Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google...

May 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Books A review of John Palfrey’s new book ‘BiblioTech,’ and the culturally critical role libraries play. By Amien Essif / AlterNet   If you were airdropped, blindfolded, into a strange town and given nothing but a bus ticket, to where would you ride that bus? You might be surprised to learn that there’s only one good answer, and that’s the public library. The library is the public living room, and if ever you are stripped of everything private—money, friends and orientation—you can go there and become a human again. Of course, you don’t have to be homeless to use a library, but that’s the point. You don’t have to be anyone in particular to go inside and stay as long as you want, sit in its armchairs, read the news, write your dissertation,...

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Here’s What You Need to Make Hourly to Afford a 2-Bedroom Rental in Every State...

May 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Economy New report by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition offers grim reality check. By Michael Arria / AlterNet May 29, 2015   Poor economy represented by empty wallet Photo Credit: ZEF Every year Out of Reach, a program from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, puts out a report demonstrating how unaffordable rents have become throughout the United States. Its 2015 report has just been released and it highlights some disturbing statistics: the federal minimum wage is $7.25, adding up to an annual income of $15,080. The 2015 Fair Market Rent is $806, meaning it would take 86 hours of work at minimum wage to afford rent. Government benefits are calculated as if renters spend 30% of their income on housing, but 10.3 million households have incomes at or below 30% of the Area Median Income....

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Every Day, U.S. Factory Farms Produce Enough Waste to Fill the Empire State Building...

May 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Environment A new reports says factory farms are a #LoadOfCrap. By Anastasia Pantsios / EcoWatch   VIA ALTERNET Photo Credit: Food & Water Watch Factory farming has been expanding in the U.S. over the last two decades, and the size of those farms has increased dramatically — dominating the market, squeezing out smaller producers and setting the agenda for farming practices — to the detriment of food consumers. That’s the conclusion of a new study, Factory Farm Nation: 2015 Edition, released by Food & Water Watch. “Over the last two decades, small- and medium-scale farms raising livestock have given way to factory farms that confine thousands of cows, hogs and chickens in tightly packed facilities,” says the report. “Farmers have adopted factory farming practices largely at the behest of the largest meatpackers, pork processors, poultry...

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George W. Bush Did Something Much Worse Than Lie Us Into War...

May 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Dartagnan   DAILY KOS The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given. The regime has long-standing and continuing ties to terrorist groups, and there are al Qaeda terrorists inside Iraq. This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb, and with fissile material could build one within a year. Radio Address of George W. Bush, September 28, 2002 Something critical is being lost in the torrent of pixels being spilled by the media as Jeb Bushwriggleshaplessly, like some prehistoric insect trapped in amber, struggling to explain away, recast or rationalize his brother’s hideous legacy. Many of us with functional memories concluded long ago that...

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DEMOCRATS’ COMMITTEES FACE STAGGERING EARLY DEFICIT AMONG 2016 DONORS...

May 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]                            Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus: a thumbs up for mega-donors. Photograph: Rick WIlking/Reuters A provision quietly inserted into last year’s Cromnibus spending bill increased the maximum party committees can accept to over $334,000 – and Republicans are out-raising Democrats among these mega-donors by an 11-to-1 margin Ben Jacobs and Russ Choma in Washington   THE GUARDIAN   A new loophole stuck into a budget bill last year allows donors to gives hundreds of thousands of dollars to political parties. However, only the Republican party is benefiting from it. A provision quietly inserted into the combination continuing resolution/omnibus spending bill – or Cromnibus – last year increased the maximum that party committees can accept from $33,400 to over $334,000 each year. (The limits were also increased for senate and congressional campaign committees to...

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ELON MUSK WILL NOT SAVE US: WHY LIBERTARIANS WAITING FOR SUPERMAN ARE WASTING EVERYONE’S TIME...

May 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]                                                               Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors (Credit: AP/Mark Lennihan) Conservatives arguing that Silicon Valley will save us from climate change are playing ideological make believe Elias Isquith SALON.COM   Even though his statement is almost identical to the hyperbole frequently spouted by the rest of his party, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s recent claim that “the world has never been more dangerous than it is today” still deserves to be mocked by anyone whose historical memory stretches beyond Sept. 10, 2001. Indeed, President Obama was much closer to the truth when he called our era “the best time in human history to be born.” Nothing like World War I or World War II is in the offing; Ebola is not the new Black Death; history is over; and the chances of nuclear warfare...

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FORECLOSED NATION: WALL STREET, THE DISPOSSESSED & THE QUALITY OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY...

