Lucy Goodchild Van Hilten

How to talk to your kids about climate change — and have fun, too

The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a final call to keep the global temperature rise to within 1.5 degrees Celsius of preindustrial levels. Doing so will require “rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”

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Climate change is threatening many species, but one is getting a boost

A towering elm tree stands 30 meters tall, somewhere near the border between England and Scotland, defying the fate that so many of its cousins met when Dutch elm disease ravaged the species in the 1970s. One of relatively few elm trees left, it is a haven for wildlife. Look closely and you can see the erratic fluttering of a small brown butterfly, with a W-shaped white streak across its wing.

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Cruelty-free fashion: growing leather without animals

A warehouse filled with huge gleaming silver vats hums around the clock, as billions of yeast cells work to make a material we can wear, sit on and carry around. In an adjoining room, rows of benches hold molds of different shapes and sizes, where sheets of cellulose layer up and become recognizable. In the next room, the material is finished and packaged, destined for designers, tailors and upholsterers.

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Lyme Disease Is Spreading Because of Climate Change

In the early 1970s, a group of families living in Connecticut were suffering from an odd range of symptoms: skin rashes, headaches, swollen knees, paralysis and severe chronic fatigue. Looking for answers, two of the mothers started doing their own research; soon after, scientists joined their quest and called their condition Lyme disease, after the town where they lived.

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If You're Sneezing More From Pollen, Climate Change Could Be the Culprit

Flowers are beginning to bloom, trees are turning green again and the sun is shining. But if you’re like almost one-third of people in the United States, you might be noticing watery eyes, a tickly throat and a runny nose. That’s right, spring is finally in the air, but so is the pollen that’s gearing up to make your life a bit more miserable over the next few months.

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Is That Burger Safe to Eat? Your Smartphone Will Soon Be Able to Tell You

When you tuck into your burger, take a bite of a juicy strawberry or enjoy some cookie dough from the freezer, there's a chance you could be biting off more than you can chew—about one in 10 people around the world gets a foodborne illness every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the U.S. alone, 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 people die from foodborne illnesses every year.

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Neonics Harm Bees, Poison Drinking Water and Don't Improve Crop Yield: Why Aren't We Banning Them?

It’s no secret that neonicotinoids can harm bees and other insects—they’re designed to kill pests, after all. But an increasing body of evidence is uncovering just how serious an impact these pesticides are having on the environment.

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Bread Really Is Unhealthy - at Least for the Environment

Bread has long been labelled the bad guy, with millions of people opting to ditch the dough and eat a gluten-free diet to stay trim and healthy. But it turns out there’s another reason to steer clear of bread: it’s having a massive impact on the environment.

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Can Certain Foods Cause or Help Prevent Dementia?

We’re getting older. Life expectancy is set to breach 90 for the first time in history—women born in South Korea in 15 years’ time will have an average life expectancy of 90.8 years. With an older population, the aging brain becomes increasingly important: how can we keep our minds functioning better for longer?

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Lab-Grown Diamonds Are More Ethical Than Blood Diamonds, but Will People Buy Them?

The diamond industry has long been tainted by the revelation of the trading of blood diamonds. International requirements have been put in place to curb their presence on the market, and a reported 99 percent of diamonds mined today are conflict-free, yet consumers are still concerned about the impact of the diamonds they buy. Although the industry has undergone widespread changes to become more eco-friendly, the answer might be far away from the diamond fields, in labs in the United States.

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Dylan Ratigan Is on a Mission to Transform Communities With Healthy Food, Clean Energy and Jobs for Veterans

Let’s face it, we’re facing some serious problems. Our centralized power, food and communications systems are failing us. The fossil fuels we rely on are depleting rapidly, heating up the planet in the process. We have so little food in some places that people are malnourished, yet so much unhealthy food in others that people are obese. And the world is in the grip of armed conflict, while the military veterans who put themselves at risk are too often abandoned by society.

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Those Burgers Aren't Just Making Us Fat - They're Messing With Our Immune Systems, Too

A junk food diet is clearly not healthy. Burgers widen our waistlines, raise our cholesterol levels and tighten our arteries. But scientists now think that even before it shows up as additional pounds on the scale, junk food is changing our bodies in other, surprising ways. It's actually a form of malnutrition that could be making our immune systems attack our own bodies.

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Why the Tourism Industry Is an Environmental Disaster and a Hothouse of Worker Exploitation: The Future Is Responsible Travel

Every year, more than a billion people take an international trip, contributing more than $2 trillion to the global economy. But the booming travel and tourism industry doesn’t just have a positive economic impact; it also has significant negative impacts on the environment and society. According to the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP), “The negative impacts of tourism development can gradually destroy the environmental resources on which it depends.” Tourism relies on the environment and on local people, and evidence suggests that sustainable destinations are more competitive.

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EPA on the Verge of Banning a Dangerous Herbicide (If It Can Stand up to Lobbyists)

With a few months to go until the end of the Environmental Protection Agency’s public comment period on its risk assessment of the herbicide atrazine (the deadline was recently extended from August 5 to October 4), a battle is raging between environmentalists and farmers. Environmentalists, on the side of EPA, are pointing to evidence that atrazine affects human and animal health, particularly frog reproduction.

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Why It's Almost Impossible to Avoid Being Complicit in Slavery When You Buy Tuna Fish

Look in most kitchens in the United States and you’ll find a can of tuna. It’s the country’s staple fish, one that’s been associated with many a scandal over the years. But the latest is perhaps the most harrowing: the tuna trade is sitting on a bubbling undercurrent of human trafficking and slavery, and the world’s biggest retailers are keeping this corrupt industry afloat.

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The Dung Diet: Would You Eat Someone Else’s Poo to Lose Weight?

It’s January, and you probably know at least one person who has vowed to lose weight this year. Perhaps you have. Weight loss is the most common New Year’s resolution in the US, accounting for 21% of people’s annual goals.

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10 of the Most Amazing Science Stories of 2015 (VIDEO)

In 2015 we read about exploring the solar system, visiting comets and discovering sub-atomic particles. How scientists edited genomes, discovered a new human ancestor and figured out how to grow vocal cords from scratch. And we watched as world leaders tried to come to an agreement on how to halt climate change.

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