40 Years Ago: US President Jimmy Carter Pushed For Renewable Energy Funding After Three Mile Island Nuclear Disaster

Mining Awareness +

Probably because he knew so much about nuclear power from the US nuclear Navy; had helped clean-up the Chalk River Nuclear Disaster in Canada,  while serving in the US Navy, and was US President during the Three Mile Island Nuclear Meltdown, Jimmy Carter tried to get massive investment in renewables research (NREL). He even had solar panels put on the White House. Had Carter had his way, we would not even be discussing nuclear power today. Nor would we be worried about climate change. Instead Reagan got in and funding was cut for renewable energy.  Reagan pulled the solar panels off of the White House. Forty years after Three Mile Island, instead of 100% renewables, we have dirty everything coups by Trump, Putin, and others: dirty energy, dirty money, dirty old men.  As the history of humanity makes clear, with abuse and exploitation of…

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Save Doomsday Vault Seeds From Environmental Destruction

Climate change could soon claim Earth’s largest supply of life-saving seeds. Ask world leaders to protect the doomsday seed vault that insures against a global catastrophe.

Source: Save Doomsday Vault Seeds From Environmental Destruction

PETITION: Help Strip a Poison Pill from Utah Lands Bill!

Help Strip a Poison Pill from Utah Lands Bill!

You may recall that in May, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the “Emery County Public Land Management Act of 2018” (S. 2809), a bill that involves world-class wildlands in southeastern Utah along the Green River in Desolation Canyon and in the San Rafael Swell. It was a bad bill that not only shortchanged the areas that would gain Wilderness designation, but more importantly included numerous bad provisions that would have severely compromised even the areas that were designated Wilderness.

We’ve just learned that backroom negotiations have resulted in a bill that dropped several of the bad provisions and added more Wilderness to the package. However, Senator Hatch added a very harmful, unprecedented amendment onto his bill – without any discussion or debate – that would legalize permanent fixed climbing anchors in designated Wilderness, part of a deliberate plan by the Access Fund and its allies to weaken the landmark 1964 Wilderness Act. While other changes to the bill might make it acceptable to conservationists, it is imperative that the destructive and precedent-setting “fixed-anchor” provision be removed.

The use of fixed anchors in wilderness directly contradicts the Wilderness Act’s prohibition of “installations” in wilderness. The preservation of an area as wilderness is an attempt to preserve the wildest and least tamed landscapes. Reducing a climbing route’s challenges by bolting it also goes against the essential spirit of the Wilderness Act. The maintenance of wilderness character dictates that, rather than hammer a piece of rock into submission and installing permanent bolts, a climber in Wilderness may have to accept that a route that cannot be climbed without bolts should not be climbed at all. In the first catalog for his company Chouinard Equipment, later to become Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard pioneered removable climbing chocks and a manifesto of “clean climbing.” He wrote, “We believe the only way to ensure the climbing experience for ourselves and future generations is to preserve (1) the vertical wilderness, and (2) the adventure inherent in the experience… The fewer gadgets between the climber and the climb, the greater is the chance to attain the desired communication with oneself—and nature.”

It is unfortunate that the Access Fund is mirroring the efforts of mountain bikers by turning to the same anti-wilderness Utah politicians who stripped protections for Bears Ear and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments to try to weaken the Wilderness Act as it applies to their recreational pursuits.

Please help block this unprecedented attack to legalize illegal fixed climbing anchors in Wilderness!

https://wildernesswatch.salsalabs.org/utahlandbillnofixedanchors/index.html

 

The problem with paper receipts

treehugger.com
The problem with paper receipts
Katherine Martinko feistyredhair November 7, 2018
4-5 minutes

They seem so innocuous, but they’re becoming an environmental nightmare.

In recent months, the one statement I always make at checkout counters – “I don’t need a bag” – has been joined by another – “No receipt, please.” I began doing this after learning about the harmful effects of thermal paper, the shiny smooth paper that most retailers now use to print receipts.

Thermal paper uses heat rather than ink to form letters and numbers, and it relies on bisphenol A to do so. (If you scratch a receipt and see a dark line, then you know it contains BPA or its common substitute BPS.) BPA is a hormone disruptor and is absorbed through the skin, which means that even reaching for a receipt poses a risk of contamination.

Turning down receipts at the time of purchase also saves me having to deal with all those annoying slips of paper that fill up my wallet. I used to be amazed at how many I’d unearth every few months, but when you think about it on a global scale, the amount of receipt waste is staggering. In the UK an estimated 11.2 billion receipts are handed out annually, costing around £32 million to make and generating 1.5 billion pounds of waste.

To make matters worse, thermal paper cannot be recycled. Its only ‘safe’ destination is the landfill, because the recycling process would only release more BPA into the environment and cause further damage. Stop and chew on that for a minute. All that contaminated trash, just so you can remember six months down the road that you paid $3.50 for a crappy muffin and weak coffee at a truck stop somewhere.

Now, I understand that not all purchases are an unmemorable as that muffin-coffee combo. Many others, particularly more expensive ones, do require proof of purchase, so what are the alternatives?

  • Digital receipts, emailed from retailer to customer, are becoming more common. But this can also mean handing over your email address, which enables a company to inundate you with promotional material. Whenever I feel I have to do this, I make sure to say I don’t want to receive any other communication.
  • Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay can be used on your smartphone to make small purchases. As Sanjana Varghese writes for Wired, some retailers are moving to plug-ins such as Flux, which “creates an itemized record of a user’s transactions.” Similar apps include Transaction Tree and Yreceipts.

  • Be selective about the receipts you accept. Only take receipts for items that you know may have a higher chance of needing to be returned, or that you can claim as a business expense, or that come from cash transactions that can’t be tracked online. For example, I’d take a receipt for a pair of shoes, but not for a meal eaten out or even groceries.

  • Track your expenses elsewhere. Don’t use receipts to keep track of your expenses. Make a habit of writing down that information in a special place that you can reference any time. For me, that’s in my phone, but a small notebook could do the job too. As soon as I leave a store, I add the amount to my monthly expense tally with a brief description.

  • Ask stores to reconsider their system. If you’re a regular shopper at a store that uses thermal paper, bring it up in conversation. It doesn’t hurt to ask and educate. After all, if every store finds that customers are rejecting their receipts, they will be more inclined to come up with an alternative.

Veronique Barbossa, the co-founder of Flux, is absolutely right when she tells Varghese, “Paper receipts are non-recyclable, consume oil, trees, and water, and they don’t fit into the digital lifestyle that we currently have.” They seem nearly as outdated as paper cheques, which I haven’t owned in several years because e-transfers make life so much easier.

