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Keeping It Green

(There's No Planet B)

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ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

CO2 Levels in the Atmosphere

(Weekly averages)


Weekly Averages
7 February 2021: 416.91 ppm This time last year: 414.91 ppm 10 years ago: 391.64 ppm
Pre-industrial base: 280 Safe level: 350


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Page Updated:
March 2, 2021
• News Stories       • The Issues

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• World Environment Day - 2020

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• Canada is Banning Single-Use Plastics

 

 


Environmental Impact News
(for the past 3 months)

  • • 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.
  • • 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.

  • • 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.

  • • 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.

  • • 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?

  • • Could Lab-Grown Meat Prevent the Next Pandemic?
    COVID-19 is Just a Dress Rehearsal
    For What Lurks Around the Corner.
    Could Lab-Grown Meat Be an Ally?

    Jan. 14, 2021(ZME Science)-While some will undoubtedly regard it with skepticism — after all, many regard even vaccines with skepticism — many viewed it as a big triumph. Not only is this a way to ensure the production of cruelty-free meat, since you don’t actually have to kill any animals, but lab-grown meat could also come with some added bonuses.

    Producers tout it as a more eco-friendly alternative, reducing emissions and land use. It also comes without any growth hormones or bacterial contamination, which is often the case for ‘real’ meat. But perhaps just as importantly, or even more so, it’s antibiotic free.


    Click now to read or listen the story.
  • • The Arctic is Packed with Microplastics
    Much of it Consists of Polyester Fibers

    January 13, 2021(ZME Science)-By simply washing your clothes, you might be flooding the oceans with plastic pollution, a new study showed. Researchers found that nearly three-quarters of the microplastics in the Arctic seawater were polyester fibers, which are most likely coming from textiles manufacturing and household laundry.

    Millions of tons of plastic enter marine ecosystems every year, and quantities are expected to increase in the coming years. Over time, plastic items in the ocean can break down into smaller pieces(microplastics). They can be the size of a rice grain or even smaller, making them easy to be ingested by sea creatures.


    Click now to read or listen to this story.
  • • Almost Half of the Global Waste is Not Collected Properly
    And Much of it Gets Burned

    Jan. 11, 2021(ZME Science)-Nearly a billion tons of waste are disposed of improperly every year and this is threatening the health and wellbeing of billions worldwide, a new study reports. The study looked at what happens to consumer goods and other products at the end of their useful life and concludes that urgent action is needed to address open burning of solid waste and ill-managed dumpsites.


    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • An Ethanol Plant is Dangerously Polluting a US Village
    There's a Red Flag Here

    Jan. 10, 2021(The Guardian)-For the residents of Mead, Nebraska, the first sign of something amiss was the stench, the smell of something rotting. People reported eye and throat irritation and nosebleeds. Then colonies of bees started dying, birds and butterflies appeared disoriented and pet dogs grew ill, staggering about with dilated pupils.

    There is no mystery as to the cause of the concerns in Mead, a farming community so small that its 500 residents refer to it as a village and not a town.

  • • Boston Wants Net-zero Emissions From New Buildings
    Buildings Energy Consumption
    is Responsible For 70% of the
    City’s CO2 Output

    January 8, 2021(Renewable Energy World)-The city of Boston is laying plans to require newly constructed large buildings to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, a move supporters hope will help make carbon-neutral design more approachable and mainstream.

    “There are going to be folks that find this incredibly challenging — there are a lot of industry norms that are being questioned and challenged,” said John Dalzell, senior architect for sustainable development at the Boston Planning and Development Agency. “But I’m pleased to see some of these old norms starting to fall away.”

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  • • There Have Been Strong Additions to Our Atmospheric CO2 Levels
    It Could Soon Reach 150% of Pre-Industrial Revolution Times

    Jan. 8, 2021(ZME Science)-Our climate is changing, and the cause is our own emissions. To put those into perspective, new research estimates that atmospheric CO2 levels in 2021 will be 50% higher than the average value in the 18th century (the onset of the Industrial Revolution).


    Click now read or listen to the story.
  • • The Pandemic Can Teach How to Reduce Air Pollution
    COVID-19 Shutdowns Didn’t Fix
    Air Pollution, but Create
    a Natural Experiment to Study it

    (ScienceNews), Jan. 4, 2021, -The COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t just a shock to the human immune system. It was also a shock to the Earth system, dramatically changing the air quality in cities around the globe.

