Today OnEarth en | Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="cow hooves" title="cow hooves" width="500" height="333" /></p><p><b>Farm Bill brawl: </b>In a 216 to 208 vote, House Republicans narrowly passed a new version of the Farm Bill. But the bill, which dictates federal agriculture policy, farm subsidies, and funding for conservation programs, won't likely go much further. Food stamp provisions were not included in the bill, and not a single Democrat voted in favor of the legislation, with many arguing that it would lead to more hunger in America. President Obama has also vowed to veto any version of the Farm Bill that does not address federal farm and food aid. And according to the White House, in addition to leaving out food stamps, “the bill does not contain sufficient commodity and crop insurance reforms and does not invest in renewable energy, an important source of jobs and economic growth in rural communities across the country.” <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Washington Post</i></b></a></p><p><b>Cow’s eye view: </b>Acting on the principle that you don’t know a cow until you’ve walked a mile in its hooves, a scientist at Stanford University is investigating whether people will eat less meat after experiencing what it’s like to be a beef cow. Outfitted with a virtual reality helmet, participants in this experiment in empathy saw themselves as cows, being jabbed with an electrical prod and led to the slaughterhouse. The study then recorded what the participants ate for a week. The data hasn’t been processed yet, but in a similar experiment run by the scientist, study subjects began conserving paper towels after being made to cut down virtual trees to make TP. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Grist</i></b>,</a><b><i> </i></b><a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Climate Wire</i></b></a></p><p><b>On shaky ground: </b>Three more studies are tying earthquakes to energy production that involves injecting fluid into deep wells (think fracking). Most of these quakes are small, but in the last decade as natural gas production increased, the number of tremors in central and eastern United States has risen almost tenfold. Of the quakes that were magnitude 4.5 or above, about half occurred near injection-well sites. Fracking has been linked to earthquakes before, but these studies find that the injections of water into the rock is what brings the rumble, as they add pressure to once inactive faults. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Science</i></b></a>, <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Nature</i></b></a></p><p><b>Big Oil blues: </b>When BP agreed to a settlement after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, the company expected to pay businesses and residents affected by the Gulf oil spill about $7.8 billion, in addition to $42.2 billion in cleanup costs (see "<a href="" target="_blank">Crimes Against Nature</a>"). The damages estimate has since ticked up to $8.2 billion and will likely continue to grow since there is no cap on the claims, which are allowed to roll in until next April. So now BP is asking the Fifth U.S. Circuit of Appeals in New Orleans to stop additional claims, saying some of them are erroneous or inflated and arguing that the terms of the settlement were misinterpreted. The court is expected to decide on the appeal in the next few weeks. <a href=";ref=science" target="_blank"><b><i>New York Times</i></b></a><i>, </i><a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Reuters</i></b></a></p><p><b>DAILY DISTRACTIONS</b></p><p><b>Scaling the Shard: </b>Six Greenpeace activists have been arrested for climbing the Shard in London, the tallest building in western Europe. The 15-hour ascent of the 1,017-foot building was a protest against Royal Dutch Shell’s drilling of the Arctic Circle. Once they’d reached the summit, in view of Shell’s three London offices, the women waved a green flag that read, “Save the Arctic.” This live blog offers a play-by-play of the ascent. <a href=""><b><i>Telegraph</i></b></a></p><p><b>Feral pork, it’s what’s for dinner: </b>From kudzu to lamprey to wild hogs, populations of invasive species are hard to get rid of. But one strategy gaining populatiry is “if you can’t beat em, eat em!” Chefs have been lending their support to beleaguered ecosystems by cooking up dishes like lionfish sushi and nutria eggrolls. And now you can join in the fight, with a cookbook called <i>The Joy of Cooking Invasives: A Culinary Guide to Biocontrol. </i><a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Atlantic</i></b></a></p><p><b>Fluvial photos: </b>Called the “Mother River,” China’s Yellow River, one of the longest in the world, has been degraded by industrial runoff, pollution, and flooding. This stunning photo series captures its remaining natural beauty as well as the bleakness of the Mother River’s current state. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Slate</i></b></a></p><p><b>OTHER HEADLINES<br /></b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Google Face Environmentalist Wrath Over Fundraiser for Climate Change Denier</b></a><b> </b><i>Huffington Post</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Forests May Be Using Less Water as CO2 Rises</b></a><b> </b><i>Environmental News Network</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>$2 Billion Gold Mine Pits Miners Against Farmers</b></a><b> </b><i>Salon</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Toxic Pits at U.S. Marine Base in Afghanistan Threaten Health</b></a><b> </b><i>Scientific American</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Big Win for Sharks: European Union Bans All Shark Finning</b></a><b> </b><i>Treehugger</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Are Antibiotics on the Farm Risky Business</b></a><b> </b><i>NPR</i></p> <p><b><i> </i></b></p><p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<br />Image: <a href="" target="_blank">Rick Renomeron</a></i></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Weekend Reads: Botoxing the Beach, Fire Ants on the Warpath, Hunting Secret Flowers </a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br><a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br> animal rights Arctic drilling BP China Congress cows Deepwater Horizon earthquakes Farm Bill FOOD STAMPS fracking Greenpeace invasive species lionfish natural gas drilling Nutria Obama PROTESTORS Stanford University SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM THE SHARD vegetarian YELLOW RIVER Fri, 12 Jul 2013 13:10:22 +0000 The Editors 36342 at Weekend Reads: Botoxing the Beach, Fire Ants on the Warpath, Hunting Secret Flowers <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="fire ant" title="fire ant" width="500" height="325" /></p><p>Five #greenreads to ponder as you take a breather from the Zimmerman trial.</p> <p><b> “From Coast to Toast” </b>The ultra-rich and famous of Malibu and Nantucket are fighting a desperate war against the sea—and their neighbors. As ocean levels climb, and erosion gobbles up coastlines around the world, scores of multi-million dollar beachfront homes are at risk of tumbling into the waves. Wealthy property owners have proposed everything from “botoxing” the beach with $20 million worth of imported sand to building protective walls and anchoring bluffs with sacks of rocks. But the homeowners are facing fierce pushback from the not-so-rich: local fishermen, conservationists, environmentalists, and even those communities whose sand they want to purchase. Regardless, the proposed projects would buy them 5 to 25 years at most before the waves come crashing in. <b>William D. Cohan</b> and <b>Vanessa Grigoriadis</b> hustle us through the coasts' twin tragicomedies. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Vanity Fair</i> </a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>“Ants Go Marching” </b>Fire ants (a.k.a. "ants from hell" or "them devils”) are a real menace in the American South. Swarms of these invincible, invasive critters set a person’s skin on fire with nasty stings and even kill folks who are highly allergic to them. The ants also ruin crops, eat wildlife, and damage cemeteries and golf courses (two places they just love), costing the United States an estimated $6 billion a year. Inspired by his own ant attack during a romantic picnic,<b> Justin Noble</b> takes us on a wild romp through the insect's migration spree across the South and schools us in countless, peculiar ways to kill them devils. Some of them might even work ... for a little while. <i><a href="" target="_blank">Nautilus</a></i></p><p><b>“Teething Pains: the Fluoride Issue” </b>Like many things — canned tuna, red wine — fluoride is good for us, but only up to a point. The right dose keeps your teeth healthy but too much can bring dental fluorosis, a condition that can destroy your pearly whites later in life. As fluoride becomes more common in tap water, beverages, and food, the rate of fluorosis in children is climbing, and the politics of regulating fluoride use are complex. So what's a mother to do at bedtime? <b>Laura Wright Treadway </b>navigates the many nuances of the issue. And then after frothing up her daughter's mouth with toothpaste, teaches her baby how to spit. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>OnEarth</i></a></p><p><b> “The New Bronze Age”</b> Squeezing copper from the ground is getting tougher, pricier, and more toxic to the earth, and a decade ago, the mining difficulties seemed to be a death sentence for the industry. But today copper mining is enjoying a renaissance (see "<a href="" target="_blank">The Copper Age Returns (and Brings a Mess</a>"). Copper keeps our modern world wired with electronics, and China’s booming middle class has jacked up demand and prices for the metal. <b>Tim Heffernan</b> weighs the long-term environmental and health costs of the world’s copper mines — some of which have grown so massive they create their own weather patterns — against the economic benefits the mines bring to some of the third-world nations in which they reside. It's not easy calculus. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Pacific Standard</i></a></p> <p><b>“Murky Waters” </b>Coal is booming in Australia and five new export terminals are on the books for the Queensland coast to ship the black stuff abroad. But the projects come with dredge dumping and shipping traffic that could destroy the protected areas of the Great Barrier Reef. <b>Chloe Hooper</b> dives into what’s at stake for the reef and Queenslanders, as a crew of tanned and tattooed Greenpeace activists sail up the eastern seaboard, rallying locals to their cause. The environmental group is spoiling for a fight (though exactly what kind of civil disobedience it's planning, it won’t say). <a href="" target="_blank"><i>The Sydney Morning Herald</i></a></p> <p><b>Tired of Reading Yet? Watch This.</b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Jungle fever: </b></a>For Peruvian field botanists who scale trees in the Amazon in search for a new species of plant, the climb is thrilling. But watch out for those falling flowers!</p><p><em>Image: </em><a href="" target="_blank">William A. Clark</a><em><br /></em></p> <script type="text/javascript"></script> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">Weekend Reads: Fire-Fighting Hotshots, Miami: the Next Atlantis?, the Mysterious Noise Driving Canadians Mad</a><br><a href="">Weekend Reads: A Dive to the Bottom of the World and a Knife Fight at the Top of It</a><br> copper mining fire ant fluoride flurosis Great Barrier Reef Greenpeace Malibu Nantucket Queensland Weekend Reads Fri, 12 Jul 2013 14:54:44 +0000 The Editors 36347 at An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="swimming pig" width="500" height="375" /></p><p><b>Who turned out the lights?: </b>A new report from the Department of Energy predicts major vulnerabilities in the nation’s energy system as climate change continues to drive severe weather events. In addition to the kind of blackouts seen during Hurricane Sandy, the report forecasts breakdowns across the energy infrastructure. For instance, when oil barges can't travel down a river due to low water levels or when power plants shutter for lack of cooling water. Rising heat in the West has also increased demand for air conditioning, which can overload grids and cause blackouts and brownouts. By 2050 the region may require 34 more gigawatts of electricity (just for AC!), at a cost of about $40 billion to consumers. Says the department's deputy assistant secretary for climate change policy, “The cost today is measured in the billions. Over the coming decades, it will be in the trillions. You can’t just put your head in the sand anymore.” <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>New York Times</i></b></a></p><p><b>Climate camaraderie: </b>A month after President Obama and China’s Premier Xi Jinping introduced plans to reduce the production of hydrofluorocarbons, the two nations announced more initiatives in which they will work together to curtail other greenhouse gases, too. China and the United States will focus on practical steps to combat climate change that include reducing soot pollution from large trucks, developing carbon capture technologies, and increasing energy efficiency in buildings. “China and the U.S. are the two most important players. We are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases,” says Todd Stern, the U.S. special envoy for climate change. “Working shoulder to shoulder … is only a good thing.” <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Guardian</i></b></a>, <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Washington Post</i></b></a><b><i> </i></b></p><p><b>How’s this for a birth announcement?</b><strong>:</strong> A colossal iceberg was born on Monday. Measuring about 278 square miles across (larger than Chicago), the berg calved off Pine Island Glacier, the fastest changing glacier on the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet. The researchers who have been following the creation of the berg since 2011 say that such ice breaks are part of a cyclical process, but other scientists have been looking into whether global warming is thinning the continent’s ice sheets, too, which would lead to more ice bergs, and eventually, more sea-level rise.<a href="" target="_blank"><b><i> LiveScience</i></b></a></p><p><b>Up to par: </b>Golf courses, infamous for water consumption and pesticide use, may have an environmental upside. Two new studies find those 18 holes can act as serendipitous sanctuaries for turtles and other wildlife that are crowded out as city sprawl eats away their natural habitats. Researchers found that fairway ponds even boasted a greater variety of turtle species than farm or park ponds. <a href=""><b><i>National Geographic</i></b></a></p><p><b>Muddy waters: </b>A landslide buried about 30 people yesterday in China’s Sichuan province, a region experiencing its worst flooding in 50 years. In recent years, mudslides after heavy rains have become more and more common in this mountainous region where deforestation has led to severe erosion. Heavy rain and high winds have been battering much of northern China since Sunday, and around 36,800 people have evacuated dangerous areas. In Jinzhong, Sichuan, the rains triggered the collapse of a coalmine workshop on Tuesday, killing at least 12 workers. The flooding has also trapped hundreds of people in a tunnel between Dujiangyan and Wenchuan. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Telegraph</i></b></a>, <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>USA Today</i></b></a></p><p><b>Mystery meat:</b> The U.S. Department of Agriculture instituted new rules in May that prohibit mixing meat from other countries and the United States together. The Ag agency also required labels to be put on meat that would detail the nations in which animals were born, raised, and slaughtered. (Labels previously just needed to list the country of origin.) Not surprisingly, meat industry groups are having a cow over the regulations and have filed suit to stop them, calling the new label requirements “a bureaucrat's paperwork fantasy." And while the industry argues the labels will only confuse customers, environmentalists and food advocates say the labels will help consumers make informed decisions. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Associated Press</i></b></a>, <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Grist</i></b></a></p><p><strong>DAILY DISTRACTIONS</strong></p><p><b>When pigs swim: </b>Big Major Cay is an island paradise in the Exuma Cays archipelago of the Bahamas. And it's uninhabited save for about 20 wild pigs. How these invasive swine, which pig out on scraps thrown to them by tourists, got to the Bahamas is up for debate (some claim they were survivors of a shipwreck) but what’s indisputably clear from these photos is that they’re hog wild for the deep blue sea. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Treehugger</i></b></a></p><p><b>Solar coeds: </b>First it was a <a href="" target="_blank">solar plane making its way across the country</a> this summer. Now it's a homemade solar boat that's journeying across the Atlantic. A group of industrious college kids built a robotic, solar-powered vessel<em>, </em>named <em>Scout, </em>which they launched on the Fourth of July from Sakonnet Point, Rhode Island. Scout's mission is to make the 3,500-mile voyage to Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain, where Christopher Columbus embarked on his epic journey to the New World. While a wave-powered robot trekked across the Pacific Ocean last year, Scout is thought to be the first oceanic vessel to go solar. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Huffington Post</i></b></a></p><p><strong>OTHER HEADLINES</strong></p><p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Tar Balls from Wildfires Worsening Global Warming</b></a><b> </b><i>Grist</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>More Signs of “Peak Us” in New Study of “Peak Oil</b><b> Demand<b><b>”</b></b></b></a><b> </b><i>New York Times</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Los Angeles Goes All in On Rooftop Solar Panels</b></a><b> </b><i>Environmental News Network</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>In Montana Wilds, An Unlikely Alliance to Save the Sage Grouse</b></a> <i>NPR</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>What the Lac-</b><b>Mégantic Disaster Means to the Environment</b></a> <i>Global News</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)</i><br /> <i>Image: </i><a href="" target="_blank">Cdorobek</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Imperial Dreams</a><br><a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br> air pollution ANIMAL SHELTER Borneo CARDIORESPIRATORY HEALTH chickens China CINCINNATI ZOO COAL EMISSIONS deforestation EXPLOSION extinction fire fracking FRACKING ACCIDENT green economy green jobs Green Technology housing humane society Indonesia life expectancy malaysia MUSHROOM Obama palm oil PASSENGER PIGEON pollution rain forest SLASH AND BURN URBAN CHICKEN Urban Farming West Virginia Thu, 11 Jul 2013 12:47:50 +0000 The Editors 36327 at This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="elephant tusk" width="500" height="301" /></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Sound familiar?: </b>A natural gas and crude oil platform well off the coast of Louisiana continued to leak natural gas yesterday. Reports of the leak first came to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (established after the Deepwater Horizon spill) on Sunday, and on Monday workers who had been trying to plug the leak were forced to evacuate. A bureau representative says the well is not releasing oil into the water. And yet... “there is a rainbow sheen visible on the surface estimated to be more than four miles wide by three quarters of a mile long,” according to Energy Resources Technology Gulf of Mexico, the company which owns the platform. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>NBC News</i></b></a>,<b> </b><a href=",0,6827008.story" target="_blank"><b><i>Los Angeles Times</i></b></a><b><i> </i></b></p><p><b>Breathing problems: </b><a href="" target="_blank">We told you about</a> the negative health effects of coal emissions in northern China yesterday. Now come two other studies, this time out of Europe, that are linking air pollution, primarily from exhaust fumes, to lung cancer and heart disease. A study in the <i>Lancet Oncology</i> journal found that even at levels lower than those recommended by the European Union, air pollution increases the risk of lung cancer. The second paper, published in the <i>Lancet</i>, combines findings from 35 studies from around the world and shows that even short-term exposure to pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and particulate matter, raises the risk of hospitalization or death from heart failure. “Since the entire population is exposed to air pollution," says one researcher, "even modest reductions in air pollution could have major cardiovascular health benefits and substantial healthcare cost savings.” <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Guardian</i></b></a></p> <p><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b>Pachyderms and peanuts: </b>For the second time in less than a week, officials at the port of Mombassa, Kenya, seized a massive shipment of illegal ivory headed for Malaysia. What had been declared as 240 bags of peanuts was actually three tons of elephant tusks worth more than $700,000. The seizure is the largest of its kind this year and illustrates a boom in poaching activities in Africa, where the ivory trade has doubled since 2007. The black market for illegal wildlife products has gotten so bad that during his trip to Tanzania last week, President Obama established a <a href="" target="_blank">Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking</a>. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Washington Post</i></b></a><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b>Time to vote yet?: </b>Gina McCarthy, President Obama’s nominee to head up the Environmental Protection Agency, came one step closer yesterday to receiving a confirmation vote in the Senate. Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, the top Republican on the Environmental and Public Works Committee, dropped his objection to an “up-or-down vote” and spoke out against a filibuster on McCarthy’s nomination. If confirmed, McCarthy, currently an assistant administrator at the EPA, will oversee the President’s plans to <a href="" target="_blank">reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants</a>. <strong><a href=",0,2971979.story" target="_blank"><i>Politico</i></a><i>, <a href="" target="_blank">St. Louis Post Dispatch</a></i></strong><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b>Ghost towns of the deep: </b>Carbon emissions are acidifying our oceans and may lead to mass extinctions (see "<a href="" target="_blank">Oceans Acidifying Faster Than They Have in Past 300 Million Years</a>"). To study the effects of the extreme acidification, a new study looked at naturally acidic areas near volcanic vents in the Mediterranean Ocean. After removing animals and vegetation from the water, the scientists found that diverse marine life soon regenerated in the non-acidic control areas, but in the acidic plots (which represented the oceans predicted pH levels for 2100 and 2500), urchins, snails, and other creatures never returned. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Daily Climate</i></b></a><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTIONS</b></p> <p><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b>Sim City, Ohio: </b>The city of Oberlin, Ohio, has debuted this <a href="">nifty interactive website</a> that gives real time data on the town’s environmental impact, including water and electricity use, waste water processing, and solar energy production. Best of all, the Oberlin Environmental Dashboard takes this complex information and presents it with fun, splashy animations (watch a cartoon fish grow sluggish as the city’s water consumption goes up), making it an already popular page for kids. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Grist</i></b></a>, <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Living on Earth</i></b></a><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b>OTHER HEADLINES<br /></b></p> <p><b><a href="" target="_blank">Where Streets Flood with the Tide, a Debate Over City Aid</a> </b><i>New York Times</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Let’s Make Genetically Modified Food Open-Source</b></a><b> </b><i>Slate</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>As Biotech Seed Falters, Insecticide Use Surges In Corn Belt</b></a><b> </b><i>NPR</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Netherlands to Build World’s Largest Network of EV Fast-Charging Stations</b></a><b> </b><i>Treehugger</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>The Amish and Fracking: Communities Debate the Pros and Cons of Gas and Oil Drilling</b></a><b> </b><i>Huffington Post</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>New Conservation Complex Will Protect Critically Endangered Gorillas</b></a><b> </b><i>Environmental News Network</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Rice Husks Could Make Much Longer-Lasting Batteries</b></a><b> </b><i>New Scientist</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)</i><br /> <i>Image: <a href="" target="_blank">Zanthia</a></i></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Imperial Dreams</a><br><a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br> acidification air pollution BUREAU OF SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT carbon emissions climate change Cornell DAVID VITTER Deepwater Horizon ELECTRICITY USE elephants Environmental Protection Agency EPA extinction gas leak Gina McCarthy Gulf of Mexico HEART FAILURE ivory kenya Louisiana lung cancer malaysia MARINE ECOSYSTEMS monsanto Obama OBERLIN oceans Ohio oil spill poaching RESOURCE CONSUMPTION SENATE CONFIRMATION water use wildlife trade Wed, 10 Jul 2013 13:49:26 +0000 The Editors 36298 at A Pigeon Makes a Comeback, a Chicken Needs a Home, Mushroom Houses Aren't Just for Smurfs <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="chickens" width="500" height="332" /></p><p><b> </b></p> <p><b>The coal toll: </b>A new study finds that the northern Chinese live an average of 5.5 years shorter than their countrymen to the south. Why? Coal pollution. The research looked at health and emissions data from 1981 to 2001 and predicts that the “500 million Chinese who live north of the Huai River will lose 2.5 billion years of life expectancy because of outdoor air pollution.” The scientists found that an increase in just 100 micrograms of particulate matter per cubic meter corresponded with a three-year drop in life expectancy. “It highlights that in developing countries there’s a trade-off in increasing incomes today and protecting public health and environmental quality,” says one researcher. “And it highlights the fact that the public health costs are larger than we had thought.” <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>New York Times</i></b></a><br /><b> </b></p><p><b>A better biscuit: </b>Palm oil is one of those insidious ingredients that pops up in cookies and crackers (and toothpaste and cosmetics and cleaning products...). But the seemingly innocuous oil, derived from the fruit of African palm trees, has led to rapid deforestation in Indonesia, Borneo, and Malaysia, where the palm oil industry is slashing and burning rainforests. But at least some companies are saying enough is enough. A survey found that the United Kingdom's leading biscuit (a.k.a. cookie) manufacturers are making major commitments to reduce the amount of palm oil in their biscuits. "Consumers may finally be assigning a higher value to planetary preservation than the cost of a Double Stuf Oreo." Well, British consumers anyway. The survey found that American companies performed the worst when it came to palm oil addiction.<span style="color: #000000;"> </span> <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Modern Farmer</i></b></a></p> <p><b>Chickening out: </b>Sure every urban farmer loves a hot young chick, but what happens when aging hens stop laying eggs? Animal shelters from New York to Minnesota are reporting a surge in the number of abandoned backyard chickens left in their care. “Many areas with legalized hen-keeping are experiencing more and more of these birds coming in when they’re no longer wanted,” says a spokesperson for the Humane Society. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>NBC News</i></b></a><b><i>, </i></b><a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Grist</i></b></a><br /><br /><b>Fracking fail: </b>An explosion at a natural gas well in Doddridge County, West Virginia has injured at least five people. The incident and subsequent fire erupted during the “flow back” process when the drilling fluids used to release shale gas are pumped back into storage tanks. “We do not know the ignition source," said a representative of the company that operates the fracking site, "but we suspect it was a methane explosion.” We'd say that's a good guess. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Huffington Post</i></b></a></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTIONS</b></p> <p><b>Gone the way of the dodo and back: </b>Though the skies once teemed with billions of passenger pigeons, the birds have been extinct since 1914, when the last of the species (a bird named Martha) died at the Cincinnati Zoo. Now a Harvard scientist has a plan to de-extinct the passenger pigeon, using DNA from preserved museum specimens combined with additional genetic material from a similar band-tailed pigeon. The team plans to raise the first generations of these pigeons in captivity, and then ultimately return the birds to the wild. But this troubles conservationists who say “much of [the birds’] breeding and wintering habitat is gone.” <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Washington Post</i></b></a><i> </i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><b>Shitake shack: </b>In Green Island, New York, a design company has built a compact wooden bungalow that is insulated with mushrooms. With demand already booming for the company's compostable packaging made of agricultural waste and mycelium (that’s mushroom roots), Ecovative Design is adding building materials to its roster. First up? A fungus-based insulation. Unlike conventional loose fill insulation, the mushroom stuff doesn’t settle at the top of walls, giving it longer lasting effectiveness, and while it’s fire resistant, it doesn’t contain toxic flame retardants. "The aim is to replace all plastic foams anywhere we can," says a company rep. "We really believe that will be possible." <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Fast Company</i></b></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>OTHER HEADLINES<br /></b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>New Device Can Sterilize Medical Tools Using Solar Power Alone</b></a> <i>Smithsonian</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>U.S. Energy Transitions in One Graph</b></a><b> </b><i>Scientific American</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Mercury in the Environment: Legacy Levels Can Persist for Decades</b></a><i> Environmental News Network</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>South Africa Wants to Sell Its Rhino Horns</b></a><b> </b><i>Live Science</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Bolivia’s Indigenous People Join Fight to Save Gran Chaco Wilderness</b></a><b> </b><i>Guardian</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Water Warming to Boost Hydro Nuclear-Power Costs</b></a><b> </b><i>Bloomberg</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)</i><br /> <i>Image: </i><em><a href="" target="_blank">Gina Pina</a></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Imperial Dreams</a><br><a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br> air pollution ANIMAL SHELTER Borneo CARDIORESPIRATORY HEALTH chickens China CINCINNATI ZOO COAL EMISSIONS deforestation EXPLOSION extinction fire fracking FRACKING ACCIDENT green economy green jobs Green Technology housing humane society Indonesia life expectancy malaysia MUSHROOM Obama palm oil PASSENGER PIGEON pollution rain forest SLASH AND BURN URBAN CHICKEN Urban Farming West Virginia Tue, 09 Jul 2013 13:57:39 +0000 The Editors 36257 at Fracking on the Tracks, Smog-Eating Streets, D.C. Metro Foils the Phantom Planter! <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="morning glory" title="morning glory" width="500" height="330" /></p> <p><b>Derailment debate: </b>A train carrying 50,000 barrels of crude oil derailed Saturday in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, killing at least 5 people, leaving another 40 missing, and destroying upwards of 30 buildings in subsequent explosions. The incident has reignited a debate about the safety of delivering oil by rail, a practice that has expanded greatly as the production of shale oil from fracking increases faster than pipelines can be built. (The Canadian National Railway alone saw shipment of crude oil balloon from 5,000 carloads in 2011 to 30,000 in 2012 -- a number likely to double this year.) “We have an explosion of tight oil production in Canada and the United States, and most of it is moving by train,” says Anthony Swift, an attorney for NRDC (which publishes <em>OnEarth</em>). “But this process has happened without due diligence.” The debate comes as President Obama weighs whether to approve plans for the Keystone XL pipeline. Without the pipeline, oil by rail will likely increase, but there’s no conclusive evidence on which shipment method is safer. “The best data I’ve seen indicates,” says one expert, “depending on your perspective, both are pretty much as safe as each other, or both are equally unsafe.” <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>New York Times</i></b></a><i>, </i><a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Reuters</i></b></a><i> </i></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>The view from the peak: </b>We hear a lot about peak oil, but Lester Brown, the head of the Earth Policy Institute, argues that peak water may pose an even greater threat. Eighteen countries (encompassing half of the world’s population) are overpumping their aquifers. The wells in some nations, such as Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iraq are already going dry. Peak water, of course, can lead to peak grain. Saudi Arabia is on track to import 15 million tons of wheat, rice, corn, and barley in order to feed its 30 million residents, becoming “the first country to publicly project how aquifer depletion will shrink its grain harvest.” Brown predicts similar fates for mid-size countries like Iran, Pakistan, and Mexico, and ultimately for the three largest grain-producing nations: China, India, and the United States. “The question is not whether water shortages will affect future harvests in these countries, but rather when they will do so.” <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>The Guardian</i></b></a><i> </i></p> <p><b>Have sun, will travel: </b>A little aviation history was made over the weekend. The aircraft Solar Impulse completed a cross-country flight without the use fuel, becoming the first plane to do so powered entirely by solar energy. The plane, about the size of a small car with 11,000 solar cells atop its extra long wings, began its journey in California in May and stopped in Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Dulles along the way. While the plane can reach a lofty 30,000 feet flying altitude, it’s no express jet with a top speed of only 45 mph. The final leg of the journey was intended to pass by the Statue of Liberty, but a tear in one of the wings forced an early landing at New York's JFK airport. Still, “It was a huge success for renewable energy,” says the pilot. "The only thing that failed was a piece of fabric."<b> </b><a href=""><b><i>New York Daily News</i></b></a><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b>Street smarts: </b>Scientists in the Netherlands developed a pavement that eats smog, reducing air pollution by almost half. The researchers paved a block in Hengelo, Netherlands with a material treated with titanium oxide, which gobbles nitrogen oxides (the group of gases that form smog) from the air and transforms them into less noxious chemicals. Using a untreated street nearby as a control, the study found that the smog-sucking pavement “reduced pollution by up to 45% in ideal weather conditions and 19% over the course of the day.” <a href=",0,4941635.story" target="_blank"><b><i>Los Angeles Times</i></b></a></p> <p><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTIONS</b></p> <p><b>Where have all the flowers gone?: </b>In Washington, D.C. earlier this summer, a performance artist known as the Phantom Planter surreptitiously planted 1,000 flowers. Despite initial assurances that transit officials would solicit community opinion before removing the 176 flower boxes along the escalators at the city’s Dupont Circle Metro station, they uprooted the flora last week. The plants, a mix of morning glories, cardinal flowers, and cypress vines, would have bloomed later this summer in a capital-appropriate hues of red, white, and blue. Metro authorities cite scheduled maintenance as the reason for the pruning. “The fact is not all performance pieces end in comedy,” said the artist, whose real name is Henry Docter. “The flowers have been uprooted, but the memory of the gift remains in our brain, and that’s something that no bureaucrat . . . can ever take away.” <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Washington Post</i></b></a><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>How does your garden grow?: </b>For a very local view of the effects of climate change, look to your own little plot of green. Backyard gardeners and professional horticulturalists alike are feeling the repercussions of global warming on their flower beds. Milder winters mean earlier growing seasons and increases in precipitation can lead to an uptick in bacteria and fungi like the dreaded Dead Man’s Fingers. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>NPR</i></b></a><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b>OTHER HEADLINES<br /></b></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>This Fish Farm Gives a Portion of Its Product to Predators</b></a> <i>Grist</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Meet the Fracking Fighters</b></a><b> </b><i>Huffington Post</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Climate Scientist Michael Mann Sums up the Witch Hunt Against Him</b></a><b> </b><i>Slate</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>How Green Is Your Green? Pot’s Terrible Environmental Record</b></a><b> </b><i>The Daily Beast</i></p><p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Beer Brewers Tap Growing Economic Clout to Fight for Clean Water</b></a><b> </b><i>Scientific American</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>China’s Genetically Modified Food Fight</b></a><b> </b><i>Wall Street Journal</i></p> <p><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)</i><br /> <i>Image: </i><a href="">Mira66</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br><a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br> agriculture airplane aquifers climate change crude oil DC Earth Policy Institute fracking gardens GRAIN green cities Green Technology HENRY DOCTER irrigation Keystone XL pipeline LAC-MEGANTIC Metro Netherlands NITROGEN OXIDE PEAK GRAIN Peak Oil PEAK WATER quebec saudi arabia shale oil Smog solar impulse Solar power TRAIN DERAILMENT urban gardening washington water shortage Mon, 08 Jul 2013 13:47:12 +0000 The Editors 36254 at EPA Fracks Away from the Fight, Yellow Sea Sees Green, Llamas are the New Black <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="llama" width="500" height="333" /></p><p><b>Frack-tracking: </b>Back in 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency made waves with a groundbreaking draft report linking fracking to water contamination in Pavilion, Wyoming. But now after facing criticism from the drilling industry over the report’s methodology, the EPA has pulled the plug on its multimillion-dollar study, handing over the investigation to the state of Wyoming -- where it will be funded by EnCana, the drilling company whose wells may be causing the pollution. Environmental groups are seething about the u-turn, but perhaps they shouldn’t be shocked? In the last 15 months, the EPA (which saw a 17 percent budget decrease in 2012) has repeatedly stepped away from research that challenges fracking or drilling. The agency stopped an <a href="" target="_blank">investigation into groundwater pollution</a> in Pennsylvania and is insufficiently enforcing a ban on the use of diesel fuel in fracking. “We’re seeing a pattern that is of great concern,” says Amy Mall, senior policy analyst at NRDC (which publishes <em>OnEarth</em>). “They need to make sure that scientific investigations are thorough enough to ensure that the public is getting a full scientific explanation.” <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>ProPublica</i></b></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Hot and heavy news: </b>It’s been a hot century so far, and it’s only getting hotter says a new report from the UN’s World Meteorological Organization. The century’s first decade boasted the planet’s fastest warming<b> </b>on record and during the naughts, almost 94 percent of nations measured their hottest 10 years. The sobering statistics keep coming with the number of deaths from heatwaves at 136,000 during the period studied (up from fewer than 6,000 in the previous decade). And 511 disasters linked to tropical cyclones killed 170,000 people and wreaked $380 billion in damage. And the heat goes on ... with emissions still rising, we’re on course to warm by another 4-degrees Celsius by 2100. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Bloomberg</i></b></a></p> <p><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b>Seeing green: </b>A record breaking algal bloom, measuring 11,158 square miles, has painted the Yellow Sea green. The thick algae covering is the largest on record for China, but the blooms have become an annual phenomenon, appearing each summer for the past six years. The algae (<em>Enteromorpha prolifera</em>) isn’t toxic but it upsets marine ecosystems by consuming large amounts of oxygen and blocking sunlight from getting into the ocean. And like many dead zones across the world, what's feeding this one is likely industrial pollution (see "<a href="" target="_blank">Resuscitating the Dead Zone</a>"). "Algal blooms often follow a massive discharge of phosphates or nitrates into the water. Whether it's farming, untreated sewage or some kind of industrial plant that is discharging waste into the water,” says one researcher. And the recent surge in annual algae “would probably be an indicator that something is a little bit unbalanced.” <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Guardian</i></b></a><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b>And more green…: </b>New satellite footage from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows how Earth’s vegetation changes over the seasons -- and reveals how we’re changing those patterns through deforestation, urban sprawl, and greenhouse gas emissions. This video shows the planet through all its shades of green from April 2012 to April 2013. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Time</i></b></a><i> </i></p> <p><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b>Juice cleanse: </b>Pomegranate seeds from Turkey are to blame for the current outbreak of hepatitis A that has so far sickened 136 people in the United States. The seeds were used in a frozen juice mix sold at Costco. Further shipments of the fruit will be seized at American ports, likely ending this particular health scare, but the incident puts the squeeze on our global food safety system. In the U.S., 50 percent of fresh fruit, 20 percent of fresh vegetables, and 80 percent of seafood come from other countries. But the FDA inspects less than 2 percent of food imports (see "<a href="" target="_blank">The FDA Is Out to Lunch</a>"), leaving the rest to third-party auditors, which aren’t always up to the job. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>NPR</i></b></a><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTIONS</b></p> <p><b>Man’s new best friend: </b>Forget pet goats and potbelly pigs. The animal companion du jour is … the llama. Not to be confused with its smaller cousin, the alpaca (which llama fans claim aren’t nearly as cuddly), these Peruvian imports were rare in the United States until the 1970s, when a couple began breeding them on an Oregon ranch. Now there are about 115,000 llamas nationwide, and they have a devoted fan base that insists they’re gentle, curious creatures. And what about the animal's most noted bad habit? No worries ... apparently llamas spit at each other a lot, but almost never at people. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>New York Times</i></b></a><i> </i></p> <p><b>I once caught a fish <i>this</i> old: </b>A 200-year-old rockfish has been caught off the coast of Alaska. Samples of this O.G. of the ocean have been sent to a lab in Juneau to confirm its age. Based on its size (a whopping 39.08 pounds), the fish is expected to take the record for the oldest of its species ever caught. The previous championr was a relative spring chicken, er fish, at a mere 175 years young. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Scientific American</i></b></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>OTHER HEADLINES<br /></b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Crews in Arizona Make Progress in Subduing Deadly Fire</b></a><em> </em><em>New York Times</em></p><p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>World’s Largest Offshore Windfarm Opens in Thames Estuary</b></a> <i>Guardian</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Where Can You Find the Fastest Growing Transit System in the U.S.? Utah</b></a> <i>TreeHugger</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Scenes from a Melting Planet: On the Climate Change Novel</b></a> New Yorker</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Middlebury College’s Fracking Problem</b></a><b> </b><i>Salon</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>EU Votes to Revamp Carbon-Trading Program</b></a><b> </b><i>Wall Street Journal</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Volcanic Rock May Be Used as Giant Wind-Energy Battery</b></a><b> </b><i>Grist</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>The Explosive Costs of Disposing of Nuclear Weapons</b></a> <i>Washington Post</i></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)</i><br /> <i>Photo Credit: </i><a href="" target="_blank">Judit Klein</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">Solar Warrior</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br> Alaska ALGAL BLOOM China climate change COSTCO drilling Encana EPA FDA FOOD BORNE ILLNESS food safety Food Safety Modernization Act fracking global warming HEPATITIS HEPATITIS A INDUSTRIAL POLLUTION JUICE LISTERIA llamas Oregon PAVILION Pennsylvania pets record heat ROCKFISH turkey water pollution WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ASSOCIATION Wyoming YELLOW SEA Fri, 05 Jul 2013 14:13:43 +0000 The Editors 36252 at Weekend Reads: A Vegan Turned Hunter, Lights Out for Birds, a Man and His Wolf Pack <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/kristen-french">Kristen French</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="Hurricane Sandy hits NYC" width="500" height="333" /></p><p>Four #greenreads to savor while waiting 15 minutes before swimming.<b> </b></p> <p><b>“Liquid City”</b> Less than a year after Hurricane Sandy ravaged New York City, leaving death and destruction in its wake, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has hatched a $20 billion plan to fortify the Big Apple's 520 million miles of coastline. The message: The city that never sleeps will not retreat either. The plan might seem like hubris until you wade into Gotham’s long and tortured romance with its waterfront. It is a history of extremes -- great investment and great devastation, luxury and squalor, glory and tragedy -- and <b>Justin Davidson</b> dives into it for a glimpse at what could be the city’s wet-and-wild future. <i><a href="">New York</a></i></p><p><b>“Don’t Hold the Anchovies”</b> So-called forage fish  -- those tiny, oily specimens you often find in tin cans such as sardines and anchovies -- aren't high on the list of Americans' favorite seafoods. Instead, we feed those small swimmers to larger animals, both marine and mammal, that do end up on our dinner plates. But this is a pretty wasteful use of ecological resources argues Andy Sharpless in his new book, <em>The Perfect Protein</em>. <b>Jocelyn Zuckerman</b> takes a look at the reasons why we may want to reconsider our bigger-is-better view of seafood -- and provides some recipes to lure us into transitioning to the tasty and tiny.<i> <a href="" target="_blank">OnEarth</a></i></p> <p><b>“Ex-Vegan Turned Hunter”</b> Former vegan <b>Tovar Cerulli</b> used to think hunters were barbarians. Now he’s one of them. Cerulli began consuming milk, eggs, and wild fish for health reasons. Then he realized that the same urge to eat responsibly and ethically that made him forgo meat in the first place also eventually drove him to pick up a rifle and take to the woods. Cerulli explains the evolution of his thinking and the eco-inspired hunting movement that has since sprung up around him. To this ex-vegan, hunting can bring out the worst, or the best, in us. It just depends on the approach. <a href=""><i>The Atlantic </i></a></p> <p><b>“Lights Out Is a Turn-on for Birds” </b>Birds often mistake urban lights for the evening stars by which they navigate their seasonal migrations. But these beckoning lights are beacons of doom, inviting our feathered friends to fatally collide with buildings. Over 100 million birds die this way every year in North America. Now Chicago, New York, Minneapolis, and many other cities are instituting programs that urge structures to flip their switches to off as the sky darkens. <b>Brianna Elliott</b> recounts some of the successes and challenges that bird advocates face while trying to shield birds from those bright lights in the big city. <i><a href="" target="_blank">Audubon</a></i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><b>Tired of reading yet? Watch this.</b></p> <p><strong>Werewolf of Berlin:</strong> If given the choice, 80-year-old Werner Freund would rather be a wolf than a human. Watch him fight over raw, bloody meat with his wolf pack. Hear his chilling howl. This isn' for the squeamish. This guy is fierce.</p><p><iframe src="" width="500" height="281"></iframe></p><p><em>Image: <a href="" target="_blank">Zoriah</a><br /></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Giant Pink Blobs, the Incredible Shrinking Bison, and the Arctic Vacation from Hell</a><br><a href="">Bye-Bye American Car Culture?, Cute Rodent Takes a Swim, Nope -- Climate Change Isn&#039;t Fair</a><br><a href="">Chipotle&#039;s GMO Menu, Did You Say Fracking Is Your Major?, an Idiot and a River of Lava Meet</a><br> Chicago coley FORAGE FISH hunting hurricane sandy megrim Michael Bloomberg Minneapolis New York City vegan venison Werner Freund. wolves Fri, 05 Jul 2013 17:27:29 +0000 Kristen French 36253 at The Koch Climate Oath, Massacre by Molasses, a Hip-Hop Tribute to Parks <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="kid in a park" width="500" height="335" /></p><p><b>Pollution promises: </b>Wondering why President Obama had to bypass Congress and go the executive order route in <a href="" target="_blank">curbing carbon pollution from power plants</a>? Here's a clue: A study by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University reveals that <a href="" target="_blank">Americans for Prosperity</a>, the conservative group run by Charles and David Koch, has coaxed more than 400 lawmakers to sign a pledge promising  “to vote against legislation relating to climate change unless it is accompanied by an equivalent amount of tax cuts.’’ The signers include a quarter of the Senate and one-third of the House (including all of the Republican leadership) -- as well as 48 state legislators in Missouri, Michigan, and Kansas, where Koch Industries is headquartered, and where in 2011, the brothers’ oil refineries emitted more than 24 million tons of carbon dioxide.<a href="" target="_blank"><b><i> The New Yorker</i></b></a><b><i>, </i></b><a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Grist</i></b></a></p><p><b>Presidential ball: </b>When announcing his new Power Africa initiative this week, designed to double power access in sub-Saharan Africa within five years, President Obama also showed off that he can rock a pretty mean header. Called the Soccket, the President’s soccer ball of choice generates power while you play with it (30 minutes of playtime gets you three hours of light with a 6-watt bulb) and represents the kind of innovation that Power Africa hopes will help bring electricity to rural communities. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Scientific American</i></b></a></p><p><b>Rain barrel spending: </b>Bad weather may keep voters from the polls, but it’s apparently one impetus pushing members of Congress to vote in favor of environmental legislation. According to researchers, who analyzed voting records compiled by the League of Conservation Voters, legislators are more likely to act on climate change and other environmental bills after their home states or districts are hit with severe weather events. That is, if the Koch brothers haven’t gotten to them first … <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Washington Times</i></b></a><br /><br /><b>All opposed say…: </b>The Humane Society and other animal rights groups have filed suit against the Agriculture Department in an attempt to prevent the agency from inspecting two plants that intend to process horsemeat for human consumption. The two companies, one in Roswell, New Mexico, the other in Sigourney, Iowa, would be the first to process horsemeat since Congress prohibited equine slaughter in 2007. The ban was lifted in 2011. The Obama administration is urging Congress to reinstate the ban, but in the meantime, the Ag Department says it must inspect slaughter sites. “The USDA has failed to consider the basic fact that horses are not raised as a food animal,” says one of the groups opposing the inspections. “Horse owners provide their horses with a number of substances dangerous to human health. To blatantly ignore this fact jeopardizes human health as well as the environment surrounding a horse slaughter plant.” <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>New York Times</i></b></a></p><p><b>An abrupt adieu:</b> The tenure of France’s energy and environment minister is (French) toast. On Tuesday, President Francois Hollande swiftly fired Delphine Batho for her comments criticizing a 7 percent budget cut to her ministry, part of the government’s larger efforts to bring down public spending by 14 billion euros. “It’s a bad budget,” said Batho, who had been investigating ways to reduce France’s reliance on nuclear energy. “Of course there will be cuts and budget tightening, but there are also other ways of proceeding, like environmental taxes or forward-looking investments.” While some in the government predict similar moves if other ministers step out of line, the environmentalist Green party is complaining of “double standards,” citing other officials who have spoken publicly against the administration with no repercussions. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Reuters</i></b></a><br /><br /><b>A sticky mess: </b>A molasses spill is being blamed for the death of tens of thousands of carp and bream (weighing in at a total of 500 tons of fish) in a lagoon in Acatlan de Juar, Mexico. This byproduct of refining sugarcane and beets from a nearby cattle food plant seeped into the reservoir, asphyxiating the fish and harming the livelihood of the 180 local fishing families. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Huffington Post</i></b></a></p><p><strong>DAILY DISTRACTIONS</strong></p><p><b>Park bench beats: </b>As Queens hip-hop artist M.C. Shan rapped in the eighties, “Hip-hop was set out in the dark / They used to do it out in the park.” So for all those city-dwellers who don’t have backyards and who will celebrate tomorrow’s festival of fireworks and grilling at the park, here’s a great playlist of rap songs that honor the importance of parks in urban life. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Grist</i></b></a></p><p><b>OTHER HEADLINES</b></p> <p><b><a href="" target="_blank">New Firefighting Technologies: Drones, Super Shelters</a> </b><i>National Geographic</i></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Great White Sharks Are Back</b></a><b> </b><i>Slate</i></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Farm Bill Defeat Shows Agriculture’s Waning Power</b></a> <i>New York Times</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Water Chip Promises Simple, Portable, Membrane-free Water Desalination</b></a> <i>TreeHugger</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Mongolian Neo-Nazis Rebrand Themselves as Environmentalists</b></a><b> </b><i>Guardian</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Tesla Motors Direct Car Sales Petition Passes Required 100,000 Signatures</b></a> <i>San Francisco Business Times</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)</i><br /> <i>Image: </i><a href="" target="_blank">Moyan Brenn</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Imperial Dreams</a><br><a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br> ACATLAN DE JUAR BREAM carp CATTLE FEED climate change Congress DELPHINE BATHO extreme weather fish kill France François Hollande global warming HIP HOP HORSE MEAT humane society iowa Koch brothers Koch Industries Mexico new mexico parks power POWER AFRICA President Obama ROSWELL RURAL ELECTRICITY soccer storms Wed, 03 Jul 2013 13:09:17 +0000 The Editors 36231 at Taking Wildlife Trafficking to Task, a Funeral for Bumblebees?, Your Mama's So Fat ... She's a Lionfish? <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="lionfish" width="500" height="375" /></p> <p><b> </b></p><p><b>Agony in Arizona: </b>Erratic winds are making it difficult to combat the Yarnell Hill Fire that killed 19 elite firefighters in Arizona on Sunday, and the blaze continues to spread. As of Monday evening, the fire was zero percent contained and spanned 13 square miles. Experts says this is the deadliest wildfire disaster since 25 firefighters were killed in Los Angeles in 1933, and is likely a harbinger of things to come. Arizona is the fastest warming state in the nation with average surface temperatures increasing by 0.639 degrees per decade since 1970, a phenomenon that when combined with other factors, like drought and population growth, has led to a dramatic uptick in large-scale wildfires. (See our ongoing series on<a href="" target="_blank"> wildfires and climate change.</a>) <strong><em><a href=";emc=edit_th_20130702&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">New York Times</a></em></strong>, <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Arizona Republic</i></b></a>, <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Climate Central</i></b> </a></p> <p><b>Going against traffic: </b>While on a visit to Tanzania yesterday, President Obama issued his second executive order in a week. The first one was <a href="" target="_blank">a plan to combat climate change</a> by curbing emissions from coal power plants, and the latest establishes a Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking, which will fight the illegal trade and hunting of elephants and rhinos. The State Department will also provide $10 million in training to African nations to fight poaching, a practice that left 30,000 elephants dead in 2012 (the most in 20 years). Wildlife trafficking is estimated to rake in between $7 billion and $10 billion annually and is linked with organized crime networks. “These are global crime syndicates that are robbing the wealth of Africa and it is fueling the trade of other things, such as drugs and arms," says the World Wildlife Fund. "Eventually it will drive these species extinct.” <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Washington Post</i></b></a><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b>More than the lionfish’s share: </b>Humans aren't the only species experiencing an obesity epidemic right now. Invasive lionfish are fattening up in the Atlantic Ocean, feasting on native fish populations and reducing some by almost 70 percent. These strange, striped fish from the Indo-Pacific Ocean are overfeeding themselves so much that they are even showing signs of liver damage. Unfortunately, whether their lifestyles are shortening the lifespans of the fatty fish may not matter much to the fate of local sea life, simply because lionfish breed like crazy. In some places, there is more than 450 of them per acre. <a href="" target="_blank"><b>Slate</b></a></p> <p><b>On the brink: </b>The population of the world’s only freshwater porpoise -- the Yangtze finless porpoise -- is rapidly dwindling. The cetacean's numbers are down 52 percent from 1991 to 2006, declining even further from an estimated 1,200 animals in 2008 to only 500 last year. The critically endangered porpoises are following in the unfortunate wake of the Yangtze river dolphin, which was declared extinct in 2007. Scientists blame boat traffic, pollution, and incidental catch on the decline and suggest that “given the scale of the problem, the most realistic option for saving the porpoise looks like a sort of semi-captive breeding program.” <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>New Scientist</i></b></a></p> <p><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTIONS<br /><br /></b><b>Tribute fit for a queen: </b>Mourners gathered on Sunday to bid farewell to 50,000 bumblebees killed last month -- yes, an insect funeral. The bees died after the insecticide Safari was sprayed on linden trees in a Target parking lot in Wilsonville, Oregon. But perhaps these bugs did not die in vain? In response to the public outcry over the fallen bees, the Oregon Department of Agriculture has <a href="" target="_blank">issued a temporary ban</a> on 18 insecticides that use dinotefuran, the active ingredient in Safari. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>The Oregonian</i></b></a></p> <p><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b>OTHER HEADLINES<br /></b></p> <p><a href=";ref=topbar" target="_blank"><b>Obama Climate Change Push Puts Coal Country on Defensive</b></a><b> </b><i>Huffington Post</i><b> </b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Senate Leans Toward Gina McCarthy Confirmation for EPA</b></a> <i>Politico</i></p> <p><a href=";_r=0" target="_blank"><b>Experts Scramble to Trace the Emergence of MERS</b></a><b> </b><i>New York Times</i></p> <p><a href=",0,1088322.story" target="_blank"><b>Making Plans to Celebrate the Centennial of the Hottest Day Ever</b></a> <i>Los Angeles Times</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>This Is What Global Warming Sounds Like When Converted to Music</b></a> <i>Grist</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>How a Minority Biking Group Raises the Profile of Cycling</b></a> NPR</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Tons of Trash Covers the Remote Shores of Alaska</b></a><b> </b>Yale Environment 360</p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)</i><br /> <i>Image: </i><a href="">Damien du Toit</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Imperial Dreams</a><br><a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br> africa Arizona bumblebees China climate change elephants endangered species extinction fisheries global warming green business heat wave insecticide invasive species ivory lionfish Obama Oregon poaching rhinos SURVIVOR Tanzania uk wildfires WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING WILSONVILLE YANGTZE FINLESS PORPOISE YANGTZE RIVER YANGTZE RIVER DOLPHIN YARNELL Yarnell Hill fire Tue, 02 Jul 2013 14:02:04 +0000 The Editors 36205 at The New Must-Have for Bug Eaters, Deadly Wildfires, Hottest Place on Earth -- Now Even Hotter? <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" width="500" height="281" /></p><p><b>Fierce flames: </b>Nineteen highly skilled firefighters died yesterday trying to contain a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona, northwest of Phoenix. The tragedy is the deadliest our nation's firefighters have experienced since September 11, 2001. Temperatures soared into the triple digits throughout the West over the weekend, worsening drought conditions that had helped spark the blaze. The Yarnell Hill fire began with a lightening strike on Friday and as of last night, has spread across 3 square miles, burning through half the town. Just last week, <a href="" target="_blank">President Obama singled out wildfires</a> as one of the consequences we are already facing as a result of climate change. (<a href="" target="_blank">See our series on climate and wildfires</a>.) <a href="" target="_blank"><i><b>Think Progress</b></i></a>, <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Arizona Republic</i></b></a></p><p><b>Melting records: </b>The heat wave in the West is breaking records all over the place, with temperatures rising up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit in Palm Springs, California, and a record-tying 117 degrees in Las Vegas, Nevada. Even Death Valley, the hottest place on Earth, may have just got hotter. The National Weather Service recorded a peak temp of 128 in the California valley, but a nearby National Park Service thermometer measured a sweltering 129.9 degrees. Either temperature would be the hottest ever recorded in June anywhere in the United States. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>USA Today</i></b></a><i>,</i> <a href=",0,6477803.story" target="_blank"><b><i>Los Angeles Times</i></b></a></p><p><strong>Driving's downshift:</strong> According to a handful of studies, American car culture may be moving into the slow lane as the number of miles driven in the United States continues to drop (down 9 percent since its peak in 1995). The percentage of young people getting drivers licenses is also decreasing, as is the overall driving among millennials (a 23 percent decline from 2001 to 2009). Though the recession may have influenced many peoples' decisions to get behind the wheel, an upswing in telecommuting, urban renewal, and alternative transportation methods like carpooling and bike-sharing have also helped put the brakes on driving. <a href=";_r=0" target="_blank"><b><i>New York Times</i></b></a></p><p><b>Blast from the past: </b>An international group of scientists have genetically engineered two strains of wheat that are resistant to a fatal type of black stem rust. Discovered in 1999, this fungal disease -- which 90 percent of the wheat grown around the world is vulnerable to -- has destroyed crops in Africa and the Middle East and could spread further, “potentially causing an agricultural disaster that would affect global food security.” The research team modified the plants with a rust-resistant gene cloned from a kind of wheat that hasn't been widely cultivated since the Bronze Age. <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>BBC</i></b></a></p><p><b>The butterfly effect: </b>Life isn’t so safe outside of the cocoon for America’s butterflies. The rockland grass skipper and the Zestos skipper are likely extinct in southern Florida. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service blames the extinctions on habitat loss and bug sprays, especially pesticide misting to control mosquitoes. Losing pollinating butterflies could have a potential effect on food crops, but that's not all. According to scientists, the gossamer insects are tougher than they look, and if they’re going extinct, “it’s a strong indicator that we’re messing up the environment around us.” <a href=""><b><i>Washington Post</i></b></a></p><p><strong>DAILY DISTRACTIONS</strong></p><p><b>Something to quack about: </b>Thanks to the magic of 3D printing, Buttercup, a duck who hatched in November with his left foot pointing backwards, will soon get a new foot – from a printer! A 3D printing company and the Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary in Arlington, Tennessee, are teaming up to create a silicon prosthetic for this very lucky duck. <em><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Grist</b></a></em></p><p><b>Move over blender: </b>There’s a new culinary gadget in town. Meet the Lepsis, a countertop appliance that allows you to breed insects. Yes, <a href="">you heard that right</a>. You can now grow, harvest, and freeze grasshoppers, all from the comfort of your own home. Invented by a US-based designer who grew up in Africa, eating grasshoppers and other insects, the Lepsis responds to a recent <a href="" target="_blank">UN report </a>that urges us all to eat more bugs as a solution to global food shortages. "It doesn't give people the excuses they used to have, which is that 'I live in New York so I can't eat insects', or 'I'm not in the wilderness or I'm not in Africa so I can't eat insects,’” says the inventor. “Now this food is actually closer to you than your beef fillet is." Bon apetit! <a href="" target="_blank"><b><i>Guardian</i></b></a></p><p><b>OTHER HEADLINES<br /></b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Meet the One City in America Where Cars Have Been Banned Since 1898</b></a><b> </b><i>Tree Hugger</i></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Making Fuel from Yeast</b></a><b> </b>NPR</p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Methane Scrutiny in Obama Climate Plan May Cost Drillers</b></a> <i>Bloomberg</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Marines Push to Front Lines in Renewable Energy Innovation</b></a><b> </b><i>Yale Environment 360</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>After Much Delay, Offshore Wind Power Set to Sail</b></a> <em>Politico</em></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>For Your Viewing Pleasure, a Mt. Everest Time Lapse</b></a> <i>Slate</i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)</i><br /> <i>Photo Credit: </i><a href="" target="_blank">Mike Chen</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Imperial Dreams</a><br><a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br> 3D printing Arizona bike share butterflies climate change Death Valley driving DUCKS eating insects emissions endangered species extinction food security global warming grasshoppers heat wave Las Vegas Obama PALM SPRINGS record temperatures STEM RUST WHEAT wildfires YARNELL Yarnell Hill fire Mon, 01 Jul 2013 13:16:18 +0000 The Editors 36187 at Killer Face Wash, Whither the Snot Otter?, Jaguar to Arizona: 'I'm Baaaack' <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="jaguar" title="jaguar" width="500" height="333" /></p><p><b> </b></p> <p><b>We'd lather not: </b>In order to get your pores squeaky clean, cosmetic manufacturers add micro exfoliates to their face and body washes. These tiny plastic beads are too fine to get trapped and processed by water filtration systems, which means they end up in the water supply and eventually in lakes and oceans. New research shows that Lake Erie, in particular, is rife with the tiny, plastic spheres and that they can have serious effects on fish and wildlife -- maybe even people, which would actually be kind of fitting, in a <i>Lion King</i>, <a href="" target="_blank">circle-of-life</a> sort of way. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Scientific American</i></a></p><p><strong>Hold your horses:</strong> In his climate speech this week, President Obama said he would only approve the Keystone XL pipeline if it “does not significantly exacerbate the climate problem” -- which a supplemental environmental impact statement issued by the State Department on March 1 concluded it more or less wouldn’t. Whether the tar sands oil is transported by rail, pipeline, or passenger pigeon, the State Department argues, it’s getting extracted no matter what. But new research casts serious doubt on that assumption, as has the Environmental Protection Agency. Just a day before the Obama’s speech, six conservation groups filed a <a href="" target="_blank">48-page letter</a> of protest stating the need for a new impact statement. The groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council (which publishes OnEarth), cites “evidence of inaccuracies and bias in the State Department’s review.” Will there be a new, honest review before the first one is even finalized? So far, the response from the State Department has been, “No comment.” <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Washington Post</em></a></p> <p><b>Where the hell are the hellbenders?: </b>The largest salamander in the Western Hemisphere, the hellbender (a.k.a. the snot otter, a.k.a. the Alleghany alligator), is disappearing from some of its favorite Appalachian haunts. This is bad news, because these and other amphibians are ecological indicators. Or as one wildlife biologist puts it, “If the hellbenders start disappearing, there is probably something wrong with our streams. And most of us live downstream from hellbenders.” <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Richmond Times Dispatch</i></a></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><b>Crying into your tonic:</b> There’s a new pathogen in town, and it’s wiping out all the juniper trees in Britain. Scientists think the mold is related to the organism that caused the Irish potato famine. “Who cares?” you ask. “What did a juniper tree ever do for me?” you wonder. Well, without juniper trees, there will be no juniper berries. And without juniper berries, there’s no gin. Which means if the pathogen makes the leap to mainland Europe, your summertime G&amp;T is going to be a whole lot of T. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Popular Science</i></a></p> <p><b>The smell of plutonium 238 in the morning: </b>The trees around Chernobyl have been soaking up and storing radiation since 1986, which is good news since radiation locked in trees can’t hurt us. However, now that summers are getting hotter and dryer, these forests are at extreme risk for forest fires -- which would release God knows how much strontium 90, cesium 137, and plutonium 238 into the weather system. And <em>the best </em>news? They’ll be released as inhalable aerosols, perfect for all sorts of living things to breathe right in. In some of the worst-case scenarios that the scientists are looking into, the smoke could travel for hundreds of miles, potentially as far away as Sweden. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Daily Climate</i></a><i> </i></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTIONS</b></p> <p><b>Here kitty kitty:</b> Remember earlier this week when we told you about the <a href="" target="_blank">leopard shot in Indiana</a>? Well now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has caught remote images of a jaguar in Arizona. Surprising for some Arizonans, sure, but here’s the thing -- the American Southwest is actually part of the jaguar’s historic range. Best lock up your Pomeranians. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Huffington Post</i></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>OTHER HEADLINES</b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">This Climate Fix Might Be Decades Ahead of Its Time</a> <i>NPR</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">The Growing Battle Over How to Treat Lyme Disease</a> <i>The New Yorker</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">A Political Skirmish in Australia Could Have a Big Climate Impact</a> <i>Washington Post</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">An Organic Victory in Australia’s Brutal Milk Wars</a> <i>Modern Farmer</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Floating Tubes Test Sea-Life Sensitivity to Acidification</a> <i>Nature</i></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">National Institute of Health to Retire Most Lab Chimpanzees</a> <i>Los Angeles Times</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<br /> Image: <a href="" target="_blank">Eric Kilby</a><br /></i></p> </div> </div> </div> CHERNOBYL FOREST FIRES CONSERVATION BIOLOGY ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS EXFOLIANTS GIN SHORTAGE HELLBENDERS JAGUARS IN ARIZONA JUNIPER DISEASE MICROPLASTIC POLLUTION TAPIR SEX Fri, 28 Jun 2013 13:03:47 +0000 The Editors 36169 at Weekend Reads: Fire-Fighting Hotshots, Miami: the Next Atlantis?, the Mysterious Noise Driving Canadians Mad <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" width="500" height="331" /></p><p>Five #greenreads to peruse while cruising across state lines to buy fireworks.</p><p><b>“Last Song for Migrating Birds” </b>Food, profit, culture, entertainment -- there are many reasons why people across the Mediterranean are bloodthirsty for migrating birds. The hunters string miles of mist netting and fill the sky with birdshot. They trap voyage-weary birds stopping to rest on perches covered in pine tar. They have even devised rather ingenious ways to catch raptors by loading smaller birds with booby-traps. From Italy and Albania to Egypt, <b>Jonathan Franzen</b> grants us begrudging entrance to a world where more and more birds end up in the hand, leaving few for the bush. <a href=""><i>National Geographic</i></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>“The Sound and the Fury” </b>There’s a peculiar sound haunting the citizens of a small town in Ontario. It’s difficult to describe, this low roar, but it’s been blamed for stress, loss of sleep, cranky children, and maybe even the death of a beloved goldfish. People there call it the “Windsor hum,” and they suspect it’s coming from the many steel mills and factories across the river in Detroit -- though no one will let them prove it. Follow <b>Kim Tingley</b> as she wades into the international dispute caused by Canada’s greatest sonic mystery. <a href=""><i>OnEarth</i></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>“In the Line of Wildfire” </b>Even if you don’t live in the West, it’s impossible to ignore fire season (see “<a href="">Fighting More Forest Fires Will Come Back to Burn Us</a>”). This year, the states hardest hit have been Colorado and Arizona. Last year it was Texas (and Colorado and New Mexico and Montana...). And behind every headline is a crew of nameless elite firefighters called "Hotshots," who risk life and limb (and lung) to quell the blaze. <b>Kyle Dickman</b> should know; he used to be one. See what it’s like to pick up a Pulaski and dig a line with some of the finest, filthiest wilderness firefighters you’ll likely never have the pleasure to know. <a href=""><i>Outside Magazine</i></a><i> </i></p> <p><b>“Goodbye, Miami” </b>There are many places on Planet Earth that stand to be rocked by rising sea levels, but Miami is, as <b>Jeff Goodell</b> says, “uniquely screwed.” The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development lists the city as the number-one most vulnerable city worldwide when it comes to property damage at risk, to the tune of $416 billion of assets. The whole area is remarkably flat and prone to flooding. The ocean could just as well come at Miami from behind, through the Everglades. And the city's politicians are deeply entrenched in climate denial. Unfortunately, that’s not even the half of it. <a href=""><i>Rolling Stone</i></a></p> <p><b>“Pregnant Pause” </b>Being pregnant is a lot like climate change. No, really, just hear <b>Hillary Rosner </b>out. As a science journalist, she’s used to sorting good information from bad. But now that she’s pregnant, she’s bombarded with advice from everyone she knows, people in the street, the daytime news, and thousands of books and websites. Faced with such an onslaught of dire information, she started tuning it out -- all of it. And this, she says, has helped her understand why some people can ignore the threat of climate change. Is climate denial simply a coping mechanism? <a href=""><i>Ensia</i></a></p> <p><b>Tired of reading yet? Watch this.</b></p> <p><b>Reduce, reuse, rewatch this recycling video:</b> Ever wondered what happens to the glass you recycle? All kinds of cool stuff. <em><a href="" target="_blank">NPR Planet Money</a></em></p> <p><iframe src=";byline=0&amp;badge=0&amp;color=ffffff" width="500" height="281"></iframe></p><p>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<i><br />Image: </i><i> </i><a href="" target="_blank">Elviz Low</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">INFOGRAPHIC: Grand Slam in Seattle</a><br><a href="">Weekend Reads: Botoxing the Beach, Fire Ants on the Warpath, Hunting Secret Flowers </a><br><a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br> climate change HOTSHOTS KILLING BIRDS MEDITERRANEAN BIRDS Miami MIGRATING BIRDS noise pollution PREGNANCY SCIENCE recycling rising sea levels Weekend Reads WILDERNESS FIREFIGHTERS WINDSOR HUM Fri, 28 Jun 2013 15:55:23 +0000 The Editors 36170 at Giant Pink Blobs, the Incredible Shrinking Bison, and the Arctic Vacation from Hell <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" width="500" height="407" /></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Marooned on top of the world:</b> It turns out polar bears may not be the only ones getting stranded by melting polar ice. Nearly two dozen people have been stuck on a 30-mile slab of ice that broke off of Baffin Island earlier this week and started drifting out to sea. The castaways weren’t scientists, natives, or oil workers -- they were tourists on the Arctic equivalent of a safari. A Canadian military plane airdropped survival supplies and life rafts on Wednesday, but no injuries have occurred. The group seems to be patiently awaiting a break in the weather so rescue helicopters can take them to safety. Depending on your perspective, this is either the best or the worst vacation ever. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Guardian</i></a></p> <p><strong>No swimming: </strong>Speaking of vacation planning, before you head out to your favorite beach this summer, you may want to check out the annual <a href="" target="_blank">"Testing the Waters"</a> report, conducted by NRDC (which publishes <em>OnEarth</em>), to find out which shores have the cleanest waters to swim in. <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Weather Channel</a></em></p><p><b>More anchovies, please: </b>According to a new book called <i>The Perfect Protein</i>, we should be eating a lot more forage fish. These include sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and other species we tend to think of as, well, “inglorious” would be putting it politely. Yet these smaller species are less polluted by heavy metals, are full of Omega-3 fatty acids, and are far more sustainable to harvest than banner species like salmon and tuna. Mussels and clams are also undervalued on the dinner plate, because they can be sustainably farmed. These bivalves also make a living by purifying water, so they’re as much good to us on the way up as they are on the way down. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>OnEarth</i></a></p> <p><b>Battle for the Pacific:</b> Australia and Japan squared off yesterday in the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Australia filed the case, arguing Japan’s whaling "science" is nothing but a poorly disguised cover for commercial whaling. Japan claims it has a right to conduct whaling science to determine the impact the mammals have on its fishing industry. Both countries have agreed to be bound by the court’s ruling -- which means it’s on, like Donkey Kong. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Reuters</i></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Sticker shock:</b> BP has already paid more than $42 billion in fines, clean up costs, and other compensations for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, but now the company says it’s being taken advantage of. (Cue the world’s smallest violin.) To draw attention to what it considers to be highway robbery, the oil giant took out full-page ads yesterday in the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>, the <em>New York Times</em>, and the <em>Washington Post</em>. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>CNN</i></a></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><b>Honey, I shrunk the bison!:</b> After surveying body mass data for more than 250,000 bison across the United States, a Kansas State University study found that the herds in hot/dry regions weigh significantly less than those in cool/wet regions. The researchers believe <a href="" target="_blank">the shrinkage</a> has to do grass quality, which could mean a trend toward smaller bison in general as the climate warms. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>LiveScience </i></a></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTIONS</b></p> <p><b>Tonight there’s gonna be a jailbreak:</b> On the same day that escape artist <a href="" target="_blank">Rusty the red panda</a> returned to captivity in D.C., a black bear was caught trying to break <i>into</i> the Knoxville Zoo. The bear scaled a 10-foot, chain-link fence to get in before a ranger chased it out. We can only assume the bear was casing the joint. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Yahoo! News</i></a></p> <p><b>A girl and her blob:</b> A pink blob the size of a grown man was sighted off the coast of Cuba. Some brave soul photographed the gelatinous beast and sent the images to a friend, who sent them on to a friend, and someone sent it to a listserv, which eventually got a PhD student at Brown on the case. So, what was this clearly evil mass of mucous? Squid babies. A whole lot of squid babies. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Deep Sea News</i></a></p> <p><b>OTHER HEADLINES</b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Severe Storms Threaten 100 Million from Chicago to New York</a> <i></i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Heat Wave May Threaten World’s Hottest Temp. Record</a> <i>Climate Central</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Possible New Jersey Tsunami May Have Been Triggered by Derecho</a> <i>Huffington Post</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Solar Helps US Army Keep Snipers at Bay</a> <i>Earth Techling</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Infographic: an Astounding Map of Every River in America</a> <i>Wired</i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<br /> Image: </i><a href="" target="_blank">Escanez A, Riera R, Gonzalez A, Sierra A</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br><a href="">A Pigeon Makes a Comeback, a Chicken Needs a Home, Mushroom Houses Aren&#039;t Just for Smurfs</a><br> Andy Sharpless beaches bears bison BLOBS BP DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL FORAGE FISH Japanese Whaling NRDC Oceana pollution runoff SQUID SUSTAINABLE AQUACULTURE Testing the Waters The Perfect Protein zoos Thu, 27 Jun 2013 14:06:31 +0000 The Editors 36152 at The Flat Earth Society Responds, A Shaq-Size Wasp Nest, Climate Change Problems for the Rich and Famous <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="yellow jacket nest" width="500" height="281" /></p> <p><b>The time for debate is over: </b>President Obama revealed his second-term plan to address climate change yesterday. It centers upon a proposal to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants under the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act and aims to bolster the country against impacts we can’t soon change, such as rising sea levels, stronger storms, and longer droughts. Perhaps more than anything, the president urged Americans to accept “the overwhelming judgment of science” and start addressing these impacts, which we don't have the luxury to ignore. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>OnEarth</i></a>, <a href=";hp=&amp;adxnnl=1&amp;adxnnlx=1372256510-kVRrk8zr97OUNly0OIAa1w" target="_blank"><em>New York Times</em></a></p> <p><b>Zing heard round the world:</b> As the president implored Americans to accept the science established by millions of climate change measurements, he introduced some levity by quipping: “We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society” -- likening climate deniers to an organization that still believes the world is shaped more like a pancake than a basketball. But the president of the Flat Earth Society says that he actually <i>does</i> believe in anthropogenic climate change. What does it tell you when a guy who still thinks “<a href=";view=article&amp;id=48&amp;Itemid=65" target="_blank">the earth is a flat disk</a> centered at the North Pole and bounded along its southern edge by a wall of ice” gives more credence to modern science than some obstinate politicians? <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Business Insider</i></a></p> <p><b>The cheese stands alone: </b>During the president’s announcement, MSNBC covered the Supreme Court while CNN wavered between the Trayvon Martin trial and Paula Deen’s trivails. Fox News was at least talking climate, though the network’s coverage was confined to the opinions of a climate skeptic. That means the only national news outlet to air Obama’s entire climate speech, complete with pre-game coverage and post-speech analysis, was The Weather Channel. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Buzzfeed</i></a><i> </i></p> <p><b>Trouble beyond the wall:</b> When you think of cities facing flood risk, landlocked Calgary likely doesn’t top your list. But this city buried in the heart of Canada just got trounced with seven inches of rain over 60 hours. The torrential downpour has caused a leak of synthetic crude oil from a pipeline near the city, which is the tar-sands mining capital of Canada. This sort of precipitation is practically unheard of for the area. Although no one can say the flooding is a direct result of climate change, an Environment Canada scientist said: “That kind of rainy weather may become frequent in the years to come as the earth’s climate warms up.” Maybe it’s just us, but that’s starting to sound familiar. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Grist</i></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>No time like the present:</b> A political committee in Massachusetts isn’t waiting to see what will happen with the nation’s climate policies; it’s pushing for action now. The group wants to give voters in the 2014 elections a chance to vote on a carbon tax that would add several cents per gallon to the price of gasoline in order to generate as much as $2.5 billion in revenue a year. The plan would also impose new taxes on heating oil and other fossil fuels based on the amount of carbon emissions they produce. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Boston Globe</i></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>#FirstWorldClimateChangeProblems: </b>As the president said in his announcement, not everyone will feel the effects of climate change equally. But Joshua Keating has a tongue-in-cheek list of climate impacts guaranteed to strike fear into the heart of the upper class first-worlder. First up? Airplane turbulence. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Foreign Policy</i></a><i> </i></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTIONS</b></p> <p><b>Wasp metropolis discovered:</b> A Florida man recently discovered a yellow jacket wasp nest 6.5 feet tall and 8 feet wide on his property. Though the nest was far back in the woods, an insect control expert was for some reason called to destroy the city and its more than one million soldiers and several thousand queens. In other news, Stephen King is rumored to be working on a script entitled <i>My Girl 3: Vada’s Revenge</i>. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Yahoo! News</i></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Objects in rearview may appear closer:</b> Unless, that is, you’re on a safari and a giraffe is doing its best impression of the <a href="" target="_blank">T-Rex chase scene</a> from <i>Jurassic Park</i>. (Warning: This is the exact opposite of the <a href="" target="_blank">skunk video</a> from last week. Also, there might be a brief curse word in Afrikaans.) <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Huffington Post</i></a></p><p><b>OTHER HEADLINES</b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">On the Trail of the “Windsor Hum,” a Mysterious Noise That’s Making Canadian’s Crazy</a> <i>OnEarth </i></p> <p><a href=";ir=Green" target="_blank">Los Angeles Bans Free Plastic Bags in Grocery Stories</a> <i>Associated Press</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Small-Scale Grain Farms Are the Next Wave of the Locavore Mov’t. But Can They Actually Make a Profit?</a> <i>Slate </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Cardboard Bike’s Fundraiser Is Rolling</a> <i>NPR </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">What Do We Really Mean When We Say Light Is Pollution?</a> <i>iO9</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Not Local Food, and Not Afraid to Say It</a> <i>NPR </i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<br /> Image: </i><em><a href="" target="_blank">Matt Marshall</a></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br><a href="">Fracking on the Tracks, Smog-Eating Streets, D.C. Metro Foils the Phantom Planter!</a><br><a href="">EPA Fracks Away from the Fight, Yellow Sea Sees Green, Llamas are the New Black</a><br> CALGARY FLOODS climate change FIRST WORLD CLIMATE CHANGE PROBLEMS GIRAFFES MASSACHUSETTS CARBON TAX MEDIA COVERAGE President Obama YELLOW JACKET WASPS Wed, 26 Jun 2013 14:14:31 +0000 The Editors 36140 at Beer Bottles and Beetle Sex, a Supreme Ruling on Air Pollution, Red Panda on the Cute Loose! <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="red panda" width="500" height="354" /></p><p><b>Pollution orders in the court: </b>Just as President Obama announces his <a href="" target="_blank">second-term climate agenda</a>, the Supreme Court has agreed to review an Environmental Protection Agency rule regulating the levels of air pollution allowed to cross state borders. The rule would have affected 28 states had a federal appeals court not struck it down last year. (When that happened, coal companies rejoiced, calling the restrictions some of the most costly ever issued under the Clean Air Act.) The Obama Administration says were the rule to go into effect, it would prevent up to 34,000 premature deaths and bring in as much as $280 billion a year in economic benefits. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Bloomberg</i></a></p> <p><b>A floody forecast: </b>India's annual monsoons began <a href="" target="_blank">two weeks earlier than normal</a>, causing flash flooding and many landslides in the state of Uttarakhand. The number of reported deaths ranges wildly from a few hundred to 5,000, and as many as 19,000 people remain stranded in the water and muck. Is climate change to blame? “In this specific event, we simply don’t know,” <a href="" target="_blank">says Bill Hare</a> from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, “but what we do know with a high degree of confidence is that these kinds of events, as a general statement, will be occurring more often in the future and will be more damaging as the globe warms.” Not helping matters is <a href="" target="_blank">the problem of severe erosion and overdevelopment</a> in this area, which is overstressed by tourism and religious pilgrimages.<i> </i><a href="" target="_blank"><i>Financial Times</i></a>, <a href="" target="_blank"><i>BBC News</i></a></p><p><b>One dam down:</b> California began the state’s largest-ever dam removal on Friday. Because simply blowing the 106-foot-tall San Clemente Dam up would unleash 250,000 dump trucks worth of sediment (which would be bad for all kinds of environmental reasons), the state plans to re-route the Carmel River into a creek a half-mile away and leave the sediment where it sits. Though another dam still remains five miles upriver, the project should greatly benefit the watershed’s struggling steelhead trout and endangered California red-legged frogs. <a href=",0,4731164.story" target="_blank"><i>Los Angeles Times</i></a></p> <p><b>Like bubbles in your water?: </b>What if those bubbles were flammable? According to a study conducted by environmental scientists at Duke University, groundwater within one kilometer of fracking operations shows increased levels of methane, propane and ethane. For methane, levels were six times as high when tested within range of a fracked well, and ethane levels were 23 times higher. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>NBC News </i></a></p> <p><b>Beer goggles:</b> Male Australian jewel beetles have been known to hit the bottle pretty hard -- Literally, they cannot discern the difference between a certain brand of beer bottle and the females of their species. So they flock to discarded bottles and try to mate with them at all costs. One male was observed to hold his vigil, even with a swarm of ants eating through his aedeagus. (Think that’s bad, you don’t even know what an <a href="">aedeagus</a> is yet.) Thankfully, the beer's marketers changed the bottle to spare the beetles. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>NPR</i></a></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTION</b><strong>S </strong></p><p><b>Look what the humans dragged in: </b>After a string of attacks on neighborhood dogs and cats, two Indiana residents took to their roof to hunt down what they thought was a bobcat. Unfortunately for everything involved, what the vigilantes ended up shooting was a leopard. Though owning big cats is (somehow) legal in the state and there is a wildlife refuge nearby, authorities don’t yet know how a cat native to Africa and Asia came to prowl the streets of a Louisville suburb. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>WDRB</i></a></p> <p><b>On a happier note:</b> The lost red panda from the National Zoo has been found! The escapee, who goes by Rusty, was discovered missing Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. He was AWOL for just over seven hours before being spotted in the nearby D.C. neighborhood of Adams Morgan. It’s hard to believe there are more details to this story, but the press is all over this thing. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Washington Post</i></a></p> <p><b>OTHER HEADLINES</b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Obama Climate Plan May Ricochet on Climate Pick</a> <i>Politico</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">The Threatening March of Coffee Rust</a> <i>Burlington Free Press</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Solar Coming to 200 More Walgreens Roofs</a> <i>Earth Techling</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">8 Images to Understand the Drought in the Southwest</a> <i>Climate Central </i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<br /> Image: <a href="" target="_blank">Kevin Buhler</a><br /></i></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br><a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br> air pollution California clean air act climate change dams Environmental Protection Agency EVOLUTIONARY TRAP floods fracking India indiana LEOPARDS monsoon National Zoo Obama RED PANDAS San Clemente Dam STEELHEAD TROUT Supreme Court Uttarakhand Tue, 25 Jun 2013 14:01:06 +0000 The Editors 36117 at An Algae of Many Talents, an Obama Climate Speech with Many Hopes, Don't Go Biking on 'Shrooms? <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" width="500" height="333" /></p><p><a href=""><b> </b></a><b> </b></p> <p><b>Turning down the heat :</b> President Obama is scheduled tomorrow to announce his second-term climate change agenda -- including the first-ever restrictions on carbon pollution from existing power plants. To build anticipation, the White House released a video this weekend in which the president says he will use the speech to "lay out my vision for where I believe we need to go -- a national plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change, and lead global efforts to fight it." <a href="" target="_blank">Politico</a>, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Washington Post</em></a></p><p><i> </i></p> <p><b>Renew yourself!:</b> In the startup world, every business reaches a point called the Valley of Death. As the name suggests, this is where most startups fail to take their buzzy idea and leverage it into a mass-produced product, and the company shrivels up and dies. But to survive this dangerous development stage, Solazyme, an algal-biofuel-company-in-the-making, is learning to diversify by making beauty products along with its alternative energy. Solazyme's anit-aging skin creams are selling for $80 an ounce on QVC. If anything, it’s a lesson that success -- and renewable energy innovation -- doesn’t always come in a straight line. <a href=";ref=science" target="_blank"><i>New York Times</i></a></p><p><b>Stinky neighbors:</b> Illegally set forest fires in Indonesia are blanketing this corner of the world with a thick, hazardous haze that its neighboring countries are powerless to stop. Now, Malaysia is trying to get Indonesia, Thailand, and Brunei to the table so they can figure out how to clear the air between them. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Bloomberg</i></a></p> <p><b>Hey, we'll take it...:</b> The good news is Americans are more willing than ever to purchase an energy-efficient appliance or vehicle -- even if our “going green” may be nothing more than an attempt to save green (money, that is). <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Mother Jones</i></a></p> <p><b>Pregnant with thought:</b> Being pregnant is viewed as an invitation for everyone you know (and some people you don’t) to criticize the way you eat, sleep, and travel. It’s an epidemic of misinformation, and after experiencing it, science journalist Hillary Rosner has drawn some interesting parallels between being pregnant and the way many have come to feel about climate change. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Ensia</i></a></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTIONS</b></p> <p><b>Have a safe trip:</b> This Norwegian ad for bike safety starts by detailing the many hazards bicyclists face on the road. The way it ends, however… will make you think you inadvertently ate some mushrooms (the magic kind) for breakfast. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Grist</i></a></p> <p><b>OTHER HEADLINES</b></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Buzzkill: Huge Bee Die-off in Oregon Parking Lot Blamed on Insecticide Spraying</a> <i>Grist</i></p> <p><a href=",0,5331008.story" target="_blank">Does Your Lettuce Have ‘JetLag’?</a> <i>Los Angeles Times</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">The LED Bulb Advantage: Flipping the Switch on LED Bulbs</a> <i>Men’s Journal </i></p> <p><a href=";_r=0" target="_blank">Marijuana Crops in California Threaten Forests and Wildlife</a> <i>New York Times</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Step Inside the World’s Largest Solar Boat</a> <i>Climate Desk</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">4 Ways the Government Subsidizes Risky Coastal Rebuilding</a> <i>Mother Jones</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href=";utm_medium=social-post&amp;utm_source=twitter" target="_blank">Why Tesla Thinks It Can Make Battery Swapping Work</a> <i>MIT Technology Review</i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<br /> Image: <a href="" target="_blank">st4nd3l</a></i></p><h1 id="yui_3_7_3_4_1372084106412_856"><span class="character-name-holder" id="yui_3_7_3_4_1372084106412_855"> </span></h1> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br><a href="">Fracking on the Tracks, Smog-Eating Streets, D.C. Metro Foils the Phantom Planter!</a><br><a href="">EPA Fracks Away from the Fight, Yellow Sea Sees Green, Llamas are the New Black</a><br> algae BICYCLE SAFETY biofuel climate change ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES Hillary Rosner Norway President Obama QVC Solazyme Mon, 24 Jun 2013 14:01:39 +0000 The Editors 36098 at A Plant That Thirsts for Blood, CSI: Everglades, Bison: on the Roam Again <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="bison" width="500" height="326" /></p> <p><b>Don't mess with China:</b> A new law in China bans “foreign rubbish” from entering the country -- which could have wide-reaching effects for the American recycling industry. We send 75 percent of our aluminum scrap, 60 percent of our paper, and 50 percent of our plastic across the Pacific for recycling. But much of this bundled scrap is far from pure, meaning the Chinese are accustomed to burying or burning around 20 percent of the shipments, further contributing to the country’s environmental woes. Though some are skeptical that the Chinese government will be capable of maintaining its new standards, effects from the move (like more household plastics winding up in U.S. landfills) are already rippling throughout the global garbage industry. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Christian Science Monitor</i></a></p> <p><b>Bye-bye, birdie: </b>According to a new report by Birdlife International, one in eight bird species worldwide now faces the very real threat of extinction thanks to unsustainable agriculture practices and climate change. Migratory birds are among the hardest hit. Birds are often indicators of how other types of species are faring. Unfortunately, as the crow dies, so to speak, so too might many other animals. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>CBC News</i></a></p> <p><b>Avian forensics:</b> Of course, climate and habitat aren’t the only threats to our feathered friends. For Florida fowl, there’s also the ever-present danger of pythons -- invasive species ditched in the Everglades by irresponsible pet owners. To determine which species are ending up in the snakes’ bellies, park officials have begun to ship plastic baggies full of the contents of snake stomachs to Carla Dove (now there's an <a href="" target="_blank">aptronym</a>), an ornithologist and bird forensics specialist at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. So far, Dove has identified 30 avian species affected by the python scourge. And counting. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>NPR</i></a><i> </i></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>A people and their park:</b> In Turkey, weeks of protests against the government are being attributed to issues like politics, religion, and <a href="" target="_blank">maybe soccer</a>. But it’s worth pointing out that the watershed moment for the revolt came when the Turkish government insisted on replacing a green place with a gray one -- and the people of Istanbul said emphatically, “No.” <a href="" target="_blank"><i>OnEarth</i></a></p> <p><b>Home, home on the range:</b> Thanks to a court decision this week, several dozen Yellowstone bison will be allowed to cross state borders and once again roam the plains of Montana. The relocation was initially blocked by farmers and ranchers who argued that the animals would damage their fences, eat their hay, potentially spread disease to their livestock, and lure <a href="" target="_blank">Kevin Costner</a> to their fine state. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Associated Press</i></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTIONS</b></p> <p><b>Feed me, Seymour: </b>The United Kingdom’s Royal Horticultural Society was rewarded this week when the <i>Puya chilensis</i> it has grown dutifully for 15 years just up and bloomed -- for the first freaking time. But the bigger story, in our opinion, is the way this plant species feeds itself. The terrestrial bromeliad uses sharp, hook-shaped spines to ensnare animals, like birds and sheep(!). The prey eventually starve to death, decay, and rain down nutrients on the plant’s roots. They call it the sheep-eating plant. (<a href="" target="_blank">Wonder what its singing voice is like</a>…) <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Huffington Post</i></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>So stinking cute: </b>Generally speaking, you should try to stay out of the lives of wildlife. However, when approached by a baby skunk intent on becoming <a href="" target="_blank">BFFs</a> with you, we think it’s probably OK to get out the camera -- so long as you resist the urge to put said skunk in your pocket and never let it out. (You must resist!) <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Daily Picks and Flicks</i></a></p> <p><b>OTHER HEADLINES</b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">New Pollution High as Haze Chokes Singapore</a> <i>BBC News</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">In New Study, NRDC Examines the High Cost of Home Connectivity</a><i> Mother Nature Network</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">And the Winner of the World Food Prize Is … the Man from Monsanto</a><i> NPR</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Climate Change Measuring Instruments Are on Life Support</a> <i>Guardian </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">New Indictments for Ex-BP Executive, Engineer over Gulf Spill</a> <i>Planet Ark</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<br /> Image: </i><a href="" target="_blank">Kabsik Park</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br><a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br> baby skunk birds buffalo Carla Dove China climate change ecycling environmentalism Florida Great Plains Gulf spill invasive species Istanbul monsanto Montana plastic Puya chilensis pythons RELOCATION Royal Horticultural Society turkey Yellowstone Fri, 21 Jun 2013 12:59:05 +0000 The Editors 36041 at Weekend Reads: The Obesity Mystery, Big Ag's War on Words, Fires in a Freezing Sky <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="helicopter dropping water on a wildfire" width="500" height="301" /></p><p>Five #greenreads to ponder between tearful Sopranos episodes.