It’s not a problem that’s going to be solved overnight, but it is something I suspect we’re all going to start hearing more about.

They seem so innocuous, but they’re becoming an environmental nightmare.

https://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/problem-paper-receipts.html

E-Cigarettes and a New Threat: How to Dispose of Them

ecowatch.com

By Yogi H. Hendlin

The two largest global brands of capsule coffee, Nespresso and Keurig, are regarded by many as environmental nightmares. Billions of the throwaway nonrecyclable plastic products currently clutter waste dumps, waterways and city streets. Both inventor of the “K-cups” John Sylvan and former Nespresso CEO Jean-Paul Gaillard have publicly bemoaned the environmental consequences of the products they once championed. Sylvan has stated that the disposable (but not biodegradable) coffee capsule is “like a cigarette for coffee, a single-serve delivery mechanism for an addictive substance.”

The comparison between cigarette butts and capsule coffee is surprisingly fitting. Both butts and capsules are intentionally designed to be convenient, single-use products. Both are also nonbiodegradable and unrecyclable. As pervasive and polluting as cigarette butts are, however, the e-waste from e-cigarettes presents an even more apt comparison.

As a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco with a background in environmental philosophy and public health, I became curious how the waste stream of e-cigarettes has passed completely outside the regulatory radar.
A Smoking Gun?

San Francisco’s Pax Labs, maker of the market-leading electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) Juul, thinks of its product as a “Nespresso machine, if Nespresso still made great coffee.” It also describes its e-cigarette as a “gun.”

The product has soared in popularity, particularly among teenagers. In September Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, called Juul smoking among teens an epidemic.

While the health outcomes for e-cigarette vapor versus an inveterate capsule coffee drinker vary greatly, both “disruptive” products present lingering harms to the environment greater than the products they replace.

The legacy of cigarette butts imparts a dark story. An estimated two-thirds of cigarette butts are littered, clogging sewer drains, blighting city parks and contributing to estimated cleanup costs of US$11 billion yearly for U.S. litter alone. Cigarettes are environmentally irresponsible by design, and yet e-cigarettes pose an environmental threat of considerable proportions. Instead of merely being thrown away, these complex devices present simultaneously a biohazard risk with potential high quantities of leftover or residual nicotine and an environmental health threat as littered electronic waste.

Their endocrine-disrupting plastics, lithium ion batteries and electronic circuit boards require disassembly, sorting and proper further recycling and disposal. Their instructions do not say anything about disposal. Electronic waste (e-waste) already presents a daunting environmental quandary and is notoriously difficult to recycle. When littered, broken devices can leach metals, battery acid and nicotine into the local environment and urban landscape.
A Preventable Environmental Health Disaster

A main question public health regulators must face is: How are these new devices being disposed of? Are e-cigarettes being thrown away carelessly, like cigarette butts? Or disposed of in special electronic waste facilities, like smartphones? Preliminary results from litter pickups give mixed results. Juul pods are found routinely littered, especially where young people congregate. But because of the double-bind of e-cigarette waste being both electronic waste due to the components and hazardous waste due to the nicotine liquid residue, currently there is no legal way to recycle them in the U.S. The Office on Smoking and Health and the EPA need to coordinate their regulations to allow for the safe recycling and waste minimization of these products.

More than 58 million e-cigarette products were sold in the U.S. (not including those sold in vape shops or online) in 2015, 19.2 million of which were disposable e-cigarettes. A 2014 study found that none of the surveyed e-cigarette packages contained disposal instructions.

The major transnational tobacco companies so far primarily sell throwaway, one-use “closed” system products. Vuse and MarkTen, owned by Reynolds American and Altria, respectively, are two leading U.S. e-cigarettes, and both are closed systems. While these products may prevent nicotine poisoning in small children, their environmental health harms may be significantly larger due to their expendable design.

Most independent vaporizer manufacturers sell open, or reusable, systems, which are more popular with longer-term users and possibly more effective to quit than traditional cigarettes. In other markets, however, like the U.K. and Japan, transnational tobacco companies British American Tobacco (BAT) and Japan Tobacco International have begun to heavily market open systems.

BAT’s website on the disposal of their Vype e-cigarette warns “electrical waste and electronic equipment can contain hazardous substances which, if not treated properly, could lead to damage to the environment and human health.” So neither open nor closed systems are environmentally sustainable.

The World Health Organization, in its report Tobacco and Its Environmental Impact: An Overview, recently noted the “quieter but shockingly widespread impacts of tobacco from an environmental perspective.” Article 18 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control states that all signatory parties “agree to have due regard to the protection of the environment and the health of persons in relation to the environment in respect of tobacco cultivation and manufacture within their respective territories.” It is time to close the loop and pay increased attention to tobacco product disposal as well.

As regulatory agencies continue deciding how to regulate e-cigarettes, not only should the immediate health effects and secondhand effects of the products be taken into account, but I believe the environmental effects of these products should be too.

The mounting environmental impact of the single-use nonrecyclable coffee fad has left coffee capsule Keurig inventor John Sylvan regretting his invention. Will apocryphal e-cigarette inventor Hon Lik ever have a similar reckoning regarding the mountains of e-cigarette e-waste? Let’s hope it never gets to that point.

Dr. Hendlin is an environmental philosopher and public health policy researcher with over 12 years experience in tobacco control.

Reposted with permission from our media associate The Conversation.

https://www.ecowatch.com/e-cigarettes-pollution-2615410167.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=2a31e01a97-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-2a31e01a97-86074753

Petition · Allow California’s Prisoner Firefighters to Work Professionally After Release · Change.org

This year California saw its largest fire in state history, and more than 2,000 state prisoners volunteered to fight the flames. Paid just $1 an hour, the state encourages low-level prisoners to risk their lives and serve alongside professional firefighters. But once inmates leave prison, they often can’t work as firefighters because of their criminal records.

Despite their frontline experience, most counties in California require firefighters to become licensed emergency medical technician (EMTs) — and that credential is often denied to anyone with a criminal record.

Nearly 4,000 of California’s firefighters are state inmates, carefully selected to participate in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation CAL FIRE program. At least three inmates have died fighting these fires.

It’s simply wrong to deny these men and women the ability to become firefighters after they have served their time. A steady job is one of the best ways to prevent re-offending. Restoring the right to earn an honest living is crucial for ex-offenders to regain a sense of hope and a new chance at redemption.

