Some times we are equally fond of old news.

Shell Establishes Center for Sustainability at Rice University
HOUSTON (July 25, 2002)— The Shell Oil Company Foundation today announced the establishment of the Shell Center for Sustainability at Houston's Rice University with a $3.5 million endowment. The Center will be a hub for collaboration by experts dealing with societal and environmental issues arising as a result of economic activities. The Center will foster opportunities for improvement through new technologies, market-based incentives, and other initiatives.

"We share with Rice University a commitment to finding innovative ways to meet the world's present and future needs," said Philip Watts, chairman of the committee of managing directors of Royal Dutch/Shell. "Shell believes it has a role to play in helping address the fundamental challenges facing society today."

"We would like Shell to play its part toward solutions for today's challenges," Watts said. "We believe corporate decision-making should be a critical component of the world's journey toward a sustainable future, and the foundation of this center demonstrates Shell's commitment to play a meaningful role in promoting understanding and employment of sustainable development principles in corporate decisions."

"We are immensely grateful to the Shell Oil Company Foundation for its generous grant to establish the Shell Center for Sustainability at Rice," said Rice President Malcolm Gillis. "Rice has long been committed to interdisciplinary research and practice as a strategy for improving social, environmental and economic welfare. Shell's commitment to exploring sustainability strategies across many academic and business disciplines together with its consistent support for sustainable development worldwide provides this new center with a foundation of creative and credible leadership in the field."

This Center will be characterized by its focus on encouraging:

Collaboration across disciplines because by its nature sustainable development requires integrated solutions;

Collaboration among business leaders, academia, non-government organizations, and senior policy advisors to move constructively from conflict to consensus on a variety of social, economic, and environmental issues facing the world.
The specific objectives of the Shell Center aim to:

Create new technologies, processes, products, and market mechanisms that will advance sustainable economic growth and a sound public infrastructure;

Develop new tools in engineering, the social sciences, and the natural sciences that enhance the understanding of requirements for sustainability, help remove institutional barriers to sensible environmental and social practices, and contribute to new policy instruments for achieving sustainability;

Provide society with broadly educated environmental, technical, and natural resource experts to mold future decision-making in the private and public sectors to help assure a more sustainable future in both developed and developing nations;

Enhance the exchange of information in the public and private sectors by serving as an independent forum for open discussion and constructive dialogue on sustainable development issues and policies across a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including U.S. and international business leaders, academia, NGOs, and senior policy makers;

Research issues posed by environmental and societal impacts arising from economic activities;

Develop new engineering and scientific curricula to educate a new generation of scientists who will incorporate sustainability concepts into business plans, designs, and processes;

Advance thinking around market-based mechanisms that can be deployed to enhance sustainability;

Develop linkages with other institutions and non-government organizations at a local, regional, national, and international level.

About Shell Oil Company Foundation
Founded in New York in 1953, the Shell Oil Company Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that is funded by donations from Shell Oil Company. Its mission is to help foster the general well being of communities where Shell people live and work, and to provide educational opportunities that prepare students and faculty to meet the needs of the workplace.

Thank You Shell US


we here at the greenspieler dont usually source news from the christian science monitor.. because as a general rule... we dont understand the 'science' the christians monitor. of course that being said... we are all on the same page with the following story.

Dismayed by Enviro Policies, Some Anglers and Fishers Turn Against Bush

Put President Bush in waders or camouflage and, what with his cowboy
hat and rugged Western looks, he could easily grace the cover of
Field & Stream. Yet the hunt-and-fish crowd, normally a loyal
constituency of the Republican Party, is increasingly unhappy with
the commander in chief. The president's efforts to roll back
protections for clean water and open wild areas to industrial uses
are drawing fire from hunters and anglers, who rely on protected
areas to enjoy their chosen pastimes. Their displeasure could be a
problem for the prez in '04, given that some 34 million Americans
fish and 13 million hunt. In a startling example of their
discontentment, hundreds of gun clubs recently signed a petition
asking the Bush administration to keep Clinton-era old-growth-forest
protections in place.