    As countries around the globe struggled to contain the disease, they imposed temporary shutdowns. Scientists are now sifting through data collected by satellite and on the ground to understand what this hiatus in human activities can tell us about the atmospheric cocktail that generates city pollution. Much of this preliminary data was shared at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting in December.

  • • S.Korea to Replacie Diesel Trains by 2029
    This Will Cut CO2 Emissions

    (REUTERS), Jan. 4, 2021, -South Korea aims to cut some 30% of carbon emissions from railway travel by replacing all diesel passenger locomotives with a new bullet train by 2029, President Moon Jae-in said on Monday.

    Moon joined a trial run of the KTX-Eum, an electric multiple unit train as South Korea, one of world’s most fossil-fuel reliant economies, envisages a “greener” recovery from the novel coronavirus. Eum means link in Korean.

    “We will replace all diesel passenger trains with the KTX-Eum by 2029 and establish eco-friendly railway transport nationwide,” Moon said at a station in the eastern city of Wonju.

    Click now for the map.
  • • Even Organic Meat Has a Climate Impact
    Eating Meat isn't Good for the
    Environment -- Even When it's Organic

    (ZME Science), Dec. 29, 2020, -Organic meat, usually highlighted as friendlier to the environment, actually has a climate cost as high as conventionally farmed meat. According to a new study, which estimated the greenhouse gas emissions (GEI) resulting from different foods in Germany, the only eco-friendly meat is no meat at all.

    A team of German researchers wanted to explore the “invisible” environmental costs of food production, from land use and fertilizers to methane emissions and transportation. They focused on meat products, dairy, and plant-based food and compared organic and conventional production in each case.

    The results are striking. Compared to conventional farming, organic methods improve the emissions profile of dairy and plant-based products, reducing their impact on the planet, because organic farming bans the use of mineral nitrogen fertilizers, which brings down the emissions costs of this production method.

    But meat was the exception


    Click now to listen to or read the story.
  • • Keeping Our Air in "Lockdown" Condition
    Cities Could Save Millions On Public
    Health Costs and Gain Major Economic Benefits.

    (ZME Science), Dec. 28, 2020 - Cities that can maintain the air quality improvements seen during the coronavirus pandemic over the next few years would enjoy significant health and economic benefits, according to a new study, focused in New York City.

    According to the researchers, this shows the need for wider public policies to address air pollution, and also potential solutions that can be implemented.

    Like other cities around the world, New York City experienced a sharp decline in air pollution during the COVID-19 shutdown period. From March 15 to May 15, much of New York shut down, as many stayed indoors, not using their cars, and most shops and factories were closed down. It came at a high social and economic cost, but the city’s pollution was reduced sharply.

    Click now to read or hear the story.
  • • Reasons to Be Hopeful in 2021
    There Are Some Good Signs Out There

    Dec. 27, 2020(The Guardian)-2020 has been a difficult year, but there are some glints of light in the gloom. From nature-friendly farms to anti-ageing worms and even a way of conjuring vodka out of thin air, here are a few nuggets of good cheer to look forward to in 2021.

  • • Cooking and Your Carbon Footprint
    Changing Cooking Methods
    Can Make a Real Difference

    (ZME Science), Dec. 25, 2020 - Ever felt powerless in the face of major challenges such as global warming? Well, there’s some good news: the way we cook our meals can actually make a big difference in the world’s climate crisis, according to a new study in the UK. Up to 61% of food-related greenhouse gases come from home cooking, with different methods and appliances releasing different amounts of emissions.

    Food (and cooking practices) are often left out of the food conversation, in part because data on household cooking practices are so scarce. Yet understanding climate change impacts of different food items from cradle to grave is vital for effectively reducing emissions. Food is estimated to emit 37% of global emissions.


    Click now to read or listen to the story.
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  • • Plastic Drinking Water Pipes Exposed to
    High Heat Can Leak Hazardous Chemicals
    Lab Tests May Help Explain
    High Levels of Benzene in Water
    After Recent California Wildfires

    (Science News), Dec. 23, 2020 - In August, a massive wildfire tore through the San Lorenzo Valley north of Santa Cruz, Calif., destroying almost 1,500 structures and exposing many others to extreme heat. Before the fire was even out, lab tests revealed benzene levels as high as 9.1 parts per billion in residential water samples — nine times higher than the state’s maximum safety level.

