Trump presidency could spell the end for wolves in America’s West

January 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Trump presidency could spell the end for wolves in America’s West

A couple hundred years ago, there were around two million wolves in the United States, but human expansion dramatically slashed those numbers. Conservationists recently celebrated victory as gray wolves slowly returned to the American West, but Donald Trump’s presidency threatens to undo that progress as Republican lawmakers look to roll back the Endangered Species Act (ESA). While some 60,000 wolves reside in Canada and Alaska, in the American West there are only around 1,700 of them left. The ESA helped these animals gain ground again, but with wolves still only living in only 10 percent of their old range in the American West, there’s still a long way to go to ensure the species recovers. But some industries – like industrial agriculture and oil and gas – wish to operate in wolf habitats that are currently protected. The Center for Biological Diversity tracked donations to Congress from those large industries and found as campaign donations increased, so did bills threatening the ESA, which limits the land those industries can utilize to protect animals. Related: Gray wolves spotted in California for the first time in over 90 years Now, according to the Associated Press, Republicans want to alter the ESA “from a tool to protect huge areas of habitat for imperiled species into little more than limits on hunting for protected animals” even though a 2015 survey revealed 90 percent of registered voters support the ESA. Trump hasn’t said anything about wolves or the ESA, but he’s already shown he supports industries over national parks . If Republicans want to severely limit the ESA’s power, it doesn’t seem likely Trump would stop them. Wolves are in trouble, but don’t lose hope yet. There are a few actions you can take to help these majestic animals. Outside recommends donating money to the Center for Biological Diversity or Defenders of Wildlife , both of whom would fight anti-wolf legislation. Or you could write to your representative and remind them they’re supposed to represent the people, many of whom support the ESA, not the interests of big industries. Via Outside Images via Angell Williams on Flickr and Ronnie Macdonald on Flickr

Excerpt from:
Trump presidency could spell the end for wolves in America’s West

Galapagos beach shelter shows off the versatility of renewable bamboo

January 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Galapagos beach shelter shows off the versatility of renewable bamboo

Bamboo makes sense no matter where you use it. The Scarcity and Creativity Studio built this minimalist bamboo beach shelter in just two weeks, after all the commissioning details were sorted out. Located on the Playa Man in the capital of the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador , the structure was built with locally-grown bamboo to ensure a versatile, flexible and renewable landmark for the local community to use. The project is part of a larger initiative to improve beach facilities in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of Galápagos Province located on San Cristóbal, the easternmost island of the archipelago. The shelter, which provides shade and open air showers to users of Playa Man, was built in two weeks using locally-sourced bamboo, wire ties and concrete stoppers. Related: This solitary lookout shelter is a bridge between ancient civilization and modern life The team arrived in Galapagos to find that the The Municipality of San Cristobal, where they were supposed to build a new shade shelter and facilities, cancelled the project. They decided to use the four weeks to find a new home for the project, approaching several local institutions. Out of four proposed projects–a bridge, yoga training facility, police tower and shade shelter–they opted for the latter and reused the bamboo they had already purchased. Hopefully, this project will start a local, if not global trend of building with this strong and sustainable material that replenishes itself in only four years . + The Scarcity and Creativity Studio Via  Archdaily

See more here: 
Galapagos beach shelter shows off the versatility of renewable bamboo

Congress maneuvers to give away 640 million acres of American land

January 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Congress maneuvers to give away 640 million acres of American land

Republican Congressmen would love to keep you distracted with the healthcare battle. And while that fight is of huge importance, they’re using that publicity to quietly pave the way to toss away 640 million acres of American land – even if the government loses money on the transaction. In the rules for the 115th Congress , lawmakers altered one little line that has the potential to allow the government to callously throw away national treasures. The line reads, “In the One Hundred Fifteenth Congress, for all purposes in the House, a provision in a bill or joint resolution, or in an amendment thereto or a conference report thereon, requiring or authorizing a conveyance of Federal land to a State, local government, or tribal entity shall not be considered as providing new budget authority, decreasing revenues, increasing mandatory spending, or increasing outlays.” What that jargon basically means is Congress has made it easy to dispose of federal land. That single line allows them to skirt requirements that a bill handing over federal land must not decrease federal revenue or add to the government’s debt. Related: Big Oil celebrates Trump’s goal to open up drilling in national parks In essence Congress is denying federal land possesses any value whatsoever, according to the Guardian, which said such lands may include spaces near the Grand Canyon . The land in question is far from worthless. It provides 6.1 million jobs, and around $646 billion yearly in economic stimulus due to recreation . Some federal land is already leased to energy and logging companies, and generated $2 billion in royalty revenue in 2016 alone, according to the Bureau of Land Management . Federal tax revenue from recreation was nearly $40 billion, according to the Outdoor Industry Association . If land is transferred to states, as some Republican representatives wish, large quantities could go towards property or energy development, and public access could be limited. The Wilderness Society Senior Director of Government Relations for Lands Alan Rowsome told The Guardian, “We didn’t see it coming. I think it was sneaky and underhanded. It exemplifies an effort to not play by the rules. This is the worst Congress for public lands ever.” Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

