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Good for the gander? As Alaska warms, a goose forgoes a 3,300-mile migration. Right now virtually the entire population – about 160,000 birds – is gathered in the sheltered and remote wetlands within the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, feasting on the most extensive beds of eelgrass on Earth. In the past, the Izembek was just a stopover in the brant's autumn journey down North America's western coastline. But nature doesn't follow that predictable course anymore. Environmental Health News. 30 October 2014.
Toxic chemicals, carcinogens skyrocket near fracking sites. Oil and gas wells across the U.S. are spewing "dangerous" cancer-causing chemicals into the air, according to a new study that further corroborates reports of health problems around hydraulic fracturing sites. US News & World Report. 30 October 2014.
Pennsylvania congressman launches frack waste investigation as concern rises. In a reflection of growing national concern about the disposal of oil and gas waste, a Pennsylvania congressman launched an investigation Wednesday into the way his state regulates the discarding of the unwanted, often toxic material. InsideClimate News. 30 October 2014.
Asbestos legacy: The families fighting for compensation. Thousands of families across the U.K. are still being diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses every year. For many of them, it is just the beginning of a long fight for compensation. BBC. 30 October 2014.
Are money and power changing the environmental movement? Not only are environmental groups spending record amounts of cash on the races, they are also trumpeting a common vision with what advocates call an unprecedented level of coordination. And they vow it will last through future elections. Greenwire. 30 October 2014.
Ship runs aground near Stockholm, spilling oil among pristine islands. A ship carrying 52 tons of oil in the Baltic Sea ran aground off Stockholm’s sprawling archipelago Wednesday morning and began leaking its cargo into the intricate network of islands and inlets, an online news agency reported. Los Angeles Times. 30 October 2014.
'Pervasive' amounts of radioactive material found in LA, Long Beach harbors. Scientists studying kelp beds along the coast of Southern California have detected "pervasive" amounts of a radioactive isotope known as Iodine-131 in the waters off the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Los Angeles KPCC Radio, California. 30 October 2014.
Town divided after Sendai nuclear plant restart clears another hurdle. The city hosting the Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture has decided to approve a resumption of operations at the facility, highlighting a conflict between people who benefit from the largesse of the industry and those who do not. Bloomberg News. 30 October 2014.
Gas wastewater likely triggered 2011 quake in Colorado: USGS. Underground disposal of wastewater from gas production likely triggered a moderate earthquake in Colorado in 2011, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Wednesday in a study that may fuel debate over the impact of the U.S. energy boom. Reuters. 30 October 2014.
Two years later, Sandy’s wrath still felt. The two-year anniversary of superstorm Sandy was marked across the region Wednesday by somber speeches and events that put a spotlight on the rebuilding projects happening since the devastating storm. Wall Street Journal. 30 October 2014.
Engineered plants, microbes mop up toxic waste, oil spills. Using genes from waste-munching microbes, plants may help clean up harmful chemicals in contaminated areas such as farm lands in the oil rich Delta Region of Nigeria. Scientists say engineered greenery may one day clean up the chemical fallout of oil spills and air pollution. Lagos Guardian, Nigeria. 30 October 2014.
Fed to give $4M in honey bee aid in Michigan, other states. Midwestern farmers and ranchers are getting $4 million in federal help to improve the health of honeybees, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday. Associated Press. 30 October 2014.
Does milk do a body good? Maybe not, a new study suggests. Got milk? If you’re drinking it to prevent bone fractures or to boost your overall health, you might want to go back to the fridge and opt for a yogurt or a slice of cheese instead. A new study in the journal BMJ casts doubt on the widely held view that milk can help adults ward off hip fractures and broken bones. Los Angeles Times. 30 October 2014.
Major autism studies identify dozens of contributing genes. Two new studies exploring the genetic basis of autism tie mutations in hundreds of genes to the disease. Several teams of researchers found that about 60 of the genes are considered “high confidence,” meaning there’s a 90% chance that mutations within those genes contribute to risk for autism. Time Magazine. 30 October 2014.
Ebola is the least of your worries. While one person in the United States has died from Ebola, the odds favor you being killed by almost every other alternative according to this years' National Safety Council release on Injury Facts. Washington Post. 30 October 2014.
