Teaching students at a Co-Op City public school to make pollution-fighting robots

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NYU associate professor Natalie Jeremijenko brought her Feral Robot Dogs project to twenty-nine of our gifted and special-needs students at New York City's PS 153.

Red-baiting water speculator plans to drain the Mojave of its ancient water

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Scott Slater, a former water lawyer, is the CEO of Cadiz, Inc, a hedge-fund-backed company that's purchased the water rights for 45,000 acres of the Mojave on Route 66, 75 miles northeast of Palm Springs. He wants to pump 814 million gallons of ancient water out of the desert and send it to drought-stricken southern California, where he can soak the thirsty millions for $2.4 billion. Read the rest

EPA committed 'covert propaganda' social media campaign on American public, auditors find

Spill of toxic wastewater from a mine in Colorado, August 10, 2015. (Reuters)

Congressional auditors say The Environmental Protection Agency engaged in “covert propaganda,” a violation of federal law, when it launched a massive social media campaign urging Americans to support the Waters of the United States rule.

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Ifixit repair kits: everything you need to fix everything

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Ifixit produce open repair guides for everything imaginable, in a variety of languages, and help sustain a global community of independent repairers who divert electronics from e-waste dumps and keep poor and marginalized people connected to their work, school and families. Read the rest

Leaked recording: pollution lobbyists discuss exploiting Syrian refugee crisis

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A leaked recording made of a conference call hosted by the Edison Electric Institute, which lobbies for the power industry, reveals lobbyists for high pollution companies talking about how they can exploit the Syrian refugee crisis to get a rider inserted into a pending bill that would kill the EPA's Waters of the United States rule, which protects America's waterways from pollution. Read the rest

WTO rules against US dolphin-safe tuna labels because they're unfair to Mexican fisheries

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The barb in trade agreements' tail is the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system, which lets companies sue governments to repeal rules that interfere with their profitability. It's let tobacco giants fight anti-smoking campaigns, and now it's letting fisheries attack rules aimed at preventing the wholesale slaughter of dolphins. Read the rest

Activist tricked into 6-year relationship with undercover cop tells her story

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It's been five years since the first cases of UK undercover police officers infiltrating environmental groups and tricking activists into having sex with them surfaced, and now, one of the survivors of the practice, "Lisa," has granted her first-ever interview. Read the rest

How a paid FBI informant created a terror plot that sent an activist to jail for 9 years

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Eric McDavid, a 26-year-old, nonviolent anarchist activist, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after a paid FBI informant promised to have sex with him if he'd help her bomb some unspecified targets in Northern California. She provided the money, transport, a cabin HQ (filled with hidden CCTVs), and the bomb recipe. Then she helped federal prosecutors illegally withhold 2,500 pages worth of evidence that eventually exonerated McDavid, after nine years in prison. Read the rest

Scary robot lumberjack makes deforestation too easy

This deforestation machine slices and plucks trees at their base and then wipes off all the branches and foliage in just a few seconds. (Thanks, Dustin Hosteler!)

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Volkswagen CEO: Dieselgate caused by Lynndie England "rogue engineers"; execs blameless

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Remember Lynndie England, the 21-year-old low-ranking Army Specialist who, along with ten other low-ranking Army personnel, was determined to be responsible for years of systematic torture in Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison, thus letting the entire Army chain of command off the hook for any wrongdoing in one of the worst scandals of the unbelievably scandalous Iraq War? Read the rest

Umbrella-sharing service: return it in 48h and it's free

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Umbracity aims to solve the problem of unexpected urban showers with a shared-umbrella service. They've rolled it out in soggy Vancouver, and the deal is that you get to use an umbrella from any of their kiosks for free for 48h, but if you keep it longer, it's $2/day to a maximum of $20. Read the rest

Review: These microfiber towels are a much better way to clean up spills and messes in my car

There's always this method, too.

There's always some kind of mess in my car. Spilled coffee, greasy hands, fogged-up or bird-pooped-on windows. I usually fumble around for whatever paper napkins I might have stashed away, but then I saw Quickie microfiber towel 24-packs on Amazon for $10. They turned out to be a way better solution. Read the rest

AP will use "climate doubters" instead of "climate skeptics"

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The new agency's new stylebook entry advises against using "deniers" as well, but at least it acknowledges that the true skeptics are adherents to the scientific method. Read the rest

Don't discuss the environment if you're brown and British (Ahmed Mohamed with UK characteristics)

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A 14 year old London student was questioned by school officials about his possible involvement with Islamic State after he raised the subject of environmental activism in a classroom discussion. Read the rest

The man who seeks the sound of silence

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Gordon Hempton is an "acoustic ecologist" and field recording artist who seeks out the places on Earth that are free of noise pollution. The episode below of the Generation Anthropocene podcast features Hempton's story and some of his favorite recordings of the natural environment. For more from Hempton, check out his book "One Square Inch of Silence: One Man's Quest to Preserve Quiet."

(top photo by Richard Darbonne) Read the rest

Naomi Klein, David Suzuki, Leonard Cohen, Donald Sutherland and Ellen Page's vision for a better Canada

The Leap Manifesto calls for a Canada remade as "a country powered entirely by renewable energy, woven together by accessible public transit, in which the opportunities of this transition are designed to eliminate racial and gender inequality." Read the rest

This is how blue the skies were when Beijing banned 2.5 million cars for two weeks

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In Beijing, China banned 2.5 million cars from driving for 2 weeks to get this beautiful blue sky for a World War II commemorative parade. As soon as the parade was over, the ban was lifted, and the blue vanished within 24 hours. Read the rest

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