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ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT


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Page Updated:
November 27, 2020
• News Stories

    • The Issues

• Get the Lead Out Toolkit

• Oil Spill History

• Going Green When You Go

• Detailed U.S. Auto Emissions Map

• Toxic Release Inventory Program

 

Click any link on this
page to learn more.

• Big Oil Reality Check

• World Environment Day - 2020

• Asbestos Exposure Treatment

• Greenest U.S. Cities

• Safe Water in Pictures

• Safer Habitats

• Plastics-Free July

 


Environmental Impact News
(for the past 3 months)

(Click on a link to learn more.)

  • • The Danger of Talc-Based Beauty Products
    There’s a Good Chance They Also Have Asbestos

    (ZME Science), Nov. 26, 2020 -Talc is a mineral ingredient that has been used in personal care products for decades. It can improve the texture and feel of products, absorb moisture and act as inexpensive filler. But its extended use also comes with risks, a new study showed, finding asbestos in many talc-based products.

    It’s not the first time asbestos and talc have been linked. Because of how and where talc is mined, mineral deposits used for manufacturing products sold in the United States are consistently found to be contaminated with asbestos (such as tremolite and anthophyllite). The problem is that asbestos is a well-known carcinogen and there is no safe level of exposure to it.

    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • New Delhi's Poisonous Air
    A Perennial Crisis of its Own Making

    (ZME Science), Nov. 25, 2020 -Thousands of families who live near a smoldering waste landfill in a northern corner of India’s capital have boarded up their doors and windows because they say the air outside is so toxic that they would be coughing all day.

    New Delhi has the worst air of any capital on the planet, according to IQ AirVisual, a Swiss-based group that gathers air quality data globally.

    Jahangirpuri is one of its most polluted parts, choking daily in the murky mix of smoke from burning rubbish, exhaust fumes from trucks coming in and out a large depot and dust rising from unmetalled roads.

    “We’re dying a slow death. But we can’t think of going anywhere else because our work is here,” said daily wage worker Naresh Yadav, a 33-year-old migrant worker from poverty stricken Bihar state.


    Click now for the story.
  • • Where Will Plastics Show Up Next?
    Try Mount Everest

    (Science News), Nov. 20, 2020 -Minuscule shreds and threads of plastic are turning up all over, including in the snow on Mount Everest.

    “We’ve known that plastic is in the deep sea, and now it’s on the tallest mountain on Earth,” says Imogen Napper, a marine scientist at the University of Plymouth in England and a National Geographic Explorer. “It’s ubiquitous through our whole environment.”

    Plastic plays an increasingly large role in our lifestyles: Globally, the use of plastics has shot up from around 5 million metric tons in the 1950s to more than 330 million metric tons in 2020. As they’re used and cast away, these plastic products shed tiny particles. The broken-down bits of bags, bottles and other consumer plastics, each smaller than 5 millimeters, can harm animals, such as marine crabs that get plastics stuck in their gills They may also mess with ecosystems .


    Click now for more.
  • • What's In That Paper Coffee Cup
    Leeching Microplastics Are a Possibility

    (ZME Science), Nov. 20, 2020 -For people who have their coffee on the go, paper cups have become the preferred go-to choice. They’re lightweight, easy to handle, and cheap, but there’s a catch: they’re coated with plastic. This actually makes them non-recyclable and non-biodegradable (and is the reason why they don’t melt).

    Now, researchers have found another reason to ditch them: they might be leaking plastic into your coffee.

    Disposable paper cups are made of 90–95% paper, and the remaining 5–10% is a hydrophobic plastic film. Mostly, the interior layer is made of Polyethylene (PE). Studies have shown in the past that that harmful chemicals and substances can leach from paper into the food or drink meant for human consumption.


    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • Items In Our Homes Are Harming Sea Animals
    A New Report Examines How Plastic
    Waste Affects Marine Wildlife

    (NY Times Climate Forward), Nov. 19, 2020 -How severely the world’s plastic waste crisis is affecting marine wildlife is not fully understood, despite decades of research and gruesome images of whales’ bellies filled with plastic and a turtle with a straw lodged in its nostril. A new report by Oceana, a conservation group, illustrates some of what we know about how plastic affects sea turtles and marine mammals in United States waters.

    The authors focused on sea turtles and marine mammals for practical reasons. These animals are federally protected, so when they are found in distress or wash up dead on a beach, responders are required to document it. By collecting data from government agencies and marine life organizations around the country, the authors found almost 1,800 cases of plastic entanglement or ingestion affecting 40 species since 2009.


    Click now to read all about it.
  • • 1% of Population Cause 1/2 of Global Aviation Emissions
    These Are Known As 'Super-Emitters'

    (The Guardian), Nov. 17, 2020 -Airlines produced a billion tonnes of CO2 and benefited from a $100bn (£75bn) subsidy by not paying for the climate damage they caused, the researchers estimated. The analysis draws together data to give the clearest global picture of the impact of frequent fliers.

    Only 11% of the world’s population took a flight in 2018 and 4% flew abroad. US air passengers have by far the biggest carbon footprint among rich countries. Its aviation emissions are bigger than the next 10 countries combined, including the UK, Japan, Germany and Australia, the study reports.

    The researchers said the study showed that an elite group enjoying frequent flights had a big impact on the climate crisis that affected everyone.


    Click now for more.
  • • Time Runs Out for a U.S.-Canada Oil Pipeline
    Mich. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Said
    the State Would Shut Down a
    Line Between Her State and Ontario

    (NY Times Climate Forward), Nov. 17, 2020 -In an unusual move, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, citing environmental concerns, is shutting down an underwater pipeline that carries oil to refineries in her state and Canada.

