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Category Archives: Environmental Law

How to catch a glimpse of the spectacular comet Neowise before it disappears for thousands of years

CBS News: “A newly-discovered comet is giving skywatchers quite the show during the month of July. Early risers may have already caught a glimpse of the comet Neowise as it streaks across the sky, but don’t worry — some of the best viewing moments have yet to come. What is NEOWISE? Astronomers discovered the comet, known as Comet C2020 F3 NEOWISE, back in March. It was named for the NASA mission that spotted it, for the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. The mission was tasked with finding as many near-Earth asteroids as possible, looking for ones that could be potentially hazardous to the planet. But astronomers knew they found something unique when they spotted Neowise.  On July 3, Neowise was closer to the sun than the orbit of Mercury, coming dangerously close to breaking apart. The sun heated up much of the comet’s icy makeup, erupting in a large debris trail of gas and dust.  Measuring about 3 miles across, Neowise is considered a fairly large comet — providing skywatchers with a spectacular view from Earth. It’s made up of material dating back to the origin of our solar system, 4.6 billion years ago, scientists said.  The event is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience — the comet takes about 6,800 years to complete its path around the sun, according to NASA…”

Winners of the 2020 Audubon Photography Awards

Audubon.org: “Every spring, the judges of the Audubon Photography Awards gather at Audubon’s headquarters in Manhattan to review their favorite images and select the finalists. But as with much of life in 2020, this year’s awards had to be handled differently due to pandemic-related travel, work, and social-distancing restrictions. So, for our 11th annual awards,… Continue Reading

Federal government moving ahead with removing protections for birds under Migratory Bird Treaty Act

“From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology e-newsletter: Public Comment Period Open: The federal government is moving ahead with removing protections for birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The American Ornithological Society has this summary, and you can provide public comments through July 20. The AOS statement (July 1) begins: In March, we published a blog post on the Migratory Bird… Continue Reading

The U.S. Is Lagging Behind Many Rich Countries

The New York Times – These Charts Show Why. “The United States is different. In nearly every other high-income country, people have both become richer over the last three decades and been able to enjoy substantially longer lifespans. But not in the United States. Even as average incomes have risen, much of the economic gains… Continue Reading

House Democrats release the most detailed climate plan in US political history

“Plan Would Put Americans Back To Work, Save Lives, And Help the United States Reach Net Zero By 2050 – On Tuesday, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chair Kathy Castor (D-FL), members of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis unveiled a comprehensive plan titled “Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy… Continue Reading

Mapping America’s Underwater Real Estate

Bloomberg Green – What happens to home prices if flood maps start measuring climate change? Millions of Americans are about to find out. “Millions of Americans just woke up in a flood zone that had never before been listed on U.S. government maps. The first-ever public evaluation of flood risk for every property in the 48… Continue Reading

Coronavirus Responses Highlight How Humans Have Evolved to Dismiss Facts That Don’t Fit Their Worldview

Scientific American – Science denialism is not just a simple matter of logic or ignorance:  “Americans increasingly exist in highly polarized, informationally insulated ideological communities occupying their own information universes. Within segments of the political blogosphere, global warming is dismissed as either a hoax or so uncertain as to be unworthy of response. Within other geographic or online… Continue Reading

Lockdowns Tamed Road Traffic. Here’s How Cities Aim to Keep It Down

The New York Times – Lockdowns Tamed Road Traffic. Here’s How Cities Aim to Keep It Down – Officials are trying to prevent a return to urban gridlock and pollution as residents begin to travel again. “As coronavirus lockdowns loosen around the world, city leaders are scrambling to address a new problem: the prospect of… Continue Reading

How Humanity Unleashed a Flood of New Diseases

The New York Times – What do Covid-19, Ebola, Lyme and AIDS have in common? They jumped to humans from animals after we started destroying habitats and ruining ecosystems. “…There is much we don’t know about the origins of the ongoing pandemic and some details that we may never learn. Though genetic sequencing currently indicates… Continue Reading

A Glimpse at the Faces Behind Scientific Illustrations

The Fisheries Blog: “The fields of art and the sciences are intimately combined. The detailed illustrations by artists and scientists, that back up years worth of scientific research describing new species, anatomy and behavior, complex processes, and new technologies, make a huge impact on the transfer of knowledge and understanding of these systems to interested… Continue Reading

2035 Report – Renewable Energy Costs & Our Clean Electricity Future

“The United States can deliver 90 percent clean, carbon free electricity nationwide by 2035, dependably, at no extra cost to consumer bills and without the need for new fossil fuel plants, according to a study released today from the University of California, Berkeley. The study also finds that without robust policy reforms, most of the… Continue Reading

Paper – The importance of street trees to urban avifauna

The importance of street trees to urban avifauna, Eric M. Wood and Sevan Esaian 11 June 2020 Ecological Applications 2020 e02149: “Street trees are public resources planted in a municipality’s right‐of‐way and are a considerable component of urban forests throughout the world. Street trees provide numerous benefits to people. However, many metropolitan areas have a… Continue Reading