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Heads in the Clouds

Britain is taking its turn at leading the Group of Eight Rich Nations (the G8), and Reuters reports that Prime Minister Tony Blair wants to use that power to make the environmental better. The only problem:  he wants help from President Bush – the only G8 leader who doesn’t really believe in global warming.

Blair told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday that he is hopeful that the United States will re-engage in talks about cutting CO2 emissions and bolstering research into renewable energy and fuel efficient technologies.

The AFP reported Wednesday that the European Commission has issued a statement criticizing the European Union for not putting enough into new clean technologies, but more so for not trying harder to convince the United States to do the same.

Reuters reported Thursday that U.S. financial and insurance firms aren’t signing on to the U.N. Environmental Program Financial Initiative – a plan to sink money into the development of clean technologies and policies instead of paying out insurance for damage caused by the severe storms, draught, and flooding spurred from global warming.

The backdrop for all of this bickering over the Earth’s environs: NASA scientists warn that the build up of greenhouse gases could turn 2005 into the hottest year ever recorded.

How Much is that Doggy in the Test Tube?

Welcome to Waunakee, Wisconsin. We clone cats.

Genetic Savings and Clone, the business that will clone a cat for $50,000 (they’re going to offer dog cloning soon), is expanding to Cheeseville, opening its doors in one of the town’s more innocuous brick buildings, according to Madison.com.

Good choice. Their office space might have been closed down in California, where Reuters reports Assembly Member Lloyd Levine has introduced a bill to outlaw the sale of cloned pets. Across the pond, Ian Wilmut – cloner of Dolly the sheep – is tired of messing with fuzzy animals, and has just been granted a license to clone human embryos for medical research.

Bugged?

Businesses love radio frequency ID (RFID tags) for tracking inventory. Consumers and school kids – not so much.

The BBC News reported Wednesday that 55 percent of Europeans surveyed were worried that RFID tags on grocery items could be used to track them after they have left the store. The AP reported on Thursday that parents of school children at Brittan Elementary School in Sutter, Calif., were worried that RFID badges worn by students were an invasion of privacy – mostly because they believe that the devices could be used to monitor the kids’ exact position every moment of the day.

Experts in both instances are still trying to explain that RFID is not GPS.

Goodbye, Farewell, Amen

On a sad note, as Salon.com reported its first profitable quarter ever, it’s founder, editor-in-chief, and CEO Dave Talbot announced that he would be stepping down. Salon, under Talbot’s leadership, is widely held as a proof-of-concept that real journalism can be practiced online.

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