    Pipeline operations normally fall under federal jurisdiction. Governor Whitmer, a Democrat, is acting under the state’s public trust doctrine, which requires state authorities to protect the Great Lakes. The pipeline in question, known as Line 5, has been in operation since the 1950s.

    The decision, announced on Friday, requires the pipeline operator Enbridge to cease operations on a specific section of Line 5 by May 2021, but it will have the effect of curtailing the entire pipeline, which runs between Superior, Wis., and Sarnia, Ontario.


    Click now to the story.

  • • Pet Flea Treatments Are Polluting Our Rivers & Streams
    Researchers Couldn't Believe Just
    How Prevalent the Pesticides Were.

    (Tampa Bay Times), Nov. 17, 2020 -A highly toxic insecticide used on cats and dogs to kill fleas is poisoning rivers and streams across the United States and the United Kingdom, according to two recent studies. The pollution is directly affecting water insects and the fish and birds that depend on them, the researchers warned.

    Both studies focused on finopril, a pesticide commonly used as an anti-flea substance for pets in many parts of the world. It has several properties that make it an attractive pest control agent (including high toxicity towards invertebrates and water solubility) — but those same properties also make it a nasty pollutant.


    Click now to read or
    listen to the story.

  • • When Technology and Natural Hazards Clash
    'Natech' Disasters Are Created

    (Science News), Nov. 13, 2020 -In August, a dry lightning storm over California sparked an intense wildfire that raged through communities in the Santa Cruz mountains. After the CZU Lightning Complex Fire was contained, local officials advised some residents returning to their homes to not use the drinking water. Benzene, a known carcinogen, had been detected in the water supply. The chemical probably was released by plastic pipes that melted during the fire.

    Scientists call events like this “natech,” or natural hazard-induced technological disasters. Coined in 1994, the term originally applied to industrial incidents such as chemical or fuel spills that occur after hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural hazards. But natech’s definition has recently expanded, says resilience scientist David Yu of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. It now covers any disaster arising from damage caused by a natural hazard to infrastructure that relies on technology, he says.


    Click now to learn more.

  • • Meat Hunters: Get the Lead Out
    Animals/Birds Shot With
    Lead Bullets Are Unsafe to Eat

    (Living On Earth), Nov. 13, 2020 -Millions of American families who eat hunted meat may be exposed to lead poisoning from the bullets that killed the animal. What’s more, hunters donate some 2 million pounds of hunted meat to food banks across the U.S. each year, most of which is not inspected for lead contamination. Sam Totoni reported a series on lead in hunted meat for Environmental Health News and joins Host Steve Curwood to discuss the grave implications of this overlooked risk.


    Click now to read or
    listen to the transcript.

  • • When Will Electricity Companies Quit Natural Gas?
    Wind and Solar Are Better Bets
    For Investors and the Planet

    (NY Times), Nov. 12, 2020 -As Americans suffer through immense wildfires, rising coastal flooding and an epic hurricane season, the nation’s corporations want you to believe they are coming to grips with the climate crisis.

    Among the companies pledging bold emissions cuts are those that generate America’s electricity, which emit more than a quarter of the nation’s global-warming pollution. Yet, that same industry is about to make a strategic error that could render meeting its own goals far more expensive, if not impossible.

    As they shut down costly and dirty coal-burning power plants, the electrical companies are planning to build 235 gas-fired power stations across the country, according to our analysis of figures compiled from commercial databases by the Sierra Club.

    Why?


    Click now to find out.

  • • San Francisco Bans Natural Gas in New Buildings
    With Just a Few Exceptions

    (SFGATE), Nov. 11, 2020 -Now you're not cooking with gas.

    Beginning in June, buildings constructed in San Francisco will be barred from having natural gas heating, gas appliances or gas fireplaces.

    The city Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to prohibit the fuel in buildings that apply for a building permit after June 30, 2021. The ordinance would affect the planned development of more than 54,000 homes and 32 million square feet of commercial space, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.


    Click now for details.

  • • Protecting & Restoring Vital Organ Ecosystems Can Reduce CO2 by 49%
    Shouldn’t This Be Priority #1?

    (BioIntegrity), Nov. 11, 2020 -Years ago when Chris Searles started biointegrity it was focused on Tropical Forests. The science shows that their standing value is a greater climate & species protection solution than anything current technology could ever dream of.

    It was clear to me then that restoration of missing Tropical Forests and tropical ecosystems would be equally as significant to reversing climate change & biodiversity loss.

    We finally have a study verifying that —

    “Global priorities for ecosystem restoration” was published mid-October 2020 and essentially shows that the most cost-efficient, climate-effective, species-beneficial thing human beings on Earth can do today is protect & restore the tropical forest system; half of which is missing relative to 1800. (See map bottom of this post.)


    Click now for the study.

  • • 20 Instagram Accounts for Environmental Inspiration
    Accounts For Environmental Inspiration

    (The Revelator)), Nov. 3, 2020 -These days many of us have a natural inclination to “doomscroll” — that constant refreshing of social media so we can gnash our teeth at the most recent bad news.

    There’s an alternative. Let’s call it hopescrolling — the art and act of looking for beautiful things and important information to keep us inspired.

    With the pandemic and election results still looming over our heads, here are 20 of our favorite nature- and environment-related Instagram accounts. May they fill your days with beauty and drive you to fight for the planet.


    Click now for the list.

