Environment

BULLETIN: Operation USA to Assess Relief Needs in Mexico Following Magnitude 7.2 Earthquake

Operation USA - April 18, 2014

Los Angeles, Calif., April 18, 2014– Operation USA, a Los Angeles-based international relief agency, announced today that it is monitoring the situation in Mexico following a reported magnitude 7.2 earthquake on the southern Pacific coast. The earthquake struck north-northwest of Tecpan at 9:27 a.m. EST on Friday and was felt across the Southern region, including the resort towns of Acapulco and Zihuatanejo, and as far away as Mexico City, 170 miles to the northeast. Resulting damage from the quake is not yet known.

Operation USA recently provided aid in Mexico following floods in 2013, and is helping to rebuild a damaged school with local partner NGO Ninos En Alegria. Previously, OpUSA aided recovery in Mexico following a 1985 earthquake, sending seven airlifts containing medicines and shelter materials, and helping to build a permanent clinic for relocated quake victims as part of an integrated community development project co-sponsored by opera star Placido Domingo.

Operation USA will assess needs as the current situation develops and plans to respond with relief aid if requested. To donate to ongoing disaster relief around the world, visit donate.opusa.org.

About OPERATION USA:
Founded in 1979, Operation USA helps communities alleviate the effects of disasters, disease and endemic poverty by providing privately-funded relief, reconstruction and development aid throughout the world. The Los Angeles based non-government organization offers material and financial assistance to community-based organizations that promote sustainable development, leadership and capacity building, income generating activities, education, health services, and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable people. Operation USA is a Charity Navigator Four Star Charity. Learn more at www.opusa.org.

Richard Walden, President, CEO and Founder of OpUSA, is available as an expert source on disaster preparedness and international relief aid.

Press Contact:
Mary Dolan
Operation USA
mdolan@opusa.org
323-413-2353

Categories: Environment

Scale and Extent of China's Dam Rush Detailed in Map Project

Yale Environment 360 - April 18, 2014
China is planning to build at least 84 major dams in its southwest region, as shown in a map from the Wilson Center, eventually boosting its hydropower capacity by more than 160 gigawatts. By next year China's capacity

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Dam projects in China will surpass Europe's, and by 2020 it's projected to be larger than that of the U.S. and Europe combined. An interactive map shows the scale and number of major dams proposed, under construction, existing, and canceled. The dam rush is part of an ongoing effort by China to increase non-fossil energy sources to 11.4 percent of the country's total energy consumption — a goal that has gained urgency due to severe air pollution in many northern Chinese cities. However, the hydropower push is not without its own major environmental consequences, the Wilson Center notes. The cascades of planned dams will submerge important corridors connecting tropical rainforests to the Tibetan Plateau that allow wildlife to migrate as temperatures rise.
Categories: Environment, Health

Film Review: A Fierce Green Fire

The EnvironmentaList - April 18, 2014
Rousing PBS documentary covering 50 years of environmentalism to honor Earth Day
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Five Kamchatka Volcanoes Erupt Simultaneously, NASA Images Show

Yale Environment 360 - April 17, 2014
A NASA satellite passing over Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula this week photographed five simultaneous volcanic eruptions. The erupting volcanoes, from north

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Karymsky, most active of the five volcanoes to south, are Shiveluch, Klyuchevskaya, Bezymianny, Kizimen, and Karymsky. Karymsky, a 1,536-meter (5,039-foot) peak that has erupted regularly since 1996, is the most active of the five. The tallest, Klyuchevskaya, is 4,750 meters (15,580 feet) high. Of the planet's roughly 1,550 volcanoes that have erupted in the recent geologic past, 113 are found on the Kamchatka Peninsula, in Russia's far northeast, according to NASA. Forty volcanoes on Kamchatka are active, meaning they are either erupting now or capable of erupting at any time. Kamchatka's fiery landscape is driven by plate tectonics: The Pacific Plate is slowly colliding with and sliding beneath the Okhotsk Plate. As the Pacific Plate melts, magma migrates up toward the surface, causing volcanic eruptions.
Categories: Environment, Health

UN Panel Looks to Renewables As the Key to Stabilizing Climate

Yale Environment 360 - April 17, 2014
In its latest report, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes a strong case for a sharp increase in low-carbon energy production, especially solar and wind, and provides hope that this transformation can occur in time to hold off the worst impacts of global warming. BY FRED PEARCE
Categories: Environment, Health

Actually, it IS rocket science. ...And Girl Scouts can do that, too!

