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

January 23, 2017 by  
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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

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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  
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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

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Galapagos beach shelter shows off the versatility of renewable bamboo

Trump’s inauguration promise to harness the "energies and technologies of tomorrow" isn’t good news for clean energy

January 20, 2017 by  
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Today Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. His inauguration speech will no doubt incite mixed reactions, as he declared his intentions to make America strong and promised a “new national pride” to “stir our souls” and “heal our divisions.” President Trump faces many challenges, but today he attempted to stir up hope for the future, trumpeting a promise to harness the “energies, industries, and technologies of tomorrow” in his speech. The only problem is that the new President has an abysmal record when it comes to that. On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump became President at the United States Capitol building. Looking ahead to the future, he touched on technology and energy near the end of his inauguration speech. “Now arrives the hour of action,” Trump said. “Do not allow anyone to tell you that it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America. We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again. We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space , to free the earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries, and technologies of tomorrow.” Related: What Trump’s victory means for the environment (it’s not good) What he means by that remains unclear, but given his track record, it seems likely that the energy of tomorrow doesn’t include clean energy. “Technologies of tomorrow” may sound hopeful, but Trump hasn’t shown much interest in technologies like solar panels or wind turbines, preferring to hint he’ll open doors for fossil fuels instead. He’s said we need ” much more than wind and solar ” and touted “clean coal,” shale gas, fracking , and even the Keystone XL pipeline. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sxr9nE9MuQs Trump has also  spoken out about his plans for space already, saying he wants NASA to stop researching climate change and build a moon base instead, where around 13,000 Earthlings could dwell. Trump’s cabinet picks seem to reinforce the idea his presidency will focus on old industries rather than progressive technologies. They include former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt who sued the Environmental Protection Agency he now might lead 14 times, and Texas Governor Rick Perry who, at his recent confirmation hearing for the leading role at the Department of Energy, said he wanted to protect ” all of the science ” even though he once wanted to ax that department. The new president ended his speech by saying, “Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together, we will make America great again.” Here’s hoping Trump will listen to all Americans, including those of us concerned about climate change and the future of our planet and all of its people, not simply those with an American citizenship. Images via screenshot

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Trump’s inauguration promise to harness the "energies and technologies of tomorrow" isn’t good news for clean energy

John Kerry says Obama administration will work to stop Trump from leaving Paris agreement

November 16, 2016 by  
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As Donald Trump ‘s advisers seek a way out of the historic Paris climate change agreement , it appears the current administration doesn’t intend to let them succeed without a fight. United States Secretary of State John Kerry said the Obama administration will attempt to prevent Trump from leaving the Paris agreement. Before his address at COP22 in Marrakech, Kerry said, “This is bigger than one person, one president. We have to figure out how we’re going to stop this.” Kerry’s address at COP22 never mentioned Trump by name. But the Secretary of State delivered a call for action that seemed to be aimed at the president-elect. He asked for leaders in positions of power around the world to research the reality of climate change as they make decisions, and to listen to the voices of faith leaders, Fortune 500 businessmen, economists, farmers, and military leaders who take the threat of climate change seriously. Related: Trump advisers seek loopholes to allow ASAP withdrawal from Paris climate deal “Do your own due diligence before making irrevocable choices…And above all, consult with the scientists who have dedicated their entire lives to expanding our understanding of this challenge, and whose work will be in vain unless we sound the alarm loud enough for everyone to hear. No one has a right to make decisions that affect billions of people based on solely ideology or without proper input,” Kerry said in his speech . In his comments before the speech, Kerry didn’t provide many specifics on how the Obama administration might stop Trump. But he did leave the world with a warning at his last UN climate conference address: “We don’t get a second chance. The consequences of failure would in most cases be irreversible…So we have to get this right, and we have to get it right now.” At COP22, the United States released one of the first long-term climate strategies along with Mexico, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change . Under the strategy, America aims to reduce emissions by 80 percent under 2005 levels by 2050. Via The Guardian Images via screenshot and W ikimedia Commons

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John Kerry says Obama administration will work to stop Trump from leaving Paris agreement

