ENN Weekly: June 18th - 22nd

ENN rounds up the most important and compelling environmental news stories of the week. In the news June 18th - 22nd: Fuel economy, urban coyotes, turtles vs tourists, Agent Orange, and much more.

Top Ten Articles of the Week
In the news June 18th - 22nd: Fuel economy, urban coyotes, turtles vs tourists, Agent Orange, and much more.

1. Senate Passes Energy Bill Favoring Renewables, Better Auto Fuel Economy
Democrats celebrated a step toward reducing U.S. dependence on oil as the Senate approved a bill calling for more ethanol and the first boost in gas mileage in decades. The Senate late Thursday voted 65-27 to pass the first energy bill since Democrats took control of Congress in January. Now the House plans to follow suit, perhaps as early as next week.

2. Call of the Not-So-Wild: Coyotes Thriving in Big Cities in the East and Midwest
Wile E. Coyote, as a comically ineffective predator, is always good for a laugh. The antics of his real-life kin provoke a different kind of reaction as cities and suburbs in the East and Midwest find themselves in unfamiliar territory. Some naturalists suspect the ranks of urban coyotes may be swelling as the animals migrate from the open spaces of the West and Southeast.

3. China Overtakes U.S. as Top CO2 Emitter
China has overtaken the United States as the top emitter of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, because of surging energy use in its economic boom, a Dutch government-funded agency said on Wednesday. Other experts have estimated that China will only surpass the United States in coming years. The rise to number one emitter may put pressure on Beijing to do more to help a U.N.-led fight against global warming.

4. Ecuador Weighs Galapagos Turtles vs Tourists
Marauding Europeans are nothing new to the Galapagos Islands, which long ago were the haunt of English pirates preying on Spanish galleons laden with Inca gold. But Ecuador, which owns the archipelago, may soon have to take action against menacing outsiders, realizing foreigners with cameras are every bit as dangerous as those with cutlasses.

5. Google Aims To Go Carbon-Neutral by the End of 2007
Google Inc. aims to voluntarily cut or offset all of its greenhouse emissions by the end of the year, the Web search leader said Tuesday. Google is one of a number of companies, including News Corp., and Yahoo Inc. that are attempting to cut emissions of gases scientists link to global warming. To make the cuts, Google is investing in energy efficiency, renewable energy like solar, and will purchase carbon offsets for emissions it cannot reduce directly, the company said.

6. Darfur Conflict Worsening Environmental Damage
Decades of drought helped trigger Darfur's violence as rival groups fought over scarce water and arable land. Now, experts fear the war and its refugee crisis are making the environment even worse, leaving the land increasingly uninhabitable and intensifying tensions with no end to the drought in sight.

7. New US-Vietnam Effort Launched To Deal with Toxic Agent Orange Legacy
A new U.S.-Vietnamese humanitarian effort is being launched to deal with the legacy of Agent Orange, the toxic herbicide that U.S. troops sprayed across Vietnam during the war. The project is being coordinated by the Ford Foundation, a New York-based charitable group that plans to spend $7.5 million on Agent Orange work over the next two years.

8. Expanding Deserts in China Forcing Farmers from Fields, Sending Sandstorms across Pacific
Half a century after Mao Zedong's "Great Leap Forward" brought irrigation to the arid grasslands in this remote corner of northwest China, the government is giving up on its attempt to make a breadbasket out of what has increasingly become a stretch of scrub and sand dunes. In a problem that's pervasive in much of China, over-farming has drawn down the water table so low that desert is overtaking farmland.

9. Glacial Lake Vanishes in Southern Chile
A five-acre glacial lake in Chile's southern Andes has disappeared -- and scientists want to know why. One theory is the water disappeared through cracks in the lake bottom into underground fissures. But experts do not know why the cracks would have appeared because there have been no earthquakes reported in the area recently.

10. Greenpeace Asks Passengers at Four UK Airports To Travel by Train Instead
Greenpeace set up booths at four British airports on Tuesday aimed at persuading people to help fight global warming by traveling by train instead of plane. The environmental campaigners, dressed as stewards and stewardesses, offered free return train tickets to passengers at the London City, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh airports as they lined up for morning flights.

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