ICYMI: Orcas Sink Another Yacht, Record Low US Birthrate & Japan Can’t Keep Track of Its Islands

A weekly roundup for busy people

By Paul Rauber

November 10, 2023

illustration of an orca

Orcas attack and sink another yacht in the Strait of Gibraltar. The crew is rescued unharmed.

A beached Gervais’ beaked whale in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, is found to have died after ingesting a Mylar balloon

US fishing groups sue automobile tire manufacturers over their use of the chemical 6PPD, which is deadly to ESA-protected salmon and steelhead.

The tap water of some 19 million Americans is contaminated by the cancer-linked industrial solvent TCE, which the Biden administration is seeking to ban.

Farms owned by one family in California’s Imperial Valley use more Colorado River water than all of Las Vegas

For the first time in over three years, California is drought-free.

Rising costs and the falling price of renewable energy lead NuScale Power to abandon plans to build the United States’ first modular nuclear reactor

California utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company officially files an application with the NRC to keep the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant open for another 20 years

The US Air Force asks Congress to bar wind turbines within a two-mile radius of nuclear-missile launch sites.

Clean energy stocks are down. Fossil fuel stocks are riding high.

The world’s petro-states plan to produce more than twice as much coal, oil, and gas by 2030 as is consistent with meeting the internationally agreed upon upper limit of 1.5°C of warming. 

Shell and BP pull back from previously pledged renewable-energy investments.

The top ten Bitcoin-mining nations use 15 percent more electricity than does all of Africa.

Greenhouse gas emissions from US liquefied gas facilities are up more than 80 percent since 2019. Gas wells in Texas have twice as many methane leaks as do wells in better-regulated New Mexico. 

Protesters with Just Stop Oil attempt to rally support for their cause by smashing the glass protecting Diego Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus at the National Gallery in London. 

The US Fish and Wildlife Service removes island bedstraw (Galium buxifolium) and Santa Cruz Island dudleya (Dudleya nesiotica) from its list of threatened and endangered plants as they fully recovered after sheep and feral pigs were removed from California’s northern Channel Islands, the only place in the world where they grow. 

The staff of the Natural Resources Defense Council unionizes

The US birthrate hits an all-time low.

Volcanic activity off Japan forms a new island, Ioto. A recount of Japanese islands earlier this year found 7,000 more than previously known