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Weekly Environmental Updates
This week marked the five year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the worst off shore environmental disaster in U.S. history. The impact of the spill continues, with some industries still struggling due to changes in marine life. BP, which has already spent 28 million dollars for clean up and economic claims, continues to face court action in an ongoing liability case.
The 45th annual Earth Day was celebrated this week on April 22. What started as a U.S. call to awareness of environmental issues in 1970 has grown into a weeklong global event with participation by 192 countries. Experts differ in their opinions as to whether Earth Day remains relevant given widespread changes in the environment, economics, and technology.
After 45 years of protection, at least some humpback whales can be removed from the endangered species list, says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). However, the director of the Center for Biological Diversity in Alaska feels that delisting the whales may be premature. Alaska petitioned NOAA last year to have the whales delisted, making it easier to authorize oil drilling.
If mosquitoes like you better than your friends, blame your genes. A new pilot study suggests that mosquitoes are attracted to people based on their smell, which in turn, is determined by their DNA. Pregnant women and people with greater body mass were favorites of the test insects.
Two hurricane names have been dropped from the Pacific storm list compiled by the United Nations World Meteorological Organization because of their associations with terror and death. "Isis" has been replaced by "Ivette" due to its connection with the militant Islamic organization. "Odile" is now "Odalys" as Hurricane Odile was responsible for the deaths of eleven people and billions of dollars in damages when it hit the Baja Peninsula in 2014. Sandy, Katrina, and Mitch were already gone from the list.
What's the greenest way to read a book? Paper books come at the expense of trees plus the energy to produce and ship them. E-readers are slightly more environmentally friendly, but still involve metal mining and present the issue of e-waste when they die. It turns out that borrowing books from the library or a friend is best as its "per read" impact is very small.
4/24/15
Roman Hills