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Environment

Environment
An Olympic-Sized Disaster Is Brewing in Japan
William Boardman: The 2020 Summer Olympics are coming to Japan — despite two major health scares: radiation from the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima and, more recently, the coronavirus. Over half of the coronavirus cases outside of China were onboard a cruise ship docked in Japan. ... There is no way to know how the coronavirus spread will play or what effect, if any, it will have on the Summer Olympics. But it’s clear that the Japanese government has a huge stake in minimizing the perceived threat ... The J-Village National Training Center is an Olympic sports complex that includes a stadium, 11 soccer fields, a swimming pool, a hotel, and conference center — all located about 12 miles from the ruined reactors at Fukushima. ... “Using Greenpeace’s calculations, people staying near the stadium could be exposed to a greater amount of radiation in just over a day than they would naturally experience in a year.”... Visit Website ]
Feb 24, 2020, 4:27pm

Environment
Apocalypse Now! Insects, Pesticide and a Public Health Crisis
Colin Todhunter: The vast majority of studies leading to the approval of a pesticide are carried out by the pesticide industry itself ... The public is being conned, according to Mason, by contributing to ‘cancer research’ with the fraudulent promise of ‘cures’ based on highly profitable drugs manufactured by pharmaceutical companies whose links to the agrochemical sector are clear. ... The genetic damage is caused by mutations secondary to a lifetimes’ exposure to thousands of synthetic chemicals that contaminate the blood and urine of nearly every person tested – a global mass poisoning. ... while scientific research confirms the adverse effects of pesticides, proving a definitive link between exposure and human diseases or conditions or harm to the ecosystem presents a considerable challenge, especially given the systematic denial by the pesticide and agro-industry... Visit Website ]
Feb 22, 2020, 11:21am

Environment
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Was a Cover-Up, Not a Cleanup
Alison Rose Levy : “On April 20, 2010, a fiery explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig ... unleashing a gusher of oil into the gulf ... leaked an estimated 3.19 million barrels (over 130 million gallons) of oil into the Gulf of Mexico ... (The Administration ) ultimately failed to remediate the disaster by:... Bypassing authentic remediation and instead pouring 1.84 million gallons of a chemical product called Corexit into the Gulf of Mexico without regard for environmental or health consequences. ... Dispersants do not reduce the amount of oil entering the environment, but push the effects of the spill underwater.”... A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Pollution found that crude oil becomes 52 times more toxic when combined with Corexit... Visit Website ]
Feb 18, 2020, 2:37pm

Environment
Cities turn to freewheeling public transport
Alex Kirby: Cities worldwide are making their public transport free to use. As passenger numbers rise, car use falls. What’s not to like? ... Transport is one of the big polluters. Cities in particular want more efficient, cleaner ways of moving people. The good news is that recent innovations suggest an effective answer: if public transport is free, more people are likely to use it ... Fare-free transit can also help to cut poverty. The benefits of maintaining a transit system that drives the economy and helps residents at all income levels to get to their jobs, while keeping commuters off the roads, are so great that some urban leaders say the costs should be shared fairly by taxpayers... Visit Website ]
Feb 17, 2020, 3:22pm

Environment
Menace on the Menu in Post-EU Britain
Colin Todhunter: PM Boris Johnson is planning to do a trade deal with the US that could see the gutting of food and environment standards. ... with a US trade deal in the pipeline, there are major concerns about GMOs, chlorinated chickens and the lowering of food standards across the board. But for Mason, glyphosate is a big concern. ... Mason has presented ... statistics on the spiralling rates of disease and illness among the UK public which correlate with the increasing use of agrochemicals, especially glyphosate. ... strong science suggests glyphosate is the culprit in the exploding epidemics of celiac disease, colitis, gluten sensitivities, diabetes and non-alcoholic liver cancer which, for the first time, is attacking children as young as 10... Visit Website ]
Feb 15, 2020, 12:06am

Environment
How do you build 600 thousand square feet of hospital in seven days?
Lloyd Alter: It takes a lot of preparation, prefabrication and people. The Chinese have all of this. ... a weird hybrid of prefabricated components that they build into modules on site ... This layout could reflect that wings of differing levels of contagiousness, for instance, are being isolated from one another to prevent cross-infection. ... Ventilation is obviously going to be a big deal with a virus floating around, so all the rooms are under negative pressure. ... There is even an airlock in each hospital room so that stuff can be passed through, and double-sided cabinets so supplies can be delivered without entering the room. ... The most remarkable thing about this hospital is not that it was assembled in seven days, but that they had all the components ready to go... Visit Website ]
Feb 10, 2020, 5:04pm

Environment
Banning Fracking: Politically Smart and a Climate Necessity
Wenonah Hauter Though the Democratic primary has just begun, one warning has been pushed in the press loud and clear for months already: Democrats who support a ban on oil and gas fracking would effectively cede the election to Donald Trump. ... But the facts don’t back it up. Meanwhile, the mounting evidence of the harms of fracking make a comprehensive ban the only responsible course of action. .... Drilling causes rampant air and water pollution, and an ever-growing list of public health problems. ... With methane leaking at every stage of the process, there is simply no way to make fracking safe. ... three simple truths: Democratic and independent voters want to stop fracking; climate policy is increasingly important to 2020 voters; fracking is a disaster for the climate... Visit Website ]
Feb 8, 2020, 11:58am

Environment
Trump Is Blowing Up a National Monument in Arizona to Make Way for the Border Wall
Ryan Devereaux: The blasting is happening on the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a tract of Sonoran Desert wilderness long celebrated as one of the nation’s great ecological treasures, that holds profound spiritual significance to multiple Native American groups. ... Celebrated as “a pristine example of an intact Sonoran Desert ecosystem,” Organ Pipe was designated as a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve in 1976. ... The expansion of the border wall under Trump has been made possible, in part, by a post-9/11 piece of legislation known as the Real ID Act, which grants DHS sweeping authority to waive existing laws in order to construct border barriers... Visit Website ]
Feb 6, 2020, 4:33pm

