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March 13, 2009

Polar bears will not survive without urgent action

Recent analysis by the US Geological survey and World Conservation Union found that two-thirds of the 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears in the world could be lost in the next 50 years as warming temperatures melt the ice.

But, WWF, the conservation charity, said an agreement signed in 1973 by the five Arctic states ? Canada, Russia, the US, Greenland/Denmark and Norway ? commits them to saving protecting the bear and its habitat.

“Without the sea ice habitat, the polar bear will not survive in the long term. There are other threats, such as oil and gas drilling, shipping and toxins, but they pale in comparison to climate change and the loss of the sea ice”, WWF’s polar bear co-ordinator Geoff York said.

He also said the five nations which are party to the 1973 Agreement for the Conservation of Polar Bears and Their Habitats must agree to push their countries to commit to urgent and effective action to cut the greenhouse gas emissions which cause climate change.

For further information visit the TELEGRAPH web site

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category : Topics

March 9, 2009

London’s electric car hire scheme

London mayor is considering the introduction of an electric car hire scheme as part of his attempts to make it the “electric capital of Europe”

The scheme is based on the French capital’s bike hire scheme (Velib), which is already in place, and will see cars available for hire from bays around Paris.

UK government would be called upon to give London at least £250m government money put in place to support these electric initiatives.

The mayor said he wanted to see at least half the 8,000 vehicle fleet owned by the Greater London Authority replaced by electric vehicles as soon as possible.

For further information visit the GUARDIAN web site

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category : Topics

March 2, 2009

The world’s rubbish dump

The vast expanse of debris is held in place by swirling underwater currents. This drifting soup stretches from about 500 nautical miles off the Californian coast, across the northern Pacific, past Hawaii and almost as far as Japan.

The soup is actually two linked areas, either side of the islands of Hawaii, known as the Western and Eastern Pacific rubbish patches.

According to the UN Environment Programme, plastic debris causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 marine mammals. Syringes, cigarette lighters and toothbrushes have been found inside the stomachs of dead seabirds, which mistake them for food.

The slowly rotating mass of rubbish-laden water poses a risk to human health, too.
Hundreds of millions of raw materials for the plastic industry are lost or spilled every year, working their way into the sea. These pollutants act as chemical sponges attracting man-made chemicals such as hydrocarbons and the pesticide DDT. They then enter the food chain. “What goes into the ocean goes into these animals and onto your dinner plate. It’s that simple,” said Marcus Eriksen, a research director of the US-based Algalita Marine Research Foundation.

For further information visit the INDEPENDENT web site

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