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Nothing cuts baloney like a court order. Today, in response to a request made by Earthjustice, a federal judge gave the Environmental Protection Agency one week to sign a proposal for tightening standards on soot, an airborne mixture of tiny particles that causes tens of thousands of early deaths every year.

The court's action is most welcome: there's been so much foot-dragging at EPA on this issue, you have to wonder if everyone involved needs a new pair of shoes.

Last week, the U.S. Navy came out with a shocking confession. They now admit that their coastal training exercises kill or harm more marine mammals than previously acknowledged. Apparently, new data led to a recalculation about how many whales, dolphins and seals are hurt by the mid-frequency sonar and explosions the Navy routinely use in training off our coasts.

When you ask a 4-year-old, “What do big fish eat?,” the answer comes easily, “Little fish!”

A new report by the Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force entitled Little Fish, Big Impact confirms the wisdom of the 4-year-old -- big fish do eat little fish.

Why is this finding significant?

Little fish (forage fish) play an essential role in the marine food web.

You’re adorable but you will die if the temperature rises much above 80°F. So climate change is a big deal in your world, which just happens to be high mountain peaks. Who are you?

You are the American pika, a small member of the rabbit family that the California Dept. of Fish and Game has agreed to designate as a candidate for protection under the California Endangered Species Act (ESA). It’s the first step towards full protection in the state. The DFG is now seeking public comment on a proposal to list the pika as an endangered or threatened species.

Fans of unEarthed know Earthjustice has been sharing (and sometimes breaking) news on our blog this year. Which stories posted in 2011 generated the most reads?

Here is our Top Ten Countdown for the year:

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