May 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] If those affected by foreclosure were a voting bloc, we’d treat the crisis as the ongoing emergency that it is Isaac William Martin and Christopher Niedt   SALON.COM   A foreclosed home in Chicago, June 29, 2010. (Credit: Reuters/John Gress) Excerpted from “Foreclosed America” Why has the continued crisis of dispossession not been treated as a national emergency? Given the scale of the foreclosure crisis, the policy response has been muted. Congress and the Obama administration have repeatedly rejected demands for a national moratorium on mortgage foreclosures. Legislators in several states introduced foreclosure moratorium bills, but few states enacted them, and those only briefly, in response to evidence of forged documents and other egregious fraud by lenders. Calls for “cramdown” legislation that would have allowed bankruptcy judges to reduce mortgage loan principal went nowhere....

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Martin O’Malley could try to out-green Bernie Sanders...

May 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Edward Kimmel By Ben Adler GRIST Twee This is an updated version of a post originally published on 28 May 2015. Martin O’Malley is running for president. The former Maryland governor announced his candidacy on Saturday. He is only the third to enter the race for the Democratic nomination, which means he is among the three declared candidates most eager to combat climate change. (The entire Republican field consists of people who want to do nothing about climate change; most of them don’t even accept its existence.) Last fall, I visited O’Malley in Annapolis and interviewed him for a profile focused on his climate change record. Here are the main things you need to know about him on climate, energy, and the environment: • He is a climate hawk. O’Malley signed into law a...

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A HOUSE WITH FOUR COURTYARDS

May 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] andrés stebelski delineates a house with four courtyards in mexico city andrés stebelski delineates a house with four courtyards in mexico city photography by onnis luque all images courtesy of andrés stebelski arquitecto       situated in mexico city’s tacubaya district, this dwelling designed by andrés stebelski has been arranged around four external courtyards. the residence replaces a dilapidated structure which was subsequently demolished to make way for the new building. glazed partitions ensure that the home is read as a singular environment       surrounding the entirety of the property, a perimeter wall climbs to a height of six meters, respecting the scale of both neighboring properties and the adjacent streetscape. with its alternating internal volumes and external voids, the floor plan reads as a chessboard. however, glazed partitions between...

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TWO GALLONS OF WATER FOR A WALNUT?...

May 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] With Dr. Denis Mukwege at Harvard’s graduation. By NICHOLAS KRISTOF I like to think that I may be the only city slicker newspaper columnist who knows how to vaccinate a sheep, weld iron and drive a tractor. I grew up on a farm in Oregon and really treasure that background – and that’s one reason I periodically take aim in my column at industrial farming today. Today’s agricultural system often fails farmers and consumers alike – hence my column about how it takes two gallons of water to produce a single walnut. Read the column and take my quiz – do you consume more water by taking a shower or by eating a hamburger? – and let’s start a conversation about how to make our food system work better for everyone. I must...

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CAPITALISM COULD KILL ALL LIFE ON EARTH...

May 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed (Image: Coal smoke via Shutterstock) Are we going to let capitalism destroy life on Earth? According to 99 percent of climate scientists – we’ll know by the end of the century. Scientists have agreed for three decades about what is causing atmospheric temperatures to rise – humans are burning Earth’s carbon resources to fuel economic activity. But even before we knew what was causing the temperature to rise – scientists warned about the dire global impacts of a two degree increase in atmospheric temperatures. Earth’s climate has been basically stable for hundreds of thousands of years. But that changed during the industrial revolution – when Great Britain realized the potential of coal-powered steam engines. Soon continental Europe and the US followed...

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HOPE IN THE AGE OF CLIMATE CONSEQUENCES...

May 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By Kate Davies, Tikkun | Op-Ed How can we be hopeful in the age of climate consequences? How can we be positive about the future now that we are living with the reality of climate disruption? With 2014 the hottest year on record and with weather-related disasters threatening lives with increasing frequency, these questions are becoming more urgent. To respond to them, we first must consider what we mean by hope. Mostly, this ordinary one-syllable word rolls off our tongues without much thought. We blithely say things like “I hope you feel better soon” or “I hope it’s sunny tomorrow.” The Compact Oxford Dictionary defines hope as “the expectation of something desired,” and Webster’s says it is “desire with expectation of fulfillment.” This type of hope is based on a particular outcome or...

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NEW HIV STUDY WAS SO DRAMATIC, IT HAD TO BE STOPPED EARLY...

