February, 2023

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As Millions of Solar Panels Age Out, Recyclers Prepare to Cash In

Yale E360

Solar panels have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years, but they contain valuable metals, including silver and copper. With a surge of expired panels expected soon, companies are emerging that seek to recycle the reusable materials and keep the panels out of landfills.

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How Much Land Would it Require to Get Most of Our Electricity from Wind and Solar?

Union of Concerned Scientists

Critics of wind and solar routinely raise concerns about how much land would be required to decarbonize the US power sector. Fortunately, the answer is relatively little. A recent National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) study shows that it would take less than 1 percent of the land in the Lower 48—that’s an area comparable to or even smaller than the fossil fuel industry’s current footprint.

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New U.S. Climate Law Will Make Water Contamination Worse

Circle of Blue

New U.S. Climate Law Could Make Midwest Water Contamination Worse Billions in clean energy incentives rely on raw materials from polluting corn and livestock. By Keith Schneider Circle of Blue February 8, 2023 President Biden, U.S. environmental organizations, and climate activists were appropriately enthused last summer when Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act.

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In Scramble for Clean Energy, Europe Is Turning to North Africa

Yale E360

In its quest for green energy, Europe is looking to North Africa, where vast solar and wind farms are proliferating and plans call for submarine cables that will carry electricity as far as Britain. But this rush for clean power is raising serious environmental concerns.

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Implementing D.E.J.I. Strategies in Energy, Environment, and Transportation

Speaker: Antoine M. Thompson, Executive Director of the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition

Diversity, Equity, Justice, and Inclusion (DEJI) policies, programs, and initiatives are critically important as we move forward with public and private sector climate and sustainability goals and plans. Underserved and socially, economically, and racially disadvantaged communities bear the burden of pollution, higher energy costs, limited resources, and limited investments in the clean energy and transportation sectors.

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2022 updates to model-observation comparisons

Real Climate

Our annual post related to the comparisons between long standing records and climate models. As frequent readers will know, we maintain a page of comparisons between climate model projections and the relevant observational records , and since they are mostly for the global mean numbers, these get updated once the temperature products get updated for the prior full year.

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You Want A Free Market? I’LL Show You A Free Market.

Legal Planet

Huntington Beach: No Middle-Class Please After patiently requesting, begging, insisting, pleading, and incentivizing local governments to plan for more affordable housing, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, armed with new powers from the state legislature, has had enough. It is cracking down on local governments that simply refuse to do their fair share in alleviating the state’s housing crisis.

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More Trending

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How Is Climate Change Affecting Winter Storms in the US? 

Union of Concerned Scientists

With extreme winter weather breaking out across the United States this week, a question in many people’s minds is—how is climate change affecting winter storms? I had the good fortune to chat about this with world-renowned expert, Dr. Jennifer Francis , Senior Scientist with the Woodwell Climate Research Center. Rachel: Thank you so much for speaking with us.

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Flush with Cash, State Lawmakers Consider Water Risks

Circle of Blue

Water is poised for prominence this year in state law and policy. Lawmakers in Phoenix and in other state capitals see water as a priority this year. Photo © J. Carl Ganter/Circle of Blue By Brett Walton, Circle of Blue – February 13, 2023 The fiscal scare that arose in the early days of the pandemic has ebbed. Instead of budgetary catastrophe, state balance sheets show evidence of a “strong fiscal position,” says Kathryn White of the National Association of State Budget Officers.

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Microplastics Are Filling the Skies. Will They Affect the Climate?

Yale E360

Recent studies reveal that tiny pieces of plastic are constantly lofted into the atmosphere. These particles can travel thousands of miles and affect the formation of clouds, which means they have the potential to impact temperature, rainfall, and even climate change.

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Humans don’t hibernate, but we still need more winter sleep

Frontiers

by Angharad Brewer Gillham, Frontiers science writer Image/Shutterstock.com Society and technology impose sleep and wake schedules on people, especially in urban environments with lots of light pollution. Although seasonality in animal sleep is well known, for the past 25 years we’ve assumed humans are different. But a study of patients being monitored for sleep-related difficulties shows underestimated variation in sleep architecture over the course of a year.

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Shaping a Resilient Future: Climate Impact on Vulnerable Populations

Speaker: Laurie Schoeman Director, Climate & Sustainability, Capital

As households and communities across the nation face challenges such as hurricanes, wildfires, drought, extreme heat and cold, and thawing permafrost and flooding, we are increasingly searching for ways to mitigate and prevent climate impacts. During this event, national climate and housing expert Laurie Schoeman will discuss topics including: The two paths for climate action: decarbonization and adaptation.

