HERE’S HOW STATES AND CITIES CAN FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE AND INEQUALITY IN THE TRUMP ERA...

Dec 1, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Let’s make polluters pay for carbon reduction and invest the revenue in disadvantaged communities. By Heather McGhee and Robert B. Reich  THE NATION.COM Traffic on I-80 in Berkeley, California. (Wikimedia Commons) President-elect Donald Trump has made it clear that he wants to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature climate policies—the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement on global emissions reductions. If he is successful, we will need a Plan B that the Republicans cannot obstruct. That means turning to states and cities, and in a big way. Some have already started to think about how climate change can be fought at the state level. But there is a lot more work to be done. One of the most hotly debated ballot initiatives in 2016 was Washington’s first-of-its-kind proposal for a statewide carbon tax,...

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PIPELINES EXPLAINED: HOW SAFE ARE AMERICA’S 2.5 MILLION MILES OF PIPELINES?...

Nov 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Map of major natural gas and oil pipelines in the United States. Hazardous liquid lines in red, gas transmission lines in blue. Source: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. by Lena Groeger ProPublica, At 6:11 p.m. on September 6, 2010, San Bruno, Calif. 911 received an urgent call. A gas station had just exploded and a fire with flames reaching 300 feet was raging through the neighborhood. The explosion was so large that residents suspected an airplane crash. But the real culprit was found underground: a ruptured pipeline spewing natural gas caused a blast that left behind a 72 foot long crater, killed eight people, and injured more than fifty. Over 2,000 miles away in Michigan, workers were still cleaning up another pipeline accident, which spilled 840,000 gallons of crude oil into the...

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CATALYZING EFFICIENT BUILDINGS

Nov 26, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] RMI left, The RMI Innovation Center, © Tim Griffith; right © Romy Purshouse The buildings we spend over 90 percent our lives inside consume more than 40 percent of our total energy, so a clean energy future must be centered in our homes and offices, in our schools and gathering places. Reducing buildings’ demand for energy while generating and storing it nearby is also key to resiliency in the face of storms and floods — like the recent, devastating Hurricane Matthew — which our rapidly warming world dishes out more frequently. Buildings that perform better save money, have increased value, and, with their cleaner air and natural light, help children grow up healthier and workers be more productive while at work — and take far fewer sick days. But because of a focus on the up-front costs — rather than the...

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WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR FOOD SCRAPS?...

Nov 25, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Shutterstock Waste watchers By Ask Umbra®  GRIST Tweet Q. Dear Umbra, When disposing of food waste, what’s better: putting it down the garbage disposal, or disposing of it in the solid waste stream? I know my water treatment plant incinerates solids, and my waste provider landfills its waste. Which uses less energy? Jake Worcester A. Dearest Jake, This is the kind of question we face multiple times every day, but I daresay it’s especially timely this season. Soon enough, we’ll all be poised over our collective sinks, scraping forks at the ready, wondering what to do with all those turkey carcasses, potato skins, and Aunt Mildred’s leftover brussels sprouts. Garbage disposal? Garbage? Feed it all to the dog? What’s a conscientious eater to do? You probably already know this, Jake, so at the...

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FIVE CUTTING-EDGE BUILDING MATERIALS TO WATCH IN 2016...

Nov 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] These products and technologies draw inspiration from the natural world. By Blaine Brownell   IAI The beginning of a new year routinely comes with the making of lists, often to forecast trends or outline objectives for the next 12 months. I would like to offer my own set of predictions for 2016. The following materials technologies, I expect, will make significant headway this year. None is yet commercially available, but many will launch in 2016 and the others will get that much closer to market availability during the period. This motley collection of innovations, which includes clothing made from synthesized spider threads, consumer products bio-engineered from discarded shrimp shells, and a bridge built entirely by robots, represents the culmination of years—sometimes decades—of research. I list them below in the anticipated chronological order of realization, although surprises and setbacks are inevitable. Join...

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ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS ON HOPE AND PROGRESS IN THE AGE OF TRUMP...

