Sustainability

EPA settles an unsettling amount of reactive hazardous waste in Oregon
December 17, 2013 08:29 PM - Staff, ENN

Oregon Metallurgical of Albany and TDY Industries of Millersburg have agreed to pay a combined $825,000 to resolve alleged violations related to the improper storage, transportation, and disposal of anhydrous magnesium chloride, a reactive hazardous waste that poses fire and explosion threats. The EPA asserts that both companies must improve their hazardous waste management practices and upgrade their record keeping for wastes generated at their facilities to avoid potential injuries and accidents.

Snow plowing goes high tech
December 17, 2013 11:08 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Snow, ice and other hazardous wintry conditions account for more than 4,000 lives and thousands of injuries each year in the United States. And while keeping roads clear is a major challenge for every state, doing so strategically and cost effectively is largely dependent upon experience: knowing the trouble spots, anticipating the locations that will freeze over first or be most dangerous because of shading, elevation or north-facing curves.

Rutgers University study looks at climate change and interrelated variables
December 17, 2013 07:38 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN

The changing climate is more complicated to model than we assumed. There are interrelated variables that work together to amplify the effects. For example, as summer sea-ice and snow shrink back in the Arctic, the number of summertime "extreme" weather events in the middle latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere is increasing, according to research published recently in Nature Climate Change by two Chinese scientists and their Rutgers colleague. "It's becoming increasingly clear, I think, that the loss of sea ice and snow cover is setting up the conditions that jump-start summer," said Jennifer Francis, research professor at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences in Rutgers’ School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. "The soil dries out earlier and that allows it to get hotter earlier. This phenomenon is also changing circulation patterns in the atmosphere."

COLLEGIATE CORNER: Must we drink bottled water?
December 16, 2013 04:10 PM - Alyson Leppla, Earth Science Education, Class of 2015, University of Delaware

More than 780 million people lack access to safe drinking water, two and a half times the population of the United States. More than half of all Americans drink bottled water, yet almost every U.S. household has access to safe drinking water.

EU asks the U.S. to share the energy wealth
December 16, 2013 03:56 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Taking note of the United States recoupment of natural gas, most specifically from shale, the EU is pressing its Washington counterparts to include energy exports in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TIPP) trade pact currently being negotiated. The pact will account for half of the world's economy covering goods and services to include everything from agriculture to finance.

Human values and coral reef management
December 16, 2013 11:12 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

"Human values need to be considered in decision-making to improve long-term coral reef management," says Dr. Christina Hicks, research fellow from Stanford. Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS) at James Cook University and Stanford University are linking social science to ecology in order to improve the environmental problems in these sensitive ecosystems. Currently little thought is given to the human community's needs including food and wellbeing for the more powerful economic interests, such as tourism, which drives coral reef management.

Good news for European rivers
December 16, 2013 08:12 AM - fred pearce, Yale Environment360

From Britain to the Czech Republic, European nations have been restoring rivers to their natural state — taking down dams, removing levees, and reviving floodplains. For a continent that long viewed rivers as little more than shipping canals and sewers, it is a striking change. From the industrial cities of Britain to the forests of Sweden, from the plains of Spain to the shores of the Black Sea, Europe is restoring its rivers to their natural glory. The most densely populated continent on earth is finding space for nature to return along its river banks.

Tesla and SolarCity Partner to Provide Energy Storage for Commercial Buildings
December 16, 2013 07:43 AM - RP Siegel, Triple Pundit

It looks like Elon Musk and his friends at Solar City are at it again. First, there was the Tesla electric car. Then came solar energy provider Solar City. Then came the financial innovation of bonds backed by solar power. Now they appear to be combining all of these, with Solar City offering commercial energy storage systems based on batteries produced by Tesla Motors.

Renewable energy is young generation's top investment choice
December 13, 2013 08:47 AM - ClickGreen staff, ClickGreen

A nationwide survey has found that renewable energy is the British public’s top investment choice after property but is the number one alternative for 18 to 24-year-olds. The findings show the country’s investment preferences reflect fast growing public support for clean power.

Average American Consumes 50,000 Pounds of Raw Material Annualy For The Stuff They Buy
December 11, 2013 12:19 PM - Tanya Dimitrova, MONGABAY.COM

The average American car weighs about 3,000 pounds. But to produce that vehicle, a lot more raw materials were used than its final weight! Maybe as much as 100 times more, as reported by scientists in a recent paper in the Proceedings of National Academy of Science.

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