One Cringey Thing: Prophets of Doom Unite 

One Cringey Thing: Prophets of Doom Unite 

Donald Trump’s totally bizarre climate speech at the World Economic Forum this week was supposed to appease business leaders, but even the ones who are still slow-walking climate change were totally put off by it. Cartoon by ODP cartoonist, Alex Bowman. 

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The NRA’s Cozy Relationship With the US Interior Department

The NRA’s Cozy Relationship With the US Interior Department

In an investigative piece, the Guardian has revealed rampant corruption happening in the Interior Department where a top official (Benjamin Cassidy, a former NRA lobbyist) did a series of special favors for the National Rifle Association. This is just a glimpse of the NRA’s influence over the Interior department: The appointment of Susan LaPierre, a […]

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Trump Administration Finalizes Rule Severely Limiting Clean Water Act

Trump Administration Finalizes Rule Severely Limiting Clean Water Act

The Trump Administration on Thursday made official a controversial rule to drastically limit the application of the Clean Water Act, finalizing its proposal that has been uniformly criticized by environmental groups and the agency’s own science advisors because it will lead to the contamination of groundwater, many intermittent water bodies, and drinking water supplies and the elimination of many wetlands. 

Why This Matters: They call it the “The Navigable Waters Protection Rule” but nothing could be further from the truth because now pollution can enter big waterways and the ocean from smaller ones and from wetlands that are no longer protected.  More pesticides, more PFAS, more chemicals, more waste — and we won’t know it because these discharges and wetlands destruction will all be “perfectly” legal.

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Most Earthworms Are Invasive, What Does that Mean for Ecosystems?

Most Earthworms Are Invasive, What Does that Mean for Ecosystems?

We generally think of earthworms as beneficial and essential to healthy soils–and in many ways they are! But did you know that much of the United States isn’t actually supposed to have any earthworms? As the Atlantic reported, “Until about 10,000 years ago, a vast ice sheet covered the northern third of the North American […]

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Heroes of the Week: The Team Trying To Save An Injured Right Whale Calf

Heroes of the Week: The Team Trying To Save An Injured Right Whale Calf

Baby North Atlantic Right Whales are sadly rare — this species of whales is on the brink of extinction with the death rate exceeding the birth rate — the population is now hovering at about 400.  In early January, local scientists off the coast of Georgia were encouraged to spot 27-year-old female Derecha with a […]

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Interview of the Week: Maria Devaney, Founder of Blue S.O.S.

Interview of the Week: Maria Devaney, Founder of Blue S.O.S.

Maria Devaney is the Founder of Blue S.O.S., which organizes next-gen consumers behind ocean-friendly brands in the fashion, beauty, technology, and travel industries. ODP:  This year, the theme of the World Economic Forum was sustainability.  The fashion industry has a role to play.  What did the industry announce this week about its sustainability effort? MD:  […]

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What’s Really in Our Sunscreen? Human and Environmental Health Risks Prompt More Oversight

What’s Really in Our Sunscreen? Human and Environmental Health Risks Prompt More Oversight

New research from the FDA has shown that 7 chemicals traditionally found in chemical (vs mineral) sunscreen enter the human bloodstream at levels that exceed safety thresholds. Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the arm of the FDA which conducted the studies explained that just because an ingredient enters […]

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One Cool Thing: NASA Needs YOU — To Name Its New Rover

One Cool Thing: NASA Needs YOU — To Name Its New Rover

There is an important election happening right now!  You can vote to name NASA’s next Mars rover.  The Agency held an essay contest and invited students from around the country to propose a fitting name for NASA’s Mars 2020 rover and write a short essay about it.  The nine finalists are: Endurance, K-4, Oliver Jacobs […]

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Coastal Red States Apply For Millions in Adaptation Funding With No Mention of Climate Change

Coastal Red States Apply For Millions in Adaptation Funding With No Mention of Climate Change

Billions of dollars of disaster preparedness funding are up for grabs from the Trump Administration, but to improve their odds of getting some of it, states are going out of their way NOT to mention climate change, according to The New York Times.

Why This Matters:  Climate denials — explicit or implicit — don’t make its impacts or the need to adapt any less real.

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Arizona’s Largest Utility Commits To Be Carbon-Free By 2050

Arizona’s Largest Utility Commits To Be Carbon-Free By 2050

In a surprising turn around, Arizona Public Service (APS) pledged on Wednesday to achieve carbon-free (not just neutral) power by 2050, with an interim target of 65 percent clean electricity by 2030, and by 2031 APS will achieve 45 percent renewable energy as well as close its coal power plants.  Ironically, in 2018, APS spent nearly $40 million dollars to defeat a ballot initiative to switch to renewables in the same time frame that Democratic Presidential candidate Tom Steyer’s organization NextGen America was working to get passed, according to The Washington Post.

 

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UK’s Post-Brexit Farm Subsidies Will Prioritize Carbon Sequestration

UK’s Post-Brexit Farm Subsidies Will Prioritize Carbon Sequestration

Throughout Brexit, many have wondered about the environmental implications of the UK leaving the European Union. When the split becomes official at the end of the month it will also mean a severing with Europe’s notorious farm subsidies. As Science Mag reported, many researchers see this as a good thing as this week “the U.K. […]

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Acidifying Oceans Could Dissolve Shark Scales

Acidifying Oceans Could Dissolve Shark Scales

South African researchers published a new study showing that increasing concentrations of CO2 in the ocean are damaging shark scales, known as denticles.

Why This Matters: These scales protect sharks and allow them their unique ability to move through the water.

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