  • • The Environmental Impacts of 'Building That Wall'
    The U.S. Border Wall is
    Tearing Through Wilderness

    (National Geographic), Nov. 2, 2020 -In Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona, you can find more than 30 species of cactus, including the saguaro, desert giants that tower over the landscape and live for centuries. Desert specialists like endangered Sonoran pronghorn and Sonoyta mud turtles thrive there on just a few inches of rain per year.

    This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve lies right on the United States-Mexico Border, previously demarcated only by a short three-foot-tall fence running through the wilderness, one that allowed animals to move freely. But in early 2020 construction began on President Trump’s signature project: a 30-foot-tall wall of steel and concrete.

    Now that wall is almost entirely complete, along all 30 miles of the reserve.

    Click now for the full article.

  • • America May Add 5x More Plastics Than Thought
    The U.S. is Using More Plastic
    Than Ever, and Waste Exported
    For Recycling is Often Mishandled

    (NY Times Climate Forward), Oct. 30, 2020 - The United States contribution to coastal plastic pollution worldwide is significantly larger than previously thought, possibly by as much as five times, according to a study published Friday.

    The research, published in Science Advances, is the sequel to a 2015 paper by the same authors. Two factors contributed to the sharp increase: Americans are using more plastic than ever and the current study included pollution generated by United States exports of plastic waste, while the earlier one did not.

    The U.S., which does not have sufficient infrastructure to handle its recycling demands at home, exports about half of its recyclable waste. Of the total exported, about 88% ends up in countries considered to have inadequate waste management.

    Click now for more of the story.

  • • EU Sues France For Second Time Over Air Pollution
    EU Court of Justice Will Rule on
    France Flouting Limits On Air
    Pollution For More Than a Decade

    (REUTERS), Oct. 30, 2020 -Air pollution contributes to more than 400,000 premature deaths in Europe each year, but despite EU laws requiring countries to limit pollution, most of the bloc’s 27 members are set to miss targets this year to tackle dirty air.

    France will face legal action for breaching EU limits on particulate matter pollution in Paris for 12 years, and in Martinique, a French island in the Caribbean, for 14 years, the Commission said.

    The EU’s top court already ruled in 2019 that France had breached limits on nitrogen dioxide pollution in 12 regions.


    Click now for more.
  • • Botswana's Okavango Delta Elephants (and People) In Trouble
    Oil Drilling, Possible Fracking
    Planned For Okavango Region

    (National Geographic), Oct. 28, 2020 -Conservationists and community leaders in the spectacular Okavango wilderness region of Namibia and Botswana are raising alarms over oil and gas exploration and potential production that they fear would threaten the water resources of thousands of people and endangered wildlife.

    ReconAfrica, a petroleum exploration company headquartered in Canada, has licensed more than 13,600 square miles of land in the two countries. The home page of the company’s website says its intention is to open “a new, deep sedimentary basin”—in other words, a new oil and gas field. The Kavango Basin, as the area is known to geologists, is larger than the country of Belgium, and ReconAfrica says it could hold up to 31 billion barrels of crude oil—more than the United States would use in four years if consumption remained the same as in 2019. It’s possibly the world’s “largest oil play of the decade,” Oilprice.com, an energy news site, said in September.

    Click now for the story.

  • • Along the Keystone XL Pipeline, Hoping for a Miracle
    Election Could Decide Whether One
    of the Most Destructive Fossil Fuel
    Projects Continues to Be Built

    (The Nation), By Lance Fourstar -Oct. 27, 2020 -Since the Keystone XL pipeline was first proposed in 2008, it has become one of the most controversial energy projects in North America, stirring conflict across the political spectrum and among the communities in this small corner of Montana. I traveled back to the region this fall, with the looming elections in mind, in order to understand how communities living along the proposed route view the project now. I focused on the individuals and communities who stand to lose the most if the United States continues to prioritize fossil fuels over all else.

    The pipeline, expected to be operational in 2023, would transmit 830,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Alberta’s tar sands to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico, crossing through the US Midwest. Environmentalists believe that should the pipeline succeed, it will commit North America to continued investment in fossil fuels, dooming any realistic effort to curb climate change.


    Click now to read on.
  • • One More Reason to Protect the Great Barrier Reef
    Coral Taller than the
    Empire State Building
    Was Found There

    (ZME Science), Oct. 27, 2020 -It’s very rare to hear of positive news from the Great Barrier Reef, which has lost more than half of its coral population in the last three decades at the hand of climate change. Recently, however, Australian scientists have revealed new features inside the greatest living structure on the planet. This includes a blade-like coral whose height is taller than Manhattan’s iconic Empire State Building in some places.

    The stunning discovery was made by scientists aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor, which has been surveying the Great Barrier Reef for the past year in order to map it in unprecedented detail

    During an outing off the cost of Cape York in North Queensland on October 20, the researchers uncovered a ‘detached’ reef measuring 1.5 kilometers in length and over 500 meters in height in some places.


    Click now to go deeper.
  • • Meditaranean is Packed With Plastic Waste
    It Could Get Even Worse

    (ZME Science), Oct. 27, 2020 -The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most heavily-affected environments in the world in terms of plastic pollution, with about 230,000 tons dumped there every year, according to a new report. The researchers warned that the figure could double by 2040 unless ambitious steps are taken as soon as possible.

    The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) published the report “The Mediterranean: Mare plasticum” which reviews the role of plastic pollution in the Mediterranean. It considered 33 countries, either coastal or part of a hydrological basin flowing into the Mediterranean Sea.

