European Union walks a tightrope to climate leadership

July 13, 2017 by  
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Will the rest of the West step up to fill the void left by the U.S. exit from the Paris Agreement?

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European Union walks a tightrope to climate leadership

Obama creates two new western national monuments in last minute effort

December 29, 2016 by  
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The clock is ticking. Before the United States and the world is snapped by political whiplash on January 20, 2017, the Obama Administration is working quickly to secure its environmental legacy by creating new national monuments in environmentally sensitive areas of the Western United States: Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and Gold Butte National Monument. As usual, the land on which these new public resources have been created has been fiercely contested for their political and economic significance. President Obama has nonetheless pushed forward with the national monuments to cap off an ambitious and sometimes controversial environmental agenda that his successor will likely seek to dismantle. The establishment of Bears Ears National Monument in the Four Corners region of Utah , a state where two-thirds of the land is owned by the federal government, represents a victory for the American Indian tribes that have called the region home. In an historic first, an inter-tribal commission composed of members from the Hopi, Navajo, Uintah and Ouray Ute, Ute Mountain Ute and Pueblo of Zuni will be established to provide management input of the national monument, which contains sacred sites, ancient petroglyphs, and remnants of Pueblo structures over 3,500 years old. Most elected officials in Utah are opposed to the site’s protection, though the state’s congressional delegation had supported a scaled-back plan. “The midnight move is a slap in the face to the people of Utah, attempting to silence the voices of those who will bear the heavy burden it imposes,” said Republican US Rep. Jason Chaffetz. Chaffetz intends to seek assistance from President-elect Trump in abolishing the national monument. Related: President Obama establishes controversial new National Park in Northern Maine The Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada is similarly packed with politics. Supported by retiring Democratic Senator Harry Reid but opposed by Nevada’s Republican Representatives, the national monument outside of Las Vegas will preserve 300,000 acres of ecologically sensitive, pristine land that contains important archaeological sites and rare fossils. Gold Butte carries special significance because of its proximity to the site of the armed standoff led by rancher Cliven Bundy in 2014. The establishment of these national monuments “protect some of our country’s most important cultural treasures, including abundant rock art, archaeological sites, and lands considered sacred by Native American tribes,” said President Obama in a statement. “Today’s actions will help protect this cultural legacy and will ensure that future generations are able to enjoy and appreciate these scenic and historic landscapes.” Through authority granted under the 1906 Antiquities Act, President Obama has protected more land than any president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. His successor and his supporters seek to use the Act, which allows for the creation of national monuments without congressional approval, to unilaterally remove protections, a policy that has not been attempted in modern times. Via the Guardian  / Washington Post Images via Ron Reiring   (1)

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Obama creates two new western national monuments in last minute effort

Pee-powered socks turn your feet into a walking power plant in an emergency

December 14, 2015 by  
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Desperate times call for desperate measures, and you know ‘urine’ trouble when you have to rely on your own bodily fluids as a source of electricity. Yet, on occasion, to riff on a popular adage, it happens . Ioannis Ieropoulos’s team at the University of the West of England in Bristol (UWE Bristol) has developed a pair of socks that use urine as fuel to create enough electricity to send an emergency distress signal. This strange sock system uses microbial fuels cells (MFCs), in which bacteria consumes nutrients from the urine and create electricity as a byproduct. Read the rest of Pee-powered socks turn your feet into a walking power plant in an emergency

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Pee-powered socks turn your feet into a walking power plant in an emergency

We’re running out of chocolate and it’s our own fault

October 11, 2015 by  
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Forget the great recession. According to the world’s largest chocolatiers, we’re about to enter a great chocolate depression, and it’s our own fault. The Washington Post reports that Mars Inc. and Barry Callebaut have unveiled statistics that show consumption of chocolate worldwide is outpacing cocoa production and creating a chocolate deficit. Read the rest of We’re running out of chocolate and it’s our own fault

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We’re running out of chocolate and it’s our own fault

North Face, K2 Sports and 90 other brands pen letter on climate change

September 10, 2015 by  
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After a winter of scant snow in the West, 92 winter sport brands, 53 resorts, 50 professional athletes and 13 trade groups urge Obama to bargain hard on climate change.

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North Face, K2 Sports and 90 other brands pen letter on climate change

Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reduce inequality among countries

September 10, 2015 by  
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A tale of two countries, developed versus developing.

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Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reduce inequality among countries

Horrifying Disease Causes Thousands of Starfish to Pull Themselves Apart

February 4, 2014 by  
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Scientists have discovered that millions of starfish have been dying along the Western Coast of the United States in recent months due to a mysterious disease that causes them to tear themselves apart. The creatures’ arms begin to twist and then literally crawl away from their body, often causing their insides to spill out as well. According to a report by  PBS News , most starfish die within 24 hours of contracting the disease, and scientists are unsure of how to help. Read the rest of Horrifying Disease Causes Thousands of Starfish to Pull Themselves Apart Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: mysterious starfish disease , Pisaster ochraceus , plague decimates starfish populations along the West Coast , Pycnopodia helianthoides , sea star wasting syndrome , starfish disembowel themselves , starfish tear off their own arms , sunflower sea star disease        

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Horrifying Disease Causes Thousands of Starfish to Pull Themselves Apart

Tesla shows off 90-second battery swapping

June 21, 2013 by  
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Battery swapping stations didn't save Better Place, but Tesla Motors hopes to roll them out soon along the West and East Coasts.

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Tesla shows off 90-second battery swapping

Tesla shows off 90-second battery swapping

June 21, 2013 by  
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Battery swapping stations didn't save Better Place, but Tesla Motors hopes to roll them out soon along the West and East Coasts.

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Tesla shows off 90-second battery swapping

Pavegen Tiles Turn Footsteps Into Electricity

July 27, 2012 by  
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A UK paver company is turning pedestrian traffic into electricity by harvesting the energy from footsteps. Pavegen tiles capture the kinetic energy created by footstep for immediate or future use. The pavers are currently being used at the West Ham…

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Pavegen Tiles Turn Footsteps Into Electricity

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