Get to the whole text Christian Science Monitor, Todd Wilkinson, 04 Dec 2003
Thank you Christian Science Monitor


Banned Biotech Corn Variety Still Showing Up in U.S. Food Supplies

Genetically engineered StarLink corn is still contaminating U.S. food
supplies, three years after it was pulled from the market. StarLink,
which produces its own pesticide, was approved in 1998 -- but only
for use in animal feed or industrial processes because of concerns
that it might cause severe allergic reactions in humans. In 2000,
though, it was found to have made its way into numerous consumer
products, ranging from taco shells to muffin mixes, so the U.S.
government rescinded its approval. Unfortunately, that didn't quite
do the trick. The feds continue to find traces of StarLink in corn
supplies; more than 1 percent of samples tested in the past 12 months
revealed StarLink contamination. The lingering modified genes are
bolstering fears that the U.S. government is simply not equipped to
effectively regulate and control the spread of genetically engineered
crops -- a particularly worrisome notion now that field tests are
being conducted on crops that produce vaccines, medicines, and
industrial chemicals.

Thank you Daily Grist!
full text here


Fluorescent Fish Will Become First Genetically Engineered Pet in U.S.

If genetically engineered food ruffles your feathers, get a load of
this: The nation's first genetically altered pet, a glow-in-the-dark
tropical zebra fish, made its public debut on Friday. Developed by a
Texas company and intended to be sold for about $5 a pop in pet
stores, the patented GloFish owe their red fluorescence to a gene
transferred from a sea anemone. The fish were originally engineered
to detect environmental toxins, but have now been licensed to be sold
as pets. A coalition of enviro groups is arguing that the fish
should be reviewed by federal regulators before being sold because
they could upset the ecological balance of waterways if people dump
out their aquariums. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is
charged with regulating genetically engineered animals intended for
the food supply, but its role in relation to ornamental fish is
unclear. Meanwhile, researchers are working on other genetically
engineered pets, including an allergen-free cat.

straight to the source: New York Times, Andrew Pollack, 22 Nov 2003
straight to the source: Los Angeles Times, Kenneth R. Weiss, 22 Nov 2003


EPA Won't Restrict Use of Potentially Harmful Weed Killer

Talk about scary stuff: On Oct. 31, as people across the U.S. were
getting ready to don costumes and pass out Halloween candy, the Bush
administration announced that it would not impose new restrictions on
the commonly used herbicide atrazine, which has been associated with
low sperm counts and prostate cancer in men and sex-organ deformities
in frogs. The European Union recently decided to ban atrazine, but
the U.S. EPA said on Friday that it saw no grounds for restricting
the chemical's use. The agency did announce a new plan for testing a
handful of waterways for atrazine, but that testing will be done by
the primary manufacturer of the chemical, Syngenta, a large
agribusiness company. "Instead of requiring a polluter to stop
polluting, EPA is cutting a deal with the corporation to let them off
the hook," said Erik Olson of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

straight to the source: Los Angeles Times, Emily Green, 01 Nov 2003
Bush Administration Plans to Ease Sewage-Treatment Rules

More disease-carrying microbes from doo-doo could contaminate U.S.
waterways, lakes, and coastlines if the Bush administration proceeds
with plans to loosen sewage-treatment requirements. This week, the
U.S. EPA intends to unveil a proposed rule change that would let many
communities skip a sewage-treatment step after storms cause an
increased flow of wastewater; the public will have 60 days to comment
on the proposal. Many local sewage-treatment plants don't have the
capacity to handle storm-water surges and it would cost billions to
make upgrades at these facilities. But the looser rules would lead
to more viruses and parasites in water, says Nancy Stoner of the
Natural Resources Defense Council, a group that's pushing for the
federal government to help communities boost capacity at the nation's
sewage plants.

straight to the source: USA Today, Peter Eisler, 03 Nov 2003


I know you were thinking that Patagonia was mearely your favorite brand of thermal underwear... but read on

