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ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

CO2 Levels in the Atmosphere

(Weekly Averages)


28 March 2021: 418.03 ppm
This time last year: 415.95 ppm
10 years ago: 393.88 ppm
Pre-industrial base: 280 Safe level: 350

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April 16, 2021
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Environmental Impact News
(for the past 3 months)

  • • Nearly 60 Million Americans Don’t Drink their Tap Water
    Why that’s a Public Health Problem

    Apr. 15, 2021 (THE CONVERSATION), by Asher Rosinger -Imagine seeing a news report about lead contamination in drinking water in a community that looks like yours. It might make you think twice about whether to drink your tap water or serve it to your kids – especially if you also have experienced tap water problems in the past.

    In a new study, my colleagues Anisha Patel, Francesca Weaks and I estimate that approximately 61.4 million people in the U.S. did not drink their tap water as of 2017-2018. Our research, which was released in preprint format on April 8, 2021, and has not yet been peer reviewed, found that this number has grown sharply in the past several years.

  • • Only 2-3% of Earth’s Land is Ecologically Intact
    Only Areas in Siberia, Canada, the
    Amazon and the Sahara Remain Intact

    Apr. 15, 2021 (ZME Science) -While wilderness areas are increasingly recognized as important for biodiversity conservation, few areas of the world remain with outstanding ecological integrity. A new study found that only 2.8% of the world’s land surface remains ecologically intact, meaning it still has an undisturbed habitat and populations of all of its original animals.

  • • Wildfires Launch Microbes into the Air
    How Big is the Health Risk?

    Apr. 13, 2021 (ScienceNews) -As climate change brings more wildfires to the western United States, a rare fungal infection has also been on the rise. Valley fever is up more than sixfold in Arizona and California from 1998 to 2018, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Valley fever causes coughs, fevers and chest pain and can be deadly. The culprit fungi, members of the genus Coccidioides, thrive in soils in California and the desert Southwest. Firefighters are especially vulnerable to the disease. Wildfires appear to stir up and send the soil-loving fungi into the air, where they can enter people’s lungs.

  • • NFTs May Be Warming the Planet
    Now You May Be Asking:
    What's an NFT?

    Apr. 13, 2021 (NY Times Climate Forward) -Making the digital artworks requires colossal amounts of computing power, and that means greenhouse gases.

    When Chris Precht, an Austrian architect and artist, first learned about Non-fungible tokens, the digital collectibles taking the art world by storm, he was so enthralled, he said, he “felt like a little kid again.”

    So Mr. Precht, who is known for his work on ecological architecture, was devastated to learn that the artworks, known as NFTs, have an environmental footprint as mind-boggling as the gold-rush frenzy they’ve whipped up.

  • • Salt's Assault on Our Environment
    It’s Hurting the Environment
    (and our Infrastructure)

    Apr. 13, 2021 (ZME Science) -Road salts, applied to sidewalks, streets, and highways to melt out snow and ice, represent a serious and growing global threat to freshwater supplies and public health, a new paper reports.

    Cold winters make for dangerous roads, and salt has long been used as a tool to de-ice roads. Since it’s a natural product, it was assumed that such procedures wouldn’t cause harm to the environment. A new paper, however, says they do. Salt used for de-icing can negatively impact public health and freshwater sources, it explains, through the chemicals it leeches into the environment.

    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • Polluter Elite Must Shift Behavior to Meet Global Climate Targets
    We Are in a Climate Emergency
    but the Responsibility isn't Evenly Shared

    Apr. 13, 2021 (ZME Science) -The wealthiest citizens, described as a polluter elite, have to make dramatic changes to their lifestyles in order to meet the global targets on climate change, according to a new report by a group of behavior experts. For the richest 1%, this means reducing their emissions by a factor of at least 30 by 2030, they argued.

    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • Be Careful When You Throw Away that Mask
    Discarded COVID-19
    PPE Such as Masks
    Can Be Deadly To Wildlife

    Apr. 12, 2021 (Science News) -A Magellanic penguin in Brazil ingested a face mask. A hedgehog in England got itself entangled in a glove. An octopus off the coast of France was found seeking refuge under a mask.

    Wildlife and ecosystems around the world are suffering from the impact of discarded single-use COVID-19 protective gear, researchers warn March 22 in Animal Biology. Latex gloves and polypropylene masks which protect people from the coronavirus are exacerbating the plastic pollution problem when not disposed of properly and are causing wildlife deaths. The study is the first global documentation of the impacts of COVID-19 litter on wildlife via entanglement, entrapment and ingestion.

  • • Viedo Meeting Can Replace Some Plane Travel
    Air Travel Accounts for 2%
    of the World's Emissions

    Apr. 12, 2021 (ZME Science) -

    There might be one piece of good news coming out of the pandemic after all. Business travelers across Europe are planning to take fewer flights thanks to broader use of video conferencing, a new survey showed. This could help lower greenhouse gas emissions coming from the transportation sector.

    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • A Vulture Poisoned by Diclofenac in Europe
    It's a Highly Toxic
    Drug that has Already
    Been Banned in Many Countries

    Apr. 12, 2021 (ZME Science) -A vulture born last year in a hunting reserve in Spain was the first victim of this bird family to die from diclofenac poisoning in Europe. The drug, extremely toxic to wild scavengers, is used by veterinarians to treat injured cattle and has been found to be the main cause of the steep decline of vulture species in South Asia.

    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • Higher Parkinson’s Disease Rates Could Be Blamed on TCE
    Exposure to Trichloroethylene (TCE), Found in Many Household
    Products Impose Hidden Dangers

    Apr. 7, 2021 (The Guardian) -Most cases of Parkinson’s disease are considered idiopathic – they lack a clear cause. Yet researchers increasingly believe that one factor is environmental exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE), a chemical compound used in industrial degreasing, dry-cleaning and household products such as some shoe polishes and carpet cleaners./p>

    To date, the clearest evidence around the risk of TCE to human health is derived from workers who are exposed to the chemical in the work-place. A 2008 peer-reviewed study in the Annals of Neurology, for example, found that TCE is “a risk factor for Parkinsons.”

