Aquarius Reef Base
July 17, 2012 09:47 AM -
The NOAA Aquarius Reef Base is an underwater habitat located in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, adjacent to Conch Reef. It is one of the few underwater research facilities in the world dedicated to science. The 25-year-old facility, built by the federal government, has hosted everyone from marine biologists studying endangered coral reefs to NASA astronauts training for weightless missions in space. After some years of declining budgets, the Obama administration has eliminated funding for the base, leaving its staff with just two options: either shutdown or find other independent funding. Part of this week's mission is outreach and education aimed at helping save Aquarius Reef.
Bill Clinton on Managing Scarce Resources
July 16, 2012 10:34 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN
Oxford University held its Re|Source forum recently, and former US President Bill Clinton addressed the group on the subject of scarce resources and how to manage their development and use in a way that is fair and equitable. The most important decision of the 21st century is whether the human race can learn to share its scarce natural resources for the common good, President Bill Clinton told delegates at Re|Source 2012 during a two-day forum at the University of Oxford. Clinton said: 'The only strategy that makes sense is the one that says we are going to share the world with other human beings and we will share its natural resources.' This, he said, 'is the fundamental decision of the 21st century.' This is an important issue, and the extent to which it can be fairly managed will make an enormous difference to us all.
Apple Repeats love of EPEAT
July 16, 2012 06:26 AM - Akhila Vijayaraghavan, Triple Pundit
Last week ENN Affiliate TriplePundit covered Apple's withdrawal from EPEAT. Shortly after this, the city of San Francisco banned all its employees from using Apple products for city business as by law it is necessary that all IT equipment be 100 percent EPEAT certified. It was also expected that several education and government bodies would follow suit. Now, however, Apple has done a total U-turn and has come back to EPEAT. Apple's sustainability has always been under speculation for various reasons and the company has been reluctant to disclose many of its practices. EPEAT is an initiative spearheaded by the company itself, so it came as quite a shock when they withdrew from the standard. The main reason why the company pulled out in the first place was because of its new Macbook Pro with the retina screen which could not be easily recycled. One of the conditions to be EPEAT-certified is ease of recyclability of old electronics.
Coal Miners suffering as energy mix shifts
July 15, 2012 08:30 AM - GUY RAZ and LAUREN SILVERMAN, NPR
At some point today, you will probably flip on a light switch. That simple action connects you to the oldest and most plentiful source of American electricity: coal. Since the early 1880s — when Edison and Tesla pioneered the distribution of electrical power into our homes — most of that power has come from the process of burning coal. Four years ago, something started to change. First it was slow, and then this past month that change became dramatic. Coal now generates just 34 percent of our electricity, down from about 50 percent just four years ago. Now, the loss of coal as the dominant energy source is having damaging effects on the towns that once relied on the black rock for their livelihood.
Population Issues - What China Needs to do Now
July 14, 2012 08:02 AM - Population Matters
China, perhaps more than any other country, faces many important and difficult population challenges: reproductive health and reproductive rights, rural-urban migration and reform of the hukou system, and imbalances in the sex ratio at birth. And two deeply connected population issues, the rapid aging of the population, on the one hand, and the low birth rate and the family planning policy on the other, are of great significance to China's future development. China's population is aging as rapidly as anywhere in the world and its low birth rate means it faces a significant population decline in the not too distant future. In part, China’s population will age because people are living longer, an important dimension of China’s great progress. But the country’s low birth rate is the most important reason for population aging, leading to a very top-heavy age structure with many elderly, fewer workers, and even fewer children.
Why you really DO need to properly recycle or dispose of your printer cartridges!
July 13, 2012 03:36 PM - Guest Post by Ben Randall, Global Warming is Real
We live in a wasteful society. After buying products, many people are all too used to throwing them away, and haven't quite grasped the concept of recycling yet. But we are getting there slowly. To work towards a greener future we must look at specific ways to be more economical, which will allow us to stop pumping so much hazardous gas into the atmosphere. It probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind, but one way we can significantly reduce our carbon waste output is through making a worldwide effort to recycle ink cartridges. Chuck a printer cartridge into a landfill heap and it will take 450 years to decompose. Ink cartridges have a huge negative impact on our environment; here is a breakdown of why this is so. It is evident that some of us, ranging from the little guy to huge corporations, make the effort to recycle ink cartridges.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) — a cap-and-trade program designed to limit power plant emissions in 10 Northeastern states — has been under close scrutiny in recent months as a result of lawsuits in New Jersey and New York, and legislation in New Hampshire. Each of these developments demonstrates the polarization and controversy that continue to surround greenhouse gas regulation, and RGGI in particular, years after the regional trading program first took effect.
Reagan Secretary of State George Shultz Supports Carbon Tax
July 13, 2012 06:23 AM - Editor, MONGABAY.COM
Former Secretary of State George Shultz is calling for a carbon tax to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and oil consumption, according to an interview released today by Stanford University. Shultz, who served as secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan as well as a number of other roles under previous Republican administrations, is heading up the Hoover Institution's Task Force on Energy Policy will calls for boosting energy efficiency, reducing dependence on oil exports to improve national security, and putting a price on carbon. While the last of those objectives has been an anathema to many Republicans of late, Shultz said his party could eventually support a carbon tax.
The Dead Sea is Dying - Really!
July 12, 2012 04:36 PM - dave levitan, Yale Environment360
On a quiet stretch of coastline along the western shore of the Dead Sea, a sinkhole had swallowed a piece of a road, pulling in concrete and rusted fence posts. The sea lay a short distance beyond, its turquoise-colored waters dropping at the rate of more than one meter a year. The sinkholes are among the most visible effects of the continuing slow "death" of the Dead Sea, which borders Israel, Jordan, and the West Bank. Thousands of sinkholes have opened up around the Dead Sea's coastal plain, threatening roads and structures alike. Near this particular sinkhole, a grove of date palms sat withered and dead, abandoned because of the dangerous ground on which they stood.On a quiet stretch of coastline along the western shore of the Dead Sea, a sinkhole had swallowed a piece of a road, pulling in concrete and rusted fence posts. The sea lay a short distance beyond, its turquoise-colored waters dropping at the rate of more than one meter a year.
Asian Carp in the Great Lakes
July 12, 2012 04:02 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
There have been many invasions of foreign species into new territories. Asian carp may pose substantial environmental risk to the Great Lakes if they become established there, according to a bi-national Canadian and United States risk assessment released today. Bighead and silver carps -- two species of Asian carp -- pose an environmental risk to the Great Lakes within 20 years, with the risk increasing over time. Lakes Michigan, Huron and Erie face the highest risk relative to the other lakes. The new risk assessment report was led by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and included a team of scientists from Canada and the United States. Two U.S. Geological Survey scientists were among the co-authors of the report.