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Environment

Environment
Hormone-Disrupting Weed Killer Taints Tap Water for Millions in Corn Belt
The Environmental Working Group: Seasonal spikes of atrazine–a weed killer that can disrupt hormones and harm developing fetuses–contaminate drinking water in corn-growing areas of the Midwest and beyond, according to an analysis of federal records by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). ...Atrazine is the second-most heavily used herbicide in the U.S., with more than 70 million pounds sprayed in 2016. It is used mostly to control weeds in cornfields, but it is also applied to sorghum, sugarcane and other crops ... Studies show that atrazine and similar chemicals harm the reproductive system and disrupt the nerve and hormone systems, affecting the brain, behavior and hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and dopamine. ... The European Union banned atrazine in 2003 because of its potential to contaminate drinking water sources... Visit Website ]
Nov 14, 2018, 1:47pm

Environment
Fracking Filthy Fuel
Graham Peebles: Burning fossil fuels is a major cause of greenhouse gas emissions (GGE), and, greenhouse gas emissions (water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O)) are the principle cause of man-made climate change. Given this fact, governments throughout the world should be moving away from fossil fuels and investing in, and designing policies that encourage development of, renewable sources of energy. ... America is home to hydraulic fracturing, where it’s been taking place for decades. ... Fracking has a substantive impact on the natural environment and the health of those living within the surrounding area. Earthquakes, air pollution, soil pollution, carcinogenic chemical leakage and contaminated groundwater are the primary risks... Visit Website ]
Nov 10, 2018, 10:53am

Environment
How the Trump Administration Is Putting Our National Parks at Risk
Daria Bachmann, The Revelator Millions of acres of ecologically and culturally important public lands could face permanent damage or destruction under President Trump’s energy-dominance agenda, experts warn. ... “The Trump administration’s ‘energy dominance’ agenda is prioritizing oil and gas development above all other uses of public lands,” says Laura Peterson, attorney with Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, a nonprofit organization that seeks to protect Utah’s red rock wilderness. “In pursuit of that quixotic goal, it is sacrificing Utah’s wildest and most remote lands.” ... Earlier this year the Department of the Interior ordered the Bureau of Land Management to simplify and streamline the oil and gas leasing process to lessen what it called “unnecessary impediments and burdens” on developers... Visit Website ]
Nov 9, 2018, 2:05pm

Environment
Butterfly Preserve on the Border Threatened by Trump's Wall
Claire Harbage: The National Butterfly Center, a 100-acre wildlife center and botanical garden in South Texas, provides a habitat for more than 100 species of butterflies. ... It also sits directly in the path of the Trump administration's proposed border wall. ... The federal spending bill approved in September includes $1.6 billion in 2019 for construction of the wall. In October, the Department of Homeland Security issued a waiver to 28 laws protecting public lands, wildlife and the environment to clear the way for construction to proceed. ... The planned wall would cut the privately owned National Butterfly Center in two, with as much as 70 percent of its land sandwiched between the wall and the Rio Grande... Visit Website ]
Nov 1, 2018, 3:57pm

Environment
The Great Drought
Robert Hunziker: The most hazardous global warming risk for society at large is widespread loss of grain production because of a synchronized worldwide drought. It would be a colossal killer. It’s happened before, known as The Great Drought 142 years ago. ... According to David Miskus, drought expert for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), more than lack of precipitation and high temps influence droughts. Droughts are amplified by overuse and overpopulation of land. ... s global warming heats up year-by-year, it’s only a matter of time before large portions of the planet become drought impaired, morphing into the dreaded super drought. ... “God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.” John Muir (1838-1914), Father of the National Parks.... Visit Website ]
Oct 29, 2018, 10:51am

