Press Democrat

Firefight in Sonoma County reaches second week as flames force thousands to evacuate.

An army of firefighters with a larger aerial arsenal at their disposal held made some gains Saturday on devastating wildfires ravaging Wine Country, but a rising death toll offered clear reminder of the peril that still grips the region.

Firefight in Sonoma County reaches second week as flames force thousands to evacuate

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Water

Don’t consign poor countries to wild storms and flooding.

DON’T CONSIGN POOR COUNTRIES TO WILD STORMS AND FLOODING

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Opinion

How many more cities must burn before the climate-change deniers give up?

Opinion How many more cities must burn before the climate-change deniers give up?

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Water

Worrying new research finds that the ocean is cutting through a key Antarctic ice shelf.

A new scientific study published Tuesday has found that warm ocean water is carving an enormous channel into the underside of one of the key floating ice shelves of West Antarctica, the most vulnerable sector of the enormous ice continent.

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Water

Trump lies as global warming’s victims die.

By Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan

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Opinion

China is winning the future. Here’s how.

This week, the front page of the New York Times described the Trump administration’s repeal of the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration’s attempt to slash carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. “The war on coal is over,” declared Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. Right under that article was an article from halfway around the world detailing China’s massive new investment in electric vehicles, part of Beijing’s determination to dominate the era of clean-energy technology. It is a tale of two strategies.

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Water

How a seed bank, almost lost in Syria's war, could help feed a warming planet.

TERBOL, Lebanon — Ali Shehadeh, a seed hunter, opened the folders with the greatest of care. Inside each was a carefully dried and pressed seed pod: a sweet clover from Egypt, a wild wheat found only in northern Syria, an ancient variety of bread wheat. He had thousands of these folders stacked neatly in a windowless office, a precious herbarium, containing seeds foraged from across the hot, arid and increasingly inhospitable region known as the Fertile Crescent, the birthplace of farming.

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Frits Ahlefeldt FritsAhlefeldt.com

Human success at the expense of other species is “a pretty awful legacy.”

By David Roberts@drvox

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Water

California’s wildfires aren’t “natural” — humans made them worse at every step.

Raging infernos in California are burning through shrub land and neighborhoods this week while inching perilously closer to San Francisco and Los Angeles.

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Climate

The grandfather of alt-science.

Arthur B. Robinson, renegade chemist, failed politician, grandpa of the climate skeptics — and maybe, just maybe, our nation’s next scientist-in-chief — padded across the carpet of his homemade lab in a pair of white athletic socks. “This room, everything you see here, was built by my own sons with their own hands, including the concrete,” he said. Robinson raised and home-schooled six children in this tawny valley scratched into the hills near the town of Cave Junction, Oregon. Now his wife is dead and one of his daughters has moved away, but the rest of his kids — two veterinarians, a biochemist and a pair of nuclear engineers — remain nearby. They’ve got a lot to do: Feed the animals; maintain the lab; ward off cougars; publish their popular home-school curriculums; manage Robinson’s repeated, unsuccessful congressional campaigns; and, of course, perform high-stakes research into medicine and biochemistry.

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Water

Black sea clams 'giving off as much gas as 20,000 cows.'

Scientists have found clams and worms in the Baltic Sea are giving off as much gas as 20,000 dairy cows.

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Energy

Beijing philanthropist commits $1.5 billion to conservation.

This Saturday, Oct. 14, in Monaco, He Qiaonv will announce the first step in a $1.5 billion plan that may represent the largest-ever personal philanthropic commitment to wildlife conservation. 

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Cathy
Toxics

The end of coal will haunt the Navajo.

Percy Deal, 67, lives in the same small, three-bedroom stone house he grew up in, situated in the remote Navajo village of Cactus Valley, Ariz. Like many homes in this part of the country, Deal’s lacks running water, so once a month, he drives his pickup truck 17 miles to a public pump, where he fills three 55-gallon drums to bring back home. On the living room wall, his father’s ceremonial feathers and sweat-stained cowboy hat hang over the couch next to a framed poem his father wrote, titled Endless. The second stanza reads: “Your heart and your roots tell a perpetual story of the love and harmony you and Mother Earth share.” His family has been on this land for 500 years.

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Water

Some power plants pollute worse than volcanoes.

Climate change isn’t all that difficult to understand. A British scientist proved shortly before the U.S. Civil War that carbon dioxide absorbs heat, and a Swedish chemist doodled out the first equations involving fossil-fuel emissions before the 20th century even began. 

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Water

How deep ocean wind turbines could power the world.

Winter winds racing across the North Atlantic are so strong and steady, they could theoretically meet the world's entire energy demand, new research shows. And with technology for floating wind turbines now being tested, the potential to tap some of that ample power source is growing.

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