Clean Start: August 18, 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?

Fast-melting Arctic sea ice appears to be pushing walruses to haul themselves out onto land, and many are moving around the area where oil leases have been sold, the U.S. Geological Survey reports. [Reuters]

China is researching implementation of an absolute carbon dioxide cap in a number of pilot regions, a National Development & Reform Commission official said on Thursday. [Reuters]

Oil major Royal Dutch Shell said a large volume of oil remained in its leaking pipeline, raising the possibility that Britain’s worse oil spill for a decade could worsen, but said the extra amount would only seep out in a worse case scenario. [Reuters]

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon increased by 15 percent during the past 12 months, the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) said Wednesday. [AFP]

Fort Collins-based Clean Water Action launched a campaign arguing that Rep. Cory Gardner’s (R-CO) brief voting record in Washington establishes him as perhaps the most anti-environmental member of Congress in the state’s history and therefore deeply out of step with the district he represents. [Washington Independent]

This summer’s heat wave is drying up the blood transfusion supply in Shreveport, LA. [Shreveport Times]

With hurricane season still ahead, a record-tying nine $1 billion weather disasters have already racked the nation this year, with a cumulative tab of $35 billion. [USA Today]

Houston has set its record for most 100-degree days in a row, with 17 and counting, breaking a streak of 14 recorded in 1980. [Houston Chronicle]

A combination of rising temperatures and changes in the timing of runoff and streamflows could reduce trout habitat in the western U.S. by about 50 percent during the next 70 years, with some populations disappearing completely within just a few decades. [Summit County Citizen’s Voice]

Rick Perry gets four Pinocchios for his climate change conspiracy theories. [Washington Post]

On Monday the US Fish and Wildlife Service took the first step in granting increased federal protection to a relatively small, oil-rich region within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge known as the “1002 area” by nominating it for wilderness designation in a lengthy report on conservation plans. [Mother Jones]

Up to 60 per cent of the world’s coffee-growing regions will no longer be viable by 2050 thanks to climate change, according to a recent estimate from the Global Coffee Quality Research Initiative. [Toronto Star]

Less than a fifth of U.S. homeowners have a flood insurance policy that protects their property and personal belongings, even though more than four out of every five natural disasters nationwide involve flooding. [Insurance Information Institute]

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