In Win for Environmentalists, Senate Keeps an Obama-Era Climate Change Rule

In Win for Environmentalists, Senate Keeps an Obama-Era Climate Change Rule Photo Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, broke with his party on Wednesday to help keep a regulation to control the release of methane. Credit Cliff Owen/Associated Press WASHINGTON — In a surprising victory for President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy, the Senate voted on Wednesday to uphold an Obama-era climate change regulation to control the release of methane from oil and gas wells on public land.
Senators voted 51 to 49 to block consideration of a resolution to repeal the 2016 Interior Department rule to curb emissions of methane, a powerful planet-warming greenhouse gas. Senators John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine, all Republicans who have expressed concern about climate change and backed legislation to tackle the issue, broke with their party to join Democrats and defeat the resolution.
The vote also was the first, and probably the..

A Strong Case Against a Pesticide Does Not Faze E.P.A. Under Trump

A Strong Case Against a Pesticide Does Not Faze E.P.A. Under Trump Photo Chlorpyrifos is still on the market as an agricultural pesticide, routinely sprayed on common crops like apples, oranges, strawberries and broccoli. Credit Gerry Broome/Associated Press Some of the most compelling evidence linking a widely used pesticide to developmental problems in children stems from what scientists call a “natural” experiment.
Though in this case, there was nothing natural about it.
Chlorpyrifos (pronounced klor-PYE-ruh-fahs) had been used to control bugs in homes and fields for decades when researchers at Columbia University began studying the effects of pollutants on pregnant mothers from low-income neighborhoods. Two years into their study, the pesticide was removed from store shelves and banned from home use, because animal research had found it caused brain damage in baby rats.
Pesticide levels dropped in the cord blood of many newborns joining the study. Scientists soon discovered that th..

Trilobites: Earliest Known Human Footprints in North America Found on Canadian Island

Earliest Known Human Footprints in North America Found on Canadian Island Photo A digitally enhanced photo of a footprint found at Calvert Island, British Columbia that researchers dated to 13,000 years old. Credit Duncan McLaren Big feet. Little feet. A heel here. A toe there.
Stamped across the shoreline of Calvert Island, British Columbia, are 13,000-year-old human footprints that archaeologists believe to be the earliest found so far in North America.
The finding, which was published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One, adds support to the idea that some ancient humans from Asia ventured into North America by hugging the Pacific coastline, rather than by traveling through the interior.
“This provides evidence that people were inhabiting the region at the end of the last ice age,” said Duncan McLaren, an anthropologist at the Hakai Institute and University of Victoria in British Columbia and lead author of the study. “It is possible that the coast was one of the means by which people ..

Chile and Its Scientists Protest Research on Tiny Mummy

Chile and Its Scientists Protest Research on Tiny Mummy Photo Researchers examined the DNA of this mummified skeleton from Chile. After their study was published days ago, the Chilean government started an inquiry into whether the remains were illegally exhumed and smuggled out of the country. Credit Bhattacharya S et al. 2018 Days after researchers announced that a tiny mummy once rumored to be an alien was actually a human infant, Chilean scientists condemned the new study as unethical and their government began an investigation into grave robbing.
The Chilean National Monuments Council, a government agency, said in an email Tuesday that it had initiated an inquiry into whether the little girl’s remains were illegally exhumed in 2003 and smuggled out of the country. The council has turned over its records to the Public Ministry of Chile in response to the outcry from Chilean researchers. They contended that the grave site was plundered and the mummified skeleton was stolen, violating..