in Rio de Janeiro is becoming more prevalent in the news. It is clear that it will
not produce as much as had been hoped, because short term economic ideas have been
given priority over consideration of the environment. On the discussions that will
affect biotechnology see Biotechnology
10: 402-4. It will consider biosafety, and it is important that people of all countries
share both the risks and benefits of developing biotechnology. It will also consider
, which is related to the issue of biotechnology and gene patents. It is also important
that divisions between poor and rich countries do not cloud the shared global concerns,
and that rich nations and companies allow the use of advanced technology designed to minimise pollution in developing countries. There is still a lack of environmental
R&D funding; OECD Observer
(Feb/March 1991), 11-5. There may also be serious adverse environmental effects of the
current GATT draft agreement being passed, as it fails to protect the environment;
(15 Feb 1991), 6.
The methods of detection of climate change and apparently sudden changes in the ocean and the El Nino effect are discussed in Science 255: 402, 1508-10; while a look at the predicted sea level change is in Nature 356: 11-2. The cooling effect of pollutant haze around industrialised areas of the planet may be significantly lowering the increase in the global temperature caused by the greenhouse effect; Science 255: 682-3. See also; R.J. Charlson et al., "Climate forcing by anthropogenic aerosols", Science 255: 423-30; Nature 355: 773, 810-2; and research looking especially at the South Coast of California, J.V. Hall et al., "Valuing the health benefits of clean air", Science 255: 812-6.
The US Government appears to be showing signs of accepting to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000, and Britain has also said it will. The USA produces 23% of the world's carbon dioxide, which we could say is an unjust proportion of the world's pollution, so they should reduce it more. Japan has said that it will take a leading role in tackling global environmental problems; Japan Times (29 April 1992), 2. A report released on the 30th April from a Tokyo Metropolitan Government Panel proposed that automakers and business car users should be required to sell or own a certain amount of electric or other low pollution vehicles. They may give them parking privileges, and tax incentives. The target is that 6% of the vehicles in the year 2000 are of this type.
The minister of the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry has said that Japan will stop producing and consuming chemicals that deplete the ozone layer by the end of 1995, including CFCs , halons, carbon tetrachloride, and the chemical trichloroethane (which under the Montreal protocol had a 2005 target date). A meeting will be held in Copenhagen in November to agree to advanced target dates for the cesation of CFC production, from the year 2000 in the Montreal Protocol.
Japanese and US multinationals have agreed in Thailand , that they will phase out the use of CFCs in Thailand at the same rate as in their home countries; NS (21 March 1991), 14. The production of CFCs in Thailand had been greatly increasing. It is hoped that this will apply to all countries of the world. Levels of CO over Europe suggest that ozone destruction may increase over Europe also; Science 255: 797-8; Nature 356: 104-5. The volcanic eruption of Mt Pinutabo's led to much sulphur dioxide which destroys ozone; SA (March 1991), 16-7. The problems of ozone measurements make predictions difficult; Nature 356: 186. Significant reduction in the production of biomass in the Antarctic ecosystem has been found; R.C. Smith et al., "Ozone depletion: ultraviolet radiation and phytoplankton biology in Antarctic waters", Science 255: 952-9. The springtime stratospheric ozone layer thins by about 50% in the Antarctic, and it was found that the primary production was decreased by at least 6-12%. On the brighter side, scientists of the US Geological Survey have found anaerobic bacteria that break down CFCs in the Potomac River, Virginia. Such bacteria could be introduced to waste sites to consume CFCs released from dumped appliances, polystyrenes and air conditioner units. On the religious and sociological issues of the global environment see Religion 22: 1-19.
On the subject of climate change see; T.M.L. Wigley & S.C.B. Raper, "Implications
for climate and sea level of the revised IPCC emissions scenerios", Nature
357: 293-300. The difficulties of modelling climate change are discussed in Chemical & Engineering News
(27 April 1992), 7-19; with the El Nino effect predictions in Nature
356: 476-7. There is still a problem of missing carbon dioxide; Science
256: 35, 74-9. Ocean circulation is discussed in Nature
356: 561-2, 587-92. The carbon budget of ecosystems is important in determining
where carbon dioxide will go; P.E. Kauppi et al., "Biomass and carbon budget of European
forests, 1971 to 1990", Science
256: 70-4. There has been some growth in forest resources over this time, and it
is suggested this may be where some of the carbon dioxide is going. The consumption
of methane by desert soils is reported in Nature
The EC has proposed a carbon tax, with some incentives for heavy industry; Chemistry & Industry (1 June 1992), 395. The programs to cut carbon dioxide are outlined in Chemical & Engineering News (4 May 1992), 4-5. See also comment in EST 26: 1123; Science 256: 1138-40. The impacts of environmental change on food supply are discussed in Science 256: 1140-1; EST 26: 1104-7.