  • • The World's Biggest Retailer Uses Too Much Plastic
    Amazon Must Become a Leader in Reducing Single-Use Packaging

    Apr. 5, 2021 (NY Times) -The year 2020 may have been heartbreaking for most humans, but it was a good one for Jeff Bezos and Amazon. His company’s worldwide sales grew 38 percent from 2019, and Amazon sold more than 1.5 billion products during the 2020 holiday season alone.

    In 2019, Amazon used an estimated 465 million pounds of plastic packaging, according to the nonprofit environmental group Oceana. The group also estimated that up to 22 million pounds of their plastic packaging waste ended up as trash in freshwater and marine ecosystems around the world.

  • • Some Greeks Wants to Say "So Long" to Oil & Gas
    Women Activists Sing
    and Dance Against Oil and Gas

    Apr. 4, 2021 (Deutsche Welle) -A group of young Greek women in traditional dress and wearing face masks, hand out flyers to shoppers and hold signs reading "nature is our antidepressant," and "my appearance is a political act."

    For the past three years, the all-women activist group Vrisoules have been interrupting politicians' speeches and political rallies with singing and dancing to protest oil and gas exploration in Western Greece.

  • • Cleaning Tons of Trash from Himalaya’s Tallest Peaks
    Not Even the World's Tallest
    Mountains are Spared our Pollution

    Apr. 2, 2021 (ZME Science) -Around 800 people scale Mount Everest each year. They spend some time at the base camp and then, if everything goes according to plan, they scale the world’s tallest peak and they return home. But oftentimes, they leave a few things behind: plastic bottles, oxygen tanks, packets of food. Everest, like a few other popular destinations, has become a plastic graveyard.

    Since 2019, an initiative led by Swiss luxury brand Bally has sought to clean up these mountains. Bally partnered with local Sherpas to make efforts to clean up the base camps leading to Mount Everest and other summits.

    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • The 5 Costliest Invasive Species
    They Cause Billions in Damages

    Mar. 31, 2021 (ScienceNews) -These invaders, often thrust into new environments unintentionally (or intentionally, to combat pests) by humans, can transmit new diseases, devastate crops and eat away at crucial infrastructure. From 1970 to 2017, such invasions cost the global economy at least $1.28 trillion in damages and in efforts to control them, researchers report March 31 in Nature. As the globe becomes increasingly interconnected and invasive species take over new habitats, that cost grows.

  • • U.S. Tap Water Contains Arsenic, Lead and Toxic Chemicals
    Alarming Levels Of Forever Chemicals,
    Arsenic and Lead In Samples
    Taken Across the US

    Mar. 31, 2021 (The Guardian) -In Connecticut, a condo had lead in its drinking water at levels more than double what the federal government deems acceptable. At a church in North Carolina, the water was contaminated with extremely high levels of potentially toxic PFAS chemicals (a group of compounds found in hundreds of household products). The water flowing into a Texas home had both – and concerning amounts of arsenic too.

  • • Tropical Forest Destruction Accelerated in 2020
    The Total Lost Acreage Increased
    by 12% Over all from 2019
    According to New Research

    Mar. 31, 2021 (NY Times Climate Forward) - Tropical forests around the world were destroyed at an increasing rate in 2020 compared with the year before, despite the global economic downturn caused by the pandemic, which reduced demand for some commodities that have spurred deforestation in the past.

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  • • The Toxic Chemical 'Hall of Shame'
    And Major Retailers Fail to Act

    Mar. 30, 2021 (CNN health) -A dozen major companies earned an F for failing to publicly address the growing problem of toxic chemicals that may be in the products they sell to consumers, according to the 2021 Who's Minding the Store? A Report Card on Retailer Actions to Eliminate Toxic Chemicals.

    The report is a collaboration of nonprofit partner organizations, including the environmental advocacy groups like Toxic-Free Future.

    Click now the story and slideshow.
  • • Turning Coal Country’s Toxic Legacy Into Assets
    New Legislation Could Help
    States and Tribes Clean Up
    Decades-Old Mining Liabilities

    Mar. 29, 2021 (The Revelator) -Mined lands reclaimed for biking trails, office parks — even a winery. Efforts like these are already underway in Appalachia to reclaim the region’s toxic history, restore blighted lands, and create economic opportunities in areas where decades-old mines haven’t been properly cleaned up.

    The projects are sorely needed. And so are many more. But the money to fund and enable them remains elusive.

  • • Restoring Degraded Land and Forests
    Coffee Can Help

    Mar. 29, 2021 (ZME Science) -That caffeine boost that kickstarts your day may also help restore degraded land and forests, according to a new study.

    Researchers dumped 30 dump truck loads of coffee pulp (a waste product of coffee production) on a piece of degraded land in Costa Rica, bringing it back to life with impressive results.

    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • Is the Colorado River the Americans Nile?
    The Mighty Colorado is One of the
    Most Tapped Rivers in the World.
    Can it be Saved?

    Mar. 29, 2021 (ZME Science) -For six million years, the Colorado River and its dozens of spectacular tributaries carved out the Grand Canyon and scoured the Rockies, flushing mineral-rich sediment to the sea.

    These rivers weren't always in flood, but they never ran dry. Today, however, the second largest tributary, the Gila, is mostly bone dry in its lower reaches through Arizona; the Salt River—supplying Phoenix—no longer makes it to a confluence with the Gila; the Santa Cruz is seen beneath Tucson bridges only during rare floods; and the Colorado River itself, almost unbelievably, stopped running to the sea in most years after the completion of Glen Canyon Dam in 1966. The river hasn't flowed to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico since 1998.

