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Before 1970, if a factory wanted to dump toxic waste into a river in the United States, they could get away with it. There was no Clean Water Act, no Clean Air Act, no Environmental Protection Agency. Though protests were common, they were focused on the war in Vietnam, not improving the environment. A Wisconsin senator, Gaylord Nelson, was inspired to change things; on April 22, he organized the first Earth Day, a "teach-in" on the environment. 20 million Americans demonstrated that day, and the government listened: by December, they had established the EPA and passed the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Endangered Species Acts.

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Lion Loin: Meat From the King of the Jungle is Perfectly Legal

We don't eat horse, but lion is fair game. What's wrong with this picture?


Neither the United States Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service looks after lions, which means it's legal to sell lion meat here. While other wild game, including deer, are off-limits for the supermarket shelves (except when that "wild" game is raised in captivity), Living on Earth's Ike Sriskandarajah explains in this week's show, the king of the jungle is fair game.

And much of the lion meat can be traced to one Chicago-area butcher, "Czimer's Game and Seafood," who apparently had a run-in with federal investigators. Special Agent Tim Santel told Sriskandarajah:

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Another Victim of This Budget Nonsense: Wolves

Ignoring science yet again, Congress determines that wolves aren't endangered. As part of a budget negotiation.


Congress has never once determined whether a species should be protected under the Endangered Species Act. In the past that's been left up to, you know, experts. But that's just changed. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and Representative Mike Simpson (R-ID) slipped a rider into this must-pass budget deal that effectively strips wolves of their protection under the ESA in Montana, Idaho, and parts of Washington, Oregon, and Utah.

In other words, Congress has, yet again, decided to insert its own legislative authority over that of the scientists (who Congress has entrusted to make these decisions), and over that of the courts.

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