    The total plastic accumulated in the Mediterranean is estimated at around 1,178,000 tons, the researchers found. Most of it seems to be deposited on the seafloor either in the form of microplastics in the sediments or as macroplastics and mesoplastics scattered on the seafloor.


    Click now to learn more.
  • • Better Health Care Can Prevent Tropical Deforestation
    Accessible Indonesia Health
    Clinic Helped Bring Down
    Local Deforestation Rates.

    (ZME Science), Oct. 27, 2020 -Access to affordable healthcare can make a big difference in addressing deforestation, according to a new study. Researchers from Stanford University found that setting up an affordable health clinic near a national park in Indonesia led to a 70% drop in deforestation over a 10-year period.

    Tropical forests lose more than 100 trees every second, altering landscapes and impacting livelihoods, health, biodiversity, and climate change. Across the tropics, forest loss now exceeds forest gain, leading to net carbon emission from some of the most important natural carbon stocks in the world.

    In biodiverse, carbon-rich tropical forests, the establishment of protected areas benefits both conservation and climate mitigation goals. But it often excludes local communities that surround the areas. Failure to address the needs of local people can in turn lead to unsustainable forest use, such as illegal logging.


    Click now for more.
  • • Chlorpyrifos: A Pesticide DOW Chemical Should Not be Proud of
    The Common Pesticide Is
    Tied To Brain Damage in Children

    (Organic Consumers Association), Oct. 22, 2020 -Chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide, is strongly linked to brain damage in children. These and other health concerns have led several countries and some U.S. states to ban it, but the chemical is still allowed on food crops in the U.S. after successful lobbying by its manufacturer.

    Chlorpyrifos insecticides were introduced by Dow Chemical in 1965 and have been used widely in agricultural settings. Commonly known as the active ingredient in the brand names Dursban and Lorsban, An organophosphate insecticide, acaricide and miticide used primarily to control foliage and soil-borne insect pests on a variety of food and feed crops. Products come in liquid form as well as granules, powders, and water-soluble packets, and may be applied by either ground or aerial equipment.

    Chlorpyrifos is used on a wide variety of crops including apples, oranges, strawberries, corn, wheat, citrus and other foods families and their children eat daily. USDA’s Pesticide Data Program found chlorpyrifos residue on citrus and melons even after being washed and peeled. By volume,chlorpyrifos is most used on corn and soybeans, with over a million pounds applied annually to each crop. The chemical is not allowed on organic crops.

    Click now for the rest of the story.

  • • NJ Transit Say's No On Gas-Fired Power Plant
    Northern New Jersey Spared
    From this Environmental Threat?

    (POWERGRID International), Oct. 22, 2020 -New Jersey Transit has backed off a plan to build a gas-fired power plant in northern New Jersey that drew opposition from environmental groups and surrounding towns.

    The agency announced at its board meeting Wednesday night that it will repurpose the project to focus on renewable energy sources. NJ Transit’s board approved the hiring of a renewable energy consultant and up to $3 million in stipends to project bidders.

    NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin Corbett called the project “a critical resiliency project that ensures we can maintain limited, but vital, rail service for our customers in the event of local and regional power interruptions.”

    Click now for the rest of the story.

  • • Huge Tanker at Risk of Collapse in the Caribbean
    With 1.3 Million
    Barrels of Crude, Potentially1
    Harmful to Ecosystems

    (ZME Science), Oct. 23, 2020 -A damaged oil tanker off the island of Trinidad and Tobago is no longer at risk of spilling 1.3 million barrels of crude oil into the Caribbean, the local government said — but not everyone is convinced.

    For months on end, governments and activists have followed the precarious situation of the Venezuela-flagged oil tanker FSO Nabarima. The ship has been stranded in the Gulf of Paria between Venezuela and Trinidad since January 2019, when President Donald Trump sanctioned Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, PDVSA.


    Click now for the whole story.
  • • Air Pollution Is Not Just a Health Concern
    It's Also Costing European
    Citizens $190 Billion Per Year

    (ZME Science), Oct. 23, 2020 -Air pollution is a threat to both public health and economic progress, a new report showed, costing the inhabitants of European cities $190 billion per year. The study looked at air quality, health, and transport data from over 400 cities, finding air pollution costs the average citizen $1.400 per year.

    The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), a group of environmental and social organizations, quantified the monetary “social cost” of premature death, medical treatment, and lost working days. These and others are linked to three air pollutants, particulate matter (PM), ozone (O?), and nitrogen dioxide (NO?).

    London had the highest social cost from pollution in absolute terms, totaling $13.3 billion in lost welfare. Bucharest (with $7.4 billion lost) and Berlin (with $6.1 billion euros lost) came second and third, respectively. All cities with a population of over 1 million feature in the top 25 cities with the highest social costs due to air pollution.


    Click now -but try not
    to choke reading this story.
  • • This White Paint Really Cools Rooftops
    The Paint Reflects 95.5% of
    Sunlight That Reaches its Surface

    (ZME Science), Oct. 22, 2020 -We’ve all experienced it at some point: white things stay cooler in the sunlight, while black things get hotter as they absorb more sunlight. This is more than just a physics curiosity, it has significant impacts on our world.

    This is the reason, for instance, why the houses around the arid areas of the Mediterranean are often painted white — to reflect more sunlight and keep the buildings a bit cooler. Now, a team of researchers at Purdue University are taking things to the next level: they’ve developed a special white paint that reflects almost all the sunlight cast upon it, helping to keep the surface cool.


