Texas lawsuit fights environmental racism in highway expansion project

March 24, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Texas lawsuit fights environmental racism in highway expansion project

Starting in the years after World War II, Black neighborhoods around the U.S. were destroyed and replaced with highways in the name of urban renewal. But people in Harris County, Texas have had enough. The county is suing the state to stop an I-45 expansion that would displace more than 1,000 households and would mostly affect people of color and low-income residents. The plan is to elevate segments of the highway in North Houston and add several lanes. In addition to the 1,079 households affected, the highway widening would displace 341 businesses, two schools and five churches. Flooding, traffic and higher levels of air pollution pose additional concerns. Related: A Chinese highway becomes a vibrant, community-centered ‘livable street’ The Biden administration and the Federal Highway Administration have voiced their opinions supporting residents’ civil rights. “This is an opportunity for this new administration to really back up what it’s been saying regarding highway projects that perpetuate environmental racism ,” said Bakeyah Nelson of Air Alliance Houston, as reported by The Guardian . Nelson thinks it’s a mistake to build homes this close to highways in the first place. “These affordable housing units are in locations where they’re already being exposed to greater environmental hazards than if they were farther away from the highway,” she said. The state has stood by the $7 billion expansion plan, saying it needs to update the freeway and increase its capacity. But not all studies back the thesis that more lanes lead to less congestion. An analysis of an earlier highway widening project in Houston concluded that it wound up increasing the average commute time for about 85% of motorists using the highway (and that highway spanned a whopping 26 lanes at its widest point). “For a generation we’ve gone on building more lanes, putting down more concrete, thinking that somehow magically that’s going to reduce traffic,” said Lina Hidalgo, Harris County judge, in a March 11 press conference. “We cannot continue to support transportation policy that prioritizes cars over people.” Via The Guardian and Catalyst Image via Patrick Feller

More here: 
Texas lawsuit fights environmental racism in highway expansion project

Texas lawsuit fights environmental racism in highway expansion project

March 24, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Texas lawsuit fights environmental racism in highway expansion project

Starting in the years after World War II, Black neighborhoods around the U.S. were destroyed and replaced with highways in the name of urban renewal. But people in Harris County, Texas have had enough. The county is suing the state to stop an I-45 expansion that would displace more than 1,000 households and would mostly affect people of color and low-income residents. The plan is to elevate segments of the highway in North Houston and add several lanes. In addition to the 1,079 households affected, the highway widening would displace 341 businesses, two schools and five churches. Flooding, traffic and higher levels of air pollution pose additional concerns. Related: A Chinese highway becomes a vibrant, community-centered ‘livable street’ The Biden administration and the Federal Highway Administration have voiced their opinions supporting residents’ civil rights. “This is an opportunity for this new administration to really back up what it’s been saying regarding highway projects that perpetuate environmental racism ,” said Bakeyah Nelson of Air Alliance Houston, as reported by The Guardian . Nelson thinks it’s a mistake to build homes this close to highways in the first place. “These affordable housing units are in locations where they’re already being exposed to greater environmental hazards than if they were farther away from the highway,” she said. The state has stood by the $7 billion expansion plan, saying it needs to update the freeway and increase its capacity. But not all studies back the thesis that more lanes lead to less congestion. An analysis of an earlier highway widening project in Houston concluded that it wound up increasing the average commute time for about 85% of motorists using the highway (and that highway spanned a whopping 26 lanes at its widest point). “For a generation we’ve gone on building more lanes, putting down more concrete, thinking that somehow magically that’s going to reduce traffic,” said Lina Hidalgo, Harris County judge, in a March 11 press conference. “We cannot continue to support transportation policy that prioritizes cars over people.” Via The Guardian and Catalyst Image via Patrick Feller

See the original post here:
Texas lawsuit fights environmental racism in highway expansion project

NOAA predicts drought in the west, flooding in the east

March 24, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on NOAA predicts drought in the west, flooding in the east

