The availability of government data has soared over the last decade — offering a huge opportunity for watchdog journalists to find stories that advance the public interest. The environmental beat is the Saudi Arabia of data (yes, that means vast, rich, accessible, and untapped reserves).
"Europe launched a satellite on Tuesday that will help predict weather phenomena such as El Nino and track the progress of global warming as part of the multibillion-euro Copernicus Earth observation project."
"Carbon dioxide pumped into old oil wells could react with salt water and erode ‘host rocks’ and cement, researchers find".
"Spurred by renewed fears of the fabled “Big One” shattering the West Coast, the Obama administration on Tuesday promoted stronger earthquake-preparedness efforts as part of a first-of-its-kind White House summit."
The database, which covers a list of some 689 toxic chemicals, includes self-reported information about dangerous chemicals handled and released at industrial facilities during 2014, the latest year for which data is available. Companies reported the 2014 totals in mid-2015.
"UK scientists have been given the go-ahead by the fertility regulator to genetically modify human embryos."
"Just a few years ago, the compact fluorescent light was the go-to choice for customers seeking an inexpensive, energy-efficient replacement for the standard incandescent bulb. But as the light quality of LEDs improved and their cost plummeted, manufacturers and retailers began shifting their efforts in that direction."
"In Michigan, leaders talk about a "blue economy," everything from reviving waterfronts to lakefront tourism to new technology that cleans, treats or saves water. In Wisconsin, they're also linking water and economic revitalization. Nowhere are they testing the idea of a water tech economy more urgently than Milwaukee."
"Analysts have long argued that nations aiming to use wind and solar power to curb emissions from fossil fuel burning would first have to invest heavily in new technologies to store electricity produced by these intermittent sources—after all, the sun isn’t always shining and the wind isn’t always blowing. But a study out today suggests that the United States could, at least in theory, use new high-voltage power lines to move renewable power across the nation, and essentially eliminate the need to add new storage capacity."