Sat.Mar 11, 2023 - Fri.Mar 17, 2023

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What’s the Difference between Disinformation and Misinformation?

Union of Concerned Scientists

Information spreads around the world faster than it ever has in human history due to innovations in technology. Ensuring that people have access to accurate information to make science-based and informed decisions is crucial for public health and safety. Because those who spread disinformation try to create the chaos of division, distraction, delays, and demoralization in order to disrupt democratic processes that can result in science-based solutions, underestimating the intent of false informa

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Tribal Energy Sovereignty in California

Legal Planet

On Thursday, March 2, 2023, California’s principal energy agencies – the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) – held a first-of-its-kind, joint en banc hearing at Cal Poly Humboldt with Tribal government leaders and all 10 commissioners of the CEC and CPUC. In a world where on-the-ground collaboration between governments to address essential questions like climate change and energy security seem too few and far between, this hearing represented

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Perspective | How Water Partnerships Can Yield Better Results

Circle of Blue

Avoiding four common pitfalls for water-sector partnerships. The collaboration message was clear at COP27, the UN climate conference held in November 2022, in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. Photo © J. Carl Ganter/Circle of Blue By Lesley Pories, Global Water Partnership – March 15, 2022 Imagine this: you organize a large potluck dinner. You take great pains to get people to sign up for a dish – in some cases times telling your colleague which dish to bring, because they do it so well – and you ensure t

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Majority Say Water Supply and Pollution ‘Very Serious’ Problems

Circle of Blue

Global public opinion poll measures views on freshwater challenges. A woman reaches for a hose from a water tanker in Rajasthan, India. Temperatures on this day in 2016 exceeded 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Photo © J. Carl Ganter/Circle of Blue By Brett Walton, Circle of Blue – March 15, 2023 As the world’s weather flips more rapidly between the poles of too wet and too dry, the general public is taking notice.

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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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Some new CMIP6 MSU comparisons

Real Climate

We add some of the CMIP6 models to the updateable MSU comparisons. After my annual update , I was pointed to some MSU-related diagnostics for many of the CMIP6 models (24 of them at least) from Po-Chedley et al. (2022) courtesy of Ben Santer. These are slightly different to what we have shown for CMIP5 in that the diagnostic is the tropical corrected-TMT (following Fu et al., 2004 ) which is a better representation of the mid-troposphere than the classic TMT diagnostic through an adjustment usin

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How Indigenous People Are Restoring Brazil’s Atlantic Forest

Yale E360

The Guarani Mbya people are working to restore the once-vast Atlantic Forest, which has been largely lost to development. Gaining official tenure of their lands, they hope, will boost their efforts, which range from planting native trees to reintroducing pollinators.

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How Garden-Variety Air Pollution Regulation Promotes Environmental Justice

Legal Planet

Evidence is mounting that air pollution regulation is an effective way of reducing health disparities between disadvantaged communities and the population as a whole. The basic reason is simple: Air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to poor communities and communities of color. As the American Lung Association has said : “The burden of air pollution is not evenly shared.

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Massachusetts Codifies “No Net Loss” Conservation Policy Under Article 97

Law and Environment

On February 10, 2023, the Public Land Preservation Act (PLPA), Chapter 274 of the Acts of 2022 , ( M.G.L. Ch. 3 §5A ), went into effect. It both codifies existing practices and creates new obligations that public entities in the Commonwealth must follow to dispose or change the use of interests in land protected by Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution.

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Green Winter: Europe Learns to Live Without Russian Energy

Yale E360

Faced with embargoes of Russian oil and gas, Europe ramped up production of solar and wind power, got serious about energy conservation, and tweaked policies to speed its green transition. Despite fears of increased emissions, the EU remained on track to meet its climate goals.

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The Latest IPCC Report Will Make You Sad. And Mad. Don’t Give Up!

Union of Concerned Scientists

On Monday, March 20, the IPCC will be publicly releasing a report synthesizing the latest climate science, the culmination of its sixth assessment cycle. With global heat-trapping emissions still on the rise and millions of people across the world still reeling from last year’s deadly and costly climate-related disasters , this report provides a distillation of all that scientists are bearing witness to, a collective howl for action, albeit delivered in precise technical terms.

