Polar bear cubsAug. 4, 1977: U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs a bill creating the Department of Energy.  James Schlesinger is nominated as the first Secretary of Energy the next day.

Aug. 4, 1983: Future baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield is arrested for cruelty to animals in Toronto. Finishing warm-ups during a game between Winfield’s Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays, Winfield’s toss to a ball boy strikes and kills a seagull. The charges are dropped the next day.

Aug. 4, 2008: Just weeks before she became John McCain’s vice presidential running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin sues Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, who had listed polar bears as a threatened species in May.

Aug. 4, 2012:  NASA climate scientist James Hansen publishes a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science saying that the link between the recent rash of extreme weather and climate change is strong.  "This is not some scientific theory.  We are now experiencing scientific fact," said Hansen.

Photo: U.S. [skipwords]Fish[/skipwords] and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons

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