A history of sustainable energy efforts at the White House

September 2, 2021 by  
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Global warming, carbon emissions and climate change have been hot topics for decades. All the while, the reigning U.S. administration has changed its tone with each election. As a result, the focus on renewable energy has waned and grown throughout the country and in the president’s own home. In fact, since the White House was first equipped with electricity, the use of  renewable energy  sources has seen an ebb and flow that matches the attitude of the commander in chief at the time.  The beginning of electricity at the White House September 1891 saw the introduction of electricity to the White House, although Mr. and Mrs. Harrison, President and First Lady at the time, feared electrocution and never touched the switches as a result. Related: Activists protest Biden’s compromised green infrastructure deal In 1926 President Calvin Coolidge saw the installment of the first electric refrigerator at the residence. Six years later, the Roosevelts installed air conditioning in the private quarters. Beginning in 1948, the White House saw an extensive renovation under the guidance of President Truman, which included upgrades to the electrical system. President Lyndon Johnson set an example of electricity conservation in the 1960s by consistently turning off lights when not in use, earning him the moniker “Light Bulb Johnson.” The first solar panels at the White House The year 1979 saw the first solar panel installation at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue when President Jimmy Carter had 32 solar panels placed on the White House roof in response to a national energy crisis (a result of the Arab oil embargo). Although the technology of the time did little more than heat  water  for the cafeteria and laundry, Carter hoped it would set an example for the future of the country saying, “a generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken, or it can be a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people; harnessing the power of the Sun to enrich our lives as we move away from our crippling dependence on foreign oil .” However, his intentions didn’t take hold, and the solar panels were removed during the Reagan administration while roofing work was being done. While cost may have been a factor in the decision not to reinstall the solar panels, Reagan’s policies made it clear he supports oil more than green energy. When the Clintons moved into office and the residence, they committed to “Greening the White House,” which included installing  energy-efficient  windows, light bulbs and a new HVAC system. The first solar power system on site Breaking the trend of Democrats leaning into renewable options and Republicans reversing them, George W. Bush was the first to install a solar system that provided electricity to the grounds. The 9-kilowatt system produced both current and hot water, which was used in part to warm the presidential pool. Another notable event in the history of the White House’s sustainability journey took place in 2008 when the iconic Portico lantern was upgraded to LEDs . The arrival of modern solar panels President Barack Obama, who was very vocal about prioritizing  environmental issues , oversaw the installation of solar panels, completed in 2014. He also installed a solar water heater in the residence.  “By installing solar panels on arguably the most famous house in the country, his residence, the president is underscoring that commitment to lead and the promise and importance of renewable energy in the United States,” said Nancy Sutley, chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. This newer technology was six times more effective than the solar equipment Carter installed, making a financial difference and not just a symbolic one. Those  solar panels  are still in use today.  The Trump administration not only did not put a priority on renewable resources but actively worked to roll back many of the environmental protections put in place before he took office. Solar panels make history For historical value, the solar panels installed during the Carter administration were kept in governmental storage until 1991, when half were installed above the cafeteria at Unity College in Maine . Here they provided hot water until the end of their useful life in 2005.  Today, other White House solar panels are on display at museums in the United States and China . Specifically, there are examples at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington D.C., Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Solar Science and Technology Museum in Dezhou, China.  There’s also one on display at the NRG Systems headquarters, as an example of early technology at a company that manufactures modern  wind  and solar technology solutions. With all eyes on the White House for guidance on where we’ll focus next in the current of renewable energy , it’s clear that it will be some time before we see universal agreement on how to approach the topic.  For more information on the history of the solar panels President Jimmy Carter installed, you can check out the 2010 documentary “A Road Not Taken,” which details their journey from 1979 to 1986. + Energy.gov  Via Thought Co. and Sullivan Solar Power   Images via Pexels 

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A history of sustainable energy efforts at the White House

