Environment

Group challenges timber producer's 'green' label

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A watchdog group is challenging the environmentally friendly "green lumber" certification for Plum Creek Timberlands, one of the nation's biggest landowners and timber producers.

The Center for Sustainable Economy, based in Lake Oswego, Oregon, filed the complaint Thursday with a nonprofit group that verifies whether timber producers follow standards for environmentally responsible logging, including replanting after harvest, protecting water and biological diversity, and complying with environmental laws and regulations.

Report: Arctic loses snow, ice; absorbs more heat

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Arctic and its future are looking dimmer every year, a new federal report says.

In the spring and summer of 2014, Earth's icy northern region lost more of its signature whiteness that reflects the sun's heat. It was replaced temporarily with dark land and water that absorbs more energy, keeping yet more heat on already warming planet, according to the Arctic report card issued Thursday

Obama withdraws Alaska's Bristol Bay from drilling

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that he's removing more than 52,000 square miles (135,000 sq. kilometers) of waters off Alaska's coast from consideration for oil and gas exploration or drilling.

The president said in a video announcement that Bristol Bay and nearby waters, covering an area roughly the size of Florida, would be withdrawn from consideration for petroleum leases. He called Bristol Bay one of the country's great natural resources and a massive economic engine.

Studies find accelerating ice melt in Greenland, Antarctica

Source: 
The Washington Post

Four recent studies – a pair about the ice sheet in West Antarctica and a pair about the ice sheet in Greenland – find greater instability and a faster melt than had been previously estimated, which could trigger an alarming sea level rise in the future, The Washington Post reports.

Rain could spell trouble for Calif. water conservation

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — After California's driest three years on record, there have been few sounds as disturbing to water conservationists as the whisk-whisk-whisk of automatic lawn sprinklers kicking on directly behind TV reporters covering some of the state's first heavy downpours in years.

Recent storms eased the drought somewhat, but there's a long way to go. And state officials are worried that the rain will give people an excuse to abandon the already inconsistent conservation efforts adopted to deal with the dry spell.

Officials release 3 eagles at Michigan power plant

HAMPTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Three weak, emaciated eagles that were nursed back to health at a Michigan raptor rehabilitation facility have been released back into the wild.

Sandy Miner of the nonprofit Wildlife Support Team and others opened the birds' cages on Monday and allowed them to fly free from the grounds of Consumers Energy's Karn/Weadock Generating Complex near Bay City.

Study: Hotter days in US mean less cold cash

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hotter days mean less cold cash for Americans, according to a new study matching 40 years of temperatures to economics.

Days that averaged about 77 degrees ended up reducing people's income by about $5 a day when compared with days that were about 20 degrees cooler. A county's average economic productivity decreases by nearly 1 percent for every degree Fahrenheit that the average daily temperature is above 59, says a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper released Monday.

SoCal slammed by rain and wind, generating floods and mudslides

Source: 
Reuters

Hundreds of homes were evacuated and dozens suffered damage from flooding and mudslides in a severe storm that lashed Southern California Friday, killing at least one person, Reuters reports.

French mayor convicted over deadly sea wall breach

PARIS (AP) — A French court has sentenced a former mayor and his deputy to prison for ignoring flood risks and encouraging development in their Atlantic Coast town before aging sea walls collapsed in a 2010 storm that killed dozens.

The storm, called Xynthia, smashed through thousands of homes, destroyed oyster farms, flooded ports and unleashed heavy criticism of weak sea walls along the coast.

Deal: Greenpeace activists get community service over P&G protest

CINCINNATI (AP) — Eight Greenpeace activists who staged an eye-catching protest at Procter & Gamble Co. headquarters pleaded guilty Friday to trespassing in an agreement offered at the consumer products maker's request.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Winkler ordered them each to complete 80 hours of community service on the misdemeanor charge. They are on probation for up to a year and will avoid jail time by completing the service and paying court costs.

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