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Environment

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

Environment
Sustainable consumption versus waste
Lloyd Alter: How well we utilize a variety of things that we buy? ... Vehicles: As of 2019, the average age of cars and light trucks in the United States was 11.8 years, up from 8.4 years in 1995. In comparison, the average age of cars and vans in the United Kingdom in 2017 was 8.1 years. ... Smartphones: The average interval between consumers upgrading smartphones in the United States in 2018 was 24.7 months, up from 22.7 months in 2016. In Great Britain in 2018 the average interval was 27.7 months. ... Clothing: In the United States, the average number of times a new garment is worn (by the original owner or as a hand-me-down) before it ceases to be used was 35 in 2016, down from 41 in 2002, while in the European Union in 2016 it was 96... Visit Website ]
Jan 14, 2020, 4:35pm

Environment
'Like sending bees to war': the deadly truth behind your almond milk obsession
Annette McGivney: Bees are essential to the functioning of America’s titanic almond industry – and billions are dying in the process .... Commercial beekeepers who send their hives to the almond farms are seeing their bees die in record numbers, and nothing they do seems to stop the decline. ... Beekeepers attributed the high mortality rate to pesticide exposure, diseases from parasites and habitat loss. ... Pesticides are used for all kinds of crops across the state, but the almond, at 35m lb a year, is doused with greater absolute quantities than any other. One of the most widely applied pesticides is the herbicide glyphosate (AKA Roundup), which is a staple of large-scale almond growers and has been shown to be lethal to bees as well as cause cancer in humans... Visit Website ]
Jan 13, 2020, 12:28pm

Environment
UN Orders Canada to Halt Work on Trans Mountain Pipeline
Blue River BC — A new United Nations report orders Canada to cease construction on the Trans Mountain Pipeline until informed consent is obtained from the Secwepemc people. ... “Now it is clear to the whole world every minute that Canada continues construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline is a violation of the basic human rights of Indigenous people.” ... That was how land and water defender Kanahus Manuel responded to the newly released United Nations report that has denounced Canada’s major resource projects on Indigenous lands saying they could “cause irreparable harm to indigenous peoples rights, culture, lands, territories and way of life.” ... The report orders Canada to cease construction on the Trans Mountain Pipeline, and to cancel all pipeline permits and permission ... Visit Website ]
Jan 11, 2020, 3:29pm

Environment
Into The Raging Sea - Pacific Islanders are marrying Space Age technology with ancestral wisdom
Maria Gallucci: Yap, part of the Federated States of Micronesia, hovers just north of the equator, roughly 1,000 miles east of the Philippines ... Dengue fever, a painful mosquito-borne disease, was spreading on the main island, and clinics on outer islands urgently needed preventative medical supplies. But Yap’s main means of transportation, a diesel-burning cargo ship, wasn’t working. ... In early September, hospital staff loaded packages onto two 50-foot, double-hulled sailing canoes, called vaka motus. Ten sailors then zipped between Yap’s islands, hoisting sails and using wooden paddles, ducking into aquamarine lagoons when storms raged. Small engines burning coconut oil gave an extra boost, while solar panels replenished batteries to charge communications equipment... Visit Website ]
Jan 8, 2020, 4:17pm

Environment
Humanity Can’t Recycle Its Way Out of Consumption Problems
Valerie Vande Panne : The point made by examining the entire life cycle of plastic is that we will never—no, never—solve the problem of plastic simply by dealing with the end waste products. ... The bigger questions we would be wise to ask are who is making it, and why? ... The who may or may not surprise you, and includes ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, Dow DuPont, Conoco Phillips and more. ... Plastic is a waste product of oil and gas, and those companies could have paid to dispose of the waste properly—but instead turned the waste into “a whole galaxy of things to make life better on earth,” the documentary quotes (The Story of Plastic), including fabrics, insecticides, cosmetics, and weed killers. Ninety-nine percent of what plastic is made of is fossil fuels... Visit Website ]
Jan 6, 2020, 12:52pm

Environment
Bank of England unveils climate stress test
Kieran Cooke: The warming world means climate stress now permeates every part of society. And so an entire financial system which has underpinned the growth of a global economy largely dependent on fossil fuels must be reoriented to deal with what is fast becoming a full-blown crisis. ... A campaign to halt or withdraw multi-million dollar investments from industries associated with fossil fuel use is gaining momentum. And the central banks – the institutions responsible for regulating countries’ financial systems – are now taking action. ... Under the (Bank If England) BOE’s stress test framework, banks and insurance companies will be required to go through their books to evaluate their exposure to the impacts of climate change... Visit Website ]
Jan 4, 2020, 3:08pm

Environment
Trump’s Plans to Strip Clean Water Protections Leave New Mexico Fearing Pollution and Health Risks
Anna M. Phillips: Early in the coming year, President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency plans to roll back clean water rules, abolishing limits on how much pollution can be dumped into small streams and wetlands. ... Federal data suggest 81% of streams in the Southwest would lose protections. A large share of streams in California and other Western states will be hard hit. ... Nowhere are the stakes as high as in New Mexico. Environmental regulators in the state estimate that the new rule could leave 96% of the state’s waterways and wetlands unprotected from pollution from coal mines, factory waste, pesticide runoff and other sources. ... And New Mexico does not have its own regulations to fill the void... Visit Website ]
Jan 3, 2020, 12:26pm