    This isn’t the first time the carcinogen has followed wildfires: California water managers found unsafe levels of benzene and other volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, in Santa Rosa after the Tubbs Fire in 2017, and in Paradise after the Camp Fire in 2018.

    Scientists suspected that, among other possibilities, plastic drinking water pipes exposed to extreme heat released the chemicals. Now, lab experiments show that’s possible.

  • • Mollusks Contain More Plastics Than Any Other Sesafoods
    Think About That on Your Next
    Seafood Shopping or Fishing Mission

    (ZME Science), Dec. 23, 2020 - New research found that marine mollusks such as mussels, oysters, and scallops, contain the highest levels of microplastic contamination of all seafood.

    The team, led by members from the Hull York Medical School and the University of Hull has analyzed over 50 studies on the topic of microplastic contamination in seafood. These were published between 2014 and 2020 and worked with species ranging from fish to shellfish all around the world.


    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • California's Greenhouse Gas Pollution Is Increasing Again
    Blame it On Buildings and Cars

    (GIZMODO), Dec 22, 2020, -After five consecutive years of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, California saw an increase in its planet-warming pollution. That’s according to a new report from the nonprofit Next 10 and research firm Beacon Economics.

    The analysis shows that California could get back on track with climate policy by investing in a green stimulus. It also contains important lessons for national climate policymakers, including the fact that unfettered growth in the commercial real estate industry is incompatible with meeting climate targets.

    The 12th annual California Green Innovation Index, released early Tuesday morning, shows that the state’s emissions increased by 830,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent in 2018, representing a 0.2% increase from the previous year. This will make it harder for officials to meet the state’s legal mandate to reduce emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. To reach that goal, California now must lower its emissions by an average of 4.9% each year from 2020 to 2030.

  • • Court Blocks Drilling Set to Begin in Newly Designated Utah Wilderness
    Sorry, No Helium Wells For You

    (Center for Biological Diversity), Dec 22, 2020, - A federal judge today enjoined the Trump administration’s approval of a plan to punch a helium well into the heart of the Labyrinth Canyon Wilderness in Utah just two days before Christmas. Road construction was set to begin Wednesday.

    That Wilderness is too special to drill,” said Landon Newell, staff attorney with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA). “We’re grateful the court enjoined this ill-conceived project and gave this incomparable landscape a brief reprieve. We’ll be ready for round 2 with the Trump administration and company in early January.”

    The SUWA, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Biological Diversity and Living Rivers sought a temporary restraining order to stop the Bureau of Land Management from granting approval to Twin Bridges to begin drilling the helium well pending the resolution of a lawsuit filed last week. The lawsuit says the Bureau violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to take a hard look at the potential climate harms from the fracking project and failing to provide a reasoned basis for offering this land for leasing in the first place.

  • • Converting Carbon Dioxide into Jet Fuel
    Such Technology Could One Day Cut Green-
    house Gas Emissions From Air Travel

    (Science News), Dec. 22, 2020 - Today, airplanes pump a lot of climate-warming carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But someday, carbon dioxide sucked from the atmosphere could be used to power airplanes.

    A new iron-based catalyst converts carbon dioxide into jet fuel, researchers report online December 22 in Nature Communications. Unlike cars, planes can’t carry batteries big enough to run on electricity from wind or solar power. But if CO2, rather than oil, were used to make jet fuel, that could reduce the air travel industry’s carbon footprint — which currently makes up 12% of all transportation-related CO2 emissions.

    Past attempts to convert carbon dioxide into fuel have relied on catalysts made of relatively expensive materials, like cobalt, and required multiple chemical processing steps. The new catalyst powder is made of inexpensive ingredients, including iron, and transforms CO2 in a single step.

  • • Microplastics Revealed in the Placentas of Unborn Babies
    Scientists Say Particles May
    Cause Long-Term Damage to Fetuses

    (The Guardian), Dec. 22, 2020 - Microplastic particles have been revealed in the placentas of unborn babies for the first time, which the researchers said was “a matter of great concern.”

    The health impact of microplastics in the body is as yet unknown. But the scientists said they could carry chemicals that could cause long-term damage or upset the fetus’s developing immune system. The particles are likely to have been consumed or breathed in by the mothers.

    The particles were found in the placentas from four healthy women who had normal pregnancies and births. Microplastics were detected on both the fetal and maternal sides of the placenta and in the membrane within which the fetus develops.

