environment

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He Called in Sick at 5:30am, Died a Fiery Death an Hour Later

More on the suicide of gay-rights lawyer David Buckel

(Newser) - In the wake of lawyer David Buckel's fiery suicide in Brooklyn's Prospect Park last Saturday, the New York Times digs deeper into the 60-year-old's recent years and final moments. Buckel gained prominence for his work involving a case related to the death of transgender man Brandon Teena... More »

These Are the Least Green US States

WalletHub ranking based on environmental quality, more

(Newser) - WalletHub says it's time to "call out those doing a poor job of caring for the environment"—and its own report points the finger at West Virginia. Less than a week from Earth Day, the state falls dead last on WalletHub's list of the greenest US... More »

Calif. Bill Would Punish Straw-Happy Servers

But harsh penalties for 'Straws Upon Request' bill will be amended, lawmaker insists

(Newser) - Restaurant servers who give customers plastic drinking straws they haven't asked for will have to suck up a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine or six months in prison under a controversial bill in California. The bill was introduced in the State Assembly by Majority Leader Ian Calderon... More »

At UN Climate Conference, US Touts Coal

Audience members in Bonn, Germany, weren't pleased

(Newser) - A Trump administration panel touted coal and nuclear energy in its only official appearance at an 11-day United Nations climate conference in Germany on Monday—when it could get its message out over jeering protesters and audience members. "Without question, fossil fuels will continue to be used," though... More »

This Kills More People Than War, AIDS, or Smoking

Pollution, responsible for 9M premature deaths in 2015: study

(Newser) - Environmental pollution—from filthy air to contaminated water—is killing more people every year than all war and violence in the world. More than smoking, hunger, or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined, reports the AP . One out of every six premature deaths in the world in... More »

Now With Your Tap Water, a Side of Plastic

Researchers warn that we're ingesting microparticles

(Newser) - Perhaps we'd best hope we are what we eat, because if we are what we drink then we are getting pretty plastic. Researchers who tested samples of tap water from around the world say there are microplastics in much of it, with the highest contamination rate in the US,... More »

Plastic Bag Users Face Jail Time Under New Kenya Law

Tough new ban seeks to reduce plastic pollution

(Newser) - Using a plastic bag in Kenya now comes with a hefty price. According to the Guardian , offenders of a new law banning plastic bags in the eastern African country can face up to four years in jail or fines up to $40,000. Ten years in the making, the “... More »

Trump Nixes Obama-Era Bottled Water 'Ban' in National Parks

Critics say the bottled water industry's lobbying has won

(Newser) - Environmentalists have a new bone to pick with the Trump administration, this time over bottled water. A six-year-old policy that encouraged national parks not to sell bottled water has been overturned by Trump, reports the Guardian . Per NPR , the Obama-era policy put in place to reduce waste and pollution wasn’... More »

New Environmental Concern: Our Meat-Eating Cats and Dogs

Research finds cats, dogs produce 64M tons of CO2 by eating meat

(Newser) - A UCLA professor isn't saying anyone who cares about the environment should get rid of their beloved pet dog and/or cat. But he's not not saying that either. It's widely accepted that eating meat is bad for the environment for a number of reasons, and it turns... More »

Gulf of Mexico's Dead Zone Is Now Bigger Than Ever

Heavy rains in Midwest increased agricultural runoff this year

(Newser) - In 2014, the "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico was found to have shrunk to the size of Connecticut. To the ire of environmentalists, it has since ballooned to its largest size since mapping began in 1985, says NOAA . Covering 8,776 square miles—that's the size... More »

Rise in Sea Levels Turning Coastland Into 'Ghost Forests'

'It's dramatic and it's changing faster than it has before in human history'

(Newser) - They're called "ghost forests"—dead trees along vast swaths of coastline invaded by rising seas. The process has occurred naturally for thousands of years, but it has accelerated in recent decades as polar ice melts and raises sea levels, scientists say, pushing salt water farther inland and... More »

Is It a Forest or a City? Actually, It's Both

Experimental 'Forest City' to be complete in China in 2020

(Newser) - A new city being built along the Liujiang River in China's Guangxi Province will include houses, recreational spaces, offices, hotels, schools, and a hospital—and yet it's "unlike any before," per Inhabitat . The Liuzhou Forest City, to be connected to the much larger city of Liuzhou... More »

America's 7 Most Endangered Rivers

Lower Colorado River tops American Rivers' list

(Newser) - "If we don't protect and restore our rivers, we won't have reliable clean drinking water supplies," says a rep for American Rivers , a conservation group out with its annual list of the most endangered rivers in the US. Each river included on the list has regional... More »

Scientists Solve Sequoia Mystery

Dust from Gobi desert helps them grow: study

(Newser) - The sequoia trees of California's Sierra Nevada mountain range are obvious marvels. But according to new research , an unlikely and far-off source deserves a significant portion of the credit for allowing them to stand tall. The mineral that helps trees grow, phosphorus, is actually found in short supply in... More »

Trump's Plan to Revitalize Coal Faces Stiff Winds

Even a coal mining exec is skeptical about what can be done

(Newser) - President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to unwind many of the environmental rules put in place by President Obama. The big change is that he ordered a review of the Clean Power Plan, which was designed to curb emissions at coal-fired power plants. The president celebrated "the... More »

Hawking: 'I May Not Be Welcome' in US Under Trump

Acclaimed physicist notes his criticism of president's environmental policy

(Newser) - Stephen Hawking is afraid he might be persona non grata in America, reports the Guardian , due to the Trump administration's views on the environment and British cosmologist's past criticism of those views. In a conversation Monday with ITV's Good Morning Britain, Hawking said the US has swung... More »

One 2-Ton Whale Was No Match for 30 Plastic Bags

Bags, other waste found in stomach of euthanized whale in Norway

(Newser) - Norwegian zoologists have found about 30 plastic bags and other plastic waste in the stomach of a beaked whale that had beached on a southwestern Norway coast, the AP reports. The visibly sick, 2-ton goose-beaked whale was euthanized, Terje Lislevand of Bergen University said Friday. "The [whale's] stomach... More »

Obscure Act, Used Only Once, Could Undo Obama Rules

House Republicans voted to repeal 2 regulations

(Newser) - Moving to dismantle Barack Obama's legacy on the environment and other issues, House Republicans approved a measure 228-194 Wednesday that scuttles a regulation aimed at preventing coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams. Lawmakers also voted 235-187 to rescind a separate rule requiring companies to disclose payments... More »

Humans Taking a Toll on 100 World Heritage Sites

New study raises alarm on degradation

(Newser) - Almost half of all natural world heritage sites are slowly being degraded, and experts have a clear suspect: humans. A study based on the Human Footprint Index—which evaluates agriculture, infrastructure, population density, and other factors—identifies more than 100 of 229 sites that are suffering from human activities, reports... More »

Scientists Blame People for 3rd 'Hottest Year' in a Row

Human impact 'no longer subtle' on global warming that made 2016 hottest year ever

(Newser) - Everyone kind of knew this was coming , but many are still sweating at the news. Data for 2016 has been released, and it's official that last year was the hottest year on record, following 2014 and 2015 in holding this status, the Guardian reports. NASA and NOAA released their... More »

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