Environmental News: December 25th-January 4th 2010

Quote for the week

“If we’re going to make a transition to a sustainable society, we have to start looking at the complexity of human life within a living environment and start valuing simple things like human happiness and satisfaction.”
Quote from the film by Richard Heinberg
Journalist, Educator & Author

Tuna hits highest price in nine years at Tokyo auction
January 5, 2010
A tuna has been sold at auction in Tokyo's fish market for 16.28 million yen ($175,000, £109,000), the highest price paid in Japan for nine years.
The bluefin tuna weighs 232 kg - nearly four times as much as the average Japanese man.
Read more here.

C.I.A. Is Sharing Data With Climate Scientists
January 4, 2010
The nation’s top scientists and spies are collaborating on an effort to use the federal government’s intelligence assets — including spy satellites and other classified sensors — to assess the hidden complexities of environmental change. They seek insights from natural phenomena like clouds and glaciers, deserts and tropical forests.
Read more here.

Push is on to speed phaseout of flame retardant
January 4, 2010
Maryland advocates for a ban on a toxic flame retardant that accumulates in the environment and has been linked to cancer and brain development problems intend to pursue an earlier phaseout of the chemical than the timeline currently spelled out in a recent federal agreement.
Read more here.

The giant Amazon arapaima fish is 'under threat'
January 4, 2010
By Matt Walker
Editor, Earth News
The arapaima, a giant species of fish that lurks in the Amazon river, may be threatened by overfishing.
Read more here.

Fishermen Reeling Over Red Snapper Fishing Ban
January 4, 2010
In Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, a new federal rule has fishermen angry. A ban on fishing for red snapper—one of the most popular saltwater fish — starts Jan. 4.
Read more here.

2010 Year of Biodiversity Tries to Rein in Runaway Extinctions
NEW YORK, New York, January 4, 2010 (ENS) - Due to human activities, the world's animal and plant species are disappearing at a rate some experts put at 1,000 times the natural progression, the United Nations said January 1, marking 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity - the variety of life on Earth.
Read more here.

Will The Next War Be Fought Over Water?
January 3, 2010
Just as wars over oil played a major role in 20th-century history, a new book makes a convincing case that many 21st century conflicts will be fought over water.
Read more here.

Tasmanian devil facial cancer origins 'identified
January 1, 2010
By Mark Kinver
Researchers believe they have identified the source of fatal tumours that threaten to wipe out the wild population of Tasmanian devils.
Read more here.

U.S. EPA Will List, Possibly Regulate, Chemicals of Concern
WASHINGTON, DC, December 31, 2009 (ENS) - For the first time, the U.S. EPA intends to establish a Chemicals of Concern list and is beginning a process that could lead to regulations requiring risk reduction measures to protect human health and the environment.
Read more here.

Brazil Announces National Policy on Climate Change
December 31, 2009
Brazil's President introduced national legislation that will guide efforts to reduce projected emissions by 36.1 to 38.9 percent by 2020. This legislation comes on the heels of the COP-15 climate change conference held in Copenhagen earlier this month, and demonstrates Brazil's eagerness to make significant and immediate progress against global climate change.
Read more here.

Quebec Adopts California's Auto Emission Standards
John McCrank
TORONTO - Quebec will become the first province in Canada to adopt California's strict auto emissions standards, the province's environment ministry said on Tuesday.
Read more here.

Ecosystems Strain To Keep Pace With Climate
Date: 30-Dec-09
Country: US
Author: Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES - Earth's various ecosystems, with all their plants and animals, will need to shift about a quarter-mile per year on average to keep pace with global climate change, scientists said in a study released on Wednesday.
Read more here.

FDA to miss third deadline on BPA ruling
December 29, 2009
By Meg Kissinger of the Journal Sentinel
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will miss its third self-imposed deadline on letting consumers know whether it is safe to use products made with bisphenol A, a chemical ingredient in the lining of most food and beverage cans.
Read more here.

The Unfrozen North
December 29, 2009
There is increased evidence that the Arctic could face seasonally ice-free conditions and much warmer temperatures in the future. This has happened before.
Read more here.

Pressure Rises to Stop Antibiotics in Agriculture
December 28, 2009
Pressure rises to stop antibiotics in agriculture; animals fed 70 percent of US antibiotics
The mystery started the day farmer Russ Kremer got between a jealous boar and a sow in heat.
Read more here.

Ocean film festival coming to Monterey next year
December 25, 2009
The BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit — associated with Fabien Cousteau, grandson of Jacques Cousteau — will relocate its global ocean-focused event from Savannah, Ga., to the Monterey Peninsula beginning in 2010.
Read more here.

Federal Agencies Plan to Ease Water Crisis in California Bay-Delta
WASHINGTON, DC, December 22, 2009 (ENS) - To address the water crisis in California, the Obama administration today released a coordinated interim action plan that involves six federal agencies.
Read more here.

Note to Self: Connect
By Carl Safina
I am a scientist and naturalist, a person who looks through binoculars, but also who uses nature directly, by fishing for food around Montauk and in Gardiner’s Bay and along the south-side beaches, and cutting wood for heat. Each activity orients me within the East End’s ever-changing cycles of nature. All seasons are exciting, but my spirit is particularly lifted by the promise of spring and the fishing that will surely follow.
Read more here.