Read more here: 
Congress maneuvers to give away 640 million acres of American land

FBI investigates claims Russia has information compromising Trump

January 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on FBI investigates claims Russia has information compromising Trump

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating allegations that Russian agents possess compromising financial and personal information about President-elect Donald Trump , reports CNN . The news organization said memos providing the classified information haven’t been “independently corroborated,” but it appears the FBI was at least aware of such damaging allegations before the United States election. Trump, President Obama , and eight members of Congress reportedly received a two-page summary on the allegations that also included claims Trump surrogates exchanged information with Russian government intermediaries during Trump’s campaign. The two-page summary was compiled mainly from memos prepared by a former British intelligence agent. U.S. intelligence officials believe past work from this agent is credible. The FBI will now delve into the accuracy and credibility of the allegations from the memos, which contain information coming from Russian sources, but CNN notes “many essential details” in the memos have not yet been confirmed. Although Buzzfeed published the memos, CNN did not. Related: Trump calls for more nuclear weapons in alarming new tweet The former British agent, who during the 1990’s was posted to Russia, now operates his own private intelligence firm. CNN reports donors and groups backing Republican opposition to Trump initially funded the former agent’s investigations into the President-elect. After Trump nabbed the Republication nomination, donors and groups backing Hillary Clinton funded further investigations. It appears the FBI knew about the compromising memos during the summer; the former British agent gave memos to an FBI official in August 2016 in Rome, reports CNN. The news organization also said Senator John McCain delivered memos dated from June to December 2016 to FBI Director James Comey on December 9. FBI and Director of National Intelligence spokespersons did not comment. CNN said officials they talked with spoke off the record as the information is classified. Senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said on Late Night with Seth Meyers that the memos are untrue. And predictably, Trump ranted on Twitter about “fake news.” Via CNN Images via Gage Skidmore on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

View original here: 
FBI investigates claims Russia has information compromising Trump

Trump breaks campaign pledge by asking Congress for money to build Mexico border wall

January 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Trump breaks campaign pledge by asking Congress for money to build Mexico border wall

In a direct contradiction to his campaign promise, President-Elect Donald Trump recently said that he will ask congress for funds to build a wall across the U.S. – Mexico border. The move breaks with Trump’s repeated campaign promise that he would make Mexico pay for the wall by October 2017. Meanwhile, Mexico’s leaders have maintained they will, under no circumstances, pay for the wall. CNN reports that Trump’s transition team signaled on Friday to congressional Republican leaders that he would prefer to pay for the border wall through the appropriations process. Under attack for the reneging, Trump took to Twitter on Friday morning and said he wants to use congressional appropriations to speed the building process along. “The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!” Trump tweeted Friday, according to CNN . Chris Collins, a New York Republican and congressional liaison for Trump’s transition team says Trump has all the cards he needs in his hand to win negotiations with Mexico and get the fronted Congress money back. “When you understand that Mexico’s economy is dependent upon US consumers, Donald Trump has all the cards he needs to play,” Collins told CNN.”On the trade negotiation side, I don’t think it’s that difficult for Donald Trump to convince Mexico that it’s in their best interest to reimburse us for building the wall.” Related: Mexican designers envision Trump’s border wall in “all its gorgeous perversity.” Trump’s team says it has the authority it needs to build the wall via a G.W. Bush-era 2016 law, but they currently don’t have the money to build it. So they want the money to fund the project tacked on to the bill that allows them to build it. Via CNN Images via Wikipedia and Gage Skidmore

Excerpt from: 
Trump breaks campaign pledge by asking Congress for money to build Mexico border wall

Trump appears to stand against House Republicans’ move to decimate ethics office

January 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Trump appears to stand against House Republicans’ move to decimate ethics office

