It's official: New York has banned fracking. -

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his intentions in December, but today the state formalized its ban on hydraulic fracturing. The decision comes after a seven-year environmental and health review found that current safety measures don't protect water, air, wildlife, or public health. Associated Press

8 hours ago

A Solar plane embarks on the hardest leg of its round-the-world flight—crossing the Pacific. -

The Solar Impulse 2 left Nagoya, Japan, this morning for a 5-day continuous flight to Hawaii, what could become the longest solo flight in history. There's no turning back for Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg, who faces the risks of uncertain weather and the plane's limitations. Godspeed. The Guardian

11 hours ago

The Supreme Court just blocked the EPA's rules for toxic pollution from power plants. -

The life-saving standards would have limited emissions of mercury (a potent neurotoxin) from coal-fired power plants, along with harmful particulate matter as a bonus. Together the cuts would save billions of dollars in health care costs. Alas...the energy industry argued that the agency conducted the cost-benefit analysis at the wrong stage of the process—a total technicality. New York Times

12 hours ago

The "SeaQualizer" may save the lives of some bycatch. -

When a sportfisherman throws back an unwanted fish, it often still dies from the change in pressure—especially if it's pulled up from way below. A contest addressing the problem came up with this new device: The SeaQualizer returns the fish to the appropriate depth and has a survival rate of at least 80 percent. Wired

2 days ago

European Union ministers want a legally binding climate deal. -

A draft of their joint position statement for the United Nations climate talks in Paris calls for reviews every five years to make sure the world is on track to cap warming at two degrees. The Guardian

3 days ago

Alberta is doubling its carbon tax on industrial emissions. -

The hike—from $15 to $30 per ton—will go into effect by 2017, by which time large plants in the oil-rich Canadian province are also required to reduce emissions by 20 percent. CBC

3 days ago

Los Angeles' transportation agency is slashing its water use by 20 percent. -

As California's drought rages on, the MTA will limit landscape irrigation to two days a week and remove lawns from its facilities. It will also disclose water usage at its facilities in a public database. Reuters

3 days ago

The clock is ticking for the lemur. -

Thanks to slash-and-burn agriculture, just 10 percent of Madagascar's original forests remain. This is the only habitat for 106 lemur species—all endangered. Primatologist Jonah Ratsimbazafy believes that if the rate of deforestation continues, the animals could be gone within 25 years. BBC

3 days ago

Good-bye coal-fired power plant, hello energy-efficient data facility. -

TVA is retiring Alabama's Widows Creek Fossil Plant soon, and in its place Google will build a $600 million data-processing center, requiring about 100 jobs. The tech company has been carbon-netural since 2007 and plans to power the repurposed plant with renewable energy. Times Free Press

4 days ago

Pakistan's heat wave has killed more than 1,000 people. -

This is the second heat wave this year with a death toll in the four-digit range. Temperatures in Karachi, a city of 20 million, reached 111 degrees. Making matters worse, it has hit during Ramadan, when observant Muslims don't drink during daylight hours and many shops won't sell water or ice. Reuters

4 days ago