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Saturday, Jul 23rd

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On four continents, historic droughts wreak havoc

droughtCalifornia's historic drought appears to be matched by severe dry spells on three other continents. Brazil, North Korea and South Africa are bearing the brunt of much lower-than-average precipitation, wreaking havoc on millions of peoples' lives and livelihoods.

While the causes vary from country to country, the chance of more intense droughts in the future as a result of man-made climate change is only increasing as regional extremes of precipitation — both more and less — remain likely, according to the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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Fracking Linked to Heart Conditions and Neurological Illness

Fracking linked to heart and nerve illnessPeople who live in fracking zones appear to suffer a higher rate of heart conditions and neurological illnesses, according to new research.

Although the U.S. study was unable to determine a specific reason, it suggests there may be a link between drilling and ill health, scientists said.

Residents in high-density areas of fracking made 27 per cent more hospital visits for treatment for heart conditions than those from locations where no fracking took place, according to a new study of drilling in Pennsylvania between 2007 and 2011.

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California communities mount protests against fracking, oil drilling

Californians protest against frackingMore than 100 children, parents and community organizers in fluorescent yellowish-green shirts and orange shoe covers marched through a South Los Angeles neighborhood earlier this week chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, this drilling site has got to go!”

The canaries-in-a-coal-mine color-scheme of the protesters was intentional. There was even a giant cage in front of an oil drilling site on West Jefferson Boulevard that neighborhood children, most of them African American or Latino, crammed into, holding up signs asking to “Set these canaries free.”

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Former Top NASA Scientist Predicts Catastrophic Rise In Sea Levels

Hansen predicts sea riseOne of the nation's most recognizable names in climate science, Dr. James Hansen, released a new paper this week warning that even 2 degrees Celsius of global warming may be "highly dangerous" for humanity.

The paper, which will be published online in the European Geosciences Union journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussion later this week, projects sea levels rising as much as 10 feet in the next 50 years.

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Can Simply Living Near a Fracking Site Send You to the Hospital?

Frackign dangersPeople living near "unconventional gas and oil drilling" operations were more likely to be hospitalized for heart, nervous system, and other medical conditions than those who were not in proximity to those sites, a new study published Wednesday has found.

It's the latest—and most comprehensive—indication that hydraulic fracturing, the controversial shale gas drilling method also known as fracking, and all the "noise, the trucks, the drilling, the flaring, the anxiety" it brings may have impact on residents in nearby areas, the study, titled Unconventional Gas and Oil Drilling Is Associated with Increased Hospital Utilization Rates, found—and the consequences hit more than their health.

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Watchdog: EPA should do more on fracking chemicals

EPA fracking chemicalsThe EPA’s internal watchdog recommended Thursday that it improve oversight of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.

Specifically, the EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) said the agency needs to crack down on the unlicensed use of diesel fuel in fracking and figure out whether to mandate public disclosure of fracking chemicals.

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Oil companies played hardball in bid to defeat climate outsiders

ChevronPetty legal filings. Diversionary ballot measures. Counting abstentions as no votes. These are just some of the tactics U.S. oil companies used this spring to quash efforts by investors to win the right to nominate climate experts for board seats.

Led by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and proposed at 75 U.S. companies in various industries this year, the so-called proxy access measure would give investor groups who own 3 percent of a company for more than three years the right to nominate directors. At the 19 oil and gas companies targeted, the aim was to demand more accountability on global warming.

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