ICYMI: Mystery Pink Lake, Bright as a Bag of Hammers & How Many Hippos Is Enough?

Environmental new of the week for busy people

illustration of a pink pond

By Paul Rauber

Photos by Peter Arkle

November 17, 2023

A pond at Hawai'i’s Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge on Maui mysteriously turns bright pink

The Fifth National Climate Assessment warns that all regions of the US are feeling the effects of climate change, that the number of billion-dollar disasters are increasing, and that water insecurity—from drought, flooding, and sea level rise—will be a huge problem in the future. 

The United States’ first direct-air-capture plant opens in California. Operator Heirloom says it will extract up to 1,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year and embed it in concrete. 

Bees cannot taste pesticides, even at lethal levels. 

Giant insect farms vie to supplant soybeans and fishmeal as animal feed. 

Florida Republicans want to ban the sale of lab-grown meat in the

House Republicans want federal agencies to return to their pre-pandemic rules regarding telework. 

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is soliciting public input on whether to allow grizzly bears to return to the Northern Cascades. 

Colombia begins sterilizing its bloat of more than 160 hippopotamuses, descendants of animals brought to the country in the 1980s by drug lord Pablo Escobar. After Escobar’s death in 1993, the animals reproduced in the Magdalena River basin, where they have been declared an invasive species. 

New European Union regulations mandating an end to single-use packaging have French cheesemakers seeking an exemption for the distinctive wooden boxes used to package Camembert.  

California leads the nation in electric vehicle adoption with 903,600 cars. In all of North Dakota, there are only 600 EVs.

Swedish dockworkers refuse to unload imported Tesla autos in support of mechanics who want the company sign a collective bargaining agreement.

Denmark proposes adding a “green tax” on all domestic airline flights in order to fund a conversion to sustainable fuels by 2030. 

The National Transportation Safety Board calls for measures to reduce or prevent cars from speeding, including the use of speed governors to make it difficult or impossible to drive faster than the posted limit.

The United Arab Emirates “Media Regulatory Office” publishes an advisory to journalists covering the COP28 climate conference to “refrain from publishing anything that could offend directly or indirectly the ruling regime of the State,” and then retracts it.

After fierce campaigning by talk show host John Oliver, the pūteketeke Australasian crested grebe is voted New Zealand Bird of the Century

bag of tools lost by NASA astronauts during a space walk is bright enough to be seen with binoculars.