Girl Scouts of America - April 17, 2014

Eleven-year-old Mahlia Schneck from Girl Scouts of Connecticut, a double amputee and all-around science guru, wins “Reach for the Stars” national rocket competition, proving that even the sky is no longer a limit for Girl Scouts

Photo by Kathy ColpasMahlia will tell you herself: her favorite school subject is science.
“We just finished up a section on phases of the moon and the effects they have on us. I think it is really interesting how everything affects something else. It is like a big puzzle.”
But Mahlia’s intergalactic wisdom and knowledge go far beyond the classroom and her time with Girl Scouts of Connecticut.
And the winner is…On October 5, 2013, Mahlia traveled to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center to be recognized as a first-place winner in “Reach for the Stars,” a two-day national rocketry competition co-directed by husband-and-wife team Jack and Kathy Colpas.
Mahlia won first place when her rocket, which had to be built on-site during the competition, landed closest to the intended target.
“The whole competition was exciting!” Mahlia exclaimed. “Rockets kept going off and then up, up, up! It was a ‘blast,’” she said, using trusty air quotes with a smile.
Mahlia competed against 1200 other participants, all of whom had to build, prepare, and launch their own solid fuel-powered rocket and recover it by parachute.
Focus on the ability, not the disability.Mahlia’s hard-earned honor stands alone as an accomplishment worthy of the highest accolades.
But she is probably too busy being a humble, confident Girl Scout to tell you why her accomplishment is attracting so much attention (she’s extra busy recently: she and her friends in Troop 37145 just painted and donated a set of benches for their local community center).
Mahlia is a double-amputee. Photo by Kathy ColpasBut Mahlia won’t for a minute let you think that a physical disability can hold back a true Girl Scout.
“The people who know me do not think of me as the girl with prosthetic feet—they think of me as Mahlia.”
As an infant, Mahlia was involved in an accident she doesn’t remember. But she regards her feet with humor and grace, advising other kids who may have a disability to be themselves and just follow what makes them happy.
“Sometimes I tell people [my feet] got bit off by a shark. They didn’t, but it makes me laugh.”
Shooting for the Stars with STEM.Mahlia’s interest in science was no shark accident; it was written in the stars.
She was inspired to follow her interest in science after meeting Girl-Scout-turned-astronaut Cady Coleman at a Girl Scouts of Connecticut event devoted to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Girl Scouts’ STEM initiatives show girls the fun of these subjects in an all-girl setting and inspire them to explore STEM-related fields in which women have historically been vastly underrepresented.
“Meeting Cady Coleman was really fun!” Mahlia explains. “After talking to her, she showed me the flute that she took into space. I told her I also play the flute, and she let me play hers. Also, as if that wasn’t cool enough…she gave me a mission patch from her mission to the space station!”
A natural-born leader who thrives in Girl Scouting, Mahlia aspires to join the ranks of other female astronauts (all but one of whom just so happen to be Girl Scouts) and travel into space herself one day.
“When I grow up, I would like to be an astronaut because it would be very exciting to explore a new planet or work at mission control and be the person in charge of launching a rocket.”
A girl of courage, confidence, and character, who makes the world a better place.Girl Scouts of Connecticut CEO Mary Barneby admires Mahlia’s passion and perseverance.
“We are so proud of Mahlia Schneck,” Ms. Barneby said. “She is an inspiration to us all and a role model for all girls.”
Photo by Kathy ColpasMahlia’s parents, Kevin and Erienne, credit Girl Scouts’ volunteer opportunities for refining Mahlia’s natural self-confidence and self-esteem.
“We are very proud of Mahlia and love to watch her interact with the public on projects like Cookies for Heroes, where the girls virtually sell cookies to send overseas to US soliders, or when the girls collect supplies for our local animal shelter.”
Kevin and Erienne’s advice to other parents of children with disabilities is to simply breathe.
“Do not focus on the disability, focus on the ability,” they explain. “As parents, sometimes we focus more on the issue than the kids do. You have to let them guide you and follow their lead. A good shark joke once in a while never hurts, either!”
For more information on how your Girl Scout can 'reach for the stars' and become interested in STEM subjects, visit www.therocketman.net. Deadline for local competitions is July 31.