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Ted Genoways in <i>Mother Jones</i> on the Big Ag gag:</a> Using “threats” from environmental and animal activist groups as a pretense, the multinational corporations that now dominate American agriculture have passed legislation, bullied journalists, and worked to remove transparency from every corner of their industry. The result is illustrated best by the first person charged under Utah’s ag gag law. From a public road, a woman witnessed a slaughterhouse trying to move a sick cow with a tractor. She started to videotape, and the cops showed up in minutes. (It’s probably no coincidence that the co-owner of the farm is the town’s mayor.) In other words, the agriculture industry has cleverly made it illegal to catch them doing something illegal.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Michael Kodas at <i>OnEarth</i> on letting it burn:</a> Smokey Bear taught us that forest fires should be prevented. In step with that line of thinking, for much of the 20<sup>th</sup> century, federal wilderness managers sought to extinguish every flame they could -- as though it was somehow our job to protect the forests from a chemical reaction as old as, well … chemicals and reactions. Then ecologists realized those aggressive firefighting policies were messing up our woodlands, producing overwhelming scientific evidence that fire is a natural and necessary part of the forest’s life cycle. (Fires started by little boys with matches are not, of course. Smokey had that one right.) Unfortunately, firefighting has become big business, and the industries that most benefit from suppressing fire don’t want to hear about pesky ecology when there’s money to be made.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">David Berreby at <i>Aeon</i> on a fat, juicy mystery:</a> America may be jowl-deep in an obesity epidemic, but the cause of our weight gain is less obvious that you might think. For decades we’ve villainized fats, then sugar, then all carbs, and just about every building block of food in between. In the meantime, our pets have gotten fatter, as have the rats in our alleys. Lab animals have ballooned in size -- despite more carefully regulated diets than any animals in the natural world. So what’s going on here? Some studies have linked obesity to pollution. Others target levels of BPA and other chemicals in our everyday products (see “<a href="" target="_blank">Is Your Shampoo Making You Fat?</a>”), and still others argue obesity’s roots are genetic. The fact is, we don't know yet. And if we’re going to pass laws designed to help people trim down, we must embrace what British politician Wayland Young called “the art of taking good decisions on insufficient evidence.” (Of course, that means accepting that in 10 to 20 years, the science might be completely different.)</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Nate Cohn at the <i>New Republic</i> on the climate plateau:</a> New data show that the rate at which the earth’s climate is warming has slowed even as global warming pollution has increased. Nobody’s saying that climate change is fixed or disproven -- nobody respectable, anyway -- but scientists are struggling to explain just where the heat has gone. One answer might be 2,300 feet below the surface of the ocean. Another is that the heat never entered the climate system at all. Like it or not, science is an uncertain pursuit and we’re still very much in the learning phase when it comes to climate models. Unfortunately, words like “uncertainty” don’t go over well on Capitol Hill.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Christopher Merrill in <i>Orion </i>on the climate weapon:</a> Washington may still have its climate skeptics, but the Pentagon doesn’t have that luxury. The U.S. military is preparing for the effects of climate change in a plethora of ways, from constructing solar panels to designing fighter jets that can run on a mixture of jet fuel, cooking grease, and algae (see "<a href="" target="_blank">Into the Wild Green Yonder</a>"). And, of course, the Defense Department is also busy trying to imagine the ways our enemies might use the effects of climate change against us.</p> <p><b>Tired of reading yet? Watch this.</b></p> <p><a href=";utm_medium=Social&amp;utm_content=link_tw20130620ngnw-auror&amp;utm_campaign=Content" target="_blank">Anna Possberg for <em>National Geographic</em> on a mid-winter's night dream:</a> Time-lapse photography? Check. Stunning Arctic landscapes? Check. Ethereal score? Check. Fire in the sky caused by charged particles ejected from the sun’s surface during solar storms? Check, check, check.</p><p><iframe src="" width="526" height="296"></iframe></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<br /> Image: <a href="" target="_blank">U.S. Airforce</a><br /></i></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br><a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br><a href="">A Pigeon Makes a Comeback, a Chicken Needs a Home, Mushroom Houses Aren&#039;t Just for Smurfs</a><br> animal welfare Arctic Big Ag biofuels BPA climate change factory farms forest fires Forest Service meat industry military obesity obesity epidemic Pentagon pollution Solar Energy The West Utah war wilderness areas wildfires Fri, 21 Jun 2013 14:41:47 +0000 The Editors 36043 at Bye-Bye American Car Culture?, Cute Rodent Takes a Swim, Nope -- Climate Change Isn't Fair <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" width="500" height="333" /></p><p><b>Hope on the horizon: </b>A senior official has said that President Obama will soon reveal new regulations for power plants, which are the number one source of global warming pollution in America. While strict greenhouse gas regulations proposed by the E.P.A. last year would all but ban the construction of new coal-fired plants, the president’s new regulations would take existing plants to task. Obama's announcement should also include renewable power and energy efficiency initiatives. Look for the regulations as early as next week. <a href=";_r=0" target="_blank"><i>New York Times</i></a><i> </i></p> <p><b>Are we over the whole car thing?:</b> A new report out of the University of Michigan shows that the number of cars per household began to decline before the recession, as did the number of cars per licensed driver and cars per person. All of this leads the paper’s author to wonder: <a href="" target="_blank">Has motorization in the U.S. peaked?</a> Not everyone is so sure. (And remember, Clint Eastwood and Chrysler said it was only <a href="" target="_blank">halftime in America</a>.) <a href="" target="_blank"><i>The Atlantic</i></a></p> <p><b>Wheels on the wane:</b> Regardless of what's happening with American car culture, in one of China’s most polluted cities, a trend toward fewer cars has become a government mandate. Shijiazhuang will first restrict the number of new vehicles to just 100,000 this year and limit households to just two cars. In 2015, that number will drop to 90,000 and a lottery will be instituted to determine who will be allowed to purchase new vehicles. The goal is for such regulation to cut levels of harmful air particulates by 15 percent through the end of 2015. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Bloomberg</i></a></p> <p><b>The meek shall inherit the climate change:</b> The World Bank is doubling its funds for struggling nations that will soon bear the brunt of climate change and asking that more affluent countries get serious about cutting greenhouse gas emissions. If the world’s climate is allowed to rise, many of the world’s poorest people will be beset by droughts, floods, heatwaves, sea-level rises, and storms of increased intensity, for which they are woefully unprepared. It’s predicted that sub-Saharan Africa will lose about 40 percent of the farmland capable of sustaining maize. In south Asia, Pakistan’s 2010 floods, which affected about 20 million people could become the norm. "In the near-term, climate change -- which is already unfolding -- could batter the slums even more and greatly harm the lives and hopes of individuals and families who have had little hand in raising the Earth's temperature," says World Bank president Jim Yong Kim. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Guardian</i></a><i> </i></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTIONS</b></p><p><b>The cuddly capybara</b><b>: </b>We’re not sure if it’s the association with the bubonic plague or <a href="" target="_blank">that incident with Westley in the Fireswamp</a>, but most people seem to abhor rodents. Then again, most people have never seen a capybara in a swimming pool. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Catster</i> </a></p> <p><b>Unnatural cuteness: </b>A zoo in Russia just released photos of three newborn liliger cubs. (In case you aren’t keeping track, a liliger is the offspring of a lion and a lion-tiger hybrid, or liger.) Beyond human curiosity, there’s no real reason for these cross-species cats to exist, but dang they’re cute. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Huffington Post</i></a></p> <p><b>OTHER HEADLINES</b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Sea-Level Rise in Texas: Science &amp; Self-Censorship in an Age of Urgency</a> <i>Harman on Earth</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Religions Seen Slow to Go Green; Pope Has Chance to Inspire</a> <i>Reuters</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">The Koch Brothers Take on Enviro Groups Over Mine</a> <i>Washington Post</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Courteous Citi Bike Riders Are Alerting Others to Broken Rides</a> <i>Wired</i></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">To Rebuild NYC’s Beaches, a Native Plant Savings and Loan</a> <i>NPR </i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<br /> Image: <a href="" target="_blank">Chris Richards</a> </i></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br><a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br> air pollution CAPYBARAS CAR CULTURE carbon emissions China citibike climate change Clint Eastwood ENERGY REGULATIONS EPA HYBRID SPECIES Jim Yong Kim Koch brothers LIGERS New York City particulate matter President Obama Russia Shijiazhuang University of Michigan World Bank Thu, 20 Jun 2013 14:13:17 +0000 The Editors 36012 at Chipotle's GMO Menu, Did You Say Fracking Is Your Major?, an Idiot and a River of Lava Meet <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="lava" width="500" height="375" /></p> <p><b>Baby's first breath:</b> An alarming new study out of Harvard University is the first to link the likelihood of developing autism with air pollution. The researchers looked at levels of airborne mercury, diesel exhaust, lead, manganese, nickel, and methylene chloride and found that children born where such toxins are common were more likely to have autism than those from areas with lower levels of pollution. According to the research, pregnant women living in the most polluted areas were up to twice as likely to have a child who develops autism. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Environmental Health News</i></a></p><p><b>Escape from New York:</b> After six months of consulting with the National Weather Service and the Army Corps of Engineers, New York City released an updated hurricane evacuation map that adds half a million residents to the evacuation zones. According to an official, “The new zones incorporate the best-available data and will help the city to more effectively communicate to those most at risk, depending on the characteristics of a particular storm.” <a href="" target="_blank"><i>DNAinfo New York</i></a></p> <p><b>Puddle jumpers:</b> When flying into New York's La Guardia Airport, passengers looking out the window might think the captain is opting for a water landing, such is the scant distance between the landing strip and the East River. When Hurricane Sandy hit, surge waters closed that gap easily, throwing off tens of thousands of flight schedules worldwide. Bad news for future itineraries everywhere: A new report reveals that twelve of the nation’s largest airports have at least one runway sitting within a dozen feet of current water levels. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Climate Central </i></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Frack U: </b>Two colleges in Illinois announced yesterday that they will soon provide classes in high-volume oil and gas drilling. The news comes just days after the state signed a new law to regulate the burgeoning fracking industry. We wonder what Illinois parents would prefer: that their kids study fracking, or become philosophy/art history double majors. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Associated Press</i></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Add the guac, hold the GMO:</b> Chipotle Mexican Grill has become the first and only major food supplier in the United States to willingly label GMO ingredients on its website (see "<a href="" target="_blank">The New Pork Gospel</a>"). The "fast casual" burrito mecca also lists hydrogenated oils and preservatives under a cheeky subhead admitting that there’s "<a href="" target="_blank">always room for improvement</a>." Eventually, the chain hopes to remove genetically modified ingredients from their menu altogether. <a href="" target="_blank">The Verge</a></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTIONS</b></p><p><b>Sneaky snake: </b>We’ve been told all those pythons wreaking ecological havoc in the Everglades were released by irresponsible pet-owners. But what if the serpents learned how to get out on their own? (If you already have an unhealthy fear of snakes, this video is <i>not</i> for you.) <a href="" target="_blank"><i>The Daily Edge</i></a></p> <p><b>Volca-no you didn’t!: </b>Years ago, <a href="" target="_blank">Jack Handey warned us</a> about what happens when you drop your keys in lava, but it seems someone didn’t get the message. Watch this guy run up a river of molten rock like it ain’t no thing -- even when his shoe briefly bursts into flame. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Wired</i></a></p><p><b>OTHER HEADLINES</b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Keystone XL Pipe Shuns Infrared Sensors to Detect Leaks</a> <i>Bloomberg</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Pesticides Spark Broad Biodiversity Loss</a> <i>Nature</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href=";_r=1&amp;" target="_blank">Where Corn Is King, a New Regard for Grass-Fed Beef</a> <i>New York Times</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Is This Conservative Think Tank Astroturfing the EPA to Approve Pebble Mine?</a> <i>Mother Jones</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">No, You Can’t Outrun a Tsunami</a> <i>LiveScience</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">16-year-old Turns Algae into Biofuel, Makes Rest of Us Feel Unaccomplished</a> <i>Grist</i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<br /> Image: </i><em><a href="" target="_blank">Paul Bica</a></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br><a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br> air pollution autism Chipotle East River EVACUATION ZONES Everglades flooding food industry fracking gmo hurricane sandy Illinois Jack Handey lava New York City snakes volcanoes Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:52:55 +0000 The Editors 35969 at NY Alligators (for Reals!), An Adorable Owl (for Squeals!), First Rule of Big Ag Is You Don't Talk About Big Ag <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="pigs at a factory farm" width="500" height="325" /></p> <p><b>The tortured cow is out of the barn:</b> If you haven’t seen any of the myriad videos depicting the appalling conditions and treatment of animals in America’s meat industry, then it’s because you’ve made a decision not to watch. (<a href=";v=OoMjA47HI-0" target="_blank">Admittedly, such things cannot be un-seen.</a>) But even if most people prefer not to know how sausage is made, there’s clearly something nefarious about the way large agriculture corporations have been systematically targeting the First Amendment rights of whistleblowers, journalists, and advocacy groups like PETA. (So clear, in fact, <a href="" target="_blank">"The Daily Show" just covered it</a>.) For a detailed look at what it means to be “Gagged by Big Ag,” we turn to <em>OnEarth</em> editor-at-large Ted Genoways. It’s ok if you don’t want to watch the videos, but somebody needs to watch Big Ag. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Mother Jones</i></a></p> <p><b>Spies and sprays:</b> In related news, a new report shows that the company that manufactures the controversial herbicide atrazine is pulling out all the stops to discredit its detractors. Some of Syngenta Crop Protection’s tactics include hiring a detective agency to dig up dirt on federal advisory panel scientists, paying “third-party allies” to masquerade as independent supporters, and snooping around the personal life of a judge on the case. It even commissioned a psychological profile of a UC-Berkeley scientist whose research draws the conclusion that atrazine feminizes male frogs. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Environmental Health News</i></a></p> <p><b>Permeable pipelines:</b> The province of Alberta, Canada, has averaged two crude oil spills per day -- for the last 37 years. This is apparently not even counting 31,453 “<a href="" target="_blank">spills of other pipeline substances</a>.” After that little reality bomb, it should come as no surprise that two weeks ago the province experienced one of the largest waste water spills in North American history, the effects of which will likely render the area a dead zone to forest life for over a year. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Motherboard</i></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>"The hills <em>were</em> alive...":</b> We learned recently that some fish species, like super-dad sticklebacks, are adapting better than others to the pressures of climate change (see “<a href="" target="_blank">Our Nominee for Father of the Year: the Stickleback</a>”). Still more research out of Europe shows that the surface temperatures of lakes in Austria are rising faster than global averages. And while warmer temperatures might have meant a more pleasant journey for <a href="" target="_blank">the von Trapps</a>, they could enhance nutrient loads, stimulate algal blooms, and disrupt of indigenous aquatic organisms in high alpine lakes across Europe. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Daily Climate</i></a></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTION</b></p> <p><b>What a hoot: </b>A man politely coaxes an owl back to consciousness after it flies into a plate glass window -- much to both of their surprises. (Swoon.) Here's hoping the little guy is OK. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Huffington Post</i></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Gator go home:</b> To the people who keep buying alligators as pets and then releasing them in habitats where gators do not belong -- like <a href="" target="_blank">Phoenix</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Long Island</a> -- please stop. In other news, there are alligators loose in Phoenix and Long Island. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>USA Today</i></a><i>, </i><a href="" target="_blank"><i>My Fox NY</i></a></p> <p><b>We hope those squirrels speak French:</b> In a similar story, Ottawaians are trapping live squirrels, driving them across a bridge, and dumping them in Quebec. The theory is the troublesome squirrels won't be able to find their way home again. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Ottawa Citizen</i></a></p> <p><b>OTHER HEADLINES</b></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Do We Have to Choose Between Guns and Climate?</a> <i>New Republic</i></p> <p><a href="">Toxic Driveways? Cities Ban Coal Tar Sealants</a> <i>USA Today</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Why Bottled Water Is Insane</a> <i>Motherboard</i></p> <p><a href=";_r=0" target="_blank">An Arid Arizona City Manages Its Thirst</a> <i>New York Times</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">As Obama Moves Forward on Climate, He Faces a Tough Political Task</a> <i>Washington Post</i></p> <p><a href=",0,825696.story" target="_blank">Carnival Threatens to Pull Ship from Baltimore Over Air-Quality Mandate</a> <i>Baltimore Sun</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<br /> Image: <a href="" target="_blank">Lou Gold</a></i></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br><a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br> agriculture Alberta alligators Canada Carnival Cruises climate change Coal Tar first amendment fisheries herbicide meat industry Obama oil spill Ottawa owls PETA pipeline spills squirrels Syngenta TAGS: BIG AG Ted Genoways The Daily Show whistleblowers Tue, 18 Jun 2013 14:06:31 +0000 The Editors 35951 at NSA Peeps on Eco-Activists, Enjoy the Firefly Light Show, and Hey, Your iPhone Is Cat-Calling that Bird! <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" width="500" height="333" /></p><p><b>NSA scandal goes environ<i>mental</i>: </b>Details are still emerging about the extent to which the National Security Agency has been spying on everyone for the last half dozen years, but government documents show that at least some of the justification for snooping has been to prepare for security threats in the wake of environmental disasters like tsunamis, hurricanes, and earthquakes. These documents state that “climate change, energy security, and economic stability are inextricably linked,” and the U.S. government is worried that as climate change makes natural disasters worse, political unrest will follow, at home and around the globe. Which has made environmental activists, including fracking opponents, possible targets for electronic snooping. <i><a href="" target="_blank">Guardian</a></i></p> <p><b>What’s beating the heat?:</b> Even as global warming pollution continues to spew into the atmosphere at alarming rates, the rate of temperature rise appears to have hit a bit of a plateau. One theory is that El Nino and La Nina cycles might be trapping heat in the ocean’s deepest layers, which sounds nice -- maybe it won’t bother us down there! But even if that’s true, the heat won’t stay in the abyss forever. And at the rate we’re going, humankind will double pre-industrial carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere by the end of the century. Or, as the author of a recent climate paper put it: “There’s no reason for complacency here.” <i><a href="" target="_blank">Washington Post</a></i></p> <p><b>Antarctic bathwater: </b>If the missing heat from climate change is lurking in the ocean, it’ll be bad news for the planet’s poles. A new study suggests that warm ocean currents might be melting ice sheets from below. <i><a href="" target="_blank">Scientific American</a></i></p> <p><b>There’s a scrap for that: </b>New York City officials are preparing to roll out a food composting program in all five boroughs this fall, after pilot programs in select parts of the city have proven effective. The Bloomberg administration says that in the future, composting could become mandatory. <i>OnEarth</i> columnist Elizabeth Royte recently <a href="mailto:">praised the city’s composting efforts</a>, which stand to save the city about $100 million a year by diverting uneaten food waste away from landfills. <i><a href=";amp;_r=0&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">New York Times</a></i></p> <p><b>A mighty wind: </b>Six Sioux tribes have announced plans to build a South Dakota wind power project with the help of former President Bill Clinton. At between 1-2 gigawatts of generating capacity, the project would be one of the largest in the world. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Earth Techling </i></a></p> <p><b>Party fowl:</b> Birding apps are a great way to get people interested in the great outdoors, but they might be inadvertently blocking the birds from doing their birds-and-the-bees thing. <i><a href="" target="_blank">Slate</a></i></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTION:</b></p> <p><b>Glow little glowworm: </b>Regardless of whether you choose to say <a href="" target="_blank">“firefly” or “lightning bug,”</a> the little neon insects are summer incarnate. And these long exposure photographs mapping their flight paths are buku beautiful. <i><a href="" target="_blank">Colossal</a></i></p> <p><b>Mad hatterpillar:</b> You probably think you know your caterpillars. (We did.) But this larvae of the Gum Leaf Skeletoniser moth wears its old heads as a creepy sort of hat. And we have no idea why. <i><a href="" target="_blank">Bug Girl’s Blog</a></i></p> <p><b>OTHER HEADLINES:</b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup Ends As BP Pulls Out, Leaves Unanswered Questions</a> <i>Associated Press</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Catastrophic Oil Spill Threat to Canadian River Basin</a> <i>Climate Central</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Look Who’s Squealing Now: GMO Lovers Freak Over New Study of Sick Pigs</a> <i>Grist</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Tar Sands Supporters Suffer Setback as British Columbia Rejects Pipeline</a> <i>Guardian</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Water Wars: Who Controls the Flow?</a> <i>NPR</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Fracking Fuels Water Battles</a> <i>Politico</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Climate-Proofing Cities is a Hot Topic at Bonn Conference</a> <i>Associated Press</i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<br /> </i><em>Image: <a href="" target="_blank">nolifebeforecoffee</a> via <a href="">Compfight</a> <a href="">cc</a></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Imperial Dreams</a><br><a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br> apps bees birding caterpillars China climate change El Nino environmental activism FIREFLIES La Nina LIGHTNING BUGS melting ice NSA wind power Mon, 17 Jun 2013 14:27:52 +0000 The Editors 35926 at Weekend Reads: Bird Lovers vs. Cat Fanciers, Only the Best for Baby, Let Them Eat Lobster! <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/kristen-french">Kristen French</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="cat in a birdhouse" width="500" height="333" /></p><p>Four #greenreads to enjoy over beers with dear ol' dad.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Jessica Pressler in <i>New York</i> magazine on what the cat dragged in</b>:</a> Humans have coveted cats since the dawn of civilization, but we haven't always taken responsible care of our beloved pets. Feral and unfixed cats breed like rabbits and kill like ... well, like cats. A recent study quantifies the feline bird slaughter in the billions nationwide. “The bird community’s position is, we need to get rid of the feral cats, and that means cats must die,” says one avian advocate. Cat fanciers (obviously) prefer a different sort of population control, one that involves catching, neutering, and releasing the felines back to their homes in the alleyways. The debate has the fur and feathers flying among animal lovers in online comment sections. And on the streets, the matter gets even hairier, with death threats for humans, kidnappings for cats, and videotapes of midnight poisonings.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>George Black in <i>OnEarth </i>on death and destruction:</b></a> In India the centuries-old Hindu practice of cremating the dead has become a giant environmental hazard. Every year, Varanasi’s fires consume about 750 square miles of forest and belch carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The custom also calls for dumping the ashes of the deceased into the already polluted Ganges and other sacred rivers. A few Hindu innovators have proposed alternatives, but the practice is deeply embedded in cultural tradition as well as in a corrupt underworld of death-related commerce. "The moment they see a body coming," writes Black, "they look for ways to make money." Hordes of woodcutters illegally chop down trees and sell the wood to a long chain of middlemen: brokers, truckers, porters, boatmen. And at every step of the way, government officials collect bribes. "In Banarsi culture," says one guide, "you pay a commission when you’re born, you pay a commission when you go to the temple, and you pay a commission when you die."</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><b>Daniel Luzer in <i>Pacific Standard</i> on a delicacy’s trashy past</b>:</a> Lobster is considered fancy fare, but it wasn’t always this way. “If today’s lobster wears a top hat and an opera cape, 80 years ago he was wearing overalls and picking up your garbage,” writes Luzer. The crustacean was once so plentiful that it would wash up on New England beaches in piles. This abundance -- and the lobster's insect-like appearance -- caused people to think of it as trash food, something for servants and poor people to eat. But once railway chefs began secretly serving lobster to inland passengers as a rare, exotic seafood, demand for it took off. Americans loved it. Fishermen overfished it, and lobster prices went up. And up. “Just imagine what could have happened," writes Luzer, "if the dining cars had just decided to serve liver or processed ham.” For starters, we'd probably have more lobsters and fewer plastic bibs around.</p><p><a href=";_r=0" target="_blank"><b>Adam Davidson in the<i><em> </em>New York Times Magazine</i> on security blankets</b>: </a>The next time you see a parent buying a ridiculously expensive baby product (like a $250 organic carseat cover), instead of -- or perhaps, in addition to -- rolling your eyes, thank them. Davidson argues that parents who are willing to pay a premium for "natural" products do all children a favor because without them, companies wouldn’t compete as hard in the name of safety. "Occasionally companies seeking differentiation come up with safety features that are eventually adopted by government regulation and mandated for all competitors," he writes. And when that happens, the good life comes cheap for all babies. An organic carseat cover in every garage!</p> <p><strong>Tired of Reading Yet? Watch This.</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Quang-Tuan Luong</a><a href="" target="_blank"> at io9 on lava porn:</a> </strong>Turn up the volume. This volcano video's dramatic score (chanting! drums! cymbals!) will have you doing a little chair dance in tribute to the fire gods.</p><p><iframe src="" width="500" height="330"></iframe></p><p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)</i><em><br />Image: <a href="" target="_blank">David Leather</a><br /></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Animal Wise</a><br><a href="">Photo Gallery: India&#039;s Sacred Fires </a><br><a href="">India&#039;s Forests, Fires, and Funerals</a><br> biodynamics cats cremation dogs Ganges hindu Jonathan Franzen lobster organics varanasi wildlife Fri, 14 Jun 2013 18:14:38 +0000 Kristen French 35917 at Our Very Flood-y Future, Facebook’s Arctic Hideout, One Polished and Pampered Hippo <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="flooded street" width="500" height="333" /></p><p><b>When the levee breaks: </b>According to a report released this week by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the floods are a-comin’. The study -- 257 pages long and five years in the making -- estimates a 45 percent increase in the areas at risk of flooding by 2100, thanks to rising seas and increasingly newsworthy weather. Beyond the general awfulness of FEMA's forecast, flooding of this sort will likely “hammer” the National Flood Insurance Program. To compensate for the projected losses, the average price of polices would have to rise by as much as 70 percent. Translation: The price for individual policyholders will just about double. Judging by <a href="" target="_blank">FEMA’s map</a>, now might be a good time to move to Montana. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Climate Desk</i></a></p><p><b>China makes good:</b> Just days after an historic agreement with President Obama, China has unveiled a cap-and-trade pilot program designed to reduce its carbon footprint. More than 630 industrial and construction companies will now have to stay under quotas limiting how much carbon dioxide they can emit. If they blow it, they’ll be allowed to purchase credits from other companies with room under their quota. <a href="" target="_blank">Let the great experiment begin!</a> <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Nature</i></a></p><p><b>India's sacred fires:</b> According to ritual, Hindus cremate their dead and dump the ashes into a sacred river (the Ganges). But with a population of 1.25 billion people, that means upwards of eight million blazes each year -- each consuming between 400 and 1,000 pounds of wood. <em>OnEarth</em> Executive Editor George Black reports on the considerable toll this practice exacts on the environment and the deeply ingrained customs that keep the fires burning. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>OnEarth</i></a></p><p><b>Zuckerberg’s new lair: </b>This may sound like something out of the playbook of a supervillain, but Facebook is launching a new data center in the Arctic Circle. It’s come for the -41 degree temperatures. The goal is to harness the climate of Luleå, Sweden, to naturally cool the social media giant’s servers (see “<a href="" target="_blank">How Cool Is That?</a>”). Hydro-electricity will power the facility, and any extra heat generated by the servers will keep the workers toasty. (At night, some say Mark Zuckerberg dons a cryogenic suit and walks the huge rows of data storage <a href="" target="_blank">reciting bad puns</a>.) <a href="" target="_blank"><i>The Independent</i></a></p><p><b>Eat your heart out: </b>Plants genetically engineered to contain a pesticide (Bt) were meant to be resistant to certain pests. But now it seems the insects are already evolving resistances to the GMO crops (see “<a href="" target="_blank">Super Weeds and Wonder Worms: GMO Corn’s Legion of Doom</a>”) and munching away like there’s no tomorrow. (Which is sort of true, since most bugs have tragically short lifespans. Poor bugs.) <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Grist</i></a></p><p><strong>DAILY DISTRACTIONS</strong></p><p><b>Living large: </b>Hippos have what you might call unique grooming habits. They submerge themselves in water and let various fish species nibble off the dirt, dead skin, and parasites from their skin, mouths, and hind quarters. If the “Hippo Spa” were a human establishment, some of the “methods” might have the proprietors under investigation, but you won't hear any complaints from this big bathing beauty. <a href=";v=mTHtn6-Makg" target="_blank"><i>National Geographic</i></a></p><p><b>Talk about alternative transportation:</b> Colin Furze, British inventor and all around madman, just strapped a pulse jet to an old woman’s bike. He calls the death trap, er ... contraption “Norah.” Yes, it works (and no, he doesn’t wear a helmet.) But judging by the flames coming out of Norah's back end, the greener thing to do is just pedal the old fashioned way. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Laughing Squid</i></a></p> <p><strong>OTHER HEADLINES</strong></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">How Climate Change Makes Wild Fires Worse</a> <i>Climate Desk</i></p><p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Court Ruling Called a Game Changer for Renewable Power</a> <i>E&amp;E Publishing </i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">What is a Derecho, Anyway?</a> <i>Mother Jones</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Nicaragua Canal: Will China Build Rival to Panama Canal?</a> <i>Christian Science Monitor</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Regulatory Nominee Vows to Speed Up Energy Reviews</a> <i>New York Times</i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<br /> Image: </i><a href="" target="_blank">U.S. Geological Survey</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br><a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br> CAP-AND-TRADE China climate change Colin Furze Facebook FEMA FLOOD INSURANCE flooding GMO CROPS green energy hippos India jet bikes Nicaragua Canal Panama Canal pesticides ROCKET BIKE Zuckerberg Fri, 14 Jun 2013 13:08:55 +0000 The Editors 35915 at Holy Fluffy Cow!, Communism vs. Climate Change, the Blue Lagoon That Will Melt Your Face Off <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" width="500" height="400" /></p><p><b>MVPs:</b> <a href="" target="_blank">Robert Redford urged President Obama</a> earlier this week to get serious about coal-fired power plants. Now Al Gore is making a plea on Google+ for the president to build a better climate team. “He does not yet have a team in the White House to help him implement solutions to the climate crisis," says Gore. "If he’s serious about it he needs to get a team in place and he needs to present a plan, he needs to use the bully pulpit, he needs to be a vigorous advocate.” <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Politico</i></a></p> <p><b>Batten down the hatches:</b> New York City has 520 miles of coastline, more than Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco combined. That’s why Mayor Bloomberg just unveiled a $20 billion, 430-page proposal designed to prepare the city for climate change -- and the rising waters and raging storms it’ll bring. The plan includes integrated flood protection systems, wetlands and reefs, levees, offshore breakwaters, and a new neighborhood called Seaport City. (It’s already the new hipster hangout, mostly because it doesn’t exist yet.) <a href="" target="_blank"><i>WNYC</i></a></p> <p><b>What lies beneath:</b> Since 1850, we have emitted 350 petagrams of organic carbon through fossil-fuel combustion and human activity. (FYI: 1 petagram = 1 billion metric tons.) NASA scientists now believe that Arctic permafrost soils store 1,400 to 1,850 petagrams of carbon -- four to five times as much as we’ve emitted in over 150 years. Thank goodness for that, right? Oh wait, did we mention the permafrost is melting? <a href="" target="_blank"><i>NASA</i></a></p> <p><b>Communism comes in handy:</b> At the behest of Raul Castro, Cuban scientists completed an assessment of how climate change would affect the low-lying island. The results were so alarming, Cuban officials temporarily withheld them from the public to prevent panic. Now the country is working on a plan to reclaim coastlines by razing seaside resorts and replacing them with natural barriers like sand dunes. Say what you will about Communism, but when the government owns everything, there’s no such thing as getting caught up in Appeals Court. <a href=";objectid=10890332" target="_blank"><i>Associated Press</i></a><i> </i></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Blue lagoon from hell:</b> In the United Kingdom there’s an old rock quarry with turquoise waters like the kind you'd see on a computer screensaver. The only problem is the lake has a pH similar to ammonia and bleach. And when you go in the water, you get something called "lime burns.” Still, when the weather gets warm, the Brits can’t resist -- and the many horrifying hazard signs don’t seem to deter them. So, in an act of desperation, the officials just said, "Oh, bugger it," and dyed the whole thing black. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Daily Mail</i></a></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTIONS</b></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Blue lagoon from heaven:</b> The clearest lake in the world is in New Zealand, and it won’t melt your skin off. (You will <a href="">want to go to there</a>.) <a href=";index=0" target="_blank"><i>Guardian</i></a></p> <p><b>#Fluffycow: </b>Fluffy cow, fluffy cow, <a href="" target="_blank">what are they feeding you</a>? Fluffy cow, fluffy cow, it’s not your fault! (There are fluffy cows now.) <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Atlantic</i></a></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><b>Time-lapse at the top of the world: </b>This short video of stars and storms on Everest is the perfect cure for your cubicle blues. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Elia Saikaly</i></a></p> <p><b>OTHER HEADLINES</b></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Global Climate Negotiations Break Down in Bonn. Go Figure.</a> <i>Huffington Post</i></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><a href=";_r=0" target="_blank">Atomic Power’s Green Light or Red Flag</a> <i>New York Times</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Coral Fights Back Gradually from Ocean Heating</a> <i>Climate Central</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?</a> <i>NASA</i></p> <p><a href=",0,2344586.story" target="_blank">Giant Mosquitoes in Florida? Yes, But Don’t Cancel Your Vacation</a> <i>Los Angeles Times</i></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Massive Bat Cave Stirs Texas-Size Debate Over Development</a> <i>NPR</i></p> <p><em>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)</em><em><br />Image: <a href="" target="_blank">Alix Williams</a><br /></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br><a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br> Al Gore Arctic Bonn climate change communism Cuba Derbyshire Everest FLUFFY COW livestock Mayor Bloomberg New York City new zealand Obama PERMAFROST Raul Castro Robert Redford Seaport City United Kingdom water pollution Thu, 13 Jun 2013 13:53:35 +0000 The Editors 35895 at Kardashians for Klimate?, More Protections for Lab Chimps, More Anchovies for Everybody! <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="sardines" width="500" height="331" /></p> <p><b>Chimpin’ at the bit:</b> The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continues to garner headlines this month as it announces the plan to list all chimpanzees as “endangered.” Previously, wild chimps were given this designation while captive chimps were categorized only as “threatened.” This may seem pedantic to some, but the confusing “split-listing” has allowed the animals to continue to be used in scientific research while most of the rest of the world has banned the practice. Jane Goodall was of course among those who petitioned for the change -- for if <a href="" target="_blank">Daenerys Targaryen</a> is the mother of dragons then Goodall is surely the mother of chimpanzees. Says Goodall: “This decision gives me hope that we truly have begun to understand that our attitudes toward treatment of our closest living relatives must change.” <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Associated Press</i></a></p><p><b>Thanks, Kim!: </b>A spokesman for the National Mining Association admitted in a trade publication that the “War on Coal” strategy used against Democrats in the last election failed to gain traction with voters -- though he blames this more on the ignorance of the American people and the rise of the Kardashians than growing concern for the environment. <a href=";ir=Green" target="_blank"><i>Huffington Post</i></a></p><p><b>Hello, Mr. Redford:</b> In a new spot paid for by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which publishes <em>OnEarth</em>, Robert Redford calls upon President Obama to live up to the promises made in his second inaugural address about tackling climate change. Specifically, <a href="" target="_blank">Redford urges the president</a> to have “the courage of his convictions” when it comes to reducing carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants. Redford also penned a powerful op-ed that links President Obama’s decision to one President Johnson had to make regarding civil rights legislation. And just like <a href="" target="_blank">Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid</a>, it ends with a bang: “This, Mr. President, is what the presidency is for.” <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Washington Post</i></a>, <a href="" target="_blank"><i>USA Today</i></a></p> <p><b>Can I get that with anchovies?: </b>A new book called <i>The Perfect Protein</i> tries to reel in our unsustainable seafood habits by telling readers they can still eat fish. The bad news is the fish we should be eating are the ones Americans abhor, like anchovies and sardines. (Oh, and say goodbye to shrimp.) <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Guardian</i></a><i> </i></p> <p><b>The dredge report: </b>Water levels in all five Great Lakes are low by historical standards, threatening the $34 billion Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway shipping industry. Unfortunately, shipping by boat is often the most energy-efficient way to move materials. As waters get more and more shallow, operators can’t carry as much cargo as before, which results in wasted fuel and lost income. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>New York Times</i></a></p><p><b>Rebranding the lobster:</b> Back in the 1600s, servants and prisoners were the only American colonials who ate lobster. In the early 19<sup>th</sup> century, canned lobster sold for just 11 cents a pound, while Boston baked beans cost 53 cents per pound. How then did the crustacean become so coveted? Daniel Luzer peels back the pages of history. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Pacific Standard</i></a></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTION</b></p> <p><b>Lava porn: </b>Take a minute to enjoy this time-lapse video of lava flowing through Hawaii National Park. As if the visuals weren’t enough, the bombastic score will have you covering your body in ash and dancing tribute to the fire gods. At least, that's what it did for us. (H.R. was <i>not</i> pleased.) <a href="" target="_blank"><i>iO9</i></a></p> <p><b>Skyfall: </b>While we’re geeking out over the elements, you’ll want to take a look at this swirling mess of meteorological might recently filmed in Texas. It’s an excellent lesson in what happens when two fronts collide, though it’s also worth noting that the rotating supercell did not create a tornado. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Colossal</i></a><i> </i></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Whale of an exhibit:</b> Let’s face it. Most of us probably won’t get to swim with the whales in our lifetime. But a new exhibit in Tokyo let’s you grasp their immensity by printing life-size photos of sperm, humpback, and minke whales shot from less than six feet away. Now if only the country would stop harpooning these big beauties and calling it "research"… <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Wired</i></a></p><p><b>OTHER HEADLINES</b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Samantha Power’s Climate Silence</a> <i>Climate Desk</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Electric-Car Owners Get Taxed for Not Paying Gas Taxes</a> <i>Bloomberg Businessweek</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">How the U.S. Clean Air Act Brought the Rains Down in Africa</a> <i>OnEarth</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">The West Is Getting Dustier</a> <i>University of Colorado-Boulder</i></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">TransCanada Whistleblower Warns of Shoddy Pipeline Practices</a> <i>Huffington Post</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Glowing Plants: Awesome Kickstarter or Creepy Biotech?</a> <i>Mother Jones</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<br /> Image: <a href="" target="_blank">Stijn Nieuwendijk </a></i></p><h1 id="yui_3_7_3_4_1371046436789_851"><span id="yui_3_7_3_4_1371046436789_850" class="character-name-holder"> </span></h1> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br><a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br> art chimpanzees coal Endangered Species Act Jane Goodall Kardashians LAVA FLOWS lobsters Obama Robert Redford seafood shipping SUPERCELLS whales Wed, 12 Jun 2013 14:19:09 +0000 The Editors 35877 at Climate Change Heads into the Danger Zone, Cougars Make a Comeback, Bulls Make Great Burglar Alarms? <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="mountain lion" width="500" height="334" /></p> <p><b>It takes a village: </b>President Obama and China’s President Xi agreed Saturday to tag team climate change by reducing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), those greenhouse gases we’ve come to know and hate, even though they are often emitted from things we love -- our fridges and ACs. According to the White House, scaling back on HFC use could “reduce some 90 gigatons of CO2 equivalent by 2050.” <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Washington Post</em></a></p> <p><b>Not a moment too soon:</b> The International Energy Agency released <a href="" target="_blank">a big ol’ report</a> yesterday, packing a lot of information in 134 pages. Its most alarming news is that greenhouse gas levels <a href=",0,7109083.story" target="_blank">have reached a record high</a> (exceeding 31 billion tons) that will likely lead to temperatures that "would profoundly damage economic growth and most other aspects of life." On the slightly brighter/less warmer side, Brad Plumer pulls out <a href="" target="_blank">four policies</a> that the IEA says could help us yet avoid 2 degrees Celsius of global warming -- two of which are <a href="" target="_blank">curbing coal-fired power plants</a> and reducing oil-related methane releases. Fiona Harvey<a href="" target="_blank"> takes a decidedly more urgent tone</a> with “The world cannot afford to wait for a new global climate change agreement to come into force in 2020.” She also zeroes in on the report’s projection that investments in clean energy now will save us trillions of dollars later. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>World Energy Outlook</i></a><i>,</i> <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Washington Post</i></a><i>, </i><a href="" target="_blank"><i>Guardian</i></a><i> </i></p> <p><b>Sowing lawsuits: </b>In March 2011, a group of organic farmers and seed dealers sued Monsanto in an attempt to prevent the company from suing them in the event that their crops were unknowingly contaminated with the company's patented seeds. (Are you still with us?) Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a previous ruling that said farmers had no reason to block Monsanto from suing them, citing a section of the Monsanto website that assures the public it won’t pursue lawsuits against minor patent infractions. (In other words, contaminations that are less than one percent.) Still, Monsanto refuses to sign a “covenant” agreeing to not sue growers, which it has done on 144 occasions between 1997 and 2010. The farmers will, of course, appeal the court's decision. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Reuters</i></a></p><p><b>Size does matter:</b> Jay Shafer is a man on a mission to change the way we think about our homes. In a word: small. As a self-described claustrophile and a self-taught builder, Shafer’s floor plans for “tiny houses” measure in at around 120 square feet. (Yes, that’s the correct number of zeroes; we checked.) And he aims to one day build the country’s first tiny house development -- the working name of which is worth the click alone. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>OnEarth</i></a></p> <p><b>A tale of two comebacks:</b> Across the western United States, cougars are thriving and repopulating old territory. Though they kill livestock, <a href="" target="_blank">and sometimes pets of the "yappy" variety</a>, the cats are seen as little more than a manageable nuisance – a status surely envied by <a href="" target="_blank">a certain wild canine species</a> soon to be removed from federal protection. <a href=";_r=0" target="_blank"><i>New York Times</i></a></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTIONS<br /></b></p> <p><b>When you mess with the bull:</b> A woman in Maine suspected someone was out to steal her coveted wood splitter. To defend it through the night, she tied an enormous black bull to the piece of equipment and waited for the would-be thieves to show up. The plan worked like a, uh, well… It worked like a bull tied to a wood splitter. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>WCSH Portland</i></a><i> </i></p> <p><b>Tales from the deep:</b> Meet the oar fish, a weird, shimmering denizen of the deep sea. Some have suggested these bony fish can grow up to 49 feet long, but not much more is known because they almost never come out to play. Happily, the SERPENT Project just got into a staring contest with one and filmed the whole thing. <a href="" target="_blank">Deep Sea News</a></p> <p><b>OTHER HEADLINES<br /></b></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">The Senate Is Voting on a $955 Billion Farm Bill. Here’s What’s in It.</a> <i>Washington Post</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Must Cats Die So Birds Can Live?</a> <i>New York Magazine</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">On Everglades, Florida Gives Big Sugar Another Break</a> <i>The Miami Herald</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Agri-Giants Trying to Solve Bee Deaths. Some Believe They Caused Them.</a> <i>St. Louis Post-Dispatch</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">NOAA Satellite Back Online after ‘Micrometeoroid’ Strike</a> <i>Climate Central</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Toxic Legacy: Fish, Fish Everywhere, but Not a Bite to Eat</a> <i>South Coast Today</i></p> <p><i> </i></p> <p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<br /> Image: </i><a href="" target="_blank">USFWS Mountain-Prairie</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">Food Stamps Put Out to Pasture, Incredible Edible Invasives, the Life of Cow</a><br><a href="">An Iceberg Is Born, a Solar Robot on the High Seas, Happier Than a Pig in the Bahamas</a><br><a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br> Books China COUGARS HFCs INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY monsanto MOUNTAIN LIONS President Obama rare species Real Estate WEIRD NEWS Tue, 11 Jun 2013 13:52:39 +0000 The Editors 35856 at World Naked Bike Ride (Helmets Permitted), Last Call for the Gray Wolf, Ski Bums Get Busy on Climate <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="gray wolf" title="gray wolf" width="500" height="435" /></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Cry wolf: </b>On Friday, the United States Fish &amp; Wildlife Service officially proposed removing the gray wolf from protection under the Endangered Species Act. For his part, USFWS Director Dan Ashe views the gray wolf’s recovery as “<a href="" target="_blank">one of the most remarkable success stories in the history of conservation</a>.” Conservationists, including NRDC (which publishes <em>OnEarth</em>), tend to <a href="" target="_blank">disagree</a>. They argue de-listing the wolf prematurely could nullify any gains made in the last 40 years and that <a href="" target="_blank">wolves haven’t been allowed to expand within their natural range</a> as were bald eagles and alligators. So what’s next for the species? The public will have 90 days to comment on the proposal -- and comment we shall -- after which a final decision will be made, likely within a year. <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Washington Post</em></a>, <a href="" target="_blank"><i>High Country News</i></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Hazards ahead:</b> More than 100 ski areas in 24 states have just joined <a href="" target="_blank">Climate Declaration</a>, a business initiative designed to convince legislators “to seize the economic opportunity of addressing climate change.” And no wonder. By employing 160,000 people and earning $12.2 billion each year, the United States skiing industry has a lot to lose as temperatures rise. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Environment News Service</i></a></p> <p><b>Reap what you sow: </b>Farmers in this country are in a tight spot. Whether or not they choose to believe in climate change – and many of them don’t – their livelihoods depend on adapting to it. To help them, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has announced a new set of government programs for improved climate risk assessment and crop and soil management. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Grist</i></a><i> </i></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Don’t forget your helmet: </b>Bicyclists and nudists the globe over celebrated the annual <a href="" target="_blank">World Naked Bike Ride</a> (link NSFW!) on Saturday to raise awareness for bike safety, exercise, bike rights, and alternative energy. The event began as a protest, but is now embraced by cities such as Portland, Oregon -- though in Portland, they just call it “Saturday.” In a much smaller gathering in Mexico City, a different tone emerges. Says one cyclist about how dangerous the city is for cycling, “We fear going out every day and not knowing if we will return to our homes.” <a href="" target="_blank">BBC</a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>DAILY DISTRACTIONS<br /></b></p> <p><b>Falcon gonna get you: </b>Is there a particular reason BBC Earth strapped a pack of meat to the back of a pro mountain biker and then set a peregrine falcon loose to chase him down the side of a mountain? Eh. Let’s not ruin a good thing with reason. <a href=";utm_medium=twitter" target="_blank"><i>Treehugger</i></a></p> <p><b>A not so grand finale: </b>Early Friday morning, just outside Wawa, Ontario, a truck carrying fireworks struck a moose. The collision ruptured the fuel tanks, which resulted in a fire and, well, you can probably guess where this is going. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Outside</i></a></p> <p><b>Reaching high: </b>The team over at MinuteEarth has a new video explaining how economic competition among beer companies is just like that among plants in the forest fighting for sunlight. Or something like that. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>MinuteEarth</i></a></p> <p><b>OTHER HEADLINES</b><br /><br /><a href="" target="_blank">California Nuclear Plant to Shut: a Case of Unforgiving Nuclear Economics</a> <em>Christian Science Monitor</em></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Peak Soil: Industrial Civilization Is on the Verge of Eating Itself</a> <i>Guardian</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Studying Hurricanes with Swarms of Smart Drones</a> <i>Slate</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">No, We Can’t Burn People for Electricity</a> <i>Mother Nature Network</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">WSU Plans Honey Bee Sperm Bank</a> <i>Seattle Post-Intelligencer</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Myanmar as Economic Miracle Hinges on Natural Gas Bounty</a> <i>Bloomberg</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">China’s Environmental Problems are Grim, Admits Ministry Report</a> <i>Guardian</i></p> <p>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<i><br />Image: </i><a href="" target="_blank">Gary Kramer</a>, USFWS</p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br><a href="">Fracking on the Tracks, Smog-Eating Streets, D.C. Metro Foils the Phantom Planter!</a><br><a href="">EPA Fracks Away from the Fight, Yellow Sea Sees Green, Llamas are the New Black</a><br> bee sperm bank business climate change coal drones drought FARMERS AND CLIMATE CHANGE gray wolf hurricanes Mexico City Myanmar natural gas peak soil Portland SHARK CONSERVATION World Naked Bike Ride WSU Mon, 10 Jun 2013 13:49:22 +0000 The Editors 35837 at The Case of the Wayward Wheat, the Secret Bike-Share Plot Against America, a Cleaner, Greener Garbage Truck <div class="authors">By <a href="/author/onearth-editors">The Editors</a></div><div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><img src="" alt="NYC CitiBike map" width="500" height="350" /></p> <p><b>Day of days: </b>Yesterday marked the 69<sup>th</sup> Anniversary of D-Day, one of the largest amphibious assaults in history. While others in Normandy celebrated with fireworks, some French citizens took the occasion to protest another invasion -- of a 75-turbine wind farm scheduled to begin construction six miles off this shore next year. While some opposed to the project believe the turbines would disrespect the memory of those who died at Normandy, one 90-year-old British vet disagrees, believing you can honor history and move forward: "You have to. Everything's got to move on." <a href="" target="_blank"><i>NPR</i></a><i> </i></p> <p><b>Who’ll stop the rain?: </b>Just over the border in Germany, heavy rains have caused water to rise to its highest level since 1501. In neighboring Austria, two months worth of rain fell in two days. Scientists say pinning all the blame on climate change would be premature, but it could be playing a part in the deluge. The continent is warming, which means stormier times could be ahead. In the meantime, Europe is trying to improve its land management with restored wetlands and more green spaces to absorb rainfall. But as one expert puts it, "there comes a point where you can't defend" against all that water. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>NewScientist</i></a></p> <p><b>Voice of a generation: </b>In other news, "Girls" star <a href="">Lena Dunham</a> has tweeted her belief in global warming. And ICYMI, tweeting is the millenials' way of chaining themselves to a tree in protest (see "<a href="" target="_blank">Taking It to the Tweets</a>"). <a href=""><i>Huffington Post</i></a></p> <p><b>Shady shelters:</b> As the climate warms up, heat-related deaths in Manhattan will rise an estimated 20 percent by the 2020s. But the temps won't hit all Americans the same way. Nationwide, black people are 52 percent more likely than whites to live in areas of heat risk, such as high-density city neighborhoods without leafy tree cover. (Asians are 32 percent more likely, and Latinos are 21 percent.) <a href=""><i>OnEarth</i></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Drip, drip, drip: </b>Scientists have learned they can unlock around 500,000 of years worth of climate secrets by studying the cores of stalagmites and stalactites found in caves. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>ClimateDesk</i></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Monsanto madness:</b> Last week, a strain of unapproved GMO wheat was found growing in a farmer’s field in Oregon. Since then, <a href="" target="_blank">Japan and South Korea have canceled orders for U.S. wheat</a> as a result of the scare. Monsanto, the crop's creator, has declared that there’s nothing to worry about (except maybe <a href="" target="_blank">sabotage from its competitors</a>). But today a food safety advocacy group and a group of farmers have <a href="" target="_blank">sued the company</a>, claiming the bad press has negatively impacted wheat prices. For everyone involved -- except maybe <a href="" target="_blank">Stephen Colbert</a> -- this one is long from over. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Reuters</i></a><i>, </i><a href="" target="_blank"><i>Grist</i></a><i>,</i> <a href="" target="_blank"><i>Comedy Central</i></a></p> <p><b>Someone’s got a bike to grind: </b>You might think what you are about to see is some satirical comedy troupe poking fun at fear mongerers in the media, but it's not. These are real people -- not actors -- tying New York City’s new bike-share program to an insidious totalitarian plot to disrupt traffic patterns.  The video (with the title “Death by Bicycle”) is based on an opinion piece by Dorothy Rabinowitz, an editorial board member of the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>. And yes, she actually says, “The bike lobby is an all-powerful enterprise.” <a href="!C6D8BBCE-B405-4D3C-A381-4CA50BDD8D4D" target="_blank"><i>Wall Street Journal</i></a></p> <p><b>The electric garbage truck:</b> Light to mid-duty trucks don’t get much attention from the alternative energy crowd, but there are upwards of 2 million of these vehicles operating on America’s roads. And they spew out worse fumes and consume more fuel than the cars most of us drive. Luckily, one of the co-founders of Tesla is working to change that by retrofitting these vehicles with hybrid drivetrains. In some models, efficiency shoots from 12 mpg to 44 mpg. In a retrofitted garbage truck, emissions of smog-forming pollutants dropped between 85 to 95 percent. <a href="" target="_blank"><i>GOOD</i></a></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Other headlines:</b></p> <p><a href=";utm_medium=socialmedia&amp;utm_campaign=20130606&amp;utm_content=smartnewsgmolaw" target="_blank">Connecticut Passes GMO Labeling Law</a> <i>Smithsonian </i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Time to Put Another $1 Billion in the Meter</a> <i>OnEarth</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Pope Francis on World Environment Day Speaks of Food Waste, Lack of Attention to Needs of Poor</a> <i>Huffington Post</i></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Video: Peeling Back the Ice of Antarctica</a> <em>Wired</em><br /><br /><a href="" target="_blank">Want to Boost Fuel Economy? Stop Thinking About Miles Per Gallon</a> <em>Washington Post</em></p><p><i>Tips: <b>@OnEarthMag</b> (tag it #greenreads)<br /> Image: </i><em><a href="" target="_blank">Dennis Crowley</a></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <a href="">This Is Your Ocean on Acid, Another Leaky Oil Well in the Gulf, Busting the Tusk Trade</a><br><a href="">Fracking on the Tracks, Smog-Eating Streets, D.C. Metro Foils the Phantom Planter!</a><br><a href="">EPA Fracks Away from the Fight, Yellow Sea Sees Green, Llamas are the New Black</a><br> BIKE-SHARE CELEBRITIES climate change climate science CORE SAMPLES FLOODING IN EUROPE Hybrids monsanto NORMANDY WIND FARM Fri, 07 Jun 2013 13:00:54 +0000 The Editors 35810 at |