TURBULENCE: A group of climate activists from the protest group Plane Stupid rushed the tarmac at London's Stansted airport this morning, chaining themselves down and using security fencing as barricades to create a "fort." They were protesting a plan to add an extra runway to the airport. Fifty-six flights were cancelled. (Source: The Guardian)

RECYCLING MARKET IN DUMPSTER: A drop in demand for new products made from recycled materials has led to plummeting demand for recyclables like cardboard, newspapers, plastic and scrap metal. The price of a ton of tin, for example, is down to $5 from $327 earlier this year. As a result, many recycling programs are cutting back on what they collect. (Source: The New York Times)

MARINE RESERVIST: President Bush again demonstrates that his disregard for the environment is limited to a war on terra, as the "ocean president" is considering options for marine reserves that could be the largest in U.S. history. (Source: The Christian Science Monitor)

FOR THE BIRDS: Fair Oaks, Calif., is overrun with feral chickens, the progeny of a rooster and three hens brought to town three decades ago. Most residents are smitten, but a few are crying fowl. (Source: The Los Angeles Times)

REINVENTING THE WHEEL: Michelin has developed a new wheel for electric vehicles that includes a motor, suspension system, brakes and a tire, potentially transforming the way cars are designed. (Source: Gas 2.0)

FIDDLING WHILE ROME MELTED: The Roman and Byzantine empires could owe their falls at least in part to climate change, according to findings from University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers. While studying a cross-section of a stalagmite from a cave near Jerusalem, they found an increasingly dry period from 100 A.D. to 700 A.D., coinciding with both empires' waning influence. (Source: ScienceDaily)

The Morning Briefing: 12/8
Protesters storm airport; recession hits recycling; Bush mulls ocean reserves; chickens take over Calif. town; wheels turning at Michelin; did climate change ta