Extending ESG Best Practices Into the Supply Chain

August 31, 2021 by  
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Awareness on ESG issues has steadily grown over the decade. Consumers increasingly prefer a sustainable lifestyle and engage in sustainable activism. A global study by Unilever found 1 in 3 customers purchasing from brands with perceived social or environmental impact. In the age of social media, companies involved in ESG controversies are heavily prone to consumer backlash that could cost them millions.  According to the UN Global Compact, supply chain practices are the biggest roadblock to achieving sustainability, and hence require utmost executive and board commitment. Supply chains are a complex network of various tiers of suppliers that are heavily interdependent and interconnected. In large corporations, each supplier might require inputs from thousands of sub-tier suppliers. The more intricate a supply chain is, the more prone an organization is to uncertainties and hidden risks.  This white paper will explore:  The growing importance of ESG: Risks and opportunities for companies  Supply chain sustainability as an important part of a company’s ESG program  ESG supply chain implementation: The dynamics, motivation, and emerging best practices  The investors’ increasing focus on the ESG supply chain  Emerging ESG supply chain best practices 

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Extending ESG Best Practices Into the Supply Chain

White House pushes oil amid code red climate crisis

August 16, 2021 by  
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President Joe  Biden , that supposed proponent of green infrastructure, surprised many environmentally conscious folks on Wednesday. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan issued a statement asking for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to pump more oil. Why? In a classic wish for instant gratification, Biden’s White House is choosing the short-term goal of keeping  gas  prices down over the long-term goal of an inhabitable planet. Related: It’s code red for Earth, says new UN study “Higher gasoline costs, if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global recovery,” Sullivan’s statement read, in part. “The price of crude  oil  has been higher than it was at the end of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic.” So, can you increase  fossil fuel  production while simultaneously cutting emissions? Uh, no. Expanding fossil fuel capacity is not part of any plan to reach net zero by 2050. We can’t have it both ways. But the problem is that it’s hard to focus on long-term planet goals when so many Americans are a few hundred bucks away from disaster. In May, the national average gas price increased to over three dollars per gallon for the first time since 2014. As gas prices rise, households have less  money  to spend on other useful things, like food and bills. Sarah Hunt, CEO of the Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy, tweeted that Biden’s OPEC request is an example of the fact that “we are not going to choose a habitable planet tomorrow over quality of life today.” In another tweet, she said, “People want cheap  energy  more than they want clean energy. People don’t want cheap energy produced in their backyard.” Biden also managed to irritate conservatives, who want energy jobs in the  U.S.  rather than increasing reliance on overseas fossil fuels. According to Hunt, the only answer “is to innovate for better energy with fewer externalities.”  Via The Guardian , Huff Post Lead image via Pixabay

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White House pushes oil amid code red climate crisis

