPA's recent decision not to require permits for ships discharging
ballast water provides strong evidence of why it's important for local
officials to keep the pressure on for federal action against invasive
species. Source: The Port Clinton News Herald (9/15)

Thousands of volunteers to clean up waterfront
Environmental and community groups are looking for volunteers to help with
the 13th annual Muskegon County Coastal Cleanup this Saturday, part of an
international beach-cleaning endeavor. Source: The Muskegon Chronicle (9/15)

EDITORIAL: Pollutants, invaders threaten Great Lakes
The proposed $4 billion Great Lakes Restoration Fund is not just a good
idea, it's a necessity for the lakes and for Wisconsin's future. Source:
Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune (9/14)

EDITORIAL: Water pressures
Though a 10-month dry spell and other factors have led to increased
pressures on underground water tables in Waukesha County, Wis., there's good
reason not to tap Lake Michigan for relief. Source: Milwaukee Journal
Sentinel (9/13)

Filmmakers in Port Huron for help with Edmund Fitzgerald project
A native Michigan screenwriter and a film production company are meeting
with ship captains who went through the same storm that sank the Edmund
Fitzgerald to gather information for a movie. Source: Port Huron
Times-Herald (9/13)

For links to these stories and more, visit

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Dozens of renewable fuel advocates, including actor Woody Harrelson, stopped in Boulder Sept. 12 to celebrate the opening of Colorado’s first retail pump to offer biodiesel to the public.
Click on Biodiesel Pump Opens in Boulder, Colo. for more details.

You can help support biodiesel and a healthier environment by clicking here to forward this communication to others who might be interested.

Thanks for your interest and support.

Jenna Higgins
Director of Communications
National Biodiesel Board
(800) 841-5849

# Click here to join Biodiesel Alliance-Backers. It's Free!
Deadline to register is today!!!
IJC 2003 Great Lakes Conference and Biennial Meeting
To be held in Ann Arbor, Mich., Sept. 18-20
Register online at

Healing Our Watershed Lakewide Summit 2003
Source: Lake Michigan Federation (2003-09-10)

2001-2003 priorities and progress under the Great Lakes Water Quality
Agreement now available
Source: International Joint Commission (2003-09-10)

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Access the Great Lakes Press Room archive and sponsorship opportunities
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TO SUBSCRIBE and receive this Great Lakes news compendium daily, see or send an e-mail message to with the command 'subscribe dailynews' (minus
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Friday, September 12, 2003

Great Lakes Daily News: 12 September 2003
For links to these stories and more, visit

Did you miss a day of Daily News? Remember to use our searchable story
archive at

Dip in Great Lakes water levels continues
Already-low Great Lakes water levels have continued to decline this year,
according to the International Lake Superior Board of Control. Source:
Green Bay Press-Gazette (9/12)

EPA won't require permits for ballast water
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it won't require permits for
ships discharging ballast water despite complaints that the discharges are
introducing invasive species in the Great Lakes and elsewhere. Source: The
Associated Press (9/12)

New paving material puts PCBs, river sediment to use on road
Officials demonstrated Thursday that PCB-contaminated river sediments can be
melted into a glass aggregate, mixed with asphalt and used to pave roads -
an option in the federally mandated cleanup plan for the Fox River. Source:
The Appleton Post-Crescent (9/12)

Montreal waterfront cleanup gets kudos
Delegates to an international conference on waterfront development got a
taste yesterday of how Montreal has been faring. Source: The Montreal
Gazette (9/12)

Architects hired to plot canal course
The federal commission that oversees the Erie Canal began charting a course
for the historic waterway's future this week by hiring a New York City firm
to draw up a master plan for preserving the canal's historic nature while
promoting development. Source: The Syracuse Post-Standard (9/12)

EPA recommends that Michigan reject wetlands permit for road project
Federal regulators have recommended that Michigan reject wetlands permits
for a long-debated plan to build a four-lane road across the scenic Boardman
River valley. Source: Detroit Free Press (9/12)

Ohio pushes clean marinas
The Clean Marina program will first focus on the approximately 225 to 250
marinas on Lake Erie. Source: The Toledo Blade (9/12)

Endurance swimmer on second stage of Lake Michigan swim
As of Thursday afternoon, Jim Dreyer was about 7 miles from completing stage
two in swimming the length of Lake Michigan. Source: The Associated Press

All aboard the freedom ship Amistad
During two tours of the East Coast, one of the Gulf of Mexico and this
summer's Great Lakes visit, the Freedom Schooner Amistad has never had a
reception like the one it got in New York on Wednesday. Source: The Buffalo
News (9/11)

For links to these stories and more, visit

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New from ENN,

Friday, September 12, 2003
By Alexandra Amonette

It's January in central Mississippi's Yazoo Basin. Clambering along the eroding banks of a stream, members of a team of field workers and scientists from a small Montana company carefully plant willow and sycamore cuttings.

