To national, local, and international leaders:

The Amazon rainforest is critically important to the survival of our planet and the indigenous peoples that call it home. The International Energy Agency is unequivocal: two-thirds of fossil fuels need to be kept in the ground to avoid climate disaster. Given the science mandate to keep oil in the ground and the demands of our indigenous allies, the Amazon Basin is the perfect place to start.

Leave the oil in the ground!

Read the full text of the petition here.

(via: Amazon Watch)

Texas Parks:  Horned Lizards on the Move

Texas horned lizards have disappeared across much of their historic range, but biologists at the Muse Wildlife Management Area are investigating what it might take to bring them back.

Their research is partly funded by sales of Texas horned lizard conservation license plates:

(via: Texas Parks and Wildlife)

Stephen Fry Explains Humanism in 4 Animated Videos:

Happiness, Truth and the Meaning of Life & Death

Answers to life’s big questions don’t come cheap, but they very often come free, or at least we feel they should.

Which answers you find compelling among your available options is up to you. In the widely pluralist parts of the world—or at least in their urban centers—the answers come as often in the form of secular humanism as they do in any other variety, and they generally come with a certain amount of satisfaction that it is humanism, in part, that makes such variety possible.

So what is humanism and why is it sometimes so proud of itself? You could do much worse than ask Stephen Fry, the genial English actor, comedian, writer, and passionate activist and advocate…

(read more/watch videos: Open Culture)

Playful Elusive Swift Foxes Took Years To Capture on Film

It took several trips to South Dakota’s grasslands over the course of three years for photographer Michael Forsberg to build up a collection of images of the elusive swift fox. With camera traps and a lot of patience, Forsberg chronicled playful pups and their predator parents in their natural environment. He calls it the most remarkable experience of his life.

(via: National Geographic)

Deep Sea Chimaera

Our Deepwater Backyard: Exploring Atlantic Canyons and Seamounts 2014 (September 27, 2014)

Chimaera spotted while exploring a seamount within the Atlantis II Seamount Complex.

Video courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program.

NASA Helps Unravel Mysteries of Venusian Atmosphere

by Karen C. Fox
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Underscoring the vast differences between Earth and its neighbor Venus, new research shows a glimpse of giant holes in the electrically charged layer of the Venusian atmosphere, called the ionosphere. The observations point to a more complicated magnetic environment than previously thought – which in turn helps us better understand this neighboring, rocky planet.

Planet Venus, with its thick atmosphere made of carbon dioxide, its parched surface, and pressures so high that landers are crushed within a few hours, offers scientists a chance to study a planet very foreign to our own. These mysterious holes provide additional clues to understanding Venus’s atmosphere, how the planet interacts with the constant onslaught of solar wind from the sun, and perhaps even what’s lurking deep in its core…

(read more: NASA - Goddard)