Environment

Pollution From Carbon Monoxide Has Fallen Steadily Since 2000, NASA Data Show

Yale Environment 360 - 10 hours 12 min ago
As these NASA satellite maps show, carbon monoxide levels have decreased appreciably in much of the world since 2000, thanks to

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Global carbon monoxide levels as of 2014 improved pollution controls on vehicles and factories and fewer forest fires. Carbon monoxide, which is produced whenever carbon-based fuels are burned, contributes to the formation of ozone, a pollutant that can have adverse health effects. A NASA satellite carrying a sensor called MOPITT — Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere — measures carbon monoxide levels. Higher concentrations of CO are depicted on the map in orange and red and lower concentrations in yellow. NASA said that the decrease in CO levels from 2000 to 2014 was particularly noticeable in the northern hemisphere thanks to technological and regulatory innovations that have led to lower pollution levels from vehicles and industry. Carbon monoxide levels also have decreased in the southern hemisphere since 2000, due largely to a reduction in deforestation fires.
Categories: Environment, Health

#TroopTuesday: 9 Ways to Be a Great Friend, by Troop 1067

Girl Scouts of America - 14 hours 3 min ago

Middle school is a crucial age for young girls. It’s a time when they’re more self-aware than ever, constantly viewing themselves through the eyes of their peers. It’s also the age when girls develop the most insecurities as they begin to deal with bullying behavior from their peers. That’s why we introduced Be a Friend First (BFF), an initiative designed to complement the aMAZE! Journey. It gives middle school girls valuable skills they can use to develop healthy relationships, prevent bullying behavior, and become peacemakers in their schools and communities. 
Troop 1067 from Girl Scouts, Hornets' Nest Council developed a Take Action project based on BFF. With their “9 Ways to be a Great Friend” chart, they sent a positive message about friendship to rising sixth-graders. The aim of this project was to diminish bullying concerns, and it aligned perfectly with the BFF mission, which is to explore issues like peer pressure, stereotyping, gossip, and cliques. Without a doubt, Troop 1067’s Take Action project will help prepare girls to foster healthy relationships as they enter sixth grade. Bravo, girls!
Learn more about how your troop can integrate BFF into their projects.
Categories: Environment

How to help a bee if it's trapped in your house

Friends of the Earth - 17 hours 43 min ago
Protect bees from pesticides - sign petition I was having breakfast recently and wondering what I was going to do with my day, when I heard a muted buzzing. This, on investigation, turned out to be coming from a rather bedraggled Hymenopteran. This term refers to any insect from the taxonomic group (order) "Hymenoptera", which includes bees, wasps, ants and sawflies. There are many types of bee, from the familiar, hairy nectar-obsessives we commonly associate with the word “bee”, to tiny blackish insects that collect the oil produced by yellow loosestrife flowers (these bees are
Categories: Environment

Five reasons we'll be marching against cuts

Friends of the Earth - 17 hours 44 min ago
Join the march 1. Environment departments have already been cut too much By the time of the next election, we need to be well on our way to a carbon-free, resource-smart economy that is helping to reverse the decline in nature.  It’s hard to pick a worse time to take an axe to the bits of government that must work overtime to make that happen. George Osborne has ordered an extra £13 billion to be cut just from departmental budgets. All departments except health, education and overseas development are facing cuts of a third over the next five years.  It puts, for example,
Categories: Environment

China to Shut Down Domestic Ivory Trade

The EnvironmentaList - 19 hours 17 min ago
Announcement offers hope amid African poaching crisis and dwindling elephant numbers
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Six Major Fossil Fuel Companies Call for Governments to Set Carbon Price

Yale Environment 360 - June 01, 2015
Six leading oil and gas companies have called on governments to enact a carbon-pricing system, saying this would be the most effective way to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The chief executives of Total, Statoil, Royal Dutch Shell, BG Group, BP, and Eni, in a joint letter to the head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said that governments should use regulatory measures to discourage carbon-intensive energy options and to level the playing field for all energy sources, both renewables and fossil fuels. The executives said the companies are willing to do their part, but that governments need to provide a clear, stable, and long-term policy framework. Total chief Patrick Pouyanne said in a news conference that a carbon price of roughly $40 per ton is needed to spur the replacement of coal-fired power stations, which produce twice as much CO2 as those that use natural gas. And a price of $80 to $100 per ton, he said, would justify investing in carbon capture and storage systems.
Categories: Environment, Health

Get Outside: It’s Great Outdoors Month!