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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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Why the Bay Area’s Zero-Emission Appliance Rule is a Big Deal

Legal Planet

Photo by Desolation Hiker via Flickr (CC-BY-NC 2.0) Creator: Christian Arballo Air quality officials in the San Francisco Bay Area just made history by moving to adopt the nation’s first rules phasing out new gas-fueled water heaters and furnaces in homes and businesses within about eight years. This action serves as a major step in the effort to curb health-harming and planet-warming emissions from buildings.

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Texas Supreme Court Rules on “Bespoke” Add-Back Royalty Clause

Energy & the Law

In Devon Energy Production Company, LP et al v. Sheppard et al, the Supreme Court of Texas construed what it referred to as a “bespoke” and “highly unique” royalty clause in several oil and gas leases to prohibit the producers from deducting out of the lessor’s royalty post-production costs incurred downstream of the point of sale to unaffiliated third parties.

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As 1.5 Degrees Looms, Scientists See Growing Risk of Runaway Warming, Urgent Need to Slash Emissions

Yale E360

As the planet rapidly approaches 1.5 degrees C of warming, scientists warn that rising temperatures are degrading the Earth's ability to soak up carbon dioxide, threatening to further exacerbate climate change. To keep warming in check, they stress, countries must make steep cuts to emissions in the next few years.

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Can We Still Limit Global Warming to 1.5°C? Here’s What the Latest Science Says

Union of Concerned Scientists

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is set to release its synthesis of the Sixth Assessment Report early next week. Among the thousands of questions the report addresses by summarizing the latest climate research, one of the most hotly debated is this: Is it still possible to limit future global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels?

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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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CEQA, California’s Housing Crisis & the Little Hoover Commission

Legal Planet

Beginning today, California’s “Little Hoover Commission” will convene a series of three public hearings to consider how well–or poorly–the state’s California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is currently working. A special focus of the Commission’s deliberations will be whether and to what extent California’s most important and overarching environmental law is impeding efforts by the Legislature and Governor Newsom to address the state’s chr

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EPA Proposes Safe Drinking Water Act Standards for PFAS: Forever Chemicals Will Lead to Forever Superfund Sites

Law and Environment

Yesterday, EPA proposed to regulate certain PFAS under the Safe Drinking Water Act. EPA proposed Maximum Contaminant Level Goals for PFOA and PFOS of zero. It proposed Maximum Contaminant Levels for PFOA and PFOS of 4.0 parts per trillion. EPA also proposed MCLGs and MCLs for PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS, and HFPO-DA (“GenX Chemicals”) based on a novel hazard index approach to these compounds as a group.

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Swiss Startup to Install Solar Panels on Railway

Yale E360

A Swiss start-up will install solar panels on a railway in western Switzerland, pending approval from transportation officials.

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Farmers, Scientists, Rock Stars Come Together to Advocate for Climate-Smart Food and Farm Bill

Union of Concerned Scientists

Last week, hundreds of farmers and their allies from across the country gathered at the Rally for Resilience to advocate for a Food and Farm Bill that confronts the climate crisis head-on. They were joined by longtime farm advocates John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson, as well as partners from two dozen organizations including the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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Cap and Trade Heats Up—For Better or Worse

Legal Planet

This past year has been big for cap-and-trade-style systems, and that momentum looks like it’s continuing in 2023. Recently, we’ve seen new programs start up in Oregon and Washington, a proposal in New York State for new carbon markets, and sustained high prices in existing programs in California and the Northeast. Although these programs differ in their details, they all attempt to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions cost-effectively by creating a market for permissions to emit—called “allowances”—

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New England states unite to build new offshore wind HVDC transmission, seek DOE funding

Law and Environment

Four New England States – Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island – recently submitted a concept paper to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposing to build up to three new high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission lines and related onshore system upgrades to support the injection of new offshore wind resources in New England.