    Click now to for the
    story and some graphic images.
  • • Chemicals in Plastics Are Causing a Fertility Decline
    Don't Be Fooled Into
    Believing these Chemicals are Safe

    Mar. 28, 2021 (The Guardian) -The professor of environmental medicine explains how chemicals in plastics are causing our fertility to decline – and what we can do about it

    Shanna Swan is a professor of environmental medicine and public health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, studying fertility trends. In 2017 she documented how average sperm counts among western men have more than halved in the past 40 years. Count Down is her new book.

  • • Eagle Threatening Toxin May Have Been Found
    A 20-year Search of Water
    Weeds and Cyanobacteria Has
    Turned Up a Bird-Killing Toxin

    Mar. 26, 2021 (ScienceNews) -Mysterious deaths of bald eagles, mallards and other lake life in the southeastern United States have puzzled scientists for more than 20 years. After a long slog exploring the quirks of cyanobacteria gluing themselves to an invasive water weed, a research team has found a toxin that could be the culprit.

  • • 7 Critical Environmental Concerns for 2021
    You May or May Not Have
    Known About Some of These

    Mar. 26, 2021 (greener ideal) -These are the major concerns. Big queastion: What are we going to do to tackle them?

    #1: Climate Change
    #2: Air Pollution
    #3: Biodiversity Loss
    #4:Tropical Forest Loss
    #5: Continued plastic pollution
    #6: Global Warming
    #7: Coral Reef Die-offs

    Click now for the
    complete details, including images.
  • • The Indigenous Role in Forest Preservation
    These Communities are the Best
    Guardians of Latin America’s Forests

    Mar. 26, 2021 (ZME Science) -Deforestation rates in Latin America are significantly lower in territories managed by indigenous and tribal groups that have been recognized with territorial rights, according to a report by the United Nations.

    The report suggests that indigenous communities are important wardens of local forests and improving the tenure security of these territories would be an effective and efficient way of reducing deforestation.

    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • Combatting Wildfires and Drought
    Simple Hand-Built Structures Can Help

    Mar. 26, 2021 (ZME Science) -Wearing waders and work gloves, three dozen employees from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service stood at a small creek amid the dry sagebrush of southeastern Idaho. The group was eager to learn how to repair a stream the old­-fashioned way.

    Tipping back his white cowboy hat, 73-year-old rancher Jay Wilde told the group that he grew up swimming and fishing at this place, Birch Creek, all summer long. But when he took over the family farm from his parents in 1995, the stream was dry by mid-June.

  • • Corporate Pledges of Zero Emissions Should Trigger Skepticism
    Some Companies’ Net-Zero Plans Include
    Continuing to Emit Climate-Warming
    Greenhouse Gases for Decades

    Mar. 25, 2021 (THE CONVERSATION), Hundreds of companies, including major emitters like United Airlines, BP and Shell, have pledged to reduce their impact on climate change and reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. These plans sound ambitious, but what does it actually take to reach net-zero and, more importantly, will it be enough to slow climate change?

    As environmental policy and economics researchers, we study how companies make these net-zero pledges. Though the pledges make great press releases, net-zero is more complicated and potentially problematic than it may seem.

  • • Yet Another Consequence of Deforestation
    Land-use Change is Creating
    an Infectious Disease Boom

    Mar. 25, 2021 (ZME Science) -Activities such as deforestation, palm oil plantations, and the conversion of grasslands into new forests are associated with outbreaks of diseases, especially those transmitted by mosquitoes and other vector animals, according to a new study. This shows the urgency of careful forest management to prevent future pandemics.

    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • Could That Salmon on Your Plate Have Been a Vegetarian?
    Farmed Fish are Eating
    More Veggies and Less Wild Fish,
    According to New Research

    Mar. 24, 2021 (NY Times Climate Forward) -Twenty years ago, as farmed salmon and shrimp started spreading in supermarket freezers, came an influential scientific paper that warned of an environmental mess: Fish farms were gobbling up wild fish stocks, spreading disease and causing marine pollution.

    This week, some of the same scientists who published that report issued a new paper concluding that fish farming, in many parts of the world, at least, is a whole lot better.

  • • Ultra-Processed Foods are Hurting Your Heart
    They are Virtually Everywhere:
    Vending Machines, Fast Food
    Restaurants, and Grocery Store

    Mar. 22, 2021 (ZME Science) -Eating a diet mainly composed of ultra-processed food is associated with a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality, according to a new study published today.

    The average American gets half of their daily calories from ultra-processed food, which include many foods that are marketed as healthy, such as protein bars, breakfast cereals and most industrially produced breads.

    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • Polystyrene Waste is Everywhere
    Scientists Just Found
    a Way to Break it Down

    Mar. 17, 2021 (ScienceDaily) -Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and their partners from Clemson University have discovered a green, low-energy process to break down polystyrene, a type of plastic that is widely used in foam packaging materials, disposable food containers, cutlery, and many other applications.

  • • Australia Pledges to End Plastic Pollution
    The Aussie Government
    Takes an Important Step

    Mar. 15, 2021 (INHABITAT) - The Australian federal government has launched the National Plastic Plan, which seeks to deal with plastic pollution in various areas.

    According to the government, the plan will be aimed at banning single-use plastics on beaches, ending expanded polystyrene packaging and introducing microplastic filters for washing machines. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the plan is that the government intends to bring biodegradable plastic to an end. Most countries that have plastic pollution reduction plans tend to be lenient on biodegradable plastic products. But experts have warned that biodegradable plastic is not any better than regular plastic.

  • • Countries Tried to Curb Trade in Plastic Waste
    The U.S. Is Shipping More

    Mar. 12, 2021 (NY Times Climate Forward) - When more than 180 nations agreed last year to place strict limits on exports of plastic waste from richer countries to poorer ones, the move was seen as a major victory in the fight against plastic pollution.

    But new trade data for January, the first month that the agreement took effect, shows that American exports of plastic scrap to poorer countries have barely changed...

