Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Rules on Mercury From Power Plants

New York Times: The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear a major challenge to the limits set by the Obama administration on emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants. It is the latest effort by industry groups to roll back regulations that would reduce emissions like mercury, soot, sulfur, smog and carbon dioxide. The case also threatens to undermine one of the administration’s most significant victories and chip away at President Obama’s legacy. John Walke, a lawyer with the...

How oil ate the heart of North Dakota

Grist: Nothing completes a quiet morning drinking coffee and reading the paper like a multi-part investigative saga of pollution and the fracking boom in North Dakota, and boy howdy, did The New York Times deliver this weekend. In the two-part series, investigative reporter Deborah Sontag brings up one example after another of ways that pollution in North Dakota is on the rise. There`s the old filling station filled with illegally dumped and radioactive oil filter socks. There`s the train crash that...

Australian Foreign Minister says reef not in danger but what do her own scientists say?

Guardian: Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop should apologise for claiming the Great Barrier Reef is “not in danger” from climate change, according to enough scientific evidence to form a small coral atoll. Sorry. Too glib? When the minister representing Australia at the next major United Nations climate change negotiations appears unwilling to accept the advice of her own government science and reef management agencies, then it’s time to worry. Indeed, one of the world’s leading marine biologists...

Australia: Action needed to combat future biosecurity threats: CSIRO

SBS: A bioterrorist attack or swine flu-like pandemic. Incursion of a new wheat disease or fruit fly crippling crops. An outbreak of foot and mouth or bluetongue disease, devastating farmers. Some scenarios sound like a plot from a Hollywood disaster movie, but these "megashocks" could pose a real threat to Australian biosecurity, the CSIRO says. In its report, Australia's Biosecurity Future, released on Tuesday, the scientific body outlines 12 potential megashocks it thinks could hit Australia in...

Q&A: INTERPOL Asks Public Help Nab Environmental Crime Fugitives

National Geographic: On November 17, for the first time in its history, INTERPOL asked the public to assist in the capture of environmental crime fugitives. The landmark public appeal falls under INTERPOL's Operation Infra Terra, launched in October and targeting 139 criminals from 36 nations. INTERPOL-the International Criminal Police Organization-is the world's largest international police organization, with 190 member countries. The nine fugitives are accused of a range of crimes: -Italian Adriano Giacobone...

Chameleon crisis: extinction threatens 36% of world’s chameleons

Mongabay: Chameleons are an unmistakable family of wonderfully bizarre reptiles. They sport long, shooting tongues; oddly-shaped horns or crests; and a prehensile tail like a monkey's. But, of course, chameleons are most known for their astonishing ability to change the color of their skin. Over millions of years, these Old World reptiles have used this evolutionary trait for an astonishing variety of reasons, including camouflage, complex communication, and to keep warm in the cold or vice versa. But a new...

‘Monster’ Fracking Wells Guzzle Water Drought-Stricken Regions

EcoWatch: The fracking industry likes to minimize the sector’s bottomless thirst for often-scarce water resources, saying it takes about 2-4 million gallons of water to frack the average well, an amount the American Petroleum Institute describes as “the equivalent of three to six Olympic swimming pools.” That’s close to the figure cited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well. But a new report released by Environmental Working Group (EWG) located 261 “monster” wells that consumed between...

World Bank releases damning report climate change

New Times: The extent of climate change resulting from human activities has gone beyond a point of 'no return' and the abnormalities, according to a new World Bank report released today. Experts will find these findings damning but it's exactly what scientists have been warning of for a long time and the poorest countries, majority of them from Africa, are set to suffer most from this new reality. "Today's report confirms what scientists have been saying - past emissions have set an unavoidable course to...

Report: Global warming could undercut efforts eradicate poverty

Al Jazeera: Climate change could undermine efforts to defeat extreme poverty around the globe, the World Bank warned Sunday. In a new report on the impact of global warming, the bank said sharp temperature rises would cut deeply into crop yields and water supplies in many areas and possibly set back efforts to bring populations out of poverty. "Climate change poses a substantial and escalating risk to development progress that could undermine global efforts to eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared...

Ethanol use in Michigan cuts greenhouse gas, study finds

Great Lakes Echo: New research suggests increased ethanol fuel use could be dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Michigan. A study by scientists at Michigan State University shows ethanol use in the state is reducing carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 1.4 million metric tons each year, the equivalent of emissions from 294,000 cars. Ethanol fuel production, meanwhile, has nearly doubled in the past seven years, from 276 million gallons in 2007 to 452 million in 2012. The findings suggest ethanol...