OK, we get it: The climate deniers in Congress don't want the country to do anything to rein in greenhouse gas pollution from their favorite filthy industries.
But are they willing, at the very least, to help Americans adapt as the weather turns deadly around them? We will soon know the answer to that question.
President Barack Obama visited California's Central Valley farming region on Friday to announce disaster relief for the drought-ravagedstate. And, while he was there, he announced his vision for $1 billion in climate-adaptation spending.
The landlocked country of Zimbabwe has been ravaged by deadly floods since heavy rains set in last month. It's the latest soggy chapter in a climate-changed region where the number of people affected by cyclones and flooding has increased sixfold over two decades. SW Radio Africa reports on the Zimbabwean inundation:
Many parts of the country, from Muzarabani up in the north to Beitbridge down in the south, are now experiencing the worst floods in many years, as water inundates villages, farms, homes and major vital roads. ...
Weeks of heavy rain have left large parts of the Masvingo, Midlands and Matabeleland South provinces under water with the levels of most dams and rivers appearing to have peaked, leaving the situation critical in many areas, particularly along rivers.
Yevgeny Vitishko, a 40-year-old scientist, is ostensibly being punished for the crimes of spray-painting a fence and swearing in public. Vitishko was among seven members of Environmental Watch of the North Caucasus detained on the eve of the Olympics. An appeal of the decision to jail him for three years was rejected during a hearing that he couldn't attend this week because he was imprisoned.
“The case against Vitishko has been politically motivated from the start,” said Yulia Gorbunova, a Human Rights Watch official in Russia. “When the authorities continued to harass him it became clear they were trying to silence and exact retribution against certain persistent critics of the preparations for the Olympics.”
Scrubbing dead skin cells off your face and tartar off your teeth trashes the environment if it's not done right. The right way to do it is with facial scrubs, shampoo, and toothpaste that do not contain microbeads. The microscopic balls of hard plastic flow down drains and pass through wastewater treatment plants, ending up in rivers, lakes, and oceans, where they enter the food chain.
Finding microbead-free products isn't easy right now -- you have to read ingredient lists and steer clear of products that contain "polyethylene" or "polypropylene." Natural alternatives include ground almonds, oatmeal, and pumice.
But if lawmakers in California and New York get their ways, the microbead-loaded varieties will become nearly impossible to purchase in two of the most populous states in the country.
This Valentine's Day, BP should dedicate some hearts to fish that were exposed to its Deepwater Horizon spill -- new research suggests that the spill may have broken theirs.
Scientists investigating the aftermath of the 2010 oil spill have discovered that even very low concentrations of crude in seawater interfered with the normal pumping of tuna hearts. After exposing captured yellowfin and bluefin to BP oil-spill samples, the researchers detected irregular heartbeats, which can lead to fatal cardiac arrest.
Because a wide range of animals have similar heart designs, the researchers are warning that species from turtles to dolphins could also be affected. Even exposed humans could be at risk.
Early on Tuesday morning, a Chevron-owned natural gas well in Greene County, Pa., burst into flames – and more than 72 hours later, it’s still burning. One contractor for Chevron is missing and presumed dead, and another was injured in the explosion.
Like a free-riding bus passenger whose expired ticket gets overlooked by the driver, the natural gas industry has been getting a free pass from the EPA for its global warming impacts for well over a decade.
A new mega-analysis of 20 years worth of research suggests that the EPA is underestimating the fossil fuel's climate impacts by 25 to 75 percent.
The problem with the EPA's math doesn't concern the burning of natural gas, which produces less carbon dioxide than other fossil fuels (but way more than solar panels or wind turbines). The problem is in the leaky systems that extract and transport the fuel.
We told you recently that wind turbines kept the heaters working in Texas during a cold snap that shut down several natural-gas power plants. And now we have similar superhero news from that other great renewable energy source -- the sun.
Tourists admire the beauty of the region, but life is hard as hell on the plantations. Undernourished workers, including children and the elderly, toil from dawn until dusk for pittances, often spraying industrial pesticides with little protection and enduring unsanitary conditions. They retire at night to overcrowded homes.
It is suffering such as this, which was chronicled a year ago in a complaint filed by three Indian nonprofits, that now has the World Bank investigating a company called APPL, which supplies tea to Tetley and other brands. APPL operates 24 tea plantations and is 41 percent owned by Tetley parent Tata Global Beverages, with the World Bank’s main lending body and some other shareholders also holding stakes.
"We want the company to comply with the labor laws and upgrade the working and living conditions," Jayshree Satpute, an official with Nazdeek, a nonprofit that helped draft last year's complaint, told Grist. "This investment of [the World Bank] was done also to benefit the workers -- but there have been no real positive changes."