Animals

Critical List: Earthquake shook nuclear plant too hard; new Energy Star labels for more efficiency

Last week's earthquake may have shaken a Virginia nuclear plant more than the plant was designed to withstand. There wasn’t much damage, but, uh, maybe it’s time to retrofit these older East Coast plants, just in case. Since Energy Star labels have come to mean next to nothing, there are new ones. Look for "most efficient" Energy Star labels to find appliances that meet the highest standards for energy saving. Japan passed a bill promising incentives for renewable energy, but companies are waiting for the government to hash out the details before they jump in.

How to save 20,000 oiled penguins

Dyan deNapoli (who apparently goes by the moniker "The Penguin Lady," which is awesome) was very, very put out by a suggestion during the Gulf Coast oil spill that oiled birds should be killed because they're going to die anyway.

Whales hanging out in New York

First dolphins, now whales — sea mammals in New York City are bigger than Cats! Urban nature blogger Matthew Wills caught a humpback whale frolicking …

Critical List: New York AG going after natural gas companies; species move one mile north each year

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenaed three energy companies as part of an investigation into natural gas production estimates. If rats could abandon Ship Earth, they would right about now. Instead, species in the Northern Hemisphere are moving north at about a mile per year — three times faster than anyone imagined. Kick your caffeine habit now: climate change could make 60 percent of the places that now grow coffee inhospitable to the crop by 2050.

Otters are back in England

Once nearly extinct in England, otters have now returned to every county, indicating that rivers are at their healthiest in decades. Conservationists had predicted that it would be another 10 years before the otters reached this level of repopulation, so it's a real triumph for the iittle dudes. Not to mention an overwhelming stroke of good fortune for Brits, who can now watch otters play from the comfort of their homes, the lucky bastards.

Human excrement is killing all your coral

You know how when you go snorkeling, the guide tells you not to touch, breathe on, or even think about getting anywhere near the coral because it's really sensitive and also a great marine resource? Well, it's all true, but on a macro level, humans haven't been paying attention to those instructions and instead have been spraying the coral down with water contaminated with our waste. So basically we have been POOPING ON THE CORAL, which is kind of the opposite of not touching it. And human waste infects coral with something called white pox disease, which causes lesions and has led to a 90 percent decline in elkhorn coral, a key player in reef building.

Animals

Stop the giant fish blenders!

Antiquated cooling systems of power plants throughout the nation grind all manner of aquatic life into a fine paste.

Your can of tuna has a dirty secret

Canned tuna, a "magical wonder fish," is sooooo cheap. Just ignore that "shadowy multinational corporation" behind the curtain, and the bloodlust of Chicken of the Sea's creepy mermaid mascot:

Dolphins take Manhattan

New York is becoming quite the haven of wildlife! There's the pigeons, the giant monkey on the Empire State Building, and now dolphins have been …