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Atmospheric CO2 Levels

(Weekly Averages)

July 11, 2021: 417.51 ppm
This time last year: 414.98 ppm
10 years ago: 393.4 ppm
Pre-industrial base: 280 Safe level: 350

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Page Updated:
July 24, 2021

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    Environmental Impact News
    (for the past 2 months)

  • Norway Starts Work on Carbon Storage Program
    The Country Believes Simply Reducing
    Emissions Isn't Enough -- We'll Also
    Need to Sequester Carbon Underground

    July 23, 2021 (ZME Science) -Norway is investing 1.7 billion euros into a full-scale carbon capture, transport, and storage project. The project named “Longship” is now under construction, and Norway is inviting other countries to join the project.

    If we want to ensure a sustainable future without catastrophic climate damage, we need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions — especially carbon dioxide. That can be done in several ways; one approach is to replace fossil fuel energy with renewable energy; another is to replace diesel cars with electric cars, or bicycles; changing our diets to less carbon-intensive foods can also make a big difference.

  • Dead Zone Risk For Washington State and Oregon
    Low-Oxygen Waters are to Blame

    July 22, 2021 (ENN Network) -Oxygen-depleted bottom waters occur seasonally along the continental shelf of Washington and Oregon when strong winds blowing along the coast in spring and summer trigger upwellings that bring deep, cold, nutrient-rich water to the surface. These waters fuel blooms of plankton that feed small animals like krill, which are food for many marine creatures.

    When these blooms die off, they sink to the bottom, where their decomposition consumes oxygen, leaving less for organisms such as crabs and bottom-dwelling fish.

  • Britain’s Rivers Are Suffocating to Death
    Water that Should be Crystal Clear Has
    Become a Green-Brown Slop Of
    Microscopic Algae Because of Industrial Farm Waste

    July 21, 2021 (The Guardian) -There’s more below the surface than we thought – something even worse than the water companies’ disgusting habit of filling our rivers with raw sewage. After a deep dive into the data, the team that made Rivercide last week discovered that while sewage now dominates our perceptions of river pollution, it’s not their major cause of death.

    On the border between Wales and England, we found a great river dying before our eyes. The Wye is covered by every possible conservation law, but in just a few years it has spiralled towards complete ecological collapse.

    The vast beds of water crowfoot, the long fluttering weed whose white and yellow flowers once bedecked the surface of the river, and which – like mangroves around tropical seas – provide the nurseries in which young fish and other animals grow and adults hide and breed, have almost vanished in recent years. Our own mapping suggests a loss of between 90% and 97%.

  • How Wildfire Smoke Spread Across America
    Here are the Spread Details

    July 21, 2021 (NY Times Climate Forward) - Wildfire smoke from Canada and the Western United States stretched across the continent this week, covering skies in a thick haze and triggering health alerts from Toronto to Philadelphia. Air quality remained in the unhealthy range across much of the East Coast on Wednesday morning as the haze pushed southward.

    In recent weeks, a series of near-relentless heat waves and deepening drought linked to climate change have helped to fuel exploding wildfires. In southern Oregon, the Bootleg Fire grew so large and hot that it created its own weather, triggering lightning and releasing enormous amounts of smoke. But more than 80 large fires are currently burning across 13 American states, and many more are active across Canada.

  • 8 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Ziploc Bags
    Find Those Alternatives

    July 16, 2021 (greener ideal) -When it comes to the world of food storage, nothing beats Ziploc bags, yet. Since its inception in the 1960s, these flexible bags have made packing lunch or freezing leftovers a tad bit easier.

    However, as much as they are helpful, they risk polluting the environment with plastic waste. Ziploc bags fall under the category of single-use plastic bags, and most people are guilty of discarding them in the trash bin without much thought.

    This waste ends up in landfills and bodies of water, affecting birds and marine life. Even worse is the fact that plastic bags take hundreds of years to degrade. Some never do.

    The good news is that there are plenty of natural and Eco-friendly alternatives to Ziploc bags. From Lunchskin sandwich bags to Vegan food wraps, the article focuses on eight options you can try out

  • Amazon Rainforest Now Emitting More CO2 Than it Absorbs
    The Forest Produces More than
    a Billion Tonnes of CO2 a Year

    July 14, 2021 (The Guardian) -The emissions amount to a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, according to a study. The giant forest had previously been a carbon sink, absorbing the emissions driving the climate crisis, but is now causing its acceleration, researchers said.

    Most of the emissions are caused by fires, many deliberately set to clear land for beef and soy production. But even without fires, hotter temperatures and droughts mean the south-eastern Amazon has become a source of CO2, rather than a sink.

  • Why Are England’s Water Companies Pumping Out a Tide of Sewage?
    Fines Won't Stop It,
    Because It's a Business Expense

    July 13, 2021 (The Guardian) - What’s remarkable is not that a water company knowingly and deliberately poured billions of liters of raw sewage into the sea to cut its costs. What’s remarkable is that the Environment Agency investigated and prosecuted it. Every day, water companies pour tonnes of unprocessed filth into England’s rivers and seas, and the government does nothing.

    Even in the wake of the sentence last week, under which Southern Water was fined £90m, the company’s own maps show a continued flow of raw filth into coastal waters.

  • Record Number of Manatees Die in Florida as Food Source Dries Up
    State Officials Report ‘Unprecedented’
    Deaths Due to Starvation as Pollution
    and Algal Blooms Take Toll

    July 12, 2021 (The Guardian) - More manatees have died already this year than in any other year in Florida’s recorded history, primarily from starvation due to the loss of seagrass beds, state officials have said.

    The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission reported that 841 manatee deaths were recorded between 1 January and 2 July, breaking the previous record of 830 that died during the whole of 2013 because of an outbreak of toxic red tide.

  • 25 Mega-Cities Generate Half of the World’s Urban CO2 Emissions
    Our Cities Need to Set More Ambitious
    Climate Targets Or They May Become Urban Ovens

    July 12, 2021 (ZME Science) -Although they cover only 2% of Earth’s surface, cities are major contributors to the climate crisis we’re currently facing. Some cities like Tokyo or Delhi, with populations numbering in the tens of millions, harbor more people than entire medium-sized countries, with greenhouse gas emissions to match. According to a recent analysis, just 25 such mega-cities are responsible for 52% of global urban greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

  • Will Dams Spoil One of Europe’s Last Wild Rivers?
    It's Those "Dammed" Rivers Again

    July 12, 2021 (National Geographic) -Emerging from a nearby mountain gorge, the Vjosa River radiates across the vast gravel expanse below this historic, hill-set town. Its fast-flowing, turquoise waters weave a whimsical web of channels and streams. This is a river that runs where it wants.

    It is also what many rivers in central Europe once looked like long ago, before they were polluted, dammed, and fragmented over the last two centuries. Today, more rivers in Europe have been altered and obstructed by man-made barriers than on any other continent. The Vjosa, which flows unimpeded through southern Albania to the Adriatic Sea, is one of the last major European rivers that still runs wild. That makes it the flagship for conservation efforts to protect smaller free-flowing rivers throughout the Balkans, which also remain relatively intact.

  • E.P.A. Approved Toxic Chemicals for Fracking a Decade Ago
    The E.P.A. Approvals Came Despite
    the Agency’s Own Concerns About Toxicity

    July 12, 2021 (NY Times Climate Forward) -For much of the past decade, oil companies engaged in drilling and fracking have been allowed to pump into the ground chemicals that, over time, can break down into toxic substances known as PFAS — a class of long-lasting compounds known to pose a threat to people and wildlife — according to internal documents from the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • The Turkish Sea of Marmara Is Choking From Pollution
    A Slimy Secretion Has Coated Harbors
    and Beaches and Smothered Marine Life.

