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Australia Kills Carbon Tax, Canada Wheels and Deals on Climate, Vietnam’s Crazy Cave
Our top picks: today's environmental news and best #greenreads.

Lake Okeechobee

So much for all that: After an election in which environmental issues like climate change took center stage, Tony Abbott will be Australia’s new prime minister (welp). He’s already laid down the law: no more carbon pricing or mining tax. “I declare the government is under new management,” said Abbott in his victory speech on Saturday. “Australia is once more open for business.” Bloomberg

Backdoor deals: Speaking of world leaders making bad environmental decisions, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper sent President Obama a letter last month in which he offered to play ball on climate commitments. The catch? Obama would need to give the OK to a little $7-billion pipeline down the spine of the continent. Tar sands expansion projects like the Keystone XL pipeline are exactly what’s keeping Canada from meeting its emission goals, so it’s unclear how Harper will make good on his promises. Sources say Obama has yet to write Harper back. CBC News

New besties: Meanwhile, at the St. Petersburg meeting of the G-20, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping further solidified their BFF status by agreeing to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The agreement may be able to cut the greenhouse-gas equivalent of 100 billion tons of CO2 by 2050 and prevent 1 degree of global warming. Washington Post

Nowhere to flow: Since May, higher than normal rainfall has caused Florida’s huge Lake Okeechobee to swell, leaving the Army Corps of Engineers with a tough choice: let the water surge into nearby farmland or let it flood estuaries. They chose the estuaries, much to the detriment of oysters, manatees, corals, and sea grasses. Not only did the freshwater influx throw off the estuaries' salinity balance, but the lake water contains agricultural runoff and septic tank pollution. Now the state is looking at a few projects totaling $130 million that would divert Okeechobee's water south to the Everglades where it might be absorbed more naturally. New York Times

We’re all rich!: A happy new report says fracking put $1,200 in your pocket last year by saving you money on energy bills, a figure higher than previous findings. Wahoo! Frack, baby, frack! But wait ... it happens that the new report fails to factor in any of the potential environmental costs the industry creates, such as dealing with groundwater contamination. And speaking of the oil and gas industry, guess who sponsored this rose-colored report? Bloomberg, Grist

To-read list: Did you forsake the written word this weekend for 12 straight hours of flying pigskin? Well no worries, we didn’t compost the longreads just yet. This week’s stories include a connection between climate change and the civil war in Syria, how the CIA wants to control the weather, and the ethical questions drummed up by de-extinction. OnEarth

DAILY DISTRACTIONS

World’s largest cave: Like something out of The Land of the Lost, a cave has been discovered in Vietnam in 2009 that’s so big, you could fit a 40-story skyscraper inside. The cave also has its own jungle, river, and population of monkeys. You will want to go to there. And now you can. Huffington Post

Dog and hedgehog show: This-species-befriends-that-species is a genre of internet videos that almost always satisfies. Today, it’s a dog and a hedgehog. And my stars are they good together. Jezebel

OTHER HEADLINES

Report Ties Climate to Extreme Events, but Shows Hurdles for Such Research Climate Central

One Degree of Warming May Cut Kansas Wheat Production 20 Percent Treehugger

Arctic Sea Ice Delusions Strike British Media Guardian

What the Blazes? Jaw-Dropping Pics from the Yosemite Rim Fire OnEarth

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads)
Image:
NASA/NOAA

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