As you may have guessed from its name, the goliath grouper can grow to massive proportions—up to eight feet and 800 pounds. Unfortunately, we nearly caught, speared, and ate the species into extinction in the 1980s. This, um, photogenic fish has rebounded a bit since then, but the Atlantic goliath remains on the Endangered Species List. Why am I yammering on about big groupers? Oh, because one just gulped down a four-foot shark like you might a Swedish fish.
Other things to know this morning:
Methane doesn’t just escape from fracking operations, melting permafrost, and flatulating sheep. The greenhouse gas also seeps from the seafloor. Where the continental shelf meets the deeper Atlantic, scientists have discovered as many as 570 spots where methane has been leaking for at least 1,000 years. The amount of gas emitted, however, is small when compared to other sources.
One out of every eight species of bird on Earth is threatened by extinction (1,300 species in all). And that's bad news for humans. From the literal canaries in coal mines to the birds that tipped us off to the threats of DDT, PCBs, and other pollutants, as the birds go, so may we.
The U.S. coal industry has found another location from which to send 4.4 million tons of coal to Asia each year (that Oregon coast proposal fell through). Despite years of environmental protests, the Canadian government has just approved a coal export terminal in Vancouver, British Columbia. (And it will employ fewer people than a Denny’s.)
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