ENVIRONMENT

EPA Approves Redesignation of Atlanta Area to Attainment for Ozone Pollution

By Glynn Wilson – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking final action to approve the state of Georgia’s request to redesignate the Atlanta metro area to attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard based on air quality monitoring data for the three-year period of 2008-2010 showing the area in compliance with the 16-year-old standard.…

Auburn Scientists Confirm Deadly Bacteria in BP Tar Balls

Bon Secour Beach 3

By Glynn Wilson – The Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, and the waves of tar balls deposited on the beaches shortly thereafter, prompted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to produce a tar ball fact sheet. Among the factoids was one stating that those sticky, coin-sized clumps of…

New Study Documents Consequences of Climate Change on North American Forests

By Glynn Wilson – Climate change due to human induced global warming from the burning of fossil fuels makes North American forests more vulnerable to insects and disease, according to a new study published by a team of researchers from Dartmouth University in the journal Ecological Monographs. After reviewing about 500 scientific studies dating back…

A Government Shutdown Game Without Winners

Michael_Brune-mug1a

Coming Clean – By Michael Brune – As the shutdown of the federal government drags on, Americans are angry. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is watching with nervous disbelief as we edge toward defaulting on our debts. And with each additional day the shutdown continues, the damage gets worse. The national parks, of course,…

The Butterfly Effect and Climate Change

1382113_10200202443417596_1976346849_n.jpg

By Glynn Wilson – LAKE GUNTERSVILLE STATE PARK, Ala. — In a scene near the end of the film Havana, Robert Redford as the professional poker player Jack Weil mentions the Butterfly Effect from Chaos Theory when saying his final goodbye to Lena Olin as Bobby Durán. “I believe it,” he says. “I believe a…

Citizens Fight Off Plan to Turn Mobile Alabama Into A Tar Sands Mecca

114A7630

By Julie Dermansky – It took a while for the Alabama public to understand that their state is being transformed into a tar sands Mecca. Proposals for rail and pipeline transport and tar sands storage facilities were first presented in 2010, and by 2012, most were rubber stamped with no public input. But in 2013,…

New Report Concludes Human Influence on Global Climate is ‘Clear’

ipcc-co2-630

Global Warming is UnequivocalBy Glynn Wilson – As if there was still any doubt in the scientific community, we now know that “human influence on the climate system is clear,” according to a new report just out from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “It is extremely likely that human influence has been…

EPA Proposes Carbon Pollution Standards for New Power Plants

miller_steam2b

By Glynn Wilson – The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new Clean Air Act standards to cut carbon pollution from new power plants “in order to combat climate change and improve public health,” according to the announcement sent out Friday morning. The new standards are set to go into effect by June 1, 2014. The…

Technology Opens Up John Muir’s Birthplace to the World

SNH

The birthplace of the Scottish nature conservationist John Muir is to be opened up to people across the world, thanks to a ground-breaking new digital scanning project. An expert team digitally scanned Muir’s childhood home in Dunbar, where he was born and lived his early years, before establishing himself as a visionary champion of nature.…

U.S. Forest Service Should Ban Fracking in All National Forests, Now

gwcubamugflip

The Big Picture: An Editorial – By Glynn Wilson – A proposal within the U.S. Forest Service to ban fracking in all national forests should be adopted by the Obama administration and codified into American law by Congress to make it permanent. After a plan to open up the Talladega National Forest to gas drilling…

A Groundbreaking Year for Environmental Journalism and Activism

Climate_Rally2-17-13a5

The Big Picture – By Glynn Wilson – It’s been one of the most interesting and groundbreaking years in a long time for environmental activism, environmental journalism and the Sierra Club nationally and in my home state of Alabama. Since I made the decision to cross the line and join the club to get personally…

Lassiter Mill Dam Removed on Uwharrie River in North Carolina

9625965103_da0819e43c_o

VIDEO – As metal smashes rock and concrete, two track hoe excavators — one armed with a pneumatic jackhammer — chisel away Lassiter Mill Dam in the Uwharrie River By Glynn Wilson – The Lassiter Mill Dam on North Carolina’s Uwharrie River was removed in August, bringing the river back to free-flowing status and opening…

NASA Study Reveals Industrial Soot’s Role in Glacier Retreat

A NASA-led team of scientists has uncovered strong evidence that soot from a rapidly industrializing Europe caused the abrupt retreat of mountain glaciers in the European Alps that began in the 1860s, a period often thought of as the end of the Little Ice Age, according to a new peer reviewed study published Sept. 3…

Study Shows Fracking Fluids Killed Threatened Fish in Kentucky Creek

800px-Phoxinus_cumberlandensis

Hydraulic fracturing fluids that leaked from natural gas well sites are believed to be the cause of the widespread death and distress of aquatic species in Kentucky’s Acorn Fork, according to the findings of a joint study by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Acorn Fork, designated by Kentucky…