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Earth fever takes hold across globe

EARTH HOUR is about to sweep around the world in what the United Nations is calling "the largest demonstration of public concern about climate change ever attempted".

The event, which started in Sydney two years ago, will see well over 3000 cities and towns in more than 90 countries switch off their lights for an hour this year. Hundreds of millions of people are expected to take part.

From the international dateline, Earth Hour starts in New Zealand's Chatham Islands this afternoon and will conclude in Honolulu tomorrow night (Sydney time).

In the US, the Empire State Building will dim its lights, along with Sears Tower in Chicago, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge and the lights of the casino strip in Las Vegas. In Canada, lights at Niagara Falls and Toronto's CN Tower will be turned off.

TVNL Comment: Have you heard about this in the American media? We did not.

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Pharmaceuticals found in fish across U.S.

Fish caught near wastewater treatment plants serving five major U.S. cities had residues of pharmaceuticals in them, including medicines used to treat high cholesterol, allergies, high blood pressure, bipolar disorder and depression, researchers reported Wednesday.

Findings from this first nationwide study of human drugs in fish tissue have prompted the Environmental Protection Agency to significantly expand similar ongoing research to more than 150 different locations.

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UK population must fall to 30m, says Porritt

JONATHON PORRITT, one of Gordon Brown’s leading green advisers, is to warn that Britain must drastically reduce its population if it is to build a sustainable society.

Porritt’s call will come at this week’s annual conference of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), of which he is patron.

“Each person in Britain has far more impact on the environment than those in developing countries so cutting our population is one way to reduce that impact.”

Population growth is one of the most politically sensitive environmental problems. The issues it raises, including religion, culture and immigration policy, have proved too toxic for most green groups.

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Privatising Water is Denying People a Human Right: UN

Ms Barlow, who is also the national chairperson of the Council of Canadians, delivered the president's message to the People's Water Forum, a counter-forum being held by hundreds of civil society members from nearly 70 countries whose voices have not been at the WWF. The speech was later released to the World Water Forum, which is being attended by 20,000 delegates from 150 countries.

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Report: Energy production choking bird population

Energy production of all types — wind, ethanol and mountaintop coal mining — is contributing to steep drops in bird populations, a new government report says. The first-of-its-kind report chronicles a four-decade decline in many of the country's bird populations.

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Greenland thaw among feared climate shifts by 2200

A drastic climate shift such as a thaw of Greenland's ice or death of the Amazon forest is more than 50 percent likely by the year 2200 in cases of strong global warming, according to a survey of experts.

The poll of 52 scientists, looking 100 years beyond most forecasts, also revealed worries that long-term warming would trigger radical changes such as the disintegration of the ice sheet in West Antarctica, raising world sea levels.

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With No Long-Term Solution, Nuclear Pallbearers Bury Waste in America's Backyard

According to the Department of Energy, there is enough spent nuclear waste in the United States to fill a football-field-sized hole 15 feet deep. From a plethora of proposals, scientists and politicians have selected on-site storage as the safest solution for the buildup. But it's a temporary solution. The waste will be fatal to humans and other animals for tens of thousands of years — yet the storage tombs are expected to last only a hundred years.

These scattered nuclear graveyards are emblematic of a failed U.S. nuclear energy policy — a policy that is rarely discussed even as regulators entertain proposals to build roughly 30 new nuclear power plants.

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