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NYC Mayor's Office / Twitter

Empire State Building Shines Green After NYC's Decision to Take on Fossil Fuel Industry

New York City's iconic Empire State Building glowed green Wednesday night following two "watershed" announcements—that the city would seek to divest its pension funds from fossil fuel investments, and that it filed suit against five oil giants for contributing to climate change.

"The Empire State Building is shining green tonight because it's time to put our planet first. #DivestNY," Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Wednesday.

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A seal trapped in plastic pollution. Nels Israelson / Flickr

Oil Giants Invest $180B in Plastics, Propelling Oceans Toward 'Near-Permanent' Pollution

By Julia Conley

Scientists and environmental protection advocates are warning that a coming plastics boom could lead to a permanent state of pollution on the planet—and denouncing the fossil fuel industry for driving an increase in plastics production amid all that's known about the material polluting the world's oceans.

"We could be locking in decades of expanded plastics production at precisely the time the world is realizing we should use far less of it," Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law (CEIL), told the Guardian. The CEIL has compiled several reports about the plastics industry since September.

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Climate
Electric vehicles are part of Shell's proposed green plan. Nick Birse / Wikimedia Commons

Shell’s Green Plan Underwhelms Critics

By Mitchell Beer

A leading producer of fossil fuels, which last month announced its intention to reduce its contribution to the global warming stoked by society's prodigal consumption of its products, may now be feeling more backlash than praise. Shell's green plan leaves some critics saying the group's figures don't add up very impressively.

Royal Dutch Shell pledged last month to cut its net greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2035 and 50 percent by 2050, while investing $1-2 billion per year in renewables, and electric vehicles between 2018 and 2020.

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Amnesty International activists clean up a Shell gas station in Gothenburg in protest against Nigeria oil, April 2010.

Report: Shell Complicit in Human Rights Abuses

Amnesty International is calling for an international investigation into Royal Dutch Shell's practices, alleging in a new report released Tuesday that the oil giant was involved in human rights violations committed by the Nigerian government in the early 1990s.

The report, created following a review of thousands of internal company documents and testimony statements, charges Shell with aiding Nigerian security forces in silencing protests in the country's oil-producing Ogoniland region.

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Climate
Cows on a dairy farm. U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

Meat and Dairy Greenhouse Emissions 'Could Lead Us to a Point of No Return'

Three of the world's largest meat producers emitted more greenhouse gases in 2016 than France, putting them on par with oil companies such as ExxonMobil, BP and Shell, a recent study found.

GRAIN, a non-profit organization, collaborated with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and the Heinrich Böll Foundation to estimate the greenhouse emissions of meat and dairy corporations, a figure that few companies calculate or publish.

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Environmental activists in kayaks protest the arrival of the Polar Pioneer, an oil drilling rig owned by Shell Oil, in Seattle. Backbone Campaign / Flickr

Moyers and McKibben: What to Do When Time Is Running Out for the Planet

By Bill Moyers

I wasn't one of the 50,766 participants who finished the New York City Marathon last weekend. Instead, I spent the average marathon finish time of 4:39:07 to read a book—obviously a small book. In the interest of disclosure, I didn't even start the race, but that's another and even shorter story than Radio Free Vermont, the book from which I did occasionally look up and out the window to check on the stream of marathoners passing our apartment, their faces worn and haggard.

A shame, I thought, that I couldn't go outside and hand each one a copy of the book that had kept me smiling throughout the day while also restoring my soul; I was sure the resilience would quickly have returned to weary feet and sore muscles now draped in aluminum foil for healing's sake. I admire those athletes, but wouldn't have traded their run for my read, because Radio Free Vermont is funny, very funny, all the more so considering the author is one of the more serious men on the planet—the planet he has spent his adult life trying to save.

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Rick Perry to Climate Activists: Fossil Fuels Save Lives

Protestors showed up to the National Petroleum Council's meeting in Washington, DC on Monday to call out Secs. Rick Perry and Ryan Zinke for their controversial stances on climate change.

After an activist expressed, "climate change is killing people," the Secretary of Energy remarked in the conference room full of oil industry representatives and executives that fossil fuels save lives.

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Fourth St. sign under water in San Francisco. Scott Schiller/Flickr

San Francisco Becomes First Major U.S. City to Sue Fossil Fuel Industry Over Costs of Climate Change

San Francisco and Oakland are suing Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell—the five biggest investor-owned fossil fuel producers in the world—over the costs of climate change.

The two Californian cities join the counties of Marin, San Mateo and San Diego and the city of Imperial Beach that have taken similar legal action in recent months, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

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Hurricane Harvey wrecks Valero gas station. Texas Military Department/Flickr

'Unseen Dangers' of Harvey: Petrochemical Plants Release 1 Million Pounds of Harmful Air Pollution

As some of the nation's largest crude processors and refineries shut down their facilities amid " unprecedented" rainfall and flooding from Harvey, residents nearby are reporting noxious, gaseous smells clouding the air.

"I've been smelling them all night and off and on this morning," Bryan Parras, from the environmental justice group TEJAS, told New Republic on Sunday.

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