May 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Tara Culp-Ressler  THINK PROGRESS Antiretroviral medication at an HIV/AIDS Clinic in Johannesburg, which sees between 600 to 800 patients a day from all over southern Africa CREDIT: AP Photo/Denis Farrell A major international clinical trial funded by the National Institutes for Health (NIH) has been cut short a year early, now that researchers have documented such compelling results about the right way to deliver HIV treatment. The Strategic Timing of AntiRetroviral Treatment (START) study, which has been tracking more than 4,600 HIV-positive people in dozens of countries since 2011, aimed to figure out when patients should begin taking a combination of drugs that can effectively suppress the virus. Antiretroviral drugs are a major advance in HIV treatment that allow many HIV-positive individuals to live long and healthy lives. But, since the drugs...

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WAR CRIME: NATO DELIBERATELY DESTROYED LIBYA’S WATER INFRASTRUCTURE...

May 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By Nafeez Ahmed, The Ecologist | Report The military targeting of civilian infrastructure, especially of water supplies, is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions. Yet this is precisely what NATO did in Libya, while blaming the damage on Gaddafi himself. Since then, the country’s water infrastructure – and the suffering of its people – has only deteriorated further. Numerous reports comment on the water crisis that is escalating across Libya as consumption outpaces production. Some have noted the environmental context in regional water scarcity due to climate change. But what they ignore is the fact that the complex national irrigation system that had been carefully built and maintained over decades to overcome this problem was targeted and disrupted by NATO. During the 2011 military invasion, press reports surfaced, mostly citing pro-rebel...

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HERE’S WHY WE NEED TO POLITICIZE DISASTERS...

May 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Reuters By Tim Kovach GRIST The past week has brought widespread devastation throughout Texas, as torrential rain and tornadoes have ripped through a wide swath of the state. Severe weather has killed at least 24 people in Texas and Oklahoma since last weekend, and another 14 remain missing, as floodwaters swept up residents and carried them miles downstream. The scale of the disaster is historic. Last Monday, an inch of rain fell on Houston in just five minutes, while 95 percent of the state — along with parts of Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Oklahoma — was under a flash flood warning at one point. So much rain has fallen during the past month — 35 trillion gallons, according to the National Weather Service — that it could cover the entire state of...

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This Newly Discovered Fungus Could Eat the Plastic Out of Landfills...

May 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Apparently, pestalotiopsis microspora has a healthy appetite for plastic. By Amanda Froelich / True Activist  VIA ALTERNET May 28, 2015 Photo Credit: alterfalter/Shutterstock Few think twice about what to do with their disposable water bottle after they’ve drunk its contents, but environmentalists are aware that it is the entire ecosystem which has to pay the price for misguided actions in the present. Currently, Americans discard about 33.6 million tons of plastic each year. Only 6.5 percent of it is recycled and 7.7 percent is combusted in waste-to-energy facilities, which create electricity or heat from garbage. In result, there are a massive amount of non-biodegradable materials being tossed into landfills with a wait of about 1,000 years or so before they decompose. What’s worse, many of these materials may leak pollutants into the soil and...

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As Carbon Emissions Continue to Increase, So Will Extreme Downpours...

May 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Record-breaking rain across Texas and Oklahoma suggest a climate change signal. Climate Central  VIA ALTERNET   2015 Lake Texoma flooding Photo Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa/Flickr Record-breaking rain across Texas and Oklahoma this week caused widespread flooding, the likes of which the region has rarely, if ever, seen. For seven locations there, May 2015 has seen the most rain of any month ever recorded, with five days to go and the rain still coming. While rainfall in the region is consistent with the emerging El Niño, the unprecedented amounts suggest a possible climate change signal, where a warming atmosphere becomes more saturated with water vapor and capable of previously unimagined downpours. Several people have been killed and hundreds have been rescued from their homes. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has already declared...

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This is what Uber’s futuristic new headquarters will look like...

May 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]     <p>Your browser does not support iframes.</p> 12  While Shop Architects designed the overall proposal, the interiors were conceived by interior designers Studio O+A. The 423,000-square-foot campus will comprize two buildings: a six-story structure at at 1515 Third Street and an 11-story one at 1455 Third Street. The company’s current headquarters is also located in San Francisco and the new building will triple its presence in the city. The new buildings will address different needs of its employees and even provide a day care center, and for those who don”t want to live in the neighborhood, the nearby Caltrain station will provide a good public transport connection. + Shop Architects + Studio O+A Via Quartz, HUH...

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IT’S TIME TO WEAN OURSELVES OFF THE FAIRYTALE VERSION OF FARMING...

May 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] George Monbiot   THE GUARDIAN Children’s tales bear no resemblance to the cruelty of most modern farms, yet this image enables us to turn a blind eye to animal welfare and is exploited by the industry for profit – as Kerrygold’s recent Guardian advertorial shows ‘At a deep, subconscious level, the farm remains a place of harmony and kindness – and this suits us very well if we want to keep eating meat.’ Photograph: Ikon Images/Alamy The way that meat, eggs and milk are produced is surrounded by one of our great silences, in which most people collaborate. We don’t want to know, because knowing would force anyone with a capacity for empathy to change their diet. You break this silence at your peril. After I published an article on chicken farming last week,...

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Smoking Gun: 1960s-Era Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Says Politics ‘Is All Fraudulent’...

May 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] TRUTHDIG     Theodore H. White, in his New York City apartment with the book that won him the Pulitzer Prize, on May 7, 1962. (AP) A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist credited with inventing the genre of the modern presidential campaign book told a close friend in a 1960 letter that all of politics is a fraud but that he played along—endorsing it to the public—because he felt compelled to. Jon Schwarz reported on the letter, written by Theodore H. White, on The Intercept’s Unofficial Sources blog. Schwarz gives a sketch of the stance White took in public by quoting from the first pages of White’s book, “The Making of the President, 1960.” White wrote: I owe two general acknowledgments: First, to the politicians of America — men whom I have found over the...

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AERSOLS MAY OFFER SHORT-TERM LIFELINE TO CORALS IN CRISIS...

May 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By Tim Radford, Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG     Bleached coral on a reef off the coast of Fiji in the South Pacific. (Peter J. Mumby, University of Queensland) This Creative Commons-licensed piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—A new solution has been proposed for the forthcoming crisis of the coral reefs: blot out some of the sunlight. Scientists from the US, UK and Australia suggest a form of climate engineering called solar radiation management, which involves pumping aerosols into the stratosphere to reduce global temperatures—and especially the warming of the tropic seas. If sea temperatures rise just 1°C to 2°C above the normal summer high, something gruesome happens to the coral reefs: they bleach. This is because they sicken, and expel the colourful algae with which they cohabit. It is...

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Here is how the media SHOULD handle climate deniers...

May 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] BBC’s Katty Kay shut down former FEMA director Joe Allbaugh VIDEO Joanna Rothkopf  SALON.COM On Wednesday, BBC News’ “World News America” host Katty Kay interviewed former Bush Administration Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director Joe Allbaugh about the recent floods in Texas. “These happen occasionally,” Allbaugh said of the flood which has resulted in at least 17 deaths. “You’ll have the global warming people go crazy and say, ‘See, see.’ But the problem is humidity has always lived around water since time began, and we’re gonna continue to live around water, and there are dangers to that trade-off.” “You were kind of dismissing the global warming argument in all this,” Kay followed up later. “Are you saying that you really don’t see anything in climate change contributing to extreme weather disasters such as...

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Diagramming the Landscape

May 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Metropolis Magazine Point of View Katherine Cannella Following thorough research and analysis, the Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects firm developed a long-term vision for the East River Esplanade that includes an ecological edge to accommodate the needs of the public and the river environment. Mathews Nielsen The Green Team’s last post examined how site history plays out in design. Here we consider landscape diagrams as a tool for analyzing a site’s bio-physical and social context. The maps created by landscape architects are tools for looking at the big picture. They are diagrams, distilling data to reveal spatial structure and function. Each piece of information is a layer—water, topography, pavement, utility lines—and we turn on layers, either one at a time or overlaying them, to illustrate the built environment. Ian McHarg is credited with establishing...

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Hillary Appoints Former Junk Food Lobbyist As Head Of Black Outreach...

May 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] The selection of another former lobbyist belies Clinton’s newfound “populism”. By Zaid Jilani / AlterNet As the primary campaigns on both sides of the aisle heat up, they are starting to staff their ground teams – the folks responsible for winning over local party elites and doing ground-level organizing. While in South Carolina, Hillary Clinton tapped LaDavia Drane to head her campaign’s outreach to black voters. Drane most recently worked for Washington, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser. Before that, she was a director at the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. These are public service positions well-suited for outreach to the African American community. So is campaigning for Barack Obama in 2008 and working for Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH). But between her stints working for the government, she took some time off to lobby for the...

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Biotech Giant DuPont-Pioneer Found Guilty of Pesticide Contamination...

