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03 Sep 2012

One fifth of the world’s invertebrates may be heading for extinction according to ‘Spineless’, a report published today (Friday 31st) by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), in conjunction with IUCN and the IUCN Species Survival Commission.

Digging up earthworms, chasing butterflies and collecting clam shells could become a thing of the past if enough isn’t done to protect invertebrates. And if they disappear, humans could soon follow. These critters form the basis of many of the essential benefits that nature provides; earthworms recycle waste nutrients, coral reefs support a myriad of life forms and bees help pollinate crops.

More than 12,000 invertebrates from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were reviewed by...

31 Aug 2012

The Obama administration on Thursday made a surprise announcement that it will allow Shell Oil Co. to begin drilling in the Chukchi Sea before its unique oil spill containment barge is ready -- just not deep enough to reach oil.

For weeks, the problematic barge has held up Shell's drilling plans in the Alaska Arctic. It's undergoing final work and inspections at a shipyard in Bellingham, Wash.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters in a news briefing that the newly approved drilling will reach 1,400 feet or so under the sea floor and is limited to specific preparatory work.

"Today's action does not allow Shell to drill into potential oil reservoirs," Salazar said.

Environmental groups immediately criticized the decision as too...