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Environment

Environment
Particulate pollution is worse that we knew, and is damaging ‘every organ in the body’
Lloyd Alter: Those little PM2.5 things go everywhere and are killing us. We have to stop them at the source. ... [PM2.5] is the fifth leading risk factor for death in the world, accounting for 4.2 million deaths and > 103 million disability-adjusted life years lost according to the Global Burden of Disease Report. The World Health Organization attributes 3.8 million additional deaths to indoor air pollution. Air pollution can harm acutely, usually manifested by respiratory or cardiac symptoms, as well as chronically, potentially affecting every organ in the body. ... the two biggest (emitters) are heating and driving. And almost half of the Particulates from driving come from tire wear, road wear and brakes ... heating - furnaces and water heaters ... "a domestic stove top emits a larger amount of very small particles since their post-oxidization is not possible."... Visit Website ]
May 25, 2019, 2:38pm

Environment
It's time to embrace American hemp production
Katherine Martinko: Hemp is a super-plant of sorts. It grows to the size of a human within 4-5 months, with thick stalks that pull heavy metals and chemicals out of the earth in a single season. It restores soil health, returns carbon to the ground, and, according to some farmers and advocates, has potential to reduce the agriculture industry's carbon footprint. ... it can be used to make everything from concrete, carpets, and clothing, to replacing petroleum, plastics, fibreboard, and more ... "Your entire house could be made out of hemp materials." ... As activist and hemp farmer Winona LaDuke said --- "Hemp is a return to a thoughtful and mindful way to clothe yourself. It offers a way out for all of us that is durable, local, biodegradable... and alive. If we treat this plant with respect, it can help us change the world."... Visit Website ]
May 23, 2019, 3:53pm

Environment
Revealed: 1.6m Americans live near the most polluting incinerators in the US
Oliver Milman: A total of 1.6 million Americans live next to the most polluting incinerators in the country, with lower-income and minority communities exposed to the vast majority of pollution coming from these waste-burning plants. ... The burning of household and commercial waste can give off a stew of pollutants, including mercury, lead and small particles of soot. ... The placement of incinerators appears to follow a well-established pattern of environmental injustice in the US, where communities of colour are far more likely to be housed next to sources of pollution, such as power plants, highways, landfills and other industry, than their white counterparts. ... “Incinerators have never been just about public health, they have been about, race, power, justice, governance and poverty”... Visit Website ]
May 21, 2019, 10:35am

Environment
Fossil fuels are underpriced by a whopping $5.2 trillion
Umair Irfan: The International Monetary Fund periodically assesses global subsidies for fossil fuels as part of its work on climate, and it found in a recent working paper that the fossil fuel industry got a whopping $5.2 trillion in subsidies in 2017. This amounts to 6.4 percent of the global gross domestic product. ... Carbon polluters are dumping their waste in the atmosphere for free ... Extracting fossil fuels damages and degrades the land and the oceans. Transporting coal can spread dust, pumping oil can spill, and natural gas can explode. When burned, these fuels emit air pollutants like particulates and nitrogen oxides in addition to greenhouse gases. ... The US military spends at least $81 billion a year protecting oil supplies ... the problems that fossil fuels cause, namely air pollution and climate change, remain, and their consequences disproportionately hit the poorest the hardest... Visit Website ]
May 17, 2019, 2:41pm

Environment
Cooking 'may turn homes into toxic boxes of air pollution'
Damian Carrington: Frying food and burning wood may turn homes into “toxic boxes” with high levels of air pollution trapped inside, campaigners have warned. ... Case studies commissioned by the environment charity Global Action Plan (GAP) showed that ultrafine particle pollution was higher inside than outside in all four of the properties monitored. Tiny particles are thought to be especially harmful to health as they can enter the bloodstream and flow around the body into vital organs. ... In London, the peak indoor pollution resulted from frying sausages and steaks. ... “With children spending increasing hours indoors, exposing them to ultrafine particles of pollution, urgent action needs to be taken to address the issue of indoor air pollution.”... Visit Website ]
May 16, 2019, 11:01am

