Bull elk in OregonJuly 15, 1955: Eighteen Nobel laureate scientists sign the Mainau Declaration, warning that nuclear weapons "could contaminate the earth so badly that entire nations would be annihilated." German nuclear pioneers Otto Hahn and Max Born lead the declaration effort, which is later joined by 34 more Nobel laureates.

July 15, 1979: Responding to the second "energy crisis" of the decade, U.S. President Jimmy Carter proposes an $88 billion "synthetic fuel" program to create new fuels from coal and shale oil. The program never materializes.

July 15, 2010: For the first time in nearly three months, the flow of oil from BP's Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico is stopped, as a test of a new containment cap proves successful.

July 15, 2010: A year after a bull elk (at right) is found dead in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Bruce Wayne Cromer is sentenced to 150 days in prison for poaching. The elk was one of a herd reintroduced to the park more than a century after the animals were wiped out by overhunting.

July 15, 2012:  The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) reports that the U.S. ranks ninth among the world’s top twelve economic powers for energy efficiency.  The UK is first, and Russia is last.

Photo: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife/Wikimedia Commons

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