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Environment

Doves fly over Tiananmen Gate after the flag raising ceremony on the National Day, the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, in Beijing Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Reports: China body-searched 10,000 pigeons

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

BEIJING — The 10,000 doves released in a ceremony Wednesday for China’s National Day underwent unusual scrutiny, each having its feathers and anus checked for dangerous materials, state-run media reports said, reflecting government jitters over possible attacks. The symbols of peace were released at sunrise in Beijing’s symbolic heart of Tiananmen Square in a ceremony for the Oct. 1 holiday …

Operator of region’s electricity grid supports request by Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage for increased winter capacity

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The operator of the region’s electricity grid is backing plans to pump more Connecticut River water through the Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage hydrogenerator this winter. Northfield Mountain’s owner, FirstLight Power, wants federal approval to boost the capacity of its generator station by 22 percent to augment the electricity supply available in the region when demand grows during the winter. The letter from ISO …

Hampshire Power will supply Lowell with locally produced renewable energy in first-of-its-kind deal

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — In what its leaders believe is a first-of-its-kind agreement, the Hampshire Council of Governments has signed a deal to supply power to the city of Lowell solely through renewable energy produced in New England. The state’s fourth-largest city has signed a contract through which Hampshire Power will supply electricity to about 31,000 residential and 4,200 commercial ratepayers citywide. Hampshire Power is …

Nature’s water purifiers: The “bugs” in wastewater treatment

Friday, August 29, 2014

Often in life we take the little things for granted. But microorganisms, which are among the world’s smallest creatures, are nature’s workhorses. Aquatic ecosystems rely on a diversity of organisms to consume organic matter and filter impurities from …

Conway residents question safety, contents of proposed Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline

Thursday, August 28, 2014

CONWAY — The safety of the community and questions about the contents of natural gas that will flow through a proposed Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline dominated a special Select Board meeting in Conway Thursday night. In a question-and-answer session that followed a brief presentation by parent company Kinder …

UN panel: Global warming human-caused, dangerous

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WASHINGTON — Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous — and it’s increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on … 1

Nuclear Regulatory Commission reopens petition from anti-nuclear groups seeking Entergy financial information

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently reopened a year-old petition from anti-nuclear groups concerned about the financial ability of Entergy Corp. to safely operate its nuclear plants, including Vermont Yankee. The original petition, filed before Entergy announced plans to shut the 620-megawatt reactor in Vernon, Vermont, at the end …

Crocodile attacks swimmers in Coral Gables canal

Monday, August 25, 2014

MIAMI — Coral Gables, Fla., authorities on Monday were combing a canal for a crocodile that went on the attack over the weekend. They’re also handing out warnings to area residents. Two people were bitten by the croc while swimming in a Coral Gables canal around 2 a.m. …

Hilltown Voices: Solar signups deemed success

Saturday, August 23, 2014

In the latest round of Solarize Massachusetts, Chesterfield and Williamsburg added a total of 58 households that will install solar electricity systems. Solar coaches in both communities said that the number of households to sign up to install solar panels on their homes far exceeded their expectations. “We …

Valley Views Local photographers aim their cameras outdoors

Friday, August 22, 2014

RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER Route 9, Belchertown Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely of South Hadley With a flat tray feeder most birds usually dive right in, hopping around and picking out the choicest morsels. But not the red-bellied …

Fuel cell cars, facing hurdles, slow to catch on

Friday, August 22, 2014

EarthTalk: Is it true that fuel cell cars aren’t really any greener than conventional gas-powered internal combustion cars? — Michelle Adamo, Portland, Oregon A decade ago cars powered by fuel cells seemed like the future of green automotive …

Bird Sightings

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. Two great egrets, a Virginia rail, two black vultures and a dickcissel were seen in Longmeadow. A little blue heron, a cliff swallow, a …

Local organizers encourage participation in People’s Climate March in New York City

Thursday, August 21, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Local organizers of the People’s Climate March in New York City are holding a meeting Monday seeking to spark interest in the Sept. 21 event. Susan Theberge, with the groups Climate Action NOW/350MA, said the main focus of the meeting will be on how social justice …