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Tweety Gets Neonic-ed, Kermit Gets a Second Chance, Marvin the Martian Goes Mining
Our top picks: today's environmental news and best #greenreads.

Hope for hoppers: Lab tests have revealed that when some frogs are exposed to the deadly chytrid fungus and then given a chance to heal, they develop resistance to the disease. Scientists are now optimistic that it might be possible to develop a vaccine, possibly saving hundreds of amphibian species across the world from extinction. New York Times

The birds and the bees: Plenty of studies have come out in recent years showing how bad neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) are for bees and other pollinators (see “Honeybees to EPA: Where Is Thy Sting?”). Earlier this week NRDC (which publishes OnEarth) filed a legal petition, asking the Environmental Protection Agency to stop the use of these pesticides. And now new research out of the Netherlands is suggesting a connection between neonic pesticides and the decline of 14 species of birds, causing some to wonder whether we’re on the cusp of a second Silent Spring. National Geographic

The man who cried Mars: State Senator Brandon Smith of Kentucky says that coal mining companies—one of which he owns—should be exempt from air pollution regulations. Why? Because there are no coal mines on Mars. Huh. Please Senator, tell us more. “I won’t get into the debate about climate change but I’ll simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here.” Psst ... actually Mars is really cold, like the -81 degrees Fahrenheit kind of cold. Huffington Post

Grab shell, dude!: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have declared 88 beaches across six states critical habitat for the threatened loggerhead turtle. The new protections will extend to 685 miles of beach and nearly 200,000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, making it the largest federal designation of its kind. Savannah Morning News

Ethanol dustup: A report released by the Renewable Fuels Association this week charges major oil companies with using “strong arm tactics” to stifle higher blends of ethanol in gasoline. The RFA says Big Oil makes distribution contracts prohibitively expensive so that franchises aren’t able to offer the blends, creating a public perception that consumers don’t want them. The report has urged two senators to push for a federal investigation. Reuters

Highway to the danger zone: More oil train explosions occurred last year than in the previous 40 years combined. And now thanks to an interactive map project by ForestEthics, you can find out if you’re one of the 25 million people living in the potential blast radius of an oil train. (FYI: I'm sitting pretty, about 8 miles outside my nearest blast zone. I know you were all worried.) Motherboard

DAILY DISTRACTION

Thursday morning vision quest: Timelapse video of Grand Canyon National Park and Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park? Check. Sweeping, eternity-invoking shots of comets and shooting stars? Check. Ethereal soundtrack complete with Native American chanting? Check. Excuse to zone out in the beauty of nature for a few minutes? Who needs one! Click. Treehugger

OTHER HEADLINES

Keystone XL Decision Won’t Come Until After November Elections Huffington Post

Why the City Is (Usually) Hotter than the Countryside Smithsonian

Record Low Waters in Nevada’s Lake Mead Al Jazeera America

Formula E: Do the Guilt-Free Thrills of Electric Car Racing Herald a New Era for Motor Sport? Guardian

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads)

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