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Researchers: Greenland is melting away

Greenland meltingGreenland ice sheet. Brandon Overstreet, a doctoral candidate in hydrology at the University of Wyoming, picked his way across the frozen landscape, clipped his climbing harness to an anchor in the ice and crept towards the edge of a river that rushed downstream towards an enormous sinkhole.

If he fell in, “the death rate is 100 per cent,” said Overstreet’s friend and fellow researcher, Lincoln Pitcher.

But Overstreet’s task, to collect critical data from the river, is essential to understanding one of the most consequential impacts of global warming. The scientific data he and a team of six other researchers collect here could yield groundbreaking information on the rate at which the melting of Greenland ice sheet, one of the biggest and fastest-melting chunks of ice on Earth, will drive up sea levels in the coming decades. The full melting of Greenland’s ice sheet could increase sea levels by about 20 feet.


Unearthing America's Deep Network of Climate Change Deniers

Climate change deniersThe American public has turned away from outright denial of climate change. Sixty-three percent of adults describe the problem as "serious" in the latest opinion poll from the Washington Post and ABC News, a dip from the 69 percent who held that view in June. The minority who remain skeptical of climate science—a group that includes presidential hopefuls and powerful lawmakers—can count on a dedicated network of several thousand professional supporters.

New research for the first time has put a precise count on the people and groups working to dispute the scientific consensus on climate change. A loose network of 4,556 individuals with overlapping ties to 164 organizations do the most to dispute climate change in the U.S., according to a paper published today in Nature Climate Change. ExxonMobil and the family foundations controlled by Charles and David Koch emerge as the most significant sources of funding for these skeptics. As a two-week United Nations climate summit begins today in Paris, it's striking to notice that a similarly vast infrastructure of denial isn't found in any other nation.


U.S. hardest-hit nation for weather-related disasters

US hardest hit in natural disastersIf there has ever been a finding that exemplifies the need for additional investments in weather resiliency and adaptation measures, the United Nations put it forth this week.

Over the past 20 years, 90% of major disasters have been caused by weather, and the United States was the hardest-hit country, according to a new U.N. report.


Fracking Companies Have Been Getting Worse About Disclosing The Chemicals They Use

Fracking chemicals not disclosedWant to know what chemicals energy companies use in their hydraulic fracking operations? Turns out it’s getting harder and harder to answer that question.

According to a new study published in the journal Energy Policy, fracking companies have become less forthcoming since 2013 about the chemicals used in their operations, citing “the use of proprietary compounds” as grounds for limiting their disclosure.


First EPA chief accuses Republicans of ignoring science for political gain

Willlliam RuckelshausThe man considered the father figure of environmental protection in the US has attacked Republicans for “going through all the stages of denial” over climate change, accusing leading presidential contenders Donald Trump and Marco Rubio of ignoring science for political gain.

William Ruckelshaus, who on Tuesday is to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom, told the Guardian that leading Republicans are harming the US’s reputation by attempting to stymie efforts to tackle climate change.


Woman Stands in Way of Crews Working on Gas Pipeline Near Nuclear Power Plant

pipeline protest near Indian PointA Westchester woman says she’s standing up for her community by standing in the way of construction crews extending a natural gas pipeline near Indian Point nuclear power plant.

Nancy Vann refused to leave her property Friday, stymieing efforts by crews to clear-cut an area of land near the Indian Point, where an energy company wants to place a gas pipeline. About six protesters with signs joined her Friday, as crews cut down large trees.


Fracking Goes on Trial for Human Rights Violations

Fracking goes on trialAs convoys of heavy trucks carry fracking equipment into new oil fields in neighborhoods and wildlands around the world, an alliance of human rights organizations is making plans to put the entire practice of hydraulic fracturing on trial. The court is the Permanent People's Tribunal, a descendant of the Vietnam War-era International War Crimes Tribunal. The Peoples' Tribunal is a branch of no government on Earth. It has no power of enforcement. It has no army, no prison, no sheriff.

So what's the point?

The point is that it matters to tell the truth in a public place. It matters to affirm universal standards of right and wrong, to clearly say, "There are things that ethical people do not do to one another and to the Earth."


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