One hand is clapping for Conservation International and Ford Motor Company's new Center for Environmental Leadership in Business. Launched with a $25 million contribution from Ford, the joint effort will target industries that have the greatest environmental impact: transportation, manufacturing, agriculture and fisheries, forestry, energy and mining, and travel and leisure. The goal of the center is to develop and promote business practices that reduce environmental degradation and to contribute to conservation. It's a lot of talk just now, but it's also a lot of money. To keep track of the center and encourage it to actually do something, check its Web site: www.celb.org.
Keep Off the Grass
What began as an anti-lawn party has become a mini-revolution. In May 1991, the Montreal, Canada, suburb of Hudson passed a law banning the "cosmetic" use of pesticides within town boundaries-making it illegal to douse those dandelions in the garden or on private lawns. Recreational facilities such as parks and golf courses were also restricted from using pesticides. TruGreen Chemlawn and Spray Tech, two pesticide-application companies, didn't care for the ruling and challenged the law, taking it all the way to Canada's Supreme Court. This summer it became official: The high court ruled that municipalities across the country now have a right to ban pesticide use on public and private property. And for good reason: Of the 36 most commonly used lawn pesticides, 13 have been found to cause cancer, 14 cause birth defects, 15 have been linked to liver or kidney disease, and 21 damage the nervous system.
--Marilyn Berlin Snell