Environment

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Last Thursday, I had an early morning flight to San Francisco. I left my home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, without my morning coffee but remembered my reusable cup. (I’m patting my back right now, by the way.) The coffee shack at the airport told me if…

Over at The Cleanest Line, Patagonia's do-good blog, you can track the progress of team Rios Libres, a pack of writers (including Greg Childs), photographers, guides and general adventure types who are have traveled to South America in an effort…

I just returned from Thailand where I spent two weeks working with Trip Jennings, one of the athletes feature in this month’s Adventure Issue, on his Elephant Ivory Project. The 27-year-old filmmaker is…

by ltshears Afghanistan recently moved to protect a number of rare species that live within its borders. Among them, the large-billed reed warbler, the markhor, and the Snow Leopard. For those unfamiliar with the snow…

The ban on firearms in the national parks has been lifted as of yesterday. Visitors must still comply with all state laws regarding their firearms, but this is a big day for those who have advocated to carry weapons…

Otero Mesa Otero Mesa, in New Mexico. Photo by Paul Garland; used under CC license The Department of Interior is considering…

With all eyes on Vancouver and the Winter Olympics, the Sierra Club is taking an opportunity to call attention to the environmentally destructive practice of oil sands mining. It has launched a campaign called Love Winter, Hate Oil Sands and partnered with three winter athletes–skier (and…

Between now and the end of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, athletes will receive a total of 1014 medals. All that bling represents a goodly amount of the Earth's minerals. But this year, and for the first time, a percentage of the metals used to forge…

The Richmond Olympic Oval, the arena for speed-skating at the Vancouver Olympics, is getting a thumbs up from athletes for its environmentally conscious design and its beauty, Reuters reports. The roof was made from…

The Center for Biological Diversity is distributing 100,000 free Endangered Species Condoms in all 50 states for Valentine's Day to underscore how unsustainable human population growth is driving species extinct at a cataclysmic rate,…

We don’t know where this video was taken or how Backpacker found it, but it’s pretty cool. The video features a three-legged black bear and her cub. All is normal until the bear stands up on two legs and walks…

Kick Kennedy The dynastic brothers are gone, but up comes the next generation. Kick, 21, a senior at Stanford, has quietly built a résumé fighting for water conservation. In 2006, she joined an Imax crew filming Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk and became…

Courtesy of Flickr Punxsutawney Phil, a.k.a. Mr. Groundhog of Groundhog Day, has seen his shadow this morning in Pennsylvania, the AP reports. That means six more weeks of winter, so you’ve…

Courtesy of Wikimedia The Kızılot municipality in Turkey's Manavgat district of Antalya has just banned fireworks during the summer to protect loggerhead sea turtles in the area, the Anatolia News…

Portraits from photographer Michael Lavine of the next generation water conservationist.

It seems everyone is a fan of Avatar. Officials in China renamed the Southern Sky Column to Avatar Hallelujah Mountain, according to The Goat. Hallelujah Mountain, of course, is the exact name of the mountain in the film Avatar. Chinese officials,…

Courtesy of Wikimedia E. coli's been the culprit for many a food poisoning, but it turns out the microbe's got some good uses, too. The company LS9, which bills itself as a “renewable petroleum company,” has just made a major breakthrough…

Courtesy of Flickr The West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Ice Core drilling project, whose goal is to improve scientists understanding of climate change, has just finished pulling up about 75 percent…

As we mentioned in our November issue, Yosemite National Park is a great place to play in winter. But not this weekend: Thanks to El Nino's weeklong onslaught, all roads leading into the park are temporarily closed. Check the park's homepage…

Courtesy of Flickr The U.S. Energy Department has put out a report stating that 20 percent of the electricity demand in homes and businesses in the eastern half of the country could be met with wind…

Wanna stop shark finning? Yao Ming does, too. For a donation of just $100, the organization Stop Shark Finning will put up a billboard in a high-traffic area of China that features Ming and a plea to stop…

Mountaintop removal mining is bad, right? Stephen Colbert doesn't think so. Listen to him argue with Dr. Margaret Palmer, the leading author of an article on the harmful effects of mountaintop removal that appeared in the latest issue of Science.

Courtesy of Flickr Twenty years after the Exxon Valdez supertanker spilled oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound there is still oil around, Nature Geoscience reports. The massive cleanup effort that took place…

Courtesy of LucasTheExperience/Flickr The MGive Foundation has raised more than $4 million for Haiti via its wireless campaign, CNET reports. People have been donating in $10 increments by…

Following Tuesday's devastating earthquake in Haiti, relief organizations are already beginning to raise funds. For those of you looking to donate easily and quickly, donations to the American Red Cross…

Here's an update on the collision between the protest ship Ady Gil and the Japanese whaling ship Shonan Maru off Antarctica: The crew of the Ady Gil was rescued and uninjured, thanks to the Bob Barker, a…

