September 23, 2011
Dams Coming Down, But Hydropower GrowingCanada may build new major dams on the Lower Churchill River, while the United States is exploring small, fish-friendly hydro projects even as its legacy of large, destructive dams ends.
Climate Change Adaptation on the RiseSuriname has established an agency dedicated to developing climate change adaptation strategies as efforts to adapt to — not just mitigate against — climate change grow around the world.
Loggerhead Turtles Gain Some ProtectionU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service up-lists four populations of loggerhead turtles, including those in the North Pacific, to endangered status.
Cuba is Gearing Up for Deepwater DrillingCuba will soon begin drilling for oil off its coast, precariously close to the Florida Keys. U.S. delegates are monitoring safety systems, while in Louisiana ExxonMobil has been called out for safety violations.
September 16, 2011
Solyndra Bankruptcy Indicative of Big Solar ShiftsSolyndra is just one of many solar companies to go bankrupt this quarter. A price drop in polysilicon and shifting tariffs in Europe are contributing to major shifts in the global solar market.
Conservation Programs Face Cuts in Farm BillThe Conservation Reserve Program and other land conservation programs face cuts as the Farm Bill gets rolled into federal budget-cutting talks.
Climate Change Paper Stirs ControversyAfter publishing a much-publicized paper skeptical of climate change research, the editor of science journal Remote Sensing resigned, calling both the paper and the journal's peer-review process flawed.
Retailers Remove Cadmium from JewelryA California settlement has companies across the country removing the toxic metal cadmium from jewelry.
September 9, 2011
Dangerous Debris Litters SpaceA new report details the growing threat of space junk and the threat it poses to spacecraft and satellites.
Wolf Hunts Resume Across the RockiesWolf hunts resume after a controversial budget rider removed the animals from the endangered species list in two states, while wolves gain ground across the world.
Obama Earns Environmentalists' ScornTacit approval for a major oil pipeline and a reversal on smog standards by the Obama Administration left environmentalists angry.
China Report Alleges Environmental Damage By Apple Supply ChainA report by a group of Chinese nongovernmental organizations alleged numerous environmental damages by five Apple suppliers.
September 2, 2011
Green Scissors Bring Opponents TogetherEnvironmentalists and conservatives proposed $380 million in budget cuts they claim harm the environment and cost too much.
Arctic Oil Push Shifts GeopoliticsAs Arctic ice melts, opening up shipping routes and oil-drilling opportunities, countries and companies jockey for position in the region.
Study Estimates 8.7M Earth SpeciesA study in the journal PLoS Biology thought to be the most accurate yet estimates that 8.7M species - primarily insects - inhabit the earth.
Quake Renews U.S. Nuclear ConcernsShaking from a magnitude 5.9 earthquake may have exceeded design specifications for a Virginia nuclear plant as emergencies near nuke facilities persist.
August 26, 2011
Bike-sharing Gains MomentumCities the world over are embracing bike-sharing, though questions remain over which business models will stick.
Resistance to Wind Power Is GrowingOpponents to wind power say turbines harm wildlife, mar landscapes, and may cause illness.
Climate Change Impacting Food, Beverage BizExtreme weather linked to climate change is negatively affecting the coffee, wine, and oyster industries.
Poultry Production Raises Pollution ConcernsResearch points to water contamination issues associated with the growth of large poultry CAFOs.
August 19, 2011
Gates Foundation Spurs Toilet InnovationGates Foundation Offers $3 million for New Toilet Design to Serve 2.6 Billion Without Sanitation
Environmental Activism On Rise in ChinaChinese Environmental Movement Gains Steam as Officials Shut Down Chemical Plant After Protest
Forage Fish Are Being OverharvestedOverharvesting forage fish such as menhaden and sardines for fish farms is threatening ocean ecosystems.
Ray Anderson, Green Business PioneerInterface CEO and green business pioneer Ray Anderson dies, leaving an impressive legacy of how to do well by doing good.
August 12, 2011
Shell Accepts Liability for Nigerian Oil SpillsShell has accepted liability for two oil spills in Nigeria in 2008.
U.S. Exports Coal to ChinaU.S. increases coal exports to China in spite of concerns about energy security and increased emissions.
Carbon Costs Remains ElusiveExperts can't agree on the cost for carbon emissions' damage of infrastructure, crop yields, human health, and ecosystem services.