Canadian Mining Company Halts Project in Patagonia

Few places in the world are more synonymous with remote, rugged, and
untouched natural splendor than Patagonia, so it was with relief that
environmentalists learned that they had triumphed over a proposed
mining project in southernmost South America -- at least for the
moment. For more than a decade, the Canadian mining company Noranda
has sought to build an aluminum smelter and three hydroelectric
plants in the Aysen region of Chilean Patagonia, despite strong
opposition from enviros, salmon farmers, politicians, residents, and
even the president of Chile, Ricardo Lagos. Lagos' opposition was
especially significant, given that the $3 billion project would have
been the largest foreign investment ever in Chile. Still, enviros
say they can't rest on their laurels; the company has halted its
plans, not scrapped them, and is looking for another site for the
project, possibly elsewhere in Patagonia, which offers abundant
hydroelectric resources. Full Text At Planetark.org
New focus in business is giving, prof says

Plain Dealer, 11 October 2003 - Corporate scandals may have dominated the headlines for the past few years, but a Harvard Business School professor said yesterday that the most significant shift in American business may have been the other way: toward an unprecedented sense of social responsibility.

Think Ben & Jerry's. Or of IBM's Reinventing Education initiative, which has contributed more than $70 million to urban schools since 1994. Or of the drug company Novartis with its annual day of service, in which all of its 70,000 employees perform volunteer work.

"Social responsibility is now on the agenda - it's a strategy," said Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a Cleveland Heights native who is the author or co-author of 15 books, including, "Evolve!: Succeeding in the Digital Culture of Tomorrow."

Get the full Plain Dealer story off the World Buisness Council on Sustainable Developments Site.
U.K. - AFP
Major study finds some GM crops bad for wildlife
Thu Oct 16,12:22 PM ET
LONDON (AFP) - Scientists working on the biggest study so far into the environmental impact of genetically modified (GM) crops determined Thursday that two such species harmed wildlife, but a third type had a positive effect.
The findings of the three-year official tests refocused attention on the controversial topic as Prime Minister Tony Blair (news - web sites) prepares to decide in the next few months whether to allow commercial production of GM crops in Britain.
Full text here.
Admit it, you and the rest of the mac nation have been seeking to identify the evil Microsoft's secret buisness agenda. $25m Gates gift to GM project under fire
US firms 'tried to lie' over GM crops, says EU Thank You UK Independent.
Speaking of GE. Introducing the GE World View map which graphicly depicts how 99 & of the GE crops are raised in 3 or 4 countries
Thank You Nature
We at the Green Spieler always thought it was not a good idea to eat strains of rice crossed with the recumbant DNA of some Jelly Fish........

Study Finds GM Crops 'Harm Wildlife'

(FT.com) - The world's biggest scientific experiment into the environmental impact of genetically-modified crops, conducted on British farms, has shown that GM rapeseed and sugar beet are more harmful to wildlife than conventionally grown plants. The results, published on Thursday by the Royal Society, are vital for helping ministers in Britain and other European countries in deciding whether to lift their ban on the crops and approve the commercialisation of GM technology despite consumer opposition.Get the Full Story Here


Sound Travels - Sound Showers, Oslo Norway

Sound Travels, where we listen to a simple sound and travel the world, takes us to the Gardermoen Airport in Oslo, Norway. Why? To listen to a "Sound Shower": It's freestanding device that hangs in the terminal with a circular speaker directed at the ground to help travelers take a break from their busy journeys. Step underneath the "shower" and be bathed in the sounds of birds chirping, waves crashing on the beach, babbling brooks, or soft whispers in English and Norwegian. Be transported, while waiting for your transportation.
gal dam some of these articles are two long. hit me with email to let me know preferred length! gracias

Gov.-elect liberal with environment

Much hinges on who Schwarzenegger appoints

By Douglas Fischer, STAFF WRITER

Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger's environmental platform reads like a liberal Democrat's playbook -- promoting solar power, calling for green building codes, limiting timber harvests in the Sierra Nevada and seek-ing more watershed preservation.
Full of ambitious promises, the platform places the incoming governor on a quick collision course with the Bush administration and, in many instances, the Republican party line.

