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The Planet Just Had Its Warmest August On Record

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This past August was the warmest since records began in 1881, according to new data released by NASA. The latest readings continue a series of record or near-record breaking months. May of this year was also the warmest in recorded history.
Dr. Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist and climate modeler at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, [...]

Black Lung Disease Rates Skyrocket To Highest Levels Since 1970s

Covered in Coal Dust, The miners pose after a day's work

The proportion of coal miners who suffer from an advanced form of black lung disease has skyrocketed in central Appalachia in recent years, according to experts with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
In a letter published Monday in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the NIOSH scientists wrote that the [...]

Exclusive: DA Joins the Climate Activists He Declined to Prosecute, Citing Danger of Global Warming

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Two climate activists were set to go on trial in Massachusetts on Monday for blocking the shipment of 40,000 tons of coal to the Brayton Point power plant, a 51-year-old facility that is one of the region’s largest contributors to greenhouse gases. But in a surprise move, a local prosecutor dropped the criminal charges and [...]

Nominate a hero for the Blue Frontier awards!

The Peter Benchley Ocean Awards are the world’s preeminent ocean honors, often called, ‘The Academy Awards of the Ocean.’  They recognize outstanding contributions to marine conservation across a full range of society.  Categories include national stewardship, policy, science, media, youth, ocean exploration, solutions, and the citizen activist ‘Hero of the Seas.’  Every category may not [...]

Beekeepers sue pesticide manufacturers

By Peter Menyasz
in Bloomberg BNA
Sept. 5 — Canadian beekeepers have filed a class action lawsuit against Bayer CropScience Inc. and Syngenta Canada Inc. claiming C$450 million ($414 million) in damages for negligence related to the use of neonicotinoid insecticides.
The lawsuit, which also names the firms’ foreign parents—Germany-based Bayer AG and Switzerland-based Syngenta International AG—claims [...]

BP Lashes Out at Journalists and “Opportunistic” Environmentalists

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News of this morning’s federal court decision against BP broke as I was aboard a 40-foot oyster boat in the Louisiana delta, just off the coast of Empire, a suburb of New Orleans.
The reaction: stunned silence. Then a bit of optimism.
“This is huge,” said John Tesvich, chair of the Louisiana Oyster Task Force, his industry’s [...]

America’s Wealth Gap ‘Unsustainable’ According To Harvard Study

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The widening gap between America’s wealthiest and its middle and lower classes is “unsustainable”, but is unlikely to improve any time soon, according to a Harvard Business School study released on Monday.
The study, titled “An Economy Doing Half its Job”, said American companies – particularly big ones – were showing some signs of recovering their [...]

Democrats Ramp Up Dark Money Fight With Constitutional Amendment Bid

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Senate Democrats took the first step to try and stem the flood of unregulated dark money that’s swamped politics since 2010, with a first procedural vote on a constitutional amendment to allow stronger regulation of campaign finances.
The unregulated cash spigot opened in 2010, when the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision reversed decades of precedent to [...]

Charles Koch Linked To Creation Of Fossil Fuel-Defending Nonprofit

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Documents uncovered by Republic Report link billionaire Charles Koch to the formation of a nonprofit that would later become the Institute for Energy Research, an active player in Washington policy debates.
IER, also a nonprofit, describes its mission as providing “intensive research and analysis about American energy.” It’s known for advocating against tax subsidies for renewable [...]

Judge mulls Sleepy Creek case

Sleepy Creek Lands and the environmentalists who oppose the massive cattle operation’s request for groundwater continued their legal wrangling last week as they argued their latest dispute before a Florida Division of Administrative Hearings judge.
Administrative Law Judge Gary Early is expected to issue a ruling during the next 60 days.
“Did we get it right in [...]

Scott Arnold: Put solar on a level playing field

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As a fellow advocate for free markets and competition, I’m surprised to see traditional free-market groups, such as Americans for Prosperity, defending the utility monopoly system against competition from solar power.
These groups miss the point that solar power provides an alternative to being a captive customer of big power companies. We welcome AFP and all [...]

The Rick Scott record: an environmental disaster

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For the last 50 years, Florida’s governors have been reasonably responsible stewards of the state’s fragile environment. They initiated efforts to clean up rivers and bays, buy and preserve millions of acres of sensitive land, manage growth and preserve the Everglades. Developers and agricultural interests still got their way too often in the state’s boom-or-bust [...]

The UN’s New Report on Global Warming Is the Most Terrifying Yet

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The New York Times and Bloomberg News got a look at a draft of a new UN report on climate change. It’s bleak, to say the least.
From the Times:
Runaway growth on the emission of greenhouse gases is swamping all political efforts to deal with the problem, raising the risk of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” [...]

California Plastic Bag Ban Would Be First Of Its Kind In The Nation

Grocers Lobby To Make California First State To Ban Plastic Bags

The California state legislature enacted a ban on plastic grocery bags on Friday near the end of its two-year session, a measure that if signed into law would become the first of its kind in America.
A number of cities and counties in California and other U.S. states, including Hawaii’s Maui County, have made it illegal [...]

Explosion At BP’s Largest Oil Refinery In The U.S. Rattles Indiana

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An explosion at BP oil refinery in northwestern Indiana along Lake Michigan rattled nearby homes and sparked a fire that was later extinguished, but it didn’t cause any major injuries or halt production at the facility, a company official said Thursday.
The explosion Wednesday night at the Whiting refinery, which is just east of Chicago, was [...]