Here are items that are of current, local or special interest. Submissions welcome (send to mailto:email@example.com). Updates will be infrequent during the summer so see also Other green news sources, New and Cool, and Good News
Epistle to the Ecotopians: Ernest Callenbach (1929-2012), author of the classic environmental novel Ecotopia among other works, died at 83 on April 16th, leaving behind this document on his computer. It provides hope and guidance. Joanna Macy helps with despair.
According to Oxfam’s new report Switzerland, eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity: The gap between rich and poor is far greater than had previously been estimated, with big business and the super-rich fueling the inequality crisis by dodging taxes, driving down wages, and using their power to influence politics. 1/17.
If Trump's Nominee Scott Pruitt Is Confirmed, 'EPA Would Stand for Every Polluter's Ally': Nominating oil state Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to run the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gives lie to Donald Trump's claim that he is serious about protecting the public from pollution. While the president-elect has waffled on climate change, he has been unequivocal about toxics.
Tesla Flips Switch on Gigafactory to Accelerate World's Transition to Renewable Energy :Elon Musk's Tesla and Panasonic have officially kicked off the mass production of lithium-ion battery cells at the massive Gigafactory outside Sparks, Nevada. 1/17. Electric Cars.
THE STAGGERING SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL COSTS OF FOOD WASTE: During this season of charitable spirit, holiday meal preparation, and reckless consumer behavior, the amount of food we throw in the trashcan deserves a moment of our attention. Fifty-two million tons of food are wasted by consumers and consumer-facing businesses annually — over 80 percent of all U.S. food waste. Currently, less than 10 percent of that food is recovered by reaching the 1 in 7 Americans without enough to eat. Food that goes to landfills breaks down in a heap without oxygen, producing methane, a gas with 86 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. These emissions are no small matter. Considered on a national scale, organic matter rotting in landfills accounts for 1/5 of methane emissions. In fact, if global food loss and waste were its own country, it would be the world’s third largest source of greenhouse gases. 12/16 see Solid waste.
Native people resist Dakota Access pipeline 9/16. 12/16 UPDATE: WIN! Reporters arrested; military tactics deployed images,women leaders 10/16. 11/16 update water cannon with mace sprayed in below freezing temps, fractures from projectile weapons.
According to the analysis from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) analysis, CA AB 32 and related climate policies have pumped some $48 billion into the state economy over the past decade while helping create about 500,000 jobs.Assembly Bill 32, also known as AB 32 or the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, requires California to reduce climate-cooking greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 — which meant cutting emissions about 25 percent from where they were at in 2006, when AB 32 was passed by the California State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. see CA.
Iceland's Upstart Pirate Party makes waves in election ally of Green, while the election didn't bring a Pirate revolution, it did see the emergence of new parties, a decline in support for traditional ones, and a record number of seats for women — 30 out of 63. Crowdsouncing its constitution. 10/16.
The biotech industry has failed to deliver on its promises for GMO crops. The NYT article followed less than a month after the biotech industry asked congressional leaders for $3 million in taxpayer-provided funding to “educate” the public about biotechnology and agricultural production. see GMO's. 11/16.
Superstorm Sandy’s Surge Was Extreme, but It Could Become the New Normal: Climate change means Sandy-level flooding could could occur once every 23 years—as opposed to once every 400. 10/16.
Two billion children worldwide affected by air pollution, UNICEF study says A report released Monday said one in seven children lives in areas of high air pollution. see Air.
The upper house of Germany’s parliament, passed a resolution on Monday that calls for the elimination of vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel engines by 2030. 10/16 Germany has led because of the Green Party inspired by Ecotopia.
Billions of Gallons of Animal Waste From Factory Farms Poses Health Risks in Wake of Hurricane Matthew see climate change and Food and Water 10/16.
The Color of Pollution: How Environmental Contamination Targets People of Color With about 42,000 active wells, Kern County, California is home to three-quarters of California's oil drilling and 95 percent of the state’s hydraulic fracturing (fracking) activity. This mainly rural region is the largest oil-producing county in the U.S. The influence of oil and gas is so great here that in late 2015 the county board of supervisors approved a new ordinance to allow drilling permits for tens of thousands of new wells to be fast tracked. Time span for the new ordinance? Two decades. Ongoing environmental review? None. Public participation? Not allowed. see Environmental Justice.
Toxic Algae Blooms Set Historic Records From Coast to Coast UCSC has experts 9/16. see .
Greenpeace Investigation Uncovers Studies Showing Neo-nic Pesticides Pose Serious Harm to Honeybees 9/16. see Bees (thanks Sabra)
when good forests go bad - an obituary for California oak trees: Related to a disease that caused the 1840’s potato famine in Ireland, sudden oak death (SOD) was first noticed in Marin County in 2000 when residents asked for help with tanoak trees that suddenly died. Tanoaks are crooked trees with porous wood grain and unsuitable for timber, unprofitable so their deaths didn’t receive much attention. 5/16
For 28 years, the U.S. Forest Service allowed Nestlé to pump water out of the San Bernardino National Forest under an expired permit, virtually free of charge, for bottled water.
