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.
"Police officers investigating the theft of thousands of private emails between climate scientists from a University of East Anglia server in 2009 have seized computer equipment belonging to a web content editor based at the University of Leeds.
"Some media reported that a new analysis of environmental links to breast cancer tells women to stop worrying about consumer products. But these stories ignore the report’s explanation that definitive evidence is not attainable and lack of human evidence of harm doesn’t mean something is safe.The real news is that for the first time, an authoritative medical group stated that scientific evidence plausibly links pollutants and industrial chemicals with biological activity that suggests breast cancer risk."
"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- U.S. Labor Department officials blocked an independent state team investigating the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster from digging into questions about the federal government's response to earlier incidents where methane leaked from the Raleigh County operation's mine floor, newly disclosed records show."
"BEIJING — Armed with a device that looks like an old transistor radio, some Beijing residents are recording pollution levels and posting them online. It’s an act that borders on subversion. The government keeps secret all data on the fine particles that shroud China’s capital in a health-threatening smog most days. But as they grow more prosperous, Chinese are demanding the right to know what the government does not tell them: just how polluted their city is."
"DENVER -- Colorado regulators decided Monday night to wait a week before they start deliberating a proposal to require oil and gas companies to publicly disclose what chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing."
"Millions of cattle graze on public lands all over the West and have done so for more than a century. But a new complaint filed by an environmental group charges that despite Clinton-era moves to examine and diminish the impact of grazing in the arid West, Interior Department employees have blocked the use of federal data on the impact in regional scientific studies.
"Californians concerned about dangerous pipelines running underneath their neighborhoods are barred from obtaining government records about them by a 60-year-old state law backed by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and other utilities, a Chronicle investigation shows."
"Large and small companies have told Republican-led congressional committees what the party wants to hear: dire predictions of plant closings and layoffs if the Obama administration succeeds with plans to further curb air and water pollution. But their message to financial regulators and investors conveys less gloom and certainty."
"Disturbing images of pregnant bellies confronted commuters in Washington, DC this week. The threat of mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants affecting babies was splashed across 160 subway cars as part of the Sierra Club's new campaign."
As the Supercommittee casts about for ways to reduce the federal deficit, the massive taxpayer subsidies for massively profitable oil and gas companies have been mentioned as a possible cut. The industry has mounted a big ad campaign and media blitz to deny that the subsidies are real.
"All this month [October], the market has been saturated with pink-ribbon products sold in the name of breast cancer awareness, some with dubious ties to good health. How about some pink-certified wine? Or how about a Smith & Wesson handgun with a pink grip and engraved ribbon insignia?
"The Interior Department plans to issue a proposal soon forcing companies to reveal the chemicals they use in the so-called fracking drilling process on federal lands, as the Obama administration responds to public safety concerns over the shale exploration boom."
Clyde Butcher, a photographer who lives in the Everglades, uses his nature photographs to support calls for conservation. He's a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers, who address issues ranging from poaching to global warming.
"Gavin Schmidt, the climate modeler at NASA and Columbia University who has long endured the slings and arrows that come with blogging on climate, has now gained a laurel for his efforts — the inaugural $25,000 Climate Communications Prize of the American Geophysical Union. [The geophysical union release is now posted.]"
"In 2008, both the Democratic and Republican candidates for president, Barack Obama and John McCain, warned about man-made global warming and supported legislation to curb emissions. After he was elected, President Obama promised 'a new chapter in America's leadership on climate change,' and arrived cavalry-like at the 2009 United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen to broker a global pact.
But two years later, now that nearly every other nation accepts climate change as a pressing problem, America has turned agnostic on the issue."