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Michigan admits mistakes in Flint water testing

Flint water testsMichigan officials admitted Monday that the state made a mistake during its testing of the quality of drinking water in the economically battered city of Flint, where blood lead levels in some children had more than doubled since the city switched its water supply to a cheaper source.

Activists in Flint had earlier accused the state’s environmental officials of ignoring their concerns about their city’s drinking water.


Indigenous Canadians take leading role in battle against tar sands pipeline

No to tar sands pipelineChief Na’Moks stood in the dark of a small smokehouse nestled in the Coast range of British Columbia. Hanging above him were nearly a thousand fish which glinted over the fire below.

“For us, it’s one of the most highly prized commodities that we have,” he said, pulling one of the glistening candlefish off the rack. “People don’t get why we want to keep what we have. We don’t want anything from anyone. We just want to keep what we have.”


Typhoon leaves 2 dead, 16,000 displaced in Philippines

Typhoon leaves 16,000 homeless in PhilippinesSlow-moving Typhoon Koppu weakened after blowing ashore with fierce winds in the northeastern Philippines on Sunday, leaving at least two people dead, displacing 16,000 villagers and knocking out power in entire provinces, officials said.

Army troops and police were deployed to rescue residents trapped in flooded villages in the hard-hit provinces of Aurora, where the typhoon made landfall early Sunday, and Nueva Ecija, a nearby rice-growing province where floodwaters swamped rice farmlands at harvest time.


Fracking Disaster: Kansas Went From 1 Earthquake Per Year To 42 A Week

fracking disasterThe revolutionary method of natural-gas extraction known as hydraulic fracturing – or “fracking” – has left in its wake a trail of contaminated water supplies, polluted air, health problems, and environmental degradation. But what is potentially the most damaging aspect of the process is just coming to light in the form of a tremendous spate of earthquakes in the heart of the United States.

In the past week, northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas have suffered forty two earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 on the Richter scale – 17% of all earthquakes in the world. This brings the year-to-date count up to 680 such tremors – and this in area that until recently was almost completely seismically dormant. Up until 2009, the area experienced an average of 1.5 of these quakes each year. What has changed since then is the massive influx of fracking operations seeking to take advantage of the Woodford Shale that straddles the two states’ border.


Interior Department curbs future Arctic offshore drilling

Arctic drilling to be curbedThe U.S. Interior Department announced Friday it is canceling future lease sales and will not extended current leases in Arctic waters off Alaska's northern coast, a decision that significantly reduces the chances for future Arctic offshore drilling.

The news follows a Sept. 28 announcement by Royal Dutch Shell that it would cease exploration in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas after spending upward of $7 billion on Arctic exploration. The company cited disappointing results from a well drilled in the Chukchi and the unpredictable federal regulatory environment.


Study: Bubble plumes of methane escaping warming ocean

methane bubble fumesThe most infamous and abundant greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. But though less prolific, methane actually packs a meaner climate-warming punch.

To the dismay of climate scientists (and anyone concerned by global warming), there appears to a new and growing source of methane -- the deep sea.

In analyzing instances of bubble plumes, columns of rising methane gas bubbles, researchers found a growing number have been measured at a transition zone. The transition zone, beginning a third of a mile below the surface, is significant to stability of methane hydrates -- an area where warming water temperatures could encourage sublimation.


Flooding the system: Climate change could knock the Internet offline

Climate change and the InternetFor two or three days, J. Patrick Brown wasn’t sure if his whole family had made it out of New Orleans safely. They had decided to stay behind when Hurricane Katrina hit, to care for an ailing relative. Stuck inside without television or Internet access, they relied on him to call them from his college in Maine with updates on what was happening in the city.

When the city’s levees broke, he finally persuaded them to get out as quickly as they could. Not long after, the cell towers went down, and they lost contact.


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