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Friday, Apr 25th

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Oxfam report: Climate change could prolong world hunger for decades

world hungerA typhoon hits the Philippines, decimating the fishing industry. Drought in Brazil’s breadbasket region ruins the coffee harvest and market prices double. Changing rainfall patterns cause the loss of 80 percent of Guatemala’s corn harvest; the smaller harvest means fewer jobs, higher unemployment. California -- the largest producer of fruits, vegetables, and nuts in the U.S. -- is hit by the worst drought in 100 years, decreasing crop yields, increasing market prices, and putting pressure on farmers.

This is not the imagined paucity climate change may bring, rather, this is happening now, according to Oxfam.

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Mountaintops, communities permanently altered in West Virginia

mountaintop miningEvery day around 4 p.m. near Rock Creek the ground rumbles.

The thunder comes with the shift change at the coal mines. It’s the sound of surface mining, as hundreds of acres of mountain summits are pulverized and decapitated to extract coal close to the surface.

It’s the reverberation of the pressure to keep energy prices low, Rock Creek resident Junior Walk said.  “That’s definitely felt by West Virginians every day at 4 p.m. when they set off their blasts.” Every day but Sunday, that is.

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Environment Climate change Global warming to hit Asia hardest, warns new report on climate change

global warmingPeople in coastal regions of Asia, particularly those living in cities, could face some of the worst effects of global warming, climate experts will warn this week. Hundreds of millions of people are likely to lose their homes as flooding, famine and rising sea levels sweep the region, one of the most vulnerable on Earth to the impact of global warming, the UN states.

The report – Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability – makes it clear that for the first half of this century countries such as the UK will avoid the worst impacts of climate change, triggered by rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. By contrast, people living in developing countries in low latitudes, particularly those along the coast of Asia, will suffer the most, especially those living in crowded cities.

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Exoxon Valdez 25years later: 'Beaches and wildlife will never entirely recover'

Exxon Valdez[On March 24, 1989] more than 11 million gallons of black crude gushed into the pristine waters of Prince William Sound.

...Oil reached beaches 650 miles away. Killer whales, eagles, otters, seals and thousands of sea birds died excruciating deaths while Alaska's famous salmon and herring were ruined. The pictures of distressed animals expiring and grief-stricken locals trying to scrub beaches coated with toxic filth shocked the world.

The event is still seared into the minds of those who witnessed it, even a quarter of a century later. But the Exxon Valdez has left more than memories.

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U.S. Fisheries Killing Thousands of Protected and Endangered Species

fisheris kill endangered speciesA new report by Oceana exposes nine U.S. fisheries that throw away half of what they catch, and kill dolphins, sea turtles, whales, and more in the process.  These fisheries are even fishier than they smell.

A new study released this week called Wasted Catch: Unsolved Bycatch Problems in U.S. Fisheries reveals the nine dirtiest fisheries in the United States. It’s a dirty bunch indeed, the waste between them accounting for nearly half a billion wasted seafood meals in the U.S. alone.

Culled by Oceana, the largest international organization for ocean conservation, the fisheries are ranked based on bycatch—the amount of unwanted creatures caught while commercial fishing. Combined, they’re responsible for 50 percent of reported bycatch nationwide.

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Crews mopping up oil spill in Texas' Galveston Bay

texas oil spillCleanup efforts have begun after a barge carrying nearly a million gallons of thick, sticky oil collided with a ship in Galveston Bay.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Andy Kendrick said Sunday morning that skimmers are recovering the oil that spilled in Saturday's collision and a boom is in place to protect environmentally sensitive areas.

Kendrick said the remaining oil is being moved off of the damaged barge.

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While America Spars Over Keystone XL, A Vast Network Of Pipelines Is Quietly Being Approved

pipelinesAfter countless marches, arrests, Congressional votes, and editorials, the five-and-a-half year battle over the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is nearing its end. If a recent ruling in Nebraska doesn’t delay the decision further, America could find out as soon as this spring whether or not the pipeline, which has become a focal point in America’s environmental movement, will be built.

But while critics and proponents of Keystone XL have sparred over the last few years, numerous pipelines — many of them slated to carry the same Canadian tar sands crude as Keystone — have been proposed, permitted, and even seen construction begin in the U.S. and Canada. Some rival Keystone XL in size and capacity; others, when linked up with existing and planned pipelines, would carry more oil than the 1,179-mile pipeline.

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