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Prominent Global Warming Skeptic Honored with Frederick Seitz Memorial...

PR Web - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 23:37

Dr. Sherwood B. Idso to Be Recognized at the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change for His Pioneering Research

(PRWeb June 24, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/06/prweb11971816.htm

Categories: Environment

Inmar IT Engineers Square Off to Build Ultimate “Killer Rig”

PR Web - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 23:37

Fifteen of Inmar’s top IT talent competed last week during the company’s annual IT Killer Rig competition.

(PRWeb June 24, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/06/prweb11972066.htm

Categories: Environment

Real Living Lifestyles And Jenn Blake Real Estate Group Partner To...

PR Web - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 23:37

Remembering Ron McElliott and his great idea for a men's athletic club has gathered tens of thousands of people together every year.

(PRWeb June 24, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/06/prweb11972138.htm

Categories: Environment

Put your spare change to good use with crowdfunded science

Grist.org - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 23:11

Wondering what to do with that $9 burning a hole in your PayPal account? You could kick it to Indiegogo and help send send your old college roommate to his brother’s wedding in Aruba. And there’s always Kickstarter: That kid from the coffee shop is trying to fund her short documentary on the history of philanthropy in the Kansas City Zombie Crawl scene.

OR you could give to Experiment.com, a crowdsourcing site for science funding, to help uncover fracking’s impact on air pollution, find a better way to clean up oil spills, or figure out what’s killing Caribbean corals.

Nelson Harvey at High Country News focused specifically on the fracking studies finding funding through the site:

A scientist from the University of Missouri who recently found elevated levels of endocrine disrupting chemicals in parts of Garfield County, Colo., where spills of wastewater from natural gas drilling occurred is now planning the second phase of her research, but with a surprising funding mechanism this time. Rather than seeking backing from government agencies or private foundations, Dr. Susan Nagel and her team are drumming up donations in the same way that many before them have started small businesses, made documentary films, or produced t-shirts adorned with images of Miley Cyrus twerking: They’re crowdfunding their research through a new website called Experiment.com.

Nagel’s crowdfunding attempt — she’s seeking $25,000, has raised about $11,000 since March 24 and has 36 days to go — represents at least the fourth time in recent years that U.S. scientists have turned to the general public for financial help researching the health effects of the gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking … . Earlier this year, a team of researchers from the University of Washington raised $12,000 through Experiment.com to study how much gas drilling contributes to ozone in Utah’s Uinta Basin, and last year a team from Pennsylvania’s Juniata College raised $10,000 to examine the impact of fracking on stream ecology throughout the state.

For scientists, crowdfunding can mean bypassing the slow and often politically charged grant route, but there are some drawbacks. For instance, the Experiment.com site is run for profit, and there are no cool perks like the free DVDs and bumper stickers you get when you fund a successful Kickstarter. (Of course, I’m not quite sure what one would do with a complimentary bucket of oil eating microbes, but it’s always nice to be asked.) But if you’d rather help prevent cancer or sequence a fern’s genome, it’s still better than a Miley Cyrus Twerk-shirt.

Of course you could just stick with that Aruba thing.

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

Fracking chemicals could mess with your hormones

Grist.org - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 21:56

Feeling overly hormonal? Not hormonal enough? Just wait for frackers to move into your neighborhood and let them throw the medical dice for you. Fracking chemicals have been found to screw with many of the hormones that control a wide range of important bodily functions.

Last year, a team of researchers reported that fracking chemicals found in water samples from a heavily fracked region of Colorado messed with human estrogen and androgen receptors in laboratory experiments. Those scientists linked Colorado’s fracking binge with “moderate levels” of such chemicals in the Colorado River, which is a major source of drinking water. That’s screwed up, because those hormones help us maintain sexual health.

But it gets worse. Preliminary findings of a followup study were presented this week by one of the same research team members during a joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society. The early findings suggest that it’s not just sex hormones that frackers can mess with.

The researchers analyzed 24 chemicals commonly used by frackers — noting that those chemicals represent a small subset of the hundreds of chemicals used in fracking, many of which are kept secret. Not only were most of the studied chemicals found to mess with our estrogen and androgen systems, but some of them were also found to affect hormones that prepare our bodies for pregnancy (progesterone), that break down sugar (glucocorticoid), and that regulate growth and development (the thyroid system). Only one of the 24 chemicals did not affect any of the hormonal systems studied.

The analysis, part of an ongoing study, was conducted in laboratories using human cells. Next steps include subjecting mice to drinking water that’s tainted with fracking chemicals.

We would say “poor rodents” — except that so many human neighbors of fracking operations are also being treated as lab rats.

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

A beetles invasion threatens your cup of coffee

Grist.org - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 21:21

Mornings can be tough. Sure the cat puked on your pillow and the basement was flooded and some moron parked in the bike lane and today is your six month review and so it’s kind of a poopy day, but there’s one thing that keeps you going: Your good friend and most culturally acceptable addiction (ever notice they don’t make these for heroin?) coffee.

Well not anymore, sucker!

Turns out there’s a tiny little beetle half a world away that hates you and wants your last shred of joy. Rajendra Jadhav of Reuters Africa has the scoop, which, instead of delicious coffee beans, is sadly full of hideous squirming segmented larvae. Enjoy!

It’s 10 o’clock in the morning and a dozen workers are uprooting coffee plants, piling them in the corner of a field at M.G. Bopanna’s plantation in southern India where they lie ready to be burned.

The plants are bursting with green cherries but inside their hard bark lurk destructive white stem borer beetles. The bushes have to be destroyed to prevent the tiny winged creature from threatening Bopanna’s entire crop of arabica coffee.

The beetle, which bores through plants’ bark and feeds on their stems, is thriving this year due to unusually warm weather and scant rains in arabica growing areas in India, the world’s sixth biggest coffee producer.

If the hot spell continues and the pest continues to spread, India’s coffee crop could fall to its lowest in 17 years when the harvest starts in October, pushing up global prices that are already rallying due to drought in top exporter Brazil.

The horrifying little creature seems to thrive in the heat and India is having a bit of a heat wave. I wonder what could be causing that? Oh, and there’s a drought in Brazil that’s killing their coffee? What a coincidence.

If unchecked, the white stem borer beetle could essentially eradicate Arabica coffee production in India in the next 10-15 years. So the average cup of Starbucks coffee will go from $385 a cup or whatever their charging now to roughly the same amount as a late model Chrysler. Oh, and there will also be economic hardship for Indian farmers and laborers, but did we mention the Starbucks!

Filed under: Climate & Energy, Food, Living
Categories: Environment

MCP Supply, Supplier of Paver Edging Spikes, Redesigns Website to...

PR Web - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 20:36

MCP Supply announces the launch of the company’s new website.

(PRWeb June 24, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/paveredgingspikes/paverspikes/prweb11948157.htm

Categories: Environment

Indoor Sky Lives Up to Their Name with the Latest Product Release in...

PR Web - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 20:36

Unlike conventional window shades, the Dayliter Shade from Indoor Sky provides ideal interior daylight levels while minimizing glare and solar heat gain. Featuring integrated fabric lightshelves, the...

(PRWeb June 24, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/06/prweb11948242.htm

Categories: Environment

Narconon Graduate Enters Contest to Share His Continued Success with...

PR Web - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 20:36

Since physical fitness is an important part of recovery, a graduate of the Narconon Program recently entered a contest to share his successes with others, providing encouragement and incentive for...

(PRWeb June 24, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/06/prweb11960021.htm

Categories: Environment

Climate action could spur $2 trillion in economic growth in 2030 alone

Grist.org - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 20:36
John UptonUnclogging streets in India could encourage economic growth and help save the climate at the same time.

Republicans in Congress, dim-witted politicians abroad, and fossil-fuel companies would all like you to believe that taking action on climate change is too expensive. Better to blow all our cash and credit on unsustainable oil and coal today and live large and dirty for as long as possible, they argue.

Cue World Bank study.

The international lender, which has been belatedly waking up to the dangers of climate change in recent years, modeled the potential costs and benefits of using taxes, incentives, and regulations to clean up key sectors of some of the world’s biggest economies. It analyzed reforms that could spur cleaner transportation, more efficient industrial use of energy, and less energy-hungry buildings and appliances. It concluded that such reforms would create GDP growth of $1.8 trillion to $2.6 trillion per year by 2030.

Oh, and it would prevent 94,000 premature deaths annually.

In many cases, the analysts looked at local case studies, such as the benefits of providing rural Chinese with cleaner cookstoves and improving public transportation in an Indian city, then considered what the impacts would be if those initiatives were scaled up to national or regional levels. They concluded that the public-health, economic-development, food-supply, and energy-supply benefits of reforms in those key sectors far outweighed the costs of the reforms.

World Bank

“Thanks to a growing body of research, it is now clear that climate-smart development can boost employment and can save millions of lives,” states the World Bank report, released Tuesday. “Smart development policies and projects can also slow the pace of adverse climate changes. Based on this new scientific understanding, and with the development of new economic modeling tools to quantify these benefits, it is clear that the objectives of economic development and climate protection can be complementary.”

Filed under: Climate & Energy
Categories: Environment

How to not lose your shirt when the climate goes bust

Grist.org - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 20:24

Much of the computing power that crunches the data for the Bloomberg financial empire lives in a building on Houston and Hudson, in Manhattan. It won’t be there for much longer, though. After Hurricane Sandy, having a data center three blocks from the Hudson River no longer feels like a great idea.

“I own my company,” former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a press conference Tuesday morning. “I want to sleep at night. I do some things so I can do that.”

Bloomberg was there — along with Tom Steyer, Henry Paulson, and a bipartisan League of Superfriends-style “Risk Committee” of political and financial heavy hitters — to announce a project called Risky Business. The project, summarized in a report released today, is an ambitious attempt to spell out, in plainspoken, unvarnished business talk, the threat that climate change poses to the serious work of making money.

Many companies already run private climate-change risk scenarios. When I interviewed Kate Gordon, who has been managing the Risky Business project, she said that Shell Oil  does war games and scenarios all the time based on climate change, but that those scenarios are locked up in company vaults. Now Risky Business has created a scenario that anyone can run.

It’s worth reading the report in full (or at least the bits that are about what calamities will befall your specific part of the U.S. under different emissions scenarios), in part because it’s so jovial and rah rah America — not a tone you regularly find in climate-change related discourse.

“Americans understand risk,” says the report, in its introduction:

Our ability to evaluate risk — to take calculated plunges into new ventures and economic directions and to innovate constantly to bring down those risks — has contributed immensely to the nation’s preeminence in the global economy. From the private sector’s pioneering venture-capital financing model to the government’s willingness to invest in early-stage inventions like the computer chip or the solar panel, our nation’s ability to identify and manage potential risks has moved the economy forward in exciting and profitable directions.

Exciting? Profitable? Tell me more, 56-page document! I read the whole thing, and here are the things that stuck out:

A hot America is an expensive America

Washington and Idaho will likely have more days above 95 degrees F each year than there are currently in Texas. Meanwhile, the Southwest, Southeast, and upper Midwest will likely see several months of 95 degrees F days each year, making those areas virtually uninhabitable without air conditioning. Air conditioning, though, will mean new power plant construction and higher utility bills.

Miami had better invest in stilts

Sea-level rise will be most damaging on the Southeast and Atlantic coasts — both because porous limestone along the coast makes it impossible to build flood barriers, and because people have built some fancy properties there. Within the next 15 years, higher sea levels combined with storm surge will likely increase the average annual cost of coastal storms along the Eastern seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico by $2 billion to $3.5 billion. If things continue the way they are now, by 2050 between $66 billion and $106 billion of existing coastal property will likely be below sea level across the country.

