ENN rounds up the most important and compelling environmental news stories of the week. In the news November 13th - 17th: Vanishing flamingos, the perils of deep-sea trawling, elephant polo, panda porn, and much more.
Top Ten Articles of the Week
In the news November 13th - 17th: Vanishing flamingos, the perils of deep-sea trawling, elephant polo, panda porn, and much more.
1. Sweden Tops Climate Change Efforts, U.S. Near Bottom, Environmentalists Say
Sweden, Britain and Denmark are doing the most to protect against climate change, but their efforts are not nearly enough, according to a report released Monday by environmental groups. The United States -- the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases -- ranked at 53, with only China, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia doing worse.
2. African Lake's Iconic Birds are Vanishing
The famous flamingos of Nakuru are fading away. The spindly, exquisite birds, clouds of pink rising on a million wings in generations of tourist photographs, are dying, flying off, fleeing a seemingly fatal brew of environmental threats in a shrinking Lake Nakuru.
3. Deep-Sea Trawling Destroying Underwater Mountains
Deep-sea trawling is destroying underwater mountains teeming with marine life and causing irreparable damage to ecosystems, scientists warned on Wednesday. Most of the underwater volcanic mountains, or seamounts, which contain deep-sea corals and are home to thousands of marine species, are in unregulated areas.
4. DOE Promises to Improve Household Appliance Energy Efficiency
The Energy Department has agreed to boost energy efficiency requirements for nearly two dozen household appliances and equipment from dishwashers to fluorescent lamps as part of a court settlement after years of inaction. The new standards will be phased in over the next five years.
5. India Urged to Blow Whistle on Elephant Polo
Animal rights activists in India have called on the eve of a controversial tournament for the elite, centuries-old sport of elephant polo to be banned due to what they say is the pain and suffering it causes the animals.
6. UN's Annan Launches Plan to Help Africa on Climate
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan launched a plan on Wednesday to help Africa fight global warming, and criticised a "frightening lack of leadership" in confronting what he called one of the world's biggest threats.
7. Harvard Biologist Extends Olive Branch to Evangelicals
Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson might normally arouse suspicion among evangelicals, given his faith in science over Scripture. But in his latest book, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner extends an olive branch to Christian believers in hopes of saving the Earth from the biggest mass extinction since the dinosaurs.
8. Forest Fires May Actually Cool Climate
Climatologists have worried for years that forest fires would worsen global warming by adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Now, there is an indication that the fires could have a regional cooling effect.
9. Ice-Melt Isolates Remote Communities in Canada
Aboriginal communities in Ontario's far north are becoming increasingly isolated as rising temperatures melt their winter route to the outside world and impede their access to supplies. "The ice doesn't have its solid blue color any more," said Stan Beardy, the grand chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
10. Thai Zoo to Teach Panda to Mate with 'Porn' Videos
A Thai zoo, which has hosted a couple of pandas for four years, will play "porn" videos for the male next month to encourage them to breed in captivity, the project manager said on Saturday.
Photo: Paper recycling at the Visy Recycling Centre. Established in Melbourne, Australia in 1948, Visy has grown to become one of the world's largest privately owned packaging and recycling companies. Credit: Visy Recycling Centre/Department of the Environment and Heritage/Australian Government.