ESA Policy News Update

Here are some highlights of the most recent Policy News Update, written by ESA’s Policy Analyst, Piper Corp. You can read the full update at ESA’s Policy News page. Details of Waxman-Markey climate bill: On March 31, Representatives Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Ma.) released their draft climate change and energy bill — the “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009″ — reiterating...

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World Water Day 2009

Yesterday marked the 16th annual United Nations World Water Day, a day of advocacy for sustainable and careful management of clean freshwater supplies worldwide. This year’s theme was “Shared Water – Shared Opportunities.” The goal of the theme is foster goodwill and collaboration among neighboring nations to promote working together to preserve their waterways. More than 45 percent of the world’s surface...

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The state of the union’s birds

A comprehensive analysis of the current condition of birds in the U.S. was released yesterday by The Nature Conservancy, USGS, the Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and many other non-profit groups. Dubbed The State of the Birds, the document reports that of the nation’s approximately 800 bird species, 67 are federally listed as endangered, 184 are of conservation concern and many others are declining due to...

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Born at the right time

It’s nice to have some good conservation news every once in awhile, even with caveats. North Atlantic right whales are one of the most endangered species on Earth. These mammals were dubbed by 18th-century whalers to be the “right” whales to catch because they’re huge (up to 70 tons and 55 feet long), stay close to shore, move slowly and have large amounts of baleen and blubber, the latter of which yielded much...

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For now, forget biofuels in reserves

Ethanol as the next generation of alternative fuels has stirred significant controversy. While some tout its lower-than-gasoline greenhouse-gas emissions and its usefulness in creating carbon sinks in its agricultural fields, many other ecologists call ethanol production the most inefficient of alternative fuel options. Even the most optimistic scenarios still show that using current technologies, it can take years – in some...

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The 109th annual Christmas bird count

One of last week’s Nature editorials extols the 109th annual Christmas bird count, a tradition started by the National Audubon Society as an alternative to the former competitive sport of shooting birds to mark the holidays.  The survey, which takes place during a three-week interval that overlaps Christmas and New Year’s Day each year, involves birders of all ages and backgrounds from around the globe traipsing through the...

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