The News That Missed TreeHugger

A news item we feature typically represents a major turning point or else portends an interesting impact on product design. Here are six snippets that caught our eye, but did not make the cut; all from a single day's news stream: . 1.) Biodiesel promoters take note: -- 2005 AUG 21 -- University of Cincinnati (UC) environmental health researchers have found that 17% of infants living near "stop and go" traffic suffer from wheezing. he study is the first of its kind to analyze the effects of "stop and go" bus and truck diesel traffic vs. highway traffic on infant respiratory health. Published in the August 2005 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, results of the 4-year study suggest that the type of traffic and distance from it - not just traffic volume - are associated with infant wheezing. Previous air pollution studies had not addressed these factors in infants. Click down for some more.2.) For more proof that Texas has decent denizens -- August 23, 2005 , Miami Herald, By the mid-1990s, the endangered Florida panther was down to about 30 adults -- a creature plagued by heart defects, sexual abnormalities and other signs of inbreeding. Then came eight Texas cougars. A decade later, the panther's adult population has nearly tripled to 87 while spreading to previously untouched regions of the Everglades. Scientists say the two events are related: The state's introduction of the Texas cats, a controversial effort that some experts scoffed at, has pulled the panther back from genetic oblivion.

3.) Sony quietly takes the lead on renewable polymer use - From the Walkman portable audio player to the Aibo robotic dog, the Sony Corp. group's main electronic goods now use corn-based plastic for many of the parts. Conventional vegetable-based plastics were once rarely applied to durable consumer goods, such as electronic devices, because of their "hard but fragile" physical properties. But breakthroughs in plastic molding techniques have broadened their use to a wider range of products in recent years.

4.) A fun double entendre from the new World Bank President -- New Delhi, Aug 20 (PTI) World Bank on Saturday said it may not be possible for it to fund India's civilian nuclear power plants due to the risks and environment concerns. "Nuclear power plants brings its own environmental issues. I don't think we can take it up," World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz said when asked whether the bank would fund nuclear power plants in the light of US willingness to cooperate with India on civilian nuclear energy.

5.) Everyone loves -- August 23, 2005: News Tribune, Tacoma, When the sun starts lingering longer each April, biologists working for the Port of Seattle carefully install hundreds of feet of shade cloth on a wooden superstructure straddling Miller Creek near Sea-Tac Airport. In October, as the days grow shorter and the skies get grayer, they remove the protective cloth ... Without the shade cloth, the water in Miller Creek -- which in August gurgles downhill at barely more than bathtub volumes -- would become overheated. The native bream and sticklebacks, cutthroat trout and coho could die. If they died, the project, its 900 workers and hundreds of pieces of machinery could come to an abrupt halt.

6.) 2 hybrid buses to debut Monday in Charlotte, N.C., August 23, 2005, Charlotte Observer, Aug. -Two new hybrid electric buses will start operations in Charlotte on Monday, promising to cut their fuel consumption and dramatically reduce emissions. Instead of the usual 3.5 miles a gallon of diesel, the buses will get about 7 miles to the gallon. Particulates, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions will drop 90 percent.

It's easy to keep a positive outlook when the stuff on the cutting room floor makes you feel good about the future. Even the research findings about the role of stop and go traffic on wheezing are good news as they will underscore the need to implement diesel paticulate emission control retrofits.

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