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Tuesday, Apr 23rd

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We're losing the war on climate change

We are losing the war against climate changeFor years now, people like environmentalist and journalist Bill McKibben have been screaming from the treetops that we need a World War II-scale mobilization to fight the scourge of climate change.

They're right, of course. And on Earth Day -- that 24-hour sliver of the calendar when we talk about the fact that humans exist on, and because of, a living planet -- it's clear not only that we are losing this war but that we still are failing to recognize it's taking place at all.
I mean, yes, I've met Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen who is "schooling world leaders" on climate policy and who started a global school walkout movement. I've read the Green New Deal and seen the videos of young people demanding that US reps adopt it. Just this month, protesters in London shut down parts of the city in their calls for a reckoning. It's true that clean energy sources keep getting cheaper. Electric cars are more popular than ever.

Judge rules Flint residents can sue federal government over water crisis

Judge rules Flint residents can sue gov't over water crisisA federal judge this week said residents of Flint, Mich., can sue the federal government over its response to the city's drinking water crisis.

Judge Linda Parker of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan said Thursday the government is not immune from a lawsuit. She did not rule on whether federal employees were negligent in addressing Flint’s contaminated water.

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Court orders EPA to make final decision on banning controversial pesticide

Chlorpyrofin ban decision ordered by courtA U.S. appeals court is forcing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make a final decision on whether it will ban the use of a common pesticide linked to developmental disorders in children.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Friday ordered the EPA to make a final decision on whether it will ban the use of chlorpyrifos across the country. The agency has until mid-July to make its determination.

Chlorpyrifos is an agricultural chemical commonly used on apple, orange, strawberry, corn and wheat crops. It was first developed in World War II for use in chemical warfare. The chemical’s use on foods has had a long, embattled history in the U.S. Many scientific studies have shown that the insecticide is linked to alterations in brain structure and cognition, and that children are especially susceptible.

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Critics say new EPA rule could reintroduce asbestos use

AsbestosThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Wednesday a new rule they say will limit the use of asbestos in the U.S., but critics, including some of the agency’s own staff, describe it as a half measure that could reintroduce some asbestos products to the market.

The EPA said the new rule closes a loophole from a 30-year-old law that prevented the agency from restricting the sale of certain asbestos products.

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Can This Breakfast Cereal Help Save The Planet?

Kernza - or wheatgrass, could save the planet

This past week in San Francisco, food writers and environmentalists gathered to taste some breakfast cereal.

This particular cereal had an ingredient — the milled seeds of a little-known plant called Kernza — that's the result of a radical campaign to reinvent agriculture and reverse an environmentally disastrous choice made by our distant ancestors.

The campaign began 40-some years ago with a scientist-environmentalist named Wes Jackson. He argued that humanity took a wrong turn, thousands of years ago, when it came to rely on crops like wheat and rice for basic sustenance. These "annual" crops need replanting each year, "which means that if you're going to get your seed to germinate, you've got to destroy the vegetation at the surface," clearing away anything that might compete with the fragile seedlings, Jackson said.

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This Oil Spill Has Been Leaking Into The Gulf For 14 Years

14 year old oil spill

Ten miles out in the Gulf of Mexico, off the tip of Louisiana, the fumes become overwhelming. "See how it's all rainbow sheen there? So that's oil," says Ian MacDonald, who's guiding us in a tiny fishing boat that's being tossed around by 6-foot waves.

MacDonald is a scientist at Florida State University where he studies oil spills. This one is not a black, sticky slick, but it stretches on for miles. And here, where the murky Mississippi River dumps into the Gulf, it's been leaking for more than 14 years.

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Climate change group scrapped by Trump reassembles to issue warning

Climate group scrapped by Trump issues new warning

A US government climate change advisory group scrapped by Donald Trump has reassembled independently to call for better adaptation to the floods, wildfires and other threats that increasingly loom over American communities.

The Trump administration disbanded the 15-person Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment in August 2017. The group, formed under Barack Obama’s presidency, provided guidance to the government based on the National Climate Assessment, a major compendium of climate science released every four years.

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