Since 2015, at least 16 states that have already eased or eliminated licensing barriers for Americans with criminal records. Sign our petition asking California to join them and make it easier for formerly incarcerated people to become firefighters and EMTs after serving their time.

https://www.change.org/p/allow-california-s-prisoner-firefighters-to-work-professionally-after-release/sign?utm_medium=email&utm_source=aa_sign_human&utm_campaign=429456&utm_content=&sfmc_tk=Y65ELrEVwnOSO7%2bDYTtOcaQVYx6Bf7WEpktm7g%2bvs4OTim1OxwHiGqvkExBtdvEj&j=429456&sfmc_sub=61374949&l=32_HTML&u=65485050&mid=7233053&jb=586

NEPA Under Attack! Tell Trump ‘Hands Off Nat’l Env Law’ Before Aug. 20 |

globaljusticeecology.org
Posted on July 13, 2018 by GJEP staff Leave a Comment
Note: Thanks to a major effort by eco and other groups in the US (including GJEP), the period for commenting on the government’s attempt to gut one of the country’s strongest remaining environmental laws (the National Environmental Policy Act) has been extended to 20 August. NEPA requires production of extensive Environmental Impact Statements, including input from the public, before actions can be taken that would impact or harm the environment. This law also applies to the proposed release of genetically engineered trees in the US.

For more info or to submit comments, go to: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=CEQ-2018-0001-0001

– Anne Petermann, GJEP Carl Segerstrom/High Country News

A linchpin environmental law is now being scrutinized by the Trump administration and could be targeted for reforms. The National Environmental Policy Act, commonly referred to as NEPA, dictates the environmental planning process for federal agencies. Any changes to the NEPA process could have far-reaching impacts on the vast public lands and infrastructure of the West.

The NEPA reform push broadly traces political dividing lines, as pro-business and anti-regulation Republicans, who want to see NEPA reworked, square off with environmental groups and conservation-minded Democrats hoping to preserve the law and implementation process. Caught between the vocal factions of each party are state governments and federal land managers arguing for a middle ground of limited reform.

An August 2017 executive order, aimed at cutting environmental regulations and speeding up infrastructure projects, key goals of the Trump administration, prompted the ongoing review. The review looks at changing the implementing procedures for environmental reviews and offers some examples of what could be altered, including: limiting the time frame for environmental reviews, changing how agencies consider state and tribal input, and reducing the need to explore project alternatives.

When federal agencies consider timber sales, build bridges, renew licenses on dams, pave highways, permit nuclear facilities or make any decision that will impact the local environment, they trigger the NEPA process. Contractors working on federal projects often commission and pay for NEPA reviews. The NEPA review process has three tiers that determine how rigorous an environmental review must be. The Categorical Exclusion designation exempts actions from environmental review if they are deemed to have no “significant effect on the human environment.” The next tier is Environmental Assessment, which compels agencies to prepare a formal review of potential impacts and decide whether the action has no significant impact or requires an Environmental Impact Statement. The Environmental Impact Statement is the most thorough review process and requires multiple drafts, a public comment period and that agencies explore alternatives to proposed projects.

Heading the push for NEPA reform is Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, who has had the law in his sights for the last decade. During a committee meeting on NEPA, Bishop, the chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, complained the law has been warped by lawsuits and court interpretations and become “a weapon for litigants to force delays and denials on all sorts of activities.” Bishop, who has been a vocal proponent of loosening federal regulations on oil and gas companies and the transfer of federal lands to state control, said, “Environmental reviews should inform government of the actions they need to take, not paralyze it.”

Conservation groups are digging in order to preserve NEPA and asking for an extended public commenting period on the current review. The “Protect NEPA Campaign,” which is a coalition of environmental, labor and civil rights group, such as the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council has called the Trump administration’s review an unprecedented attack on the law. More than 350 environmental organizations signed a letter to the Council on Environmental Quality, asking for an extension of the public comment period from 30 to 90 days. Raul Garcia, the senior legislative counsel for the environmental law group Earthjustice, said the month-long commenting process “is the latest in a long line of this administration’s efforts to silence public opinion and hinder democracy.”

The Western Governors’ Association recently called for changes to the NEPA process that would give more influence to state governments. In a policy resolution, the association, which represents Western state executives, asked that federal agencies adopt more consistent NEPA planning processes and better engage with state and local governments. The group of Western lawmakers also asked that state environmental impact studies carry more weight in federal decision-making.

Land management professionals say parts of the NEPA process could be reformed, but caution against sweeping changes to the law. Mike Ferguson, a retired Bureau Land Management land planner, first worked on NEPA implementation with the BLM in the 1970’s and has seen the implementation of the law become more convoluted over time. He says tightening the time frame for NEPA actions, clarifying the role of public comments, and investing in training and agency personnel could improve the process.

Getting back to the basic language and intent of the law should be the goal of any NEPA reforms, says Ferguson. “A tug-of-war obliterates what NEPA was designed for in the first place, and I don’t care whether that’s from the left or the right,” he says. “Opening it up on either side will lead to a downward spiral that will dilute its effectiveness in the long-run.”

The commenting period for NEPA reform is slated to be open through Aug. 20, and a comment form can be accessed via the Council on Environmental Quality’s website. To date, the majority of the comments so far have either urged the council to keep NEPA intact or asked for an extended commenting period.

https://globaljusticeecology.org/nepa-under-attack-tell-trump-hands-off-natl-env-law-before-aug-20/#comments

Category: Climate Justice, Featured, Social Media News Tags: High Country News, National Environmental Policy Act, NEPA

India Announces ‘Game-Changing’ Single-Use Plastics Ban

ecowatch.com
Olivia Rosane
India turned their hosting of this year’s World Environment Day into far more than a symbolic act when it announced plans Tuesday to eliminate all single-use plastics by 2022, UN Environment reported.

The theme of this year’s World Environment Day was “Beat Plastic Pollution,” and India’s decision could be a “game-changing” part of that effort, since it is home to 1.3 billion people and is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, head of U.N. Environment news and media Keith Weller told CBS.

“This has been the biggest, most resonant World Environment Day ever, thanks to the leadership of our global host India,” Head of UN Environment Erik Solheim said in the press release. “India has made a phenomenal commitment and displayed clear, decisive and global environmental leadership. This will inspire the world and ignite real change.”

The announcement was officially made by Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Dr. Harsh Vardhan, who touted it as a way to “achieve the India of our dreams.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke on the importance of combining economic growth with environmental action.

“It is the duty of each one of us, to ensure that the quest for material prosperity does not compromise our environment,” Modi said. “The choices that we make today, will define our collective future. The choices may not be easy. But through awareness, technology, and a genuine global partnership, I am sure we can make the right choices. Let us all join together to beat plastic pollution and make this planet a better place to live.”

In addition to the plastics phase-out, the country also joined UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign. India will develop action plans to combat marine litter at the national and regional level and measure the total amount of plastic pollution in the waters off of India’s 7,500 kilometers (approximately 4660 miles) of coastline.

