Environment

'Perfect protein' — World's top chefs say eat small to protect oceans

Written by The AP Wednesday, 25 March 2015 10:39

Want to make a big impact on the health of our oceans? Think small, top chefs say. As in anchovies and sardines.

That's the message from 20 of the world's leading chefs, who gathered in northeastern Spain recently to draw attention to what they hope is a simple solution to the threat facing many of the larger fish species that overfishing has pushed to near collapse. Their take: If more people ate more little fish - anchovies, sardines, herring and mackerel, for example - both human diets and seafood populations would improve.

Feds poison tens of thousands of birds in Nevada

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 25 March 2015 10:29

Land owners surprised to discover tens of thousands of dead birds across the high desert are criticizing the federal government over a mass killing of starlings in northern Nevada.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman said a pesticide was used to destroy the birds to prevent the spread of disease to dairy cows.

Group wants probe of whether Fla. banned climate-change talk

Written by JASON DEAREN,
Associated Press writer
Friday, 13 March 2015 16:07

Did Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s administration ban state environmental scientists from using the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in their work?

Scott says no, but some former employees say supervisors forbade them from using the terms — a striking charge in a U.S. state considered by climate scientists to be one of the most at risk of damage due to sea rise and stronger storms in a warming climate.

Kochs refuse Democrats' request for funding info on climate change research

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 11 March 2015 10:39

The industrial conglomerate run by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch is refusing to provide Democratic lawmakers with information on whether it has paid for climate change research.

Last month, three Democratic senators sent 100 letters to an assortment of fossil-fuel companies and organizations seeking information on whether they have backed research into global warming and other environmental topics.

Top brands fail Greenpeace's canned tuna review

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 09 March 2015 08:33

Greenpeace, in its first ranking, found the majority of the canned tuna sold in the U.S. market fails to meet fundamental sustainability standards. The environmental group said the worst performers are the big three brands: Bumble Bee, Chicken of the Sea and StarKist, which represent a combined 80 percent of the U.S. tuna market. 

The ranking, included in Greenpeace’s 2015 Canned Tuna Shopping Guide, looked at 14 well-known U.S. national and private label supermarket brands and concluded that most do not have adequate measures in place to address both sustainability and the human welfare and labor issues that plague the industry.

WHO labels popular weed-killer a probable carcinogen

Written by The Associated Press Monday, 23 March 2015 08:00

The most widely used type of weed-killer in the United States has been labeled a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The decision by the France-based cancer research arm of the World Health Organization, which considered the status of five insect and weed killers including glyphosate, which is used globally in industrial farming.

Secretary of State John Kerry said on March 12 that elected officials who ban the words "climate change" are unwilling to face the facts, a perceived dig at Florida Gov. Rick Scott's administration.

Kerry, a longtime champion of combatting climate change, said the officials were ignoring the scientific facts.

Citizens file legal challenge to rail expansion permit

Written by WiG Wire Tuesday, 10 March 2015 12:04

Nine citizens concerned with a proposed expansion of rail lines carrying crude oil through the Upper Mississippi River Basin filed a legal challenge to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ decision to issue a wetland fill and bridge permit to Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.

The citizens, according to a news release on March 9 from Midwest Environmental Advocates, say the DNR’s environmental analysis of the project didn’t comply with the law. They want the court to reverse the DNR decision to grant the permit and require the agency to prepare an environmental analysis that complies with the Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act.

Hollande says no climate deal if there is no climate fund

Written by The Associated Press Sunday, 01 March 2015 04:25

French President Francois Hollande said this week that a landmark climate deal may not be reached in Paris in December if wealthy countries don’t commit adequate funds to help poor nations fight global warming.

“There will be no agreement concluded in Paris if the countries, the poorest countries, are not convinced that there will be a fund ... which would be made available to them,” Hollande said in Manila after he and Philippine President Benigno Aquino III launched an international appeal to back efforts to seal a climate change accord.

Despite fight over Keystone XL, U.S. pipelines are booming

Written by Henry C. Jackson,
AP writer
Monday, 16 March 2015 13:01

Tar sand

In a far corner of North Dakota, just a few hundred miles from the proposed path of the Keystone XL pipeline, 84,000 barrels of crude oil per day recently began flowing through a new line that connects the state’s sprawling oilfields to an oil hub in Wyoming.

Environmentalists seek permanent protection of Penokee

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Thursday, 12 March 2015 02:20

UPDATED: The company that sought to open a massive iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin is instead packing up its office. The Gogebic Taconite mining company announced the closure of its office in Hurley and said further investment in the venture is unfeasible.

The decision, announced in a press statement by Gogebic president Bill Williams, brings to a halt the effort to transform land in the Penokee Hills in the Iron/Ashland county border into an iron mine. The proposal, brought forward in 2011 and advanced by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Republican legislators, drew strong opposition from environmentalists and Native American tribal members in the region. The development was planned for the Bad River Watershed, where many streams flow to Lake Superior and through the wild rice beds of the Bad River Ojibwe Reservation.

Tardy El Nino finally arrives

Written by The AP Tuesday, 10 March 2015 05:08

A long anticipated El Nino has finally arrived. But for drought-struck California, it's too little, too late, meteorologists say.

The National Weather Service late last week proclaimed the phenomenon is now in place. It's a warming of a certain patch of the central Pacific that changes weather patterns worldwide, associated with flooding in some places, droughts elsewhere, a generally warmer globe and fewer Atlantic hurricanes. El Ninos are usually so important that economists even track them because of how they affect commodities.

GMO labeling bills introduced in Congress

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Thursday, 26 February 2015 12:39

Democratic lawmakers in February introduced House and Senate versions of legislation to direct the Food and Drug Administration to require the labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients.

U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, and U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon introduced the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act.