Rajendra PachauriDec. 20, 1983:  Occidental Chemical, who bought the Hooker Chemical Co. of Niagara Falls, New York, settles a lawsuit with over 1,000 residents of the contaminated Love Canal neighborhood for $20 million.

Dec. 20, 2009:  A study published in the journal Science says the oceans are getting noisier.  Not only has ship traffic doubled in the last forty years, but as seawater becomes increasingly acidic, it conducts sound more effectively.   Noisy oceans can affect sound-sensitive animals like whales and dolphins, the paper says.

Dec. 20, 2009:  As the Copenhagen climate talks wind down, London’s Daily Telegraph publishes an explosive article accusing the U.N.’s leading climate scientist of financial conflict of interest.  Rajendra Pachauri (at right), chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, denies the charge that he has profited by millions of dollars of climate-related business.   Ten months later, the Daily Telegraph retracts the story and publishes an apology to Pachauri.

Dec. 20, 2011:  Fishermen spot a growing oil slick in Nigeria’s offshore Bonga oil field.  Chevron later confirms that at least 1.7 million gallons of crude entered the Atlantic before the spill was capped.

Photo: ZUMA Press

This feature is compiled by Peter Dykstra, an MNN contributor and publisher of Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate.

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