Environment

Growing Risks to India's Water Supply Mapped With New Online Tool

Yale Environment 360 - February 26, 2015
A new online tool could help water users in India understand the risks to their water supply, which is dwindling and increasingly

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Groundwater levels polluted, recent analyses show. The tool, created by 13 organizations including the World Resources Institute, allows users to see where the competition for surface water is most intense, where groundwater levels are dropping significantly, and where pollution levels exceed safety standards. Northwest India, for example, faces extremely high surface water stress as well as low groundwater levels, as this map shows. Overall, 54 percent of India is under high or extremely high water stress, an equal portion is seeing declining groundwater levels, and more 130 million people live where at least one pollutant exceeds national safety standards, according to the World Resources Institute.
Categories: Environment, Health

China Imposes One-Year Ban on Ivory Imports Following Mounting Criticism

The EnvironmentaList - February 26, 2015
Wildlife advocates hopeful, but say more needs to be done to save African elephants from being poached to extinction
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Girl Scouts Honors Condoleezza Rice During Black History Month

Girl Scouts of America - February 26, 2015
 (Photo credit: Oprah.com)
Did you know that every female secretary of state in U.S. history is a former Girl Scout? This is just further proof of the power of the Girl Scout mission—to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place—as so many Girl Scout alumnae go on to achieve great things in the world, in the workplace, and in their personal lives. Today, we honor Condoleezza Rice, a fearless leader who started her leadership journey in Girl Scouting.
Condoleezza Rice was the second African American secretary of state and the first female African-American secretary of state, setting an amazing example for young girls of color who saw so few people like them in the world of government and politics. Like many women of color, Rice was met with doubt and discrimination despite her impressive resume and the wealth of knowledge she brought to the table, but she refused to be reduced by the obstacles she faced. She persevered, and ultimately landed the position of national security advisor to President George W. Bush during his first term, the first woman to serve in that position.

Today, we’re proud to honor Condoleezza Rice. Because of leaders like her, girls can dream bigger than they ever imagined and envision themselves as movers, shakers, and policy makers. 
Categories: Environment

For First Time in Nature Scientists Measure Heat-Trapping Effects of CO2

Yale Environment 360 - February 26, 2015
Scientists have long understood how carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere and contributes to global warming, but the phenomenon had not been directly documented at the earth's surface outside of a laboratory — until now. Writing in the journal Nature, researchers present 11 years of field data on carbon dioxide's capacity to absorb thermal radiation emitted from the surface of the earth. The results agree with theoretical predictions of the greenhouse effect associated with fossil fuel combustion, researchers say, and provide further confirmation that calculations used in climate models are on track when it comes to representing the impact of CO2 emissions. "We see, for the first time in the field, the amplification of the greenhouse effect because there's more CO2 in the atmosphere to absorb what the earth emits in response to incoming solar radiation," says Daniel Feldman, a scientist at Berkeley Lab and lead author of the study.
Categories: Environment, Health

Heard about the FBI Tracking of Keystone XL Activists? It’s Worse than You Thought.

The EnvironmentaList - February 26, 2015
The energy industry is now firmly hitched to the national security state.
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

In Kenya’s Mountain Forests, A New Path to Conservation

Yale Environment 360 - February 26, 2015
Kenya’s high-elevation forests are the source for most of the water on which the drought-plagued nation depends. Now, after decades of government-abetted abuse of these regions, a new conservation strategy of working with local communities is showing signs of success. BY FRED PEARCE
Categories: Environment, Health

El Golfo de California: Un Mundo de Encuentros

Costa Salvaje - February 26, 2015
El Golfo de California: Un Mundo de Encuentros
Categories: Environment

Countdown to National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend!