    July 9, 2021 (NY Times Climate Forward) -The Sea of Marmara, fabled for centuries for its blue waters and sparkling fish, laps the shores of Istanbul. Its perfect form inspired a 19th-century historian to describe the ancient city as “a diamond set between two sapphires.”

    But the Marmara has been sickening for a long time, and this year, it suffered a paroxysm that choked its waters and suffocated marine life. In April, thousands of fish died and by May a natural secretion called mucilage emerged, smothering harbors and beaches with its slimy film.

  • The E-Waste Problem and How To Help
    By 2050, the Global Electronic
    Waste Generated Each Year Will
    Have Doubled From 50 Million Tonnes
    In 2020 To 110 Million

    July 8, 2021 (greener ideal) -As our collective adoption of technology and electronics continues to grow, so does the amount of electronic waste (or e-waste) that’s building up around the globe.

    Between TVs, cell phones, computers, and everything else with a circuit board, it’s already a considerable amount – 50 million tonnes of it are produced every year!

    For instance, in 2020 alone, small household equipment such as irons, kettles, toasters, vacuum cleaners, etc., made up 37% of e-waste. Larger equipment contributed 22% to the e-waste problem, while small IT gadgets like phones and laptops added 9% to e-waste.

  • Fish Can Become Addicted to Methamphetamine In the Water
    Drugs Excreted By Users End
    Up In Wastewater and Can Affect
    Aquatic Wildlife In Unpredictable Ways

    July 8, 2021 (ZME Science) -Environmental agencies such as the EPA regularly monitor water supplies for pharmaceuticals designed to treat human afflictions so as to avoid the contamination of aquatic wildlife. However, illicit drugs can also be a huge concern, especially the highly addictive ones like cocaine or methamphetamines. After a hard weekend of partying or in the aftermath of a festival, the water can be contaminated with trace amounts of illicit drugs after they’re excreted by users.

    One study, for instance, found that wastewater in Amsterdam contains 1,028mg of cocaine per one thousand people, the highest recorded in Europe thus far. It’s not clear how exactly aquatic wildlife is affected by drugs flowing through city drains, but a new study raises concerns.

  • Meet Jellyfishbot, the Robot that Likes to Eat Sea Trash
    A Robot Steps Up to Tackle
    the Sea Trash Problem

    July 7, 2021 (REUTERS) -Tourists visiting the picturesque port at Cassis, southern France, often see an unedifying sight: plastic bags, discarded drinks bottles, and even used surgical masks, floating in the water among the boats in the marina.

    But the port has found a solution, in the shape of a bright yellow remote-controlled electric powered boat that weaves around the harbor sucking the trash into a net that it trails behind its twin hulls.

    The boat, called Jellyfishbot, is about the size of a suitcase and so can get into the corners and narrow spaces where rubbish tends to accumulate but which are difficult for cleaners with nets to reach.

  • Colorado Bans All Kinds of Single-Use Plastics
    They Will Largely Disappear From
    Colorado Stores And Restaurants In 2024

    July 6, 2021 (CPR News) -Gov. Jared Polis will sign House Bill 21-1162 into law today, marking the slow end of plastic bags for major Colorado retailers, grocery stores and restaurants.

    The ban, which will also apply to single-use foam containers, won’t fully go into effect until 2024, but the state will start introducing those restrictions in 2023. Customers will have to pay 10 cents per paper or plastic bag at establishments that have to follow the ban.

    60% of the money raised by the temporary bag tax will go toward local recycling or composting programs. The rest will go to the businesses themselves.

  • 9 Food Waste Solutions to Save the Earth
    Food Waste Accounts For Up
    to 29% of the Amount of
    Trash Each Year in the US.

    July 5, 2021 (greener ideal) -The food waste problem has existed ever since technology enabled us to produce more food than we actually need; and like many other environmental issues, it can’t be solved until every one of us gets involved.

    However, while the bad news is that we have created a real problem, the good news is it’s totally solvable and preventable with minimal efforts from the end consumers.

  • EU’s Plastic Ban Officially Comes Into Force
    Here’s What You Should Know

    July 5, 2021 (ZME Science) -A European Union (EU) directive from 2019 restricting certain single-use plastic products has now officially come into force, forcing governments to stop selling cutlery, straws, stirrers, bags, cotton bud sticks, and polystyrene drinks and food containers — plastics which account for 70% of the marine litter in Europe.

    The ban is part of a larger effort by Europe to cut plastic pollution by creating a circular economy model. By the end of the decade, the bloc aspires to have a de facto ban on throwaway plastics, a comprehensive reuse system for all other plastics, and an expensive and potentially lucrative European market for recycled plastics.

  • Cow Bacteria Could Help Us Against the Plastic Crisis
    It's Right There in Their Guts

    July 5, 2021 (ZME Science) -Cows, which are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, could end up helping in another environmental crisis. According to a new study, the cow gut can digest certain types of plastic and offer a sustainable way of reducing plastic litter — not by having cows eat plastic, but by recreating the bacteria in a controlled environment.

    The stomachs of cows (like other ruminants) have four compartments, the largest of which is called the rumen. The rumen favors the development of a microbial community that is essential to the cows’ wellbeing. Cows can’t technically digest much of the food they eat, so instead, microbes in the rumen ferment the food and produce volatile fatty acids, which are the cows’ main source of energy.

  • The Fire in the Waters Off Mexico
    They Claim It's Been Extinguished, But...

    July 2, 2021 (REUTERS) -A fire on the ocean surface west of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula early on Friday has been extinguished, state oil company Pemex said, blaming a gas leak from an underwater pipeline for sparking the blaze captured in videos that went viral.

    Bright orange flames jumping out of water resembling molten lava was dubbed an "eye of fire" on social media due to the blaze's circular shape, as it raged a short distance from a Pemex oil platform.

  • The Hidden Toll of July 4th Fireworks
    Vulnerable People and Communities of
    Color Are Disproportionately Exposed to
    Air Pollution From Firework Celebrations

    July 2, 2021 (National Geographic) -It’s no secret that fireworks can cause some serious air pollution, in the United States as well as in other countries where holiday displays are common, like China and India. But not everyone is equally at risk from the noxious particles that suffuse the sky during our pyrotechnic light shows. In California, for example, vulnerable populations are more exposed to fireworks pollution on the Fourth of July.

    That’s according to a recent study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health on air pollution exposure across the state due to Independence Day fireworks.

  • Debate Rages Over Glyphosate-Based Herbicides - But...
    Farmers All Over the World
    Are Still Spraying Them

    July 2, 2021 (THE CONVERSATION) -As North America enters its peak summer growing season, gardeners are planting and weeding, and groundskeepers are mowing parks and playing fields. Many are using the popular weed killer Roundup, which is widely available at stores like Home Depot and Target.

    In the past two years, three U.S. juries have awarded multimillion-dollar verdicts to plaintiffs who asserted that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, gave them non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system. Bayer, a German chemical company, bought Roundup’s inventor, Monsanto, in 2018 and inherited some 125,000 pending lawsuits, of which it has settled all but about 30,000

  • The Cheap, Simple, On-Demand Water Disinfection Process
    It Needs Just Electricity,
    Air, and a Gold-Palladium Catalyst

    July 2, 2021 (ZME Science) -Clean, disinfected water is essential for a good life, but millions of people around the world lack access to it. Researchers at the Cardiff University plan to change this state of affairs with an on-site disinfection approach that is massively more efficient than our current disinfection approaches. The method relies only on atmospheric hydrogen, oxygen, and a gold-palladium catalyst.

    The new method aims to provide clean, safe water for consumption and hygiene in areas without access to such resources or reliable disinfection methods. All in all, it could help improve life for billions of people who are struggling with lack of water or water insecurity.

  • Fossil-Fuels Crime and Punishment
    Big Oil and Gas Kept a
    Dirty Secret For Decades
    Now They May Pay the Price

    June 30, 2021 (The Guardian) -Via an unprecedented wave of lawsuits, America’s petroleum giants face a reckoning for the devastation caused by fossil fuels

    After a century of wielding extraordinary economic and political power, America’s petroleum giants face a reckoning for driving the greatest existential threat of our lifetimes.

