The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.

Brazil loosens restrictions on Amazon land use

“Brazil’s lower house has passed legislation that would loosen restrictions on how small farmers use their land in the Amazon forest.

Environmentalists still fear the revision bill would bring increased deforestation, but operators of small-scale farms and ranches defend the measure as a way to let them produce to full capacity and boost Brazil’s food output.”

Herder’s death deepens tensions in Inner Mongolia

“Protests erupt after Mongolian herder run over by coal truck as he tries to stop mining convoy driving across prairie land. Security forces in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of China, are on high alert after the biggest wave of demonstrations in 20 years, sparked by a killing that symbolises the traumatic transition of Mongolia’s nomadic grasslands into a mining powerhouse.”

EPA Funds 10 Small Businesses to Develop Environmental Technologies

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding nearly $2.25 million to 10 small companies to support the development of new technologies for protecting the environment and public health.

Winners include small businesses in California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Mexico. This year’s innovative projects include reducing toxic chemicals from landfills, producing an environmentally friendly adhesive, reducing methane emissions by converting dilute methane waste gas streams into useful fuel, and designing a real-time environmental water monitoring sensor.”

The Address Book by Tim Radford – reviewTim Radford is an ideal tour guide as he attempts to work out his place in the universe

“At the start of each school term, Tim Radford – as so many other pupils have done over the decades – would scribble his name in his exercise book, add his address, and then for good measure put in his hometown, his country, his planet, the solar system, galaxy and finally the universe”

Biofuel Push Stalls In ‘Car Crazy’ Germany

“The Germans have a famous passion for automobiles, but it has run smack into European Union directives to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. So rather than ask German drivers to give up those highly tuned Mercedes or BMWs, the government is offering them “E10″ — gas mixed with 10 percent ethanol, produced from corn and wheat.

But there are two problems: German car lovers are refusing to buy it, and environmentalists say it’s no greener than regular gas.”

See Also: Analysis: German drought threat to biodiesel producers

French firms team up to improve farm water use

“France’s Lyonnaise des Eaux, subsidiary of Suez Environnement and Terrena, the main French agricultural cooperative, said on Friday they had set up a joint venture to create water management tools for farmers.

France is currently suffering one of its worse droughts for at least 35 years and more than half of the country has had water restrictions imposed.”

Micro-power presents slow-burn threat to utilities

“A wide rollout of small-scale renewable energy poses a long-term challenge to utilities as households switch to home generation and the supply market opens, executives at green specialists and independents say.

Small-scale renewable energy is more accessible to new entrants compared with the forward purchase of huge amounts of baseload generation from burning fossil fuels, which is the routine business of big utilities.”

Bunge investing $350 million more in Brazil cane: report

“U.S. agribusiness company Bunge will invest $350 million to grow more sugar cane to feed its sugar and ethanol mills in Brazil, financial daily O Valor Economico said on Friday.

Bunge has stepped up its presence in Brazil’s huge cane sector in the last few years, including through acquisitions, and now has seven mills producing sugar and ethanol biofuel which Brazil’s millions of flex-fuel cars burn.”

See Also: Analysis: Bidding war heats up for low U.S. corn supplies

Sloppy recycling seen posing threat to green tech

“The green technology industry was warned on Thursday that its growth is threatened by a failure to recycle metals and especially rare earth elements.

A U.N.-backed report warned that less than one third of metals globally have a recycling rate of more than 50 percent.”

See Also: U.N. calls for much more metals recycling

Big oil companies face growing concern on fracking

“Large blocks of investors in the two biggest U.S. oil companies on Wednesday demanded more disclosure about the environmental risks of extracting oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing.

Exxon Mobil Corp defended the practice at its annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, even as investors peppered Chief Executive Rex Tillerson with concerns and questions about it.

A proposal requiring more disclosure by Exxon on the impact of “fracking” received about 30 percent of the votes by shareholders in the world’s largest publicly traded oil company.”

See Also: Morning Feature: Fracking Update – Duke Study Links Fracking to Flammable Water

NPR has a page of Science News which includes links on environment and energy.
Reuters has a page on Green Business and their Science page has additional stories as does the Science page at the Guardian.

Here are some other links you may find worthwhile:
Climate Change News Digest
Climate Progress from Center for American Progress
Rocky Mountain Institute “an independent, entrepreneurial nonprofit think-and-do tank™ that drives the efficient and restorative use of resources.”

At BPI Campus our Progressive Agenda is:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.


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