  • • Modified Sponge Could Recover Oil Contaminants From Arctic Waters
    A Sustainable and Economical
    Way to Recover Oil From Ultra-Cold
    Industrial Wastewater and Oil Spills

    Mar. 12, 2021 (ENN Network) -Scientists from Imperial College London and the University of Toronto have designed a sponge that can remove hard-to-recover oil from Artic waters. Their research builds on previously developed sponge technology to target specific challenges with recovering oil from ultra-cold water.

    The findings, published in Science Advances, present an economical and sustainable method of oil recovery which will benefit the environment whilst presenting a cost-effective solution to industry.

  • • Dozens of US Cities to Ban Natural Gas In New Buildings
    A Move to Cancel Gas
    & Electrify Everything

    Mar. 12, 2021 (CleanTechnica) -A fight over legislation banning gas hookups in new buildings is exploding across the country, a Seattle Times and InsideClimate News joint investigation found.

    In the summer of 2019, Berkley, California, became the first city in the country to ban natural gas hookups in new building construction. Now, 42 cities in California have passed bans or severe restrictions, and the California Energy Commission, which is in the process of updating the state’s building codes, could pass a statewide ban. Other cities across the country, including Denver and Seattle, have passed similar laws.

  • • Could the Oil Industry Really Support a Carbon Tax?
    Why that Could Be Good For
    Producers and the Public Alike

    Mar. 9, 2021 (Renewable Energy World) -The oil industry’s lobbying arm, the American Petroleum Institute, suggested in a new draft statement that it might support Congress putting a price on carbon emissions to combat climate change, even though oil and gas are major sources of those greenhouse gas emissions.

    An industry calling for a tax on the use of its products sounds as bizarre as “man bites dog.” Yet, there’s a reason for the oil industry to consider that shift.

  • • How Much Food is the World Wasting?
    How About 1 Billion
    Metric Tons in 2019

    Mar. 9, 2021 (Renewable) -The world wasted about 931 million metric tons of food in 2019 — an average of 121 kilograms per person. That’s about 17 percent of all food that was available to consumers that year, a new United Nations report estimates.

    “Throwing away food de facto means throwing away the resources that went into its production,” said Martina Otto, who leads the U.N. Environment Program’s work on cities, during a news conference. “If food waste ends up in landfills, it does not feed people, but it does feed climate change.”

  • • These ‘Dancing Lights’ Reduce Pesticide Use by 50%
    More Than Just an Art Show

    Mar. 9, 2021 (ZME Science) -On a plot of farmland in Lelystad, Netherlands, art and technology merge in a stunning light show. During the day, the 20,000-square-meter field looks like any piece of farmland, but by the night it is transformed into a psychedelic wonderland.

    Don’t be fooled by the pretty lights, though. The installation actually serves to enhance crop growth, improving yield and reducing the need for pesticides by 50%.

    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • Groups Want Fracking Waste Included in Health Study
    How Can the Pennsylvania
    Department of Health Refuse?

    Mar. 6, 2021 (Allegheny Front) -Environmental and public health advocates want the Pennsylvania Department of Health to expand the scope of a pair of studies on fracking and health effects.

    The studies are looking into whether fracking has any relationship with the incidence of childhood cancer, asthma and poor birth outcomes.

    The state funded the research after pressure from families in Washington County who have lost children to Ewing sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer.

  • • Everyday Chemicals That Might Be Leading Us to Our Extinction
    If This Continues, Methods of Conceiving
    Children May Have to be Reexamined

    Mar. 5, 2021 (NY Times) -If you’ve smugly enjoyed the dystopian worlds of “The Handmaid’s Tale” (where infertility is triggered in part by environmental pollutants) or “Children of Men” (where humanity is on the precipice of extinction) — and believed that these stories were rooted firmly in fantasy — Shanna Swan’s “Count Down” will serve as an awakening.

  • • Ten Bloodcurdling Microplastic Facts
    They are Becoming
    a Growing Problem Worldwide

    Mar. 5, 2021 (ZME Science) -Millions of tons of plastic enter marine and terrestrial ecosystems every year, and quantities are expected to increase in the coming years. Over time, plastic items can break down into smaller pieces, known as microplastics. They can be the size of a rice grain or even smaller, making them easy to be ingested by sea creatures. These very small pieces take centuries or more to truly go away.

  • • It’s Time to Dispose the Disposable Cup
    Coffee is Always in Fashion.
    But Single-Use Cups are Not.

    Mar. 3, 2021 (ZME Science) -They’re lightweight, easy to handle, and basically free — we don’t think about them too much, but single-use coffee cups almost sound too good to be true. Alas, in a way, they really are too good to be true. Takeaway coffee cups are filling the world’s landfills with needless plastic.

    Drinkers may be willing to switch to a reusable cup, but a study found that the absence of waste infrastructure and the world’s “throwaway” culture is limiting sustainable change.

    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • ‘Green’ Burials are Gaining Ground (So to Speak)
    Awareness of Eco-Friendly Death Care is Low Even as the Industry Grows

    Mar. 2, 2021 (ScienceNews) -Despite “green” burials becoming increasingly available in North America, some older eco-conscious adults remain unaware of the option when planning for their deaths, a small study hints.

    Green burials do not use concrete vaults, embalm bodies or use pesticides or fertilizers at gravesites. Bodies are buried in a biodegradable container like a pinewood or wicker casket, or a cotton or silk shroud. Proponents of the small but growing trend argue it is more environmentally friendly and in line with how burials were done before the invention of the modern funeral home industry.

  • • A Revolution is Needed on the Production and Repair of Electronics
    Campaigners Ask to Include
    More Appliances Into the Legislation

    Mar. 2, 2021 (ZME Science) -It’s time to give that old TV or refrigerator a second opportunity, at least that’s what officials in the European Union (EU) believe. The bloc has introduced a new rule through which companies that sell some consumer electronic goods will need to ensure that those appliances can be repaired for up to 10 years – seeking to reduce the large amount of electronic waste that’s produced every year.

