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.
"At long last, mainstream media begins to pay attention to the flat denial of basic climate science being pushed by right-wing Republican presidential candidates."
"Plants and animals are responding up to three times faster to climate change than previously estimated, as wildlife shifts to cooler altitudes and latitudes, researchers said on Thursday."
NASA is arguing that it doesn't have to come up with any changes in its scientific integrity policy -- including rules limiting how its scientists can talk to reporters. Most federal agencies are under White House orders to come up with new policies, although not all of them have made their draft policies public. Some of the policies for achieving the Obama administration's pledge of scientific openness are still secret.
"Two Australian retirees invoke the 'father of modern science' in their fight against the hegemony of settled climate science. But their arguments - and the advisors supporting them - draw from a deep history of climate science denial and distortion."
"Atmospheric levels of methane, 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2) at trapping heat, stayed steady for two decades to 2006 on wider fertilizer use to grow rice or a surge in natural gas demand, according to two separate studies in the journal Nature.
Climate researcher Fuu Ming Kai from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Singapore research center said in one study that methane output from rice fields in the Northern Hemisphere dropped during the period as fertilizers replaced manure and because of reduced water use.
"Ready or not, the era of big data is coming to ecology. After years of discussion and debate, the United States is moving forward with an environmental monitoring network that promises to help transform a traditionally small-scale, local science into a continental-scale group enterprise."
"Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity have asked the Department of the Interior to look into whether the recent suspension of a biologist violates rules meant to protect scientific research from political interference.
The news of the suspension has prompted widespread debate, with environmental groups alleging a connection to plans to drill oil in the Arctic reserve.
The Interior Department scientist who first warned of climate change as a threat to polar bears in a 5-year-old peer-reviewed paper has been suspended. The Obama administration has been accused of hounding him so it can open up the fragile Arctic to drilling by Shell and other companies.
"Climate scientists have turned to the United States and Australian navies to deploy robotic measuring devices in the Indian Ocean where pirates have made the area too dangerous for researchers."
"As record-shattering heat cripples Oklahoma, Sen. Jim ('global warming is a hoax') Inhofe (R-OK) failed to show for an fossil-industry-funded climate denial conference. A shrinking band of far-right economists, lawyers, and a few scientists have gathered in Washington, DC, for the Heartland Institute’s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change, funded, like Inhofe himself, by Koch Industries and Exxon Mobil. Inhofe was scheduled to be the denier conference’s keynote speaker, but he bailed out, explaining appropriately that he is 'under the weather'"
"There’s a ripple of unease among many scientists who study the warming of the planet these days. Some have faced harassment, legal challenges and even death threats related to their research, the American Association for the Advancement of Science reports."
"Willie Soon, a U.S. climate change skeptic who has also discounted the health risks of mercury emissions from coal, has received more than $1 million in funding in recent years from large energy companies and an oil industry group, according to Greenpeace."
"The American public is less likely to believe in global warming than it was just five years ago. Yet, paradoxically, scientists are more confident than ever that climate change is real and caused largely by human activities."
In the race for the GOP presidential nomination, even candidates who previously accepted climate science and backed cap-and-trade are backtracking and changing position as fast as they can.