Girl Scouts of America - June 01, 2015

Who loves the outdoors? We do!
Girl Scouts have been enjoying the outdoors for more than a century, ever since Juliette Gordon Low assembled the first troop of girls in 1912. From the start, getting to know the outdoors through adventure and physical play, exploring the bountiful world outside our homes and classrooms while restoring the mind and spirit, and connecting to nature in meaningful ways has been at the core of Girl Scouting. 
We’re all about having positive experiences, building friendships, making the world a better place by caring for the environment, and having tons of fun. And the outdoors is a great place to do all those things! Plus, many of our badge and Journey activities have connections to the outdoors. What can we say? We looove the fresh air and endless possibilities that lay beyond the living rooms and windows of our lives. There’s just so much to explore and learn!
And what better time than spring and summer to get outside and rejoice in all the AWESOME the outdoors has to offer? Luckily, June is Great Outdoors Month, and we’ll be celebrating BIG all month long by highlighting key research around girls and the outdoors—including the difference regular access to outdoor activities makes in girls’ lives. We’ll also be talking about cool ways to get outside and introducing some awesome camping tips in celebration of National Campout Day. We’ll even have two guest bloggers (both Girl Scout alumnae—yay!) sharing their love of the outdoors with us.
It’s going to be a great month, so visit the blog often, and don’t miss out. In the meantime, check out these great resources to learn more about Girl Scouts and the outdoors:And don’t forget to take a little break from all that technology you’re knee-deep in, get outside, and enjoy the warmth of spring and summer, and the gift of nature—this month and every month!

Categories: Environment

Oasis at Risk: Oman’s Ancient Water Channels Are Drying Up

Yale Environment 360 - June 01, 2015
Since pre-Islamic times, Oman’s water systems known as aflaj have brought water from the mountains and made the desert bloom. But now, unregulated pumping of groundwater is depleting aquifers and causing the long-reliable channels to run dry. BY FRED PEARCE
Categories: Environment, Health

A Conservationists’ Conundrum: In Some Places, There are Too Many Elephants

The EnvironmentaList - June 01, 2015
South Africa is struggling with too many animals and too little open land
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Ozone Benefits of Montreal Protocol Already Widespread, Study Says

Yale Environment 360 - May 29, 2015
The planet's protective ozone layer is in far better shape today thanks to the United Nations' Montreal Protocol, which came

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Ozone hole without the Montreal Protocol into force in 1987 and restricted the use of ozone-depleting substances such as CFCs, according to a new study in Nature Communications. The researchers used 3D atmospheric chemistry modeling to look at what might have happened to the ozone layer had the treaty not been implemented. The findings suggest that the Antarctic ozone hole would have grown by an additional 40 percent by 2013 and, had ozone-depleting substances continued to increase, the ozone layer would have become significantly thinner over other parts of the globe. A very large ozone hole over the Arctic would have occurred during the exceptionally cold Arctic winter of 2010-2011 — colder temperatures cause more loss — and smaller Arctic ozone holes would have become a regular occurrence.
Categories: Environment, Health

We can all be inspired by Edinburgh student's fossil free win

Friends of the Earth - May 29, 2015
I caught up with the Edinburgh students at Wednesday’s rally for the climate outside the Scottish Parliament to find out and what happened and how they won their campaign. The impressive campaign was led by the student People & Planet society, and employed a wide variety of imaginative tactics that engaged new activists every year of the campaign. I spoke to Kirsty, from the Edinburgh Uni People & Planet group , who told me that following years of lobbying and petitions, students had already been successful in ending the University’s £1.2 million investment in arms company Ultra
Categories: Environment

In Review: The Water Knife

The EnvironmentaList - May 29, 2015
By Paolo BagicalupiOrbit, 2015, 376 pages
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Should we stay in the EU?

Friends of the Earth - May 28, 2015
Back when Britain’s beaches were awash with sewage, acid rain gasses belched from our power stations and our drinking water was contaminated with a cocktail of chemicals. Like it or not, membership of the European Union has helped turn this around. We think staying in the EU will be the best bet for all of us and our environment, but we’d like to know what you think. Do you think we should stay in the EU? What has the EU ever done for us? Quite a lot actually. The EU plays an important role in protecting wildlife.  From safeguarding our threatened bees from pesticides to
Categories: Environment

Designed for the Future: Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World

Yale Environment 360 - May 28, 2015


From packing materials made of mushrooms to buildings engineered to cool and power themselves, sustainable design can play a key role in helping people adapt to a changing planet. That’s a central message of the new book Designed for the Future, in which more than 80 experts in sustainable design — architects, journalists, urban planners, and others — are asked to point to a specific project that gives them hope that a sustainable future is possible. Their selections vary widely, from communities that leave no carbon footprint to cutting-edge technological research programs. An e360 gallery highlights a few of the projects they say have inspired them.
View the gallery.
Categories: Environment, Health