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Black Figures in Environmental History

Legal Planet

Yesterday was the start of Black History Month. Last year, I posted about the contributions made by Black climate scientists. This year, I want to go back earlier in history to highlight the environmental contributions of three Black figures in much earlier times. The earliest of these figures was Solomon Brown, who was born in 1829 and the first Black employee of the Smithsonian.

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What are the Fastest Growing Sustainability Professions?

Environment + Energy Leader

In the United States, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the fastest-growing occupation from 2019 to 2029 is expected to be wind turbine service technicians, with a growth rate of 61%. The post What are the Fastest Growing Sustainability Professions? appeared first on Environment + Energy Leader.

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Fossil Fuel Companies Make Billions in Profit as We Suffer Billions in Losses

Union of Concerned Scientists

The world’s biggest fossil fuel companies recently released their 2022 earnings reports, revealing record-breaking profits last year; just five companies–ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, and TotalEnergies–reported a total of nearly $200 billion in profits. At the same time, the world is incurring record losses due to extreme weather events.

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Ongoing Battle to Keep Toxic Chemicals at Bay

Circle of Blue

Ongoing Battle to Keep Toxic Chemicals at Bay Outdated federal water laws and chemicals that were approved for industry without assessing for risk leave Ann Arbor and other communities struggling to ward off water contaminants before they foul drinking supplies. SUMMARY: A growing array of contaminants threaten Michigan’s rivers, lakes and drinking water systems, and many of them are still unregulated Experts blame a federal system that’s too quick to approve new chemicals, and too slow to stop

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Sustainability at Retail

Sustainability impacts every nation, company, and person around the world. So much so that, in 2015, the United Nations (UN) issued a call for action by all countries to work toward sustainable development. In response to this and as part of a global Sustainability at Retail initiative, Shop! worked collaboratively with its global affiliates to address these critical issues in this white paper.

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How Illegal Mining Caused a Humanitarian Crisis in the Amazon

Yale E360

The onslaught of illegal miners into Indigenous territory in the Brazilian Amazon has destroyed forest, polluted rivers, and brought disease and malnutrition to the Yanomami people. Now, the new Brazilian government is confronting a health crisis and moving to evict the miners.

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COVID Poses Severe Risks during Pregnancy, Especially in Unvaccinated People

Scientific American

Pregnant people infected with SARS-CoV-2 are more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit or die than those who are uninfected, but vaccination significantly reduces the risk

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A Simple Thing You Can Do to Benefit Backyard Birds and Bees

Cool Green Science

It’s time to ease up on the spring clean-up to help pollinators and other local wildlife. The post A Simple Thing You Can Do to Benefit Backyard Birds and Bees appeared first on Cool Green Science.

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McKesson Corporation Tackles Climate Change by Increasing Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Environment + Energy Leader

McKesson Europe aims to be carbon neutral by 2030, while McKesson Corporation set in 2021 a science-based target initiative to keep temperature increases in check and aligned with the Paris climate agreement. The post McKesson Corporation Tackles Climate Change by Increasing Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy appeared first on Environment + Energy Leader.

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Ethylene Oxide: New Interactive Map Shows Communities Impacted by Cancer-Causing Chemical

Union of Concerned Scientists

Explore the interactive map. A Spanish version of the map is available here. This week, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released a report assessing 104 facilities in the United States and Puerto Rico that emit ethylene oxide, a toxic, colorless gas. Ethylene oxide is used to sterilize medical equipment and some dried food products, and it is also a byproduct of manufacturing other chemicals.

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Federal Water Tap, February 6: EPA Vetoes Pebble Mine in Alaska

Circle of Blue

The Rundown The EPA prohibits mining the Pebble deposit in the headwaters of Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed. The EPA finalizes guidance for balancing sewage system improvements with financial burdens to residential water bills. Republicans take aim at the Biden administration’s definition of the scope of the Clean Water Act. The GAO recommends the TVA develop a more detailed climate resilience plan for its electricity-generating assets.

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As Fatal Fungus Takes Its Toll, Can We Save Frog Species on the Brink?

Yale E360

The deadly chytrid fungus has wiped out as many as 90 species of amphibians. Now researchers from Australia to California are exploring a host of ways to save threatened frog populations — from relocation to safer habitats to reintroducing frogs treated with a sort of vaccine.

