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Old McDonald Has a Superbug, the Bluefin Blues, Is the IPCC Leak Making Anyone Else Nervous? (Gulp)
Our top picks: today's environmental news and best #greenreads.

Summer is coming: We told you yesterday that a leaked report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change held grim news for global food supplies. Well, more report details have emerged that suggest climate change will negatively impact the economy and global health, as well as fuel violence worldwide. The report may change before its official release in March, but as of now, it's giving the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse a run for their money. Bloomberg, Associated Press

The blob: An estimated 264 million gallons of coal mine muck busted out of a containment pond in Alberta, Canada, on Halloween, contaminating the Athabasca River and two of its tributaries. A local sheriff claims the materials in the pond—coal dust, clay, mudstone, sandstone, and shale—are “inert” and not toxic to humans or fish, but the river has taken on a noticeable shift in color, looking very murky and muddy. Luckily, the river isn't a source of drinking water for local towns, but Alberta Health Services is analyzing water samples anyway. Smart move. ThinkProgress

Nana nana boo boo: Out of the 37 bills introduced this year to eliminate or weaken states’ minimum requirements for renewable energy, only one has passed so far, by the Connecticut state legislature. (Take that, fossil fuels!) “They [the bills] have almost no success,” says Brian Wietgrefe, national research director at ProgressNow. “It’s because it works—the policies work.” Of course, 2014 will yield a fresh battlefield, but I’d say 37-1 is pretty good. Huffington Post

Net loss: Atlantic bluefin tuna is having a tough go at it. Demand for sushi has decimated stocks worldwide, and the 2010 Gulf oil spill, occurring during the height of spawning season, didn't help things. And as if that wasn't enough, fishermen routinely catch and kill the massive fish while trying to hook other species. The bycatch problem is so bad, in fact, that in one year 111 metric tons of bluefin wind up dead without an ounce going on food plates. Now the National Marine Fisheries Services is stepping in, proposing a strict set of rules to reduce bycatch and force fisherman to be more discerning in what they haul in. Washington Post

Boom and bust: Fracking has remade the American economic landscape and reduced our dependency on foreign oil, according to a new book by Wall Street Journal reporter Gregory Zuckerman. Unfortunately, The Frackers takes little time to examine the environmental effects of the industry’s rapid rise, from contaminated drinking water and earthquakes to methane emissions. (Oh, and new research finds many gas wells are losing productivity, suggesting the American fracking bonanza is nearing peak levels.) New York Times, USA Today

Antibiotic alternatives: Around 80 percent of all antibiotics used in the United States are taken by livestock (not voluntarily)—and many of the animals aren’t even sick. This over-medication breeds bacteria that shrug off antibiotics like it ain’t no thing, putting humans at risk of superbug attack down the line (see "You Want Superbugs with That?"). New research into probiotics, vitamins, and weird food extracts, however, could become the future of animal husbandry. And not a minute too soon. “It doesn’t matter whether you do or do not agree that antibiotics are overused in agriculture,” says the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. “They are no longer going to work for animals, or for people.” The Verge, All Things Considered

DAILY DISTRACTION

Tales from the deep: Two massive oarfish washed up on California’s beaches last month, giving researchers a chance to pick over the carcasses of these rare sea beasts. Among the findings, the biologists discovered hundreds of thousands of eggs in the female’s ovaries. The male, on the other hand, was missing the end of his tail, spurring debate about whether oarfish can sacrifice body parts like lizards. (Isn’t nature neat?!) New York Times

OTHER HEADLINES

Court Orders Closer Scrutiny of Oil-Spill Claims Against BP Washington Post

Microsoft Looks to Boost Eco Credentials with Wind-Powered Data Centre Guardian

Strange Bedfellows? Climate Change Denial and Support for Geoengineering Yale Climate Media Forum

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads)

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