Environment
A Mother's Resolve: Organizing for Local and Global Climate Justice
Yifat Susskind: A scarred hillside stood before us, a reminder of a 2014 oil pipeline spill. Oil pumpjacks rose and fell relentlessly around us. ... We had just arrived on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota, home to the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara nations. MADRE, the organization I lead, in partnership with the Indigenous Environmental Network, was accompanying a delegation of Indigenous women climate defenders from Colombia, Guatemala, Israel, Kenya, Nepal, and Nicaragua to meet with local activists about the devastating impact of mega oil and gas projects on their livelihoods and their lands. ... Natural gas flares, so many it was easy to lose count, spewed noxious fumes into the air everywhere we looked ... stories of mothers who had witnessed a spike in rates of asthma among their children; a rise in cancer and other illnesses community-wide; accounts of a rise in sex trafficking of young women and girls ... These mothers told us of their powerful inner drive to protect their children, merging with the determination to protect their families’ homelands... Visit Website ]
May 12, 2019, 11:07am

Environment
California, Nation’s Top User of Chlorpyrifos, Announces Ban on Brain-Damaging Pesticide
Olivia Rosane: California will ban a brain-damaging pesticide that the Trump administration's U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has delayed banning at the national level, the state announced Wednesday. ... Chlorpyrifos, which is used on almonds, citrus, grapes, cotton, walnuts and other crops, has been shown to harm children's health and neurological development. ..."Countless people have suffered as a result of this chemical" ... Chlorpyrifos has been shown to harm brain development in fetuses and lead to reduced IQ and reading ability and increased hyperactivity, in children. Children exposed in utero even have smaller heads ... California grows the majority of fruits and vegetables in the U.S., its ban will have a positive impact on other states, too... Visit Website ]
May 9, 2019, 3:53pm

Environment
Nearly every US National Park is plagued by 'significant' air pollution
Melissa Breyer: The report, "Polluted Parks: How America is Failing to Protect Our National Parks, People and Planet from Air Pollution," looked at damage from air pollution at 417 national parks based on harm to nature, hazy skies, unhealthy air and climate change ... Eighty-five percent of national parks have air that is unhealthy to breathe at times ... Soils and waters in 88 percent of parks are affected by air pollution which in turn impacts sensitive species and habitat ... Grand Canyon National Park (NP), Arizona, world-renowned for its breathtakingly iconic views, lies downwind of polluted air from coal-fired power plants in the Four Corners region, nearby mining, and urban and industrial pollutants from Mexico and California ... Thankfully, there is a simple solution: Reduce air pollution and transition to clean energy... Visit Website ]
May 8, 2019, 3:54pm

Environment
We’ll soon know the exact air pollution from every power plant in the world. That’s huge.
David Roberts: Satellite data plus artificial intelligence equals no place to hide. ... A nonprofit artificial intelligence firm called WattTime is going to use satellite imagery to precisely track the air pollution (including carbon emissions) coming out of every single power plant in the world, in real time. And it’s going to make the data public. .... Poor monitoring and gaming of emissions data have made it difficult to enforce pollution restrictions on power plants. This system promises to effectively eliminate poor monitoring and gaming of emissions data. .... And it won’t just be regulators and politicians who see this data; it will be the public too. ... If nothing else, the biggest polluters, and the biggest cheaters, will be exposed. No company, no country, will be able to hide or fudge its numbers. The public will know how to find them... Visit Website ]
May 7, 2019, 3:56pm

Environment
Silent Spring’s Encore
Robert Hunziker: Silent Spring (1962) exposed capitalism’s thirst for unabashed growth, bringing in its wake chemicals necessary to clear, and open, pathways for unrelenting growth, but, along the way killing the proverbial golden goose, ecosystems that support life, an upshot of unchecked usage of chemicals, still true to this day, although more so. ... the 1,800-page UN study will claim there is no time to despair as “an environmental emergency for humanity” is at hand, a triple challenge of climate, nature and food production ... five million people die and 86 million are disabled every year by chemicals, making chemicals one of the biggest causes of death in the world ... toxic man-made chemicals are routinely found by scientists in birds, whales, seals, polar bears, and other life forms, which have never had contact with humans, as well as spread throughout the global food chain... Visit Website ]
May 6, 2019, 1:38pm

