Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2013
The winter solstice is behind us, and the holiday season is upon us. Before we sign off for 2013, here’s TheGreenGrok’s take on the top 10 green stories of the year.
9. Colorado’s Strange Weather in Three Parts
After a raft of deadly, record-breaking fires, Colorado was hit with record-breaking torrential rains and floods. Read posts:
- Fire in the Rockies – Part 1
- Fire in the Rockies – Part 2
- Extreme Weather: Fire and Rain in Colorado
8. Chemical Safety Reform and the Death of Sen. Lautenberg
For years Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) had been a staunch advocate of reforming the 1977 law that has fallen far short of the mark in protecting the American public from potentially dangerous chemicals. He sadly passed away in June. But is the reform bill bearing his name worthy of his legacy? Read posts:
Fracking remained a big news item in 2013, and TheGreenGrok had its share of stories related to the subject. They ranged from studies about water contamination to earthquakes, from measurements showing low leakage rates of methane to fracking’s role in lowering U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. Take your pick, they’re all interesting:
- The Latest on Earthquakes: Enhanced Oil Recovery Shaking Things Up in U.S.
- The Oil Boom Produces Another Spill
- Fracking Water: It’s Just So Hard to Clean
- Shale Gas and Tight Oil: Boom? Bust? Or Just a Petering Out?
- Natural Gas Study: Allays Fears for Some, Inspires Hot Air From Others
- Fracking Waste Wells Linked to Ohio Earthquakes
Where is President Obama on climate and energy? In his State of the Union address he vowed to act on climate, and then, in almost the same breath, promised to do all he could to maximize U.S. production of fossil fuels. Read post »
And while we’re on the subject of presidential addresses, check out this one, posted on the 50th anniversary of a stirring speech by JFK.
What’s in a number? Often nothing but symbolism. Atmospheric CO2 hitting the 400 parts-per-million mark this year had its own symbolism: it symbolized the paralysis that plagues the nation’s political system, indeed the entire world’s political systems. Read post »
Related post: 450 or 350 — Choose One and Go
For more on Congressional paralysis, read this post — and weep.
Two plus years after an earthquake and tsunami struck the northern coast of Japan and crippled nearby nuclear power plants, the country is reeling. The area is so vulnerable to catastrophe, even a mouse can do damage. Read post »
Related post: Nuclear Power Taking Its Hits
When it comes to climate policy Beijing is anything but consistent. This year it pledged to stop construction of new coal-fired power plants to lower emissions and then took steps to build new coal gasification plants that will lead to huge carbon emissions. Read post »
Climate scientists were caught by surprise when global warming appeared to go on a hiatus early this century. But they’ve been busy ever since hypothesizing, observing and testing. 2013 saw a plethora of new science aimed at shining a light on the origins of the hiatus and what it bodes for future climate change. Read post »
Of course we still wash our hands, but the science keeps getting clearer — germs can do a body good. It’s a small (actually microscopic) subject, but the implications are huge, so huge that it’s our No. 1 environmental story of 2013 Read post »
- The Obesity Plague and Antibiotics
- The Latest on Microbes: New Insights Into the Life Lived on the Wee Small
- Environment and Health: Could Our Own Bugs Provide the Link?
- Goats, Gills and Guts: Animals in the News
- Is It a Good Microbe or a Bad Microbe?
And that’s it for 2013. TheGreenGrok team will see you on the other side of the New Year.