Potpourri ...

Carrying symbolism to the top
Five Britons, and a South African are taking turns wearing a rubber rhinoceros costume on a trek to climb Africa's highest mountain: Kilimanjaro. A spokesperson for the London-based charity Save the Rhino International said the climbers chose to wear the costume, which weighs thirty pounds, "to dramatize the plight of the rhinoceros." The climbers hope to raise $157,400 for community rhino conservation programs in Kenya and Tanzania. (Greenwire)
Going extinct?
San Diego County Republican congressmen Duncan Hunter, Randy "Duke" Cunningham and Ron Packard have backed a resolution calling for humans to be listed in The Endangered Species Act of 1973. The resolution states that the act has led to the destruction of the economy, private property rights, human rights, freedom, quality of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The resolution concludes that bugs, birds, bunnies and bushes are being overprotected to the detriment of human beings. (San Diego Business Journal)

Energy from the past
A 1990 investigation by Congress' General Accounting Office found that more than 60% of the nation's 107 nuclear power plants were either operating with substandard parts in their safety systems or had them in their inventories. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission conducted its own "quality assessment" examinations of 13 utilities. Twelve of them flunked. Regulators conceded that "unchecked, the problem could have an impact on nuclear-plant safety." But, the NRC decided the parts problem was so pervasive that it needed to suspend regular inspections. The agency reasoned that utilities needed time to locate and replace bad parts. The GAO criticized the move, rightly arguing that the NRC was "reducing its regulatory influence over the nuclear industry." The agency promised Congress it would resume routine inspections in 1991, but it never did. Why not? Industry analysts told the Christian Science Monitor that the bogus parts problem is so widespread, the NRC would have to force numerous shutdowns so utilities could replace key parts. Instead the agency launched a new policy - without informing Congress - which merely requires inspections when a performance problem arises. The NRC says it will explain to Congress by December 1, its reasons for changing the inspection policy - in the face of its mandate from the Atomic Energy Act - to ensure that nuclear power plants do not endanger public health and safety. (Garbage Magazine)
How many are we?
San Diego County population totaled an estimated 2,664,800 on July 1, 1193 according to the California Department of Finance. There was an increase of 28,500 from July 1, 1992, an annual gain of only 1.1 percent. While the gain in population give the County the most residents ever, the amount of growth declined considerably in 1993. San Diego's peak growth during the 80s added 91,800 in 1989 for an annual gain of 3.9 percent. The increase in 1992 was 57,100 or 2.2 percent.
The increase of San Diego's 1993 population was due to more births than deaths among residents rather than migration - which showed a net decline of 3,720 in 1993, the first decline in 28 years. More people moved out of San Diego than to the area for the first time since 1965. At the same time foreign immigration increased by 19,935 contrasted with an exodus of 23,665 of San Diego residents.
San Diego ranked fourth in the state for growth behind Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles counties. San Diego remains California's second largest county in total population.
(Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce & San Diego Union-Tribune)
Jumbo shrimp are bigger than you think
Shrimping wastes more marine life than any other type of commercial fishing operation in the United States. The long funnel-shaped nets used by shrimp-fishing trawlers hit the ocean bottom like underwater tornadoes, sucking up and killing anywhere from one to 20 pounds of fish for every pound of shrimp. Millions of pounds of immature catfish, croaker, mackerel, flounder, red snapper, and other fish are hauled up in the trawlers' nets and tossed back into the sea dead or dying. This "bycatch" may be able to be reduced by half with gear being developed by the National Marine Fisheries Service. (Sierra Magazine)

trees are a billion-
dollar business in the U.S.
Some 35 million are
harvested each year by
15,000 growers who work year-
round developing new varieties and pruning for
ornamentation perfection. The largest
producer of Christmas trees in the
world, Kirk Co., has farms all over North
America. For every tree they
cut, they plant two. Remember if
you buy acut tree, recycle
it. Watch for locations near you,
or callthe County's RecyclingHotline
at 1-800-237-2583
or I Love a
Clean San
Diego at
467-0103. (LIFE magazine)

Energize for the future
Shell International Petroleum Company in London, released a draft of a study predicting that renewable sources will dominate world energy production by 2050. The study contradicts predictions by several international energy groups. Most of the new demand for energy in the next 30 years will come from
developing countries. If they have access to new energy technologies, they may skip the fossil fuel phase entirely. The study predicts that renewable energy technologies may become competitive with fossil fuels around 2020 or 2030. (Scientific American)

Strive for Five
The National Cancer Institute recommends that we "Strive for Five:" five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day. It's not difficult to get your five: orange juice with breakfast, and a salad or vegetable with dinner will do it. If you eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, every day, you'll cut your cancer risk in half. But surveys show that only about 9 percent of Americans get their daily five, and a recent one-day analysis of the diets of 12,000 showed that 41 percent ate no fruit at all, and only 25 percent ate a fruit or vegetable rich in vitamins A or C.