    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • Low Carbon Concrete — Starting from the Ground Up
    It's All About Green Concrete

    Mar. 2, 2021 (CleanTechnica) -The cement used in concrete is produced by burning limestone in kilns at very high heat (2,300° to 3,000° F) usually using powdered coal or natural gas as fuel, wasting a great deal of energy and releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the combustion.

    The chemical reaction involved in making cement releases more CO2 as a byproduct. Producing one ton of Portland cement produces one ton of CO2 emissions. Seventy-nine percent of concrete’s CO2 emissions come from the cement even though it is only 13% of the material — the rest is sand, aggregate, and water.

  • • Not Just Texas, but the Entire Energy Grid
    It's In Desperate Need of an Upgrade

    Feb. 28, 2021 (npr) -The Texas blackout is another reminder that more frequent, climate-driven extreme weather puts stress on the country's electricity grid. It came just months after outages in California aimed at preventing wildfires.

    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • How Phthalates Put Children’s Health at Risk
    Much More Regulation is Needed

    Feb. 26, 2021 (THE CONVERSATION) -You may not realize it, but you likely encounter phthalates every day. These chemicals are found in many plastics, including food packaging, and they can migrate into food products during processing. They’re in personal care products like shampoos, soaps and laundry detergents, and in the vinyl flooring in many homes.

    They’re also in the news again after an editorial by scientists in the American Journal of Public Health included an urgent call for better federal regulation of the chemicals.

  • • Costa Rica and Water Conservation
    Buildings and Construction Generate Nearly 40% of Global Carbon Emissions.

    Feb. 26, 2021 (Deutsche Welle) -Costa Rica is very serious about environmental and climate protection. The right to drinking water is enshrined in the constitution and authorities buy land with water resources in order to protect them.


    Click now for a 7 minute video.
  • • Fracking Banned In the Delaware River Watershed
    Thank You, Delaware
    River Basin Commission

    Feb. 26, 2021 (Allegheny Front) -More than 10 years after the Delaware River Basin Commission imposed a de facto moratorium on gas drilling in the watershed, setting off a battle between natural gas advocates and environmentalists, the commissioners voted to ban fracking at a special meeting Thursday.

  • • 5 Things to Know About Carbon-Free Construction
    Buildings and Construction Generate Nearly 40% of Global Carbon Emissions.

    Feb. 24, 2021 (Deutsche Welle) -We spend 90% of our time in the buildings where we live and work, shop and conduct business, in the structures that keep us warm in winter and cool in summer.

    But immense energy is required to source and manufacture building materials, to power construction sites, to maintain and renew the built environment. In 2019, building operations and construction activities together accounted for 38% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, the highest level ever recorded.

  • • Converting Home Waste into 3d Printed Face Shields
    And They Are Biodegradable!

    Feb. 22, 2021 ( INHABITAT ) -The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many issues of waste into the spotlight, starting with the sheer quantity of petroleum-based personal protective equipment (PPE) used in the medical field and by everyday users gearing up to go to the grocery store or park. Designer Alice Potts homed in on this problem early, countering it with face shields made from food waste and flowers.

  • • Texas' Collapsing Power Grid
    Everything in the Lonestar
    State Went Wrong at Once.

    Feb. 18, 2021 (arsTECHNICA) -While other states have seen customers lose power, Texas has been hit the hardest, with far more customers losing power for substantially longer.

    One key reason for this is because Texas maintains its own power grid largely in isolation from those of its neighbor states. In North America, most customers are served by two major grids that operate on the same alternating current frequency—one serving the eastern half of the continent (including the US, Canada, and parts of Mexico) and the other serving the western half. However, Texas—along with Quebec—both maintain power grids that are largely separate from these larger networks.

  • • This 'Super-Plant' Can Absorb Roadside Air Pollution
    Bushy Variety of Cotoneaster Works
    Best in Areas of Heavy Traffic,

    Feb. 18, 2021 (The Guardian) -Scientists at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) looked at the effectiveness of hedges for soaking up air pollution, comparing different types of shrubs including cotoneaster, hawthorn and western red cedar.

    The study forms part of work by the charity to ease environmental problems such as air pollution, flooding and heatwaves, boosting the benefits of gardens and green spaces.

  • • Home Wood Burning now Biggest Cause of UK Particle Pollution
    Fires Used by Just 8%
    of Population but Cause Triple
    the Particle Pollution

    Feb. 16, 2021 (The Guardian) -Tiny particle pollution is harmful to health as it can enter the bloodstream, be carried around the body and lodge in organs. The government is not planning a ban on wood burners but a ban on the retail sale of wet wood will come into force on 1 May, as will a ban on bags of house coal, the first such restrictions since the clean air acts of the 1950s. Wet wood has not been seasoned and produces higher levels of pollution.

  • • Green Hydrogen and Carbon Capture to Curb Emissions
    A Direction Cement Giants are Taking

    Feb. 15, 2021 (CNBC) -A subsidiary of multinational building materials firm HeidelbergCement is working with researchers from Swansea University to install and operate a green hydrogen demonstration unit at a site in the U.K.

    The collaboration represents another example of how firms involved in energy intensive processes are trying to find ways to maintain productivity whilst simultaneously reducing emissions.

  • • Don't Inhale: Pollution From Your Car
    It May Be Time to Reconsider
    How You Get to Work Every Day.

    Feb. 15, 2021 (ZME Science) -A study found that those who commute with their car in California are likely exposed to dangerous chemicals that increase the risk for cancer and birth defects — way over the threshold for exposure established by state government legislation

    We knew it was bad for the planet, and now it's you, too.


    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • Bendable Concrete to Lower Emissions
    This Concrete Can Lower the
    Carbon Footprint Plus Other Advantages.

    Feb. 15, 2021 (ZME Science) -Concrete is quite literally the foundation of our modern infrastructure — but it comes at a cost. The concrete industry is one of the most environmentally damaging in the world, accounting for 9% of total global CO2 emissions in 2018.

    Naturally, scientists are exploring other alternatives in order to offset this huge carbon footprint. One such project from the University of Michigan dramatically lowers CO2 emissions by actually injecting the greenhouse gas into the concrete, converting it into a useful mineral.