Your weird and wonderful bees

Friends of the Earth - May 28, 2015
Here are some of the more unusual ones that we’ve had. Can you spot the hairy-footed flower bee? And please sign our petition, below, to protect bees from harmful pesticides. Protect bees from pesticides A tree bumblebee helping Sophie Hutchinson with the gardening   Looks like these bees have taken over Debbie Stansbury's birdbox   Great close-up shot taken by Caroline Webber   Thank you Lloyd for this great picture (by the way, this is not what a hairy-footed flower bee looks like
Categories: Environment

Saving the Endangered Chinese Swamp Cypress

The EnvironmentaList - May 28, 2015
National Geographic Explorer expedition heads into Laos forests to study newly discovered population of this endangered tree in its threatened ecosystem
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Power Plant Emissions to Drop to 1980s Levels Under U.S. Clean Power Plan

Yale Environment 360 - May 27, 2015
The Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to regulate power plant emissions will cut carbon pollution to its lowest

Wikimedia Commons Big Bend coal power plant in Florida level since the 1980s, reducing CO2 emissions from power plants by 1.6 billion tons per year, according to an analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The Clean Power Plan, which was proposed last June, sets goals for reducing carbon emissions from existing power plants by 2030. Under the plan, power sector CO2 emissions are projected to fall 25 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, and 34 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, the EIA analysis found. That would bring CO2 emissions from the power sector down to levels not seen since the early 1980s, the report notes.
Categories: Environment, Health

LNG Terminals and the Environmental Unlearning of Philadelphia

The EnvironmentaList - May 27, 2015
The lure of fossil fuel for America’s fifth largest city
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

#TroopTuesday: Troop 20033 Sheds Light on Unrealistic Beauty Standards

Girl Scouts of America - May 26, 2015


One of the biggest problems young girls and women face today is the expectation placed upon them to look “perfect.” With the media pushing unrealistic body images through heavily altered photos and videos, girls are constantly facing pressure to be thinner, resulting in major insecurities by the time they reach middle school. Just imagine how serious this matter gets by the time these girls reach high school! Thankfully, four Girl Scouts from York, Pennsylvania Troop 20033 took a stand to shed light on this troubling issue.
The Girl Scouts—Gillian DeWit, 16, and Madison Reinsel, Maria Hilbert, and Sarah Philbin, all 15—were honored recently with the Senior Visionary Award for their project, which shed light on how the media affects girls' body images and encourages other young girls to celebrate their bodies rather than compare them unfavorably to what they see in magazines and on television and the Internet.
The project requires Girl Scouts to develop an artistic representation of their ideal world, for which Troop 20033 made a 16-minute film, "The Perception."
They conducted research for the short film by interviewing students from Stevenson University and other Girl Scouts about their perceptions of the relationship between the media and body image. They found that, while young adults are aware of how much photos in the media are altered, young girls aren't.
The girls had one of their first opportunities to make a difference when, inspired by their research findings, they hosted a body image workshop for fourth- and fifth-grade girls.

"Even though the media is changing girls' perceptions, there is still time to turn it around and make people see their self-worth," Madison said of her project.
To fulfill the service portion of the project, Troop 20033 volunteered at New Life for Girls, a residential nonprofit that helps restore self-worth in women recovering from addiction and other life-controlling issues. The girls also held a movie night and bonfire—complete with s'mores, a campfire sing-along, and a discussion on the benefits of being a Girl Scout—for the women's children.
"Volunteering was the most rewarding part," Maria said. "We were helping others and making their lives better. It is what Girl Scouts is about."
The girls became role models  for younger girls in their community, and they had more advice to share after they finished the project.
"Don't be afraid to try new things and be the biggest person you can be," Gillian said regarding her award.
The award is available to ninth- and tenth-graders whose projects present real-life opportunities to make a positive difference in other girls' lives. Congratulations to the girls of Troop 20033 for planting the seed of positive body imaging, thus earning the Senior Visionary Award and impacting the lives of many young girls.

Read the original article from the York Dispatch here.
Categories: Environment

Officials Uncover “Mass Graves” Of Illegal Timber in Malaysia Forest Reserve

Yale Environment 360 - May 26, 2015
Malaysian authorities have uncovered timber “mass graves” where illegal loggers attempted to conceal valuable timber

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Muhaizan Yahya/nst.com A "mass grave" containing illegally logged timber. following a government crackdown on unlawful logging that started in February. The sites, located in the Belum-Temengor forest reserve, were revealed after the recent excavation of patches of land roughly the size of football fields, beneath which an estimated two stories of felled trees were stacked. “We believe that about 400 tons of logs worth more than RM1 million ($250,000 USD) were buried at the three locations and the culprits are waiting for the right time to dig them out and sell them,” says Anuar Mohd Noh, assistant commissioner for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which conducted a joint operation with the country’s forestry department to track down illicit logging activities.
Read more.
Categories: Environment, Health
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