Environment
A 14-Year-Long Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico Verges on Becoming One of the Worst in US History
Darryl Fears: Between 300 and 700 barrels of oil per day have been spewing from a site 12 miles off the Louisiana coast since 2004, when an oil-production platform owned by Taylor Energy sank in a mudslide triggered by Hurricane Ivan. Many of the wells have not been capped, and federal officials estimate that the spill could continue through this century. With no fix in sight, the Taylor offshore spill is threatening to overtake BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster as the largest ever. ... As oil continues to spoil the Gulf, the Trump administration is proposing the largest expansion of leases for the oil and gas industry, with the potential to open nearly the entire outer continental shelf to offshore drilling. That includes the Atlantic coast, where drilling hasn’t happened in more than a half century and where hurricanes hit with double the regularity of the Gulf.... Visit Website ]
Oct 23, 2018, 2:59pm

Environment
Climate Change and Its Staggering Refugee Crisis
Todd Miller: Research confirms that massive migration, into the millions, will be an inevitable consequence of global warming. ... Glacier melts are going to affect water flows and impact food production and migration. Heat and drought will also impact food production and migration. Environmental disasters are a major driver of short-term displacement and migration (though other studies have found that it is the gradual environmental degradation that causes movement in the long term). Saltwater intrusions, inundations, storm surges, and erosion from sea level rise—all issues facing northern Honduras—will continue to impel ever larger numbers of people to move. ... Current estimates for climate refugees are wide-ranging, and go as high as 1 billion people displaced by 2050... Visit Website ]
Oct 20, 2018, 2:02pm

Environment
Human-Caused Extinctions Have Set Mammals Back Millions of Years
Christie Wilcox: Mammals took over the world after the last big extinction event. Now, one mammal is undoing all of that — us. ... Life on this planet has toughed it out through five mass extinction events, in which huge numbers of species disappeared during relatively short periods of time. After each, life eventually rebounded. ... The keyword in that last sentence is eventually, though. Many scientists say we’re in the midst of a sixth mass extinction, with species dying off 100 times faster than they have in the past. And, according to a new study, it’ll take several million years for mammals to bounce back from the extinctions that have been occurring because of us. ... “With the extinction of so many megafauna, we’ve lost both a whole chunk of functional space and some of the longest branches on the evolutionary tree”... Visit Website ]
Oct 19, 2018, 4:27pm

Environment
The Ten Big Lies of Traditional Western Politics
Erik Molvar: Industrial oil and gas drilling is compatible with healthy wildlife populations ... Logging, grazing, or fuelbreaks can stop big fires ... Wild horses are the real threat to western rangeland health ... Ranchers are the real environmentalists ... Predators are killing our wild game (or our profits) and their numbers need to be “managed” ... Ranching is the cornerstone of western rural economies ... The oil, timber, and livestock industries have the right to extract private profits from public lands ... Local control would result in better management of western public lands... Visit Website ]
Oct 18, 2018, 11:44am

Environment
Coming: Hell and High Water
Jenna Ruddock: Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, and it’s a growing threat, with some 41 million Americans vulnerable to serious inundation and the toxicity that comes with it. And our traditional approaches to flood risks aren’t keeping us above water. ... A recent Associated Press study found that 327 Superfund sites—areas designated by the EPA as highly toxic—are increasingly vulnerable to the flooding and sea-level rise that will accompany a changing climate. The report noted that nearly 2 million people live within a mile of these 327 flood-prone sites. ... communities in these high-risk areas are overwhelmingly low-income and minority-majority—with few resources to combat the growing threat.... Visit Website ]
Oct 9, 2018, 12:28pm

Environment
Scathing Report Accuses the Pentagon of Developing an Agricultural Bioweapon
George Dvorsky: A new technology in which insects are used to genetically modify crops could be converted into a dangerous, and possibly illegal, bioweapon, alleges a Science Policy Forum report released today. Naturally, the organization leading the research says it’s doing nothing of the sort. ... The report is a response to a ongoing research program funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Dubbed “Insect Allies,” the idea is to create more resilient crops to help farmers deal with climate change, drought, frost, floods, salinity, and disease. But instead of modifying seeds in a lab, farmers would send fleets of insects into their crops, where the genetically modified bugs would do their work, “infecting” the plants with a special virus that passes along the new resilience genes... Visit Website ]
Oct 8, 2018, 11:44am

