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Environment

stevenw12339 via Creative Commons.
 A male snowy tree cricket

Tuning in to crickets and katydids calling out on an August night

Friday, August 28, 2015

Caution: Reading this article will change your life. I love the August night sounds. Those still, hot and humid nights can be oppressive, but there’s a way to escape into a different world, the soundscape of crickets and katydids, calling to attract mates and stake out territories. Some nights, at twilight, I go out in my backyard and walk slowly …

Valley Views: Waiting raindrops

Friday, August 28, 2015

Waiting Raindrops Springfield Road, Belchertown, Photograph and text by Julius Lester, Belchertown Walking from the house to the garage in mid-June I saw this remnant of the previous night’s rain. When I came back a couple of hours later, the raindrops still clung to the blades of grass as if waiting for me …

Calif. cuts water use by 31% in July amid drought

Thursday, August 27, 2015

FRESNO, Calif. — California cities cut water use by a combined 31 percent in July, exceeding the governor’s statewide mandate to conserve, officials said Thursday. The strong water conservation figures show California residents are beginning to understand the dire need to cut back in a fourth year of drought, Felicia Marcus, chair of …

Massachusetts has more aggressive plan than new federal rule reducing power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions

Thursday, August 6, 2015

AMHERST — Massachusetts should have little trouble adapting to President Barack Obama’s new rule on reducing power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions because the state already passed a more aggressive plan, according to Senate President Stanley Rosenberg of Amherst. …

Opponents again dominate pipeline hearing before state Energy Facilities Siting Board

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

GREENFIELD — Opponents of the Northeast Energy Direct project proposed by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. again dominated a public hearing Wednesday night — this one a session before the state Energy Facilities Siting Board that included several adamant declarations that no pipeline will be built here. Many …

Florence Bank pledges $10,000 toward curbing excessive plant growth in Nashawannuck Pond

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

EASTHAMPTON — If you toss a fishing line into Nashawannuck Pond, it might just sit on top of a layer of heavy plant growth. “It’s almost like a blanket of weeds across the surface of the pond,” said …

President Obama’s Clean Power Plan: Use less coal, clean up the air

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

President Barack Obama’s newly announced Clean Power Plan is a big step forward for a nation that needs to reduce harmful carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. It’s a strategy worth extra attention in coal-dependent states like Missouri and Kansas. The Show-Me State gets just over 80 percent of …

Toxic algae cloud blooms, spreads from Calif.-Alaska

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

SEATTLE — A vast bloom of toxic algae off the West Coast is denser, more widespread and deeper than scientists feared even weeks ago, according to surveyors aboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel. This coastal …

Power plant rules put climate change on 2016 radar

Monday, August 3, 2015

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s sweeping new power plant regulations are thrusting the divisive debate over climate change into the race for the White House, with candidates in both parties seeing an opportunity to capitalize. To Democrats, rallying …

NH floats desalination plant idea

Monday, August 3, 2015

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — A New Hampshire seacoast official says investing in a regional plant to convert seawater into drinking water could provide a limitless supply of clean water to communities from southern Maine to northern Massachusetts. Portsmouth Assistant Mayor Jim Splaine tells the Portsmouth Herald he wants to …

Zimbabwe accuses 2nd US man of illegal lion hunt

Sunday, August 2, 2015

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Now there are two: Zimbabwe accused a Pennsylvania doctor on Sunday of illegally killing a lion in April, adding to the outcry over a Minnesota dentist the African government wants to extradite for killing a …

Berkshire Gas owner buys 2.5% interest in pipeline

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The owner of Berkshire Gas Co. has announced that it will invest in the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline, which would provide natural gas for its customers. UIL Holdings Corp. announced its investment this week in the development of …

Earth Matters: Our varied and vibrant Valley vegetation

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Pioneer Valley is a botanist’s paradise, a true hotspot of plant diversity in the state and, indeed New England. But besides pleasing plant geeks, our bounteous flora is the basis for all the animals — birds, insects, …