Environmental News Round-Up

Getting the Recovery Right – Alternet 2/5/09

How to achieve environmental sustainability, social justice and economic recovery.

Van Jones: “This Is Not Your Grandma’s Environmental Movement Anymore” – Alternet 2/5/09

The tanking economy is also changing the environmental movement. Van Jones talks about what we should be doing next.

For those that don’t know who James Lovelock is here’s the one sentence bio: Originator of the Gaia hypothesis, chemist, did work on atmospheric chlorofluorocarbons which eventually led them from being banned, advocate of nuclear power. Which is to say, that when James Lovelock says humanity only has one chance left not to get annihilated by the effects of climate change in the 21st century, it’s worth shutting up and listening to what the man says.

Bat-killing syndrome spreads in Northeast (AP)  – Yahoo 2/3/09

A mysterious and deadly bat disease discovered just two winters ago in a few New York caves has now spread to at least six northeastern states, and scientists are scrambling to find solutions before it spreads across the country

Common chemical causes locusts to swarm (AP)  – Yahoo 1/29/09

Seratonin can transform easygoing desert locusts into terrifying swarms that ravage the countryside, scientists report.

Is America on the Brink of a Food Crisis? – Alternet 1/29/09
How to Reduce Your Impact on the Earth – Natural News 1/30/09

Knowledge Gap of How We ‘Fit In’ is Greatest Threat to Environment – Treehugger 1/29/09

We know that trees can increase the thickness of clouds with terpenes, and lizards can drink water from wet sand with their feet, but we have very little understanding of how we fit into the environment and how the environment fits with us. The 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) found that 60% of the ecosystem services (you know those things that provide clean air, water, and food) are being degraded or used unsustainably. But an even bigger problem is that we don’t understand how these systems work, or why they are failing.

Control Of the World’s Oceans. Prelude To War?  – Global Research 1/30/09

Most Adorable Renewable Energy Video Project Ever (VIDEO) – Treehugger 1/25/09

Our Renewable Nation is possibly the most adorable project ever conceived to advocate renewable energy. It’s an eco-video project helmed by the McCullough family, who are traveling across the country in a vegetable oil powered VW Beetle. They’re visiting wind farms, solar installations, talking to companies developing sustainable technologies, and documenting all their interviews and travels on video.

Scientist: New fault could mean major Ark. temblor (AP)  – Yahoo 1/21/09

A previously unknown fault in eastern Arkansas could trigger a magnitude 7 earthquake with an epicenter near a major natural gas pipeline, a scientist said Wednesday. Haydar Al-Shukri, the director of the Arkansas Earthquake Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, said the fault is separate from the New Madrid fault responsible for a series of quakes in 1811-12 that caused the Mississippi River to flow backward.

Jar of plutonium found in US dump – Raw Story 1/21/09

Lizards Evolving Rapidly to Survive Deadly Fire Ants – Nat’l Geographic 1/20/09

Long legs and skittish behavior are recently evolved traits that allow fence lizards in the southeastern U.S. to co-exist with lethal and invasive fire ants, providing hope for species facing abrupt climatic changes.

11 Eleventh-Hour Bush Environmental Rule Changes – Nat’l Geographic 1/15/09

Last minute environmental-regulation changes by the Bush Administration could have lasting effects. How good or bad are the new rules? Can they be reversed? Conservationists weigh in.

‘Immortal’ jellyfish swarming across the world  – Telegraph, UK 1/29/09

Turritopsis Nutricula is technically known as a hydrozoan and is the only known animal that is capable of reverting completely to its younger self.  It does this through the cell development process of transdifferentiation.  Scientists believe the cycle can repeat indefinitely, rendering it potentially immortal.

Sea jellies ‘taking over’ oceans – Raw Story 2/2/09



American Institute of Physics’ history of the science of climate change – Boing Boing 2/4/09
Top independent, peer-reviewed research indicating that climate change is real, deadly, and caused by humans – BoingBoing 2/4/09
Cool Interactive Map Shows Water Stressed Areas Over Next 60 Years – Treehugger 2/4/09 

Australia Faces Collapse as Climate Change Kicks in: Are the Southwest and California Next?  – Alternet 2/2/09

Calif. facing worst drought in modern history – USA Today 1/30/09

Millions lack drinking water as drought worsens in China– USA Today 2/5/09

7 Geoengineering Solutions Which Promise To Save Humans from Climate Change – Treehugger 2/2/09

Global Warming to Create “Permanent” Ocean Dead Zones? – National Geographic 1/28/09

Is the American Southwest Running Dry? – Alternet 1/23/09

Environment Blamed in Western Tree Deaths – NYTimes 1/22/09

Rising temperatures and the resulting drought are causing trees in the Western U.S. to die off at more than twice the pace they did a few decades ago, a study found.

Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide – Oregon Institue for Medicine & Science

A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th and early 21st centuries have produced no deleterious effects upon Earth’s weather and climate. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly increased plant growth. Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in hydrocarbon use and minor greenhouse gases like CO2 do not conform to current experimental knowledge. The environmental effects of rapid expansion of the nuclear and hydrocarbon energy industries are discussed.

Acid oceans ‘need urgent action’  – BBC 1/30/09

Marine ecosystems risk being severely damaged by ocean acidification unless there are dramatic cuts in CO2 levels, warn scientists.


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