Environmental, Global Warming, and Animal News

Some of the top climate change and environmental stories of the last day or so:

Climate Science

Graph of the Day: Greenland Ice Sheet Mass Changes

Good info and graphs on the page above, but thought I’d share the 3 videos from the post here for you to check out just in case you don’t feel like clicking on:



Global Warming & Environmental Politics

Bombshell: Bush EPA Administrator said the science necessitated action on global warming — President “overruled” EPA due to “Cheney … and Exxon Mobil”

“On the eve of the new House Energy and Commerce Committee’s hearing (watch live here at 9:30 am) on legislation to block EPA from setting standards to reduce carbon dioxide pollution, Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-CA) released a January 2008 letter from then EPA Administrator Steven Johnson to President George W. Bush.  Johnson’s letter told President Bush that the administration must make an “endangerment finding” that carbon pollution endangers public health and the environment.  He also told the president to use EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act to reduce this pollution.”

NRDC’s Hawkins: Upton’s dirty air bill is “extreme” and “the harm to the economy and jobs that is claimed as justifying this legislation has no basis in fact.”

“Here is the testimony of David G. Hawkins, Director of Climate Programs for the Natural Resources Defense Council, to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power in their hearing on repealing US EPA’s Finding that Greenhouse Gases Endanger Public Health and Welfare and Repealing Clean Air Act and Certain State Authorities Relating to Greenhouse Gases.”

The Business Case for EPA Rulemaking

“As conservatives and dirty energy lobbyists gather on Capitol Hill this month to conduct a series of hearings and investigations hostile to EPA rules and rulemaking authority, several major utilities came together this winter in a Wall Street Journal Letter to the Editor to voice their support for the EPA’s authority to set safeguards and standards to promote public health and the economy, which is currently under attack:

Contrary to the claims that the EPA’s agenda will have negative economic consequences, our companies’ experience complying with air quality regulations demonstrates that regulations can yield important economic benefits, including job creation, while maintaining reliability. The time to make greater use of existing modern units and to further modernize our nation’s generating fleet is now.”

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Republicans v. EPA battle goes public

State of Play: The GOP-led campaign to scuttle the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas rules will burst into public view Wednesday.

“EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will be the star witness at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Chairman Fred Upton’s (R-Mich.) bill to block regulation of power plants, refineries, factories and other facilities.”

EPA, greens strike back against Republican ‘job-killing’ message

“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and green groups are ramping up their campaign to counter GOP claims that air pollution rules are ‘job-killers.'”

Report: Proposed EPA rules on power plants could bring jobs to Michigan

“Michigan would gain about 12,469 construction jobs a year for five years if proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency air pollution rules go into effect, according to a study released today.”

WikiLeaks: Saudi’s Oil Reserves Overstated by Nearly 40%

“Well, this should really come as absolutely no surprise, Saudi Arabia’s got a lot less oil than its been saying. And what that means, of course, is that prices will keep on rising (perhaps more and more steeply) and we need to get moving towards some sort of alternative… hmm, cleantech?”

Oil and Gas Industry Drops Lawsuit Against Colorado Rules

“On February 3, 2011, the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) dropped its legal challenge to the new Colorado oil and gas rules adopted by the state in 2008. The industry association asked the court to dismiss its lawsuit, which was filed in Colorado’s 2nd District Court in Denver in 2009. The court granted the industry’s motion and dismissed the case on February 8, 2011.”

Obama calls for investments while defending common-sense regulations

“President Obama made the short trip across Lafayette Park Monday morning to address business leaders at the United States Chamber of Commerce. The trip was widely seen as an overture to a familiar adversary in order to consolidate support for future economic initiatives. While President Obama pledged his efforts to promote American business and cut corporate taxes, he also mounted a spirited defense of environmental regulations.”

Buffalo News: GOP is undermining environmental progress

“The last time the Republicans captured the House majority in 1994, it took them years to refine their pay-to-play system where lobbyists from K Street strolled right into the Capitol and dictated legislation.

“The new GOP majority won’t squander this opportunity. It is quickly eliminating the middleman, so to speak. It’s putting former corporate lobbyists right on House staff payrolls.”

