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Central Park. Ingfbruno / CC BY-SA 3.0

New York's Central Park Is Going Car-Free

One of the world's most iconic parks is going vehicle-free this summer; New York City is banning all cars and trucks from Central Park.

"This park was not built for automobiles," Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday in Central Park. "It was built for people."

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Health
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt. Official White House Photo / Mitchell Resnick

Pruitt Prepares Block on Scientific Studies That Protect Public Health

Under the guise of "transparency," U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a controversial proposed rule Tuesday that actually limits the type of scientific studies and data the agency can use in crafting public health and environmental regulations.

The change—long championed by conservative lawmakers, chemical manufacturers and the fossil fuel industry—would only allow the EPA to consider scientific findings whose data and methodologies are publicly available and can be replicated.

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Business

World's First Collapsible, Reusable Straw Fits Right On Your Keychain

Straws suck—literally and figuratively. Americans throw away 500 million of these single-use plastics everyday day, clogging landfills, polluting oceans and causing harm to aquatic creatures.

And while reusable straws made of bamboo or metal already exist on the market, the Santa Fe-based team at FinalStraw have invented the world's first collapsible, reusable straw you can conveniently attach to your keychain so you won't forget to bring your own when you're on the go.

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Renewable Energy
GE's Haliade-X 12-megawatt offshore wind turbine

World's Largest Offshore Wind Turbine Can Power 16,000 Homes

The world's largest and most powerful offshore wind turbine will test its wings at an innovative facility in northeast England.

The 12-megawatt Haliade-X, developed by GE Renewable Energy, stands 853 feet tall, or about three times the height of the Flat Iron building in New York City. Its massive rotor diameter of 722 feet is roughly the tower height of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge above water.

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Climate
Climate activists Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein shut down Enbridge's tar sands pipelines 4 and 67 in Minnesota on Oct. 11, 2016. Climate Direct Action

Activists May Argue Pipeline Shutdown Was Necessary Due to Climate Change, Court Rules

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Monday that four climate activists facing criminal charges may use an unusual "necessity defense" over their efforts to shut down a pair of tar sands pipelines owned by Enbridge Energy.

"Valve turners" Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein were charged after shutting off the emergency valves on the two pipelines in October 2016. Johnston and Klapstein, and the two defendants who filmed them, argue their actions to stop the flow of the polluting bitumen were justified due to the threat of climate change.

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Animals
Recently up-listed to 'Vulnerable,' the snowy owl's rapid decline is likely connected to climate change. Wikimedia Commons

One in Eight Bird Species Threatened With Extinction, Study Finds

A major global assessment of global bird populations paints a grim outlook for our feathered friends.

A new report from BirdLife International finds that 40 percent of the world's 11,000 bird species are in decline, with one in eight bird species now under some threat of extinction.

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Energy
Gov. Phil Murphy / Instagram

New Jersey Passes Nation's Toughest Ban on Offshore Oil Drilling

New Jersey has passed a law prohibiting offshore oil and gas exploration, development and production in state waters—the nation's toughest response yet to the Trump administration's plans to vastly expand offshore drilling in nearly all U.S. coastal waters.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law on Friday the bipartisan bill called the "Shore Tourism and Ocean Protection from Offshore Oil and Gas Act" or "STOP Offshore Oil and Gas Act."

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Climate

Michael Bloomberg Pledges $4.5 Million to Help U.S. Meet Paris Climate Commitment

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will write a $4.5 million check to help cover the United States' commitment to the Paris climate agreement.

His offer fills the significant funding gap created by President Donald Trump's plan to withdraw from the global climate accord, which made the U.S. the only country opposed to the deal. Trump has also proposed deep budget cuts for international programs, including ones on climate.

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Climate

How Big Is Your Environmental Footprint?

If you want to make a positive change this Earth Day but don't know where to start, one of best things you can do is take an honest look at your environmental footprint. For instance, how much water are you wasting? How much plastic are you throwing out? How much planet-warming carbon are you producing?

Luckily, there are many online calculators that crunch through your consumption habits. While the final tally might be daunting, it's the first step in living more sustainably.

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