  • • Heart Failure Patients Near Fracking More Likely to be Hospitalized
    And Plenty of Sources From Which to Choose

    (Allegheny Front), Dec 21, 2020, -Heart failure patients who live near fracking operations were more likely to be hospitalized than those who live farther away, according to a new study.

    Researchers at Drexel and Johns Hopkins studied medical records of 12,000 heart patients in Pennsylvania between 2008 and 2015.

    The authors reported “significantly increased odds of hospitalization among heart failure subjects in relation to increasing” fracking activity in the area near them. Heart failure includes any condition, like a heart attack, that leads to the inability of the heart to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.

    Older patients and those with more severe heart failure “seem particularly vulnerable to adverse health impacts” from nearby fracking, the authors stated.

  • • New Tool to Help Regrow Burned-Down Forests
    We All Need Some
    Help Every Now and Then

    (ZME Science), Dec. 21, 2020 - New research at the University of California, Davis with support from U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Cal Fire, and the U.S. Forest Service aims to understand how forests regenerate after wildfires.

    The team has managed to create a predictive mapping tool that showcases where forests may have trouble regrowing after burning down. This tool can be used to nurture those areas that could have trouble recovering on their own, an especially important task in the wake of the massive wildfires we’ve seen in Australia and the USA this year.


    Click now to read or
    listen to the story.
  • • The Food Industry is Skewing Research
    What Are They Hiding?

    (ZME Science), Dec. 18, 2020 - The food industry could be actively working against public health by influencing the results of studies in their favor.

    New research reports that around 13.4% of the nutrition studies it analyzed disclosed ties to the food industry. Studies in which the industry was involved were more likely to produce results that were favorable to its interest, the team adds, raising questions in regards to the merits of these findings.


    Click now to read or
    listen to the story.
  • • The Dangers of Wildfire Smoke
    It Can Carry Microbes That
    Cause Infectious Diseases

    (ZME Science), Dec. 18, 2020 - Breathing wildfire smoke, even in low amounts, means you’re exposed to noxious gases, plant material, and incinerated synthesis materials. It’s bad enough, especially for those with respiratory conditions. But there’s more: the haze can also be loaded by microbes, a new study showed.

    Wildfires over the past 3 years have resulted in lengthy episodes of smoke inundation across major metropolitan areas in Australia, Brazil, and the United States. In 2020, air quality across the western United States reached and sustained extremely unhealthy to hazardous levels for successive weeks from August through November.


    Click now to read or
    listen to the story.
  • • Amazon’s Plastic Packaging - What a Waste
    It Could Encircle the Globe 500 Times

    (ZME Science), Dec. 16, 2020 -The plastic packaging of the products we buy online is actually hiding a major environmental problem, a new report showed. Amazon, considered the world’s largest retailer, was responsible for 211,000 metric tons (465 million pounds) of plastic packaging waste last year, 10,000 tons (22 million pounds) of which ended up in the world’s freshwater and marine ecosystems.

    The waste includes air pillows, bubble wrap, and other plastic packaging items added to the approximately 7 billion Amazon packages delivered in 2019, said Oceana, an ocean conservation organization, who published the report. The plastic packaging waste would be enough to circle the Earth more than 500 times, the authors of the report said.


    Click now to read or
    listen to the story.
  • • Buildings: a Huge Source of Carbon Pollution
    Big Reason For the Emissions Uptick Was
    Increased Use of Energy In Buildings

    (GIZMODO), Dec. 16, 2020 - Carbon emissions from buildings reached an all-time high, according to a new United Nations report. In 2019, buildings were responsible for 9.95 gigatons of carbon—up from 9.7 gigatons in 2018—accounting for 38% of the world’s output of the planet-warming gas.

    The report, put out by the UN Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction on Wednesday, shows the world has a long ways to go to clean up pollution tied to buildings. But it also includes a roadmap for how to get there through a “triple strategy.”

  • • Plastic Waste & Camel Guts - What a Combination
    It Forms Huge, Deadly
    Masses in the Guts of Camels guts

    (Science News), Dec. 15, 2020 - Marcus Eriksen was studying plastic pollution in the Arabian Gulf when he met camel expert Ulrich Wernery. “[Ulrich] said, ‘You want to see plastic? Come with me.’ So we went deep into the desert,” Eriksen recalls. Before long, they spotted a camel skeleton and began to dig through sand and bones.