    Click now for this cool story.
  • • Relationship Between Air Pollution and Neurological Disorders
    Air pollution Is Associated with Increases of Hospital Admissions for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Other Dementias

    (ZME Science), Oct. 21, 2020 -It’s the first study that associates neurological disorders and fine particulate matter, says Xiao Wu, co-lead author and doctoral student in biostatistics at Harvard Chan School.

    Wu and colleagues carried out the epidemiological study with more than 63 million older US adults, drawing from an unparalleled amount of data. The results, however, don’t look too pretty.

    In any given day, in any given place, the air contains small aerosols — liquid or solid particles suspended in the atmosphere. The amount of these microscopic particles (called particulate matter, or PM for short) can vary substantially. Normally, the concentration of particulate matter should be very low — but in polluted areas, the amount of particulates can reach high, unhealthy levels.


    Click now for the sad story.
  • • What Is Driving Plastic Pollution?
    Could Our Stomachs Be to Blame?

    (ZME Science), Oct. 21, 2020 -A polluted air outside makes office workers more likely to order food delivery instead of going out for lunch, which increasing plastic waste from food packaging, a new study showed.

    Since this issue is unlikely to be solved anytime soon, the researchers call for more environmentally friendly packaging and improved waste management to tackle this growing issue.


    Click now to learn more.
  • • Russia: Unexplained Eco-disaster
    It Kills Marine
    Life, Affects Swimmers

    (Deutsche Welle), Oct. 21, 2020 -A popular surfing beach on Russia's Pacific coastline is now the site of a suspected ecological disaster, as its waters turn yellow and scores of dead sea animals wash up on the shore.

    Local authorities in the eastern Russian city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy have been warning people against visiting the nearby Khalaktyrsky beach, after surfers complained of partially losing their eyesight and experiencing headaches, fevers and nausea when venturing into the water.


    Click now for the complete story.
  • • Recycling Paper Adds a Price to the Environment
    It's Only Meaningful
    When Powered by Renewable Energy

    (ZME Science), Oct. 20, 2020 -While it’s usually seen as a good practice, recycling paper is actually meaningful to the climate only when it’s powered by renewable energy, according to a modeling study. Greenhouse gas emissions would increase by 2050 if we recycle more paper, as current recycling methods rely on fossil fuels, researchers found.

    A circular economy is expected to achieve sustainability goals through efficient use and reuse of materials. Waste recycling is an important part of a circular economy. However, for some materials, the potential environmental benefits of recycling are unclear or contested, say researchers from University College London.

    Senior author Professor Paul Ekins said: “The recycling of some materials, for instance, metals, can lead to a very large reduction in emissions. But we need to be careful about assumptions that recycling, or a circular economy in general, will always have a positive effect on climate change.”


    Click now to read the study.
  • • Bottle-Fed Babies sand Microplastics
    Exposure is Far Higher than Previously Thought

    (The Guardian), Oct. 19, 2020 -Bottle-fed babies are swallowing millions of microplastic particles a day, according to research described as a “milestone” in the understanding of human exposure to tiny plastics.

    Scientists found that the recommended high-temperature process for sterilizing plastic bottles and preparing formula milk caused bottles to shed millions of microplastics and trillions of even smaller nanoplastics.

    The polypropylene bottles tested make up 82% of the world market, with glass bottles being the main alternative. Polypropylene is one of the most commonly used plastics and preliminary tests by the scientists found kettles and food containers also produced millions of microplastics per liter of liquid.


    Click now the worrisome story.
  • • New Trump Golf Course Provokes Fury in Scotland
    The Course Badly Damages
    the Surrounding Environment

    (The Guardian), Oct. 17, 2020 -Donald Trump has said he might leave the US if he loses the White House to Joe Biden next month. If so, he has just been handed the perfect place to eke out his final days – by playing golf on a new course in Aberdeenshire, his second in the area.

    If Trump does choose such an option, he can expect a robust welcome from conservationists, however. They say last week’s decision by Aberdeenshire council planners to approve the course could have a catastrophic impact on the area’s delicate environment.


    Click now for more.
  • • Study: Radiation Levels Higher Downwind of Fracking Sites
    The Study Was Published This Week
    in the Journal Nature Communications

    (Allegheny Front), Oct. 16, 2020 -A team of Harvard researchers found elevated levels of radioactivity on air particles measured downwind of fracking sites around the country.

    The levels found were well below public health limits, but the authors warn they could induce “adverse health effects to residents living close” to fracking sites. The study was published this week in the journal Nature Communications.

    The authors looked at 16 years worth of data from the EPA’s radiation monitoring system, from 2001 to 2017. They found increased radiation on particles 12 miles (20 km) to 31 miles (50 km) downwind of fracking sites. Those close to shallower conventional wells, meanwhile, showed virtually no increases.

    Click now to radiate your interest.

  • • Ecosystem Collapse Threatens a Fifth of All Countries
    Trillions of Dollars of GDP Depend on Biodiversity, Swiss Re Reports

    (The Guardian), Oct. 12, 2020 -

    One-fifth of the world’s countries are at risk of their ecosystems collapsing because of the destruction of wildlife and their habitats, according to an analysis by the insurance firm Swiss Re.

    Natural “services” such as food, clean water and air, and flood protection have already been damaged by human activity.

    More than half of global GDP depends on high-functioning biodiversity, according to the report, but the risk of tipping points is growing.


    Click now for the story.
  • • What Exxon Mobil Says Is Not What Exxon Mobil Does
    Mother Earth Does Not Thank You

    (ZME Science), Oct. 8, 2020 -According to internal documents obtained by Bloomberg, America’s largest oil and gas corporation Exxon Mobil was planning to increase its 2021 greenhouse gas emissions by 17% — an increase equivalent to the entire nation of Greece.

