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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Justice

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

DON’T CONSIGN POOR COUNTRIES TO WILD STORMS AND FLOODING

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Climate

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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Climate

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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Climate

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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Climate

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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Climate

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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Climate

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
Justice

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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Climate

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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Climate

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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From our Newsroom

The dangerous fringe theory behind the push toward herd immunity: Derrick Z. Jackson

Resumption of normal life in the United States under a herd immunity approach would result in an enormous death toll by all estimates.

My urban nature gem

Thanks to the Clean Water Act and one relentless activist, Georgia's South River may finally stop stinking.

Dust from your old furniture likely contains harmful chemicals—but there’s a solution

Researchers find people's exposure to PFAS and certain flame retardants could be significantly reduced by opting for healthier building materials and furniture.

Hormone-mimicking chemicals harm fish now—and their unexposed offspring later

Fish exposed to harmful contaminants can pass on health issues such as reproductive problems to future generations that had no direct exposure.

How Europe’s wood pellet appetite worsens environmental racism in the US South

An expanding wood pellet market in the Southeast has fallen short of climate and job goals—instead bringing air pollution, noise and reduced biodiversity in majority Black communities.

America re-discovers anti-science in its midst

Fauci, Birx, Redfield & Co. are in the middle of a political food fight. They could learn a lot from environmental scientists.

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