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Climate Denier Denied at Polls, Dare-Devil Goats, RIP Black Rhino
Our top picks: today's environmental news and best #greenreads.

Ripping off label: Washingtonians voted against Initiative 522, the much discussed legislation to require labels on genetically modified food items. The out-of-state opposition to the measure didn’t mess around, setting a fundraising record for Washington state with $22 million— predictably from the likes of Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, and Bayer CropScience. And apparently, money talks. About 54 percent of the state voted against the measure yesterday. International Business Times

Booth business: Elsewhere in the United States elections, greens flexed their muscle (and their wallets) to oust Virginia’s Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican climate-denier and self-appointed arch nemesis of climatologist Michael Mann. Environmentalists were also victorious in Whatcom County, Washington, where voters elected the four candidates most likely to oppose a massive coal export terminal. Christian Science Monitor, Grist

Iran on acid: After a heavy dose of acid rain and skyrocketing levels of air pollution this week, Iranian officials reported at least 5,000 people sought medical treatment for shortness of breath in the southern city of Ahvaz. More than 50 people ended up in hospitals. Reports from earlier this year state that Ahvaz suffers through air pollution three times worse than Beijing, making it the world’s worst. Associated Press

Forever: After seven years of no reported sightings of the animal, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has officially declared the western black rhinoceros extinct. Thanks a lot, poachers and folks who buy illegal wildlife products. You're all jerks. CNN

Ivory crush: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to pulverize six tons of illegal African elephant ivory next week. The goal is to send a message to poachers and ivory consumers worldwide. The USFWS has been stockpiling the ivory in a Colorado bunker since the 1980s, adding to the pile each time a tusk or piece of artwork is confiscated at the nation’s borders. New York Times

Nature brings home the bacon: The USFWS estimates that wildlife refuges attracted 46.5 million visitors in 2011, generating a whopping $2.4 billion worth of economic activity. These wild areas also employ more than 35,000 people and earn local, state, and federal governments some $343 million in taxes. According to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, “Every dollar we invest in our refuge system generates huge economic dividends for our country.” Associated Press

Trouble up north: When you live in the Polar Bear Capital of the World, you accept that bears are a part of life. What you don’t sign up for is a polar bear attacking you on the way home from a Halloween party. Unfortunately, last week’s attack marks the second since September, leading some scientists to argue that a warming Arctic is bringing bears and humans into contact like never before. Guardian

DAILY DISTRACTION

Baaaaahhd-ass: Unlike sticky-footed frogs or long limbed lemurs, goats don’t look at all suited to the task of scaling sheer rock faces. But they do. My, how they do. So here are 13 pictures of goats being crazy hoofers. Just because. 22 Words

OTHER HEADLINES

No Riders Killed in First 5 Months of New York City Bike-Share Program New York Times

Citing Impact of Shutdown, EPA Postpones Issuing Final Rule on Cooling Water Intake Bloomberg BNA

Religious Leaders Rally Against Proposed Pipeline
SF Gate

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads)

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