The dormant cuttings are harvested from a nearby sandbar and planted before the spring rains raise the stream's water level. Some of the cuttings are bundled together and anchored near the water's edge. Farther downstream, the team positions reinforced-fiber mats over the fine, crumbling soil and then anchors the mats with more live stakes.

The half-mile project is an effort to demonstrate new eco-friendly techniques for bank stabilization and river restoration instead of using rock and concrete, or "hard armor.

Trout Headwaters Inc. (THI), based in Livingston, Mont., has partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to demonstrate the effectiveness of these new techniques across highly varied river systems before they are applied nationally and internationally. With plenty of streams in need of restoration, the backyard research area for the Corps' Waterways Experiment Station in the Yazoo Basin is...(Read on in: River restoration gets greener)

Thursday, September 11, 2003


Great Lakes Daily News: 11 September 2003
For links to these stories and more, visit

Did you miss a day of Daily News? Remember to use our searchable story
archive at

Power transferred to Kernan
While a still-critically ill Gov. Frank O'Bannon showed "small but
significant" signs of improvement Wednesday, the Indiana Supreme Court
formally transferred the power to run the state to Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan.
Source: The Indianapolis Star (9/11)

Upping Great Lakes traffic is trouble, group warns
Opening the Great Lakes to oceangoing container ships won't result in a wave
of new commercial shipping and billions in additional revenues for the
region, according to a new report. Source: Booth Newspapers (9/11)

Mercury taints rain in Minnesota
A report released this week by the National Wildlife Federation says
rainfall on parts of Minnesota contains levels of mercury seven times higher
than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers safe for the Great
Lakes environment. Source: Duluth News Tribune (9/11)

First of three unique vessels visits Windsor
The Puffin, first of three new vessels designed specifically for Great
Lakes/seaway trade, made its inaugural visit to the Port of Windsor, Ont.,
Wednesday. Source: The Windsor Star (9/11)

COMMENTARY: Great Lakes issues deserve federal attention
When you consider the Great Lakes form Earth's largest freshwater system,
you realize they're almost impossible to ignore. Yet, their immense size
makes it difficult to create programs and set state, national and
international priorities for dealing with the system's more than 140
invasive species and 25 major pollutants. Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette

Mich officials: Ontario failed to report 3 chemical spills in St. Clair
Canadian agencies failed to report to Michigan authorities three spills that
contaminated the St. Clair River earlier this year, according to Macomb
County officials. Source: Canoe News (9/11)

Volunteer divers needed for underwater cleanup at island
The cleanup on South Bass Island is just one of dozens of activities along
the Lake Erie coast during the 12th annual Coastweeks celebration, which
started in late August and continues through Sept. 21. Source: Port Clinton
News Herald (9/10)

John Ball Zoo worker helps endangered coastal birds in Michigan
Zookeeper Merrie Pieri-Clark spent a week of July near Pellston, Mich.,
helping hatch and rear seven piping plover chicks, endangered in the Great
Lakes. Source: Advance Newspapers (9/9)

3 area projects funded
Nine grants totaling $375,000 were announced late last week at the Ohio Lake
Erie Commission's meeting in Cleveland. Source: The Port Clinton News
Herald (9/8)

Keeping Mac in the black
There's no bridge on the horizon for differences between Republican
legislators and Mackinac Bridge officials over the span's long-term
financial health. Source: Traverse City Record-Eagle (9/7)

For links to these stories and more, visit

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003

New from ENN,

Wednesday, September 10, 2003
By Ellen Komp, E/The Environmental Magazine

"If you want to see what environmental terrorism looks like, just drive up Greenwood Heights road," said Sparrow, a diminutive elderly woman who has been supporting tree-sitters in her neighborhood, called Freshwater, nearly 300 miles north of San Francisco on Highway 101. "You will see beautiful, 1,600-year-old trees that have been cut down to feed one man's greed."