    That’s only Exxon Mobil’s own emissions, not the emissions produced by its customers burning oil. When that is also taken into consideration, the total impact would be about five times bigger.


    Click now for the rest of the story.
  • • EU Moves to Cut Carbon Emissions 60% by 2030
    The Move Must First Be Approved
    by the Council of Ministers

    (ZME Science), Oct. 8, 2020 -The European Parliament voted to update the EU’s climate target for 2030, backing a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade, up from the current 40%. Lawmakers passed the proposal by 352 votes to 326, with 18 abstentions, sending the text to the EU Council of Ministers for final approval.

    The Parliament’s decision was part of a wider vote on a proposed European Climate Law, which seeks to pass the EU’s goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2050 into law. Jytte Guteland, the rapporteur on the proposed legislation, celebrated the news on her social media networks.

  • • The Micro-plastics Believed to Be on the Seafloor
    Up to 14 Million Tons, Last Estimate

    (ZME Science), Oct. 7, 2020 -The world’s seafloor is filled with 14 million tons of micro-plastics, broken down from the masses of rubbish entering the oceans every year, according to a new study. It’s the first global estimate of sea-floor micro-plastics and the amount registered is 25 times greater than that shown by previous localized studies.

    Researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) looked at the deep ocean 380km (236 miles) from the coast of South Australia. They found that the number of micro-plastics on the seafloor was more than double the amount of plastic pollution on the surface of the sea globally.


    Click now for more of this story.
  • • The Guardian Climate Pledge
    The Magazine's Promise to Its Readers

    (The Guardian), Oct. 5, 2020 -In 2019, the Guardian made a pledge in service of the planet. We declared that the escalating climate crisis was the defining issue of our lifetime, and that quality, trustworthy reporting on the environment was an important tool to confront it. We promised to provide journalism that shows leadership, urgency, authority and gives the climate emergency the sustained attention and prominence it demands.

    We also vowed to practice what we preach, striving to green our operations as a global news organization and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.


    Click now for more.
  • • Styrofoam Now Banned in Maryland
    State Shows National
    Leadership By Prohibiting This
    Dangerous Single-Use Plastic

    (Environment MARYLAND), Oct. 1, 2020 -Maryland’s statewide ban on polystyrene foam cups and containers begins today. In March 2019, Maryland became the first state in the country to pass a foam ban through its state legislature.

    Polystyrene foam ? commonly referred to as Styrofoam ? is one of the most common and hazardous forms of single-use plastic. Less than 3 percent of it is recycled, and once in landfills or the natural environment, it persists for hundreds of years. In a single year, Americans throw out 25 billion polystyrene foam cups, part of the 8 million tons of plastic dumped in waterways every year.


    Click now for the smart news.
  • • A New Enzyme Could Create Infinitely Recyclable Plastic
    Less Trash and Cheaper Stuff?

    (ZME SCIENCE), -Sept. 29, The researchers who made the improved version of the plastic-eating PETase enzyme have now developed a new ‘cocktail’ that can break down plastic much faster.

    Half of the cocktail is made up of the previous enzyme, PETase. The other ingredient, MHETase, is an enzyme found in the same strain of bacteria from which PETase was isolated. Together, they can break down plastic six times faster than alone, the team explains.

    The findings can help pave the way towards improved plastic recycling methods, the team explains, which would slash plastic pollution as well as the emissions from plastic production.


    Click now for this good news.
  • • World Leaders Pledge to Halt Earth’s Destruction
    60 Countries Promise to
    Put Wildlife and Climate at Heart
    of Post-Covid Recovery Plans

    (The Guardian), Sept. 28, 2020 -World leaders have pledged to clamp down on pollution, embrace sustainable economic systems and eliminate the dumping of plastic waste in oceans by the middle of the century as part of “meaningful action” to halt the destruction of nature on Earth.

    Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Justin Trudeau, Jacinda Ardern and Boris Johnson are among 64 leaders from five continents warning that humanity is in a state of planetary emergency due to the climate crisis and the rampant destruction of life-sustaining ecosystems. To restore the balance with nature, governments and the European Union have made a 10-point pledge to counteract the damage to systems that underpin human health and wellbeing.


    Click now for the promising news.
  • • Oh, What's Wrong With a Brain-Eating Microbe in Your Tap Water?
    Texas Residents Warned of Tap
    Water Tainted With Naegleria fowleri

    (The Guardian), Sept. 26, 2020 -Texas officials have warned residents of some communities near Houston to stop using tap water because it might be tainted with a deadly brain-eating microbe.

    The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality warned the Brazosport Water Authority late on Friday of the potential contamination of its water supply by Naegleria fowleri.

    The commission issued an advisory warning people not to use tap water for any reason except to flush toilets in Lake Jackson, Freeport, Angleton, Brazoria, Richwood, Oyster Creek, Clute and Rosenberg.


    Click now for more, if you can stand it.
  • • Pollution's Effect on the Trees in Siberia and the Arctic
    Industrial Pollution in the Arctic
    is Fasr Worse than We’ve Assumed

    (ZME SCIENCE), -Sept. 25, 2020, The findings are based on the analysis of tree-rings and wood chemistry around the city of Norilsk in the Russian Arctic. According to the authors, ecosystems in this region have been “devastated” by decades of nickel and copper mining, and the effects extend far enough to disrupt the global carbon cycle. They also explain that die-offs have spread to almost 100 kilometers away from the city.