A review of worldwide energy sources is C. Starr et al., "Energy sources: a realistic outlook", Science 256: 981-7. Nuclear power is discussed in EST 26: 1116-20.
The ozone hole and depletion is discussed in Science 256: 22, 342-9, 734; Nature 356: 643-4; 357: 33-7. Concern over Antarctica is voiced in Science 256: 949-50. The enviornmetal effects of the Gulf war on air pollution are discussed in EST 26: 873-5; Science 256: 987-91.
The slowness to control pollution is discussed in Lancet 339: 1344-5. On pollution in the USSR, see Nature 357: 451-2; and in Poland BMJ 304: 1495-7. Japan is aiming to develop clean industry; Science 256: 1144-5; however, one can wonder what is "clean" industry? Environmental sensors are becoming popular, and can be expected to be more so in the future, to the delight of industry, see Biotechnology 10: 515-8. See also U.S. News and World report (22 June 1992), 16-17 for criticism of the biodiversity treaty position of the USA, and industry influences in the Green movement.
Rio conference There were numerous articles written before and after the environment conference in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. In this edition of the newsletter, a comment by Prof. Helmar Krupp, of Karlsruhe, Germany is given, on why Rio failed. Although there were some success's of Rio, it could not be as successful as we would hope because of greedy economics, which all countries are "forced" to take. We can see little optimism until a new approach is developed, one not based on economic growth, and not based on the endless pursuit of profit.
On environmental ethics see: M. Midgley, "Is the biosphere a luxury?", HCR (May/June 1992), 7-12. She looks at how people have been taught that the biosphere does not matter, only human beings - and at how this may be changed. Also, D. Jamieson, "Ethics, public policy, and global warming", Science, Technology & Human Values 17: 139-53; R.H. Grove, "Origins of Western environmentalism", SA (July 1992), 22-7.
A recent national committee on children's education in Japan , found that one third of all grade school students have not been to the mountains or sea-side, despite the fact that 80% of Japan is mountainous, and no point in the country is more than 110km from the seaside. This was double the proportion 8 years ago. 40% had never seen the sun set. It is not surprising that people will have a deficient view of the environment if they do not contact nature.
A detailed and integrated collection of essays on the politics of energy use in Japan is Helmar Krupp, ed., Energy Politics & Schumpeter Dynamics (Springer-Verlag 1992, 394pp.), see EEIN 2: 54-5. It calls for a change in the economic system or else there will be further and disastrous environmental destruction. A report by the World Resources Institute issued on 30 August, said that the policies of the IMF and World Bank encourage immediate consumption of natural resources and ignore longterm environmental damage.
Also in Japan, Toyota has began a forest planting project aimed at selection of trees with the highest carbon assimilation rate; GEN 12(11), 26. The idea is that forests can soak up more of the carbon dioxide. Meanwhile there continues to be much timber trade into Japan, J.R. Vincent, "The tropical timber trade and sustainable development", Science 256: 1651-5.
The increased UV light that we received this summer, and can be expected to increasingly receive over the rest of our lives, will cause more gene mutations. In particular the p53 gene, linked to many cancer, has been shown to be specifically mutated by UV light; GEN 12(1), 1, 35. On ozone depletion see Nature 358: 131-3, 392-94; NS (1 Aug 1992), 16. Damage to plants such as alfalfa may be less than thought at first; Nature 358: 576-8.
A policy forum on ways to alter global warming is E.S. Rubin et al., "Realistic mitigation options for global warming", Science 257: 148-9, 261-6. On agriculture and climate change see Science 257: 9. On global warming see Nature 357: 649; 358: 292, 369-70, 394-6; Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (June 1992), 28-33; Ambio 21: 274-7; NS (8 Aug 1992), 23-6. There are still difficulties in correctly modelling the hydrological cycle; Nature 358: 119-22. The accuracy of environmental impact assessments is varying; Ambio 21: 322-4.
The growth of jobs in environmental interest and conservation has been increasing; Nature 358: 437-8; EST 29: 1265. Funding of environmental research in the US is reviewed in EST 26: 1496-1502. The insufficiency of accounting for environmental assets is raised in R. Repetto, "Accounting for Environmental Assets", SA (June 1992), 64-70.