On the other side of the fray, a public relations campaign from Maxxam/Pacific Lumber was calling Michigan Earth First! activist Rodney Coronado a "convicted ecoterrorist" because he served a federal prison term for arson-related animal rights activities. While visiting California, Coronado allegedly confronted a climber hired by Maxxam/PL to remove tree sitters and warned that he was...(Read on in: The old-growth timber battle heats up

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

And on the good news side from ENN,

New National Study Shows Efficiency and Renewables Can Provide Immediate Relief from High Natural Gas Prices

From American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

New investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy generation could begin lowering natural gas prices immediately and help retain manufacturing jobs, a study prepared by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released today shows. The Energy Foundation (EF) commissioned ACEEE to prepare the study, Impacts of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy on Natural Gas Markets, to determine whether efficiency and renewables would produce significant price reductions and cost savings by reducing demand for natural gas.

"This study shows that we can quickly reduce wholesale natural gas prices 10-20 percent and save consumers over $75 billion in the next five years, " stated David Wooley, Vice President of the Energy Foundation. "The fastest, surest way to give gas and electricity consumers relief from spiking energy prices is to enact state and federal policies to expand renewable power generation and to help consumers install more efficient electric and gas appliances, and heating and cooling systems."

Specific policy solutions outlined in the study include: update state and federal appliance efficiency standards; require electric utilities to use more renewable power generation; expand rebates and grants to consumers to improve equipment efficiency and install clean on-site power generation; expand federal research and development support for emerging efficiency and renewable generation technologies; and establish tax credits for efficiency and renewable energy investments.

"The study, which is based on a scientific analysis of natural gas markets, outlines the specific benefits that energy efficiency and renewables would provide to our economy by reducing the high energy costs borne by consumers and industry," explained Dr. Neal Elliott, Industry Program Director at ACEEE and co-author of the study. "Contrary to what many are saying, there is something we can do about natural gas prices right now. Increased efficiency and renewable energy can reduce natural gas prices quickly and affordably."

According to the study, lower natural gas prices and consumption would save consumers $15 billion/year nationally from 2004 to 2008 for cumulative savings of over $75 billion over the next five years. This translates into an average residential household savings of $96 per year on natural gas bills. Additional savings would occur from lower electricity bills.

"Along with a robust and diverse supply of energy, increased efficiency is clearly a critically important component of our response to the natural gas crisis," said Peter Molinaro, Dow's Vice President of Government Affairs. "Affordable and available natural gas is critical to the health of American industry, our economy, and the environment. Leaders in the public and private sector need to do everything they can to spur investment in more efficient insulation, appliances, motors, heating and cooling systems, lighting, and clean on-site generation."

An increasing share of the electricity generated in the U.S., particularly in the Northeast, South, and on the West Coast, comes from natural gas-fired power plants. The analysis shows that natural gas expenditures by electric power generators would decrease by $6.2 billion in 2004 and by as much as $10.4 billion by 2008. This reduction in natural gas expenditures would reduce electricity rates in these regions, an additional benefit for electric power consumers.

ACEEE's Elliott noted that rapidly rising gas prices are forcing industries to close or move production to other countries. The study shows that higher levels of energy efficiency and renewable energy would stem this decline. He added, "Energy efficiency and renewable energy investments help employment in the manufacturing sector because they reduce natural gas prices and help preserve U.S.-based jobs that rely on natural gas as a manufacturing feedstock. They also create substantial numbers of jobs in construction, installation, and component manufacturing." Natural gas is used as a fuel and raw material for a wide range of products including fertilizer, plastics, chemicals, and steel.

In the wake of the northeastern blackout in August, Wooley of the Energy Foundation said that the policies that help reduce energy prices are consistent with steps needed to avoid future electric system failures. "Energy efficiency and distributed renewable generation lower peak demand on the electric transmission system and reduce the risk of system failures. They make our electric supply more secure without increasing our dependence on fossil fuel imports."

A copy of the summary report can be downloaded at The ACEEE Web site also includes the following supplementary material: a resource contact list, a summary of the study's results, and a technical white paper on the methodology.

