Get Used to the American West in Flames: What Living With the ‘New Normal’ Will Mean...

Jul 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] Alternet TomDispatch.com / By William deBuys More than scenery is at stake, more even than the stability of soils, ecosystems, and watersheds. Here’s why. July 24, 2012 Photo Credit: Neo Edmund/ Shutterstock.com  To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com here. Dire fire conditions, like the inferno of heat, turbulence, and fuel that recently turned 346 homes in Colorado Springs to ash, are now common in the West. A lethal combination of drought, insect plagues, windstorms, and legions of dead, dying, or stressed-out trees constitute what some pundits are calling wildfire’s “perfect storm.” They are only half right. This summer’s conditions may indeed be perfect for fire in the Southwest and West, but if you think of it as a “storm,” perfect or otherwise —...

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Will Southern’s California Controversial Desalination Plant Get Off the Ground? Here’s the Last Hurdle it Faces...

Jul 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] Alternet DC Bureau / By David Rosenfeld The private equity firm proposing to finance the project has one last hurdle to overcome: It needs someone to agree to buy the water. And that is proving tricky. July 17, help 2012  | Photo Credit: Edler von Rabenstein/ Shutterstock.com After more than a decade spent talking about building a large-scale ocean desalination plant in Carlsbad, ampoule California, the private equity firm proposing to finance the project has one last hurdle to overcome: It needs someone to agree to buy the water. Poseidon Resources has put forth several iterations over the years of its proposed plant in San Diego County, expected to produce up to 50 million gallons of freshwater daily. In  one attempt , Poseidon inked agreements with local water agencies claiming it could sell...

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System Failure: We Are Approaching the End of Society As We Know It — And That May Be a Good Thing...

Jul 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] AlterNet / By Terrence McNally Paul Gilding talks about his new book, The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring on the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World. June 21, 2012 Paul Gilding says it’s time to stop worrying about climate change; global crisis is no longer avoidable. He believes the Great Disruption started in 2008, as spiking food and oil prices signaled the end of Economic Growth 1.0 based on consumption and waste. Coming decades will see loss, suffering and conflict, but he believes the crisis offers us both an unmatched business opportunity as old industries collapse to be replaced by new ones, and a chance to replace our addiction to growth with an ethic of sustainability. Gilding has been involved with activist campaigns on a wide...

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Occupy the Dam: Brazil’s Indigenous Uprising...

Jul 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] YES! Magazine / By John Perkins In the Amazonian backcountry, tribes are challenging construction of the world’s third-largest dam—by dismantling it. July 24, 2012  | Indigenous people protested against a proposed dam in front of the Brazilian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York on 28 April, 2010. Photo Credit: Amazon Watch Last month, hundreds of indigenous demonstrators began dismantling a dam in the heart of Brazil’s rainforest to protest the destruction it will bring to lands they have loved and honored for centuries. The Brazilian government is determined to promote construction of the massive, $14 billion Belo Monte Dam, which will be the world’s third largest when it is completed in 2019. It is being developed by Norte Energia, a consortium of ten of the world’s largest construction, engineering, and...

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Are We Headed Back to the Dust Bowl? Blame the Banks...

Jul 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate]   Alternet / By Raj Patel Record-breaking weather, farmers losing crops, banks repossessing land from the poor, a president scorned by his opponents for socialism. We’ve seen this before. July 25, 2012 Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons  If you’re wondering whether the US drought will create a global food crisis, the answer’s easy. It’s yes, because there’s a food crisis already. The latest year for which we have figures is 2010, when 925 million people were declared malnourished. Soon after the number was announced, the World Bank corrected it upward, and recently said that the number of hungry people is “almost 1 billion”. Make no mistake: the US drought is fierce. In June this year, out of a possible 171,442 temperature records, 2,284 were broken and 998 were tied. The London Olympic Games should...

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Congress Set to Take Food Aid Away From Millions of Hungry Americans...

