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."