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Category Archives: Environmental Law

Maine Makes U.S. Recycling Actually Work Again

New York Magazine – Intelligencer: “Since China stopped importing waste products like plastic, textiles, and paper at the beginning of 2018, recycling in the United States has been, in many places, a feel-good exercise for consumers, rather than a functional process to reduce the absurd tonnage of recyclable waste going into landfills each year. But a law signed by Maine governor Janet Mills earlier this month could help reform recycling in the States by shifting the responsibility from consumers to the manufacturer, as the New York Times reports:

Essentially, these programs work by charging producers a fee based on a number of factors, including the tonnage of packaging they put on the market. Those fees are typically paid into a producer responsibility organization, a nonprofit group contracted and audited by the state. It reimburses municipal governments for their recycling operations with the fees collected from producers. Nearly all European Union member states, as well as Japan, South Korea and five Canadian provinces, have laws like these and they have seen their recycling rates soar and their collection programs remain resilient … Ireland’s recycling rate for plastics and paper products, for instance, rose from 19 percent in 2000 to 65 percent in 2017. Nearly every E.U. country with such programs has a recycling rate between 60 and 80 percent, according to an analysis by the Product Stewardship Institute. In 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, America’s recycling rate was 32 percent, a decline from a few years earlier…”

Then the Birds Began to Die

The Atlantic: “I carried on for more than a year of the coronavirus pandemic, but I didn’t see the next plague coming…. David Curson, the director of bird conservation for Audubon Mid-Atlantic, told me that the earliest reports of the mysterious deaths had reached local authorities in late April, sparking investigations across the region. Researchers… Continue Reading

These wildfire tracker maps show smoke, hot spots, and air quality by zip code

Fast Company: “Now that midsummer is synonymous with out-of-control wildfires, researchers and government agencies are putting out impressive online mapping systems to help people understand their peril. As California, Oregon, Washington, and other states brace for another devastating wildfire season, fire mapping has improved substantially since last year. Here’s where to bookmark…” Continue Reading

If you’re not a climate reporter yet, you will be

Nieman Lab: “Covid-19 coverage offers lessons for reporting on the climate crisis. The degree of interdisciplinary collaboration with the science desk is new, and it could prove a model for how news organizations cover the climate crisis.. Never in the history of modern news journalism has a science story — the story of a new… Continue Reading

Explore Thousands Of FAA Drone And Unidentified Aircraft Incident Reports With Our Interactive Tool

The Drive: “We are excited to announce the launch of our new interactive tool that maps and makes searchable thousands of unmanned aircraft system (UAS) and unidentified aircraft incident reports. The vast dataset is drawn from information compiled by the Federal Aviation Administration. Some of the reports are highly unusual, going far beyond typical low-altitude… Continue Reading

Over 10,000 Amazon rainforest species risk extinction, landmark report warns

CBC CA: “More than 10,000 species of plants and animals are at high risk of extinction due to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest — 35 per cent of which has already been deforested or degraded, according to the draft of a landmark scientific report published on Wednesday. Produced by the Science Panel for the Amazon (SPA),… Continue Reading

Keeping Track of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Progress and Targets in 167 Cities Worldwide

Keeping Track of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Progress and Targets in 167 Cities Worldwide: “Actions in cities shape the outcome of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission mitigation and our climate change response. Accurate and consistent carbon inventories are essential for identifying the main sources of emissions and global comparison of carbon reduction progress and would help… Continue Reading

A Low Carbon Fuel Standard: In Brief

CRS: A Low Carbon Fuel Standard: In Brief July 7, 2021: “One policy option Congress may examine is a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS). An LCFS is a policy that requires transportation fuels to meet a certain energy-related GHG target (e.g., a specific carbon intensity) within a specified jurisdiction and time frame. Some states have… Continue Reading

From Syria to Lebanon, Saving the Seeds That Could Save Humanity

Newslines – “The story behind the seed genebank, or “doomsday vault,” and how it thrives despite war and displacement seeds that could save humanity were in a vault in Syria. Then the war came, and the seeds were relocated to Lebanon for safekeeping. The move was actually a return to Lebanon, where ICARDA was first… Continue Reading

We Are Living in a Climate Emergency, and We’re Going to Say So

Scientific American – “…This idea is not a journalistic fancy. We are on solid scientific ground. In January Scientific American published an article about a study entitled “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency.” At the time, more than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries had signed a report to signify their agreement that the world is… Continue Reading