Environment
Dirty Air and Water Are Killing Us
Michelle Chen: The way we live is killing us. .... Pollution—whether it comes from a car’s tailpipe, a coal-fired power plant, or a toxic waste dump—claimed more than eight million lives around the world in 2017, fully 15 percent of all deaths. ... In fact, pollution is the world’s leading cause of death, ahead of tobacco use, drug and alcohol use, and even war. ... (But one of the top countries for pollution-related death is among the richest: the United States ranks number seven, with some 197,000 deaths due to pollution. ) ... Occupational hazards, which are specifically related to the work environment, cause about 800,000 deaths through “occupational carcinogens, second-hand smoke, particulates, gases, and fumes.” ... Visit Website ]
Jan 1, 2020, 3:33pm

Environment
The Key to Solving the Climate Crisis Is Beneath Our Feet
Ellen Brown: The biggest environmental polluters ... are big agribusiness and factory farming, with six powerful food industry giants – Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Dean Foods, Dow AgroSciences, Tyson and Monsanto (now merged with Bayer) – playing a major role. .... Oil-dependent farming, industrial livestock operations, the clearing of carbon-storing fields and forests, the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and the combustion of fuel to process and distribute food are estimated to be responsible for as much as one-half of human-caused pollution. ... If every acre of farmland globally were returned to a soil carbon level of just 3%, 1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide would be removed from the atmosphere and stored in the soil ... How - Through “regenerative” farming practices ... planting cover crops, no-till farming, rotating crops, reducing chemicals and fertilizers, and managed grazing... Visit Website ]
Dec 26, 2019, 12:07pm

Environment
The Amazon at a Tipping Point
Robert Hunziker: The Amazon rainforest is a crucial life-support ecosystem. Without its wondrous strength and power to generate hydrologic systems across the sky (as far north as Iowa), absorb and store carbon (CO2), and its miraculous life-giving endless supply of oxygen, civilization would cease to exist beyond scattered tribes, here and there. ... “Today, we stand exactly in a moment of destiny: The tipping point is here, it is now.” ... Regarding the vastness of the Amazonian rainforest, its functionality is so worldly powerful that loss is incomprehensible... Visit Website ]
Dec 24, 2019, 11:40am

Environment
Trump’s North America Trade Deal Is Poised to Worsen Climate Change—But Dems Don’t Seem To Mind
Rachel M. Cohen: "This final deal poses very real threats to our climate and communities and ignores nearly all of the fundamental environmental fixes consistently outlined by the environmental community ... the deal does not even mention climate change, fails to adequately address toxic pollution, includes weak environmental standards and an even weaker enforcement mechanism, supports fossil fuels, and allows oil and gas corporations to challenge climate and environmental protections ... Climate advocates point to the growing problem of “outsourced” pollution—where wealthier countries like the United States and Japan take credit for improving their own domestic environmental standards, while then importing more goods from heavy-polluting countries... Visit Website ]
Dec 21, 2019, 2:55pm

Environment
The Looming U.S. Water Crisis
Andreea Sterea: According to the World Economic Forum, the global water crisis is the fourth major threat of our civilization. In fact, studies warn that two-thirds of the global population could be living in water-stressed countries by 2025 — just a few short years away. ... One would think that the most powerful country in the world would enjoy clean tap water every day. Yet thanks to inequality and infrastructure decay, millions of Americans drink unsafe tap water from systems that violate health standards ... What is even more concerning is that U.S. groundwater is facing depletion, with industries and people digging ever deeper for water that used to come easy... water supplies will undergo significant variations in response to climate change... Visit Website ]
Dec 20, 2019, 1:50pm

Environment
Revealed: Denka lobbied to undermine science behind ‘likely’ cancer-causing toxin
Emily Holden & Oliver Laughland: Chemical manufacturer launched aggressive campaign instead of reining in pollution, according to documents ... Chloroprene, the primary constituent of the synthetic rubber neoprene, is the major air pollutant in the town of Reserve, Louisiana, an area which according to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has the highest risk of cancer due to airborne toxins anywhere in the US. ... For years Denka has been quietly fighting to discount the underlying science that proves chloroprene is a dangerous carcinogen even in low amounts. ... The decision on chloroprene could also set a precedent for other chemical manufacturers to seek reviews to the science that has deemed their products unsafe. ... the type of model Denka is backing is also under discussion in evaluations of two industrial solvents that make people ill, methylene chloride and NMP... Visit Website ]
Dec 19, 2019, 11:01am

Environment
Watchdog report: Agencies bungled air-pollution response during Hurricane Harvey
Naveena Sadasivam: As Hurricane Harvey barreled toward Houston in 2017, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the state environmental agency, shut down its expensive air quality monitors in the area to protect their equipment. ... Over the next week, petrochemical plants and other industrial facilities around Houston released hundreds of tons of toxic chemicals into the air. ... An oil storage tank at a Valero plant released 12.5 tons of cancer-causing chemicals such as benzene, hexane and toluene. .... An explosion at a nearby chemical plant resulted in a series of fires. The entire time, state and federal regulators weren’t keeping track of the region’s air quality... Even as residents reported headaches and nausea, the EPA and TCEQ reassured the public that the air quality was fine... Visit Website ]
Dec 17, 2019, 4:37pm


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