Sustainability

Ammonia threatens national parks
November 27, 2013 09:09 AM - ENN, Staff

Ammonia emissions have become a serious concern for scientists at Harvard University. Of particular note, thirty eight U.S. national parks are experiencing “accidental” fertilization” at or above a critical threshold for ecological damage according the study recently published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

UK ordered to install 70,000 electric vehicle charging points by 2020
November 26, 2013 03:27 PM - ClickGreen staff, ClickGreen

European law-makers have passed a resolution that will compel the UK to install a network of 70,000 electric vehicle recharging points as well as hydrogen and natural gas stations by 2020. The European Parliament today endorsed a draft directive that aims to reduce dependence on oil and boost take-up of alternative fuels, so as to help achieve a 60% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 2050.

Climate change signals a whale of a shift in feeding patterns
November 26, 2013 09:08 AM - Rebecca Kessler, Yale 360

Every summer and fall, endangered North Atlantic right whales congregate in the Bay of Fundy between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to gorge on zooplankton. Researchers have documented the annual feast since 1980, and well over 100 whales typically attend, a significant portion of the entire species. Only this year, they didn't. Just a dozen right whales trickled in—a record low in the New England Aquarium's 34-year-old monitoring program. And that comes on the heels of two other low-turnout years, 2010 and 2012.

Tuna and Sharks, a tale of two fishes
November 26, 2013 07:19 AM - The Ecologist staff, The Ecologist

ICCAT, the Atlantic tuna commission, sets science-based bluefin tuna catch quotas in the Mediterranean - but fails to protect for vulnerable sharks, or clamp down on rule breakers. The EU, represented in the meeting by European Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki, strongly backed respect for science. After years of mismanagement, ICCAT followed for the first time last year the scientific recommendations and set an annual quota at 13,400 tonnes for bluefin tuna fisheries in the East Atlantic and Mediterranean. In spite of the lack of a new assessment this year, there was strong pressure from several countries to increase the quota, disregarding scientific advice. The EU, represented in the meeting by European Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki, strongly backed respect for science. Proposals to increase the quotas were finally discarded.

"Location, location, location" on the wild side
November 25, 2013 04:16 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

The old real estate adage "location, location, location" is still the most important factor in purchasing property but the term "location" is bringing with it a different perspective today than it did years ago. While property sales have boasted bonus attributes such as proximately to shops, bus routes, beach front and features such as media rooms, offices and central air conditioning and "other amenities" little has been said about wildlife-friendly gardens.

80,000 acres swallowed up
November 25, 2013 02:58 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

The United States has lost approximately 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands between 2004 and 2009 according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Much of this loss is blamed on development and has occurred in freshwater regions. Additionally, more than 70% of the loss is from the Gulf of Mexico. According to the EPA wetland loss in the eastern U.S. is happening at a rate double that of what is being restored.

Shell Puts an Internal Price on Carbon Pollution
November 25, 2013 01:59 PM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit

There is a section within Royal Dutch Shell’s 2012 sustainability report, released last spring, which describes the oil company’s self imposed carbon pollution price. Yes, you read those last three words correctly and they are not a typo.

Plastic Bags - Recycle them or ban them?
November 23, 2013 07:25 AM - Margaret Badore, Care2

California has become an interesting test-case for both approaches to one plastic problem. Back in 2006, California passed a law that mandated a system for recycling plastic shopping bags. Today, supermarkets and other large stores have receptacles where plastic bags can be returned for recycling. However, a recent report from the Associated Press found that it’s difficult to measure how successful this program has been. They found that the data collected by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has not been analyzed since 2009, when about 3 percent of bags made it to recycling. The department did provide reporters with the raw data: “Retailers reported purchasing 62.3 million pounds of bags in 2012, down from 107.4 million in 2008. They reported 4 million pounds of bags and 27 million pounds of mixed bags and plastic film were returned for recycling in 2012.

IKEA Invests In Canadian Wind Farm
November 21, 2013 10:27 AM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit

IKEA is the world’s largest home furnishings retailer, with over 340 stores in 40 countries, including 38 in the U.S. That’s one big reach. IKEA would like its reach to be powered with renewable energy.

Japan pledges to raise carbon emissions, not cut them
November 21, 2013 09:00 AM - Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM

In 2009, Japan pledged to cut its carbon emissions by 25 percent based on 1990 levels within 11 years. Four years later—including a nuclear meltdown at Fukushima—and Japan has reset its goal with a new target to cut emissions by 3.8 percent based on 2005 levels at the UN Climate Summit in Warsaw, Poland. But, the new target, which received widespread condemnation when announced on Friday, actually results in a 3.1 percent rise in emissions when viewed from the widely-accepted 1990 baseline. "The new target is based on zero nuclear power in the future. We have to lower our ambition level," said Hiroshi Minami, Japan's delegate at the 19th annual Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

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