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Friday, Dec 19th

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Fracking may put drinking water supply at risk for many countries, study finds

rfacking dangersA new study by the World Resources Institute finds that many places with water scarcity are using too much of their resources on fracking. "Eight of the top 20 countries with the largest shale gas resources face arid conditions or high to extremely high baseline water stress where the shale resources are located; this includes China, Algeria, Mexico, South Africa, Libya, Pakistan, Egypt, and India," the study states.

The United States is also at risk, according to the study, since many of the places inside the United States that are good for fracking are going through a drought or generally have low water supply.

To drill a fracking well takes 5 million gallons of water, on average. States like Texas have a strong fracking industry, but lack of water supplies has forced frackers to import water from elsewhere to continue their business.

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Ozone layer showing 'signs of recovery', UN says

ozone layerThe ozone layer that shields the earth from cancer-causing ultraviolet rays is showing early signs of thickening after years of depletion, a UN study says.

The ozone hole that appears annually over Antarctica has also stopped growing bigger every year.  The report says it will take a decade before the hole starts to shrink.

Scientists say the recovery is entirely due to political determination to phase out the man-made CFC gases destroying ozone.

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Record rainfall swamps Phoenix

Record rainfall swamps PhoenixTorrential rain from the remnants of a Pacific Ocean hurricane swamped the Desert Southwest Monday, with Phoenix and Tucson seeing some of the worst flooding.

In Phoenix, the rain turned freeways into lakes and forced the closure of highways, streets and schools throughout the region.  In Tucson, one woman died after her car was swept away by heavy floods and became trapped against a bridge.

Monday was the rainiest single day in the history of Phoenix, where weather records go back to 1895.

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The Disaster That No One Is Talking About

Maryland sinkingThree millimeters, about one-eighth of an inch, may not sound like much. But when it’s the height water is steadily rising outside your doorstep every year, it may as well be three feet if it’s anything at all.

On the eastern shores of Maryland, ocean levels are climbing by at least this much — nearly two times the global historic average, according to the state’s Department of Natural Resources — and those waters are pushing several small fishing communities to the brink of extinction. Photographer Greg Kahn set out to capture what it’s like for these sinking towns in his new series “3 Millimeters.”

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Hawaii's GMO Battle: Federal Judge Strikes Down Kauai's Pesticide Regulations

Hawaii judge strikes down pesticide banA federal judge in Hawaii has struck down a local ordinance that would have regulated pesticide use at farms on the island of Kauai, where four of the world's largest agrichemical companies take advantage of long growing seasons to develop genetically engineered crops seeds, also known as genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

On August 23, US Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren ruled in favor of Syngenta, BASF, DuPont Pioneer and Agrigenetics, an affiliate of Dow Chemical in their challenge of Kauai County's Ordinance 960, arguing that the local ordinance illegally pre-empted state laws regulating pesticides.

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Global warming is already here and could be irreversible, UN panel says

Global warming irreversibleGlobal warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous – and it’s increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Monday sent governments a final draft of its synthesis report, which combines three earlier, gigantic documents by the Nobel Prize-winning group. There is little in the report that wasn’t in the other more-detailed versions, but the language is more stark and the report attempts to connect the different scientific disciplines studying problems caused by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas.

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America's biggest PR firm formally declares it will not accept climate denial campaigns

EdelmanEdelman, America’s biggest public relations firm, has for the first time formally declared it will not take on campaigns that deny global warming, in response to an investigation by the Guardian. However it is unclear on its commitment to existing clients that have been involved in spreading doubt about climate change and fighting regulations to cut carbon pollution.

The explicit rejection comes in response to a story earlier this week that saw a number of top firms in the industry – but not Edelman – declare as a matter of company policy that they viewed climate change as a threat, and that they would not take on clients or campaigns that deny climate change.

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