ENN rounds up the most important and compelling environmental news stories of the week. In the news March 26th - 30th: Species protection changes, the benefits of green buildings, mercury in light bulbs, limiting pollution from ships, and much more.
Top Ten Articles of the Week
In the news March 26th - 30th: Species protection changes, the benefits of green buildings, mercury in light bulbs, limiting pollution from ships, and much more.
1. Government Eyes Changes in Species Protection
The Interior Department is considering a broad revamping of how it protects animals and plants in danger of extinction, including changes that critics contend will reduce the number of species that will be saved.
2. UNEP Says Greener Buildings Could Slow Global Warming
Better architecture and energy savings in buildings could do more to fight global warming than all curbs on greenhouse gases agreed under the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol, a U.N. study showed on Thursday.
3. Brazil to Offer Free Internet to Amazon Tribes
Brazil will offer free satellite Internet connections to indigenous tribes in the Amazon as part of its latest effort to crack down on illegal logging in the world's largest tropical rain forest.
4. Mercury in Energy-Saving Bulbs Worries Scientists
There's an old joke about the number of people it takes to change a light bulb. But because the newer energy-efficient kinds contain tiny amounts of mercury, the hard part is getting rid of them when they burn out.
5. Bush Praises Automakers for Developing Flex-Fuel Vehicles
President George W. Bush, seeking support for his energy plan, praised domestic automakers on Monday for building more "flexible fuel" vehicles capable of running on ethanol and biodiesel blends.
6. Previewing a U.N. Climate Report: Species Are Going To Be Lost
From the micro to the macro, from plankton in the oceans to polar bears in the far north and seals in the far south, global warming has begun changing life on Earth, international scientists will report next Friday.
7. New Trust Seeks Damages for Massachusetts Trees Killed by Gas Leaks
Bob Ackley says minor natural gas leaks that are no threat to people can still cause harm: They kill public shade trees by choking off the oxygen at its roots. Ackley, who has spent 25 years testing natural gas lines for leaks, says it's happening to thousands of trees around the state, and gas companies are slow to fix it.
8. China Breeders Urge Lifting of Tiger Parts Ban
China tiger breeders called for the lifting of a ban on selling tiger parts on Thursday, saying the trade in tiger medicines used to treat rheumatism and loss of sexual appetite would help preserve the endangered species.
9. U.S. House of Representatives OKs Bill To Cut Ship Pollution
The House approved legislation late Monday to cut polluting emissions spewed by ships powered by diesel fuel. Under the House bill, the U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency would be given the authority to develop and enforce emission limits on the thousands of domestic and foreign-flagged vessels that enter U.S. waters each year.
10. Scientists Propose Interspecies Cloning
It was nearly a decade ago that Jose Cibelli plugged his own DNA into a cow's egg in a novel cloning attempt that was condemned as unethical by President Clinton and landed the Michigan State University researcher in a mess of controversy.
Photo: Grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park area no longer need the protections of the federal Endangered Species Act to ensure their survival, U.S. officials said recently. The population has grown to more than 500 today from 136 three decades ago. Credit: Terry Tollefsbol/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.