In honor of fifth anniversary of the Fukushima disaster Interactive Map Details What You Need to Know About the World’s Nuclear Power Plants see Nuclear Power.
CA irrigating our crops with benzene and arsenic laden wastewater left over from fracking 1/16 see Environmental Justice.
Erin Brockovich to Stephen Colbert: ‘Flint, Michigan Is the Tip of the Iceberg’ Lead poisoning.
More plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050, warned the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in a report, The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics 1/16.
We have a climate deal in Paris COP21! Yes Oui Can! Activists take the streets despite ban after attacks to push for accountability and improvements. Activist art see Art. Soil can take CO2 out of atmosphere.
China Issues ‘Red Alert’ Over Devastating Air Pollution so 4,000 Bottles of Fresh Air Shipped to China, Company Struggling to Keep Up With Demand. video on effects. see Air and China.
Monsanto Handed ‘Double Whammy’ by Mexican Courts Over Planting GMOs also GMO salmon approved for sale, see below. see GMO's.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership—a trade and investment agreement involving 12 countries comprising nearly 40 percent of global output—confirms what even its most apocalyptic critics feared in terms of labor and environmental law. See Economics. 11/15.
New GMO-Free Zone Will Protect Traditional Farmers in Colorado: The zone will help traditional and organic farmers avoid the risk of transgenic contamination from nearby GE crops, particularly GE corn. 11/15.
Being Inside Is Making Us Stupid: How Indoor Air Pollution Impacts the Function of Our Brains see Air. 10/15.
UC sells off $200 million in coal and oil sands investments whoohoo! FossilFree UC: UC Santa Cruz became an active campaign in 2012. Since then we passed a resolution through the student senate and had the Board of Trustees agree to write a letter in support of the campaign to urge the Reagents to divest. Currently, the Fossil Free Campaign at UC Santa Cruz is working to build support among stakeholders within the student body, faculty, and alumni organizations. We aim to collaborate with other campaigns and our community to keep the pressure on to divest from a future of dirty energy. If you want to get involved, or just learn more, feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whales: Orcas: The California Coastal Commission has approved a $100 million plan to to double the size of SeaWorld San Diego’s orca tanks but there was one major condition: No more captive breeding. But dead zones and plastic plague them.
Shell Abandons Arctic Drilling Following ‘Disappointing’ Results whoohoo! 9/15. Obama pause 2 years.
6 Things to Know About the EPA’s New Pesticide Rules For the first time since 1992, the EPA has updated rules governing the use of pesticides, which will protect the more than 2 million workers who produce America's food. 10/15
Nestlé bottled water is tapping springs in the San Bernardino National Forest in southern California using a permit that expired 27 years ago... company’s CEO Tim Brown "... In fact, if I could increase it, I would.” 9/15.
Citbank (America’s third-largest bank), recently published a report looking at the economic costs and benefits of a low-carbon future. ..because of savings due to reduced fuel costs and increased energy efficiency, the Action scenario is actually a bit cheaper than the Inaction scenario. 9/15
The world’s oceans on which much of human life depends are under severe pressure, a new report says. Overfishing has dramatically reduced fish stocks. The thousands of tonnes of rubbish dumped in the oceans wreak havoc on marine life, while climate change is warming and acidifying them, putting them under further stress.
Amazing New Process Treats Wastewater, Captures Carbon and Makes Renewable Energy: An electrochemical reaction that absorbs more CO2 than it releases while creating renewable energy could transform emission-heavy industries. 8/15.
EWG’s latest analysis, “Rethinking Carcinogens,” takes a close look at new research on chemical exposures and cancer conducted by the Halifax Project, which involves hundreds of cancer researchers and scientists from around the globe. The findings of the Halifax Project add to long overlooked evidence that combinations of chemicals may cause cancer.One in three Americans will be diagnosed with cancer, yet nearly half of all cancers are preventable. Along with genetics, diet, lifestyle and viruses, exposures to toxic chemicals clearly contribute to this epidemic. 8/15 see Chemicals.
Coal is no longer king in America. That’s the latest findings from the U.S. Energy Information Administration; it lost its number one spot as the nation’s top electricity source for the first time on record this April. See Fossil Fuels 7/15.
New Study Says Climate Change Helped Spark Syrian Civil War (and thus ISIS?) NYT see Global Warming.
World's Oceans Clogged By Millions Of Tons Of Plastic Trash scientists estimating that a staggering 8 million metric tones of plastic pollution enter the oceans each year from the world's 192 coastal countries based on 2010 data. Based on rising waste levels, they estimated that more than 9 million tons would end up in the oceans in 2015. 2/15
Update 1/15 2014 Will Likely Be The Hottest Year on Record, Ocean Temps Spike. High sea temperatures contributed to exceptionally heavy rainfall and floods in many countries and extreme drought in others. see Global Warming.