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.
"A paltry 1.2 percent of headlines in prominent media outlets focus on environment. That's the depressing finding from a study out today that surveyed headlines from 43 news and related organizations between January 2011 and May of 2012. Interestingly, Fox News devoted significantly more time to covering the environment, including healthy doses of climate change-denial, than did MSNBC and CNN ...."
"The Justice Department on Wednesday asked a federal judge in New Orleans to require BP to produce documents that outline how it low-balled the amount of oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from its Macondo well in 2010. The estimates were sent to the Coast Guard and Congress."
"Three senior Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee defended a clean-energy grant program Wednesday, saying Republicans used misleading figures in a report earlier this month to slam the initiative."
"The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) - known by its critics as a 'corporate bill mill' - has hit the ground running in 2013, pushing 'models bills' mandating the teaching of climate change denial in public school systems."
"Last month Fox News reported on the 'grizzly deaths' of 500 songbirds in West Virginia. Behind the fell deed: a wind farm, caught red-turbined. 'To date, the Obama administration... has not prosecuted a single case against the wind industry,' the Fox reporter laments. Opponents of renewable energy love to trot out the risk wind turbines pose to birds, and some engineering work has gone into making them more avian-friendly. But a new study released today in Nature shows that if you really want to protect birds, forget about wind: You need to lock up Kitty."
It's not just that the billionaire Koch brothers have spent tens of millions to undermine science and stifle debate on climate change. It's that they do it in secret.
"Promoting a recent poll, CNN is treating climate change as a matter of opinion, saying Americans are divided over whether or not it is real. But the network itself has fueled such confusion, often failing to report that manmade emissions are driving climate change or giving credence to those who deny the science behind it."
"As NYT dismantles its environment desk, increased pressure on a handful of remaining journalists covering complexity of climate change."
Do electoral politics and industry lobbying sometimes trump science when it comes to protecting people's health? In an unusual admission, a federal appeals court rules "Yes." And EPA agrees.
"An appeals court is siding with environmental groups that had challenged Environmental Protection Agency regulations on soot as too weak.
The three-judge panel ruled Friday that the EPA regulated soot of a certain size under weaker cleanup requirements than it should have.
"BEIJING — The Chinese state news media on Monday published aggressive reports on what they described as the sickening and dangerous air pollution in Beijing and other parts of northern China, indicating that popular anger over air quality had reached a level where Communist Party propaganda officials felt that they had to allow the officially sanctioned press to address the growing concerns of ordinary citizens."
Despite New York Times execs' assurances that abolition of Times' the environment desk will not affect its own coverage, it is already changing the conversation at other news media.
"BP and its partners in the Macondo well that released an estimated 4.9 million gallons of oil over three months beginning in April 2010 should be required to inform state officials -- and the public -- of the toxic materials included in the spill, and the potential health effects of those materials, a three-judge appellate panel ruled in New Orleans on Wednesday."
"A look back on a landmark study, weird weather, Greenland's ice sheet melt, and other highlights that shaped climate change science news last year."
"There are signs that climate-change coverage is poised for a rebound after three years of decline, experts say, but the media continue to pay it scant attention, and a lot would need to happen in 2013 to change that."