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FILE - In this June 15, 2014 file photo, a polar bear dries off after taking a swim in the Chukchi Sea in Alaska. About a third of the world's polar bears could be in imminent danger from greenhouse gas emissions in as soon as a decade, a U.S. government report shows. The U.S. Geological Survey, the Interior Department's research arm, said updated scientific models don't bode well for polar bear populations across the world, especially in Alaska, the only state in the nation with the white bears. (Brian Battaile/U.S. Geological Survey via AP, File)

US report warns of polar bears’ peril

Thursday, July 2, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Polar bears are at risk of dying off if humans don’t reverse the trend of global warming, a blunt U.S. government report filed Thursday said. “The single most important step for polar bear conservation is decisive action to address Arctic warming,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a draft recovery plan, part of the process …

Earth Matters: The puzzle tree: Independence Day musings on sycamores

Thursday, July 2, 2015

I’ll be thinking about the eastern sycamore tree this Independence Day, an American tree on our national holiday. Although all trees might be said to be “created equal” from a moral perspective, each tree species has its own value to those who use trees. I eat apples; squirrels eat acorns; crossbills eat conifer …

W. Europe swelters in heat wave

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

PARIS — Joggers wheezed, electric wires warped, and Britain sweated through its hottest July day on record as a wide swath of Western Europe sweltered in a heat wave. Authorities in France and elsewhere, mindful that thousands died during a 2003 heat wave, reached out to the elderly, families and other vulnerable people …

Six-year dredging of Hudson for PCBs nears end

Monday, June 22, 2015

WATERFORD, N.Y. — Long after the last barge dredging toxins from the bottom of the upper Hudson River moves on, scientists will track the slow fade in contamination levels. General Electric Co. expects this year to finish removing …

Tiny green dragon threatens our forests

Saturday, June 20, 2015

What’s tiny, shiny and destroys fully-grown ash trees as well as any fire-breathing dragon? Yes, it’s the emerald ash borer, that infamous pest from Asia, whose larval feeding tunnels can girdle the inner bark of an ash tree, …

Valley Views: Catbird in an Apple Tree

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Catbirds, like robins, are very common, and I usually don’t think to grab my camera when I see one. This one, however, seemed to be saying “Look, this is my good side, take a picture.”  It was indeed his, …

Sunset over Hadley

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pope challenges world to clean up its filth

Thursday, June 18, 2015

VATICAN CITY — With a poet’s lyricism, a former chemist’s precision and a pontiff’s moral thunder, Pope Francis recast humanity’s relationship with nature in stark ethical terms, hoping to spur a warming, filthy world to clean up its …

Environmental coalition opposed to pipeline seeks halt to DPU proceedings on Berkshire Gas contract

Thursday, June 18, 2015

An anti-pipeline environmental coalition is calling on the Supreme Judicial Court to halt state proceedings on a request by Berkshire Gas Co. to tap into the Northeast Energy Direct project proposed by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline. Coalition members are concerned that the state Department of Public Utilities is …

Hadley police warn of bear sighting near elementary school

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

HADLEY — Police received reports of a black bear wandering around Hadley Place, south of the Hadley Elementary School, on Monday evening and are telling residents to be on alert. “Use caution and common sense if you see a bear in your yard,” Hadley Police posted on their …

First Congregational Church in Amherst to halt fossil fuel investments

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

AMHERST — An Amherst church is joining a growing number of municipalities, colleges and universities and other religious institutions in attempting to divest from fossil fuel and making sure no additional investments are being made with companies contributing to climate change. The First Congregational Church this spring voted …

Mayflies cause crashes, close bridge for 2nd night

Monday, June 15, 2015

WRIGHTSVILLE, Pa. — A bridge has been closed for a second straight night because of swarms of mayflies so thick they caused accidents, authorities said. Wrightsville fire officials said the Route 462 bridge over the Susquehanna River between …

Pope backs climate-change science, denounces world leaders

Monday, June 15, 2015

ROME — Pope Francis has endorsed the science behind global warming and denounced the world’s political leaders for putting national self-interests ahead of action. The 192-page leaked draft of a papal encyclical, published Monday by the Italian magazine L’Espresso, is an attempt to influence the debate before United …