Crucial animal protection laws for the sage grouse being eliminated by the White House

March 19, 2019 by  
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The White House is eliminating crucial animal protection laws for the sage grouse. The protections, originally put in place by President Barack Obama , are being rolled back to open millions of acres of land for gas and oil development. Conservationists warn the move could land the sage grouse back on the endangered species list. The Donald Trump administration’s new plan targets 8.7 million acres of Sagebrush Focal Areas, an important habitat for the sage grouse and hundreds of other wildlife. Since 2015, oil and gas companies have been unable to set up shop in these areas, which has boosted grouse populations. Related: Trump administration wants to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list Steve Holmer, vice president of the American Bird Conservancy, revealed that stripping away these protections has already cut down grouse populations in the Dakotas and Washington State. “These changes will put the grouse back on a path toward needing an Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing,” ABC President, Mike Parr, shared. “That’s exactly the outcome that the 2015 cooperative plans had sought to prevent.” Trump first proposed the plan back in December with the goal of opening the door for more gas and oil development on public land. Trump is justifying his new initiative by calling for a new age of “ energy dominance” in America, and his Interior Department head, David Bernhardt, is helping make it happen. Bernhardt is also looking to revise the Endangered Species Act, which was put in place back in 1973. Bernhard, who used to be an oil lobbyist, wants regulators to consider the economic effects of placing wildlife on the endangered list. This would ultimately make it easier to justify developing in endangered habitats that were previously off limits. With Trump’s new plan threatening sage grouse populations across the country, conservationists are doing their best to protect the beloved bird. This includes studying population numbers and learning how gas and oil development affects those statistics moving forward. Conservationists are also looking to put the sage grouse on the endangered species list, something that has not been possible because of the previous animal protection laws. Via New York Times Image via Shutterstock

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Crucial animal protection laws for the sage grouse being eliminated by the White House

The PACT Act hopes to ban animal cruelty at the federal level

February 4, 2019 by  
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Even though it has been a federal crime to create and distribute animal torture videos for nearly a decade, the actual act of animal torture has not been banned at the federal level. Now, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) are trying to change that with the re-introduction of the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT Act). If passed, the PACT Act would prohibit “intentional acts of crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling or otherwise subjecting animals to serious bodily harm,” according to a press release . The law would also make it easier for U.S. attorneys to prosecute the horrible acts, and those convicted would face seven years in prison plus fines. Related: New Jersey first state to ban wild animals in circuses Currently, all 50 states have separate laws against animal cruelty . However, according to CNN , the federal statute would allow authorities to go after criminals who cross state lines or torture animals on federal property. Rep. Buchanan said that animal torture is “abhorrent,” and we should be punishing people who commit this act “to the fullest extent of the law.” Buchanan added that protecting animals from cruelty is one of his top priorities. Rep. Deutch said the legislation is “common sense,” and animal welfare is an important issue for many Americans. He explained that Congress should build on current state and local laws to guarantee animals a level of protection throughout the entire country. According to the press release, there are exceptions included in the law, such as “normal veterinary care, hunting and conduct necessary to protect life or property from a serious threat caused by an animal.” Multiple groups have endorsed the legislation, including The National Sheriffs Association, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Humane Society of the United States. In a petition to garner support for the bill, the Humane Society wrote that even though every state has felony penalties for malicious cruelty, we need a federal law to close the gap for when it occurs on federal property or in interstate commerce. + PACT Act Via EcoWatch Images via Kimdewar0 and Timur85

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The PACT Act hopes to ban animal cruelty at the federal level

Danish brewer Carlsberg to swap plastic 6-pack rings for glue

September 6, 2018 by  
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The Danish beer company Carlsberg is doing its part in cutting down plastic waste . The brewing company just vowed to stop using plastic six-pack rings to hold its cans together, instead opting for glue. Once the new policy is in full swing, Carlsberg estimates it will save around 1,200 tons of plastic every year. CEO Cees ‘t Hart explained how Carlsberg experimented with some 40,000 variations before settling on the perfect glue. Hart described the glue as something similar in consistency to chewing gum and says it is just as effective as traditional plastic rings. Related: A beer crisis is brewing in Germany as bottle recycling slows amid heatwaves Carlsberg plans on debuting its glue-based six packs in Norway and the U.K. before distributing them around the world. Hart would not say how much the company invested in researching the new glue. The CEO did, however, assure customers that the price of Carlsberg beer would not go up with the new packaging. Instead, the company plans on using previous cuts to help pay for the new glue. Although Carlsberg invested heavily in the new glue, the company does not own the rights to the substance and hopes that other brewers will follow its lead. For reference, the glue does not stick to the hand once the cans are separated. Each six-pack will still feature a tiny plastic handle to make it easier to carry around. The new glue is not the only way in which Carlsberg is becoming more eco-friendly. In addition to ditching the traditional plastic rings, the company is improving the technology surrounding its recyclable bottles. Carlsberg is planning on using an extra layer of protection on each bottle that will increase its lifespan. The brewer has also created a new bottle cap that keeps the beer fresher and a different type of label ink that is more sustainable. It is yet to be determined if the moves will improve sales, but Carlsberg is definitely taking steps in the right direction for the environment. + Carlsberg Via Bloomberg , The Guardian Images via Carlsberg

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Danish brewer Carlsberg to swap plastic 6-pack rings for glue

