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10 Most Popular Stories of 2012

Energy
10 Most Popular Stories of 2012

EcoWatch

It's certainly been an exciting and busy 12 months for EcoWatch as we've worked daily to promote the news of more than 1,000 grassroots environmental organizations, activists and community leaders worldwide. We're looking forward to 2013, to continue to highlight the efforts of people and organizations working to create a sustainable world.

EcoWatch's 10 most popular stories of 2012:

10. Fracking—A Bad Bet for the Environment and Economy

Paul Gallay, Riverkeeper

As New York considers new hydrofracking regulations that would allow companies to drill an estimated 48,000 gas wells across the rural countryside, many see the pitched battle over the state’s fracking plan as a tug-of-war …

 

9. Tests Find Toxics in Broad Array of Consumer Products

Center for Health, Environment and Justice

“These test results show that both conventional and so-called green products contain hidden toxic chemicals that are not on product labels—so consumers have no way of avoiding them,” says Alexandra Scranton from Women’s Voices …

 

8. Cincinnati Passes Resolution Requiring GE Food Labeling

Food & Water Watch

Cincinnati Council Member and resolution co-sponsor Wendell Young said, “this is about transparency, about ensuring that people can make informed choices about what they feed themselves and their families …

 

7. BP Covered Up Blow-out Two Years Prior to Deadly Deepwater Horizon Spill

Greg Palast

Two years before the Deepwater Horizon blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico, another BP off-shore rig suffered a nearly identical blow-out, but BP concealed the first blow-out from the U.S. regulators and Congress…

 

6. Tell Congress to Expedite Renewable Energy

EcoWatch

This petition unites the voices of Americans who demand our leaders take seriously the energy and climate crisis and immediately work to implement the policies to move our country toward a sustainable future.

 

5. Ohio Governor Halts Four More Fracking Wastewater Injection Wells After Yesterday’s Quake

EcoWatch

The Kasich administration has put a temporary halt to the disposal of toxic wastewater from hydraulic fracturing (better known as fracking—a procedure used to extract oil and gas out of rock formations such as the Marcellus and Utica shale) from oil and natural-gas drilling wells within a 5-mile radius …

 

4. Hawaii Becomes First State in the U.S. to Ban Plastic Bags

Surfrider Foundation

The City and County of Honolulu is the last of Hawaii’s counties to enact a ban on plastic bags at the point of sale. Maui and Kauai counties already have plastic bag bans in place while Hawaii County passed an ordinance that will take effect next year …

 

3. Analysts Conclude Fracking Wastewater Poses Substantial Risk to Drinking Water

Society for Risk Analysis

If only 10 percent of the Marcellus Shale region was developed, that could equate to 40,000 wells. Under the best-case median risk calculation that Rozell and Reaven developed, the volume of contaminated wastewater “would equate to several hours flow of the Hudson River or a few thousand Olympic-sized swimming pools …

 

2. Mining Companies Invade Wisconsin for Frac-Sand

Pilar Gerasimo

And when the sand is gone, when the mining activity moves out, what will be left of this place? Some big empty rail yards, a pockmarked series of “reclaimed” sites no longer suitable for farming, and a bunch of homes nobody wants to live in any more? A post-mining wasteland and an even more depressed economy? …

 

1. Stomach Contents of Seabirds Show that Marine Plastic Pollution Is out of Control

University of British Columbia

The research group performed necropsies on 67 beached northern fulmars and found that 92.5 percent had plastics—such as twine, Styrofoam and candy wrappers—in their stomachs. An average of 36.8 pieces per bird were found …

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Plastic bails, left, and aluminum bails, right, are photographed at the Green Waste material recovery facility on Thursday, March 28, 2019, in San Jose, California. Aric Crabb / Digital First Media / Bay Area News via Getty Images

By Courtney Lindwall

Coined in the 1970s, the classic Earth Day mantra "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" has encouraged consumers to take stock of the materials they buy, use, and often quickly pitch — all in the name of curbing pollution and saving the earth's resources. Most of us listened, or lord knows we tried. We've carried totes and refused straws and dutifully rinsed yogurt cartons before placing them in the appropriately marked bins. And yet, nearly half a century later, the United States still produces more than 35 million tons of plastic annually, and sends more and more of it into our oceans, lakes, soils, and bodies.

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Rise and Resist activist group marched together to demand climate and racial justice. Steve Sanchez / Pacific Press / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Alexandria Villaseñor

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

My journey to becoming an activist began in late 2018. During a trip to California to visit family, the Camp Fire broke out. At the time, it was the most devastating and destructive wildfire in California history. Thousands of acres and structures burned, and many lives were lost. Since then, California's wildfires have accelerated: This past year, we saw the first-ever "gigafire," and by the end of 2020, more than four million acres had burned.

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U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced a pair of climate-related secretarial orders on Friday, April 16. U.S. Department of the Interior

By Jessica Corbett

As the Biden administration reviews the U.S. government's federal fossil fuels program and faces pressure to block any new dirty energy development, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland won praise from environmentalists on Friday for issuing a pair of climate-related secretarial orders.

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David Attenborough narrates "The Year Earth Changed," premiering globally April 16 on Apple TV+. Apple

Next week marks the second Earth Day of the coronavirus pandemic. While a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions has limited our ability to explore the natural world and gather with others for its defense, it is still possible to experience the wonder and inspiration from the safety of your home.

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By Michael Svoboda

For April's bookshelf we take a cue from Earth Day and step back to look at the bigger picture. It wasn't climate change that motivated people to attend the teach-ins and protests that marked that first observance in 1970; it was pollution, the destruction of wild lands and habitats, and the consequent deaths of species.

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