Plastic pollution is a major problem in India, which generates 25,000 tonnes (approximately 27557.78 U.S. tons) of plastic waste every year and only recycles 60 percent of it, Vardhan said in an IANS article reprinted by the Economic Times Tuesday.

It is also an increasingly visible problem, as plastic increasingly clutters the country’s landscape and beaches. “There is a huge issue of waste management in India and everyone can see that; we went from train to Agra from Delhi and we saw. There was plastic all over the rails, that’s a problem,” Solheim told IANS.

India has taken some steps to counter plastic pollution already on a national and regional level. It banned non-compostable plastic bags in 2016, CBS reported.

According to a UN plastics report also launched Tuesday, regional bans have had various success. Of the 10 regional bans listed in the report, two bans, in the states of Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim, have seen significant to moderate results, while four bans, including one in New Delhi have had little to no impact, and four could not be assessed due to limited data.

https://www.ecowatch.com/india-plastics-ban-2575628410.html

Families around the world join war on plastic – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/05/families-around-the-world-join-war-on-plastic-in-pictures

Balloon Releases Are Killing Wildlife and Marine Animals – Here’s What You Can Do Instead

onegreenplanet.org
Balloon Releases Are Killing Wildlife and Marine Animals – Here’s What You Can Do Instead
Arianna Pittman

For years, balloon releases have been used to celebrate events or honor the memory of someone lost. Schools release them during football games, they’re sent floating into the air at running events, and released by crowds of people at weddings, funerals, and memorials. And while those who organize and participate in balloon releases have the best of intentions, what they fail to consider is what happens when those balloons eventually land – and when they do the results are detrimental to wildlife and marine animals.

The Long-Lasting Impact of Balloons

Balloons negatively impact our environment by littering streams, lakes, and beaches. It’s basically the same as intentionally throwing trash on the ground or into the ocean. Even balloons marketed as biodegradable or “eco-friendly” can still take years to disintegrate, meaning they’re not any better for the environment than standard balloons.

The Devastating Effects Balloon Releases Have on Wildlife and Marine Animals and What You Can Do About ItBalloonsBlow.Org/Facebook

When balloons make their way into the water, their tattered ends and floating pieces can resemble jellyfish or other sea life consumed by marine animals such as sea turtles, fish, and dolphins. When the pieces of latex or Mylar are mistaken for food and ingested, they can get lodged in the digestive tract, inhibiting animal’s ability to eat and causing a slow and painful death by starvation.

Wildlife can also fall victim to balloons and balloon strings when the pieces fall to the ground or onto trees and bushes. Birds have been found injured with ribbons wrapped around their beaks or wings, and have strangled themselves when they become entangled in strings attached to trees or power lines. And just like marine animals, they can succumb to a painful death after ingesting balloons.

The negative impact on animals and the environment prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local chapters of the National Audubon Society to urge people to stop releasing balloons and instead find more humane alternatives that are safer for animals and our planet. Several states and cities in the U.S. and abroad have also passed laws regarding mass balloon releases after years of witnessing their detrimental effects.

The Devastating Effects Balloon Releases Have on Wildlife and Marine Animals and What You Can Do About It

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

What You Can Do

If you know of someone planning a balloon release, please urge them to consider one of these earth- and animal-friendly options instead. There are so many other symbolic acts that don’t involve the use of balloons. We’ve listed a few options for you below, and you can find more by that offers not only fun alternatives but educational materials to help you spread awareness about the dangers of balloons and balloon releases.

Bubbles

Bubblesare not only fun but can create stunning photo ops. Watching hundreds of bubbles float up into the sky can be mesmerizing and just as symbolic as seeing a balloon float away, but without the resulting of litter and endangerment to wildlife and marine animals.

Luminaries

Luminaries are a beautiful way to honor and memorialize loved ones. Instead of writing messages on balloons and releasing them, you can write messages on recycled paper bags or reusable glass jars with candles placed inside to create a lighted path, or spell out a word or name. Each person can bring their bag or jar home afterward as a personal keepsake to remember the event.
Plant a Tree

Planting native trees and wildflowers is a beautiful way to create a memory that lasts for years to come – and give a little something back to nature. Another fun idea is to have people release milkweed seeds, which helps populations of monarch butterflies thrive by replenishing depleted supplies of the milkweed plant that is essential to their survival. Just remember: If you choose to plant trees or flowers somewhere other than your own yard, make sure you have prior permission if it’s a public park or nature area, as they often have restrictions about potentially invasive species of plants.

Celebrations and commemorative events are meant to allow us to reflect on important times in our lives, there is no reason these should come at the expense of wild animals.

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/balloon-releases-are-killing-animals/

Lead image source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service/Flickr

Petition: STARBUCKS, STOP USING PLASTIC STRAWS

by: Stephanie M
target: Howard Schultz and Kevin Johnson, Starbucks Corporation

134,864 SUPPORTERS -140,000 GOAL

Americans use 500 million plastic straws every single day.

This severely impacts us, future generations, and our precious marine life. It is estimated in the year 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans.

I would like to see Starbucks, the company I work for, help lead the way to shrink our footprint on the planet. Plastic straws are too lightweight to be recycled, and oftentimes are made out of the same plastic as Styrofoam which CANNOT be recycled. There are many different alternatives to plastic straws! Many companies have started using compostable straws or paper straws.

Plastic straws can be horrible for wildlife. The photo above is from a painful-to-watch video of researchers in Costa Rica struggling to remove an obstruction from the nasal passage of a sea turtle. During the cringe-inducing effort, they realize they are battling a cocktail straw.

I believe we can help the world’s largest coffeshop chain make the switch too. If Starbucks sees this petition filled with thousands of people that care about our environment I am positive that this environmentally responsible corporation will make a change for a healthier planet.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/360/196/292/?z00m=30543843&redirectID=2678574490

 

Provisions in ‘Farm Bill’ Seek to Fast Track Logging in National Forest

globaljusticeecology.org
Provisions in ‘Farm Bill’ Seek to Fast Track Logging in National Forest
Posted on May 15, 2018 by GJEP staff Leave a Comment
3 minutes

New York – Often seen politically as a must pass for legislators, the current “Farm Bill”, more accurately known as the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, has taken on a menacing form this legislative session as it has just been passed by party line vote from committee on May 3rd.

The bill in its current form is replete with provisions that seek to undermine environmental laws and safeguards. The bill has been opposed by a long and growing list of environmental groups that includes the Wilderness Society, Sierra Club, Defenders of the Wild, Earthjustice, League of Conservation voters among others.

Global Justice Ecology Project is announcing its opposition to H.R. 2 as a blatant attempt to undermine environmental protections and severely limit the ability of the public to challenge destructive forest policies. This includes the logging of up to ten square miles of trees at a time within the national forest system – under the guise of forest health.

