Global warming may be harming Pacific walrus

Move over, polar bear. The Pacific walrus may be the new icon of global warming. Like polar bears, walruses are dependent on floating sea ice to rest, forage for food and nurture their young. Like polar bears, walruses are suffering because of a scarcity of summer and fall sea ice in Arctic waters that scientists attribute to climate change. And like polar bears, which were listed as threatened in 2008, protections under the Endangered Species Act may be granted to walruses, even though it is hard to get an accurate count of their population.

Islamic Environment Ministers meeting in Tunisia, Oct 5-6

Tunisia will host a conference of Islamic environment ministers in early October to look at how environmental issues can be impacted from a governmental perspective. The 4th Islamic environment ministers conference will receive participants and ministers from over 30 organizations and countries, a statement from the conference said. "We believe that the environment and Islam can work together and would be a huge step toward creating a unified Islamic position on green ideas, "Adnan Binham, an Indonesian environment ministry official, told Bikya Masr. He hopes that through a more concerted effort, Islamic countries can "formulate a policy that will push the environment debate back to the top of agendas."

Battle over U.S. Arctic refuge’s future heats up

A planned study of possible new wilderness protections for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has sparked a furor in Alaska, where energy companies have long dreamed of tapping oil reserves beneath its vast coastal plain home to herds of migrating animals. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service effort announced this week is part of a sweeping review of a land-management plan for what is the second-largest national wildlife refuge in the United States.

BP Texas City Aftermath

Accidents happen. Unfortunately, for BP, they have been in the news often for some major incidents. Besides the Gulf of Mexico spill this year, there was the March 23, 2005 incident. This was a fire and explosion that occurred at BP's Texas City Refinery in Texas City, Texas, killing 15 workers and injuring more than 170 others. BP was charged with criminal violations of federal environmental laws and has been subject to lawsuits from the victim's families. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration slapped BP with a then-record fine for hundreds of safety violations, and subsequently imposed an even larger fine after claiming that BP had failed to implement safety improvements following the disaster. BP has now been agreed to pay a $15 million penalty that resolves federal civil claims stemming from the two fires, leak, and reporting violations at the refinery that occurred in the same time frame.

Turkmenistan Oil and Gas

Oil and gas supplies and their future use is a major variable for the 21st. century. On the one hand there is a demand to go to renewable sources. On the other hand is that oil and gas will be used for many years to come. Turkmenistan's president said on September 3oth. that his country had the capacity to almost quadruple its natural gas exports in the next 20 years and was ready to meet demand from Europe. The discovery of a major gas field was announced three days ago.

Indonesia’s Climate Experiment

There's an easy charm to Banda Aceh that belies its tumultuous history—and a ground-breaking climate change experiment.Apart from the large ship washed kilometres inland that still towers over single-story homes, little evidence remains in the north Sumatran city of Banda Aceh of the devastation wrought by the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004, which claimed more than 230,000 lives. It's also hard to find traces of the bitter 30-year conflict between the separatist Free Aceh Movement and the Indonesian state that ended the following year there. Except, maybe, for one thing—an uptick in deforestation.

U.S. oil spill waters contain carcinogens often linked to oil spills

University researchers said on Thursday they recently found alarming levels of cancer-causing toxins in an area of the Gulf of Mexico affected by BP's oil spill, raising the specter of long-lasting health concerns. Oregon State University (OSU) researchers found sharply heightened levels of chemicals including carcinogens in the waters off the coast of Louisiana in August, the last sampling date, even after BP successfully capped its runaway Gulf well in mid-July.