Top World News

Deepening drought hits Ethiopia herders as millions go hungry.

Eastern and southern Africa were hit hard last year by drought exacerbated by El Niño that wilted crops, slowed economic growth and drove food prices higher. Reuters

Breakthrough could help predict a catastrophic loss of ocean oxygen.

The ocean has lost 2 percent of its oxygen in just 50 years. Now scientists have for the first time measured a devastating loss of oxygen in ancient oceans, which could help them quantify future losses. Oceans Deeply

This coral reef now has its own innovative insurance policy.

Because the reef protects the businesses on the shore in Mexico, it offers an incredible amount of economic value. Now, when it’s damaged, repairing it will be paid for. Fast Company

Why women of color are being exposed to harmful chemicals in beauty products.

New research published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology confirms that women of color are being exposed to higher levels of beauty-product-derived chemicals like mercury, steroids and hormone-disruptors than white women, most likely because of racist beauty ideals. Elle

Our Reporting on Global Issues

More news from EHN

A kinda, sorta environmental summer reading list.

Are books still a thing? Yup. Our staff’s summer picks. Environmental Health News

Pete Myers: Inconvenient data buried as 'confidential business information.'

After the European Parliament obtains the release of Monsanto's data, a very different picture emerges about the safety of its product. Environmental Health News

Editor comments: We've got almost 300 stories in our archives about Europe's effort to regulate glyphosate. Find them here. -DF

Reading: 'Energy, finance and the end of growth.'

A prescient 2013 analysis predicts Trump's rise—and explains why his promises of endless growth can't happen. Environmental Health News

Editorials

Tainted eggs.

The egg contamination crisis exposes a problem caused by a combination of government laxity and the lack of professional ethics on the part of farmers. A bigger cause for concern is that the egg industry might not be the only one with such a problem. more…

Phasing out nuclear power a must for Japan’s new energy plan.

While combining a nuclear phase-out with a fight against global warming won't be an easy task, advances in energy-saving technologies and in renewable energy options have lowered the hurdles for pursuing both. more…

The death of the internal combustion engine.

It had a good run. But the end is in sight for the machine that changed the world. more…

Biodiversity

Why do fish eat our trash? Because it smells yummy.

Scientists have been trying to figure out why fish that normally eat algae are eating the plastic particles that float in the ocean. San Francisco KQED Public Radio, California

A clouded future: Asia's enigmatic clouded leopard threatened by palm oil.

While many questions remain about this elusive species' ecology, it's widely believed that palm oil development severely threatens its long-term survival in the wild. Mongabay

Climate change a risk to survival of long-lived Norway spruce.

The mainstay of the Swiss forestry industry is in danger of dying out this century because of warmer temperatures. The Guardian

Wildfire-plagued Portugal declares public calamity as braces for more.

Parts of Portugal, beset by its deadliest summer of wildfires in living memory, were declared in a state of public calamity on Thursday as the government put emergency services on alert for further outbreaks. Reuters

′Trump Forest′ on its way to sucking up America′s extra emissions.

People around the world have pledged to plant 250,000 trees to counter the US President's "disgraceful" decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. Deutsche Welle, Germany

Scientists measure whales' aversion to noise pollution.

Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia wanted to find out if "ramp-up sequences" allow whales to acclimate to foreign noise. United Press International

Opinions

We saved the whale. The same vision can save the planet.

Hope alone won’t halt climate change but Al Gore’s latest film highlights the role optimism can play. more…

Why flooding in Nigeria is an increasingly serious problem.

Rainstorms are getting more intense, sea levels are rising and infrastructure can't cope. more…

Revitalize the world’s countryside.

Cities and villages are an organic whole. Both must be developed sustainably to support each other. more…

Toxification

Egg inspections complete, but safety concerns remain.

Consumer concerns about eggs contaminated with insecticides persisted Friday, as the government announced the results of its inspections on all large-scale egg farms. Korea Herald, South Korea

Mercury treaty now in force; brings new focus on alternatives.

The entry into force of the Minamata Convention on Mercury Aug. 16 will spur companies worldwide to restrict their use of mercury and pursue alternatives to mercury added products. Bloomberg BNA

India threatens Philip Morris with 'punitive action' over alleged violations.

The Indian government has threatened Philip Morris International Inc with "punitive action" over the tobacco giant's alleged violation of the country's anti-smoking laws, according to a letter sent to the company by the federal health ministry. Reuters Health

Sperm count in Western men has dropped over 50 percent since 1973, paper finds.

