Almost eight months after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami struck Japan, killing or injuring more than 25,000, the death toll from radiation exposure at Japan's storm-ravaged Fukushima Daiiche nuclear power plant (pictured at left, in 2002) stands at zero. Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, admitted as much on Monday in Washington during a roundtable discussion entitled "Fukushima: Lessons Learned," an event sponsored by Georgetown University and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Activists in Clallam County, Washington are celebrating their government's decision to pull the plug on membership in the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), a worldwide association of more than 1,200 local governments dedicated to promoting the United Nations' sovereignty-eroding sustainable development program known as Agenda 21. The county will save $1,200 in annual membership dues, but ICLEI critics say they've salvaged much more than that.

Item: “The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday pushed back against an inspector general report alleging the White House cut corners in concluding that greenhouse gasses pose a threat to human health, a finding that helped form the legal basis for the EPA’s climate change regulations,” reports the Huffington Post for September 29. “‘The report does not question or even address the science used on the conclusions reached — by the EPA under this and the previous administration — that greenhouse gas pollution pose [sic] a threat to the health and welfare of the American people,’ said EPA in a statement on Wednesday. ‘Instead, the report is focused on questions of process and procedure.’”

California has enacted the nation’s first cap-and-trade program, designed to provide financial incentives to companies to help curb greenhouse-gas emissions. After an exhausting eight-hour meeting last Thursday with union leaders, industry representatives, and various supporters and opponents of the plan, the California Air Resources Board voted unanimously to implement the first state-administered system that would stick a price tag on carbon emissions and permit the state’s industries to trade carbon credits. The plan is an integral component of the state’s ambitious 2006 global-warming law, signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, which looks to slash emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Researchers at the University of California claim they have conclusively proven the reality of global warming. The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) study analyzed more than 1.6 billion land temperature records dating back to the 1800s from more than 39,000 temperature stations around the world. Results show warming of nearly 1°C since 1950.