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Lawsuit filed to stop wolf killings


30 days after the Bush Administration removed Yellowstone’s Gray Wolves from the endangered list, a lawsuit has been filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council to stop the toll on the small population, which is now at 37 dead wolves and counting.

On the very day that these wolves lost their Endangered Species protection, a crippled wolf named “Limpy,” one of the most photographed wolves in Yellowstone’s famous Druid Peak pack, was shot to death when he ventured outside the park.

Another wolf was stalked for over 35 miles by snowmobile before being overtaken and shot. Another was found dead on the side of the highway, his still-warm body torn apart by bullets. And, tragically, at least four female wolves have been killed just prior to the denning season, which could doom some of the region’s wolf pups.

The Gray Wolf was taken off the endangered list earlier this year, after repeated attempts by the Bush Administration to remove them from the list, despite their marginal population.

More below the jump…

Latest News – THE ENVIRONMENTALIST’s Earth Day


Golf and the Environment

Golf courses can be breathtaking in their beauty.  Environmentally?  Not as much…  Includes an interesting survey of golf professionals about climate change and sustainable use.

NASA rolls out the ‘Green Carpet’ for Earth Day

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is commemorating Earth Day with a ‘Green Carpet’ campaign of press conferences, features on NASA TV, links and new photos of the earth taken from the latest shuttle missions.

U.S. Identifies Tainted Heparin in 11 Countries

Contamination in the blood thinner Heparin that was produced in China has been discovered in eleven countries, accounting for 81 deaths in the United States, so far.

More new articles at THE ENVIRONMENTALIST

History Lessons (on Bush and McCain’s Wars)

This is (a small part of a) cross-post (excerpted by permission) by THE ENVIRONMENTALIST‘s Managing Editor:

In her recent speech at the Conference on World Affairs, Rachel Maddow cited James Madison’s warning about the unitary executive, the propensity of an unchecked executive branch to lean toward war, whereas the legislature would be more likely to debate the issue before moving toward conflict.

Maddow’s supposition, that the Bush administration’s seeming incompetence, its torture memos, its rush to war, was by design — Bush and Cheney’s direct effort to shift power to the executive and, thereby, to shift the entire country to a more warlike stance — does have historical precedence.

I’m not referring to Madison, though he did warn of this, or Jefferson, who raised prescient concern about undue influence, but earlier in history to the systems that Madison and Jefferson used as the inspiration for their grand experiment: The Roman Republic of Caesar’s time and the Greek democracy of Solon.

This is not to say that George W. Bush is Julius Caesar or that any of his lawgivers (like the ones who approved that torture memo) are Solon. But there are interesting parallels to the way Caesar and his contemporaries used war to further their wealth and political ambitions, as well as to the actions that Solon’s contemporaries took to undermine codified law…

Highly recommend you link to link to the whole essay for the point it makes about Bush and McCain’s wars.

Illuminating and frightening.  

Interior Secretary no-show at Senate Polar Bear Hearing


The Bush Administration’s Interior Secretary, Dirk Kempthorne, was a no-show at last Wednesday’s Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee hearing, chaired by Barbara Boxer, on the listing of the polar bear as an endangered species.

“This listing is months overdue, in violation of the Endangered Species Act,” the California Democrat said at the hearing of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee.

The deadline for a decision was Jan. 9. Conservation groups petitioned to list polar bears as threatened more than three years ago because their habitat, sea ice, is shrinking from global warming.

In a letter to Boxer, Kempthorne said he “respectfully” declined her invitation to appear at the hearing, since he is a named defendant in a lawsuit over the polar bear listing filed by an environmental group.

Carnegie Study: Climate Requires Near-zero Emissions


Scientists at the Carnegie Institution have just completed a study that has concluded the only way to stabilize the climate is to reduce carbon emissions to a near-zero level:

In the study, to be published in Geophysical Research Letters, climate scientists Ken Caldeira and Damon Matthews used an Earth system model at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology to simulate the response of the Earth’s climate to different levels of carbon dioxide emission over the next 500 years. ~snip~

The scientists investigated how much climate changes as a result of each individual emission of carbon dioxide, and found that each increment of emission leads to another increment of warming.[…] With emissions set to zero in the simulations, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere slowly fell as carbon “sinks” such as the oceans and land vegetation absorbed the gas. Surprisingly, however, the model predicted that global temperatures would remain high for at least 500 years after carbon dioxide emissions ceased.

More below the jump…

The Latest News

Latest articles from THE ENVIRONMENTALIST (see articles for video, links and resources):

Congress grills Big Oil on prices

The top five oil companies, testifying before Representative Edward Markey’s (D-MA) Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, insisted that their 125 billion dollar profit last was “in line with other industries.”

Representative Markey’s take on the profits:  “On April Fool’s Day, the biggest joke of all is being played on American families by Big Oil, while using every trick in the book to keep billions in federal tax subsidies even as they rake in record profits,” said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass.

April’s Protectors of Children

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to show support for abused children (every month should be that) and to raise awareness about the groups working to save their lives…

Kyoto II climate meeting opens in Thailand

Talks by the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to negotiate a replacement to the Kyoto Accord began in Bangkok today with a plea by the Secretary General for unity and a common purpose toward the remediation of climate change.

More at THE ENVIRONMENTALIST (we’ve been busy).


Cities go dark for Earth Hour


The first cities have dimmed their lights for what is hoped to be an annual awareness event on climate change: Earth Hour, an hour of darkness to remind the populace of the impact of global warming.