And as the Schwarzenegger team begins translating campaign promises into government policy, environmentalists are optimistic. They warn that much hinges on who the governor- elect appoints, what sort of overhaul he envisions for key agencies and how he deals with demands from his party's conservative wing. But they're willing, initially, to give him a chance.

"The governor will inevitably be under pressure from other Republicans and by the president," said Sierra Club spokesman Eric Antebi. "But if he shows leadership and does the right thing, we will be there for him."

The Schwarzenegger platform takes what essentially is progressive policy and adds the "Friday night poker" version of a limit raise: He calls for air pollution statewide to drop 50 percent by the end of this decade, for 50 percent of the state's new homes to include a solar photovoltaic system by 2005 and for a hastened effort to protect Lake Tahoe's famously blue waters.

He wants California's energy consumption to drop 20 percent within two years and to accelerate a timetable requiring 20 percent of the state's total power supplies to come from renewable resources. Instead of 2017, as state policy has it, the mark should be hit by 2010. By 2020, one-third of California's power should be green, according to the Schwarzenegger platform.

Skeptics call some of his ideas "pie-in-the-sky" wishes -- chiefly his call for hydrogen fueling stations every 20 miles on California's major highways. And like so many elements of the new administration, details on exactly how he will get there were skimpy Thursday.

But other ideas are more concrete, such as a vow to examine the Bush administration's "new source review" exemption that exempts power plant upgrades from tightening pollution controls. He also has pledged to back the Sierra Nevada Framework, a controversial federal logging plan the Bush administration is threatening to gut.

Having a moderate Republican in the governor's mansion, some say, could help bridge deep divides among Central Valley Republicans over the California Federal Bay-Delta Program, a $9 billion effort to restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that remains stalled in Congress as Californians bicker.

Schwarzenegger has promised to devote "proper leadership and resources" to the fragile framework.

"In terms of my little piece of the environmental universe -- water quality -- I'm hopeful," said Leo O'Brien, director of San Francisco Baykeeper. "But I have no idea. I have no idea what this guy is going to do. I think everyone is hopeful, but at the same time very fearful."

Schwarzenegger has dropped some hints, though largely ignored in the compressed campaign, his environmental platform was his first detailed policy position, released Sept. 5 -- less than a month after he jumped into the race,

"That should tell you something," said Terry Tamminen, executive director of the Santa Monica-based Environment Now Foundation and an unpaid adviser who helped Schwarzenegger craft his positions. "(The environment) is something he understands and fully supports."

Schwarzenegger's environmental advisers include Tamminen, who according to the Secretary of State has donated $1,350 over the past three years to left-leaning candidates; Dan Emmett, described by Tamminen as "nominally Republican," a Los Angeles developer who has served on the board of the California League of Conservation Voters and is a leader in the green building movement, and Bob Grady, managing director of the Caryle Group and a board member of Environmental Defense who served in the first Bush White House.

Grady, who lives in the Bay Area, was named Thursday to the governor-elect's transition team.

But the biggest fear among environmental groups was a lack of record, and to allay those fears Tamminen offered some vignettes:

Schwarzenegger's children were a regular presence in the candidate's Santa Monica office as he mapped his environmental agenda, and Schwarzenegger "really sees the environment through his kids," Tamminen said. Thus the emphasis on air pollution, which has shown disproportionately adverse affects on the young and is the reason one in seven children in Fresno carry inhalers.

When staking out a position on Rep. Fran Pavley's greenhouse gas emissions bill, it was Schwarzenegger who insisted on unambiguous language promising to defend the new law against anticipated court challenges. Pavley is a Democrat from Agoura Hills.

Worsening air quality is a matter of economics to the governor-elect, and his answer to those who argue that stricter regulations crimp the state's bottom line is to look at the alternative. "He's going to have to push back from people who believe we can keep the declining path of air quality," Tamminen said. "That (status quo) will cost us billions."

