Cancer threatens the Tasmanian Devil. Scientists have been trying to identify the cause of a cancer epidemic that is wiping out Australia’s Tasmanian devils. Now new research points to an alarming conclusion: because of the species’ low genetic diversity, the cancer is contagious and is spreading from one devil to another. — Yale Environment 360

Focus on energy independence in final debate. The debate yielded nothing new from either candidate on climate and energy issues, though it did serve to highlight the differences in the candidates’ positions as well those topics where they differ from their party positions. John McCain set himself aside from the GOP is taking credit for “bringing climate change to the floor of the Senate for the first time”, while Barack Obama noted that his support for clean coal technology “doesn’t make me popular with environmentalists.” — Climate Feedback

Bush rushes to open Grand Canyon to toxic uranium mining. The Bush administration is rushing forward with plans to mine the Grand Canyon for uranium, ignoring a command from Congress to cease such operations. Since 2003, mining interests have staked out over 800 uranium claims within five miles of Grand Canyon National Park. — Grist

Europeans split over goals to cut emissions. Confronted by fears of a sharp economic slowdown, Europe’s ambitious climate-change reduction plans were called into question Thursday when several countries threatened to veto proposals unless they are made more affordable. — International Herald Tribune

And on Crikey’s environment blog, Rooted:

Eating oil and spewing greenhouse gases. Do you remember the last time you saw or read something that turned your whole belief system upside down? Michael Pollan is a journalist, author, academic who has written an 8,500 word essay (don’t fall over) “Farmer In Chief – An open letter to the US President Elect”was published in the New York Times. This is a brilliant work that challenges everything I’ve believed about Western Industrialized Agriculture. Take the time to read it and see how you fare. — Rooted