The movement began a year ago in Australia and has now spread world-wide, with the first cities already dimming their lights between 8-9pm local time:

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — The iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge went dark Saturday night as Sydney became the world’s first major city to turn off its lights for this year’s Earth Hour, a global campaign to raise awareness about climate change.

Thousands of homes were dark for an hour in Christchurch, New Zealand. The famed Wat Arun Buddhist temple in Bangkok, Thailand switched off its lights.

The three major cities were among 23 worldwide, along with 300 smaller towns, taking part in Earth Hour — a campaign by environmental group WWF to highlight the need to conserve energy and fight global warming.

“This provides an extraordinary symbol and an indication that we can be part of the solution” to global warming, Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett told Sky News television.

More below the jump…

Giant Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapses


The National Ice and Snow Institute (NISDC) has released a report documenting a dramatic and troubling collapse of a large portion (nine times the size of Manhattan) of the Wilkins Ice Shelf in Antarctica.

Satellite imagery from the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder reveals that a 13,680 square kilometer (5,282 square mile) ice shelf has begun to collapse because of rapid climate change in a fast-warming region of Antarctica.

The Wilkins Ice Shelf is a broad plate of permanent floating ice on the southwest Antarctic Peninsula, about 1,000 miles south of South America. In the past 50 years, the western Antarctic Peninsula has experienced the biggest temperature increase on Earth, rising by 0.5 degree Celsius (0.9 degree Fahrenheit) per decade. NSIDC Lead Scientist Ted Scambos, who first spotted the disintegration in March, said, “We believe the Wilkins has been in place for at least a few hundred years. But warm air and exposure to ocean waves are causing a break-up.”

The ice shelf began its visible collapse on February 28th, when a huge iceberg (41 x 2.5 kilometers – 25.5 by 1.5 miles) broke away, triggering a wider collapse of 405 square kilometers (160 square miles) of the shelf…

Photo Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center

The rest of the article, more photos, videos, satellite views and animation at this link

The Latest News

So much has been going on at THE ENVIRONMENTALIST, it’s been difficult to keep up.  I’ve copied a few excepts from articles I found most interesting (some I worked on, others not).  

Here are some excerpts:

An Early Spring

Forty-six years ago, author Rachel Carson’s seminal work, SILENT SPRING, alerted the world of damage to the environment by the pesticide DDT. It is a book that is widely considered to be the genesis of modern environmental movement and that may be true, as it raised public awareness as to the dangers of pollution to the eco-system.

Now, a new kind of silent spring is upon us; an early spring that confusing to vulnerable plant and wildlife that many may not survive its untimely arrival.  

Barack Obama: The Prejudice of Predefinition

I listened to Barack Obama’s historic speech in awe of the raw truth of his words and recognition of the dignity with which he faces the obvious attempts by others to predefine him as something singular — a black candidate — rather than as a multi-cultural and gifted American who presents a unique opportunity for both his country and the world.

I understand what his opponents are trying to do. The prejudice of predefinition. If one can be defined, then they are somehow ‘less than’…

Cats may lower heart attack risk

A new study from the University of Minnesota has discovered that people who have kept cats have a 40% lower risk of heart attack than their non-cat friendly counterparts.

More below the jump…

Rain and Wind Batter English Coast


The British Met Office has issued flood alerts for the entire Devon and Cornwall coast amidst a storm that has reached the west of England and Wales and is expected to impact much of the U.K. over the next two days.


Storm warnings have been issued for the areas coloured in red on the map (map at this link).

Rain and fierce winds are hitting parts of the UK, as what could be winter’s worst storm moves in from the Atlantic.

Emergency services said trees had been uprooted and power lines brought down in south-west England, where winds have reached almost 80mph (130km/h). Severe flood warnings have been issued for the Devon and Cornwall coast. In St Brides, Newport, 170 people were told to evacuate a caravan park overnight.

Meanwhile, forecasters say central Scotland will see blizzards and snow.

The BBC has put together a satellite slide show of the approaching storm. Warnings have been issued by the Environment Agency to stay away from exposed coastline and to watch for floods in the effected areas…

We’re an Org! (The Environmentalist)

The site I write for, THE ENVIRONMENTALIST, has just been granted international ‘org’ status by the organisation that oversees such things.

Apparently, we’re doing our bit for the public interest across the pond.


If you have a link to the .com site in your blogroll, please change it to:


(and if you don’t, why?)

Sorry, but I’m feeling quite happy about this.  It’s a bit different than just getting the .org extension.  We’re been recognised as an org, which means we’ll be able to work with international organisations, research libraries, etc.  The bad (but not too bad) news is that we lose all our stats and rankings and have to start over, although we have climbed already from #704 to #83 of top science blogs in the last hour (we were at #3 as a .com for a while).

That should, hopefully, be set to rights rather quickly, as it seems to read live hits.

Which is my way of saying: please visit, if only to push our stats.  And same request as before, regarding our redesign, especially since our links may not be sticky.  Feedback would be grand.


Campaign (sp)in-fighting


I woke up this morning with a headache, downed two extra-strength aspirin and am finally able to open my eyes enough to read and write and listen to the telly and hear all about do-overs and Mark Penn and Harold Ickes’ Dick Cheney moment:

Penn had no real people of his own on the inside and chafed whenever Solis Doyle or Ickes got involved in his sphere. At one point, he and Ickes, who have been battling each other within the Clinton orbit for a dozen years, lost their tempers during a conference call, according to two participants.

“[Expletive] you!” Ickes shouted.

“[Expletive] you!” Penn replied.

“[Expletive] you!” Ickes shouted again.

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