H.R. 2 would double a similar carve out for the logging industry that was included in the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill (budget). In doing so, it would further allow exemptions from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of up to 6,000 acres per single cut to be exempt from review- and thus meaningful citizen input.

“The Farm Bill in its current form is a gift to the logging industry as it would allow for tremendously destructive increases in extraction of timber from our national forests without review or disclosure of potential harm,” said Anne Peterman, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP). “Pro-logging provisions in the bill use fear-mongering, including the specter of wildfire, to give extractive industries carte blanche access to devastate our public lands with no opportunity for input from the public.”

https://globaljusticeecology.org/provisions-in-farm-bill-seek-to-fast-track-logging-in-national-forest/

Global Justice NOW

Category: Climate Justice, Featured, Press Releases, Pressroom, Social Media News Tags: Farm Bill

Tell the Trump Administration: No Drilling in Carrizo

environmental-action.webaction.org
Tell the Trump Administration: No Drilling in Carrizo
1 minute

US Bureau of Land Management California State Director Jerome Perez,

We, the undersigned, strongly urge you to reverse your approval of a new oil platform and pipeline in Carrizo National Monument. This special place, its wildlife, and its natural beauty should be protected, not sacrificed for the sake of more destructive oil and gas drilling.

We, the undersigned, strongly urge you to reverse your approval of a new oil platform and pipeline in Carrizo National Monument. This special place, its wildlife, and its natural beauty should be protected, not sacrificed for the sake of more destructive oil and gas drilling.

https://environmental-action.webaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=26038&uid=1220798&utm_source=salsa&utm_medium=email&tag=email_blast:46299&utm_campaign=EAC4-FCNS:SPECPLCCNS-0418&utm_content=EM9:00C:0HH-AAP

5 Environmental Victories to Inspire You This Earth Day

Olivia Rosane

Planet Earth is at a crisis point. Researchers say we have to begin reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 if we want to meet the temperature goals outlined in the Paris agreement and avoid catastrophic climate change.

The work to be done can seem overwhelming. A survey published this week found that only 6 percent of Americans think we will succeed in reducing global warming.

But Earth Day weekend is no time to give up! History has shown that when human beings come together to face environmental challenges, we are capable of making the planet a healthier, happier place for humans and non-humans alike.

Here are five environmental victories to inspire you this Earth Day.

  1. The First Earth Day Creates a Movement

Before the first Earth Day in 1970, polluted rivers in the U.S. sometimes caught fire, and industry polluted the air without worrying about consequences. Then Sen. Gaylord Nelson decided to launch a “national teach-in on the environment,” drawing on the tactics of the anti-war movement to unite different struggles against pollution, oil spills and wilderness depletion under a single green umbrella. Twenty million Americans participated in the first Earth Day and it led to major legislative victories, such as the formation of the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, which set out to make all U.S. rivers swimmable and fishable again, and insured they would no longer be flammable.

As hard as it might be to believe in today’s political climate, that first Earth Day was a bi-partisan affair. Nelson reached out to Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey to act as the day’s co-chair, in a model of the kind of bipartisan collaboration we need to tackle today’s environmental challenges.

  1. The U.S. Saves Its Symbol

One of the factors that raised environmental consciousness in the U.S. in the decade leading up to the first Earth Day was the 1962 publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. In the book, Carson explained how the widely-used pesticide DDT entered the food chain, killing many more insects than targeted and harming the birds who feasted on the insects, including bald eagles.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), a year after Carson’s book was published, there were only 487 nesting pairs left in the country. But the U.S. acted to save its national bird. In 1972, the nascent EPA banned DDT, and, in 1978, the species was listed as endangered, five years after the passage of the Endangered Species Act. In 2007, the FWS announced that the bald eagle had entirely recovered.

  1. International Collaboration Closes the Ozone Hole

As insurmountable as global climate change seems at times, there is precedent for nations coming together to solve an environmental problem. When a hole in the ozone layer, which protects the Earth from the ultraviolet rays that cause skin cancer and harm plants, was discovered in the 1980s, nations came together and finalized the Montreal Protocol in 1987.

The protocol banned ozone-depleting products such as chlorofluorocarbons that were used in refrigerants and aerosol sprays. And it worked. A 2018 NASA study found that the reduction in ozone-depleting chemicals had resulted in 20 percent less ozone depletion since 2005.

  1. The Green Belt Movement Plants More Than 50 Million Trees

Prof. Wangari Maathai won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her role in founding the Green Belt Movement. Fredrick Onyango

In the 1970s, Prof. Wangari Maathai listened to the complaints of women in rural Kenya who told her that they had to walk further for fuel, their local streams were drying, and their food supply was more precarious. Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1972 to encourage them to plant trees in order to improve the soil, store rainwater, and provide fuel and food. Tree planting led to grassroots activism as the women realized the deterioration of their land was also the result of government policies. Overall, the movement has planted more than 51 million trees since its founding.

  1. Maori Win 140-Year-Old Environmental Court Case

 

 

In 2017, New Zealand’s parliament granted the Whanganui River, called Te Awa Tupua by the Maori, the legal rights of a person, something the local Maori had petitioned for since 1873. The move honored the persistence of indigenous activists, who are often on the forefront of struggles to protect the environment, and signals that settler governments might finally be willing to learn from a worldview that places fewer separations between human beings and the planet. The legislation included money for compensation and for improving the river’s health, and paved the way for Mount Taranaki to be offered similar legal status later that year.

https://www.ecowatch.com/environmental-victories-2561818321.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=1db4b0c0eb-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-1db4b0c0eb-86074753

Climate-friendly burgers: fact or fiction?

By Nathanael Johnson on Apr 16, 2018

Here’s a crazy idea: What if your love of steak wasn’t a massive environmental problem but part of a solution instead? What if we could suck carbon out of the air and save the world simply by eating beef?

A new study suggests that all this is possible, but it comes with a whopper of a caveat.

Ranching advocates have long thought carbon-negative beef was possible. The hypothesis was that grasslands and grazing animals have an ancient relationship; they’ve evolved together and depend on each other for optimal health. But modern ranching methods severed that connection, so the thinking went. Allow cattle to graze in the manner of wild herds — very heavily in one area for short periods, and then giving that area time to regrow — and the ancient relationship could be restored. Grasses would grow lush and suck up lots of carbon dioxide, more than compensating for the greenhouse gases that the cattle produce.

The problem was, there wasn’t good science to support this hypothesis. There have been studies looking at carbon sequestration in grazed land, but those only worked when you trucked in tons of compost, which can be prohibitively expensive. Then, a couple of weeks ago we finally got our first study showing grass-fed beef can be carbon negative. Here it is. Let the beef bacchanal begin.

