Environment

 
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News from a “Lost Boy”

In January 2011 Need to Know sent reporter George Lerner to southern Sudan to report on one former refugee’s efforts to help rebuild his homeland in anticipation of a vote for independence.  Salva Dut, one of the “Lost Boys” (a name given to the more than 20,000 children displaced by warfare in Sudan since 1983) [...]

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  Building bridges

Across the industrialized world in places like China and Germany, high-speed railroads and gleaming new airports. And here in the United States? According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, we have infrastructure so outdated that it will take some $2.2 trillion dollars to fix.

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Update: Tainted drywall law weakened

The bill doesn’t actually set preventative standards. Instead, it asks an industry association committee comprised mostly of drywall manufacturers and builders to develop voluntary limits on sulfur content in drywall for the government to enforce.

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Debunking the denial

By Phil Plait, Slate | Jan. 14, 2013 The difficulties in debunking blatant antireality are legion. You can make up any old nonsense and state it in a few seconds, but it takes much longer to show why it’s wrong and how things really are. This is coupled with how sticky bunk can be. Once [...]

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Poisoning the well

by Abrahm Lustgarten, Dec. 11, 2012 Federal officials have given energy and mining companies permission to pollute aquifers in more than 1,500 places across the country, releasing toxic material into underground reservoirs that help supply more than half of the nation’s drinking water. In many cases, the Environmental Protection Agency has granted these so-called aquifer [...]

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Climate change aid fails to materialize

By John Vidal | The Guardian Wealthy countries have not only failed to provide cash to help poor people adapt to climate change, but much of what they have agreed to give so far has come out of existing aid budgets or in the form of loans that will need to be repaid, new research [...]

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Consider the turkey: Thanksgiving reads

Thanksgiving has had a central place in American life for well over a century — but perhaps not all the way back to 1620. And, at the center of Thanksgiving is, of course, the turkey.

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Hundreds protest pipeline

By Reuters, via The Guardian Hundreds of people who say they worry oil that would be carried by the Keystone XL pipeline will accelerate climate change marched around the White House on Sunday, hoping to revive a movement credited with slowing down the permit process for the crude oil project. The protesters chanted “Hey, Obama! [...]

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Growing costs of natural disasters

Edward Tenner, The Atlantic As thousands of survivors of Superstorm Sandy still are unable to return to their homes and others remain without power, debate over public response is growing. Does the Federal flood insurance program need reform? Will a multibillion-dollar swinging gate, like one in Rotterdam, shield Manhattan at the cost of additional flooding [...]

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