10 in 2 - Week of December 11th - climate change broke the algorithm

  • This is your 10 in 2 for the week of December 11th

 

 

...so here we go:

 

  1. New research, published Wednesday in Science Advances, is the largest study ever conducted on fracking’s health effects. It found that mothers who live very close to a fracking well are more likely to give birth to a less healthy child with a low birth weight—and low birth weight can lead to poorer health throughout a person’s life. (The Atlantic)

  2. When checking November meteorological data from a site in Alaska, scientists discovered their climate monitoring station had reported no data for the entire month. Upon closer inspection, they realized an algorithm had removed all the data from that Arctic site for the month of November; it simply thought it was an outlier. It was not. Climate change broke the algorithm. (CNN)

  3. Rock salt helps reduce winter road accidents. But it can also have serious, negative effects on aquatic ecosystems. At high concentrations, salt can be fatal to some aquatic animals and can also change the way the water mixes and lead to the formation of salty pockets near the bottom of lakes, creating biological dead zones. (CNN)

  4. Boyan Slat, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands, created a  u-shaped buoy made of high-density polyethylene nearly two kilometers in length, with a screen extending a few meters below. With any luck, five of these buoys will be deployed in the great pacific garbage patch by 2020. (Singularity Hub)

  5. David Attenborough warns that “The damage we are inflicting on species and ecosystems is so extensive and profound that scientists now believe we are witnessing Earth’s sixth mass extinction event – the last one marked the end of the dinosaurs,” (Inverse)

  6. World Bank, which provides loans to developing countries to foster economic growth, announced on December 12 that it will no longer offer financial support for oil and gas exploration after 2019. It is important to note that this is not necessarily a moral decision: The economics surrounding the energy sector are increasingly making it more fiscally attractive to switch to renewable energy. (Science Alert)

  7. In the opinion section of the Guardian, an atmospheric scientist for NASA named Peter Kalmus argues that because 25,000 of his colleagues flew to a conference last weekend, leaving a colossal carbon footprint in their wake, such action makes their warnings less credible to the public. He calculates the emissions from these flights emitted 30,000 tonnes of CO2. (The Guardian)

  8. A new report, conducted by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany,  found that around 90 percent of the plastic polluting our oceans comes from just ten rivers. The biggest offenders are indeed two of the largest rivers in the world, the Yangtze and the Ganges carrying over 900,000 tons of plastic between them to the ocean every year. (New York Post)

  9. Using taxpayer dollars, the Environmental Protection Agency has hired a cutting-edge Republican PR firm that specializes in digging up opposition research, to help Administrator Scott Pruitt’s office track and shape press coverage of the agency. This. Is. fine. (Mother Jones)

  10. The tiny Pacific island nation of Palau has introduced a new law requiring visitors to sign a pledge not to harm the environment before entering the country. Visitors will be required to sign before proceeding through immigration, making a formal promise to the children of Palau to “tread lightly, act kindly and explore lightly”. (The Guardian)

 



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10 in 2 - Week of December 4th - enjoy crying for your planet

This is your 10 in 2 for the week of December 4th

 

 

...so here we go:

 

  1. According to The Guardian, JBS, Cargill and Tyson—three of the world’s largest meat producersemitted more greenhouse gas last year than all of France and nearly as much as the biggest oil companies. This is a needed reminder that raising animals for food emits more greenhouse gas than all the cars, planes, and other forms of transportation combined and that eating less meat is one of the greatest environmentalist actions you can take.

  2. Academic Jennifer Good analyzed two weeks of hurricane coverage during the height of hurricane season on eight major TV networks, and found that about 60% of the stories included the word Trump, and only about 5% mentioned climate change. As the weather gets worse, we need journalism to get better.

