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Save the Snot Otter! Stop Bankrolling Big Oil!, Polar Vortex: Summer Edition
Our top picks: today's environmental news and best #greenreads.

Cruel summer: The same fluctuation of the jet stream that caused multiple polar vortices this winter will give the Midwest and East Coast a blast of cooler-than-normal air next week—which ironically will bring a lot of hot air from the mouths of certain conservative radio hosts. Remember everyone, a few cold snaps (no matter the time of year) don’t mean global warming isn’t happening. “This winter was a temporary cold blip in a small corner of the Earth. We just happen to live there.” Slate

The subsidy and the damage done: President Obama has frequently asked Congress to cut fossil fuel subsidies, but instead they have increased steadily during the last five years—from $12.7 billion in 2009 to $18.5 billion in 2013. And according to a new report from Oil Change International, not turning off this faucet of funding is tantamount to climate denial. Huffington Post

In a hand basket: Hellbenders (aka “snot otters” or “devil dogs”) are big, slimy amphibians that inhabit fast-flowing, rocky streams in the United States. Unfortunately, the government had to declare one of the two known subspecies endangered in 2011 and is currently considering giving the same protections to the other. Habitat destruction from dams and development is mostly to blame for the hellbenders' decline, but the devilish chytrid fungus may also be playing a role. Associated Press

Smoking gun: According to a new study, oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill is to blame for skin lesions observed on fish in the years after the disaster. The researchers were able to match the oil found in the livers and flesh of fish with the oil that spilled from BP's Macondo blowout. And the oil company's response to getting caught with its hand in the ol’ skin lesion jar? “Who me? Couldn’t be!” Reuters

Salt of the Earth: An underground North Dakota pipeline coughed up a million gallons of saltwater—a byproduct of oil production—over Independence Day weekend. Officials have since contained the leak, but not before it killed scores of trees, shrubs, and grasses and threatened the drinking water supply of a Native American reservation. A full cleanup is expected to take weeks. Al Jazeera America

Ted Cruz, the Once-ler: Yesterday, it was a GOP senator making astoundingly stupid claims about coal mines and the climate on Mars. Today we bring you Tea Party Ted’s diabolical plan to sell our national parks and forests so they can be mined, drilled, and logged. Cue the Lorax harrumph in 3, 2, 1 … ThinkProgress

DAILY DISTRACTION

Sperm whale slumber party: Wait—is that a grove of underwater redwoods up ahead? Or suspended columns drifting up from long the lost city of Atlantis? Nah, it’s just a pod of sperm whales sleeping straight up and down like a bunch of freaks. The Dodo

OTHER HEADLINES

Maine Is the New Florida OnEarth

Detroit’s Incinerator Has Folks Calling for Action Detroit Metro Times

India’s Monsoon—the Most Important Weather Phenomenon in the World—Is Way Behind Schedule Slate

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads)

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