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.
"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."
"A blue-ribbon panel of scientific and technology advisers to President Obama warns that the nation risks losing its longstanding supremacy in food production because research in agriculture has not kept up with new challenges like climate change, depleted land and water resources and emerging pests, pathogens and invasive plants."
"The University of Texas said today that it has accepted the findings of a damning independent review of the preparation of a report on potential impacts of shale gas drilling by the school’s Energy Institute. The school said it will undertake six recommended actions, the most significant being the withdrawal of papers from the Energy Institute’s Web site related to the report until they are submitted for fresh expert review."
"Checking 20 years' of projections by the foremost global climate science panel against reality finds that the group has consistently underestimated the pace and impacts of climate change – with severe consequences for the public it is tasked to inform."
Don't believe everything you read in the news media. A new study of 13,950 peer-reviewed scientific articles published between 1 January 1991 and 9 November 2012 reports that only 24 of them, or 0.17% rejected the idea that human activity was causing global warming. It was self-published by geologist-blogger James Lawrence Powell.
"Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), a skeptic of man-made global warming, is set to take over the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology in the 113th Congress."