A quick guide to the environmental issues you’ll find on the ballot

November 2, 2018 by  
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The general election for 2018 features many interesting issues related to environmental improvements. But with these environmental proposals competing with other issues on the ballot, it is easy for them to get lost in the shuffle. From funding eco-friendly projects to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, here is a quick guide to some of the environmental issues on the 2018 ballots around the U.S. Alaska Salmon Initiative The first measure on Alaska’s ballot is an initiative that would force the state’s Department of Fish and Game to hand out permits for projects and activities that might harm fish . The measure also focuses on improving habitats for anadromous fish, like salmon, by looking at water quality, stream flow and temperature. If passed, the measure will create a system for processing permits, which includes allowing public input on major permits. The fish and game department will still have the authority to deny permits if the project or activity harms fish or habitats. Any existing projects would be exempt from the new permit system. Arizona Proposition 127 In a push for clean energy, this proposal would mandate that 50 percent of electric utilities come from renewable sources by 2030, and the percent required would steadily increase each year. The acceptable renewable energy sources would include solar , wind and biomass as well as certain hydropower, geothermal and landfill gas energies. California Proposition 3 There are a number of propositions on California’s ballot related to environmental issues, but Proposition 3 is one of the most significant. This initiative will give the green light for close to $8 billion in funds for surface and groundwater storage, watershed protection (habitat restoration) and water infrastructure. The measure outlines where all of the money will be dispersed and how much funding each project will receive. Colorado Proposition 112 This proposition on Colorado’s ballot would limit the areas available for oil and gas development, including fracking , in an effort to maintain public health and safety. If passed, oil and gas developments would have to maintain a distance of 2,500 feet from occupied structures and vulnerable areas, including homes, schools, hospitals, parks, lakes, rivers, sporting fields and more. Florida Constitutional Revision 4 Florida is taking a major step against offshore drilling this election. Constitutional Revision 4 could ban offshore drilling, putting an end to oil and gas mining on lands under state waters. Lumped into this revision is a ban that will prevent individuals from vaping inside closed workplaces. The ban includes any electronic device that generates vapor, such as electronic cigarettes. The ban would only be enforced in indoor workplaces. Georgia Amendment 1 This amendment would allow up to 80 percent of the revenue from sales and use taxes of outdoor recreation and sporting goods retailers to go to the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund for land conservation, including protecting water quality, conserving forests and wildlife habitats and improving state and local parks. Montana Ballot Issue #14 I-186 This initiative will help regulate new rock mines in the state. If passed, new mines would be required to have plans for reclamation, restoration or rehabilitation to receive permits. More specifically, the new mines would be required to have adequate plans to avoid water pollution. Water contaminated by acid mine drainage often results in perpetual treatment to make the water safe for consumption. The measure also gives the Department of Environmental Quality the right to reject permits that do not have a reclamation plan in place. Nevada Question 6 Nevada’s environmental initiative this year will put the state on track for renewable energy by 2030. Question 6 on the Nevada ballot proposes that all utility companies invest in renewable energy over the next 12 years. If passed, the measure would require electric companies to transform half of their electrical output to renewable sources by the projected date. The current law requires utility companies to use 25 percent of renewable electricity by 2025. Rhode Island Question 3 This measure would authorize $47.3 million in funds for various environmental projects throughout the state. The measure outlines where the money will be allocated and the different types of projects that will be funded. The projects include coastal resiliency and access, clean water and treatment, dam infrastructure, bikeway initiatives, farmland access and local recreation. The largest project on the ballot is related to improving water quality and would receive $7.9 million. Washington Initiative 1631 Initiative 1631 in Washington targets greenhouse gas pollutants and rewards companies that promote clean energy. If voted in, the law would impose fees on carbon emissions. The price of the fee starts out at $15 for every metric ton of carbon, increasing every year by $2. The money generated from the fees will go right back into the environment. The revenue would help improve air quality, raise awareness about clean energy and examine environmental issues in various communities. Companies that comply with environmental standards could also receive credits from the added revenue. The measure also requires that Native American tribes have their voices heard on projects that affect their land. All of the money dispersed from the carbon fee will have to be approved by a public board first. Via Vote Smart , Ballotpedia and NCSL Image via Element5 Digital

