Reuters blog archive
from The Great Debate UK:
--Julian Hunt is former Director-General at the Met Office and Visiting Professor at Delft University of Technology. Amy Stidworthy is Principal Consultant at Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants. The opinions expressed are their own.--
The Saharan dust in London last week affected the atmosphere, and caused irritation to the many people who suffer from breathing difficulties. Just as in the smog of the 1950s and of Dickens’s day, which was caused by soot from coal burning, the cloud of dust particles was dense enough that less sunlight made it through to ground level.
When this happens, polluting gases and particles of all kinds are not dispersed upwards, and are concentrated in layers below the tops of the tallest buildings. When finally the sun broke through last week, the dust was dispersed and for those suffering from the effect of the dust there was some relief.
But London is fortunate because such meteorological events are very unlikely to occur in the height of summer when it may coincide with a heat wave. Other countries, in southern Europe for example, may not be so fortunate. In large Asian cities, huge sandstorms, dust from coal combustion and industrial sources, and emissions from motor vehicles can lead to health effects so severe that an 8-year old girl living near a crossroads was reported to have died from particle-related lung cancer.
By Kevin Allison
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
Stock investors seem to have a firm grip on Anadarko Petroleum’s toxic waste settlement. The record $5.15 billion settlement on Thursday, covering years of environmental claims, was at the low end of a court-defined range which had a midpoint of $9.8 billion. The 15 percent jump in the oil company’s market capitalization is mostly explained by those numbers. And it brings Anadarko’s 12-month stock performance nearly back in line with the S&P 500 after a bumpy ride.
from Photographers' Blog:
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
By Sergio Moraes
Back in the 1960s, when I was just a kid, I remember watching swimmers in Guanabara Bay and seeing dolphins race alongside the ferries that transported people to and from the city of Niteroi and Paqueta Island. Beaches like Icarai in Niteroi and Cocota on Governor’s Island were very popular.
So I felt sad when I took a boat through the bay on an assignment recently and photographed discarded sofas, old children’s toys, rubber tires and a toilet seat among many other objects that littered the filthy water.
from Photographers' Blog:
By Wei Yao
This past winter, Beijing and the entire northern part of China were repeatedly blanketed by thick haze, raising serious concerns among citizens and the government. Air quality in Beijing has mostly stayed above "very unhealthy" and "hazardous" levels. Therefore, how to clean up the sky became one of the most important subjects for the delegates at China’s annual National People’s Congress (NPC). As a photojournalist based in Beijing, the moment I was told I would be able to cover the NPC, I decided to shoot a series of photographs to illustrate this matter.
The first thing that came to mind was placing my camera at the same position to objectively document the sky of Beijing throughout the two weeks of the NPC. I immediately thought of the Tiananmen Gate with the giant portrait of China’s Late Chairman Mao Zedong, because for Chinese or foreigners, nothing says more about China and Beijing than Tiananmen Gate.
from Photographers' Blog:
Santana do Parnaiba, Brazil
By Paulo Whitaker
Today's Brazil is synonymous with great promise, as the country of the future with tremendous economic potential. But in terms of our care for the environment, we are far from being a global example.
Although we are the world champion in recycling aluminium cans, we still have many polluted rivers and cities, and our rainforests are being devastated to make room for soybeans, cattle and sugar cane. Recycling cans is high thanks only to the thousands of poor who survive by collecting them.
from Global Investing:
By Stephen Eisenhammer
Rivers of gold? Maybe not, but there can be money to be made in Chinese water systems.
With the world's largest population rapidly moving from the countryside to the city, Chinese water supplies are becoming horribly polluted and the companies wading in to clean and purify them are set to benefit.
from George Chen:
By George Chen
The opinions expressed are the author’s own.
What does PX mean? That's the keyword for China from the past 24 hours.
State media reported that residents of Dalian were recently forced to flee when a storm battering the northeast Chinese coast, whipping up waves that burst through a dyke protecting a local chemical plant. The plant produces paraxylene (PX), a toxic petrochemical used in polyester.
America generally has done a very good job in reducing water and air pollution. If you have been in Beijing or Manila where the air is so polluted that most people wear air-filter masks in public, then you can appreciate the only slightly dirty air of New York City or other urban areas. There is one form of pollution, though, that we haven't fully tackled yet: noise pollution. In residential areas the decibel levels can climb in the summer months as souped-up motorcycles are brought out of storage and people roll down the car windows and crank up the tunes. A little history from Wikipedia:
In the 1960s and earlier, few people recognized that citizens might be entitled to be protected from adverse sound level exposure. Most concerted actions consisted of citizens groups organized to oppose a specific highway or airport, and occasionally a nuisance lawsuit would arise. Things in the United States changed rapidly with passage of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in 1969 and the Noise Pollution and Abatement Act, more commonly called the Noise Control Act (NCA), in 1972.
from Environment Forum:
This month, Vedanta Resources and subsidiary Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd. made headlines for posing a public health risk to the surrounding community in southern India with pollution from a large copper smelter. They share the top spot in this issue of The Green Gauge, a breakdown of companies recently in the news for winning or losing credibility based on environment-related activity.
Selections of companies were made by Christopher Greenwald, director of data content at ASSET4, a Thomson Reuters business that provides investment research on the environmental, social and governance performance of major global corporations. These ratings are not recommendations to buy or sell.