EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"Hurricane Sandy and the havoc it wreaked on New York City and the rest of the Northeast in 2012 could prove to be a turning point in how people think about the way electricity is produced and distributed, particularly in storm-prone areas, with some states and cities starting to turn to what are known as microgrids."
"A fast-moving wildfire ripped through rolling hills and ranch land in rural northern California on Tuesday, after destroying 30 homes overnight and prompting more than 500 area residents to evacuate, fire officials said."
"MIAMI -- The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which forecasters had predicted would be more active than normal, has turned out to be something of a dud so far as an unusual calm hangs over the tropics."
"As the season heads into the historic peak for activity, it may even enter the record books as marking the quietest start to any Atlantic hurricane season in decades.
'It certainly looks like pretty much of a forecast bust,' said Jeff Masters, a hurricane expert and director of meteorology at the Weather Underground."
"Japanese authorities are unable to control the radioactive water leaking out of the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant. Now the government plans to install a wall of ice around the facility to contain the contaminated water. Ed Lyman, from the Union of Concerned Scientists, tells host Steve Curwood that the new ice wall plan is likely an act of desperation, and that some American reactors are at risk for the same kind of flooding disaster."
"NARAHA, Japan -- In this small farming town in the evacuation zone surrounding the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, small armies of workers in surgical masks and rubber gloves are busily scraping off radioactive topsoil in a desperate attempt to fulfill the central government’s vow one day to allow most of Japan’s 83,000 evacuees to return. Yet, every time it rains, more radioactive contamination cascades down the forested hillsides along the rugged coast."
"Japan pledged nearly $500 million to contain leaks and decontaminate radioactive water from the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, as the government stepped up its intervention in the worst atomic disaster in a quarter century."
"Firefighters in California gained ground on Monday against a massive wildfire burning part of Yosemite National Park, although complete containment may be weeks away, officials said."
"TOKYO -- A crisis over contaminated water at Japan's stricken nuclear plant worsened on Saturday when the plant's operator said it had detected high radiation levels near storage tanks, a finding that raised the possibility of additional leaks."
"Confronted with images of corpses floating in the blackened floodwaters or baking in the sun on abandoned highways, there aren't too many people left who see what happened following Hurricane Katrina as a purely 'natural' disaster. The dominant narratives that have emerged, in the four years since the storm, are of a gross human tragedy, compounded by social inequities and government ineptitude—a crisis subsequently exploited in every way possible for political and financial gain."
"No one understands risk better than the insurance industry — except, perhaps, the reinsurance industry, the companies that sell insurance to insurers, which also need protection from risk exposure. As the risk managers for the risk managers, reinsurers follow climate change obsessively. A great deal of money is at stake. ..."
"The largest wildfire in the United States continued its destructive march through the Sierra Nevada on Tuesday, pushing further into Yosemite National Park and for the first time burning nearly to the edge of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, the linchpin of the water supply for 2.6 million Bay Area residents from San Francisco to Silicon Valley."
"One of the firefighting teams trying to contain the Rim Fire in and around Yosemite National Park is the Geronimo Hotshots team from San Carlos, Ariz., one of seven elite Native American firefighting crews in the U.S."
"Beaver Valley nuclear power plant may have failed part of an April federal safety drill in which mock intruders attack the plant, federal regulators and the plant owners said on Monday."
"TUOLUMNE CITY, Calif. -- Crews were finally gaining ground by late Monday on a massive wildfire burning near Yosemite National Park as officials also expressed optimism that no water or power disruptions would come from the blaze burning along the shores of the main reservoir that supplies San Francisco."