NEWS ABOUT: environment

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EPA's New Rule Will Make Gas Pricier, Earth-Healthier

Oil refiners will need to cut gasoline's sulfur content some 60%

(Newser) - The Environmental Protection Agency is today putting in place a new rule to drastically cut sulfur from gasoline, a measure it says will ultimately save lives, the New York Times reports. Sulfur in gasoline renders vehicle pollution control systems less effective, boosting smog-causing emissions associated with heart and lung disease,... More »

Obama Is Chucking His Green Legacy With Keystone

Rep. Raul Grijalva: Keystone approval marks a return to Bush-era policies

(Newser) - President Obama's environmental record is a "tremendous improvement" from the Bush-Cheney days, but he's on the verge of destroying it with the Keystone XL oil pipeline, writes Democratic congressman Raul Grijalva in the New York Times . The proposed pipeline is a perfect example of how such projects... More »

5 Big Lakes That Are Disappearing

Blame shifting climate, drought: Smithsonian

(Newser) - Climate change, sinkholes, human water use—the reasons are many, but the result is the same: Lakes across the world have shrunk or disappeared completely, and in the Smithsonian , Sarah Zielinski tells their stories. Among them:
  • It's called the Dead Sea, but it's technically a lake, and it'
... More »

Plan OKed to Dredge, Dump in Great Barrier Reef Park

Environmental groups warn of dangers

(Newser) - The authority in charge of Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park has given the final approval to a plan to dump millions of tons of dredging spoils into the park's waters, despite howls of protest from environmental groups and scientists. The dredging is part of a plan to... More »

US Bending on Environment for Sake of Big Trade Deal

Countries' 'red lines' said to clash

(Newser) - As a dozen Pacific Rim nations continue three years of talks on a major trade deal, the US seems to be bending on environmental regulations accompanying the deal. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, central to President Obama's goals in the region, features a contentious chapter on environmental rules; a Nov. 24... More »

Why Switzerland Airlifts Its Cows

It's not just about helping the cows, it's about helping the land: Aeon

(Newser) - The sight of a cow flying through the air isn't so rare in Switzerland: When a cow is injured—or dead—a helicopter may arrive to bring it to safety, or, if dead, to incineration. The practice, Aeon reports, isn't just about caring for our bovine friends, or... More »

Newfound Greenhouse Gas 7K Times Worse Than CO2

And we've been using perfluorotributylamine for decades

(Newser) - Canadian researchers have detected another greenhouse gas—and its global warming potential is extreme. Over the course of a century, "a single molecule of PFTBA has the equivalent climate impact as 7,100 molecules of CO2," says a lead author of the study that identified perfluorotributylamine. "We... More »

New Storm Hits Reeling Philippines

Tropical depression Zoraida carries heavy rains; country pushes for climate action

(Newser) - A new storm has struck the Philippines with heavy rain. Fortunately, Tropical Depression Zoraida landed almost 300 miles from the worst of Typhoon Haiyan's devastation, the Wall Street Journal notes, and the latest storm—the 25th to hit the country this year—has been downgraded to a low-pressure area,... More »

Inside Ethanol's Quiet, Dirty Toll on Environment

Industry fumes over AP report

(Newser) - President Obama, and President Bush before him, fought hard to make ethanol a central part of American energy. But an AP investigation finds that the program as it stands may be doing far more environmental harm than good. The effort to grow corn for fuel has meant the destruction of... More »

'Choking Smog' Shuts Down Huge Chinese City

Pollution reading way beyond dangerous level

(Newser) - The northeastern Chinese city of Harbin, population 11 million, has virtually shut down today thanks to air pollution; the smog is so heavy in places that you can't see beyond about 30 feet. It's this bad: "We were all late for class today because we couldn't... More »

Oceans Careening Toward Mass Extinction

Thanks to a whole raft of issues 'unprecedented in Earth's known history'

(Newser) - Our oceans are in bad shape—so bad in fact, that a mass extinction may already be under way, thanks to a deadly intersection of global warming, declining oxygen, and acidification, plus overfishing and pollution, the Guardian and Reuters report. A new study from the International Program on the State... More »

Florida's Plan: Sell Land So It Can ... Buy Land

Some 5K acres may be up for grabs to raise $50M for other properties

(Newser) - Florida may be about to put a whole lot of land up for sale. The goal: sell off the less significant stuff—some 5,000 acres of beaches, forests, and wetlands originally bought to keep out of development—to raise $50 million to buy land deemed more important to save,... More »

Love Yosemite? Leave it Alone

New plan to protect the park will cut facilities like bike rentals and rafting

(Newser) - The National Park Service is under pressure to help protect and restore the Merced River in Yosemite National Park. The catch: those who love it most will be able to use it less. The Park Service wants to remove horse, bicycle, and raft rental facilities, as well as swimming pools... More »

Obama Speech (Mostly) Good News for Keystone

Both supporters and opponents of pipeline find reason to cheer

(Newser) - The big part of President Obama's climate-change strategy unveiled today was indeed his promise to put emissions limits for the first time on the nation's power plants. (See highlights of that and four other key points at the Week . Click for the full transcript of the speech or... More »

What to Watch for in Today's Climate Speech

Obama to set out landmark regulations, but rocky road ahead

(Newser) - Today, President Obama will unveil his plans to fight climate change—"the global threat of our time," he said last week—in a speech at Georgetown University. He's taking on the threat without help from Congress , though lawmakers could potentially seize on a law that lets them... More »

Bloomberg's Latest: Mandatory Food Composting

Pilot programs have been successful

(Newser) - New York City has been experimenting with pilot food-composting programs—and it's worked surprisingly well, officials say. Now, Michael Bloomberg is pushing to make composting mandatory, as it is in Seattle, San Francisco, and many other cities, the New York Times reports. The program, in which residents drop food... More »

CO2 Report Portends 'Disaster for All Countries'

Worldwide emissions hit new record last year

(Newser) - The planet's carbon emissions rose last year to a record 31.6 gigatons, marking a 1.4% increase, according to a new report. That puts us on track for a surge in temperature far exceeding international benchmarks—a "disaster for all countries," says the chief economist for... More »

Walmart Admits Dumping Pollutants, Will Pay $81M

Company pleads guilty in California to hazardous waste charges

(Newser) - Walmart pleaded guilty today to charges the company dumped hazardous waste in California. Walmart entered the plea in federal court in San Francisco to misdemeanor counts of negligently dumping pollutants from Walmart stores into sanitation drains across California. As part of the plea, the company will pay $81 million, which... More »

New Threat in Himalayas' Glacial Melt: Tsunamis

Villagers could have just minutes' warning

(Newser) - Tsunamis can occur far from the ocean, and climate change is increasing the risk of disaster in one of the more unlikely places on Earth: the Himalayas. Lakes are forming more frequently in the area thanks to glacial melting, and when a natural dam breaks—due to erosion, water pressure,... More »

Africa's 'Venice' in Peril

Two-thirds of Saint-Louis residents face flood risk

(Newser) - It's called the "Venice of Africa": Saint-Louis, Senegal, is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Senegal River, and the water has long been central to its economy. But now, like its Italian namesake , it's facing disaster from rising water levels. Some two-thirds of the city's... More »

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