Environment

Trump’s presidency means the end of wolves in the American West

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Outside Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House, along with the Republican Party’s reign in Congress, will be an unmitigated disaster for the environment. A witch hunt is already underway for federal employees who support the science of climate change. Protections for the 640 million acres of public land you and I own in this country are already being stripped away. Oil and gas extraction on public land is expected to be deregulated, and even coal—a heavily polluting, inefficient energy source the market has rendered obsolete—may see reinvestment. A victim of all of those programs, and even the target of specific GOP plans for eradication? The gray wolf, only recently reintroduced to western states to help check overpopulated elk and deer and restore balance to the natural food chain there.
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2016 was the year solar panels finally became cheaper than fossil fuels. Just wait for 2017

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QuartzThe renewable energy future will arrive when installing new solar panels is cheaper than a comparable investment in coal, natural gas or other options. If you ask the World Economic Forum (WEF), the day has arrived.
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The global chain that produces your fish

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AFP - That smoked salmon you bought for the New Year's festivities has a story to tell.
 
The salmon may have been raised in Scotland -- but it probably began life as roe in Norway.
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Maps reveal how global consumption hurts wildlife

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National Geographic NewsIn a world driven by a globalized economy, the biggest threat to an endangered species is often fueled by consumer demand thousands of miles away. And this makes protection of wildlife and biodiversity an even more daunting task.
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The crack in this Antarctic ice shelf just grew by 11 miles. A dramatic break could be imminent.

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Washington Post An enormous rift in one of Antarctica’s largest ice shelves grew dramatically over the past month, and a chunk nearly the size of Delaware could break away as soon as later this winter, British scientists reported this week.
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Beavers, imports from Canada, are threatening primeval forests of Patagonia

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A beaver swims in a stream at Karukinka Natural Park in Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, Chile. (Wildlife Conservation Society)A beaver swims in a stream at Karukinka Natural Park in Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, Chile. (Wildlife Conservation Society)
 
LA TimesIt seemed like a good idea at the time.
 
Transplanting 25 pairs of Canadian beavers to Tierra del Fuego would provide raw material for a fur industry, bring jobs to a sparsely populated region and — as an advertisement in 1946 suggested — possibly attract tourists to this remote part of the hemisphere by “enriching the local fauna.” 
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Trump's transition: sceptics guide every agency dealing with climate change

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Guardian -The heads of Donald Trump’s transition teams for Nasa, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Energy, as well as his nominees to lead the EPA and the Department of the Interior, all question the science of human-caused climate change, in a signal of the president-elect’s determination to embark upon an aggressively pro-fossil fuels agenda.
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Latin America is set to become a leader in alternative energy

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The EconomistBESIDE the Pan-American Highway, almost 600km (375 miles) north of Santiago, Chile’s capital, lies El Romero, the largest solar-energy plant in Latin America and among the dozen biggest in the world. Its 775,000 grey solar panels spread out across the undulating plateau of the Atacama desert as if they were sheets of water. Built at a cost of $343m by Acciona Energía, a Spanish company, last month El Romero started to be hooked up to the national grid. By April it should reach full strength, generating 196MW of electricity—enough to power a city of a million people. A third of its output will be bought directly by Google’s Chilean subsidiary, and the rest fed into the grid.
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Patagonian ice melts as Chile experiences its worst drought on record

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SBS.com.au - 2016 is on track to become the warmest year on record while Chile is already experiencing its most extensive drought in history. For a country that relies heavily on its livestock and agriculture, the prolonged natural disaster is cause for concern.
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Love, death and rewilding – how two clothing tycoons saved Patagonia

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Guardian - She was young, spirited and rich. It was the 1970s and Kris McDivitt seemed to come straight from California central casting; the glamorous ski-racing daughter of an oil-industry man who made her fortune as the first CEO of what was to become the billion-dollar outdoor clothing company Patagonia.
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