With Republicans now controlling the House of Representatives and the Senate in the US, one of their first moves was an attempt to eviscerate the Office of Congressional Ethics . But supposed Republican and President-elect Donald Trump appeared to stand against Republicans’ priorities in two tweets today. Perhaps in a bid to sound reasonable, Trump tweeted there are better issues for House Republicans to address, such as tax reform and healthcare. Facing bipartisan pressure, from many more people than just Trump, Republicans finally decided to reverse the astonishing move. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/816298944456232960 https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/816300003442495488 House Republicans, in a surprise measure that came without debate or advance notice, decided to dramatically curtail the Office of Congressional Ethics, even though according to the New York Times , Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and majority leader Kevin McCarthy of California spoke against the move. Related: Trump calls for more nuclear weapons in alarming new tweet Then Trump hopped on Twitter and fired off two tweets, referring to the Office of Congressional Ethics as ” the Independent Ethics Watchdog .” Even though he said the office is “unfair,” he said maybe weakening the office shouldn’t have been Republicans’ first step. He called for the representatives to instead focus on ” so many things of far greater importance ” and appended his second tweet with #DTS, likely a reference to his campaign promise to “drain the swamp.” The New York Times reports House Republicans faced bipartisan criticism; Trump, of course, wasn’t the only one to speak out against slashing an ethics office, and his stance was hardly even a strong one. California Democrat and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement, “Evidently, ethics are the first casualty of the new Republican Congress .” Other organizations and voters spoke out against the startling measure, and today Republicans moved to reverse their plan in what the NYT describes as an “embarrassing turnabout.” The Office of Congressional Ethics is an independent office created after scandals in 2008 saw three representatives, two Republicans and one Democrat, go to jail. An outside board of six members oversees the office. Some people have said the office’s investigations have been too aggressive; others say lawmakers complained because they wanted to safeguard themselves. Via The New York Times ( 1 , 2 ) Images via Gage Skidmore on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

More:
Trump appears to stand against House Republicans’ move to decimate ethics office

22 Nobel Prize winners tell Trump that science must play a "critical role" in US policy

December 2, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on 22 Nobel Prize winners tell Trump that science must play a "critical role" in US policy

In an open letter addressed to President-elect Trump and the incoming 155th Congress , 87 scientists urge the new government to respect the critical importance of science in setting national policy. The group of prominent scientists, which includes 22 Nobel Prize winners, seeks to convince the soon-to-be Republican-controlled federal government that climate change is a real, existential threat to the nation and the world. “From disease outbreaks to climate change to national security to technology innovation, people benefit when our nation’s policies are informed by science unfettered by inappropriate political or corporate influence,” read the letter. “To build on this legacy and extend the benefits of science to all people, including Americans who have been left behind, the federal government must support and rely on science as a key input for crafting public policy.” So far Trump has largely disregarded the consensus of the scientific community during his campaign and transition. The President-elect once referred to climate change as a hoax and has appointed climate skeptic Myron Ebell to lead his Environmental Protection Agency transition team. “Creating a strong and open culture of science begins at the top,” read the letter. “Federal agencies should be led by officials with demonstrated track records of respecting science as a critical component of decision making.” Related: A catastrophic climate feedback loop long feared by scientists is happening The letter also addresses the President-elect’s consistently disrespectful comments and policies directed towards historically marginalized groups. “Recognizing that diversity makes science stronger, administration officials should welcome and encourage all scientists regardless of religious background, race, gender, or sexual orientation.” Finally, the letter addresses the concern that the Trump Administration will suppress ideas and views that are contrary to its own. “Federally funded scientists must be able to develop and share their findings free from censorship or manipulation based on politics or ideology,” reads the letter. Time will tell whether this letter wins hearts and minds in Washington. Via Christian Science Monitor Photo by Gage Skidmore

More here:
22 Nobel Prize winners tell Trump that science must play a "critical role" in US policy

World’s largest cluster of massive sinkholes discovered in China

December 2, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on World’s largest cluster of massive sinkholes discovered in China

Scientists just discovered the largest cluster of sinkholes on Earth—49 in all—in northwest China . The massive natural sinkholes, all of which had been previously undiscovered, have geologists concerned about what may have caused them and how many more might occur in the future. Ongoing research continues, but early opinions suggest these sinkholes were formed over exceptionally long periods of time, and aren’t necessarily an indication of future danger. The sinkholes were discovered during a four-month survey of a 2,000-square-mile area of the the Qinling-Bashan Mountains, which are located in the Hanzhong area of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. Geologists tallied a cluster of 49 separate sinkholes within a 230-square-mile patch of land, and the largest of the holes measures an impressive 1,706 feet in diameter with a depth of 1,050 feet. In addition to the cluster of natural sinkholes, the study also revealed the presence of several rare plant species and Chinese giant flying squirrels . Related: A massive sinkhole has reopened in Florida, two years after it swallowed a local man Upon studying the newly discovered sinkholes, the research team suggests they were most likely formed over hundreds of thousands of years. Underground water dissolves carbonate rock, such as limestone, under the surface and causes the ground to sink in upon itself. The result is an irregular but totally natural landscape that grabs the attention of scientists and cave enthusiasts alike. French cave explorer Jean Poutasi told local Chinese media that one of the formations is “the world’s most beautiful sinkhole” after a close inspection. Via NatGeo Images via China Daily

