The Current


Greenland, Antarctica, and Alaska melt at accelerating pace


Greenland is melting, and fast. That’s the gist of the findings that will be presented on Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. The water melting from Greenland in the past five years would fill up about 11 Chesapeake Bays, according to the AP.

Oh, but it gets worse. In addition to Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska have also taken a hit from global warming. The three areas combined have lost more than 2 trillion tons of land ice since 2003, which is when NASA first began taking estimates.

Continue reading Greenland, Antarctica, and Alaska melt at accelerating pace

Why does Dirk Kempthorne hate polar bears?


We’d like to say that it’s impossible to hate polar bears (I mean seriously, how can you not love a creature that is cuter than a puppy and more majestic that a pride of lions?). But certain state and federal officials seem to really have it out for the Arctic bears.

Former veep candidate Sarah Palin sued the government to prevent polar bears from being protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and even went so far as to suppress scientific evidence proved the bear’s dire status. It took Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne more than three years to finally list the polar bear as a threatened species, after environmental groups like the Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace, and the NRDC sued on the bear’s behalf in 2005. Now, Kempthorne’s wieled his power for evil once again, issuing a “special rule” that may prohibit protections for the polar bear’s Arctic sea ice habitat.

Continue reading Why does Dirk Kempthorne hate polar bears?

Editorial: EPA's fugitive list targets the wrong criminals


by Scott Thill


The Bush administration's lamentable stint in the White House is coming at last to a close, but not before rendering the Environmental Protection Agency further ridiculous. Recently, the EPA decided to import the administration's favored most-wanted meme into its already compromised arms, posting a list of 23 environmental fugitives the agency would like you to consider but not apprehend. As usual, the administration vastly overstated the importance of these fugitives, with a top EPA official calling them a "brazen universe of people that are evading the law." A "brazen universe" of 23 people, including a sad-sack importer of automobiles that do not meet U.S. emission standards? In the words of Stephen Colbert's Christmas special, "Are you high?"

Continue reading Editorial: EPA's fugitive list targets the wrong criminals

Gore calls for tougher carbon emission laws while EU reaches climate deal


It looks like Al Gore is already making good on his promise to “[build] support for the bold changes that we have to make to solve the climate crisis.” In a recent visit to the UN climate talks in Poznan, Poland, Gore warned that even the most ambitious existing targets would be unable to hold temperature rise to safe levels, and called for a new global goal of limiting carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million (ppm), according to the Guardian. (Essentially, Gore is echoing the similar calls of other activists like Bill McKibben and climate scientists like James Hansen.) Currently, the levels are already more than 380 ppm, up from 280 ppm before the industrial revolution.

Continue reading Gore calls for tougher carbon emission laws while EU reaches climate deal

Obama set to announce his environmental dream team


 

Obama must have been watching a lot of Captain Planet lately. Much like the superhero, the president-elect knows that it’s going to take more than just himself to clean up the environment and curb carbon emissions. That’s why he recently announced his plans to name his energy and environment team—Planeteers if you will—to help him make good on all those campaign promises to stop global warming while bringing a green economy to the US. After all, it is only with their “powers combined” that Obama will become a president that can actually turn this whole global warming thing around.  

 

Continue reading Obama set to announce his environmental dream team

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Issue 25



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