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Thursday, Oct 19th

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Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers

Ecological armageddon warned because of lower insect numbersThe abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists.

Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society.

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California wildfire death toll rises to 35, earthquake hits Mendocino County

California fire deaths reach 35At least 35 people have been killed and hundreds more remain missing as multiple wildfires continue to burn throughout Northern California.

Two more people were confirmed dead on Friday as the bodies of 89-year-old Dr. George Chaney and a 79-year-old man were recovered from their home in Napa, raising the total number of deaths reported by authorities to 35.

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New airplane biofuels plan would 'destroy rainforests', warn campaigners

Airplane biofuels destroying rain forests

A new plan to accelerate production of biofuels for passenger planes has drawn stinging criticism from environmentalists who argue that most of the world’s rainforests might have to be cleared to produce the necessary crops.

Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, with an 8% leap reported in Europe last year and a global fourfold increase in CO2 pollution expected by 2050.

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Hospital, homes, resort evacuated amid scorching California fires in wine country

California forest fires

Wind-whipped fires sweeping across California's wine country Monday burned homes and forced evacuation of communities, a hospital and a golf resort hours after completion of a PGA tour event.

In Santa Rosa, 50 miles north of San Francisco in Sonoma County, police cited "fast-moving fires" as they continually expanded the area of mandatory evacuations Monday. More than a dozen evacuation centers were opened, though some quickly filled.

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EPA chief says administration to roll back climate plan

Scott Pruitt rolls back EPA planThe Trump administration will abandon the Obama-era clean power plan aimed at reducing global warming, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said Monday.

Speaking in Kentucky, Pruitt said he will sign a proposed rule on Tuesday "to withdraw the so-called clean power plan of the past administration."

The clean power plan aimed to restrict greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. It was a centerpiece of the Obama administration's environmental policies.

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JPMorgan Facing A New Environmental Fight Over Tar Sands Funding

JP Morgan funding tar sandsJPMorgan Chase is the target of a new environmental push demanding the bank end funding for tar sands drilling, HuffPost has learned.

In a new campaign set to be announced Tuesday, the San Francisco-based Rainforest Action Network criticizes the country’s largest bank by assets for providing over $3.1 billion to tar sands producers between 2014 and 2016 alone.

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'Apocalyptic' devastation in Puerto Rico, and little help in sight

PR storm 'apocalyptic' - no relief in sightHurricane Maria whipped Puerto Rico with Irma-level winds, drenched the island with Harvey-level flooding, crippled communications, decimated buildings and damaged a dam that puts downstream residents at risk of catastrophe.
But help has been slow to come to communities where the devastation is described as "apocalyptic," officials and residents argue.
Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said the nation faces a humanitarian crisis. He urged Congress to approve a commensurate aid package as the US commonwealth, already hammered by a prolonged economic crisis, tries to get back on its feet.

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