ENN Weekly: June 19th - 23rd

ENN rounds up the most important and compelling environmental news stories of the week. In the news June 19th - 23rd: All signs point to a hotter Earth, a threat to the whaling ban, offshore drilling advances, new Amazon protections, and much more.

The Week's Top Ten Articles

In the news June 19th - 23rd: All signs point to a hotter Earth, a threat to the whaling ban, offshore drilling advances, new Amazon protections, and much more.

1. Earth Hottest It's Been in 2,000 Years
The National Academy of Sciences, after reconstructing global average surface temperatures for the past two millennia, said Thursday the data are "additional supporting evidence ... that human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming."

2. Japan Wins Pro-Whaling Vote, First in Two Decades
Japan and other whaling nations Sunday for the first time in more than two decades got a whaling group to criticize a global whaling ban, signaling they might finally have the muscle to challenge the moratorium.

3. Americans Prefer Video to National Parks, Study Finds
Americans are less interested in spending time in natural surroundings like national parks because they are spending more time watching television, playing video games and surfing the Internet, according to a study released Tuesday.

4. Offshore Drilling Bill Advances in House
Legislation that would end a quarter-century ban on drilling in most of the Outer Continental Shelf advanced in the House on Wednesday. The measure would allow oil and gas development in restricted offshore waters unless a state prohibited it.

5. Scientists Take Cues from Nature to Solve Tech Problems
Scientists in the field of biologically inspired design are looking at nature to help solve such stumpers. They argue that engineers can learn much from the world's most rigorous process: Evolution.

6. Brazil Creates Three New Protected Areas in Amazon Rainforest
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva decreed three new protected areas in the Amazon basin Wednesday, placing 1.84 million hectares (4.55 million acres) of rainforest off-limits for development.

7. Coral Reef Ecosystem May Fight Illnesses
Biomedical researchers who dove down nearly 3,000 feet to search a newly-discovered coral reef found treasures they say may help doctors fight cancer, Alzheimer's disease and other illnesses.

8. EPA Plan Targets Animal Waste and Water
Large factory-style chicken, hog and cattle farms might soon have to get permits from the Environment Protection Agency when animal waste from their operations finds its way into local rivers, streams and lakes.

9. Sharply Divided Supreme Court Tackles Wetland Protection
After fighting the federal government for more than 18 years, Keith Carabell is resigned to more uncertainty after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered another look at his plan to build condominiums in a wetland area.

10. Catches of Ancient Fish off Africa Worry Greens
Fishermen are netting a growing number of "fossil fish", a 400 million-year-old species, off Tanzania, suggesting trawling at greater depths as inshore fish stocks decline, a leading expert said.

Photo: Monument Valley in Utah at sunset. Photo credit: www.pdphoto.org.

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