EU allows member states to ban GM crops

Friends of the Earth - January 15, 2015
This week, the European Parliament voted to give countries new powers to ban GM crops from their fields.  This is great news for Governments that want to promote sustainable agriculture. In the UK, Wales and Scotland will be able to bypass the pro-GM stance of Westminster and apply for their own bans. Both nations have stated their desire to stay GM free. New wave of GM crop approvals? But there are concerns that the vote will restart the process for approving GM crops for growing in Europe. No GM crops have ever been grown commercially in the UK. In the rest of Europe just
Categories: Environment

The Second Great Sardine Crash May Have Ended, but It’s Not Over

The EnvironmentaList - January 15, 2015
Ripple effect of dwindling sardine populations may be felt by other marine species for years to come
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Offshore Wind More Profitable Than Drilling on U.S. East Coast, Report Says

Yale Environment 360 - January 14, 2015
Offshore wind would produce twice the number of jobs and twice the amount of energy as offshore drilling

Offshore wind turbines in the Irish Sea near the U.S. East Coast, according to a new report from the advocacy group Oceana. The report contends that recent claims by the oil and gas industry about the economic potential of offshore drilling in the region are exaggerated because many of those oil and gas reserves are not economically viable to drill. Plans to build the nation's first offshore wind farm off Cape Cod have repeatedly failed to move forward. But Oceana calculates that over the course of 20 years, offshore wind in the Atlantic could produce nearly twice as much energy as all of the economically recoverable oil and gas. Offshore wind installations also would likely create an additional 91,000 jobs — twice as many as offshore drilling would create, Oceana says.
Categories: Environment, Health

Obama Moves to Cut Methane Emissions by Almost Half

The EnvironmentaList - January 14, 2015
EPA to cut oil and gas industry methane emissions by 45% by 2025
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Guns, Farms, and Oil: How Colombian Tribes are Being Driven to Extinction

The EnvironmentaList - January 14, 2015
At least 1,800 Indigenous people have been killed and 84,000 more displaced in Colombia in the past 10 years
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

California Still in Widespread Drought, Despite Heavy Precipitation

Yale Environment 360 - January 13, 2015
The heavy rains and snow that fell across much of California in the first half of December did little to recharge the state's


California precipitation deficits dry reservoirs or ease long-term drought conditions, an analysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirms. By the middle of December, 98 percent of the state remained under drought conditions, which is the same portion as before the storms, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Dry conditions over the last three years have left the Sierra Nevada mountain range with a 30- to 50-inch precipitation deficit, NOAA reports, and the agriculture-heavy San Joaquin Valley has fared even worse. To bring the state's four-year precipitation total out of the bottom 20 percent historically — a benchmark used to declare drought conditions — every part of the state would need to exceed its average rainfall between now and September.
Categories: Environment, Health

“I am totally opposed to fracking because it will devastate our community” – a resident speaks

Friends of the Earth - January 13, 2015
Her research left her rattled and fearing for other communities as well as her own. Thousands of Lancashire residents like Barbara need our help right now. So please sign this petition to stop fracking in Lancashire. Originally I wasn’t even anti-fracking.The more I’ve researched, the more horrified I’ve actually become. Barbara at the end of her driveway. The proposed fracking site (Roaseacre wood) is behind her. It’s a fossil fuel industry Barbara, a primary school teaching assistant, lives just 500m from the proposed fracking site at Roseacre. “This area’
Categories: Environment

Could Global Tide Be Starting To Turn Against Fossil Fuels?

