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.
"The Cold War brought mercury to Oak Ridge, and it never really left. In the 1950s and early 1960s, the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant used enormous quantities of mercury — about 24 million pounds all told — to process lithium for hydrogen bombs.The work was urgent, secret and messy."
"Canada is formally withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, abandoning the world's only legally binding plan to tackle global warming."
"Stephen Harper heads to the White House on Wednesday to unveil a long-awaited border security agreement with U.S. President Barack Obama, but the visit comes at a particularly tense moment in Canada-U.S. relations as TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline saga rages on."
"Aboriginal groups in the Canadian Pacific province of British Columbia said on Thursday they had formed a united front to oppose all exports of crude oil from the Alberta tar sands through their territories."
"African leaders including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jay Naidoo of former President Nelson Mandela's cabinet, and Zwelinzima Vavi, general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, on Wednesday released an ad calling on Canada to step up the battle against global warming, rather than actively promote the use of its tar sands."
"Global climate talks got an inauspicious start in Durban, South Africa, on Monday with reports that Canada planned to withdraw fully from the Kyoto Protocol, a carbon-limiting multinational treaty first adopted in 1997 and scheduled to expire in 2012."
"While the Canadian government continues to block the inclusion of chrysotile asbestos from a UN agreement on hazardous materials, millions of dollars are being spent to remove the controversial substance from the Parliamentary Buildings and since Aug. 31, a combined total of more than 1,000 metric tonnes of asbestos have been removed from the West Block and Wellington Building, says Public Works."
"Most of the world, including the medical community, agrees that asbestos is desperately dangerous. The World Health Organization reports that more than 100,000 people die every year from lung cancer and other respiratory diseases due to asbestos exposure. And many more will die, because 125 million people are exposed to asbestos in their workplaces today and every day.
"VANCOUVER -- A Canadian environmental organization has launched a new automated system to draw public attention to the number and size of the oil tankers that transit Vancouver's Burrard Inlet."
"TORONTO -- More than a decade after the Walkerton disaster, much of Canada's tap water remains at risk from contamination despite initial progress in front-line monitoring and treatment, a new report concludes."
"The Obama administration, under sharp pressure from officials in Nebraska and restive environmental activists, announced Thursday that it would review the route of the disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline, effectively delaying any decision about its fate until after the 2012 election."
"Canada's Stephen Harper government is spending more than 60 billion dollars on new military jets and warships while slashing more than 200 million dollars in funding for research and monitoring of the environment.
Amongst the programmes now crippled is Canada's internationally renowned ozone monitoring network, which was instrumental in the discovery of the first-ever ozone hole over Canada last spring. Loss of ozone has been previously linked to increases in skin cancer.
"LINCOLN, Neb. -- The closing of the country’s last meat processing plant that slaughtered horses for human consumption was hailed as a victory for equine welfare. But five years later just as many American horses are destined for dinner plates to satisfy the still robust appetites for their meat in Europe and Asia."
"This summer, as environmental groups converged on Washington, DC, to protest the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a Canadian 'grassroots' nonprofit by the name of Ethical Oil went on the counteroffensive. The group's YouTube videos and TV ads all carried the same blunt message: You can buy oil from Saudi Arabia and bankroll terrorism, the oppression of women, and fanatical Islam, or you can buy oil from Canada, your friendly, democratic neighbors to the north."
"Baljit Chadha, the entrepreneur behind Quebec’s controversial asbestos exports, has earned a rare public rebuke from an official with the World Health Organization for distorting its position on the safety of the carcinogenic product.
'We have been receiving a lot of expressions of concerns from around the world that the WHO has been misquoted,'Ivan Ivanov, the team leader of occupational health at the WHO Department of Public Health and Environment, said in a phone interview from Geneva.