  • The Unlikely Takedown of Keystone XL
    NRDC Advocates Were Part of
    a Broad Coalition That Helped
    Stop Keystone XL—For Good

    June 29, 2021 (National Resources Defense Council(NRDC)) -When the backers of the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline pitched their project in 2008, they couldn’t have foreseen this ending.

    Back then, the Canadian fossil fuel giant TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada, figured it would easily snag the necessary permits and soon be on its way to piping more than 800,000 barrels of tar sands crude each day from northern Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska. From there, the new pipeline extension would connect with Keystone I, which would then carry the oil down to refineries.

  • Wildfires Threaten Urban Water Supplies
    And That's Long After the Flames Are Out

    June 24, 2021 (NY Times Climate Forward) -Wrangling a 25-foot-long tube of straw up a steep hillside studded with charred pine trees, three volunteer workers placed it in a shallow trench that had been dug along the slope.

    Locked in place with wooden stakes, the sausage-like tube was part of an effort to avoid a potentially large and long-term problem with the drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people to the east. The tube, with others above and below it, should help prevent the hillside, made unstable last fall by a large wildfire, from choking the water supply with sediment when the thunderstorms known as monsoon rains arrive as expected this summer.

  • California Oil: The Bottom of the Barrel
    It's More Carbon Intensive
    than What the State Imports

    June 28, 2021 (KQED) -A new analysis from an environmental advocacy group highlights a dirty secret about California-produced oil: It is responsible for higher carbon emissions than the oil the state imports.

    Scientists with the Center for Biological Diversity examined the carbon intensity of the crude oil supplied to California refineries and released their analysis on Monday, which shows that producing gasoline from heavy crude oil drilled in places like Kern County takes a lot of energy and creates tons of pollution.

    They found that the carbon intensity of oil produced in California has climbed by 22% since 2012.

  • Can Massive Cargo Ships Use Wind to Go Green?
    Cargo Vessels Belch Almost as Much Carbon Into the Air Each Year as the Entire Continent of South America

    June 24, 2021 (NY Times Climate Forward) -Shipping produces 2.9% of global carbon-dioxide emissions, almost as much as the entire continent of South America. With every country benefiting from global trade, it could be argued that shipping is everybody’s responsibility, but it is treated as if it is nobody’s.

    In the vast but liminal space of the ocean, cargo vessels — some of the largest machines on the planet — have generally operated in obscurity. The industry’s greenhouse-gas emissions have only grown as world trade has expanded, about 10% in the last six years. Shipowners, charterers and regulators have done little about the situation.

  • Gabon: Getting Paid to Protect Its Forests
    Could This be a Way to Help Strug-
    gling Nations Reduce Their Emissions

    June 24, 2021 (ZME Science) -Gabon, an equatorial country located at the western end of the Congo Basin rainforest, has just become the first African country to receive payment for reducing carbon emissions by protecting its rainforest. More than 90% of the country is covered by forests, which means it captures more CO2 than what it emits.

    Some believe this could be a pathway to getting developing nations (which have historically produced less greenhouse gas than developed nations) on board for reducing their emissions.

    Gabon has received $17 million from the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), an organization launched in 2015 by the United Nations and backed by international donors. The payment came after independent experts verified Gabon’s results, showing a decline in the country’s emissions in 2016 and 2017, the government said. It’s not a large sum, but it can help get the ball rolling.

  • Eco-Friendly Curtains: How to Choose Them
    It's Curtains For You
    (But in a Good Way)

    June 23, 2021 (greener ideal) -There are all kinds of things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint, and the list is likely familiar to many of you by now—biking to work, turning off household lights when you’re not using them, buying local produce. But one method you may not have thought of is to buy Eco-friendly curtains.

    Our curtains are one of the features of our house that we may not actively think about much, but they serve so many purposes (decoration, warming the house, keeping out light, giving us privacy) that we would be hard-pressed to live without them.

    However, the synthetic fibers that many curtains are made of have an extremely negative effect on the environment. What’s an environmentally-conscious person to do, then? That’s where Eco-friendly curtains come in.

  • Willow Trees Could Help Clean Wastewater and Much More
    A Cost-Effective, Environmentally
    Friendly Way To Filter Our Wastewater

    June 23, 2021 (ZME Science) -Filtering wastewater through the roots of willow trees could help scrub over 30 million liters per hectare of trees, which is quite a decent amount. While these trees won’t overtake our current water treatment sites just yet, they do show great potential for the job.

    Willow trees are not just very effective at extracting compounds like nitrogen out of wastewater, the team explains, but they can also tolerate high volumes of it (which is a bit of a prerequisite for a filtration system).

    Additionally, the trees can eventually be harvested for their biomass, and used, for example, to make biofuels.

  • Novel Technologies Could Reduce Agriculture Emissions by 70%
    From Better Use of Fertilizers
    to Soil Management, Farming
    Measures Can Goa Long Way

    June 22, 2021 (ZME Science) -A combination of innovations in digital agriculture, crop and microbial genetics, and electrification could bring down emissions from agriculture by up to 70% in the next 15 years, according to a new study.

    It’s a win-win situation — these technologies are already available and could help agriculture decarbonize while increasing resilience, profits, and productivity.

  • Pollution Could Be Sucking the Youth Out of You
    That Is Meant Quite Literally

    June 22, 2021 (ZME Science) -Our everyday exposure to UV rays, ozone, cigarette smoke, industrial chemicals, and other pollutants might be even more damaging than we’ve believed.

    Such factors can lead to the production of free radicals in our bodies, highly reactive chemical molecules that damage tissues or DNA. A new study from West Virginia University, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota, reports that unrepaired DNA damage incurred from these radicals can cause us to age faster.

    From their research on aging and cell damage in animals, the team is confident in the effect pollution could have on these factors in humans.

  • Yoga Pants and Microplastics - They're Related
    Worrisome Microfibers From
    Clothing Have InfiltratedVirtually
    Every Ecosystem On the Planet

    June 18, 2021 (Mother Jones) -You probably know by now that when you wash a load of synthetic clothes, like yoga pants or moisture-wicking sweatshirts, tiny bits of them tear loose and flush out to a wastewater treatment facility, which then pumps them out to sea

    A single load of laundry releases perhaps millions of these microfibers (technically a subspecies of microplastics, defined as bits smaller than 5 millimeters). So it’s no wonder that scientists are finding the particles everywhere they look, from the deepest seas to what’s no longer a pristine Arctic.

  • California Oil Workers Union Gets Behind Clean Energy
    From the Boiling Point Newsletter

    June 17, 2021 (Los Angeles Times) - The dominant narrative about labor unions and climate change is that fossil fuel workers are a major roadblock to action. There’s good reason for that reputation. In California, building trades unions have fought against limiting oil and gas extraction and won industry-friendly changes to climate policies. Nationally, labor leaders have urged President Biden not to block oil pipelines such as Keystone XL (which was just canceled) and Minnesota’s Line 3 (where the Biden administration sand-blasted protesters this week).

    So it’s worth slowing down to examine a groundbreaking new report — endorsed by 19 unions, including two representing thousands of California oil workers — that offers a preview of what the path forward might look like.

  • 'All the Water's Bad' In McDowell County, W.Va
    You Have to Get Creative
    to Find Safe Drinking Water

    June 17, 2021 (NBC NEWS) -Every week, Burlyn Cooper parks on the edge of a winding two-lane road, unloads a dozen plastic jugs from the trunk of his car, and uses a hose to fill them with the spring water that drips from a mountain's exposed rock face. For Cooper and many of his neighbors, the mountain's runoff is their most reliable, and trusted, source of drinking water.