Yale Environment 360 - January 13, 2015
From an oil chill in the financial world to the recent U.S.-China agreement on climate change, recent developments are raising a question that might once have been considered unthinkable: Could this be the beginning of a long, steady decline for the oil and coal industries? BY FRED PEARCE
Categories: Environment, Health

Sandra Day O’Connor and Anna Maria Chávez Launch Smithsonian/Zócalo Initiative

Girl Scouts of America - January 13, 2015
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and Los Angeles-based Ideas Exchange Zócalo Public Square are partnering to launch “What It Means to Be American,” a collaborative three-year initiative aimed at engaging leading thinkers, public figures and Americans from all walks of life to explore how the United States became the nation it is today. The kick-off event Jan. 14 will feature former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA, at the Heard Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Phoenix. Music icon Eddie Van Halen will headline the next event at the National Museum of American History in February.
The initiative will foster a national conversation through a series of free public events across the U.S. The first event, “The Women of the West,” features native Arizonans—O’Connor and Chávez—discussing what it means to be a Western woman and what particular opportunities the region has offered women. A Q&A session will follow the moderated discussion, allowing audience members to further engage with one another and the speakers to continue the conversation.
Central to this project is a new website whatitmeanstobeamerican.org, featuring original articles by a mix of Smithsonian curators, scholars and Americans from different backgrounds, perspectives and places. The website will also feature an interactive component, asking questions such as, “Where would you take George Washington to help him understand America today?” Readers will be prompted to submit written responses and upload photos. The site will also host event-related content, publishing photographs as well as video and audio recordings of each program, and will engage audiences through social media channels.
Categories: Environment

Chimpanzees in the Shadow of a Lion-Shaped Mountain

The EnvironmentaList - January 13, 2015
Human-chimpanzee conflicts threaten the survival of our closest living relative in Sierra Leone
Categories: Environment, News Feeds


Girl Scouts of America - January 12, 2015

Is your Girl Scout Troop comprised of some of the most creative cookie bosses around? Let their creative juices flow and enter our Bling Your Booth Challenge for a chance to win big!When it comes to Girl Scout cookie booths, we all know that plain is BORING!With Bling Your Booth, troops can not only attract new customers and increase cookie sales, but the troop with the most votes will win a grand prize!
Participation is easy:1. Pick an original cookie booth theme, like tropical, girl power, or glitz and glam-it's up to you.2. Use cool color combinations.3. Create fun posters with your cookie goals, lots of awesome pictures and maybe add balloons!4. Dress up, and use colored lights to invite customers to a cookie party.5. Have fun with it! Add anything that makes your booth stand out from the crowd.
Sounds fun, right?! Rally your friends and family to vote for your booth; the troop with the most votes wins big!
The SIX Girl Scout troops with the most votes will win $500!
Check out this video to get inspired:
View the contest rules here.

*For troops with girls under 13, caregivers and troop leaders must submit photos on their girls' behalf.
Categories: Environment

Maasai Group Plans to Sell Biogas Made From Slaughterhouse Waste

Yale Environment 360 - January 12, 2015
A group of Maasai farmers in southwestern Kenya has developed a profitable way to convert animal waste and

A Keeko Biogas cylinder prototype blood from a local slaughterhouse into biogas that can power the facility as well as other local businesses, Reuters reports. The Keeko Biogas project plans to start bottling the fuel and selling cylinders of it in March, once safety testing has been completed, project leaders say. At roughly $8 per 6-kilogram cylinder, the biogas is about half the price of liquefied petroleum gas, and it can be up to 40 percent more energy efficient than propane or butane, says the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute, which is providing technical support for the project. The facility will be able to produce 100 to 300 cylinders of biogas per week, organizers say. The project will not only offset the costs of waste management for the slaughterhouse, it will also likely help prevent deforestation in the region. "We cut down a lot of trees for charcoal and we hope to reduce that,” the chairman of the slaughterhouse told Reuters.
Categories: Environment, Health

Giving Local Women a Voice In Grass-Roots Conservation

Yale Environment 360 - January 12, 2015
As “gender advisor” at Conservation International, Kame Westerman seeks to include local women’s perspectives and priorities into the planning of projects in developing countries. This approach, she says, can be critical in determining whether a project succeeds or fails. BY DIANE TOOMEY
Categories: Environment, Health

BLOG: Haiti Earthquake Recovery – 5 Years Later

Operation USA - January 12, 2015

Five years ago today, on January 12, 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, affecting as many as three million people. Upwards of 230,000 people were killed in the earthquake, and more than one million people were left homeless in the aftermath.