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Facing Intense Heat and Dust Storms, Iraq Aims to Plant 5 Million Trees

Yale E360

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani has announced plans to plant 5 million trees to help the country cope with climate change.

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Industry’s Tactics to Expose You to More Soot Pollution

Union of Concerned Scientists

Late last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asked the public to provide oral comments on a major rule that will determine how much soot pollution you are exposed to. Among the commenters was my colleague Sam Wilson , who passionately and effectively called on the EPA to follow the science and enact the strongest air pollution standards to protect people’s health.

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Stakeholder Engagement in California Offshore Wind Development

Legal Planet

As California continues to develop plans for floating offshore wind (OSW) implementation, state leaders have an opportunity to forge a national example on stakeholder engagement and energy justice. California can achieve this, not just by (for example) incorporating environmental justice (EJ) principles into agency analysis and planning or by increasing consultation with tribal entities, but by ensuring — and ensuring funding for — a seat at planning and implementation tables for communities (in

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A Turning Point in the Fight to Protect New Mexico’s Greater Chaco Region

NRDC

The Biden administration’s proposal to prohibit new oil and gas leasing and drilling in the area comes after years of exploitation that’s had devastating health and cultural impacts on Indigenous communities.

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Human brain cells used as living AIs to solve mathematical equations

New Scientist

Brain organoids grown in a lab can be used to perform basic computation tasks, but there are big unanswered questions about how far this approach should be taken

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Survey Shows Pathway To Speeding Up EV Adoption in Rural Areas

Union of Concerned Scientists

Regardless of where we live, we should all have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits provided by electric vehicles. These benefits range from the reduced cost of operation , the reduced need for maintenance and the improved performance, to the fact that electric vehicles have no tailpipe emissions. Everybody’s health stands to gain from reducing local air pollution from tailpipes: communities located near roads, families getting into a car in their garage, children boarding a school bus, and an

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50 Fish, 50 States: Rudd of South Dakota

Cool Green Science

Many invasive fish are well known and well publicized. But you might not have heard about rudd. The post 50 Fish, 50 States: Rudd of South Dakota appeared first on Cool Green Science.

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More Sustainable (and Beautiful) Alternatives to a Grass Lawn

NRDC

Manicured turf grass lawns cover up to 50 million acres of land in America. But a new, no-mow movement is challenging this conformity—and helping the environment.

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There's a Psychological 'Vaccine' against Misinformation

Scientific American

A social psychologist found that showing people how manipulative techniques work can create resilience against misinformation

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NOAA’s Spring Outlook Points to a Risky Season

Union of Concerned Scientists

For many of us, spring can’t come soon enough–birds singing, flowers blooming, and longer days are ahead. However, getting ready for spring means thinking about what the risk of flooding might be in our region. Today the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the US Spring Outlook. Here are a few key takeaways. First the good news: The “abnormally” wet winter has improved the extensive drought conditions across the country and helped to replenish many of the

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Cave paintings of mutilated hands could be a Stone Age sign language

New Scientist

Palaeolithic hand stencils with missing fingers could indicate ritual mutilation or frostbite – but new research suggests they might be trying to tell us something

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Rapid surge in highly contagious killer fungus poses new threat to amphibians across Africa

Frontiers

By Mischa Dijkstra, Frontiers science writer Researchers studied the prevalence of the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in a total of 16,900 historical and recent museum specimens, wild-living individuals, and literature records of amphibians from Africa. Bd causes chytridiomycosis, a contagious and lethal disease of amphibians that has driven hundreds of species worldwide to extinction.

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Rich, Polluting Nations Still Owe the Developing World

NRDC

Here’s why follow-through on a $100 billion–per–year climate finance promise, from collecting data to determining success, remains complex but critical.

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Climate Groups Sound the Alarm on Public Transit Death Spiral

Enviromental Defense

15 environmental groups signed an open letter calling on Minister Freeland for federal funding to save public transit systems Ottawa | Traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People – Today, a coalition of 15 environmental groups, including Environmental Defence, Équiterre, Greenpeace Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation and Climate Action Network Canada, signed an open letter calling on Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to intervene once again to save public transit systems