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.
"Pinpointing the amount of oil lingering in the Gulf of Mexico continues to be a source of frustration for journalists and scientists alike, with multiple, contradictory — if not necessarily 'dueling' —research reports having been published on the subject over the last few weeks."
"It has been the summer of polling discontent, or at least the dog days of disagreement on climate change."
"A month after the Deepwater Horizon disaster began, scientists from the University of South Florida made a startling announcement. They had found signs that the oil spewing from the well had formed a 6-mile-wide plume snaking along in the deepest recesses of the gulf. The reaction that USF announcement received from the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agencies that sponsored their research: Shut up."
"The government is still keeping crucial information about the extent of the damage a carefully guarded secret--from everyone except BP."
An oil-industry-funded PR 'War Room' stands ready to kill or counter any public discourse unfavorable to the oil industry. The conservative non-profit group running it has been accused of shaking down BP. They are working hard to elect Republiicans to the Senate.
Bloomberg News is gamely standing by a story in which critics say it inaccurately interprets its own polling data -- to imply that most Americans oppose President Obama's temporary deepwater drilling ban.
BP and the Coast Guard, after months of blocking news media from covering the Gulf spill, say they have gone straight. One whistleblower who used to help them block TV coverage is now telling all.
"As it works to reshape the oil industry's image, American Petroleum Institute's media shop has nabbed a former spokesman for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce."
"Annie Leonard used to spout jargon. She reveled in the sort of geek-speak that glazes your eyeballs. ... Today the 45-year-old Berkeley activist is America's pitchperson for a new style of environmental message. Out with boring PowerPoints and turgid reports; in with witty videos that explain complex issues in digestible terms."
"The Coast Guard has modified a policy on safety zones around boom deployed on oiled coastlines, a policy news organizations had said unnecessarily restricted coverage of the impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and efforts to clean it up."
Mainstream news media have given far less coverage to the five major panels that have debunked the "climategate" stolen-email flap kicked up by the fossil-fuel blogosphere than they did to the original charges now proven false.
"Last March, President Obama promised he'd have a strategy for restoring scientific integrity to the federal government on hand by July 29. A full year later, federal agencies still have not received any new directives and some government scientists say that conditions have not improved noticeably since Obama took power."
"OTTAWA - Federal politicians from the government and opposition benches have mysteriously cancelled an 18-month investigation into oilsands pollution in water and opted to destroy draft copies of their final report."
Despite orders from the "incident commander" and denials by BP, press access to both federal and BP Gulf operations is still restricted. An HHS mobile clinic is surrounded by barbed wire, guarded by police, and declared off limits to reporters by federal "press officers" whose salaries are paid by your taxes.
Clean-looking sand is being dumped on the beaches of Grand Isle, and some of it is layered over asphalt-like oil residue, according to several reports based on photo and video documentation. But whether this is being done to fortify beaches or to hide oilspill damage is impossible to say -- because of a BP-Coast Guard media blackout threatening $40,000 fines to anyone who tries to get close enough to tell.