Two Months, One Page

An Australian night parrot, thought for a century to be extinct, is sighted in Queensland. One conservationist compares it to "finding Elvis Presley flipping burgers in the outback."

In Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, a train carrying crude oil derails, killing 47 people.

Ecuador abandons its pledge not to drill for oil in remote Yasuní National Park, in the Amazon rainforest.

THE 130-YEAR-OLD GIANT SEQUOIA planted by JOHN MUIR at his home in Martinez, California, is dying. Preservationists hope to clone it.

An ancient giant sequoia in California's Sequoia National Park has been smoldering for more than a year.

Fracking is linked to an increase in U.S. earthquakes. So is a geothermal power production.

Russia scuttles a plan to designate two 600,000-square-mile marine-protected areas in the waters off Antarctica.

High fertility rates in Africa lead demographers to revise their estimates of peak world population. They now expect there to be 11 billion people by the end of the century, up from 7.1 billion today.

The United States installs 10 gigawatts of solar capacity, but still trails Germany, Italy, and China.

J.P. Morgan agrees to a $400 million settlement for gaming wind power markets in the states of California and Michigan.

Duke Energy cancels its proposed nuclear power plant in Levy County, Florida, costing ratepayers $1.5 billion.

Entergy Corporation announces that it will shutter its 41-year-old Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in October 2014.

Tons of highly radioactive water from Japan's crippled Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant leak into the Pacific Ocean.

The White House installs solar panels, 34 years after Ronald Reagan removed those put in place by Jimmy Carter.

The enormous Rim Fire burns more than 400 square miles, reaching into Yosemite National Park.

By September, the cost of fighting the rash of wildfires around the country approaches $1.4 billion.

The World Bank declares it will sharply restrict funding for new coal-fired power plants in developing nations.

The U.S. Export-Import Bank declines to fund a huge new coal plant in Vietnam on environmental grounds.

A Bureau of Land Management lease sale for 149 million tons of coal in the Powder River Basin fails to attract a single bid.

Because of ongoing drought in the Southwest, water deliveries from Lake Powell on the Colorado River are curtailed for the first time ever.

Earth is not the only "pale blue dot": The Hubble Space Telescope spots another blue planet 63 light-years away.

Illustrations by Peter Arkle

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