Environment

Trees Save Lives and $7 Billion in Health Costs Annually, Forest Service Finds

Yale Environment 360 - July 28, 2014
Trees are saving more than 850 human lives each year and preventing 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms in the U.S., according to the first broad-scale

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Pollution removal by trees estimate of trees' air pollution removal by U.S. Forest Service researchers. Looking at four common air pollutants — nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 microns — researchers valued the human health benefits of the reduced air pollution at nearly $7 billion annually in a study published in the journal Environmental Pollution. The benefits of trees vary with tree cover across the nation, the researchers note. Tree cover in the United States is estimated at 34.2 percent overall, but varies from 2.6 percent in North Dakota to 88.9 percent in New Hampshire. While the pollution-removal capabilities of trees led to an average air quality improvement of less than 1 percent, the impacts are substantial, the study found.
Categories: Environment, Health

Federal Coal Leasing Undermining Obama’s Climate Goals

The EnvironmentaList - July 28, 2014
Coal mining on public lands could wipe out power plant reforms, Greenpeace report finds
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Why Restoring Wetlands Is More Critical Than Ever

Yale Environment 360 - July 28, 2014
Along the Delaware River estuary, efforts are underway to restore wetlands lost due to centuries of human activity. With sea levels rising, coastal communities there and and elsewhere in the U.S. and Europe are realizing the value of wetlands as important buffers against flooding and tidal surges. BY BRUCE STUTZ
Categories: Environment, Health

Time in the Wilderness Supplies Lessons for (Planetary) Survival

The EnvironmentaList - July 28, 2014
In celebration of the Wilderness Act’s 50th anniversary
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Gold Award recipient represents Girl Scouts at STEM Fair held in Washington, D.C. by Women's Policy, Inc.

Girl Scouts of America - July 26, 2014
Olivia Sullivan (left) explains her projectOn Thursday, July 24, Girl Scout Gold Award Recipient Olivia Sullivan from Girl Scouts of the Nation's Capital represented Girl Scouts at a STEM fair held by Women's Policy, Inc, in Washington, D.C.

For her Gold Award project, Olivia organized a five-day camp for second and third graders who live at SERVE homeless shelter in northern Virginia. Olivia worked with a local elementary school teacher to create twenty activities designed to introduce children at a young age to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Since the completion of her Gold Award project, Olivia has organized STEM programs for Girl Scout troops and 4-H clubs. Olivia will be attending St. Olaf College this fall, where she plans to major in Biology with dreams of serving our country in the Navy as an OBGYN.

Prominent female members of Congress from both sides of the aisle attended the event. Members in attendance included Rep. Donna Edwards, Co-Chair, Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues; Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Chair, Republican Conference, and former Co-Chair, Women's Caucus; Rep. Susan Brooks, Co-Chair, Education/STEM Task Force, Women's Caucus; Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Co-Chair, Education/STEM Task Forice, Women's Caucus; Rep. Lois Capps, Co-Chair, Women's Health Task Force, Women's Caucus; and many more!
Categories: Environment

Southwestern U.S. Aquifers Are Extremely Low, NASA Data Show

Yale Environment 360 - July 25, 2014
Groundwater reserves in the U.S. Southwest are severely low and prospects for their long-term viability are bleak as persistent drought continues to parch the

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U.S. groundwater stores land and prevent recharging, according to an assessment from NASA. As shown in this map, many underground aquifers in the Southwest are extremely dry compared to average conditions over the past 60 years. Deep red areas on the map, such as in southern California and Nevada, depict aquifers that are so dry there's less than a 2 percent chance they could have experienced such levels of drought-related depletion since 1948. Although the Pacific Northwest is experiencing drought-related wildfires, its aquifers appear to be well-stocked, according to the map. The discrepancy is likely due to the long lag between dry conditions at the surface and depletion of groundwater reserves, researchers say.
Categories: Environment, Health

Unsafe at Any Speed

The EnvironmentaList - July 25, 2014
Will new DOT regulations prevent another oil by rail disaster?
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Protecting Community Forests Can Be Major Tool in Climate Fight, Study Says

Yale Environment 360 - July 24, 2014
Expanding and strengthening the community forest rights of indigenous groups and rural residents can make a major contribution to sequestering carbon and

The Brazilian Amazon reducing CO2 emissions from deforestation, according to a new report. The World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Rights and Resources Initiative said that indigenous people and rural inhabitants in Latin America, Africa, and Asia have government-recognized rights to forests containing nearly 38 billion tons of carbon, equal to 29 times the annual emissions of all the world’s passenger vehicles. By enforcing community rights to those forests, the study said, governments can play a major role in tackling climate change. In the Brazilian Amazon, for example, deforestation rates are 11 times lower in community forests than in forests outside those areas. In areas where community forest rights are ignored, deforestation rates often soar. The report made five major recommendations, from better enforcement of community forest zones to compensating communities for the benefits their forests provide.
Read more.
Categories: Environment, Health

Radar Station on Tiny Indian Island Could Harm Rare Hornbill Population

The EnvironmentaList - July 24, 2014
Conservationists fear India’s new government is ignoring environmental concerns in rush to clear projects
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

When our 2.3 million girl bosses speak—we listen.

Girl Scouts of America - July 23, 2014
As the world’s largest girl-led organization, Girl Scouts of the USA reports to 2.3 million girl bosses—and we go where girls lead us!
And girls lead us to some amazing collaborations with a host of organizations, like Dove, whose Free Being Me campaign empowers girls to challenge beauty stereotypes, andDell, who we partnered with to close the technology gap and inspire more girls to explore STEM-related fields.
Another relationship we’ve forged is with Mattel. As the experts on girls and girl leadership development, we know young girls cannot be what they cannot see, which is why this relationship emphasizes career exploration. At Girl Scouts, we encourage girls to be whatever they want to be—from CEO of the world’s largest company to CEO of their families.
Three Barbie dolls are sold in the U.S. every second, so the Girl Scout-inspired doll is an invaluable communication tool that will allow our organization to reach millions of girls—members and non-members alike—with the message that they can be anything and do everything. We know that girls love to play with dolls—particularly Barbie dolls. In fact, Girl Scout members—forever having fun—are 20 percent more likely to be avid doll owners than non-member girls, with a full 77 percent of girls playing with dolls at least weekly.
And research shows that the Girl Scout-inspired doll—one aspect of our collaboration with Mattel—is a win with both girls and moms.
Girls associate the doll with hiking and the outdoors, selling cookies, and helping others, all of which are fun experiences firmly rooted in the Girl Scout mission. For over 100 years, Girl Scout programming has inspired over 59 million girls to explore new opportunities in a fun way, which is exactly what the Girl Scout-inspired doll is designed to do.
In fact, 83 percent of moms believe the Girl Scout-inspired doll will encourage their daughters to explore new opportunities, and 77 percent of moms believe the doll will help their daughters feel good about themselves.
We are Girl Scouts. We report to 2.3 million girl bosses. And when our bosses speak, we listen.
Categories: Environment

French Grocer Sees Major Success in Marketing "Inglorious" Fruits and Vegetables

Yale Environment 360 - July 23, 2014
A major French grocery chain, Intermarche, has launched a novel campaign to curb food waste and

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"Grotesque Apple" poster market visually flawed produce. The "Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables" campaign aims to revamp the image of imperfect and non-conforming produce, much of which is thrown away by growers because it doesn't meet grocery retailers' standards. Intermarche began welcoming the "Grotesque Apple," "Ridiculous Potato," "Hideous Orange," and other infamous items to its shelves, created posters to explain that the produce is as nutritious and flavorful as the more attractive versions, and reduced prices by 30 percent. The campaign was an "immediate success," Intermarche says: Stores nationwide sold 1.2 million tons of "inglorious" fruits and vegetables in the first two days, and overall store traffic increased by 24 percent.
Categories: Environment, Health

Earth Observation Satellites Help Scientists Better Understand Global Change

Yale Environment 360 - July 23, 2014


Global warming is affecting more than just atmospheric temperatures — it is also changing water cycles, soil conditions, and animal migrations. Earth observation satellites aid scientists in measuring and monitoring these changes so societies can better adapt. Although there are well over 1,000 active orbiting satellites, less than 15 percent are used to monitor Earth’s environment. Yale Environment 360 presents a gallery of satellites that scientists are using to better understand how the planet is changing.
View the gallery.
Categories: Environment, Health

The Comeback Cat

The EnvironmentaList - July 23, 2014
Jaguars have critical habitat set aside for them in the Southwest. But is it enough for the predator to recover?
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Costs of Urban Light Pollution Highlighted in Citizen Science Effort

Yale Environment 360 - July 22, 2014
A recently launched citizen science project aims to highlight the environmental, social, and financial impacts of excessive nighttime lighting in cities around

