ENN rounds up the most important and compelling environmental news stories of the week. In the news January 22nd - 26th: Eco-funding, waterbirds in peril, clean energy builds steam, bluefin tuna, and much more
Top Ten Articles of the Week
In the news January 22nd - 26th: Eco-funding, waterbirds in peril, clean energy builds steam, bluefin tuna, and much more.
1. Facing Global Warming, Are People Like Frogs?
Confronted by new evidence of global warming, will people react like frogs? According to an often-told story, a frog will try to jump out if you drop it into hot water but the hapless creature will stay, and eventually die, if you put it in a pan of cool water and slowly bring it to a boil. A United Nations report to be released in Paris on Feb. 2 will include the strongest warning yet that humans are stoking global warming that may cause colossal damage to nature if, like the doomed frog, they ignore rising temperatures.
2. Advocacy Groups Seek Ban on Wildlife Poisons
Advocacy groups are asking the government to ban two poisons widely used for killing wildlife. The poisons are primarily used to kill coyotes that threaten livestock and game. Sodium cyanide capsules are placed in baited ejectors, and sodium fluoroacetate, or Compound 1080, is used in sheep and goat collars.
3. Eco-Funding Deal Reached for Canadian Rainforest
International environmental groups and Canadian officials said Sunday they have struck a C$120 million ($103 million) deal to help fund environmentally friendly businesses in Canada's Pacific coast rainforest. The deal comes nearly a year after environmentalists, the timber industry and aboriginal communities in the coastal region reached a landmark agreement to end a long battle over protecting wilderness valleys in the area often referred to unofficially as the Great Bear Rainforest.
4. Monsanto Cites Milk Tests, Says Consumers Being Misled
Monsanto Co. announced on Thursday a study it said found consumers were being misled by claims that milk from cows not treated with Monsanto's biotech hormone supplement Posilac is safer or healthier than other milk. Monsanto's announcement comes after Starbucks Corp. said this month it would shift all its dairy needs to hormone-free milk products.
5. Survey: Waterbird Species Are in Decline
Nearly half of the world's waterbird species are in decline, mostly due to rapid economic development and the effects of climate change, according to a global survey released Tuesday. The fourth Waterbird Population Estimate found that 44 percent of the 900 species globally have fallen in the past five years, while 34 percent were stable, and 17 percent rising.
6. Clean Energy 50 Percent of World Supply by 2050, Report Says
Clean energies could surge to supply half of world demand by 2050 if governments crack down on use of fossil fuels, said a study by the renewable energy industry and an environmental group on Thursday. The European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) and Greenpeace said renewable energies -- including wind, hydro, solar, tidal power and biomass -- could leap from 13.2 percent of world supply if governments step up a fight against global warming.
7. Bluefin Tuna Risks Commercial Extinction, WWF Says
Illegal fishing has critically depleted global stocks of tuna and some species are at high risk of commercial extinction, environmental group WWF said on Monday. WWF, formerly known as both the World Wildlife Fund and the Worldwide Fund for Nature, said that Atlantic bluefin, used in sushi and sashimi, had been massively overfished, and other tuna species including Atlantic albacore were critically endangered.
8. California Air Regulators Enact First U.S. Statewide Ban on Dry-Cleaning Chemical
California regulators have enacted the United States' first statewide ban on the most common chemical used by dry cleaners, pleasing environmentalists but worrying some small businesses. By 2023, no more dry-cleaning machines that use the toxic solvent perchloroethylene, a potential carcinogen, will be permitted in the state.
9. Post-War Lebanon Faces Major Environmental Harm, UN Says
Unexploded cluster bombs and factories contaminated with toxic chemicals after last year's conflict between Israel and Hezbollah pose major environmental risks to Lebanon, the United Nations said on Tuesday. A new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warned that if it fails to act quickly to remove the debris, Lebanon will face serious public health hazards, including water supply contamination.
10. More Polar Bears Giving Birth on Land
Pregnant polar bears in Alaska, which spend most of their lives on sea ice, are increasingly giving birth on land, according to researchers who say global warming is probably to blame. The study by three scientists for the U.S. Geological Survey suggests the state's bear population could be harmed if the climate continues to grow warmer. Though bears are powerful swimmers, at some point they might have to cross vast stretches of open water to reach habitat on shore suitable for building dens in which to give birth.
Photo: Red-eared Sliders. Photo credit: Gary M. Stolz/Washington DC Library/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.