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.
"HAGERSTOWN, Md. -- A 2009 federal study that concluded groundwater contamination from Fort Detrick was unlikely to have harmful health effects was flawed, a national scientific panel said Monday, prompting two U.S. senators to demand a faster cleanup of the Superfund site in Frederick [MD]."
"RICHMOND -- After two years and more than half a million dollars in legal fees, the Virginia Supreme Court on Friday rejected Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II's assertion that the state's flagship university had to turn over documents related to global warming. The decision was a defeat for Cuccinelli (R), a global-warming skeptic who has garnered national attention for a string of high-profile lawsuits, just as he kicks off his campaign for governor next year. ..."
Budget pressures -- at least politically perceived ones -- are threatening basic science about the nation's water resources. In recent years the US Geologican Survey has cut back its programs for measuring streamflow and water quality -- which help protect people from flood disasters and drinking unhealthful water.
Tornado warnings mean life or death -- as recent storms in the Midwest showed. Minutes count, and better staffing and technology can help the National Weather Service save lives with earlier tornado warnings. But the political drive to cut federal agency budgets are hurting the NWS's ability to improve forcasts, a federal employee union says.
"MONTREAL -- The Canadian asbestos sector wants Ottawa's help to challenge a death-toll estimate from the World Health Organization that says asbestos-related diseases kill more than 100,000 people every year."
"Exposure to certain pollutants early in a rat’s pregnancy can foster disease in her offspring during their adulthood as well as in subsequent generations, a new study shows. A wide range of pollutants elicited such lasting effects, despite future generations never encountering the triggering pollutant."
"An associate of the Heartland Institute, the thinktank devoted to discrediting climate change, taught a course at a top Canadian university that contained more than 140 false, biased and misleading claims about climate science, an expert audit has found."
"One revelation from the recent Heartland Institute document leak is that the group is crafting a K-12 curriculum to teach kids that global warming is 'controversial.' Heartland officials have confirmed this. So is climate change set to join evolution as the next big classroom controversy?"
"A European experiment that in September showed particles moving faster than the speed of light has been exposed as a mistake due to a faulty wire connection, the US journal Science said Wednesday.
'A bad connection between a GPS unit and a computer may be to blame,' said the report on the magazine’s website section Science Insider, citing 'sources familiar with the experiment.'
"Earth's clouds got a little lower - about one percent on average - during the first decade of this century, finds a new NASA-funded university study based on NASA satellite data. The results have potential implications for future global climate."
"According to one of the documents that came out in last week's scandal, the Heartland Institute plans to pay a federal scientist for his contributions to an annual climate-denial report. The proposed 2012 budget for the institute is one of the more interesting things to come out of the Heartland documents that were passed around the internet, as it includes a $1,000-per-month payment to a Department of Interior employee."
"GOP scientists say their attempts to talk about climate dangers with their party's politicians and their aides have largely fallen on deaf ears."
"VANCOUVER -- Amid revelations of a well-funded U.S. organisation's plans to deliberately distort climate science, scientists and journalists at a major scientific conference called on the Canadian government to stop its muzzling of scientists. For the past four years, the Canadian government has been denying timely access to government scientists even when their findings are published in leading scientific journals, said scientists and journalists in a special session of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science meeting here in Vancouver, British Columbia."
"The climate sceptic thinktank chaired by former chancellor Lord Lawson, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), has been ruled not 'influential' enough to warrant making the Charity Commission disclose its seed funder, an information rights tribunal ruled on Tuesday."
"MOSCOW -- It was an Ice Age squirrel's treasure chamber, a burrow containing fruit and seeds that had been stuck in the Siberian permafrost for over 30,000 years. From the fruit tissues, a team of Russian scientists managed to resurrect an entire plant in a pioneering experiment that paves the way for the revival of other species.
The Silene stenophylla is the oldest plant ever to be regenerated, the researchers said, and it is fertile, producing white flowers and viable seeds.