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Good News and Bad News

January 31, 2014

A couple of articles about how some countries are addressing (or not) their contributions to carbon loading in the atmosphere.

China Unveils Comprehensive Pollution Monitoring System

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By Kieran Cooke

Millions of people in China endure pollution—particularly air pollution—on a daily basis.

The authorities, increasingly aware of the health risks posed by the often dense clouds of pollutants that envelop China’s cities and anxious to tackle climate change by cutting back on emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), are making considerable efforts to tackle the issue.

The latest measures – introduced on a trial basis at the beginning of 2014 – require factories to report air emissions every hour and wastewater discharges every two hours and post the results on the internet.

Full Article at

Ireland’s Turf War Plan Is ‘Bad News for Climate’

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By Kieran Cooke

The cutting of turf or peat is one of the traditional images of life in Ireland. Many Irish households, particularly in rural areas, still rely on turf cut from the country’s bog lands for fuel – especially in these times of rising energy prices.

Environmentalists have long argued that these turf bogs or peat lands should be preserved. The bogs are not only home to a wide variety of flora and fauna: they also soak up excess water and are valuable carbon sinks, absorbing large quantities of greenhouse gases (GHG) and so curtailing climate change.

The European Union agrees and has threatened to impose large fines on Ireland unless it acts to preserve its bog lands, which are categorised as special areas of conservation.

Government attempts to stop turf cutting in many areas have failed: turf farmers insist on their right to cut turf, as generations before them have done. A leader of the turf cutters has been elected to the Dail, the Irish Parliament.

Now the Dublin Government has come up with a draft peat lands strategy which it hopes will bring peace to the bogs and head off the EU’s financial penalties: the strategy, while restricting turf cutting in some areas, allows it to continue on 45 bogs around the country.

Full Article at

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