Prepare for more drought in the West and flooding in the East, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s spring outlook report. Most of the western half of the country is already in moderate to exceptional drought conditions, which, unfortunately, is likely to expand into the most significant spring drought since 2013. The  drought  could impact about 74 million people. “The Southwest U.S., which is already experiencing widespread severe to exceptional drought, will remain the hardest hit region in the U.S., and water supply will continue to be a concern this spring in these drought-affected areas,” said Mary Erickson, deputy director of the National Weather Service. “This is a major change from recent years where millions were impacted by severe flooding. Nonetheless, NOAA’s forecasts and outlooks will continue to serve as a resource for  emergency  managers and community decision-makers as they navigate all potential extreme seasonal weather and water events.” Related: New study predicts 6-month summers by 2100 Why so dry? The failed 2020 summer monsoon, low  soil  moisture and warmer than usual temperatures are all reasons cited by the NOAA. Southern Florida and the southern and central Great Plains will see increased drought conditions. If there’s not enough spring rain, the northern Plains could also see its existing drought worsen. As for flooding, the NOAA isn’t predicting major or prolonged flooding. But a lot of minor to moderate floods will likely hit the coastal plain of the Carolinas and the Lower Missouri and Lower Ohio River basins. Many Midwestern streams are swollen from late-winter rainfall.  NOAA  publishes seasonal outlooks to help people prepare for what’s in store.  “Our national hydrologic assessment helps to inform the nation where there will likely be too much or too little water. This spring, we anticipate a reduced risk for flooding , and forecast significantly below average water supply where impacts due to low flow contribute to the continued drought,” said Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  Via NOAA Lead image via Pixabay Additional images via NOAA

Go here to read the rest: 
NOAA predicts drought in the west, flooding in the east

Get ready, Corporate America: The carbon disclosure mandates are coming

March 17, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Get ready, Corporate America: The carbon disclosure mandates are coming

Get ready, Corporate America: The carbon disclosure mandates are coming Tim Mohin Wed, 03/17/2021 – 01:00 A slew of announcements earlier this month point to new regulations on carbon disclosure. Corporate America better get ready. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been particularly busy. Acting chairwoman Allison Herren Lee issued a public statement directing the SEC staff “to enhance its focus on climate-related disclosure in public company filings.” In a series of tweets , Lee also aligned with the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) statement of an “urgent need to improve the consistency, comparability, and reliability of sustainability reporting, with an initial focus on climate change-related risks and opportunities.” Also earlier this month, the SEC hired its first senior policy adviser for climate and ESG . (See a partial transcript from Lee’s speech earlier this week here .) The message is clear: Carbon disclosure will be mandatory. It’s undeniable that climate risks and opportunities are material to corporate performance and must be included in audited financial statements. This is long overdue, but there can be no doubt that climate disclosure will become a fixture for publicly traded companies. Britain , New Zealand and Switzerland already have moved forward with unprecedented speed to require disclosures aligned with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The TCFD, created by the G20 Financial Stability Board, issued its disclosure recommendations back 2017. Since then, thousands of companies, governments and others have lined up in support.  It’s undeniable that climate risks and opportunities are material to corporate performance and must be included in audited financial statements. T While coming mandates are clear, the required disclosures are still a bit murky. There is real momentum behind the IFRS Foundation’s move to develop international “sustainability reporting” standards . The trustees meeting this month may shed some more light, but don’t hold your breath; the IFRS already has stated that it will “produce a definitive proposal (including a road map with timeline) by the end of September 2021, and possibly leading to an announcement on the establishment of a sustainability standards board at the meeting of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 in November 2021.” With the slow pace of standards development, companies are facing uncertainty about what information to collect. While the requirements are unclear, carbon accounting procedures are well established. The greenhouse gas protocol has been around for many years and sets out a detailed process (more than 700 pages) for measuring corporate carbon footprints. While we wait to see what the required disclosures will be, companies can get a leg up by ensuring that their current carbon reporting is as aligned as possible with the greenhouse gas protocol. Accounting for carbon emissions from large enterprises is a daunting job. Complex multinational enterprises conduct thousands of carbon-generating transactions each day. Adding to the challenge is the Scope 3 problem: accounting for the carbon generated upstream (across the supply chain, for example) and downstream (products). Even for leading companies, creating assured carbon disclosures is hard work and will require new expertise, collaborations and enterprise-level technologies to streamline the process. Companies should start making those carbon finance hires today. Corporate leaders and boards also would be wise to get ahead of these regulations and take stock of their carbon management practices now. Having worked for three Fortune 500 companies, I can say firsthand that they won’t like what they find. Carbon management and disclosure is typically done on spreadsheets once per year and the data can be months old. This is not a management system; it’s a way to track annual performance.  Adding to these gaps is the carbon trading market. Carbon prices in Europe are skyrocketing  — surging 60 percent since November — on the news of impending regulation. Simultaneously, there are efforts in Europe and the U.S . to assign monetary value to each ton of carbon, with the Biden administration’s reinvigoration of the “social cost of carbon” initiative.   And if these developments weren’t enough of a wakeup call, the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, made it very clear it would hold the companies it invests in accountable for their carbon management. With $8 trillion under management, this would touch just about every company. Just to make the signal clearer, BlackRock doubled down by signaling it would vote against the boards who fail to meet its standards. Alarm bells are ringing in the C-suite and boardrooms. Corporate compliance officers will be up late scrambling to develop their carbon disclosure strategy. While there is a lot of work to be done, new resources emerge every day to help companies navigate this challenge.   After a long career in the sustainability space, it is gratifying to witness the tipping point where sustainability enters the mainstream of global commerce. It’s about time.  Pull Quote It’s undeniable that climate risks and opportunities are material to corporate performance and must be included in audited financial statements. T Topics Finance & Investing Reporting Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