Further Rio conference reviews (EEIN 2: 47, 54-5) are in Nature 358: 273-6, 523; Lancet 339: 1515-6, 1529; EST 26: 1503; SA (June 1992), 8-9; NS (27 June 1992), 12-3.
A commentary on the shift from a mechanistic idea of nature to seeing people as part
of nature is J.B. Callicot, "La nature est morte, vive la nature!", HCR
(Sept.-October), 22: 16-23. One should say this view of nature, as being a part
of it is not dead in some cultures, and this represents a return to a view long held
in most cultures. Other papers on
include: F.H. Buttel, "Environmentalization: Origins, processes, and Implications
for Rural Social Change", Rural Sociology
57: 1-27; R.E. Jones & R.E. Dunlap, "The social bases of environmental concern: have
they changed over time?", Rural Sociology
57: 28-47. The second paper looks at public opinion for environmental spending in
On general environmental concerns see a book review in Nature 359: 115. A review of the Rio conference is in EST 26: 1710-3; methods for environmental auditing are in EST 26: 1706-8. The hazardous waste trade and its control is discussed and reviewed in EST 26: 1684-93. At a conference in Australia of the Australia new Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science, it was said that the transport of hazardous waste to Europe from Australia was morally justified it Australia had taken as many steps as possible; NS (26 Sept 1992), 9. There has been debate in France about whether a ship carrying PCBs from Australia should be allowed to dock.
The US presidential election will have some impact on many issues, including environmental prediction. By the time that this newsletter is delivered the result will be clear, though we must wait to see what actually happens. A view of the options for the uptake of environmental biotechnology under both regimes is in Biotechnology 10: 1088-9. The increasing number of "green" jobs is reported in Science 257: 1730-1, 1766. The question of how to adapt US technology to a more environmentally friendly policy is in EST 26: 1888-9. Several papers on Japan and environmental policy are in J. Japanese Trade & Industry (Oct/Nov 1992), 8-19. They talk about the greening of corporate Japan, examples of environmental protection, and the government's roles. papers on sustainable development include EST 26: 1902; Atmospheric Environment 26A: 2725-31;
A letter commenting on the difficulty of measuring long term
and air pollutants is in Nature
358: 706. Mexico's experience in reducing lead in gasoline is discussed in EST
26: 1702-5. Reducing lead in gasoline is very cost effective in saving medical and
other indirect costs. The dangers of lead paint are still a threat to children
305: 440. The very low fuel economy of US vehicles is discussed in an editorial
257: 1459, which points out the pollution problems and economic costs. A comment
on "intelligent transportation" is in EST
26: 1896-8. A general editorial on health effects of pollution is in Lancet
340: 821-2; and recommendations and a report from the WHO are in Bulletin of WHO
70: 409-13. On the effects of dioxin see Science
Methods have been developed to detect the oxygen content of the atmosphere, which can be applied to find that the oxygen content of the atmosphere can change, and this can be used to measure the production of biomass; Nature 358: 710-1, 723-7. It is therefore possible to make better predictions about the carbon balance, and they suggest that the so-called missing carbon appears to all be taken up by the oceans. A review article on problems in accurately measuring the water cycle is M.T. Chahine, "The hydrological cycle and its influence on climate", Nature 359: 373-80.
The responses that plants will have to increased carbon dioxide has been modelled in a study reported in C. Korner & J.A. Arnone III, "Responses to elevated carbon dioxide in artificial tropical ecosystems", Science 257: 1672-5. They did not find an increase in stand biomass when plants were grown in different greenhouses under different atmospheric gas concentrations. Examination of Antarctic forests is reported in Science 257: 1675-7. Environmental change and the Arctic are reported in Science 257: 1962.
The effects of Mt Pinatubo in the Philipines are discussed in G. Brasseur & C. Granier, "Mount Pinatubo Aerosols, Chlorofluoro-carbons, and ozone depletion", Science 257: 1239-42. Many serious perturbations are predicted, and some already observed, such as decrease in ozone levels; Nature 359: 276-7; Geophys. Res. Letters 19: 1109-12. The ozone levels over Antarctica in 1991 were lower than before, and are reported in D.J. Hoffman et al., "Observation and possible causes of new ozone depletion in Antarctica in 1991", Nature 359: 283-7. The 1992 hole is predicted to be even deeper; NS (26 Sept 1992), 11. The decreased ozone is causing increased UV radiation, and the effect varies; G. Seckmeyer & R.L. McKenzie, "Increased ultraviolet radiation in New Zealand (45 S) relative to Germany (48 N)", Nature 359: 135-7. The UV was double in the New Zealand summer than in the German summer, perhaps Germans were protected by the higher levels of tropospheric ozone caused by pollution, and the stratospheric depletion of ozone may be greater in the southern hemisphere. The cancer risk is increasing as a result of ozone depletion, World Health Forum 13: 268-9. In addition, trophospheric ozone also has a detrimental effect on plants and animals, not only humans; EST 26: 1890-1.