At the press conference, Risk Committee member (and former U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services) Donna Shalala mentioned that the architecture students at the University of Miami (where she is president) spend a lot of time thinking about how to retrofit buildings in the area for different levels of seawater rise. “The young people in our country get it,” Shalala said. “They’re our future business leaders.”

The U.S. climate is paying the price today for business decisions made a long time ago …

… as are a lot of businesses. Roads, infrastructure, utilities, and supply chains are already having to be rebuilt, and they’ll have to be again if they aren’t planned better this time around. Or, as Bloomberg put it, failing to anticipate a predictable disaster is the sort of thing that can force a CEO to step down: “If you have a plant and it gets flooded out, you’d better have a good retirement plan.”

Cities are bearing the brunt of preparing for climate change

Bloomberg argued that cities were at the forefront of planning for climate change –possibly because they have the most to lose. By definition, they’re stuck in a particular geographic region. The report calls this attempt to adapt without support from the federal government an “unfunded mandate by omission.”

The grain belt is in trouble

Some areas in the U.S. may benefit from climate change by having a longer growing season, but if they continue to grow cotton, wheat, and soy, several areas in the Midwest and South will likely see a 10 percent decline in yields over the next five to 25 years. California is already adapting to its drought by experimenting with olive production; other states should follow its lead.

Much of the science behind this comes from public sources — the Risky Business report has more on the process of coming up with these numbers here. “Our goal with the Risky Business Project is not to confront the doubters,” the report reads. “Rather, it is to bring American business and government — doubters and believers alike — together to look squarely at the potential risks posed by climate change, and to consider whether it’s time to take out an insurance policy of our own.”

I like this vision of American enterprise. I’m not entirely sure that I believe in it. The agricultural sector, for example, has seen climate change coming down the line more clearly than any other industry, outside of the reinsurance business. One  of its less savory tactics for managing that uncertainty has been to game the farm bill so that the risk of climate change is outsourced to the Federal crop insurance program.

But that’s getting into the weeds of policy. The Risky Business report is all vision, and it should be read as such. Meanwhile, the World Bank just announced that tackling climate change would actually be good for the world economy, so expect to hear a lot more of this line of talk in the future.

Filed under: Article, Business & Technology, Cities, Climate & Energy, Politics
Categories: Environment

These maps show how many brutally hot days you will suffer when you’re old

Grist.org - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 18:34

One of the main difficulties in getting people to care about climate change is that it can be hard to notice on a daily basis. But the prospect of sweating profusely through your golden years? That’s more arresting.

Risky BusinessClick to embiggen.

If you’re aged 4-33 right now, the map above shows you how many very hot days — those with temperatures over 95 degrees Fahrenheit — you’re likely to experience by the time you’re elderly. It comes from a new report by the economics research firm Rhodium Group, which was commissioned by former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Henry Paulson, the Republican Treasury secretary under George W. Bush; and Tom Steyer, the billionaire Bay Area entrepreneur and environmentalist.

The report’s primary focus is the economic impact climate change will have on the U.S., and the dollar figures are just as extreme as the temperature data: up to $507 billion worth of property below sea level by 2100, and up to $108 billion per year in property damage from hurricanes. Meanwhile, the report predicts a 73 percent decline in crop yields in some parts of the Midwest by 2100, decreases in labor productivity due to high temperatures, and a range of other regional changes that will tend to depress economic activity.

The report’s projections for future climate changes were authored by two of the country’s top climate scientists, Robert Kopp of Rutgers and Michael Mastrandrea of Stanford. The economic modeling was led by UC-Berkeley environmental policy analyst Solomon Hsiang, whose previous work has found that global warming could lead to a 50 percent increase in violent conflict worldwide.

Another compelling chart from the report is the one below, which shows the number of days per year when the heat and humidity are too high for humans to be safely outside. If no action is taken to reduce emissions, the map shows that by 2200, going outside could be unsafe for over 10 percent of the year in much of the eastern U.S.:

Risky BusinessClick to embiggen.