Drought Grips TexasTexas drought threatens water infrastructure, crops, and power grid.
August 5, 2011
New U.S. E-Waste StrategyThe Obama Administration announced new voluntary guidelines for managing the flow of discarded electronic components to dumps around the world.
Fracking Fuels Demand for SandThe rush to mine silica sand for use in hydraulic fracturing - or fracking - is spurring environmental concerns far from natural gas deposits.
Data Centers Improve EfficiencyData centers are using less electricity than predicted, thanks to industry-wide efficiency improvements and the poor economy.
Climate Change to Expand Flood ZoneClimate change is predicted to expand U.S. flood zones along coastlines and rivers by 40 percent by 2100.
July 29, 2011
Arctic IssuesClimate change is melting Arctic ice, altering ocean and land ecosystems, eroding the shoreline, and releasing once-trapped pollutants.
Weeds Resist RoundupFarmers are turning to increasingly desperate measures to thwart weeds that have developed resistance to herbicides, especially Monsanto’s Roundup.
Green JobsA Brookings Institution report finds that green jobs outnumber oil and gas jobs, and the sector is growing.
Megaloads for Oil Sands BlockedA judge temporarily halts a shipment of oversized equipment scheduled to pass through Montana on its way to the Kearl Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada.
July 22, 2011
El Salvador Mining LawsuitEl Salvador's government denied Pacific Rim Mining Corporation a permit to build a gold mine there. Now Pacific Rim is suing the country for $77 million in lost profits.
Did China's Coal Burning Slow Global Warming?Recent studies point at the sulfur particulates emitted by China's rapidly increasing coal production as one possible reason why global warming plateaued in the last decade.
Post-Disaster Japan, Beyond FukushimaAll eyes have been on Japan's nuclear reactors, but chemical contamination from other facilities damaged by this year's devastating earthquake and tsunami is equally concerning.
Plastic Industry Goes to CourtTrade groups are in court to overturn plastic bag bans and to prevent a reusable bag company from disparaging plastic in its advertising.
July 15, 2011
Tuna ManagementA recent IUCN report lists five of eight tuna species as endangered and urges improved fisheries management.
Cooking Fuel Leading Cause of DeforestationHarvesting trees for cheap firewood in developing countries is a major contributor to deforestation. Efficient cooking stoves could make a big impact.
Australian Carbon TaxAustralia's recently passed carbon tax puts a price on carbon as part of a broader climate change plan.
Airline EmissionsAs the airline industry fights against inclusion in the E.U.'s carbon trading scheme, it looks instead to biofuels to deliver emissions reductions.
July 8, 2011
Palm Oil PlantationsPalm oil plantations in Asia and Brazil are harming biodiversity.
Fish ConservationRiver restoration has brought back sturgeon. Salmon haven't been so lucky.
Fuel Efficiency StandardPresident Obama proposes that cars average 56.2 mpg by 2025.
Rare Earth MineralsJapan discovers rare earth minerals under the sea, but extracting them could harm the marine environment.
July 1, 2011
Cosmetic Laws May Improve SafetyThe Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011 requires greater transparency for personal care product manufacturers and their suppliers.
Fire Near Los Alamos Threatens LabRemnant radioactive fallout in the environment leftover from nuclear tests conducted decades ago may be the biggest concern from the Los Alamos wildfire.
Natural Gas Economics QuestionedInsider emails published this week suggest that production and investment forecasts have been overhyped or exaggerated, possibly illegally.
Sea Level Rise Adaptation StrategiesThe EPA recommends that coastal communities at risk of inundation by rising oceans not build seawalls.
June 24, 2011
Dead Zones in Oceans and LakesScientists predict largest-ever 'dead zones' in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere as pollution and climate change turn ocean chemistry toxic for sea life and humans.
NRC Regulatory Practices ScrutinizedThis week a blistering investigative report by the Associated Press accused the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of undermining safety.
Ocean ExtinctionScientists predict mass extinctions of marine species based on current carbon cycle disturbances and ocean acidification patterns.
Electric AvenuesElectric vehicles place new demands on utilities, but fleets of them could actually reap benefits for the grid and consumers.
June 17, 2011
Google Solar InvestmentsGoogle puts hundreds of millions into solar financing schemes, lending capital and technical ingenuity to a fledgling distributed generation model.
