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More than 7,000 news items!


[Biology Breach]: from New York Times, Wed Jul 1 2015:
Oklahoma Court Rules Homeowners Can Sue Oil Companies Over Quakes
The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that homeowners who have sustained injuries or property damage from rampant earthquakes they say are caused by oil and gas operations can sue for damages in state trial courts, rejecting efforts by the industry to block such lawsuits from being decided by juries and judges.

Okla-frackin'-homa, you just changed the game!
[Read more stories about: fracking, people rise up]
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[Climate Chaos]: from InsideClimate News, Mon Jun 29 2015:
Most Extreme Weather Has Climate Change Link, Study Says
In the wake of major hurricanes, floods and heat waves, scientists are quick to say that no single weather event can be attributed to climate change until careful analysis draws that conclusion. Now, a new study argues that thinking is backwards, that all extreme weather has a link to climate change... Trenberth's paper instead suggests focusing on thermodynamic changes caused by global warming, such as increased sea surface temperatures, humidity and sea level rise. ... "Because global warming is real and present, it is not a question as to whether it is playing a role, but what that role is," the authors wrote.

So the sky has fallen after all.
[Read more stories about: anthropogenic change, weather extremes]
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[Climate Chaos]: from InsideClimate News, Mon Jun 29 2015:
Aid Package for Coal Country Goes Ignored by Congress
A massive $3 billion package to help struggling coal communities transition to a new economy is sitting unappropriated in the Republican-led Congress. And lawmakers are saying little--at least publicly--about if and how they ever plan to support it. As part of the budget proposal released in February, the White House rolled out the POWER+ plan to support towns and communities struggling to cope with the decline in coal production and use. The initiative provides coal country with an influx of cash to reclaim abandoned mines, provide job training to miners, reform health and pension funds and invest in carbon capture technology. But in the four months since the White House announced the plan, leaders in Congress have not addressed it in any detail.

Burn, baby, burn.
[Read more stories about: coal issues, deniers]
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[Biology Breach]: from Rolling Stone, Mon Jun 29 2015:
What's Killing the Babies of Vernal, Utah?
...an alarming number of babies were dying in Vernal -- at least 10 in 2013 alone, what seemed to her a shockingly high infant mortality rate for such a small town... in Vernal, a town literally built by oil, raising questions about the safety of fracking will brand you a traitor and a target... Suspect One: the extraordinary levels of wintertime pollution plaguing the Basin since the vast new undertaking to frack the region's shale filled the air with toxins.

Stillborn: my new band name.
[Read more stories about: airborne pollutants, health impacts, oil issues, people rise up, toxic buildup]
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[Climate Chaos]: from Reuters, Mon Jun 29 2015:
Pakistan morgues run out of space as heat wave kills more than 1,000
The worst heat wave to hit Pakistan's southern city of Karachi for nearly 35 years has killed more than 1,000 people, a charity said on Thursday, as morgues ran out of space and residents rushed to supply over-stretched public hospitals.

There are always rivers.
[Read more stories about: global warming, health impacts]
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[Climate Chaos]: from New York Times, Mon Jun 29 2015:
The Pope's Ecological Vow
...But there is something more profoundly subversive about Laudato Si' than what it says on climate change. On the day it was published, the pope privately told his closest advisers in Rome that the encyclical was not really an environmental document at all. Global warming is merely a symptom of a deeper malaise. Advertisement Continue reading the main story Advertisement Continue reading the main story Advertisement Continue reading the main story The real problem, he insists, is the myopic mentality that has failed to address climate change to date. The rich world's indifference to the despoliation of the environment in pursuit of short-term economic gain is rooted in a wider problem. Market economics has taught us that the world is a resource to be manipulated for our gain. This has led us into unjust and exploitative economic systems that support what Francis calls "a throwaway culture," one that treats not just unwanted things but also unwanted people -- the poor, the elderly and the unborn -- as waste.

Let's not throw away this last opportunity to make things right.
[Read more stories about: people rise up]
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[Resource Depletion]: from Times of London, Mon Jun 29 2015:
GM 'whiffy wheat' fails to deter aphids
A 3 million publicly funded field trial of genetically modified wheat has failed after the crop was shown to be no better at repelling pests than conventional wheat. The "whiffy wheat" project involved plants modified to produce a pheromone that aphids release when under attack from predators. Scientists thought that the scent would cause the aphids to flee and also attract wasps, which prey on them. However, the trial found no significant reduction in aphids, possibly because they learnt to ignore the continuous alarm scent.