Actually, before you dump gravy over your head and skip off to join the celebrants, let’s look at that big caveat: The beef in this study took up twice as much land as conventional beef production.

About half of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions come from cutting down forests, and livestock are a primary culprit because they dominate 77 percent of agricultural land. And farms keep expanding to feed more meat-hungry people. There’s a danger that findings like this could give grass-fed beef a green halo, and allow people to feel virtuous for buying more double cheeseburgers. That would be a disaster. If everyone in the world started eating this kind of carbon-negative beef, we’d have to clear forests and wildlands to expand pasture, and that would wipe out any carbon savings.

Getting it right requires a balancing act. If we manage to slash our collective burger habit in half, while only buying beef raised the way described in this study, then voila, carbon-negative beef! That really could happen if good replacements — say, the Impossible Burger and good old mushrooms — help us drive down beef consumption. And that’s also assuming these practices work in a lot of different places. Remember, this is just one study (other terms and conditions apply, not valid in Veganistan).

There’s another way this might work: Conventional beef cattle spend two-thirds of their lives eating grass before they move to a feedlot and start eating grain. If ranchers around the world start applying the lessons of this study to that first two-thirds of a steer’s life, it could go a long way toward offsetting cattle emissions without taking up any more space. That’s a way we could tweak the system, and it wouldn’t require optimistic assumptions about how we’d keep people from clearing more farmland or convince everyone to eat less meat.

https://grist.org/science/climate-friendly-burgers-fact-or-fiction/

Petition · Protect the most biodiverse savanna in the world · Change.org

 

 

Pedro Piauí, with the Campaign in Defense of the Brazilian Savanna started this petition to Brazilian Congress

My name is Pedro Piauí. I belong to a rural community in the Brazilian “Cerrado,” an immense tropical savanna filled with trees, plains, and thousands of animal species. It’s a magical place, but it’s currently at risk so my family, along withedrl hundreds of other people and traditional communities, have started a campaign to protect it. Will you join us?

The Cerrado is also known as the Brazilian Savanna. It isn’t as big or well-known as the Amazon, but it is still one of the most important and rich ecosystems in our country. Please help us pressure the Brazilian Government to give the Cerrado more legal protection by making it a National Heritage Site!

The history of the inhabitants of the Cerrado is rich and vibrant. We are peasants, fishermen, river dwellers, coconut breakers, and family farmers. Many of us are indigenous – there are over 80 indigenous ethnic groups – and also quilombolas, groups that descended from fugitive slaves. But our families and our way of life are being threatened. We are losing our native vegetation, rich biodiversity and our ancestral culture to the monoculture of soy, mining, cattle ranching and dams – but National Heritage Site status would help to stop that.

We are trying to call for international attention because we found out there is money from the United States, Germany, Sweden and Holland being invested in deforestation and forced evictions. It comes through pension funds, multilateral banks and export credit agencies.

Are the North American and European citizens aware that their own money is tainted by environmental destruction and the human rights violations of traditional peoples?

The Cerrado is one of the oldest biomes in the world, with 5% of the planet’s biodiversity. It hosts jaguars, rare birds and thousands of unique plants – half of which have already been lost. It is also crucial to the maintenance of the water in the South American continent, since the most important rivers and water basins come from here. My community works hard to protect our home but big agribusiness have used violence and coercion to fight us.

We protect nature because we know we are part of it, we need it. Without us, the people of the Cerrado, there will be no conservation of nature, there will be no water, there will be no life!

We can not lose this battle against greed, power and corruption. Join us in calling on the Brazilian Congress to recognize that connection and protect the Cerrado.
https://www.change.org/p/protect-the-most-biodiverse-savanna-in-the-world

Petition: Utah Has Banned Cities From Cutting Down on Plastic Bags!

Not only did SLC strike down a measured to charge for plastic bags, they decided to ban the whole state from doing things to cut down on plastic waste. Charging for plastic bags or banning them all together is an amazing things cities can do to ease their environmental impact, we can’t let Utah block that effort statewide.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/934/607/112/

End Deforestation to Protect Rare Forests of Ecuador

Rare forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate by deforestation. Sign the petition to demand that sustainable measures be put in place to protect these forests and the habitats they support.

Source: End Deforestation to Protect Rare Forests of Ecuador

Sulawesi: stop dredging paradise for concrete! – Rainforest Rescue

https://www.rainforest-rescue.org/petitions/1113/sulawesi-stop-dredging-paradise-for-concrete

After Years of War, Nature is Flourishing on These Tiny Islands | National Geographic

Petition · Oppose The Anti-Health Bill HR 3117 · Change.org

Congress is currently considering a bill that would prohibit our government from taking the human cost of greenhouse gas emissions into account when making decisions about energy and environmental policy. This anti-health measure is serious, and extremely harmful for all of us.

https://www.change.org/p/oppose-the-anti-health-bill-hr-3117

New Petition to Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

If you live in the US ~ You can not sign the petition, will not accept your ZIP code!

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

Please Sign, Share and Talk about this, Letters to the press, please help to stop this plan in whatever way you can. Incredibly this mad, bad and dangerous plan has received far less media attention and discussion than the proposed Zip wires accross Thirlmere.  Why is that?  What is Going On?

The Petition can be signed here

The Full Petition Text is below….

Please do not let Cumbria be the first place in 30 years to open a deep coal mine in the UK. The proposed undersea coal mine under the beautiful coastline at St Bees would be five miles from Sellafield and five miles from the plan for new reactors (Moorside) at Beckermet. Coal mining is known to increase seismic activity.

Why is this important?

What People are Saying:

“We are particularly concerned in regard to the potential impact upon the wider marine and coastal environment of the discharge…

View original post 511 more words

Republicans are using some very shaky math to justify drilling in the Arctic refuge | Grist

By Jackie Flynn Mogensen 

This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Early Saturday morning, Senate Republicans narrowly passed a controversial tax bill which — aside from overwhelmingly benefiting the rich — will open up 1.5-million acres of the pristine, 20-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil and gas drilling.

The fate of the ANWR has been a decades-long tug-of-war between Republicans and Democrats, with the right seeing the massive oil reserves within the park as a source of revenue for Alaska and the country, and the left insisting on preserving the land, which supports hundreds of bird species, arctic foxes, caribou, and polar bears. First designated a “wildlife range” in 1960 and then later a refuge in 1980, the land is also home to the Native Alaskan Gwich’in tribe, which relies on the land for subsistence.