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Putting solar panels in grazing fields is good for sheep

New Scientist

Sheep living in pasture with solar panels benefit from shade in hot weather and more nutritious grass – and they stop weeds from growing on the panels

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Black Inventor Garrett Morgan Saved Countless Lives with Gas Mask and Improved Traffic Lights

Scientific American

In 1916 he strapped on his “safety hood” and dragged rescuers to safety, but racism prevented him from being hailed as a hero

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Optimizing Energy Efficiency: The Benefits of Microgrids, PPAs and CHP

Environment + Energy Leader

In the aftermath of major power outages, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the interest in microgrids increased significantly as a way to provide critical infrastructure and services with reliable and resilient power during emergencies. The post Optimizing Energy Efficiency: The Benefits of Microgrids, PPAs and CHP appeared first on Environment + Energy Leader.

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12 exotic bacteria found to passively collect rare earth elements from wastewater

Frontiers

By Mischa Dijkstra, Frontiers science writer Scientists have shown that the biomass of 12 previously unstudied strains of cyanobacteria from around the globe is efficient at the biosorption of the rare earth elements lanthanum, cerium, neodymium, and terbium from aqueous solutions. This allows these rare elements, for which demand is steadily growing, to be collected from wastewater from mining, metallurgy, and the recycling of e-waste, and reused.

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Big Oil Is Posting Colossal 2022 Profits 

Enviromental Defense

This winter, Big Oil companies are announcing their 2022 profits, and records are being shattered. Big Oil is raking in outrageous sums during a climate crisis, capitalizing on rising prices, while life gets harder for the rest of us. Of every dollar of inflation over the last two years in Canada, 25 cents of that has gone to oil and gas and mining extraction profits.

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How Weather Forecasts Can Help Dams Supply More Water

Yale E360

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is testing ways to use improved weather forecasts to manage some of the nation’s largest dams to store more water and prevent floods. This new approach could help officials respond to new precipitation patterns brought on by climate change.

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Lehigh Valley Watershed Conference At Lehigh University On March 14

PA Environment Daily

The Ninth Lehigh Valley Watershed Conference will be held from 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.on Tuesday, March 14 at Lehigh University’s STEPS Building, 1 West Packer Avenue, Bethlehem. The conference serves as a forum that brings together community watershed organizations, municipal officials, educators, students, scientists, technical experts, natural resource agency staff, industry representatives, and the public to discuss effective ways to improve and protect land and water resources throughout the

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We Can't Solve Our Climate Problems without Removing Their Main Cause: Fossil-Fuel Emissions

Scientific American

“Realists” argue that climate plans need to accommodate oil and gas, but that only perpetuates the climate crisis

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Mack Defense to Design Fuel Efficient Trucks for the US Army

Environment + Energy Leader

Mack Defense is currently working on two major defense programs that fit well with the CTT and utilize vehicles from the global Volvo Group network that have been modified for commercial use. The post Mack Defense to Design Fuel Efficient Trucks for the US Army appeared first on Environment + Energy Leader.

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Scientists unveil plan to create biocomputers powered by human brain cells 

Frontiers

by Liad Hollender, Frontiers science writer Credit: Thomas Hartung, Johns Hopkins University Despite AI’s impressive track record, its computational power pales in comparison with that of the human brain. Scientists today unveil a revolutionary path to drive computing forward: organoid intelligence (OI), where lab-grown brain organoids serve as biological hardware. “This new field of biocomputing promises unprecedented advances in computing speed, processing power, data efficiency, and sto

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Neanderthals hunted enormous elephants that fed 100 people for a month

New Scientist

Analysis of cut marks on elephant bones suggests every scrap of meat and fat was removed from the big beasts

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Earth911 Podcast: Oceanographer John Englander Shares a 2023 Sea Level Rise Update

Earth 911

Sea level rise due to melting glaciers on Greenland and in the Arctic and Antarctic. The post Earth911 Podcast: Oceanographer John Englander Shares a 2023 Sea Level Rise Update appeared first on Earth911.

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DEP Posts 66 Pages Of Permit-Related Notices In Feb. 4 PA Bulletin

PA Environment Daily

Highlights of the environmental and energy notices in the February 4 PA Bulletin -- -- February 14 Environmental Quality Board canceled. Next regular meeting March 15. -- Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard - Jan. 28 to Feb. 3 [PaEN] -- PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices/Opportunities To Comment - Feb. 4 [PaEN] -- The Department of Environmental Protection published notice in the February 4 PA Bulletin announcing the opening of the application period for re