Environment
EPA Releases Report Advising Communities to Prepare for Climate Change-Related Disasters
Madison Dapcevich: Policymakers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a report in the Federal Register outlining how local communities should start planning for near-future catastrophes associated with climate change. ... When it comes to planning, communities should assume "the worst-case scenario" as they adapt to the "debris-related impacts of climate change." Across the nation, flooding is expected to intensify even in areas where total precipitation is projected to decline. Climate change is expected to "increase the frequency and intensity of some natural disasters." Larger amounts of debris will affect wider areas, contributing to a greater risk of chemical and industrial release from facilities ... Pre-incident planning, the agency notes, should include pre-incident planning with key stakeholders to identify potential debris streams, evaluate recycling programs to see if they can be scaled up during disasters, consider waste collection, and address health and safety considerations... Visit Website ]
May 4, 2019, 3:49pm

Environment
UK climate emergency is official policy
Paul Brown: On 1 May British members of Parliament (MPs) became the world’s first national legislature to declare a formal climate and environment emergency ... No-one yet knows what will be the practical result of the resolution proposed by Jeremy Corbyn, the Opposition Labour leader ... The Conservative government ordered its MPs not to oppose the Labour resolution ... the government’s official advisors, the Committee on Climate Change says that will mean the end of petrol and diesel cars on British roads, a cut in meat consumption, an end to gas boilers for heating buildings, planting 1.5 billion trees to store carbon, a vast increase in renewable energy, and many other measures. ... The only bright spot for renewables is that the UK has the largest off-shore wind industry in the world, which is growing at a great pace and is encouraged by the government, although at the same time the Conservatives support fracking for gas and give large tax breaks and subsidies to the North Sea oil and gas sector... Visit Website ]
May 3, 2019, 3:28pm

Environment
Heat makes ocean winds and waves fiercer
Tim Radford: The seas are rising. Ocean winds and waves are growing in speed and force. The oceans could be feeling the heat. ... A 33-year-study of data from 31 satellites and 80 ocean buoys has confirmed suspicions. The extreme ocean winds are now fiercer, and the waves are getting measurably higher. ... Sea levels have been creeping ever higher, in large part because of the retreat of most of the planet’s great glaciers and the ever-increasing meltwater from Greenland and West Antarctica, and also as a simple matter of physics: as the oceans warm, the waters become less dense and sea levels rise. ... Visit Website ]
May 1, 2019, 2:41pm

Environment
When will Californians wake up to the Risk to Children from Nuclear Radiation?
Akio Matsumura: Based on the following facts related to the Fukushima nuclear accident, I have the following concerns regarding radioactive damage to ocean marine life and related health risks to both the children of Fukushima and/or the West Coast of North America: ... The latest radiation readings by a remote-controlled robot to detect the radioactive level in Reactor 2 was 530 sieverts per hour, the highest since the March 2011 meltdown. Radioactive winds flow toward North America every day and will continue until all radioactivity at Fukushima is contained. ... independent assessments indicate that, despite the Japanese government’s best efforts, hundreds of thousands of gallons of irradiated water “leak” out to the Pacific Ocean every day ... Ongoing radioactive contamination of the sea adjacent to the Fukushima plant results in increased uptake of radionuclides by fish and other sea animals, increasing the risk of long-term seafood contamination to all nations bordering the Pacific Ocean. ... radiation levels in the state of California seem to be higher than those of the city of Hokkaido in Japan,,, Visit Website ]
Apr 30, 2019, 3:06pm

Environment
Brazil: Under Indigenous Pressure, Police Arrest 19 Over Amazon Logging
teleSur: Police arrested at least 19 people in raids across Brazil Thursday that targeted environmental protection officials and companies allegedly involved in illegal logging in the Amazon rainforest. ... The operation followed a huge protest in the capital Brasilia by Indigenous people demanding better protection of their lands from miners, loggers and farmers, as well as new reports sounding the alarm over rampant destruction of the Amazon. ... The raids come as thousands of Indigenous people from across the country stage an annual three-day protest in the capital to defend hard-won land rights they fear could be eroded by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, a champion of mining and agribusiness, who took power on Jan. 1. ... Their concerns were reinforced Thursday by a global report showing that an expanse of tropical forest nearly the size of England was destroyed in 2018, a quarter of it in Brazil, home to around 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest... Visit Website ]
Apr 27, 2019, 3:38pm


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