By day, George Pakenham is a mild-mannered Senior Loans' officer at a major international bank in New York and in his spare time, he is the world’s most famous engine idling vigilante. Four years ago, after witnessing the USA go to war over oil, George could no longer tolerate the senseless waste of fossil fuel from vehicles participating in unnecessary idling, so he took matters into his own hands.

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Nissan has revealed its first zero-emissions electric car – the Leaf. The Leaf is touted to perform like a V6 while having enough room to seat five. The Leaf has zero tailpipe emissions, is 100% electric and can travel at speeds up to 90mph (145kph).

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The new, extended range plug-in electric hybrid Chevy Volt, scheduled to start production 2010, is going to get a whooping 230mpg (97.4kms/liter). General Motors's new hybrid vehicle claims are raising more than a few eyebrows in the automotive world.

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The I+Solo is an ultralight, aerodynamic Hungarian hybrid electric 3 seater vehicle from the Antro Group. Weighing only 350kg (772lbs), with a drag coefficient near 0.22, the expected fuel consumption is less than 1.8litres/100km (55.6kms/liter or 130.6mpg) with a 140kph (87mph) top speed.

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It seems like just yesterday a real man would only drive a vehicle named RAM, MAGNUM, AVENGER or maybe even VIPER. Times are different now, but trying to keep up with the latest eco-trends in alternative vehicle fuels can be a tad tricky. Is an EV better than a NG? Should you use biodiesel or ethanol? Here is the skinny on alternative vehicle fuels. It's by no means the definitive guide, but there should be just enough to make you look cool with the herbal tea and socks & sandals set.

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An expert group has advanced the Doomsday Clock minute hand a full two minutes to five minutes to midnight. The Doomsday Clock reflects the respected scientists view of world global security.

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After much controversial opposition the Green Party candidate – Elizabeth May - will finally take the stage at the Federal Elections Leaders’ Debate on October 1st and 2nd. Elizabeth May will join the other major party leaders at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa for the televised leaders' debates.

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Boycott Halloween. I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out. Not a single aspect of this carbon emission intensive holiday is good for the planet, or kids for that matter. Dressing up in PVC masks and costumes, carving pesticide-pumpkins, hauling around plastic bags full of slave-labour, genetically-modified, chemical-filled candy crap, where is the fun in that?

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So it seems it is bad business as usual in Canada, for politics at least. The Conservatives have again won the election with a minority government, having increased their parliamentary seats from 127 to 143. Meanwhile, the Liberals tanked, from 95 to 76, the Bloc Quebecois stayed steady at 50 (up from 48) and the NDP gained to hold 37 versus 30 previously. The Greens actually do not have any seats in parliament. The re-election of the Conservative government is bad news for the environment. The Conservatives have been largely apathetic about climate change and have shown little environmental leadership on issues like clean energy policies, clear-cut logging, genetically modified food, offshore oil drilling and Canada’s Oil Sands.

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After months of deliberation, Canada’s Federal Court released a decision late yesterday regarding the Government of Canada’s alleged violation of the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act (KPIA), a federal law that required Canada to take specific action to meet binding international commitments to fight climate change.

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Crawl the web and save the planet. Sounds easy, right? Well, nothing is ever quite as simple as it seems, but there is a new green search engine making an effort to promote the good green word while you get to look at all your favourite websites. Ecocho (using Yahoo technology) is an Australia-based search engine that is offering to offset a ton of greenhouse gases for every 1000 searches users make with Ecocho.

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Celebrate Buy Nothing Day

Held each year in North America on November 28th and internationally on November 29th, Buy Nothing Day has exploded into a global movement to live more simply and buy a whole lot less. Started by the Canadian Media Foundation (Adbusters’ Magazine), Buy Nothing Day, held each year after American Thanksgiving, is a 24-hour moratorium on shopping.

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Just announced is the January 2009 launch date for the NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) new earth observation satellite called the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) made by Orbital Sciences Corporation that is part of NASA's Earth System Science Pathfinder (ESSP) Program. The two-year OCO program will provide detailed global measurements of carbon dioxide.

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Canadian environmental group, Friends of the Earth, is not backing down in their attempts to make the Government of Canada accountable for their inaction on climate change. Lawyers for Friends of the Earth Canada gave the Government of Canada notification this week that they will be appealing a recent Federal Court decision in Canada’s first ever climate change lawsuit. The much anticipated appeal comes one week before the world gathers in Poznan, Poland for the next round of international climate change negotiations.

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Green Canadians just might receive an early Christmas environmental present in the form of a government 'No Confidence Vote'. The Canadian Conservative government attempted to follow the lead of other countries by providing an economic stimulus to the Canadian economy, including buying up $75billion worth of bank mortgage debt to get credit moving in the market. For some though, especially the opposition parties, it hasn’t been enough.

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December 6th, 2008, is the day for international action for climate change. Around the globe, organizations and individuals are demonstrating, marching and protesting to send the message that they want action on climate change. The global effort is set to coincide with The United Nations Climate Talks in Poznan, Poland. The United Nations Climate Talks continue from December 1st to 12th, 2008.

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Never underestimate the power of one. A lone climate change activist scaled the ?12m defences of the most heavily guarded power station in Britain, stopped the 500MW power turbines and wrote ‘No New Coal’, reported the Guardian UK. The action took place on November 28th.