Nov 24, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] #SoNowWhat By Grist staff So now what? That’s the question those of us who care about the planet, its people — and, you know, basic human decency — have been asking since Election Day. Donald Trump, a climate denier who has promised to gut the Paris accord, scrap the Clean Power Plan, bring back coal, and roll back pollution restrictions is our next president, and the civil and human rights of so many in this country are threatened. Hateful, violent acts committed in his name continue to populate the news. If you’re feeling sad, angry, and confused, we hear you. So as we’ve done before in similar times, Grist turned to politicians, advocates, and other green leaders to ask how we keep working toward climate action, sustainability, and social justice? And what gives them hope, inspiration,...

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ISLAND IN THE SUN: TESLA IS POWERING AN ENTIRE ISLAND WITH SOLAR ENERGY...

Nov 23, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Earth & Energy In Brief The island of Ta’u originally depended on diesel generators for electricity which, on average, consumed more than 100,000 gallons of fuel every year. Now, the island is powered by a 1.4-megawatt solar array, coupled with a six-megawatt hour energy storage system of 60 Tesla Powerpacks. Power combo With the Tesla and SolarCity merger finally closed, the two energy companies have another collaborative success to celebrate. Tesla announced the completion of the solar energy project on the island of Ta’u in American Samoa in a tweet this Tuesday, accompanied by a video of the site. The Ta’u microgrid — an energy system with distributed sources, in this case solar and battery — is powered by  a 1.4-megawatt solar array, coupled with a six-megawatt hour energy storage system of 60 Tesla Powerpacks....

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HOW TO USE LESS PLASTIC IN YOUR HOME...

Nov 23, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] FIX.COM   Simple tricks to reduce plastic pollution There’s no question there are excellent plastic products that have done a lot to improve human lives. Items such as car seats, helmets, and medical plastics (just to name a few) are important items that not only enhance, but save lives. These are not the plastics that have people concerned. The plastics I refer to in this article are the superfluous plastics. Those that are created for convenience and financial sake only. In fact, products such as plastic utensils are often created to be used once and then tossed into the garbage. These are what I call “daily plastics,” which are completely unnecessary otherwise. Isn’t Recycling Plastic the Solution? What exactly does it mean to throw something “away”? First of all, “away” isn’t in a...

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FIVE WAYS TO BUILD INCLUSIVE CITIES...

Nov 22, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Worldwatch Institute Blog Environment & Society, State of the World  Gaelle Gourmelon This year, World Cities Day (October 31) focuses on “inclusive cities, shared development.” But with rapidly growing urbanization, how can cities ensure that all of their residents are thriving? Striking with indiscriminate intensity, Hurricane Matthew blew through the Caribbean and the eastern United States in late September. The Category 4 storm plowed the U.S. Gulf Coast with winds as high as 170 kilometers per hour, heavy rainfall, and floods. After the storm, at least 1,000 people had been killed and more than $4 billion of damage was incurred. While the storm may have been blind to its victims’ social and economic standing, urban design was not. Unsurprisingly, damages were felt disproportionately among the poor. During previous storms, such as Hurricane Katrina...

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WANT TO SEE CLIMATE ACTION IN TRUMPLANDIA? LOOK TO CITIES...

Nov 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]  THINK PROGRESS “The government has been trying to suppress science since Galileo, and it doesn’t work.” CREDIT: Pixabay By Marlene Cimons Like many people, Portland, Oregon Mayor Charlie Hales endured a long election night. But surprised as he was at the outcome, he knew that one thing would not change: “Cities are where the action is on climate, and there will be no turning back,” he said. “If we get it right, the world will get it right. And we can get it right without the support of the national government.” This was true, in fact, even before the stunning upset election of Donald Trump as president. And Trump — who has called climate change a hoax and vowed to dismantle President Obama’s environmental record — can’t change that. He will likely, as he has promised, keep the...

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8 PHOTOS THAT SHOW THE MAJESTY AND VULNERABILITY OF THE WORLD’S WATER...

