Volume 14, Issue 34 ~ August 24 - August 30, 2006

Way Downstream

In Annapolis, the Annapolis chapter of Chesapeake Climate Action is pressing local candidates on the giant of global issues: global warming. You’ll see them — and their dozen new volunteer recruits — asking questions at candidate forums, tracking down hopefuls and writing letters and emails. Climate change could have catastrophic effects worldwide. In Chesapeake Country, we see the beginnings with rising water levels and increased storm intensity. After the election, Chesapeake Climate Action will join other green groups to again push for the Clean Cars Bill, to put more hybrids and alternative fueled vehicles on the road…

In Maryland, filmmaking is generating record profits: $158 million in economic impact this fiscal year, more than double last year, the Maryland Film Office reported. Among the movies were The Visiting, starring Nicole Kidman; Failure to Launch and the gritty HBO series The Wire…

In Virginia, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission last week gave an initial okay to Virginia’s plan to cap the Chesapeake Bay menhaden haul by Omega Protein’s factory fishing operation. But Greenpeace is among those who say that the 109,000-ton — that’s 240,345,492 pounds — ceiling is far too high if we’re serious about repairing the link broken by the Texas company in the Bay’s food chain. Public comment — accepted until October — will shape the final decision: 202-289-6400; www.asmfc.org under Breaking News.

In Florida, a new EPA report called The Probability of Sea Level Rise has folks fretting about the future. The EPA estimated that in southwest Florida, the seas will rise from 2.8 inches to 10.6 inches in 20 years and by a total of two feet by the end of the century. “Florida will be a modern Atlantis with its most expensive real estate under water,” said Jerry Phillips, Florida director for the nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility…

Our Creature Feature comes from Peru, where the biggest city in Peru’s Amazon jungle has been transformed from tourist chic to vulture culture.

Like something out of a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel, hundreds of the huge winged creatures have descended upon the airport at Iquitos, forcing it to close much of the time. Since Iquitos is inaccessible by road, the vultures have given new meaning to the phrase tourist trap.

Said country airport boss Aurelio Crovetto: “One of these birds only has to bump into a plane and the effect could be devastating.”

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