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Environment

Environment
Arctic Heat Overwhelms Green Infighting Issues
Robert Hunziker: Arctic temperatures are soaring to new records... and staying there, ever since May of this year. Truth be known, the Arctic’s been heating up for years. Siberia recently hit 105°F. That’s not normal. It’s 30°F hotter than normal. ... But still, what has 33 years of green advocacy wrought? Answer: Record high CO2 in the atmosphere and nearly 80% dependency upon fossil fuels, same as 50 years ago. Which advocacy group celebrates that? ... some ecosystems are ultra-sensitive to changes in the climate system and thus serve as proxies or early warning signals prior to recognition of a looming threat by civilization at large... Visit Website ]
Jul 2, 2020, 2:19pm

Environment
Goodbye, Diesel Exhaust. California Adopts Nation's First Zero-Emission Truck Rule
LA Times: The California Air Resources Board adopted a rule Thursday requiring that by 2045, all trucks sold in the state be zero-emission models. ... The Advanced Clean Truck regulation will require manufacturers to begin selling zero-emission models in 2024 and to make those vehicles an increasing share of their sales each year until 2045, when all trucks sold in the state must be clean. The rule covers a range of trucks, including heavy-duty pickups, delivery vans, box trucks and big rigs. ... California has to cure the entire transportation sector — which is responsible for 80% of the state’s smog-forming emissions, 95% of its toxic diesel soot and 50% of the greenhouse gas emissions... Visit Website ]
Jun 26, 2020, 2:57pm

Environment
‘Their greed is gonna kill us’: Indian Country fights against more fracking
Cody Nelson: Expansion of drilling in New Mexico would threaten sacred artefacts and bring public health risks to area still reeling from Covid-19 ... Today, the US Bureau of Land Management is considering a plan, known as the Mancos-Gallup Amendment, which could lease land in the region for some 3,000 new wells – many of which would be for fracking oil and gas. The plan would expand drilling into some of northern New Mexico’s last available public lands, threatening the desecration of sacred Native artefacts near Chaco Canyon... Above the San Juan basin and throughout the Four Corners region is a vast cloud of methane – “the largest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane seen over the United States”, according to a 2016 Nasa study.... Visit Website ]
Jun 10, 2020, 11:20am

Environment
Air Pollution, Mental Illness, and Covid-19
Graham Peebles: Lockdowns imposed in response to Covid-19 forced millions of people to stay at home, businesses closed and a widespread hush descended. The major beneficiary of the controls has been the natural environment ... According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 90% of the global population breathe filthy toxic air. ... The bulk of air pollution is the result of burning fossil fuels for heat and power generation (e.g. oil and coal power plants and boilers) and fuel combustion from vehicles ... Worldwide, air pollution is said to kill around nine million people a year ... Contaminated air is also a significant factor in a person’s susceptibility to Covid-19... Visit Website ]
Jun 8, 2020, 1:57pm

Environment
A Federal Court Just Halted Use of a Highly Controversial Herbicide
Tom Philpott: Farmers planning to spray their fields with dicamba got a rude shock this week. ... On Wednesday afternoon, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco made a ruling that sent shockwaves through Midwestern and Southern farm country: It vacated the Environmental Protection Agency’ registrations of an herbicide that has surged in use in recent years—and generated massive controversy for its tendency to drift off-target and damage crops in neighboring fields and other foliage. ... The trouble started immediately. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, farmers in the South and Midwest reported millions of acres of damaged crops from wayward dicamba ... a major ongoing research project on pesticides and concluded that people exposed to dicamba in agricultural settings showed “elevated risk” of liver cancer.... Visit Website ]
Jun 6, 2020, 3:30pm

Environment
Flooding in central Michigan exposes decades of Dow Chemical’s environmental crimes
Luke Galvin and Lily Zhao: A major health crisis threatens residents of central Michigan after last week’s flooding that displaced more than 10,000 people and destroyed thousands of homes. There have been widespread concerns about potential chemical leakage from the flooded containment ponds at the Midland Dow Complex and the spread of dioxin by the flood from a Superfund cleanup site downriver to larger areas. ... Dow has been disposing dioxin into its surroundings through airborne emissions and direct release into the Tittabawassee River for decades ... Visit Website ]
Jun 2, 2020, 11:50am

Environment
“No Mow May” Campaign Asks Us to Leave the Lawn Alone Until June to Help Save Bees
Not mowing in May results in more flowers and nectar all summer long for struggling pollinators. Wildlife organization urges us to leave lawnmowers locked up until June. ... Not mowing in May results in a greater diversity and number of flowers throughout the summer, a British wildlife organization called Plantlife claims. .... The organization conducted an experiment in last year in which hundreds of homeowners agreed not to mow their lawns until June. Participants’ lawns produced a much wider variety of flower species and enough nectar to feed 10 times as many bees as normal lawns. ... Our results show these unmown long-grass areas are home to a greater range of wild flower species... Visit Website ]
May 18, 2020, 2:13pm

