Clean Start: July 8, 2011

Welcome to Clean Start, ThinkProgress Green’s morning round-up of the latest in climate and clean energy. Here is what we’re reading. What are you?

Several tornadoes swept through southern Alberta Thursday, causing significant damage from Sundre to Red Deer. [Toronto Sun]

The searing heat has set temperature records in Oklahoma City (108°) and Tulsa (106°). [AP]

In the documentary “The Big Uneasy,” Harry Shearer carefully builds the case that the New Orleans levee system — built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — had serious structural flaws. [Seattle Times]

Thunderstorms threatened to delay the last space shuttle launch, set for today, and a lightning strike near the pad briefly caused NASA engineers to question whether the launch should take place at all. [IBT]

A fierce thunderstorm walloped metro Denver Thursday afternoon, flooding streets, uprooting trees and knocking out power to 18,000 customers, officials said. [TheDenverChannel]

It is likely that fire — one of nature’s primary carbon-cycling mechanisms — will become an increasingly important driver of atmospheric change as the world warms. [Science News]

Nuclear power plants in Israel, Scotland, and Japan have been shut down by jellyfish invasions, which are becoming more common as the oceans get more acidic and warm. [LiveScience]

Three senators reached a deal on Thursday to repeal the $6 billion per year ethanol tax credit by the end of July, an agreement that must still be passed by Congress. [Reuters]

Gas pipeline operators and their trade organizations shaped, managed and provided sizable funding for numerous safety studies conducted by the federal agency that regulates the industry, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. [Hearst]

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