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.
"National standards should be set for building construction, storm shelters and emergency communications to reduce death and damage from tornados, a federal agency that studied the deadly 2011 tornado in Joplin, Missouri, recommended on Thursday."
"WASHINGTON -- Only blocks away, the Energy Department manages the search for quarks and NASA scours the heavens for Earth-like planets. But inside a big white tent on the National Mall, the focus is on something simpler: oak, ash and elm, and how to make them heat a house with as little pollution as possible."
"This year’s World Food Prize laureates called on a hungry world to embrace the seeds they helped develop, despite controversy that threatens to limit the reach of biotech crops."
"Three researchers who played prominent roles in developing genetically modified crops — Mary-Dell Chilton of Syngenta, Robert T. Fraley of Monsanto and Marc Van Montagu of Belgium — were awarded the World Food Prize on Thursday at the Iowa Capitol. The music- and history-filled ceremony highlighted the prize’s biggest and most controversial week yet."
"When it snowed in Flagstaff, Ariz., recently, thousands of people woke up and turned up their electric heating, and Arizona Public Service saw electricity demand reach a morning peak. To meet the demand, the company used the previous afternoon’s sunshine."
"Legislators on the island of Kauai in Hawaii have approved a bill that would restrict the use of pesticides by companies developing genetically modified crops there."
"When senior scientist Walter Tamosaitis warned in 2011 about fundamental design flaws at the nation's largest facility to treat radioactive waste in Hanford, Wash., he was assigned to work in a basement room without office furniture or a telephone. On Wednesday, Tamosaitis, an employee of San Francisco-based URS Corp., was laid off from his job after 44 years with the company."
"As evidence mounts that excessive use of light is harming wildlife and adversely affecting human health, new initiatives in France and elsewhere are seeking to turn down the lights that flood an ever-growing part of the planet."
"WASHINGTON — A troubled new computer system used by inspectors at the nation’s 6,500 meatpacking and processing plants shut down for two days this month, putting at risk millions of pounds of beef, poultry, pork and lamb that had left the plants before workers could collect samples to check for E. coli bacteria and other contaminants."
"Hyperloop plans revealed Monday envision a 'fifth mode of transport' in which passengers travel at extreme speeds through tubes to reach their destination. Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, says the idea is 'extremely speculative.' But if Elon Musk's hyperloop is ever built, it could revolutionize transportation and energy."
"RENSSELAER, N.Y. — After the lights went out for 50 million people from the Northeast to the Midwest on Aug. 14, 2003, investigators found readings from two obscure instruments that would have given them an hour’s warning — plenty of time to solve the problem if the devices had been wired to provide a stream of critical data."
"The Central Intelligence Agency is funding a scientific study that will investigate whether humans could use geoengineering to alter Earth's environment and stop climate change."
"Across the Midwestern corn belt, a familiar battle has resumed, hidden in the soil. On one side are tiny, white larvae of the corn rootworm. On the other side are farmers and the insect-killing arsenal of modern agriculture."
"We have to confess: When we heard that Twinkies will have nearly double the shelf life, 45 days, when they return to stores next week, our first reaction was -- days? Not years?"
"Every year, people add 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide to the air, mostly by burning fossil fuels. That's contributing to climate change. A few scientists have been dreaming about ways to pull some of that CO2 out of the air, but face stiff skepticism and major hurdles. This is the story of one scientist who's pressing ahead."