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Environment

Environment
Climate Change Demands an End to Excess and Greed
Graham Peebles: Man-made climate change, and the interconnected environmental catastrophe more broadly constitute the most urgent crisis facing humanity. It has come about as the result of a certain way of life, a materialistic approach to living in which greed and excessive consumption has been championed. ... Systemic change to alter the socio-economic conditions in which we all live is desperately needed, but more importantly a shift in thinking, a change in consciousness is imperative ... The impact on the environment should be the first factor for consideration when making any and all purchasing decisions... Visit Website ]
Aug 19, 2017, 12:13pm

Environment
Exxon Mobil Is Still Pumping Toxins into Black Community in Texas 17 Years After Civil Rights Complaint
Sharon Lerner: “No point in complaining,” he said, looking out at the row of modest houses across the street. A block and a half from Gaines’s house, the street ends in an Exxon Mobil refinery that processes “sour crude,” oil that contains high amounts of sulfur. The process of removing the impurities and refining the oil into gasoline produces sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and other gases that can cause respiratory, neurological, cardiac, and other serious health problems. ... The refinery emits carcinogens, and several studies have shown an increased incidence of cancer in people living near these facilities. Exposure to several of the chemicals the plant emits has also been tied to increased risk of heart disease... Visit Website ]
Aug 13, 2017, 5:25pm

Environment
Preserving Indigenous Farming Knowledge and Practices
Over the centuries, indigenous peoples have provided a series of ecological and cultural services to humankind. The preservation of traditional forms of farming knowledge and practices help maintain biodiversity, enhance food security, and protect the world’s natural resources. There are approximately 370 million indigenous peoples in the world occupying or using up to 22 percent of the global land area, which is home to 80 percent of the world’s biological diversity. ... One example - Agroforestry - the deliberate maintenance and planting of trees to develop a microclimate that protects crops against extremes... Visit Website ]
Aug 11, 2017, 3:19pm

Environment
Hempcrete Could Change The Way We Build Everything
Joe Martino: As the name suggests, hempcrete is a building material that incorporates hemp into its mixture. Versatile and hardy, it can be used for wall insulation, flooring, walls, roofing, and more, and is fireproof, waterproof, and rot-proof, provided it’s used aboveground. Derived from the shiv or inside stem of the hemp plant, it’s then mixed with a lime base binder to create the final, negative carbon footprint product. Hempcrete is much more versatile and pliable than concrete, making it an easier material to work with. In fact, earthquakes cannot crack these structures, as they are three times more resistant to damage than regular concrete... Visit Website ]
Aug 9, 2017, 4:18pm

Environment
Fossil Fuel Subsidies Are a Staggering $5 Trillion Per Year
John Abraham, Guardian UK: Fossil fuels have two major problems that paint a dim picture for their future energy dominance. ... First, they cause climate change. ... Second, fossil fuels are expensive. Much of their costs are hidden, however, as subsidies. If people knew how large their subsidies were, there would be a backlash against them ... the subsidies discourage investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy that compete with the subsidized fossil fuels. Finally, subsidies are very inefficient means to support low-income households... the top three subsidizers of fossil fuels are China, USA, and Russia... Visit Website ]
Aug 7, 2017, 12:26pm

Environment
On one day in May, Italy got 87% of its Electricity from Renewables
Juan Cole: Italy is attractive as a market for solar energy, in part because it is a sunny country and solar is a much cheaper alternative to oil, gas and coal. Italy has high electricity rates, impelling a rush to renewables. Solar energy production was up 22% in 2016, and installations continue. ... If you want to see the future, you don’t look at existing power generation mixes, you look at the source of new power. In 2016, 90% of new power generation in Europe was renewables. ... The internet has gone gaga about China’s “ultra-adorable panda-shaped” 100 megawatt solar energy farm... Visit Website ]
Jul 30, 2017, 3:04pm

Environment
Plastic Chokes the Seas
Robert Hunziker: Plastic is not recycled. ... ... One of the great myths of modern-day society is that people recycle in earnest… saving the environment. Au contraire! Check out the ocean. It’s filled with plastic. Fish and seabirds eat it by gobs and gobs. Furthermore, according to a World Economic Forum presentation, The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics, February 2016, by 2050 there will likely be more plastic than fish in the seas, unless socio-economic policies change drastically... Visit Website ]
Jul 28, 2017, 2:46pm

Environment
On Electric Cars, the U.S. Is Stuck in the Slow Lane
Oscar Reyes: While Europe races toward electric vehicles, U.S. automakers are actually trying to make cars less efficient. ... the Dutch bank ING recently predicted that all the cars sold in Europe will be electric by 2030. More conservative estimates put it at 2050. Either way, most experts now see this change on the horizon ... Electric vehicles — or EVs — are already more efficient than their gas-powered counterparts, and could soon become cheaper too. High-end models already outperform conventional engines for speed and acceleration. ... Take Norway, where EVs already account for more than 40 percent of new cars sold. ... There, a publicly funded network of free charging stations is driving the surge... Visit Website ]
Jul 27, 2017, 12:52pm