Swing and a miss.
[Read more stories about: GMOs, corporate farming, food crisis]
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[Climate Chaos]: from Philadelphia Inquirer, Mon Jun 29 2015:
'Green' roofs not always the most energy-efficient
... the white-roof craze is based on old and faulty research that has promulgated two myths - that these roofs save energy atop any building and that they decrease global warming... There is a significant heating penalty associated with using white roofs in central and northern climates, where owners use three to five times as much energy to heat their buildings than to cool them. In cities like Philly, white roofs consume more energy, which means they cause more cardon dioxide emissions.

I find this bittersweet.
[Read more stories about: albedo effect, climate impacts]
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[Recovery]: from London Guardian, Mon Jun 29 2015:
Dalai Lama tells Glastonbury of the need to speak out on climate change
The Dalai Lama has endorsed the pope's radical message on climate change and called on fellow religious leaders to "speak out about current affairs which affect the future of mankind"... The Dalai Lama, who will turn 80 next Monday, called for more pressure to be put on international governments to stop the burning of fossil fuels and mass deforestation and invest more in green energy sources.

I bet we could figure out how to turn love into a renewable energy source.
[Read more stories about: people rise up, renewable energy]
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[Resource Depletion]: from London Independent, Mon Jun 29 2015:
Society will collapse by 2040 due to catastrophic food shortages, says study
A scientific model has suggested that society will collapse in less than three decades due to catastrophic food shortages if policies do not change... "In this scenario, global society essentially collapses as food production falls permanently short of consumption."

But will I still be able to have it my way?
[Read more stories about: food crisis, global warming, health impacts]
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[Climate Chaos]: from Arctic News, Sun Jun 28 2015:
Arctic Heat Waves
Warming in the Arctic is accelerating. On June 25, 2015, high temperatures hit North America. Temperatures as high as 30.3 deg C (86.54 deg F) were recorded where the Mackenzie River is flowing into the Arctic Ocean. ... The image below shows that on June 27, 2015, temperatures of well over 40 deg C (104 deg F) were recorded in Europe and in Pakistan, where temperatures earlier this month had reached 49 deg C (120.2 deg F) in some places. The heat wave reportedly killed 1233 people in Karachi alone. This in addition to the 2500 people killed earlier in India by high temperatures.... Very warm water is also flowing from the Pacific Ocean through the Bering Strait into the Arctic Ocean. As the image below shows, the water that is flowing into the Arctic Ocean from the Pacific is much warmer than it used to be, as much as 6.1 deg C (10.98 deg F) warmer.

This Arctic heatwave is burnin' in my heart / Can't keep from crying, it's tearing me apart.
[Read more stories about: arctic meltdown, tipping point, methane release]
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[Species Collapse]: from Vice, Sat Jun 27 2015:
Sea Stars in Death Match With Themselves
But Gong quickly understood that this was different. Her [sea] stars weren't merely shedding their arms. They were tearing them off. They were tearing them off the way a man, lacking access to a sharp tool, might tear off one of his own arms: by using one arm to wrench the other out of its socket. "They twisted their arms together," Gong said, "and they'd pull and pull and pull, until one of them came off. Then the arm walks away because it doesn't know that it's dead. It was horrific. They weren't just dying. They were tearing themselves to pieces." ... Nobody knew exactly what to call it. Was it a die-off? A plague? A population crash? An extinction event? Scientists began referring to it as "the Wasting." ... "It was creepy," said Raimondi, using a term one doesn't typically hear from biologists. The Wasting has that effect. It makes scientists, who tend to choose their words with severe caution, speak like teenagers. In conversations they kept using words like "shock," "horror," and "nightmare." ... Raimondi has recently received reports of mass wasting among sea urchin populations. He does not know whether the same densovirus is responsible, but it looks familiar. "It's a lot like the early days for sea stars," he told me.

Bad enough we're losing the birds and bats and bees. We're going to lose the stars, too?
[Read more stories about: weakened immunity, sixth extinction, ocean warming, death spiral, holyshit]
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[Climate Chaos]: from Bloomberg, Wed Jun 10 2015:
You're About to See an Incredibly Rare Cloud, and It's Proof the Climate Is Changing
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Share on Google+ E-mail In a few weeks, you may get to see evidence the atmosphere is changing -- if you're lucky. That's when noctilucent clouds, the world's highest, peak in number and show up in the night sky just after sunset as electric-blue swirls in the mesosphere, the coldest place on the planet... Changes in the clouds reflect "how we affect the atmosphere down here," Elsayed Talaat, AIM's program scientist, said by telephone from Washington. "If you increase the methane down below, you are going to increase the water vapor up above." Carbon dioxide also may play a role, Randall said. The gas, which warms the lower atmosphere, "can actually cause the upper atmosphere to cool," she said.