  3. Britain and other European governments have been accused of underestimating the health risks from shipping pollution following research which shows that one giant container ship can emit almost the same amount of cancer and asthma-causing chemicals as 50m cars. (The Guardian)

  4. More than 200 countries signed a U.N. resolution in Nairobi on Wednesday to eliminate plastic pollution in the sea, a move that many hope will pave the way to a legally binding treaty. (Reuters)

  5. Native American tribes and environmental organizations have already filed lawsuits challenging Trump’s action scaling back Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante.  An analysis by environmental and natural resources law scholars comes to the conclusion that the president’s action is illegal and will likely be overturned in court. (Alternet)

  6. Bitcoin has been all over the news this fall, and especially this week for breaking records almost every day. Recently I shared with you about the staggering environmental costs of powering all the computers that keep bitcoin humming. This week I have been reading about a different take which essentially argues that blockchain technology could create the perfect tool for a decentralized, free market for emissions. I’m not sure who is right on this one, and I am not sure anyone can really know, yet. (Medium)

  7. Quartz published a good reminder this week about how much of the emissions reductions in rich countries have happened simply because they’ve exported them to poor countries. When China produces phones, toys, or clothes, the resulting emissions get added to China’s account even if the product is consumed in the US or UK. A 2008 study found that about a third of China’s emissions were due to exports. (QZ.com)

  8. A study by scientist Evan Mills, with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, revealed that legalized indoor marijuana-growing operations account for 1% of total electricity use in the US, at a cost of $6bn per year. Annually, such consumption produces 15m tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equal to that of three million cars. Look for that to only increase, as more states legalize recreational pot in 2018. (The Guardian)

  9. In the 1980's, it took 133 wind turbines to build a 10 MW wind farm. Soon, one turbine will be enough. The first of these “megaturbines” with rotors as long as two football fields will be finished next year, and up and running as early as 2020.  (Reuters)

  10. When photographer Paul Nicklen and filmmakers from conservation group Sea Legacy arrived in the Baffin Islands this summer, they came across a starving polar bear on its deathbed. They made a chilling video that is posted to National Geographic, and if you have the stomach for it, and enjoy crying for your planet, I recommend searching it out. (National Geographic)

 



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10 in 2 - Week of November 27th - extinction debt ceiling

  • This is your 10 in 2 for the week of November 27th

 

 

...so here we go:

 

  1. The world's biggest lithium-ion battery has plugged into an Australian state grid, an official said Friday, delivering on Elon Musk's 100-day guarantee. South Australia, which relies heavily on solar and wind-generated energy, has been scrambling to find a way to bolster its fragile power grid since the entire state suffered a blackout during a storm last year. The cost of the battery has not been made public. (LA Times)

  2. Environmental scientists have urged glitter to be banned worldwide due to the damage the art supplies does to the environment. Glitter, which is commonly used in arts and crafts, is comprised of small plastic particles. Scientists argue the particles get into the ocean and the environment where animals eat it. (FOX 32 Chicago)

  3. Within the folds of the tax bill is a little-know drilling measure, which would allow for gas and oil production within a 1.5-million-acre portion of an Alaskan wildlife refuge and could generate an estimated $1.1 billion over the course of a decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Many believe this was shoehorned in to appease Murkowski, who is likely to be the deciding vote for the bill. If that’s not gross, nothing is. (Mother Jones)

  4. More dire news re the tax bill. A new provision could undercut the financing mechanism that has been a major driver in the rapid growth of renewable energy projects. The BEAT provision is designed to make it harder for corporations to dodge taxes, but it would also sweep up tax credits — such as the renewable energy Production Tax Credit for wind power projects and the Investment Tax Credit for solar projects — making the credits more difficult to monetize. (Utility Dive)

  5. A coast-to-coast holiday heat wave means that, on Thursday, the last day of November, just 7.6 percent of the country was snow-covered, about one-third of the typical value over the past 15 years. Over the past seven days, 1,550 record high temperatures have been set across the country compared with just 15 record lows, a 100 to one clip. Nearly every corner of the country is warmer than normal. (PSMag)

  6. Google is officially off-setting 100% of its energy usage with either wind or solar power. The company signed contracts on three wind power plants in recent days to bring them over 3GW of production capacity. Google’s energy infrastructure investments have totaled over $3.5 billion globally, with about two-thirds being in the US. (Electrek)

  7. The disaster of October's wildfires didn't stop once the flames were finally extinguished. The toxic ash left by the firestorms sat awaiting a rain storm to wash the deadly debris into drains and creeks and once in waterways, imperil drinking water and aquatic life. A diverse team of volunteers, environmental groups, landowners and public agencies came together to deploy cutting-edge bioremediation techniques using mushrooms and compost to absorb and neutralize the deadly runoff. (Bohemian)

