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Cumulative Sperm Whale Bone Damage and the Bends
December 23, 2004 03:31 PM - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

In a study published in the December 24, 2004 issue of the journal Science, Michael Moore and Greg Early at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have documented bone lesions in the rib and chevron bones of sperm whales, most likely caused by tissue damage from nitrogen bubbles that form when the animals rise to the surface.

Book by Great Ape Trust Scientist Acclaimed
December 23, 2004 01:15 PM - Great Ape Trust of Iowa

Intelligence of Apes and Other Rational Beings, a book senior authored by Duane M. Rumbaugh, a scientist with Great Ape Trust of Iowa, is being acclaimed in leading scientific journals as a significant contribution to the study of animal intelligence. Professor Rumbaugh is the director of academic and community relations at Great Ape Trust and the co-founder of the Language Research Center (LRC) at Georgia State University. A pioneer in the field of primate behavior and intelligence, Dr. Rumbaugh collaborated on Intelligence of Apes and Other Rational Beings with Dr. David A. Washburn, the new director of the LRC and an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Georgia State University. "Science has learned so much about the great apes and other primates as well, it defies the imagination," says Rumbaugh, "For centuries animals were viewed as no more than stupid beast machines - we now know that great apes are far more intelligent than we previously thought." In their book - written for students and lay persons interested in primates and the foundations of intelligence - Rumbaugh and Washburn say scientific research has shown apes learn by principles similar to those of children. They learn to conceptualize and generate new solutions and insights when dealing with problems that are totally novel to them. Simply put, they can think. "Unfortunately there are some today who believe the behavior of animals is irrelevant to understanding the behavior of humans," Rumbaugh adds. "The truth is that the great apes are marvelous teachers of what their species can be - and of what we are and can become by way of constructive comparison."

UN Proposed Fishing Limits Welcomed
December 23, 2004 01:14 PM - The Sea Turtle Restoration Project

New proposed guidelines issued today by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have repeated the recommendation of an earlier panel of experts that immediate attention be given to the plight of critically endangered Pacific leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles. Specifically, the report recommended that fisheries posing the greatest threats should be subjected to “temporary and spatially-limited controls.” Environmentalists are welcoming the recommendation to limit fishing in certain areas, and are urging the UN to specifically identify and take action on some of the hot spots of turtle-fishing interaction.

New Forest Rule Allows More Industrial Activity, Threatens Wildlife, Says NRDC
December 23, 2004 01:13 PM - Natural Resources Defense Council

Today's Bush administration changes to the rule governing national forest management plans would undermine wildlife protection and exclude the public, other agencies and independent scientists from forest management planning, according to NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). The rule would open up public lands — including old growth forests, roadless areas and sensitive wildlife habitats — to industry to log, drill and build roads.

In the Winter 2005 issue of OnEarth: Stuck In Reverse — Despite its Bold Talk of a Green Future, Detroit Can’t Seem to Mend its Gas-Guzzling Ways.
December 22, 2004 02:25 PM - Natural Resources Defense Council

Open any newspaper these days and you’re likely to see full-page ads from General Motors, touting its commitment to clean cars and magic buses. The hydrogen future, it would seem, is just around the corner. Why is it, then, that today’s American car fleet remains less fuel-efficient than the Model T Ford, with dire consequences for our national security, global climate, and American jobs? Americans now consume a quarter of the world’s oil, 40 percent of which is burned in passenger vehicles. Even Detroit’s top engineers recognize that cars cannot continue down this road forever, yet consider this: Whereas the Model T got 25 miles to a gallon of gas, in 2002 Ford’s cars averaged just 24.3 miles per gallon.

World Population Grew By 76 Million People in 2004: 3 Million Added in the Industrial World and 73 Million in the Developing World
December 22, 2004 02:15 PM - Earth Policy Institute

During 2004, 133 million people were born and 57 million died, expanding world population by 76 million. This excess of births over deaths was concentrated in the developing countries, which added 73 million people compared with only 3 million in the industrial countries. World population, growing by 1.2 percent annually, is projected to reach 6.4 billion in 2005.

Landfill - Source or 'Sink' of Greenhouse Gases?
December 22, 2004 09:20 AM - Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting

Research findings presented by two researchers from the CRC for Greenhouse Accounting to the 3rd Intercontinental Landfill Research Symposium in Japan suggest that wood products in landfill may be a significant "sink" in Australia and some other countries.

Florida Fisherman, Indian Farmer Named As Co-Winners of This Year's Getty Conservation Prize
December 22, 2004 09:19 AM - WWF-US

A lobster fisherman from Marathon, Florida and a tiger conservationist and farmer from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, are this year's co-winners of the prestigious J. Paul Getty Wildlife Conservation Prize, the World Wildlife Fund announced today.

U.S. Green Building Council Issues Draft Report On PVC
December 22, 2004 09:18 AM - U.S. Green Building Council

Zogby: No Mandate for Arctic Refuge Drilling
December 22, 2004 09:16 AM - National Wildlife Federation

A Zogby poll released today finds that a majority of Americans oppose drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and “undermines any contention that the election outcome represented a mandate to drill in the Refuge,” said Larry Schweiger, National Wildlife Federation president.

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