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Expert calls for nuclear-plant closure; earthquake effects unknown


A senior federal nuclear expert is urging regulators to shut down California’s last operating nuclear plant until they can determine whether the facility’s twin reactors can withstand powerful shaking from any one of several nearby earthquake faults.
Michael Peck, who for five years was Diablo Canyon’s lead on-site inspector, says in a 42-page, confidential report that [...]

Wind Turbine Syndrome Cast Off By Courts As Developers Win Suits Filed By Disgruntled Neighbors


To wind farm opponents, wind turbine syndrome is a manifold malady triggered by acoustic pulses and other unfortunate side effects of large wind turbines. To wind farm developers, syndrome claims can mean stomach-churning marches into courtrooms and municipal hearings, where legal teams defend projects against allegations they’re responsible for everything from headaches and sleeplessness to [...]

California town runs dry

The Fresno Bee reports:
Drought and tainted water have nearly shut down people’s taps in Seville, the north Tulare County town where the United Nations three years ago found decrepit plumbing and public neglect.
The drought this year is forcing more groundwater pumping, making the water table sink quickly. Seville’s lone water pump is losing pressure and [...]

California copes with drought

Cynthia Lambert writes about conservation in the San Luis Obispo Tribune:
As the dry summer slogs on, signs of the exceptional drought can be seen throughout San Luis Obispo County.
At Santa Margarita Lake, the grass at the White Oak day use area is brown and brittle, a victim of low lake levels. County parks officials stopped [...]

World’s Largest Ice Sheets Melting At Fastest Rate Ever Recorded

Antarctica, Antarctic Peninsula, Vega Island, Waterfalls

Greenland and Antarctica are home to the two largest ice sheets in the world, and a new report released Wednesday says that they are contributing to sea level rise twice as much as they were just five years ago.
Using the European Space Agency’s CryoSat 2 satellite, the Alfred Wegener Institute from Germany has found that [...]

Life Discovered In Antarctic Lake That Hasn’t Seen Sunlight For Millions Of Years


Antarctica, the coldest place on Earth, teems with microscopic life. Tiny organisms dwell on the ice and live inside glaciers, and now, researchers confirm, a rich microbial ecosystem persists underneath the thick ice sheet, where no sunlight has been felt for millions of years.
Nearly 4,000 species of microbes inhabit Lake Whillans, which lies beneath 2,625 [...]

California Drought Stings Bees And Honey Supplies

Major Drought Impacts California Flower Industry

California’s record drought hasn’t been sweet to honeybees, and it’s creating a sticky situation for beekeepers and honey buyers.
The state is traditionally one of the country’s largest honey producers, with abundant crops and wildflowers that provide the nectar that bees turn into honey. But the lack of rain has ravaged native plants and forced farmers [...]

‘The End of SeaWorld’


SeaWorld, as we know it today, is over. It’s only a matter of time. The company is finished. Here’s why.
1. The SeaWorld brand is now tarnished, at best. Toxic? Likely. The brand represents the torture of whales for an increasing population of concerned citizens. If you love whales (and who doesn’t), you don’t like SeaWorld.
2. [...]

Once You Look At These 7 Satellite Photos, You Will Discover A Very Uncomfortable Truth


What do you get when you collect 27 years’ worth of satellite pictures and turn them into GIFs? The scary realization that we can drastically change the face of the earth in some years and not even realize it.
via Once You Look At These 7 Satellite Photos, You Will Discover A Very Uncomfortable Truth.

San Francisco flood map

Our Coast, Our Future (OCOF) is a collaborative, user-driven project focused on providing San Francisco Bay Area coastal resource and land use managers and planners locally relevant, online maps and tools to help understand, visualize, and anticipate vulnerabilities to sea level rise and storms within the bay and on the outer coast from Half Moon Bay [...]

Well-funded women could help gain control of Senate for Democrats


The political tilt of the Senate during President Barack Obama’s final two years in office is likely to hinge on a handful of female contenders in tight and costly races.
Donors and fundraisers are catching on.
Five female Senate contenders recently created a joint fundraising committee, Blue Senate 2014, to appeal to donors. Separately, former New York [...]

Q&A: An Ecologist’s Passion for Preserving the Ocean’s Pristine Places


Enric Sala, leader of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project, took time out from packing for a voyage to the Galápagos Islands to answer a few questions about his goal to protect the ocean’s last wild places.
A widely published marine ecologist who grew up on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, Sala is seeking to identify isolated places that [...]

Study Reveals The Impact Of The Fukushima Catastrophe On Plants And Animals


On March 11, 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant experienced a catastrophic failure that resulted in the meltdown of 3 of the plant’s 6 nuclear reactors. The event was triggered when a tsunami hit the area, which was the aftermath of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake. The plant started spilling out large amounts of radioactive [...]

GMO food labeling initiative approved for Colorado ballot proposition


A proposition seeking the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms will be on the November ballot, the Colorado Secretary of State said Wednesday.
Signatures were verified for the ballot initiative — Proposition 105 — according to the group, meaning the question will go before voters in this year’s elections.
“We did it!” Right to Know Colorado, [...]

Ron Cunningham writes about algae blooms


It’s almost like we’ve made a deal with the devil.
Give us cheap food, we told Beelzebub, and we’ll take putrid water in the bargain.
Oh yeah, and green water isn’t too much to ask in return for keeping our lawns nice and green as well.
What’s wrong with green anyway? Heck, on St. Patrick’s Day they dye [...]