Girl Scouts of America - February 25, 2015
Starting Friday, February 27, Celebrate the Positive Impact Girls Make on Their Communities Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program
National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend, which has become a national holiday for Girl Scout Cookie fans, kicks off this Friday, February 27, and runs through March 1, 2015. Girls across the country will sell cookies at booths, door to door, and through Digital Cookie, the first national digital platform that enables girls to learn 21st-century skills while selling cookies through their own personalized cookie websites or face-to-face using a mobile transaction app. The 2015 Cookie Weekend will mark the 98th year of Girl Scouts selling cookies and learning the basic skills and acumen they need to be leaders in business and sales, manage their personal and family finances, and gain self-sufficiency and confidence handling money.
One hundred percent of the net revenue raised through Girl Scout Cookie sales stays with local councils, and girls decide how their troop cookie money is spent. This year’s National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend will celebrate girls across the country who use their cookie revenue to fund projects that impact their communities in amazing ways. It will also celebrate the essential “5 Skills” each #cookieboss learns through the cookie program: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.
In addition to classics like Thin Mints and Samoas/Caramel deLites, cookie lovers can seek out three new cookie varieties this cookie season. The two new gluten-free offerings include Toffee-tastic, buttery cookies with toffee bits, and Trios, made with real peanut butter, chocolate chips, and whole grain oats. The third new cookie, Rah-Rah Raisins, is an oatmeal raisin cookie with whole grain oats, plump, juicy raisins, and Greek yogurt–flavored chunks. Not all varieties are available in every market, so contact your local council to inquire about the cookies they will carry this season.
Consumers who celebrate National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend are encouraged to ask girls how they give back to their communities with cookie earnings, and what they learn by selling cookies. Those who want to share via social media the fun they’re having on Cookie Weekend are asked to use the hashtag #cookieboss and tag @girlscouts.
This season, Girl Scouts have experienced an unexpected spike in Girl Scout Cookie demand and are working to ensure every order is delivered in a timely manner. At this time, some councils are experiencing delays receiving their cookies, and those councils are exploring options, like extending the dates of their cookie sales, to both help consumers get their cookies and enable girls to reach their sales goals. ​

To learn more about the new cookie varieties and find Girl Scouts selling cookies near you, visit www.girlscoutcookies.org or use the newly enhanced official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app, free for your iOS or Android phone or mobile device. 
Categories: Environment

Engineering Students Devise System to Track Ghost Fishing Nets

The EnvironmentaList - February 25, 2015
Invention could help save hundreds of marine animals that get entangled and killed by abandoned fishing nets every year
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Global Pesticide Map Shows Large Areas of High Water Pollution Risk

Yale Environment 360 - February 25, 2015
Streams across roughly 40 percent of the planet's land area are at risk of pollution from pesticides, according to

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Risk for pesticide pollution an analysis published in the journal Environmental Pollution. Surface waters in the Mediterranean region, the United States, Central America, and Southeast Asia are particularly at risk, according to the study, which produced the first global map of pesticide pollution risk. Taking into account weather data, terrain, pesticide application rates, and land use patterns, the map shows that the risk of pesticide pollution is relatively low in Canada and northern Europe but increases closer to the Equator. More areas are likely to face high pesticide pollution risk as global population grows and the climate warms, the researchers say, because agricultural activity and crop pests will both intensify, likely requiring even higher rates of pesticide use.
Categories: Environment, Health

Obama Vetoes Bill Approving Keystone XL Pipeline

The EnvironmentaList - February 24, 2015
GOP to schedule an override vote by March 3
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

New Map Shows Background Noise Levels Across the United States

Yale Environment 360 - February 24, 2015
A new map by the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) shows America's quietest and noisiest places. The park service

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Background noise levels mapped background noise levels across the country on an average summer day using 1.5 million hours of acoustical data. The quietest areas of the country, such as Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, are shown in deep blue on this map and are likely as quiet now as they were before European colonization, NPS researchers say. They are collecting the data as part of an effort to determine whether and how wild animals are affected by anthropogenic noise pollution. Owls and bats, for example, rely on hearing faint rustles from insects and rodents, and scientists think human-driven noise could be drowning out those subtle signals in many areas of the country.
Categories: Environment, Health

