Sat.Mar 09, 2024 - Fri.Mar 15, 2024

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States May Be Warming to Green Amendments

Legal Planet

Last week, New Jersey lawmakers and a variety of stakeholders crammed into a statehouse committee room for a relatively rare legislative hearing. This 2-hour hearing centered on New Jersey’s proposed green amendment, which committee chair Senator Bob Smith described as “a very controversial topic” as he gaveled in the meeting. This green amendment would add a constitutional guarantee to a healthy, clean environment.

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Growing Shade Equity, One Tree at a Time

Union of Concerned Scientists

Beneath the reputation of Los Angeles as a land of cars, palms, and sunshine lies a reality of stark inequalities—including access to trees and shade. Nearly 20% of L.A.’s urban forest is concentrated where only 1% of the city’s population lives , endangering lower-income communities and people of color with hotter-feeling summers and poor environmental quality.

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Solar Accounted for More Than Half of New Power Installed in U.S. Last Year

Yale E360

Solar accounted for most of the capacity the nation added to its electric grids last year. That feat marks the first time since World War II, when hydropower was booming, that a renewable power source has comprised more than half of the nation’s energy additions.

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China’s Stock Exchanges to Plan Sustainability Disclosure Rules for Big Companies

Clean Energy Law

The guidelines aim to transform China’s approach to ESG by introducing sustainability disclosure rules for large listed companies. By Hui Xu , Paul A. Davies , Jean-Philippe Brisson , and Qingyi Pan On February 8, 2024, under the auspices of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), each of China’s three major stock markets — Shanghai Stock Exchange, Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and Beijing Stock Exchange— unveiled draft guidelines on sustainable development reports (SDRs) (collectively ref

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Manufacturing Sustainability Surge: Your Guide to Data-Driven Energy Optimization & Decarbonization

Speaker: Kevin Kai Wong, President of Emergent Energy Solutions

In today's industrial landscape, the pursuit of sustainable energy optimization and decarbonization has become paramount. Manufacturing corporations across the U.S. are facing the urgent need to align with decarbonization goals while enhancing efficiency and productivity. Unfortunately, the lack of comprehensive energy data poses a significant challenge for manufacturing managers striving to meet their targets.

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More Guidance on Worker Classification for the Energy Industry

Energy & the Law

This post is a summary of a more detailed Client Alert prepared by Gray Reed’s labor and employment practice group. Recall our recent post on the Department of Labor’s new “Economic Realities Test” for classifying specialized contractors and consultants as either employees or independent contractors. The new rules make the compliance minefield much riskier.

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Ask a Scientist: UCS Transportation Program Adds Equitable Mobility to its Portfolio

Union of Concerned Scientists

Cars and trucks are a lot cleaner than when I was growing up. In 1963, a typical car—which ran on leaded gasoline without pollution control devices— emitted 520 pounds of hydrocarbons, 1,700 pounds of carbon monoxide, and 90 pounds of nitrogen oxide every 10,000 miles traveled. In 1966, vehicles were responsible for nearly 60 percent of the 146 million tons of pollutants discharged into the air across the United States.

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Should everyone start eating snakes to save the planet?

New Scientist

Pythons convert food into meat more efficiently than other livestock, and they can be fed on waste meat, but this doesn't mean snake meat is inherently more sustainable

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Electric Vehicles Beat Gas Cars on Climate Emissions over Time

Scientific American

New research says building electric vehicles leaves a bigger carbon footprint than making gas-powered cars, though EVs make up the difference in the long run

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Making It Easier to Choose Electric for Your Next Car

Union of Concerned Scientists

Electric car buyers have new options in 2024 to make it easier to purchase a new electric vehicle (EV) by using the federal EV tax credit. While the tax credit has been around for a while in various forms, the Inflation Reduction Act made substantial changes to the tax credit, with modifications to who is eligible to take the credit, new requirements on EV models, and also new ways for buyers to access the credit.

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Guest Blog: Fossil Fuel Promotion in City Facilities? Not in My Municipality

Enviromental Defense

This is a guest blog by Mr. William van Geest, Program Coordinator at Ecology Ottawa. He’s passionate about mobilizing people to promote and enjoy biodiversity, sustainability, and community. Will the City of Ottawa ban fossil fuel promotion in City facilities? It’s possible. On March 5th, after hearing almost 20 delegations from medical professionals, teachers, advocates, community organizations, and concerned community members seeking to end misleading ads promoting fossil fuels, Ottawa’s Fin

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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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Babies with bilingual mothers have distinct brainwaves at 1 day old

New Scientist

Newborns whose mothers speak two languages appear to have distinct brain responses to speech compared with those born to monolingual mothers, supporting the idea that language acquisition begins in the uterus

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Microplastics Linked to Heart Attack, Stroke and Death

Scientific American

People who had tiny plastic particles lodged in a key blood vessel were more likely to experience serious health problems or die during a three-year study

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Reevaluating the Role of Fossil Gas in a Decarbonizing Grid

Union of Concerned Scientists

Fossil gas power plants currently provide the largest source of electricity generation and capacity in the United States. To meet our climate goals and reach net zero emissions by 2050, most studies show that we need to dramatically reduce gas use for generating electricity, heating homes and businesses, and running industrial processes. But gas power plants have also played an important role in helping to maintain the overall reliability of the electricity grid by meeting peak power demands, su

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New Study Shows Planting Trees May Not Be as Good for the Climate as Previously Believed

Inside Climate News

The climate benefits of trees storing carbon dioxide is partially offset by dark forests’ absorption of more heat from the sun, and compounds they release that slow the destruction of methane in the atmosphere, the research shows. By Moriah McDonald Most climate-concerned people know that trees can help slow global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but a recent study published in the journal Science shows the climate cooling benefits of planting trees may be overestimated.

