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Tumbleweed Takeover, More Oil for Enbridge, Bat Disease on the Move
Our top picks: today's environmental news and best #greenreads.

The bat signal: White-nose syndrome, a fungal disease responsible for 5.7 million bat deaths in the United States and eastern Canada (see "The Man Who Loves Bats"), is now in two more states: Wisconsin and Michigan. This brings the total number of states to report the disease to 24. Wisconsin has one of the largest bat populations in the Midwest. In fact, they eat so many bugs there that a 2011 study found bats provide up to $1.5 billion in economic benefits. The fungus was discovered in Illinois caves in 2012, making the latest findings not surprising news, but still devastating. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Tumbling tumbleweeds: Drought conditions Out West are causing tons of tumbleweeds to dry up and blow across the Colorado plains, parts of New Mexico, and the Texas panhandle. The spiny, plant balls block drainage ditches and roads, and pile up along walls. "It was crazy. Some piles were more than 10 feet high," says one Coloradan. Usually, grazing cattle keep the non-native Russian thistle in check. (I had to read that fact twice, too. The symbol of the American West is an invasive plant!) But due to the lack of water, ranchers have moved their herds off the land, causing the plants to proliferate in what one official called the “perfect storm” of conditions. Reuters

Land of the rising sun?: Three years after the Fukushima meltdowns—worst nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl—Japan is opening a renewable energy research and development center. Following the Fukushima disaster, all 48 of the country’s nuclear reactors were taken offline, and the center’s goal is to make renewable energy Japan’s new primary power source. Sorta like He-Man … but different.  Japan Daily Press

Put that in your pipe: The infamous Enbridge pipeline that ruptured in 2010, spilling more than a million gallons of oil from Canada’s tar sands into the Kalamazoo River (see "The Whistleblower"), is set to reopen in a couple of weeks. The new and (hopefully) improved pipeline follows the same 285-mile path as the one it’s replacing—y'know, crossing 100 wetlands, streams, and rivers—will transport twice the amount of oil as the original. Oh yeah, and the company hasn’t finished cleaning up its mess from the spill yet. It's only been four years... Inside Climate News

DAILY DISTRACTION

The squid and the camera: Remember when giant squids were just a myth? When we thought of them as scary sea creatures big enough to crush ships in their many-armed grip? Well, we looked and looked and looked and finally found them in real life. Unfortunately, we could never get one to sit still for the camera—until now. Oceanographer and inventor Edith Widder and her team caught one on film, and the footage is aaaaaaaaaaamazing. TED

OTHER HEADLINES

America’s nuclear legacy casts a toxic shadow on Navajo lands The Verge

Why America’s only Sriracha factory could soon get shut down Vox

Deserts Found To Be Major Carbon Dioxide Sink, Study Finds Mother Nature Network

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads)

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