Ahem, we're trying to breath over here!: Eight Northeastern governors want states in the Midwest to stop sending so much pollution their way and are petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency to make it happen. The move comes just a day before the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the “good neighbor” or Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which would hold states accountable for pollution that drifts across borders. According to the EPA, the new rule “would prevent up to 34,000 premature deaths, 15,000 nonfatal heart attacks, 19,000 cases of acute bronchitis, 400,000 cases of aggravated asthma and 1.8 million sick days a year.” New York Times
Guys, this is getting embarrassing: In what’s becoming a rather routine event in China, the coastal city of Shanghai had to shut down last Friday as a result of air pollution. The particulate measured 24 times higher than the World Health Organization’s safety guidelines, prompting officials to order schoolchildren indoors and ban outdoor sporting events and construction projects (see "Postcards from the Airpocalypse"). The situation was so bad, Chinese coal companies took a hit on the stock market. Associated Press, Bloomberg Businessweek
War in the Pacific: On the uninhabited Johnston Atoll way out in the Pacific, the Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to stop an invasion of an army of yellow crazy ants (yes, that's their official name) on a former U.S. military base. The insects swarm over seabird nests and blind the birds by spraying formic acid, effectively threatening one of the only nesting places the birds have in about 750,000 square miles. Even armed with squirt guns full of cat food and a neurotoxin that would kill the ants, the feds haven't been able to save the seabirds. Slate
Lands of the lost: A newly released federal study concludes that we’re losing wetlands far faster than conservation efforts can save them. In just four years, more than 360,000 acres of fresh and saltwater wetlands disappeared as a result of storms, sea-level rise, and coastal development. The rate of loss also marks a 25 percent increase from the last federal study covering the years between 1998 and 2004. This is bad news for innumerable species that rely on wetlands for breeding habitat, which include nearly half of our endangered species. Washington Post
The forces of darkness: The American Legislative Exchange Council is a notoriously anti-environment group with members such as Koch Industries, ExxonMobil, and a few other usual suspects. ALEC met last week to discuss new initiatives that include discouraging rooftop solar panels, weakening renewable energy standards, selling public lands to fossil fuel companies, and fighting caps on power plant greenhouse gas emissions. I know what you’re thinking… with such an ambitious agenda, when will ALEC have time to hold the sun ransom? Mother Jones
Tongue-tied: Color-changing skin, independently rotating eyes, a go-go-gadget tongue … It’s official, I want to be a chameleon when I grow up. And after you watch this slow-motion video of a chameleon on the hunt, I have a feeling you will, too. Huffington Post
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