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Meat Without Animals?, Lake Superior's Lost Lobos, One Fish, Two Fish, Go Fish, No Fish?
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Silence of the Wolves
Things don't look so good for the eight remaining wolves on Lake Superior’s Isle Royale. Climate change has almost eliminated the annual ice bridge that connects the island to mainland Michigan. Without access to other breeding populations of wolves, the isolated pack has become prone to genetic deficiencies that result in misshapen vertebrae. Louise Knott-Ahern explains that intervening on behalf of the wolves would mark a significant change in the National Park Service’s laissez faire wildlife management policy. And given the significant effect climate change is expected to have on the isle, some wonder if it's worth the effort of trying to save the wolves at all. What do you think? Lansing State Journal

What’s the Beef?
Soaring greenhouse gas emissions, deplorable treatment of animals, antibiotic-resistant bacteria—we all know factory-farmed meat is bad news. Still, there’s just no substitute for a juicy steak … or is there? Scientists have recently made great strides in producing animal muscle out of cells in a petri dish. Others are working to create pretty convincing fake eggs and meat out of plants. And while ethical and financial issues abound, all most consumers really want to know is whether the stuff really does taste like chicken, or beef, or traditional mayonaise. According to these two new articles, the answers might surprise you. Earth Island Journal, Mother Jones

Inside the Oil-Shipping Free-for-all That Brought Disaster to Lac-Megantic
A freight train carrying crude oil derailed last July on its way into the town of Lac-Megantic, Canada. The crash and subsequent explosion killed 47 people and leveled several blocks of the small town. This four-part series takes us through the last moments of those who died, investigates the railway company’s culpability for the tragedy, and explains the many inherent dangers of transporting oil by rail. It’s a sobering, but necessary read—especially for those who live near the tracks. The Globe and Mail

Africa’s Vanishing Forests
Half of all the packaged food products in the world contain palm oil. The ingredient is also in myriad other products: lipsticks, body lotions, chocolate bars, toothpaste, the list goes on and on. But acquiring enough oil to meet rocketing global demand has led giant corporations to plow over rainforests and usurp land from those too poor to fight back. Jocelyn Zuckerman takes us to Liberia in an attempt to understand the politics and history that have lead us down this dark, dirty road. OnEarth

Counting Fish: Estimating the Gulf of Maine’s Fish Population
How many fish are there in the sea? Well, that depends on whom you ask. One of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s jobs is to figure out how fish populations are faring and set limits for fishermen. Unfortunately, getting an accurate count of many millions of quickly moving animals in a open space the size of, well … the ocean is rather difficult. But getting the numbers right is crucial because if fishermen reel in too many, ecosystems are liable to collapse. Rowan Jacobsen explains the shifting science of fish counts. Yankee

Tired of Reading Yet? Watch This.

How to make a seashell: By now you know that climate change is forcing more carbon dioxide into the oceans and turning our water hot, sour, and breathless. But to fully understand the effect this might have on shellfish, you need to know about a delicate balancing act happening in the oceans. Luckily, this cartoon's got us covered. Minute Earth

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