But the true test may come in smaller ways: who the governor appoints, how he overhauls the agencies, where he cuts as he attempts to balance the budget without tax increases.

"You're going to be cutting positions," Pavley said. "Those positions are the people who help monitor and enforce the environmental regulations that protect the public health. He may not change the policy, but if you don't have the money to enforce the policies, that may hurt the public."

But in general, Pavley said, the Schwarzenegger platform sounds in step with both Democrats and moderate Republicans who make up an overwhelming majority in the Legislature.

Contact Douglas Fischer at dfischer@angnewspapers.com
Details Emerge on Post-9/11 Clash Between White House and E.P.A.

Published: October 10, 2003

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 — Tensions between the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House Council on Environmental Quality over informing the public about air safety after the collapse of the World Trade Center may well have been greater than revealed in a report issued by the E.P.A.'s inspector general in August, according to newly released documents.

The August report, evaluating the agency's response, found that White House council officials had influenced the language used in news releases to make them less alarming and more reassuring to the public in the first few days after the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001. It said that because of White House influence, some important cautionary information had been removed from proposed agency news releases after they had been reviewed by the council.

The documents that formed the basis for the report — summaries of interviews with agency officials, internal agency documents and e-mail correspondence between White House and agency officials shortly after Sept. 11 — show that there were "screaming telephone calls" about the news releases between Tina Kreisher, then an associate administrator, and Sam Thernstrom, then the White House council's communications director. The E.P.A.'s chief of staff, Eileen McGinnis, had to ask the head of the White House council, James L. Connaughton, to urge his staff to "lighten up," according to interviews with the inspector general's office. Ms. Kreisher, who now works as a speechwriter at the Department of the Interior, is quoted as saying she "felt extreme pressure" from Mr. Thernstrom.

Officials with the council sought to play down the significance of the references to screaming matches. "I think everyone can understand it was an intense and emotional time," Mr. Connaughton said. "It is natural at times that people exchange words. It is also the case that it was a rarity in our collective discussion."

Ms. Kreisher declined to comment.

The documents were released at the request of Congressional Democrats, who have seized on the August report as a political weapon, much to the frustration of administration officials. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York has threatened to block the confirmation of Gov. Michael O. Leavitt of Utah as E.P.A. administrator unless the White House answers questions about what was in the report.

The documents offer details that the Democrats have been clamoring after — essentially who was responsible for editing and influencing the news releases that the environmental agency issued.

According to the documents, Mr. Thernstrom objected to the agency's putting raw data on a public Web site, fearing that the information would be taken out of context and "easily misunderstood and mischaracterized by political candidates in the city who have an ax to grind," as he wrote in an e-mail message sent to Ms. Kreisher on Sept. 25.

E.P.A. officials said Mr. Thernstrom's message did not influence policy. "As soon as we got the data, we made it available," said Lisa Harrison, a spokeswoman for the agency.

In an interview with the inspector general, Ms. Kreisher also said that Mr. Thernstrom had said the environmental agency should not include health information in news releases because that was New York City's responsibility. But city health officials told the inspector general that they "were not aware of any agreement or understanding concerning this philosophy," according to the documents.

On Thursday, officials of the White House council disputed the city officials' claim.

E.P.A. officials have maintained, both in the documents and in public interviews, that the White House's role after Sept. 11 was to coordinate information and not to suppress it. And they have noted that such joint efforts are typical in major emergencies.

The officials have also noted that the disputed news releases were a fraction of the agency's public information campaign.

A number of senators who have historically had poor relations with the Bush administration over environmental issues piled on their criticism on Thursday. "The release of this information further reinforces the concerns I have raised and puts a fine point on New Yorkers' demand for answers and actions from both the E.P.A. and the White House," Senator Clinton said.

James M. Jeffords of Vermont, the ranking minority member of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, said, "This is just part of a pattern of White House interference that prohibits agencies such as the E.P.A. from doing their jobs."