Pollution prevention in Tanzanian industry is discussed in EST
26: 2080-3. The DDT levels in the Lake Kariba ecosystem in Zimbabwe are reported
21: 444-50. Lead in Lake Kariba is being blamed for the death of elephants who have
lost the use of their trunks - "flaccid trunk paralysis"; NS
(14 Nov 1992), 6. Nigerian business people who invite toxic waste imports face the death
(21 Nov 1992), 8. The export of toxic waste within Europe is being banned; NS
(7 Nov 1992), 8.
The import of plutonium by Japan has raised concern that it could be used for weapons - though this is extremely unlikely given the climate in Japan. To allay any fear it has been suggested that Japan use impure plutonium as nuclear fuel, rather than import weapons-grade plutonium; Nature 359: 663, 766. However, this will require further technology development.
The greenhouse warming could make a substantial impact on water resources according to studies at the Public Works Research Institute in Tsukuba. Even if rainfall increases due to warming, there will be increased transpiration so that a rise of temperature by 3 C would mean water reserves in Japan need to increase fourfold. Maybe we will also have to reuse more water - it has been estimated that 67% of water used in Israel is reused sewage water.
Modelling of past climates may be aided by reliable climate records. A continuous 500,000-year record from vein calcite has been reported to follow existing ice-age periods; Science 258: 255-60. Studies on Antarctic ice sheets may suggest that the ocean level could have changed by 60m in a past warming, but over evidence is contrary; Nature 359: 775-6; 360: 29-33. The unpredictability of weather forecasts is discussed in NS (7 Nov 1992), 35-8.
Plans to plant more forests have been made, and implemented in some countries, as attempts to increase carbon dioxide sinks. A new study suggests that the change from tundra to boreal forest, or other surfaces and forests, can act significantly in feedback effects on temperature; Nature 359: 716-8.
Policy for transition to an economy that reduces greenhouse gas emissions is debated in Science 258: 1315-9. The anthropogenic sulfate in the trophosphere acts as ice nuclei and other particles and the level of these may be double pre-industrial levels; Nature 359: 712-6. The use of trade between companies in sulfur dioxide allowances to reduce pollution is in EST 26: 2076-8. More on the science in Nature 360: 328-30, 330-3. The potential for fuel cells as a source of energy is discussed in EST 26: 2085-6. Government subsidies, as in Japan, may stimulate the development of fuel cells. A carbon tax for the USA is called for in EST 26: 2087.
The ozone hole over the Antarctic was the largest on record this year, but the concentration of ozone was not a record low. The effect of Mt Pinatubo may not have been as bad as predicted, over Antarctica at least; Science 258: 395. A model of the negative effects of UV light on phytoplankton photosynthesis suggests that the ozone hole may inhibit near-surface photosynthesis by 12-15%, but less so at depth; Science 258: 646-50. A special issue of Aust. J. Botany 40(4,5) focuses on this problem. UV can also cause various human diseases; CMAJ 147: 1330-2. A computer study suggests that at doubled carbon dioxide levels an ozone hole would appear over the Arctic similar to the current Antarctic hole; Nature 360: 221-5, 209-10; NS (28 Nov 1992), 16. Already some loss is apparent. The chemistry of ozone reactions is discussed in Nature 360: 446-9.
The ozone conference at the end of November saw agreements for advanced prohibitions on most ozone-depleting gases; halons (in fire extinguishers) by Jan. 1994; CFCs (insulating foams, fridges, freezers, solvents) by Jan. 1996; methyl chloroform and carbon tetrachloride by Jan. 1996; NS (28 Nov 1992), 5; EST 26: 2342, 4. However, methyl bromide, a fumigant used to kill pests in soil and stored crops is not yet included - despite the existence of safe alternatives. It is banned already in the Netherlands due to water pollution. The USA wants a ban by the year 2000, but Europe is yet to decide. A team of doctors from John Hopkins University in Baltimore have gone to southern Chile to study the reported adverse effects of ozone depletion on health; BMJ 305: 1246.
