The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.

Ontario bee farmer hoping for pesticide ban to end die-off

Just two years ago, Dave Schuit’s honeybee hives were thriving and he was planning an expansion of the family business. But in the last year, an astounding 37 million of his bees in 600 hives have died and he doesn’t know if he’ll have any honey harvest at all this year.

Now, he’s joining a growing number of beekeepers across the country pointing the finger of blame at a group of pesticides they say needs to be banned.

See Also: Honey Bees Deaths Reported In Minnesota

Wolves threatened: Ending federal protection is a mistake

Until recently the restoration of the gray wolf to a portion of its natural habitat in the lower 48 was one of the success stories of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. However, the job is far from complete, and now the U.S. Department of the Interior wants to allow the states to return to many of the same methods of the late 1800s and early 1900s that led to the eradication of the wolf in California and elsewhere.

On June 7, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced its plan to remove the gray wolf, Canis lupus, from the federal list of endangered wildlife in the remainder of the lower 48 states where it is not already delisted (except for the Mexican wolf in New Mexico and Arizona). The gray wolf will be dropped, not because it has recovered across most of its former range, but because the Department of the Interior appears to be responding to political pressure rather than peer reviewed science.

Gulf Oil Wells Have Been Leaking Since 2004 Hurricane

Oil has been gushing from a group of wells south of New Orleans since a platform at the site was wiped out by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and it appears that nothing is being done to staunch or control the leaking.

Efforts to cap the ruptures appear to have been abandoned in 2011. Instead of working to clean up or stop the spill, driller Taylor Energy Company is now providing the government with daily updates about the resultant slick.

Even those updates appear to be half-baked. A long ribbon of oil can clearly be seen spilling out from the site, but Taylor Energy claims its much smaller than does NOAA.

Does Climate Change Make Western Firefighting More Dangerous?

In the wake of the tragic news that 19 heroic members of an elite “Hotshot” firefighting team were killed in Arizona, there’s been renewed discussion about climate change and how it is worsening wildfires. In particular, there’s considerable evidence that western fire seasons are getting longer and more destructive, and that this is tied to more extreme heat and drought.

But does the same dynamic make the act of wildland firefighting riskier? There are reasons to suspect that it does.

See Also: How Climate Change Makes Wildfires Worse

Greenhouse gas likely altering ocean foodchain

Climate change may be weeding out the bacteria that form the base of the ocean’s food chain, selecting certain strains for survival, according to a new study.


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