Weekly News Roundup – November 23, 2011

This week’s news roundup is two days early due to the Thanksgiving holiday!

Yellowstone Grizzly Bears Still on Road to Recovery Despite Latest Twist in Delisting Saga

Nov 22, 2011 – Today, a federal appeals court ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to reinstate Endangered Species Act protections for grizzlies in the Yellowstone region. The Court found that the USFWS developed solid criteria for managing bears once they were delisted, but that the agency had failed to justify delisting given concerns about a decline in an important food source for the animals. Warmer weather due to climate change allowed beetles to flourish and devastate whitebark pines that produce nuts the grizzlies rely on for food. The bears will be relisted as a threatened species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisted the bears in 2007 once their populations began to grow. Because the Yellowstone grizzly numbers exceeded all recovery targets, the National Wildlife Federation and its affiliates in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming intervened on behalf of the USFWS in the litigation challenging the delisting decision.

A Chance for Media Redemption on Hackergate?

Nov 22, 2011 – Today another hacked batch of 5,000 emails purporting to be from the Climate Research Center at the University of East Anglia was leaked by unknown parties.  It’s old, discredited news. Let’s hope the media exercises due diligence and practices objective journalism instead of blindly reinforcing the climate skeptics’ distorted claims.

When a similar batch of emails was unloaded without permission in 2009, many in the media hastily reported some of the information as solid facts and did not bother to understand the information in its broader context.  As a result, the science was distorted, twisted and misrepresented, and a stream of sloppy reporting ensued and was repeated over and over all too often.  Some in the media joined the climate naysayers who tried to argue that the climate scientists had doctored scientific data to exaggerate the world’s climate crisis.  They tried to unravel the facts and upend the science.

And here are highlights from NWF in the News: