Environment

Change of Plans for Outdoor Adventures at Back2Basics Sober Living Due...

PR Web - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:27

Abnormally warm temperatures in Flagstaff, AZ means less snow-related wilderness therapy at Back2Basics Outdoor Adventures rehab.

(PRWeb January 31, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11537296.htm

Categories: Environment

Eco-friendly Craft Toy Company, Urban Canvas, Launches a New Art and...

PR Web - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:27

Eco-friendly toy company, Urban Canvas, continues to develop creative craft toys for children, adding an exciting new plantable sculpture kit to their product line.

(PRWeb January 31, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/sprouts/2014/prweb11537851.htm

Categories: Environment

Complex Event Processing (CEP) Market (Types & Services) Worth...

PR Web - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:27

Complex Event Processing (CEP) Market research report majorly focuses on Algorithmic trading, fraud detection, security intelligence and analytics....

(PRWeb January 31, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/complex-event-processing/cep-market/prweb11538070.htm

Categories: Environment

Flow Chemistry Market (CSTR, Plug Flow Reactor, Microreactor,...

PR Web - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:27

The report identifies the factors driving the growth of each segment to support its analysis of market trends and forecasts....

(PRWeb January 31, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/flow-chemistry/market/prweb11538257.htm

Categories: Environment

Mosaic Labs Provides Sustainability Consulting Services for CDP...

PR Web - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:27

Firm works with brands, suppliers to improve CDP scores

(PRWeb January 31, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/02/prweb11539323.htm

Categories: Environment

Specialty Technical Publishers and Convergence Consulting LLC Announce...

PR Web - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:27

New Health and Safety Compliance Checklists for Office and Retail Operations

(PRWeb January 31, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/02/prweb11539793.htm

Categories: Environment

Pittsburgh Based Shale Markets, LLC.™ Helps to Extend Footprint of...

PR Web - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:27

In order to do business with many of the big players in the natural gas industry, it is necessary to get a safety pre-qualification through a services such as ISNetworld™. Shale Markets, LLC., based...

(PRWeb January 31, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/02/prweb11540286.htm

Categories: Environment

Science Fiction Novel "Paradigm" Helping Science Teachers...

PR Web - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:27

The ecological wasteland of the young adult adventure novel, Paradigm, is helping teachers introduce the science of climate change to students, as well as inspire them to research the issues...

(PRWeb January 31, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/02/prweb11540909.htm

Categories: Environment

Plant and Flower Growing in the US Industry Market Research Report...

PR Web - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:27

Over the past five years, the influx of cheaply cut flower imports from Colombia and Ecuador has had a staggering negative effect on domestic farmers; going forward, IBISWorld forecasts that revenue...

(PRWeb January 31, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/02/prweb11541205.htm

Categories: Environment

Landmark Agreement Signed Between City of South Sioux City and...

PR Web - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:27

Big Ox Energy signs agreement with city of South Sioux City to process municipal waste. The facility, which is 100% privately financed, will also be a win for local businesses looking for a reliable...

(PRWeb January 31, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/02/prweb11541833.htm

Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef will be smothered with silt, because coal

Grist.org - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:02

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park — a supposedly protected natural area containing thousands of reefs, which together are visible from space and attract nearly $6 billion a year in tourism — is a pretty terrible place to dump loads of silt. But it’s happening: The federal agency that governs the reef approved plans to dump up to 3 million cubic meters of silt that will be dredged from the marine park to help carve a superhighway for tankers ferrying coal to Asia.

It’s the final piece in Australian Prime Minister (and known climate denier) Tony Abbott’s already-approved master plan to dredge the shipping lane, expand an existing coal terminal, and extensively mine the northeastern state of Queensland for coal.

Reuters reports that backers of the coal export project, including two Indian firms and the heiress to an Australian mining empire, hope to deliver an estimated $28 billion of coal to Asian markets once it’s complete.

Dredging a new shipping lane through the reef to deliver all that coal will generate as much as 3 million cubic meters of silt. That’s an abstract number, but, if you can imagine 150,000 dump trucks all dropping loads of sand into the sea, then you have a sense for the volume.

The silt will be dumped 15 miles out to sea from the expanded port at Abbott Point. “It’s important to note the seafloor of the approved disposal area consists of sand, silt, and clay and does not contain coral reefs or seagrass beds,” the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s chair said in a statement Friday.

Scientists and conservationists say that doesn’t matter: Ocean currents are always moving sand around on the sea floor. “The best available science makes it very clear that expansion of the port at Abbot Point will have detrimental effects on the Great Barrier Reef,” 233 of them wrote in a letter to the federal government. “Sediment from dredging can smother corals and seagrasses and expose them to poisons and elevated nutrients.”

It’s worth noting that the U.S. is complicit in Australia’s fossil-fuel export blitz. The U.S. Export-Import Bank, a lending body, is providing about $5 billion in financing to international energy companies to help them build a pipeline from the Queensland mainland to the hitherto pristine Curtis Island, which is inside the marine park, and to construct coal-seam gas processing facilities there. These projects will also involve dredging.

It all sounds like an environmental nightmare, but Australia’s über-conservative government wants you to know that the conditions it’s imposing on all these projects “will result in an improvement in water quality.” Awesome. And if you’re willing to believe that, the prime minister has some even better news for you: Everything you have ever heard about climate change is “absolute crap.” Fantastic!


Filed under: Climate & Energy
Categories: Environment

Bees exposed to neonic pesticides suck at gathering pollen

Grist.org - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 19:40

First plant STDs, and now this? Bees these days just can’t catch a break: New research shows that bumblebees that have been exposed to neonic pesticides are hopeless when it comes to gathering food.

British scientists reared commercial bumblebees for two weeks on sugar and pollen laced with imidacloprid, which is one of the world’s most commonly used insecticides. The pesticide concentration mimicked that found in farmed oil seed rape, which is grown for biofuel, vegetable oil, and animal feed. Similar colonies were fed pesticide-free sugar and pollen.

After the colonies were released into Scottish gardens to forage for their own food, the scientists monitored how much pollen and nectar the bees gathered and brought back to their hives. When it came to pollen, which is the main part of the bees’ diet, the differences between the pesticide-fed bees and those from control hives was striking. From the paper, published this month in the journal Ecotoxicology:

Whilst the nectar foraging efficiency of bees treated with imidacloprid was not significantly different than that of control bees, treated bees brought back pollen less often than control bees (40 % of trips vs 63 % trips, respectively) and, where pollen was collected, treated bees brought back 31 % less pollen per hour than controls.

This study demonstrates that field-realistic doses of these pesticides substantially impacts on foraging ability of bumblebee workers when collecting pollen. …

Pollen is the main protein source for bumblebees and is particularly important for the rearing of young to replace older workers. It has been suggested that foraging for pollen is more challenging than foraging for nectar, and it is usually restricted to dry, sunny weather, whereas nectar can be collected in most conditions except heavy rain, so that pollen rather than nectar shortages are more likely to limit colony success

The research was conducted on buff-tailed bumblebees — not on the more familiar honeybees. It’s “quite likely” that neonics have similar effects on the pollen-gathering ability of honeybees, researcher Dave Goulson told Grist. “But, obviously, we can’t say for sure.”

Previous research has shown that honeybee behavior is also affected by neonics — and scientists fear that those behavioral changes could be linked to the growing problem of colony collapse disorder. “Nonlethal exposure of honey bees to thiamethoxam (neonicotinoid systemic pesticide) causes high mortality due to homing failure at levels that could put a colony at risk of collapse,” French scientists wrote in a paper published in the journal Science.


Filed under: Food
Categories: Environment

Oh rot: Climate change could topple Northwest’s Douglas fir forests

Grist.org - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 19:10

Root-rotting fungi have lived among the Douglas firs of the Pacific Northwest for thousands of years — perhaps since the last ice age. They’re an invisible part of the sweeping forest scenery, ready to fell a sick tree or feast on a dead one.

But, in case you haven’t noticed, things have been going a tad crazy with the environment lately. Douglas firs in the Pacific Northwest have been dying, costing the timber industry millions of dollars a year. Some have been killed by beetle attacks; others by fungal diseases. Tree die-offs in the region have become so bad that scientists fear the natural carbon sink — that is, a place where plants pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere — is turning into a net emitter of the greenhouse gas.

And scientists fear the problem will grow worse as the globe continues to warm. A new report warns that climate change threatens to usher in an era of unprecedented root-rotting fungus infestations.

“Root diseases in managed western forests are a major contributor to the loss in timber productivity, revenues, and environmental benefits — negative impacts that will likely continue to increase, especially in the context of climate change,” states the report, which was published by the Washington State Academy of Sciences. “Anticipated climate change could increase the spread rate of the pathogen as well as host susceptibility.”

Laminated root rot, one of several major tree diseases caused by fungi in the region, is already thought to be reducing timber harvests by 5 to 15 percent. Warming temperatures combined with reduced snow and rainfall are forecast for the North American range of Douglas firs, and that’s expected to further “stress” the trees. Fungal pathogens tend to prey on weak individuals.

“Additional host stress is the primary driver of the assumption that diseases such as laminated root rot will increase,” Karen Ripley, a forest health manager with the Washington Department of Natural Resources, told us. “Because the host tree is likely to be more moisture stressed, the fungus may be more able to overcome host defenses, and the host may be less able to compensate for loss of roots.”

Even if the fungus doesn’t kill directly, an attack can leave trees vulnerable to fire, to beetles, or to toppling over in strong winds — and climate models warn of stronger wind storms in the region. Some dead trees are good for a forest, as they provide holes used for nests by birds and other wildlife. But trees killed by fungus tend to fall over and break down quickly.


Filed under: Climate & Energy
Categories: Environment

The number of monarch butterflies that made it to Mexico is at all time low

Grist.org - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 18:21

Monarch butterflies have it tough. Farmers have eradicated milkweed, the butterflies’ favorite food, and drought and heat are messing with butterfly reproductive cycles. Normally, monarchs migrate in droves from the U.S. down into Mexico for the winter. But surveys showed that last year there were fewer monarch butterflies spending the winter in Mexico than in any year since the surveys began in 1993.

In 2013, butterflies were found in just .67 hectares of forest, a 44 percent decrease from 2012. That’s after it had already dropped 59 percent over the previous two years. This is a pretty good indication of butterfly suffering. University of Minnesota:

Forest area inhabited by monarchs in Mexico is used as an indirect indicator of the number of butterflies arriving from Canada and the United States each year following a migration of more than 4,000 kilometers. The butterflies spend November through March hibernating in Mexico’s temperate forests.

The problem here isn’t that it’s warm enough for butterflies to stay north. It’s that there are simply fewer butterflies. Pretty soon, that ill-considered tattoo on your ankle will be the only monarch left.


Filed under: Climate & Energy, Living
Categories: Environment

Shell will stay out of the Arctic this year

Grist.org - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 17:58
NASA GoddardIs the sun finally setting on a dreadful idea?

The Arctic will be safe from drilling efforts by accident-prone Shell this year, and the oil company says it is reconsidering its very future in the region.

Shell spent nearly $6 billion on plans to drill the Arctic, but it has yet to produce any oil. The federal government barred the company from Arctic waters last year following a series of accidents during exploratory drilling in 2012.

The company had hoped the suspension would be lifted this year. As it turns out, the suspension won’t matter.

The company announced on Thursday that it won’t pursue exploratory drilling in the Arctic this year, and its CEO told reporters that the company is “reviewing our options” in the Arctic.

The announcement followed declining profits, the hiring of a new chief executive, and a major court ruling. Last week, a federal appeals court sided with environmentalists over the federal government, ruling that an environmental analysis related to the 2008 Chukchi Sea lease sale was flawed because it included an arbitrary estimate of the amount of oil available to be drilled.

From Shell’s press release about the decision:

The recent Ninth Circuit Court decision against the Department of the Interior raises substantial obstacles to Shell’s plans for drilling in offshore Alaska. As a result, Shell has decided to stop its exploration program for Alaska in 2014. “This is a disappointing outcome, but the lack of a clear path forward means that I am not prepared to commit further resources for drilling in Alaska in 2014,” [CEO Ben] van Beurden said.

The Washington Post takes a look at the bigger picture:

But some analysts noted that the company has suffered a series of setbacks around the world that have led to write-downs in the value of projects. They said the delay fits the strategy of the company’s new chief executive, Ben van Beurden, who wants to put money into projects with more certain outcomes and shorter time horizons. …

Shell sent rigs to drill in the area in 2012, but the company got a late start after struggling to bring its drilling vessels in line with permit requirements. Then it had to deal with unexpected summer ice floes and decided to install only the top of wells in the Chukchi Sea because it was running out of time to drill before open-water season ended. Later that year, one of its vessels, the Kulluk, was damaged when it ran aground on its way to warmer waters. The company said it will be scrapped.

And here is the Anchorage Daily News with reactions:

“Shell is finally recognizing what we’ve been saying all along, that offshore drilling in the Arctic is risky, costly and simply not a good bet from a business perspective,” said Jacqueline Savitz, Oceana’s vice president for U.S. oceans. …

Political leaders faulted the federal government and court rulings and downplayed Shell’s own difficulties.

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she was disappointed that Shell wouldn’t be going ahead this year. She said it was understandable given the uncertainty due to the federal court ruling on its leases.

“Companies willing to invest billions of dollars to develop our country’s resources must have confidence that the federal agencies responsible for overseeing their efforts are competent and working in good faith. I’m not convinced that has been the case for Alaska,” Murkowski said in a statement.

Alaska Democratic Sen. Mark Begich blamed “judicial overreach” for the situation.

Aw, Shell. Better luck next year? Let’s hope not.


Filed under: Business & Technology, Climate & Energy
Categories: Environment

Utah’s transit system is giving away iPads to student riders

Grist.org - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 17:50

When we talk about places that are doing great work improving transit, it’s easy to focus on the country’s coasts and its biggest cities. But Utah’s been doing a pretty good job: Last year, the Utah Transit Authority opened up new light-rail lines, Salt Lake City’s first streetcar in 50 years, and has been working diligently on bus rapid transit. The UTA also came up with a simple-but-effective incentive to increase ridership from college kids: tempt them with an iPad.

The Deseret News reports:

Each month until April, UTA will give away iPads to students from BYU, LDS Business College, Salt Lake Community College, Utah Valley University, the University of Utah, Weber State University, and Westminster College.

To enter, students need to ride UTA trains and buses with their student pass. Once a student has made at least 10 round trips during the month, he or she will be automatically entered into the giveaway.

The giveaway is designed to encourage students to opt for public transit when commuting to campus.

The program’s gone on for a few months already, and has gotten students singing the praises of public transit — it’s cheap, it’s convenient, you can do your homework using the train wifi. Plus, if you can win an iPad, you can also use the train wifi to catch up on Netflix. Win!


Filed under: Cities, Living
Categories: Environment

This treehouse inside a Brooklyn loft will make you powerfully jealous

Grist.org - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 17:26

We’re always up for a good tiny house. But Terry Chiao has done us one better — she’s built two tiny houses inside her Bushwick apartment. The place is in a converted textile factory, and it also serves as a part-time art studio. (Chiao describes herself as “a multi-disciplinary artist and designer.”) We’re most charmed by what she calls the treehouse: a simple cabin-like structure, lofted on stilts above the rest of the apartment.

FastCoExist:

Chiao lives in the treehouse herself — now with her partner, artist Adam Frezza. When she first built the space, she rented out the other cabin to roommates for several years. But now it’s listed on Airbnb. “It’s nice to have it to ourselves sometimes while still making the rent a little more affordable,” she says. “Travelers also tend to have less stuff and be around less than full-time roommates, so that helps our home feel more like ours.”

We totally want to live here. Or at least cozy up in the cabin for a long weekend in Bushwick.


Filed under: Cities, Living
Categories: Environment

The week in GIFs: Licking squirrels and guzzling wine

Grist.org - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 16:41

Green takes on the SOTU, Super Bowl, and more — animated. (Last week: Benedict Cumberbatch.)

Rep. Henry Waxman is leaving Congress with an awesome environmental legacy:

Blogspot

Funded by oil, gas, and coal, Republicans voted to deny climate change:

Gifatron

New York banned fracking for at least another year:

Gifatron

The Super Bowl will compost food waste for the first time:

Giphy

Obama said climate change was real in the SOTU, but he didn’t forsake fossil fuels like enviros hoped:

WiffleGif

Squirrels are basically the cutest threat to America’s infrastructure ever:

Tumblr
Filed under: Living
Categories: Environment

You’re not allowed to walk to the Super Bowl

Grist.org - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 15:07

Damn you, Super Bowl XVMILLION, for getting our hopes up. Just when we thought your sustainability initiatives like composting and reusing fry oil meant something, you had to go and poop on it all.

ESPN reports that the Super Bowl gods (who must be really high — up in the sky, we mean) have forbidden people to walk to the big game, or even get dropped off by car or taxi, unless that vehicle has a parking pass. (You also can’t tailgate, because there is to be NO FUN at this Super Sporting Event™.)

You CAN take New Jersey Transit — the suckitude of which is the subject of at least one blog — but the NFL would much prefer you pay to ride a bus from its nine “Fan Express” zones in New Jersey and New York. The bus at least qualifies as mass transit, except people will doubtless be driving to the pickup locations — plus folks are a little irked about the $51 price tag. On the Sports Illustrated blog, Sean Conboy accuses the NFL of something totally preposterous: GREED.

The NFL thinks of you not as a human being whose loyalty and wallet contribute to its preposterous franchise valuations ($1.17 billion and rising!), but rather as a number on an Excel spreadsheet, and the league is determined to wring as much guaranteed profit out of Super Bowl XLVIII as possible. A $9 billion yearly profit is not enough.

