They're nature's ultimate tough guys; amphibians -- like frogs and salamanders -- have survived for millions of years and even through multiple mass extinctions. But scientists at University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco State University, say they're seeing frogs die off at an alarming rate, which they believe is sending a clear message about the severity of our climate change and global warming. In other words, in their estimation, because amphibians have endured so much in the past, what's happening now with their declining populations is like the canary in the environmental coal mine.
On last night's Evening News with Katie Couric we looked at their study and some of the colorful frogs around the world that they've been studying. While many amphibians live in the tropics, researchers are seeing troubling signs right here in the U.S., too. Another big concern is a disease spread through a fungus, which seems to be thriving as a result of warmer temperatures. Also, we talked about the proposed rule changes to the Endangered Species Act, which has environmentalists outraged about what they see as undermining necessary protections. It all has to do with scientific review of certain projects that may impact the habitate of endangered species. But there are those (especially in the Department of the Interior) who say the ESA is outdated and needs to be streamlined. They also believe it will only be used as a "back door" to regulate gases blamed for global warming. It's a bitter debate and one that isn't going away anytime soon.
Tomorrow night on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric we should be airing our story about the design and strategy differences between Senator Obama's and Senator McCain's Web sites. It ranges from looking at the color choices, to the layout, to the tools for people to use wherever they live to get involved with the campaigns. I hope you'll tune in. And I'm also finishing a story for tomorrow morning's Early Show, which both looks back at the massive blackout five years ago and looks ahead to the state of the nation's power infrastructure.
Lots on the go -- and if you need a quirky tech story to distract you later, check out this story from Wired.com about a guy who's digitizing rare vinyl. Now THAT's digital dedication. Stay connected!