Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Boring Amazon coverage

Bloggers love to pick on reporters, so here we go.

This latest New York Times story on Brazil sliding back into deforestation oblivion is just plan dull and lazy. I would note that for a fancy newspaper correspondent it shouldn't be that tough to get on a plane and at least walk through some part of sketchy deforested southeastern Para. This most recent story seems almost entirely based on an interview with former environment minister Marina Silva and a few phone calls to some environmental types.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hey, who’s been putting fungicide in my OJ?

Brazil, apparently. The price of orange juice hit an all-time high this week because of a flap over US imports of OJ from Brazil. The culprit: the chemical carbendazim, a chemical used to kill fungus that in high enough quantities has been linked to infertility.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Breathe free and easy, Venezuela, refinery emissions are under control

I have to admit being a bit puzzled after stumbling over this press release from Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA. The company for no apparent reason in late December put out a statement trumpeting the fact that the El Palito refinery’s emissions are up to code, based on a study done by a company that is not identified.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sao Paulo’s plastic bag war and its discontents

Brazil’s biggest city is jumping on the plastic-bag-banning-bandwagon. We’ll, actually it’s trying to. The municipal government of the 20 million strong city of Sao Paulo last year issued a decree blocking supermarkets from passing out plastic bags for free, a move backed by the state’s environment ministry. That follows bans and taxes in cities around America including Seattle and Washington D.C. and much more comprehensive efforts in European countries such as Italy and Ireland.