Nevada geothermal power lawsuit bound for US appeals court
A federal appeals court will have to decide whether protecting historical tribal lands and a rare toad warrant blocking a major geothermal plant in Nevada as the nation tries to move away from fossil fuels amid a looming climate crisis.
Peru: 21 beaches polluted by spill linked to Tonga eruption
Peru has declared an environmental emergency after announcing that 21 beaches on the Pacific coast were contaminated by an oil spill at a refinery run by Spain-based Repsol, following surging waves caused by the eruption of an underwater volcano near Tonga.
German leader champions new tack on climate at Davos event
New German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called for a “paradigm shift” in the way the world approaches climate policy, saying his country would leverage its presidency of the Group of Seven industrial nations to push for standards to fight global warming.
Three of Tonga's smaller islands badly damaged by tsunami
Three of Tonga’s smaller islands have suffered serious damage from tsunami waves, officials and the Red Cross say, as a wider picture begins to emerge of the destruction caused by the eruption of an undersea volcano near the Pacific archipelago nation.
US plans $50B wildfire fight where forests meet civilization
The Biden administration says it will significantly expand efforts to stave off catastrophic wildfires that have been torching areas of the U.S. West by more aggressively thinning forests around “hot spots” where nature and neighborhoods collide.
Owners to get $42 million for citrus trees Florida destroyed
Sixteen years after their legal battle began, about 18,000 homeowners in central Florida will be paid more than $42 million collectively by Florida’s agriculture agency for destroying their citrus trees during a state effort to eradicate a harmful citrus disease.
Ex-EPA workers ask Virginia senators not to confirm Wheeler
More than 150 former Environmental Protection Agency employees are writing to the Virginia Senate, asking the Democrat-controlled chamber to oppose the nomination of former EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler to GOP Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin’s Cabinet.
EPA moves to crack down on dangerous coal ash storage ponds
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking its first major action to address toxic wastewater from coal-burning power plants, ordering utilities to stop dumping waste into unlined storage ponds and speed up plans to close leaking or otherwise dangerous coal ash sites.
How environmentally friendly are you? Take these quick polls to help determine exactly that
When it comes to climate change and environmental issues, it might feel like a lot to wrap your head around: The problems are so widespread and complex -- so if you’ve ever thought to yourself, “What can one person even DO?”, you’re likely not alone.
Column: Washington Park kids again see Christmas tree torched. Let’s show them some holiday goodwill.
For the third year in a row, the Washington Park neighborhood Christmas tree has been destroyed, this time by arson. The children there deserve to know good wins out. A toy drive can help with that.chicagotribune.com
Kenosha sheriff, city police gave armed civilians license ‘to wreak havoc and inflict injury’ during last summer’s unrest: lawsuit
A federal lawsuit filed in Wisconsin seeks damages against Kenosha authorities for allegedly allowing armed civilians including Kyle Rittenhouse to operate freely during last summer's unrest, resulting in the death of Anthony Huber.chicagotribune.com
Virus protection adds new wrinkle to Southwest heat relief
There are still few places where our homeless can go," Salvation Army Major David Yardley said at the group's downtown center. Blistering temperatures can endanger health, and can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death. The daily high temperatures in Phoenix were forecast to hit 110 degrees (43C) or very close to it during the extreme heat warning in effect through Sunday, National Weather Service forecasters said. The cooling stations in metro Phoenix open when the weather service declares extreme heat warnings They were also open for a string of days during an extreme heat warning in late April. In metro Las Vegas, where an excessive heat warning is in effect until Friday evening, four heat relief stations were open.
Court denies request to revive US pipeline permit program
A U.S. appeals court on Thursday turned down a request by the Trump administration and energy industry groups to revive a permit program for new oil and gas pipelines that had been canceled by a lower court. The case originated with a challenge to the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. but has affected oil and gas pipeline proposals across the nation. Backed by numerous states and industry groups, attorneys for the government argued the cancellation would delay construction of pipelines needed to deliver fuel to power plants and other destinations. Circuit Court of Appeals denied an emergency request to block Morris' ruling. They said in a one-page decision that the government, states and industry groups had not demonstrated sufficient harm to their interests to justify reviving the program while the case is still pending.