    "I've got so used to it, I wouldn't know how to act, to turn the faucet on and have good water," he said. "I can't imagine it."

  • Fire-Ravaged Cargo Ship Sinks Off Sri Lanka
    The Event sparks
    Fears of Environmental Disaster

    June 17, 2021 (NBC NEWS) -A container ship carrying chemicals sank off Sri Lanka's capital on Thursday nearly a month after catching fire, raising concerns about a possible environmental disaster, officials said.

    The ship's operator said the wreck of the Singapore-flagged X-Press Pearl "is now wholly sitting on the seabed at a depth of 70 feet."

    A salvage crew was at the site to deal with any debris and report any spill, X-Press Feeders said.

  • Meet the Toxic Ten
    List Outlines Worst Industrial
    Polluters in Allegheny County

    June 16, 2021 (Allegheny Front) -The 10 biggest industrial polluters in Allegheny County released more toxic pollution into the air in 2019 than they did in previous years, according to a report PennEnvironment released Tuesday. But while overall emissions were higher, there are signs that several sites will pollute less in the future.

    “Collectively, we found that the ‘Toxic 10’ combined released more than 1 million pounds of pollution in 2019,” said PennEnvironment’s Zachary Barber. “That is an increase in pollution across the 10 facilities versus the last report,” said Barber. “That is obviously a step backwards.”

  • Cosmetics With Hidden, Potentially Dangerous ‘Forever Chemicals’
    Scientists Found Signs of
    Long-Lasting PFAS Compounds in
    About Half of Tested Makeup Products

    June 15, 2021 (ScienceNews) -A new chemical analysis has revealed an ugly truth about beauty products: Many may contain highly persistent, potentially harmful “forever chemicals” called PFAS.

    PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, include thousands of chemicals that are so sturdy they can linger in the body for years and the environment for centuries. The health effects of only a few PFAS are well known, but those compounds have been linked to high cholesterol, thyroid diseases and other problems.

    “There is no known good PFAS,” says chemist and physicist Graham Peaslee of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

  • Invasive Species Are Getting a Free Ride
    Plastic Rafting: the Invasive
    Species Hitching a Ride On Ocean Litter

    June 14, 2021 (The Guardian) -There is now so much ocean plastic that it has become a route for invasive species, threatening native animals with extinction.

    Japan’s 2011 tsunami was catastrophic, killing nearly 16,000 people, destroying homes and infrastructure, and sweeping an estimated 5m tons of debris out to sea.

    That debris did not disappear, however. Some of it drifted all the way across the Pacific, reaching the shores of Hawaii, Alaska and California – and with it came "hitchhikers."

  • Plastic-Eating Bacteria Turns Waste Into Vanilla Flavoring
    A Tasty Solution to
    Our Plastic Waste Problem.

    June 14, 2021 (ZME Science)-The invention of plastic has been one of the most important cornerstones to raising our standard of living in the past century. However, the same qualities that make plastic so desirable to consumers — in particular, its very low cost and high durability — also make it a bane to the environment.

    This is why scientists across the world are busy researching sustainable solutions to our growing plastic litter problem, either at the source (i.e. finding biodegradable alternatives) or during waste treatment.

    One such effort focused on the latter. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland devised an experimental method that converts treated polyethylene terephthalate (PET) — the lightweight plastic used to package everything from beverages to food — into vanillin, the primary ingredient extracted from vanilla beans that creates the characteristic taste and smell of vanilla.

  • G7 Leaders’ Summit Must Prioritize Climate Finance
    The Climate Will Not
    Improve Without Financial Action

    June 13, 2021 (CleanTechnica)-At the summit, the leaders of the G-7 countries — the UK, USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, France and Italy, and the EU — will be joined by guest nations Australia, India, South Korea, and South Africa. Tackling climate change is one of the four policy priorities on the agenda.

    Ahead of the Leaders’ Summit, the finance ministers of the G-7 nations met last week. The highlight of that meeting was the announcement of a commitment to a global minimum tax rate of 15% for major corporations.

  • The Amargosa: A Desert River Faced With Drought
    Hotter Weather and Depleted
    Groundwater in Nevada and California
    Threaten This Rare Ecosystem

    June 11, 2021 (National Geographic) -Rivers are often seen as nature’s lifeline. That is certainly true here, in one of the hottest places on Earth, where life prevails because of a waterway that, for the most part, can’t be seen.

    The river is the Amargosa, and for much of its 180-mile course, from the desert highlands of southern Nevada through California’s Mojave Desert and into Death Valley, it runs below ground, underneath a barren moonscape of crag and crust.

    But in the stretches and springs where the river surfaces, an explosion of life occurs; some of the plants, birds, and fishes found here exist nowhere else in the world. But for all its richness, life in the Amargosa River Basin is intensely fragile, and appears to be growing increasingly so.

  • Developers Call Off Kalama Methanol Plant
    The Site on the Columbia River
    Would Have Occupied 90 Acres

    June 11, 2021 (Oregon Public Broadcasting)-Developers appear to be calling it quits on a long-planned and controversial proposal to build a $2 billion methanol plant on the banks of the lower Columbia River.

    The Port of Kalama announced Friday that the developer, NW Innovation Works, had terminated its lease, effectively ending the project. It would have converted fracked natural gas into methanol to be shipped to Asia.

  • Shipping's Toll on the Environment
    Innovative Ideas on How to Fix That

    June 11, 2020 (THE CONVERSATION)-Ships carry more than 80% of world trade, and they rely heavily on some of the least environmentally friendly transportation fuels available.

    There are no cheap, widely available solutions that can lower the shipping industry’s planet-warming carbon emissions – in fact, shipping is considered one of the hardest industries on the planet to decarbonize – but some exciting innovations are being tested right now.

  • Scientists Cut Dengue Fever Cases by 77%
    The Trick:
    Using Bacteria-Infected Mosquitoes

    June 10, 2021 (ZME Science)-Researchers affiliated with the World Mosquito Program, a non-profit concerned with protecting communities across the world from mosquito-borne diseases, just reported that its most recent trial meant to cull dengue in Indonesia was a stunning success.

    After releasing treated mosquitoes that were infected with a bacteria that makes them sterile, over the course of three years the number of dengue cases plummeted by nearly 77% while the number of dengue hospitalizations dropped by 86%.

  • How Foreign Mining Destroyed Banaba
    It Became a Waterless Island

    June 9, 2021 (The Guardian)-The last decent rain on Banaba was more than a year ago.

    Without rain, people on the isolated central Pacific island, which is part of the country of Kiribati, have been forced to rely on a desalination plant for all their water for drinking, bathing and growing crops.

    But in late November the plant broke down and the situation became desperate for the nearly 300 people living there. Harrowing stories emerged of people forced to drink contaminated water, outbreaks of diseases and fears of starvation.

  • 'Glacier Blood’ Is Our Latest Nightmare
    The Red Stains Aren't Actual
    Blood, But They're Still a Sign of Danger.

    June 8, 2021 (GIZMODO)-Glaciers in the French Alps look like the scene of a massacre. Normally topped with pristine, white snow, they’re increasingly covered with dark, bloody-looking spots dubbed “glacier blood.”

    The blotches aren’t actually blood—they’re microalgae blooms. It’s a phenomenon known as Chlamydomonas nivalis, wherein species of green algae that contain a red pigment undergo photosynthesis and stain the snow. But while the scenes may not show an actual murder, they do portend a dangerous future for ice in the Alps.

  • Bringing Tech Innovation to Fighting Wildfires
    4 Recommendations For Smarter
    Firefighting as Megafires Menace the US

    June 8, 2020 (THE CONVERSATION)-Record-breaking fires over the past decade suggest the western U.S. has entered a new era of megafires.

    Fire itself is not the problem – it has been characteristic of the North American West for millennia. The problem is when fires, fueled by dry and overgrown forests, grow into giant blazes that move fast, fill the skies with smoke, and threaten homes and cities.