The Energy Foundation is a partnership of major foundations interested in sustainable energy. It was launched in 1991 by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and The Rockefeller Foundation. The Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation joined as a funding partner in 1996, and The McKnight Foundation joined in 1998. In 1999, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation joined to support two programs: the U.S. Clean Energy Program (now the Climate Program) and the China Sustainable Energy Program. In 2002, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation joined to support advanced technology transportation and clean energy for the West. For more information about the Energy Foundation, contact 1012 Torney Avenue #1, San Francisco, CA 94129 or visit

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of promoting both economic prosperity and environmental protection. For information about ACEEE and its programs and publications, contact ACEEE, 1001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 801, Washington, DC 20036-5525 or visit

For more information, contact:

Neal Elliott
Industry Program Director
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Web site:
Also from ENN,

Tuesday, September 09, 2003
By Charles Abbott, Reuters

WASHINGTON — The biggest American farmers received 71 percent of U.S. farm subsidies since 1995, environmentalists said Tuesday in a report that could fuel the fight in Congress for tighter limits on farm supports.

Activists say mammoth payments to large operators gives them the cash to out-bid their smaller neighbors for land and equipment. The result is higher operating costs but no improvement in farm income.

According to the Environmental Working Group, the top 10 percent of U.S. growers collected an average $278,932 a year. Their share of payments steadily grew from...(Read on in: Biggest growers pocket 71 percent of U.S. farm subsidies)
New from ENN,

Tuesday, September 09, 2003
By David Goodman, Associated Press

DETROIT — Stepped up antiterrorism measures at the U.S.-Canada border are regularly uncovering radioactive material and other illegal medical waste in Ontario trash bound for a Michigan landfill.

While the checks have found no known terrorists, they have found many shipments containing medical waste, including some with radioactive material, Robert Prause, the department's port director at the bridge, said Monday.

Steve Whitter, Toronto's waste services director, said...(Read on in: New U.S. border checks find radioactive Canadian trash)
Great Lakes Daily News: 08 September 2003
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Legislators form Great Lakes caucus
State lawmakers from the eight states and two Canadian provinces that
surround the Great Lakes have formed a caucus to coordinate legislative
action on Great Lakes issues. Source: Great Lakes Radio Consortium (9/8)

Fighting West Nile virus with native fish
One community is trying a different approach to preventing the West Nile
virus: increasing stocks of mosquito-eating fish. Source: Great Lakes Radio
Consortium (9/8)

Water break
The dramatic increase in the use of irrigation and the effects of suburban
sprawl over the last 50 years have strained groundwater supplies, even in
the Great Lakes region. Source: Earthwatch Radio (9/8)

Seven firms could 'cash out' of Fox River cleanup
Seven paper companies on the hook for cleanup of the PCB-contaminated Fox
River could write a check for cleanup costs and walk away from the
multi-year project under a so-called "cash-out" provision of the Superfund
law that guides the cleanup. Source: The Appleton Post-Crescent (9/8)

Plunging into Ohio's heart
More travelers are visiting the Ohio and Erie Canal Scenic Byway, a 110-mile
highway of history that plunges into the heart of Ohio. Source: The
Cleveland Plain Dealer (9/7)

Michigan weeding out invasive species
St. John's Marsh is just one among dozens of sites where state agencies and
nonprofit groups such as The Nature Conservancy are working to root out
invasive weeds and replace them with plants native to Michigan. Source:
Booth Newspapers (9/7)

Park on Whiskey Island mapped out
The Whiskey Island park is a key piece of Cleveland's plan to redevelop the
shores of Lake Erie. Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer (9/7)

Stemming the sewer overflow
Combined sewer overflows during rainstorms are one of the most challenging
environmental issues facing the Niagara region today and are regarded as one
of the biggest threats to the safety and health of the community. Source:
The St. Catharines Standard (9/6)

Lake Michigan swim attempt starts today
An endurance swimmer who failed to make a direct crossing of Lake Superior
last month will start swimming the length of Lake Michigan today. Source:
South Bend Tribune (9/6)

Water levels in lakes Superior, Michigan-Huron remain well below average
The August water supply for Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron were well
below average for the month. Source: The Sault Star (9/5)

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US Conressman Bernie Sanders, the Bernie Buzz:

September 8, 2003

Dear :
Sanders Exposes the Truth About the Bush Administration’s Environmental Record

The Bush Administration’s environmental record may be the most reactionary in the last hundred years of American history. Its anti-environmental agenda is being carried out on two fronts. First, the Administration is aggressively moving to stop any pro-environmental reforms. For instance, their policies encourage increased use of fossil fuels and nuclear power, oppose meaningful increases in CAFÉ standards, ignore international environmental treaties and underfund the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to do its job.

