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<Update 10/14: According to news reports, the red sludge tide now has reached the Danube River.>

On Tuesday, approximately 185 million gallons of red sludge burst from a reservoir at an aluminum plant about 100 miles southwest of Budapest, Hungary. The sludge, a hazardous-waste byproduct of aluminum manufacturing killed at least four people and severely injured some 120 more. Several are missing.

Today, we learned that West Virginia's Governor, Gov. Joe Manchin, is suing the EPA for its policies to strengthen watch over the state's biggest polluter, the coal mining industry and to ensure that mining does not put the people of the state and their water supplies directly in harm's way, compeletely devalue their property and turn their communities into wrecking zones for coal corporations.

A couple of Texas oilmen carrying carpetbags full of cash are being met at the California border by a couple of powerful Republicans who don't like what they're up to.

And what those fossil-fueled rascals are up to is killing California's burgeoning green economy.

<Update:  AP reports that Florida State University professor Ian MacDonald "is gratified" by today's oil spill commission report. He has been at odds with government estimates of oil spilled and had this to say to AP:

From the beginning, there was "a contradiction between discoveries and concerns by academic scientists and statements by NOAA," MacDonald said in an interview with the AP at the oil spill conference.

West Virginia is synonymous with coal mining, but a new study suggests the Mountain State is also a prime location for geothermal energy production.

A subsurface map produced by Southern Methodist University with funding from the philanthropic arm of search engine giant Google, found a large swath of geothermal hot spots in the eastern portion of the state that could be tapped to produce energy for Atlantic Seaboard communities.

You may have seen pictures of hundreds of huge fuel transport trucks stranded on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The border was closed by the Pakistani government following a drone attack that killed several suspected terrorists. The trucks are a handy target for marauding insurgents, who sneak in and torch them under cover of darkness.

There may be something of a silver lining, however.

We are all familiar with the North-South divide that prevented agreement on a new climate treaty at Copenhagen last year. Relying on the principles of "Common But Differentiated Responsibility," the developing countries led by China, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and South Africa refused to adopt any proposal that would require them to reduce carbon emissions.

Meanwhile, the developed countries, most significantly the U.S., adamantly opposed any deal that would leave out these countries' large and growing contributions to the global climate problem.

What's the chance that President Obama was inspired by Tom Turner's blog item a few weeks ago, in which Tom noted that Obama's folks refused to re-install solar panels on the White House? Put up by President Jimmy Carter, the panels were promptly taken down when President Ronald Reagan took office.

Now there's news that solar power will again come to the White House roof—both passive and active. The announcement by Energy Sec. Stephen Chu included a re-statement of the administration's commitment to solar energy development:

This project reflects President Obama's strong commitment to U.S. leadership in solar energy and the jobs it will create here at home. Deploying solar energy technologies across the country will help America lead the global economy for years to come.


Bears, you’ve had it tough this past year.

Out in Yellowstone, the grizzly members of the family are being thwarted by voracious mountain pine beetles, who are depriving the bears of one of their key food sources (fatty and delicious whitebark pine seeds). A year ago, Earthjustice won ESA protections for the bears, but the federal government has appealed the court’s decision. The fight continues.


About the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.