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Save the Sea Cucumber!, Chris Christie's Electric Car Ban, Offshore Oil Rig Undone by Sword-Wielding Saboteur
Our top picks: today's environmental news and best #greenreads.

Flirting with disaster: Measurements from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii last week show that we’ve already crossed the 400 parts per million threshhold for atmospheric carbon dioxide this year, two months earlier than we hit it last year (and the earliest in human history). The threshold of 400 ppm represents how much we’ve affected the chemical makeup of our atmosphere and contributed to global climate change. With the ebb and flow of CO2 levels usually peaking in May, scientists believe we’ll continue to cross 400 for the next several months. “It’s just a matter of time before it stays over 400 forever,” says Ralph Keeling of Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Climate Central

Making climate hit home: The White House unveils plans for a project today that would help the general public visualize the effects of climate change on their own neighborhoods. The site will eventually work like a web app that allows users to zoom into locations and see how sea level rise may affect their town—sort of like Google Earth, but I guess, Google Flood. The site will also one day be a resource for municipal officials and local health departments. New York Times

Same sh*t, different state: Could Louisville Gas & Electric be the new Duke Energy? Environmental groups announced on Monday that they’d captured evidence via hidden camera of LG&E dumping coal ash wastewater into the Ohio River. Best of all, the footage is time-lapse, with photos taken every three seconds for an entire year. The groups say the photos show a steady stream coming out of a coal-ash containment pond “every day, all day, all night.” Al Jazeera America

Electric boogaloo: Governor Chris Christie’s administration banned the direct sale of Tesla electric cars to customers in New Jersey last week, saying going through car dealers ensured consumer protection. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk fired back: “If you believe this, Gov. Christie has a bridge closure he wants to sell you.” Zing! Musk also suggested consumers visit Tesla stores across the border in Manhattan or King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, or simply buy the electric car online and have it delivered. Musk also told them to write their senators about the kerfuffle and hinted that Tesla might take the case to court. CNN

Eating our way to the bottom: Sea cucumbers are oblong echinoderms that throw up their intestines when threatened. Charming, yes, but the creatures are a delicacy in China and Hong Kong cuisine—and seriously, what endangered animal isn’t?—and dried sea cucumber can fetch up to $6,600 per pound. Unfortunately, the more endangered the cucumber, the more people will pay to eat it, and this cycle of supply and demand is decimating their populations worldwide. This is particularly bad news for the oceans because, like its cousin the starfish, the sea cucumber is thought to play an integral role in the function of the ecosystem. iO9

Doing it our way: MillerCoors is a beer-making giant with an obvious motive for conserving water—it saves the company money and makes its business less susceptible to environmental pressures like drought. But the true measure of the company’s eco-savvy is that its conservation extends beyond its own facilities. In recent years, MillerCoors has gone out into the fields to help farmers use water more efficiently. One barley farmer saved 430 million gallons of water in a single growing season with the company's help, which is enough to run the brewery for three months. Cheers to you, MillerCoors. Chicago Tribune

DAILY DISTRACTION

Don’t mess with marlin: A floating BP facility off the coast of Angola halted production last month on account of an Atlantic blue marlin attack. Apparently, the marlin stabbed its sword-nose through a hose, stopping operations for five days and costing BP about $100 million. You can’t make this stuff up. The Dodo

OTHER HEADLINES

Haiti Drought Causes ‘Extreme Emergency’ Associated Press

A Chickadee Mating Zone Surges North New York Times

Car Clampdown in Pollution-Hit Paris Hits the Mark McClatchy DC

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads)

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