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Last Updated: Oct 21st, 2017 - 10:58:21 

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Environment

Environment
These City Bus Routes Are Going All-Electric ― and Saving Money
Lyndsey Gilpin, InsideClimate News: Since 2004, Proterra has sold more than 400 buses to city transit authorities. The company has a waiting list of orders, and it recently opened a new manufacturing facility outside of Los Angeles that will employ 100 people and ramp up production to 400 buses a year. ... It's also pushing the envelope for what electric power might do for public transit. Last month, Proterra broke world records by test-driving an electric bus 1,100 miles on a single charge. The trip put the previous record for an electric bus―632 miles―to shame, and was more than triple the average mileage of a Tesla... Visit Website ]
Oct 21, 2017, 10:58am

Environment
New Study Suggests Insect Populations Have Declined by 75% Over Three Decades
Euan McKirdy: A new scientific study has found "dramatic" and "alarming" declines in insect populations in areas in Germany, which researchers say could have far-reaching consequences for the world's crop production and natural ecosystems. ...The study, published on Wednesday in peer-reviewed journal PLOS One has found that, in German nature reserves, flying insect populations have declined by more than 75% over the duration of the 27-year study. ... "The flying insect community as a whole... has been decimated over the last few decades," said the study, which was conducted by Researchers from Radboud University in the Netherlands and the Entomological Society Krefeld in Germany... Visit Website ]
Oct 19, 2017, 12:39pm

Environment
Toxic firefighting chemicals 'the most seminal public health challenge'
Christopher Knaus, The Guardian: A top United States environmental official has described the contamination of drinking water by toxic firefighting chemicals as the most seminal public health challenge of coming decades. ... The US, like Australia, is still grappling with how to respond to widespread contamination caused by past use of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (Pfas) in firefighting foam. ... The manmade chemicals share a probable link with cancer, do not break down in the environment and have contaminated groundwater, drinking water, soil and waterways... Visit Website ]
Oct 19, 2017, 12:32pm

Environment
Trillion-Ton Icebergs and Record Stock Prices
Robert Hunziker: Is there a relationship between high stock prices and crashing, splintering icebergs? Probably, yes. ... Record stock prices around the world reflect record world gross domestic product growing from $19T in 1988 to $75T today (it’s the Great Acceleration, in spades) which equates to lots and lots and lots of fossil fuel energy powering a 4-fold increase in economic activity, emitting greenhouse gases blanketing the atmosphere, retaining heat and ominously inclusive of the potently dangerous latency effect, meaning today’s CO2 will register as higher temps over the next decade.... Visit Website ]
Oct 13, 2017, 2:26pm

Environment
PG&E Power Lines Linked To Wine Country Fires
Paul Rogers: PG&E and other large utilities in California have a long history of being found responsible for major wildfires because of inadequate maintenance of their power lines. ... CalFire announced last year that it will seek to force PG&E to pay $90 million in firefighting costs. More than 1,000 lawsuits and claims are still pending against the utility. ... “It was more than just a lack of maintenance. It was a complete disregard for their requirements of vegetation management in rural areas,” said Burlingame attorney Frank Pitre, who sued on behalf of the victims... Visit Website ]
Oct 12, 2017, 3:40pm

Environment
A US Charity Is Helping Big Business Take Indigenous Peoples’ Water In Mexico
Tamara Pearson: US religious charity Living Water claims it is trying to help the poor, but in reality it is only increasing such inequality by supporting further privatization of the water system. ... The town of Puebla is a miniature version of the world’s inhumane water inequalities. ... Here, people living in the wealthy part of town get all the water they need, and Coca Cola gets first dibs on the best water in the state. Meanwhile, the rest us get running water for half an hour a week, or none at all. ... Right-wing senator Ted Cruz, VP of Goldman Sachs Heidi Cruz, and the owner of Halex Oil Corporation Mike Hale all make up the leadership of Living Water, which has also collaborated with Coca Cola on projects around Latin America... Visit Website ]
Oct 9, 2017, 12:00pm

Environment
The Oil Industry Needs Taxpayers to Prop Up Nearly Half of Its New US Drilling
Stephen Leahy: "Zombie oil" that ought to stay in the ground is kept alive thanks to federal and state governments in the US feeding it billions of dollars. This is oil consumers don't need, and that oil companies therefore wouldn't touch without these subsidies ... Subsidies are not cash handouts. They're a mix of tax breaks, tax credits, and regulations that forego government revenue, transfer liability, or provide services at below-market rates. Another significant subsidy takes the form of uncompensated government costs for fixing roads damaged by heavy fracking trucks. ... The US is awash in oil and has become a major exporter since Congress lifted the crude oil export ban December 2015... Visit Website ]
Oct 5, 2017, 3:12pm