Jul 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] AlterNet / By Christopher D. Cook This makes no sense from a humanitarian point of view or from an economic one. July 26, 2012 Photo Credit: Zurijeta/ Shutterstock   If conservatives and “moderates” of both parties get their way in the 2012 Farm Bill now winding its way through Congress, America’s recession is about to get a whole lot worse for poor people. In the hallowed name of deficit reduction, the House Agriculture Committee is proposing cuts of up to $16 billion from federal food stamps (a Senate version would cut $4.5 billion) — even as they protect billions in crop insurance for large-scale farmers and insurance corporations. What will this radical excising mean, both for America’s poor and the economy at large? The answer is both simple and multilayered. The costs of...

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Thousands Converge in Washington to Launch National Movement Against Fracking...

Jul 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] AlterNet / By Sabrina Artel The rally demanded that Congress take immediate action to protect our health and our water from the harmful effects of hydro-fracturing for gas and oil. July 30, 2012  | Photo Credit: Brandi Merolla People traveled by plane, car, bus, bicycle, and on foot from across the United States and the world to Washington, DC on Saturday, July 28 for the 2012 Stop the Frack Attack Rally. The rally demanded that Congress take immediate action to protect public health and water from the now EPA-documented harmful effects of hydro-fracturing for gas and oil. Sponsored by 136 local and national organizations, citizens already impacted by fracking in their communities united with those under imminent threat to create this declaration of protest. In the three days leading up to the rally,...

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Why the military is trying to reduce its fossil fuel use...

Jul 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] David Roberts Energy, drug politics, and more  Grist By David Roberts   Republicans have been going after the Navy’s biofuel program, the “Green Fleet,” as I covered here and here. As I’ve said, I have mixed feelings about military biofuels. Apart from the details of that program, though, I expect that this is the first sortie in what will become a broader conservative campaign against the military’s efforts to move beyond fossil fuels. So let’s have a reminder of just why the military is doing what it’s doing. In 2008, the Defense Science Board Task Force on Department of Defense Energy Strategy released its findings in a seminal report called “More Fight — Less Fuel.” Here, from a slideshow summary [PDF] of the report, are the “two primary energy risks to DoD.” Unnecessarily high...

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Is the Paradigm Shifting?

Jul 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] Adrian Grenier and Peter Glatzer HuffPostGreen Posted: 07/27/2012 8:31 am If necessity is the mother of invention, then it’s no wonder the state of the environment is driving innovation around the world. At SHFT, we’re watching this happen in the private sector at a pace and force that’s nothing short of astonishing. It’s a slightly counterintuitive idea, given the huge challenges we’re facing and the lack of tangible results at the big international summits. Apathy can set in all too easily. We get overwhelmed with myriad looming issues surrounding climate change and it can leave us numb or full of fear. And then there’s the political rationale for why the “conversation” has left the stage in this election year, which goes something like this: More important concerns like the economy and job loss...

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California Puts Initiative To Label Genetically Modified Foods On November Ballot...

Jul 31, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] By Guest Blogger on Jun 19, viagra 2012 at 2:30 pm A California initiative requiring the labeling of genetically modified food will be on the November 6 ballot, state officials announced last week. The initiative requires companies to label food that has been made from genetically modified plants or animals and prohibits them from advertising of such food as “natural.” California Right to Know, the organization fueling the initiative, submitted 971,126 signatures to get the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act on the ballot. According to the organization, the initiative will increase consumer awareness “because consumers have the right to know what’s in our food.” This year, 20 other states have unsuccessfully tried to pass legislation about labeling for genetically modified organisms (GMOs), so the California initiative would be the first...

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The energy powering our wired world is easily taken for granted...

Jul 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] Sustainable Earth: Energy At Rio+20 the challenge is to power our planet without ruining it. A woman cooks bread over burning cow dung in New Delhi, India. Photograph by Adnan Abidi, Reuters Brian Handwerk For National Geographic News The energy powering our wired world is easily taken for granted. But about one in five people still lack access to affordable modern electricity for lighting or heating. Two times that number, about three billion people, still heat and cook with fuels like wood, dung, coal, or charcoal. These people suffer ill health, including some two million annual deaths, from bad air quality caused by burning such fuels in poorly ventilated buildings. The lack of access to modern energy, particularly acute in parts of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, is a serious hurdle to all types...

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Scientists find CO2-sucking funnels in Southern Ocean...