  • Into the Blue: Celebrating Healthy Oceans
    Can We Protect All of
    Our Oceans by 2030?

    June 8, 2021 (DW News)-Central to ocean sustainability is stopping widespread overfishing and illegal fishing, which is threatening highly biodiverse marine life around the world. While Chinese trawlers are in the spotlight for plundering waters in Latin America for example, Greenpeace has long called out the "massacre" of threatened bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean, and is demanding the creation of marine reserves.

    Click now for other actions and a slideshow.
  • Back Arrow
  • CO2 Levels Reached a Record High
    It's Been Almost 5 Million Years
    Since CO2 Levels Were This High

    June 8, 2021 (ZME Science)-Carbon dioxide levels have hit an all-time high — again. In May (the month scientists use to compare year-to-year CO2 shifts), carbon dioxide in the atmosphere averaged 419 parts per million, according to data from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Unfortunately, that in itself would hardly even classify as news anymore. But what really is striking is that CO2 levels haven’t been this high since before humans emerged as a species. We’d have to go to the Pliocene Epoch, between 4.1 to 4.5 million years ago, to see similar levels — a period when sea levels were nearly 80 feet higher and temperatures were about 7°F above the preindustrial era.

  • Cattle Could Produce More Methane Than Thought
    Manure, and Not Chemical
    Fertilizer, Could Help

    June 8, 2021 (ZME Science)-A new review of eight existing studies published in the journal Environmental Research Letters has found that livestock farms and feedlots in North America may be emitting far more methane than previously assumed.

    The researchers from New York University and Johns Hopkins University found that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — which estimates methane from livestock as part of a greenhouse gas inventory — does not verify its estimates by measuring concentrations of the gas in the air.

  • The Drinking Water Crisis That North Carolina Ignored
    For Decades, DuPont Dumped
    Toxic PFAS Into North
    Carolina’s Cape Fear River.

    June 7, 2021 (National Resources Defense Council(NRDC)d) -When the Wilmington, North Carolina, StarNews broke a story in 2017 about the rampant contamination of the region’s drinking water supply by a chemical called GenX, Tom Kennedy had just finished four months of chemotherapy for his stage 2 breast cancer.

    During the radiation treatment that followed, Kennedy, then 45, learned that the cancer had metastasized to his brain, newly classifying him as a stage 4 terminal patient with 6 to 12 months to live. Four years later, with some 60 rounds of chemotherapy under his belt, he’s still going strong.

    But also four years later, the Cape Fear River watershed—which supplies drinking water for Kennedy’s family and around 350,000 other North Carolinians—remains contaminated with the perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that DuPont, and its spin-off, Chemours, dumped into the river for more than four decades.

  • The World’s Fish Are Swimming In Microplastics
    Would You Like a Little
    Plastic With Your Salmon?

    June 7, 2021 (ZME Sciencey), -The Field Museum made news recently, as it published findings from its unique library. The library, described sometimes as a bunker, an underground warehouse, or even a “library of life on Earth”, contains fish specimens preserved in jars. In their latest study, researchers from Loyola University looked at the presence of microplastics in fish.

    Tim Hoellein, a professor, and grad student Loren Hou have been examining the timeline of the microplastics buildup in fish, looking to see when and how plastic started accumulating in fish — and what we can expect for the future.

  • EU Considers Border Tariffs On Steel, Cement, & Electricity?
    A Draft Proposal By the
    European Commission Would Impose
    Carbon-Based Tariffs On
    Imports From Outside the EU

    June 7, 2021 (INHABITAT), -According to Reuters, the European Union is considering a draft proposal that would impose tariffs carbon emissions-based tariffs on a variety of imported goods, including steel, cement, and electricity. The news was first reported by Bloomberg last Wednesday. The new tariffs are designed to protect the 27 member nations of the EU from lower cost products made in countries with few or no carbon emission restrictions.

    The draft under consideration may be amended before final publication on July 14. The proposed tariffs would be applied in full beginning in 2026, with a potential transitional period starting in 2023. The products subject to the new tariffs include iron, steel, aluminum, cement, fertilizers, and electricity.

  • The Importance of Green Steel
    It's the Next Big
    Thing in Australian Industry

    June 4, 2021 (pv magazine), -Steel is a major building block of our modern world, used to make everything from cutlery to bridges and wind turbines. But the way it’s made – using coal – is making climate change worse.

    On average, almost two tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) are emitted for every tonne of steel produced. This accounts for about 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cleaning up steel production is clearly key to Earth’s low-carbon future.

  • The Destruction of Nature Adds to Pandemics Risks
    Ending the Destruction of Nature
    to Stop Outbreaks at Source
    is More Effective and Cheaper than
    Responding to Them, Scientists Say

    (The Guardian), June 4, 2021 -The root cause of pandemics – the destruction of nature – is being ignored, scientists have warned. The focus of world leaders on responding to future outbreaks overlooks the far cheaper and more effective strategy of stopping the spillover of disease from animals to humans in the first place, they have said.

    The razing of forests and hunting of wildlife is increasingly bringing animals and the microbes they harbor into contact with people and livestock. About 70% of new infectious diseases have come from animals, including Covid-19, Sars, bird flu, Ebola and HIV.

  • The Vulnerability of Table Corals
    Helping to Protect Them
    Would Go a Long Way

    (ZME Science), June 2, 2021 -By now, you probably all know that coral reefs around the world are struggling. Waters that are too warm and too acidic are causing corals to bleach — to eject their symbiotic algae under stress. If this happens enough times in rapid succession, reefs can see massive damage and coral death.

    We’ve been trying to find a solution to this problem for quite a while. New research may have found something that will help us, in the form of the table coral Acropora. These can regenerate habitats in reefs such as the Great Barrier Reef faster than any other coral type.

  • America’s Top Methane Emitters
    Some Will Surprise You

    (NY Times), June 2, 2021 - As the world’s oil and gas giants face increasing pressure to reduce their fossil fuel emissions, small, privately held drilling companies are becoming the country’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, often by buying up the industry’s high-polluting assets.

    According to a startling new analysis of the latest emissions data disclosed to the Environmental Protection Agency, five of the industry’s top ten emitters of methane, a particularly potent planet-warming gas, are little-known oil and gas producers, some backed by obscure investment firms, whose environmental footprints are wildly large relative to their production.

  • UK Ranked Last in Europe for Bathing Water Quality in 2020
    European Environment Agency Judges
    Only 110 British Coastal and
    Inland Sites to be Excellent

    (The Guardian), June 1, 2021 - Swimmers in the UK hoping to enjoy waters certified clean and healthy this summer have been let down again. Only 110 coastal and inland sites were judged excellent in the latest bathing water quality data from Europe’s environmental watchdog.

    Most of the UK’s bathing sites were not classified in 2020, however, because Covid-19 restrictions prevented sampling. This meant that out of 640 sites, 457 received no verdict in the rankings, compiled annually by the European Environment Agency and published on Tuesday.

  • Tearing Out These Dams Is A Good Thing
    It Will Open Rivers Up For
    Recreation—and Save Lives

    (National Geographic), June 1, 2021 -Across the flatlands of the American Midwest, concrete low-head dams served for decades as important tools in flood management, as gauging stations, and for irrigation. They’re also highly dangerous—nicknamed “drowning machines” by some water management agencies.

    The hydrodynamics caused by the fast flow off the dam’s ledge result in water moving in a reverse circular motion between the dam wall and the water boil point, typically a couple of yards downstream. Anything—or anyone—caught in the current gets pushed underwater, turned up and pushed back down again.

  • Ocean Bottom: The New Home for Intact Plastic Waste
    Plastic Waste is
    All Over the Place, Even
    Where you it's Least Expected

    (ZME Science), May 31, 2021 -If you’re an explorer visiting for the first time one of the deepest trenches of the ocean, you’re probably expecting to find many cool and new things, such as deep-sea creatures. For Dr. Deo Florence Onda, who just returned from visiting the Philippine Trench, the findings included something much more ubiquitous – plastic waste.

