Terminator vs. greens, salty roads, oil spill probes
Sharks are targeted for their fins to make shark fin soup. Photo courtesy of sxc.hu
Congress puts the kibosh on shark fin soup
Last week, Congress adopted legislation to curb shark finning, the practice of chopping off a shark's fins and dumping the finless shark back into the water, all so that people can dine on shark fin soup, reports the Washington Post. Though shark finning is currently banned off of the Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, the bill will protect sharks off of all U.S. coasts by requiring vessels to land sharks with their fins attached, helping to restore endangered shark populations.
Oil spill probe undermined by conflict of interest
The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board has alleged that the investigation into the cause of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has been tainted because Transocean and Cameron, two companies with a stake in the investigation's outcome, have been allowed to participate in the examination. Allowing these two companies is a bit like asking a bank thief to help investigate a robbery that he/she was involved in, but there's no word yet on whether the allegations will be taken seriously. In the meantime, Earthjustice is working hard to make sure those guilty of causing the biggest environmental disaster in the U.S. are held accountable.
Governator gives in to greens
Thanks to negative media coverage and a whole lot of angry greenies, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently did a 180 on his plan to gut the state's new chemical regulations, reports LA Weekly. In early December Schwarzenegger tried to terminate some of the sweeping regulations found in the landmark Green Chemistry Initiative by slashing a third of the proposed regulations and placing the burden of proving chemical safety on the Department of Toxic Substances Control rather than on the chemical industry. In light of the backlash from environmental groups and scientists, the DTSC has agreed to review the proposed regulations.
Salty roads a no-go for the environment
Spreading salt on the roads to melt snow and ice make keep drivers from slamming into cars, but salt is certainly no friend of the environment, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. That's because once salt is on the road, it slowly makes its way to waterways and wetlands, raising the salinity level and potentially harming aquatic wildlife and water supplies. Though alternatives to de-icing the roads exist – beet juice anyone? – salt is still by far the cheapest and most used deicer around, guaranteeing that road maintenance crews won't be passing on the salt anytime soon.
Snowpocalypse takes Manhattan and climate change deniers with it
Though mountains of snow were dumped on the East Coast this past week, climate change is alive and well, reports Time magazine. That's because weather is not the same as climate, which means that one freak snow storm isn't proof that global warming is a farce. In fact, a warming world may actually be causing harsher winters, argues noted NASA scientist James E. Hanson in a recent paper aptly titled, "If It's That Warm, How Come It's So Damned Cold?"