Friday Finds: I Spy Climate Change
Secret agents discover climate change preparedness hole
Military officials, CIA analysts and outside experts believe that the U.S. government is ill prepared to act on climate changes "that will threaten to bring instability to places of U.S national interest," reports McClatchy Newspapers. Bureaucratic infighting and a lack of funding are just two reasons for this lack of preparation by the intelligence community. Though there's hope that the creation of the CIA Center on Climate Change and National Security is a good first start in closing that information gap, Republican efforts to cut the year-old program may mean that the climate change spies get shut down before they even have time to whip out their night vision goggles and fingerprint dust.
Today the EPA announced its veto of the Spruce No. 1 Mine, a mountaintop removal operation in Appalachia, reports Mother Jones. The agency revoked a Clean Water Act permit for the mine after concluding that allowing the mine to dump its waste into nearby waterways would cause "irreversible damage to the environment." The win is both a symbolic and substantive one for the communities of Appalachia, and is proof that the EPA is finally listening to the public outcry over mountaintop removal, such as the 38,000 letters and comments that Earthjustice supporters sent in asking the EPA to stop MTR's destructive practices.
Pantsless hipsters flood nation's subways
Public transportation got an interesting PR boost last weekend when the group Improv Everywhere held its 10th annual No Pants Subway Ride, an event where nudist wannabees take off their pants and ride their local subway, reports Grist. Approximately 3500 people participated in New York alone, a number that was no doubt boosted by the large number of hipsters living in the area who love to go against the mainstream while drinking sub par beer.
Painfully obvious news flash: Global warming is happening and increased greenhouse gas emissions are to blame, according to a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report. Record high temperatures and odd weather events that have occurred over the past decade aren't just freak happenings, reports Reuters, but instead part of a growing body of evidence that humans are altering the climate in unprecedented ways. Adding fuel to the fire is another scientific report, this time by NASA, which found that 2010 is tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record.
The Trans-Alaska pipeline system, which cuts through large swaths of Alaska to transport oil from the Prudhoe Bay field, was closed last weekend after a leak was discovered, reports the Guardian. BP, the poster child of oil drilling bad behavior, is the largest shareholder in Alyeska, a company running the pipeline that has been accused of "putting safety at risk by cutting safety and maintenance budgets." Though a few days later the pipeline was back up, albeit at reduced rates, the incident is just the latest in a string of events that links BP with corporate malfeasance.