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Category Archives: Environmental Law

NYT – The $300 Billion War Beneath the Street

$300 billion war beneath the street: Fighting to replace U.S. water pipes: “Bursting pipes. Leaks. Public health scares. America is facing a crisis over its crumbling water infrastructure, and fixing it will be a monumental and expensive task. Two powerful industries, plastic and iron, are locked in a lobbying war over the estimated $300 billion that local governments will spend on water and sewer pipes over the next decade…By 2020, the average age of the 1.6 million miles of water and sewer pipes in the United States will hit 45 years. Cast iron pipes in at least 600 towns and counties are more than a century old, according to industry estimates. And though Congress banned lead water pipes three decades ago, more than 10 million older ones remain, ready to leach lead and other contaminants into drinking water from something as simple as a change in water source. As many as 8,000 children were exposed to unsafe levels of lead in Flint, Michigan, after the city switched to a new water supply but failed to properly treat the water with chemicals to prevent its lead pipes from disintegrating. Corroding iron pipes, meanwhile, have been linked to two outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in Flint that added to the public health emergency…”

World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice

World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice. WILLIAM J. RIPPLE, CHRISTOPHER WOLF, THOMAS M. NEWSOME, MAURO GALETTI, MOHAMMED ALAMGIR, EILEEN CRIST, MAHMOUD I. MAHMOUD, WILLIAM F. LAURANCE, and 15,364 scientist signatories from 184 countries. November 13, 2017. Vol. XX, No. X BioScience. [Alliance of World Scientists] “Twenty-five years ago, the Union of Concerned Scientists… Continue Reading

Surprise – Brain health improves for city dwellers who live near forests

Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II) – a larger longitudinal study examining the physical, psychological, and social conditions for healthy aging. In total, 341 adults aged 61 to 82 years took part in the present study. “A study conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development has investigated the relationship between the availability of nature… Continue Reading

UK environment secretary will back total ban on bee-harming pesticides

theguardian: Research leads environment secretary to overturn government’s previous opposition, making total EU ban much more likely – “The UK will back a total ban on insect-harming pesticides in fields across Europe, the environment secretary, Michael Gove, has revealed. The decision reverses the government’s previous position and is justified by recent new evidence showing neonicotinoids… Continue Reading

A data journalist’s microguide to environmental data

Data Driven Journalism: “With the recent onslaught of hurricanes, such as Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and wildfires in Spain, Portugal and California, data journalists have been working hard to interpret scientific data, as well as getting creative to make it reader friendly. The COP23 (do I hear climate change?) also serves as a great opportunity… Continue Reading

Google partners with Aclima in mapping out air pollution levels on Google Earth

TNW: “Google has undertaken yet another initiative that aims to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the environment. The company has teamed up with envirotech firm Aclima to measure air pollution levels in California and map out the findings on its Earth platform. The effort will see the two companies release hyperlocal air quality… Continue Reading

Libraries inspire their communities through green inititatives

Via American Libraries Magazine: “Michigan State University (MSU) Library Environmental Committee (LEC). LEC supports an impressive array of eco-initiatives, including diversion—the rate at which material is removed from the waste stream through recycling, composting, or reuse. MSU Libraries surpassed a campuswide goal for a 70% diversion rate by 2017. By comparison, nationwide, less than 35%… Continue Reading

2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest, Part II

Alan Taylor via The Atlantic – “National Geographic’s annual photo competition is still open, with the deadline for submissions coming up on November 17. The Grand Prize Winner will receive $7,500, publication in National Geographic Magazine, and a feature on National Geographic’s Instagram account. Contest runners have allowed me to choose a few more of… Continue Reading

Massive Government Report Says Climate Change Caused by Humans

NPR: “It is “extremely likely” that human activities are the “dominant cause” of global warming, according to the most comprehensive study ever of climate science by U.S. government researchers. The climate report, obtained by NPR, notes that the past 115 years are “the warmest in the history of modern civilization.” The global average temperature has… Continue Reading

One-Stop Environmentalism: Plant a Native Tree

Plant Nova Natives: “If you only have time to do one thing to support wildlife in your yard, let it be to plant a native tree. The benefits of trees in general are obvious: in addition to providing shade and year-round beauty, they cool the environment, soak up greenhouse gases, and provide fruits and shelter… Continue Reading

Climate change subject matter scrubbed from Interior Dept. planning

So…the Interior No Longer Cares About Climate Change? – “A leaked five-year strategic plan has zero mention of “climate change” or “diversity,” marking a major pivot away from its predecessor.” Continue Reading

Global Traffic Scorecard – A Guide to Congestion in the US

“The INRIX 2016 Traffic Scorecard analyzed congestion in 1,064 cities — 240 in the U.S. — across 38 countries. The visualization below shows the ranking of the top 100 U.S. cities by the number of peak hours the average commuter spent in congestion. It also includes the economic cost of congestion per driver and the… Continue Reading