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Concerns as solar installations join a desert ecosystem

After three years of negotiations, BrightSource Energy began building Ivanpah, a solar thermal power plant in the California desert. Though developers have carefully planned the construction to avoid heavy impact on wildlife, there continues to be concern from regulators and environmentalists. It seems like before renewable energy can be successful, developers will have to make

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Heat damages Colombia coffee, raising prices

Yields of Colombian coffee have dropped due to warmer temperatures, unpredictable rains, and more pests. In 2006, Colombia produced 12 million 132-pound bags of coffee; last year, only nine million. Some growers now fear that yields may not rebound, and that the world has hit “peak coffee.” GR

 
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Gulf Coast wind farms spring up, as do worries

Texas is the leading producer of wind power in the United States.  Most of the wind farms are located in West Texas, where the highest winds blow and land is plentiful.  In the last few years, wind farms have been springing up along the Gulf Coast in Southern Texas.  Compared to West Texas, these coastal

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Federal lands in Wyoming opened to coal mining

The Interior Department just leased 7,400 acres of federal land in Wyoming that contain about 750 million tons of coal. The lease, first of about a dozen, will generate $13-$21 billion. Environmental groups criticized the move. Wyoming already ships 40% of the one billion tons consumed yearly. GR

 
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Plants’ global warming dilemma: climb to escape heat or stoop for water?

You’re a plant on a mountain slope that is getting warmer.  Do you go uphill or down? A study of California in Science found  that  3/4 went downhill seeking more water, and 1/4 went uphill toward cooler temperatures. GR

 
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