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.
"What landed in the Tyee's inbox was entirely in keeping with the government's handling of a contentious proposal by a natural gas company to divert large quantities of water out of Williston Reservoir. When word leaked that the government had approved the diversion scheme, a rather strange statement was issued that began by noting that the provincial Cabinet minister in charge was unavailable."
"At long last, mainstream media begins to pay attention to the flat denial of basic climate science being pushed by right-wing Republican presidential candidates."
"The Environmental Protection Agency is emerging as a favorite target of the Republican presidential candidates, who portray it as the very symbol of a heavy-handed regulatory agenda imposed by the Obama administration that they say is strangling the economy."
NASA is arguing that it doesn't have to come up with any changes in its scientific integrity policy -- including rules limiting how its scientists can talk to reporters. Most federal agencies are under White House orders to come up with new policies, although not all of them have made their draft policies public. Some of the policies for achieving the Obama administration's pledge of scientific openness are still secret.
"The federal Conservative party has sent a threatening email to the widow of an asbestos victim in the latest chapter of Canada's debate over the hazardous mineral."
Bottled water companies seem to be actively marketing their products to minority groups. Latinos and African Americans spend a higher portion of their income on bottled water than whites do, and surveys say this is because they view tap water as risky. There is evidence that public drinking water systems in minority communities are either lacking or less safe.
"Two Australian retirees invoke the 'father of modern science' in their fight against the hegemony of settled climate science. But their arguments - and the advisors supporting them - draw from a deep history of climate science denial and distortion."
"Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity have asked the Department of the Interior to look into whether the recent suspension of a biologist violates rules meant to protect scientific research from political interference.
The news of the suspension has prompted widespread debate, with environmental groups alleging a connection to plans to drill oil in the Arctic reserve.
Oil and gas executives have long claimed that there is no case in which hydraulic fracturing has contaminated a drinking water aquifer. But such a case exists. And one of the biggest bars to enumerating suspected additional cases is the oil and gas industry's refusal to allow disclosure of them -- a condition of court settlements with landowners.
"Three judges who will hear a coal slurry pollution lawsuit against Massey Energy have declared any reference to a deadly 2010 mine explosion off limits for the August trial and ordered the plaintiffs' lawyers to avoid inflammatory phrases including 'poison' or 'toxic soup' in opening statements."
The number of environmental reporters at newspapers and other mainstream media has been decreasing rapidly in recent years, in Michigan and elsewhere. One result is a public that is less informed about the basic facts needed to understand the government and business policy choices that affect their lives. Now new alternatives -- including student journalism -- are starting to fill the gap.
"As the nation moves through a year of remarkable floods, drought and its deadliest tornado season in half a century, the broadcast meteorologist has emerged as an unlikely hero."
"When it comes to reporting on climate change, European media are from hothouse Venus, and their American counterparts are from considerably more frigid Mars. The divide between them may be having a profound impact on climate and energy policy in either part of the world."
"Willie Soon, a U.S. climate change skeptic who has also discounted the health risks of mercury emissions from coal, has received more than $1 million in funding in recent years from large energy companies and an oil industry group, according to Greenpeace."
"When the energy industry publishes a coloring book, there is no crayon needed to see the shades of gray."