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More than 7,000 news items!


[Climate Chaos]: from VOX, Wed Apr 23 2014:
Two degrees: How the world has failed on climate change
...[J]ust this month, the IPCC put out a new report saying, OK, not great, but we can still stay under 2 deg C. We just need to act more drastically and figure out some way to pull carbon dioxide back out of the atmosphere. (Never mind that we still don't have the technology to do the latter.)... At current rates, the world will exhaust its carbon budget and breach 2C in roughly three decades. (If climate sensitivity turns out to be low, that only buys us an extra decade or so.) If we want to stay within the budget and avoid 2 deg C, then, our annual emissions need to start declining each year. Older, dirtier coal plants would need to get replaced with cleaner wind or solar or nuclear plants, say. Or gas-guzzling SUVs would need to get replaced with new low-carbon electric cars. But the longer we put this off, the harder it gets -- the carbon budget gets smaller, and there are more coal plants and SUVs to replace.

Happy Earth Day.
[Read more stories about: carbon emissions, climate impacts, global warming]
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[Recovery]: from Green Bay Press Gazette, Tue Apr 22 2014:
Sisters going solar: Green Bay convent taps into alternative energy
A religious community on Green Bay's north side is going green in a big way. The Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross has launched construction of a 400-panel solar energy installation believed to be one of the largest such systems in Wisconsin. Located near Nicolet Drive and Church Road, the alternative energy system is designed to generate enough electricity to power about a dozen average-sized homes. The Sisters of St. Francis plan to harness the power to reduce energy costs in their nearby convent, creating savings projected to surpass $500,000 over the next 20-plus years.

Glory to Ra
[Read more stories about: renewable energy]
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[Climate Chaos]: from E&E Publishing, Tue Apr 22 2014:
Obama admin calculations spared developers millions in loan guarantee fees for Ga. nuclear project, documents show
The Obama administration finalized $6.5 billion worth of loan guarantees for the country's first U.S. reactors in decades without requiring developers to pay a "credit subsidy fee" -- money that protects taxpayers should the developers default, according to documents obtained by Greenwire... The zero-sum figure drew immediate criticism as a "sweetheart deal" for the companies. "It is outrageous that the Department of Energy and Office of Management and Budget somehow determined that the two reactors under construction at Plant Vogtle pose less of a risk of default today than they did a couple years ago," said Sara Barczak, director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy's high-risk energy choices program. Barczak said the fees are critical in light of the 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan, stiff competition nuclear projects face from cheap gas and the snuffing out of other projects.

Must be part of the all of the above energy strategy.
[Read more stories about: governmental idiocy, radiation]
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[Species Collapse]: from Huffington Post, Tue Apr 22 2014:
Humpback Whale Quietly Removed From 'Threatened' Species List
The North Pacific humpback whale is no longer protected as a "threatened" species after the Canadian government quietly downgraded its classification earlier this month. Despite objections from several groups, the Harper government declared the humpback a "species of special concern" under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The whale population off the B.C. coast has increased "significantly" since it was first listed as threatened in 2005, so it is now at a point where it can be reclassified, according to a federal government notice in the Canadian Gazette. The change is being made as two major pipeline projects are in the middle of regulatory applications. Approval would increase vessel traffic, which collides with humpbacks about three times a year in B.C. waters.... The decision "has absolutely no basis in science and is simply a political move to clear the way to approve the [Enbridge] pipeline," Karen Wristen, executive director of the Living Oceans Society, told CBC News.

We call it a pre-emptive strike against future regulatory impediments.
[Read more stories about: marine mammals, oil issues, governmental corruption]
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[Biology Breach]: from University of Minnesota, Thu Apr 17 2014:
People of color live in neighborhoods with more air pollution than whites, groundbreaking U.S. study shows
A first-of-its-kind study has found that on average in the U.S., people of color are exposed to 38 percent higher levels of nitrogen dioxide outdoor air pollution compared to white people. The health impacts from the difference in levels between whites and nonwhites found in the study are substantial. For example, researchers estimate that if nonwhites breathed the lower NO2 levels experienced by whites, it would prevent 7,000 deaths from heart disease alone among nonwhites each year.

Land of the free, brave and victimized.
[Read more stories about: airborne pollutants, health impacts, poverty]
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[Recovery]: from Reuters, Thu Apr 17 2014:
In green car race, Toyota adds muscle with fuel-cell launch
...Toyota Motor Corp will next year launch a hydrogen-powered car in the United States, Japan and Europe. For now, people at Toyota are calling it the 2015 FC car, for fuel-cell. Fuel-cell cars use a "stack" of cells that electro-chemically combine hydrogen with oxygen to generate electricity that helps propel the car. Their only emission, bar heat, is water vapor, they can run five times longer than battery electric cars, and it takes just minutes to fill the tank with hydrogen - far quicker than even the most rapid charger can recharge a battery electric car... Safety is also a concern. Hydrogen is a highly flammable element when not handled properly.

