Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Facebook

Share
Climate Change's Creepy Side, Plastic's New Trick, Wildfire Weddings Are Like All the Rage Now
Our top picks: today's environmental news and best #greenreads.

Lip service?: In a recent candid interview, President Obama expressed some strong views about climate change, including the dire need to leave fossil fuels in the ground and a wish to place a price on carbon emissions. Frankly, it's everything environmentalists want to hear. The problem is there’s a gap—a chasm, a canyon, if you will—between what the President wants and what the rest of the government is on pace to do to combat climate change. Vox

The Plastic Age: When future generations go digging through the fossil record for clues to the past—presuming there are future generations—they’ll find a new type of rock that will be the hallmark of our current time here on Earth. Scientists have dubbed it “plastiglomerate,” which is comprised of volcanic rock, seashells, beach sand, corals, toothbrushes, water bottles, fishing nets, and other plastic that has all melted together. (This the scientific equivalent of being the kid that everyone remembers from high school, because he crapped in the pool.) The Weather Channel

Nuts and dolts: American chestnut trees once made up nearly 30 percent of all the hardwoods in eastern forests, but an invasive fungus laid waste to the species last century. Now, two groups of scientists (the gene modifying sort and the purists) are trying to breed the chestnut back from the brink. (Meanwhile, another ‘Merican treasure, Joey Chestnut, is also due for a comeback. He just surrendered his 72-oz-steak-eating title to a 125-pound mother of four. Oh, Joey.) OnEarth

Waking the dead: On Vanuatu's low-lying Santo Island in the Pacific, 26 skeletons and their coffins just popped out of the ground. Officials believe the remains belong to Japanese soldiers from World War II. The soldiers were laid to rest around 70 years ago but have been recently unearthed by a barrage of higher-than-normal tides. Note to the living: unexploded bombs are also washing up. Reuters

Save the lake, save the country: For the 1.5 million Cambodians who live near it, Tonle Sap Lake is their lifeblood. In a nation where 40 percent of children are chronically malnourished, the huge lake provides 300,000 tons of fish each year. But the lake is under attack from all sides: overfishing, mangrove deforestation, hydroelectric damming projects, and climate change. Now teams of scientists are working desperately to address Tonle Sap's myriad threats before the entire area enters a crisis. New York Times

Too fast to fail?: It’s no secret that the oil and gas industry has turned to fracking in a big way. And fracking is now the drilling technique of choice for most wells on federal land. But an investigation by the Government Accountability Office shows that the government hasn’t been able to keep up with the fracking industry and is failing to place meaningful checks on the controversial drilling practice. Heck, according to the GAO, the government doesn’t even have enough trained personnel to inspect wells for compliance with the outdated regulations it does have. Washington Post

DAILY DISTRACTION:

Fiery romance:
During the season finale of Modern Family, Mitch and Cam have to move their wedding at the last minute due to a California wildfire. (Timely, right?) Well, get this: the exact same thing just happened to an Oregon couple—IRL—and they have the best freakin’ wedding photos on Earth to prove it. Cosmopolitan

OTHER HEADLINES

Duke Signs Coal Ash Spill Cleanup Agreement with North Carolina and Virginia Associated Press

Pair of Bills Could Sour Businesses on Ohio Toledo Blade

Smog-Busting Roof Tiles Could Clean Tons of Pollution, Study Says Los Angeles Times

For Minnesota’s Pristine Wetlands, N.D. Oil Boom Is New Threat StarTribune

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads)

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