An estimated 35 million gallons of coal ash was spilled into a river in North Carolina. The Coal is safer than petroleum, but the fact that so much was split into a major waterway, raises many concerns for any surrounding areas, and especially areas downstream.
Glyphosate (aka Roundup) is used commonly in household gardens and industrial scale agriculture. An unintentional consequence of the effectiveness of this herbicide is the destruction of the milkweed plant, the plant closely associated with the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. If something is not done to prevent or mitigate the destruction of milkweed, monarch butterflies could disappear entirely in just a few short years.
Yesterday was Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, the day of indulgence before the beginning of the penitential season of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Plastic-bead necklaces are quite popular at this time, and 25 million pounds of them make their way to New Orleans every year. However, these beads are filled with toxins. Scientists found lead and an array of toxic and cancer-causing metals and chemicals, including bromine, chlorine, cadmium, arsenic, tin, phthalates and mercury in these necklaces. Read the article here.
This video is about a new satellite, the Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory satellite, that will be used specifically for viewing precipitation in the atmosphere. GPM is a collaboration between NASA and Japan’s Space Agency. Hopefully this will help us study climate patterns better so that we can monitor fresh water sources on Earth.
This article is about how cutting food waste could be a solution to poverty. In America, the most common way people waste food is by over-purchasing and then wasting away in the refrigerator. If this waste was redistributed to areas that actually needed food, maybe poverty levels could equalize.
Click here for article.
The 6th Ohio Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law passed by the state limiting exotic animal ownership in Ohio. Seven animal owners had sued the state saying that the new laws were too stringent, however the panel of three judges upheld the previous decision. The new laws were passed after Terry Thompson released 56 animals in Zanesville in 2011. For more information, click here.
A subgroup of Humpback whales in Alaska are being petitioned to be removed from the endangered species list. Alaska is siting that the whales no longer need the protection of the act since their not at risk of extinction. The Humpback whale was one of the first species added to the list in 1970. So nearly four decades later after whaling techniques devastated the population, they have finally regained some of their numbers and can be removed from the list. This is a big win for the conservation effort and the environment because whales play a key role in the stability of the environment.
Since the book we are reading this week is about food, It thought this article was very interesting. Evidently, human diets around the entire world are growing more similar as the years go by. The article states that about 36 percent of our diet is the same…everywhere…. This homogeneity has lead to people consuming less high-nutrition food and may also be linked to the rise in obesity around the world. It can also make agriculture more vulnerable to major threats like drought, insect pests and diseases!
Chinese officials are now going to be offering monetary incentives to cities or regions that improve air quality significantly. Approximately 1.65 billion dollars will be distributed this year. The reasoning for this money distribution is that Beijing and Shanghai ranked among the least livable cities in the world due to air pollution. The Chinese have difficulty keeping with environmental regulation laws so hopefully this reward will boost their motivation to reduce air pollution.
This article talks about the recent opening of Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, the world’s largest solar energy plant in the world. It covers about 5 square miles in the Mojave Desert of California. It has plans to power around 140,000 homes with 400 megawatts of power. This sounds like great news. On the other hand, we are finding out this plant is actually damaging the environment. The plant is responsible for mass killings of birds and the relocation of thousands of desert tortoises. The question now is whether green energy is actually going to be good for the environment.