In Our Nature delves into animal life from the Serengeti to US

August 11, 2021 by  
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“In Our Nature,” a new six-episode digital series, takes viewers to settings in  Tanzania  and the U.S. and features gorgeous animals and fascinating info about their lives. And you can watch it free on YouTube. Three of the hosts talked to Inhabitat about their new series — favorite moments, what they learned and why viewers should care. Joe Hanson is a biologist and the creator and host of PBS Digital Studio’s  It’s Okay to Be Smart ; Trace Dominguez is a science communicator, and the producer and host of PBS Star Gazers, Uno Dos of Trace; and Emily Graslie is a  science  communicator who worked as the Field Museum’s chief curiosity correspondent, for which she created more than 200 episodes for the natural history-themed YouTube channel The Brain Scoop. Here’s what they have to say about “ In Our Nature .” Related: Los Angeles is the largest US city to be certified as a biodiversity haven Inhabitat: How did “In Our Nature” come about, and how did you get involved? Joe Hanson: The project came about originally as a digital program alongside PBS’ broadcast series  “Life at the Waterhole”  and I was involved in developing our series from the outset. During pre-production we embraced the opportunity to create a top-quality nature  education  series designed specifically for audiences that primarily watch YouTube and other digital video platforms rather than TV or streaming services. I worked with my production team from It’s Okay to be Smart to create a format and story approach that would feel native to YouTube but allow us to present top-quality nature filmmaking at the same time. We immediately thought of Emily Graslie and Trace Dominguez as co-hosts thanks to their awesome track record making creative and high-quality educational videos.  Emily Graslie: Joe Hanson approached me about this series back in January and I was immediately hooked on the premise of looking at ecosystem  health  in such a holistic manner. And, it’s not very often a YouTube channel gets the opportunity to film an international, high-quality nature series, so being a part of this has been really special and rewarding. Trace Dominguez: “In Our Nature” came about when Joe Hanson reached out to me about working on a new kind of  nature  show. I’ve known Joe and Emily for years yet, incredibly, the three of us had never worked together! We all agreed that nature documentaries are incredible, but needed a bit of a refresh. Traditionally, documentaries try to bring attention to individual animals, or single ecosystems. They often eschew discussion of human influences or exploring the wider parallels across continents, or the delicate web of connections running across different species. I was super interested in the challenge and thanks to our group of admirable nerds I think it worked out swimmingly (pun intended). Inhabitat: What have been the most exciting parts of making this show? Hanson: Filming a nature series in the Serengeti ecosystem is as good as it gets. This was my first time in Africa , and even though I knew I would see some awesome things, I wasn’t prepared for just how MUCH awesome stuff we would see. I was simply blown away by the richness of life, at scales big and small, in this place. We also saw herds of wildebeest that stretched to the horizon and over 100 elephants in one grassy clearing. There was just so much of everything. I think it speaks to just how valuable wild places like this really are, not just for the life they contain, but also for the effect they can have on us. Graslie: Filming for  Episode 3  in the Andrews Forest in  Oregon  came with all sorts of adventures — but ascending 140 feet up a Douglas fir to examine how scientific instruments stories in the canopy can teach us about things happening on the forest floor was the most thrilling. Getting into a drysuit to snorkel in the forest’s streams to follow that cycle into the water was a close second. It was freezing!! Dominguez: The most exciting part, for me, has been working with Joe and Emily; full honesty! Plumbing the depths of the collections at the  California  Academy of Sciences is great and all (that place is an amusement park of nerdery), but this business is often pretty solitary. Getting to work with such excellent science communicators has been a privilege. Inhabitat: What about the most challenging parts? Graslie: I’ve helped coordinate plenty of filming shoots, but this was the first time doing it during a global  pandemic . Lots of decisions and potential ideas were up in the air because there was so much uncertainty around vaccinations and travel. At the same time, everyone else – our crews and filming partners – were more or less in the same boat, so we all just learned to go with the flow and support one another as best as possible. Dominguez: The most challenging part of “In Our Nature” is the hardest part of  any  science project: the execution. We can have ideas and plans to tell giant stories, but actually capturing  animals , ecosystems, and humans all together  at the same time and in the same place  is extremely challenging. Inhabitat: What’s your favorite episode and why? Hanson: It’s hard to pick just one! Our episode about  animal culture  is a real favorite. Scientists are starting to appreciate how widespread and varied  culture  is across animals. And my hope is that will change how people look at conservation. Because it’s teaching us that we aren’t only saving animals themselves, or even just the places they live. We are also preserving their ways of existing and surviving in those places. And those ways of existing are often irreplaceable if the animals were to disappear, even temporarily. Graslie: I’m really proud of the work we put into  “Are some species more important than others?”  – in part because of the partnerships we developed with the Intertribal Buffalo Council, and Oglala Lakota Parks & Recreation. The ITBC is doing critical work to reintroduce  bison  to tribal lands across the country for reasons that are environmental, cultural, and spiritual. Oglala Lakota Parks & Recreation welcomed us to participate in a sacred buffalo dance ceremony they usually only hold once a year, and later invited us to film their herd. Dominguez: I think my favorite episode might be Emily’s episode about  nutrient recycling . When you get enough bio-nerds together they will inevitably start to geek out about  whale  falls, carrion eaters, and decay. With both Joe and Emily together on this show it was inescapable that we’d see a decomposition chapter in this series too; I was riveted! So many different organisms benefit when one huge African animal kills another, or when an ancient  tree  comes crashing to the ground. The parallels between these massive herds of wildebeest and the rotting of giant ancient trees were through-lines I never would have made without help, but once they were side-by-side they were so similar! Inhabitat: I’m especially intrigued by animal culture. What were the most surprising examples you found? Hanson: This example didn’t make it into the episode, but I was really surprised to learn just how deep and significant whale culture is. It may even be influencing speciation. Groups of orcas possess culture in how and where they  hunt , as well as how they vocalize. They specialize to such a degree that they only mate within these cultural groups, which some scientists believe is or already has led to the creation of several subspecies of orcas. So culture and behavior are capable of driving evolution, which is pretty special. Dominguez: Animal culture is something I’ve spent a lot of time learning about. I studied behavioral psychology in undergrad, and find intelligence, social interaction and the culture that comes out of that fascinating (in both humans and non-humans). Ultimately, the story of white-crowned sparrows passing on their song cultures won out. Not just because of the story itself and how it affects the lives of the sparrows, but it’s also kind of a meta-cultural story on top of that. There are stories about the  researchers  carrying on Baptista’s legacy, the story of Baptista himself, and the exploration of how human noise impacts other species. Inhabitat: Tell us a couple of memorable things you learned from “In Our Nature.” Hanson: Dung beetles navigate by the  sun  and stars. They are tiny, smelly astronomers. That will never not blow my mind. Graslie: I love Trace’s story in “Are humans the only animals that have culture?” on the white-crowned sparrows in  San Francisco , especially how fast those birds changed their songs during the times when traffic noise was lessened during the COVID-19 shutdowns. I was also completely blown away by Joe’s facts in  “This is the REAL circle of life”  episode about dead wildebeest providing, like, 10 blue whales’ worth of nutrients when they die crossing the Mara River. Dominguez: One of our goals for this series was to help people see that ecosystems don’t exist in a vacuum; instead  ecosystems  across the world have parallels and even influence each other. I don’t typically cover a lot of these huge biology and environmental stories so working with Emily and Joe really opened my eyes in how to tell these stories and really emphasized their importance.  Inhabitat: Why is it important that the world knows about Serengeti animals? Hanson: This area is the cradle of humanity, and our species has been interacting with this ecosystem for tens of thousands of years. But today, humans impact the  Earth  to such a degree today that there really is no corner of the world that we haven’t changed in some way. But the Serengeti ecosystem is proof of just how rich and beautiful wild nature can be if we protect it, let it be, and minimize our impact and influence wherever possible. That’s a hefty challenge, but it’s hard to work to save what we don’t know about. That’s why we share stories like these. Dominguez: Giraffes, zebras,  lions , elephants and hyenas have been the protagonists, antagonists and everything in between in stories across the world, but even though people know these beautiful animals exist — they rarely understand the ecological nuances that they fit into. We’ve all seen incredible videos of giraffes lumbering across the savannah, but they’re rarely depicted holistically, or as a complete story of the animal. Inhabitat: What else should readers know about “In Our Nature”? Graslie :  I promise it’s some of the best science/nature content on all of  YouTube !!! Seriously, it doesn’t get any better than this. Dominguez: “In Our Nature” is one of the best projects I’ve ever worked on; I’m really proud of what we’ve done with it. Watching it will open your eyes to stories you might have missed before, and while it’s great on a phone, the footage just sings* on a giant screen. That said, no matter where you watch, you’re going to see stories you’ve never seen before! * just like the white-crowned sparrow! + In Our Nature Images by Joe Hanson, David Schulte, Emily Graslie, In Our Nature