The Keystone XL Pipeline could be resurrected under Trumps administration

November 11, 2016 by  
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We’ve already written about how Donald Trump’s incoming administration could spell disaster for the environment. But it could end up being worse than we thought. Just days after the election, TransCanada announced it would attempt to revive its controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which was shot down by President Obama a year ago. Under Obama’s administration, the company spent seven years pursuing a permit from the State Department to build a cross-country crude oil pipeline. Ultimately, the company was denied the permit due to the project’s expected impact on the environment – specifically, its contribution to climate change . The Council of Canadians estimates that running the pipeline could increase the planet’s greenhouse gas levels by a shocking 22 million tons a year. The pipeline would also be bad news for anyone living nearby – farmers and ranchers alike opposed the initial project out of fears that a leak could damage water supplies. This effort is only the latest in a long line of stunts by TransCanada. Earlier this year, they attempted to sue the US government for shooting down the pipeline. The company also made a grab for land using eminent domain in Nebraska, much to the horror of local landowners. Related: What Trump’s victory means for the environment (it’s not good) While Donald Trump hasn’t released a formal statement on the pipeline, it would be trivial for the energy company to approach him for approval – he’s already spoken of his desire to scrap federal environmental regulations. First on the list is the Clean Water Act, one of the key rules barring the Dakota Access Pipeline from moving forward without a fight. With a cabinet full of climate deniers , it’s unlikely the Obama administration’s concerns will be considered at all. If we want to prevent this pipeline from going through, environmentalists are going to need to unite and mobilize to stop it. Why not make a donation to your favorite green charity today to get started? Via The Washington Post Images via Shutterstock ( 1 , 2 )

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The Keystone XL Pipeline could be resurrected under Trumps administration

What Trump’s victory means for the environment (it’s not good)

November 9, 2016 by  
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In a shocking upset that has warped our perception of reality, climate change denier Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential race. The newly elected 45th President of the United States has indicated he’ll work to reverse the progress made in the battle against climate change. From pulling out of the Paris climate agreement to promoting fossil fuels to limiting the power of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to undoing President Obama’s work on the Clean Power Plan , Donald Trump’s proposed energy policies may gravely impact the environment. Mere days after the Paris climate agreement went into force, the United States elected an individual who has been on a rampage to jerk the United States out of the historic agreement. The Paris climate agreement was 20 years in the making, and offers a starting point for nations to attempt to alleviate the effects of climate change as people from island nations to Florida are already grappling with climate change-caused sea level rise . Trump has said he’ll yank America out of the agreement, but French environment minister Ségolène Royale said it won’t be so easy for Trump to follow through. She told The Guardian the Paris agreement “prohibits any exit for a period of three years, plus a year-long notice period, so there will be four stable years.” Related: Would a Trump presidency undo the UN climate change agreement? While that statement may provide a sigh of relief for many Americans, Trump will likely also work against progress at home. He said during his campaign he will cancel ” billions in climate change spending ,” putting that money towards “clean water, clean air, and safety.” But his proposed appointment of fellow climate change denier Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute to head an EPA ” transition team ” signals Trump likely wants to undo many of President Obama’s climate policies. For example, under his new limited EPA, government might not strongly enforce Clean Air Act regulations. In terms of energy, Trump’s plans are dirty. He has said we need ” much more than wind and solar ,” pointing instead to something called clean coal. He’s said he wants to tap into American shale gas and even build the Keystone XL pipeline . He supports fracking and regular old coal. As so many of the lines that come from Trump’s mouth are lies, will he follow through on his threats or will he actually work to move the country forward? Either way, he is likely to have the support of a Republican-dominated House and Senate. President Obama was able to pass many clean energy measures by utilizing executive powers, but now Trump will obtain those powers. Time will show how he chooses to use them. Via Grist and The Guardian Images via Gage Skidmore on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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What Trump’s victory means for the environment (it’s not good)

