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.
"The rotting bodies of about 6,000 pigs in a river that supplies tap water to Shanghai has drawn attention to an ugly truth -- China's pig farms are often riddled with disease and one way or another, sick animals often end up in the food chain."
"Last year, as hot, dry conditions fueled blazes across the West, nearly 10 million acres of U.S. land were burned in what ended up being one of the costliest and most destructive wildfire seasons in the nation’s history. In the middle of all that, the U.S. Forest Service, which manages nearly 200 million acres of public land, didn’t do itself any favors when it reversed nearly two decades of national policy and ordered an 'aggressive initial attack' on all blazes within the agency’s jurisdiction, no matter how small or remote."
"A comprehensive USDA study concludes rising temperatures could cost farmers millions as they battle new pests, faster weed growth and get smaller yields as climate change continues."
"ESTREMOZ, PORTUGAL — We spent Christmas in a cabin on a hillside in the cork oak forest that clothes much of southern and central Portugal. We hiked along streams awakened by the winter rains. After dinner we walked under shockingly bright stars, undimmed by light pollution, listening to owls and the tinkle of bells from goats."
"PERTH, Australia -- Australian police and defense forces searched burned-out vehicles and homes in the towns worst hit by wildfires on the island of Tasmania, where more than 40 fires still raged on Sunday."
The American chestnut once dominated the forest landscape from Georgia to Maine. Then the blight struck, and by the 1950s, it was all but extinct. Now, after 30 years of breeding and crossbreeding, the American Chestnut Foundation believes it has developed a blight-resistant tree.
"The death rate of many of the biggest and oldest trees around the world is increasing rapidly, scientists report in a new study in Friday’s issue of the journal Science. They warned that research to understand and stem the loss of the trees is urgently needed."
"Norway has agreed to give $180 million to Brazil as part of a broader $1 billion deal for slowing deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, Oslo's environment minister said on Thursday."
"Norway has promised $1 billion each to Brazil and Indonesia for protecting their tropical rainforests and warned Jakarta earlier this year that its progress in reforming its forestry sector will not be sufficient to meet its pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 26 percent by 2020.
The giant sequoia's ability to grow faster as it ages makes it a champ at carbon sequestration.
"The Supreme Court [Monday] weighed whether a U.S. EPA rule issued Friday could resolve a dispute over stormwater runoff from logging roads."
"Foresters are on the watch for a potential invasion of an insect that has decimated millions of acres of forest across the West and in Canada, with continued evidence showing the mountain pine bark beetle is on the march into Nevada and the Sierra."
"It is known that mountain pine beetle infestations have the potential to raise nearby air temperatures by killing off trees that provide a natural refrigerator effect for forests. Now, researchers are releasing hard numbers documenting how the pests' invasions affected a specific place."
"The Obama administration [Wednesday] released a final rule setting aside 9.6 million acres of critical habitat for the federally threatened northern spotted owl, a species whose population continues to slide despite decades of conservation efforts."
"Britain is facing its worst ecological disaster in at least a generation, as a devastating fungus that has already wiped out most of continental Europe's ash trees, appears to have taken root in rural England, conservationists say."