For more information on Girl Scouts of Connecticut, please visit www.gsofct.org
For more information on joining Girl Scouts, please visit www.girlscouts.org/join.
For press inquiries, please contact Girl Scouts of the USA Press Room at media@girlscouts.org
Categories: Environment

Oregon’s Klamath River Basin One Step Closer to Historic Dam Removal

The EnvironmentaList - April 17, 2014
Deal among Native Americans, farmers, ranchers and fishermen marks a triumph for cooperation.
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Campaña por playas limpias: Semana Santa 2014

Costa Salvaje - April 17, 2014
Campaña por playas limpias: Semana Santa 2014
Categories: Environment

Studying a Polar Menagerie on an Island in Arctic Russia

Yale Environment 360 - April 16, 2014
Ninety miles from the Russian mainland and 300 miles above the Arctic Circle, Wrangel Island is home to an eclectic assortment of fauna and flora — muskoxen,

Second in a series of blog posts from the Russian Arctic polar bears, wolves, reindeer, wolverines, walruses, Asia’s only population of snow geese, and 417 plant species. Joel Berger, a field biologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Montana, spent several weeks on Wrangel Island this spring. In the second of three blog posts for e360, he describes the arduous conditions under which Russian and U.S. scientists collect data on the island’s odd assortment of creatures.
Read more.
Categories: Environment, Health

California Game Commission to Consider Whether to Protect Gray Wolf

The EnvironmentaList - April 16, 2014
It is only a matter of time before wolves re-establish themselves in the Golden State
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Bulletin: Operation USA Partners with We-Care.com for Typhoon Recovery

Operation USA - April 15, 2014

Charitable shopping site pledges more than $10,000 in funding for education related projects in the Philippines

Los Angeles, Calif., April 15, 2014– Operation USA, a Los-Angeles based international relief agency, today announced that is will receive funds from partner company We-Care.com in sponsorship of the purchase of educational supplies in the Philippines as part of the organization’s typhoon recovery programs.

In February, thousands of We-Care.com users supported Operation USA’s work in the Philippines through a Cause of the Month campaign in which stories of the struggle and need that followed the typhoon were shared with the We-Care.com community. By shopping at online stores such as Target, Best Buy, Travelocity and thousands of other merchants, We-Care.com users generated $10,016.22 in funds to be donated to Operation USA.

“We’re blown away, proud, and excited,” said Dylan Nord, Partner Relations at We-Care.com. “We want to thank Operation USA for giving We-Care.com and its users the opportunity to be a part of this program.”

After Haiyan, the strongest typhoon to make landfall in recorded history, slammed into the Eastern Visayas and Eastern Samar regions of the Philippines in November 2013, Operation USA identified recovery needs in the coastal municipality of Guiuan. Much like Tacloban, its more urbanized neighbor to the North, Guiuan 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 was impacted. To date, OpUSA has sent sea shipments of much needed relief and recovery supplies. Now, as the emergency phase is waning, OpUSA is embarking on a multi-phased rebuilding project that will include a public school and a playground.

Funds generated by the We-Care.com community will be used to provide educational materials and/or other supplies to be determined as part of Operation USA’s rebuilding efforts.

About Operation USA
Founded in 1979, Operation USA helps communities alleviate the effects of disasters, disease and endemic poverty by providing privately-funded relief, reconstruction and development aid throughout the world. The Los Angeles based non-government organization offers material and financial assistance to community-based organizations that promote sustainable development, leadership and capacity building, income generating activities, education, health services, and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable people. Operation USA is a Charity Navigator Four Star Charity. Learn more at www.opusa.org.

About We-Care.com
We-Care.com empowers users to turn shopping, booking travel, and doing taxes online into a means to donate to a favorite organization. Launched in 2008, We-Care.com consists of a team of internet marketers and technologists who believe one can succeed while doing good for others. Partners Kevin Lee and Dave Pasternack are successful “serial entrepreneurs”, and the founders of the leading Search Engine Marketing (SEM) agency Didit – part of the 2007 Inc 500 fastest-growing privately held companies (#137) and Deloitte’s Fast 500 (#12). We-Care.com provides Dave and Kevin an opportunity to support organizations that improve our communities.

