Trump’s just-named EPA chief is a climate change denier

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It almost sounds like farce, except it’s true: President-elect Donald Trump has tapped a climate-change denier to run the federal agency in charge of reducing the nation’s planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

Trump on Wednesday nominated Scott Pruitt, the Republican attorney general in oil-rich Oklahoma, to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Trump transition officials told reporters.

Pruitt has a long record of suing the agency he has been nominated to lead, including opposing the agency’s Clean Power Plan, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.  Read more…

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Thousands of snow geese were killed after landing in a toxic lake

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When a snowstorm hit Montana last week, tens of thousands of southbound snow geese were forced to land in the nearest source of open water. It just so happened that source was a toxic pit from an old copper mine.

Several thousand geese died soon after settling in the pit, which holds about 45 billion gallons of highly acidic water, according to Montana Resources, one of the mining companies responsible for the Berkeley Pit Superfund site.

Witnesses described the scene on Nov. 28 as “700 acres of white birds,” Mark Thompson, the environmental affairs manager for Montana Resources, told the Associated Press. Read more…

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A new underwater robot captured eerie, high-def scenes from sunken ship

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A new type of underwater robot has made it possible to peer deep inside the USS Arizona, the sunken naval battleship that was bombed 75 years ago at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The remotely-operated submersible recently filmed sobering and previously unseen glimpses of the ship for the new documentary Pearl Harbor: Into the Arizona, a co-production of CuriosityStream and PBS. 

In the film, an officer’s dress uniform, now covered in algae, still hangs from its hook in the living quarters. A crewman’s hat keeps its shiny trim. A bathroom cabinet holds its original contents, while a blanket covers an intact bed. Read more…

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Crack in Antarctic ice shelf threatens research station

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A giant crack in East Antarctica is threatening to cleave off part of the ice where a key research station sits and leave the facility drifting on an iceberg.

The chasm, which was dormant for 35 years, is now growing at a pace of about 1.7 kilometers, or 1 mile, per year on the Brunt ice shelf, according to the British Antarctic Survey.

The U.K. science office on Tuesday said it was preparing to move the Halley VI Research Station to save it from splintering off into the sea. The station is a globally important platform for gathering data on space, weather, climate change and ozone measurements.  Read more…

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Google’s data centers, offices will use 100% renewable energy in 2017

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Google will power 100 percent of its sprawling data centers and offices with renewable energy starting next year.

The tech giant on Tuesday said it had bought enough wind and solar power to account for all the electricity it uses globally each year. That means the servers handling your Google Maps requests, storing your backlog of unread Gmails and holding the work of aspiring YouTube stars will use only emissions-free energy. 

Last year, just 44 percent of Google’s power supplies came from renewables, the company said.

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‘I saw my fear’: How psychedelic therapy is making a comeback

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After learning in 2010 that she had Stage 1 ovarian cancer, Dinah Bazer felt optimistic. Her doctors had just removed the grapefruit-sized tumor bulging from her belly and started her on a course of chemotherapy.   

“I thought, when the chemo is over, we’ll celebrate,” Bazer, who is now 69, recalled. “But it was the exact opposite.”

Bazer’s cancer was in remission, yet she felt terrified by the possibility of its return. Every check-up filled her with dread. She gained weight stress-eating bags of Halloween candy in her Brooklyn home. The upbeat spirit she’d shown her husband and two grown daughters was completely gone.    Read more…

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‘I saw my fear’: How psychedelic therapy is making a comeback

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After learning in 2010 that she had Stage 1 ovarian cancer, Dinah Bazer felt optimistic. Her doctors had just removed the grapefruit-sized tumor bulging from her belly and started her on a course of chemotherapy.   

“I thought, when the chemo is over, we’ll celebrate,” Bazer, who is now 69, recalled. “But it was the exact opposite.”

Bazer’s cancer was in remission, yet she felt terrified by the possibility of its return. Every check-up filled her with dread. She gained weight stress-eating bags of Halloween candy in her Brooklyn home. The upbeat spirit she’d shown her husband and two grown daughters was completely gone.    Read more…

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Watch Hawaii become a winter wonderland

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A winter storm warning is in effect for an unlikely place: tropical Hawaii.

The National Weather Service has issued a warning for the Big Island’s Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa volcanoes through Sunday night. 

Around 2 feet of snow has already fallen on the volcanoes’ peaks, and another 6 to 12 feet are expected throughout Sunday above 11,000 feet.

Time-lapse footage near Mauna Kea’s summit captured wind gusts and thick snow piling up near the elegantly named Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope.

The peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa both rise more than 13,000 feet above sea level, and both volcanoes get snow each year. Read more…

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Dakota Access pipeline opponents just scored a huge victory

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Opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline erupted in cheers on Sunday after U.S. regulators rejected a final permit needed to complete the controversial pipeline.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it won’t grant an easement that would’ve allowed the pipeline’s builders to run the conduit under Lake Oahe, a reservoir near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota.

The decision is an enormous victory for the thousands of people camped near the disputed construction site. 

Native American activists and their allies have insisted that the $3.8 billion project would threaten the region’s water supplies and damage sacred sites. Critics also noted the 1,170-mile pipeline would boost U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by allowing for increased oil production in North Dakota’s shale region. Read more…

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Inside the Oakland artist warehouse that tragically burned down

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Before the “Ghost Ship” became the a scene of a deadly fire in Oakland, California, the building was an artist workspace and a makeshift boarding house.

The 4,000-square-foot converted warehouse contained an elaborate maze of slapdash living quarters, artist studios, junk storage and an open space for late-night dance parties, like the one that drew up to 100 people on Dec. 2. 

Big colorful rugs and well-worn sofas filled the rooms, while a vast collection of pianos, guitars, turntables, paintings and other objects you might find in an antique store lay scattered around the loft-like interior, according to pictures on Ghost Ship’s website. Read more…

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