Red Sea oil tanker could cause eco-catastrophe any second now

October 12, 2021 by  
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The U.N., the government of  Yemen  and Houthi rebels have been in talks about how to handle the FSO Safer. Meanwhile, the enormous floating oil storage vessel remains abandoned in the Red Sea, threatening a massive oil leak. The FSO Safer is carrying about 1.1 million barrels of crude  oil  — four times the amount released by the Exxon Valdez in the 1989 catastrophe in Alaska. The vessel has been sitting and deteriorating off the Yemeni coast since it was moored there in 2017. A new modeling study published Monday in the journal Nature Sustainability indicates that the longer it stays, the likelier a spill will be. And with massive consequences. Related: Huntington Beach oil spill destroys wildlife habitat According to the model, half the oil would evaporate at sea within 24 hours. The rest would float toward Yemen’s western coastline , taking 6-10 days to make landfall. A spill would threaten about two-thirds to more than three-quarters of Yemen’s fisheries within a week and nearly ruin the fisheries within three weeks. Depending on the season and the extent of the spill, between 5.7 and 8.4 million people could run short on food. As the oil continues to spread, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia and Djibouti could also feel the oily impact of environmental havoc. A spill will crank up oil prices by as much as 80%. Up to 8 million Yemenis who rely on fuel for their water pumps could lose access to running  water . The FSO Safer is 4.8 nautical miles off Yemen’s coast. According to  Greenpeace , no maintenance has been done on the vessel since 2014, which is probably why its hull is rotting. Only seven crew members are currently aboard. Around the world, the $14 trillion  shipping  industry has a worsening track record of abandoning ships. Last year the number of abandoned ships more than doubled to 85. Often seafarers are stranded with the ships, their wages unpaid and with no way to get home. Via The Guardian , Wall Street Journal and Greenpeace

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Red Sea oil tanker could cause eco-catastrophe any second now

Climate protests are coming to the White House, and you can join

October 4, 2021 by  
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The Build Back Fossil Free coalition will descend on Washington D.C. in protests this October. Planned for Oct. 11-15, the protests aim to push the Biden administration to take action against the climate crisis. Among the demands on the table is for President Biden to declare a climate emergency and end fossil fuel exploration. Build Back Fossil Free wants the government to make even stronger commitments to fighting the climate crisis during COP26. The People vs. Fossil Fuels week of action will occur ahead of this key United Nations climate summit in Glasgow. Related: Youths in the Philippines protest for climate action “President Biden, you cannot claim to be a climate leader when you are still supporting fossil fuels. Stand with frontline communities, stand with future generations, stop approving fossil fuel projects, declare a climate emergency now,” Build Back Fossil Free said in a statement. According to the protest schedule, there will be five days of peaceful protests. Each day will have a theme to help raise awareness on key issues. On Monday, the theme honors Indigenous Peoples Day. On Tuesday, the protests will center on fossil fuels driving the climate crisis. Wednesday’s theme is “Climate chaos is happening now,” while Thursday’s is “We need real solutions, not false promises.” The final day of protests will be youth-led, with the theme “We did not vote for fossil fuels.” Joye Braun, Frontline Community Organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network, says that recent climate change-related events such as forest fires , drought and tsunamis warrant action from the government. “The fossil fuel industry has brought devastation to our homelands and it’s time that we bring this fight to Biden’s doorstep,” said Braun. “Despite President Biden’s climate rhetoric, his administration has failed to stop major projects like the Line 3 tar sands pipeline , defended oil drilling in the Arctic, promoted fossil fuel exports, and allowed drilling, mining and fracking to continue on Native and public lands.” Organizers also point out the government’s slow implementation of any serious action against the climate crisis. “President Biden came into office promising bold action to transform our economy with renewable energy and good jobs, but he passed the buck to a dysfunctional Congress,” said Jean Su, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Energy Justice program. Those interested in joining the protests can find more information that the People vs. Fossil Fuels website . Via Common Dreams Lead image via Mark Dixon

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What the global energy crisis teaches us about clean energy

October 1, 2021 by  
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One thing these shortages have in common: They’re related to fossil fuels extracted in other countries than where they’re needed. 

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What the global energy crisis teaches us about clean energy

The challenge of circularity in a growth-based economy

October 1, 2021 by  
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What will it take for more companies to be circular?

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Using inoculated trees to clean up soil

October 1, 2021 by  
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This startup is pumping trees full of probiotics to clean up contaminated land — and help tackle climate change.