    “We unearthed this mass of plastic, and I was just appalled. I couldn’t believe that — almost did not believe that — a mass as big as a medium-sized suitcase, all plastic bags, could be inside the rib cage of this [camel] carcass,” says Eriksen, an environmental scientist at the 5 Gyres Institute, a plastic pollution research and education organization in Santa Monica, Calif.

    “We hear about marine mammals, sea lions, whales, turtles and seabirds impacted” by plastic waste, Eriksen says. But “this is not just an ocean issue. It’s a land issue, too. It’s everywhere.”


    Click now to read or
    listen to the story.
  • • A Rotting Oil Tanker: Major Problems in the Red Sea
    Could the Issue Be Fixable?

    (ZME Science), Dec. 15, 2020 - The Red Sea is at risk of becoming an oil-drenched waste, according to a new paper. It draws attention to the need of removing an abandoned, decaying tanker from the sea that holds approximately one million barrels of oil.

    The ship, named quite ironically the “FSO Safer”, was employed as a floating storage and offloading unit (FSO) for several years before being abandoned due to the Yemeni Civil War. Now it’s essentially a floating, derelict oil container. Although no longer in use, it still carries around one million barrels of oil, which is four times as much as spilled from the Exxon Valdez in the infamous 1989 spill. Removing the tanker before its current seepage can turn into a full-fledged oil spill is critical for the health of local marine ecosystems and the communities they support.


    Click now to read or listen to story.
  • • 3D Printing Is Not Doing Your Lungs a Favor
    A New Study Sheds Light On
    the Potential Health Costs of 3D Printing.

    (ZME Science), Dec. 15, 2020 -There’s little room for debate around the merits of 3D printing. That’s reflected in their growing use in homes, schools, and other settings where people spend a lot of time. But a new paper comes to warn that the printers aren’t harmless. The printing process can affect air quality and public health through the airborne particles it generates — these are small enough to enter deep into the lungs, the authors warn.

    “To date, the general public has little awareness of possible exposures to 3D printer emissions,” states Peter Byrley, Ph.D., EPA, lead author.

    “A potential societal benefit of this research is to increase public awareness of 3D printer emissions, and of the possibly higher susceptibility of children”.


    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • When a Gas Plant Moves Next Door
    Not the Best Neighbor One Could Have

    (Allegheny Front), Dec. 11, 2020 -Surrounded mostly by farmland here in Guernsey County, Ohio, 65 miles west of the Pennsylvania border, the Youngs have space to grow grass for hay. They also built their home into something of a tourist business. When a scenic railroad started running on the train tracks along their property, it would stop here. They opened an antique shop, and even hosted weddings in the outdoor setting.

    “We’re getting ready to retire. I thought we had it handled,” Marlene Young said. “We were going to do the horses and this and that and everything and relax, about even got it all paid for.”

    Visiting them now, things don’t seem handled. Big trucks drive past the house throughout the day. The farm field next door has become an industrial construction site. The air is often filled with dust — there’s a thick layer of it on their new truck. Some nights, bright construction lights shine through their windows.


    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • Up to 42,000 Gals. of Gasoline Spills Into California Drainage Canal
    The Kinder Morgan Pipeline Leaked It Into a Walnut Creek Waterway

    (EcoWatch), Dec. 11, 2020 - Walnut Creek, residents worry about the company's safety record.

    Locals are mistrustful of the company after a 2004 explosion on the same line killed five construction workers and injured four others, The San Francisco Chronicle pointed out. In this case, area residents say they saw Kinder Morgan respond to the spill before they were informed of what was happening.

    "They scared quite a few people on this street and no one was saying anything," Matt Dooling told the Chronicle. "This happened right where the 2004 explosion happened, so when they say that it's not dangerous, we don't really believe them."push this project through without carefully studying its risks."

  • • Your Clothing Fabric Has a Carbon Footprint
    Changing the Fabric of Our
    Clothes to Cut Climate Emissions

    ( The Revelator), Dec. 10, 2020, -Finding solutions to address the climate emergency means tackling the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions — those coming from the transportation, food and energy sectors. We’re learning to make more climate-friendly decisions about what we eat, how we power our homes and how we get around.

    We don’t often look at what we’re wearing, though. And we should.

    The textile industry pumps between 1.22 and 2.93 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. The result is that, by some estimates, the life cycle of textiles (including laundering) accounts for 6.7% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the equivalent of every person on the planet taking a 2,500-mile flight every year.