Jul 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] MNN.COM›Earth Matters› Wilderness & Resources Wind, treatment eddies and currents work together to create funnels that pull carbon deep into the ocean, cialis where about a quarter of the carbon dioxide on Earth is stored away in its oceans. By Agence France-Presse Mon, sickness Jul 30 2012 at 10:02 AM EST Photo: Liam Quinn/Flickr PARIS — Scientists say they have unraveled the mechanism by which Earth-warming carbon is sucked deep into the Southern Ocean to be safely locked away — a process that may itself be threatened by climate change. Wind, eddies and currents work together to create carbon-sucking funnels, said the research team from Britain and Australia in a discovery that adds to the toolkit of scientists attempting climate warming predictions. About a quarter of the carbon dioxide on Earth is stored...

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Can Universities Credibly Probe Gas Impacts When Industry Foots the Bill?...

Jul 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] July 28, tadalafil 2012, 1:58 pm By ANDREW C. REVKIN July 29, 4:38 p.m. | Updated (see asterisk) | Lisa Wright, a foe of natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing, or facking, sent the following essay reflecting on recent posts about apparent undisclosed conflicts of interest in a University of Texas gas drilling study and an unrefereed study claiming a link between drilling and fetal health. Her piece is cogent and constructive and worthy of being featured as a “Your Dot” contribution. Wright, who recently moved to a suburb of Washington, D.C., is a native of upstate New York (and songwriter) who says she spent much of the last four years there volunteering with anti-drilling groups. Here’s her piece asks if COI (conflicts of interest) have become the new BAU (business as usual)....

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‘Converted’ Skeptic: Humans Driving Recent Warming...

Jul 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] July 28, 2012, 11:55 pm By ANDREW C. REVKIN   4:02 p.m. | Live Updates Below | Richard Muller, a cantankerous but creative physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, who once derided climate change research, then dove in with his own reconstruction of terrestrial temperature changes and confirmed substantial warming, has now concluded that recent warming is “almost entirely” human caused. He claims his new analysis, which has been posted* for public review but has not yet been peer reviewed (more on that below), provides an even firmer view of human-driven warming than the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Here’s the general flow of events, which are — as Keith Kloor noted overnight — “great fodder for the long-running soap opera, ‘As the Climate World Turns.’” Muller’s team...

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A Closer Look at Climate Studies Promoted Before Publication...

Jul 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] July 30, 2012, 5:04 pm By ANDREW C. REVKIN   Last weekend saw a remarkable pulse of pre-publication publicity for fresh climate studies lobbed into the global warming wars. (As Emerson, Lake and Palmer sang in 1974, “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends…“) First came the Web posting of new analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project pointing to the dominant role of humans in driving recent climate change. Then — almost simultaneously — a heavily drum-rolled release of a new paper by a team led by WattsUpWithThat blogger Anthony Watts claiming to have identified big errors in how United States temperature patterns have been calculated. The first climate analysis, led by Richard Muller of the University of California, Berkeley, has been getting an intensive scrub by experts...

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Obama’s August Surprise in Coal Country? Mountaintop Removal Moratorium and Green Jobs Plan? (VIDEO)...

Jul 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] Alternet Posted by Jeff Biggers at 1:28 pm July 17, 2012 As the ravages of mountaintop removal coal mining–including the re-emerging scandal of reckless black lung policies on strip miners–continue to mount despite the shift of coal production to the heartland and western Power River Basin–President Obama has an election-year opportunity to declare an armistice in the polarized Appalachian coalfields, mend a 40-year mining policy of betrayal, and call an end to the most divisive and egregious human rights and environmental violation sanctioned by our federal government. There is no two without three, as the saying goes: On the heels of recognizing the civil rights of gay marriage and deferring prosecution of undocumented DREAM Act youth, Obama should keep his 2008 campaign promise, travel to Appalachia and publicly announce a timeline to enact...

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The Sky Is Now Legally Protected, Thanks to a Texas Judge...

