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Tuesday, Jun 18th

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Canada bans whale, dolphin captivity

Canadabans whale, dophin captivity

Canadian lawmakers passed legislation on Monday banning whale and dolphin captivity in the country.

The federal bill which was approved in the House of Commons on Monday after first being introduced in the Senate in 2015 now requires only royal assent to become law.

Under the new law, the practice of holding whales, dolphins and porpoises will be phased out, though animals currently in captivity will remain. It also bans the capture of wild dolphins and whales, or cetaceans, as well as the practice of captive breeding and the import and export of such animals.

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Near-record 'dead zone' predicted in the Gulf of Mexico this summer

Near record dead zone in gulf predicted

The annual Gulf of Mexico "dead zone" – a region of oxygen-depleted water off the Louisiana and Texas coasts that's harmful to sea life – will be the second-largest on record this summer, scientists announced Monday.

This year's zone should be about 8,717 square miles, an area roughly the size of New Hampshire, according to researchers at Louisiana State University. The average Gulf dead zone is about 5,309 square miles, the record is 8,776 square miles set in 2017.

A dead zone occurs at the bottom of a body of water when there isn't enough oxygen in the water to support marine life. Also known as hypoxia, it's created by nutrient runoff, mostly from over-application of fertilizer on agricultural fields during the spring.

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Official’s Climate Warning Blocked Because It Didn’t ‘Jibe’ With Trump’s View: Report

Climate changeWhite House officials blocked written testimony from a State Department senior analyst about “potentially catastrophic” climate change because it didn’t “jibe” with the Trump administration’s view, a source told The Washington Post.

The White House took the action after the State Department refused to remove the comments in Rod Schoonover’s testimony, which was to be submitted to the House Intelligence Committee. The language referred to the “scientific consensus” that climate change is caused by human use of fossil fuels, according to the Post.

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Judge removes remaining barrier to Keystone XL construction

Judge removes last barrier to Keystone pipeline

A Ninth Circuit Court judge nullified a key barrier to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, arguing that it no longer applies after the Trump administration replaced the permit earlier this year.

Judge Edward Leavy out of Montana ruled Thursday night in favor of the Trump administration and TransCanada Corporation’s motion to dismiss.

The ruling sided with arguments that the old permit for the pipeline, which was replaced by the Trump administration in March, is no longer valid and therefore the injunction associated with it also no longer applies.

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1 Billion Acres At Risk For Catastrophic Wildfires, U.S. Forest Service Warns

Wildfire season to  be catastrophc in US

The chief of the U.S. Forest Service is warning that a billion acres of land across America are at risk of catastrophic wildfires like last fall's deadly Camp Fire that destroyed most of Paradise, Calif.

As we head into summer, with smoke already drifting into the Northwest from wildfires in Alberta, Canada, Vicki Christiansen said wildfires are now a year-round phenomenon. She pointed to the hazardous conditions in forests that result from a history of suppression of wildfires, rampant home development in high-risk places and the changing climate.

"When you look nationwide there's not any place that we're really at a fire season. Fire season is not an appropriate term anymore," Christiansen said in an interview with NPR at the agency's headquarters in Washington.

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Plastics Aren’t Just Polluting — They’re Making Climate Change Worse

Plastics adding to climate changeBy now, the headlines about dead whales washing ashore with pounds of plastic in their belly are commonplace. Photos of bird carcasses bursting with bottle caps and other plastic detritus are seared into our memory. But plastic’s effects on nature doesn’t stop there ― it’s also making climate change worse.

A new report published this week by the Center for International Environmental Law details the greenhouse gas emissions from each step in the lifecycle of plastics: from fossil fuel extraction, transport and refining to the production of consumer goods, the managing of plastic waste, and the proliferation of trash in the oceans. The study authors warn that, if demand for plastics continues to rise, the material’s contribution to climate change will grow significantly.

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Trump buildings face millions in climate fines under new New York rules

Trump buildings will face huge fines for environmental violations

Donald Trump’s reluctance to address climate change is set to cost his business empire millions of dollars in fines levied by New York City due to the amount of pollution emitted by Trump-owned buildings.

According to data shared with the Guardian, eight Trump properties in New York City do not comply with new regulations designed to slash greenhouse gas emissions. This means the Trump Organization is on track to be hit with fines of $2.1m every year from 2030, unless its buildings are made more environmentally friendly.

According to city officials, the president’s eight largest New York properties pump out around 27,000 tons of planet-warming gases every ear, the equivalent of 5,800 cars. The buildings that exceed the new pollution thresholds include Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, and the Trump Building on Wall Street.

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