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Scientists: 2015 was Earth's hottest year

2015 hottest year on recordLast year was easily the Earth's hottest on record, federal scientists declared Wednesday — but don't expect the news to change any minds on the presidential campaign trail.

The Republicans' White House candidates still uniformly oppose President Barack Obama's efforts to combat climate change, and some reject the idea that it's even a problem worth tackling. So Wednesday's news opens them up to more attacks from Hillary Clinton and other Democrats who have sought to paint the GOP as anti-science.


Environmentalists warn of disaster for Everglades if oil fracking bill passes

Everglades in danger from frackingEnvironmentalists are warning of a potential ecological disaster for the Florida Everglades if state lawmakers approve a measure that would open the door to fracking in the sensitive wetlands.

On Tuesday, politicians in Tallahassee were debating a proposed new law that would remove the right of local municipalities to pass ordinances or resolutions banning fracking and instead place all regulation and oversight of drilling for oil into the hands of a single state agency.


More Quakes Rattle Oklahoma but State Avoids Tough Measures

Earthquakes in OklahomaIn Oklahoma, now the country's earthquake capital, people are talking nervously about the big one as man-made quakes get stronger, more frequent and closer to major population centers. Next door in Kansas, they're feeling on firmer ground though no one is ready yet to declare victory.

A year ago, the states had a common problem — earthquakes caused by the disposal of wastewater from oil and gas exploration. They chose different solutions. Kansas, following early scientific studies, decided to restrict how much and how fast the wastewater could be pumped back underground. Oklahoma instead initially concentrated on the depth of the wastewater injections.


Brazil chemical fire containing chloric acid extinguished after two days

Brazil chemical fireA chemical fire that began after an explosion in Brazil's Port of Santos was extinguished on Saturday after two days as nearly 200 people were hospitalized with difficulty breathing.

The Santos fire that began at a cargo warehouse spread toxic gas over the port, which is Brazil's largest, and across four cities. The container terminal at the port was operated by the Localfrio logistics company based in the Guaruja municipality on the eastern side of Santos in São Paulo state.


Jane Goodall: Power of Corporations Is Destroying World’s Rainforests

Jande GoodallJane Goodall is one of the world’s leading voices on climate change and environmental conservation. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! had the chance to catch up with Goodall at the Paris climate summit last month.

A renowned primatologist, best known for her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees and baboons, Goodall was at the summit to talk about saving the rainforest as a way to mitigate climate change.

More + video of interview...

Obama Administration Halts New Coal Leases On Federal Land

coal miningThe Obama administration, in the first major review of the country's coal program in three decades, on Friday ordered a pause on issuing coal-mining leases on federal land as part of new executive actions to fight climate change.

The halt could last three years, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told reporters, while officials determine how to protect taxpayers' stake in coal sales from public lands and how burning coal could worsen climate change.


U.S. Government To Look Into Coal Ash As A Civil Rights Problem

Coal Ash problemCoal ash — a toxic byproduct of burning coal — is a major environmental problem. But disposal sites for coal ash are more likely to be located in and around low-income and minority communities, a fact that’s prompting a U.S. commission to look into whether coal ash is a civil rights problem, too.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will hold a briefing next Friday, January 22, to “shine a light on the civil rights implications of toxic coal ash, as well as other environmental conditions, on communities most in need of protection,” according to a statement released by Commission Chairman Martin R. Castro.


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