A book review of D.B. Magraw, ed., International Law and Pollution , is in Int. Digest of Health Legislation 43: 676-7. A petition signed by many scientists attempting to bring the attention of politicians to the need for policy change, as part of scientific responsibility is reported in Nature 360: 200. Another petition called the Heidelberg Appeal is also being made: contact Dr M. Salomon, 10 avanue de messine, 75008, Paris, France.
Britain is still having problems meeting European drinking water standards; BMJ
305 (1992), 1382. Lead levels in children in Sydney are reported in MJA
157 (1992), 441-5; and in general in Pediatric Nursing
18 (1992), 565-7. Toxic waste traders continue to operate despite the Basil Convention
outlawing it; NS
(12 Dec 1992), 9.
The increased incidence of UV over Australia is causing many more cats to get skin cancer; NS (23 Jan 1993), 4. People are recommended to wear sunglasses in MJA 157 (1992), 343-4. The atmospheric lives of perfluoro compounds has been estimated to be >2000 years and those of some CFCs >300 years; Science 259: 194-9. A methanotropic bacteria that can oxidise HCFCs; Biotechnology 11: 1576-8.
A special issue of Science includes many papers on the evolution of atmospheres and the effects of carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect; Science 259: 875-941. Global warming may spread the infection area of tropical diseases, as vectors inhabit wider areas; NS (19 Dec 1992), 12-3. Coral bleaching is reviewed in SA (Jan 1993), 44-50. A letter on plant responses to carbon dioxide is in Nature 361: 24; and the northward migration of spruce is reported in Nature 361: 208-9. The limiting factors in the growth of phytoplankton in the ocean are reported in Nature 361: 209-10; and in plant responses to past carbon dioxide change see Nature 361: 61-4. Papers on the modeling of climate change include: EST 27: 28-33; Nature 360 (1992), 533; 361: 16-7, 300-1, 335-7; Science 258 (1992), 1626-30. The Rio summit and IPCC strategies are reviewed in EST 27: 18-20; Nature 360 (1992), 507-8. The potential for reducing carbon dioxide emissions in China is reviewed in Science & Global Security 3 (1992), 1-42, 43-7.
A study on the prevalence of asthma and allergic disorders in children in both halves of Germany (Leipzig versus Munich) is E. Von Mutius et al., "Prevalence of asthma and allergic disorders among children in united Germany: a descriptive comparison", BMJ 305: 1395-9. Health concerns of smog are reviewed in JRSM 86: 63-4. A gender difference in asthma hospital admissions, more males, among children is reported in JAMA 268 (1992), 3437-40. The situation in the Eastern USA is reported in EST 27: 12-6, and in Poland see Nature 360 (1992), 704.
A book review of Stephen Boyden, Biohistory. The Interplay between human society and the Biosphere, past and present (Parthenon, 252pp., 38) is in NS (16 Jan 1993), 39. It is estimated that the maximum life of the biosphere is only 100 million years, when the carbon dioxide concentration (!) falls below 150ppm; Nature 360 (1992), 707, 721-3. This assumes that we do not collide with another asteriod, a description of the 1908 Tunguska explosion is in Nature 361: 14-5, 40-4.
A series of papers on how coal can be made a cleaner source of energy are in NS (23 Jan 1993), 4. A German study suggests that the subsidised use of biodiesel, rapeseed methylether, is not the most efficient way to reduce pollution; NS (6 Feb 1993), 19.
Book reviews of environmental philosophy books are in Science 258 (1992), 1822-3. Ways to switch to a green economy are discussed in NS (30 Jan 1993), 39-43; SA (Dec 1992), 22-3. Increasing marine litter is reported in Nature 361: 23.
The results of satellite mapping of stratospheric ClO and
are in Nature
362: 597-602, 592-3. A paper showing the export of ozone pollution from North America
is D.D. Parish et al., "Export of North American ozone pollution to the North Atlantic
259: 1436-9. The effect of the sulphur releases of Mt Pinatubo on ozone levels has
been close to a modelled effect; Nature
362: 331-3. A paper showing that bacterioplankton activity in the surface layer
of the ocean is inhibited by ultraviolet-B, suggests that there will be more accumulation
of organic matter in the surface of oceans as UV levels increase; Nature
361: 717-9. Also on ocean changes see Nature
plans to phase out CFCs in aerosol cans by 1997, and in foam by the year 2000, with
a US$2.1 billion UN Development program.