    The resulting concrete is also bendable, leading to less brittle structures that require fewer materials, thereby further reducing emissions.


    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • Let's Stop Ignoring Stormwater
    It Could Become an Important Resource

    Feb. 12, 2021 (The Revelator) -Climate change and other environmental pressures are already putting the pinch on water resources in California, the Southwest and other arid parts of the world. Over-tapped groundwater, rivers and lakes are forcing water managers to find new supplies.

    Some of these can be costly, like treating wastewater for drinking water. Or they can come with a hefty price tag and outsized environmental footprint, like desalination or new dams. But...

  • • The Danger of Small Particulates From Burning Fossil Fuels
    Causes the Death of 8.7
    Million People Each Year

    Feb. 11, 2021 (CleanTechnica)-Fossil fuels are the bane of our existence. All of us (well, almost all of us) know that the carbon dioxide and methane emissions that result from extracting and burning fossil fuels have led to a hotter environment, one which is less hospitable to human habitation. But what we didn’t know — until now — is the extent to which the fine particulate matter that results from the combustion of fossil fuels contributes to disease and premature death among humans.

  • • The Real Cost of Salmon Farming
    That's One Expensive Fish on Your Plate.

    Feb. 11, 2021 (ZME Science)-Salmon farming has produced negative externalities worth US$47 billion since 2013, ranging from pollution of marine ecosystems to high fish mortality, according to a new report. In other words, salmon farming is taking a huge toll on the environment, and that damage is costing everyone.


    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • The Dangerous Air Pollution Levels in US Subway Systems
    The Pollution Level is Shocking

    Feb. 11, 2021 (ZME Science)-The pandemic might not be the single reason why you should consider avoid riding the subway. Researchers found that commuters using the subway system in major cities in the United States are exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution, according to air samples taken earlier this year. New York and New Jersey were the most affected.

    Subway systems are the veins and arteries of cities, moving people where they need to go. Their speed, accessibility, and affordability offer an alternative to often chaotic city streets. Globally, in 2017, approximately 168 million people used a metropolitan train daily...


    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • Welcome Ozone Hole News
    A Reduction in Illegal Pollution
    from China is Driving the Decline

    Feb. 10, 2021 (ScienceNews)-Good news for the ozone layer: After a recent spike in CFC-11 pollution, emissions of this ozone-destroying chemical are on the decline.

    Emissions of trichlorofluoromethane, or CFC-11, were supposed to taper off after the Montreal Protocol banned CFC-11 production in 2010 (SN: 7/7/90). But 2014 to 2017 saw an unexpected bump. About half of that illegal pollution was pegged to eastern China. Now, atmospheric data show that global CFC-11 emissions in 2019 were back down to the average levels seen from 2008 to 2012, and about 60% of that decline was due to reduced emissions in eastern China, two teams report online February 10 in Nature.

  • • Carbon-Free Energy Promised by Power New Mexico
    When? By 2040 Says the Utility, PNM

    Feb. 9, 2021 (POWERGRID International)-By recently submitting its 2020-2040 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), PNM said it became the first energy company in the nation to provide a detailed plan on how it will transform its electric generation to 100% emissions-free by 2040.

    The PNM IRP runs parallel with the company’s sustainability goals and aligns with its commitment to provide 100% emissions-free power to its more than half a million customers.

  • • Air Pollution: 1 in 5 Adult Deaths Worldwide?
    Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public
    Health Suggests That's Possible

    Feb. 9, 2021 (ZME Science) -Discussions around the use of fossil fuels today mostly revolve around their environmental impact, as well they should. But the life around us isn’t the only one that has to bear the costs of our reliance on such substances — their use, a new paper reports, has a human cost as well.

    According to the authors, pollution generated by the burning of fossil fuels was responsible for around 8 million premature deaths in 2018, roughly 20% of all adult deaths worldwide in that year. The most heavily polluted areas saw the lion’s share of these deaths.

  • • Elon Musk Will Award $100 Million in Carbon Capture Contest
    XPRIZE Foundation, a Nonprofit
    that has Held Other Contests
    to Encourage Technological Leaps,
    Will Oversee the Competition

    Feb. 8, 2021 (NBC NEWS) -How much would it take to spur the world's craftiest engineers and entrepreneurs to develop elusive technology able to suck gigatons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide out of the air and the oceans?

    Elon Musk, the billionaire tech entrepreneur, is betting it's $100 million, according to details released Monday about a four-year contest he is funding to develop carbon removal technologies. Not only will contestants have to build working prototypes that measurably remove carbon, but they will also have to prove that they can cost-effectively scale them to a level that exceeds anything that has ever been built before.

  • • Swedish Activists Oppose Geoengineering Experiment
    The Feasibility of Geoengineering
    the Atmosphere Draws Strong Criticism
    from Environmental Groups

    Feb. 8, 2021 (CleanTechnica)- In 1991, Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted, spewing millions of tons of sulfur dioxide high into the Earth’s atmosphere. Over the next 15 months, average global temperatures dropped by about 0.6º C primarily by reflecting some sunlight back into space. As the world hurtles toward what could become a climatic (and climactic) crisis, some scientists theorize that dispersing sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere from high altitude balloons could replicate that amount of cooling, keeping the Earth habitable for humans.

  • • Get on Your Bike to Help Reduce Emissions?
    We 'Spoke' Up - So Why Don't You?

    Feb. 3, 2021 (ZME Science)-It’s one of the most promising ways to reduce our emissions, and it’s very simple: cycling, e-biking, or just walking would significantly lower people’s individual carbon footprint and help tackle the world’s climate crisis, according to a new study.

    Much, but not enough, has happened since.


