ENN rounds up the most important and compelling environmental news stories of the week. In the news August 14th - 18th: The water crisis, test-tube coral babies, climate refugees, pigeons with backpacks, and much more.
Top Ten Articles of the Week
In the news August 14th - 18th: The water crisis, test-tube coral babies, climate refugees, pigeons with backpacks, and much more.
1. Rich Countries Like Poor Face Water Crisis
Rich countries have to make drastic changes to policies if they are to avoid the water crisis that is facing poorer nations, the WWF environmental organisation said on Wednesday. It suggested that agriculture in the richer countries should have to pay more for water and be held responsible more actively for its efficient use and for managing wastes, like salt, especially in intensive livestock farming.
2. New Orleans Mayor Halts Dumping at Landfill Opened after Katrina
Mayor Ray Nagin on Monday ordered waste haulers to stop depositing debris in a controversial landfill opened after Hurricane Katrina, a move state regulators said could delay the battered city's cleanup by more than a year.
3. California on Brink of Global Warming Breakthrough
California is forging ahead with the most aggressive U.S. program to reduce global warming -- a plan that pits Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger against fellow Republican George Bush. Both the governor and his state's Democratic-led legislature want to make California -- the world's eighth largest economy -- a model to follow with caps in greenhouse gas emissions that the U.S. president rejects.
4. Pacific 'Dead Zone' Said to Exceed Fears
Scientists say the oxygen-starved "dead zone" along the Pacific Coast that is causing massive crab and fish die-offs is worse than initially thought. Scientists say weather, not pollution, appears to be the culprit, and no relief is in sight. However, some say there is no immediate sign yet of long-term damage to the crab fishery.
5. Test-Tube Coral Babies May Mend Reefs
Marine scientists hope "test-tube coral babies" will take root to help restore a tract of reef ravaged by a 1984 ship grounding in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. A team of University of Miami marine science researchers collected coral eggs and sperm all this week during an annual reproductive ritual, dubbed coral spawning.
6. World Bank Fine Tunes Clean Energy Funding Proposal
A World Bank proposal to its steering committee to create two new funds to help developing countries generate cleaner, more efficient power is misguided because it backs fossil fuel projects, experts said Monday.
7. Thousands of Katrina Evacuees Seen as Climate Refugees
Some 250,000 evacuees from last year's Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast may never return permanently and should be considered "climate refugees," whose ranks around the world could grow until global warming is mitigated, an environmental expert said.
8. U.S. Government Wins Round in Power Struggle with Industrial Plants over Air Pollution
The government won a round Thursday in a long-running dispute over how much authority it has to force industrial plants to cut air pollution. Its victory over Cinergy Corp. in a federal appeals court in Chicago could help the Supreme Court decide the issue in a similar case this fall.
9. Israeli Zoo Animals Show Signs of Stress
The baboons got stressed, the lions got fat and zoo officials worry the antelopes might have heart attacks. After 34 days in indoor shelters, many of the animals at the Haifa Zoo got a breath of outdoor air -- if not a taste of freedom -- for the first time on Tuesday.
10. Pigeons Beam Air Quality Info to Blog
Pigeons with backpacks and cell phones will be taking to the sky and sending air quality data to a blog as part of a whimsical project that blends science, art and activism. Investigators at the University of California, Irvine hope the winged researchers will fill in gaps in knowledge about the air we breathe, and bring nonscientists into the debate on air quality.
Photo: A federal court has issued a preliminary injunction barring Wisconsin from killing gray wolves, siding with animal welfare and environmental groups that argue the killing violates the Endangered Species Act. Photo credit: Gary Kramer/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.