Nov 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] TAKE PART A photographer has traveled to four continents to explore humanity’s relationship with its most vital resource. Nov 13, 2016 | Samantha Cowan Hundreds swim in a crowded public pool in New York City. Children sit in dry stretches of desert in Pakistan. Men bathe in a river in India. American photographer Mustafah Abdulaziz’s pictures offer a peek into the many ways that people across the world interact with water. The Berlin-based photographer has spent the past four years snapping pictures of water for his series of photos that fall under the broad title of Water. He has committed to photographing water until 2025, making his project a 15-year-long venture. Abdulaziz’s photographs focus on limited access to water, pollution of shared sources, and the impact of climate change on access to drinking water. By 2025,...

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IS RENEWABLE ENERGY TRUMP-PROOF?...

Nov 20, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Is Renewable Energy Trump-Proof? Despite the president-elect’s vow to ramp up fossil fuel production, solar and wind advocates say the market—and many Republicans—favor clean energy. A wind farm in Sweetwater, Texas. (Photo: Orjan F. Ellingvag/Corbis via Getty Images) TAKE PART DAILY Erica Gies’ work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Scientific American, The Economist, and other outlets. Bio Donald Trump’s rhetoric on the campaign trail was xenophobic, racist, and misogynistic, and now that he’s been elected president, many people in the crosshairs are afraid for their safety. But despite Trump’s negative comments about renewable energy—denying climate change, vowing to “save $100 billion that the United States is spending on climate policies,” dismissing wind and solar as uneconomic, and touting deregulation to ramp up oil, gas, and coal production—industry insiders say...

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LIFE DURING TRUMP: PROGRESS ON CLIMATE CHANGE WILL COME FROM THE BOTTOM UP...

Nov 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Essays By Edward Mazria We are facing two very different and defining moments in history: the ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement and the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Should the U.S. government fail to honor or withdraw from the Paris Agreement, this will be completely inconsistent with our core values and professional and civic responsibilities. The U.S. and global architecture and planning community, along with our colleagues in the building sector and sub-national governments, will continue to lead the effort to implement the objectives contained in the Paris Agreement and drive progress toward an equitable, sustainable, resilient, and carbon-neutral built environment.” Edward Mazria, Founder and CEO, Architecture 2030   As many are left feeling fearful and uncertain in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, it is important to remember that...

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We Must Stop Taking Clean Water and Sanitation for Granted: Here’s What You Can Do (Video)...

Nov 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Environment In the developing world, a lack of clean water and sanitation can be deadly. By Eleanor Allen / AlterNet Stop drinking aerated water or soft drink, water are great for kid. Photo Credit: GUNDAM_Ai/Shutterstock In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly named November 19 World Toilet Day, a call to action and to raise awareness about the many people worldwide who lack the basic human right to safe water and proper sanitation. In the west, we take toilets for granted. But many people can’t do that in the developing world. In fact, 2.4 of the 7 billion people on the planet lack improved sanitation, and 1 billion defecate in the open, which carries a host of risks, particularly to women and children. World Toilet Day 2016 ties directly into some themes that...

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GREENSBURG, KANSAS OVERCAME ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER AND EMBRACED A GREEN FUTURE...

Nov 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] State and local sustainability efforts will be more important than ever. Greensburg, Kansas. CREDIT: City of Greensburg By Jeremy Deaton It’s been a rough week for climate hawks. President-elect Donald Trump is headed to the White House, where he promises to gut federal climate policy. In light of his ascent to power, green groups are looking to alternate venues for action — namely local and regional governments. California and New York have both doubled down on their carbon-cutting goals since Election Day. Portland mayor Charlie Hales said the federal government will not be “a block to the actions we are taking at the local level.” Climate advocates are working to bring more states and cities into the fold, and not just liberal strongholds like Portland and San Francisco. Climate action is a tough sell in some...

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LETTER TO TRUMP: WHY BUSINESSES COULD BE THE FACT OF CLIMATE PROGRESS...