Visitors become hour hands in this temporary museum for luxury watchmaker Piguet

November 9, 2016 by  
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The architectural installation , which Mathieu Lehanneur refers to as The Ring, is nestled within the Yuz Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai . Exploring both the rich history of the Audemars Piguet brand and Lehanneur’s interest in combining nature and technology, the Ring aims to be emotionally engaging and informative. Its monolithic exterior is elegant and simple, while the interior is reminscent of the intricate inner mechanisms of Piguet watches. Related: Superstudio Più’s Temporary Museum Leaves a Permanent Impression at Milan Design Week The main entrance leads visitors to 12 open doors, separated by lush green walls, that evoke the hours of a watch dial. This layout converts visitors into imaginary needles that mark the different moments in the brand’s history and its technical innovation. Mathieu Lehanneur said, “This temporary museum is a reflection on time… a dreamy vision of time where each instant differs from the previous one. Here every door opens onto a new story.” + Mathieu Lehanneur

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Visitors become hour hands in this temporary museum for luxury watchmaker Piguet

Shares in world’s largest wind turbine producer slump after Trump wins election

November 9, 2016 by  
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With the shocking election of Donald Trump to the United States presidency, how will energy policy change in America? Perhaps indicative of dark emission-filled days ahead, shares in the world’s largest wind turbine producer slumped after Trump won. Danish company Vestas Wind Systems A/S did plenty of business in the Americas last year, but after the election they traded 6.6 percent less than before the disheartening election results. Trump has fought against wind energy in the past. He sued Scotland back in 2011 after they wanted to build an offshore wind farm near one of his precious golf courses. A lengthy legal battle ensued, with the highest court in Britain finally dismissing Trump’s appeal in late 2015. Related: Donald Trump has a yuge vested interest in the Dakota Access Pipeline As if actively working against a wind farm just because it marred his view wasn’t a red flag, Trump is also well-known for his persistent denial of climate change , including naive tweets spewing his dangerous opinion that climate change is a Chinese hoax. He praised ” clean coal ” – whatever that is – in his second debate against Hillary Clinton , and has already brought on fossil fuel advocate Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) to advise him on energy policy. But Cramer’s backwards vision includes pilfering money from a carbon tax to “help fund clean fossil fuel research and development.” Already the global market appears worried Trump will pursue fossil fuels over renewable energy, even though advanced technology for clean energies like solar and wind is already utilized worldwide. Formuepleje equity strategist Otto Friedrichsen told Bloomberg, “The Vestas share reaction is a result of concerns that Trump will focus more on fossil fuels. Now there’s concern how Vestas will perform in the U.S. under a president who’ll be more interested in looking out for the country’s coal industry .” Vestas has been successful in America in the past; Bloomberg estimates the Americas generated about 41.3 percent of the Danish company’s revenues in 2015. Even so, Bloomberg reported after the election that Vesta shares fell by around 14 percent. Via Bloomberg Images courtesy of Vestas Wind Systems A/S

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Shares in world’s largest wind turbine producer slump after Trump wins election

COP22 Marrakech welcomes visitors with low-carbon Ark22 gate

November 9, 2016 by  
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Described by the designers as a cross between minimalism and baroque , the beautiful gate is a “pointillist composition” constructed from repeated singular elements, the timber planks, strategically stacked to create a cohesive mass. The identical 3-by-4-inch boards were sourced from local, sustainably managed forests and were not produced specifically for the event; rather they were “temporarily diverted from their regular journey.” The resulting mass is a 164-foot-wide, 49-foot-tall monument that is porous to allow views, light, and cooling breezes to pass through. Related: COP22 kicks off in Morocco with controversial presence of fossil fuel industry representatives “Both Ark and Damocles sword, each blade of wood is suspended in time,” writes Stephane Malka Architecture. “Each timber is showing both the fragility and the potential power of forces: The scenography highlights the singular unity and the whole, stressing the importance of each of the actions taken by the parties to take concrete action towards environmental disasters.” After the conference, the low-carbon structure will be completely dismantled and rebuilt as a pavilion in Marrakech’s Agdal garden, while other materials will be distributed to local associations and reused. + Stephane Malka Architecture + Oualolou+Choi Images by Laurent Clement

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COP22 Marrakech welcomes visitors with low-carbon Ark22 gate

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