May 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] A jury awarded 15 people $500,000 in damages in the latest victory against GE seed corporations in Hawaii. By Paul Towers / Pesticide Action Network North America   VIA ALTERNET Photo Credit: tony4urban/Shutterstock Chalk up another win for the little guy. A handful of residents of Kauai’s Waimea community recently prevailed in court over biotech giant DuPont-Pioneer. Citing extensive, harmful dust generated by DuPont’s seed operations, a jury awarded 15 residents $500,000 in damages. This is just the latest in an impressive string of victories against pesticide and genetically engineered (GE) seed corporations in Kaua’i, the global epicenter for GE seed testing. Why the lawsuit? Picture red (pesticide-contaminated) dust blanketing your house and yard, regularly blowing over from neighboring fields, leaving you unable to open your windows or leave your home. That’s what residents...

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10 Crucial Issues Most Politicians—Except Bernie Sanders—Lie About...

May 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] From too-big-to-fail to TPP, Sanders’ entry into the race is sure to elevate the conversation. By Alex Henderson / AlterNet   Bernie Sanders had a lot to say this week, when he officially launched his presidential campaign with a large rally in Burlington, Vermont. The 73-year-old Sanders, who was elected to the United States Senate as an independent but is running for president in the Democratic primary, described income inequality as “the great moral issue of our time” and called for a single-payer healthcare system, major infrastructure projects and legislation that would break up the U.S.’ largest banks. As president, Sanders told his supporters, he would only nominate Supreme Court justices who were in favor of overturning the 2010 Citizens United ruling. If the rally in Burlington is any indication, Hillary Clinton may very well have the type of...

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How Monsanto Could Get Even Bigger and More Powerful...

May 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Environment We should be very concerned about the future of the world’s food supply. By Reynard Loki / AlterNet Photo Credit: prudkov/Shutterstock Earlier this month, Swiss seed and agrochemical company Syngenta rejected Monsanto’s second takeover bid in a year. Syngenta’s board said the offer undervalued the company and did not fully address regulatory risks. But the St. Louis-based biotech giant, the world’s biggest seed seller, is not deterred and is planning a new offer to Syngenta, the world’s biggest pesticide and fertilizer seller. If approved, it would be the biggest agribusiness merger in history. But clearing antitrust regulators in the U.S. and the EU is a big if. The combined behemoth would be the world’s largest seed and crop chemical company with more than $30 billion in revenue and control over 35 percent...

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Two radically different cities, and the sustainability challenges they face...

May 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   Leading a sustainable life in Iqaluit and Johannesburg isn’t always easy, but communities are rallying to overcome long-standing hurdles A Canadian Coast Guard vessel patrols during the spring thaw. Climate change means the shipping season is being extended. Photograph: Meagan Leach Oliver Balch  THE GUARDIAN   Sustainability is often seen as the preserve of the well-off. They are the ones that have the time and money to care about saving the planet. For everyone else, there are day-to-day concerns to worry about. Yet it’s communities with very real social and environmental problems that arguably have the most to gain from sustainable solutions. Here, we look at two cities where, against the odds, efforts to promote sustainable living are emerging. The first is Iqaluit, a remote indigenous community in the Canadian Arctic that...

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Fracking Ban In Maryland Will Go Into Law After Republican Governor Refuses To Veto...

May 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Emily Atkin CLIMATE PROGRESS Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. At the end of the day on Friday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will become the first-ever Republican governor to allow a statewide moratorium on fracking. A two-year ban on the natural gas extraction technique passed overwhelmingly in both houses of the state General Assembly earlier this year, and last weekend, Hogan announced that that he would not veto the bill. However, Hogan also said he wouldn’t sign the bill, instead simply allowing it to automatically become law under time restrictions for signing or vetoing. That time restriction expires at the end of the day on Friday. Fracking entails injecting a high-pressure mixture of water, sand, and chemicals underground to crack shale rock and release oil and gas. Environmentalists have long been concerned about the...

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Congressional Republicans are outraged that the EPA wants to protect our drinking water...

May 28, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] “The only people with reason to oppose the rule are polluters who knowingly threaten our clean water” Lindsay Abrams  SALON.COM (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) (Credit: AP) The EPA knew it was stepping onto a battlefield Wednesday when it released its final version of a rule aimed at protecting America’s stream and wetlands, clearing up confusion inherent in the original Clean Water Act and allowing regulators to stop pollution from spreading to the larger waterways on which one in three Americans rely for drinking water. And the agency was ready for the critics. “The only people with reason to oppose the rule,” White House Senior Advisor Brian Deese told reporters on a press call Wednesday, “are polluters who knowingly threaten our clean water.” So who are those willful polluters? Congressional Republicans, along with a...

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