Virus, heat wave and locusts form perfect storm in India
An Indian man selling earthen pots beneath a bridge drinks water in Ahmedabad, India, Thursday, May 28, 2020. Cyclone Amphan, a massive super storm that crossed the unusually warm Bay of Bengal last week, sucked up huge amounts of moisture, leaving dry, hot winds to form a heat wave over parts of central and northern India. Gurjar, a top official of Indias Locust Warning Organization, said his 50-person team was scrambling to stop the swarms before breeding can take place during Indias monsoons, which begin in July. Indian environmental journalist Joydeep Gupta said that the perfect storm of pandemic, heat and locusts show India must go green. Its building coping abilities of the very poor to be able to deal with stress after stress after stress, she said.
Glazed or jelly? Doughnuts lure city-roaming bear into trap
A juvenile black bear roams through Fort Myers, Fla., Tuesday morning, May 26, 2020. A black bear roaming around a Florida city proved no match for the doughnuts that lured the animal into a humane trap. Wildlife officials say bears tend to move more in the spring in search of mates and, as always, food. Brown said the bear was relocated to a state-managed wildlife area. Authorities estimate there are about 4,000 black bears in Florida.
States, cities challenge Trump mileage standards rollback
DENVER Nearly two dozen states and several cities on Wednesday filed a legal challenge to the Trump administrations rollback of Obama-era mileage standards, saying science backed up the old regulations developed with the help of the nation's car makers. The new mileage standards require automakers to achieve 1.5% annual increases in fuel efficiency. The Obama-era standards called for 5% annual increases and were seen as the government's most forceful initiative against climate-changing fossil fuel emissions. The states and cities claim the rule violates the Clean Air Act, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. Opponents claim dirtier air from the rollback will kill and injure more people than the rollback claims to save in roadway accidents.
Judge strikes down US energy leasing rules in bird habitat
A U.S. judge has dealt another blow to the Trump administration's efforts to increase domestic oil and gas output from public lands, saying officials failed to protect habitat for a declining bird species when it issued energy leases on hundreds of square miles. The judge canceled energy leases on more than 470 square miles (1,200 square kilometers) of public land in Montana and Wyoming. But the latest ruling, handed down Friday, appears to go further and strike at the administration's broader energy policies. Their numbers have plummeted due to energy development, disease and other factors. Western Energy Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma noted that some of the cancelled leases had been sold before the Trump administration's policies went into full effect.
Big Oil loses appeal, climate suits go to California courts
Circuit Court of Appeals said state courts are the proper forum for the lawsuits alleging that Big Oil promoted petroleum as environmentally responsible when producers knew it was causing damage. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)LOS ANGELES Big Oil lost a pair of court battles Tuesday that could lead to trials in lawsuits by California cities and counties seeking damages for the impact of climate change. The oil companies strategy is to keep the light from shining on their own behavior. Oil companies got the cases transferred to San Francisco federal court, where two judges reached different conclusions. The companies had argued that federal law controls fossil fuel production, and Congress has encouraged oil and gas development.
Alligator rumored to have been Hitlers dies in Moscow
MOSCOW An alligator that many people believe once belonged to Adolf Hitler has died in the Moscow Zoo. The zoo said the alligator, named Saturn, was about 84 years old when he died on Friday. According to the zoo, Saturn was born in the United States and later sent to the Berlin Zoo, from which he escaped when the zoo was bombed in 1943. His whereabouts were unknown until 1946, when British soldiers found him and gave him to the Soviet Union, the zoo said. Almost immediately, the myth was born that he was allegedly in the collection of Hitler and not in the Berlin Zoo, the zoo said in a statement.
Pandemic a boon for the bicycle as thousands snap them up
In this Friday, May 15, 2020 photo, Joel Johnson rides his new bicycle on a bike path at Crissy Field near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Johnson hadn't owned a bicycle since he was 15, but soon after the coronavirus pandemic led to a shelter in place order in San Francisco, he bought a bike to avoid crowded public trains and buses. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)SAN FRANCISCO Joel Johnson hadnt owned a bicycle since he was 15, but the pandemic changed all that. San Francisco soon followed, closing sections of twelve streets in a city that already has a robust network of bike lanes. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, an advocacy and education group, has seen demand for its classes on city biking now online jump from 30 participants to more than 100, Executive Director Brian Wiedenmeier said.
