Texas bans shark fin trade, closing the biggest US source

Texas has banned shark fin trading, ending what had become a major US source for the Chinese buying the fins, which are considered a delicacy used to make soup. But the world cannot afford such profligacy, according to conservation groups, which blame shark finning for driving shark populations into a steep decline. Texas’ move may help turn things around for the oceans apex predators.

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Scary facts about water scarcity to ponder for World Water Day 2015

Despite a few spring rains that have helped ease drought conditions in Texas, residents should still consider conserving water in all they do, because the world’s most important resource is not getting any more plentiful. Austin remains a candidate for future “water stress,” and so in honor of World Water Day (March 22) here are some uncomfortable facts about how we abuse water and could run short of it.

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Environmental Entrepreneurs and evangelical group support EPA plan to curb coal pollution

Coal-fired power plants are the biggest single category of carbon pollution emitters. The EPA wants to tighten coal power emissions standards, and these two groups, one composed of business enterprises and the other a large evangelical group support the EPA’s move. Find out why.

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Denton voters ban fracking; leaders vow to defend law

Denton, Texas, becomes the first city in the state to ban fracking, setting the stage for a fight over mineral rights and residents’ rights that could play out in courtrooms and the legislature. Frack Free Denton was jubilant over its resounding victory to keep hydraulic fracturing at bay. But the gas industry promised a fight, claiming the Texas Railroad Commission has the power to say who can drill and where.

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Fired up by the climate marches? Here’s a new book covering all the issues

Paul Fleischman’s new primer on climate change and global pollution, Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines, manages to be both a complete survey of the key issues and highly readable. It would make a great companion for any environmental class, but also social studies, journalism or current events studies.

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