Read more:
Get ready, Corporate America: The carbon disclosure mandates are coming

Are Florida manatees starving to death?

March 2, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Are Florida manatees starving to death?

Manatee mortality in  Florida  has shot up this year, with 358 recorded deaths in January and February. Last year, the first two months had a combined total of 143 deaths — less than half this year’s current toll. Conservationists worry that the manatees are starving to death. Some causes of 2021 manatee deaths are known and include boat strikes, cold stress and natural deaths. But many have died for unknown reasons. Pat Rose, director of Save the Manatee Club, suspects one of these reasons is a sea grass shortage. “It’s something we’ve never really seen before,” Rose said. “It looks like we have a substantial number of  manatees that are starving.” Related: Effects of COVID-19 lead to increased deaths of Florida manatees The potato-shaped marine mammals spend up to seven hours a day eating freshwater  plants  like hyacinth, water lettuce, pickerelweed and hydrilla, and saltwater foods like sea clover, marine algae and grasses. They eat 100 to 200 pounds of grass per day, which is about 10-15% of their body weight. With an estimated 6,300 manatees in Florida, that’s a lot of grass. Sea grasses have other crucial benefits to life on the planet, such as storing carbon and thus staving off climate change. But warming waters, rampant coastal development, agricultural runoff and  pollution  from wastewater treatment plants are all causing toxic algae blooms which spell the doom of grasses. Nearly half of this year’s manatee deaths have been in Brevard County, home of a crucial manatee habitat called Indian River Lagoon. “The raw truth of the matter is due to negligence of our stormwater we’ve had continual algal blooms over the past 10 years, which blocks out  sea  grass and kills it,” Billy Rotne, an Indian River Lagoon guide, told the News-Press. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is the agency that performs necropsies, which are autopsies on non-human  animals . But between the high death rate of manatees this year and difficulties of working during the pandemic, the commission is behind on its caseload. Via Huff Post and Manatee Eco-Tours Lead image via Pexels

Read more from the original source:
Are Florida manatees starving to death?

