POWER TO THE PEOPLE: One week after announcing plans for a 400-megawatt wind farm and the world's largest solar-power project, China apparently felt it was getting a little too friendly with the environment. The government has thus announced it will ramp up coal production 30 percent by 2015, up to 3.3 billion tons. The country still relies on coal for about 70 percent of its energy, due to uncanny population growth requiring electricity generation to keep pace. It has caught up with the United States in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years, but is quick to point out that its per capita emissions are far lower than Western nations. (Sources: Bloomberg News, CleanTechnica, Agence France-Presse)
FOOL EFFICIENCY: The Bush administration won't bother with guidelines on vehicle fuel efficiency, deciding to let the Obama administration deal with the struggling auto companies' mileage standards. Automakers — apparently undaunted by balancing both begging and choosing — aren't happy, saying they need certainty now. (Source: The Washington Post)
BIRD ON A MIRE: The California pelican crisis seems to have only gotten worse in recent days, now reaching from Baja, Mexico, to southern Oregon. Hundreds of brown pelicans are dying and acting strangely, with a variety of weird behaviors described by witnesses: falling from the sky, slamming into cars, huddling in people's back yards and stumbling across highways. While some of their symptoms are consistent with domoic acid poisoning — produced by microscopic sea algae — they aren't having seizures, a common sign of the toxin. "These birds just act like they’re out of it," a rescue center director tells The Orange County Register. (Sources: The Los Angeles Times, The Associated Press,The Oregonian, The Orange County Register)
LET THERE BE BLIGHT: Artificial light occurring at unnatural times or places is throwing off a wide range of animal behaviors, according to a team of ecologists, biologists and biophysicists. The human-made lights attract some animals and repel others, leading to increased predation, migrating in the wrong direction, choosing bad nesting sites or mates, and spending less time looking for food, among other maladies. Baby sea turtles following bright beach lights instead of heading to sea is the classic example of the problem, but the researchers warn it affects many other animals, too. (Source: ScienceDaily)
BOTTLE SHOCK: The bottlenose dolphins that had spent months in two New Jersey rivers, far north of their usual range, have begun dying off, according to NOAA officials. More than two-thirds of the original 16 dolphins have disappeared, and officials say those that remain won't survive the winter. Still, the agency is refusing to help move them to warmer waters, saying it's a risky maneuver with no guarantee of success. (Source: AP)
NOT MISSING THE FOREST OR THE TREES: Dot Earth's Andy Revkin took a break from reporting on environmental issues Tuesday to just reflect on the environment itself (and pluck around a little). This morning he posts the video of his meditative dog walk. (Source: The New York Times)
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