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In Our Nature delves into animal life from the Serengeti to US

Activists protest Biden’s compromised green infrastructure deal

July 7, 2021 by  
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President Biden made big promises about a new, green  infrastructure  plan that would mitigate the effects of climate change. But just six months into his presidency, White House negotiators are already making a deal with senators to backpedal on the big changes necessary to attain climate goals. The new bipartisan deal is going to drastically slow down the transition to a green economy — making it way too slow, according to activists. For example, instead of Biden’s proposed $174 billion for developing the  electric vehicle  market, the new plan allocates $15 billion to electric vehicle infrastructure. Many people aren’t surprised by this reduction, saying it was a long shot that such major climate legislation could ever get through Congress. Many Republicans believe an infrastructure bill should stick to transportation issues without including climate provisions. Related: Biden unveils $2 trillion infrastructure and green economy plan “We made serious compromises on both ends. … We’ll see what happens in the reconciliation bill and the budget process,”  Biden  said. Young activists from the  Sunrise Movement  aren’t willing to compromise. On June 28, hundreds of them gathered in front of the White House to call for “transformative” climate policy. Missouri Representative Cori Bush and New York Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman joined the protest and spoke on the urgent need to address the  climate  crisis. The activists highlighted the connections between climate action, policing, discrimination and  environmental racism . “They occupy our streets,” Congressman Bowman said at the protest. “They mass incarcerate us, but they leave us food insecure, in transportation deserts, and our buildings and schools falling apart. Fuck that!” Secret Service agents proceeded to arrest several activists for blocking all ten White House entrances. Democrats  are now developing a second attempt to pass Biden’s climate change measures in a separate bill, which might also include programs related to education, healthcare, and child and eldercare. Officials refer to these areas as “human infrastructure.” This bill may pass through a complex budget process known as reconciliation, which would allow it to bypass Republicans. Via The Nation , CNBC Lead image © Ken Schles

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Activists protest Biden’s compromised green infrastructure deal

Mattel reveals new Barbie made from recycled ocean-bound plastic

July 7, 2021 by  
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A new collection from toy company Mattel is using Barbie to engage children in supporting a greener future. The Barbie Loves the Ocean line includes three fashion dolls, a playset and accessories made from 90% recycled ocean-bound plastic parts sourced within 50 kilometers of waterways in areas that are lacking formal waste collection systems. In addition, Mattel launched its toy takeback program, PlayBack, which is designed to recover and reuse plastic materials from old toys. Part of the campaign also includes a goal to achieve 95% recycled or Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper and wood materials for the company’s packaging by the end of 2021. Related: LEGO Botanical Collection includes plant-based plastic blocks “This Barbie launch is another addition to Mattel’s growing portfolio of purpose-driven brands that inspire environmental consciousness with our consumer as a key focus,” said Richard Dickson, president and chief operating officer of Mattel. “At Mattel, we empower the next generation to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential. We take this responsibility seriously and are continuing to do our part to ensure kids can inherit a world that’s full of potential, too.” The launch is in line with the company’s goal to achieve 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic in its products and packaging by 2030. Barbie’s popular YouTube vlogger series will integrate a new episode titled “Barbie Shares How We Can All Protect the Planet” that teaches children about ways to take care of the planet with their everyday habits by balancing teachable moments with DIY challenges to help young viewers create an impact. Mattel is also teaming up with 4ocean to create a limited edition 4ocean x Barbie bracelet made with post-consumer recycled materials and assembled by artisans in Bali. Every bracelet sold will fund 4ocean to pull one pound of trash from waterways and contribute educational materials about recycling. + Mattel Images via Mattel

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Mattel reveals new Barbie made from recycled ocean-bound plastic

