ENN rounds up the most important and compelling environmental news stories of the week. In the news January 15th - 19th: The Doomsday Clock ticks on, saving the world's rarest creatures, Exxon confronts climate change, the biotech dairy debate, and much more.
Top Ten Articles of the Week
In the news January 15th - 19th: The Doomsday Clock ticks on, saving the world's rarest creatures, Exxon confronts climate change, the biotech dairy debate, and much more.
1. Doomsday Clock Moves Closer to Midnight
The world is nudging closer to nuclear or environmental apocalypse, a group of prominent scientists warned Wednesday as it pushed the hand of its symbolic Doomsday Clock closer to midnight. It was the fourth time since the Soviet collapse in 1991 that the clock ticked forward amid fears over what the scientists describe as "a second nuclear age" prompted largely by standoffs with Iran and North Korea. But urgent warnings of climate change also played a role.
2. Scientists Try to Save Rarest Creatures in the World
Scientists launched a bid on Tuesday to save some of the world's rarest and most neglected creatures from extinction. With an initial list of just 10 -- including a venomous shrew-like creature, an egg-laying mammal and the world's smallest bat -- the programme will give last ditch conservation aid where to date there has been little or none.
3. House Speaker Pelosi Seeks to Set up New Committee to Deal with Global Warming
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought on Thursday to create a special committee in an effort to jump-start long-delayed government efforts to deal with global warming and produce a bill by Independence Day.
4. Coffee Grows Illegally in Indonesian Park, Report Says
Coffee grown illegally in an Indonesian park that protects tigers, elephants and rhinos is being mixed with legally grown beans and sold in the United States and elsewhere, the World Wildlife Fund reported Tuesday. The wildlife conservation group said it tracked the cultivation of coffee inside Indonesia's Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, and followed the trail to multinational coffee companies and onto grocery shelves in the United States, Europe and Asia.
5. Exxon Meets Green Groups as Climate Focus Surges
Exxon Mobil Corp., a longtime opponent of mandatory regulations to combat climate change, met with U.S. environmental groups last month to discuss how the oil behemoth might respond to global warming. This move was the latest hint that the world's biggest public company could be open to shifting its position of opposing mandatory caps on emissions of heat-trapping gases.
6. Biotech Dairy Debate Spills Across U.S. Markets
Five years ago, Missouri dairy farmer Leroy Shatto was struggling to stay in business. Today, his herd has more than doubled amid a surge in demand for his product. The difference: a marketing campaign touting Shatto milk as free of artificial hormones.
7. Solar Power Eliminates Utility Bills in U.S. Home
Michael Strizki heats and cools his house year-round and runs a full range of appliances including such power-guzzlers as a hot tub and a wide-screen TV without paying a penny in utility bills. His conventional-looking family home in the pinewoods of western New Jersey is the first in the United States to show that a combination of solar and hydrogen power can generate all the electricity needed for a home.
8. Mediterranean Countries Agree on Measures to Protect Dwindling Fish Stocks
Twenty-four nations whose fishing fleets ply the Mediterranean have pledged to help dwindling stocks with measures including nets that allow young fish to escape, a U.N. food agency said Tuesday. Countries participating in a meeting last week of a fisheries commission at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's Rome headquarters also agreed to share information about their fishing fleets, allowing experts to monitor the industry's impact.
9. Sex-Changing Chemicals Found in U.S. Potomac River
Chemicals known to change the sexual characteristics of fish and other animals have been found in West Virginia tributaries of the Potomac River, which runs through Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas, the U.S. Geological Survey said Wednesday.
10. Montana Woman to Head Forest Service
Montana forester Gail Kimbell was named Friday to head the U.S. Forest Service and quickly came under fire from a Senate Democrat who represents her state. Kimbell, the first woman to hold the job, succeeds retiring chief Dale Bosworth.
Photo: Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter told The Associated Press that he wants hunters to kill about 550 gray wolves. That would leave about 100 wolves, or 10 packs, according to a population estimate by state wildlife officials. The 100 surviving wolves would be the minimum before the animals could again be considered endangered. Credit: Tracy Brooks-Mission Wolf/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.