The effect of Mt Pinatubo on a temporary cooling of the atmosphere due to dust emissions is shown in Science 259: 594, 1411-5. A 2000 year old tree ring record of annual temperatures finds a 125 year periodicity, linked to solar activity; Science 259: 1433-6. The earth's capacity to store carbon is reviewed in Nature 362: 497-8, and discussion of whether increasing temperatures will release more carbon from soil. Findings of preserved wood in Antarctica provide data on the climate 35-55 million years ago; Science 259: 1537. On the future possibility of Antarctic ice melting see SA (March 1992), 7-12. A discussion of models of climate change which include the effects of living organisms is Science 259: 1694-6. More economic models are discussed in Science 259: 1813, 1932. The research problems of Biosphere 2 are discussed in Science 259: 1688-9.
Britain has announced plans to research more how to make coal use more environmentally safe; Nature 362: 383; NS (6 Feb 1993), 4; (3 April 1993), 5. On the general rise of environment related chemical research see Science 259: 1538-41. The use of solar energy and night storage batteries in developing countries is discussed in Nature 362: 691-3. The US may introduce an energy tax , which may make the Europeans introduce their carbon tax idea, and put pressure on Japan to do the same; NS (27 Feb 1993), 4; (27 March 1992), 6. Letters on greenhouse policy are in Science 259: 1381-4.
A report showing variations in the deposition of mercury in Antarctica over the past 34,000 years will be useful to determine how much is due to human (anthropogenic) emission, and how much is due to oceanic productivity; Nature 362: 621-3. Comments on the US Antarctic research program, which includes altered laws for waste disposal are in Nature 362: 98, 482. Papers on pollution involving chlorinated matter in water are in Ambio 22: 10-18, 27-31, 37-42. Environmentalists have accused Britain of hiding acid soil; NS (27 Feb 1993), 29-33. A European plan to cut acid rain is estimated to cost the UK about 1 billion a year, double that of Poland, and more than all other European countries; NS (13 March 1992), 4. The different methods that economists, lawyers and scientists use for environmental risk assessment are compared in Env. & Planning Law J. 10: 10-18. A legal paper is W. Howarth, "Poisonous, noxious or polluting: Contrasting approaches to environmental regulation", Modern Law Review 56: 171-87.
The Russian government has admitted dumping of whole nuclear reactors into seas around their shores, including in proximity to Japan; Science 259: 1119; NS (13 Feb 1993), 9. These revelations point out the dangers of misregard for the environment, that other governments, former, and present, may have. A series of papers on pollution in Russia, including radioactive waste, is in EST 27: 585-610. The proper disposal of nuclear waste is very expensive, and the issue in the USA is discussed in NS (6 March 1992), 30-3. A paper on risk perception and low-level radioactive waste is in Ecology Law Quarterly 19 (1992), 481-545. A book review of Containing the Atom. Nuclear Regulation in a Changing Environment, 1963-1971, is in Science 259: 996-7. In March and April issues of New Scientist two page commercials for Sellafield Nuclear Waste site were placed by British Nuclear Fuels. Since February a new European law changed the labels on hazardous substances, such as plastics, to non-hazardous, making their export to developing countries possible; NS (13 March 1992), 13-4.
Despite studies from France and other European countries (EEIN 3: 18) showing that the subsidised use of biodiesel , rapeseed methylether, is not the best way to reduce pollution, the French government will spend 40 million on a 3 year trial using 100,000 hectares of land; NS (27 Feb 1993), 18. A positive editorial on biodiesel is in EST 27: 427.
A general scheme for looking at the environment consequences of products is M.A. Curran, "Broad-based environmental life cycle assessment", EST 27: 430-6. Papers on the environmental consequences of war , and how to legislate to control them, are in SA (Feb 1993), 16-23; Env. & Planning Law J. 10: 38-53.
A comment on the honor system used to regulate international conduct in Antarctica is in Insights on Global Ethics (June 1993), 7. Antarctica and the Antarctic Treaty is perhaps the best example of an international common environment where ethics rather than law dominates the relationships. A report on a search for common ethics to protect the environment is J. Bauer, U.S.-Japan Task Force on the Environment, The Politics and Ethics of Global Environmental Leadership, (28pp., available from the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, 170 East 64th Street, New York, NY 10021-7478, USA). Such studies are important to overcome the tensions in international relations when discussing a global concern. Unfortunately one cannot say that either the US or Japan are environmental leaders, except in terms of pollution, but one would hope that recent positive signs are extended.
