I am forwarding the year's last issue of the Daily Grist. Today it contains
some good facts on holiday lighting (and resulting emisisons) - in
California it amounts to 1,000 MW of new demand or half the new Texas RE
capacity mandated by law!, news on Chernobyl and the resulting health
tragedy, new EPA standards for mercury emissions from coal-powered electric
plants, and more.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Grist Magazine" <grist@...>
Sent: Friday, December 15, 2000 2:37 PM
Subject: DAILY GRIST, 15 Dec 2000
> DAILY GRIST
> 15 Dec 2000
> Environmental news from GRIST MAGAZINE
> YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE. NOW STOP IT
> This time of year, the sight of homes slathered in strings of lights
> is a common one across the U.S. But did you know that holiday lights
> may contribute 4,800 tons of sulfur dioxide, 2,800 tons of other smog
> pollutants, and 885,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the air? We
> thought not. Christmas lights in California alone draw an extra
> 1,000 megawatts of power, enough to power 1 million homes, according
> to the California Independent System Operator. For an illuminating
> look at all that's twinkling this holiday season, read more on the
> Grist Magazine website.
> read it only in Grist Magazine: What's wrong with those pretty
> holiday bulbs? -- by Erik Ness
> GONE FISSION
> The Chernobyl nuclear power plant, where a reactor melted down and
> spewed radiation 14 years ago in the world's worst nuclear accident,
> was shut down with a simple flip of a switch today in Ukraine.
> Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma said, "The world will become a safer
> place. People will sleep in peace." Since the 1986 meltdown, more
> than 4,000 cleanup workers have died, and some 70,000 others in
> Ukraine alone have been disabled by radiation. About 3.4 million of
> Ukraine's 50 million people are estimated to be affected by
> radiation-related ailments. Ukraine had faced intense international
> pressure to shut down the plant. At the closing ceremony, a
> different sort of protester was present: Chernobyl workers in black
> armbands who were about to lose their jobs.
> straight to the source: MSNBC, Associated Press and Reuters, 15 Dec 2000
> straight to the source: Moscow Times, Reuters, Pavel Polityuk, 15 Dec 2000
> straight to the source: Washington Post, Sharon LaFraniere, 15 Dec 2000
> HI, HO, QUICKSILVER
> After more than six years of debate, the U.S. EPA yesterday said it
> would draft standards to require coal-fired power plants to reduce
> their emissions of mercury. The National Academy of Sciences has
> determined that as many as 60,000 babies may be exposed to unhealthy
> levels of mercury each year because either they or their mothers have
> eaten contaminated fish. The EPA has already imposed mercury limits
> on sources such as medical incinerators, and EPA Administrator Carol
> Browner said that power plants were the greatest remaining source of
> mercury emissions. She said standards would be proposed in late
> 2003. The Edison Electric Institute, a utility lobbying group,
> responded that the science was still out about mercury's health risks.
> straight to the source: Philadelphia Inquirer, Associated Press, H.
> Josef Hebert, 14 Dec 2000
> read it only in Grist Magazine: Mercury falling -- fun with stats in
> our Counter Culture column
> catch it only in Grist Magazine: Mercury rising -- a cartoon by Suzy
> SWEDE DREAMS ARE MADE OF THESE
> Last weekend, 122 nations took steps to reduce the use of 12
> persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Sounds good, but that's only a
> start. Check out what's going on in Sweden, where the government is
> proposing to ban any organic or inorganic substance that is
> persistent and bioaccumulates. Swedish industry would have to pick
> up the tab for the testing of some 2,500 chemicals now in use. And
> guess what? Industry isn't objecting. Read more on the Grist
> Magazine website.
> read it only in Grist Magazine: Sweden takes steps to ban chemicals
> -- by Donella Meadows
> GOING APE
> Wildlife got a break in the Republic of Congo yesterday when the
> government quadrupled the size of Odzala National Park to 3.2 million
> acres, about half the size of Vermont. Much of the land had been
> slated for logging. Conservation International is helping to fund
> the expansion of the park, which provides habitat for 15,000 lowland
> gorillas, the only surviving lions in Central Africa, as well as
> birds, buffalo, and elephants. Congolese authorities are hoping for
> a bright future for the park, but challenges remain: poaching,
> illegal logging, and a tenuous peace following three civil wars in
> the 1990s.
> straight to the source: MSNBC, Miguel Llanos, 14 Dec 2000
> I GOT YER HOLIDAY CHEER RIGHT HERE, BUDDY
> Species going extinct. Rising temperatures. Ozone-hole blues. An
> all-oil team in the White House. Yep, we at Grist sure do have fun
> writing about the despoiling of Mama Earth. But even Grist staffers
> need to take time out once in a while. We'll be on vacation for the
> last two weeks of the year 2000. We know you'll miss your daily fix
> of green news, but fret not -- we'll be back at work on Tuesday, 2
> Jan., 2001, in better humor than ever. Thanks for all your support
> this past year!
> Happy holidays:
> Also in GRIST MAGAZINE today:
> Last chance to help the planet by filling out the Grist survey. Tell
> us how we can better please you!
> I sell underwear -- a day in the life of Jeff Ruch, Public Employees
> for Environmental Responsibility
> Bill McKibben's five-part series live from The Hague on the failed
> climate change talks
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