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Dramatic Decline in Borneo’s Orangutan Population as 150,000 lost in 16 years – February 16, 2018

Fresh efforts needed to protect critically endangered animals from hunters and habitat loss as population more than halves

Hunting and killing have driven a dramatic decline in the orangutan population on Borneo where nearly 150,000 animals have been lost from the island’s forests in 16 years, conservationists warn.

photo of plastic balesPhoto by Gemma i Jere, Flickr Female orangutans are sometimes killed for their young, which are sold on as pets. Others are killed for food or for venturing onto plantations or into gardens.

While the steepest percentage losses occurred in regions where the forest has been cut down to make way for palm oil and acacia plantations, more animals were killed by hunters who ventured into the… more

by: The Guardian

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Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Aims to Speed Up and Even Sweep Away Environmental Reviews – February 13, 2018

Proposal would threaten endangered species and fragile habitats

The Trump administration is attempting to speed up or even sweep away various environmental reviews in its plan to fix America’s crumbling infrastructure and construct a wall along the border with Mexico.

photo of roadworkPhoto by Oregon Department of Transportation The Trump Administration's plan seeks to speed up approval of roads, bridges, and other infrastructure projects.

The White House’s infrastructure plan targets what it calls “inefficiencies” in the approval of roads, bridges, airports, and other projects. It proposes a 21-month limit for environmental reviews of projects that… more

by: The Guardian

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Ozone Layer Thinning Over Non-Polar Regions, Scientists Warn – February 6, 2018

Though the hole over Antarctica has been closing, protective ozone isn't recovering over populated areas

The ozone layer that protects people from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation is not recovering over most highly populated regions, scientists warned on Tuesday.

photo of Earth’s AtmospherePhoto by NASA’s Earth ObservatoryThe Earth’s atmosphere, as observed from the international Space Station in 2011. New research indicates that the ozone layer, which wraps around the entire Earth, is thinning over non-polar areas.

The greatest losses in ozone occurred over Antarctica but the hole there has been closing since the chemicals causing the problem were banned by the Montreal protocol. But… more

by: The Guardian

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Volkswagen Under Fire for Testing Diesel Fumes on Monkeys and Humans – January 29, 2018

Carmaker condemned for experiments that involved humans and monkeys breathing toxic car fumes for hours at a time

Volkswagen, the world’s biggest carmaker, is under fire globally from politicians and environmentalists following revelations it commissioned experiments in which monkeys and humans breathed in car fumes for hours at a time.

photo of Volkswagen beetlePhoto by Riley from Christchurch, New Zealand on WikimediaTesting deepens suspicions that the car industry is looking to increase acceptance of diesel as a clean source of energy, despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said there was an urgent need for the company to reveal the true extent of the experiments. “These tests on monkeys or even… more

by: The Guardian

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Africatown, Site of Last US Slave Shipment, Sues Over Pollution – January 26, 2018

Hundreds of the largely Black residents are suing now-shuttered paper plant claiming it released toxic chemicals linked to cancer

From the front seat of his truck, Joe Womack points out the site where the Clotilda, the last known slave ship to enter the US, landed in 1860, 52 years after it outlawed the international slave trade.

Womack, a retired army major who grew up in the area and is now the leader of a local environmental justice group, has parked on a patch of dirt under a stories-high interstate bridge, wedged between a paper mill, oil storage tanks, and an industrial railroad.

photo of AfricatownPhoto by George Edwards, US Army Corps of EngineersAfricatown, seen here in the upper left quadrant of… more

by: The Guardian

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