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Tuesday, Dec 10th

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US interior secretary's school friend crippling climate research, scientists say

Zinke pal holding up climate research

Prominent US climate scientists have told the Guardian that the Trump administration is holding up research funding as their projects undergo an unprecedented political review by the high-school football teammate of the US interior secretary.

The US interior department administers over $5.5bn in funding to external organizations, mostly for research, conservation and land acquisition. At the beginning of 2018, interior secretary Ryan Zinke instated a new requirement that scientific funding above $50,000 must undergo an additional review to ensure expenditures “better align with the administration’s priorities”.

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Puerto Rico concedes Hurricane Maria deaths more than 1,400

Puerto Rico hurricane deaths conceded to be over 1400Puerto Rico has conceded that Hurricane Maria killed more than 1,400 people on the island last year and not just the 64 in the official death toll.

The government acknowledged the higher death toll with no fanfare in a report submitted to Congress this week in which it detailed a $139 billion reconstruction plan for the island.

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Andrew Wheeler takes over for Pruitt as acting head of Environmental Protection Agency

Andrew WheelerScott Pruitt’s deputy, Andrew Wheeler, will take over for the embattled former head of the Environmental Protection Agency — and is expected to pick up where Pruitt left off in the fight against regulations designed to protect Americans’ health.

Wheeler, 53, shares Pruitt’s drive to implement a deregulatory agenda.

Unlike Pruitt, however, the former coal lobbyist is known among colleagues as a spotlight-averse politician who could be more adept than his predecessor at rolling back regulations governing clean air and water, the New York Times reported.

TVNL Comment: How in Hell can this agency pretend to work for Environmental Protection?  It must be labeled the Environmental Destruction Agency.  Wake up, America.

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Green electricity isn't enough to curb global

Green electricity is not enough to curb global warniingThe adoption of clean energies to power electric grids won't be sufficient to meet the Paris climate targets established by the United Nations.

According to new research published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the continued use of fossil fuels for a variety of industrial processes, to power vehicles and heat buildings, is likely to push CO2 emissions beyond manageable levels.

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Irish Voters Set To Liberalize Abortion Laws In Landslide, Exit Poll Signals

Irish exit poll suggests abortion rights will pasasIreland’s abortion laws, anchored in the Eighth Amendment to the country’s constitution, are among the most restrictive in Europe, with abortion effectively outlawed in nearly all cases, including rape, incest or crisis pregnancies.

That could change. Irish voters cast ballots on Friday in a referendum to keep or repeal the Eighth Amendment. Repeal will mean that abortion will be made legal throughout the country.

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Photos And Videos Capture Hawaii Lava Consuming Car, Destroying Buildings

Lava engulfing homes

A video of lava deluging a car during Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano eruption and other staggering photos provide a grim look at how powerful the spewing molten rock is.

Since it first began spewing lava into residential areas on Thursday, the volcano has forced about 1,700 evacuations as it blanketed the island’s Puna district, destroyed at least 35 structures and forced roadway closures. Authorities have identified the emergence of 10 fissures, elongated fractures or cracks in the earth’s surface from which lava spews.

Officials said Sunday it was impossible to predict when the destructive volcanic activity would cease. Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, erupted last week after days of earthquakes. The volcanic activity intensified on Friday after powerful, back-to-back temblors shook the island.

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Interest in Earth Day is falling in the 2010s. Does it matter?

Earth Day 2018.  Why does it mattter?

The history of Earth Day began in Santa Barbara in early 1969, when an oil platform six miles offshore of the idyllic beach town on the central coast of California blew out, spewing some 100,000 barrels of crude into the Pacific. It was the largest oil spill in US history at the time (today it is the third-largest), and catalyzed the modern environmental movement.

Over the next year, Gaylord Nelson, a US senator from Wisconsin, marshaled the personnel, resources, and political capital to create what the politician called a “national teach-in on the environment.” The first Earth Day was held on April 1970, and its impact on public education and policy was tremendous.

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