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Scientist Watches Glacier Melt Beneath His Feet

Scientist Watches Glacier Melt Beneath His FeetEarlier this summer, a group of scientists spent two weeks in Indonesia atop a glacier called Puncak Jaya, one of the few remaining tropical glaciers in the world. They were taking samples of ice cores to study the impacts of climate change on the glacier.

Lonnie Thompson, a professor of earth sciences at Ohio State University, led the team and what he witnessed shocked him: The glacier was literally melting under their feet.

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Bid to suspend California global-warming law gets $1 million from Koch brothers' firm

Koch Brothers The fight over a November ballot initiative to suspend California's global warming law has escalated sharply with the Koch brothers, oil billionaires and "tea party" backers, making a million-dollar entry into the fray.

The contribution to the campaign for Proposition 23 came Thursday from a subsidiary of Wichita, Kan.-based Koch Industries, the nation's second-largest private company (after the agribusiness giant Cargill). A spokeswoman for the subsidiary, Flint Hills Resources, said the company "may consider additional support." The Kochs' company has estimated annual revenues of $100 billion, owns refineries in Alaska, Texas and Minnesota, and controls about 4,000 miles of oil pipelines.

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Study of coal ash sites finds extensive water contamination

Study of coal ash sites finds extensive water contaminationA study released on Thursday finds that 39 sites in 21 states where coal-fired power plants dump their coal ash are contaminating water with toxic metals such as arsenic and other pollutants, and that the problem is more extensive than previously estimated.

The analysis of state pollution data by the Environmental Integrity Project, the Sierra Club and Earthjustice comes as the Environmental Protection Agency is considering whether to impose federally enforceable regulations for the first time. An alternative option would leave regulation of coal ash disposal up to the states, as it is now.

The EPA will hold the first of seven nationwide hearings about the proposed regulation Monday in Arlington, Va. A public comment period ends Nov. 19.

The electric power industry is lobbying to keep regulation up to individual states. Environmental groups say the states have failed to protect the public and that the EPA should set a national standard and enforce it.

"This is a huge and very real public health issue for Americans," said the director of the study, Jeff Stant of the Environmental Integrity Project. "Coal ash is putting drinking water around these sites at risk."

The Indian tribe that took on a mining giant – and won

The Indian tribe that took on a mining giant – and wonThey said they considered the mountain their god, a living deity that provided them with everything they required to sustain their lives. They said they would fight to the death before seeing the pristine mountain destroyed. Remarkably, they won their battle.

Last night, the tribal people of the Niyamgiri Hills in eastern India were celebrating after the authorities in Delhi ruled that a British-based company would not be permitted to mine there for bauxite.

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BP tells U.S. panel Halliburton should have warned of well hazard

BP tells U.S. panel Halliburton should have warned of well hazardBP this week is taking public its strategy for spreading the blame for the April 20 explosion that killed 11 people on the Deepwater Horizon and led to the nation's worst oil spill.

In a new twist in the case, BP has declared that Halliburton, which had warned that the cement job on the Macondo well might not function properly, should have stopped the operation outright. If Halliburton knew the cement process was unsafe, it had an obligation to refuse to proceed - and to do otherwise would be, BP said in a statement, "morally repugnant."

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Major study proves oil plume that's not going away

Major study proves oil plume that's not going awayA 22-mile-long invisible mist of oil is meandering far below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, where it will probably loiter for months or more, scientists reported Thursday in the first conclusive evidence of an underwater plume from the BP spill.

The most worrisome part is the slow pace at which the oil is breaking down in the cold, 40-degree water, making it a long-lasting but unseen threat to vulnerable marine life, experts said.

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Ground Zero Mosque Goes Green

Ground Zero Mosque Goes GreenIn the midst of the drama around the mosque that’s being erected two blocks from Ground Zero, a few details have been left out that provide some clarity as to the purpose of this project. Specifically, the project will be the country’s first certified “green mosque,” in full compliance with stringent LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, which is why organizers have named the project Park51, rather than the oft-cited “Cordoba House.”

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