The threatened Great Barrier Reef is estimated to be worth $42 billion

June 26, 2017 by  
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Our unsustainable habits are propelling climate change , and as a result, the Great Barrier Reef is under immense environmental stress.  Coral bleaching has reached record levels and no one knows if or when the coral will ever recover. This is concerning not just from an environmental perspective, but, as a new report by Deloitte Access Economics shows, that loss of the reef would represent an “economic catastrophe” as it is estimated to be worth $56 billion (AUS), or $42 billion (USD). As water temperatures rise, the coral expels algae living within, causing it to turn ghostly white (a phenomenon known as coral bleaching). Though consumers everywhere are changing their habits to reduce greenhouse emissions and prevent global warming from worsening, no one knows for sure how long it will take — or even if — the bleached portions will bounce back. To determine that the Great Barrier Reef’s economic worth, the report took into consideration a few factors. All in all, it was concluded that $29 Billion (AUS) is generated from the tourism industry — including the creation of 64,000 jobs, $24 billion (AUS) to indirect or non-use value (describing people who have heard of the reef but haven’t yet visited) and $3 billion (AUS) from recreational use, such as boating. Commissioned by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the report is the first in the world to calculate the economic value of the reef.   Survey answers from 1,500 Australian and international respondents from 10 countries were taken into account and ended up revealing the extent to which some people have come to depend on the Unesco World Heritage Site. Said U.S. politician and environmentalist Al Gore in the report , “This timely report is a much needed, holistic view of the incredible economic value and opportunities provided by the Great Barrier Reef. Any failure to protect this indispensable natural resource would have profound impacts not only to Australia but around the world.” Related: Rising ocean temperatures are cooking the Great Barrier Reef to death According to Great Barrier Reef Foundation director Steve Sargent, the report “sends a clear message that the Great Barrier Reef—as an ecosystem , as an economic driver, as a global treasure—is too big to fail.” He added that at $42 billion (USD), “the reef is valued at more than 12 Sydney Opera Houses.” Located off the coast of Queensland, Australia, the largest coral reef system in the world isn’t just affected by warming waters. As Gizmodo reports, farming runoff, urban development. cyclic outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish and boating accidents are also damaging the reef at an increasing rate. Experts are presently collaborating to find solutions which will preserve the Great Barrier Reef. Ideas so far include the construction of coral nurseries, increasing the efficiency of starfish culls and cutting greenhouse gas emissions to prevent a further increase in sea surface temperatures. + Deloitte Via Gizmodo Images via Pixabay  ( 1 , 2 )

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The threatened Great Barrier Reef is estimated to be worth $42 billion

Three-fourths of sunscreens don’t work as they claim and may contain harmful chemicals

May 23, 2017 by  
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Before heading to the beach, most people make sure to pack a bottle of sunscreen. After all, the ultraviolet rays can be seriously damaging and no one wants to get  skin cancer . But it turns out some ingredients in hundreds of common sunscreens don’t work as well as advertised, according to a new report released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Additionally, 73 percent of 880 sunscreens that were tested contain “worrisome” ingredients people may not want to slather on their skin. Authors of the report , which was released on Tuesday, examined the SPF protection, chemical ingredients and overall safety and effectiveness of numerous sunscreens , moisturizers, and lip balms. Then, they compiled a list of the best- and worst-rated products to help consumers make the best – and healthiest – choices when preparing to have fun in the sun. Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst with the environmental advocacy group and lead scientist of the 2017 Sunscreens Guide, said of the findings, “Sunscreens are really mismarketed, and as a result, people who depend on them think they are far more powerful than they really are.” According to dermatologist Dr. Dawn Davis, who did not participate in the report and works at the Mayo Clinic, the SPF is a ratio of how long a person without sunscreen can be in the sun without becoming red. In his own words, “if you’re standing on the equator at high noon and it would usually take your skin one minute without sunscreen to become red and irritated, SPF 15 means you can stand in that same sun exposure for 15 minutes.” Related: Hawaii aims to ban coral reef-killing chemical sunscreens Most sunscreen brands offer products with high SPF, sometimes even over 100. Thought to be beneficial, they are actually misleading, says Lunder. “People who buy high-SPF products are more likely to get burned because they assume they’re getting better and longer-lasting protection,” she said. It is for this reason that she supports the American Academy of Dermatology’s recommendation to choose a sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 (which would block 97% of UVB rays) and suggests one reapply it every few hours. SPF protection can also vary, depending on its age, how it has been stored and lab tests find that SPF levels can vary wildly. There is also something to be said about the questionable ingredients in certain sunscreens. While most chemicals in the product create a barrier to prevent damage from UV rays, other chemicals create damaging effects. Two ingredients, in particular, oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate, consumers should avoid. According to Lunder, oxybenzone “is a hormone disruptor that mimics body hormones and affects reproductive tract and other hormones.” And Retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A, has been linked to the development of skin tumors under direct UV light. More research needs to be conducted on the latter, but authors of the report advise consumers to avoid sunscreens that contain both ingredients. All in all, the report recommends sunscreen products that are safe and offer adequate sun protection. The EWG says outdoor enthusiasts should look for three things: an SPF between 30 and 50 to protect from UVB rays, zinc oxide and titanium oxide to ward off UVA rays, and no oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate. + Environmental Working Group Via CNN Images via  Bella Mecia , Pixabay