Note to car-makers: Don't name it the Toyota Hindenburg.
[Read more stories about: climate impacts, technological innovation]
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[Climate Chaos]: from Bloomberg News, Thu Apr 17 2014:
Koch Brothers Net Worth Tops $100 Billion as TV Warfare Escalates
Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who run Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries Inc., added $1.3 billion to their collective fortune yesterday on reports that U.S. industrial production gained more than forecast. The surge elevated their net worth to more than $100 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The Koch's ascent comes as Freedom Partners, one of their fundraising networks, last week aired its first batch of television ads targeted at this year's U.S. Senate races...

Some rich folks use their money to help people; others use it to destroy the planet.
[Read more stories about: corporate malfeasance]
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[Biology Breach]: from Huffington Post, Thu Apr 17 2014:
One Year After Texas Disaster, Report Looks At Schools Located Near Chemical Facilities
A new study released Wednesday finds there are almost 10,000 schools across the country located within a mile of a chemical facility. The research was released ahead of the April 17 anniversary of an explosion at a West, Texas, fertilizer plant, which killed 15 people and injured hundreds of others. The explosion left many people wondering why schools and homes were located so close to the plant. The report finds that 4.6 million children attend a school located within a mile of a facility that stores potentially risky chemicals.

An opportunity for hands-on learning!
[Read more stories about: contamination, health impacts]
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[Recovery]: from NPR, Thu Apr 17 2014:
Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'
A group of scientists and food activists is launching a Thursday to change the rules that govern seeds. They're releasing 29 new varieties of crops under a new "open source pledge" that's intended to safeguard the ability of farmers, gardeners and plant breeders to share those seeds freely. It's inspired by the example of open source software, which is freely available for anyone to use but cannot legally be converted into anyone's proprietary product... , director of intellectual property for the seed company HM Clause and the incoming president of the American Seed Trade Association, says his company may avoid using open source seed to breed new commercial varieties "because then we'd ... have limited potential to recoup the investment." That's because the offspring of open source seeds would have to be shared as well, and any other seed company could immediately sell the same variety.

This will make Big Ag gag!
[Read more stories about: food crisis, people rise up]
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[Biology Breach]: from Midwest Energy News, Thu Apr 17 2014:
Southeast Chicago residents take petcoke fight to the streets
Feeling that elected officials have betrayed them in the battle over piles of petroleum coke on the Southeast Side of Chicago, residents have vowed to take the fight to the streets and into their own hands... residents are furious that at the April 1 City Council meeting where the zoning committee was to vote on the ordinance, a substitute ordinance was introduced that allows continued increased petcoke storage provided the material is burned on-site... "I assure you over the next few months we'll get a lot more people involved," Esquivel said. "A lot of people still don't really know or care. But we've been educating ourselves, and hopefully we will be able to open their eyes and get them mad. We have to keep getting louder and louder and stronger and stronger. Because this is not a dumping ground, this is our home."

These folks are mad and they're not going to take it anymore!
[Read more stories about: toxic buildup, people rise up]
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[Climate Chaos]: from Climate Central, Tue Apr 15 2014:
March Was 4th Warmest on Record Globally
March 2014 was the fourth-warmest March on record globally, according to recently released NASA data, making it the 349th month -- more than 29 years -- in which global temperatures were above the historic average. The planet's average March temperature was 57.9F -- 0.7C (or 1.2F) above the average temperature from 1951-1980 -- behind only the March of 2002, 2010 and 1990, in that order... The warm winter period may surprise those in the U.S. who suffered through the effects of a wobbling polar vortex, but the months of December through February were 1.57F above the 20th century average...

