SLUMP OF COAL? The NY Times reports that the worldwide economic slump could hurt renewable energy production, since fossil fuels like coal are currently cheaper. According to Bibi van der Zee in the Guardian's Ethical Living blog, however, the looming energy crisis will dwarf any financial one.

AT A LOGGERHEADS: A mob of 3,000 pro-logging demonstrators attacked a jungle government office in Brazil Monday, protesting a crackdown on illegal logging in the Amazon.

OWL THINGS CONSIDERED: Conservation groups are suing the Bush administration over its recent "owl recovery plan," which would allow renewed logging in the old-growth Oregonian forests where the threatened northern spotted owl lives. Proponents of the administration's plan argue that limited logging is an economic strain on the region.

RAISING THE BAR: The Times' Green Inc. blog reports this morning on a new green nightclub called the Greenhouse in NYC, the latest in a growing trend of eco-friendly watering holes.

TRICKLE-DOWN ECO-NOMICS: A Harvard project suggests that rich nations should be the first to cut carbon emissions because they can better afford the initial costs.

YELLOW RIVER: A third of China's second-largest river is so heavily polluted the water is unsafe for drinking, aquaculture, industrial use and even agriculture, according to a new scientific study.

LORD DUMPLING: Aka Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway and countless other gadgets, has been in the news recently after he made his personal, three-acre "North Dumpling Island" off the coast of Connecticut energy-independent. This month's Esquire also features a Kamen profile discussing his utopian eccentricities and vapor-compression water distiller, which "can make pure medicinal-grade water out of anything that's wet, even urine or toxic waste." 

BROILER ALERT: Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found a new reason to hold your nose when driving behind a poultry truck:airborne, drug-resistant bacteria. The study found increased levels of dangerous bacteria on surfaces and in the air of cars traveling behind trucks that carry broiler chickens from factory farms, where the high concentrations of animals allows viruses and bacteria to evolve more rapidly.

Russell McLendon ( @russmclendon ) writes about humans and other wildlife.

The Morning Briefing: 11/25
Fool's coal; logging fans angry; green nightclubs; trickle-down eco-nomics; pollution in the Yellow River; Dean Kamen's new invention