  8. Yet again, we're reminded that the ocean is full of trash. A lobster fished from waters off the coast of New Brunswick, Canada, was found earlier this month with an unusual marking on its claw—what appears to be the image of a Pepsi can. Whether the imprint came from an actual can of Pepsi or from an image of a can on a case or other item remains unclear. (National Geographic)

  9. Australian ecologists are warning that decades of unsustainable logging has created an “extinction debt” in Victoria’s central highlands that will trigger an ecosystem-wide collapse within 50 years without urgent intervention from the state government. Modelling says there is a 92% chance mountain ash forests will not be able to support current ecosystem by 2067. (The Guardian)

  10. There’s a pipe spewing blood into the salmon-filled waters of the Discovery Passage channel, off Vancouver Island in British Columbia. It’s extremely gross, and potentially bad for the wild fish of the channel and beyond, according to researchers. The man that discovered it described the water as “shimmering with scales and chunks of blood." The virus found in the blood isn’t known to be harmful to humans, but can kill as much as 20 percent of an infected fish population. (Motherboard)

 



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22nd Century Leadership - Tom Butler, VP of Conservation Advocacy for Tompkins Conservation

Tom Butler is the vice president for conservation advocacy for the Tompkins Conservation family of foundations and past board president of Northeast Wilderness Trust, a regional land trust. A conservationist and writer, his books include Wildlands Philanthropy, Plundering AppalachiaProtecting the Wild, and Energy: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth. His recent book, Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot (“OVER” for short), is a photo-format volume depicting how human numbers and behavior are transforming the Earth. Butler curated the new exhibit, “Douglas R. Tompkins: On Beauty” at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, and coauthored the companion book On Beauty: Douglas R. Tompkins—Aesthetics and Activism, about the way that beauty was an animating force in the life and work of Doug Tompkins, founder of Tompkins Conservation.

TomButler2-854x1024.jpg


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10 in 2 - Week of November 13th - shockingly unprepared to fight it

  • This is your 10 in 2 for the week of November 13th

 

 

...so here we go:

 

  1. TransCanada Corporation’s Keystone Pipeline leaked at least 210,000 gallons of oil in an agricultural area of South Dakota Thursday morning. The leak, which amounts to 5,000 barrels, comes just days before a last-ditch effort to halt the long-planned and highly controversial Keystone XL Pipeline expansion. (VICE)

  2. California may use 50 percent renewable electricity by 2020, a decade ahead of schedule. More than a quarter of California’s electricity already comes from renewables, according to a report from the state’s Public Utilities Commission. That’s particularly impressive because California doesn’t count large hydropower dams or nuclear power in its definition of “renewable.” (Grist)

  3. Shenzhen—a city of 11.9 million residents in China—will have entirely electrified its bus fleet of more than 14,000 vehicles by the end of 2017. Shenzhen has a home field advantage over the rest of us, because it happens to be home of BYD, a leader in the field of electric vehicle manufacturing. (CleanTechnica)

  4. Denmark wants its entire electricity supply to be coal free by 2030. The goal was announced as Denmark joined a coalition of 15 countries at the UN’s annual COP23 climate conference in Bonn. The other countries in the coalition are the Marshall Islands, Finland, Italy,, Holland, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Chile, Mexico and France.  (thelocal.dk)

  5. Speaking of France, French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday that France would cover the amount the U.S. contributed for climate science research to a United Nations panel after President Trump signaled America would exit the Paris climate change pact. File under: Also not ideal. (The Hill)

  6. The Norwegian central bank, which runs the country’s sovereign wealth fund – the world’s biggest – has told its government it should dump its shares in oil and gas companies. The managers of the $1tn fund, said ministers should take the step to avoid the fund’s value being hit by a permanent fall in the oil price. (The Guardian)

  7. Plastic is everywhere, obviously—but according to new research conducted in the very deepest parts of the ocean, that’s true even for the most remote tiny seafloor shellfish living almost 7 miles below the surface. “it is highly likely there are no marine ecosystems left that are not impacted by anthropogenic debris,” said lead researcher Alan Jamieson. (Newsweek)

  8. The Atlantic argued this week that despite being the party of climate change, the Democrats are shockingly unprepared to fight it. The article posits that “There’s no magic bill waiting in the wings—and no quick path to arriving at one.” But, it’s not just legislators, says author Robinson Meyer, “Democratic voters still don’t care about climate change very much.” (The Atlantic)

