ENN rounds up the most important and compelling environmental news stories of the week. In the news September 11th - 15th: Urgent climate warnings, Whitman under fire, Beijing's water woes, Iceland whale meat exports, and much more.
Top Ten Articles of the Week
In the news September 11th - 15th: Urgent climate warnings, Whitman under fire, Beijing's water woes, Iceland whale meat exports, and much more.
1. World Has Ten-Year Window To Act on Climate, Expert Says
A leading U.S. climate researcher said Wednesday the world has a 10-year window of opportunity to take decisive action on global warming and avert a weather catastrophe. NASA scientist James Hansen, widely considered the doyen of American climate researchers, said governments must adopt an alternative scenario to keep carbon dioxide emission growth in check.
2. Democrats Ask for Investigation of Former EPA Director on 9/11 Health Issue
Democrats from New York and New Jersey asked on Wednesday for an investigation that could lead to criminal charges against former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Christie Whitman for breathing problems suffered by thousands after the Sept. 11 attacks.
3. Environmental Group Sues Federal Government To Halt Sales of Toy Jewelry Containing Lead
Environmentalists sued the federal government Thursday to stop the sale of toy jewelry made with lead, citing dangers it can pose to brain development in children. The San Francisco-based Sierra Club wants the Environmental Protection Agency to find ways to stop the sale or production of toy necklaces, bracelets and rings containing lead.
4. Live Bird Flu Virus Vaccine Protects Animals, Study Shows
Three experimental vaccines using live but weakened versions of the H5N1 bird flu virus appeared to protect animals from infection, and might offer a way to stockpile vaccines ahead of a pandemic, U.S. researchers said Monday.
5. Drought-Prone Beijing Must Cap Population Growth
China's drought-prone capital must curb its rapid population growth or risk running out of water, local media reported on Thursday. Chinese environmental officials have dubbed Beijing, host of the 2008 Olympics, the driest major city on the planet. Annual population growth would have to be kept to 200,000 to guarantee adequate drinking water, the Beijing News reported.
6. Don't Hurt Rays after Irwin Death, Officials Say
Australian authorities have urged fans of Steve Irwin not to attack stingrays after several rays were found dead since the TV naturalist was killed in a rare fatal attack by one of the normally placid animals. Irwin, whose "Crocodile Hunter" documentaries were watched by more than 200 million people, was killed September 4th when the serrated barb from a stingray's tail pierced his heart.
7. Jordan River -- Some Are Baptised in It, Others Pollute It
Wading into the Jordan River, the pastor blessed his flock, tapping the believers on the head before sending them into the hallowed waters to be baptized. The faithful wet their faces and arms, shouting 'amen' and 'hallelujah' after each baptism, unaware that just downstream, raw sewage was flowing into the water.
8. Cousteau Plans Resort in Hawaii That Would Offer Marine Conservation Programs
French marine explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society are helping to plan a 434-acre (174-hectare) resort-residential complex on Hawaii's Big Island. "Our new relationship with Sea Mountain provides the ideal opportunity to prove that environmental and economic sustainability are absolutely connected," he said.
9. Earth Storms Lead to Space Storms, Scientists Say
Thunderstorms on Earth can lead to storms in the outer reaches of the atmosphere that disrupt radio transmissions and other electronic communications, U.S. researchers said Tuesday. The discovery could lead to more reliable global-positioning satellite (GPS) navigation and short-wave radio transmissions by improving forecasts of high-altitude disturbances that can disrupt them.
10. Iceland Resumes Whale Exports after 15-Year Gap
Iceland is resuming whale meat exports after a gap of more than 15 years with sales to the Faroe Islands despite objections from environmentalists that the shipments undermine a global trade ban. Iceland resumed whaling in 2003 despite a global moratorium on hunts imposed two decades ago by the International Whaling Commission. It has not exported meat since some sales to Japan around 1990.
Photo: The Mahanadi River was flowing over its banks on September 1, 2006, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image. By September 3, floods along the Mahanadi had displaced more than two million people, reported the Dartmouth Flood Observatory. Credit: NASA images courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.