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Using inoculated trees to clean up soil

Investors to high impact companies: Set your science-based climate goals

October 1, 2021 by  
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Around 220 financial institutions from across 26 countries are targeting their demands at 1,600 companies with a collective market capitalization of over $41 trillion.

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Wind is the leading source of renewable energy

September 30, 2021 by  
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In a SUN DAY Campaign review of energy production and consumption data, as provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), it was determined that America was slowly shifting towards renewables . The domestic production and use of renewable energy hit an all-time high between January and June 2021. Energy sources such as biomass, solar and hydropower accounted for a larger percentage of all energy produced in the U.S. in the period under review. The latest data released by the Energy Information Administration provides figures for energy consumption and production from the start of January through June 30, 2021. The data shows that renewable energy sources accounted for 12.91% of the energy produced across the U.S. and 12.71% of the energy consumed. The data accounts for commercial and domestic power use in all areas, including transportation , heating and lighting. Related: Wind tech jobs are one of the fastest growing in America Compared to a similar period in previous years, the energy produced this year is 3.03% higher than last year and 4.23% higher than in 2019. Unfortunately, there was a drop in hydropower produced during the same period due to droughts experienced in the western states of the U.S. Just this month, the EIA released data predicting a 14% drop in the overall hydropower to be produced in the U.S. this year because of severe droughts . Additionally, there was a small drop in the hydropower produced this year compared to last year. A similar drop was also experienced in geothermal power production. On the positive side, there have been significant improvements in solar and wind power production. Wind now stands as the leading source of renewable energy, accounting for 27.78% of the total renewable energy. This is closely followed by biomass at 21.28% and hydropower at 19.84%. Even though the country reported positive growth in renewables, the largest percentage of the overall energy consumed was supplied by a mix of fossil fuels . Fossil fuels accounted for 78.69% of total domestic energy production and 78.83% of the overall energy consumption. SUN DAY Campaign’s Executive Director Ken Bossong said that the U.S. is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels, a situation that is causing a spike in carbon emissions . “The continued dominance of U.S. energy production and use by fossil fuels and the corresponding rise in CO2 emissions is alarming,” said Bossong. “Fortunately, renewable energy sources are slowly expanding their share of the energy market… but must accelerate far more rapidly if we are to avoid the worst consequences of climate change .” Via Renewable Energy World Lead image via Pexels

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Wind is the leading source of renewable energy

TRIWA and Sea Shepherd team up to fight ocean waste

September 30, 2021 by  
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TRIWA is a watch-making company with a mission. Sea Shepherd is a non-profit working toward  wildlife  conservation. Finding common ground, the two collaborated to achieve both their goals.  Swedish brand TRIWA has designed a wristwatch made completely from recycled ocean  plastic . The team felt it was crucial to rely on plastic harvested from the ocean to make a statement about damage to the ecology of the marine environment. To further this goal, profits from the watch sales will help fund Sea Shepherd’s mission. Related: 4ocean and Poralu Marine present BeBot, the beach cleaning robot The watch collection, first launched in 2020, is called Time for Oceans . It was developed in a partnership with Tide Ocean Material, a group that turns ocean-bound plastic into a new premium raw material.  After a year of planning and discussions, TRIWA and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society launched the Time for Action campaign. In addition to being made completely from  recycled  ocean plastic, the watch is meant to make a statement about taking action. It features Sea Shepherd’s logo on the dial and backplate, as well as a limited edition sleeve. All packaging is recyclable, and 15% of the sales from each watch go back to Sea Shepherd.  “Ocean conservation requires all types of actions. We’re in a situation where our oceans are in desperate need of help. One thing is making use of the thousands of tons of plastic circulating our oceans, another thing is taking direct action against illegal activities that are endangering species against which Sea Shepherd is fighting with admirable effort and dedication. By creating this watch, we hope consumers will actively engage and contribute to cleaner oceans and more importantly, wear this watch as a statement piece to spread the message of taking actions for our oceans,” said Ludvig Scheja, co-founder and creative director at TRIWA. With the proceeds, Sea Shepherd will continue the nonprofit’s mission to “end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.” The organization investigates and documents illegal activities at sea to safeguard the biodiversity of the ocean and ensure survival for future generations. The TRIWA x Sea Shepherd Time for Action watch was released on Sept. 21, 2021. + TRIWA Via Sea Shepherd   Images via TRIWA and Sea Shepherd / Glenn Lockitch

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TRIWA and Sea Shepherd team up to fight ocean waste

