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Holy smoke. There's moisture coming down from the skies. It's been so long since we've seen rain, I think we almost forgot what it was! Almost torrential at times. Flash flood warning. Wooo Hoo! Anyway...Environmental News You can Use.

World food stocks dwindling rapidly, UN warns. In an "unforeseen and unprecedented" shift, the world food supply is dwindling rapidly and food prices are soaring to historic levels, the top food and agriculture official of the United Nations warned Monday. International Herald Tribune.

U.S. corn boom has downside for Gulf. Because of rising demand for ethanol, American farmers are growing more corn than at any time since the Depression. And sea life in the Gulf of Mexico is paying the price. Associated Press via Forbes.

Rising seas 'to beat predictions'. The world's sea levels could rise twice as high this century as UN climate scientists have previously predicted, according to a study. BBC

Glacier's melting threatens Chinese village's future. The Mingyong glacier on the Tibetan plateau is shrinking. Scientists say the plateau is warming almost twice as fast as the rest of China. And the glacier is retreating ever faster, now around 150 feet a year. Morning Edition

Mexico, US suffer as Rio Grande sucked dry. Thousands of Mexican farmers say their livelihoods are at stake because Mexico was forced to transfer millions of liters of water to the U.S. Their plight is a symptom of a much bigger problem: the Rio Grande and its underground aquifers are being sucked dry. Reuters.

Water turns to poison in Punjab village. In the government elementary school, an unusually high number of children complain of rashes and boils, housewives talk about a sharp rise in the number of miscarriages, and old men insist their hands and fingers are turning numb. Bombay Times of India

Constitution Court backs conservationists. One of South Africa's most powerful environmental protection tools has been rescued by a unanimous ruling of the Constitutional Court. KwaZulu-Natal Mercury

Maine working on chemical regulations. Gov. John Baldacci said Monday he will incorporate into his 2008 legislative package some of the recommendations of a task force on reducing toxic chemicals in consumer products. Associated Press.

Lawsuits still possible in Monsanto dioxin injury case. People who lived near more than 40 Monsanto chemical plants throughout the U.S. can still sue the company for dioxin-related personal and property damages. Charleston Gazette

Pig farm foes turn noses up at expansion. A growing number of challenges across the country are linking human illness to industrial-style farm operations. Evidence is mounting that pig and chicken farms can produce drug-resistant bacteria when animals regularly get antibiotics. Baltimore Sun

Poultry workers may spread E. coli. Antibiotic use in poultry processing has been controversial for decades, but researchers now say workers who handle "broiler chickens" in manufacturing plants are at risk of contracting drug-resistant E. coli and spreading it in communities. New York Newsday

Armed forces 'superbug' menaces UK. The UK, the United States and Canada are facing growing fears over a drug-resistant 'superbug' being brought back by wounded soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq that threatens to contaminate civilian hospitals. London Observer

With regrets, New Orleans is left behind. With resignation, anger or stoicism, thousands of former New Orleanians forced out by Hurricane Katrina are settling in across the Gulf Coast, breaking their ties with the damaged city for which they still yearn. New York Times.

Drought hits over a million people in southern China: report. A drought described as the worst in 50 years in parts of southern China has left over a million people short of drinking water, state media reported Tuesday. Agence France-Presse.

Warning that corals could be wiped out by end of century. Almost all the coral reefs in the world will disappear by the end of the century if global temperatures continue to rise as predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a study has found. London Independent

Italy's woodlands dying due to climate change. Eight out of 10 trees across Italy's varied ecosystems were already suffering from the effects of rising temperatures and diminishing rainfall. London Daily Telegraph

The world's first climate change refugees. Within a few weeks a boat filled with wide-eyed children and tearful adults will pull out from a Pacific lagoon to escape the slow death of their island home. Daily Mail

Crayfish and climate change threaten River Usk. Foreign invaders and climate change are posing the biggest threats to the health of the River Usk. Cardiff Western Mail

Flooding fears rising fast. Global warming may cause the world's seas to rise to more than twice the level currently predicted, latest research by Southampton scientists reveals. Dorset Daily Echo

PG&E agrees to buy power from Canadian firm's proposed 'wave park.' The dream of generating electricity from the ocean's waves will take a major step forward today when PG&E announces its support for plans to build the nation's first commercial wave power plant. San Francisco Chronicle

VA utility eyes greener energy to meet NC standard. Dominion VA Power must get greener because the states want at least 12% of the company's energy to come from renewable sources by 2022. Associated Press.

Congress expands nuke-loan program. Lawmakers on Monday agreed to increase funding for a loan program to guarantee up to 80 percent of nuclear- reactor construction costs - a move designed to rally the nation's nuclear-energy revival. Associated Press via Forbes

Gas/electric hybrids gathering a lot of attention. As gas prices hover around the $3 per gallon mark, fuel efficiency continues to be a big selling point on new and used vehicles. Minot Daily News

Land Rover to unveil 'green' concept. Marking a major shift in product strategy prompted in part by the prospect of tougher environmental regulations worldwide, the Ford Motor Co. unit will introduce a new car-based concept vehicle at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. Detroit News

Schools are graduating to 'green'. Some Lake County districts are already moving toward the use of more environmentally-friendly cleaning solutions in schools, an effort that will be mandated next year by a new state law. Elgin Courier News

ConAgra stops using butter-flavoring additive linked to lung ailment. ConAgra Foods Inc., the largest microwave popcorn manufacturer in the country, said Monday that it had stopped using a butter-flavoring additive linked to a lung ailment in popcorn workers. Omaha World-Herald

Illegal U.S. rice found at Vancouver Buy-Low store. An experimental, genetically engineered rice from the U.S. not authorized in Canada has slipped across the border and been sold in Vancouver without the federal government's knowledge. Vancouver Sun

Treat floods as seriously as terrorism. The country's flood defence strategy should be given the same priority as anti-terrorism measures or fighting an influenza pandemic, according to a Government report. London Daily Telegraph

Flood threat on a par with terrorism, says expert. Draconian measures to limit flooding, including bans on tarmac drives and impermeable patios, were accepted in principle by the government yesterday after a report on last summer's disaster ranked the future threat of flooding alongside terrorism or a flu pandemic. London Guardian

Schools to get solar panels and turbines. Solar panels and wind turbines could be installed at six new schools in Sussex to help the fight against global warming. Brighton Argus

Sharing shortage: Colorado River deal is hopeful. Since we Westerners have a nasty history of going to war in the courts over water, it is good news that the Department of Interior, state and local water officials and other assorted poohbahs have hammered out a new agreement to manage the Colorado in a drought. Salt Lake Tribune

Short fuse. The Bush administration in 2006 pressured the Environmental Protection Agency to weaken requirements on industry to report the use or release of poisonous chemicals into the environment. Boston Globe

An '08 imperative: Solar tax credits. Congress moved the nation toward a smarter, greener future by voting last week to raise auto mileage standards for the first time in more than 30 years. San Jose Mercury News (reg.req.)

A solar grand plan. A massive switch from coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power plants to solar power plants could supply 69 percent of the U.S.’s electricity and 35 percent of its total energy by 2050. Scientific American.

Give our planet a day off. Just for one day each week, people need to give the Earth a breather. We can call it our energy-free day in which all flights are canceled and only emergency vehicles are allowed to operate. Miami Herald

Originally posted to jillian on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 08:13 PM PST.

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