Prefab tiny cabin perched on a granite rock to minimize environmental impact

October 4, 2017 by  
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This solitary cabin in Lincoln, New Hampshire, was built to fit the rock on which it sits, rather than the other way around. I-Kanda Architects designed the building as an angular timber structure precariously perched on a granite outcropping in the White Mountain. Using just nine foundation points and prefabricated framing, the architects specifically designed the 900-square-foot cabin to have a gentle environmental impact. Providing stunning views of the valley and several prominent peaks of the mountain range, the home was designed to minimize the amount of trees that needed to be cleared. Initially conceived as a weekend getaway for two people, the structure evolved to meet the spatial and functional demands of a family of four. Related: Dreamy cabin is a luxurious escape in the New Zealand bush The growing needs of the family combined with the site’s unique spatial restraints required the architects to maximize the footprint of the building without imposing on the landscape—and the result + I-Kanda Architects Via Architizer Photos by Matt Delphenich

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Prefab tiny cabin perched on a granite rock to minimize environmental impact

Shocking investigation reveals 70,000 dogs in Bali murdered and served to tourists every year

June 19, 2017 by  
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Each year 70,000 dogs are brutally killed in Bali , Indonesia, according to an investigation spearheaded by Animals Australia (AA). The animals are strangled, bludgeoned, or poisoned and then fed to tourists who think they’re eating chicken meat. AA estimates seven times more dogs are killed in Bali yearly than in the Yulin Dog-Eating Festival in China. Evidence obtained by ABC’s 7.30 program revealed a huge dog meat trade in Bali. An AA undercover investigator spent four months posing as a documentary maker to uncover details about the trade. Known simply as ‘Luke,’ the investigator said he started by getting to know key players in the unregulated industry, and “eventually, they invited me to join them as their gangs stole, hunted, poisoned, and killed dogs.” Related: Dogs raised for meat in South Korea to get forever homes in the US AA campaign director Lyn White said, “Tourists will walk down a street, they’ll see a street store selling satay but what they are not realizing is the letters RW on the store mean it is dog meat being served. They’re just sitting down ordering satay have no idea that they’re eating dog.” And it’s not just street vendors selling the meat to tourists as chicken, but restaurants as well. The Bali Animal Welfare Association, an organization working to rescue the animals from dog traders, has discovered 70 restaurants serving dog meat. It’s not illegal to consume dog meat in Bali. But White said it is illegal to kill animals cruelly or to consume meat tainted with poison. Luke described aggressive methods and said although he’s trained himself to cope with cruelty, in one village where he saw dogs being caught, nothing had prepared him for the brutality. On one occasion he witnessed hunters catching dogs by laying out fish meat laced with cyanide. For the first time in his career, he switched off his camera as he watched a puppy die over agonizing minutes. He said, “I sat stroking him as he died and found myself apologizing for the cruelty of my fellow man.” According to ABC, while some local people think dog meat is healthy, the practice isn’t a long-held tradition. Hindu leader Gusti Ngurah Harta is among those working to end the trade – he said Bali Hindus consider dogs to be a holy animal and that it’s upsetting people are eating them. AA is willing to partner with the Bali government to end the trade and find a positive solution, which may include compensating those who make their living in the trade. You can sign their petition for the governor of Bali here . Via Animals Australia , ABC , and International Business Times Images via Pexels and Pixabay

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Shocking investigation reveals 70,000 dogs in Bali murdered and served to tourists every year

