Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lead Poisoning in China

As many of the students this term are from China, you may find this interesting:

Chinese children caught in lead poisoning scare (BBC News)

Students living near battery factories in Anhui province were tested and over 200 found to have excessive lead in their blood.

Lead causes mental damage and one of the students had lead levels three times what is considered to cause mental impairment.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Energy use in Middle East

Students should remember that the largest user of energy per person was somewhat surprising Qatar. (For those who don't know Qatar is in the Middle East).

With this in mine it is interesting to read the article Rapid Rise Middle East Energy Presents New Concerns.

This is indeed a worrisome trend. Even though the article mentions renewable energy, that is not the issue here. Demand needs to be reduced to make any progress on energy.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Indonesia and REDD

I will get to the results of the Cancun climate change conference shortly. We will be looking at global warming in class in the next few weeks.

But for now let us look at the article Indonesia Chooses Climate Pact Pilot Province. It talks about the Indonesian government choosing the province of Central Kalimantan (Borneo) for trials with REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation). The province contains significant amounts of peat swamps and logging.

Support for REDD is one of the positive points to come out of Cancun. And Indonesia is one of the key countries for its implementation (it has the third largest rain forest).