sierraclub.org - sierra magazine - nov/dec 2011 - up to speed
UP TO SPEED | Two Months, One Page
North Carolina hiking guide Jennifer Pharr Davis breaks the speed record for hiking the Appalachian Trail: 2,175 miles in 46 days.
Canada will start phasing out Dirty coal-fired power plants after 2015.
Plants and animals are shifting their ranges toward higher elevations or cooler latitudes three times faster than scientists previously predicted.
ExxonMobil spills 42,000 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River when one of its pipelines ruptures.
Shell Oil leaks 1,300 barrels of oil into the North Sea from a drilling platform off the coast of Scotland.
The Obama administration gives Shell preliminary approval to drill in the Arctic Ocean.
The Interior Department plans the first sale of offshore oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico since last year's BP disaster. The sale will take place in December.
In July, all 50 states set high temperature records.
Increased use of soybeans that have been genetically modified to tolerate herbicides has wiped out milkweed from 100 million acres of U.S. farmland-a disaster for milkweed-dependent monarch butterflies.
GOP leaders Chris Christie, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, and Newt Gingrich agree climate change is real but refuse to do anything about it.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agrees that whitebark pine is going extinct because of climate change but refuses to do anything about it.
The EPA refuses to tighten standards for carbon monoxide.
President Obama blocks the EPA from issuing new national smaog standards.
Plummeting prices of Chinese solar panels lead many large-scale solar projects to abandon solar thermal systems in favor of photovoltaic ones.
The number of cars in the world hits 1 billion.
The Obama administration strikes a deal with automakers to double the fuel efficiency of cars and light trucks by 2025.
The EPA announces its first-ever fuel-efficiency standards for trucks and buses.
The State Department clears the Keystone XL Pipeline to carry Canadian tar-sands oil to Texas.
Scientists think that Earth may have once had two moons that crashed into each other.
For the first time, renewable energy production in the United States surpasses nuclear energy production.
Ninety-degree temperatures in the Tennessee River force the Tennessee Valley Authority to shut down three nuclear power Reactors.
A 12.5-mile "no go" zone is established around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility.
PII-A, an iceberg the size of Bermuda, breaks off Greenland and drifts toward Canada.
The declining sea ice off Greenland is now too thin for dogsleds, leading some Inuit hunters to shoot their dogs.
After dropping in 2008 and 2009, U.S. CO2 emissions increased by 3 percent in 2010.
Astronomers discover a distant planet that is one enormous diamond. —Paul Rauber
Left column, from top: iStockphoto/LIsherwood, iStockphoto/terrymorris; right column, from top: iStockphoto/egeeksen, iStockphoto/IronTurk
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