    Norilsk is the northernmost city in the world, housing around 100,000 people. It’s also one of the most polluted places on Earth due to intensive mining operations for nickel, copper, and palladium which have been ongoing since the 1930s under very little environmental regulations. A spill in May 2020, which involved around 17,500 tons of diesel oil making its way into local rivers, further destroyed local ecosystems.

    Click now for more.
  • • The Failing US Utilities Emissions Targeting
    They're Not Doing Enough
    to Meet 2050 Targets

    (Renewable Energy World), Sept. 24, 2020 - ‘Zero-percenter’ utilities show significant gaps between their stated goals and the required actions to achieve full decarbonization by 2050.

    “The math simply doesn’t yet add up,” says Deloitte in a review of the actions being taken by 22 United States utilities – ‘zero-percenter utilities – that have announced net zero or carbon free electricity goals.

    For example, these utilities have yet to schedule the retirement of 87% of their coal capacity. They have harnessed only 9GW out of a 400GW rooftop solar potential in their territories. And they have barely started to integrate the growing battery capacity from transport electrification that will convert them into necessary flexible grid assets.


    Click now to learn more.
  • • Is Your Water Polluted By Fracking?
    There's An App for That!

    (ZME SCIENCE), -Sept. 24, 2020, Exposing drinking water to hydraulic fracturing fluid increases the risk of many adverse health outcomes. Unfortunately, knowing the risks posed by a particular well is very difficult due to the wide range of chemical ingredients used across sites. Now, researchers have created an app that changes this radically.

    Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used to release the oil or gas held within naturally occurring pockets of shale or other dense rock deep within the earth. While it’s not a new technique, it saw a major increase in use since the early 2000s. Following this growth, reports started linking fracking with an increase in seismic activity.

    Penn Medicine researchers have created an interactive tool, called WellExplorer, that allows community members and scientists to find out which toxins may be lurking in their drinking water as a result of fracking. You just have to type your ZIP code in the website or the app and look at the fracking sites near you, with information on the chemicals used at each of them.

    Click now for the whole story.
  • • The Richest Are Much Worse For the Environment
    Emissions From This 1% Are
    Double That of the Poor

    (Thje Guardian), -Sept. 21, 2020, Not everyone holds the same responsibility for climate change, according to new research, which showed that the richest 1% of the world’s population produced twice as much carbon dioxide emissions as the poorest 50% between 1990 and 2015.

    A report compiled by Oxfam and the Stockholm Environment Institute showed that CO2 emissions rose by 60% over the 25-year period. The increase in emissions from the wealthiest 1% was three times greater than the increase from the poorest half of the world over the same timeframe. This means that the rich are quickly exhausting the world’s carbon budget, the limit of greenhouse gas emissions mankind can produce before damaging temperature increases become unavoidable.

    The increase in emissions was mainly driven by overconsumption and carbon-intensive transportation.

    Click now to learn more.
  • LEGO Plans Let Go Of Plastic Packaging
    They've Responded to Complaints
    From Kids Using the Product

    (INHABITAT), -Sept. 18, 2020, Kids have spoken, and LEGO has listened. “We have received many letters from children about the environment asking us to remove single-use plastic packaging,” Niels B. Christiansen, LEGO Group CEO, said in a statement. “We have been exploring alternatives for some time and the passion and ideas from children inspired us to begin to make the change.”

    The Danish toymaker announced Tuesday that it will replace the plastic bags inside boxed LEGO sets with recyclable paper bags. Over the next five years, the company expects to completely phase out the plastic bags.

    Click now to learn more.
  • • The Health Risks From Wildfire Smoke
    What We Know and Don’t Know

    (Science News), -Sept. 18, 2020, Acrid smoke continues to pollute skies in the western United States. On some recent days, the air quality in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles has been so hazardous, it’s ranked among the worst in the world.

    It’s hard to predict when the smoke will fully clear. And with some parts of the West having faced a week or more of extremely polluted air, the unusual, sustained nature of the assault is increasing worries about people’s health.

    There’s plenty of evidence that air pollution — a broad category that includes soot, smog, and other pollutants from sources such as traffic, industry and fires — can harm health. The list of medical ailments associated with exposure to dirty air includes respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

    Click now to learn more.
  • • A Device to Curb Micro-plastic Emissions
    Tire Attachment Designed
    By Four Students Aims to
    Reduce Road Transport Pollution

    (The Guardian), -Sept. 17, 2020, A device that captures micr-oplastic particles from tyres as they are emitted – and could help reduce the devastating pollution they cause – has won its designers a James Dyson award.

    The Tyre Collective, a group of masters students from Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art, scooped the UK prize of the international competition with their solution for the growing environmental scourge of tyre wear caused by road transport.

    Every time a vehicle brakes, accelerates or turns a corner, the tires wear down through friction and tiny particles become airborne. This produces 500,000 tonnes of tyre particles annually in Europe alone. Globally, it is estimated tyre wear accounts for nearly half of road transport particulate emissions. It is also the second-largest micro-plastic pollutant in the oceans after single-use plastic.


    Click now for more.
  • • World Biodiversity Goals Are Not Being Met
    Not a Single Target Set
    in 2010 Has Been Reached

    (ZME SCIENCE), -Sept. 17, 2020, World leaders have failed to meet a set of important biodiversity goals, meaning ecosystems are still experiencing severe difficulties as a consequence, according to a United Nations report. In fact, not one single biodiversity target has been met ten years after they were proposed. Still, it’s not too late to act, with the UN calling for urgent action and to make major changes before the collapse of the natural world becomes inevitable.