You can see Arches National Park from the comfort of your chair. Utah 3D has the image. It may take a while to load, but it's worth it. They also have 3D images…

Photograph by Ivan Mlinaric via Flickr The demand for soybeans has grown greatly worldwide–up 14-fold since 1950–which means more of the Amazon rainforest is being cleared to accommodate more crops, EurActiv.com reports. Soybeans are the biggest…

Four Greenpeace activists who crashed a gala dinner for heads of state at the end of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen have been released by Danish police, Reuters…

The powerboat Ady Gil, run by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, was cut in two when hit by the Japanese whaling ship Shonan Maru, which the Ady Gil was protesting. The incident happened at Commonwealth Bay, East Antarctica, and the six crew…

Photograph by Mike Bowler via Flickr If you happen to live in Bulgaria, you can do something useful with your old Christmas tree–if it came from a forest–instead of throwing it away. You can send it to zoos in the country, where it…

We found this breathtaking video of Crystal Gorge over at Kayak Session. Shot on RED and the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, the short film is the work of Forge Motion Pictures.

The 7-year-old grandson of Davy Crockett, famous hunter and frontiersman, killed his second bear this month, writes ESPN. Tre Merritt of Dewitt, Arkansas, first made headlines by bagging a black bear that weighed more than 400 pounds when…

Connie Hedegaard, the Danish minister presiding over the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, says that the nations present are acting “just like schoolchildren…If they have a very long deadline to deliver an exercise, they will wait for…

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has called for a climate summit for cities and regions like the one in Copenhagen, AFP reports. He offered to host it in his state. “The world’s national governments cannot make…

Research presented at the latest American Geophysical Union meeting points to carbon emissions from Asian cities as partly responsible for the 20 percent decrease in the Himalayan glaciers since the 1960s, Wired.com reports. The video…

Al Gore addressed the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen today, saying that there's no time to waste in taking action, Grist.org reports. He calls for the U.S. Senate to…

African and other developing countries walked out of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, suspending talks on Monday, Reuters and ENN report. They refused to continue discussion without a guarantee that…

Three U.S. Senators have outlined a compromise climate bill in an attempt to win votes for legislation to be passed in 2010, Reuters reports. The House passed a climate bill in June. Other countries have accused the U.S. of being soft…

More than 300 Nepalis, including 100 climbers, protested in Copenhagen to bring international attention to the effects of climate change on the Himalayas, TakePart reports. “It didn’t snow at all during December, January,  and February, when itshould snow heavily, and it…

Danish police have arrested 68 activists who were protesting in street demonstrations in Copenhagen on Friday, Reuters reports. The goal of the protesters was to disrupt corporations and industry lobbyists that they see as “climate criminals” during the…

Last week, tens of thousands of fish were poisoned when officials poured more than 8,000 liters of fish poison into a stretch of water that connects the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan, reports NewScientist.com. The poison, rotenone, was used as…

The UN defends its stance on the role that humans play in climate change, in response to news of leaked emails that purportedly show scientists suppressing evidence to the contrary, Reuters reports. “Nothing that has come out in the public as…

People give when they know it will buy something tangible. We asked directors at five organizations to tell us what donations from $50 to $50K would accomplish.

The former VP talks about his new, solutions-based book.

Forest fires get a bad rap. Too often, with all the focus on the damage they could cause, we forget that they're actually necessary to keep the forest healthy and growing. BBC News explains how the build-up of vegetation can prevent seeds…

He's kinda fat and more than a little rude (and he drinks like a fish). But long-distance swimmer Martin Strel has become the world's most unlikely philanthropist—out to save the world's dirtiest rivers a million awkward strokes at a time.

Hundreds of people showed up at the extInked event in the UK for a chance to get a tattoo of an endangered species, New Scientist reports. Volunteers had to fill out a form explaining why they should be the one to…

The Endangered Species Coalition has just released America’s Hottest Species, a list of the ten animals and plants most susceptible to extinction from climate change. The list includes: Kaua’i/’Akikiki Creeper…

South Africa has to deal with a new type of criminal: baboons who have learned to open car doors and go through windows in search of food, the AP reports. A band of 29 baboons have gone after…

The Environmental Protection Agency did not approve an industry wide request to add more ethanol to the standard fuel mix, despite the fact that most cars are equipped to handle the new ethanol-to-fuel ratio.  The EPA was meant to decide by December 1…

The mercury stops here! (Sort of.)

