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Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, August 11

Israel makes major advances in desalinization technology, improving access to water. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton team up for action on climate change. And futurists imagine how cities might be "built" from living organisms. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Access to cheap, clean water is a serious concern in many parts of the world and with extreme weather becoming more frequently as global temperatures rise it's likely to be of even greater concern in the future. Facing this reality many have wondered if we can reclaim water from the ocean, which is normally unsuitable for human consumption. Now, Israeli scientists have made a major breakthrough in making this process feasible.

We've been sending probes to Mars for decades, often in the search of life. But Mars is not the only place scientists are hopeful to find signs of aliens: they also want to send a probe to Europa. The hangup? Designing a robot that can penetrate Europa's icy surface and explore its oceans.

The Democratic primaries have been over for months now but former candidate Bernie Sanders still has a loyal fanbase willing to support him. Now, the senator from Vermont is hoping to harness his supporters' passion to help his former rival Hillary Clinton take action on climate change, which both have described as one of the greatest threats facing the world and the United States.

Modern cities are built from metal, concrete, and brick. But could cities of the future be made from living organisms? Some futurists believe it's possible and what's more, that we should pursue such synthetic biology.

Despite the massive consensus among climate scientists that global warming is caused primarily by human economic activity and the negotiation of several treaties calling for a reduction in carbon emissions, the U.S. Congress and Republican Party continue to obstruct efforts to fight climate change. At his blog for Slate, astronomer Phil Plait explains what that could mean for this election.

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.

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