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Sunday, Nov 23rd

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Toxic coal sludge pollutes Ky. town 10 years later

Coal sludge in KentuckyIn parts of eastern Kentucky, the pictures coming out of Hungary of the red sludge that roared from a factory's reservoir, downstream into the Danube River, are all too reminiscent of what happened a decade ago this week.

A layer of dark goo still sits under a creekbed on Glenn Cornette's land, the leftovers from when a coal company's sprawling slurry pond burst, blackening 100 miles of waterways and polluting the water supply of more than a dozen communities before the stuff reached the Ohio River.

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$5 trillion: The cost each year of vanishing rainforest

Vanishing rain forestsBritish scientific experts have made a major breakthrough in the fight to save the natural world from destruction, leading to an international effort to safeguard a global system worth at least $5 trillion a year to mankind.

Groundbreaking new research by a former banker, Pavan Sukhdev, to place a price tag on the worldwide network of environmental assets has triggered an international race to halt the destruction of rainforests, wetlands and coral reefs.

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The Big Secret Commercial Water Companies Hope You Never Discover…

Bottled water has been falling out of public favor for years now, once people began to realize just how detrimental all those plastic bottles are to the environment – and what a rip-off bottled water often is in terms of price and purity.

Now, instead of toting a plastic bottle of water everywhere, the “in” thing is to carry a refillable bottle of filtered tap water -- it’s better for you and the environment.

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Offshore ban stays as U.S. issues new drilling rules

Ken SalazarInterior Secretary Ken Salazar on Thursday unveiled new regulations aimed at reshaping the nation's offshore drilling industry in the wake of the BP oil spill.
"These new rules and the aggressive reform agenda we have undertaken are raising the bar for the oil and gas industry's safety and environmental practices on the Outer Continental Shelf," Salazar said.

He also defended his department's deepwater drilling ban. Salazar said he would lift the ban when he is "comfortable" that risks associated with drilling have been significantly reduced.

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Water map shows billions at risk of 'water insecurity'

Water map shows billions at risk of 'water insecurity'About 80% of the world's population lives in areas where the fresh water supply is not secure, according to a new global analysis.
Researchers compiled a composite index of "water threats" that includes issues such as scarcity and pollution.

The most severe threat category encompasses 3.4 billion people. Writing in the journal Nature, they say that in western countries, conserving water for people through reservoirs and dams works for people, but not nature.

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One-fifth of world's plants at risk of extinction

One-fifth of world's plants at risk of extinctionOne-fifth of the world's plants - the foundation of life on Earth - are at risk of extinction, a study concludes. Researchers have sampled almost 4,000 species, and conclude that 22% should be classified as "threatened" - the same alarming rate as for mammals.

A further 33% of species were too poorly understood to be assessed. The analysis comes from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, the Natural History Museum and International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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GM maize 'has polluted rivers across the United States'

maizeAn insecticide used in genetically modified (GM) crops grown extensively in the United States and other parts of the world has leached into the water of the surrounding environment.

The insecticide is the product of a bacterial gene inserted into GM maize and other cereal crops to protect them against insects such as the European corn borer beetle. Scientists have detected the insecticide in a significant number of streams draining the great corn belt of the American mid-West.

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