WASHINGTON (Reuters) – “Snowquester” was a no-show in the U.S. capital, which on Wednesday confirmed its status as the center of winter weather wimpdom.
Unlike the Washington snows of yesteryear – “Snowmageddon” and “Snowpocalypse” in 2010 and 2011 – Wednesday’s storm failed to bring the heavy snows and high winds forecast. Before its arrival, wags dubbed this storm “Snowquester” after the budget-cutting sequester that went into effect last week.
WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) – From a submarine base in
Maine to a Humvee repair shop in Texas and a Navy graduate
school in California, workers in the bull’s eye of U.S. spending
cuts worry not just about money, but about risking the
government’s mission and sometimes their own safety.
With $85 billion in cuts set to take effect on Friday,
civilian employees of the U.S. government are struggling with
how to cope financially with an expected 20 percent cut in work
hours and pay.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday gave Congress an ultimatum on climate change: craft a plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the dangers of a warming world, or the White House will go it alone.
“If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will,” Obama said in his State of the Union address. “I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New research suggests it may be possible to forecast flu outbreaks in much the same way meteorologists predict weather, a potential boon for public health officials and consumers, one of the study’s authors said on Tuesday.
Using real-time U.S. data gathered by Google Inc, along with a computer model showing how flu spreads, the researchers offered a system that could generate local forecasts of the severity and length of a particular flu outbreak.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said he plans to work with Congress in his second term to curb human-aggravated climate change, but not at the expense of the U.S. economy.
“I am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human behavior, and carbon emissions,” Obama said at a televised news conference on Wednesday. “And as a consequence, I think we’ve got an obligation to future generations to do something about it.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Despite an adultery scandal that ended David Petraeus’ tenure as CIA chief, the general may be called to testify in a Senate inquiry into the killing of four Americans at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Senator Dianne Feinstein said Sunday.
Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on the “Fox News Sunday” program that Petraeus’ resignation on Friday “was like a lightning bolt.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For a clue to the possible impact of climate change on modern society, a study suggests a look back at the end of classic Maya civilization, which disintegrated into famine, war and collapse as a long-term wet weather pattern shifted to drought.
An international team of researchers compiled a detailed climate record that tracks 2,000 years of wet and dry weather in present-day Belize, where Maya cities developed from the year 300 to 1000. Using data locked in stalagmites – mineral deposits left by dripping water in caves – and the rich archeological evidence created by the Maya, the team reported its findings in the journal Science on Thursday.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Around the time of the 2008 global financial meltdown, consumer products giant Unilever decided to make a dramatic shift in strategy, away from meeting investors’ quarterly expectations to a long-range plan that treads lightly on the environment and supports social goals.
Confident in profiting through doing good, the Anglo-Dutch maker of Dove soap, Ragu sauces and Lipton tea is working with the United Nations to save children’s lives through handwashing and joining other corporations to stem illegal logging, among other things.
This article first appeared in Reuters’ new sustainability website.
Around the time of the 2008 global financial meltdown, consumer products giant Unilever decided to swap the push for short-term results — what CEO Paul Polman calls “the three-month rat-races” — for a long-range business plan tied to environmental and social sustainability.
“We don’t do three-month reporting any more,” Polman said in a telephone interview before Unilever’s latest earnings report on Thursday. “We’re not going into the three-month rat-races. We’re not working for our shareholders. We’re working for the consumer, we are focused and the shareholder gets rewarded.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Biofuels made from algae, promoted by President Barack Obama as a possible way to help wean Americans off foreign oil, cannot be made now on a large scale without using unsustainable amounts of energy, water and fertilizer, the U.S. National Research Council reported on Wednesday.
“Faced with today’s technology, to scale up any more is going to put really big demands on … not only energy input, but water, land and the nutrients you need, like carbon dioxide, nitrate and phosphate,” said Jennie Hunter-Cevera, a microbial physiologist who headed the committee that wrote the report.