The sperm count of men in Western countries has been declining precipitously with no signs of “leveling off,” according to new research. New York Times

Editor comments: Read more about possible causes here. -JPM

Plankton 'mucus houses' could pull microplastics from the sea.

California researchers have found a unique creature that spins a three-dimensional undersea net—one that can capture these tiny floating bits of plastic. Wired

Women of colour are being exposed to more toxic chemicals in their beauty products than white women, says new research.

According to a report published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, women of colour are coming into contact with more toxic chemicals than white women. London Metro, United Kingdom

China to ban primary mercury mining by 2032 as convention comes into force.

China will ban the production and trade of a range of products containing mercury by 2020. Reuters

Solutions and Good News

Baja California’s recipe for saving fishing communities.

As fish populations crash elsewhere, towns limit catches to stabilize harvests, boost tourism, and preserve a way of life. National Geographic Magazine

Arctic waters get long-sought protection after Ottawa, Inuit group reach agreement.

An Inuit group and the federal government are creating a national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound that will be – by far – Canada’s largest. Globe and Mail, Ontario

The first smog-filtering bicycles will roll out in China by the end of the year.

A bike-share startup has developed a bike that can collect polluted air, purify it, and release the clean air around the cyclist. Quartz

These artists are trying to make climate change visceral.

Recognizing that people often act by heart rather than logic, these ten artists aim to help viewers understand the data while developing an emotional attachment that convinces them to do something about it - now. Outside

Water

Cities across Africa face threat of landslides like Sierra Leone.

Natural and human factors made Sierra Leone's capital vulnerable to a landslide that killed more than 400 people this week: heavy rain, deforested land and communities forced by overcrowding to live on steep hillsides. Reuters

Queensland conservationists call for river-mining ban to protect Great Barrier Reef.

State mines minister rejects two applications at reserves west of Cape Tribulation which campaigners say should set a precedent. The Guardian

Inside the oil spill that followed Trudeau to China.

There is certain information about Husky Energy’s catastrophic oil spill in Saskatchewan last summer that you won’t find on the company’s brand new website. National Observer, Canada

South Africa rivers in deep water.

A quarter of major rivers are ‘critically endangered.’ Johannesburg Times, South Africa

Air

A rich person’s profession? Young conservationists struggle to make it.

The field of conservation may be hemorrhaging passionate, qualified, and innovative young people. Mongabay

Australia emits mercury at double the global average.

A report released this week by advocacy group Environmental Justice Australia presents a confronting analysis of toxic emissions from Australia’s coal-fired power plants. The Conversation, Australia

Study finds Israeli power plants' efforts reduce number of deaths from air pollution.

There has been a decline in the number of people dying in Israel from diseases related to air pollution over the past decade, according to new data released by the Environmental Protection Ministry. Haaretz, Israel

China's Hebei province to meet capacity cutting targets by end of September.

China's top steel-making province has pledged to fulfil capacity cutting targets for this year in steel, cement, coal and glass by the end of September, under efforts to tackle air pollution ahead of winter, an environment official said on Wednesday. Reuters

German green group to pursue diesel bans as agreed steps inadequate.

German efforts to overcome a diesel scandal were dealt a blow on Tuesday after prosecutors widened a Volkswagen probe and a key environmental group said steps proposed by automakers to cut pollution remained inadequate. Reuters

Environmental justice

Indians win key land rights victory in Brazil’s Supreme Court.

In a victory for Brazil’s indigenous groups, the Supreme Court Wednesday decided against the claims of Mato Grosso state, which wanted compensation for Indian reserves established in that state by the federal government. Mongabay

Nature under attack in Brazil.

Against a backdrop of rising deforestation and violence against activists, environmentalists are accusing Brazil's president of pushing legislation that will benefit loggers and land-grabbers in the Amazon region. Deutsche Welle, Germany

International investment blamed for violence and oppression in Sarawak.

NGOs in Sarawak and around the world report failures by the Sarawak government to uphold indigenous land rights, and failures by international banks and investors to ensure their investments are conflict-free. Mongabay

Environmental Justice Australia report finds power stations are badly regulated.

Australia is trailing behind places like China when it comes to pollution standards and those living near coal-fired power stations are three times more likely to die a premature death, according to a new report. News.com.au, Australia

Ontario First Nation sues CN Rail over oil spills.

A northern Ontario Indigenous community is suing CN Rail for alleged environmental and cultural damage caused by two 2015 derailments that led to significant oil spills. Canadian Press