    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • Microplastic Pollution on Farm Fields
    It's a 'Growing' Concern

    Feb. 2, 2021 (National Resources Defense Council(NRDC))-Jenna Gavigan tries not to wash her clothes as often as she once did. Since embarking on her master’s thesis on plastic pollution four years ago at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Gavigan has also cut back on the amount of clothing she buys. Her research evolved into a study—published in PLOS ONE in September—documenting the growing amount of microfiber plastic pollution on land, the first such study since people began stitching synthetic fibers into clothes in the middle of the 20th century.

  • • U.S. Cities Are Vastly Undercounting Emissions
    Inconsistent and Flawed Data
    Undercuts Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse
    Gas Emissions from American Cities

    Feb. 2, 2021 (NY Times Climate Forward)-When cities try to figure out the amount of greenhouse gases they emit, they tend to undercount — and not just by a little.

    The average error is nearly 20%, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. The researchers suggested that if that error was consistent across all American cities, the resulting annual missed emissions would be nearly one-quarter higher than those of the entire state of California.

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  • • Automakers Drop Efforts to Derail California Climate Rules
    Momentum is Shifting
    Toward a Clean-Car Future

    Feb. 2, 2021 (NY Times Climate Forward)-Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and several other major automakers said Tuesday they would no longer try to block California from setting its own strict fuel-economy standards, signaling that the auto industry is ready to work with President Biden on his largest effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    The decision by the companies was widely expected, coming after General Motors dropped its support for the Trump-era effort just weeks after the presidential election.

  • • Shell Oil is Liable for Niger Delta Oil Spills
    From a Ruling by the Dutch Court

    Jan. 29, 2021 (Deutsche Welle) -The energy giant will have to pay four Nigerian farmers compensation and start a cleanup over pollution caused by leaking oil pipelines in the Niger Delta.

    An appeals court in the Netherlands on Friday ordered Royal Dutch Shell to pay compensation to Nigerian farmers over oil pollution in the Niger Delta.

    The court delivered its judgment at the end of a long-running civil case. The farmers were seeking financial compensation and a clean-up by Shell for pollution caused by pipelines leaking oil into the Niger Delta.

  • • We Also Need to Tackle Agriculture Emissions
    It’s Not Just Oil and Coal

    Jan. 29, 2021 (ZME Science)-A thorough inventory of the sector’s emissions underlined just how much agriculture contributes to our greenhouse gas emissions. If we want to avoid catastrophic damage, we’d be wise to address this, researchers say.

    Land-use and agriculture emissions are on the rise in most countries and this could cause the world to fail its climate targets, which could cause devastating damage for the entire planet.


    Click now to read or listen the story.
  • • The True Costs of Bottled Water
    Bottled Water is Atrocious
    for the Environment.

    Jan. 28, 2021 (The Guardian)-For years, the debate has raged on: which is better, bottled water, or tap?

    Despite its ever-growing popularity in the US, bottled water is atrocious for the environment. To quote Harvard University’s Office for Sustainability, “The entire life cycle of bottled water uses fossil fuels, contributes to global warming, and causes pollution.”

    • • Mangroves are Particularly at Risk From Plastic Pollution
      Plastics are Everywhere, but Not
      Every Ecosystem is Affected the Same

      Jan. 28, 2021 (ZME Science)-Plastic pollution has steadily become one of the biggest environmental problems today. But not all ecosystems are equally affected by it, according to a new study. Researchers found that mangroves are particularly highly at risk of being polluted with plastic waste carried from rivers to the sea, especially in Asia.


      Click now to read or listen to the story.
    • • The Environmental Costs of the Mexico Border Wall
      Biden Faces Call to Heal
      Environmental and Cultural Scars

      Jan. 28, 2021 (The Guardian)-Border communities and environmentalists are urging Joe Biden to take immediate steps to remediate the environmental and cultural destruction caused by construction of the border wall during the previous administration.


      Click now for the whole story.
    • • The Golden Rules of Reforestation
      Some Are Difficult to Follow

      Jan. 26, 2021 (ZME Science)-A group of UK scientists has set out ten “golden rules” for reforestation, in response to some counterproductive large-scale tree-planting schemes. The list shows how forests can be restored with the triple benefit of maximizing carbon capture, recovering ecosystems, and helping people’s livelihoods.

      The idea of planting trees as a low cost and high impact solution to climate change increasingly pops up as a an aid against climate change. Previous studies have highlighted the potential of trees to soak up and store carbon, with countries like the US and the UK starting massive tree-planting campaigns as part of their climate change plans. But it’s not that simple.


      Click now to read or listen to the story.
    • • Newark Residents Secure Protections from Drinking Water Lead
      The Result of a Citizen Suit Brought by NRDC and NEW Caucus

      Jan. 26, 2021 (National Resources Defense Council(NRDC))-In a victory for Newark, New Jersey, residents and public health, a proposed settlement was submitted to a federal court today that will ensure the City of Newark continues its ongoing progress in fixing the issue of lead contamination in its drinking water.

      “Lead damages children’s brains, which is why our group of public school teachers brought this case to secure safe drinking water for families in Newark,” says Yvette Jordan, chair of the Newark Education (NEW) Caucus, a group of public school educators.

    • • Firefighters Battle an Unseen Hazard
      Their Gear Could Be Toxic

      Jan. 26, 2021 (NY Times Climate Forward)- Every day at work for 15 years, Sean Mitchell, a captain in the Nantucket Fire Department, has put on the bulky suit that protects him from the heat and flames he faces on the job. But last year, he and his team came across unsettling research: Toxic chemicals on the very equipment meant to protect their lives could instead be making them gravely ill.

    • • Elon Musk Wants to Capture Carbon
      And He's Willing to Contribute
      $100 Million to Achieve it

      Jan. 23, 2021 (Green Energy Times)- “Elon Musk contributing $100 million to discover carbon capture technology that works”

      We had been relegating carbon capture to charlatans and sorcerers. But now Elon Musk, the wealthiest man in the known universe, says he is donating $100 million as a prize for whoever can come up with the best carbon capture technology.


      Click now for the story
    • • Amsterdam Embraces a Radical New Environment Economic Theory
      Could It Also Replace Capitalism?