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A quick guide to the environmental issues you’ll find on the ballot

Air pollution levels in national parks rival those of major US cities

July 23, 2018 by  
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Bad news for national park lovers: a new study published in Science Advances  has found that many national parks have levels of of air pollution on par with major US cities. In parks such as Sequoia, Acadia, and Joshua tree, toxic ozone levels breaching the safe limit set by the EPA rivaled those found in cities such as New York and Los Angeles, which has the worst air quality rating of cities in the United States. While the number of dangerous pollution days has fallen for both cities and parks since the 1990 enactment of the Clean Air Act and the EPA’s Regional Haze Rule of 1999, experts are pressing for more regulation after this week’s findings. National parks see an 8% decline in visitor numbers, on average, in months recording two to three days of bad air quality. The statistics suggest that many of the parks’ guests choose to come not only for the sights, but for their health as well. And, while some have criticized Regional Haze Rule regulations, study co-author Ivan Rudik disagrees. An assistant professor at Cornell University, Rudik stated that “some of the arguments that people are making against the Regional Haze Rule are that the benefits are basically zero, that these visibility rules don’t matter much or maybe the health improvements are overstated. But if you look at what people actually do, they clearly do care.” Related: UN creates a new global climate change coalition Recent years have seen record-breaking numbers of visitors to national parks, yet another reason to reevaluate government standards when it comes to air pollution. Speaking to The Associated Press, Rudik remarked that “even though the national parks are supposed to be icons of a pristine landscape, quite a lot of people are being exposed to ozone levels that could be detrimental to their health.” + Science Advances Via Ecowatch Images via Shutterstock

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Air pollution levels in national parks rival those of major US cities

INFOGRAPHIC: The real environmental impact of the 2016 Rio Olympics

July 27, 2016 by  
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The 2016 Olympics in Rio will begin in just over a week and despite several ongoing catastrophes , the games will go on. In light of this monumental event, we thought we’d take a closer look at its environmental impact and the solutions in place. Check out this thought-provoking infographic from Green Match for an inside look. Graphic via Green Match

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INFOGRAPHIC: The real environmental impact of the 2016 Rio Olympics

LIVE: Watch bloggers interview President Obama on Youtube right now

January 22, 2015 by  
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If you’re online right now, you might want to stop everything you’re doing to watch this live interview with President Obama and some bloggers. YouTube Vloggers Bethany Mota , GloZell Green and Hank Green of EcoGeek scored an interview with the President to discuss the top issues facing our country today, over a live YouTube stream that is available to anyone with an internet connection. Press play above to watch the live stream! Read the rest of LIVE: Watch bloggers interview President Obama on Youtube right now Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: barack obama , barack obama youtube , Bethany Mota , environmental issues , glozell , Hank Green , interview with Obama , interview with the president , live interviews , obama , obama interview youtube , president obama , SOTU , SOTU 2015 , YouTube , youtube interviews

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LIVE: Watch bloggers interview President Obama on Youtube right now

Pope Francis will urge Catholics to combat climate change

January 1, 2015 by  
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In March 2015, Pope Francis plans to deliver an edict urging his followers to take action against climate change . This conservationist call-to-action will be the first of its kind delivered by a pope. The edict will call for 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide to become active in efforts to save the planet. Read the rest of Pope Francis will urge Catholics to combat climate change Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: catholic , Climate Change , climate summit , conservation , edict , encyclical , environmental issues , General Assembly , global warming , Pope , Pope Francis , United Nations , Vatican City

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Pope Francis will urge Catholics to combat climate change