“The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of the crowned jewels of our public lands,” Ana Unruh Cohen, the director of government affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told Mother Jones last week when the tax bill was still being considered. “Drilling there would totally mar this beautiful place.”

The ANWR measure was added to the tax bill late last month in an effort to secure the vote of Alaskan Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, who had crossed party lines to oppose the Obamacare repeal in July and hadn’t yet committed to supporting the tax bill. The move worked; after the vote, Murkowski said in a statement that the bill’s passing was a “critical milestone in our efforts to secure Alaska’s future.”

Murkowski’s prediction, though, is an optimistic one. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that drilling in the ANWR would raise $1.1 billion for the federal government over the next 10 years and another 1.1 billion for Alaska over the same time period. This would, in theory, help offset the unprecedented cost of tax cuts proposed in the bill, which is estimated to add a whooping $1.4 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.

But experts warn that the CBO’s estimates are off — by a lot. According to data prepared for the nonprofit Alaska Wilderness League by David Murphy, an assistant professor of environmental studies at St. Lawrence University, and analyzed by Bloomberg, the federal government is actually likely to raise less than a fifth of that 10-year goal, or about $145 million. This lower estimate is based on historic sales in the region; the average bid for drilling along Alaska’s North Slope since 2000 is $194 per acre. So, bids for ANWR land would need to be nearly seven times higher than that in order to match the $1.1 billion federal estimate.

The problem with the CBO estimate is that it’s based on the size of all recoverable oil reserves in the 1.5-million-acre section of the ANWR that would open for drilling (thought to contain between 4.3 and 11.8 billion barrels according to the United States Geological Survey). It also uses long-term oil prices of $70 per barrel (prices Tuesday were at about $57) and the estimated cost of production in the region. In a November report, the CBO says their estimates are “uncertain,” and “potential bidders might make assumptions that are different from CBO’s, including assumptions about long-term oil prices, production costs, the amount of oil and gas resources in ANWR, and alternative investment opportunities.” The CBO does not provide a margin of error in their calculations.

“[The CBO] doesn’t explain any uncertainty about this [$1.1 billion] number — and legislation is being drafted around it. This would never pass muster in an academic journal,” Murphy tells Mother Jones.

Findings from both the Audubon Society, a nonprofit conservation organization and the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank, similarly diverge from CBO estimates, but predict that oil and gas drilling would yield even lower numbers than Murphy suggests, at just $37.5 million over the next decade. They hinge their estimates on the average bid per acre since 1999 in the much larger, neighboring National Petroleum Reserve (an area already allocated for oil and gas leasing), which is just $50 per acre.

“Opening the Arctic to drilling as part of this tax plan is simply shameful. The Arctic Refuge isn’t a bank — drilling there won’t pay for the tax cuts the Senate just passed,” National Audubon Society President and CEO David Yarnold said in a statement just after Saturday’s vote.

Throwing even more confusion into the situation, when the Trump administration released its 2018 fiscal budget report in May, it claimed said that drilling in the ANWR would raise a staggering $1.8 billion over the next 10 years, but didn’t provide reasoning for the estimate in the report.

Beyond this uncertainty on how much drilling would actually deliver into state and federal coffers, the bigger issue might be that it’s not even clear if oil companies still want and are willing to drill in the ANWR — a contentious and also costly site for oil extraction. Due to differences in how the oil is held in the ground, oil production in the Arctic costs, on average, $78 per barrel, while production in the lower 48 states ranges from $40-60 per barrel, according to Murphy’s analysis. Moreover, there is no existing oil extraction infrastructure located on the reserve, and building wells from scratch would cost, on average, more than $6 million per well, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That doesn’t even take into account the headache that environmentalists and natives-rights activists could create for oil companies, if not potentially costly litigation.

Of course, this not to say that oil drilling won’t occur there. “It’s a much smaller area [than the neighboring Petroleum Reserve] with a large amount of oil,” so drilling in the reserve would likely be fruitful, says Murphy. “Talk about throwing darts at a board … If it’s opened up, I’m sure companies will bid on it.” And drilling there could still be profitable for companies, despite the higher cost of drilling in the Arctic. Still, the Petroleum Reserve may prove to be a safer option for oil companies, which would have access to existing infrastructure and less pushback from advocacy groups that oppose drilling in the ANWR.

“We have a significant position now that’s close to where we have infrastructure and a long history of strong operating capability,” said Al Hirshberg, the executive vice president of production, drilling, and projects for ConocoPhillips, in a statement. The company leases about 70 percent of the Petroleum Reserve’s sold acreage, and recently discovered a store of 300-million barrels of oil in the reserve. The company tells Mother Jones they “would consider” operations in the ANWR, but it sees “tremendous potential” in the Petroleum Reserve and remains “focused on our projects and exploration plans there” — a statement similar to what the company shared with Bloomberg.

Finally, there’s still a lot of unleased land left in the Petroleum Reserve. According to the Bureau of Land Management, over half of the reserve was still available for leasing as of August 2017.

It remains to be seen if the ANWR provision will remain in the tax bill once the Senate and the House finish reconciling their versions of the legislation. But even then, it is unlikely to be the cash cow Republicans are relying on. “Current presidential and congressional budget projections are unrealistic,” Murphy writes in his report. “It would be fiscally irresponsible to pursue this path on a budget justification.”

Republicans are using some very shaky math to justify drilling in the Arctic refuge

A Beacon in the Smog®

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TELL CONGRESS NOW: No Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge!

This would destroy one of the world’s most iconic and vital landscapes – critical for the survival of many Alaskan native people including the Gwich’ in Nation, and home to migratory birds from six continents and the porcupine caribou herd. With climate change already threatened this fragile refuge,it’s unacceptable that the Administration and Congress are putting the needs of big business and oil before our planet and ecosystems.  Activists and environmentalist have been fighting against dangerous drilling here for decades – and we can’t give up. We need to demand that Congress act now to protect America’s last unspoiled Wilderness from oil drilling.

https://petitions.signforgood.com/StopArcticDrilling/?code=Se

Petition · Secretary Ryan Zinke: Stop the waste and protect our health · Change.org


https://www.change.org/p/secretary-ryan-zinke-stop-the-waste-and-protect-our-health?source_location=petition_footer&algorithm=promoted&grid_position=1&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uAMKRwQAAAAAAWgN8sf424oQxMTljMjRmMw%3D%3D

Petition: URGENT: Save the Rainforest – Tell the EPA To End Deforestation for Biofuels


https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/438/251/203/

#SaveOurParks From Oil and Gas Drilling!

The Trump administration is trying to allow gas and oil drilling near a pristine national park, all for the financial benefit of big oil companies. This drilling will critically threaten wildlife and the environment if permitted. Sign this petition to demand that this national park be protected from oil drilling.

