Westerners are so convinced China is a dystopian hellscape they’ll share anything that confirms it. [more inside]
UN Climate Report: We Must Focus On 'Decarbonization', and It Won't Wreck the Economy - "The basic message is simple: We share a planet. Let's start acting like it." [more inside]
Scientific American reports: "An isolated population of Arctic foxes that dines only on marine animals seems to be slowly succumbing to mercury poisoning." Though a definitive causal link is difficult to establish, an isolated population of arctic foxes on Russia's Mednyi Island is believed to be collapsing due to mercury contamination as a result of its seafood-heavy diet. Where does all that mercury in the environment come from anyway? Why, it's another biproduct of burning fossil fuels, of course, and predictably, rates of mercury pollution are only expected to increase. In some places in the US, even rainwater is showing high levels of contamination. [more inside]
With the climate bill dead and blame portioned, Ezra Klein asks what happens when congress fails? He concludes that "regulations to reduce carbon emissions are alive and well. The Environmental Protection Agency can attack carbon as a pollutant, and the Obama administration's announcement that efforts to hamstring the EPA will be vetoed suggests that they mean to do exactly that." [more inside]
Smoke and Mirrors: The Subversion of the EPA. "This four-part series details how the Bush administration weakened the EPA. It installed a pliant agency chief, Stephen L. Johnson. Under him, the EPA created pro-industry regulations later thrown out by the courts. It promoted a flawed voluntary program to fight climate change. It bypassed air pollution recommendations from its own scientists to satisfy the White House." [Via Reality Base]
Rehabilitating Carson: "Why do some people continue to hold Rachel Carson responsible for millions of malaria deaths?" [more inside]
In China's newly wealthy cities, a research boom is starting. In parts of the countryside, the rivers are black and too toxic to touch.
Radioactive Recycling. "If the Department of Energy has its way, the nation's nuclear garbage could end up in everyday items like bicycles, frying pans, and baby strollers." The East Tennessee Technology Park, was once known as "the K-25 site. Its mission: to produce highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons." Now, efforts are being made to recycle some of the irradiated scrap metal into unlabeled household objects. On the plus side, any radioactive metal that finds its way into your kitchenware won't be headed for Yucca Mountain.
As if one really need another reason to hate the Bush Administration. I mean, who needs clean air if some of GWB's oil buddies can make some more money?