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Roughage roundup


  • Phytoplankton die off: Uh-oh. NPR reports tiny ocean plants at the base of the marine food chain are dying. Scientists found there is 40 percent less phytoplankton in the ocean now than there was in the 1950s. Warmer water may be to blame.

  • A half-century of heat: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the past decade has been the warmest on record. Scientists in 48 countries looked at 10 climate indicators and found a 50-year warming trend – long enough to rule out normal decadal shifts, according to NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco.

  • Keeping green with the Joneses: The Corvallis Gazette-Times tells of a local neighborhood taking a Community Carbon Challenge to reduce its carbon output. Kind of like a neighborhood watch program – except they’re on the lookout for unnecessary paper cups and excessive electricity usage.

  • Waste (not)? Scott Learn of The Oregonian reports on two things to do (or not to do) with trash: 1.) Import it from Hawaii for profit (or not if you’re worried about invasive stowaways); and 2.) Vaporize it in a plasma gasification plant and sell it as renewable power (or not if you don’t like the air pollution that would come from burning the gas as fuel).

  • Domestic dispute: Speaking of gas, the Center for Biological Diversity is suing the Bureau of Land Management for permitting El Paso Corp’s “Ruby” natural gas pipeline to tear up new turf on public lands when it could follow an existing pipeline route instead. The pipeline from Wyoming to Oregon and California has been a favored domestic alternative to importing liquefied natural gas from overseas. Until now.

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