Environment

Hydropower at front and center of energy debate in Chile, once again

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IPS - The Chilean government’s approval of a hydroelectric dam in the Patagonia wilderness has rekindled the debate on the sustainability and efficiency of large-scale hydropower plants and whether they contribute to building a cleaner energy mix.
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Wife of late North Face founder says she'll build on husband's environmental legacy

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AP - The widow of American conservationist Doug Tompkins, who died last month while kayaking in South America's Patagonia region, says she'll build on her husband's legacy of protecting threatened ecosystems in Argentina and Chile.
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Ocean Acidification: Carbon emissions are playing havoc with ocean health

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Earth Journalism Network - The idyllic Pacific Northwest has long been a seafood-oriented place. Surrounded by water and mountainscapes, you can see its reliance on seafood running all the way back to ancient Native American ceremonies and totems. Today, Seattle is home to much of the Alaska fishing fleet, and Washington and Oregon are healthy producers of oysters, Dungeness crab, geoduck, and other prized seafood.
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North American beaver invasion occupies forests and steppes in Southern Chile and Argentina

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Scientific American - In 1946 the Argentine Navy imported 10 beaver couples from Canada and set them free in Isla Grande, the deep south of Tierra del Fuego, with the intention of “enriching” the native fauna—and the local fur industry.
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Doug Tompkins: life and death of the ecological visionary behind North Face

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Guardian - They were on the fourth day of what was supposed to be an easy five-day paddle around the north side of Lake General Carrera, the vast turquoise-watered glacial lake which straddles the border of Argentina and Chile.
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30,000+ people march in Chile to save a river

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RiosdelMaipo.cl - More than 30,000 people marched peacefully down Santiago’s central Alameda Avenue this past Saturday, December 5th, to demonstrate against the American-controlled Alto Maipo project.
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Uruguay makes dramatic shift to nearly 95% electricity from clean energy

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The Guardian - As the world gathers in Paris for the daunting task of switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy, one small country on the other side of the Atlantic is making that transition look childishly simple and affordable.
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Japan to restart Antarctic whaling, prompting backlash

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Newsweek - Japan has announced that it would once again begin whaling in Antarctica, and will hunt and kill up to 333 minke whales. This species is nominally protected by the International Whaling Commission and a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling by the organization, which includes the vast majority of industrialized countries as members. 
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Argentina leader leaves controversial legacy with Patagonia dams project

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Guardian - As the presidency of Argentina’s Cristina Fernández de Kirchner enters its final days, her greatest – and arguably most controversial – legacy project is just getting under way in the remote grasslands of Patagonia.
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This week will be the last time anyone alive experiences a CO2 level below 400 ppm.

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Daily Kos - “As a human, though, passing both the 400 ppm and (potentially) the 1°C threshold within such a short time period makes it clear we are already living in a different world. We have blown past targets that were being considered as viable when I entered graduate school. We have significantly reduced the options available to us in the future. If we aren’t going to blow past the next set of thresholds — 500 ppm and 2°C — within just a few more decades, we have a lot of work to do in Paris in two weeks and beyond.” Katharine Hayhoeatmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University responding to a question posed by Climate Central.
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