In the good news department:

HydroAysen is backing off its agressive push to build dams in Patagonia due to stiff public and political resistance. The company left Patagonia off its list of proposed projects in a recent presentation! Here’s the story on that.

In a similarly positive development:

NPR reported last week that Goldman Sachs has decided to withdraw its investment from a proposed coal export terminal near Bellingham, Washington. The corporate giant is backing out of the Pacific Gateway project because coal is becoming less profitable with more environmental regulations of the energy source on the horizon. One Goldman Sachs investor who bought in just after the company sold off its shares in Gateway Pacific had this to say on the subject: ” I’m a firm believer that companies have a social responsibility. They have to make profit, of course, but they also have a huge responsibility to the environment.” Sounds good, doesn’t it? Find that story here.

Also on a rare uplifting note:

A Texas landowner triumphed in court against the Keystone Pipeline, according to EcoWatch. She had filed suit to fight TransCanada’s efforts to claim and use her land via eminent domain to construct an international energy project that will spell climate disaster. And in a Texas court no less! Read about that here.

It’s tempting to feel good about things for a minute, isn’t it, in light of these bright spots? Then you remember the rest of the environmental news:

They’re on a wolf killing spree in Idaho, trying to extirpate the predators before our country changes its mind and puts them back on the endangered species list. An Earth Justice bulletin about the imminent slaughter is here.

Meanwhile, the West African Black Rhino has been officially declared extinct, thanks largely to poaching. Gory details in November Time Magazine.

Researchers released a report showing just how harmful species loss is to the planet. Around the world, large carnivores’ “ranges are collapsing. Many of these animals are at risk of extinction, locally or globally. And ironically they are vanishing just as we are learning about their ecological effects,” said Oregon State University researcher William Ripple, who was a lead author of the study.

A coal plant in West Virginia spilled chemicals, contaminating local drinking water for 300,000 people and reminding us that there is, in fact, no such thing as clean coal. Climate Progress had early coverage of the disaster.

A major fracking operation was proposed for the Chesapeake Bay which would ship gas from Pennsylvania to Maryland for export. The project is already being called ” the next Keystone XL,” and could open the door to more fracking in New York and California, Earth Justice points out. More info here.

Oh yeah, and in one of the most discouraging headlines, the US Supreme Court sided with Monsanto over non-GMO farmers asking for the right to defend themselves against Monsanto lawsuits. The story is here.

And the US is on the verge of approving GMO salmon, which don’t taste nearly as good and poses problems for the future genetic biodiversity of the species. If you want the status on that, check in with the Organic Consumers Association here.

Still a lot of work ahead, no? Good thing we love to drink from firehoses, right?