Environmental News: January 14th-January 21st 2010

Quote for the week

An action is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of a living community and wrong when it tends to do otherwise.
Aldo Leopold

Justices, 5-4, Reject Corporate Spending Limit
Published: January 21, 2010
WASHINGTON — Overruling two important precedents about the First Amendment rights of corporations, a bitterly divided Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.
Read more here.

EPA finds PCB levels 25 percent higher
January 21, 2010
By Michael Hill
 The Associated Press
ALBANY (AP) - Hudson River dredging released almost 25 times more PCBs into the water than expected, General Electric said Thursday in calling for changes in performance standards before the massive Superfund cleanup resumes.
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Past Decade Warmest on Record, NASA Data Shows
Published: January 21, 2010
WASHINGTON — The decade ending in 2009 was the warmest on record, new surface temperature figures released Thursday by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration show.
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Pacific's rising acid levels threatening marine life
January 20, 2010
By Sandi Doughton
Seattle Times science reporter
A sweeping 15-year study of pH levels in the Pacific Ocean confirmed that upper reaches of the sea are becoming increasingly more acidic.
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The Eco-Warrior
President Obama has appointed the most progressive EPA chief in history — and she's moving swiftly to clean up the mess left by Bush

January 20, 2010
When it comes to passing major legislation — reforming health care, reining in Wall Street, curbing climate change — the Obama administration is under fire from all sides for bowing to special interests and conducting government business behind closed doors. But there's one agency where the hope and hype of the campaign trail have transitioned seamlessly into effective governance: the Environmental Protection Agency.
Read more here.

Environmental Center Connects Land and Sea
Learning and Recreation Blend in Programs Offered at Kapalua, Maui

January 19, 2010
There are many ways of learning about the interrelatedness of the oceans and the land. The Jean-Michel Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment provides a variety of opportunities for understanding the importance of the connection.
Read more here.

Why it is important to put a price on nature
Valuing the environment

January 18, 2010
THE insight that nature provides services to mankind is not a new one. In 360BC Plato remarked on the helpful role that forests play in preserving fertile soil; in their absence, he noted, the land was turned into desert, like the bones of a wasted body. The idea that the value provided by such "ecosystem services" can be represented by ecologists in a way that economists can get to grips with, though, is rather newer.
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New rules planned for fish farming in federal waters
January 18, 2010
WASHINGTON — Americans’ insatiable love of seafood is back on the federal government’s plate..
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Why You Should Fear Your Sofa, Baby Stroller and Nursing Pillow
January 18, 2010
By Ruth Rosen, AlterNet.
Flame retardants in everyday products cause cancer, birth defects or endocrine disruption in every animal species studied.
Read more here.

Antarctic Wind Farm Reduces Bases' Reliance On Diesel
Date: 18-Jan-10
Author: Adrian Bathgate
WELLINGTON - The world's southernmost wind farm has been opened in Antarctica, the first in what could be a number of renewable energy projects aimed to lower the frozen continent's reliance on diesel for power.
Read more here.

Beaches Trapping Some Oil From Exxon Valdez Spill
Date: 18-Jan-10
Country: US
Author: JoAnne Allen
WASHINGTON - A lack of oxygen and nutrients below the surface of beaches in Alaska's Prince William Sound is slowing the dissipation of oil remaining from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, U.S. researchers said on Sunday.
Read more here.

Reversing itself, FDA expresses concerns over health risks from BPA
By Lyndsey Layton
Saturday, January 16, 2010
The Food and Drug Administration has reversed its position on the safety of Bisphenol A, a chemical found in plastic bottles, soda cans, food containers and thousands of consumer goods, saying it now has concerns about health risks.
Read more here.

Lack of Yukon king salmon declared disaster
January 16th, 2010
ALASKA: Officials praise Commerce secretary for paving way for relief funds.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke declared a commercial fishing disaster for Yukon River king salmon Friday following two years of poor runs, fishing restrictions and bans.
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REACH list of dangerous chemicals doubled 
January 15, 2010
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has added 14 substances to the list of  "very high concern" chemicals to undergo special health and safety scrutiny under the bloc's chemical regulation REACH.
Read more here.

White House Will Press Ahead With Climate Bill, U.S. Negotiator Tells Investors
By JOEL KIRKLAND of Greenwire
January 14, 2010
UNITED NATIONS -- U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern today urged nations that signed the Copenhagen Accord to submit their greenhouse gas emissions-reduction targets and to hammer out details critical to implementing the broad agreement.
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The Agency That Wrestles With Wayward Birds and Vanishing Coastlines
By JESSICA LEBER of ClimateWire
Published: January 14, 2010
More questions than answers persist in early efforts to bring climate change into all decisions at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the federal agency that manages the nation's wildlife refuges and many of its protected species.
Read more here.

Arctic polar bears imperiled by man-made pollution
January 14, 2010
By Matt Walker
Editor, Earth News
The long-term survival of polar bears is being threatened by man-made pollution that is reaching the Arctic.
Read more here.