  • Prison Terms Over Ilva Pollution Sentenced in Italy
    City of Taranta Mayor
    Rinaldo Melucci Welcomed the Ruling,

    (REUTERS), May 31, 2021 -An Italian court on Monday sentenced the former owners of the Ilva Steelworks, Fabio and Nicola Riva, to 22 and 20 years in jail respectively for allowing it to spew out deadly pollution.

    Once the largest steel producer in Europe, the factory emitted a lethal cocktail of carcinogenic dioxins and mineral particles for more than half a century, that medics say caused a surge in cancer in the adjacent city of Taranto.

  • ‘Forever Chemicals’ Found in Home Fertilizer Made From Sewage Sludge
    Alarming Toxic PFAS Levels Revealed
    Raise Concerns that the
    Chemicals Contaminate Vegetables

    (The Guardian), May 28, 2021 - Sewage sludge that wastewater treatment districts across America package and sell as home fertilizer contain alarming levels of toxic PFAS, also known as forever chemicals, a new report has revealed.

    Sludge, which is lightly treated and marketed as biosolids, is used by consumers to fertilize home gardens, and the PFAS levels raise concerns that the chemicals are contaminating vegetables and harming those who eat them.

  • We May Not Have Mexico City to Kick Around Anymore
    The City is Sinking

    (ZME Science), May 28, 2021 -If you’d take a time-lapse view of some parts in Mexico City, you’d probably notice a lot of differences. Buildings, historic sites, and streets all seem to exhibit a growing number of cracks and fissures. Hidden from the surface eye, the same thing is happening to sewage, gas, and water lines in the city.

    At first glance, you’d be inclined to attribute this to the strong earthquakes that sometimes strike Mexico City. But while earthquakes can cause their own damage, they’re not the main culprit here. Instead, it’s something much more inconspicuous: subsidence.

  • War's Environmental Bootprint
    Scorched Earth:
    The Climate Impact of Conflict

    (Deutsche Welle), May 28, 2021 -From the dumping of defoliants like Agent Orange on forests in Vietnam to oil wells set ablaze during the Gulf War and the contamination of the aquifers bombed in Gaza, environmental destruction has long been a by-product of conflict.

    Less talked about is the impact of war and the military on the climate crisis. This is partly because military emissions have been largely exempted from international climate treaties, starting with the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

  • Can Removing Highways Fix America’s Cities?
    These Aerial Photos Show
    American Cities Before the Highway
    Boom of the 50's & 60's

    (NY Times Climate Forward), May 27, 2021 -Built in the 1950s to speed suburban commuters to and from downtown, Rochester’s Inner Loop destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, replacing them with a broad, concrete trench that separated downtown from the rest of the city.

    Now, the city is looking to repair the damage. It started by filling in a nearly-mile-long section of the sunken road, slowly stitching a neighborhood back together. Today, visitors of the Inner Loop’s eastern segment would hardly know a highway once ran beneath their feet.

  • Dutch Court to Shell: Lower Emissions by 45%
    Other Companies Could Soon
    Face Similar Legal Pressure

    (ZME Science), May 27, 2021 -Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell will have to reduce its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 (from 2019 levels) following a ruling of a Dutch court. That’s a much larger drop than the company’s current aim of 20%. Civil society largely celebrated the move, which they argue will have implications for other fossil fuel companies around the world.

    This is the first time that a court has ruled a company has to reduce its emissions in line with the global climate targets, according to Friends of the Earth, the environmental organization that brought the case against Shell. It comes a week after the International Energy Agency asked fossil companies to stop drilling for oil and gas right now.

  • Food That's Good for You and the Planet
    A New Food Pyramid Explains It All

    (ZME Science),May 27, 2021 -A new report claims that a dietary tool can be used to simultaneously reduce unhealthy eating and climate change impacts. The “double-pyramid”, which takes into account cultural differences in the consumption of food, has already been used with success in areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America, researchers say.

    The article contains a graph for a better understanding of the Double Pyramid.

  • 500,000 Bbls of Toxic Waste Dumped Near Santa Catalina Island
    Montrose Chemical Corp. Is the Culprit

    (Center for Biological Diversity), May 27, 2021 -Following the recent discovery that up to 500,000 barrels of the banned pesticide DDT were dumped into the Pacific Ocean off Southern California, the Center for Biological Diversity sent Montrose Chemical Corp. and its successor parent company, Bayer Corp., a notice of intent to sue them today. Today’s notice letter calls for the companies to take responsibility for this toxic threat to public health and wildlife.

    Starting in 1947 and continuing through at least 1961, Montrose employees transported barrels of DDT and acid sludge waste from the company’s Torrance, Calif. facility to barges, where they were dumped into the ocean near Santa Catalina Island.

  • Interactive Map:

    Explore the air quality anywhere in the world
    Air pollution continues to pose one of the biggest threats to human health, with 90% of the global population breathing unsafe air.
    The latest data compiled by IQAir, published in the 2019 World Air Quality Report and the most polluted cities ranking, reveals the changing state of particulate pollution (PM2.5) around the world during 2019.
    The new dataset highlights elevated air pollution levels as a result of climate change events, such as sandstorms and wildfires, and pollution gains from the rapid urbanization of cities, in regions such as Southeast Asia.
    While some achievements have been made in air quality monitoring infrastructure globally, there are still huge gaps in access to data around the world.
    Click the image to see where your atmosphere stands.

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    x s

    Oil Spill History
    Site Title

    "Birds and Oil Don't Mix"

  • Mystery: Origin of the Oil Killing Brazilian Sea Turtles?
    Oil Is Killing Brazil’s Turtles
    Where Is It From?

    Oct. 12, 2019  (TIME)- More than a month since oil started washing up on some of Brazil’s most touristic beaches, dotting sand with b lack patches, killing sea turtles and scaring off fishermen, the origin of the crude is still a mystery.

    “We don’t know the oil’s origin, where it came from or how it got here,” Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque said at an offshore exploration auction in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday

    Click now for more details
  • One Dead in Gulf of Mexico Rig Accident
    One dead in Gulf of Mexico
    Rig Accident - But No Pollution

    July 21, 2019 (UPI) -There is no pollution associated with an explosion on a drilling platform about 12 miles off the coast of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico, a regulator said.

    The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said it was notified by oil and gas operator Fieldwood Energy of an explosion on its Echo Platform.

    Fieldwood said one contract worker was killed and three other employees were treated for injuries at an onshore medical facility.

    Click now for the whole story.
  • 14-Year-old Oil Leak in Gulf: Far Worse Than Taylor Energy Says
    New Estimate for an Oil Leak:
    1,000x Worse Than Rig Owner Says

    June 25, 2020 (NY Times Climate Forward) -A new federal study has found that an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico that began 14 years ago has been releasing as much as 4,500 gallons a day, not three or four gallons a day as the rig owner has claimed.

    The leak, about 12 miles off the Louisiana coast, began in 2004 when a Taylor Energy Company oil platform sank during Hurricane Ivan and a bundle of undersea pipes ruptured. Oil and gas have been seeping from the site ever since.

    Click now to read all about it.
  • It’s Been Nine Years Since the Deepwater Horizon Incident
    Nine Years After Deepwater Horizon

    April 16, 2017 (National Wildlife Federation) - It has been nine years since BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana, killing eleven men and unleashing an 87 day-long torrent of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. National Wildlife Federation has taken an active role in Gulf recovery, advocating for science-based decision-making to benefit wildlife and their habitats as Gulf leaders invest recovery funds into restoration.

    While there are still decades of recovery ahead, significant strides have been made over the last eight years to restore the Gulf for coastal communities and wildlife. As we reflect on the lives lost and the damage wrought, we should also consider how we can prevent a similar disaster from happening in the future.