Environment
Drought-Laden Rainforests
Robert Hunziker: The world’s rainforests are under attack at a rate of 2.5 acres per second. Global warming and clear-cutting for growing palm oil and raising cattle are some of the biggest annihilators. The repercussions are devastating. For example, one of the consequences is harmful alteration of hydrological cycles for major grain-growing regions of the planet ... Disrupted hydrological cycles, which are only now being disclosed by new research, are one example amongst many of the after-effects of stressed-out ecosystems as a result of (a) global warming, (b) turbo-charged climate change, and (c) the persistent human footprint. The awful truth is that ecosystems across the world are stressed-out like never before. But, nobody sees it. ... Uncommonly stressed-out ecosystems occur most prominently where nobody lives, nobody sees, Antarctica, Tibetan glaciers, the Arctic, Siberian permafrost, Colorado River Basin, Alaskan permafrost Andes’ glaciers, Patagonia, Totten glacier, East Siberian Arctic Sea, ocean plankton, the Amazon rainforest... Visit Website ]
Oct 6, 2018, 10:12am

Environment
While Nestlé Extracts Millions of Liters From Their Land, Residents Have No Drinking Water
Alexandra Shimo: Just 90 minutes from Toronto, residents of a First Nations community try to improve the water situation as the beverage company extracts from their land ... The Six Nations are not the only First Nations community in Canada with a water crisis. There are currently 50 indigenous communities with long-term boil water advisories, which means an estimated 63,000 people haven’t had drinkable water for at least a year – and some for decades. ... The lack of water has been linked to health issues in indigenous communities including hepatitis A, gastroenteritis, giardia lamblia (“beaver fever”), scabies, ringworm and acne. ... “They told Nestlé that they wanted them to stop. Of course, they are still pumping as we speak.” ... legal ambiguity has allowed Nestlé to move in and extract precious water on expired permits for next to nothing. ... the inequality between indigenous people’s access to drinking water and everyone else didn’t start with water, but far earlier, with land displacement and colonialism. ... the latest example of an ongoing cultural genocide... Visit Website ]
Oct 4, 2018, 3:11pm

Environment
Documents Show BP Quietly Paid Just $25 Million to Mexico After the Worst Oil Spill of the Century
Nathaniel Janowitz: The tiny payout was part of a confidential settlement to dismiss a lawsuit relating to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, when a BP offshore drilling rig exploded on April 20, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico. It killed 11 workers and released more than 4 million barrels of oil off the coast of Louisiana — roughly 200 miles from Mexican territory. BP and the US government immediately set about addressing the pollution in US waters, but the extent of the damage to Mexican waters is still publicly unknown. ... BP spent at least $60 billion in total related to the 2010 spill, more than $10 billion of which went to affected US fishermen and businesses. ... Not a single peso has gone to an affected Mexican. ... The Mexican government was slow to react to the spill, waiting until the last minute before filing a lawsuit against BP, before voluntarily dropping it less than five years later in a $25.5 million settlement. At the same time, the Mexican government, under outgoing president Enrique Peña Nieto, made several multimillion-dollar deals with BP... Visit Website ]
Sep 29, 2018, 3:44pm

Environment
Latin American Countries Sign Landmark Treaty to Protect Environmental Defenders
Yessenia Funes: On Thursday, twelve countries—from Antigua to Mexico to Argentina—signed the Escazú Agreement during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. A first-of-its-kind human rights treaty, the agreement gives community members in these countries more say over projects or development that impact them and their environment. The agreement also makes it clear that these governments should be informing the public about potentially polluting projects, such as mining activity, as soon as possible. ... Most importantly, perhaps, the treaty draws attention to the dangers environmental activists can face in this region of the world. The issue goes beyond their ability to speak freely and critically. This year alone, at least 66 environmental defenders have been killed so far, per The Guardian, which tracks this data in partnership with human rights group Global Witness. Last year, 197 environmental defenders were killed worldwide... Visit Website ]
Sep 28, 2018, 2:27pm


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