National parks hope visitors comply with virus measures
Visitors to Yellowstone National Park often leave common sense and situational awareness at home, as those examples in the past year show. Were out there.Other national parks that have reopened include Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina, where park officials urge visitors to arrive early at popular spots. We're expecting there to be less people on the trails than being open all day, said Grand Canyon spokesperson Lily Daniels. A lot of it is self-governance.That's not a good idea, said former Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Rob Arnberger in an opinion piece Friday in The Arizona Republic. No ones an expert at reopening national parks in a pandemic, Sholly said.
Baby gorilla badly injured in family skirmish at Seattle zoo
In this Friday, May, 22, 2020 photo released by the Woodland Park Zoo shows a 2 1/2-month-old male gorilla, Kitoko, with mom Uzumm. Kitoko was injured Saturday, during a skirmish among his six-member family group in Seattle. (Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo via AP)SEATTLE A baby gorilla was badly injured at a Seattle zoo on Saturday when he was caught in a skirmish between his family group members, zookeepers said. Animal health experts at the Woodland Park Zoo say little Kitoko was bitten on the head, likely by accident when another gorilla tried to bite his mother, Uzumma. Gorillas tend to be gentle giants but conflicts among family members do occur, in zoos and in nature, Woodland Park Zoo mammal curator Martin Ramirez said.
Judge nixes bid to stop coal sales that Trump revived
Acting under an earlier order in the case, the administration in February released an analysis that said the decision to resume coal sales would make little difference over time in greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal, a contention critics said was flawed. Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued the administration only considered emissions from a handful of leases and failed to capture the cumulative, long-term impact of the coal program. Yet critics of the coal program note that some lease sales have continued and say the administrations moves could open tens of thousands of acres of public lands to new mining. The coal program is overseen by the U.S. If those mines are to continue operating, they will need to keep expanding onto federal lands, he said.
Florida's Grayton Beach No. 1 in top-10 US list
This Aug. 1, 2018, aerial photo made available by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection shows Grayton Beach State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. The squeak,' squeak, 'squeak of the sand when you walk in it.It's a large reason the beach was picked as the best in the United States by Stephen Dr. Beach Leatherman, a coastal scientist and professor at Florida International University, who has been ranking the nation's beaches for 30 years. Grayton Beach State Park won the list's top spot even without a smoking ban based on its sheer beauty. I have caught lots of fish at Grayton Beach State Park, Cherry said.
EU wants to reduce pesticides use, promotes organic farming
BRUSSELS The European Commission unveiled plans Wednesday to protect biodiversity across the 27-nation bloc while building a more sustainable food system, insisting on the need to both reduce the use of pesticides and promote organic farming. The commission also wants to plant at least 3 extra billion trees over the next ten years. The use of antimicrobials, which include antibiotics, should also be reduced by 50% for fish and animal farming. The commission also estimates that investing in organic farming will help create 10-20% more jobs per hectare than traditional farming. Farmers alone must not bear the brunt of the costs of further environmental and climate protection," said COPA president Joachim Rukwied.
Democrats decry 'pandemic of pollution' under Trump's EPA
(Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON Democrats on Wednesday blasted the Trump administration's moves to roll back environmental regulations during the coronavirus crisis, with one senator saying a "pandemic of pollution'' has been released. Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the EPA remains open for business" and "at work meeting our mission of protecting human health and the environment.'' While the rest of the country works around the clock to combat and overcome this deadly respiratory pandemic, the Trump EPA has been spearheading a pandemic of pollution, Carper said. An EPA spokeswoman disputed Democrats claims that the temporary enforcement waiver allows companies to openly exceed pollution limits. He said that Trump's EPA has saved U.S. businesses more than $5 billion in regulatory costs.