Environment
The end of plastic? New plant-based bottles will degrade in a year
Jillian Ambrose: A biochemicals company in the Netherlands hopes to kickstart investment in a pioneering project that hopes to make plastics from plant sugars rather than fossil fuels. ... The plans, devised by renewable chemicals company Avantium, have already won the support of beer-maker Carlsberg, which hopes to sell its pilsner in a cardboard bottle lined with an inner layer of plant plastic. ... “This plastic has very attractive sustainability credentials because it uses no fossil fuels, and can be recycled – but would also degrade in nature much faster than normal plastics do,” ... Avantium plans to use plant sugars from sustainable sourced biowaste so that the rise of plant plastic does not affect the global food supply chain... Visit Website ]
May 16, 2020, 12:08pm

Environment
Planet of the Humans Backlash
Yves Engler: The backlash may be more revealing than the film itself, but both inform us where we are at in the fight against climate change and ecological collapse. .... Despite the hullabaloo, the central points in the film aren’t particularly controversial. Corporate-industrial society is driving human civilization/humanity towards the ecological abyss and environmental groups have largely made peace with capitalism. ... It is a statement of fact that environmental groups have deep ties to the corporate set. Almost all the major environmental groups receive significant cash from the mega-rich or their foundations. ... Since 1950 US electricity consumption has grown 13-fold and it continues to increase... Visit Website ]
May 11, 2020, 11:36am

Environment
Your Perfect Green Lawn Is a Buzz Kill
Tom Philpott: The very essence of a lawn (closely shorn, uniform, weed-free) leaves little room for the sustenance that pollinators depend on—pollen and nectar from a variety of flowers ... Residential landscaping contributes to an alarming ecological crisis: a steep decline in the health of pollinating animals, whose services provide one-third of the food we eat. ... They don’t just power the supermarket produce aisle; pollinators keep forests, parks, and shrublands humming. ... Rather than provide a respite from the pollinator dystopia found on industrial farms, our lawns mimic it. America’s lawns cover about 40 million acres, an area roughly equal in size to the state of Wisconsin... Visit Website ]
May 7, 2020, 3:29pm

Environment
The Biomass Fiasco
Robert Hunziker: Stop cutting down trees for biomass... STOP WOODY BIOMASS! ... wood accounts for 79% of biomass production and accounts for 3.2% of energy production ... (1) Trees cool and moisten our air and fill it with oxygen. (2) They calm the winds and shade the land from sunlight. (3) They shelter countless species, anchor the soil, and slow the movement of water. (4) They provide food, fuel, medicines, and building materials for human activity. (5) They also help balance Earth’s carbon budget. ... the worldwide woody biomass industry consumes forests, gobbling up trees by the minute ... It is not carbon neutral. It’s a carbon emitter, the antithesis of clean renewable energy... Visit Website ]
May 2, 2020, 1:29pm

Environment
Review: Planet of the Humans
Richard Heinberg: The film is controversial because it makes two big claims: first, that renewable energy is a sham; second, that big environmental organizations—by promoting solar and wind power—have sold their souls to billionaire investors. ... the ways we use energy today are mostly adapted to the unique characteristics of fossil fuels, so a full transition to renewables will require the replacement of an extraordinary amount of infrastructure ... the only realistic way to make the transition in industrial countries like the US is to begin reducing overall energy usage substantially ... The future will be renewable; there simply isn’t any other option. What is very much in question, however, is the kind of society renewable energy can support... Visit Website ]
May 1, 2020, 3:17pm

Environment
Construction Causes Major Pollution. Here’s How We Can Build Better.
Zoë Schlanger: Buildings of the future will be grown on-site, says Wil Srubar. They’ll be made from hemp, or algae or specially engineered wood — or bacteria that can photosynthesize, like the cyanobacteria mortar he and his research team recently grew between a lattice of sand and water-based gel. ... “In my future world, we don’t burn limestone to make cement, and we don’t melt sand to make glass,” he says. Instead, essential building materials might be grown from bacteria that glow (bioluminescence) or from engineered lichen, so that walls are infused with the organism’s remarkable properties. Imagine a house that could filter carbon dioxide from the air or change color if harmful gases are present... Visit Website ]
Apr 25, 2020, 3:05pm

Environment
America’s Great Greenwashing
Robert Hunziker: Celebrating 50 years of Earth Day, Michael Moore, executive producer and the director Jeff Gibbs re-released their daunting and alarming documentary about the heart and soul of America’s Green Movement in a compelling film: Planet of the Humans (2019). ... It’s an explosive exposé of the Greening of America ... it exposes new pathways to multifarious failings within a horribly misguided and vastly misrepresented Green Movement ... effectively fossil fuel interests have “consumed the green movement” in various unorthodox ways ... The film thus exposes a wholesale abandonment of ethical standards at the highest positions... Visit Website ]
Apr 24, 2020, 2:34pm

Environment
Ten years ago today: Natural gas could be as bad as oil and coal
Lloyd Alter: On April 16, 2010 (ten years ago at this time of writing) TreeHugger emeritus Michael Graham Richard wrote Because of Methane Leaks, Natural Gas Could be as Bad as Oil & Coal ... "The problem is that methane is a powerful greenhouse gas - much more so than CO2 - and the more natural gas you produce and distribute, the more of it will leak in the atmosphere." ... Because of the rapid growth of fracking, more methane (which is what natural gas basically is) has been escaping into the atmosphere than ever before. ... Studies actually show that the effects of the leaking gas completely offset the reduced CO2 emissions from burning gas instead of burning coal... Visit Website ]
Apr 16, 2020, 2:55pm


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