Residents Near Texas Chemical Plant Evacuated Over Explosion Risk

All residents within 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of a chemical plant in southeast Texas were evacuated on Tuesday as a “precautionary measure” on Tuesday because of the rising risk of an explosion, the local fire marshal’s office said in a Twitter message.
Source: Huffington Post

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Houston Faces Another Threat: Damaged Refineries Spewing Toxic Fumes

Harris County, Texas, is home to around 4.5 million people and more than 40 percent of the nation’s petrochemical capacity.

Source: Huffington Post

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Guest column: Health impacts of climate change are serious

Political battles make lively news, but they drown out the widespread reports of damages climate change causes to human health.
Source: Guest column: Health impacts of climate change are serious

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‘Washington can’t stop Americans’: Michael Bloomberg pledges to pay US share of Paris climate funding

US billionaire Michael Bloomberg has offered $15 million to UN efforts to tackle climate change after President Donald Trump announced he is pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord.
Source: ‘Washington can’t stop Americans’: Michael Bloomberg pledges to pay US share of Paris climate funding

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Trump’s EPA Chief Aided Polluters For Years. Now Suddenly He Says The Mess Is A Priority

WASHINGTON — If you listen to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, the biggest environmental problem facing the United States isn’t climate change (he doesn’t think that’s real, anyway), or lead-tainted drinking water or brain-damaging pesticides. It’s that Barack Obama didn’t clean up the more than 1,300 most contaminated and hazardous sites across the country.

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With Gift and in Conversation, Vatican Presses Trump on Climate Change

“They were encouraging continued participation,” Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson told reporters about the message from the Vatican. “We had a good exchange on the difficulty of balancing addressing climate change, and insuring that you still have a thriving economy and you can still offer people jobs so they can feed their families.”
Pope Francis […]

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Barack Obama on food and climate change: ‘We can still act and it won’t be too late’

The former president addresses some of the biggest problems facing the world, and what we can do about them
Source: Barack Obama on food and climate change: ‘We can still act and it won’t be too late’

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Oil Train Derails, Spilling Crude In Columbia River Gorge

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Monsanto profits from chemical agriculture

Janine Jackson interview Patty Lovera of Food and Water Watch on Monsanto:
Monsanto at this point has become synonymous, not just with GMOs, but I think also with a type of agriculture, and it’s a type of agriculture that’s really counter to the way a lot of people want to farm around the world, and are […]

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‘Stockbroker’s Bible’ Just Told Oil Industry To Accept Its Demise

Coming from the Financial Times, that’s a sobering wake-up call.

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Brown’s aide, the PUC and his PG&E stock

From the Mercury News, by George Avalos:
SAN BRUNO — Gov. Jerry Brown’s top aide — a former PG&E executive — influenced the governor’s decisions for appointments to the powerful and tarnished state Public Utilities Commission to prop up PG&E’s stock, a consumer group claimed on Monday.
“The governor needs to take this seriously,” said Jamie Court, […]

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CO2 levels add to bees’ woes

How Rising CO2 Levels May
Contribute to Die-Off of Bees
As they investigate the factors behind the decline of bee populations, scientists are now eyeing a new culprit — soaring levels of carbon dioxide, which alter plant physiology and significantly reduce protein in important sources of pollen.
by Lisa Palmer
Specimens of goldenrod sewn into archival paper folders […]

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America’s impact on Cuba’s agriculture

The Conversation reports on a potential downside:
President Obama’s trip to Cuba this week accelerated the warming of U.S.-Cuban relations. Many people in both countries believe that normalizing relations will spur investment that can help Cuba develop its economy and improve life for its citizens.
But in agriculture, U.S. investment could cause harm instead.
For the past 35 […]

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Forests and climate change

The Washington Post looks at how forests can affect climate change:
Of all the components of the recent Paris accord on climate change, the one that probably got the least attention but could have the most immediate potential involves the world’s forests. In a section some hailed as historic, the document endorsed a United Nations mechanism for wealthier nations […]

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Porter Ranch gas catastrophe

LA Weekly looks at What Went Wrong at Porter Ranch:
Before she retired in 2014, Anneliese Anderle was a field engineer for the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermic Resources, which regulates oil drilling. She worked out of offices in Bakersfield, Cypress and Ventura, and for a while she was responsible for monitoring the massive natural […]

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EPA revokes toxic herbicide approval

The NYTimes reports:
The Environmental Protection Agency, in a surprising move, has decided to revoke the approval of a herbicide that was made to be used on a new generation of genetically modified crops.
The agency’s decision could delay the introduction of corn, soybeans and cotton developed by Dow Chemical to be resistant to the herbicide 2,4-D. […]

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Here’s how Keystone XL got denied

Grist posted the history:
Everyone is talking about President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline proposal, but he’s not actually the hero of the story. The Keystone decision is the culmination of a startlingly successful grassroots activist campaign that defied the odds and convinced the Obama administration to change course against building a major […]

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Americans support reduced GHG

Yale Project on Climate Change Communication

Mother Jones posted this chart

Two weeks ago, President Barack Obama’s signature climate action plan was formally published. The new regulations will require many states to reduce their use of coal, the dirtiest form of energy, in an effort to slash greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector by about a […]

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Products Used To Clean Up Gulf Oil Spill May Have Made Things Worse, Study Finds

In the wake of the 2010 BP oil spill, cleanup crews dumped some 1.8 million gallons of chemical dispersants into the Gulf of Mexico.
The substances were supposed to assist natural oil-eating bacteria in cleaning up the largest marine oil spill in history by breaking the oil into droplets the microbes could more easily consume.
But the approach backfired, […]

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Tourists avoid fracking sites

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Fracking in or near public parklands could prompt tourists to stay away, according to a new survey released last week.

The study of park users in five Appalachian states found more than a third say they would be unwilling to participate in recreational activities near hydraulic fracturing operations, known more commonly as fracking.

A team […]

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