Press Contact:
Mary Dolan
Director, Social Media & Media Outreach Programs
Operation USA
323.413.2353
mdolan@opusa.org

Categories: Environment

Solar-Harvesting Windows Could Become Reality with Advances in Semiconductors

Yale Environment 360 - April 15, 2014
New semiconductor technology is advancing the development of house windows that could double as solar panels, according to scientists from Los Alamos National Lab and Italy. Their research into so-called Solar-harvesting materials under UV light "quantum dots" — ultra-small bits of semiconductors that transmit energy extremely efficiently and can be tuned toward specific colors — shows that quantum dots can be used in transparent materials to harvest sunlight with efficiencies comparable to standard solar panels. When highly transparent materials are embedded with quantum dots, they are known as luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs); the structures can absorb sunlight and re-radiate it at longer wavelengths directed toward the edge of the slab, where the energy is collected by a solar cell. In tests using large LSC slabs (sized in tens of centimeters), researchers reported harvesting photons at roughly 10 percent efficiency. Typical photovoltaic solar panels have an average efficiency of about 15 percent.
Categories: Environment, Health

A Public Relations Drive to Stop Illegal Rhino Horn Trade

Yale Environment 360 - April 15, 2014
Conservation groups are mounting campaigns to persuade Vietnamese consumers that buying rhino horn is decidedly uncool. But such efforts are likely to succeed only as part of a broader initiative to crack down on an illicit trade that is decimating African rhino populations. BY MIKE IVES
Categories: Environment, Health

In Vietnam, A New Campaign To Stop the Rhino Horn Trade

Yale Environment 360 - April 15, 2014
Conservation groups are mounting campaigns to persuade Vietnamese consumers that buying rhino horn is decidedly uncool. But such efforts are likely to succeed only as part of a broader initiative to crack down on an illicit trade that is decimating African rhino populations. BY MIKE IVES
Categories: Environment, Health

In Vietnam, A New Campaign To Curb the Rhino Horn Trade

Yale Environment 360 - April 15, 2014
Conservation groups are mounting campaigns to persuade Vietnamese consumers that buying rhino horn is decidedly uncool. But such efforts are likely to succeed only as part of a broader initiative to crack down on an illicit trade that is decimating African rhino populations. BY MIKE IVES
Categories: Environment, Health

Environmentalists Could Win the Keystone XL Battle and Still Lose the War

The EnvironmentaList - April 15, 2014
Will the KXL fight be environmentalists’ Vietnam?
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Operation USA: Active Projects & Programs Update

Operation USA - April 14, 2014

Operation USA has many active projects around the world (and here in the United States) in need of support from donors like you. Read on to learn more about what we’re up to and how you can help. Click HERE to make a donation now.

United States: Pine Ridge Reservation
Operation USA has recently started supporting health and education programs on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. In partnership with the Suanne Big Crow Boys and Girls Club, where children have access to a number of extracurricular activities and can learn and play in a safe environment, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Health Administration, which offers a variety of invaluable health programs for tribal members, Operation USA will provide both monetary and in-kind assistance to projects that provide much-needed services to those living on the reservation.

United States: Awesome Girls
The Awesome Girls Mentoring Program has successfully mentored at risk girls throughout the greater New Orleans area since 1977. Offered year-round, the programming not only appeals to girls’ interests, but also enables their families and volunteers to help foster the healthy growth and development of happy, self-sufficient young women. Operation USA has been an enthusiastic supporter of the program since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans in 2005. Nutritional programs, self esteem and confidence building classes, scholastic tutoring and physical activities are just a few of the many services the program makes available to the girls and their families.

Financial help from organizations like Operation USA and supporters like you is essential, and would help to continue to make possible this important community resource.

Click here to make a donation in support of Operation USA’s ongoing programs in the United States now.

United States: California Clinics Supply Program
Since 1983, Operation USA’s Community Clinics Supply Program has worked with over 100 nonprofit community clinics and health centers throughout the state of California–providing donated medical supplies, equipment and medicines to our partners. These nonprofit health centers provide comprehensive primary and preventative care to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. Many of their clients are medically indigent, working poor, minorities, high-risk and vulnerable.

Through this program, distributed inventory helps to enable our nonprofit clinic partners to increase their capacity for delivery of care, and helps them to redirect scarce funds from supplies to personnel, operations, and programs.

Nicaragua: Clinic Reconstruction (early planning stages)
In response to the devastating disaster caused by Hurricane Mitch (1999) in Nicaragua, Operation USA developed a number of relief and rehabilitation projects. One of the largest projects Operation USA undertook was the rehabilitation of a clinic building in the village of Santa Rosa, located close to Nicaragua’s border with Honduras. Due to a series of floods and continued seismic activity as well as unavoidable wear and tear, the clinic is currently not operating. Operation USA is planning to rebuild and equip a new village clinic and is currently seeking funds and/or partners to make this project possible. Once built and staffed, the clinic will serve up to 2,000 residents of three villages.

