Bloomberg gives $64 million to anti-coal campaign

October 18, 2017 by  
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The Donald Trump administration has made a lot of noise about bringing back coal . But with renewable energy soaring , and coal plants retiring, their efforts may go in vain – and a new $64 million donation from Bloomberg Philanthropies could facilitate progress towards cleaner sources of power. Michael Bloomberg , former New York City mayor and philanthropist, said, “The Trump administration has yet to realize that the war on coal was never led by Washington – and Washington cannot end it.” The Trump administration has decried the so-called war on coal. Maybe they didn’t realize pollution from coal-fired power plants used to kill around 13,000 people every year. 7,500 Americans still die from the pollution yearly, but the number is down since the Sierra Club ramped up their Beyond Coal campaign in 2011. Bloomberg’s $64 million will go to that campaign. Related: Renewables keep booming despite Trump administration’s attempts to axe Obama’s Clean Power Plan Bloomberg said the war on coal “was started and continues to be led by communities in both red and blue states who are tired to having their air and water poisoned when there are cleaner and cheaper alternatives available.” Since 2011, 259 coal-fired stations, almost 50 percent of America’s coal plants, have shut down. Beyond Coal aims to replace coal with solar , wind , or geothermal energy. Reuters said coal exports have increased this year, pointing to information from the Energy Information Administration, which said United States coal exports from January to July went up 62 percent, compared against the same time period in 2016. But coal-fired plants keep shuttering. Since Trump entered office, according to Reuters, 10 plants have announced closures, and just last week an energy company said they’ll be shutting down a Texas plant next year. Bloomberg has given over $100 million in total to the Beyond Coal campaign; their original grants helped the effort grow from 15 states to 45. + Beyond Coal Via Bloomberg Philanthropies and Reuters Images via Pixabay and Bloomberg.org on Twitter

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Bloomberg gives $64 million to anti-coal campaign

Clean energy jobs outnumber fossil fuel jobs in most US states

March 28, 2017 by  
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Clean energy is increasingly providing work for people across the United States, contrary to what the president might think, and a new Sierra Club report reveals just how much of an impact on the economy it has made. Renewable energy jobs now exceed jobs in coal, oil, and gas in 41 American states and Washington, D.C., according to the report. Sierra Club drew on 2017 Department of Energy jobs data to discover clean energy jobs exceed those in fossil fuels by more than 2.5 to one. The energy jobs of the future, including those in wind , solar , energy efficiency , battery storage , and smart grid technology, already exceed coal, oil, and gas jobs nationally, including positions in extraction, mining, and power generation. According to Sierra Club’s analysis, clean energy jobs outnumber fossil fuel jobs by over 2.5 to one, and exceed gas and coal jobs by five to one. While only nine states have more fossil fuel than clean energy jobs, just six states have more jobs in coal and gas, according to the report. Related: Solar power now provides twice as many jobs as coal in U.S. In a statement Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said, “Right now, clean energy jobs already overwhelm dirty fuels in nearly every state across America, and that growth is only going to continue as clean energy keeps getting more affordable and accessible by the day. These facts make it clear that Donald Trump is attacking clean energy jobs purely in order to boost the profits of fossil fuel billionaires.” If Trump really wants to increase jobs as he claims – and not just fill the pockets of his fossil fuel friends – he should look no further than renewable energy. The report concludes policies to invest in and incentivize clean energy could generate millions of new jobs across America, more than could be created in the fossil fuel sector. Sierra Club also said the clean energy transition should benefit everyone; this means putting first communities and workers who depended on fossil fuels in the past. You can read the full report here . Via Sierra Club ( 1 , 2 ) Images via U.S. Department of Agriculture on Flickr and Walmart on Flickr

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Clean energy jobs outnumber fossil fuel jobs in most US states

Scientists turn spinach into human heart tissue

March 28, 2017 by  
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Popeye was right: spinach really is good for the muscles, and not just the ones in your biceps. In fact, scientists have discovered a way to use the leafy stuff, which has a vascular system not dissimilar to ours, to grow layers of working heart muscle, according to a paper published this month in the journal Biomaterials . The new technique, a collaboration between Worcester Polytechnic Institute , the University of Wisconsin-Madison , and Arkansas State University-Jonesboro , marks a breakthrough in the field of human tissue regeneration, which has hitherto been stymied by scale. To wit, although current bioengineering methods can recreate cellular scaffolding on a large scope, fabricating branching networks of tiny blood vessels has proven far trickier. But then scientists noticed that plants and animals evolved parallel means of distributing water and nutrients to their respective cells. “Plants and animals exploit fundamentally different approaches to transporting fluids, chemicals, and macromolecules, yet there are surprising similarities in their vascular network structures,” the authors wrote. “The development of decellularized plants for scaffolding opens up the potential for a new branch of science that investigates the mimicry between plant and animal.” To test their theory, the researchers stripped a bunch of spinach leaves of their cells, leaving behind a network of cellulose. They then seeded the spinach veins with beating human-heart cells. With the leaf fully networked, the team pumped fluids and microbeads through their pint-size proto-heart, mimicking the flow of human cells through our own arterial system. Related: Engineers build artificial muscles from onion skin and gold So far, so successful. “We have a lot more work to do, but so far this is very promising,” said Glenn Gaudette, professor of biomedical engineering at WPI and corresponding author of the paper. And it’s not just spinach that’s up for the job. Other decellularized plants could help deliver oxygen to damaged tissue in victims of heart attacks or other kinds of cardiac trauma. Even better, bioengineers could tweak different plant species to repair a range of tissues in the body. Spinach might work best for highly vascularized cardiac tissue, for instance, but the cylindrical hollow structure of something like jewelweed might be more appropriate for an arterial graft. Similarly, the vascular columns of wood could one day play a role in healing human bones. “Adapting abundant plants that farmers have been cultivating for thousands of years for use in tissue engineering could solve a host of problems limiting the field,” Gaudette added. + Worchester Polytechnic Institute Via National Geographic