  9. New Research led by scientists at the University of Exeter indicates that targeted solar geoengineering in one hemisphere might have a negative impact on conditions in the other hemisphere. For example, an effort to reduce the amount of cyclones in the North Atlantic could prompt droughts in the Sahel, a region in Africa. Our take: geoengineering perpetuates the myth that sustainability can be solved by human ingenuity alone. (Futurism)

  10. A study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows the amount of land being converted to crops for ethanol production potentially makes climate change worse.  Seth Spawn, the co author of the study said “We found that expansion caused emissions to almost 30 million metric tons of carbon per year. For reference, that's roughly equivalent to the annual emissions of 20 million cars.” (Wisconsin Public Radio)

 



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10 in 2 - Week of November 6th - a little too clean for optimum health

  • this is our 10 in 2 report for the week of November 6th

  • 10 news stories from the week that are especially depressing this week, as somehow most of the stories that caught our eye this week are pollution related. Sigh.

 

 

...so here we go:

 

  1. The FCC granted Alphabet's Project Loon, which delivers internet via balloons, an experimental license last month to help get Puerto Ricans online after Hurricane Maria decimated the island. Today they announced that they have so far successfully delivered basic internet to over 100,000 Puerto Ricans. (engadget)

  2. A Washington State University researcher has discovered that vast amounts of carbon can be stored by soil minerals more than a foot below the surface. The finding could help offset the rising greenhouse-gas emissions helping warm the Earth’s climate. (wsu.edu)

  3. Commuters in northern Germany will be able to travel on the world's first hydrogen-powered trains in four years' time. Hydrogen engines emit only water vapor and are considered one of the cleanest forms of transportation. The trains will replace diesel vehicles on non-electrified tracks. (Popular Mechanics)

  4. Toxic smog covers New Delhi. Pollution measures 608, and the safe level is considered 50. The Indian capital declared a pollution emergency and banned the entry of trucks and construction activity as a toxic smog hung over the city for a third day today and air quality worsened by the hour. (express.co.uk)

  5. Living in polluted areas increases the risk of brittle bones and devastating fractures in the elderly. Researchers studied the records of more than nine million people and found that even slight rises in airborne particles from vehicle emissions was linked to lower bone density. (Telegraph)

  6. Media mogul Michael Bloomberg has promised $50m to the international effort to scrap coal power, following a similar domestic campaign that has seen 50% of American coal plants close since over the last 5 years. (Euractiv)

  7. A cloud of radioactive pollution over Europe in recent weeks indicates that an accident has happened in a nuclear facility in Russia or Kazakhstan in the last week of September, according to French nuclear safety institute IRSN. So far, there has been no impact on human health or the environment in Europe. (Reuters)

  8. Last week we talked about the staggering amounts of electricity that bitcoin is using, but a new company called Chia Network is launching a cryptocurrency based on proofs of time and storage rather than bitcoin’s electricity-burning proofs of work. Essentially, Chia will harness cheap and abundant unused storage space on hard drives to verify its blockchain. (TechCrunch)

  9. Despite overall reductions in ambient air pollution in Massachusetts, exposure continues to fall unequally along racial/ethnic, income, and education lines, according to a new study led by a School of Public Health researcher. Within the state’s cities, the researchers found exposure inequality actually increased slightly between racial/ethnic groups during the study period. (bu.edu)

  10. Robert Phalen, an air pollution researcher at the Irvine campus of the University of California and incoming EPA adviser, said in 2012 that children need to breathe irritants so that their bodies learn how to ward them off. “Modern air,” he told the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “is a little too clean for optimum health.” (Newsweek)

 

 

 



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10 in 2 - Week of October 30th - the righteousness, if you will

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of October 30th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating

...so here we go:

 

  1. Starting the list off today with our favorite environmental news of the week. It’s Rick Perry showing off his brain genius with this quote which explains why he thinks fossil fuels help prevent sexual assault: “When the lights are on, when you have light that shines — the righteousness, if you will — on those types of acts,” (Politico)

  2. A company in India called EnviGreen has created a plastic bag made from no plastic and instead made of materials like natural starch and vegetable oil. If placed in a glass of water at normal temperature, an EnviGreen bag dissolves in a day. And when placed in a glass of boiling water, it dissolved in just 15 seconds. (TheBetterIndia.com)

