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 Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Food 

by Fran on Thu May 28th, 2009 at 11:46:27 AM EST
China Is Said to Plan Strict Gas Mileage Rules - NYTimes.com
HONG KONG -- Worried about heavy reliance on imported oil, Chinese officials have drafted automotive fuel economy standards that are even more stringent than those outlined by President Obama last week, Chinese experts with a detailed knowledge of the plans said on Wednesday.

The new plan would require automakers in China to improve fuel economy by an additional 18 percent by 2015, said An Feng, a leading architect of China's existing fuel economy regulations who is now the president of the Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation, a nonprofit group in Beijing.
The average fuel economy of family vehicles in China is already higher than in the United States, mainly because cars in China tend to be considerably smaller than those in the United States -- and are getting even smaller because of recent tax changes.

by Fran on Thu May 28th, 2009 at 11:57:38 AM EST
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Chinese officials have drafted automotive fuel economy standards that are even more stringent than those outlined by President Obama last week

Remember that the standards Obama has proposed for 2030 are not as good than what the cars on sale in Europe today achieve already overall... "stringent", not.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri May 29th, 2009 at 05:01:05 AM EST
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Sustainable Ecosystems and Community News: ENN -- Know Your Environment

A recent study by Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies reports that if humans commit to the restoration effort, most ecosystems can recover from very major disruption within decades to half-centuries. The study was written by Holly P. Jones and Oswald J. Schmitz and will appear in the June edition of the journal PLoS ONE. According to the study, researchers compiled information from 240 independent studies conducted since 1910 that examined large, human-scale ecosystems recovery following the termination of both human and naturally imposed disruption.

Researchers grouped the data into seven broad aquatic and terrestrial types of ecosystems, and disruptions such as deforestation, hurricane, invasive species, oil spoils, power plant and sea trawling. Most of the studies measured multiple response variables, which researched grouped into three categories: ecosystem function, animal community, and plant community. The researchers evaluated the recovery of each of the variables in terms of the time it took for them to return to their original state as determined by each study's author. The study also assessed whether recovery times were related to the magnitude of the disturbance.

Reportedly, 83 studies demonstrated recovery for all variables; 90 demonstrated a mixture of recovered and non-recovered variables; 67 demonstrated no recovery for any variable; and 15 percent of all the ecosystems in the analysis are beyond recovery.
The average recovery time was 20 years or less, and reportedly did not exceed more than 56 years. It was found that recovery from human disturbances was slower than natural disturbances, such as hurricanes. Recovery following agricultural, logging, and multiple stressors was significantly slower than all of other disturbance types.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu May 28th, 2009 at 04:18:25 PM EST
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Poo power to the people
By Helen Pidd, guardian.co.uk

A German town will become the first in the world to be powered by animal waste when it launches a biogas network this year.

Lünen, north of Dortmund, will use cow and horse manure as well as other organic material from local farms to provide cheap and sustainable electricity for its 90,000 residents.

Biogas is already used around the world - it will power buses in Oslo from September - but Lünen claims to be the only town to build a dedicated biogas network.

Material such as animal slurry and spoiled crops from local farms will be fed into heated tanks, where natural fermentation will break it down into methane and carbon dioxide - the same basic ingredients as natural gas. This biogas can then be burned to generate electricity and heat in a combined heat and power plant (CHP) before the heat is distributed across the town through a new biogas pipeline, which is being built underground.

The plant can produce 6.8MW, enough to power and heat 26,000 houses. According to Peter Kindt, director of Alfagy Ltd, which distributes CHP plants, the Lünen network could provide 30-40% of the town's heat and electricity needs.

by Magnifico on Thu May 28th, 2009 at 04:31:17 PM EST
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A poo plant is one of the very few "renewable energy" projects on which banks have lost money. However strange that may sound, it is rather hard to obtain reliable supplies of fuel over long term periods.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri May 29th, 2009 at 05:02:22 AM EST
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The Constipation Factor™
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri May 29th, 2009 at 05:06:32 AM EST
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