New study finds food waste will increase to 66 tons per second if left unchecked

August 21, 2018 by  
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A new analysis from Boston Consulting Group (BCG)  has found that global food waste will increase by more than 30% by 2030 if no action is taken. The figures themselves are even more alarming: a total of 2.1 billion tons of food is projected to be thrown away or, in the case of perishables, lost; this amount equates to a colossal 66 tons per second. Related: Dairy farmers’ excess milk gets a second life feeding the hungry Currently, about 1.6 billion tons of food goes to waste each year, which represents $1.2 trillion worth of food and accounts for 8% of yearly global green house emissions. And, while food loss awareness is on the rise, global attempts to deal with the issue are not. According to Shalini Unnikrishnan, a partner and managing director of BCG, attempts to deal with food waste are “fragmented, limited and ultimately insufficient given the magnitude of the problem,” In fact, the probelm will only get words as countries continue to industrialize. “As population grows rapidly in certain industrializing parts of the world, like in Asia, consumption is growing very rapidly,” Unnikrishnan observed. Related: The Agraloop turns food waste into sustainable clothing fibers One possible solution, according to BCG, is the creation of an ecolabel, such as those found on fair trade products. This ecolabel would let consumers know which companies have committed to reducing waste and make it easier to buy responsibly. However, “The scale of the problem is one that will continue to grow while we’re developing our solutions,” Unnikrishnan said. The UN hopes to halve food waste by 2030, but if governments, companies and consumers don’t make significant changes in the way they approach food – and work together to do it – there is little chance of this happening. According to Unnikrishnan, “It’s not an easy problem, no single country, no single entity can solve the entire problem on their own.” + Boston Consulting Group Via The Guardian

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New study finds food waste will increase to 66 tons per second if left unchecked

Why Toyota thinks blockchain could enable self-driving cars

June 22, 2017 by  
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The technology could make it easier for companies and communities to analyze the huge amounts of data expected from sensors in cars, roads and other new transport devices.

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Obama halves time required to build renewable energy projects on public land

November 14, 2016 by  
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Last Thursday, the Obama administration took a major step to encourage renewable energy development on federal lands throughout the Western US. At the moment, it takes anywhere from 18 months to two years for solar and wind developers to receive a permit to build renewable energy projects. But a new rule allowing a competitive bidding process, similar to oil and gas leases, could cut the time needed in half. The competitive leases will not only make it easier for solar and wind projects to get started—it will also help the Bureau of Land Management get a fair market value for the land. Around 700,000 acres of public lands in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah have been designated as suitable sites. These areas were selected due to the minimal impact development would have on wildlife habitats. Renewable developers aren’t completely thrilled by the news. There have been some concerns that the new rule would increase costs. One internal study found it would increase rents and fees for wind projects, but decrease them for solar. Either way, it should make it easier for developers, who often are so discouraged by the waiting times for public land projects that they choose to build elsewhere. Related: Obama halts new mining leases on public land, citing climate change concerns Environmental groups are applauding the rule, saying it balances the need for solar and wind development with environmental conservation. It should come into effect 30 days after being published in the Federal Register , which will happen sometime in the coming weeks. Via Reuters Images via alex lang and Sheila Sund

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Obama halves time required to build renewable energy projects on public land

This self-driving electric hearse is the perfect way to say goodbye

September 16, 2015 by  
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When autonomous vehicles arrive in the next few years, the self-driving vehicles will make it easier to get to your daily destinations. Designers have come up with concepts that will take you almost anywhere, but there’s one destination that has been left off the list – your final resting place. Charles Bombardier is filling that gap as probably the first designer to come up with a self-driving concept vehicle that can replace the hearse, called the Korbiyor. Read the rest of This self-driving electric hearse is the perfect way to say goodbye

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This self-driving electric hearse is the perfect way to say goodbye

Are You Ready to Share the Road with Driverless Trucks?

September 25, 2014 by  
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Self-driving vehicles are expected to arrive within the next decade, but one type of driver desperately needs the technology now. Truck drivers spend countless hours on the road transporting goods, and accidents with their giant, heavy vehicles are often ugly. Mercedes-Benz hopes to make it easier and safer for them with its Future Truck 2025 , an autonomous truck that should be available within the next ten years. Read the rest of Are You Ready to Share the Road with Driverless Trucks? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: autonomous truck , autonomous vehicle , Future Truck 2025 , green transportation , Mercedes-Benz , Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 , self driving vehicle , self-driving truck , truck safety , vehicle safety

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Interacting with Animals Helps Autistic Children Connect with Peers

April 12, 2014 by  
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Research conducted by author, engineer, and activist Temple Grandin has shown that cultivating a bond between animals–even domesticated ones like the chickens above–and autistic children can make it easier for them to interact with their peers. Understanding relationships and the nuances of social interactions is extremely difficult for those with autism.  Animal Assisted Interaction Programs now popping up around the country designed to help humans heal and create a natural relationship with animals while simultaneously strengthening their own social and emotional skills. Follow the link to learn more about these ground breaking programs. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: animal therapy , animal therapy and autism , autism and pets , children and pets , Inhabitots , interacting with animals

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Nike’s “Making” App Helps Designers Choose the Greenest Materials

July 14, 2013 by  
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With so many materials available on the market , it can be tricky for designers to ensure that their products are made with those that have the smallest possible environmental impact. In order to make it easier to make wise choices, NIKE has launched a free app called “Making” that scores 22 popular textiles based on their economic, social, and environmental performance. More details are available after the jump. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “Making” , eco design , eco-fashion , ecouterre , free apps , green design , green fashion , Nike apps , sustainable design , Sustainable Fashion , Sustainable Materials , Sustainable Textiles        

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