Nov 19, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Energy/Environment Progress watch  THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR Environmental business experts say that companies like the 365 that signed a letter to President-elect Trump are the new frontline of the fight against climate change. By Christina Beck, Staff Richard Clement /Reuters View Caption About video ads View Caption On Wednesday, a group of 365 United States-based companies and investors came together to issue a declaration of their support for progressive action on climate change and emissions regulation, marking a positive step forward for individuals concerned about climate change in the wake of last week’s presidential elections. Donald Trump’s election to the presidency has concerned many environmentalists who say that the president has the power to shape US energy and environmental policy and set a precedent for the rest of the world. But so do...

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MOROCCO LIGHTS THE WAY FOR AFRICA ON RENEWABLE ENERGY...

Nov 18, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] COP22 host leads by example in the fight against climate change with 52% green energy target by 2020 and Africa’s first city cycle hire scheme The Noor One concentrated solar power plant in Ouarzazate is one of the largest solar plants in the world. Photograph: Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images Global development is supported by About this content Celeste Hicks  THE GUARDIAN.COM As the host of this year’s COP22 climate change conference in Marrakech, Morocco has been keen to demonstrate its green credentials and make this COP the “African COP”. In the past year, Morocco has banned the use of plastic bags, launched new plans for extending the urban tram networks in Casablanca and Rabat, started the process of replacing its dirty old fleet of buses and taxis, launched Africa’s first city bicycle hire scheme,...

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BREAKING: Obama administration blocks oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean and off the Atlantic coast...

Nov 18, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Samantha Page Climate Reporter at @ThinkProgress. The new five-year plan protects parts of U.S. oceans until 2022. Rig Supervisor Rod Klepzig stands on the drill rig overlooking construction materials on Oooguruk Island off of the coast of Alaska’s North Slope. The six-acre island was built by Pioneer Natural Resources so it could drill for oil on the Arctic Ocean. CREDIT: AP Photo/Steve Quinn The Obama administration finalized its plans for offshore drilling on Friday, protecting much of the Arctic Ocean and all of the Atlantic coast, but staying the course on Gulf of Mexico drilling. Environmentalists applauded the new five-year plan from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which covers offshore leasing from 2017 to 2022 and is slightly stronger than its draft iterations. The Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska have been...

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US MILITARY PLANS TO DUMP 20,000 TONS OF HEAVY METALS AND EXPLOSIVES INTO THE OCEANS...

Nov 15, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report US Navy forces engage in maneuver training in the Philippine Sea, November 28, 2013. The massive amount of heavy metals and highly toxic compounds the Navy introduces into the environment will not be cleaned up by the Navy, nor will the Navy contribute to medical tests for people whose health may suffer. (Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ricardo R. Guzman / US Navy) The US Navy has been conducting war-game exercises in US waters for decades, and in the process, it has left behind tons of bombs, heavy metals, missiles, sonar buoys, high explosives and depleted uranium munitions that are extremely harmful to both humans and marine life. Truthout recently reported that the Navy has admitted to releasing chemicals into the oceans that are known...

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OBAMA’S INTERIOR MAKES IT EASIER TO BUILD RENEWABLE ENERGY ON PUBLIC LAND IN TRUMP ERA...

Nov 14, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] interior design   GRIST Jim Choate   FLICKR.COM The Bureau of Land Management finalized a rule on Thursday that enables solar and wind development on public land in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. The rule has been in the works since 2011, but the timing of the final announcement seems … intentional. Clearing the way for renewable development should push along the Climate Action Plan created by the Obama administration, which asked the Department of Interior to permit 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020. So far, the agency says its approved enough projects to produce 15,500 megawatts — enough to power about 5.1 million homes. But as Sammy Roth of the Desert Sun points out, those numbers are overstated, because projects have moved slowly or been canceled altogether. Just 31 of 60 are in construction or operation. Some environmentalists hope the finalized...

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JEFFERSON LAWSUIT AGAINST 9 OIL FIRMS TO GO TO TRIAL, JUDGE RULES...

