Dozens of global cities will participate in Earth Hour to turn off their lights and non-essential electrical appliances for one hour at 8pm (local time) on March 29, 2008. [More info]

Earth Hour 2008 logo

Earth Hour is the highlight of a major campaign to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to take the simple steps needed to cut their emissions on an ongoing basis.


A 13,680 square kilometre ice shelf has begun to collapse because of rapid climate change in a fast-warming region of Antarctica.

Satellite images of the Wilkins Ice Shelf breaking apart

Satellite images of the Wilkins Ice Shelf showed that a huge iceberg, 41 x 2.5 km, about seven times the size of Manhattan, has disintegrated from the ice shelf recently.

The Wilkins began its collapse on Feb 28 (2008); a narrow beam of intact ice, just 6 km wide, was protecting the remaining shelf from further breakup as of March 23.

[More stories on National Snow and Ice Data Center and British Antarctic Survey]

The Italian army has been sent to bulldoze 100,000 tonnes of rubbish that has piled up in the streets of the southern city of Naples.

The government is to hold an emergency meeting to find a solution to the rubbish crisis. Naples dustmen stopped collecting rubbish two weeks ago. With nowhere to put it local people are forced to burn it. The fire brigade has been struggling to put out the fires.

Rubbish crisis in Naples, Italy Rubbish crisis in Naples, Italy
Rubbish crisis in Naples (Image courtesy of Xinhuanet)

Rubbish collection is a perennial problem which has plagued Naples and its politicians for some 15 years. The government is conscious it is under severe pressure to find a solution – but this means tackling the mob.

The Camorra, the Neapolitan version of the Mafia, has turned this into a hugely profitable business. They have sabotaged every effort to build hi-tech incinerators, so that Naples must rely on landfill sites, where they can hide the domestic and industrial waste, which they chuck in from all around the country.

Millions of tonnes of it have been dumped illegally in the sea or in the countryside, untreated and highly toxic. Doctors say cancer rates in Naples are much higher than the national average. [BBC]

I won’t be surprise if this kind of rubbish and health crisis is happening in a 3rd world country; it’s unthinkable that it is happening in Italy… the story is good enough to make into a movie.

According to Australian scientists, Kangaroo farts might play a big role in fighting global warming.

Thanks to a special bacteria in their stomachs, kangaroos do not emit harmful methane gas when they let off a stinker. Australian scientists are now planning to transfer that bacteria into cows and sheep to make their flatulence eco-friendly.

It will take researchers about three years to isolate the bacteria before they can think of a way to transfer it to other animals. [Metro]

Methane is the principal component of natural gas, and also a potent greenhouse gas that could trap 25 times as much heat of carbon dioxide of the same mass.

With billions of cows and sheeps worldwide… the methane released from their fart could have serious impact on global warming.

More than 350 people lay in a field at Auckland, New Zealand, to spell out the words “Climate SOS” in conjunction with the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference which is taking place in Bali, Indonesia, on Dec 3-14.

Thousands of environmentalist around the globe are joining forces in demonstrations to draw attention to climate change and to urge government leaders to take serious action.

Climate SOS in Auckland, New Zealand
Climate SOS in Auckland, New Zealand
Climate SOS (Image courtesy of Xinhuanet)

Divorce can be bad for the environment, because it tends to result in more households and less sharing of resources, according to a study published.

Divorce rates are rising around the world, and each time a family dissolves, the result is two new households. More households use more land, water, and energy – three critical resources. [Nationalgeographic]

Interesting point of view… never thought of that before. I doubt though, that environmental issues would come in mind when a couple is separating… global warming would be their least concern when divorce is inevitable.

The Blacksmith Institute, a US-based independent environmental group, has published a list of the world’s most polluted places. [Full Pdf report]

Sumgayit, Azerbaijan; Potentially 275,000 affected
Linfen, China; Potentially 3m affected
Tianying, China; Potentially 140,000 affected
Sukinda, India; Potentially 2.6m affected
Vapi, India; Potentially 71,000 affected
La Oroya, Peru; Potentially 35,000 affected
Dzerzhinsk, Russia; Potentially 300,000 affected
Norilsk, Russia; Potentially 134,000 affected
Chernobyl, Ukraine; Potentially 5.5m affected
Kabwe, Zambia; Potentially 255,000 affected

The report said an estimated 12 million people were affected by the severe pollution, which was mainly caused by chemical, metal and mining industries. Chronic illness and premature deaths were listed as possible side-effects.

The Blacksmith Institute’s director, Richard Fuller, said: “The fact of the matter is that children are sick and dying in these polluted places, and it’s not rocket science to fix them.

“This year, there has been more focus on pollution in the media, but there has been little action in terms of new funding or programmes. We all need to step up to the plate and get moving,” he said. [BBC]

Nearly 600 men and women volunteers have stripped naked to pose for US photographer Spencer Tunick on the slope of a melting Swiss glacier.

The photo shoot on the Aletsch glacier was commissioned by environmental group Greenpeace as part of a campaign to raise awareness about global warming. [BBC]
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