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30 percent of Great Barrier Reef Coral Died in ‘Catastrophic’ 2016 Heatwave – April 19, 2018

Extent and severity of 'mass mortality' event documented in report has shocked scientists

Scientists have chronicled the “mass mortality” of corals on the Great Barrier Reef, in a new report that says 30 percent of the reef’s corals died in a catastrophic nine-month marine heatwave.

photo of bleached coralPhoto by ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies/Mia HoogenboomThe extent of the coral die-off recorded in the Great Barrier Reef was significantly greater than historical bleaching events. Scientists discovered that different corals have markedly different responses to heat stress, with some experiencing catastrophic die-offs while others proved more resilient. 

The study,… more

by: The Guardian

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Poland Violated Law by Logging UNESCO-protected Białowieża Forest, Court Rules – April 17, 2018

At least 10,000 trees are believed to have been felled in the ancient forest since 2016

The EU’s highest court has ruled that Poland’s logging in the UNESCO-protected Białowieża forest is illegal, potentially opening the door to multi-million euro fines.

photo of Bialowieza Forest Photo courtesy of Greenpeace Poland Logs cut and ready for removal from Poland's Białowieża forest. The EU's highest court ruled that Poland's logging in the ancient forest violates EU laws.

At least 10,000 trees are thought to have been felled in Białowieża, one of Europe’s last parcels of primeval woodland, since the Polish environment minister, Jan Szyzko, tripled logging limits there in 2016.

Greenpeace says that as many… more

by: The Guardian

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Mike Pompeo Is a Disaster for the Planet. Why Do Democrats Back Him? – April 13, 2018

We must pressure Democrats who have backed the CIA director nominee to change course

Ignorant, dangerous, and absolutely unbelievable.” This is how Mike Pompeo, then the nominee for CIA director, described the idea that climate change threatens our nation’s security in his 2017 Senate confirmation hearings. It’s also how our generation and many to come will remember any senator who votes to confirm Pompeo as our next secretary of state.

photo of Mike PompeoPhoto by Gage SkidmoreMike Pompeo accepted nearly $1.5 million from fossil fuel companies between 2009 and 2017.

Donald Trump’s decision to nominate Pompeo to replace the former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson signals loud and clear that he wants fossil… more

by: The Guardian

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The Rangers Risking Their Lives for Virunga’s Gorillas – April 6, 2018

The huge national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most dangerous conservation projects in the world

It is dawn on the shores of Lake Edward and the sun is rising over the volcanoes on the eastern skyline. Mist lies over the still water. In the forest there are elephant, hippopotamus and buffalo. Guarding them are 26 rangers in a single fortified post.

Then the silence is rudely broken. There are shouts, scattered shots, volleys from automatic weapons. Waves of attackers rush through the brush and trees. Some are close enough to hurl spears and fire arrows.

mountain gorilla in Virunga park, CongoPhoto by Joseph KingThanks to the efforts of a committed force of rangers, populations of endangered species are recovering… more

by: The Guardian

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Starbucks Cafe Opens in Yosemite, to Delight and Dismay – March 26, 2018

To many, the cafe represents a trend of commercialism and 25,000 people petitioned to stop it from opening

It looks and feels just like any of the other roughly 27,000 Starbucks locations that have opened around the world. The green apron-clad barista makes tall, grande and venti coffee concoctions that are handed over in familiar mermaid-endowed cups.

yosemite in winterPhoto by armboyted/Flickr A petition against the cafe states that with a Starbucks, Yosemite “will lose its essence, making it hardly distinguishable from a chaotic and bustling commercial city”.

But from the parking lot outside – where there is an intentional lack of Starbucks signage - the world-famous Yosemite falls can be heard through the patter of an early… more

by: The Guardian

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