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Monday, Aug 31st

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Chile’s largest city temporarily shut down due to smog 'emergency'

Santiago smogAuthorities in Chile’s capital shut down hundreds of businesses and ordered hundreds of thousands of cars off the streets on Monday as a grey carpet of smog caused an environmental emergency in the city hosting the Copa America soccer tournament.

The emergency was declared ended on Monday evening after air quality improved. But the Santiago government said it still would order about 300,000 vehicles off the streets on Tuesday, a little less than half the estimated 680,000 that had to be parked on Monday, especially older cars.

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Derecho: Strong Storms Cause Damage Across Midwest

Derecho windsSouth Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) will call for the Confederate flag to be removed from the state capitol, multiple outlets reported Monday.

Haley is set to speak at a press conference at 4 p.m. ET Monday. According to CNN and AP, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will join the governor and call for the flag to be placed in a museum.

Graham previously said the flag "is part of who we are," but that he would be "fine" with taking the symbol down.

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Society calls for Scottish fracking review

scottish frackingHydraulic fracturing in Scotland could give the Edinburgh government some autonomy over the energy sector with few environmental impacts, a policy paper read.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh, the premier scientific academy in Scotland, said the controversial drilling practice known also as fracking offers Scotland important options for onshore natural gas.

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A child born today may live to see humanity’s end, unless…

the end of humanityHumans will be extinct in 100 years because the planet will be uninhabitable, said the late Australian microbiologist Frank Fenner, one of the leaders in the effort to eradicate smallpox during the 1970s. He blamed overcrowding, denuded resources and climate change.

Fenner’s prediction, made in 2010, is not a sure bet, but he is correct that there is no way emissions reductions will be enough to save us from our trend toward doom. And there doesn’t seem to be any big global rush to reduce emissions, anyway. When the G7 called on Monday for all countries to reduce carbon emissions to zero in the next 85 years, the scientific reaction was unanimous: That’s far too late.

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Scientists say global warming doesn't decrease winter mortality rate

winter and global warmingA new study from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health disproves the assumption that increased global warming will decrease the amount of winter-related deaths around the world.

Researchers analyzed temperature and mortality data from 39 cities in the U.S. and France and concluded that a warmer climate has little if any correlation to weather-related mortality rates during winter months.

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Earth 'entering new extinction phase' - US study

extinction stage for earthThe Earth has entered a new period of extinction, a study by three US universities has concluded, and humans could be among the first casualties.

The report, led by the universities of Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley, said vertebrates were disappearing at a rate 114 times faster than normal.
The findings echo those in a report published by Duke University last year.

One of the new study's authors said: "We are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event."

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U.S. crushes one ton of ivory in Times Square to quell poaching

US crushes one ton of ivoryThe U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service destroyed more than a ton of elephant ivory in New York's Times Square on Friday in a very public attempt to highlight and stop the illicit ivory trade.

Wildlife officials, lawmakers and bystanders watched as pieces of ivory, from tusks to jewelry, were run through an industrial rock crusher and turned into a sandy powder.

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