Environment
Farmworkers Protest EPA’s Pesticide Ruling
Dennis J Bernstein: The decision by President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency to rebuff the advice of its own scientists to ban the brain-damaging pesticide chlorpyrifos has prompted protests from California’s farm worker communities, now demanding an immediate statewide ban of the dangerous chemical. ... EPA scientists have documented that chlorpyrifos can cause serious and profound neurological and respiratory damage, as well as developmental delays, autism and IQ loss for children — even in very small doses ... Dow Chemical contributed a million dollars to Trump’s inauguration dinner... Visit Website ]
Jul 22, 2017, 11:38am

Environment
Nuclear Power’s Annus Horribilus
Jim Green: This year will go down with 1979 (Three Mile Island), 1986 (Chernobyl) and 2011 (Fukushima) as one of the nuclear industry’s worst ever ‒ and there’s still another six months to go. Two of the industry’s worst-ever years have been in the past decade. There will be many more bad years ahead as the trickle of closures of ageing reactors becomes a flood ... With the exception of China, most nations are moving away from nuclear ‒ existing power plants across the United States are being shut early; new reactor designs are falling foul of regulators, and public support remains in free fall. Now come the bankruptcies... Visit Website ]
Jul 17, 2017, 12:20pm

Environment
Coastal Tribes Garden Clams to Preserve Culture, Improve Health
When the tide is out, the table is set. — Tlingit proverb ... In the Haida people’s creation story, the powerful trickster Raven encounters the first humans inside a giant clamshell on the shores of Rose Spit in present-day British Columbia. Though they are apprehensive at first, Raven eventually coaxes the terrified people out to play in the world. ... To some, the cold, rocky beaches where this story takes place may appear barren and uninviting. But to Coast Salish tribes, they are gardens that provide physical and cultural sustenance. And for 5,000 years, clams have been a central figure... Visit Website ]
Jul 7, 2017, 11:21am

Environment
Why Climate Change Belongs in the Health Care Debate
We know climate change is affecting the environment—but it’s also threatening people’s health. In general, preparing to protect people from the effects of climate change means we need a robust health system. That means we need strong health departments that have the ability to do epidemiologic surveillance and do disaster preparedness. And do good communication and education. We need a medical care system that is available to everybody. ... The health impacts of climate change for the most part are not new problems, but they’re aggravations or intensifications of existing problems. Poverty is one of the strongest predictors of ill health... Visit Website ]
Jun 30, 2017, 1:16pm

Environment
California EPA Becomes First U.S. Agency to Declare That Roundup Causes Cancer
The state of California announced today that as of July 7 it will list glyphosate, the main ingredient in the pesticide Roundup and the most common pesticide in the world, as a known human carcinogen under the state’s Proposition 65. ... Today’s decision by the California Environmental Protection Agency was prompted by the World Health Organization’s finding that glyphosate is a “probable” human carcinogen. The WHO’s cancer research agency is widely considered to be the gold standard for research on cancer. ... Glyphosate is the most widely used pesticide in the United States as well as the world, and is the most widely used pesticide in California, as measured by area of treated land... Visit Website ]
Jun 30, 2017, 12:56pm

Environment
Big Oil in the Rocky Mountain State: the Overwhelming Tawdriness of Government in Colorado
Phillip Doe: The stench of corruption and contempt for the people who are in the crosshairs of the urban drillers is so pervasive in this state that many have lost their sense of smell. This is not an unknown phenomenon in nature or social structure. Hydrogen Sulfide is a deadly gas that has an acrid smell as early warning, but as a broad spectrum poison it quickly deadens the senses, including the sense of smell, to mask its deadly potential. Olfactory fatigue its called, making it impossible for many to smell the corruption that is destroying our neighborhoods, our environment and any residual belief in democratic processes... Visit Website ]
Jun 22, 2017, 10:22am

Environment
We Can’t Fight Climate Change if We Keep Lying to Ourselves
Chris Hedges: African-Americans understand, in a way perhaps only the oppressed can grasp, that our character and dignity will be measured by our ability to name and resist the malignant forces that seem to hold us in a death grip. Catastrophic climate change is inevitable. Our technology and science will not save us. The future of humanity is now in peril. At best, we can mitigate the crisis. We cannot avert it. We are fighting for our lives. ... if we fight back, perhaps reconfigure our lives and our society to mitigate the worst savagery, dramatically reduce our carbon footprint and save ourselves from complete annihilation. The power elites will do nothing to save us... Visit Website ]
Jun 19, 2017, 11:38am


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