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Four New Man-Made Gases Found That Harm Ozone Layer

ozone layerScientists have detected four new man-made gases that damage the Earth's protective ozone layer, despite bans on almost all production of similar gases under a 1987 treaty, a study showed on Sunday.

The experts were trying to pinpoint industrial sources of tiny traces of the new gases, perhaps used in making pesticides or refrigerants, that were found in Greenland's ice and in air samples in Tasmania, Australia.

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Climate change could see 'significant' rise in malaria deaths, study finds

Clkimate change and malariaFuture global warming could lead to a significant increase in malaria cases in densely populated regions of Africa and South America unless disease monitoring and control efforts are increased, researchers said Thursday.

In a study of the mosquito-borne disease that infects around 220 million people a year, researchers from Britain and the United States found what they describe as the first hard evidence that malaria creeps to higher elevations during warmer years and back down to lower altitudes when temperatures cool.

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Rail carries Canadian crude while Keystone pipeline decision simmers

rail carries Canadian crudeWhile supporters and opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline have been busy debating the controversial proposal, the oil that it’s intended to move has found another carrier _ one that didn’t require the president’s stamp of approval or several years and billions of dollars to construct.

Keystone’s friends and foes alike may have underestimated the North American rail system’s ability to handle the thick, gritty oil from western Canada known as tar sands. And while rail was originally a stopgap solution to the lack of a pipeline, oil producers have discovered its advantages.

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Report: Aging nuclear power plants in Europe pose increased risk

aging nuclear plants in EuropeA new report says Europe’s fleet of nuclear power plants pose an increasing risk to millions of Europeans as the facilities age, and as governments decide to extend the operation of plants beyond their originally intended lifetimes.

The nearly 150-page report, commissioned by Greenpeace, synthesizes the research of eight European nuclear energy experts. It concludes that because of Europe’s heavy dependence on nuclear energy, governments are likely to extend plant operations 20 years or more past their designed limits, and recommends that European Union policies be changed to incentivize repairs and discourage the construction of new plants.

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NRA Campaigns Against The Plan To Save The World’s Elephants

NRA fights saving elephantsThe National Rifle Association (NRA) on Friday asked its 3.1 million members to call their representative in Congress and urge them to block a rule designed to protect the world’s elephants from being poached into extinction.

Last month, the White House announced a ban on the commercial trade of elephant ivory, placing a total embargo on the new import of items containing elephant ivory, prohibiting its export except in the case of bona fide antiques, and clarified that “antiques” only refers to items more than 100 years old when it comes to ivory. “This ban is the best way to help ensure that U.S. markets do not contribute to the further decline of African elephants in the wild,” a White House fact sheet on the announcement declared.

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Study Finds Keystone XL Would Have Much Larger Impact Than State Department Suggests

Keystone XL pipelineThe State Department's final environmental impact analysis for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline downplays the significance the pipeline would have for development of the Canadian tar sands, according to a new analysis from a United Kingdom-based group. The analysis also argues that the State Department underestimated the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that would come with that development.

The Carbon Tracker Initiative, a nonprofit that focuses on how carbon budgets interact with financial markets, released the new report on Monday, making its case for why Keystone XL is more important in the context of global emissions than the State Department's study indicates.

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U.S. judge rules for Chevron in Ecuador environmental case

chevron wins court rulingAn American lawyer used "corrupt means" to secure a multi-billion-dollar pollution judgment against Chevron Corp in Ecuador, a U.S. judge ruled on Tuesday, handing the oil company a major victory following a six-week trial last year.

In a nearly 500-page decision, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in New York said he had found "clear and convincing evidence" that attorney Steven Donziger's legal team bribed an Ecuadorean judge to issue an $18 billion judgment in 2011 in favor of a group of villagers. They had claimed Texaco, later acquired by Chevron, contaminated an oil field in northeastern Ecuador between 1964 and 1992.

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