"Tsunami Impacts on Coral Reefs in Thailand Under Investigation"
January 4, 2005 01:09 PM - Reef Protection International (RPI)

In addition to the horrible toll on human life caused by this week's Indian Ocean tsunami, people around the world anxiously await word on its impact to Thailand's famous coral reefs, one of the key natural features that draws so many international visitors to these tropical areas. As aerial photos trickle in, the devastating effects of the tsunami clearly illustrate how the landscape has forever been altered by this natural disaster. In addition to ongoing relief efforts, assessments of how the powerful tsunami may have altered the fragile coral reefs of the region are currently underway.

Ingested Fluoride Needless; Children Dangerously Overdosed, Studies Show
January 3, 2005 07:36 PM - New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc

Swallowed fluoride does not prevent cavities, according to prominent dental researchers who also report that many children ingest too much fluoride that can actually decay teeth and damage bones.

ACEEE Supports Balanced Natural Gas Policy Initiative
January 3, 2005 07:35 PM - American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Washington, D.C. (January 3, 2005): The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) joined with a diverse group of business, consumer, and environmental organizations today in supporting a new and balanced initiative for a U.S. natural gas energy policy. Said ACEEE's Executive Director Steven Nadel: "This thoughtful initiative, using energy efficiency as the leading component of a three-pronged approach, offers the nation a new pathway to efficient use and affordable supplies of natural gas. We urge the new Congress to take note, and build a natural gas bill on these principles."

Student Encourages World to Embrace Precautionary Principle in 2005!
January 3, 2005 07:34 PM - California Safe Schools (Non-Profit)

When Nicholas Baker was six years old, he was forced to walk through a cloud of toxic pesticide as he entered school. As a result of the exposure, Nicholas suffered a severe asthma attack.

Environmental Issues Emerging from Wreckage of Asian Tsunami
December 30, 2004 04:03 PM - UN Environment Programme

As the Asian earthquake and tsunami death toll is now feared to be approaching 100,000 people, emergency humanitarian assistance remains the top priority, but urgent environmental concerns that threaten human health must be addressed, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said today.

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.

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