Read the original post:
World’s largest cluster of massive sinkholes discovered in China

Volvo SuperTruck improves big rig fuel efficiency by a whopping 70%

September 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Volvo SuperTruck improves big rig fuel efficiency by a whopping 70%

The race toward eco-friendly transportation has mostly involved innovating more and more compact commuter cars, but big trucks need to get green as well . Volvo has been working on its SuperTruck concept for the past five years, which initially aimed to increase fuel efficiency by 50 percent over existing cargo trucking technology. Now, Volvo says the SuperTruck is 70 percent more fuel efficient than a comparable base model and has achieved over 12 miles per gallon in tests which, for a semi truck, is really stellar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KndAcoPLZQY In 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy issued a challenge to car companies to create a cargo truck with 50 percent higher freight efficiency over existing trucks. Five years later, the Volvo SuperTruck has exceeded that goal. The truck’s lightweight design is a key element of its efficiency, and Volvo managed to create a concept semi truck that weighs over 3,200 lbs less than its cousins on the road. Most of the weight was saved by the aluminum chassis, which is half the weight of traditional steel (only the bolts on the SuperTruck are steel). Because of the vast difference in weight, the SuperTruck uses a slightly smaller engine, which increases fuel efficiency even further. Related: This next-gen SuperTruck is twice as efficient as today’s semis The SuperTruck’s entire roof, hood and side fairings are made from lightweight but super strong carbon fiber, which increases performance while saving weight. To reduce production costs, Volvo is working to develop alternative materials, such as a recycled version of carbon fiber. Volvo created a new integrated powertrain with refined mechanics to chase peak efficiency as well. There was no existing technology to achieve the program’s goals, so the company and its partners designed a new turbo compounding system to recover the energy normally wasted, boosting fuel efficiency by up to 6.5 percent. In tests, the SuperTruck rates more than 12 miles per gallon, compared to the 4 to 8mpg by current semi trucks on the road. Via Green Car Congress Images via Volvo

Read the original: 
Volvo SuperTruck improves big rig fuel efficiency by a whopping 70%

Vermont’s GMO labeling law is finally official

July 6, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Vermont’s GMO labeling law is finally official

On July 1, a Vermont law requiring food manufacturers to label genetically modified ingredients on food labels officially took effect . It’s the first law of its kind in the country, and it imposes a $1,000 penalty for each day GMO product isn’t labeled. Supporters of the law are concerned that it may not last long if federal legislation overriding its requirements is passed. The US Senate is currently considering an alternative nationwide labelling law that creates massive loopholes for food manufacturers. Instead of requiring a plain English description on the label, the proposed law would allow companies to hide GMO ingredients on a website that could be accessed through a QR code on the product’s packaging. Only consumers with a smartphone and an internet connection would be able to learn what ingredients were in their food — a huge step down from the level of disclosure required in Vermont. To make matters even worse, a wide variety of common GMO foods, including corn products, beet sugar, and soybean oil, might be exempt from the requirement. Since these are the most common GM crops found in the food supply, this would render the law effectively useless . Companies found to be in violation of the law might not even be fined or penalized in any way. Related: Don’t let Monsanto and Whole Foods kill GMO labeling The Senate is set to vote on the new national GMO labeling law this week. That said, the law would still need to pass in the House before it could go to President Obama to be signed. Considering that Congress will be out of session from July 15 until September, that doesn’t leave much time for the bill to pass. It’s unclear whether it will be addressed this session or later in the year. For the moment, Vermont’s law remains on the books. While some large companies like Campbell Soup have already made the switch in labeling in advance, others, like Coca Cola, claim there may be temporary shortages of some products in Vermont while they print new labels. There is a 30-day grace period for companies to correct any GMO labeling violations, which should also give stores time to move some of the older products off their shelves. Via ABC News Images via  Alexis Baden-Mayer  and  Nicolas Raymond

Read the original: 
Vermont’s GMO labeling law is finally official

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1015 access attempts in the last 7 days.