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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

News Follow-up

Air Date: Week of

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New developments in stories we've been following recently.


TOOMEY: Time now to follow up on some of the news stories we've been tracking lately. San Francisco voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot initiative earlier this month that will make the foggy city the country's leader in renewable energy. Proposition B allows San Francisco to sell revenue bonds to fund solar and wind power projects on city owned property. Mark Leno is a City Supervisor who sponsored the ballot measure.

LENO: San Francisco is plainly taking a lead here, and we hope to be able to create 10 to 20 megawatts of solar-generated and 30 megawatts of wind-generated power through the issuance of up to 100 million dollars of these revenue bonds.

TOOMEY: This is enough to supply more than a quarter of the city government's energy needs, including power for streetlights, buses, and jails.


TOOMEY: Last month we profiled Sandra Lanham, a woman whose conservation research is done from the air. Recently the pilot won a MacArthur genius grant. She'll receive 500,000 dollars over the next five years. She says the award has already changed the nature of her work.

LANHAM: I can commit now to projects that can go on for two or three years, and I was terrified before, that I would not only fail myself because I couldn't raise the money, but I would be leaving the researchers in a bind.

TOOMEY: Lanham says she also hopes to replace her 1956 Cessna airplane with a slightly newer model.


TOOMEY: This summer we discussed shark attacks in Florida and a possible ban on shark feeding dives. The ban passed recently and will be implemented on January 1st. Henry Cabbage is with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Service. He says that feeding the animals had nothing to do with the killings, but predators should never be encouraged to link humans with food.

CABBAGE: Any marine life that is conditioned to associate people with food is not going to behave naturally. Now, sharks are one of the species that the divers feed. There are also rays and barracudas and other marine life. But the fact that these marine creatures learn to associate people with food is not good for the resource and it's not good for the people.

TOOMEY: Two diving companies have already filed suit to try to stop the ban from taking effect.


TOOMEY: And finally, in June we reported on a province in Canada that uses rat patrols to keep the area rat-free. Now Rio de Janeiro is trying to enlist its citizens for help with its rat problem. The Brazilian city recently began paying residents to turn in dead rats. Critics of the plan aren't happy with the idea; they worry the city's poor will start breeding rats to bring in extra cash. And that's this week's follow-up on the news, from Living on Earth.



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