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The fifth annual South by Southwest Eco conference will take place in Austin, Texas this October, and Earthjustice will be reporting live.

Maybe you’ve heard of South by Southwest (SXSW), Austin, Texas’ annual musical extravaganza that features over 2,000 performers and draws crowds by the tens of thousands. Or perhaps you’ve visited the SXSW Film festival, which draws even larger crowds every March. This year, SXSW Film screened 145 feature films, including the premier of Furious 7. But did you know that SXSW also hosts an annual environmental conference? 

Scientists have found that coal ash has up to 10 times more naturally occurring radioactive materials than the parent coal it comes from.

Burning coal for energy leaves behind toxic coal ash waste, and that waste may be even more harmful than researchers suspected. In a paper published today in Environmental Science and Technology, scientists and engineers from Duke University and the University of Kentucky found coal ash has up to 10 times more radioactive material than the parent coal it comes from because burning coal concentrates its natural radioactivity.

Ben & Jerry’s joins other Vermont businesses and consumer groups in defending Vermont’s new labeling requirements for GE foods against a federal court challenge brought by the food industry.

The Green Mountain State holds the coveted title in American history as the first admitted to the Union after the ratification of the Constitution. Locals also recognize Vermont for its record high cow-to-human ratio. There are fewer than three people to every cow, making it the perfect headquarters for Ben & Jerry’s. Today, the famous ice cream company is standing up alongside a handful of other businesses to defend another of Vermont’s firsts as one of the only states to require the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods in the country.

A kelp forest, dominated by giant kelp growing off the coast of California.

Have you ever wanted to swim with humpback whales as they comb the Pacific for schools of silver anchovies? Maybe you would prefer to dive with sea otters as they search for sea urchins in forests of dancing kelp or fly with dolphins as their pods surf through sea and air. Every August, sea animals on migratory journeys, as well as year-round residents, converge in Monterey Bay to feast in its bountiful waters. This year, you can join them—live.

CA Fish & Wildlife trail cameras have recorded five wolf pups and individual adults in Siskiyou County in Northern California. These are the first pups documented in the state since wolves were driven out in the 1920s.

Gray wolf pups—a bonafide rarity in California—have been spotted after nearly a century-long absence. The five pups, along with a pack of adult wolves, nicknamed the Shasta Pack, were found in Siskiyou County in the northernmost part of California. Wildlife officials have photographed the animals with remote trail cameras and are considering placing a radio collar on at least one individual from the pack to track its movements. The young wolves in particular hold special significance since they are the first pups documented in the state since the 1920s.


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unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.