The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.
“Scientists have been saying for years that as the planet heats up, we will have to deal with more severe weather. But pinning any particular event — such as a specific hurricane — to global warming is difficult at best.
Now, scientists have tried to do just that: They’ve linked extreme precipitation to global warming.
Myles Allen at Oxford University is one of the scientists who undertook this effort, and he acknowledges upfront it’s hard to feel the effects of a slowly warming planet.”
“Environment Agency has changed its plans for the reintroduction of the vendace because of predicted rise in water temperatures. Plans to reintroduce one of England’s rarest and most ancient fish to a key site in the Lake District have been abandoned because of climate change.The vendace, Coregonus albulaa, a species of freshwater whitefish that can be traced back to the ice age, became extinct at Bassenthwaite in 1991 as a result of agricultural pollution, increased sediment and the illegal introduction of new fish species. It is one of only two lakes in England where the fish had survived.Hopes that the small herring-like fish could be reintroduced once Bassenthwaite had been restored to health have now been abandoned because of predictions of rises in future water temperatures.”
“Mubarak’s made an exit – and real Egyptian democracy can begin – as long as the army don’t get crowd control ideas above their station and the old elites don’t interfere with the process of free and fair elections. But democracy is not going to solve the problem of the price of bread. “
“Oil from the BP spill remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, according to a top scientist’s video and slides that she says demonstrate the oil isn’t degrading as hoped and has decimated life on parts of the sea floor”
“Scientists have discovered a strange fish that lives in a soup of some of industry’s worst pollutants. The fish, found in rivers in New York and New Jersey, survive because they’ve evolved to cope with dangerous chemicals. As one scientist who has heard about the fish says, “pollution has driven evolution.”
These “toxic avengers” of the aquatic world — tomcod, which look like regular cod but are smaller — live in the Hudson and nearby rivers. The fish are up to their eyeballs in dangerous chemicals — PCBs and dioxins that General Electric companies dumped into the Hudson from 1947 to 1976.”
“The gardens that line your neighborhood street may be beautiful but chances are they have an ugly side that most people don’t see.
Most yards in suburban America have vast expanses of lawn decorated with plants and flowers from all over the world. This sort of landscaping looks pretty but requires considerable amounts of water to maintain. According to NASA, watering our lawns alone can take up to 238 gallons per person, per day. As the United States approaches the limits of its available freshwater supply, these thirsty gardens will become increasingly taxing on the environment and increasingly expensive for homeowners.”
“Weather predictions were once a frequent punchline but have improved dramatically in recent years. More often than not you’ll need an umbrella if your local television channel or website of choice tells you to take one when you leave the house. But we could take a huge step back to the days when your dartboard had a reasonable chance of outpredicting Al Roker if House Republicans have their way with the 2011 federal budget.”
“Scientists have predicted for decades that human-caused global warming would increased extreme weather events that cause severe harm to humans, property, and the environment. These two studies are but the latest in a growing body of scientific literature demonstrating that these predictions are coming true now”
““With children spending half as much time outside as their parents did, and with many Americans living in urban areas without safe access to green space, connecting to the outdoors is more important than ever for the economic and physical health of our communities,” said Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “Through the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, this administration will work together with communities to ensure clean and accessible lands and waters, thriving outdoor cultures and economies, and healthy and active youth.”
“The America’s Great Outdoors Initiative is born out of a conversation with the American people about what matters most to them about the places where they live, work, and play,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. “It’s about practical, common-sense ideas from the American people on how our natural, cultural, and historic resources can help us be a more competitive, stronger, and healthier nation. “
“Nanotechnology is the science of very small matter called nanomaterials, which are structured in size between 1 to 100 nanometers. A nanometer is 100,000 times thinner than a strand of hair. At extremely small sizes, nanomaterials can exhibit unique properties different than the same chemical substances in a larger size. This opens up new opportunities for the development of innovative products and services.
The grants EPA has awarded will help researchers determine whether certain nanomaterials can leach out of products such as paints, plastics, and fabrics when they are used or disposed of and whether they could become toxic to people and the environment.”
NPR has a page of Science News which includes links on environment and energy.
The New York Times Beyond Fossil Fuels series is also an excellent source and their Science page has additional stories. The Washington Post blog Post Carbon includes stories and commentary on climate and energy issues.
Here are some other links you may find worthwhile:
• Climate Change News Digest
• Climate Progress from Center for American Progress
• Rocky Mountain Institute “an independent, entrepreneurial nonprofit think-and-do tank™ that drives the efficient and restorative use of resources.”
At BPI Campus our Progressive Agenda is:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.
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