Mountaintop removalAug. 17, 1896: Leslie Groves is born in Albany, N.Y. Arguably the greatest project manager in U.S. history, Groves joins the Army in the final days of World War I. Assigned to the Corps of Engineers, Groves studies an alternate route to the Panama Canal through Nicaragua in the late 1920s. In 1941, he oversees construction of the Pentagon. He is appointed to lead the Manhattan Project a year later.

Aug. 17, 2004: As mountains are leveled to retrieve the coal inside them, and the state’s valleys and streams are filled in with the waste, concern grows over the practice of “mountaintop removal” coal mining (at right). But National Mining Association President Jack Gerard offers the Washington Post a different view on the leveled landscape: "Some of the sites are so beautifully reclaimed, many people can't tell the difference."

Aug. 17, 2010: The Wildlife Conservation Society releases a report citing “devastated” coral populations off the Indonesian island of Sumatra. WCS estimates that 60 percent of the coral off the Aceh region of the island — the same area that was Ground Zero for the 2004 tsunami — has bleached due to rising sea temperatures.

Aug. 17, 2011:  Texas Governor and Presidential candidate Rick Perry calls climate change a hoax, and accuses climate scientists of manipulating data “so that they will have money rolling into their pockets.  While Perry’s comments provoke jeers and satire elsewhere, nearly all of his GOP Presidential rivals agree.

Photo: Silvia Alba/Flickr

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