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North Dakota oil spill raises questions about safety

N Dakota spillThe discovery of an oil pipeline spill earlier this month in western North Dakota has drawn heightened attention because of the battle over the Dakota Access oil pipeline being built across the state. While the spill was on a different pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux and its supporters say a spill on the Dakota Access pipeline could threaten the tribe's drinking water, which is drawn from the Missouri River.

The developer of the Dakota Access project, Energy Transfer Partners, and the Army are battling in court over permission for the pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir in southern North Dakota. It's the last large chunk of construction for the $3.8 billion project to move North Dakota oil 1,200 miles to a shipping point at Patoka, Illinois.

Here are some questions and answers about the spill on the Belle Fourche Pipeline:


A 148-year-old temperature record broken in Australia

Australia heat recordSydney has just broken a record that has stood since 1868 - the overnight temperature stayed above 27C.

In December 1868, Sydney registered a minimum temperature of 26.3C, a record that had stood ever since.  On Tuesday night, the minimum was 27.1C.  It also makes it the second hottest night on record for any month of the year, a Bureau Of Meteorology spokesperson said.

Sydney is experiencing high temperatures, at day and night, and in December, that is surprisingly uncommon.

Tuesday saw a maximum temperature of 39C and on Wednesday, it was 37.5.


Energy Dept. Refuses to Give Climate Change Workers’ Names to Trump

Energy Dept refuses to hand over names to TrumpThe U.S. Energy Department said on Tuesday it will not comply with a request from President-elect Donald Trump's Energy Department transition team for the names of people who have worked on climate change and the professional society memberships of lab workers.

The response from the Energy Department could signal a rocky transition for the president-elect's energy team and potential friction between the new leadership and the staffers who remain in place.


Researchers Are Preparing for Trump to Delete Government Science From the Web

Climate change sites will be erasedWhen Donald Trump takes over the federal government on January 21, his administration will also gain complete control over much of the .gov suite of websites, which currently hosts a treasure trove of publicly available, taxpayer-funded scientific research. The academic world is bracing itself: Will that data remain available after his transition?

Scientists and university professors all around the country and in Canada believe we’re about to see widespread whitewashing and redaction of already published, publicly available taxpayer-funded scientific research, databases, and interactive tools, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sea Level Rise viewer, NASA’s suite of climate change apps, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s maps of the country’s worst polluters. They also expect to see censorship, misrepresentation, and minimization of new government-funded research, specifically regarding climate change.


Bill Gates forms $1 billion clean tech fund with business tycoons

Bill GatesMicrosoft founder Bill Gates is forming a $1 billion fund with other investors in a quest to fight climate change with clean energy innovation.

The Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund "will finance emerging energy breakthroughs that can deliver affordable and reliable zero carbon emissions," the investors said in a statement. Gates announced plans for the fund in late 2015 but details were revealed Monday.


Al Gore's 'Inconvenient Truth' sequel to premiere at Sundance

Al GoreParamount Pictures says it will release in theaters next year the follow-up to An Inconvenient Truth, former Vice President Al Gore's Oscar-winning documentary about the global climate crisis.

Directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, the sequel to the 2006 documentary follows Gore as he continues his fight to build a more sustainable future for the planet. The film will premiere on the opening night of the Sundance Film Festival.

TVNL Comment:  Thank you so much, Al Gore - but you're up against the power of the newly appointed head of the EPA - a virulent climate change denier.  The people just don't understand.  They just don't


'Vulnerable' to extinction: What giraffes are up against

Giraffes vulnerable to extintionThe giraffe is now on the official list of animals and plants that could face extinction in the future.

The majestic animal, which is the tallest land animal in the world, is only found in Africa. In the past 30 years, its numbers have plummeted by nearly 40%, prompting scientists to add it to the list of threatened and endangered animals, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

On Wednesday, the IUCN listed giraffes as "vulnerable of extinction."

And the road to preventing giraffes from becoming extinct will take a lot of effort from local governments and non-government organizations, according to David Banks, regional Director for the Africa Region with the Nature Conservancy.


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