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.
Scientists use treetop gondolas in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southeast Washington to study the effects of global warming on trees.
"Abandoned mercury mines throughout central California's rugged coastal mountains are polluting the state's major waterways, rendering fish unsafe to eat and risking the health of at least 100,000 impoverished people."
"A file cabinet at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland holds some of the center’s six million bird-migration observation cards dating back to the late 1800s. The hand-written cards contain data about sightings of birds such as the ruby-throated hummingbird, often spotted in the 1930s when fruit trees bloomed in spring. Now being digitized, data from these cards will be stored on a U.S. Geological Survey database."
"The Obama administration called Thursday for a comprehensive national system for regulating the use of federal waters along the nation’s marine and Great Lakes shores, now administered by a hodgepodge of federal, state or other agencies with often-conflicting goals."
"U.S. EPA is poised to establish a national registry for heat-trapping emissions after the White House [Sept. 16] completed its review of the agency's final greenhouse gas reporting rule."
"Representatives of the world's 17 biggest carbon polluters kicked off a week of high-stakes talks on climate change Thursday with a discussion at the US State Department."
Right now, America's Bread Basket relies on an aquifer that's nearly drained. And, many say, it will dry up if farmers keep pumping water from it at the current rate. The Environment Report's Devin Browne reports the government plans to pay farmers as one way to get them to cut water use.
"With Congress moving slowly on a measure to curb industrial greenhouse gas emissions, the United States may find itself with little sway at the coming international conference to construct a new pact aimed at easing global warming."
Greg Harman of the San Antonio Current explores the legacy of uranium mining across South Texas as in-situ mining companies, milling outfits, and waste disposal crews prepare for a rebound in uranium prices. With San Antonio poised to lead one of the first nuclear-power expansions in the country, the writer suggests "the risks involved in uranium mining and processing should be a starting point for any debate about the promise and peril of nuclear power, yet it has received scant attention in San Antonio’s decision whether or not to partner in the expansion of the South Texas Project nuclear complex."
"Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad this summer started to walk away from its rail expansion project in the Powder River Basin, the largest source of coal in the country, citing the flagging U.S. economy and regulatory uncertainty."
In recent years, the media has paid a great deal of attention to the loss of European honeybees, the so-called Colony Collapse Disorder. Less well known, but equally troublesome, is the disappearance of bumblebees. As Adam Federman reports in the Autumn edition of Earth Island Journal, bumblebees pollinate about 15 percent of our food crops (valued at $3 billion) and occupy a critical role as native pollinators. Many species are in sharp decline or appear to have gone extinct.
Worldwide sea-surface temperatures for this August and this summer were the warmest in at least 180 years, the National Climatic Data Center said. The sea-ice minimum was well behind the extraordinary retreat of 2007.
The U.S. State Department issued an international proposal jointly with the governments of Canada and Mexico this week to phase down the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) starting as early as 2011.