Jul 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] AlterNet / By Jay Walljasper Breathe a sigh of relief. July 27, 2012  | “Texas judge rules atmosphere, air is a public trust”, reads the headline in the Boston Globe.  A tiny breakthrough but with big potential consequences.  And as we continue to suffer from one of the most extended heat waves in US history, as major crops wither and fires rage in a dozen states, we need all the tiny breakthroughs we can get. Back in 2001, Peter Barnes, a co-founder of Working Assets (now CREDO) and one of the most creative environmentalists around, proposed the atmosphere be treated as a public trust in his pathbreaking book, Who Owns the Sky: Our Common Assets and the Future of Capitalism (Island Press). In 2007, in a law review article University of Oregon Professor...

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Bill Magwood, NRC Democrat, Is ‘Treacherous, Miserable Liar’ And ‘First-Class Rat,’ Says Harry Reid...

Jul 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] Ryan Grim HuffPostPolitics ryan@huffingtonpost.com   Posted: 07/30/2012 12:16 am Updated: 07/30/2012 2:13 am Bill Magwood is not Harry Reid’s favorite person. WASHINGTON — Harry Reid isn’t known for hyperbole. The soft-spoken Senate majority leader tends to wield his power behind the scenes, and when he does speak at his weekly press briefing, reporters lean in and bend their ears to make out the words. But if Reid is lied to, all that changes. It may sound dissonant to the public to say that honesty is the mostly highly valued quality in Washington. But while members of Congress may lie to their constituents with regularity, lying to one another is considered an unforgiveable sin. In an interview with The Huffington Post, the Nevada Democrat savaged Bill Magwood, a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,...

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Bill Nye Addresses Climate Change, ‘Disappointed’ In The Media (VIDEO)...

Jul 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] The Huffington Post  |  By James Gerken Posted: 07/30/2012 9:52 am Updated: 07/30/2012 9:52 am When asked if he was disappointed by President Obama’s relative silence on climate change recently, Bill Nye told CNN last week that if he is “disappointed,” it’s by the media. He said, “I think if the media asked him, asked both of these people who are running for president of the United States, about climate change, they’d have to respond.” Nye noted the conspicuous absence of climate change discussion in the media, saying, “The environment is a very important issue. I guess, if I understand this, it’s fallen by the wayside for a few months while we talk about the economy.” A July 2012 study by Media Matters found that out of hundreds of broadcasts and print articles...

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Barbara Ehrenreich: Why Are Working People Invisible in the Mainstream Media?...

Jul 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] TruthOut.org / By Amy Dean Ehrenreich talks to Amy Dean about the crisis of economic insecurity, the invisibility of working people in the mainstream media, and the current state of journalism. July 22, 2012  | Best-selling author Barbara Ehrenreich – probably best known for her 2001 book “Nickel and Dimed” – has long been on the forefront of promoting stories about working people in an often hostile media environment. Recently, she has been heading the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. An endeavor inspired in part by the Federal Writers Project of the 1930s, the initiative aims “to force this country’s crisis of poverty and economic insecurity to the center of the national conversation.” I spoke with Ehrenreich about this crisis of economic insecurity, about the invisibility of working people in the mainstream media, and...

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Top 10 GMO Foods to Avoid

Jul 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] Corn is Number 1 on the list of GMO foods to avoid. (photo: Natural Society) go to original article   By Elizabeth Renter Natural Society readersupportednews.org 29 July 12 enetically modified foods have been shown to cause harm to humans, animals, and the environmental, and despite growing opposition, more and more foods continue to be genetically altered. It’s important to note that steering clear from these foods completely may be difficult, and you should merely try finding other sources than your big chain grocer. If produce is certified USDA-organic, it’s non-GMO (or supposed to be!) Also, seek out local farmers and booths at farmer’s markets where you can be ensured the crops aren’t GMO.  Even better, if you are so inclined: Start organic gardening and grow them yourself. Until then, here are the...

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Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math...

Jul 30, 2012 Posted by

Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe..

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California Ballot Initiative to Label GMOs in Our Food...

Jul 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] THRIVE By Pamm Larry Greetings! On January 20, 2011, while the Congressional Agriculture Commission was grilling Tom Vilsack to make GMOs more easily deregulated (unbeknownst to me at the time), I was in a hotel in San Francisco at 7am, in that hover state between awake and asleep. I’d been depressed about GMOs for a long time and they came into my consciousness. As I drifted in and out of that awake state, it came to me: It was my job from that day until the November 2012 election to get an initiative on the 2012 CA ballot so that the people of California could vote and bypass the corporate control of our legislatures (both federal and state) and require that informed consumer choice supersede nontransparent corporate profit. The vision, to create a...