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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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Did the people of Easter Island independently invent writing?

New Scientist

Wooden tablets containing a language of glyphs called Rongorongo may be evidence that the people of Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, created their own writing system without the influence of European language

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Snake Steak Could Be a Climate-Friendly Source of Protein

Scientific American

Pythons turn their food into meat pretty efficiently, a study finds, making them an intriguing alternative to climate-unfriendly cows

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Right Whale Calf Succumbs to Vessel Strike Injuries

NRDC

The months-old calf of Juno has died from the injuries it sustained after being struck by a vessel in early January.

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The Livestock Industry’s Secret Weapons: Expert Academics

Inside Climate News

A new paper traces the financial ties between the livestock industry and academic research. The researchers say their job is to help the industry reduce emissions. By Georgina Gustin When researchers at the United Nations published a bombshell report in 2006 called “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” the livestock industry soon realized it had a major public relations challenge on its hands.

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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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There are growing fears of an alarming shift in Antarctic sea ice

New Scientist

Antarctic sea ice cover remains far below average levels for the third year in a row, but researchers are uncertain whether this is a permanent shift driven by climate change or part of natural fluctuations

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Large Study of ME/CFS Patients Reveals Measurable Physical Changes

Scientific American

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, long dismissed by doctors, causes immune system dysfunction and other problems. But treatments are lacking.

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Cheaper and Cleaner: Electric Vehicle Owners Save Thousands

NRDC

A new study conducted by Atlas Public Policy shows that electric vehicles will save owners thousands when compared to gasoline internal combustion engine counterparts.

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Q&A: California Nurse and Environmental Health Pioneer Barbara Sattler on Climate Change as a Medical Emergency

Inside Climate News

Sattler is revolutionizing the way health professionals think about how climate disruption is harming human health. “We can't have healthy people on a sick planet.” By Liza Gross Barbara Sattler is on a mission to transform the way nurses, physicians and the general public think about threats to health. For Sattler, a registered nurse, emerita professor of public health at the University of San Francisco and founding member of the international Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments , it st

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‘Sound laser’ is the most powerful ever made

New Scientist

A new device uses a reflective cavity, a tiny bead and an electrode to create a laser beam of sound particles ten times more powerful and much narrower than other “phonon lasers”

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Astronomers Are Snapping Baby Pictures of Planets by the Dozen

Scientific American

Snapshots of a plethora of planet-forming disks offer more than just eye candy—they also reveal some fundamental aspects of how worlds are born

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Blending Science and Creativity through SMART Management Objectives

The Applied Ecologist

Author Caleb Aldridge describes his latest Practice Insights highlighting the benefits of using SMART objectives for environmental management. The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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California is Walking—Now Time to Run Toward Reconnecting Communities

NRDC

New state and federal funding is helping repair harm and reduce pollution in communities divided by roads and highways. California can do even more.

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Saving the world's largest flowers in the Philippines

New Scientist

These stunning photographs, taken by botanist Chris Thorogood, chart the quest to protect species of Rafflesia, which are on the brink of extinction in the Philippines

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Wildfires Used to Die Down after Dark. Drought Has Changed That

Scientific American

About 20 percent of large wildfires in North America now burn overnight because of drought conditions, straining firefighting resources

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Energy transition and social sciences – How can environmental sociology help us expand the understanding of energy transitions?

HumanNature

Guest Post by Emilia Ravetta , 2023-2024 Sustainability Leadership Fellow, and Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology at Colorado State University The 2023 was the warmest year on record of history (World Meteorological Organization 2023). With increasing temperatures, global warming and climate change are only become more concerning and immediate.

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US EIA Report Shows How Winter Storms Have Reduced US Natural Gas Production, But Disruptions Can Happen Any Time Of The Year

PA Environment Daily

On March 13, 2024, the US Energy Information Administration posted an article describing how winter storms disrupt US natural gas production. Over the last four winters, winter storms Uri (February 2021), Elliott (December 2022), and most recently, Heather (January 2024) interrupted weekly U.S. natural gas production by more than 15 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), according to daily estimates from S&P Global Commodity Insights.

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Ketamine’s unlikely conversion from rave drug to mental health therapy

New Scientist

Bolstered by impressive clinical trials, some companies are offering ketamine therapy as an employee health benefit – but what risks are posed by the drug's newfound popularity?

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A Study in Primates Reveals How the Brain Encodes Complex Social Interactions

Scientific American

The research tracks, at the level of individual neurons, what happens when a monkey hangs out with other monkeys.

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Illustrating the Importance of Women in Science

Academy of Natural Sciences

In the library’s McLean Wolf Rare Book Room you’ll find no shortage of works authored by men because, according to conventions of the time, they were best suited to explore the mysteries of the natural world. Some women, however, found ways bend expectations of womanhood to incorporate the study of the natural world into their lives. Many were born into families with the resources to provide them a formal education, of which drawing and appreciation for the natural world were a significant part.