Green renovation to a ’50s California home features recycled denim insulation

March 2, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Green renovation to a ’50s California home features recycled denim insulation

A private residence in San Anselmo, California has received a  green renovation  with some unique features. Designers from Pfau Long Architecture expanded the space to 2,800 feet to help this project stick out from the rest, complete with sustainable solar power and recycled denim insulation. The home, which belongs to a local architect, traces its history back to the 1950s. According to project leaders, it may have been originally designed by the famed Bay Area modernist architect Henry Hill. The property sits on a 1.4 acre  Marin County  hillside, almost completely camouflaged by trees, some of which the architects decided to construct around to minimize land impact. Related: Energy-efficient villa in Portugal uses locally sourced cork for insulation Designers kept the existing main structure, which included floor-to-ceiling glass windows and ashlar masonry  stone walls, choosing to add a wing with two more bedrooms and an updated family room with a kitchen. The main living room is completely open and partially characterized by a kitchen island with new appliances and new masonry to match the existing system. The new renovations help make it a low energy use home, utilizing sustainable building elements such as  FSC-certified  vertical grain Douglas Fir wood and steel. The steel beams are exposed to give the home a simple, open layout. The team also replaced the floor-to-ceiling glass walls with low-E insulated glazed glass to save energy and included solar panels, solar and hydronic heating, solar pool heating and a graywater system. Likewise, the building itself is integrated perfectly into the hillside ridge to allow for low water usage and incorporation of native plants in the landscaping. Architects chose to add a special kind of insulation into the walls of the old home to save additional energy, which came in the form of used  natural cotton fiber . Specifically, strips of recycled blue jeans made from scraps and clippings from denim clothing manufacturing. + Pfau Long Architecture Via Design Milk Photography by Bruce Damonte  

See the original post here:
Green renovation to a ’50s California home features recycled denim insulation

Earth911 Reader: 2020 Ties Hottest Year Record

January 16, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech

Comments Off on Earth911 Reader: 2020 Ties Hottest Year Record

The Earth911 Reader collects and comments on useful news about … The post Earth911 Reader: 2020 Ties Hottest Year Record appeared first on Earth 911.

See the original post:
Earth911 Reader: 2020 Ties Hottest Year Record

The top 7 amazing tiny homes weve seen this year

December 24, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on The top 7 amazing tiny homes weve seen this year

