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Arctic; Silent Spring; Lib Dems conference: September in headlines



The melting Arctic sea ice was once again at the centre of many a story in September, as more data revealed worrying trends of its existence.

After revealing in August that sea ice in the region had reached its lowest ever level, the National Snow and Ice Data Center in the US said at the beginning of this month that the ice had continued to melt (Arctic sea ice continues its worrying decline).

This was followed by the publication of a report by the environmental audit committee, called Protecting the Arctic, which called for a called for a moratorium on drilling in the polar region until a number of safety standards are implemented to deal with and prevent oil spills (MPs publish report urging Arctic oil drilling halt).

Joseph Iddison wrote a piece for Blue & Green Tomorrow that looked into the Arctic’s growing vulnerability (To tackle the melting Arctic is to tackle climate change itself), while the chief executive of Total came out and condemned drilling in the area, in what could be a real turning point for exploitation of the vulnerable region (Total boss condemns Arctic oil drilling).

Elsewhere in the media, The Guardian covered the issue in some depth, with environment editor John Vidal actually taking a trip to the Arctic to write a number of thought-provoking features.

He spoke to an Arctic expert who warned about how a “global disaster” was now unfolding in northern latitudes (Arctic expert predicts final collapse of sea ice within four years) and also wrote a piece after speaking to members of Greenpeace’s Arctic vessel (The staggering decline of sea ice at the frontline of climate change).

The BBC also wrote a number of pieces about how scientists and researchers were all staggered by the speed at which the Arctic was diminishing (Arctic ice melting at ‘amazing’ speed, scientists find).

Away from the Arctic, September 27 marked 50 years since the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, one of the seminal books of the modern environmental movement (Silent Spring is as relevant today as 50 years ago).

In the Huffington Post, Ed Markey wrote, “Silent Spring opened people’s eyes to the dangers of pesticides. This past scorched summer should do the same for climate change. Let’s hope 50 years from now people will mark this year as a turning point.” (50 years after Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring).

The Guardian’s Leo Hickman spent the day collating thoughts about the book from some of the environmental sector’s biggest names before delivering his own verdict at the end: “I believe [the] book’s legacy cuts deep and is overwhelmingly positive”, he wrote (What is the legacy of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring?).

The final bit of news in this round-up came out of the Liberal Democrats’ annual conference in Brighton in the final week of the month. The party “could win back lost voters” if it stood firm on environmental policies, according to a poll by Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace (Poll claims Lib Dems could ‘win back voters’ by committing to green issues).

The Daily Telegraph wrote a piece about the Lib Dems’ challenge to George Osborne (Liberal Democrats to challenge Osborne on green targets) and another about whether environmental issues were now at the centre of the party’s policies (Have the Liberal Democrats stopped being yellow about green policies?).

Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that green policies would help the Lib Dems distinguish a clear divide between it and the Conservatives (Nick Clegg taunts Conservatives over broken green promises).

Further reading:

Olympics; Arctic ice melt; universities and the arms trade: August in headlines

Libor scandal; Wiltshire wind farms; Renewables Obligation: July in headlines

Rio+20; renewable energy; #EndFossilFuelSubsidies: June in headlines

Executive pay; feed-in tariff cuts; and the energy bill: May in headlines

Renewable energy investment; fracking; and the not-so-green government: April in headlines


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