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A group of massive companies including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Red Bull, Kroger, Honeywell and DuPont have come to a voluntary agreement with the White House to cut or eliminate the use of the powerful greenhouse gas hydrofluorocarbon. The man-made gas is used in refrigeration and in air conditioners. The agreement, which says that the companies will stop using the gas in favor of cleaner alternatives over the course of 10 years, is a pretty big deal. As The New York Times notes, the 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions being eliminated by the new move “is about 1.5 percent of the world’s 2010 greenhouse gas emissions, or the same as taking 15 million cars off the road for 10 years” ... Discuss

The U.N. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released new findings showing that atmospheric CO2 levels rose at alarmingly fast rates in 2013. From The Washington Post: “[The surge] surprised scientists and spurred fears of an accelerated warming of the planet in decades to come.”

According to the story, the record levels of greenhouse gases seem to indicate not, only a rise in emissions from manmade sources (like pollution and car exhaust), but also show “a diminishing ability” of oceans and vegetation to process the CO2. The head of the WMO’s Global Atmospheric Watch program warned, “If the oceans and the biosphere cannot absorb as much carbon, the effect on the atmosphere could be much worse …. The changes we’re seeing are really drastic. We are seeing the growth rate rising exponentially” ... Discuss

The area around Lake Tanganyika, located in the Great Rift Valley of East Africa, is touted as one of the few “unspoiled ecosystems” on the planet. The longest freshwater lake in the world and the second deepest, Tanganyika’s crystal blue depths hold around 18 percent of all available fresh water at any given time. It also contains well over 200 species of fish that occur nowhere else in the world.

For generations, communities along the shoreline have thrived on the lake’s clean water, vibrant fishery and accessible boat transportation. Read More

Along with a plethora of pop stars, activists, writers, celebrities and politicians, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, the scientific adviser to the Evangelical Environmental Network and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, was named to TIME magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. Dr. Hayhoe is the co-author of the book A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions and describes herself as “a spokesperson with one principal goal—to bring public awareness to the simple truth that the scientific debate is over, and now it's time for all of us to take action.” In the TIME profile, “An environmental evangelist”, actor Don Cheadle wrote, “There’s something fascinating about a smart person who defies stereotype. That’s what makes my friend Katharine Hayhoe—a Texas Tech climatologist and an evangelical Christian—so interesting” ... Discuss

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), says that much of the country is in for an unseasonably hot spring. The group says warmer-than-normal temperatures paired with drier-than-normal conditions could result in a drought across much of the Southwest … Discuss

A Better Kind of Disaster Relief

The new Sandy aid bill highlights two problems—financial debt and ecological debt. Read More