‘Eighth natural wonder of the world’ may have been rediscovered after 131 years

June 14, 2017 by  
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131 years ago, the eighth natural wonder of the world was thought to be lost in a volcanic eruption . The exact fate of the Pink and White Terraces at Lake Rotomahana in New Zealand was unknown, but now two researchers think the terraces may actually have survived, and could even be excavated to dazzle the world once again. During the mid-1800’s, visitors from around the planet came to view the Pink and White Terraces, pools cascading down into Lake Rotomahana. But in 1886, nearby Mount Tarawera erupted, releasing around as much energy as the biggest nuclear weapon ever detonated. Research hinted the terraces were either destroyed or pushed down into the depths of the lake. But independent researchers Rex Bunn and Dr. Sascha Nolden of the Alexander Turnbull Library think otherwise; according to them, the terraces may be preserved just 32 to 49 feet under the surface beneath mud and ash. Related: Scientists find evidence of lost continent beneath Mauritius Bunn told The Guardian the government of the 1800’s never surveyed the area, so we don’t know the exact longitude and latitude of the terraces. But the two researchers drew on unpublished 1859 survey data from 19th century geologist Ferdinand von Hochstetter to determine the German-Austrian’s location as he made his field notes to determine where the famed terraces might be today. They think the Pink and White Terraces may be in reasonable condition, able to be restored. Now they hope to begin exploring the site, if they can clinch funding. Bunn told The Guardian, “We want to undertake this work in the public interest. And I have been closely liaising with the ancestral owners of the land, the Tuhourangi Tribal Authority, and they are supportive and delighted with the work.” Nolden and Bunn aren’t the first researchers to think they’ve rediscovered the terraces. GNS Science New Zealand said in 2016 following five years of research, an international team came to the conclusion much of the terraces had been destroyed. But Bunn said he’s talked with GNS and that their conclusions may have rested on 130 years of incorrect cartographical information. Bunn and Nolden’s research was published online this month by the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand . Via The Guardian and IFLScience Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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‘Eighth natural wonder of the world’ may have been rediscovered after 131 years

BREAKING: Trump announces U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement

June 1, 2017 by  
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During a highly anticipated speech at the Rose Garden, climate denier President Donald Trump announced that the United States of America will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement secured under Barack Obama’s leadership. President Trump stated that the accord was “bad” and poorly negotiated by the Obama administration, and that he “is keeping his campaign promise to put American workers first.” Part of Trump’s speech read, ”The Paris Accord is a BAD deal for Americans, and the President’s action today is keeping his campaign promise to put American workers first. The accord was negotiated poorly by the Obama administration and signed out of desperation. It frontloads costs on the American people to the detriment of our economy.” Before the announcement was officially made, Donald Trump was cited by The Daily Best telling congressional staffers on a conference call that he is withdrawing from the Paris accord. Energy policy adviser for the White House, Michael Catanzaro, confirmed that “the United States is getting out of the Paris agreement.” Catanzaro added that Trump “will be open to and will immediately be looking for a better deal.” Reportedly, the Trump administration will follow steps for withdrawal laid out in the agreement. In total, says Catanzaro, removing the U.S. from the deal will take four years. “But we’re going to make very clear to the world that we’re not going to be abiding by what the previous administration agreed to,” he said. Despite the fact that countries such as Costa Rica run on 100% renewable energy and Denmark once generated 400% of the power it needs from wind turbines , the Trump administration remains resistant to transitioning the U.S. to run on renewable energy resources. This is because President Trump, a businessman, believes that energy sourced from fossil fuels is the solution to making America great again – and he thinks climate change is a “hoax” invented by the Chinese . Related: China says they’ll stay in the Paris Agreement – with or without Trump At the time of its signing, 195 countries, including the United States, pledged to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change in order to prevent global catastrophes which may result from rising temperatures. President Barack Obama committed America to a goal of lowering emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. The broad aim was to increase these cuts over time. With the United States exiting the Paris Agreement, carbon emissions are likely to increase, potentially propelling global disasters resulting from rising sea levels , severe weather conditions, and increased temperatures. On a positive note, China and the European Union are prepared to publicly recommit to the agreement with or without the United States. Also, Trump cannot technically withdraw from the agreement until November of 2019. Finally, many U.S.-based companies, including Apple , have ambitious goals to run on 100% clean energy in the near future. With support from educated consumers, the U.S. may reach its previously contracted emissions goal with or without the President’s support. Via CNN Images via Pixabay , Wikimedia Creative Commons

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