Arsenic in ChickenA Pfizer livestock feed has been pulled from the market after the FDA discovered traces of arsenic in human food.
Sewer System IssuesCities facing expensive upgrades to wastewater treatment systems mandated by clean water regulations. A look at green solutions that get the job done for less.
Nuclear Tests, Accidents Lead to Fewer GirlsA study finds that nuclear bomb tests and plant accidents boost male births, both locally and globally.
June 10, 2011
China's Environmental DilemmaPollution, environmental degradation, and public safety risks threatens China's drive to improve living conditions for its people.
Emissions Record Prompts AdaptationDespite goals to curb greenhouse gas emissions, last year broke all records. Experts say its time to start talking about adaptation to changing climate conditions.
Exposure to ChemicalsResearchers find banned flame retardant chemicals in children's products. Science, regulators cant keep up with the sea of substances around us.
Mountaintop RemovalThe struggle to meet growing energy demands while preserving the environment revives historical tensions in Appalachia.
June 3, 2011
BioplasticsCoke and Pepsi will use new plant-based plastics in their bottles, but the substance isn't compatible with existing recycling and composting systems.
Seafood (Mis)labelingTests reveal widespread problems with seafood labeling. Consumers face health risks; fishery management is complicated by misguided demand.
Keystone XL PipelineA new U.S. pipleline promises energy security. Critics worry about recent spills, the Ogallala Aquifer, and a flawed environmental review process.
Agricultural AntibioticsNearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics are fed to commercial livestock annually. The practice is being challenged due to human health risks.
May 27, 2011
White-Nose Syndrome in Batswhite-nose syndrome decimates bats, USFWS has plan
Climate SuitsParties bring suits against greenhouse gas regulations
Deforestation Laws FalterDeforestation in Indonesia and Brazil continues apace, in spite of laws meant to prevent it.
Chevron EcuadorLegal wrangling shows no sign of slowing, in spite of judgment against Chevron
May 20, 2011
Do Cellphones Harm Bees?Research proves cell phone signals disrupt bee hives, but other threats to bees are probably more significant risks to the crops they pollinate.
Insurers React to Climate ChangeFloods along the Mississippi and other recent natural disasters are causing insurance companies to reevaluate how they calculate risk.
Pesticide Health EffectsResearch finds a correlation between pesticides & impaired mental abilities. But producers argue that scare tactics mislead consumers & hurt farmers.
Gold MiningA modern-day rush leads millions to cash in on high gold prices, but lack of regulation threatens to repeat California's toxic legacy in South America.
May 13, 2011
Fracking Link to Drinking WaterA Duke study published by the National Academy of Sciences links contaminated drinking water to natural gas drilling and fracking.
Japan Nuclear PolicyJapan reconsiders its nuclear policy in light of the Fukushima disaster and related costs - financial and human.
Arctic MercuryResearch demonstrates accumulation of mercury and other toxic materials in human and wildlife Arctic populations.
Global Renewable GoalsThe International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that a substantial share of global power generation could be sourced from renewables by 2050
May 6, 2011
TornadoesLast week a super outbreak of tornadoes tore paths of destruction through the South, taking more than 350 lives. Was it made worse by climate change?
Floods & Levee BreachThis week, officials blasted a levee to allow a floodplain to serve its natural function. The beginning of a movement toward more rational floodplain development?
Sharks Value to TourismA new study finds that live sharks are a tourist attraction, worth vastly more than dead ones for soup. People kill more than 73 million sharks annually - shark populations have dropped 90 to 99 percent.
Oil SubsidiesThe prospect of cutting subsidies for oil companies with record profits proves to be an irresistible – yet elusive – target. Democrats say it will help to level the playing field for renewable energy, Republicans say companies will flee our shores.
April 29, 2011
Developing World Dams
Endangered Species Act Action
April 22, 2011
FukushimaDevelopments at Fukushima create uncertainty for the public and raise questions about whether plant operators fully accounted for all possible risks
Deepwater Horizon AnniversaryOne year after America's worst oil spill, complex legal, policy, environmental, and social issues aren't being solved quickly.
TSCA ReformThe Toxic Substances Control Act doesn't, in fact, control many substances. Only a few hundred substances have been tested for human health effects.
Branson & Lemur IslandCharles Branson would bring lemurs to his private Caribbean island as a last ditch effort to save the endangered species.