Environment
Preserve the Sacred Lands of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
George Wuerthner: Wilderness designation preserves many values. Designated wilderness is a storehouse for carbon and insurance against climate change. Wilderness preserves critical wildlife habitat and wildlife corridors. ... However, there is yet another value preserved and enhanced by wilderness designation. It demonstrates a commitment to the inherent reverence and spiritual significance of wildlands. ... In every human culture, we find that wildlands are at the core of hallowed landscapes. Sacred lands are places where the usual activities of any society are limited, and people approach these places with respect, humility, and awe. ... Every culture has a way of mountain worship. In American culture, we have hallowed landscapes as well. ... A common denominator of these lands is that people generally did not “live” among the sacred lands, but they did visit. And when you visited sacred lands, you did so with respect.... Visit Website ]
Feb 5, 2020, 3:52pm

Environment
Belugas Are Dying off in Alaska and Oil and Gas Operations Are to Blame, Says Lawsuit
Jordan Davidson: Two environmental groups made a formal announcement that they will file a lawsuit to protect endangered beluga whales whose numbers have plummeted recently ... The suit aims to void permits allowed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that opened up oil and gas exploration in Cook Inlet in southern Alaska ... (and) violated the Endangered Species Act ... The groups said that seismic blasting used in exploration and deep-sea mining causes blasts heard miles away. The blasts can register up to 250 decibels ... Those underwater blasts can cause hearing loss in marine mammals, severely disrupt communication between pods, disturb feeding and breeding grounds, and reduce their ability to catch fish... Visit Website ]
Feb 4, 2020, 3:52pm

Environment
Remove the Livestock, Not the Wolves
Greta Anderson: Wolves are smart, family-oriented animals and science demonstrates that problems with livestock increase following wolf removals. So why does the government keep removing wolves in response to conflict with livestock and hope that solves the same problem? ... Killing or permanently capturing wolves rarely solves more problems than it creates. Wolves are social animals and family is everything. ... A mix of accidental or illegal killings and injuries, untimely dispersals and disappearances, and vulnerable livestock in the woods in winter is a recipe for conflict. At least three wolf packs use this same territory in the Gila, demonstrating that it is prime wolf habitat, and maybe not such a great place for livestock... Visit Website ]
Jan 28, 2020, 3:25pm

Environment
This Problem With Fracked Oil and Gas Wells Is Occurring 'at an Alarming Rate'
Justin Mikulka: On February 15, 2018, a fracked natural gas well owned by ExxonMobil's XTO Energy and located in southeast Ohio experienced a well blowout, causing it to gush the potent greenhouse gas methane for nearly three weeks. ... The cause of this massive leak was a failure of the gas well's casing, or internal lining. Well casing failures represent yet another significant but not widely discussed technical problem for an unprofitable fracking industry. ... Casing failures occur when the steel or cement that's lining an oil or gas well breaks or cracks, which means the well can't maintain pressure anymore and creates a pathway for anything inside the well — such as fracking fluids — to leak into the surrounding environment. ... The fracking experiment has been a financial disaster. It has been a climate disaster. And it has contaminated large swaths of water and soil... Visit Website ]
Jan 27, 2020, 3:32pm

Environment
Climate-Friendly Heating: How to Stay Warm Without Fossil Fuels
Gero Rueter: Heating with coal, oil and natural gas accounts for around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. But that's something we can change, says Wolfgang Feist, founder of the Passive House Institute in the western German city of Darmstadt. ... "With good insulation and ventilation systems, it's possible to achieve energy savings — compared to conventional buildings — of 80-90% in new buildings and 75-80% through energy-efficient renovation in old buildings." ... The remaining demand could then be met with a mix of renewable energies. ... "I see district heating with renewable energies, and heating with ambient heat and heat pumps as important sources here... Visit Website ]
Jan 23, 2020, 4:40pm

Environment
Ninth Circuit Dismisses Youth Climate Suit, While Agreeing Government Policy Is Destroying The Planet
The decision finds federal courts cannot provide the youth with a remedy for their climate change injuries. ... Counsel for the youth plaintiffs vowed to ask the full Ninth Circuit to review the determination that federal courts can do nothing to address an admitted constitutional violation. ... The Court recognized that climate change is exponentially increasing and that the federal government has long known that its actions substantially contribute to the climate crisis. Yet two of the judges on the Panel refused to set the standard for redressing the constitutional violation, to protect our Nation’s children. ... In short, the majority ruled the remedies the youth plaintiffs have requested must be implemented by Congress or the President, not the courts... Visit Website ]
Jan 21, 2020, 2:28pm

Environment
Ozone Layer Recovery Is Being Undermined by Pollution From U.S. Companies
Sharon Lerner: While the ozone layer is rebounding overall, scientists have observed decreasing levels of the gas in certain areas. ... Chemicals used for everything from fracking to cooling appear to be the culprits ... Carbon tetrachloride, for instance, a potent ozone-depleting chemical that was used to make CFCs ... increasing use ... as a feedstock for other chemicals ... Levels of another ozone-depleting chemical, methylene chloride, are also on the rise ... In addition to being used to make pesticides and plastic ... is used in the “oil and gas drilling, extraction, and support activities sector,”... Nevertheless, the U.S. companies that release the chemicals undermining one of the world’s biggest environmental achievements have so far faced little pressure to stop... Visit Website ]
Jan 18, 2020, 2:21pm


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