    The Global Biodiversity Outlook, published by the Convention of Biological Diversity (CDB), showed the progress the world has made in meeting the 20 Aichi biodiversity targets, which were set 10 years ago with a deadline to meet them by 2020. They are the equivalent to the Paris Agreement on climate change but on biodiversity.

    Click now to learn more.

  • • Brazil Fires Devastate the World’s Largest Tropical Wetland
    The Amazon Fires Have Now Reached the Pantanal Amid a Severe Drought

    (ZME SCIENCE), -Sept. 11, 2020, The world’s largest tropical wetland, the Pantanal, is burning at a record speed in Brazil, with fires expanding fast and threatening its biodiversity. This is happening on a backdrop of a record fire season in the whole Amazon region, with President Bolsonaro being questioned by the international community.

    With an area of 150,000 square kilometers, the Pantanal crosses the Brazilian border and extends through Bolivia and Paraguay. It’s known for its impressive biodiversity, attracting visitors from around the world eager to see jaguars, caimans, toucans, monkeys, giant otters, and many other species living there.

    Click now for the whole story.

  • • Now Ecological Threats Will Force Displacement

    More Than One Billion People
    Face That Possibility By 2050

    (ZME SCIENCE), -Sept. 11, 2020, The international think-tank the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) said in its Ecological Threat Register (ETR) report that 1.2 billion people living in 31 countries aren’t sufficiently resilient to endure ecological threats. The report combines measures of resilience with comprehensive ecological data from the UN and other organizations.

    “Ecological threats and climate change pose serious challenges to global peacefulness. Over the next 30 years, lack of access to food and water will only increase without urgent global cooperation. In the absence of action civil unrest, riots and conflict will most likely increase,” said Steve Killelea, founder of the IEP, in a statement.

    The country with the largest number of people at risk of mass displacements is Pakistan, followed by Ethiopia and Iran, according to the report. Haiti faces the highest threat in Central America. In these countries, even small ecological threats and natural disasters could result in mass population displacement.

  • • Plastic Food Packaging Now the King of Beach Trash

    Plastics Now Outpace
    Cigarette Butts For That Title

    (National Geographic), -Sept. 8, 2020, Candy wrappers and chip bags have become the most commonly found beach trash, surpassing cigarette butts as the top item for the first time.

    That dreary statistic is among the findings in the Ocean Conservancy’s latest report on its annual beach cleanup, when more than 20.8 million tons of trash were collected from the beaches in 116 countries in 2019. That’s 32.5 million items picked up in one day.

    Even as plastic packaging, which made up nearly 45% of the plastics produced in the U.S., Europe, China, and India between 2002 and 2014, became the dominant plastic in the global waste stream, the lowly cigarette filter clung to first place for the 34-year history of the Ocean Conservancy’s beach cleanups. Now it ranks number two, with 4.2 million butts recovered. Food wrappers top the list, with more than 4.7 million individual wrappers gathered.

  • • Asphalt Is a Major Source of Air Pollution

    Especially True During Summer Weather

    (ZME SCIENCE), -Sept. 3, 2020, A petroleum-based substance, asphalt is almost everywhere, from roads and roofs to driveways and paved streets. The US alone has about 18 million tons of it. Unfortunately, it seems that all that asphalt is also the source of air pollution, especially in the summer heat, according to a new study.

    Researcher Peeyush Khare from Yale University and his team were curious about the potential impact of asphalt on air quality, especially in cities, as about 45% of urban surfaces are covered with asphalt. Its uses include paving (mixed with stone aggregate), roofing, and in products such as sealants.

    No studies have previously quantified emission rates, which are essentially absent in emission inventories. The only exception has been solvent evaporation from cutback asphalt application, which was found to have elevated concentrations of hazardous air pollutants.

    Click now for the full story.

  • • The Era of Plastics Might Be Coming to an End

    Thank You, Moonlighting Microbes

    (CleanTechnica), Sept. 1, 2020 -Petroleum stakeholders have been seeking safe haven in plastics and other petrochemicals now that global demand for fossil fuel is crashing. However, science is about to crash the gate with new bio-based alternatives. In the latest development, researchers have discovered that certain microbes can moonlight as refineries. They can produce ethylene, a building block for all sorts of plastics as well as glues, coolants, and other products that currently rely on oil and gas.

    Click now for the story.

  • • Now You're Cooking With Gas - Should You Be?

    Should You Give Up Cooking With Gas?

    (The Guardian), Aug. 28, 2020 -A future without gas stoves is already looking likely for some Australians. In the Australian Capital Territory, plans are underway to phase out domestic gas use, and gas infrastructure is no longer required for new suburb developments.

    “The fact is, natural gas is a polluting fossil fuel and we must eventually phase it out in favor of clean energy,” says the ACT’s minister for climate change and sustainability, Shane Rattenbury. With uncertainty around gas prices, Rattenbury says the move “is also good for household bills”.

    Click now to read all about it.

  • • Veggie Patties vs Meat Burgers

    The Environmental Impact Compared

    ZME SCIENCE, Aug. 28, 2020 -No matter how you look at it, veggie patties are much better for the planet than beef. From the popular alternatives and the lesser-known ones and simple plant alternatives, nothing comes even close to beef.

    It’s not really hard to envision a not-too-distant future where we transition to renewable energy. Even phasing out oil and coal seem plausible. But one environmental culprit seems much harder to phase out: meat.

    Click now learn what's at 'Steak.'

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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

(Click on any link, below to get the full story.)

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.