Sierra Magazine: Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.
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UP TO SPEED | Two Months, One Page

The summer Arctic ice cap is the smallest ever measured. If current trends continue, Arctic summers will be nearly ice-free within 30 years.

The northern Pacific loggerhead sea turtle is declared endangered.

Fishing regulations have reduced accidental sea turtle deaths in U.S. coastal waters by 90 percent since 1990.

Siemens, Europe's largest engineering firm and the builder of all Germany's nuclear plants, abandons the nuclear energy business.

The 7 billionth human is born. Out of all the humans who have ever lived, 1 in 15 is alive today.

A federal appeals court reinstates the Roadless Rule, securing protections for 50 million acres of remote federal land.

California and Toronto ban the import, possession, and sale of shark fins.

The South Florida rainbow snake and the Florida fairy shrimp are extinct.

Eighteen endangered Bengal tigers, along with 30 other exotic animals, are shot and killed after their suicidal owner releases them from a private animal farm in Ohio.

More U.S. corn is now used for ethanol than for consumption by humans or animals.

California approves a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; it will go into effect in 2012.

Demolition begins on Washington State's Elwha Dam, which for 101 years has prevented the passage of salmon up the Elwha River.

After 12,000 protesters opposed to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline from Canada to Texas encircle the White House, the State Department delays a final decision on the project until 2012 or beyond.

A persistent drought in southwest China leaves 14 million people without sufficient drinking water. Government officials plan to divert the region's rivers to even-drier northern China.

Hurricane Irene causes flooding across the Northeast. Vermont governor Peter Shumlin connects it to climate change. "We will not join the others in the denial," he says. "We're going to get off oil and move forward as quickly as we know how."

Extreme heat and drought in the Southeast put peanuts in short supply, hiking the price of peanut butter.

Leaking oil from a cargo ship that ran into a reef off New Zealand causes the country's worst maritime environmental disaster.

The Supreme Court won't let states regulate greenhouse gases on their own, saying it's up to the EPA.

A skeptical reappraisal of climate-change science, funded in part by the oil billionaire Koch brothers, finds that the world is indeed getting warmer and that suspicions about the science are misplaced.

Australia adopts a nationwide system to price carbon.

Kenyan environmental activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai dies. Her philosophy: "Something wonderful happens when you plant a seed." —Paul Rauber


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