  3. EPA head Scott Pruitt announced a new directive barring scientists who receive E.P.A. grants from serving on the agency’s advisory boards. This is just the latest move in an agency that has scrubbed its website of all references to climate change, shunned scientists in favor of industry reps, and is soon travelling to the global climate talks in Germany to promote fossil fuels. (Vanity Fair)

  4. Climate change 'will create world's biggest refugee crisis'. Experts warn refugees could number tens of millions in the next decade, and call for a new legal framework to protect the most vulnerable. This is not news to most that are paying attention, but notable because it comes from senior US military and security experts, and was published this week by the Environmental Justice Foundation. (The Guardian)

  5. Back to the good news: China is cracking down on factories that aren't meeting emissions standards. Forty percent of the factories within the country have been temporarily closed in order to cut down on pollution and officials from more than 80,000 factories charged with criminal offences for breaching emissions limits over the past year. (Futurism)

  6. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday proposed lifting a mining ban on land near Grand Canyon National Park as part of the Trump administration’s broader effort to sweep away regulations impeding development. Raise your hand if you think mining Uranium in the Grand Canyon is good idea. (Reuters)

  7. 314 Action, a political advocacy group that is helping scientists run for office, has set up its whistleblower hotline and specifically reached out to 30,000 EPA, NASA, and NSF scientists to let them know who to call. They also set up a website (http://speakoutforscience.org/) and multiple channels for communication, including Signal, WhatsApp, as well as good a old snail mail.

  8. The prolific Jonathan Foley wrote a great plea on Medium this week, asking the fundamental activist question: What’s Limiting Us? Thankfully he some ideas. And I quote: “So when it comes to building a better future, I think we need to change how our culture sees and discusses our environmental issues. We need to replace fear with hope, problems with solutions, and conflict with cooperation and collaboration. That may be the biggest set of environmental solutions of all.” (The Macroscope)

  9. This week the Congressional Budget Office projected that ten million Americans will be "substantially affected" by climate change by 2075, causing government disaster spending to jump to $39 billion annually in current dollars, from $28 billion now. But in the wake of unprecedented firestorms, this news is more than a projection to us here in Sonoma County. (Bloomberg)

  10. Bitcoin's price run to break over $7,000 this year has sent its overall electricity consumption soaring, as people worldwide bring more energy-hungry computers online to mine the digital currency. Bitcoin miners worldwide could be using enough electricity to at any given time to power about 2.26 million American homes. (Motherboard)

 



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10 in 2 - Week of October 23rd - a tad more than the bowling industry

 

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of October 23rd

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating, provided in about 2 minutes 

 

...so here we go:

 

  1. Good news. In many cities the air is getting cleaner. Scientists are using 135 years worth of dead birds to study pollution. Birds from coal heavy periods of history are visibly greyer from the industrial soot and provide new new level of specificity when measuring air pollution over time. The pictures of these birds are beautiful in a sad way, so make sure you go have a look at the city lab post, which is linked from our website. (City Lab)

  2. On the fugitive carbon side of the pollution, New Paris Accord talks are set to take place in Germany next month, which may be awkward for the U.S.. It will be interesting to see if we even show up, and if we do, how our current administration acts at the negotiating table. (NYT)

  3. Bloomberg tells us that you can now charge your electric vehicles at a number of Shell gas stations in the UK. A sure sign that oil companies are waking up to the disruption plug-in electric vehicles will have on their industry. (Bloomberg)

  4. A new report published in the journal PLOS ONE shows, the flying insect population plunged by 76 percent in protected areas throughout Germany, and predicts "our grandchildren will inherit a profoundly impoverished world" The new data comes after studying population levels in 63 nature reserves from 1989 to 2016. How this relates to other countries is still unknown. (Common Dreams)

  5. The entire US coal industry employs fewer people than fast food chain Arby’s, and just a tad more than the bowling industry. That’s basically all you need to know about that. (Washington Post)

  6. You may have heard about the $300 million dollar contract to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electrical grid awarded to a two person company from Montana called Whitefish. Notable is that Sect of Interior’s son worked at a summer job for the company. Even more interesting is that today we learned that the contract includes phrasing that prohibits any government body from having the right to “audit or review the cost and profit elements” of its labor rates. (CNBC)