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Three-fourths of sunscreens don’t work as they claim and may contain harmful chemicals

Report Report: Climate Week NYC 2015 edition

September 28, 2015 by  
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A slew of new reports were released during Climate Week NYC. The Report Report provides a snapshot of some that are worth a look.

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Report Report: Climate Week NYC 2015 edition

Now, the hard part: 4 keys to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality

September 28, 2015 by  
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Consensus on sustainable development imperatives is great. Now it’s time to put in the real work.

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Now, the hard part: 4 keys to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality

Report Report: How to prepare for the unknown

August 27, 2015 by  
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In case you are behind in reading the latest sustainability reports, the Report Report provides a snapshot of recent reports that are worth a look.

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Report Report: How to prepare for the unknown

Paris climate talks are the shortest route to business stability

August 27, 2015 by  
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WBCSD’s Peter Bakker says a growing number of businesses are stepping up to tackle climate change.

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Paris climate talks are the shortest route to business stability

Scant climate benefits to natural gas-fueled buses and fleets

August 27, 2015 by  
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The market share of natural gas-fueled buses and trucks is growing, yet those could increase global warming unless drilling for natural gas is changed to avoid methane leaks.

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Scant climate benefits to natural gas-fueled buses and fleets

New EPA report reveals the 180 billion dollar cost of climate change

June 23, 2015 by  
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The Environmental Protection Agency has just released what is being called the most comprehensive report on the impact of global emissions on climate change. Titled “ Climate Change in the United States: Benefits of Global Action ,” the report stresses the importance of unification among countries in reducing emissions, and on taking action on a global scale in order to halt the march of climate change. Beyond the risk to life on the planet, the report also reveals the economic cost of failing to act – according to the report, there’s a whopping 180 billion dollars on the line. Read the rest of New EPA report reveals the 180 billion dollar cost of climate change Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , Climate Change , Cost of global warming , decrease coal consumption , environmental protection agency , epa report , global warming , president obama climate change , united nations climate change , wind energy

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New EPA report reveals the 180 billion dollar cost of climate change

World is overlooking climate change effects of eating meat, says new report

December 4, 2014 by  
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A new report reveals most consumers aren’t aware that the meat and livestock industry is a bigger source of global carbon emissions than transport — and that’s even when air travel and shipping are included in the transport figures! However, the report, titled Livestock — Climate Change’s Forgotten Sector ,  also found that consumers were more willing to reduce their meat consumption once they better understood the impacts, giving hope that awareness campaigns could work towards reducing the meat and dairy industries’ contribution to global warming. Read the rest of World is overlooking climate change effects of eating meat, says new report Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: agriculture , Animals , Chatham House , Climate Change , eating too much meat , global warming , greenhouse gas emissions , livestock , Livestock Climate Change’s Forgotten Sector , meat consumption , meat-eating , methane emissions , report , vegan , vegetarian , worldwide meat consumption

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World is overlooking climate change effects of eating meat, says new report

New report shows how the U.S. can drastically reduce carbon emissions by 2050 – if it wants to!

December 4, 2014 by  
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The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) just released a preliminary, technical report that shows how the United States can cut its greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050 – provided the political will is there. Such a drastic cut is necessary in order to achieve the internationally agreed target of no more than a 2°C (3.6°F) increase on global mean surface temperature compared to pre-industrial levels. The report also uses very conservative measurements to conclude that it would only take around one percent of GDP per annum to achieve this outcome. Read the rest of New report shows how the U.S. can drastically reduce carbon emissions by 2050 – if it wants to! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2°C , carbon emissions , Climate Change , Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project , emissions reductions targets , global warming , greenhouse gas emissions , infrastructure , renewable energy , report , rising temperatures , US , usa

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New report shows how the U.S. can drastically reduce carbon emissions by 2050 – if it wants to!

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