Moving From Oil to Electric Power Not Always the Greener Choice, Study Says

Yale Environment 360 - 9 hours 16 min ago
Transitioning from fossil fuels to electric-powered technology is widely believed to be an effective way to lower carbon emissions. However, as a new Nature Climate Change report explains, that calculus changes significantly if the electricity is produced by burning coal or oil. For electrification to lower emissions, a region must produce its electricity with less than 600 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per gigawatt hour (GWh), the report says. If a region's electricity production exceeds this 600-ton threshold — as it does in India, Australia, and China, for example — moving to electricity may increase carbon emissions and accelerate climate change. "You could speculate that incorporating electrified technologies such as high speed rail in China may not lower overall emissions," says Chris Kennedy, a University of Toronto engineer who authored the study. "It might even be more carbon friendly to fly."
Categories: Environment, Health

Oil Can’t Compete With Renewables, Says National Bank of Abu Dhabi

The EnvironmentaList - 10 hours 21 min ago
Returns on fossil fuel investments aren’t keeping up with solar and wind, and are less likely to do so in the future, says bank report
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Girl Scouts Celebrate International Women’s Day

Girl Scouts of America - 10 hours 30 min ago
Guest Post from Anna Maria Chávez, Chief Executive Officer and Kathy Hopinkah Hannan National President
In celebration of International Women’s Day, we were invited along with several of the Girl Scouts we serve to represent our Movement at the White House, joining President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to announce the new Let Girls Learn initiative with the Peace Corps, as well as our commitment to support the advancement of girls’ access to education worldwide.
As the largest, most successful girl leadership development organization in the world, we know that when girls thrive, so does our world. This initiative brings increased focus on how critically important it is that we invest in girls and provides all of us with another excellent opportunity to commemorate our Movement’s global mission, reach, and impact.
Through this partnership, we are expanding the scope of our work and deepening our support for girls’ education globally by making tools and resources available to girls who are pursuing two of our most prestigious awards: the Global Action badge and the Gold Award.  Through these existing national programs, two million Girl Scouts will have the opportunity to be engaged in learning and leadership to advance girls' education around the world.  Girls will now be able to connect to Peace Corps volunteers working on girls’ education projects and resources like PBS Learning Media’s online platform to learn more about the importance of education for girls.  Find out more about our commitment to advance girls’ education globally here.
In addition, for the week of International Women’s Day fifteen Girl Scouts from six different councils will be participating as delegates in a variety of programs and events as part of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Our girls will also be speaking on panels, learning about the UN process, and engaging with UN delegates and entities. On March 9, Girl Scouts will be hosting an event during the commission to discuss The State of Girls: The Well-being of Girls in the United States report.

Girl Scouts continues to prove that we are a thought leader on girls’ issues and a Movement dedicated to empowering girls to thrive. Through our unique programming, girls not only discover their skills and develop their leadership potential, but are also empowered with the courage, confidence, and character to challenge socially determined limits on what they can or cannot do, and go on to become leaders who continue to challenge the inequalities that still exist for girls and women worldwide.

As champions for girls every day of the year, we want to thank each of you for the work that you do to support girls everywhere. We encourage you to share this important news with your colleagues and community partners as we continue to work together to ensure that every girl has the opportunity to bring her dreams to life and make a difference in the world.
Categories: Environment

Perennial Rice: In Search of a Greener, Hardier Staple Crop

Yale Environment 360 - 12 hours 53 min ago
Scientists have long sought to create a perennial rice that would avoid the damage to the land caused by the necessity of planting annually. Now, Chinese researchers appear close to developing this new breed of rice, an achievement that could have major environmental benefits. BY WINIFRED BIRD
Categories: Environment, Health

Thin Mint Cookies—Separated at Birth?!

Girl Scouts of America - March 04, 2015

Reported by Kelly M. Parisi
Kelly M. Parisi, Chief Communications Executive by day and Thin Mint lover by night. She coined the phrase #ThinMintsAreMyJam and keeps her ear to the internet for the latest cookie gossip. Follow her on Twitter for updates: @KellyMParisi
Thin Mints have always walked through life sure that they were the only ones satisfying the chocolate mint cravings of Girl Scout Cookie customers around the world. Today, though, that dream has been shattered as media outlets report that the two Girl Scout Cookie bakers have been cranking out two different versions of the minty chocolatey treats we all love.
That’s right. Two different Thin Mints! Delivering a slightly different but still awesome mint chocolate taste!
Needless to say, feelings were hurt. The initial meetings between the two cookie dynamos were rocky. And yes—cookies were crumbling. 
As of now, both Thin Mint and Thin Mint are in talks to embrace their differences. They were last spotted at Girl Scouts’ central office in deep conversation over a tall glass of milk. Though there has been no official word from the rep of either Thin Mint, cookie customers can rest assured that the chocolate and mint treats will always be committed to satisfying the public's craving for delicious cookies.