Nov 13, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Disappearing marshland just east of Golden Meadow shows the slice of cut canals, in this Feb. 9, 2007 photograph. (Ted Jackson, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune archives) By Mark Schleifstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune × A wetlands damage lawsuit filed by Jefferson Parish against nine oil and gas companies must go to trial, a 24th Judicial District Court judge ruled Thursday (Nov. 10), saying attempts by the parish and the state of Louisiana to enforce provisions of permits under which the companies damaged the environment “would be irreparably inadequate.” The ruling by Judge Stephen Enright Jr.sets the stage for similar lawsuits to go forward and for the state to file suits in other coastal parishes, which could result in billions of dollars for Louisiana’s coastal restoration program if they are successful in the litigation. Jefferson has filed seven suits...

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WHAT THE TRUMP VICTORY MEANS FOR STANDING ROCK...

Nov 10, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Jenni Monet, YES! Magazine Pieces of pipeline are arranged near the Standing Rock camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. (Photo: Ellen Davidson) Less than 12 hours after Donald Trump walked onto a New York City stage as the newly elected president, the stock price for Energy Transfer Equity shot up 15 percent. Among that company’s holdings is Energy Transfer Partners, operator of the controversial Dakota Access pipeline. Protesters near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation continue to fight completion of the $3.8 billion project. But the jump in share price indicates an immediate pro-energy confidence in Trump. And that confidence is not unfounded. In Bismarck, North Dakota, Donald Trump gave a speech in May that would help secure his seat as America’s 45th president. The candidate was lagging 30 delegates to become the...

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A SOLAR FARM RISES FROM THE ASHES OF A COAL-BURNING POWER PLANT...

Nov 8, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] One of the worst sources of pollution in New England will be home to clean, renewable energy. The Mount Tom Power Station in Holyoke, Massachusetts, left; Solar farm construction at the Mount Tom Power Station. (Images: YouTube) Taylor Hill is an associate editor at TAKE PART covering environment and wildlife. The Mount Tom Power Station in Holyoke, Massachusetts—known as one of the worst polluters in New England—is on its way to a renewable rebirth. The plant’s owners broke ground on a 5.76-megawatt solar farm in October on the site of the defunct coal-burning power station. Activists had called for the closure of the plant for years, worried about the health effects burning coal was having on surrounding communities. “This victory came after more than five decades spent inhaling soot and struggling to breathe...

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An Ambitious Vision for the Next 50 Years: The New Landscape Declaration...

Nov 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Jared Green  THE DIRT After three months of intense deliberation, the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) has released their New Landscape Declaration, a poetic, powerful statement that many will feel captures the aspirations of landscape architects to steer the world onto a more sustainable course. At the ASLA 2016 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Barbara Deutsch, FASLA, president of the LAF, said the declaration will help landscape architects have a “multiplying effect” beyond their numbers. The declaration, which is written for a global audience, will soon be translated into 30 languages. “On June 10-11, 2016, over 700 landscape architects with a shared concern for the future were assembled by the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Inspired by LAF’s 1966 Declaration of Concern, we crafted a new vision for landscape architecture for the 21st century....

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SCIENTISTS DEVELOPED A WAY TO IMMOBILIZE AND STORE RADIOACTIVE WASTE FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS...

Nov 7, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Earth & Energy F. Schmidt   FUTURISM One nuclear site in southeastern Washington processed some 56 million gallons of radioactive waste alone – enough to fill more than 1 million bathtubs. Creating glass with radioactive waste at this site is expected to start around 2022 or 2023, and it could revolutionize waste storage. Glassing Radioactive Waste Scientists have found a revolutionary way to immobilize nuclear waste. In fact, it almost sounds like magic: simply turn the waste into glass. “Glass is a perfect material for immobilizing the radioactive wastes with excellent chemical durability,” says Ashutosh Goel, a Rutgers researcher and inventor of the new method. Perhaps surprisingly, turning radioactive waste into glass is not a new concept. Glass produced from a high level radioactive waste simulant. Albert Kruger/U.S. Department of Energy The process, called...

