California is the first state to require solar panels on new homes. Here’s why Big Brother is on to something

California is the first state to require solar panels on new homes. Here's why Big Brother is on to something

When a state regulatory body decrees that all new homes must have rooftop solar starting in 2020, my temperature rises. Big Brother is intruding too deeply into my personal life, I'm thinking. Shouldn't it be my call alone whether to invest in solar panels, perhaps incentivized by state tax credits or rebates? Should solar buying be simply mandated by a government bureaucracy without even a vote by our elected representatives in the Legislature?

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The Latest: EPA bars AP, CNN from summit on contaminants

The Latest: EPA bars AP, CNN from summit on contaminants

The Environmental Protection Agency is barring The Associated Press, CNN and the environmental-focused news organization E&E from a national summit on harmful water contaminants.

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Earth Shatters Climate Record, Sending Planet Toward ‘Worst Case Scenario’

Earth Shatters Climate Record, Sending Planet Toward 'Worst Case Scenario'

pril 2018 was the 400th “consecutive month with above-average temperatures” on Earth, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). To clarify, that means December 1984 was the last month the planet had below-average temperatures. It also means we’re headed towards a climate change of 2 degrees Celsius, a number that will have devastating effects on the Earth’s biodiversity.

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Madagascar emerges as whale shark hotspot

Madagascar emerges as whale shark hotspot

Large numbers of endangered whale sharks have been sighted in waters off Madagascar.

The first major scientific survey in the area shows there are far more of the huge fish than previously thought.

Eighty-five individuals were identified in a single season from photographs of their distinctive markings.

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Humans Are Dumb At Figuring Out How Smart Animals Are

Humans Are Dumb At Figuring Out How Smart Animals Are

If an animal is smart enough, should we treat it like a human? An abstract question, but one that found its way into a courtroom recently. A case bidding for consideration by the New York State Court of Appeals sought to extend the legal concept of habeas corpus — which allows a person to petition a court for freedom from unlawful imprisonment — to cover two privately-owned chimpanzees. The case for giving the chimps a human right like freedom from unlawful incarceration is based on their similarity to humans…

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Shell faces shareholder challenge over climate change approach

Shell faces shareholder challenge over climate change approach

Royal Dutch Shell faces a shareholder challenge over climate change this week, as investors insist oil and gas firms should offer more transparency and action on carbon emissions. A growing number of pension funds have backed a resolution at Shell’s AGM on Tuesday that calls on the company to set tougher carbon targets that are in line with the goals of the Paris climate deal.

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Ethanol Is a Never-Ending Gravy Train for Corn Farmers and Ethanol Producers. But What About the Rest of America?

Ethanol Is a Never-Ending Gravy Train for Corn Farmers and Ethanol Producers. But What About the Rest of America?

What angers me are the legislative and regulatory mandates that force us to buy gasoline that is 10 percent ethanol—even though it gets lower mileage than 100 percent gasoline, brings none of the proclaimed benefits (environmental or otherwise), drives up food prices, and damages small engines. In fact, in most areas, it’s almost impossible to find E-zero gasoline, and that problem will get worse as mandates increase.

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A dog that transformed a 104-year-old’s life

A dog that transformed a 104-year-old's life

Milt Lessner has "always had dogs" throughout his life – and he's 104 years old, he tells writer Jen Reeder. So are dogs the secret to longevity? "I'd like to think so," he says. "I enjoy the familiarity with them, and the pleasantness, and the bonding – especially the bonding."

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