Categories: Environment

Hurricanes Help Spread Invasive Marine Species, Researchers Find

Yale Environment 360 - March 04, 2015
Hurricanes can accelerate the spread of invasive marine species — in particular the lionfish, a hardy invader that

An adult lionfish can overrun ecosystems and devastate native biodiversity — according to research published in the journal Global Change Biology. Researchers found that hurricanes, by forcing changes in strong ocean currents, have helped lionfish spread from the Florida Straits to the Bahamas since 1992, increasing the spread of the species by 45 percent and their population size by 15 percent. Normally the currents pose a barrier to the transport of lionfish eggs and larvae, the researchers say, but as a hurricane passes, the current shifts and carries lionfish larvae and eggs from Florida to the Bahamas. Scientists say climate change may increase the frequency or intensity of future storms, which could further accelerate the spread of marine invasives.
Categories: Environment, Health

Climate Change Poses Serious Threats to Food Distribution

The EnvironmentaList - March 04, 2015
The risks of a highly centralized food system
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Photographs of Amazon Forest Added to Google Street View Collection

Yale Environment 360 - March 03, 2015
Detailed views of the Amazon rainforest, its rivers, and indigenous communities are the latest additions to Google's


Boaters on the Rio Negro "Street View" collection, the company announced this week. The imagery — captured while boating down 500 kilometers of rivers, walking along 20 kilometers of trails, and ziplining through dense forest — reveals stunning views of the Amazon from the top of its canopy to the forest floor. The photos also capture daily life in 17 communities of local people who live deep within the rainforest and along the Rio Mariepauá, one of the Amazon River's largest tributaries. The images were collected in partnership with the conservation organization Amazonas Sustainable Foundation, which hopes that sharing in-depth photographs of the area will help promote conservation efforts.
Categories: Environment, Health

Interview: How Climate Change Helped Lead to Conflict in Syria

Yale Environment 360 - March 03, 2015
Before Syria devolved into civil war, that country experienced its worst drought on record. The consequences of this disaster Colin Kelley included massive crop failures, rising food prices, and a mass migration to urban areas. In a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers suggest the drought and its ensuing chaos helped spark the Syrian uprising. They make the case that climate change was responsible for the severity of the drought. Colin Kelley, a climatologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, was the study’s lead author. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Kelley explains that long-term precipitation and soil temperature trends in Syria and the rest of the region correlate well with climate change models, demonstrating, he says, that the record-setting drought can’t be attributed to natural variability.
Read the interview.
Categories: Environment, Health

A Journey to “The Place Where Life Begins”

The EnvironmentaList - March 03, 2015
A photo essay from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Emperor Penguins Had FewRefuges During Last Ice Age, Study Finds

Yale Environment 360 - March 02, 2015
The Ross Sea and certain other Antarctic waters likely served as refuges for the three emperor penguin populations that

Emperor penguins survived during the last ice age, when large amounts of ice made much of the rest of Antarctica uninhabitable, according to a new study published in the journal Global Change Biology. The findings suggest that extreme climatic conditions on the continent during the past 30,000 years created an evolutionary "bottleneck" that is evident in the genetic material of modern-day emperor penguins, a species known for its ability to thrive in icy habitats. But during the last ice age, the Antarctic likely had twice as much sea ice, the researchers say, leaving only a few locations for the penguins to breed — distances from the open ocean (where the penguins feed) to the stable sea ice (where they breed) were too great. The three populations that did manage to survive may have done so by breeding near areas of ocean that are kept free of sea ice by wind and currents, the researchers suggest.
Categories: Environment, Health

Along Cuba’s Coast, The Last Best Coral Reefs in the Caribbean Thrive

Yale Environment 360 - March 02, 2015
Decades of communist rule and a U.S. embargo have stifled coastal development in Cuba, which has had the beneficial effect of leaving many of the country’s coral reefs intact. In this gallery, photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reef ecosystems.
Categories: Environment, Health

Nature in the City

The EnvironmentaList - March 02, 2015
In Chicagoland, a quiet rewilding is underway
Categories: Environment, News Feeds

Spotlight on a Cadette for National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend

Girl Scouts of America - March 01, 2015
National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend is a time for cookie lovers everywhere to learn more about the good the Girl Scouts do for their local community.  This year, we’re happy to share just a few of those exceptional stories with you.
Having been in Girl Scouts for four years, Sidney could tell you a thing or two about selling cookies.  So when she noticed that people avoided purchasing cookies, she found a new way to keep them interested and engaged.  For every sale that Sidney made, she’d ask, “Would you like to donate a box to the military?”  And, unsurprisingly, people kept saying yes.  She took those 296 boxes of donated cookies and sent them directly to the USS Theodore Roosevelt operations department, after meeting a former sailor at a cookie booth.
But Sidney didn’t stop there.  Even after they donated those extra boxes to the military, she and her troop were able to donate over $750 worth of much needed items to a local humane society, and a total of 320 volunteer hours.
So, when you head out to a cookie booth in your community this weekend, be sure to ask the girls what they do with their cookie money.  Because, oh, what a girl can do!
Categories: Environment

Happy National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend!

Girl Scouts of America - February 27, 2015

Yes! It’s here. National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend—the perfect time to celebrate all the amazing things girls do with their cookie earnings every year, for their communities and beyond. On top of teaching five super-important life skills—including goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics—the Girl Scout Cookie Program gives girls the opportunity to build their confidence, make friends, become rock-star social entrepreneurs, and have a ton of fun along the way.
This weekend, celebrate cookie bosses everywhere by visiting your local Girl Scout Cookie booth and showing your support. But don’t stop at the cookies! During your visit, ask girls about their cookie sale. What are their goals this year? What are they planning to do with their cookie earnings, and what is their favorite thing about the program? They are doing so much awesome stuff, and they’ll love to share their stories.

Join the fun. Get in the cookie spirit!

Categories: Environment

#GimmieFive and Let's Move!

Girl Scouts of America - February 27, 2015
In February 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama launched Let’s Move!, an initiative that encouraged kids all over the country to get out, get active, and create a healthier future for themselves and their families. To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Let’s Move! this month, the White House has kicked things up a notch with the #GimmieFive challenge.
To join in the fun, just share five ways you’re leading a healthier life and challenge your friends and family to do the same by posting photos or videos with #GimmeFive on Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Facebook, or Tumblr. Looking for inspiration? Here are five ways you might get active—outdoors!—as a Girl Scout.
  • Do a “detective hike” and investigate leaves or tracks along the trail as part of the Brownie Hiker badge.
  • Play a nighttime game of flashlight tag while earning the Junior Camper badge.
  • Take part in a wacky relay race as part of the Cadette Field Day badge.
  • Explore a farm or orchard along the Senior Sow What? Journey.
  • Go snorkeling, surfing, or tubing as part of the Ambassador Water badge.
Of course there are plenty of opportunities for our littlest Girl Scouts, too! Daisies might create their own “pedal power” by riding bikes on the Between Earth and Sky Journey, or play Red Light, Green Light outdoors while earning their Lupe petal.
Questions about the #GimmieFive challenge? Learn more at LetsMove.gov.
Categories: Environment

Spotlight on a Brownie for National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend

Girl Scouts of America - February 27, 2015
National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend is a time for cookie lovers everywhere to learn more about the good the Girl Scouts do for their local community.  This year, we’re happy to share just a few of those exceptional stories with you.
Through the cookie program, our Girl Scouts are given an incredible opportunity to make a difference in lives of others and in their surrounding community.  A fabulous example is Emily, a 7-year old Brownie on a mission to honor her late father.
Emily’s father, Ethan, had previously battled cancer in his teenage years, but was in remission when he met Emily’s mother, Suzanne, in 2006.  After his cancer had tragically spread throughout his body, he passed away in 2009 at age 24, just one year after Emily was born.  While fighting cancer, he was treated at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and that’s where Emily decided to pay it forward.
Through the Gift of Caring option at Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania, Emily is able to give cookie customers the option to donate cookies to the children’s hospital.  Last season, Emily easily surpassed her original donation goal of 1,000 boxes, and worked with her troop to donate a whopping 4,000 boxes to the children.  “Her family told me they’d love nothing more than to see every children’s hospital across the country receive a cookie donation like this,” said Nancy Irwin, communications director for Western Pennsylvania.
Though Emily did not have much of a chance to know her father, it seems that she embodies a lot of qualities he possessed.  When asked by a local paper why Emily wanted to do this, her mother had a simple answer. “She’s just a very good-hearted kid who wants to do good,” Suzanne said.  “She’s him.”
So, when you head out to a cookie booth in your community this weekend, be sure to ask the girls what they do with their cookie money.  Because, oh, what a girl can do!
Categories: 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


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
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