The Daily Dose: Your Guide to the World Today – 26 August 09

All the US watersheds monitored by the EPA and 90% of drinking water sampled tested positive for the widely-used pesticide atrazine, which is a known endocrine disruptor that affects human and animal hormones. Though banned in Europe, atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide in US waters, with contamination most severe in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, and Nebraska.

Britain’s Network Rail has proposed a new £34bn ($55bn) high-speed railway line linking Scotland and London via Birmingham and Manchester by 2030, to meet an upsurge in demand that has seen rail passenger numbers jump 40% in ten years. If given the go-ahead, Network Rail wants the first section between London and Birmingham to be completed by 2020.

Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett has given the $50 billion Gorgon gas project at Barrow Island the green light but Chevron and its partners’ plan to bury some 120 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions has been questioned because of the possibility of leaks occurring from the target geological formation.

British Police have promised a low-key approach to planned protests at this week’s Climate Camp to avoid trouble that flared during the G20 summit – including the death of non-protestor Ian Tomlinson after being struck by officers. The location has not yet been named, but will be somewhere in London, with disruptive protests planned for big emitters and government agencies.

Thanks to climate change, farmers and investors alike must now face the challenge of making decisions based on probabilities for the future rather than the lessons of the past, the head of the World Meteorological Organization says.

One of the strangest and in its way most iconic of creatures – the Mexican axolotl – is in danger of extinction in the wild, with apparently fewer than 1200 at large in its last stronghold, the Xochimilco area of central Mexico - a ten-fold reduction in four years and a 60-fold reduction in ten years.

A pioneering German wind power plant's new high-tech equipment, to capture higher winds further offshore and for longer periods, is exciting the industry. The Alpha Ventus wind park started this month and operates 45 km off the German-Dutch coast. Existing European wind parks operate only 20 km offshore at the most.

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  • Posted on Aug. 26, 2009. Listed in:

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