The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.
The Trump administration filed a writ of mandamus petition with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Friday, seeking an extraordinarily rare review of a Nov. 10, 2016 decision by U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aiken to deny its motion to dismiss Juliana v. United States. Further, the Trump administration is seeking “a stay of proceedings in the district court” while the Ninth Circuit considers its petition.
The Trump administration argues the Ninth Circuit should “exercise its supervisory mandamus powers to end this clearly improper attempt to have the judiciary decide important questions of energy and environmental policy to the exclusion of the elected branches of government.”
The U.S. Constitution provides for three separate but equal branches of government, with no exception for energy and environmental policy.
More frequent, powerful storms in the Great Plains are penetrating deep into the atmosphere, risking ozone loss and increased dangerous UV radiation, scientists warn.
The ozone layer in our atmosphere keeps much of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation from hitting the surface. Too much of it gives people skin cancer and can destroy plants and crops.
Harvard researchers found that this stratospheric ozone layer above the central U.S. gets depleted during the summer, most likely as intense storms send water vapor into the atmosphere. The vapor can cause the types of chemical reactions that have spurred ozone loss in Arctic and Antarctic regions.
The stratosphere, which extends from about 7 miles above the surface to nearly 30 miles above the ground, is one of the most “delicate aspects of habitability on the planet,” the researchers wrote in the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.
The Great Plains’ more frequent and violent storms get that extra energy in large part from warming waters in the Gulf of Mexico. The Harvard study shows that, in addition to storm damage, the loss of ozone threatens food security and human health.
China and California have signed an agreement to work together on reducing emissions, as the state’s governor warned that “disaster still looms” without urgent action on climate change.
The governor of California, Jerry Brown, spoke to reporters at an international clean energy conference in Beijing about Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris agreement, saying it would ultimately prove to be only a temporary setback.
For now, he said, China, European countries and individual US states would fill the gap left by the federal government’s decision to abdicate leadership on the issue.
The Earth’s rapidly changing climate due to human activity has ravaged the planet in numerous ways, causing melting glaciers and ice sheets, heat waves, droughts, wildfires, deadly hurricanes, species extinction and ecosystem losses. But climate change may also be impacting us on a very personal level that many of us don’t even realize: our health.
According to a recent report published by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, climate change is becoming a serious public health enemy.
That’s the number of gallons of contaminated Chicago River water that have flowed into Lake Michigan—source of drinking water and quality of life for millions of Americans—in the last decade. The river normally flows away from the lake, so what gives?
Blame climate change. And infrastructure not designed or built to deal with the changes brought the changing climate.
Violent storms dump an incredible volume of rain in very short periods of time. Even with massive additions to the region’s stormwater system, it cannot keep up. When that system cannot handle intense rainfall over the area, sewers fill and dump into the River. When the Chicago River fills with all that stormwater, which is now contaminated with all kinds of nasty stuff after comingling with whatever was in the sewer lines, it swells. And after a while, well, gravity takes over. The river level rises above the lake level and water heads downhill. The Chicago River literally changes direction and flows out into Lake Michigan.
Canadian energy company Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is not budging on its plans to dump nuclear waste less than a mile from Lake Huron, despite objections from hundreds of communities in the U.S. and Canada that fear water contamination.
The utility issued a lengthy analysis on Friday reaffirming its favored option to bury low to intermediate radioactive waste at the Bruce Power nuclear complex near Kincardine, Ontario. OPG assures that the lake would not be threatened since the waste would be encased in rock.
“The Bruce Site is the safest, most appropriate site for a Deep Geological Repository (DRG),” company spokesperson Kevin Powers told CBC News.
The repository would contain 200,000 cubic meters of radioactive waste products buried 2,230-feet underground.
The Ocean Cleanup just made a huge announcement from Werkspoorkathedraal, an exhibition in the Netherlands. CEO Boyan Slat revealed exciting new design changes to The Ocean Cleanup Array, which will enable the system to be more durable and collect more plastic. They once estimated their array could clean up 42 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years – now with their groundbreaking new arrays, they will be able to scoop up 50 percent of the patch’s plastic just five years. Even more exciting, deployment will start within the next 12 months – two years earlier than expected.
New York, 9 June—The 193 Member States of the United Nations unanimously agreed to a set of measures that will begin the reversal of the decline of the ocean’s health as the five-day Ocean Conference concluded this afternoon. The outcome document, together with more than 1,300 commitments to action, marks a breakthrough in the global approach to the management and conservation of the ocean.
The Ocean Conference, the first UN conference of its kind on the issue has raised global consciousness of ocean problems ranging from marine pollution to illegal and over fishing, from ocean acidification to lack of high seas governance. By including all stakeholders in the discussions, the Conference produced a comprehensive and actionable range of solutions.
“The Ocean Conference has changed our relationship with the ocean,” said the President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson. “Henceforth none can say they were not aware of the harm humanity has done to the ocean’s health. We are now working around the world to restore a relationship of balance and respect towards the ocean.”
Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the Ocean Conference, said the Conference marked a major step forward for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. “Participants from member States, NGOs, civil society, the private sector, the scientific community and academia engaged in wide-ranging discussion and shared state-of-the-art knowledge and latest information on marine science and challenges,” he said.
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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