Improved Wood Stoves could improve air quality and health

Two billion people worldwide do their cooking on open fires, producing sooty pollution that shortens millions of lives and exacerbates global warming. If widely adopted, a new generation of inexpensive, durable cook stoves could go a long way toward alleviating this problem. With a single, concerted initiative, says Lakshman Guruswami, the world could save millions of people in poor nations from respiratory ailments and early death, while dealing a big blow to global warming — and all at a surprisingly small cost.

Environmental disaster looms from River Po oil spill

A giant oil slick threatened wildlife, fishing grounds and tourist spots Thursday as it moved down the Po, Italy's longest river, towards the sea, defying all efforts to stem its progress. Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo called the spill, blamed on saboteurs who broke into a disused refinery and opened valves, "a true attack on the environment and on citizens' health," the ANSA news agency reported. Several kilometers (miles) long, the slick was halfway between the cities of Cremona and Mantua late Thursday, having covered about 200 kilometres (125 miles) since it was released into a tributary of the Po early Tuesday.

Marine Reserves Work

The creation of marine protected areas can lead to the rapid recovery of depleted fish populations, according to several new studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. One study, conducted in a network of 12 marine reserves covering 188 square miles near Los Angeles, showed that since the area was closed to fishing in 2003, heavily-fished species such as blue rockfish have increased by 50 percent.

Whales object to whaling compromise

A new draft compromise on whaling released by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) today set a dangerous precedent that the international community must reject, WWF said. A working group within the IWC today unveiled a new compromise aimed at unlocking the stalled negotiation process between countries fundamentally opposed to whaling and states that support it. While the compromise contains many positive elements for whale conservation that would help bring the IWC into the 21st Century, the compromise could legitimise "scientific" whaling by Japan in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Hidden Truths About Energy: Why One Source Just Won’t Cut It

Energy involves many complex issues, from how it is sourced to where it is used. Crafting intelligent energy policy also means understanding how cultural, social, and political issues come into play. Dr. Michael Guan is one of the well versed experts in this area. With qualifications from Harvard and Yale, a 20+ year career in as an engineer and consultant, his latest work is with Energy Studies Institute and Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. He also does research and development for the U.S. Army around energy technologies.