Gray wolf death toll grows as US hunters take their bounty

Hunters have killed 299 gray wolves in the Rocky Mountain states where trophy hunting is set to continue through the winter, and in some cases through the spring. Conservationists say the packs could nosedive in the face of robust trophy hunting and trapping that has been set up to whittle the wolves down to around 400 in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming combined.

Portland residents reject fluoridation, thwarting City Council that had mandated it

Portland voters soundly rejected fluoridation of the city’s water, reversing a 2012 mandate by the city council. Anti-fluoride forces are calling the vote a victory for modern science, which has identified excessive fluoride exposures as contributing to thyroid disease, bone damage and lower IQs among children.

How ‘The Washington Post’ got it dead wrong

Electric car supporters and companies have responded to a slap down by the Washington Post editorial board last week, which accused the Obama Administration of wasting money to help launch electric vehicles, such as GM’s Volt and Nissan’s Leaf.

The opinion piece “GM’s Vaunted Volt is on the Road to Nowhere Fast ” accused the administration both of having “paltry” goals for electric vehicles — 1 million by 2015 — and of spending too much money on subsidies for the new technology.

Sierra student groups push campuses to expel coal plants

Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign has been turning up the heat on coal users, including campuses.

According to Sierra, 60 U.S. universities operate their own coal plants. The environmental group wants them to convert to another source of energy that produces fewer greenhouse gases, which are contributing to rapid climate change. Coal plant emissions also create ground-level pollution and contain mercury and arsenic, which ends up on land and in oceans and lakes.

Natural gas: Bridge or detour?

Natural gas is portrayed as the “bridge fuel” that will save the US from uneven electricity supply and prices as we transition off coal and oil on our way toward using renewable biofuels, solar and wind power.

A drilling rig in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo: Green Right Now)

Sierra Club unveils the top ‘Cool Schools’ 2010 list

Many American universities are leading the way toward a more sustainable future. They’re buying renewable power, connecting with local food sources, adding classes on sustainability and new urbanism, inventorying their carbon footprint, preserving open land and retrofitting energy-inefficient buildings — showing the rest of us how it’s done.

Sierra Club looks at all these factors and more when identifies the vanguard in this movement, lauding the colleges and universities making the most progress. This year’s 4th annual ‘Cool Schools‘ list, published this week in Sierra magazine, ranks 162 schools on their climate cooling efforts, and calls out those in the top 10.

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.

The BP oil well is capped! And now back to work

Now that BP has successfully capped the oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, almost everyone has a tempering comment on this fragile victory. Soon after the oil flow into the ocean was stopped Thursday afternoon using the latest “sealing cap” device placed over the well, BP officials began cautioning about too much celebration.

Wind and labor leaders unite to push for jobs and clean energy

Clean energy advocates and labor leaders are calling on the U.S. to step up its commitment to wind energy and wind-related manufacturing — or risk losing thousands of jobs to China, Europe and India.

American wind urgently needs strong supports, such as long-term investment tax credits and a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), to show investors and domestic and global companies that it believes in the sector, the leaders said at a Monday news conference. A RES would signal that the U.S. wants to incubate developing firms and build everything it needs — from wind towers and blades to the highly evolved nacelles that keep the turbines turning.

Pelicans and other birds drenched with oil in offshore nesting areas

Oiled pelicans rescued June 3 (Photo: International Bird Rescue Research Center)

The heartbreaking photos and video, many released yesterday when it was discovered that a famous rookery on Grand Isle had been inundated with oil, leave no doubt that this latest human accident will suffocate life wherever it lands and beyond. It will asphyxiate birds with a coating of oil, and orphan offspring left behind in the nests.

Kerry-Lieberman bill arrives, limp but breathing

Nearly nine months in the making, the Kerry-Lieberman clean energy bill has been born, and is available for nursery viewings in the U.S. Senate. The little bundle, some 987 pages long, has been received with polite congratulations. But in all honesty, some of the viewers seem to be silently whispering: “God what an ugly baby!” And some are visibly put off.

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.

New coalition asks for kinder treatment of wildlife

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

A new coalition of animal rights, conservation and faith groups is asking for a philosophical change in how the federal government treats the nation’s diminishing wildlife, particularly of top predators, whose presence helps insure healthy wild ecosystems.

The coalition sent a letter signed by 115 of its member groups to Agriculture Secretary nominee Tom Vilsack earlier this month asking him to end the federal government’s systematic killings of wildlife, such as wolves, coyotes, bears, cougars and prairie dogs.

The group contends that the killings are excessive and often cruel and that Wildlife Services, a department of the USDA that exterminated 2.4 million animals in 2007 should be reevaluated.

Green Goods: Sierra Club Socks

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Socks, they’re a universal holiday gift. Anyone can use ’em, and most anyone would appreciate an extra pair, which is why the Sierra Club settled on having a sock drive to help the homeless this season.

Buy a pair of Sierra Club brand socks (made by Devmir Inc., based in North Carolina) in a blend of organic cotton, bamboo and recycled synthetic fibers, and the conservation group will donate a pair to The National Coalition for the Homeless. Sierra Club also will get 10 percent of the proceeds in this mutual effort to raise money for Sierra Club and donate one million pairs of socks to people in need.

Sierra Mag Lauds Ten Universities That “Get It”

By Barbara Kessler

College-bound high schoolers looking for an environmentally conscientious college should have no shortage of guidance this year. The Sierra Club has joined the Princeton Review in assessing the green creds of U.S. universities.

Actually, the venerable environmental group was first out with the idea, launching a “Cool Schools” rundown in 2007. Their second annual review, in the group’s Sept./Oct.Sierra magazine, settles on list of the top ten campuses — Ten That Get It — that includes colleges of all sizes from the East to the West.