Obama Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline
November 9, 2015 06:41 AM - Center for Biological Diversity
In a crucial victory for the climate, wildlife and the millions who spoke against it, President Obama rejected the Keystone XL project today, saying that building the tar sands oil pipeline is not in the national interest.
Over the past four years, scientists, environmentalists, tribes, farmers, celebrities and business people joined forces to fight the pipeline, with more than 2 million comments submitted to the U.S. State Department, tens of thousands participating in rallies against Keystone in all 50 states, and thousands of citizens arrested in peaceful civil disobedience.
“This is a historic moment, not just for what it means about avoiding the impacts of this disastrous pipeline but for all of those who spoke out for a healthy, livable climate and energy policies that put people and wildlife ahead of pollution and profits,” said Valerie Love with the Center for Biological Diversity. “President Obama did the right thing, but he didn’t do it alone: Millions of Americans made their voices heard on this issue, and will continue pressing Obama and other political leaders to do what’s necessary to avoid climate catastrophe.”
Assessing the health and economic consequences of Dieselgate
October 29, 2015 08:01 AM - MIT News
Volkswagen’s use of software to evade emissions standards in more than 482,000 diesel vehicles sold in the U.S. will directly contribute to 60 premature deaths across the country, a new MIT-led study finds.
In September, the Environmental Protection Agency discovered that the German automaker had developed and installed “defeat devices” (actually software) in light-duty diesel vehicles sold between 2008 and 2015. This software was designed to sense when a car was undergoing an emissions test, and only then engage the vehicle’s full emissions-control system, which would otherwise be disabled under normal driving conditions — a cheat that allows the vehicles to emit 40 times more emissions than permitted by the Clean Air Act.
That amount of excess pollution, multiplied by the number of affected vehicles sold in the U.S. and extrapolated over population distributions and health risk factors across the country, will have significant effects on public health, the study finds.
Why are diesel cars so popular in Europe?
October 27, 2015 08:04 AM - EurActiv
An estimated annual 'tax gap' subsidy of some €16 billion for diesel over petrol has made Europe the world's largest market for diesel cars - but the Volkswagen scandal has put the national tax schemes supporting this industry at risk.
“There is no reason to keep subsidising this sector," Carlos Calvo, policy analyst at Transport & Environment, told EurActiv on Monday (26 October). The efficiency of petrol-fuelled cars has improved significantly in recent years, while the diesel industry has reduced its nitrogen-oxide emissions only very slowly.
Volkswagen begins recalling diesels in Europe
October 19, 2015 06:54 AM - Leon Kaye
The good news for Volkswagen is that it delivered almost 7.5 million vehicles to customers during the first three quarters of 2015. The bad news is that 8.5 million of VW’s cars will most likely be subject to a mandatory recall — and that’s just in Europe.
The fallout from the Volkswagen emissions scandal continues to reverberate, four weeks after revelations about the installation of “defeat device” software in diesel-powered cars slammed the newswires. Now, the world’s largest automaker is facing a global public relations crisis. This includes its home base: 2.8 million of the recalled vehicles were sold in Germany.
Ecotourism can put wild animals at risk
October 9, 2015 01:59 PM - UCLA Newsroom
Ecotourism, in which travelers visit natural environments with an eye toward funding conservation efforts or boosting local economies, has become increasingly popular in recent years. In many cases it involves close observation of or interaction with wildlife, such as when tourists swim with marine animals. Now, life scientists have analyzed more than 100 research studies on how ecotourism affects wild animals and concluded that such trips can be harmful to the animals, whose behaviors may be altered in ways that put them at risk.
Antibacterial vs. Plain Soap
October 2, 2015 08:27 AM - Dr. Mercola, Organic Consumers Association
A survey by the American Cleaning Institute and the industry-run Personal Care Products Council revealed that 74 percent of Americans use antibacterial soap.
Fifty-six percent of them use it regularly, and, reportedly, 75 percent of moms with children in the household said they would be “angry” if antibacterial soap was no longer on the market.
Do you favor hotels that ask you to reuse your towels?
October 2, 2015 06:40 AM - ClickGreen staff, ClickGreen
Hotels across the globe are increasingly encouraging guests to embrace green practices. Yet while guests think they are supporting the environment by shutting off lights and reusing towels, they may in fact be victims of "greenwashing," a corporation's deceitful practice of promoting environmentally friendly programmes while banking the extra profits.
Greenwashing practices, such as a sign that reads "save the planet: re-use towels," coupled with claims of corporate social responsibility, have soiled the trust of American consumers who are increasingly recognizing hotels' green claims may be self-serving. This could cause hotels to lose valuable repeat customers.
The Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal and it's potential impact on VW owners
October 1, 2015 06:53 AM - YUKI NOGUCHI, NPR
Out of the 250 million cars and trucks on U.S. roads, the impending recall at Volkswagen will involve just a half-million of them. But VW's emissions cheating scandal is receiving outsize attention because many of the company's customers feel duped. Now those customers are weighing what it will take to make them feel whole again.
David Chien of Williston, Vt., was looking for a bigger, fuel-efficient car that could power its way through Northeastern snow. He says the 2013 Jetta SportWagen he bought "seemed to check all the boxes."
The Volkswagen scandal and EU transportation emissions
September 28, 2015 11:12 AM - EurActiv
The revelations that Volkswagen, the world's second largest car manufacturer, had routinely gamed US emissions testing has thrown the spotlight on the environmental and health impact of cars.
While EU member states, such as the UK, open or consider investigations into the beleaguered company, European Commission officials are currently reviewing the executive’s 2011 White Paper for transport, its main policy roadmap for the sector.
Bringing extra impetus to their deliberation is the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, international talks aimed at capping global warming.
Nearly half of US seafood supply is wasted
September 24, 2015 03:13 PM - Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
As much as 47 percent of the edible U.S. seafood supply is lost each year, mainly from consumer waste, new research from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) suggests. The findings, published in the November issue of Global Environmental Change, come as food waste in general has been in the spotlight and concerns have been raised about the sustainability of the world’s seafood resources.