 ©Daniel Beltrá, courtesy of The Prince’s Rainforests Project and Sony By Mary Catherine O'Connor Some of Daniel Beltrá's photographs are shockingly beautiful, but many are just plain shocking. And…

Yvo de Boer of the UN Climate Change Secretariat says that it will take an initial $10 billion a year from the most economically well-off countries for three years to help developing nations deal with the effects of climate change. “To my…

The Global Carbon Project, based out of the University of East Anglia, led by Corinne Le Quéré, predicts that the Earth's temperature will increase by 6 degreesCelsius by the end of this century.  Research published yesterdayshowed that the ability of natural carbon…

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell is suing the federal government to overturn the listing of polar bears and a threatened species, writes the Associated Press. The governor believes that the Endangered Species Act is being used improperly to shut down petroleum development in…

Dr. john Stanisic, a Queensland Museum scientist, has named a newly discovered species of rare Australian tree snail in honor of the famous conservationist and T.V. personality, Steve Irwin, says the Environmental News Network. The snail, Crikey steveirwini (seriously), can be found in the mountainous regions of…

If you've never witnessed the dancing colors of the Northern Lights, or even if you have, this time lapse video clip captures the lights like you've never seen them before.  Produced by National Geographic, this clip was taken in Norway over the course of a single night. –Alison Kelman…

Cement production contributes 5% of earth's global carbon dioxide emissions, creating one ton of CO2 per ton of cement made.  ENN reports that cement companies are currently working to decrease these numbers by replacing some of the popularly used Portland cement with fly-ash,…

For areas like Kenya and Bangladesh that lack widespread toilet facilities (and, therefore, clean water and sanitation), the folks at Pee Poople will begin offering their biodegradable Peepoo bags, says TreeHugger. Here's how…

On Monday, the Appalachian Mountain Club announced that it purchased a 29,500-acre tract of land in the forests of Maine. The acquisition of the land (which AMC has donated to the State of Maine) creates a 63-mile long corridor of conservation land from…

If no framework for global climate change policy results from the UN conference in Copenhagen in December, the International Energy Agency foresees a 2.5 percent rise in global energy demand per year…

Did you miss the fee-free weekends at our national parks this past summer? No worries; the Department of the Interior just announced that in honor of Veteran's Day, there will be no entrance fees for any of the…

Scientists are finding species in the lower Congo River that exist nowhere else in the world, Smithsonian.com reports. There are more than 300 species in the water, which contains one of the highest concentrations of unique species on the planet. Among them is Mondeli…

Forbes has just come out with a list of the most toxic cities in the country, based on the amount of pollution per urban area. Here are the top ten: 1. Atlanta2. Detroit3. Chicago4. Houston5. Philadelphia6. Cleveland7.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso says it is unlikely that a full climate deal will be created at Copenhagen in December, Reuters reports. A framework for an agreement…

There's a bold new idea on the front edge of conservation: Let's treat people as well as we treat animals.

The Soil Moisture and Ocean Satellite, launched by the European Space Agency, is able to measure the salinity of ocean waters as well as moisture levels in the soil. The hope is that by monitoring minute changes in the oceans and soil we can better understand large changes in the…

Plans to complete a nature reserve along the northeastern coastline of Puerto Rico were halted last Friday, making way for potential hotels and resorts to aid the country's economy.  Environmental authorities are examining the 3,240 acres of land to determine…

A downed power line in the forest near Eureka, Montana electrocuted over a dozen animals over a period of a few months, according to Backpacker. Animals killed included five white-tailed deer, four black bears, two wolves, one coyote and a turkey vulture. The…

According to the new U.S. Geological Survey report, the United States is using less water than it did in 1975. ENN reports that, even with a 30 percent population increase, water consumption in the U.S. down compared to peak use in…

The new species-conservation method of choice: Facebook. This fall, Ugandan officials created profiles for six mountain gorilla families to raise money to protect them—which means you can now friend-request them. Just don't expect them to comment on your wall. friendagorilla.org…

The goofy animal-show guy is vying to become a mainstream newsman. Does he have the killer instinct?

Over 200,000 square miles of Alaska and its coastal waters have been earmarked by the Department of the Interior as “critical habitat” for polar bears, according to Backpacker. With critical habitat status, the federal government prohibits any activity on the land or water that could threaten the…

According to Treehugger, three white lion clubs at the West Midlands Safari Park in Worcestershire, England are now on view to the public.  With only 30 white lions in existence today, the 12-week old cubs are a rare treat.  Their light color…

Saturday was the big day for 350.org and their campaign for climate change. People in 181 countries participated in events to draw attention to the cause, and 350.org has some great photos up that capture the different actions. Here are some of our favorites.

The Outdoor Alliance (OA), a coalition of six member-based national outdoor advocacy groups including the Access Fund, American Canoe Association, American Hiking Society, American Whitewater, International Mountain Bicycling Association and the…

Exclusive photos from the new book by Beverly and Dereck Joubert.

For those of you who have been following the battle over Nestle's water rights in Sacramento, CA, be first in line to see the documentary “Tapped,” directed by Stephanie Schoetig and created by the same people who made “Who Killed the Electric Car” and “I.O.U.S.A.” …

By Mary Catherine O'Connor This Saturday, October 24th, will be action-packed.Normally, this would not be news for Outside readers, for whom most weekendsare packed with biking, skiing, boating, etc. But this year, it's news. October24th is the much-anticipated international day of action, designed to…