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Exxon’s knowledge about climate change

21 Oct

http://insideclimatenews.org/content/Exxon-The-Road-Not-Taken

Exxon’s Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels’ Role in Global Warming Decades Ago

 Top executives were warned of possible catastrophe from greenhouse effect, then led efforts to block solutions.

By Neela Banerjee, Lisa Song and David Hasemyer

Sep 21, 2015

What Exxon knew about
the Earth’s melting Arctic

Chemicals in sunscreen damaging coral reefs

20 Oct

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/20/450276158/chemicals-in-sunscreen-are-harming-coral-reefs-says-new-study

New research about sunscreen’s damaging effects on coral reefs suggests that you might want to think twice before slathering it on.

Reports about the harmful environmental effects of certain chemicals in the water have been circulated for years, but according to the authors of a new study released Tuesday, the chemicals in even one drop of sunscreen are enough to damage fragile coral reef systems. Some 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotions wind up in coral reefs around the world each year.

The ingredient oxybenzone leaches the coral of its nutrients and bleaches it white. It can also disrupt the development of fish and other wildlife.

Scientists conducted the new study in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii and Israel, but reefs all over the world are at risk, according to a 2011 report by the World Resource Institute.

While destructive fishing, pollution and development all pose threats to the coral reef, the study reveals that sunscreen is a serious danger to the health of coral.

“The use of oxybenzone-containing products needs to be seriously deliberated in islands and areas where coral reef conservation is a critical issue,” Downs said according to the Washington Post.

“We have lost at least 80 percent of the coral reefs in the Caribbean,” co-author Craig Downs said. “Any small effort to reduce oxybenzone pollution could mean that a coral reef survives a long, hot summer, or that a degraded area recovers.”

Local economies also depend on the tourism that coral reefs attract. As a result, some local businesses have started to ban the use of harmful sunscreen in their waters. In Akumal, Mexico, an area known for its reefs and sea turtles, visitors are warned against wearing sunscreen and are restricted to certain areas to prevent too much disruption of reef life.

But damaging sunscreen from beachgoers is just part of the concern. Anytime people wear sunscreen, it’s going to wind up in the waterways when they clean it off, just like harmful chemicals in household cleaning products that are washed down drains and into the sewage systems.

“People come inside and step into the shower. People forget it goes somewhere,” co-author John Fauth told the Post.

So how can you avoid harming coral reefs without allowing the sun to damage your skin?

The U.S. National Park Service for South Florida, Hawaii, U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa recommend using “reef friendly” sunscreen (those made with titanium oxide or zinc oxide, which are natural mineral ingredients) and wearing clothing and hats to protect the skin from the sun.

Prison and climate change

31 Aug

https://floodthesystem.net/infographic-prison-and-climate-change/?can_id=56012df8433725c4974181656848f867&source=email-prisons-and-climate-change&email_referrer=prisons-and-climate-change___14844

Vibrant infographic from #floodthesystem movement on the connection between climate change and prisons.

“Drinkable book”

18 Aug

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/could-drinkable-book-provide-clean-water-developing-world-180956286/?no-ist

Local food and teaching the environment

1 Jul

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/06/30/418835394/communities-get-a-lift-as-local-food-sales-surge-to-11-billion-a-year

There’s a renaissance in local and regional food, and it’s not just farmers markets in urban areas that are driving it.

On this map, the U.S. Department of Agriculture pinpoints more than 4,000 local and regional food businesses and projects — from food hubs to farm-to-school programs to initiatives to expand healthy food access to low-income communities — in every state around the country.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/01/business/energy-environment/tackling-climate-change-one-class-at-a-time.html?_r=1

BAR HARBOR, Me. — Like many residents of this picturesque island town on the edge of Acadia National Park, Zach Soares had trouble keeping his house warm, going through five cords of wood in the winter. So he jumped at an offer last year for free energy improvements through a class project at the College of the Atlantic, where he works.

John Doerr on climate change, greentech

30 Jun

“I don’t think we’re going to make it,” John Doerr says in an emotional talk about climate change and investment. To create a world fit for his daughter to live in, he says, we need to invest now in clean, green energy.

John Doerr, Silicon Valley’s legendary moneyman, is afraid of eco-apocalypse. After building his reputation (and a considerable fortune) investing in high-tech successes, he’s turning his focus toward green technologies, and hoping it isn’t too late.

Why you should listen

John Doerr, a partner in famed VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, made upwards of $1 billion picking dot-com stars like Amazon, Google, Compaq and Netscape. (He also picked some flops, like Go Corporation and the scandal-ridden MyCFO.com.) He was famously quoted saying, “The Internet is the greatest legal creation of wealth in history,” right before the dot-com crash. However, his business prowess earned him an appointment on President Obama’s Economic Advisory Board in 2009 following the economic downturn.

But now he’s back, warning that carbon-dioxide-sputtering, gas-powered capitalism will destroy us all, and that going green may be the “biggest economic opportunity of the 21st century.” So Kleiner Perkins has invested $200 million in so-called greentech, a combination of startups that are pioneering alternative energy, waste remediation and other schemes to prevent the coming environmental calamity. But Doerr is afraid that it might be too little, too late.

What others say

“[John Doerr] is, by all accounts, the most influential venture capitalist of his generation.” — Fast Company

Keystone pipeline

3 Dec

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/12/2/big-sky-country-atanenvironmentalcrossroads.html

Montana: Big Sky country at an environmental crossroads

December 2, 2013  5:15AM ET
Montana’€™s ’emerging, sprawling fossil fuel resistance’€ unites Native Americans, cowboys and activists
Montana is “potentially a real cork in the carbon bottle,” said author and activist Bill McKibben. “And it’s a perfect illustration of the emerging, sprawling fossil-fuel resistance. It’s necessarily centered in local concerns.”