This story was produced as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Filed under: Climate & Energy, Living
Categories: Environment

We just had the hottest May on record (until next May)

Grist.org - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 18:28

NOAA’s monthly State of the Climate report came out and, spoiler alert, it wasn’t good. It turns out May 2014 was the hottest May on record, which shouldn’t really come as a surprise as four of the five hottest Mays in the recorded history of May came in the last five years. More good news: After a blazing first five months of the year, the impending El Nino could push 2014 to the top of the climate charts as the warmest year in recorded history. Terrell Johnson and Jon Erdman at Weather.com had this to say:

Last month was the hottest May in more than 130 years of recorded weather history, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday in its monthly state of the climate report, as May 2014 surpassed the previous record high for the month set in 2010. The world’s combined land and ocean temperature for May was 1.33°F above the 20th century average of 58.6°F, NOAA reported, adding that four of the five warmest Mays have occurred in the past five years. In the report, NOAA separates out temperature records for the world’s land and ocean areas. On land last month, the world saw its fourth-hottest May on record with a global surface temperature 2.03°F above the 20th century average. The oceans saw their hottest May on record, with a temperature 1.06°F above the 20th century average.

So this was the hottest May, but more frightening is the pattern. We haven’t had a May with a below average temperature since 1976. Gerald Ford was president, parachute pants were still from the distant future, and your grandmother had literally just bought those bicentennial collectors plates you recently found in the attic. It begs the question: How long can temperatures be above average before we have to admit that average has changed?

I’d suggest we all pack our undershorts with ice, but the way things are going, ice could be hard to find.

Filed under: Article, Climate & Energy
Categories: Environment

Litton Entertainment's Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin from...

PR Web - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 17:36

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awarded Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin two Emmys® at the 41st Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy® Awards in Los Angeles for...

(PRWeb June 24, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/06/prweb11966546.htm

Categories: Environment

Oregon State University Launches Nation’s First Graduate Program in...

PR Web - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 17:36

Oregon State University is giving forestry professionals an innovative and flexible way to advance their careers by offering the nation’s first online graduate certificate in urban forestry. The...

(PRWeb June 24, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/06/prweb11962827.htm

Categories: Environment

Sustainable Sciences Institute (SSI) Awarded $1 Million to Battle...

PR Web - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 17:36

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carlos Slim Health Institute partner to fund UCSF-based FIRST (Fighting Infections through Research, Science and Technology) program; a $6 million...

(PRWeb June 24, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/FIRST/prweb11888985.htm

Categories: Environment

YKK Fastening Products Group Selects Filtra Systems STiR filter to...

PR Web - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 17:36

This Single Filtra Systems STiR unit replaced two sand filters achieving 90% removal at 5 micron and extremely low backwash volume reducing costs to treat by 10%.

(PRWeb June 24, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/06/prweb11960931.htm

Categories: Environment

Ferguson Movers, Surrey Now Introduce Hotel Moving Services

PR Web - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 17:36

Hotel moving and storage services are in great demand. Ferguson Moving and Storage is proud to introduce hotel moving services at...

(PRWeb June 24, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/06/prweb11967470.htm

Categories: Environment

Frocket, the Original Pocket Apparel Company, Announces the New...

PR Web - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 17:36

Celebrate America’s birthday in style with the new America Frocket, featuring a red, white and blue American Flag patterned pocket. Frocket fans can also enter to win a free customized America Frocket...

(PRWeb June 24, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/06/prweb11968772.htm

Categories: Environment

Need for Clean & Continuous Water Supply Drives Demand for Water...

PR Web - Tue, 06/24/2014 - 17:36

GIA announces the release of a comprehensive global report on Water Supply and Irrigation Systems markets. Global market for Water Supply and Irrigation Systems is projected to reach US$47.1 billion...

(PRWeb June 24, 2014)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/irrigation_systems_market/sprinkler_systems_market/prweb11970009.htm

Categories: Environment