Source: #SaveOurParks From Oil and Gas Drilling!

The Fight From Below Seen From Above: New Map Details Local Fossil Fuel Resistance | Global Justice Ecology Project

The Fight From Below Seen From Above: New Map Details Local Fossil Fuel Resistance

Posted on September 25, 2017 by GJEP staff
In an attempt to highlight and bolster the “groundswell of resistance” against fracking wells, pipelines, and other fossil fuel projects throughout the United States, a coalition of environmental groups on Thursday launched the Fossil Fuel Resistance Mapping Project, which details precisely where opposition to Big Oil is taking hold throughout the United States and how others can join in.

“People demand a safe and clean environment, and they will not rest until that is guaranteed for every community across the country.”
—Kelly Martin, Sierra Club

“From the Gulf Coast where people are recovering from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, to the Pacific Northwest where wildfires are raging, many communities are leading fights against fossil fuel projects amidst life-altering climate impacts,” the coalition—which includes 350.org, Sierra Club, and Bold Alliance—said in a joint statement Thursday.

“These fights are not isolated events, but rather a groundswell of steadfast and widespread local resistance to fossil fuel projects across the continent in the absence of federal climate action,” the groups continue. “Grassroots leaders in these efforts are pushing back on the fossil fuel industry’s injustices, from environmental racism to violating Indigenous sovereignty.”

(Image credit: Fossil Fuel Resistance Project)
The groups hope that the map, which can be accessed on the coalition’s website, will serve as “a resource for people to find, start, or join a campaign in their community to resist fossil fuel projects, and for those involved in existing fights to connect with each other.”

They also believe the map will serve as a tool to raise awareness and concern about the risks those who live near oil refineries and pipelines face on a daily basis.

“With the climate-denying Trump administration putting the the health of Big Oil billionaires’ bottom lines before anyone else, the time to join your local fight to protect our air, water, and planet is right now.”

—Cherri Foytlin, Bold Louisiana “This map highlights what too many Americans are forced to grapple with everyday: a life, community, and clean water and air threatened by fossil fuel infrastructure,” Kelly Martin, director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels project, said in a statement. “That’s why we’ve seen the movement to oppose these projects grow rapidly in recent years. People demand a safe and clean environment, and they will not rest until that is guaranteed for every community across the country.”

The new project comes as the Trump administration continues its efforts to empower the fossil fuel industry and roll back regulatory measures designed to protect the air and water—even in the aftermath of deadly hurricanes like Harvey and Irma, which have left millions exposed to dangerous pollutants.

Foytlin, executive director of Bold Louisiana, said that the Trump administration’s blatant and “reckless” contempt for the planet should serve as a potent motivator for people across the country to join the burgeoning opposition movement and fight back.

“The extractive industry is like a cancer, and our efforts to stop this industry’s expansion are holistically connected on many fronts—this map makes that clear,” Foytlin observed. “With the climate-denying Trump administration putting the the health of Big Oil billionaires’ bottom lines before anyone else, the time to join your local fight to protect our air, water, and planet is right now.

Originally published by Commondreams.org

Copyright © 2017 · All Rights Reserved · Global Justice Ecology Project
http://globaljusticeecology.org/the-fight-from-below-seen-from-above-new-map-details-local-fossil-fuel-resistance/

Report: Algae Biofuel Claims Overhyped; GE Algae Poses Environmental Risks  | Global Justice Ecology Project

Report: Algae Biofuel Claims Overhyped; GE Algae Poses Environmental Risks

Posted on September 26, 2017 by GJEP staff
SAN DIEGO, C.A. – As the Bio-Based Live Americas conference meets today to discuss topics including industrial scale production of biofuels and chemicals via genetically engineered (GE) microorganisms such as GE algae, a new report suggests that these organisms pose serious environmental and health risks.

Microalgae Biofuels: Myths and Risks and a companion briefing, released today by Biofuelwatch and Friends of the Earth U.S., reveals that even after decades of investment, viable commercial production of algae biofuels has failed and is unlikely to succeed. Meanwhile, genetically engineering microalgae to produce fuels, chemicals and other products poses under-recognized, serious threats to the environment and public health.

“As we are witnessing more frequent toxic algae blooms such as those currently plaguing the Finger Lakes region in New York, it seems particularly unwise to be encouraging mass-scale production and inevitable release of GE microalgae,” said Dr. Rachel Smolker, Co-Director of Biofuelwatch. “Scientists are clear that GE microalgae will inevitably escape from cultivation facilities. Many of the traits that are being engineered to create algal ‘chemical factories’ could result in their outcompeting and proliferating out of control in the wild.”

“Rushing genetically engineered algae into production ahead of safety assessments and oversight could result in serious unintended consequences. These organisms could become ‘living pollution’ that is impossible to recall,” said Dana Perls, Senior Food and Technology Campaigner at Friends of the Earth U.S. “We need a common sense moratorium on the commercial cultivation of GE microalgae, and investment should be redirected toward more promising and sustainable solutions.”

Key findings of the report include:

Even after decades and millions of dollars in public and private of investment, production of algae biofuels has failed to become commercially viable.
Genetically engineering microalgae to produce fuels, chemicals, and other products poses serious threats to the environment and public health: invasive algae outcompeting native species, potential for increased harmful algal blooms, and land use impacts from chemical, energy and water intensive feedstock production.
Several major companies invested in producing genetically engineered algae are turning to low volume, high-value products to remain economically viable, with some such products already on the market, including ingredients for food and consumer products, all of which are derived from GE algae.
Government agencies, including Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), along with various state and private sources, continue to invest heavily in algae biofuels.
The continued market hype about GE algae biofuels as sustainable, claims of unrealistic productivity, and historic promises of commercial viability just over the horizon perpetuate the myth of a “miracle fuel” and that unsustainable energy consumption may continue “business as usual.”

The report explores the biological and technical barriers to algae biofuel production, providing perspective as to why decades of investment and hype has yet to yield any commercial biofuels. It argues that whether it is for biofuels, “bio-products”, or face creams, the large-scale cultivation of GE microalgae poses unacceptable risks, perpetuates the myth that algae biofuels will provide a viable and substantial alternative to fossil fuels, and diverts attention, funding and resources from safer solutions. The report calls for more sustainable and proven solutions to climate and energy concerns, such as efficiency, solar and wind energy, relocalization, expanded public transportation, and regenerative agriculture.

http://globaljusticeecology.org/report-algae-biofuel-claims-overhyped-ge-algae-poses-environmental-risks/
Copyright © 2017 · All Rights Reserved · Global Justice Ecology Project

Petition: Protect Wild Spaces: Stop Northern Niobium Mine


http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/198/053/189/