2020 was certainly one for the history books. But among all of the negativity in the news throughout this past year, there were also plenty of innovative and creative design solutions to the world’s problems shining through. While a large portion of Americans adjusted to life working remotely and others faced economic struggles due to the pandemic, tiny homes and inventive office spaces have never been so relevant. True to form, tiny luxury also flourished, with some of the best designs of the year combining space-saving minimalism with luxurious creature comforts despite small square footage. Read on to learn more about the top seven tiny homes we’ve seen this year here at Inhabitat. Canada Goose Brought to us by Mint Tiny Homes, the Canada Goose is a gorgeous, rustic tiny home on wheels that will make you feel like you’ve walked into a minimalist’s sustainable farmhouse . With a spacious kitchen and bathroom, an entire area dedicated to a living room, and a full-sized bedroom on the gooseneck hitch, it is clear that the designers at Mint put a lot of thought into space utilization. Plus, we can’t get enough of the reclaimed barn doors and the dark wood accents to complement the bright white interior. Available in 38 and 41 feet, the Canada Goose fits three beds and can house six to eight people comfortably. Related: Tiny House Sustainable Living blog documents life in an off-grid tiny home LaLa’s Seaesta This quirky tiny house located only blocks from the beach has a design that’s just as clever as its name. Texas-based Plum Construction uses every inch of the property’s small square footage with a cute dining nook that converts into a sleeping area and a secret, hidden patio underneath. Just 410 square feet of space with an additional 80-square-foot loft inside, the home’s gable decoration is constructed from reclaimed cypress wood from a local house dating back 120 years. We think the best part of this property is the hidden patio, which takes advantage of the space left clear from the home’s stilts and features a hammock, a bar and an outdoor shower. The patio’s ventilated, slatted walls allows the ocean breeze to flow in. The Natura It might be enough for some sustainable design companies that the Natura tiny house is powered by 1000W-2000W rooftop solar panels, but not for U.K.-based The Tiny Housing Company. The firm goes several steps further by using natural materials such as cork and wood for the construction, as well as adding a wood-burning stove connected to underfloor heating, clean water filtration from an under-sink system, energy-efficient appliances and rockwool insulation (a rock-based mineral fiber composed of volcanic basalt rock and recycled steel or copper byproduct). The Kirimoko Looking at the interior of the Kirimoko in New Zealand, one would never guess that Condon Scott Architects would be able to fit all those amenities into a 322-square-foot footprint. This passive house boasts high-efficiency structural insulated panels paired with larch weatherboards to help keep out moisture as well as asphalt shingles and natural ventilation. This means the tiny home requires virtually no additional energy to keep temperatures comfortable in an unforgiving Central Otago climate. Characterized by a gable form, a black rain screen and massive windows, there is an abundance of natural light that makes this home look exceptionally bright and airy. Denali XL Denali XL, which is a larger version of Alabama-based Timbercraft Tiny Homes’ popular Denali model, features 399 square feet of floor space and a 65-square-foot loft. This tiny home may look like a rustic cabin from the outside, but once you cross the threshold, you’ll find a king-sized loft bedroom with powered skylights that open automatically on a timer or rain sensor, a large walk in closet, a luxurious steam shower and quartz countertops. Additional sustainable elements such as a trash compactor, high efficiency insulation and an incinerating toilet help earn this tiny home a spot on the list. Oasis Tiny House It’s easy to see how the Oasis Tiny House got its name. This 260-square-foot tiny home is located on the Big Island of Hawaii and features several luxurious touches that highlight the tropical ambiance of the space. An outdoor bar, for example, can be found directly below the curly mango wood kitchen window, designed to allow food and drinks to be passed through with ease. There is also a skylight in the bathroom to give the feel of an outdoor shower thanks to the home’s verdant jungle surroundings. The Oasis Tiny House is the creation of the sister-brother duo at Paradise Tiny Homes. The Culp A spa-like, walk-in hot tub is not something you’d expect to see inside of a 500-square-foot tiny home, but that didn’t stop Florida-based Movable Roots tiny home design company. When the client requested room for a soaking tub, the designers rose to the occasion and even added an incinerating toilet for good measure. The tiny home also has a galley kitchen and a primary bedroom with storage stairs leading up to dual loft spaces, which are naturally lit and spacious enough to be used as guest rooms, offices or storage. Another feature we love inside The Culp is its low-maintenance, two-tone metal exterior and the cork plank flooring.

Continued here: 
The top 7 amazing tiny homes weve seen this year

Earth911 Reader: Reassessing Environmental Impacts & Evolution Can’t Keep Up With Global Warming

December 19, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech

Comments Off on Earth911 Reader: Reassessing Environmental Impacts & Evolution Can’t Keep Up With Global Warming

We keep an eye on the news for useful information … The post Earth911 Reader: Reassessing Environmental Impacts & Evolution Can’t Keep Up With Global Warming appeared first on Earth 911.

View original post here:
Earth911 Reader: Reassessing Environmental Impacts & Evolution Can’t Keep Up With Global Warming

Hack Your Way to World-Saving Insights With This Python Bundle

December 19, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on Hack Your Way to World-Saving Insights With This Python Bundle

The ongoing ecological crises of our times require all our … The post Hack Your Way to World-Saving Insights With This Python Bundle appeared first on Earth 911.

View post:
Hack Your Way to World-Saving Insights With This Python Bundle

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1993 access attempts in the last 7 days.