Monday, February 23, 2009


Mayor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco - San Francisco has taken an important first step toward creating the electric vehicle infrastructure of the future [with] installation of electric vehicle charging stations in front of San Francisco City Hall. These stations - called Smartlets - are on loan to the city from Coulomb Technologies. Car-sharing companies Zipcar and City Car Share will use two of the charging stations - giving the public the opportunity to drive plug-in vehicles before they are mass produced. The third charging station will be used by a plug-in car in the City of San Francisco municipal fleet. We have the highest number of hybrid cars owners in the United States.

Washington Post - A virulent new version of a deadly fungus is ravaging wheat in Kenya's most fertile fields and spreading beyond Africa to threaten one of the world's principal food crops, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization. Stem rust, a killer that farmers thought they had defeated 50 years ago, surfaced here in 1999, jumped the Red Sea to Yemen in 2006 and turned up in Iran last year. Crop scientists say they are powerless to stop its spread and increasingly frustrated in their efforts to find resistant plants.

Guardian, UK - An expert advisory committee has been quietly scrapped after it warned the future safety of Britain's ageing nuclear plants was being put at risk by poor performance, delays and budget cuts. The Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee, which has been offering critical advice to Britain's health and safety watchdog for nearly 50 years, was disbanded without any public announcement. . . Some former members privately suspect that NUSAC was shut down in October because it could have hampered government plans for a new program of nuclear reactors. "This was just the time to get rid of a potential pest and spanner in the works of the brave new world of nuclear regulation and build," said one.