Decoding Digital Cookie: Facts vs. Fiction

Girl Scouts of America - February 24, 2015
As reported far and wide, Digital Cookie is a groundbreaking new addition to the Girl Scout Cookie Program that creates a fun, safe, interactive space for girls to sell cookies. Digital Cookie is the first national digital platform in the history of the iconic Girl Scout Cookie Program.
But many questions remain about Digital Cookie. Check out the below Q&A for answers to some of the most common Digital Cookie questions.
What exactly is Digital Cookie?
Digital Cookie is a digital layer to the traditional Girl Scout Cookie Sale, which puts girls in the driver’s seat of their own digital sales experience. Digital Cookie allows Girl Scouts nationally to sell cookies digitally for the first time in the program’s history, giving girls valuable twenty-first-century entrepreneurial skills.
How does it work—Do I just go online, order cookies and then they arrive?
No. Like the traditional sale, Digital Cookie is a girl-driven and girl-led business, designed with each girl's safety in mind, and therefore she must initiate contact with people she knows to sell cookies.
With Digital Cookie, you will be able to buy Girl Scout Cookies through two separate digital sales platforms, depending on where you live. Some girls will market their own online cookie business by inviting you via email to visit their personalized cookie websites. There, you can order cookies from the comfort of your living room.
Other girls will take in-person orders using a unique mobile app newly enhanced to allow for credit card processing and direct shipping, in addition to directing you to a website where cookies can be purchased.
What’s the point of all this and why should I buy Girl Scout Cookies digitally?
First and foremost, you are supporting girls. You are helping girls learn essential skills that they will utilize for the rest of their lives.
Digital Cookie adds a fun, digital layer that expands and strengthens the ways girls learn the essential 5 Skills of goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. Digital Cookie will expand girls' knowledge of and hands-on experience with online marketing, app use, website customization, and e-commerce.
Why are you taking away traditional door-to-door sales?
We are not taking away traditional sales. Booth sales and door-to-door sales are here to stay!
Digital Cookie expands and enhances girls' experience by giving them a fun new way to learn 21st century skills while providing another channel through which to sell cookies. So this cookie season, depending on your location, a Girl Scout could approach you through a door-to-door sale or booth sale with a digital device, or send an email invitation to visit her Digital Cookie website or stop by her local cookie booth.
Why is shipping so expensive?!
Shipping rates are optimal for folks who buy the maximum amount of cookies available for a set rate. Ordering one box online is possible, but the best value is to order a minimum of 6.
All shipping costs associated with Digital Cookie are in line with industry standards set by many reputable delivery services. The cost associated is comparable to what a customer would pay when buying Girl Scout Cookies at a booth sale and shipping the cookies themselves.
We don’t make any money from shipping and handling charges through Digital Cookie or booth sales. GSUSA has worked closely with our councils to ensure all cookie revenue—every penny after paying the bakers—stays with the local Girl Scouts and their council, and is reinvested into programming and activities that benefit girls.
In fact, Digital Cookie has been set up so that shipping and handling fees, often absorbed by corporations, do not burden Girl Scouts or their local councils and are paid directly to the vendor.
What are the shipping charges?
Nationally, customers will pay tiered flat-rate shipping and handling costs for orders between 6 and 12 packages. Customers who would prefer to avoid shipping charges and still support local Girl Scouts can always visit www.girlscoutcookies.org and use the council finder to learn more about potential local booth sales.
How safe is Digital Cookie?
Digital Cookie emphasizes the safety of both girls and customers. Girls and their parents/caregivers take an Internet safety pledge before using the web-based platform, and parents/caregivers must approve all updates and changes girls make when customizing their Digital Cookie site. Girls using the mobile platform will adhere to the same safety standards as those participating in traditional Girl Scout Cookie sales.
As a customer, your personal information will not be shared outside of the Girl Scout organization.
Both Digital Cookie systems are fully Payment Card Industry compliant and consumers can feel absolutely confident that their financial information is not stored. Both the online and mobile platforms of Digital Cookie transmit financial data to the respective credit card processors and "scrub" credit card and other identifiable information from the systems.
Digital Cookie is not available where I live. What’s up with that?
The majority of Girl Scout councils nationwide are participating in Digital Cookie during the 2014–2015 cookie season. While it did not make sense for some councils to opt-in this year, many additional councils are expected to be on board by the end of 2015, using an updated "version 2.0."
What’s next for Digital Cookie?
The launch of Digital Cookie represents an initial phase that will progress over time. Future versions of Digital Cookie will see improved user experiences for girls and customers alike and a more robust customer interface.
Categories: Environment