If one of those clouds looks like Jim Inhofe, we'll know we're onto something.
[Read more stories about: climate impacts, carbon emissions, methane release]
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[Recovery]: from London Guardian, Wed Jun 10 2015:
Record boost in new solar power continues massive industry growth
A record amount of solar power was added to the world's grids in 2014, pushing total cumulative capacity to 100 times the level it was in 2000. Around 40GW of solar power was installed last year, meaning there is now a total of 178GW to meet world electricity demand, prompting renewable energy associations to claim that a tipping point has been reached that will allow rapid acceleration of the technology.

Weird. It's as if we have the will to survive.
[Read more stories about: climate impacts, people rise up, renewable energy, carbon emissions]
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[Recovery]: from New York Times, Wed Jun 10 2015:
Court Gives Obama a Climate Change Win
A federal court on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit by the nation's largest coal companies and 14 coal-producing states that sought to block one of President Obama's signature climate change policies... He concluded, "We deny the petitions for review and the petition for a writ of prohibition because the complained-of agency action is not final."

In other words, coal states prematurely elitigated.
[Read more stories about: coal issues, climate impacts, capitalist greed]
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[Recovery]: from Climate Progress, Wed Jun 10 2015:
New Report Shows EPA'S Proposed Carbon Regulations Will Create Tens Of Thousands Of Jobs
By 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan will create nearly 100,000 more jobs than are lost, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank. The report's initial estimates are higher than some similar studies; however, the institute found that the job impacts of the Clean Power Plan, which limits carbon emissions from power plants, would not last, and would become "almost completely insignificant by 2030."

Theoretically, no job is permanent unless you can do it while you're dead.
[Read more stories about: carbon emissions, alternative energy, renewable energy]
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[Climate Chaos]: from Washington Post, Wed Jun 10 2015:
Your neighbors may be turning you into an environmentalist
Recently published research in the journal Environment and Behavior has detected another factor involved in the shaping of an environmentalist, and this one is social rather than psychological (not that these two things can ever be fully disentangled). The factor? Spending more time with neighbors and friends, as opposed to spending it with your relatives. The former was associated with pro-environmental views and behaviors, and the latter, fascinatingly, with their opposite.

But I am supposed to go to Grandma and Grandpa Flatearth's house on Sunday.
[Read more stories about: deniers]
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[Climate Chaos]: from Indiana Living Green, Wed Jun 10 2015:
Geoengineering debate
On Tuesday, May 12, at 1 p.m., students from the Decatur Township School of Excellence (DTSE) gathered in a nearby community center to engage in a debate. Nothing particular noteworthy there. Junior high students often engage in the academically rich tradition of debate. It requires research, public speaking acumen -- and quick-thinking skills to respond to your opposition. What was unique about this debate was its subject matter: Geoengineering. Here in Indiana, where climate change and global warming are not a daily discussion in the larger culture, these students tackled head on one of the more complex and thornier issues already facing the rest of planet.

Any number of career paths stem from this subject, including survivalist!
[Read more stories about: geoengineering]
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[Climate Chaos]: from InsideClimate News, Wed Jun 10 2015:
Global Warming's Great Hiatus Gets Another Debunking
...A new study by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finds that the world's warming never really stalled during the last 15 years--it was just masked by incomplete data records that have been improved and expanded in recent years.... The "newly corrected and updated global surface temperature data from NOAA's NCEI do not support the notion of a global warming 'hiatus,'" wrote the study authors. The scientists argue the findings even underestimate the world's warming because they don't consider what has happened in the Arctic, where temperatures have increased rapidly in recent decades, but where there is a limited number of weather recording stations.

Let's put weather stations on those oil rigs heading into the Arctic!
[Read more stories about: arctic meltdown, anthropogenic change, global warming, holyshit]
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[Climate Chaos]: from InsideClimate News, Wed Jun 10 2015:
Coal Industry Fighting for Survival on 7 Fronts
...Perhaps no industry has inflicted such widespread costs on society as coal. From debilitating black lung disease to the devastating removal of whole mountaintops, from decades of lung-scarring smog to unrestrained emissions of greenhouse gases, coal has imposed its own deadly taxation--hiding the charges under the smoky cloak of cheap and abundant power.

