environment

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Obama Accepts Science, Chooses to Ignore It

His decision on Shell in the Arctic is a joke, writes Bill McKibben

(Newser) - President Obama's decision to give Shell the green light to drill in the Arctic is an environmental abomination, writes Bill McKibben in the New York Times . Shell and the entire fossil fuel industry have been ignoring warnings for years about the Arctic, and yet now that it's clearly... More »

Our Cigarette-Butt Litter Is Staggering

New York state alone gets 1.5M tons of them annually

(Newser) - Cigarette butts aren't just nasty, they're turning up all over the place and damaging the environment, National Geographic reports. Every year, New York state alone is said to create 1.5 million tons of butts, while 2.1 million of them were found in the world's oceans... More »

Scientists Find Planet's Most Polluted Bird

Cooper's hawk found with higher levels of flame retardants than any other

(Newser) - The Vancouver area is home to what is thus far known to be our planet's most polluted wild bird. Researchers studying the livers of local birds of prey found that the Cooper's hawk was tainted with polybrominated diphenyl ethers, chemicals that function as flame retardants. Of the 13... More »

Conservatives: Pope 'Misled' on Climate Change

Koch-funded think tank argues against 'unscientific agenda' Francis is pushing

(Newser) - Pope Francis has taken on procreation , ISIS , and the Vatican's money issues , and now he's about to take on climate change caused by humans. He's still preparing a secret papal encyclical on the environment due in the summer, and today Vatican officials are hosting a summit to... More »

NYC to Stop Dumping Its Garbage in Other States

Mayor de Blasio plan to slash waste 90%, stop most trash exports

(Newser) - The nation's biggest city is marking Earth Day by announcing an ambitious goal of reducing its waste output by 90% by 2030. The plan, set to be unveiled today by Mayor Bill de Blasio, includes an overhaul of the city's recycling program, incentives to reduce waste, and tacit... More »

Scientists Investigate 'the Four Corners Mystery'

Satellite data found methane 'hot spot' in the area last year

(Newser) - Last year, a puzzle emerged in the Four Corners area , where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah come together: The area, scientists found, has had a far higher concentration of methane than anywhere else in the US. Now, teams of federal, university, and other researchers are trying to figure out... More »

Toxic Lake of Horror Comes From Making All Our Gadgets

Inner Mongolia lake filled with sludge from processing of rare earth minerals

(Newser) - "Dystopian" and "horrifying" are just two adjectives Tim Maughan uses to describe for the BBC what he recently witnessed in the remote industrial city of Baotou in Inner Mongolia. Most disturbing was his visit to a man-made lake filled with toxic sludge that makes the surrounding area smell... More »

Climate Change Will Wreck Our Health: Obama

But Google, Microsoft will help us out, president set to announce today

(Newser) - At Howard University's College of Medicine today, President Obama will ask Americans to think of climate change as a threat not just to the environment, but also to their health. The president is set to announce a series of steps that corporate entities like Google and Microsoft are taking... More »

Meat Industry Fumes Over Federal Report Touting Vegan Diet

Officials point to environmental benefits of avoiding animal products

(Newser) - A new federal report points to the environmental benefits of a vegan diet, and the meat industry is not exactly happy about it. Industry representatives say sustainability isn't within the purview of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, whose recommendations factor into guidelines by the federal agriculture and health departments,... More »

Why the Inventor of K-Cups Doesn't Use Them

For one, 'they're kind of expensive,' John Sylvan says

(Newser) - If anyone would brew his morning joe using K-Cups, you'd think it would be the inventor of the K-Cup himself. But John Sylvan, whose single-serve pods revolutionized the coffee landscape, sticks with making coffee the old-fashioned way. "I don't have [pods]. They're kind of expensive to... More »

Researchers Solve Piece of Easter Island Mystery

The ongoing debate: Did Rapa Nui do themselves in, or are Europeans to blame?

(Newser) - The ongoing debate over what prompted the decline of Easter Island's native Polynesian inhabitants, known as Rapa Nui, is being clarified by scientists digging for answers in the soil. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , an international team of researchers explain that they examined agricultural... More »

What Really Happened to People of Easter Island

Study points to environmental decline before Europeans came

(Newser) - A new study is wading into the hot debate over exactly why Easter Island's indigenous people declined—and already news sources are interpreting it differently. The international team of researchers come to one clear conclusion: Environmental conditions made life hard for the Rapa Nui people before Europeans ever arrived... More »

You Don't Need to Warm Up Your Car in Winter

And it's costing us $5.9B per year

(Newser) - Warming up the car before hitting the road is a pervasive winter ritual, but it's a pointless exercise for most modern vehicles, the Washington Post reports. What's more, a 2009 study found that idling of all types accounts for 1.6% of the country's greenhouse gas emissions—... More »

Amount of Plastic in Ocean: 700 Pieces per Human

Estimate taken from 24 ocean expeditions from 2007 to 2013

(Newser) - Mother Earth has reached a milestone, but not the kind anyone will want to celebrate: The plastic floating in the oceans has been estimated to the tune of 5 trillion pieces in a new study. That's 250,000 tons, or some 700 pieces per person, the Washington Post reports.... More »

Scientists Invent Paper That You Can Print On, Then Reuse

Researchers see economic, environmental benefits

(Newser) - Digital revolution or no, some 90% of business information continues to be stored on paper, surveys suggest—and most of that paper is used just once. But scientists in California are hoping to change that with a new kind of paper that can be erased even after it's been... More »

Swiss Reject 'Eco-Friendly' Rule Limiting Immigration

Supporters said it would help protect landscape

(Newser) - Switzerland has rejected a proposed rule to make major cuts to immigration—a measure that supporters backed as eco-friendly. It called for limiting immigration growth to 0.2% of the population each year in order to protect the country's beauty against overcrowding, AFP reports. That would have meant cutting... More »

US' Worst Spot for Methane: Four Corners

Site where 4 states meet produces triple the typical amount of the gas

(Newser) - Put together all the methane produced by the coal, oil, and gas industries each year across the UK, and you'll have a good estimate of the amount produced in a small stateside area between 2003 and 2009. The 2,500-square-mile Four Corners region—where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and... More »

How Louisiana Crippled a Vast Environmental Lawsuit

Historian John Barry is still fighting to restore state wetlands

(Newser) - A Louisiana historian wants oil and gas companies to help restore state wetlands that are vanishing by the day—but politicians are fighting him tooth and nail, the New York Times Magazine reports. John Barry, a gritty ex-weightlifter who writes US history books, watches in horror as Louisiana wetlands recede... More »

California Gets Statewide Plastic Bag Ban

Bag-makers say they want a referendum

(Newser) - After some will-he-or-won't-he speculation, California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed America's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags into law . "This bill is a step in the right direction—it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks, and even the vast ocean itself," the... More »

White House's New Enemy: Coolant Found in Your Home

Calls on firms, trading partners to cut down on R-134a

(Newser) - The Obama administration has a new goal in its effort to fight climate change: get Americans—and the world—to quickly stop using a chemical coolant found in just about every US home, car, and office. R-134a is a hydrofluorocarbon, or HFC; the chemical was used to replace ozone-damaging Freon... More »

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