Gasp! Surely the “security concerns” cited by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell are the reason, not money! Sure, he’s probably thinking of terrorism or whatever, but we prefer to think he’s just looking out for pedestrians who might be traveling during dangerous morning hours. Walking is dangerous, especially when done outside. Come to think of it, the safest (and greenest) option might just be staying home and watching the Super Bowl on TV.


Filed under: Cities, Living
Categories: Environment

Up the creek by pedal power: An Englishman bikes the Hudson Valley

Grist.org - Fri, 01/31/2014 - 12:06

Nick Hand began to fully appreciate the songs and environmental work of Pete Seeger from the seat of a touring bicycle. It was in the spring, 2012, and Hand, a graphic designer from Bristol, England, had launched a 500-mile bicycle tour through New York’s Hudson Valley.

What incites an Englishman to pedal from Manhattan to Hudson Falls? For Hand, it was the love of pedaling, curiosity, and inquisitiveness.

A typographer and graphic designer, Hand is the founder of The Department of Small Works, a small business that collects stories of traditional and contemporary craftsmen and women. He’s made it his job to look between the folds, the moss and waterfalls, rooting out conversation to learn a bit about how people live.

As Hand ventured along the Hudson, he photographed and penned stories about farmers, sculptors, boat makers, weavers, a bicycle recycler — a cache of do-it-yourselfers both young and old tucked within the valley. The result is Conversations on the Hudson, a gentle, hand-sized book told in the residents’ own words and laden with the author’s photos.

At his launch in Manhattan, Hand met Peter Buchanan-Smith, an axe maker and founder of Best Made Co. A casualty of the economy, Buchanan-Smith began refurbishing old axes in 2009. “Everything in the world seemed complicated and there was a lack of virtues that, to me, are inherent in the axe itself, like strength and fortitude,” Buchanan told Hand. Today, he sells his axes, with their trademark painted handles, for up to $300 apiece.

Ken Greene of Accord, N.Y., in Ulster County, was a local public librarian as well as a gardener who saved seeds. “Well, we have this great library system already in place,” Greene explained to Hand. “A radically democratic institution. It seemed like a good way of sharing seeds with other gardeners. So I added seeds to the library catalog. People could come in, check them out like a book, grow them in their garden … as long as they saved some seeds from their plants to return to the library.”

Nick Hand

It’s fitting that Hand, 57, used a bicycle saddled with packs to catalog the country’s rising “slow” movement. The bicycle, Hand says in a phone interview from Bristol, frees you from the bondage of the automobile, exposing you to both the elements and to others, and rekindling the idea of a handshake and a conversation.

Rubber and spokes also ribbon riders along back roads and trails. Hand’s exposure to the valley’s natural fringes inspired him to dedicate the book, in odd serendipity this week, to Seeger, “who stood up and sang the songs that needed to be heard, and launched the sloop Clearwater to save the Hudson River.”

“I’ve been humming Seeger’s ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone‘ all week,” says Hand, who was able to see Seeger perform during his ride at a Clearwater fundraiser. “Listening to Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger’s working man’s music as a teenager introduced me to folk traditions. And when I went up the Hudson Valley, his presence was felt. People had lost touch with the river, it was so polluted. They saw it every day but didn’t engage with it. Now communities have their own hand-built sloops.”

That both Hand and Seeger celebrate those who toil at a time when one of them passes and the other comes forward with a book might be a strange quirk of the universe — or the rounding of a bend for too long missing from our culture. If Seeger were here and able, he might fashion a song about a guy with a name like Nick Hand. It smacks of labor and hard work.

Or maybe he’d write about Eleanor, a historic sloop that’s being brought back to life by Nick Zachos, a boat restorer in Columbia County, New York. Eleanor sailed the Hudson before it became clean, before Seeger helped turn the waterway into a pulsing artery again.

Nick Hand

The people who are hidden away in the landscape’s nooks and crannies are becoming, more and more, “people who we can learn from,” Hand says. “They are the makers of beer or music, they write or weave or draw or paint and quite often aren’t modern people. They don’t make a lot of money and they’re not good at marketing their work, yet they’re incredibly valuable.”

Cycling long-distance through less populated places isn’t new to Hand. He’s biked around the British Isles in search of craftsmen and farmers and artists of all sorts. Come early summer, he heads to Southern Germany, this time with a small printing press affixed to a custom made bike. On the trip, which he’s calling Moveable Type and funding via a Kickstarter campaign, he will print postcards of the people he meets and places he has been and send them to people he’s met in his travels around the globe.


Filed under: Article, Living
Categories: Environment

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