Environment
The Gasoline Car will be History before you Know it
Juan Cole: The world transportation sector is a major source of carbon dioxide emissions, heat trapping gas that warmed up the Caribbean and contributed to the ferocity of the 2017 hurricane season. Puerto Rico, St. Martin and other islands have been wrecked and Houston suffered a major flood. This situation will only worsen if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels like coal, gasoline, and natural gas immediately. Imagine a hurricane season 10% worse than this year’s! ...The transformation is coming, and coming quickly. Remember, in 2004 there were no iPhones or really smartphones. Now there are billions around the world. Electric vehicles will be like that... Visit Website ]
Oct 4, 2017, 5:26pm

Environment
In Maria's Wake, Could Puerto Rico Go Totally Green?
Harvey Wasserman: There is little precedent for an entire geographic entity to lose 100% of its grid. ... But to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electric grid in a traditional centralized fashion would only prolong Maria’s agony while leaving the island deathly vulnerable to the next big wind storm. ... Puerto Rico’s best hope for a safe, prosperous, sustainable energy future is to take control of its power supply with a mix of renewable generation, protected backup storage, and a decentralized, local-based network of community-owned microgrids... Visit Website ]
Sep 29, 2017, 3:31pm

Environment
California Considers Following China With Combustion-Engine Car Ban
Ryan Beene and John Lippert: The internal combustion engine’s days may be numbered in California, where officials are mulling whether a ban on sales of polluting autos is needed to achieve long-term targets for cleaner air. ... Governor Jerry Brown has expressed an interest in barring the sale of vehicles powered by internal-combustion engines, Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board, said in an interview Friday at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. The earliest such a ban is at least a decade away, she said. ... “To reach the ambitious levels of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, we have to pretty much replace all combustion with some form of renewable energy by 2040 or 2050,"... Visit Website ]
Sep 28, 2017, 4:57pm

Environment
Assumed safety of pesticide use is false, says top government scientist
Damian Carrington, The Guardian: The assumption by regulators around the world that it is safe to use pesticides at industrial scales across landscapes is false, according to a chief scientific adviser to the UK government. ... “The effects of dosing whole landscapes with chemicals have been largely ignored by regulatory systems,” ... The UN report in March was severely critical of the global corporations that manufacture pesticides, accusing them of the “systematic denial of harms”, “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics” and heavy lobbying of governments which has “obstructed reforms and paralysed global pesticide restrictions”... Visit Website ]
Sep 23, 2017, 3:41pm

Environment
Red Fawn Fallis Gets Trial Date and Conditional Release in Standing Rock Case
Chris Walker: Red Fawn Fallis, a member of Denver's indigenous community, has been in jail in North Dakota ever since she was arrested at Standing Rock on October 27, 2016; she is the most seriously charged water protector, having been accused of possessing and discharging a firearm as she was being restrained by police near construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. ... Bruce Ellison, Fallis's lawyer - "There's no question that Red Fawn was set up that day, and we have received many things in discovery that will be supportive of the overall defense... Beyond making additional requests for discovery, Ellison says that he's motioning to change the location of the trial away from Bismarck, where he says the population is predispositioned to think negatively of water protectors... Visit Website ]
Sep 23, 2017, 11:36am

Environment
Nuclear Plants Plus Hurricanes: Disasters Waiting to Happen
Harvey Wasserman: Although the mainstream media said next to nothing about it, independent experts have made it clear that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma threatened six U.S. nuclear plants with major destruction, and therefore all of us with apocalyptic disaster. ... Throughout the world, some 430 reactors are in various stages of vulnerability to natural disaster, including ninety-nine in the United States. Numerous nuclear plants have already been damaged by earthquakes, storms, tsunamis, and floods. The complete blackout of any serious discussion of what Harvey and Irma threatened to do to these six Texas and Florida reactors is cause for deep concern... Visit Website ]
Sep 22, 2017, 2:58pm

Environment
Capitalism: The Nightmare
Paul Street: Can environmental catastrophe be averted under capitalism? Not likely. Shifting from fossil fuel reliance and other unsound environmental societal habits and practices—built-in obsolescence, mass consumerism and the endless pursuit of quantitative economic growth, accumulation and “cheap nature” resource appropriation—requires a level of coordinated social and public intervention so extreme that it is incompatible with continued capitalist control of the means of production, investment and distribution. It requires an empowerment of ordinary people and a radical rehabilitation of the concept of the natural and social commons... Visit Website ]
Sep 21, 2017, 4:57pm

Environment
China to Ban Sale of Fossil Fuel Vehicles
Donald Kaufman: China, the world’s second-largest economy, plans to cut off all sales of combustion-engine automobiles. According to TechCrunch, the government is in the process of creating incentive programs for companies that make efforts to develop electric vehicles. ... China is following the lead of France, which announced in July that it will end sales of fossil fuel cars by 2040. ... India plans to end gas and diesel car sales by 2030, while the global leader—Norway, which now has close to 40 percent of new hybrid, electric or hydrogen registered vehicles—plans to end all gas and diesel sales by 2025... Visit Website ]
Sep 16, 2017, 3:25pm


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