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Lion Conservation is Evolving in Maasai Mara

    The chief sat in the shade on a plastic chair that his wives had brought from inside. He was dressed to go out, with his wooden accoutrements– the herding stick and club that every Maasai man usually carries – were laid across his knees. His truck’s engine was running on the other side…

Obama Tackles Climate Change in State of the Union Address

“No challenge — no challenge — poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” said President Obama in his 2014 State of the Union address. “The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate,” he said, “and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans,…

House and Senate Votes, Court Decision Shorten Road to Keystone Decision

On Monday the Senate passed a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline in a procedural vote just shy of the 67 votes needed to override a veto, setting up what could be an extensive debate on energy policy and climate in next year’s presidential election. The move followed a bipartisan vote in which the House…

EPA Delays Release of Carbon Emissions Rules for Power Plants

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is delaying the release of carbon emissions rules for all power plants and will publish them for new as well as existing plants at the same time mid-summer. “It’s become clear to us … that there are cross-cutting topics that affect the standards for new sources, for modified sources and…

Under-the-Radar Environmental Stories for 2015: The Furtive Five

Between crazy weather, international events, and global agreements, 2014 was a year in which climate change took center stage. Whether it was a catastrophic drought in California, accelerated ice melting in Antarctica, or even record-breaking heat disrupting the Australian Open, the impacts of climate change are being felt around the world—and people are starting to…

UN Climate Negotiators Ink Deal in Lima

Negotiators have reached a deal at United Nations (UN) talks in Peru, setting the stage for a global climate pact in Paris in December 2015. The agreement, dubbed the Lima Call for Climate Action, for the first time in history commits every nation to reducing its rate of greenhouse gas emissions. “As a text, it’s not perfect…

The Next New Species Could be in Your Backyard: Why Exploration and Discovery Matter – Everywhere

Gregory M. Mueller, Ph.D. Chief Scientist and Negaunee Foundation Vice President of Science Chicago Botanic Garden When we think about discovering new species, we tend to envision tropical rainforests, remote deserts or lofty mountain peaks. But researchers, including myself, are taking a closer look at the landscapes right under our noses – in my case,…

Negotiations Heat Up in Closing Stages of UN Climate Change Conference

Optimism at the outset of the 2014 United Nations Climate Change Conference twentieth Conference of the Parties in Lima, Peru, has given way to the hard work of reaching high-level resolution prior to the December 2015 UN meeting in Paris. Among the challenges is disagreement about regular auditing of carbon emission pledges. The European Union…

December 7, 2014: Return “Kidnapped” Animals to the Wild, Save the World’s Big Cats and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they climb El Capitan with young children, stop the kidnapping of Brazil’s wildlife, save lions by saving livestock, lift a 35-ton stone with prehistoric technology, work to save the last 3,000 wild tigers, visit some of the last nomadic tribes, bottle feed a baby cheetah, and clean up hazardous waste.

Optimism at UN Climate Change Conference

At the 2014 United Nations Climate Change Conference twentieth Conference of the Parties, known as COP20, in Lima, Peru, delegates from more than 190 nations are hashing out details of an international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions and curb permanent damage caused by global warming. Those details will set the stage for next December’s…

IEA Unveils World Energy Outlook 2014: Looking Ahead to 2040

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released its World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2014 report, which for the first time provides energy trend projections through the year 2040. Among the key challenges in the next two and a half decades is, a 37 percent rise in global energy demand, driven mainly by emerging markets in Asia,…

U.S., China Reach Climate Deal

Two nations that account for more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions reached a climate deal. The United States will accelerate the pace of its net greenhouse gas emissions reductions from 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 to 26–28 percent by 2025. China will increase the non-fossil fuel share of all its energy…

Climate Change Risks, Impacts Focus of Reports

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report warning that greenhouse gas levels are at the highest they have been in 800,000 years. “We have little time before the window of opportunity to stay within the 2C of warming closes,” said IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri. “To keep a…

Winter Road Salt – the Next Acid Rain? – May Threaten Adirondack “Queen of American Lakes”

Tendrils of fog curl above the waters of the Queen of American Lakes, as Lake George in New York’s Adirondack Mountains is known.  Biting winds gusted out of the northwest yesterday, and an early snow is forecast for tomorrow.  But for this one afternoon in late fall, cold winds fetching across slate-gray waves have gone…

EPA Refines Pollution Rules

Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was told by a federal appeals court that it could move forward with implementing a program to curb air pollution that crosses state lines. The Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CASPR) would require 28 states to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide by power plants.…