On First Day Of New Congress, Koch Operatives Met With GOP Chairman Planning To Gut The Clean Air Act

“In January, ThinkProgress interviewed billionaire plutocrat David Koch about his views on climate science, his Tea Party movement, and his political plans for the future. On the day of our interview, we also discovered that he planned to hold a party for the new Republicans he helped elect. As we have documented, Koch not only financed the rise of the anti-Obama Tea Party, he has also helped guide the movement to support the narrow business priorities of his conglomerate Koch Industries: Koch funds ralliesfor young children that attack the EPA, Koch’s front groups spread doubt about climate change, and Koch’s Americans for Prosperity hands out Tea Party talking pointsattacking clean energy. Building on this research, the Los Angeles Times reported this weekend about the central influence of Koch in the new GOP Congress.”

Oil Damage, Here and Abroad

Judge Suspends Multi-Billion-Dollar Judgment Against Chevron in Ecuador Pollution Case

“Litigation feuds rage on between Ecuador, Chevron and PetroEcuador (the state-owned oil company).  In an unusual decision, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan ordered the $113 billion indemnity case suspended for 28 days due to suspicion of foul play (read: racketeering) by US lawyers representing some 30,000 Ecuadorians.”

We Agree: Use Oil Spill Fines to Restore the Gulf

“Dedicating Clean Water Act penalties from the Deepwater Horizon disaster to Gulf Coast restoration is one of the most important short-term steps Congress can take as the one-year anniversary of the catastrophic Macondo blowout approaches.”


Europe Opening the Door to GMO Crops

“The dominoes continue to fall. The European Union is expected to announce a controversial plan to allow genetically modified crops into Europe for the first time – without regulatory approval.”

Monsanto Employees in the Halls of Government

“For years, there’s been an open revolving door in Washington – sending workers from the Federal government to Monsanto and Monsanto back to the Federal government.”

Other Environmental News

UN Food Agency Warns Severe Drought Threatens Wheat Crop in China, World’s Largest Producer It Is

“FAO also warns floods and heavy rains in Southern Afria “threaten food security.”

Connecticut’s Last 1,000 Acres of Coastal Forest…or a Golf Course?

“You have to hand it to River Sound Development, the Lehman Brothers subsidiary interested in turning 1,000 acres of Connecticut coastal forest into a lucrative golf course development: Despite staunch opposition to their plan, they will not give up.”

Animal & Wildlife News

Alaskan Youth Stand Up for Wild Salmon, Say No to Frankenfish

“High school students adopted a campaign to promote the benefits of local, wild salmon after being disappointed with the imported, factory-farmed fish in their school cafeterias. Since then their “fight for wild salmon” campaign has taken off. While their hard work has paid off in the past—getting local fishermen to donate locally caught fish for school lunches—the teens have their sights on larger goals.”

Killing Barred Owls to Save Spotted Owls

“A controversial new plan to save spotted owls by killing barred owls is the likely next step in protecting the endangered species.”

Protecting Marine Life Without Gutting Native Rights in California

“One of the most persistent myths promulgated by advocates of the privately-funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative is that the so-called ‘marine protected areas’ created under the process are ‘based on science.’

“However, the ‘science’ that the MLPA is based on is extremely shaky. In the 7 years since Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger privatized the process by directing the Department of Fish and Game to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the shadowy Resources Legacy Foundation, MLPA officials have refused to consult with Tribal scientists and integrate Tribal knowledge into the process.”

Drilling for gas in Mediterranean Sea will threaten valuable marine life, says WWF

“Colossal deep-sea gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean’s Levant Sea are causing a scramble to start drilling – while concerns for irreversible damage to outstanding marine biodiversity, as well as legally binding restrictions on deep-sea exploitation, are being ignored.”

Administration fails to shield Arctic wildlife from the devastating impacts of climate change

“The Obama administration yesterday announced it will not list the Pacific walrus under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Fish and Wildlife Service has determined the species is “warranted but precluded,” a delay in listing allowed by the ESA if the agency feels that other imperiled species are a higher priority.”

Latest Figures Show Shocking Rise in Horse Slaughter

“An article in The Observer on 6 February 2011 revealed a shocking rise in the number of horses slaughtered in the UK in 2010. Some 7,933 horses were killed in abattoirs last year, their meat most likely destined for human consumption abroad. It is essential that the government steps in to curb the unregulated and unabated breeding of animals, viewed as mere commodities, by the racing and pet breeding industries.”

Image Credit: madaboutasia

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