The Fukushima plant disaster was probably the most talked about environmental story of the year. An earthquake and then a tsunami hit the coastal Japanese plant, flooding it and releasing toxins into the water. Thousands died, but for a while most people were concerned that radiation was leaking into the atmosphere, which could cause cancer. Only recently did that Japanese government announce that the plant was under control.
Carbon caps also became a big deal. These are basically taxes placed on big producers of carbon dioxide, which creates an incentive for them to create their products in a more eco friendly way.
Australia dealt with a lot of really bad flooding that took a long time to recede, and Christchurch, Australia also endured several bad earthquakes over the past few years. Recovery isn’t quite complete yet on either front.
Another big news story of 2011 involving the environment had to do with the 17th meeting of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of 2011. During this particular meeting, 194 countries finally agreed upon legally enforceable pollution commitments that will be drawn up in 4 years.
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