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ENN Weekly: September 4th - 8th

ENN rounds up the most important and compelling environmental news stories of the week. In the news September 4th - 8th: A fond farewell to "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, a new oil pool found, "green" power for colleges, contamination-cleaning microbes, and much more.

Top Ten Articles of the Week

In the news September 4th - 8th: A fond farewell to "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, a new oil pool found, "green" power for colleges, contamination-cleaning microbes, and much more.

1. "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin Took Risks to Conserve Wildlife
"Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin cheated death many times as he stalked and played with some of the world's deadliest animals. But in the end the animal kingdom proved too dangerous. Irwin, who was killed on Monday by a stingray while diving on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, communicated a wide-eyed, almost child-like enthusiasm for the animal kingdom and the importance of conservation to television audiences around the world.
Related story: Stingray Deaths Rare, Irwin Extremely Unlucky

2. Tsunami Spurs Interest in Asian Coasts
"The tsunami brought an understanding that the ecosystem is a lot more fragile than people thought," said Austin Arensberg, a World Conservation Union official who is part of a team working on a $240,000 Spanish-funded project to restore mangrove forests in Thailand and Sri Lanka.

3. Oil Pool Tapped in Gulf of Mexico Could Boost U.S. Reserves by 50 Percent
A trio of oil companies led by Chevron Corp. has tapped a petroleum pool deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico that could boost the nation's reserves by more than 50 percent. A test well indicates it could be the biggest new domestic oil discovery since Alaska's Prudhoe Bay a generation ago.

4. Global Warming Taking Earth Back to Dinosaur Era
Global warming over the coming century could mean a return of temperatures last seen in the age of the dinosaur and lead to the extinction of up to half of all species, a scientist said on Thursday.

5. Soaring Natural Gas Prices Spur Widespread Drilling
Companies have been drilling natural gas wells at historic rates across much of the Appalachian Basin, an area that includes swathes of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia. The proliferation of drilling is not confined to the region, the birthplace of the commercial oil industry. Oil and gas firms have stepped up exploration and production in Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma and other states in recent years.

6. U.S. Colleges to Buy Green Power in MTV Competition
An environmental group is teaming with MTV to encourage U.S. university students to demand their schools get more energy from renewable energy sources. tudents at several colleges have already pushed through fees of about $30 per student that allow schools to buy power from clean energy sources such as solar and wind farms.

7. Brazil Sees Amazon Land Clearing Easing This Year
Huge tracts of Brazil's Amazon rainforest were cleared legally and illegally in the past year, but the rate of deforestation slowed, the country's environment minister said Tuesday. It was the second year in a row that the pace of the destruction of the world's largest tropical rainforest declined. Booming demand for farm exports caused land-clearing to peak in 2004.

8. Microbes Can Clean Up Toxic Waste Dumps, Scientist Says
Microbes with a taste for toxic waste may hold the solution to cleaning up contaminated industrial sites and poisoned waterways across the globe, saving billions of dollars in cleanup bills, an Australian scientist said.

9. "Chameleon" Schwarzenegger Shows Green in Campaign
Last week, the Republican Schwarzenegger was decidedly "green," like the color of his campaign bus, as he struck a deal with the state legislature's Democratic majority to enact a law making California the first U.S. state to cap greenhouse-gas emissions.

10. Don't Ditch Dams, World Bank Water Boss Says
Rich countries should not keep less developed ones poor by fashionable trends that oppose dams and water management infrastructure, a top World Bank water resources chief said on Monday.

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