Operation USA–already working in the country since 2008–responded quickly, sending relief shipments by both air and sea, and also made a long-term commitment to recovery efforts in the country.

In support of longtime partner Fondation L’Athletique d’Haiti, which transformed its soccer fields to house more than 500 families, OpUSA made emergency grants for food and supplies. In the hard-hit city of Jacmel, where an estimated 70% of buildings were damaged or destroyed, OpUSA focused recovery efforts–and, in partnership with Honeywell, initiated our largest project to date with the reconstruction of the public school, Ecole Nationale Jacob Martin Henriquez. During OpUSA’s recovery efforts, over $5.5 million in donated medical, energy, food and shelter supplies were sent to Haiti–getting essential aid, as well as medical personnel, to partner organizations on the ground in Port-au-Prince and Jacmel.

Ecole Nationale JM Henriquez, which opened in October 2011, was one of the first large-scale recovery projects to be completed in the area. Covering 1.5 acres, the campus includes nine buildings, 15 classrooms, a library, a computer lab, a cafeteria, a garden, a basketball court and a soccer field. The construction project also created hundreds of jobs, and allowed for the professional skills training of several dozen people in in seismically sound construction methods.

Today, Ecole Nationale JM Henriquez serves over 900 students–many of which receive a hot meal every day. OpUSA continues to support ongoing programs at the school and has a close relationship with the community of Jacmel, where we’ve maintained a bond for the past five years.

Though five years have passed since the life-changing events of January 12, 2010, the people of Haiti continue to struggle on the path to recovery. The country is one of the poorest in the world, and was vulnerable even before the earthquake caused massive devastation and exacerbated already weak infrastructure and challenging conditions. In Haiti, unemployment and poverty are extremely high, with more than 78% of the population living on less than $2 per day.* Life expectancy is short, with many children and their mothers dying in childbirth, and 1 in 5 children suffering from malnourishment.* More than 37% of the population in Haiti cannot read or write, and only 50% of school age children are enrolled in school programs.* Access to food and water, educational and employment opportunities, and access to basic medical care are struggles that the people of Haiti face every single day. Although the situation in Haiti has faded from the public eye over the past five years, it remains more important than ever to support the country with ongoing relief and recovery programs–and Operation USA remains committed to this effort.

Currently, Operation USA’s work in Haiti centers on education and children’s nutrition, which research has linked directly to literacy and capacity for learning. In 2014, we maintained the feeding program at Ecole Nationale JM Henriquez, providing a daily hot meal to more than 600 students who might not otherwise have access to food. We also continued our partnership with Fondation L’Athletique d’Haiti, whose sports, nutrition and educational programs serve children in some of Haiti’s most poverty-stricken neighborhoods.

In the year ahead, we hope to provide even more support to the school and the community of Jacmel, and are in the early planning and fundraising stages for potential projects including: launching a gardening program to bolster the school’s feeding program and teach children a sustainable skill; providing additional educational supplies, sporting equipment and uniforms; and continuing to maintain the school’s facilities. With your support, we can do so much more to help the much-deserving community of Jacmel, and we look forward to furthering our work in the country in the months and years ahead.

Click HERE to make a donation in support of Haiti programs and join us as we recommit to recovery in the country upon the five year anniversary of the 2010 earthquake.

To learn more about sponsoring shipments or projects, bulk in-kind donations of supplies, or getting involved with our work in Haiti, email info@opusa.org.

To see more photos from our work in Haiti, click here.


Categories: Environment

Activism Through Art

The EnvironmentaList - January 12, 2015
Laney College EcoArt class inspires students to express environmental concerns through artwork
Categories: Environment, News Feeds


Costa Salvaje - January 12, 2015
Categories: Environment

Most Physicians Already Seeing Health Effects of Climate Change in Patients

Yale Environment 360 - January 09, 2015
In a survey of physicians in the American Thoracic Society (ATS), the majority of doctors said their patients


Results of survey on climate change and patient health were already experiencing medical conditions associated with climate change and that physicians should be educating their patients and policy makers about climate-related health effects. Seventy-seven percent of ATS physicians — a group of doctors specializing in respiratory health and critical care — said air pollution associated with climate change is exacerbating chronic conditions such as asthma in their patients. Nearly 60 percent reported increases in allergies from plants or mold and injuries from severe weather related to climate change. Many of the physicians who responded to the survey said exposure to smoke from wildfires had caused or worsened lung conditions in their patients, and changes in precipitation and weather patterns seemed to be affecting patients as well, the Huffington Post reports.
Categories: Environment, Health

An Ode to Activism: The People Vs. the Pipeline

The EnvironmentaList - January 09, 2015
In Review: Above All Else
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

BLOG: Updates on Operation USA in the Philippines

Operation USA - January 08, 2015

In November 2013 the largest storm ever to make landfall, Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), devastated the Philippines. More than 16 million people were impacted by the typhoon, with upwards of 6,200 people killed and 4.1 million people displaced–nearly 1.7 million of which were children. Operation USA responded to the disaster quickly, sending multiple shipments of relief supplies to communities in both Tacloban and Guiuan, two of the hardest hit areas.

Guiuan, a small coastal municipality located at the southeastern tip of Samar where the monster storm first made landfall, was leveled by Haiyan’s strong winds and equally destructive storm surge. Virtually every person, every family, every house and every building in the area were impacted. It was here that Operation USA focused long-term recovery efforts.

Since late 2013, when Haiyan made landfall, OpUSA staff members have visited the Philippines on numerous occasions, and have come to sincerely care for the wonderful community of Guiuan and its residents. OpUSA program director, Susan, has worked closely with community members to facilitate the distribution of relief supplies and manage ongoing recovery projects.

In continued partnership with Honeywell, OpUSA’s main project in the area has been the reconstruction of the Ngolos Elementary School which serves approximately 250 students in kindergarten through 6th grade. The campus includes eight classrooms, a playground and a basketball court. Partners including Stella Abrera’s “Steps Forward for the Philippines” and We-Care.com have very generously supported the purchase of equipment and supplies for the new school facilities.

Just one year after Haiyan caused widespread damage and destruction, in December 2014, another storm, Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby), made landfall in the Philippines. Fortunately, damage from this massive storm was limited in Guiuan, and the school was not significantly impacted. Operation USA recommitted to recovery in the area in the storm’s wake, and despite temporary delays due to rainfall and high winds, the Honeywell Ngolos Elementary School is set to officially open early in 2015.

See more photos of school construction and Ngolos students here.

Donate to Operation USA’s ongoing relief and recovery programs around the world here.

Categories: Environment

Land Disturbances Darken Snow and Increase Melt Rate, Researchers Say

Yale Environment 360 - January 08, 2015
Land disturbances, such as agricultural practices and development, may have a big impact on snow purity and

Sampling snowpack in Montana melt rates, according to a large-scale survey of impurities in North American snow by researchers at the University of Washington. The researchers were particularly interested in the Bakken oil fields of northwest North Dakota. Before undertaking the study, they predicted that diesel emissions and air pollution associated with oil exploration would darken the snowpack, decreasing the amount of sunlight it reflects and increasing its melt rate. They found, however, that while these activities do add soot to the snow, the dirt they stir up adds an equal amount of impurities to the snowpack. Disturbances from clearing oil pads, new housing sites, agricultural activities, and extra truck traffic on unpaved roads add a significant amount of dirt to snowfields, they found.
Categories: Environment, Health
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