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It’s Raining Porcupines!, WV Chemical Co. Goes Belly Up, Here Come the Super Niños
Our top picks: today's environmental news and best #greenreads.

The blame game: China is often made a scapegoat in climate conversations for the way the country pumps out carbon emissions like they’re going out of style (we wish!). But the most recent draft from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change argues that the United States and Europe are complicit in China’s emissions. After all, a lot of China’s coal gets burned to make products we buy. In a way, all the West has done is outsource its emissions to developing nations like China and India. Not to mention that another report shows that we suffer even more direct side effects from this outsourced production: carbon emissions in China mean decreased air quality in the American West. (It’s a small world… ah, you know.) Guardian, New York Times

De ja crude: I know this news isn't going to shock you, but yet another train carrying crude oil has derailed, this time in—spin the wheel—Philadelphia! Fortunately, no oil leaked in this crash, but the incident did shut down the busy Schuylkill Expressway for about an hour, causing traffic delays. Watch out, Big Oil. In Philly, people have been killed for less. Reuters

Take me home, country roads: Freedom Industries, the company responsible for the West Virginia chemical spill last week, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. And believe me, it couldn’t have happened to a better bunch of guys. Apparently, Freedom hasn’t paid its taxes since 2000 and owes the federal government around $2.4 million. It also owes private creditors around $3.6 million. Oh and guess what—filing for bankruptcy puts all the lawsuits filed against the chemical storage company on hold. Hmm.... Charleston Gazette

High and dry: California’s drought has reached such epic proportions, the state’s governor declared a state of emergency last week. Aside from the effect a prolonged water shortage will have on agriculture, droughts mean less available hydropower. So Californians may have to now spend money on dirtier fossil fuels. And if the rains don’t fall by March, the end of the region’s rainy season, then forests all over the Golden State will be ready to burn this summer. Worst of all, climate projections suggest droughts like this will soon be the norm. Mother Jones

El Niño gigante: In case you’ve forgotten, El Niño is a pattern of strangely warm water that waltzes through the Pacific Ocean every 3 to7 years, wreaking weather related havoc across the globe. New research suggests that global warming may influence the severity of these patterns, doubling the chances for what researchers consider a particularly strong, “super” El Niño. (“All other tropical storms must bow before super El Niño!”) Climate Central

The sound and the fury: When oil and gas companies use underwater seismic tests to look for new resources, the noise damages marine mammals (see “A Sound Settlement to Protect Whales From Big Oil’s Noise”). This problem is particularly worrisome near Sakhalin Island, a region of the North Pacific that supports a critically endangered subspecies of the western gray whale. In an attempt to mitigate the concerns of both energy companies and conservationists, researchers at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature published a paper this week that provided 17 ways to protect the whales. While some argue the paper doesn’t go far enough, others are viewing it as an important step toward protecting marine mammals from acoustic assault. The Scientist

DAILY DISTRACTION

Porcupine high dive: Imagine you’re walking in sunny Rio de Janeiro. The parrots squawk. Somebody’s playing salsa music. The aroma of frying plantains waft through the air. Then all of a sudden a porcupine falls out of the sky and onto your scalp—quill-side down. Pics or it didn’t happen! The Dodo

OTHER HEADLINES

Judge Refuses to Halt Wolf Trapping in Idaho Wilderness Reuters

Would You Invite an Environmentalist to Your Party? Ensia

Even Wall Street Is Worried About Climate Change Slate

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads)

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