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In 2011, an earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to melt down. After radioactive material was released into the air, over 100,000 people were evacuated from an area roughly the size of Los Angeles. The area was then divided into three zones – one where people were permitted to return to, one where some areas were deemed safe to live, and one deemed uninhabitable due to the high levels of radiation. Almost ten years later, the wildlife in the area is thriving. Yes, even in the restricted areas.

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Fireflies were as ubiquitous in the summer night sky as stars. Now the insects are facing extinction, and yes, humans are to blame.

Of the nearly 2,000 species of fireflies across the world, 200 are found in the U.S. However, many of those that were once common have now disappeared. There are two main reasons why these insects are on the decline: light pollution and development. On top of that, pesticides, weed killers, and logging have also played a role in the species' disappearance.

The marshes and meadows that were once lit up by the bioluminescent bug are slowly disappearing thanks to increasing development of the environment they call home. "The problem is that in America and throughout the world, our open fields and forests are being paved over, and our waterways are seeing more development and noisy boat traffic. As their habitat disappears under housing and commercial developments, firefly numbers dwindle," according to Firefly Research and Conservation.

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What would happen if everyone suddenly became vegetarian?

It would change our economy and our environment in drastic ways.

“What if everyone in the world was suddenly a vegetarian—what effect would it have on our lives and on the planet?”

The team over at AsapScience break this question down in a new video.

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Rural Americans’ Struggles Against Factory Farm Pollution Find Traction In Court

It’s a breakthrough after years of government failure to protect rural communities from farms housing many animals in close quarters.

A barn that can hold up to 4,800 hogs outside Berwick, Pennsylvania. The state says the farm is in compliance with regulations, but residents have gone to court seeking relief from odors. Photo by Michael Rubinkam/AP Photo.

As U.S. livestock farming becomes more industrial, it is changing rural life. Many people now live near concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) — large facilities that can house thousands of animals in close quarters. Neighbors have to contend with noxious odors, toxic emissions, and swarms of insects, and have had little success in obtaining relief — but this could be changing.

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