    Click now for the complete story

  • Torrey Canyon Oil Spill - Learning From History
    Torrey Canyon Disaster –
    the UK's Worst-Ever Oil
    Spill 50 Years On

    Mar. 18, 2017 (The Guardian) - “I saw this huge ship sailing and I thought he’s in rather close, I hope he knows what he’s doing,” recalled Gladys Perkins of the day 50 years ago, when Britain experienced its worst ever environmental disaster.

    The ship was the Torrey Canyon, one of the first generation of supertankers, and it was nearing the end of a journey from Kuwait to a refinery at Milford Haven in Wales. The BP-chartered vessel ran aground on a rock between the Isles of Scilly and Land’s End in Cornwall, splitting several of the tanks holding its vast cargo of crude oil.

    Click now for the complete story

  • The Prospect of Cuba Drilling In The Gulf Concerns Tampa Bay.
    Advocates of Gulf Oil-Drilling
    Ban Worried By Talks With Cuba

    Aug. 18, 2016 (Tampa Bay Times) - Progress in international talks over who owns a piece of the Gulf of Mexico has raised the specter of a Deepwater Horizon tragedy along local shores.

    A few hundred miles from the west coast of Florida is a 7,700-square-mile area of the Gulf of Mexico known as the Eastern Gap, thought to be rich with oil but with no clear owner.

    The U.S., Cuban and Mexican governments are now negotiating how to split the area among the three nations. Once that happens, each country can drill for oil in its allotted portion.

  • Shell Oil Mimics BP With 90,000 Gal. of Crude
    Shell Oil Spill Dumps Nearly
    90,000 Gallons of Crude Into Gulf

    May 13, 2016 (EcoWatch) -An oil spill from Royal Dutch Shell’s offshore Brutus platform has released 2,100 barrels of crude into the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

    The leak—roughly 88,200 gallons—created a visible 2 mile by 13 mile oil slick in the sea about 97 miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana, according to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

    Officials said that the accident occurred near Shell’s Glider field, an underwater pipe system that connects four subsea oil wells to the Brutus platform, which floats on top of the water with a depth of 2,900 feet.

    Click now for more
    (if you can bear it).

  • Blowout Highlights Gulf Drilling Dangers
    Blowout Highlights
    Gulf Drilling Dangers

    July 25, 2013 (Mother Nature Network) -Flames erupted from an offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, torching a natural gas plume that had been leaking since a blowout earlier in the day. All 44 rig workers were evacuated before the fire began, according to the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, but the rig continued spewing gas until Thursday morning, when its scorched frame finally collapsed enough to cut off the leak.

    Click now for the whole story.
  • Obama White House Lifts Deepwater Drilling Ban
    Obama White House Lifts Deepwater Drilling Ban

    Oct. 12, 2010 (CBS News) -The Obama administration on Tuesday lifted the deep water oil drilling moratorium that the government imposed in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the disastrous BP oil spill.

    The administration has been under heavy pressure from the industry and others in the region to lift the six-month ban on grounds it has cost jobs and damaged the economy. A federal report said the moratorium likely caused a temporary loss of 8,000 to 12,000 jobs in the Gulf region.

    While the temporary ban on exploratory oil and gas drilling is lifted immediately, drilling is unlikely to resume immediately. Drilling companies must meet a host of new safety regulations before they can resume operations, officials said.

    Click now for more
    if you can bear it.
  • Enter the No-Spin Zone of the Deep: the BP Live Feed
    The No-Spin Zone of the Deep

    June 5, 2010 (Christian Science Monitor) - It was the last thing BP wanted: An open, high-definition live video feed – a "spillcam," if you will – showing in excruciating detail the massive oil geyser fouling the Gulf of Mexico, a situation admittedly caused by the giant extractive firm.

    But after a series of PR disasters – waffling, obfuscating, misplaced optimism, a gaffe-prone CEO – the decision by BP, under pressure from Congress, to put the live feed on the air reaped some unexpected plaudits for the company.

    Click now for the complete
    story from the archives.
  • Can We Restore the Gulf of Mexico?
    Gulf Oil Spill:
    Dispersants Have Potential
    to Cause More Harm Than Good

    May 11, 2010 (CISTON PR Newswire) -The chemical dispersants being used to break up the oil leaking into the gulf following the explosion of British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig have the potential to cause just as much, if not more, harm to the environment and the humans coming into contact with it than the oil possibly would if left untreated.

    That is the warning of toxicology experts, led by Dr. William Sawyer, addressing the Gulf Oil Disaster Recovery Group, a group of lawyers working to protect the rights and interests of environmental groups and persons affected by the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The group represents the United Fishermen's Association and the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN), among others.

    Click now to learn more.
  • Exxon Valdez: The Story That Never Goes Away
    20 Years After Exxon Valdez
    Oil Spill, Alaskan
    Coastline Remains Contaminated

    Mar. 24, 2009 (Democracy Now) - Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, one of the worst environmental disasters in history. The Exxon Valdez spilled between 11 and 38 million gallons of crude oil into the fishing waters of Prince William Sound.

    The spill contaminated more than 1,200 miles of Alaska’s shoreline and killed hundreds of thousands of seabirds and marine animals. It also dealt a staggering blow to the residents of local fishing towns, and the effects of the disaster are still being felt today. We speak with Riki Ott, a community activist, marine toxicologist, former commercial salmon fisherma’am and author of two books on the spill. Her latest is Not One Drop: Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Spill.

    Click now for the story
    deep in the archives.
  • Up Arrow

    America's Greenest Cities
    Back Arrow

    Provided by Mother Nature Network

    # 1 - Portland, Ore

    The city of microbrewery mania and home to megastore Powell's Books — one of the few remaining independent booksellers in the country — is No. 1 in sustainability. Declared the most bikeable city in the United States for its 200 miles of dedicated bike lanes, Portland certainly makes forgoing gas-powered travel easy. And for lessons in DIY sustainable food sources, classes are available for container gardening and cheese making, or beekeeping and chicken keeping.

    # 2 - San Francisco, Cal.

    San Francisco

    Declared by Mayor Gavin Newsom to be America's solar energy leader, this vibrant city of cultural tolerance was a 1960s icon and epicenter for the Summer of Love. But in addition to peace, love and solar power, there's also an innovative recycling program with an artist-in-residence at the recycling facility. The artist uses his work to inspire residents to recycle and conserve. San Francisco is also the first U.S. city to ban plastic grocery bags, a concept that supports its effort to divert 75 percent of landfill waste by 2010.
    Up Arrow

    # 3 - Boston, Mass.


    It's hard to think of this city without also thinking of tea — as a commodity, not a drink. Boston ranks high among the urban green elite. Sustainability efforts include a "Green by 2015" goal to replace traditional taxi cabs with hybrid vehicles, recycle trash to power homes, use more solar panels, and use more electric motorbikes for transportation.

    The city's first annual Down2Earth conference was held in 2008. It's designed to educate residents about how to live the most sustainable lifestyle.

    # 4 - Oakland, Calif.


    Residents of this port city have access to an abundance of fresh, organic food, much of which is locally sourced. It's also home to the nation's cleanest tap water, hydrogen-powered public transit and the country's oldest wildlife refuge.

    Oakland also plans to have zero waste and be oil-independent by 2020, and already gets 17 percent of its energy from renewable sources.
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    # 5 - Eugene, Ore.

    Known as the Emerald City for its natural green beauty, this baby boomer haven and second largest city in the state has been doing the "green" thing since the 1960s. In 2008, after only one year of service, the Emerald Express, a hybrid public transit system, won a Sustainable Transport award. Cycling is the preferred mode of transportation, made possible by the 30 miles of off-street bike paths and 29 dedicated bike routes, which total a whopping 150 miles of smog-free travel throughout the metro area.

