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Pink Slime Gets a Label, Texans Prefer Water over Football, Don't Mess with These Nuns
Our top picks: today's environmental news and best #greenreads.

May contain slime: Washington may have voted down a bill that would require labels on genetically modified foods, but meat-packing giant Cargill has made a big labeling decision on its own. The company will now note when a product contains what the industry refers to as “finely textured beef”—though you probably know it as “pink slime.” According to John Keating, president of Cargill’s beef operations, “We’ve listened to the public, as well as our customers, and that is why today we are declaring our commitment to labeling finely textured beef.” Well, color me impressed. New York Times

#Fail: According to the U.N.’s Environment Programme’s big annual report, there’s an enormous gap between what the world’s governments have pledged to do about climate change and what they’ve actually done. No kidding. Setting and attaining emissions goals is crucial to avoiding the 2°C of warming scientists fear. And while the report doesn’t quite say all is lost, we'll clearly need to step up our game if we’re going to cut global greenhouse gas emissions 14 percent by 2020. And don’t just take my word for it—there’s a chart! Washington Post

Sisters act: When pipeline surveyors visited the 780-acre tract of land in Kentucky where the Loretto Motherhouse sits, the nuns there wouldn't even talk to them about leasing their land. Now the Catholic sisters have joined up with Baptist, Presbyterian, and Unitarian churches to deliver a 36,000-signature petition to the governor in opposition of the Bluegrass Pipeline project (which would transport natural gas liquids from the northeast to the Gulf of Mexico). According to the group’s website, “the fracking industry messed with the wrong group of nuns.” Associated Press

Neighborhood watch: Citizens in Colorado and Ohio voted this week on whether to allow the oil and gas industry to frack their towns. Three Colorado cities and one in Ohio voted down the measure, while two Ohio cities voted yes. In Colorado, the fracking industry spent $900,000 to defeat the measures but came up short. Anti-fracking groups spent a mere $26,000 and emerged victorious. Climate Central

Friday night lights: Texans also made some shrewd decisions at the ballot this week, approving $2 billion worth of drought-fighting initiatives, while rejecting plans to build or renovate several football stadiums. (Clear eyes, full wells, can’t lose!) The water referendum, supported by environmental groups and businesses alike, should help the state afford the borrowing costs on large-scale water infrastructure projects, including reservoirs and new pipelines. And not a moment too soon. Drought has been desiccating the state for years and some climatologists predict the worst is yet to come. Associated Press

Cat-splosion: The Humane Society estimates there are now upwards of 50 million feral cats in the U.S. And these aren’t quite the lovable rapscallion’s from Aristocats. These felines hunt 3.7 billion songbirds each year. Some cities have responded with mobile spay and neuter programs, while others have tried using the cats as a natural way to eradicate vermin. But as with any problem of this magnitude, there’s no catch-all solution. Al Jazeera America

DAILY DISTRACTION

Earth porn: From GPS to smartphones to weather warning systems, the journey into space has granted us many modern advancements...and quite a few perty pictures. Here are some of the most beautiful and thought-provoking ones you’ll ever see, for never is humanity’s impact more apparent than when viewed from space. Wired

OTHER HEADLINES

No Snakes In Hawaii, Except for the Two Found Since September Huffington Post

The U.S. Is Farming More Fish Than Ever (But Nowhere Near What China Does) Modern Farmer

U.S. Electric Car Sales Have Increased 361% in 2013 So Far Clean Technica

Tainted Melons Bring Harsh Penalties for Colorado Farmers Scientific American

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads)

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