If Ebola batters US, we are not ready. The U.S. health care apparatus is so unprepared and short on resources to deal with the deadly Ebola virus that even small clusters of cases could overwhelm parts of the system, according to an Associated Press review of readiness at hospitals and other components of the emergency medical network. Associated Press. 30 October 2014.
Ebola cases near 14,000 in current outbreak, WHO says. The number of cases in the current Ebola outbreak neared 14,000, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, even as it suggested the rate of new infections in one of the hardest hit countries was slowing. Wall Street Journal. 30 October 2014.
Shrimp in US stores rife with murky labeling. Consumers around the nation can't be sure what kind of shrimp they're buying if they simply look at the label or menu at supermarkets, grocers and restaurants, an advocacy group says. Associated Press. 30 October 2014.
GM crops are the future, must not be blocked, say scientists. The widespread cultivation of genetically-modified crops is the only way to feed the world and governments must stop blocking trials, a consortium of Europe’s most well-renowned plant scientists have claimed. The Telegraph, United Kingdom. 30 October 2014.
Photographs of Sellafield nuclear plant prompt fears over radioactive risk. Previously unseen pictures of two storage ponds containing hundreds of highly radioactive fuel rods at the Sellafield nuclear plant show cracked concrete, seagulls bathing in the water and weeds growing around derelict machinery. The Guardian. 30 October 2014.
Conservationists push for protected marine areas in Southern Ocean. Ecologists urged the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources to approve plans for establishing Marine Protected Areas in Southern Ocean and Antarctic waters before the commission ends its annual meeting on Friday. Latin American Herald Tribune. 30 October 2014.
TNT contamination may produce carcinogenic substances in fish. TNT, leaking from old ammunition dumped in Swedish lakes, may deposit carcinogenic substances in fish, according to a recent study by Swedish Defence Research Agency. Epoch Times. 30 October 2014.
Rate of new Ebola infections in Liberia is slowing, WHO says. New Ebola infections in virus-ravaged Liberia appear to be declining for the first time in months, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. Still, the WHO and other officials remain wary because the nature of this outbreak has been one of unpredictable surges and declines. Washington Post. 30 October 2014.
Finally, some good news in Liberia: WHO says rate of new cases appears to be slowing down. World Health Organization officials on Wednesday said they see "glimmers of hope" in Liberia, the epicenter of the Ebola epidemic, with strong evidence that the rate of new cases is declining for the first time since the crisis began. Washington Post. 30 October 2014.
Shell faces fresh hurdles on oil block divestment. There is no respite yet for the Shell Petroleum Development Company over the allegations of environmental degradation in Ogoniland, as the Ogoni Students in Diaspora institute a fresh threat to stall any moves by the oil multinational to sell any oil well in their territory. Lagos Guardian, Nigeria. 30 October 2014.
Mayor says Sendai plant able to withstand any disaster, despite misgivings. Mayor Hideo Iwakiri asserted that the Sendai nuclear power plant can withstand any disaster, a position that is at odds with the nuclear watchdog's contention that 100-percent safety can never be guaranteed. Asahi Shimbun, Japan. 30 October 2014.
China's port pollution unchecked. China is waging war on pollution, closing factories and targeting dirty coal-fired power plants, but its ports are pumping out pollution virtually unchecked, according to a report by a US environmental group. Reuters. 30 October 2014.
China trade boom choking its port cities with smog: Report. China's leaders have pledged to contain the air-choking pollution churned out by the booming economy's cars, factories and power plants. But much of the foul air generated by its heavily export-driven economy is coming from a widely overlooked and virtually unregulated source: The ships carrying those exports to market. CNBC. 30 October 2014.
Ecologists happy with SC decision to hand over Ganga monitoring to green tribunal. The Supreme Court's strong words against pollution control bureaucracy for its failure to act against polluters of the river Ganga on Wednesday brought a sense of relief for environmentalists. Times of India, India. 30 October 2014.
Pollution Control Boards a ‘failure’, Supreme Court hands Ganga to green tribunal. Saying that pollution control boards had failed to do their job, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the National Green Tribunal to act against industrial units polluting the Ganga in the 11 states along the river's course. Bombay Indian Express, India. 30 October 2014.