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Can Plastic Ever Be Made Illegal?

By Danielle Corcione

I thought I knew what garbage looked like. Then I arrived in Bangalore, the third-largest city in India.

There was trash almost everywhere you looked. Plastic bottles, food packaging and other waste that could've potentially been recycled contaminated the landscape, even in people's front- and backyards. When I'd ride into the city from the ashram where I was staying in the countryside, I'd inhale toxic fumes of garbage piles burning and observe wild animals rummaging through fields of trash.

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6 Thrilling New Environmental Books for November

By John R. Platt

The nights are getting shorter, the days are getting cooler and the bookstores are stocking up on great new titles. Here are six new environmentally themed books coming our way this November, addressing such issues as pesticides, poaching and climate change.

Check 'em out:

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Cliven Bundy’s Armed Insurrection, Rooted in Religious Extremism, Goes on Trial

By John Dougherty

In two heavily armed, militia-backed confrontations with the federal government in 2014 and 2016, Nevada scofflaw rancher Cliven Bundy and his family successfully created a self-serving narrative of a God-fearing, hard-working, true-blooded American family fearlessly battling an overreaching, oppressive and unconstitutional federal bureaucracy.

Bundy, 71, became a national figure in April 2014 when he forced federal land managers to release cattle seized for trespassing on public lands in southeast Nevada. Nineteen months later two of Bundy's sons, Ammon and Ryan, led an armed group that seized Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, about 32 miles south of this remote ranching community in southeast Oregon. In both instances, the elder Bundy leveraged growing public dissatisfaction with the federal government to promote his assertion that federal tyranny is crushing individual rights.

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Animals
The pallid bat is native to the western U.S., where the spread of white-nose syndrome is a threat. Ivan Kuzmin / Shutterstock

Why Are America's Bats Disappearing?

By John R. Platt

It's Friday evening in Pittsburgh, and the mosquitoes are out in force. One bites at my arm and I try to slap it away. Another takes the opportunity to land on my neck. I manage to shoo this one off before it tastes blood.

I'm at Carrie Furnaces, a massive historic ironworks on the banks of Pennsylvania's Monongahela River. Stories-tall rusting structures loom all around me, as do the occasional trees poking their way out of the ground. A tour guide, leading a group from the Society of Environmental Journalists conference, tells me the soil here is full of heavy metals and other pollutants from the factory, which operated for nearly a century before closing in 1982.

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Flooding covered much of Jacksonville during Hurricane Irma. Will Dickey / Florida Times-Union

Florida Faces 3 Toxic Crises Triggered by Flooding

By Dipika Kadaba

Ah, Florida—home to famous natural landscapes and amazing wildlife, but also to more than 20 million people and billion-dollar industries. Decades of booming development in Florida—all of it built in the path of Atlantic hurricanes—have brought to a head some toxic problems the state still struggles to solve. Every major flooding event, like the one following this year's Hurricane Irma, leaches toxic waste into people's homes and drinking water.

Florida is particularly vulnerable to storm surges and flooding from hurricanes like Irma. Scroll down to explore the natural disaster risks facing Florida and increasing its residents' toxic risks:

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5 Great New Environmental Books Coming This October

By John R. Platt

October arrives with a chill in the air, a touch of color on the leaves, the promise of impending ghosts and ghouls ... and a heck of a lot of new environmentally themed books.

Publishers must love fall as much as I do, because they have a ton of new titles scheduled for this month, including books on climate change, canines and food for your soul.

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Ocean Biology Processing Group at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

By Tomorrow, We Will Have Consumed More Resources So Far This Year Than the Planet Is Capable of Regenerating

By John R. Platt

We humans use a lot of stuff — so much stuff, in fact, that we consume more in a year than the planet is capable of regenerating.

That wasn't a problem until a few decades ago. Back in 1987 the "overshoot" date for Earth's resources was December 19, less than two weeks before the end of the year. That's not too bad, right?

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Does 'Shark Week' Do More Harm Than Good?

By John R. Platt

Tiger Shark Terror. Great White Shark Serial Killer Lives. Great Hammerhead Invasion. Australia's Deadliest Shark Attacks. These are just a few of the programs airing this week during Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week and NatGeo Wild's copycat, Sharkfest.

Undoubtedly, these programs will attract their usual massive ratings, but they may be guilty of the same kinds of film fakery that plagues many wildlife films, where the images on your screen don't tell a full or even truthful story. In the process, experts warn the films may actually send the wrong conservation message and harm endangered species.

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