      Jan. 22, 2021 (TIME)-One evening in December, after a long day working from home, Jennifer Drouin, 30, headed out to buy groceries in central Amsterdam. Once inside, she noticed new price tags. The label by the zucchini said they cost a little more than normal: 6¢ extra per kilo for their carbon footprint, 5¢ for the toll the farming takes on the land, and 4¢ to fairly pay workers. “There are all these extra costs to our daily life that normally no one would pay for, or even be aware of,” she says.

    • • Higher Air Pollution Could Damage Mental Health
      Dirty Air is Dirty Air
      No Matter Where You Are

      Jan. 21, 2021(ZME Science)-Higher levels of air pollution seem to be damaging to our mental health, reports a new study from the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH).

      The findings are based on six years’ worth of mental health outpatient visit data from two major hospitals in Nanjing, China. Nanjing is notorious for its high levels of air pollution, even for China (which has quite a lot of air pollution in general). After comparing the number of visits with records of particulate matter in suspension in the air every day, the authors report that visits were more numerous when air quality was especially poor.


      Click now to read or listen to the story.
    • • Ending Our Romance With Fossil Fuels
      Can the World Really
      Break Up With Fossil Fuels?

      Jan. 18, 2021(NY Times Climate Forward)-The pandemic collapsed demand for energy. Oil prices plunged into negative territory in April. But as the world looks toward recovery, will this break the global addiction to fossil fuels, or will the “new normal” end up looking much like the old one?

      How can we accelerate the rise in renewable energy sources to meet urgent global demand throughout the recovery? How will businesses with global operations adapt to support this transformation?

      And could a green recovery provide the necessary boost to strengthen commitment to climate goals the world so badly needs?




Interactive Map:

Explore the air quality anywhere in the world
WorldAirQuality
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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The Issues: What We Need to Know

 

  • Help End Food Wast
  • Carbon Offset Credits
  • The Dirty Dozen Foods
  • Download the Transit App
  • Chicago Urban Agriculture
  • The World's Cleanest Cities
  • Clean Up Your Cleaning Act
  • Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)
  • Paying Back Koch Industries
  • The Guardian Climate Pledge
  • About Those Toxic Chemicals
  • Synthetic Leaves Suck Out CO2<
  • Dos and Don’ts of Pesticide Use
  • Danger: Seismic Airgun Blasting
  • Confronting Ocean Acidification
  • What Our Agencies Don’t Tell Us
  • Map Showing the Lost Rainforests
  • Fossil Fuel Facts You Should Know
  • Pesticides and Farm Worker Safety
  • The Mushroom That Can Eat Plastic
  • Bali Fights For its Beautiful Beaches
  • Your Car Needs a Professional Wash
  • Can We Restore the Gulf of Mexico?
  • The Erosion of the Mississippi Delta
  • Are Puerto Rico’s Corals Repairable?
  • Pittsburgh Will Tackle Its Water Lead
  • The PFAs in Clark's Marsh, Michigan
  • Know The Clean Drinking Water Facts
  • Toilet Paper Can Harm the Boreal Forest
  • Companies Reducing Their Carbon Footprint
  • Lifestyle Changes to Shrink Your Carbon Footprint
  • Plastic Pellets Flow From the Mississippi Into the Gulf
  • How About a Little Radioactivity in Your Fertilizer?
  • Sustainable Concrete: Do What the Romans Did
  • Plastic Pollution is in All Areas of the U.S.
  • Tropicana Sued Over Malic Acid Presence
  • Drinking Water With ‘Forever Chemicals’
  • Did We Really Need a Clean Water Rule?
  • Uranium Mining in the Grand Canyon
  • Insects Could Vanish Within a Century
  • Declining: The Dirt Beneath Our Feet
  • Wiping Out the Boreal Forest - Literally
  • Coal Ash: Hazardous to Human Health
  • NRDC Warns of Up to 40% Food Waste
  • Mangroves May Store More Much CO2
  • How Do I Reduce My CO2 Footprint?
  • C’mon Congress - Get the Lead Out
  • Cancer Causing Radon in Your Home
  • How Fracking Threatens Our Water
  • CO2 Levels in the Weather Forecast
  • Air Pollution and Its Health Impacts
  • What to Know About Ground Water
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
  • Headed for the Last Roundup®?
  • Avoid Hurricane Surge Flooding
  • The Race to Reinvent Cement
  • Compare Your City's Pollution
  • A Cleaner Way to Remove CO2
  • Breaking Down Toxic PFAS
  • Singapore's Marina Barrage
  • The Global Safety Net
  • Why Go Organic
  • World Oceans Day
  • Hyper for Hydrogen
  • Earth's Rocky Future
  • Clean Power Companies
  • Tropical Deforestation
  • Louisiana's 'Cancer Alley'
  • NOAA Carbon Tracker
  • Ocean Plastics Pollution
  • Dirty Water = Dirty Fish
  • The Real Cost of Carbon
  • 16 Must-See Documentaries
  • Arsenic In Babies’ Cereal
  • Energy Transition Outlook
  • Green Grammy Nominees
  • Your Car's Carbon Footprint
  • Interactive Power Grid Maps
  • Minimizing Pesticide Usage
  • Micro-plastics Raining Down
  • Diesel School Buses & Health
  • What Is Amphibious Architecture?
  • Head & Shoulders Above the Rest
  • How Your State Makes Electricity
  • Australia’s Ecosystems Collapsing
  • The Goldman Environmental Prize
  • Transportation Emissions in the U.S.
  • Keeping Plastics Out of Our Oceans
  • The World's Most Controversial Tree
  • A Plant in Florida Emits Nitrous Oxide
  • Who's Sueing Who Over Gulf Oil Spill?
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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.

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    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.
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    # 3 - Boston, Mass.

    Boston

    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.

    Boston

    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.

    Eugene
    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.

    Cambridge

    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.

    Berkeley

    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.

    Seattle

    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.

    Chicago

    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.

    Austin

    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.