  7. Yesterday, the New York Times released an interactive story on their website that beautifully tells heartbreaking stories about the relationship between a warming climate and the rising suicide rates of rural farmers. The multimedia mashup of video, text and images is a stunning example of the very real impacts of climate change. Keep your eye out for “The Uninhabitable Village

  8. California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Cleaning Products Right to Know Act, which requires cleaning product manufacturers selling products in California to disclose all ingredients used in their products on packaging labels and online, including known hazardous chemicals. The Act will require online ingredient listing by January 1, 2020, and on-package disclosure by January 1, 2021. (California Legislature)

  9. International financial services provider Rabobank launched a $1 billion program to provide clients involved in sustainable agriculture production and forest protection with the financing they need to scale up their efforts, in partnership with UN Environment and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. (UNEP.org)

  10.  Finally, EPA chief Scott Pruitt had the quote of the week which needs no further context: “True environmentalism is using natural resources that God has blessed us with” (ThinkProgress)

 



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10 in 2 - Week of September 25th - strategically imbued with bacteria

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of September 25th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or infuriating, provided in about 2 minutes with links to the full stories found on our website.

 

 

...so here we go:


 

  1. Global emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide remained static in 2016, a welcome sign that the world is making at least some progress in the battle against global warming by halting the long-term rising trend. All of the world’s biggest emitting nations, except India, saw falling or static carbon emissions due to less coal burning and increasing renewable energy. (The Guardian)

  2. In what attorneys are calling a first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit, a Denver lawyer and an environmental group are asking a judge to recognize the Colorado River as a person. If successful, it could upend environmental law, possibly allowing the redwood forests, the Rocky Mountains or the deserts of Nevada to sue individuals, corporations and governments over resource pollution or depletion. (New York Times)

  3. Tropical forests have flipped from sponges to sources of carbon dioxide. Much of that carbon contribution is due to deforestation, but more than two-thirds comes a decline in the number and diversity of trees in remaining forests. These seemingly intact forests can be degraded or disturbed by selective logging, environmental change, wildfires or disease. (Science News)

  4. Blockchain technology is quickly emerging as a vital tool in tackling critical environmental and social issues. Every financial transaction has consequences for the environment — whether positive or negative — but these impacts and their costs are hidden. A new nonprofit called Poseidon will uncover these carbon consequences by enabling a carbon value to be added directly into everyday products. (Sustainable Brands)

  5. Grist set out to document the disaster unfolding in Puerto Rico right now. They talked with people living the realities of climate change. The important piece of journalism is full of quotes like “I’m no climate expert, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence there’s been so many bad hurricanes all at once.” and “How do you rebuild a whole island? I don’t even know what that means.” (Grist)

  6. Relatedly, Inside Climate News writes about how the disaster is exacerbated by long standing environmental justice issues facing a poor, underrepresented minority population on an island where climate experts have long warned of the increasing risks of such a catastrophe.   

  7. While the (now former) Secretary of Health and Human Services is taking private planes to lunch, Tesla is quietly shipping hundreds of battery packs to be paired with solar panels to Puerto Rico. Tesla employees are currently installing the batteries and repairing solar systems, as well as coordinating efforts with local organizations. (Eco Watch)

  8. Scientists have detected hundreds of Japanese marine species on US coasts, swept across the Pacific by the deadly 2011 tsunami. Mussels, starfish and dozens of other creatures travelled across the waters, often on pieces of plastic debris. Researchers were surprised that so many survived the long crossing, with new species still washing up in 2017. This is news because there is so much plastic debris in our oceans, and anything more biodegradable would have disintegrated before it reached the US this long after the original event. (BBC)

  9. A new study carried out by researchers at Columbia University suggests that the United States could harvest 325 gigawatts of power — around 70 percent of the power it currently produces — by using evaporating water from U.S. lakes and reservoirs. To do this, they have developed a muscle like material that uses plastic bands strategically imbued with bacteria spores, which expand when they are exposed to moisture and contract when dried out. (Digital Trends)

  10. On September 19, a bowhead whale carcass washed ashore the remote Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve off the Northern coast of Siberia. Nearly 1 percent of the world’s polar bears, (about 230) amassed beside it for a Siberian feast. (Gizmodo)

 



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