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Tuesday, Sep 16th

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Scientist: "We Are Living in the Steroid Era of the Climate System"

Climate changeJune 2014 has become the second consecutive record-setting month for heat, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday. The averge global temperature last month was 61.2°F (16.2°C), which is 0.2°F than 2010, the previously hottest June, and 1.3° degrees higher than the 20th century average. It is the 352nd hotter than average month in a row.

Derek Arndt, NOAA's climate monitoring chief, said unusually hot oceans — especially the Pacific and Indian oceans — were the driving force behind June's heat.

"We are living in the steroid era of the climate system," Arndt said.

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Sierra Club irked by U.S. liquefied natural gas export stance

Sieerra Club opposes LNG exportsU.S. policies on the export of liquefied natural gas are out of step with renewable and climate protection goals, the Sierra Club said.

The Sierra Club announced it filed comments with the Department of Energy on the impacts of LNG. The advocacy group said LNG exports would lead to more domestic gas production, which may cause an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and inhibit the development of renewable energy projects.

Sierra Club attorney Nathan Matthews said Monday the analysis from the Department of Energy falls short.

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California Halts Injection of Fracking Waste, Warning It May Be Contaminating Aquifers

California halts fracking injectionsCalifornia officials have ordered an emergency shut-down of 11 oil and gas waste injection sites and a review more than 100 others in the state's drought-wracked Central Valley out of fear that companies may have been pumping fracking fluids and other toxic waste into drinking water aquifers there.

The state's Division of Oil and Gas and Geothermal Resources on July 7 issued cease and desist orders to seven energy companies warning that they may be injecting their waste into aquifers that could be a source of drinking water, and stating that their waste disposal "poses danger to life, health, property, and natural resources." The orders were first reported by the Bakersfield Californian, and the state has confirmed with ProPublica that its investigation is expanding to look at additional wells.

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5,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled in Wisconsin railway collision

Slinger train collisionTwo trains collided late Sunday night in southeastern Wisconsin, causing several cars to derail. A conductor and engineer suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash.

As a result of the collision, some 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel spewed from one of the engines. None of the oil was ignited but fire officials established a danger zone with a half-mile radius of the crash and evacuated more than 100 homes. The Red Cross has been attending to evacuees at a nearby middle school.

The crash occurred near Slinger, Wisconsin, roughly 35 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

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GOP love for fracking in Colorado could flip Senate seat

fracking problem in ColoradoRepublicans love fracking in Colorado — and it could help them flip a critical Senate seat this fall.

The onslaught against Democratic Sen. Mark Udall (Colo.) reached a fever pitch this week when Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) had to cancel a special legislative session meant to keep two hydraulic fracturing initiatives backed by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) off the November ballot.

Udall, who had stayed out of the fray on the two measures, was forced to take a side much to the GOP's glee.

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Costa Concordia oil spill played down

Costa Concordia The operation to remove the Costa Concordia from the island of Giglio in Italy has caused a small oil spill, officials say.

The removal operation team said "a small amount of hydrocarbons" had been spotted late on Saturday. Salvage workers started cleaning up the spill on Sunday.  Maria Sargentini, head of the government's environmental supervisory committee for the project, told reporters on the island that the spill was "nothing to worry about".

Greenpeace had warned of the possibility of toxic waste spilling out of the ship as it was floated and towed away.

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Zero-Waste Supermarket Set to Open in Germany

zero-wate supermarket GermanyWith our World Cup wounds still raw, this probably isn't the best time to write about how great Germany is. But too bad: We're doing it, anyway.

Opening this summer, Original Unverpackt will be Germany's first packaging-free supermarket. The store will not stock any items that come in a disposable container. That means the store's shelves will be free of boxes, bottles, bags, jars, and jugs.

Most items will be sold in bulk crates or gravity-fed dispensers, and patrons will be encouraged to bring their own containers (presumably reusable ones) to carry out groceries. If you forget, or stop by to shop on an unexpected whim, the store will provide recycled paper containers as a last resort.

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