These 7 gifts are perfect for nature lovers

Give back to nature by helping restore forests, oceans and wildlife. Your contribution will boomerang back in countless ways, curbing climate change, teaching kids about the outdoors, feeding endangered monarch butterflies, making space for whales and even helping tree farmers. All you’ll get is that lousy T-shirt. (But this year, they’re actually pretty cool.)

Arkansas leak a sign of things to come?

While details regarding the cause of the rupture and the magnitude of the spill are still coming in, the Mayflower tar sands spill is yet another demonstration of the risks that tar sands pipelines pose to the communities and sensitive water resources they cross. At about a tenth of the full capacity of the Keystone XL tar sands pipelines, the 90,000 bpd Pegasus pipeline rupture offers us a small sample of the risk that tar sands pipelines pose to American communities.

The top 12 cleanest swimming beaches in the U.S.

Safety at the beach requires watchfulness, and checking water quality.

Nothing beats the beach when the heat of summer hits. But in today’s world, there are swimming beaches, and beaches that are best observed, at distance from the water.

These beaches are not so much for swimming, at least, not until you check to see if there’s an alert that day, or maybe, to be save, never.

Efficiency, baby, efficiency: NRDC report touts better cars as solution to oil woes

Consumers looking for relief from high gasoline prices are finding solutions in the US car market, according to a new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
US car buyers can choose from among 57 models of energy-efficient cars and trucks in showrooms today. That’s more than double the 27 efficient models that were available in the spring of 2009.

Expensive weather events triggered by climate change underscore the risk of expanding tar sands oil extraction

ore Americans than ever believe that climate change is responsible for the strange weather they see around them. A recent poll shows that over 60% of the American public believes that climate change is real and that they are basing this belief on their observation that winters and summers are warmer and that there seem to be more extreme weather events, like droughts and tornadoes. The spate of tornadoes across the Midwest and southern U.S. in early March reminds us of the terrible human and economic toll these disasters can have.

NRDC attempts to head off ‘weed and feed’ pollution

Just in time for weed-and-feed season, the Natural Resources Defense Council has filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to stop the use of the weed killed known as 2,4-D.
This neurotoxic chemical, infamous as a key ingredient in Agent Orange, is still allowed in products used to treat lawns, golf courses and in commercial operations.

What must happen at Durban climate talks

optimist…Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” With around 200 nations set to meet in Durban South, Africa November 28 – December 9 to agree on further efforts to address global warming, those words seemed extremely fitting.

GOP senators try to force-start Keystone pipeline, despite Obama’s order for additional review

ess than a month since the Obama Administration delayed the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline for at least a year, a group of GOP senators is trying to force the project to begin anyway.

The partisan showdown is led by Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), minority chair of the Foreign Relations Committee. Supporters include 37 other senators, including those from Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, which would host segments of the 1,700 mile pipeline.

Wolves back under protection

The Rocky Mountain gray wolves are back on the Endangered Species List after a federal judge ruled last week that the government did not follow the law in removing the wolves from federal protections last year. The new ruling means that the wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho that claimed 260 wolves during the 2009-2010 hunting season will not resume this fall.

CBO finds corn ethanol costs taxpayers nearly $2 a gallon in subsidies (on top of the price at the pump)

By Sasha Lyutse
Yesterday afternoon, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its evaluation of the costs and benefits of federal biofuels tax credits, including the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC), the largest U.S. subsidy for renewable energy that goes almost entirely to corn ethanol. The release comes against the backdrop of a full court press by corn ethanol industry lobbyists to push Congress to extend the VEETC and a disappointing attempt by Senator Amy Klobuchar to attach a 5-year extension of the corn ethanol tax credit to a Senate energy bill ostensibly supporting renewable energy, which we discussed here and the NRDC Action Fund discussed here.

Robert Redford says the BP oil disaster shows need for clean energy

The Natural Resources Defense Council, and many other environmental groups, are campaigning with renewed vigor for a clean energy bill, in the wake of the ongoing BP oil disaster.

In this NRDC video, longtime conservationist Robert Redford reflects on the oil catastrophe, saying its time to recognize that self-interested oil companies will never want to give up risky oil drilling, if there’s profit to be made.

Enviromentalists say Gulf disaster shows U.S. must find new energy sources

As the growing oil spill reached the coast of Louisiana Friday, environmental groups, aghast at the growing calamity, called on President Obama to do more than suspend new off-shore oil drilling. The president announced earlier in the day that no more oil exploration would take place until the BP oil spill had been thoroughly investigated. An estimated 210,000 gallons of oil a day continued to pour into the Gulf of Mexico from the deep sea wellhead, 11 days after an explosion sunk the rig and killed 11 crew members.

Frances Beinecke: Earth Day was a ray of optimism in a dark time

Earth Day Was a Ray of Optimism in a Dark Time

Frances Beinecke

“I don’t remember exactly what I did on the first Earth Day 40 years ago, but I remember exactly how I felt: deeply relieved,” writes Frances Beinecke. “You have to realize, the spring of 1970 was a tumultuous time. I was a junior at Yale, but most of us were essentially on strike. We never went to class, because we were far too embroiled in the political upheaval around us. Students were up in arms about the draft. Protests against the escalation in Vietnam had reached a fevered pitch–indeed four students would be shot dead by National Guardsmen at Kent State that May. Meanwhile the National Guard had descended on the streets of New Haven because Bobby Seale, the co-founder of the Black Panthers, was on trial downtown.”

Stimulus plan puts green into green; the details so far…

From Green Right Now Reports:

In a alert released this afternoon, entitled “Congress Gets It Right — Recovery Deal to Spur Clean Energy Economy”, the Natural Resources Defense Council praised the compromise stimulus package hammered out by Congress for the ways it steers the American economy in a greener direction.

“Congress really got it right with this economic recovery package that will deliver jobs and green infrastructure to America. The bill makes smart investments that will jumpstart the economy, help sustain future growth, and meet the challenges of the 21st century,”effused Wesley Warren, director of programs for the NRDC. “We need to put America on a path to a clean-energy economy, and Congress has taken a big step forward in heeding this call.