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 Nuclear Regulatory Commission ... is urging nuclear plants to embrace a more systematic approach to assessing fire risk -- one that relies on a computer program."
"Declining industrial electricity demand and an abundance of cheap natural gas will threaten coal's status as the dominant U.S. fuel to generate electric power, even after the economic recession ends" say electric industry executives and analysts.
"Evolution takes place over long stretches of time: millennia and epochs. But some new research shows that animals might be changing much faster than nearly anyone thought. ... Those changes ... seem to be linked to humans."
Another allegedly grass-roots PR campaign funded by the coal industry has been embarrassed by the revelation that photos of the "real" people who support coal were obtained from a commercial stock-photo outfit.
"A $774 billion plan to power Europe with Sahara sunlight is gaining momentum, even as critics see high risks in a large corporate project using young technology in north African countries with weak rule of law."
The Justice Department and Illinois are suing Midwest Generation, charging the utility company with evading the Clean Air Act by not installing pollution controls when modernizing its plants. The move marks an Obama administration reversal of Bush policies.
"Billions of tons of carbon are buried in the frozen Arctic tundra, now heating up because of human-caused climate change. To measure which greenhouse gases are being released and in what quantities, government scientists are flying instrument-laden planes over the tundra from now through November."
"A water shortage described as the most critical since the earliest days of Iraq's civilisation is threatening to leave up to 2 million people in the south of the country without electricity and almost as many without drinking water."
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to set limits on nutrient pollution blamed for turning Florida’s waters into algae-choked messes."
"Wild animals normally are killed by cancer only in rare cases. But scientists are finding that some deadly cancers in animals--including Quebec's belugas, California sea lions and North Sea flounder--seem to be triggered or accelerated by environmental contaminants."
The Washington City Paper tested 27 public pools in the nation's capital and 37 percent of them came up positive for bacteria that can lead to outbreaks of Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella, norovirus, E. coli infection and other recreational water illnesses.
Laboratory researchers are pursuing technologies for skipping the burning of coal altogether, and producing electricity directly from carbon via fuel cells.
"If you've been waiting all season for that quintessential taste of summer -- a juicy, ripe tomato from the garden -- you might be disappointed. This year a tomato blight has swept across the Northeast and is moving into Midwestern gardens and farms."
One key chemical tool used to control mosquito-spread malaria in the developing world -- DDT -- has harmful environmental consequences. Now a new article in the journal Nature tells of research on chemicals that may promise to be effective mosquito repellants by blocking the insects' ability to detect carbon dioxide.