Global environmental politics are difficult with divisions between the rich and poor countries; Nature 363: 199, 657-8. Claims of imperialism can be made, especially while rich countries continue wasting energy and causing pollution.
The methods being applied to risk assessment of ecotoxicological risks in the Netherlands is reviewed in Network (Feb 93), 8-11; as is health and environmental management, p. 12-15. Pessimism about the environment and the lack of knowledge is criticised in NS (5 June 1993), 33-5, (12 June 1993), 34-7.
In the USA the Clinton tax on energy has been substantially reduced after political protest; Nature 363: 568, 779. Clinton is pushing for "clean car" research; Nature 363: 7; and a Californian solar power plant is being revived; Nature 362: 778. Also on US environmental politics see EST 27: 782, 1000-2; SA (June 1993), 9; and on energy: Science 260: 281, 370; EST 27: 810-2. A paper on the scientific basis of environmental regulation is in EST 27: 778-81.
The former French government introduced a national agency for bioenergy development and a 3 year FF52 million program of research into rape seed cultivation; GEN (1 May 1993), 1, 25. A controversial EC proposal would impose penalties on those who damage the environment; EST : 784 - but why not! A European decision on a carbon and energy tax is expected, with only Britain being negative. A book review of The Environmental Movement in Germany , is in Science 260: 1353-4.
Heavy metal pollution in the Rhine basin is reviewed in EST 27: 786-92. In South America there has been mercury pollution for 400 years since gold mining; Nature 363: 589. On environmental regulations and toxic substances; EST 27: 1012-5; California Law Review 81: 395-421. Life cycle assessment is discussed in EST 27: 1016. The Basel Convention on Hazardous Wastes is discussed in Environment 35 (March 1993), 42-4. Ground water pollution in Mexico city is reviewed in EST 27: 794-802.
The bad effects of war on the environment (and health) are reported from Iraq; Lancet 341: 1528; Somalia, JAMA 269: 2833-8; and Croatia; EST 27: 1010.
After the year 2000 China may be the world's leading producer of atomic energy ; Newsweek (10 May 1993), 54. The USA will decrease the amount; EST 27: 1007-9; Environment 35(2), 2-4. Russia still wants to increase its use; NS (8 May 1993), 29-33. Books on Chernobyl are reviewed in Nature 362: 797-8; and a world inventory of plutonium stores in Nature 363: 508. Nuclear waste sites in the US and Russia are discussed in EST 27: 1002-3. The role of physicians in disposal of low level nuclear waste is discussed in JAMA 269: 403-7.
The international moves to slow the disappearance of ozone are criticised as slow in Time (17 May 1993), 50-1. The level of ozone depleting chemicals will continue to rise until just after the year 2000, and destruction will be much greater than now. Sunscreen lotion does not save your skin; Time (24 May 1993), 43; even if used, BMJ 306: 1448. DNA mutation of hotspots in the p53 cancer-related gene and UV are reported in PNAS 90: 4216-20. The effects of increased UV on plants depends on the plant; Aust. J. Plant Physiology 20: 129-42. The level of ozone reached the lowest in 14 years of measurements this spring; Science 260: 523-6; NS (1 May 1993), 8. Also see Science 260: 1580-3; Nature 363: 509-14. The proposed superfast airliners would accelerate depletion by emission of sulphate aerosols and nitrogen oxides; NS (19 June 1993), 17.
The effects of volcanoes on atmosphere are discussed in Science 260: 490-1, 1082-6, 1232. The amount of chlorine sent to the atmosphere may be less than feared, reducing the damage to the ozone layer, but Mt Pinatubo still reduced ozone 2-4% at mid-lattitudes of the planet.
A paper on greenhouse gases is J.T. Kiehl & B.P. Briegleb, "The relative roles of sulfate aerosols and greenhouse gases in climate forcing", Science 260: 311-4. On modelling of carbon dioxide changes see Nature 363: 399-400, 439-43; Science 260: 1101-4. Papers on old temperature records in ice and trees include Nature 363: 403-4; Science 260: 890-1, 1104-6; SA (June 1993), 16-22.
A special issue of Environmental Law 23(2): 387-682, includes many papers on the issues of trade rules and environmental protection. The 25 June issue of Science 260: 1884-96; also includes many papers on the environment and economy . A survey of US values that affect how much the people pay for perceived environmental benefit is J.R. Irwin, et al., "Preference reversals and the measurement of environmental values", J. Risk & Uncertainty 6: 5-18.
