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.
"Black carbon, the soot produced by burning fossil fuels and biomass, is a more potent atmospheric pollutant than previously thought, according to a four-year international study released on Tuesday."
Do electoral politics and industry lobbying sometimes trump science when it comes to protecting people's health? In an unusual admission, a federal appeals court rules "Yes." And EPA agrees.
"An appeals court is siding with environmental groups that had challenged Environmental Protection Agency regulations on soot as too weak.
The three-judge panel ruled Friday that the EPA regulated soot of a certain size under weaker cleanup requirements than it should have.
Despite New York Times execs' assurances that abolition of Times' the environment desk will not affect its own coverage, it is already changing the conversation at other news media.
"Representative Jack Kingston (R-GA), the incoming chair of the U.S. House of Representatives panel that controls the budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has a long-standing reputation as a conservative budget hawk intent on reducing government spending. He's also known for being skeptical that humans are contributing to climate change and for rejecting Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. But although that record might make many scientists anxious, his reputation as an inside operator who understands the importance of funding research makes many science boosters breathe a little easier. "
"GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Seven federal fisheries scientists filed a complaint Monday claiming their supervisor censored their research into the water needs of threatened Klamath Basin salmon because it was viewed by others as biased, violating an Obama administration policy prohibiting political manipulation of science by the federal government."
"PITTSBURGH -- An ongoing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study on natural gas drilling and its potential for groundwater contamination has gotten tentative praise so far from both industry and environmental groups."
"I would guess a few Green readers had the experience, over the holidays, of arguing yet again about global warming with a parent or brother-in-law who thinks it’s all a big hoax. ... Fortunately, the M.I.T. climate scientist Kerry Emanuel has provided us with a solution to this problem: an updated edition of 'What We Know About Climate Change,' his 2007 book explaining the science of global warming."
Will the world end Friday? Well, actually, it's already Friday in Kiribati (a Pacific island vulnerable to sea-level rise), and we have no reports of apocalypse. NASA scientists were so confident that they issued their retrospective world-didn't-end video 10 days ahead of time. Turns out the whole story was whomped up by some stoned hippies decades ago. Mayan scholars call it baloney. As to climate-caused sea-level rise, NASA is still issuing warnings. The entire nation of Kiribati is still planning to relocate ahead of rising seas.
"A signature battle of the energy boom, a public fight over a waste-water deep disposal well, plays out amid scientific uncertainty over safety in a small town."
"A WikiLeaks-style Web dump of drafts of the 2013 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change provides fresh evidence that the organization’s policies and procedures are a terrible fit for an era in which transparency will increasingly be enforced on organizations working on consequential energy and environmental issues."
"MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- It didn't take long for the new associate professor at West Virginia University to give the state's most powerful industry a bad case of heartburn."
"Spurred by mounting scientific evidence, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is initiating a new effort to examine whether low doses of hormone-mimicking chemicals are harming human health and whether chemical testing should be overhauled."
"Jerry Mahlman, a leading climatologist who for many years headed the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dyamics Lab, died on November 28. In the 1990s I saw him play a pioneering role in interpreting the science of global warming to policymakers and the public. In 2006, in comments we posted, he called out NOAA Administrator Lautenbacher for political interference with science communication at his agency. A sad loss of a terrific guy and a great asset to the community."
"NOAA’s leader, Jane Lubchenco, announced [Wednesday] morning she is leaving the agency at the end of February (2013)."
"As scrutiny increases over the relationship between oil and gas industry funding and academic research, universities are likely to take a second look at their conflict-of-interest guidelines."