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Al Roker, It's Your Time to Shine, Fracking Car Crashes, Down the L.A. Gutter
Our top picks: today's environmental news and best #greenreads.

Weatherman roundup: Today as the government releases its National Climate Assessment, President Obama scheduled interviews with Al Roker and seven other high-profile meteorologists. Why weathermen? Well, meteorologists are actually some of the only scientists the general public interact with on a daily basis. Anyway, the hope is that the Rokers of the world will be able to help raise awareness about climate change. New York Times, Mashable

Playing both sides: In a precursor to the report announcement, White House counselor John Podesta talked up the Obama administration’s commitment to green energy while also lauding its domestic oil and gas policies. On the one hand, Podesta says solar electricity generation has increased by more than 10 times, and wind power has tripled. On the other, the United States has become the world’s largest producer of natural gas and added 133,000 jobs in the oil and gas sector over just the last three years. Washington Post

Blue skies ahead: The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Natural Resource Defense Council (which publishes OnEarth) this week in its suit against Los Angeles County. NRDC sued in 2008, saying billions of gallons of stormwater pick up toxic chemicals and fecal bacteria from L.A.’s dirty streets and then pour the swill into the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers in amounts that exceed the county’s permit. In other words, L.A. was violating the Clean Water Act, and in a big way. Reuters

Buckle up: A new analysis by the Associated Press shows fracking-related activities routinely kills Americans in an unexpected way: traffic collisions. Fracking wells require thousands and thousands of trips by big trucks, and this influx of people and machines has caused traffic fatality rates to skyrocket in some areas. At a time when America’s roads are safer than ever, deaths are up 350 percent in North Dakota’s drilling counties. (Warning: Article will hit you right in the feels.) Associated Press

Oklahoma shakes: The U.S. Geological Survey and Oklahoma Geological Survey issued a rare warning this week that the risk of an earthquake larger than magnitude 5.0 has risen dramatically for the state. The warning comes after experts detected many smaller tremors, which typically mean a larger quake is coming. Scientists say they haven’t ruled out natural causes, but many suspect fracking, which Oklahoma does a lot of and has been linked to increased seismic activity. Until April of this year, Oklahoma actually out-shook California in geologic activity. LiveScience

Silent sea: When BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig blew in 2010, crews found something like 3,000 dead birds as a result of all the oil and dispersants. But researchers today say that ocean currents actually moved wildlife casualties away from the search area and that the true number of birds killed was probably more like 800,000. New York Times

DAILY DISTRACTION

Off the hook: At first blush, you may think this video of fishermen reeling in a 13-foot hammerhead is on the up and up. The men guide the shark to shore, remove the hook, and release the animal relatively quickly (after taking a selfie, of course). But shark researchers say just the act of fighting and reeling in a hammerhead may irreparably harm the animal, which is protected by state and federal laws. Miami Herald

OTHER HEADLINES

At Chernobyl, Hints of Nature’s Adaptation New York Times

East Antarctica More at Risk Than Thought to Long-Term Thaw – Study Reuters

Finally, ‘Cosmos’ Takes on Climate Change Huffington Post

Dam It: Feds Say U.S. Can Double Hydropower Climate Central

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads)

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