    # 6 - Cambridge, Mass.


    In 2008, Prevention Magazine named Cambridge "the best walking city." Thoreau's Walden Pond can be found in nearby Concord, and education powerhouses Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University are located here. In 2002, city officials implemented a major climate protection plan and today most city vehicles are fueled by B20 biodiesel or electricity. All new construction or major renovations must meet LEED standards. And a project called "Compost that Stuff" collects and processes organic waste from residents, restaurants, bars and hotels.

    # 7 - Berkeley, Calif.


    A great place to find an abundance of organic and vegetarian restaurants is also on the cutting edge of sustainability. Berkeley is recognized as aleader in the incubation of clean technology for wind power, solar power, biofuels and hydropower.

    # 8 - Seattle, Wash.


    The unofficial coffee klatch capitol of the country is also sustainable-living savvy. More than 20 public buildings in Seattle are LEED-certified or under construction for LEED certification. Through an incentive program, residents are encouraged to install solar panels on their homes for energy conservation. Sustainable Ballard, a green neighborhood group and sustainability festival host, offers ongoing workshops about how to live in harmony with the environment.
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    # 9 - Chicago, Ill.


    The Windy City has embraced land sustainability far longer than you may think. In 1909, pioneering city planner Daniel Hudson Burnham created a long-range plan for the lakefront that balanced urban growth, and created a permanent greenbelt around the metropolitan area.
    This greening of the city continues through the Chicago Green Roof Program. More than 2.5 million SQF city roofs support plant life — including Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and the city hall building. Also, about 500,000 new trees have been planted.

    # 10 - Austin Tex.


    Carbon neutral by 2020 — it's an ambitious goal, but Austin Energy is the nation's top seller of renewable energy among 850 utility-sponsored programs, which makes its goal to power the city solely on clean energy within reach. As the gateway to the scenic Texas Hill Country, acreage in Austin devoted to green space includes 206 parks, 12 preserves, 26 greenbelts and more than 50 miles of trails.

    Safer Habitats Table of Contents

    (Click on a link below to get the full picture.)

    Clean Air Council Climate Emergency Network Common Dreams Earthworks
    Env. Impact Assessment Environmental Working Group Florida Black Bears Fly California
    Gold Rush vs Salmon Habitat Guardian Sustainable Business Los Angeles Mass Transit Mass.gov
    Sierra Club UNLV Recycling Virginia Dept of Env. Quality Your Cities, Yourselves
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    Organizations for Safer Habitats

    (Click on an image for more of the story)

    The Guardian Sustainable Business

    EWG Logo
    Read articles like "Famers Turn Tobacco into Airplane Fuel," Infographics on Air Pollution and Your Health, Cardboard Boxes You Sleep In, and much, much more.

    Florida Black Bears are in trouble, and they can't hire their own lawyers. -but we can help.

    Gold Rush vs Salmon Habitat

    Transboundary Watershed Map
    Five major mining projects have been proposed for the transboundary watershed – the waters shared by British Columbia and southeast Alaska. The region is home to important salmon producing rivers that originate in British Columbia and run through Alaska to the sea. A number of environmental groups, Alaskan Natives and commercial fishermen strongly oppose some of these mining developments across the border. They argue mining could have negative impacts on the salmon and water quality, and irrevocably alter the region's economy, environment and way of life

    Environmental Working Group

    EWG Logo
    Two-thirds of produce samples in recent government tests had pesticide residues. Don't want to eat bug- and weed-killers? EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce helps you shop smart. We highlight the cleanest and dirtiest conventionally-raised fruits and vegetables. If a conventionally grown food you want tests high for pesticides, go for the organic version instead. And remember - the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh risks of pesticide exposure. Dirty Dozen™ Plus highlights hot peppers and leafy greens - kale and collard greens - often tainted with unusually hazardous pesticides.
    Earhworks Logo
    Hydraulic Fracturing (AKA Fracking). Another assault to the environment for which we can thank Haliburton and others. Read all about this extreme method of natural gas extraction , and its impact on water quality and other serious health issues (human and other species). Click the Earthworks icon to learn more.
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    100 Coal Plants Unplugged. This Sierra Club milestone, 100 coal plants defeated, marks a significant shift in the way Americans are looking at our energy choices. Read on and/or view video.
    What Massachusetts is doing about Climate Change?
    Flooded Village Files Suit, Citing Corporate Link to Climate Change.
    The eroding village of Kivalina in the Northwest Arctic is suing Exxon Mobil and 23 other energy companies for damage related to global warming.  Read all about it.
    This is the web page for Climate Emergency Network news.
    Click now to get there.
    Impact reports for the high speed rail system. You can fly California without leaving the ground, or the carbon footprint associated with air travel. Includes maps of the extensive rail system. ALL ABOARD!

    The Cape Wind Project will bring clean energy to Nantucket Sound. The project has been delayed by NIMBY (not in my back yard) issues by some who claim to be environmentalists.
    An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an assessment of the likely positive and/or negative influence a project may have on the environment. “Environmental Impact Assessment can be defined as: The process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social, and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made.”[1] The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that decision-makers consider environmental impacts before deciding whether to proceed with new projects.
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    EIR + Facts about the Los Angeles Metro - yes, L.A. has a mass transit system. Also read about the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

    Your Cities, Yourselves

    Smart-growth advocates offer tips for changing your neck of the woods.

    Virginia Dept. of
    Environmental Quality

    The Office of Environmental Impact Review coordinates the Commonwealth's response to environmental documents for proposed state and federal projects. The environmental impact review staff distributes documents to appropriate state agencies, planning districts and localities for their review and comment. Upon consideration of all comments, the staff prepares a single state response.
    Discover how Networkfleet can help lower fleet fuel costs and greenhouse emissions with technology that combines GPS vehicle tracking with onboard engine diagnostics.
    Monitoring the environmental impact of Pennsylvania's energy generation. A steward in validating the state's compliance with the Clean Air Act. What happens in Pennsylvania doesn't necessarily stay in Pennsylvania.
    Between 2003 and 2006, the UNLV Rebel Recycling Program recycled 2,144.5 tons of materials. Paper/Fiber (cardboard, paper, books) recycled was 1,641.6 tons. The diversion of these materials from the Apex landfill to the manufacturing process resulted in a positive impact on the global environment. Click on the logo for more.
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    Companies Producing Cleaner Power

    (More companies will be
    added to this page shortly)

    1366 One Step Closer to
    Opening US Solar PV Wafer Facility

    1366 Technologies Logo

    Solar silicon wafer innovator 1366 Technologies has landed new funding led by newest partner Tokayama, and is ready to scale up to a 250-MW production line ahead of an anticipated upswing in demand.
    Ten months ago 1366 moved into a new 25-MW pilot facility in Bedford, Massachusetts, to nail down process and tweak equipment for its solar silicon wafering technology to take the next step toward commercialization. In June of 2013 the firm inked a R&D deal with Japanese silicon producer Tokuyama with hints that it could expand to an equity investment.

    Clearsign Logo

    What if a cost-effective air pollution control technology could actually increase energy efficiency? What if it were possible to prevent harmful emissions from the combustion of any fuel, including gas, biomass, coal — even tire-derived fuel and municipal solid waste — in the flame, before those pollutants were ever formed?

    Redox Power Systems Logo

    The executives at Fulton-based Redox Power Systems are making a bold bet: The homes and businesses of the future will be powered by an extraterrestrial-looking apparatus loaded with fuel cells that convert natural gas and air into electricity.
    The technology promises to be more efficient and environmentally friendly than the systems that power many buildings today, but the company has to first overcome the economic and social barriers that often beset renewable energy ventures.
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    Mesothelioma is a Disease Brought
    On By Exposure to Asbestos

    Disclaimer: There are many sites that focus on treatment, but we lack the credentials to recommend the best ones*. We've provded a short list:

    *Always consult with a professional
    before making your choice.