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Scientists turn spinach into human heart tissue

Inside the Climate Justice Movement

February 23, 2017 by  
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Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune addresses the importance of climate action at every scale in the public and private sector, from global agreements to city pilot programs, from startups to multinational corporations.

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Inside the Climate Justice Movement

Keeping it real with Sierra Club’s Michael Brune

June 14, 2016 by  
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Given the recent glut of renewable energy announcements, it’s a welcome perspective to temper optimism with a dose of reality. During an interview at the recent Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7) conference in San Francisco, Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, spoke of his optimism about the transition to a renewable energy future, the enormity of the work that is still necessary and the role of the activist community to accelerate this effort.

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Keeping it real with Sierra Club’s Michael Brune

Today’s jobs, tomorrow’s sustainability profession

June 14, 2016 by  
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Are sustainability team headcounts growing? Is there a shift to external hires? How do millennials fit into the equation? It’s all here.

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Today’s jobs, tomorrow’s sustainability profession

Obama vetoes Keystone XL bill, fight set to continue

February 24, 2015 by  
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President Obama has today—as expected—quietly vetoed a bill that sought to approve construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline . The bill passed both the Senate and the House in recent weeks, but as Obama has often repeated, he will wait for the State Department to complete its review of the proposed pipeline before making a final decision as to its fate. Read the rest of Obama vetoes Keystone XL bill, fight set to continue Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: canada , Climate Change , crude oil , Environment , environmental destuction , environmental protection agency , keystone , keystone xl , obama , oil , oil industry , oil sands , pipeline , presidential veto , senate , Sierra Club , state department , tar sands , Veto

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Obama vetoes Keystone XL bill, fight set to continue

US Environmental organizations sue wildlife services over outdated, sea turtle-killing cooling systems

January 22, 2015 by  
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A couple of weeks ago, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), an environmental law firm that sues the US government on behalf of the environment, filed a suit in federal court against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service . The CBD allege that outdated, “once-through” water cooling intake structures are responsible for the deaths of sea turtles and other protected species. This suit is being supported by organizations such as the Sierra Club, California Coastkeeper Alliance, Waterkeeper Alliance, and several others. Read the rest of US Environmental organizations sue wildlife services over outdated, sea turtle-killing cooling systems Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Animals , Atlantic sturgeon , Biodiversity , center for biodiversity , cooling systems , dying sea turtles , endangered sea life , endangered species , Environment , federal , fish , Fish and Wildlife Service , florida , Hudson Riverkeeper , industry , killer whales , lawsuit , lawyers , manatees , national , national marine fisheries service , Nature , ocean , ocean life , orca , orcas , power plants , protected species , river organisms , sea life , sea lions , sea turtles , seals , shortnose sturgeon , Sierra Club , status quo , sturgeon , suing , Suncoast Waterkeeper , turtles , u.s. , water issues , waterkeeper alliance , Wildlife

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US Environmental organizations sue wildlife services over outdated, sea turtle-killing cooling systems

Sierra Club Draws a Subway Map of America’s National Parks

September 6, 2012 by  
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The Sierra Club has created this fun map that depicts U.S. National Parks as if they were stops on a nationwide subway system. The awesome cartography depicts separate “regional” lines that host national parks, like Yellowstone and Yosemite, as well as less famous destinations such as the beautiful Congaree in South Carolina and the Petrified Forest in Arizona. If only there really were such a simple way to visit all these beautiful places by rail! + Sierra Club Via Treehugger.com Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cartography , Congaree , maps , national parks , Nature , parks , Sierra Club , subway , subway map , wilderness , yellowstone , Yosemite

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Sierra Club Draws a Subway Map of America’s National Parks

Benefits of Organic Food Go Beyond Vitamins and Minerals

September 6, 2012 by  
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It makes sense to this writer that organic food is a healthier option than convention produce, which is grown with  synthetic pesticides and fertilizers . Take away those harmful chemicals, and organic food ought to be better for you, right? I am not alone in this line thought, and as such, the organic food market is a $29 billion industry. However a new study is pouring cold water on this theory, suggesting that research into organic food has found “scant evidence of health benefits” — but is the new study missing the point? Read the rest of Benefits of Organic Food Go Beyond Vitamins and Minerals Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Annals of Internal Medicine , fertilizers , food production , health benefits , organic farming , organic food , pesticides , stanford university of medicine , vegetables

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