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CLIMATE DISRUPTION’S LEGACY: MEGADROUGHTS, EXTINCTIONS, OBITUARIES FOR REEFS...

Nov 6, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] 00 By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report More than one-fifth of the Great Barrier Reef died off this year during a major bleaching event — and there is nothing to indicate that ocean waters will not continue to warm apace. (Photo: dave / Flickr) Look around. Look outside your window. It doesn’t take much effort to notice the radical changes happening to the planet, if one only pays attention. September of this year saw Earth pass a dramatic threshold — one that signifies our entrance into a new era of anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD). September 2016 will now be remembered as the month that Earth passed the threshold of 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere permanently, according to scientists. That means that no one currently alive on the planet will ever again...

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WILL THE AX FALL ON NIGERIA’S NATIONAL PARKS?...

Nov 3, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By NATALIE INGLE Photo A road winds through the mountains in Cross River State in southeastern Nigeria. Credit Christopher Scott/Gallo Images, via Gety Images Among the unfortunate headlines about Boko Haram and email scams, it is easy to overlook that Nigeria boasts seven national parks and some of the richest biodiversity in West Africa. Nearly all of that flora and fauna is concentrated in Cross River State in the country’s southeast corner, abutting Cameroon. There, the Nigerian government hopes to have the magnificent Cross River National Park listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. To spend time in this landscape is to understand why it deserves such a distinguished designation. Jagged mountains, made soft by knee-high grass, rise out of jungle thick with fog and bird songs. From one of the bare, craggy...

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BERNIE SANDERS: ‘DAMN RIGHT’ WE SHOULD STOP THE DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE...

Nov 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   TRUTHDIG 11:06 a.m. PDT Wednesday: Those protesting the creation of the Dakota Access Pipeline have a new ally: Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sanders made his feelings known during a Hillary Clinton campaign rally on Tuesday. “Stop the Dakota pipeline!” someone in the audience yelled out during his speech. “Damn right,” Sanders shot back: Clinton’s campaign gave a more mild response last week after a clash between protesters and police led to over 140 arrests. “From the beginning of this campaign, Secretary Clinton has been clear that she thinks all voices should be heard and all views considered in federal infrastructure projects,” read the statement. President Obama, who has been notably quiet during the past months of demonstrations, made groundbreaking remarks on Tuesday morning. “I think as a general rule, my view is that...

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THE NEW YORK TIMES CUTS THROUGH THE HYPE ON GMOS...

Nov 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   They’re likely safe to eat, but they sure haven’t lived up to their high-yield, low-pesticide promise. Tom Philpott  MOTHER JONES Eighty percent of US corn, by far our biggest crop, is genetically modified. What has that gained us? James Brey/iStock Genetically modified seeds emerged in the mid-1990s and have since conquered million of acres of US farmland. Today, upward of 80 percent of corn, soybean, and cotton acreage is planted with crops engineered to withstand herbicides or insects, as have large portions of our sugar beet and alfalfa crops. Beyond the massive marketing triumph and financial success of companies like Monsanto and Syngenta—which sell both the seeds and the related herbicides—what has the industry achieved in terms of public benefits? Have they helped farmers churn out more food per acre and reduce...

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ELECTRIC FLOORS COULD GENERATE RENEWABLE ENERGY FROM WALKING...

Oct 31, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] By Tim Radford / Climate News Network Chuck Coker / CC BY-ND 2.0 LONDON—US scientists have found a new way to generate energy at home: the tribo-electric floor. Tread on it and it will convert the kinetic energy of a footstep into a current of electricity. And it’s made from the waste wood pulp that already serves as cheap flooring throughout the world. Xudong Wang, an engineer and materials scientist, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and colleagues report in the journal Nano Energy that they have taken cellulose fibres from forest waste material and chemically treated them in a way that creates an electric charge when they come into contact with untreated wood pulp fibres. The result: a patented, tribo-electric nanogenerator floor covering that can harness the energy of any footfall, and turn it into...

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