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Greenhouse gases led to increase in extreme rain

Greenhouse gasses cause delugesHuman emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases helped trigger the increase in extreme rain events seen in North America over the second half of the 20th century, a group of climate scientists reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.

In a second Nature paper, another group reported that human greenhouse gas emissions likely contributed to the horrendous floods that inundated England and Wales in the fall of 2000. Those scientists ran sophisticated climate simulations across a network of tens of thousands of home computers that volunteers loaded with climate-modeling software.

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Sea Shepherd Activists Prompt Japan To Suspend Whaling

Sea Shepherd ActivistsJapan has temporarily suspended its annual Antarctic whaling after repeated harassment by a conservationist group, a government official said Wednesday. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ships have been chasing the Japanese whaling fleet for weeks in the icy seas off Antarctica, trying to block Japan's annual whale hunt, planned for up to 945 whales.

Japan has halted the hunt since Feb. 10 after persistent "violent" disruptions by the anti-whaling protesters, said fisheries agency official Tatsuya Nakaoku.

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Feds Approve Monsanto Herbicide-Resistant Crops

genetically engineered cornThe US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved plantings of three genetically engineered (GE) crops in as many weeks, including Monsanto Co.'s Roundup Ready sugar beets and alfalfa that are engineered to tolerate Roundup Ready weed-killing herbicide.

The USDA on February 11 also legalized, without restriction, the world's first GE corn crop meant for biofuel production. Biotech giant Syngenta's Event 3272 seed corn will simplify ethanol production and is not meant to feed animals or humans.

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Chevron fined for Amazon pollution by Ecuador court

Chevron fined for Amazon pollutionA court in Ecuador has fined US oil giant Chevron a reported $8bn (£5bn) for polluting a large part of the country's Amazon region. The oil firm Texaco, which merged with Chevron in 2001, was accused of dumping billions of gallons of toxic materials into unlined pits and Amazon rivers.

Campaigners say crops were damaged and farm animals killed, and that local cancer rates increased. Condemning the ruling as fraudulent, Chevron said it would appeal. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of 30,000 Ecuadoreans, in a case which dragged on for nearly two decades.

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Gulf oil wells 10 miles from Deepwater Horizon site leaking since 2004

While the Deepwater Horizon well has been capped since July, another group of wells about 10 miles away has been leaking oil into the Gulf since 2004, according to federal records.

Citing litigation, federal officials refused last week to answer a series of questions about the ongoing leaks, including how many wells are involved, how much oil has escaped into the Gulf and whether any fines have been issued to Taylor Energy Co, LLC, the company that owns the wells.

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GM cotton has not improved yields, but it has ruined sustainable agriculture

Remember the promises made by Monsanto that genetically-modified (GM) crops would bring higher yields and a better quality of life to the world? A recent study put forth by anthropologists from Washington University (WU) in St. Louis has revealed that Bt cotton, a type of GM cotton that produces its own insecticide, is causing significant problems for sustainable farm management, while offering little to no actual increases in yield.

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USDA Allows GMO Sugar Beet Planting Even After a Landmark Court Decision Says No

Why is the USDA once again putting biotechnology before human safety?

And then in December, a federal judge ordered that 258 very important acres of genetically modified sugar beets be destroyed. Judge Jeffrey White ruled that the crops be destroyed because the risk of gene contamination in Oregon's Willamette Valley was so great. This was a step in the right direction no matter how small the step.

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