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Environmental Issues

Climate Change: While Washington Slept


Ten months before Hurricane Katrina left much of New Orleans underwater, Queen Elizabeth II had a private conversation with Prime Minister Tony Blair about George W. Bush. The Queen's tradition of meeting once a week with Britain's elected head of government to discuss matters of state-usually on Tuesday evenings in Buckingham Palace and always alone, to ensure maximum confidentiality-goes back to 1952, the year she ascended the throne. In all that time, the contents of those chats rarely if ever leaked.

US pollution case tests international law


The glistening waters and sandy beaches of the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area have drawn millions of tourists over the years. But the lake also collected wastes dumped into the Columbia River from one of the world's largest lead and zinc smelters, just across the border in Trail, British Columbia. Now, in a landmark case, a federal judge in Yakima, Washington, soon will decide if the Canadian smelter operator is subject to the U.S. Superfund law and must pay to clean up nearly a century of pollution.

Study for Shell’s Jackpine oilsands mine predicts big losses in animal habitat


Shell Canada outlines a substantial loss of habitat for birds, woodland caribou, bison and other animals in an environmental assessment of the proposed expansion of its Jackpine oilsands mine in northeastern Alberta.

Asian frogs becoming extinct before they can be identified, biologists warn


Frogs and other amphibians are being wiped out at such a rapid rate across Asia that many are going extinct before scientists even have a chance to identify them as new species, biologists warned at an international conservation meeting in South Korea this week.


Green Crude: The Quest to Unlock Algae’s Energy Potential


A host of startup companies are pursuing new technologies that they claim will soon lead to large-scale commercialization of biofuels made from algae. But questions remain about the viability and environmental benefits of what its developers are calling “green crude.”


Explosive growth in sudden oak death


The number of oak trees in California that died from the virulent forest disease known as sudden oak death has increased tenfold in just a year's time as the pathogen spread into several new parts of the Bay Area, including San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, biologists revealed this week.