    Click now for the map.
  • • Ocean Floors Are Spewing Methane
    Abandoned Oil and Gas
    Wells Are the Reasons

    (The Daily Climate), Dec. 8, 2020 - The Gulf of Mexico is littered with tens of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells, and toothless regulation leaves climate warming gas emissions unchecked.

    Out on the deck of a research boat, Tara Yacovitch looked out to the water. In the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, the seascape is peppered with lights. And every light is part of an offshore oil or gas platform.

    Offshore platforms can vary greatly in size—some are as big as multi-storied buildings, while others resemble small but very tall rooms. The boat carrying Yacovitch and her team also housed a variety of science equipment: methane isotope readers, spectrometers, and other tools to measure methane levels in the air around these sites.

  • • Magma Causing Arctic Geothermal Activity
    The Arctic May Be Cold Outside, But
    it's Pretty Hot Beneath the Surface.

    (ZME Science), Dec. 7, 2020 -The North Atlantic region is awash with geothermal activity. Just think of Iceland’s volcanoes and hot springs, and you get a fairly good idea of what’s going on in some of these areas. It’s not just Iceland, either. Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic, is another area with rich geothermal activity.

    But we don’t know all that much about what’s causing this geothermal activity. Geologists are well aware that it’s a magma plume, but not much is known about the size and spread of this plume.

  • • Thanks, Pepsi, Coke and Nestles For Your Plastic Pollution
    They're the World’s Top Plastic
    Polluters For the Third Consecutive Year.

    (CleanTechnica), Dec. 5, 2020 -Break Free From Plastic’s brand audit, which is an annual citizen action initiative involving the counting and documentation of brands on plastic waste found in communities worldwide, collected 346,494 pieces of plastic from 55 countries. This year, the brand audit took a closer look at the essential work of informal waste pickers — especially in the Global South — and the impact that low-value single-use plastic has on their livelihoods.

  • • Rusty Iron Pipes Are Exposing Us to Cancer
    Exposure to Chromium Can
    Lead to Lung Cancer and Liver Damage

    (ZME Science), Dec. 4, 2020 -In the Oscar-winning movie Erin Brockovich, Julia Roberts plays an activist leading a lawsuit against Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) for contaminating water with it. The movie is based on a true story, ended on a Hollywood high note with a $333 million settlement from PG&E — the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit in US history.

    But all is not fixed in regards to chromium.

    While the substance itself is thought to have a neutral effect on health, certain chemical reactions can change its atoms into a hexavalent form that can create cancer-causing genetic mutations in the cells. Exposure to it can cause lung cancer, liver damage, reproductive problems, and other types of developmental harm.


    Click now to read or listen to the story.
  • • Deplorable Conditions For Pigs on a French Farm
    Their Products Have Been
    Pulled Pending Investigation

    (The Guardian), Dec. 3, 2020 -Undercover footage published on Thursday appears to show pig cannibalism and other serious issues at a supplier for a Nestlé-owned brand of frankfurter sold by most major supermarkets.

    Waitrose has suspended the pork products by bestselling French brand Herta while it investigates.

    Herta is being sued by campaigners for animal mistreatment and misleading consumers. The brand, which is sold in UK supermarkets, is 60% owned by Spanish food company Casa Tarradellas and 40% by Nestlé.

  • • Norway's PM Reveals Plans to Protect the World's Oceans
    The High Level Panel for
    a Sustainable Ocean Economy

    (nature), Dec. 2, 2020 -This week, world leaders are announcing a series of pledges to protect and sustainably use the world’s oceans. The pledges form the crowning achievement of the ‘High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy’ a multinational group formed back in 2018. The panel has sought to bring together research, published in a number of so-called ‘blue papers’ and special reports by scientists, policy- and legal-experts from around the world – all with the ear of 14 participating world leaders.

    Erna Solberg, the prime minister of Norway, co-led the Panel. In this podcast, she speaks with Springer Nature’s editor-in-chief Philip Campbell about the panel’s work.


    Click now to listen to the story.
  • Back Arrow




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.
  • The World's Most Controversial Tree
  • A Plant in Florida Emits Nitrous Oxide
  • Who's Sueing Who Over Gulf Oil Spill?
  • Up Arrow




    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.
    Up Arrow

    # 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.
    Up Arrow

    # 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.