More environmental bombshells!

Environmental news for April Fool's Day

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April 1, 2009 will go down in history not only as the date scientists stopped pretending that global warming (aka climate change) was real and unavoidable, but a day that also revealed other big environmental news:

For instance, Red Green and Blue reports that former President George W. Bush will be awarded the prestigious Goldman Prize (the “environmental Nobel Prize”) for excellence in protecting the environment.

He's being recognized, Amiel Blajchman says, "for his 2006 decision to declare a remote chain of islands in Hawaii as a national monument. In making his announcement, Bush said 'It’s larger than 46 of our 50 states, and more than seven times larger than all our national marine sanctuaries combined. This is a big deal.' ” So is the trash that isn't being removed from the islands.

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Everyone loves cute (and endangered) pandas. But what happens if those black and white charmers are really brown bears in disguise? The Taipei News in Taiwan reports that's what zookeepers uncovered about the local zoo's gift from China of a duo of pandas: "Zookeepers discovered at feeding time yesterday that the two pandas are in fact Wenzhou brown forest bears that had been dyed to create the panda’s distinctive black-and-white appearance."

The Bright Green Blog often writes about the world's fish and about alternative energy, but who knew that the two were connected? The Telegraph in Britain reveals that government scientists think that fish are the key to generating more electricity in an ecofriendly way.

Louise Gray writes: "The Environment Agency's Horizon Scanning Team found the nation's rivers are full of untapped energy in the form of fish migrating upstream. By installing networks of electric prongs along the riverbed, the energy can be captured and fed into the National Grid."

And what does that mean in practical terms? "Research found that a typical salmon, which zips through waters at a top speed of 12 metres (40 ft.) per second, can over a 100m (330 ft.) stretch generate enough electricity to make 18 cups of tea, while the more shy rudd will only trigger enough power for three cups."

In other environmental news, here's a big victory for tree lovers everywhere: The Guardian newspaper in Britain announced today that henceforth it will cease print publication and switch to distributing news via Twitter instead.

"A mammoth project is also under way to rewrite the whole of the newspaper's archive, stretching back to 1821, in the form of tweets," the article explains. "Major stories already completed include '1832 Reform Act gives voting rights to one in five adult males yay!!!'; 'OMG Hitler invades Poland, allies declare war see tinyurl.com/b5x6e for more....'  "

Isn't it amazing to find so much unexpected news breaking on one day?

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