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Shanghai, China, at night the world. The project, called Cities at Night, enlists people to help identify the cities pictured in thousands of blindingly lit photos taken by astronauts orbiting the earth. Organizers hope that when residents and officials see the bright photos of their cities at night, they will be prompted to cut nighttime light use and energy consumption. Widespread artificial lighting has made light pollution a growing problem in urban areas by disrupting behavioral patterns of people and wildlife, wasting millions of dollars in energy costs, and adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Some solutions are relatively inexpensive and straightforward, the organizers say, such as using shields to direct light down to street-level, which can allow a city to use lower-wattage streetlights.
Categories: Environment, Health

A Pledge that Promises to Keep Seeds Free For All to Use

The EnvironmentaList - July 22, 2014
In battle against seed patents, plant breeders and advocates find inspiration in open source software
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

At Age 104, One Girl Scout Continues to Live by the Girl Scout Law!

Girl Scouts of America - July 21, 2014



Meet Milly: One of the Oldest Living Girl Scouts in the Nationby Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee
Born in 1909, Mildred (Milly) Lawson Ellis has been alive longer than Girl Scouts has been around.
As a child in Maryville, Missouri, Milly remembers first hearing about Girl Scouts and Juliette Gordon Low through an article in her local paper.   
In 1923, Milly’s parents drove her in their Ford Model T (one of the first in the town) from their home in Missouri to Georgia so that she could meet Juliette and learn more about Girl Scouts. They asked around Savannah until they found themselves speaking with Juliette herself. She happily entertained Milly and her family and spoke to them about Girl Scouts and Savannah and even gave tips on the best places to sightsee in town.
Upon returning home, Milly sent a letter to Girl Scout Headquarters and applied for a Lone Troop packet. Without knowing her age, headquarters sent Milly back a kit and at age 14 Milly became a troop leader to five younger girls from her neighborhood.
That first year, Milly taught the girls what she knew, as she didn’t have any training.
“I don’t know that I was the best leader, but I wanted to teach those little girls the things I had learned. They just loved it – we had the best time!”
She kept her troop going until she went to college, but still participated on breaks and holiday.
After college and marriage, Milly returned to Girl Scouts as an active volunteer, helping with troops and serving on committees in Memphis, Mobile, and Atlanta. Her 1949 move to Tullahoma, TN with her husband and son proved pivotal: while attending a Girl Scout meeting in Shelbyville, TN Milly was elected Regional Chair and placed on the Girl Scout National Board of Directors, where she served from 1956 to 1969. In this position, she visited locations around the country on Girl Scout business working with high-level volunteers and staff on the “Green Umbrella” project, where she helped consolidate smaller councils to better serve the girls.
In Middle Tennessee, she was involved with establishing Camp Sycamore Hills in Ashland City, TN and the former Camp Tannassie near Tullahoma, TN.
Though awarded the Thanks Badge for her outstanding efforts, Milly says she never thought of what she did as work.

At the age of 104, Milly continues to live by the Girl Scout Law. She is active in the Girl Scout community in her hometown of Tullahoma, TN and you can often find her talking about her Girl Scout experiences. 
Categories: Environment

India Doubles Coal Tax to Fund Ambitious Clean Energy Initiatives

Yale Environment 360 - July 21, 2014
India's finance minister has doubled the tax on coal imported to or mined in the country, raising the tariff from $0.83 to $1.67 per metric ton, with plans to use the revenue to fund a host of renewable energy projects over the next decade, Clean Technica reports. The revenue will be added to the National Clean Energy Fund, which was established to provide low-cost financing for renewable energy projects. The fund's scope will be expanded to include environmental projects as well as clean energy research and development, including a national wind energy program, four major solar power projects, and an initiative that aims to establish transmission corridors for distributing electricity from renewable energy sources. The revenue will also be used to fund a new, separate ministry focused on cleaning the heavily polluted Ganges River. The tax could raise as much as $1.2 billion in the first year, according to estimates.
Categories: Environment, Health

Primate Rights vs Research: Battle in Colombian Rainforest

Yale Environment 360 - July 21, 2014
A Colombian conservationist has been locked in a contentious legal fight against a leading researcher who uses wild monkeys in his search for a malaria vaccine. A recent court decision that banned the practice is seen as a victory in efforts to restrict the use of monkeys in medical research. BY CHRIS KRAUL
Categories: Environment, Health

EPA Restricts Mine Waste Disposal in Bristol Bay Watershed

The EnvironmentaList - July 21, 2014
A crucial step towards protecting the world’s most prolific salmon fishery
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

In Review: Snowpiercer

The EnvironmentaList - July 19, 2014
No, it’s not another climate change dystopia flick. It’s the first geoengineering dystopia flick
Categories: Environment, News Feeds
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