23 species are about to be declared extinct

September 30, 2021 by  
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Twenty-three species are expected to drop off the  Endangered Species  list and into extinction. After no sightings for a long time, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed delisting several birds, fish, mussels, a Hawaiian plant and the Little Mariana fruit bat. Wildlife lovers don’t want to say goodbye to any more species. As usual, the time to act was 20 years ago, last year, yesterday. But we can still act today. “With climate change and natural area loss pushing more and more species to the brink, now is the time to lift up proactive, collaborative, and innovative efforts to save America’s wildlife,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland in a statement. Related: Trees face extinction, too. What can we do about it? Perhaps the most eye-catching member of the newly officially extinct, the ivory-billed woodpecker was once the largest woodpecker in the U.S. It was listed as endangered back in 1967 after not having been officially spotted since 1944. Other  birds  to be delisted include Bachman’s warbler, a rare North American songbird and the bridled white-eye, which lived in Guam. Hawaii is being hit especially hard, losing eight bird species with small geographic ranges. The San Marcos gambusia, a freshwater fish who lived in Texas’ San Marcos River, hasn’t been seen in the wild since 1983, thanks in part to habitat alteration.  Ohio’s  Scioto madtom used to live in a section of the Big Darby Creek, hiding during the day and foraging by night. Eight different species of freshwater mussels are also proposed for delisting. Many of these lived in southern states like Georgia, Louisiana and Alabama, but the tubercled blossom pearly mussel ranged to southern Ontario, Canada. Mussels rely on rivers and streams with clean  water . Fish and Wildlife didn’t easily give up on these species. The Molokai creeper hasn’t been seen flying through  Hawaiian  air space since 1963, and the variety of Phyllostegia glabra var. lanaiensis, a flowering plant related to mint, has been MIA since 1914. Have you glimpsed a stirrupshell mussel or a Large Kauai thrush? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking the public for  any information , comments or data on or before Nov. 29, 2021. If no one comes forward with a reliable sighting, these 23 species will officially be declared  extinct . Via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lead image via James St. John

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23 species are about to be declared extinct

These furniture handles are made from flaxseed

September 30, 2021 by  
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Minimizing waste through recycling is one action every business can take towards sustainability. Schwinn Hardware, a well-established manufacturer of cabinet hardware, has taken that idea to the design table with a new collection called Vegan by Design. The hardware offers a unique appeal because it is created from scraps of furniture linoleum . The innovative products are sustainable through the natural makeup of linoleum, which comes from linseed, otherwise known as flaxseed . The material is known to be durable, naturally antimicrobial and contain non-allergenic properties. In addition, linoleum is biodegradable and does not release harmful gases or toxins into the air as it breaks down. Related: This modern furniture collection is made from manufacturing waste   “Thoughtful and meaningful design is a priority at Schwinn Hardware, which goes hand-in-hand with sustainability ,” said Ulrich Hauser, CEO of Schwinn Hardware. “The Vegan by Design collection incorporates several important design principles, including that design should be innovative, useful and environmentally-friendly. We also hear from designers and architects that they are interested in products that are non-toxic, non-allergenic, naturally antimicrobial and sustainably manufactured. This collection provides all of those elements and is very appropriate for many architectural and interior design styles.” The Vegan by Design collection includes four new cabinet handles. The Schwinn 33828 is a strap pull available in six colors (ash, iron, black, dark green, dark blue and burgundy) that makes use of brass pins fasteners in three available finishes (matte black, polished chrome and brushed brass) for a total of 12 options.  Noted designer Michael Graves designed two of the styles , the Schwinn 34026-0 and 34026-96. These pulls come in a knob or handle version and are available in burgundy and dark blue with post options in polished chrome or brushed brass.  Finally, the Schwinn 22447-32 is a distinctive, bi-color design that comes in ash, iron and matte black furniture linoleum paired with a matte black, polished chrome or matte gold base.  According to the company, the composition of the furniture linoleum used in the Vegan by Design collection is:  Binder: linseed oil (24%), gum rosin (1%) from pine trees and resin (5%) from hydrocarbon resin oil. Filler: wood flour (27.5%) from wood industry waste and calcium carbonate (14%) from marble and limestone. Pigment (4%): From titanium dioxide and iron oxide-based pigments. Backing (23.5%): Felt paper from natural cellulose fiber. Lacquer (1%): Water -based acrylic.  + Schwinn Hardware  Images via Schwinn Hardware

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These furniture handles are made from flaxseed

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