Pollution in New Zealand is reviewed in NS (31 July 1993), 29-33. The EC has ordered an environmental assessment of the proposed Greek plan to divert the river Achelos. On environmental impact statements, EST 27: 1248-9; and on a history of the role of the US EPA Advisory Board in public policy, EST 27: 1476-81. A proposal for cleaning up the river Rhine is NS (26 June 1993), 25-9. On EC drinking water standards; Nature 364: 268. A series of papers on Israel and the environment is in EST 27: 1253-81, especially on water conservation. A book review on the environmental crisis in China is Science 261: 627-8; and a conference review on Eastern Europe, Science 261: 24-5.
The US Navy and other military agencies are offering some submarines for scientific and environmental research, but much more is hoped for, NS (14 Aug 1993), 12-3; Science 261: 26. These include whale tracking. The Russian Navy has also been providing trips on submarines.
Recycling in Japan is underway at local levels in many places. The collection of 93 tonnes of plastic trays by 400 supermarkets cost Y80/kg in factory costs alone to convert to plastic. 50 schools are involved in the efforts, to save costs. The short term goal is to get 30% recycling. Some supermarket chains try to only use recycled plastic. Of course, reducing plastic tray use may be the best approach. Recycling trends in Europe are also on the rise, EST 27: 1492.
Papers on greenhouse warming include: Nature 364: 192-3, 472; Science 261: 553; EST 27: 1282-3, 1468-74; and papers on climate records, Nature 364: 186, 215-8, 218-20; Science 261: 682, 261: 68-70. A review of studies on how plant-insect interactions are altered with elevated carbon dioxide is TREE 8: 64-8; and on plant feedback mechanisms, Nature 364: 616-7. Efforts to make cities better planned to reduce C emissions are in NS (24 Jul), 12-3. C taxes are discussed in NS (26 June 1993), 12-3. A review on how to improve air quality is Science 261: 37-45.
A review of the debate over ozone depletion and recent critical books of scientists is Science 260: 1580-3. Papers on ozone depletion include, Science 261: 290; EST 27: 1488-91. The EC has accelerated the phase out of HCFCs, and methyl bromide, even further than the Copenhagen amendments to the Montreal protocol; EST 27: 1461. Designs to reduce emissions of ozone destroying emissions from supersonic airliners are discussed in NS (14 Aug 1993), 35-7. The risks of skin cancer from increased UV are discussed in CMAJ 148: 2027-9.
The use of pesticides in South East Asia is reviewed in GEN (15 June 1993), 14-5. Comments on the lack of action on Agenda 21 by the UNCED is in SA (July 1993), 14-5.
Two book reviews on issues of population growth and environmental destruction are in Nature 365: 401-2; see also p. 688. A new journal, Medicine and Global Survival, is reviewed in BMJ 307: 693-4.
Economics and environment are discussed in Nature 365: 614. According to the EPA about 21% of the pollution control equipment used in the USA is imported, not 70% as people often claim (to encourage investment into Green markets), Science 261: 989. Agricultural policies in many countries also destruct the environment, EST 27: 1709.
On energy questions see Science 261: 813, 969-70, 1255. Carbon diplomacy in Europe is proving very difficult to implement in practice, EST 27: 1752. A declaration on "Environment for Europe" from an April meeting in Lucerne is reprinted in IDHL 44: 522-8. A report from a World Bank-Finnish Embassy Seminar on Eastern Europe's energy and environment is in EST 27: 1746-50.
On the role of the EPA in setting standards in the USA see Science 261: 1263, 1371, 1373-5; EST 27: 1701.
A review is U. Siegenthaler & J.L. Sarmiento, "Atmospheric carbon dioxide and the ocean", Nature 365: 119-25. The ocean takes up about a third of the emissions by human activities, but there is a still a missing sink which is supposedly in terrestrial carbon. There has been a halt in the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere this year, for unknown reasons, Nature 365: 697-8. The use of methyl bromide in agriculture is discussed in PNAS 90: 8420-3. The need for fresh water, and the acidification of Swedish lakes is featured in papers in Ambio (Aug 1993) 22: 257-337.
This year's Antarctic ozone hole is the deepest ever recorded, partly due to the weather changes, Nature 365: 683. On ozone depletion stimulated by a ClONO2 photolysis see Nature 365: 37-9; Science 261: 1101-3, 1128-9. Several countries are launching satellites to add to the ones already looking at environmental indicators, Newsweek (27 Sept 1993), 50-2.
The report on the working of the Basil Convention is discussed in IDHL 44: 529-31.