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Making Peace with Fire

It’s peak wildfire season in the American West. As I write this, firefighters are battling twenty-six active fires across eight of the thirteen Western states, including five in California, where a prolonged drought and extreme summer heat have turned forestlands into tinderboxes waiting for a light. So far, four civilian and two firefighter deaths have been reported and thousands of homes have been evacuated. As the fire season stretches on into fall,…
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by: Maureen Nandini Mitra – Autumn 2016

Coral Reefs Need Big Fish Pee

New research shows overfishing of large, predatory fish can deplete reefs of key nutrients

Fish pee. OK, I suppose I kind of knew that, but somehow the thought fish they pee right where they swim never crossed my mind. Now I’m learning that the waters around thriving coral colonies are liberally laced with fish urine. I’m…
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by: Maureen Nandini Mitra – August 19, 2016

One Man’s Legal Quest to Change How We View Animals

In Review: Unlocking the Cage

Given that I’ve written in great detail about Steven Wise and the Nonhuman Rights Project’s efforts to get some animals recognized as “persons,” the basic premise and much of the convoluted legal gymnastics showcased in Unlocking the Cage were not new to…
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by: Maureen Nandini Mitra – July 22, 2016

High Levels of Toxins Found in Bodies of People Living Near Fracking Sites

Study first to show that harmful chemicals from natural gas operations are contaminating bodies of Pavillion, Wyoming residents

Many of the toxic chemicals escaping from fracking and natural gas processing sites and storage facilities may be present in much higher concentrations in the bodies of people living or working near such sites, new research has shown. Photo by courtesy of…
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by: Maureen Nandini Mitra – June 24, 2016

2015 Was Deadliest Year for Grassroots Environmental Defenders

185 killings, 40 percent of those murdered were from indigenous groups, says Global Witness report

I recently received an email alert that the life of Indigenous environmental and human rights defender Gloria Ushigua was at risk. The report outlined the “escalating intimidation of and harassment against” Ushigua, the coordinator of the Sápara women’s organization, Ashiñwaka, who has…
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by: Maureen Nandini Mitra – June 21, 2016

Air Pollution May Affect Children’s Mental Health

Study finds increased psychiatric disorders among kids living in areas with higher vehicle emissions

Add one more to the long list of harms caused by air pollution — mental health problems in children. A new study by researchers from Umeå University in Sweden warns that prolonged exposure to polluted air, especially air containing particulates from vehicle…
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by: Maureen Nandini Mitra – June 10, 2016

Amid Showdown, Thai Officials Begin Removing Big Cats from Infamous Tiger Temple

Day 3 of rescue operation leads to awful discovery: 40 dead tiger cubs and other animal parts

So it has come to pass — following several months of stand off, the infamous Tiger Temple has been closed down as Thai wildlife officials and veterinarians undertake a monumental operation to relocate the remaining 137 tigers from the temple in Thailand’s…
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by: Maureen Nandini Mitra – June 1, 2016

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