Today's Story Line

There's growing evidence that a pro-environment ethos is permeating the earth. Exhibit A: 400,000 worms in Sydney. They are part of the team chosen to turn Olympic cafeteria garbage into compost. Vermiculture is one of the steps being taken to make these the greenest Games ever. Some say Sydney's environmental theme helped it beat out Beijing in the race to host this year's Olympics. But Beijing is vying to be the 2008 host and, at least along the Great Wall, there's a burst of eco-activism.

It's not clear if governments in Western Europe will hold the line on gas taxes, raised annually to discourage the use of fossil-fuel vehicles. French leaders caved in to protesters last week. Other countries say they won't be bullied .

David Clark Scott World editor


ALEX AS STIRLING MOSS: Alexander MacLeod, who reports today on French-style fuel protests in Britain, has experience in beating the blockades. A few years ago, he and his wife put the family car on a train at Calais, France, and arrived the following morning at Narbonne, on the edge of the Mediterranean. "The idea was to drive off the train," Alex says, "and head down the coast for St. Tropez. What we didn't know was that French truckers, protesting about high gas prices, were picketing all roads out of Narbonne."

Twice, Alex found his way blocked by "huge rigs manned by tough-looking drivers with florid faces." On the third try he came to a traffic roundabout where trucks were just moving into position in a big circle. "I noticed a grassy traffic island in the middle, so I snaked through a narrow gap between two moving trucks, and straight across. Then I managed to nip between two more trucks just coming to a halt."

"I looked in my rear-vision mirror, expecting to see irate truckers shaking their fists at the escaping 'Les Rosbifs'. Instead, I caught a glimpse of two of the drivers obviously cheering our efforts."

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