You mean the rest of the planet has temperatures too?
[Read more stories about: global warming]
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[Climate Chaos]: from McClatchy, Tue Apr 15 2014:
EPA drastically underestimates methane released at drilling sites
Drilling at several natural gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania released methane into the atmosphere at rates that were 100 to 1,000 times higher than federal regulators ...
[Climate Chaos]: from St. Louis Business Journal, Tue Apr 15 2014:
Washington University students continue Peabody protest
Washington University students continue their on-campus sit-in today, protesting the school's ties with Peabody Energy. Today marks the seventh day of the protest. Between ...
[Recovery]: from Des Moines Register, Mon Apr 14 2014:
Rare partnership in Fairfield delivers veggies to kids
...there, tucked behind a nondescript factory, is a new greenhouse, sprouting spinach, radishes, pea shoots, greens and lettuce on a cold April day, thanks to its industrial ...
[Climate Chaos]: from New York Times, Mon Apr 14 2014:
Climate Efforts Falling Short, U.N. Panel Says
Delivering the latest stark news about climate change on Sunday, a United Nations panel warned that governments are not doing enough to avert profound risks in coming decades. ...
[Biology Breach]: from Cleveland Plain Dealer, Mon Apr 14 2014:
Ohio acknowledges connection between hydraulic fracturing and Youngstown quakes, will require seismic testing near known fault lines
...The Ohio Department of Natural Resources on Friday said that it will require companies seeking horizontal well drilling permits within 3 miles of known fault lines or where ...
[Species Collapse]: from Guardian, Sun Apr 13 2014:
Entire marine food chain at risk from rising CO2 levels in water
Researchers studied the behavior of coral reef fish at naturally occurring CO2 vents in Milne Bay, in eastern Papua New Guinea. They found that fish living near the vents, ...
[Climate Chaos]: from Los Angeles Times, Fri Apr 11 2014:
Beef prices hit all-time high in U.S.
Come grilling season, expect your sirloin steak to come with a hearty side of sticker shock. Beef prices have reached all-time highs in the U.S. and aren't expected to ...
[Climate Chaos]: from Forbes, Fri Apr 11 2014:
Pollution Fears Crush Home Prices Near Fracking Wells
Whether or not fracking causes groundwater pollution, people fear the risk enough that property values have dropped for homes with drinking-water wells near shale-gas pads, ...
[Climate Chaos]: from Reuters, Fri Apr 11 2014:
El Nino more than 50 percent likely by summer: U.S. weather forecaster
The chances have increased over the past month that the much-feared El Nino phenomenon, which has the potential to wreak havoc on global crops, would strike by summer in the ...
[Climate Chaos]: from GreenTech Media, Fri Apr 11 2014:
FirstEnergy CEO: Renewables 'Sound Good' but Should Take Backseat to Coal
FirstEnergy CEO Anthony Alexander traveled to Washington, D.C. this week to speak in front of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about the challenges his utility is facing. With ...
[Recovery]: from Midwest Energy News, Fri Apr 11 2014:
Hearings begin today in latest push against Ohio energy laws
Hearings begin today on an Ohio bill that would cancel requirements for additional renewable energy and energy efficiency after 2014. Senate Bill 310 would freeze Ohio's ...
[Climate Chaos]: from Midwest Energy News, Fri Apr 11 2014:
Combined heat and power has promise, faces hurdles in Ohio
Ohio businesses can achieve high energy efficiency and save huge amounts of money with combined heat and power (CHP), say industry leaders who attended an Energy Ohio Network ...
[Recovery]: from Chicago Tribune, Fri Apr 11 2014:
Ikea investing in Illinois wind farm
Home goods giant Ikea is building a wind farm in downstate Illinois large enough to ensure that its stores will never have to buy a single kilowatt of power again.... With ...
[Climate Chaos]: from Indianapolis Star, Thu Apr 10 2014:
Activists press Rokita on climate question
Activists want Congressman Todd Rokita to rethink his stance on global warming and support limits on greenhouse gasses to stem the pace of climate change. About 20 people ...
[Plague/Virus]: from Washington Post, Thu Apr 10 2014:
The sneeze: Show these new MIT pictures to people who won't cover their mouths
...Researchers had previously viewed the sneeze as a collection of individual mucous droplets. After an "achoo," they thought, larger droplets flew farther than ...
[Climate Chaos]: from Newsweek, Thu Apr 10 2014:
Death on the Farm
...the suicide rate for male farmers has remained high: just under two times that of the general population. And this isn't just a problem in the U.S.; it's an international ...
[Biology Breach]: from Indiana Daily Student, Thu Apr 10 2014:
Ind. rivers, streams have worst pollution in nation
The amount of pollution in Indiana's rivers and streams is greater than any other state's in the country, according to a study recently released by Environment America Research ...
[Climate Chaos]: from Forbes, Wed Apr 9 2014:
Some Environmentalists Want To Save Utilities From Death Spiral
...utility experts can see the end times for the business model of the old power companies. But the old power companies can remain useful, said Becky Stanfield, deputy director ...
[Climate Chaos]: from London Guardian, Wed Apr 9 2014:
BT, Shell and corporates call for trillion tonne carbon cap
Unilever, Shell, BT, and EDF Energy are among 70 leading companies today calling on governments across the globe to step up efforts to tackle climate change. The companies, ...

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The ApocaDocs try to make fun of the horror of environmental collapse by locating a handful of news items every day, and giving each a punchline. The stories are categorized into five main topics: Species Collapse (ecosystem interrelationships, invasive species, the sixth extinction, pesticide effects, and more); Resource Depletion (peak oil, peak phosphorus, overfishing, topsoil loss, aquifer declines, and more); Biology Breach (toxic runoff, radiation, GMOs, pharmwater, contamination, and idle destruction); Climate Chaos (global warming, weather extremes, ocean warming, and more); and Infectious Disease (pandemics, viruses, antibiotic resistance). To avoid deep depression, we also include stories of Recovery (alternative energy, innovations, species restoration, better policies, social change, and the like). For more information, see About The ApocaDocs.
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