Click here to check out Bernie's environmental report card for the Bush Administration:

Congressional Town Meeting on the Environment at UVM

Please join Congressman Sanders at his Congressional Town Meeting on the Environment on Monday, September 15, 2003, at 7:00 p.m. at University of Vermont’s Ira Allen Chapel. The meeting, which is being held in conjunction with the University of Vermont School of Natural Resources, the National Wildlife Federation, the Vermont Sierra Club, the Vermont Natural Resources Council and Forest Watch, will focus on the current state of the environment and the anti-environmental polices of the Administration. Participating at Bernie’s Town Meeting will be John Passacantando, the national Executive Director of Greenpeace. John is also the founder of Ozone Action, an organization dedicated to stopping global warming.

For an invitation to the event click here:

Great Lakes Daily News: 09 September 2003
For links to these stories and more, visit

Did you miss a day of Daily News? Remember to use our searchable story
archive at

Gov. O'Bannon gravely ill after massive stroke
Indiana Gov. Frank O'Bannon was in critical condition today in a Chicago
hospital after suffering a massive stroke, leaving the state in the hands of
Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan. Source: The Indianapolis Star (9/9)

Carcinogen spilled into river during the blackout
A faulty tube in a Canadian manufacturing plant accidently dumped a
potentially dangerous amount of chemicals into the St. Clair River during
the mid-August outage. Source: Detroit Free Press (9/9)

Yachting club volunteers push to preserve lighthouses
The Grassy Island Range Lights have gotten a reprieve from the scrap heap
twice in the past half-century thanks to years of restoration work by
members of the Green Bay Yachting Club. Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette

Endurance swimmer completes first stage of Lake Michigan swim
Jim Dreyer, the endurance swimmer, completed the first stage of his attempt
to swim the length of Lake Michigan early Tuesday morning. Source: Duluth
News Tribune (9/9)

Amistad visit recalls city's liberating past
The Amistad will grace the Buffalo, N.Y., waterfront all this week, nestling
like a jewel of American history in the crown of a city that once built a
reputation for guiding enslaved people to freedom. Source: The Buffalo News

Great Lakes shipping hits slump
Less cargo has passed over the docks of Pennsylvania's port of Erie this
year than in 2002, and the immediate future doesn't look much brighter.
Source: Erie Times-News (9/8)

Battle for recognition
The historic Battle of Lake Erie, considered a pivotal event in the War of
1812, will be remembered Wednesday on its 190th anniversary with a
wreath-laying ceremony at Perry Monument in Presque Isle State Park. Source:
Erie Times-News (9/8)

Earliest-known description of city is part of history display
A report by a Jesuit missionary priest that may be the earliest-known
written descriptions of the Fort Wayne, Ind., area, is now a part of an
exhibit on Fort Wayne's heritage as a crossroads for travel. Source: Fort
Wayne News-Sentinel (9/8)

To find earliest North Americans, scientist follows ice
Newly discovered archaeological sites in Door County, Wis., provide evidence
that people lived at the margins of retreating glaciers between 11,500 to
14,000 years ago, confounding some long-held views of New World archeology.
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (9/6)

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Great Lakes Daily News is a collaborative project of the Great Lakes
Information Network ( and the Great Lakes Radio
Consortium (, both based in Ann Arbor, Mich.
TO SUBSCRIBE and receive this Great Lakes news compendium daily, see or send an e-mail message to with the command 'subscribe dailynews' (minus
the quotes) in the body of the message.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

New from ENN,

Wednesday, September 03, 2003
By Anthony Boadle, Reuters

HAVANA — Leaders from Africa and the Caribbean agreed Tuesday on financing for their efforts to stop the alarming loss of fertile lands that threaten to turn farmlands into deserts and cause famines.

Heads of governments from 10 nations attending a meeting of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) agreed to adopt the Global Environment Facility as its main source of funding.

The GEF, set up in 1991 to preserve biodiversity, reduce risks of climate change, and clean up international waters, has $500 million available for grants over the next three years to pay for projects to arrest land degradation.

The facility funded by 34 donors, mainly industrialized nations, will provide grants, but the projects are chosen and executed by the World Bank, the U.N. Development Program, and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Drought and desertification resulting from deforestation and overgrazing have reached alarming levels and threaten the food security of more than 1 billion people around the world who depend on the land for a living...(REad on in: Poor nations agree on financing to stop deserts