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.
"On Friday, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed into law a bill designed to thwart activists who go undercover to report animal abuse. This makes Iowa the first state in the country to pass such a law; Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Utah are considering them. Undercover investigations, including videos and photographs, are a principal tool used by activists of all stripes to document abuse cases and have led to legislative reforms, prosecutions and even facility closures around the country."
"A U.S. judge sided with tobacco companies on Wednesday, ruling that regulations requiring large graphic health warnings on cigarette packaging and advertising violate free-speech rights under the U.S. Constitution."
"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?"
"Fans of The Lorax have raised concerns that the new big-screen version is neglecting the environmental message of the beloved Dr. Seuss book. The movie doesn't come out until March 2, but the initial trailer and promotional materials ignited a round of complaints on the web. Now people are having a (rather justified) heart attack about the fact that The Lorax is now being used to cross-promote a new SUV."
"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.'
"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."
"Climate scientist Peter Gleick has acknowledged that he was the person who convinced the Heartland Institute to hand over the contents of its January Board package, authenticating the documents beyond a doubt and further exposing the disinformation campaign Heartland has pursued in the last week, trying to discredit the information." [Gleick called his methods in obtaining the documents an ethical lapse, and the outpouring of criticism diverted media attention from the apparent deception campaign revealed in the Heartland documents themselves. The uproar raises important issues about what methods are legitimate for investigative journalists to use in obtaining information (Gleick was not a journalist), and where the solid ground of truthfulness may be found in today's escalating conflict between science and PR. -- Ed. note]
"Leaked documents suggest that an organization known for attacking climate science is planning a new push to undermine the teaching of global warming in public schools, the latest indication that climate change is becoming a part of the nation’s culture wars."
"Documents obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy, recently unsealed as part of a major lawsuit against Syngenta, reveal how the global chemical company's PR team investigated the press and spent millions to spin news coverage and public perceptions in the face of growing concerns about potential health risks from the widely used weed-killer 'atrazine.'"
"Holy Indian reservation roulette wheels Batman! The newly launched Republic Report, an anti-corruption blog focusing on how self-interested dollars are warping the public-interest responsibilities of America's democratic institutions has actually hired convicted felon Jack Abramoff to be one of its lead bloggers."
Some coal-industyry front groups have begin a campaign to frighten Penn State into cancelling a speech by climate scientist Michael Mann -- who will be talking about coal industry efforts to silence climate scientists. Penn State has refused.
"The U.S. government will require natural gas drillers to disclose which chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing on public lands, according to draft rules crafted by the Interior Department."
"WASHINGTON -- In a stunning break with First Amendment policy, House Republicans directed Capitol Hill police to detain a highly regarded documentary crew that was attempting to film a Wednesday hearing on a controversial natural gas procurement practice. ...
"FORT WORTH, Texas — A new Texas Railroad Commission rule requiring oil and natural gas operators to publicly disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing of natural gas and oil wells takes effect Wednesday."