Maui is winning the war against Monsanto

December 29, 2014 by  
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Maui is winning the war against Monsanto, according to an attorney for the Sustainable Hawaiian Agriculture for the Keiki and the Aina (SHAKA) Movement.  On November 4, Maui voters approved a measure that would ban GMOs in Maui County. But earlier this year, Hawaii Judge Barry Kurren ruled that only states, not counties, can ban GMOs , saying that county laws are pre-empted by state law so they are “invalid.” M onsanto , Dow and others sued to stop the legislation, hoping that Kurren would rule the same after the Maui initiative passed, but Kurren decided to pass the case onto Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway after public pressure mounted against him. Now the Maui ban on GMOs can move forward, marking a definitive win for the people of Maui. Read the rest of Maui is winning the war against Monsanto Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: banning GMOs , dow chemical , environmental issues , environmental law , fighting GMOs , fighting Monsanto , GMO Ban , GMO Ban in Hawaii , GMO lawsuits , GMOs in Hawaii , growing food , Hawaii GMO ban , Maui GMO ban , Monsanto GMOs Maui , Monsanto harming Hawaii , Monsanto Hawaii , Monsanto lawsuits , Monsanto Maui lawsuit

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Maui is winning the war against Monsanto

INFOGRAPHIC: What is driving deforestation and what can you do about it?

December 4, 2014 by  
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Every year 33 million acres of forest are lost to deforestation  as forests are cut down to make room for agriculture, to build roads, for mining and logging operations and to build hydroelectric dams. At that rate, the world’s rain forests could be gone in just 100 years. So what can we do about it? Furniture crafter Jarrimber has made an infographic with answers to your deforestation questions, so that hopefully someday we can halt or even reverse deforestation’s devastating progress. Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: What is driving deforestation and what can you do about it? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , conservation , dam deforestation , deforestation , Deforestation infographic , environmental issues , how to stop deforestation , Jarrimber , Jarrimber Infographic , logging deforestation , mining deforestation , smart purchasing , smart shopping , stopping deforestation

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INFOGRAPHIC: What is driving deforestation and what can you do about it?

INFOGRAPHIC: IBM Helps Safeguard Water Quality and Fragile Ecosystems Along Ontario’s Grand River

June 16, 2014 by  
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As populations increase and urbanization intensifies, our water and ecosystems are at risk. Today IBM announced a project that will introduce first-in-Canada technology that uses big data to help protect our drinking water, predict floods and safeguard fragile ecosystems. Built in collaboration with the Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC), the new data management platform is installed along the Grand River, the largest river in southern Ontario, and will collect and analyze data every 15 minutes from 120 sensors over 80 square kilometers. Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: IBM Helps Safeguard Water Quality and Fragile Ecosystems Along Ontario’s Grand River Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: brantford , conservation , data management platform , environmental issues , freshwater , grand river watershed , green design , ibm , infographic , six nations , Southern Ontario Water Consortium , sustainable design , water issues , water quality , waterloo , Watershed , Wildlife conservation

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INFOGRAPHIC: IBM Helps Safeguard Water Quality and Fragile Ecosystems Along Ontario’s Grand River

INFOGRAPHIC: The Devastating Cost of By-Catch in U.S. Fisheries

March 25, 2014 by  
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Did you know that some fisheries throw back almost 63% of the sea life that is hauled onto boats? A recent Oceana report reveals the horrifying cost of by-catch in nine of the dirtiest fisheries in the US, and the organization also launched an accompanying infographic that details the most devastating fishing techniques and the species at risk – including sea turtles, dolphins, and whales. The infographic also offers solutions to reduce by-catch and preserve the world’s oceans – check it out after the jump! Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: The Devastating Cost of By-Catch in U.S. Fisheries Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: by-catch , bycatch , dirtiest us fisheries , environmental destruction , environmental issues , fishery , infographic , ocean life , Oceana , oceans , sea life , sustainable fishing , water issues        

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INFOGRAPHIC: The Devastating Cost of By-Catch in U.S. Fisheries

Hungry Planet Infographic Shows How Much Food and Energy Humans Consume Around the World

November 22, 2013 by  
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It’s no secret that humans are living beyond the means that the planet can sustainably provide – but did you know that on August 20th, 2013 we consumed all of the earth’s allotted resources for the entire year? International Business Guide just launched a new infographic that shows the staggering amounts of energy and food that countries around the world consume – and how much garbage we produce in the process. Check it out after the break! The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Read the rest of Hungry Planet Infographic Shows How Much Food and Energy Humans Consume Around the World Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable agriculture” , agriculture , environmental issues , food security , global consumption , hungry planet , infographic , natural resources , renewable energy , sustainable food        

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Hungry Planet Infographic Shows How Much Food and Energy Humans Consume Around the World

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