Mongolia mining impacted by bitter winter

As Mongolia cowers under the brutal thrall of its worst winter in decades, questions are being asked as to whether the country should end its reliance on nomadic herders and dig deeper into its mineral reserves instead. Some 800 years ago, Mongolia's nomadic herdsmen were surging across the steppe under the leadership of Genghis Khan and conquering China, Tibet and much of central Asia. Today, most of their descendents are at the mercy of the hostile Mongolian weather or crammed in the capital, Ulan Bator, where they struggle to make a living even though the country sits on some of the world's richest mineral reserves.

Madeira floods kill at least 40

Portuguese rescue workers using bulldozers searched on Sunday for more bodies under debris after violent floods and mudslides killed at least 40 people on the resort island of Madeira. Authorities flew more rescue teams and military engineers from the mainland to help the Atlantic island where a heavy rainstorm on Saturday unleashed floods and mudslides, washing away bridges, blocking roads with rocks and mud and cutting off parts of the island.

Confidence in Scientists Dropping as Result of “Climategate”

Fallout from a loss of public confidence in climate science is affecting other fields of research, a top US academic claimed. American opinion polls point to a general deterioration in people's faith in science, according to Dr Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences. It came after two major public relations setbacks for the global warming gurus.

Dolphin Intelligence

Are Dolphins intelligent or self aware? It is an intriguing question with deep philosophical implications. Are they people without hands for example. If so, then is it right to exploit them? Emory University neuroscientist Lori Marino will speak on the anatomical basis of dolphin intelligence at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference (AAAS) in San Diego, on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 3:30 p.m.

Does Fair Trade Coffee Lift Growers Out of Poverty

Does Fair Trade Coffee Lift Growers Out of Poverty or Simply Ease Our Guilty Conscience? Is the Fair Trade movement just a marketing scheme or does it truly provide a living wage for coffee growers? How many times a day do you consume a food produced by a subsistence farmer on the other side of the world? Whether it's chocolate, coffee, tea, sugar or bananas, most Americans regularly enjoy inexpensive tropical foods, but far fewer actually think about the effects on the people or the environment where those products are grown. The Fair Trade movement represents one attempt to change this by reminding consumers that their lifestyles rely on faraway farmers and laborers and offering them an opportunity to ensure their purchases come from farmers paid a fair price.

Lobsters are dying in Bay of Fundy

Fishermen are furious a pesticide normally used for agriculture ended up in the Bay of Fundy and may have contributed to the death of hundreds of lobsters. Dead lobsters first appeared last November in Grand Manan's Seal Cove, and five days later a fisherman 50 kilometres away in Pocologan found more dead lobsters in his traps. Soon after that discovery, another 816 kilograms of weak or dead lobster were discovered in Deer Island's Fairhaven Harbour.

UN Climate Chief to Step Down

Yvo de Boer, the head of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, has formally announced he'll be leaving the post this July. The decision is widely thought to come from de Boer's deep disappointment with the results of the Copenhagen climate talks, and the nonbinding Accord forged there. An energetic and often "sharp-tongued" man, many fear that whomever is selected as his replacement will lack his audacity and enthusiasm. Here's his statement on why he's leaving:

Australia to Japan – Stop Whaling Now

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has set Japan a November deadline to stop Southern Ocean whaling or face an international legal challenge to its yearly cull, launched by his government. Australia preferred to find a diplomatic solution to its standoff with Tokyo over the annual whale cull near Antarctica, Rudd said, but was serious about a threat made two years ago to challenge the hunt in an international court.

DDT found in children from Mexico and Central America

Children from several Latin American countries have traces of the pesticide DDT in their blood, according to a study coordinated by the Pan American Health Organization. The children studied belong to 11 rural communities in Mesoamerica (Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama). In all but Guatemala, the researchers found exposure to DDT.

Engine Emissions

Most people are familiar with automobile air emissions. Perhaps one day there will only be electric cars and no car air emissions. But there are many on other engines in use by commercial and industrial operations that may cause air emissions. In general these are called reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE). On February 17, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule that will further reduce emissions of toxic air pollutants from existing diesel powered stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines.