Bernie and Hillary Just Did Something We Thought We’d Never See

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The story was originally published by Grist and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Savor it, climate hawks. Global warming had its short and sweet 15 minutes of fame in the ninth—and likely final—Democratic primary debate on Thursday night. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton had an intense exchange at the CNN/NY1 debate that got to the heart of the two candidates’ different philosophies on climate action. Not only did they scuffle over a … MORE

Welcome to Afghanistan's Green Zone

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While many Afghan communities turn to opium poppies and cannabis to scrape out a living, these Panjshiris, who have no viable farmland, try to blast their way out of poverty by extracting emeralds from the mountain rock. Afghanistan is facing the daunting prospect of a large reduction in foreign aid, which now makes up about 90 percent of the country’s revenue. Geological surveys around the country have shown large deposits of valuable minerals, including uranium … MORE

Why World Leaders Are Terrified of Water Shortages

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This story was originally published by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Subscribe to the podcast and learn more at revealnews.org. Secret conversations between American diplomats show how a growing water crisis in the Middle East destabilized the region, helping spark civil wars in Syria and Yemen, and how those water shortages are spreading to the United States. Classified US cables reviewed by … MORE

The World’s Largest Coal Company Just Filed for Bankruptcy

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These are truly dark days for coal. The year started off badly for the industry when Arch Coal, the second-biggest coal producer in the United States, filed for bankruptcy. That announcement was swiftly followed by more: China said it plans to close 1,000 coal mines, US coal production dipped to its lowest level in three decades, and the Obama administration laid out plans to raise the cost coal mining on federal land. On Wednesday, the … MORE

Dangerous Work for “Crap Money”: The Dark Side of Recycling

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Darkness had enveloped the Newell Recycling yard by the time Erik Hilario climbed into a front-end loader on a cold evening in January 2011. Hilario, a 19-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico, earned $8 an hour at the industrial park in East Point, Georgia, working amid jagged piles of scrap metal eventually bound for the smelter. On this day, Hilario was driving a loader in a paved section of the nine-acre yard known as the defueler … MORE

The New York Primary Will Be a Big Fracking Deal

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This story was originally published by Fusion and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. On April 19, when New Yorkers get their turn to vote on the country’s next leader, the future of natural gas—specifically gas that comes from hydraulic fracturing—will be on many people’s minds. How the 2016 contenders will deal with climate change The Ultimate Presidential Climate Matrix Donald Trump Thinks Climate Change Is a Hoax Scientists: Ted Cruz’s … MORE

Octopus Brains Are So Much Cooler Than You Think

Let’s clear up one thing right off the bat: “Octopuses” is a perfectly acceptable plural of “octopus”—and it makes a heck of a lot more sense than “octopi.” That’s because the word derives from Greek (oktopous, meaning “eight feet”), not Latin. This week’s episode of the Inquiring Minds podcast is all about octopuses, specifically how these amazing cephalopods—the group of marine invertebrates that also includes squid and cuttlefish—are vastly more intelligent than they get credit … MORE

Rising Seas Could Deluge US Coastal Cities Sooner Than We Thought

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This story originally appeared on Newsweek and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Boston and other coastal cities may want to batten down the hatches. A new study from climate scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Pennsylvania State University warns estimates of future sea level rise may be significantly underestimated. The real picture 100 to 500 years from now, they claim, will be ugly for US coastal cities from … MORE