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The world's wealthiest countries, in particular Australia, Canada, European Community, Japan and the US, failed in Poland to commit to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, says Friends of the Earth International.

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Who do you think are the top environmental criminals in the USA? Is it George Bush? Or maybe you think it is Monsanto’s CEO Hugh Grant?

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Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska have lost 1.5 trillion to 2 trillion tons of ice since 2003, according to NASA geophysicist Scott Luthcke. Jay Zwally, a NASA ICESat Project Scientist, says Greenland is losing 150-160 gigatons of ice yearly which equates to a 0.5mm average sea level rise. Zwally adds that, "The best estimates are that sea levels will rise about 18 to 36 inches by the end of the century”, according to a CNN report.

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There is a lot of conflicting information about whether or not 2008 was an abnormally hot or cold year.

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The US government Climate Change Science Program recently released their final report on Abrupt Climate Change online. It seems that the US government have finally started to say what many others already know to be true, that climate change is happening and it is largely related to human activities.

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Greenpeace UK presents the first greenwash award – the "Emerald Paintbrush" to the British Petroleum Company (BP).Greenpeace representatives in dinner jackets and bow ties were ejected from BP's London, England, headquarters after attempting to present the British oil giant with the first annual "Emerald Paintbrush" award.

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Resist seasonal luxury foods

Buy foods that are available locally, or decide to do without long-distance luxury foods during the holiday season. Unfortunately, many so-called luxury foods have a steep environmental and/or social footprint. Most seasonal delicacies travel enormous distances from the country of origin to your plate - prawns are shipped from Asia, champagne from France, Christmas oranges from Japan and chocolate from Switzerland. A simpler holiday palette will be much easier on the environment, the wallet and probably on the waistline too.

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Even though politicians and world leaders are dragging their feet on climate change action, architects, activists, scientists and engineers around the world are coming up with innovative solutions to address the challenges of global warming. With sea levels rising and numerous island nations expected to disappear within the 21st century, pioneering French firm Vincent Callebaut Architectures has come up with a possible solution for climate change refugees – the Lilypad – a floating Ecopolis, a self-sufficient amphibious city.

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German designer Felix Stark has created an innovative refugee tent design concept to address both the physical and psychological needs of individuals in disaster areas. The Sphere concept is comprised of 19 units of tents; the partition walls can be unbuttoned to create larger sections for extended families or remained buttoned for individual occupation. The center of the Sphere is constructed as a social place for single families and inhabitants to gather for cooking or visiting.

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Good news for the environment as the American House of Representatives passed an $819 billion economic stimulus plan. Much of the investment is targeted at increased energy efficiency, investing in green jobs and moving the US toward a low-carbon economy.

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Did you know it takes 15,500 litres of water to produce 1kg (2.2lbs) of beef and 3,900 litres for just 1kg (2.2lbs) of chicken meat? So, for each hamburger you eat, it takes 2400 litres of water to produce.

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Print on both sides of paper

American businesses throw away an estimated 21 million tons of paper every year, equal to more than 175 pounds of wasted paper per office worker reports 50waystohelp. com. Remember to print on both sides of sustainably certified and/or recycled paper and recycle all paper after use.

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A joint study, by a number of prominent research institutions, has concluded that sulfuryl fluoride, a fumigant gas commonly used for insect control, may contribute to future global warming at an estimated 4,800 times the potency of carbon dioxide.

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The Maldives may, or may not, prove to be the winners of the Carbon World-Cup – the name being given by some environmentalists to the race to see which country actually becomes the first to be completely carbon neutral, but the Maldives have recently announced that their aim is to be carbon-neutral within ten years. This is much faster than any of the other countries that signed up to the United Nations challenge to become carbon neutral. The other entrants are New Zealand, Costa Rice, Iceland, Norway and Monaco.

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Commit to growing a small amount of food this year. Plan a larger garden for your backyard, join a community garden or, if you live in an apartment or condo, commit to growing small scale.

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For the organizers and participants, it seems Earth Hour was a roaring success. According to the Earth Hour website, numerous countries, cities and communities participated in the global event that took place on Saturday March 28th, 2009.

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The 2010 Vancouver Olympics just may end up being carbon neutral. At the recent World Conference on Sport and the Environment in Vancouver, British Columbia, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games (VANCE) announced a target to neutralize up to 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the Games.

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The Wilkins Ice Bridge, a thin sliver of ice, a 25 mile (40km) long bridge that was less than 0.6miles (0.9km) wide at its thinnest has shattered. The thin bridge, keeping in place thousands of icebergs and the remaining Wilkins Ice Shelf, has finally disintegrated.

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The Sunseeker II team have started their European tour. The high-tech solar powered sailplane is flying over Europe to demonstrate the viability of renewable energy sources for the world today. The Euro-tour plans to cover the length of Italy, down to Mount Etna on the island of Sicily, then east over the Austrian Dolomites, through Hungary and into Slovenia.

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On the famous Isle of Man TT Circuit this June 12th, 2009, the world’s first Clean Emission Carbon Free Time Trial (TT) Grand Prix will be held.

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A world solar flight record was set on April 14, 2009 when Eric Raymond piloted his Sunseeker II solar airplane across the Swiss Alps. Almost 100 years after the first flight across the Swiss Alps by an airplane, American Eric Raymond became the first person to pilot a solar aircraft over the Alps.

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