War on coal? I'd say coal was waging war on us.
[Read more stories about: anthropogenic change, carbon emissions, coal issues, climate impacts, smart policy]
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[Climate Chaos]: from Bill McKibben, CommonDreams, Sun Jun 7 2015:
How Humankind Blew the Fight Against Climate Change
... As Exxon Mobil's Rex Tillerson -- the highest-paid chief executive of the richest fossil fuel firm on the planet -- gave his talk, the death toll from India's heat wave mounted and pictures circulated on the Internet of Delhi's pavement literally melting. Meanwhile, satellite images showed Antarctica's Larsen B ice shelf on the edge of disintegration. And how did Tillerson react? By downplaying climate change and mocking renewable energy. To be specific, he said that "inclement weather" and sea level rise "may or may not be induced by climate change," but in any event technology could be developed to cope with any trouble. "Mankind has this enormous capacity to deal with adversity and those solutions will present themselves as those challenges become clear,", he said. But apparently those solutions don't include, say, the wind and sun. Exxon Mobil wouldn't invest in renewable energy, Tillerson said, because clean technologies don't make enough money and rely on government mandates that were (remarkable choice of words) "not sustainable." He neglected to mention the report a week earlier from the not-very-radical International Monetary Fund detailing $5.3 trillion a year in subsidies for the fossil fuel industry....

I'm just glad the status quo has such a well-funded support network!
[Read more stories about: oil issues, corporate malfeasance, carbon emissions, capitalist greed]
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[Biology Breach]: from LA Times, Thu Jun 4 2015:
Ruptured pipeline was corroded, federal regulators say
Corrosion had eaten away nearly half of the metal wall of a pipeline that ruptured and spilled up to 101,000 gallons of crude oil along the Santa Barbara coast last month, ...
[Biology Breach]: from Beaver County Times, Thu Jun 4 2015:
Pitt study shows link between fracking, lower birth weights
University of Pittsburgh researchers say a groundbreaking study focusing on southwest Pennsylvania released Wednesday shows that pregnant women living near natural gas fracking ...
[Climate Chaos]: from Grist, Thu Jun 4 2015:
California Senate candidate: "We're all going to die"
...Barbara Boxer's decision to step down from her Senate seat in 2016 has brought a host of potential contenders for her seat. (California Attorney General Kamala Harris and ...
[Recovery]: from KCRG.com, Thu Jun 4 2015:
Iowa's first fully solar-powered school district should happen this summer
Students in one small southern Iowa district will return to see big technology changes this fall. Workers over the summer will transform the school buildings into Iowa's first ...
[Recovery]: from Discovery.com, Sat May 23 2015:
Common Bacterium Helps Bats With White-nose Syndrome
... This time, the researchers grew the bacterium on cobalt, which produced so-called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that stop the fungus, Psuedogymnoascus destructans, ...
[Climate Chaos]: from Midwest Energy News, Wed May 20 2015:
South Dakota to require climate-change lessons in school
Students in South Dakota, like those in 13 other states and the District of Columbia, will be taught about climate change in public schools subsequent to a unanimous vote ...
[Biology Breach]: from InsideClimate News, Wed May 20 2015:
In Heavily Fracked Ohio County, Unsafe Levels of Toxic Pollutants
Emissions generated by fracking operations may be exposing people to some toxic pollutants at levels higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers safe for ...
[Species Collapse]: from London Guardian, Wed May 20 2015:
White House makes bid to save honeybees but ignores toxic pesticides
The White House has announced an ambitious plan to "promote the health of honeybees and other pollinators" in the United States in a bid to help reverse a worrying ...
[Climate Chaos]: from Reuters, Tue May 19 2015:
Protesters gather in Seattle to block access to Shell oil rig
May 18 About 200 protesters gathered at the Port of Seattle on Monday to block access to a Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig headed for the Arctic this summer to resume exploration ...

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What is the effect of CO2 being absorbed in Arctic seas?
a) By century's end, entire Artic sea will be 100\% corrosively acidic.
b) It will wipe out mussels.
c) The acid in the water will dissolve the shells of shellfish.
d) Within 10 years, the water will be corrosive.
e) Chillingly, all these answer are true.

Answer: Chillingly, all these answer are true.

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The ApocaDocs try to make fun of the horror of environmental collapse by locating a handful of news items every day, and giving each a punchline. The stories are categorized into five main topics: Species Collapse (ecosystem interrelationships, invasive species, the sixth extinction, pesticide effects, and more); Resource Depletion (peak oil, peak phosphorus, overfishing, topsoil loss, aquifer declines, and more); Biology Breach (toxic runoff, radiation, GMOs, pharmwater, contamination, and idle destruction); Climate Chaos (global warming, weather extremes, ocean warming, and more); and Infectious Disease (pandemics, viruses, antibiotic resistance). To avoid deep depression, we also include stories of Recovery (alternative energy, innovations, species restoration, better policies, social change, and the like). For more information, see About The ApocaDocs.
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