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What A Week It Was: Apocadocuments from
View By Scenario:
Species Collapse:(10)
Plague/Virus:(1)
Climate Chaos:(14)
Resource Depletion: (4)
Biology Breach:(9)
Recovery:(10)
This Week's Top Ten Very Scary Tags:
overfishing  ~ global warming  ~ dead zones  ~ endangered list  ~ carbon emissions  ~ bisphenol A  ~ amphibian collapse  ~ stupid humans  ~ climate impacts  ~ anthropogenic change  ~ endocrine disruptor  



ApocaDocuments (10) for the "Recovery" scenario from this week
[see full week] ~ [see full Recovery scenario and stories]
Sat, Oct 18, 2008
from New York Times:
E.P.A. Toughens Standard on Lead Emissions; Change Is the First in 3 Decades
The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday set stringent new standards for airborne lead particles, following the recommendations of its science advisers and cutting the maximum allowable concentrations to a tenth of the previous standard. It was the first change in federal lead standards in three decades. But the cleanup of areas with excessive lead levels is not required for more than eight years, and the system of monitors that detect the toxic contaminant is frayed. Currently, 133 monitors are in operation nationwide, down from about 800 in 1980, an E.P.A. spokeswoman, Cathy Milbourn, said. The agency is working on rebuilding this network, to include more than 300 monitors, Ms. Milbourn said. ...


Eight years?! Get the lead out!

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Sat, Oct 18, 2008
from Calgary Sun (Canada):
Ban on BPA begins today
Canada will be the first country to limit the use of bisphenol A today when it formally declares the chemical a hazardous substance. The federal government published its decision to place BPA on its list of toxic substances in the Canada Gazette. The decision comes six months after Health Minister Tony Clement announced plans to limit use of the chemical. The Conservatives said they will now move to ban the importation and sale of baby bottles containing BPA. ...


Why can't our conservatives do something like that?

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Fri, Oct 17, 2008
from Science Daily (US):
Microbes Useful For For Environmental Cleanup And Oil Recovery
BioTigerâ„¢ resulted from over eight years of extensive work that began at a century-old Polish waste lagoon. "DOE had originally funded us to work with our Polish counterparts to develop a microbe-based method for cleaning up oil-contaminated soils," explains Dr. Robin Brigmon, SRNL Fellow Engineer. From that lagoon, they identified microbes that could break down the oil to carbon dioxide and other non-hazardous products. "The project was a great success," Dr. Brigmon says. "The lagoon now has been cleaned up, and deer now can be seen grazing on it." ...


Not sure that CO2 is exactly "non-hazardous," but this is still a good trend line.

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Thu, Oct 16, 2008
from Ohio State University:
New solar energy material captures every color of the rainbow
Researchers have created a new material that overcomes two of the major obstacles to solar power: it absorbs all the energy contained in sunlight, and generates electrons in a way that makes them easier to capture.... At this point, the material is years from commercial development, but he added that this experiment provides a proof of concept -- that hybrid solar cell materials such as this one can offer unusual properties. ...


We're all impatient! Let's get going!

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Thu, Oct 16, 2008
from Bloomberg News:
Obama to Declare Carbon Dioxide Dangerous Pollutant
Barack Obama will classify carbon dioxide as a dangerous pollutant that can be regulated should he win the presidential election on Nov. 4, opening the way for new rules on greenhouse gas emissions. The Democratic senator from Illinois will tell the Environmental Protection Agency that it may use the 1990 Clean Air Act to set emissions limits on power plants and manufacturers, his energy adviser, Jason Grumet, said in an interview. President George W. Bush declined to curb CO2 emissions under the law even after the Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the government may do so. ...


Wonder how the coal industry feels about this.

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Thu, Oct 16, 2008
from Plenty:
Coal and clear skies: Obama's balancing act
When Barack Obama arrived in Washington as a newly elected senator in early 2005, he landed in the middle of an environmental firestorm. Obama had been assigned a seat on the Senate's Environment and Public Works committee - and the first order of business was the Clear Skies Act. The brainchild of the Bush administration, the CSA was presented as an initiative to reduce air pollution and boost the economy; it was applauded by industry groups, but drew sharp criticism from environmentalists and many Democrats, who said the move would weaken existing clean-air regulations, loosen caps on a range of air pollutants, delay the enforcement of smog and soot standards, and exempt power plants from rules requiring them to comply with modern emission standards... In the end, of course, Obama voted against Clear Skies, deadlocking the Environment committee and effectively killing the legislation. ...


Clear skies... smiling at me... nothing but clear skies ... do I see!

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Tue, Oct 14, 2008
from 350.org:
Send an invitation to the next U.S. President
Dear Sen. Obama/Sen. McCain: I'm writing with a simple request: attend the UN Climate Meetings this December and rejoin the world's fight against the climate crisis. The need for an international deal has never been greater. NASA's top climate scientists have said that to avoid disaster the planet needs a plan both to cut carbon emissions sharply and immediately, and to steer a long term path back below 350 parts per million Carbon Dioxide. ...


And if the candidate you DON'T want wins, you can send him to the moon!

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Mon, Oct 13, 2008
from New York Times:
'Black Silicon' increases efficiency
Black silicon has since been found to have extreme sensitivity to light. It is now on the verge of commercialization, most likely first in night vision systems. "We have seen a 100 to 500 times increase in sensitivity to light compared to conventional silicon detectors," said James Carey, a co-founder of SiOnyx who worked on the original experiments as a Harvard graduate student.... As a result of his research, a number of academic and corporate research groups are still exploring the material, which absorbs about twice as much visible light as normal silicon... ...


Leeeet the sun shine.... leeet the sun shine in...!

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Mon, Oct 13, 2008
from Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft:
Using electrons to treat organic seeds
Sales of organic products are booming: Consumers want their food to be untainted. To avoid the use of fungicides yet nevertheless protect plants from disease, researchers have developed a method that involves bombarding seeds with electrons to kill fungal spores and viruses.... So what happens when the electrons hit the seeds? "It's not unlike cooking. For instance, when you make strawberry jam, the germs are killed by the high temperature -- and your jam will keep for years. The electrons destroy the chemical bonds that hold together the molecules in the fungal spores and other pathogens, but without generating heat. You might say that they cause the molecules to explode," explains Roder. ...


Exploding molecules doesn't sound very organic.

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Mon, Oct 13, 2008
from Innovations Report:
Copper catalyst recycles carbon dioxide
RIKEN chemists have developed a catalyst that should allow carbon dioxide to be used as a versatile synthetic chemical.... Zhaomin Hou... along with colleagues Takeshi Ohishi and Masayoshi Nishiura, has now developed a copper catalyst that helps the boron compounds to react with carbon dioxide without destroying sensitive chemical groups.... "One of our goals is to find a catalyst that can transform CO2 in exhaust gasses of automobile vehicles or chemical plants into useful materials." ...


Think of CO2 as a renewable resource.

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