Study: World carbon pollution falls 17% during pandemic peak
The world cut its daily carbon dioxide emissions by 17% at the peak of the pandemic shutdown last month, a new study found. The world cut its daily carbon dioxide emissions by 17% at the peak of the pandemic shutdown last month, a new study found. For a week in April, the United States cut its carbon dioxide levels by about one-third. The study was carried out by Global Carbon Project, a consortium of international scientists that produces the authoritative annual estimate of carbon dioxide emissions. By contrast, the study found that drastic reductions in air travel only accounted for 10% of the overall pollution drop.
Virus interrupts St. Helens eruption anniversary plans
FILE - In this May 18, 1980, file photo, Mount St. Helens sends a plume of ash, smoke and debris skyward as it erupts. May 18, 2020, is the 40th anniversary of the eruption that killed more than 50 people and blasted more than 1,300 feet off the mountain's peak. (AP Photo/Jack Smith, File)COUGAR, Wash. The coronavirus outbreak disrupted what had been big plans to mark the 40th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington state. And Mount St. Helens may not be done yet. The first of a series of small explosions on Oct. 1 shot volcanic ash and gases into the air.
Mexico cites virus in slapping down renewable energy
FILE - In this April 5, 2020 file photo, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks at the National Palace in Mexico City. Industry associations said it will affect 28 solar and wind projects that were ready to go online, and 16 more under construction, with a total of $6.4 billion in investments, much of it from foreign firms. Mexico also has been slow to build supplementary plants for the times when wind or sun power naturally decreases. But the situation really hit crisis levels when the pandemic caused a huge drop in electricity demand as factories closed. There was literally nowhere for the fuel oil to go if the state-run plants didn't burn it, and no money to subsidize the unused power plants.
Florida river dying for freshwater, needs emergency help
TEQUESTA, Fla. Water officials in South Florida say the region's only nationally-recognized wild and scenic river is being poisoned by a lack of fresh water as dry conditions allow the ocean to sour the unique ecosystem. The Palm Beach Post reported that Albrey Arrington, executive director of the Loxahatchee River District, asked the South Florida Water Management District board for an emergency infusion of fresh water to stave off further damage before wet season rains arrive. The Loxahatchee River, which traditionally receives a stipend from Grassy Waters Preserve to fight saltwater intrusion during the dry season, has been cut off from that tap for weeks with preserve waters themselves running low. Its a similar step to emergency measures taken last month by the district that installed pumps to gush water into a dry Everglades National Park. The river needs supplemental water and you were able to raise a segment of the Everglades eight-tenths of a foot, Arrington said Thursday.
Africa's endangered wildlife at risk as tourism dries up
With tourists gone and their money, too, protecting endangered wildlife like black rhinos has become that much more challenging. We are more alert because maybe more poachers will use this time to come in to poach," Tekeles said. The number of black rhinos in Africa has been slowly increasing though the species remains critically endangered, according to a report in March by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN. Ol Pejeta is home to more than 130 black rhinos, the single largest population in East and Central Africa, said Richard Vigne, the conservancys managing director. And the population of black rhinos had been growing by an annual rate of 2.5% between 2012 and 2018 to more than 5,600.
Surfs up and so are new beach rules to prevent virus spread
FILE - In this Wednesday, May 13, 2020, file, photo beachgoers walk and exercise on the beach in Malibu, Calif. Phil Murphy issued guidance Thursday to officials in shore towns on reopening beaches, directing them to set occupancy limits and spacing requirements. Free public beaches opened a few weeks ago. Public health officials were concerned large gatherings could allow the virus to spread. Andrew Noymer, a public health professor at the University of California, Irvine, said it was sensible to start reopening beaches and see how it goes.
Baby hippo at San Diego Zoo gets a name
SAN DIEGO, Calif. A baby hippopotamus born at the San Diego Zoo last month has a name. The zoo says the river hippo calf will be called Amahle (pronounced ah-MA-shay), which means beautiful one in Zulu. Amahle is the ninth hippo calf born at the zoo and the 13th to her mother, Funani. Amahle's father, Otis, is an East African hippo who arrived at the zoo in 2009 specifically to breed with Funani, zoo officials said. Zoo visitors can see Amahle and her mother in the hippo habitat on Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends, officials said.