Blog posts about Earth’s magnificent places and creatures were the most popular themes for unEarthed readers in 2012. By far the most-read post concerned Arctic drilling, followed by reports of bison being restored and wolves losing protection. Not shown in our top 10 blog posts, below, are the delightful tales of curious critters painted in words by our own Shirley Hao. Posts written years ago by Shirley are still being discovered and read by thousands of people every year.
And, now, for your enjoyment, we present our most-read posts of 2012:
1. Shell’s "Happy" Mood Smashed By Ice
Shell’s optimistic plans for drilling in the Arctic were wrecked by a fast-moving, unapologetic hunk of sea ice, proving that nature holds the cards. In a hurry to drill, the oil company underestimated the challenging the conditions in the Artic, but before any damage could be done the ice rushed in to intervene.
2. Bison Returned To Their Ancestral Plains
Efforts to bring buffalo back to the wild showed promise when Montana moved approximately 60 buffalo from the Yellowstone area to Fort Peck. Native tribes are asking to reestablish the wild bison populations in Northern Montana outside of Yellowstone and this move by the state is a significant step in fulfilling that vision.
3. Feds About To Toss Wolves To The Hunters
Wolf supporters everywhere felt betrayed when the federal government removed the grey Wyoming wolf from the Endangered Species List, taking away its federal protections and turning its fate over to the state’s kill-on-sight policy. Earthjustice filed suit as soon as it was allowed and is fighting to reinstate the wolf’s endangered status.
4. Shell’s Promise To Protect Arctic Lost At Sea
Despite the oil industry’s assurances about safety of drilling in the Arctic, Shell’s recent failure to meet the minimum safety standards speaks volumes about its inadequate spill response measures. Oil spill disasters in fragile offshore waters can be prevented if drilling permits are kept out of the oil industry’s hands.
5. Spurred by Earthjustice, EPA Issues Limits for Deadly Soot
As a result of citizen demand for cleaner air and legal pressure from Earthjustice, the EPA proposed tighter limits on air pollution (soot) taking responsibility for protecting the health of American people. The stronger limits are expected to prevent as many as 36,000 premature deaths.
6. Uranium Industry Attack on Grand Canyon
The uranium industry is eyeing the Grand Canyon and attacking its protections set by the Interior Department. Despite the toxic history of uranium mining in the Park, the industry has no regard for the public land, its wildlife habitat and its visitors.
7. Climate Change Re-elected As Political Issue
This election President Obama has a second chance to take leadership on climate change solutions and a clean energy future for our country. The one surest way to fight climate change is to divest from coal and oil and gas development and invest in a greener economy.
8. Arctic Drilling Fleet Poised To Sail
Oil and coal companies with support from pandering politicians prepare to drill for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. To open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and coal exploration means to put it in harm’s way, as there is nothing safe about drilling, despite what the industry claims.
9. Huge tide of support for Obama to keep state’s water clean
Florida waters have long been suffering pollution from sewage, manure and fertilizer. Meanwhile, attorney David Guest has long been pressing the courts to establish strong rules to keep the stuff out of the water. Asking our officials to put their foot down plays a powerful role in the success of this litigation.
10. Coos Bay, Oregon is Coal Industry’s Latest Target
Residents, environmental and clean-energy groups are up in arms about the approved dredging of the Port of Coos Bay for construction of a coal export terminal and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility. Earthjustice is appealing the permit to create a more robust public conversation about whether a coal export terminal should be built in Coos Bay.