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Danger: International Food Code Threatens Consumer Health and Protection...

Jul 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] Thrive By Foster Gamble “If you control food, ampoule you control the population.” – Henry Kissinger [World Health Organization Logo] Have you ever heard of the Codex Alimentarius Commission? If not, you’re not alone. Most people are unaware of this powerful trade commission, but it is a key organization that sets international food standards for all food products, including vitamin and mineral food supplements; health claims; organic foods; genetically modified foods; food labeling; advertising; food additives and pesticide residues. These regulations impact everyone’s health and will likely determine the future of food and agriculture. Codex was created in 1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) “to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in food trade.” When I investigated further, however, I found that...

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DANGER: Nuclear Power is Unsafe...

Jul 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] Nuclear Radiation THRIVE Why would we risk all life on Earth by unleashing the most dangerous pollutant ever discovered when there are safe, sustainable and cheap alternatives? [Nuclear Power Plant, Cattenom ] Some of the threats posed by nuclear power plants include: They create lethal radioactive waste – Nuclear reactors create lethal hazardous waste. There is no proven-safe means of disposing of it. It is often buried deep below ground – often near poor or Native-American communities – or stored in temporary containers that eventually break down. This contaminates our soil, causes long-term environmental devastation, and can potentially leech into our air and water supply. Nuclear weapons are made from waste generated at nuclear power plants – Commercial nuclear reactors make it easier for people to access the material to process into weapons...

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DANGER: Plastics are Poisoning Our Bodies and the Planet...

Jul 30, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] THRIVE How does consuming plastic threaten our well-being and benefit the oil industry at the same time? Plastic is a remarkable material. It’s used in just about everything: cars, buildings, computers, cell phones, packaging. The list goes on and on.  Plastic, however, is tremendously energy intensive to produce and is toxic to our health and to the environment. We use plastic as if there’s an endless supply: to-go coffee mugs, take-out containers, plastic grocery bags. These items that we use for only minutes often stick around for hundreds of years. They don’t break down easily. As a result, our landfills are filling up; birds and marine animals are being poisoned; and our environment is being polluted. Not to mention our bodies. Our health is suffering from constant exposure to plastic toxins.  Bisphenol A...

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DANGER: Genetically Modified Crops Are Getting into Everything and Everyone...

Jul 30, 2012 Posted by

Why would we risk our health, threaten evolution and become dependent on chemical companies for our food?

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Updating Our Chemical Laws After 36 Years...

Jul 29, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] HuffPostGreen Lisa P. Jackson EPA Administrator In 1976, Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act — or TSCA — to protect our health from the increasing number of chemicals in our products and our environment. In the four decades since its passage, many laws have changed to better protect our safety, yet TSCA has In fact, despite calls from industry, policy makers, health and environmental groups, the EPA and others, TSCA has not been updated in 36 years. While EPA has worked to raise awareness about green chemistry alternatives and address threats from chemicals of concern, we need a law that keeps up with today’s needs. Yesterday, we heard some good news on that front. The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works voted to approve the Safe Chemicals Act, which updates many...

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Pennsylvania Act 13 Provisions Struck Down By Appellate Court...

Jul 29, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] HuffPostGreen AP  |  By MARC LEVY Posted: 07/26/2012 2:19 pm HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania appellate court panel on Thursday struck down provisions in a new law regulating the state’s booming natural gas industry that opponents said would leave municipalities defenseless to protect homeowners, parks and schools from being surrounded by drilling sites or waste pits. The decision was a defeat for Gov. Tom Corbett and the natural gas industry, which had long sought the limitations, and a prompt appeal to the state Supreme Court was expected. The state Commonwealth Court ruled 4-3 in a decision released Thursday that the limitations in the so-called Act 13 violated the state constitution. The opinion’s author, President Judge Dan Pellegrini, said the provisions upended the municipal zoning rules that had previously been followed by other...

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Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math...

Jul 29, 2012 Posted by

[Translate] Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe – and that make clear who the real enemy is by: Bill McKibben Illustration by Edel Rodriguez If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe. Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation – in...

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