North Carolina Wants Feds to End Red Wolf Rewilding Program

The EnvironmentaList - February 24, 2015
Only 100 of this reclusive, endangered canid remain in the wild
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Large-scale Pumping Can Return Oxygen To Deep Waters, Scientists Say

Yale Environment 360 - February 23, 2015
A team of Danish and Swedish scientists reports that they have restored oxygen to the waters

Deploying instruments in Byfjord, Sweden. of a deep fjord that had suffered from a long-term lack of oxygen. The researchers used large pumps to mix oxygen-rich surface water into the deeper parts of the fjord's water column — which had long been anoxic due to its depth and geological setting — and after only two months higher oxygen concentrations became detectable in the bottom waters. "In the later phase of the experiment the entire water column began to look healthy," the researchers said, noting that bacterial species that live in well-oxygenated waters had begun to appear. Low oxygen levels make waters uninhabitable to most forms of life, and anoxic waters often harbor only a few types of bacteria, some of which produce significant levels of greenhouse gases.
Categories: Environment, Health

Why U.S. East Coast Should Stay Off-Limits to Oil Drilling

Yale Environment 360 - February 23, 2015
It’s not just the potential for a catastrophic spill that makes President Obama’s proposal to open Atlantic Ocean waters to oil exploration such a bad idea. What’s worse is the cumulative impact on coastal ecosystems that an active oil industry would bring. BY CARL SAFINA
Categories: Environment, Health

Plastic Debris is Contributing to the Potential Extinction of Endangered Marine Species

The EnvironmentaList - February 23, 2015
Threatened or near threatened species make up 17% of all marine animals impacted by manmade debris, says report
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Wind Produced 10 Percent of Texas Electricity in 2014, Grid Operator Says

Yale Environment 360 - February 20, 2015
More than 10 percent of the electricity used in Texas last year came from wind turbines, according to the Electric

General locations of wind plants in Texas. Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state's electric grid. Wind's share of the Texas electric mix grew from just over 6 percent in 2009 to 10.6 percent in 2014. During that period, wind power generation actually doubled — rising from 18.8 million megawatt-hours to 36.1 million — while total electricity generation in Texas also rose by 11 percent. The share of electricity generated by wind power in Texas is more than double the U.S. figure of 4.4 percent. The growth in wind generation in Texas is a result of new wind plants coming online and grid expansions that have allowed more wind power to flow through the system to consumers, the council said.
Categories: Environment, Health

An Ancient Vegetarian Tribe Struggles to Keep Its Traditions Alive

The EnvironmentaList - February 20, 2015
The Todas of India’s Nilgiri Hills have played a crucial role in safeguarding the biodiversity of the UNESCO World Heritage site
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Hang on a minute - what's our economy actually for?

Friends of the Earth - February 19, 2015
Bristol's not like anywhere else I’ve ever lived. It’s got… something different. A kind of buzz. A zest. A fiery independence. Soul. Our office is a literal stone’s throw away from the famous anti-Tesco mural on Stokes Croft – where in 2011 a riot happened, ostensibly about the opening of the Tesco in the first place. And to get to the office you walk past a huge billboard bearing the Naomi Klein-inspired legend ‘System Change, not Climate Change’. A nearby underpass is decorated along its entire length with floor-to-ceiling Stop TTIP murals. 600 people turned up on
Categories: Environment
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