Shell OilShell Oil is set to tap Alaska's vast oil reserves now that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final air quality permit to allow exploration development north of the Arctic Circle. The permit allows Shell to set up its Noble Discoverer drillship in the Chukchi Sea along with a fleet of support vessels including icebreakers and oil-spill response crafts. The company will be allowed to operate them no more than 120 days annually starting in 2012. The permit sets strict air pollution control limits on the drilling equipment.

If the American Physical Society's numbers on global warming are accurate, the earth's temperature has been "amazingly stable" and "human health and happiness have improved" during a century and a half of minor climate change, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever (left) said in a message to the APS, explaining why he is resigning from the society. Giaever cited a 2007 statement by the organization calling the evidence of global warming "incontrovertible."

Any supposed "global warming" is on temporary hiatus thanks to Earth's deep oceans trapping the sun's heat, according to Colorado's federally-funded National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Australia's Bureau of Meterology. Researchers published these results in the September 18 edition of Nature Climate Change.

The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled in favor of an insurance carrier in an unprecedented case involving global warming. The court unanimously held that Steadfast Insurance Company is not obligated to cover court costs for the Virginia-based energy group AES Corporation under its liability policy in another lawsuit before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California.AES is one of 24 companies sued in that case by an Alaskan coastal village for damage to its community from global warming.

Big oil and big coal are destroying the planet. That was Al Gore's message in 24 Hours of Reality, which he wrapped up last night at 7. The live, day-long webcast told listeners human-generated greenhouse gases (GHGs) are causing cataclysmic weather events worldwide, and corrupt corporate shills are working hard to sow seeds of denial.