Eco-news in brief 2-28

By CG News Editor Kelly Doran

Leaked documents show plans for curriculum in public schools

Heartland Institute, a nonprofit organization in Chicago, has written plans for a curriculum for public schools to promote doubt on scientific findings about global warming, which were recently leaked. Defenders of science education have been prepared for something like this, however. They believe that this will be a similar fight to the one over evolution. The Heartland Institute said some of their documents had been stolen but they are not sure whether or not the documents now on the Internet were altered. The documents also include information about Heartland’s operations, like salaries.

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Dryden prohibits fracking

On February 21, a New York state judge ruled that Dryden, N.Y., can prohibit fracking as part of its zoning ordinance. Dryden is one of 30 towns in New York that have done so. Now the oil and gas companies have 30 days to appeal the ruling. The Marcellus Shale formation might hold enough natural gas to supply the United States for seven years, according to the U.S. Energy Department. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is studying the effects of drinking water and some seismologists are blaming fracking for causing the series of earthquakes that hit Youngstown, Ohio, last year. Internationally, both France and South Africa have banned fracking.

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Pea plants can eavesdrop

Professor Ariel Novoplansky and his staff at Ben-Gurion University of Negev found that plants may listen to conversations. The team studied garden pea plants and discovered that the plants could eavesdrop and send warning signals. Unstressed plants are able to identify and respond to stress signals from their neighbors.

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