Sign Up for Our Newsletter


RIP Peter Matthiessen, Bison NOT Fleeing Yellowstone, Best Late Excuse Ever: 'Sorry...Had to Midwife for a Shark'
Our top picks: today's environmental news and best #greenreads.

Fracking fumes: Thanks to the Clean Air Act, environmental regulators have gotten really good at checking the air for toxins. Problem is the tests they use either gather data over 24-hour cycles or average the results taken over several days, and according to a new study, such tests may miss the sporadic emission spikes that last only an hour or a matter of minutes. Such spikes are more typical of fracking operations and might account for the reports of nausea, nosebleeds, abdominal pain, and breathing difficulties by people living nearby. Center for Public Integrity

Go to Shell: The Coast Guard has released details from its investigation into the 2012 grounding of Royal Dutch Shell’s Kulluk, an offshore drilling rig in the Arctic. In an effort to retrieve Kulluk, Shell took undue safety risks in order to avoid tax liability, according to the Coast Guard, thereby risking the spill of the 150,000 gallons of diesel fuel and lubricants onboard. (Shell’s decision to pull out of the Arctic—at least temporarily—was due in part to the Kulluk botch-job.) Los Angeles Times

Tick-tock: Government officials and top climate scientists meet in Berlin this week to review a draft of the third part of the massive report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This section basically says we’re running out of time to turn the tide on climate change, and already, the conversation is shifting from trying to prevent a 2-degree-Celsius rise in global temperatures to questions of whether we might even be able to adapt to such an increase (because it's coming). Reuters

Prolific polluter: The Justice Department threw the book at Anadarko Petroleum last Friday, charging the company with 85 years of pollution and forcing it to pay $5.15 billion to fix what it’s done all across the United States. And I mean ALL. To get a better idea of just how widespread Anadarko’s toxic reach really was, here’s a map of all the states that have got Anadarko-ed. Note: you can count the number of states Anadarko hasn’t effed up on one hand. Washington Post

When the volcano blow: You may have recently seen reports that the supervolcano beneath Yellowstone was getting ready to blow its top, on account of the fact that the area suffered a small earthquake and a video surfaced showing bison running for damn lives! But don’t fret, my pet. Bison use Yellowstone’s highways for transport every winter—because they’re lazy. The lesson here: just because you see something on the Internet, doesn’t make it so. (Except sad Keanu. That’s legit.) Slate

The snow leopard sleeps: Reknown wilderness writer Peter Matthiessen died on Saturday, just a few days before the release of his latest novel, In Paradise. To learn more about Matthiessen and his work, check out this weekend’s roundup of environmental longreads, which recommends a profile of him in the New York Times Magazine. Matthiessen's work will be remembered for influencing and inspiring a generation of nature writers, and he will be profoundly missed. NPR


It's a boy! And a girl! And another boy!...: The next time you’re late for work, just tell your boss that you had to pull over and help a blue shark deliver 10 live pups. That's what this guy in Spain did (for reals). And it was amazing. The Dodo


50 Ways to Reuse Your Garbage Mother Nature Network

China’s Poisonous Waterways New York Times

Flood-Battered Islands Push Climate Treaty Negotiators to Speed Efforts Al Jazeera America

Climate Change Threats to ‘the Least of These’ Compel Evangelical Christians to Act Huffington Post

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads)

Like this article? Donate to NRDC to support OnEarth's groundbreaking nonprofit journalism.