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Fri, 05 Jun 2020
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Better Earth

Climate change a 'threat,' Annan tells conference

There is a "frightening lack of leadership" on climate change and an urgent need for more effort to avoid major consequences, the UN's secretary general told an international meeting Wednesday.

"Climate change is not just an environmental issue, as too many people still believe. It is an all-encompassing threat," Kofi Annan said in Nairobi, Kenya.

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Carbon emissions rising faster than ever

Far from slowing down, global carbon dioxide emissions are rising faster than before, said a gathering of scientists in Beijing on Friday.

Between 2000 and 2005, emissions grew four times faster than in the preceding 10 years, according to researchers at the Global Carbon Project, a consortium of international researchers. Global growth rates were 0.8% from 1990 to 1999. From 2000 to 2005, they reached 3.2%.

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'Air Shower' Set To Cut Water Use By 30 Per Cent

Melbourne, Australia - As Australians become increasingly alert to the importance of using water wisely in the home, CSIRO researchers have found a way to use a third less water when you shower - by adding air. The scientists have developed a simple 'air shower' device which, when fitted into existing showerheads, fills the water droplets with a tiny bubble of air.

The result is the shower feels just as wet and just as strong as before, but now uses much less water.

Hourglass

Pacific Ocean Gives Birth To New Volcanic Island

Sydney - The Pacific Ocean has given birth to a new volcanic island near Tonga, according to ocean-going eyewitnesses. Crew on board a yacht called the Maiken believed they were the first to see a volcanic island forming a day out from Neiafu, Tonga, while sailing towards Fiji in August, the Matangi Tonga news website reported Wednesday.

"One mile in diameter and with four peaks and a central crater smoking with steam and once in a while an outburst high in the sky with lava and ashes. I think we're the first ones out here," a crew member who identified himself as Haken wrote on the yacht's web log.

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Dirty water kills 5,000 children a day

Nearly two million children a year die for want of clean water and proper sanitation while the world's poor often pay more for their water than people in Britain or the US, according to a major new report.

The United Nations Development Programme, in its annual Human Development report, argues that 1.1 billion people do not have safe water and 2.6 billion suffer from inadequate sewerage. This is not because of water scarcity but poverty, inequality and government failure.

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Record November Temperatures In LA

Temperatures in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday reached 97 degrees about noon, making it the warmest Nov. 7 since such record-keeping began in 1877. The old record, 91, was set 50 years ago. Tuesday's temperature exceeded Monday's peak of 95, which also was an all-time high for the date.


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40 whales in New Zealand saved, 37 die

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Oil refinery workers helped rescue 40 beached pilot whales in northern New Zealand Friday - but another 37 of the whale pod died on the sandy beach, a Department of Conservation spokeswoman said.

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Wash. flooding closes Mount Rainier park

YAKIMA, Wash. - Nearly 18 inches of rain in 36 hours.

That's how much fell at Mount Rainier National Park, one of the crown jewels of the Pacific Northwest, and more rain and snow is forecast through the weekend.

The deluge on Monday and Tuesday swamped roads and bridges, cut power and sewer lines, and forced park officials to close the gates for the first time in 26 years.

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Why water is gravest challenge facing humanity

The children of the Grace Revival School do not have far to go when they need the lavatory. They get up from their ramshackle desks and move just outside their corrugated iron classroom to the vast dungheap that stands beside the building.

There are no latrines for the 74,000 people who live in their section of Kibera, the biggest slum in Africa, which lies either side of the main railway line between Nairobi and Mombasa in the Kenyan highlands.

People there use what, with dark humour, are called "flying toilets". They defecate in a plastic bag and then throw it into the street or on to one of the vast dung heaps. Some just visit the heaps and relieve themselves directly. The heap next to Grace school is about 20 feet high and the size of a quarter of a football pitch.

The stench is unimaginable. When it rains, a noxious black liquid runs off the heap, and through the school, over the dirt floor of the classrooms. It seeps into the drinking water supply pipes, which run beneath the dump.

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Deadly storm wipes out road at Mt. Hood

PORTLAND, Ore. - Heavy rain and flooding, already blamed for three deaths in the Pacific Northwest, washed out a major highway near Mount Hood and forced the shutdown of 67 miles of the North Cascades Highway in Washington state Thursday.