Click here to learn more about partnership/sponsorship opportunities and in-kind donations now.

The Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan Recovery
On November 8th, 2013 Haiyan, the strongest typhoon to make landfall in recorded history, slammed into the Eastern Visayas and Eastern Samar regions of the Philippines, carving a path of death and destruction in its wake. The small coastal municipality of Guiuan was where the monster storm first made landfall. Much like Tacloban, its more urbanized neighbor to the North, Guiuan 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 was impacted.

Operation USA has focused our relief efforts in Guiuan in hopes of helping this wonderful community get back on its feet. To date, we have sent sea shipments of much needed relief and recovery supplies. Now, as the emergency phase is waning, OpUSA is embarking on a multi-phased rebuilding project that will include a public school and a playground. OpUSA is currently seeking funding for playground equipment, computers, sports equipment and other school supplies for the estimated 100 children who will attend the school.

Haiti: Education and Feeding Programs
The massive earthquake that struck in 2010 brought unprecedented devastation to Haiti. Immediately following the earthquake, Operation USA aided relief efforts across the country with air and sea supply shipments and carefully targeted grants to partner agencies. Four years on, Operation USA remains committed to the people of Haiti. Focusing on the city of Jacmel, where, in partnership with Honeywell Hometown Solutions, we constructed a nine-building public school complex. Our work in Haiti is centered on education and child nutrition, which research has directly linked to enhanced literacy and capacity for learning.

Operation USA continues to support a feeding program at the newly constructed school which makes available a hot lunch to all students daily. This hot meal is too often the only one that the children at the school will receive that day. Your support will help us to ensure that this vital resource, and the wonderful children who benefit from it, continue to thrive.

Click here to make a donation in support of Operation USA’s ongoing disaster recovery programs now.

Cambodia: Micro-Credit Programs and Hospital Supplies Shipments
Operation USA has maintained an active presence in Cambodia since 1979, when it was the first western NGO allowed into the country following the fall of the Khmer Rouge. Over the years, we have supported numerous health, education and livelihood programs throughout the country in partnership with community-based organizations like Mekong Plus, which offers income-generating opportunities and training as well as health education to women and the poorest of the poor. Operation USA also continues to deliver invaluable supplies to health care partner, King Sihanouk Hospital–a state-of-the-art facility in Phnom Penh which provides free medical care to all who cannot afford it.

Worldwide: Shipments
Often, the shipping process is the greatest challenge in providing essential relief to communities in need. When corporate partners provide materials, and their destination is determined, OpUSA warehouse staff must then coordinate the donation of shipping services by air, land and sea. Operation USA is currently seeking shipment sponsors and funds to support “getting it there” quickly and efficiently.

Click here to make a donation in support of shipping around the world now.

Click here to learn more about becoming a corporate sponsor now.

Categories: Environment

Despite Stark Warnings, IPCC Finds Some Signs of Hope on Climate

Yale Environment 360 - April 14, 2014
Although greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at an alarming rate, governments are beginning to embrace carbon-cutting initiatives, while technological advances are sharply reducing the cost of deploying solar and wind power, according to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The working group report on climate mitigation, released in Berlin, said that global CO2 emissions have risen about 2.2 percent a year this century — twice the rate of the last few decades of the 20th century — and that holding temperature increases to 2 degrees C (3.6 F) can only be achieved through an intensive push over the next 15 years. But the report also said that the political will to reduce carbon emissions seems to be rising around the world, and that shifting the global energy system from fossil fuels to zero- or low-carbon sources would reduce economic growth by only about .06 percent per year. “The loss in consumption is relatively modest,” said IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri. “The longer we delay the higher would be the cost.”
Categories: Environment, Health

A Fresh Boost of Energy for Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaigns on US Campuses

The EnvironmentaList - April 14, 2014
At the 2014 Fossil Fuel Divestment Convergence, students renewed their pledge to dig deep, link up, and take action
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

A Way to Come Together on Public Lands Conservation

The EnvironmentaList - April 14, 2014
If Congress doesn’t like President Obama’s national monument designation, it should pass the dozens of pending wilderness bills
Categories: Environment, News Feeds
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