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Hundreds gathered in San Francisco with the youth-led Sunrise Movement on Dec. 11. Peg Hunter / Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0

Could a Green New Deal Boost the Farm and Food Justice Movement?

By Eric Holt-Giménez

Over eight decades ago, the Dust Bowl devastated over 100,000,000 acres of agricultural land and the Great Depression threw 15 million Americans out of work. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted the New Deal with sweeping national programs for work, agriculture, food, and land conservation.

Today, the plan for a Green New Deal recently announced by congressional representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders is facing down even greater crises.

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Climate
A flare from the Shell Refinery in Norco, Louisiana shines along with Christmas lights on residents homes on Dec. 19, 2013. Julie Dermansky / Corbis via Getty Images

Fossil Fuels and Climate Denial Still Reign in Louisiana Despite Scientists’ Dire Warnings

By Julie Dermansky

Louisiana is ground zero for the devastating impacts of climate change. Even though the state is already feeling the costly impacts to life and property due to extreme weather and an eroding coastline linked to a warming planet, its government continues to ignore the primary cause—human use of fossil fuels.

The impacts to the region, such as worsening floods, heat waves and sea level rise, will only be intensified as the globe continues warming, warn federal scientists in the latest National Climate Assessment report.

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Climate
A freeway and a factory emitting smoke in Newark, New Jersey. Kena Betancur / VIEWpress / Corbis via Getty Images

'The Window of Opportunity for Action Is Almost Closed': UN Report Shows Record Levels of Climate-Changing Gases

The atmospheric concentrations of the three gases most responsible for climate change reached record highs in 2017, the most recent annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin released Thursday from the UN's World Meteorological Organization (WMO) found.

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now at 405.5 parts per million (ppm), or 146 percent of pre-1750 levels. The concentration of methane is now at around 1,859 parts per billion (ppb), around 257 percent of pre-industrial levels, and the concentration of nitrous oxide reached about 329.9 ppb, or 122 percent of pre-industrial levels.

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Tourists wade through a flooded Piazza San Marco in Venice Monday. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP / Getty Images

70% of Venice Flooded by Highest Tide in at Least a Decade

The worst flooding in at least a decade swamped Venice Monday as an exceptionally high tide covered around 70 percent of the iconic island city, the Huffington Post reported.

Venice is the Mediterranean World Heritage Site currently most at risk from flooding due to sea level rise, according to a recent study, and the city even has elevated sidewalks ready in case of high tides, but Monday's waters rose higher than the emergency sidewalks.

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Climate
Smoke billows from one of many petrochemical plants in Louisiana's "Cancer Alley" on Oct. 12, 2013. Giles Clarke / Getty Images

Why Plans to Turn America’s Rust Belt Into a New Plastics Belt Are Bad News for the Climate

By Sharon Kelly

The petrochemical industry anticipates spending a total of over $200 billion on factories, pipelines, and other infrastructure in the U.S. that will rely on shale gas, the American Chemistry Council announced in September. Construction is already underway at many sites.

This building spree would dramatically expand the Gulf Coast's petrochemical corridor (known locally as "Cancer Alley")—and establish a new plastics and petrochemical belt across states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

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Three years after a massive leak at the Aliso Canyon underground gas storage facility in Southern California, residents of nearby Porter Ranch, shown here, continue to experience severe health conditions. Edward Clynes / Earthjustice

The Lessons We Didn’t Learn From the Largest Gas Leak in U.S. History

By Byron Chan

Almost 15,000 residents of Los Angeles' Porter Ranch neighborhood evacuated their homes in the fall of 2015, many of them suffering from headaches, breathing problems and nosebleeds. The culprit: a massive leak of carcinogenic chemicals at SoCalGas's nearby Aliso Canyon underground gas storage facility. From October 2015 until February 2016, the facility expelled more than 100,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere.

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Animals
Meat cultured in laboratory conditions from stem cells. Alex011973 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Lab-Grown Meat Debate Overlooks Cows' Range of Use Worldwide

By Alison Van Eenennaam

A battle royale is brewing over what to call animal cells grown in cell culture for food. Should it be in-vitro meat, cellular meat, cultured meat or fermented meat? What about animal-free meat, slaughter-free meat, artificial meat, synthetic meat, zombie meat, lab-grown meat, non-meat or artificial muscle proteins?

Then there is the polarizing "fake" versus "clean" meat framing that boils this complex topic down to a simple good versus bad dichotomy. The opposite of fake is of course the ambiguous but desirous "natural." And modeled after "clean" energy, "clean" meat is by inference superior to its alternative, which must logically be "dirty" meat.

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Politics
A natural gas drill rig near homes and the Colorado Rocky Mountains. milehightraveler / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Conservation and Tribal Citizen Groups Sue Trump Administration for Gutting BLM Waste Prevention Rule

A coalition of 17 conservation and tribal citizen groups filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the Trump administration's decision to gut the Bureau of Land Management's Waste Prevention Rule, stating that the rule violates a number of existing federal policies. The states of New Mexico and California have already filed a lawsuit challenging BLM's action.

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Climate
ilya_ktsn / CC BY 2.0

Taller Arctic Plants Could Speed Dangerous Warming Feedback Loop

Climate change is giving Arctic plants a growth spurt.

A study published in Nature Wednesday examined seven key plant characteristics over 30 years of warming at 117 locations in the Arctic or alpine tundra and found that plants were growing taller at all locations studied.

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