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Health
Oahu's rich volcanic soil, ample sunshine, tropical rains and climate make for perfect growing conditions for many crops. Jason Jacobs / CC BY 2.0

Hawaii Bans Use of Toxic Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

In a win for public health, Hawaii Governor David Ige signed a bill banning the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which has been linked to increased risk of learning disabilities, lower IQs, developmental delays, and behavior problems in children. "Hawaii is showing the Trump administration that the states will stand up for our kids, even when Washington will not," said Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, a senior scientist at NRDC.

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Renewable Energy
The Centralia Power Plant in Washington state. Robert Ashworth / CC BY 2.0

Major Coal-Fired Power Plant in Washington to Go Solar

By Starre Vartan

It was once Washington state's largest coal pit, a terraced, open-to-the-sky strip mine, five miles from the city of Centralia and halfway between Seattle and Portland, Oregon. Today, the coal beds are quiet and blanketed in green, but an adjacent TransAlta power plant with three tall stacks still churns out electricity the traditional way, with coal now supplied from Wyoming.

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Animals
A dead bull elk found on the Silvies Valley Ranch in Oregon's Harney County last fall; it appeared to have been shot with a high-powered rifle during archery season and was left to waste by the poachers. Oregon State Police

Oregon Has a Poaching Problem—and a Force to Reckon With It

By Becca Cudmore

"Oregon State Police, this is Andrew," said the dispatcher covering Oregon's wildlife TIP (Turn In Poachers) line. It was mid-May, and Andrew Tuttle was prepared to answer a call on the latest deer wandering around with an arrow through her skull, or possibly a dynamited trout. (Salmon and steelhead were running upriver at the time.) His next step would be to pen down the who, what, when and where details and then send them through to an on-the-ground trooper in the caller's region. (In this case, the caller was a reporter inquiring about the agency's work. No further action needed here.)

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Animals
Owen Freeman

What’s Happening to the North Atlantic Right Whale Is Just Plain Wrong

By Jason Bittel

Imagine if safari-goers in Africa came upon an elephant trudging through the brush covered in a tangle of ropes and netting. What if, on closer inspection, they found that the animal's mouth was blocked, preventing it from eating, or that lengths of rope had coiled around and cut into its legs, making every stride a battle? Imagine if the last thing those tourists saw was the elephant disappearing into the forest, dragging a veritable ball and chain of man-made debris behind it.

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Popular
Vibroseis vehicles in Big Cypress National Preserve. NRDC

Oil Hunt Damages Everglades’ Big Cypress National Preserve

By Alison Kelly

New oil development has no place in sensitive wetland habitats in the Florida Everglades. The Burnett Oil Company, based in Texas, claimed it could explore for oil in the Big Cypress National Preserve with no significant, long-term impacts to sensitive wetlands. But these claims have been refuted, as Burnett Oil has caused significant damage.

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Food
Sales of medically important antibiotics for pigs rival those for use in human medicine.

The Pork Industry’s Role in the Future of Modern Medicine

By David Wallinga, MD

More than a century ago, my grandfather left his family's farm in Sioux Center, Iowa to study medicine, and later to set up practice in St. Paul, MN—which was founded as Pig's Eye, of course.

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Climate
Pexels

A Race to Save Our Planet: Bloomberg Announces Multimillion-Dollar City Climate Challenge

One year after President Trump pulled out of the landmark Paris climate agreement, his administration shows no signs of progress, choosing instead to ignore climate science and boost the fossil fuel industry. So today, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, the secretary general for the United Nations' Special Envoy for Climate Change, unveiled the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge—a $70 million competition to spur aggressive city-level climate programs.

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Oceans
Dedee Verdin / Kids Ocean Day

LA Kids Make Waves for a Plastic-Free Ocean

By Taryn Kiekow Heimer

Kids Ocean Day—a day that inspired nearly 4,500 Los Angeles-area children to clean up nearby beaches—celebrated its 25th Anniversary last Thursday. The day started with a beach cleanup at Dockweiler State Beach, which was followed by a news conference and kick-off program where Emmett Kliger, a fifth grade student from Citizens of the World Charter School Mar Vista, recited a poem he created to commemorate the anniversary of Kids Ocean Day. The event concluded with a giant aerial art WAVE the children created with their bodies, a picture so large it could only be seen from the sky. This year's theme was "Kids Making Waves for a Plastic-Free Ocean," which highlighted the importance of teamwork for keeping our ocean clean for future generations.

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Food
Alexander Spacher

How (and Why) to Be a Seed Savior

By Nancy Castaldo

Wheat, maize, rice ... repeat. Those three starchy plants provide about half of all the calories we consume. What's more, of the 12,000 plant species that can be used for human food, only about 150 are cultivated. And that heavy reliance on a limited number of crops poses a serious risk when it comes to our food security. We can look back to the devastation of the Irish potato famine to see the importance of crop diversity. A million people died because a blight killed just one species of potato—the Irish lumper.

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