Trump Quietly Orders More Logging On Federal Lands

Trump Quietly Orders More Logging On Federal Lands

President Trump issued an Executive Order late last year directing the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior to increase logging on lands under their agencies’ control by 31% above levels of timber harvest in 2017.  The Washington Post reported that the President had been itching to sign this Order — he wanted to do it during his trip to California in mid-November, an inside source told The Post, but it wasn’t ready for his signature.  The order only became public earlier this week. 

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Wheeler Denies Climate Crisis in his Confirmation Hearing

Andrew Wheeler, the Acting EPA  Administrator, appeared before the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee yesterday for his confirmation hearing and was greeted by protesters and angry questioning by the Committee’s Democratic members.  The protesters began shouting “Shutdown Wheeler” just as he began to read his opening statement, and were quickly removed, as he raised his eyebrows in disdain (see video above.)  Drawing fire from the Democrats on the Committee, Wheeler said that climate change is a “global issue” but “not the greatest crisis,” and did not even mention climate change in his opening statement. 

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Changing climate mentality

Changing climate mentality

Our good friends at the Yale Program for Climate Communication along with the George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication analyzed in their most recent survey the percentage of people who have changed their opinions about climate change and it turns out about 8% of surveyed Americans indeed had changed their attitude. Overall 84% of respondents said that they were MORE concerned than in the previous two years about global warming.

So what happens once you do accept climate change and begin worrying about the state of our planet? It turns out that, as UnDark reported, a growing body of evidence demonstrates that climate change and its effects are linked to elevated rates of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, post-traumatic stress, and a host of negative emotions including anger, hopelessness, despair, and a feeling of loss. Researchers have dubbed these feelings “ecological grief.”

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Deep Blue shark doo doo doo doo doo doo

Deep Blue shark doo doo doo doo doo doo

While in the U.S. 12 states have so far banned the sale of shark fins (while 5 federal bills have died in the House and Senate in the past 2 years), according to the Animal Welfare Institute, a Washington, D.C.–based nonprofit that updates its list of restaurants that serve shark fin soup and notifies the relevant state enforcement agencies– the bans haven’t stopped restaurants in at least 10 of the 12 states. Then in a bit of happy shark news, USA Today reported that a strikingly massive great white shark, one of the largest ever documented, was spotted by divers in Hawaii on Sunday as the apex predator feasted on a sperm whale carcass. The sighting of “Deep Blue” off Oahu was remarkable because the handful of previous sightings were documented 2,600 miles away at Guadalupe Island off Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.

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One Funny Thing: a carousel for ducks


Honestly the best part of this ice disk are the ducks taking a ride on it 😂❤️🦆 pic.twitter.com/0Lz9qlUHaW — Taylor Gleason (@TaylorGWGME) January 15, 2019 Freezing temperatures have brought ice as well as a surprising new feature to the town of Westbrook, Maine, according to the New Scientist. An enormous circle of ice has formed […]

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EPA Criminal Cases At 30 Year Low

EPA Criminal Cases At 30 Year Low

The advocacy group Public Employees for Environment Responsibility (PEER) announced on Monday that criminal cases brought by the Department of Justice for cases originating at the Environmental Protection Agency have plummeted in the Trump Administration to only 166, and of those, only 62 resulted in prosecutions, the lowest number since 1992. 

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Groundwater Supplies Are Depleted And at Risk From Fracking

Groundwater Supplies Are Depleted And at Risk From Fracking

The Revelator, a publication of the Center for Biological Diversity, reported on a new study that found that “fresh” groundwater is 50% less plentiful in several key U.S. regions than scientists previously believed.  Therefore, digging deeper to find groundwater that is drinkable (not too salty or contaminated) is an increasingly infeasible answer to water shortages across the country.

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One Happy Thing: A Baby Orca!

One Happy Thing: A Baby Orca!

Great news for the Southern Resident Killer Whale population in Washington state whose numbers had been dwindling in recent years.  Whale L77 has a new calf, known now as L124, which was born in the last few weeks.  The Seattle PI reported that this new baby brings the population’s number to 75, but the Center for […]

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Pass on the oxybenzone, protect Florida’s reefs

Pass on the oxybenzone, protect Florida’s reefs

The Miami Herald reported yesterday that the Key West City Commission on Tuesday unanimously voted to ban the sale of sunscreens that contain two ingredients — oxybenzone and octinoxate — that a growing body of scientific evidence says harm coral reefs. While opponents to the ban claim that it will increase rates of skin cancer City […]

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UN forms formal alliance to address sustainable fashion

UN forms formal alliance to address sustainable fashion

The fashion industry is one of the most resource-intensive and polluting industries in the world. According to a report published in the journal Nature Climate Change last year, textile production produces 1.2 billion tons of CO2 equivalent per year, which is more emissions than international flights and maritime shipping. There hasn’t yet been a global governing body that tackled the issue of fashion sustainability in a coordinated manner and that’s why this week the United Nations announced that it will officially launch the UN Alliance on Sustainable Fashion on March 14th, during a media event of the 4th U.N. Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.

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More snow, more salt, more problems

More snow, more salt, more problems

Just as one storm passed last weekend, here in D.C. (as well as across central and eastern parts of the country) we’re expected to get more winter weather. As USA Today reported, a pair of winter storms will dump snow and ice across the central and eastern U.S. over the next several days, with the second storm a potential blockbuster in some spots, with a foot of snow possible. However, with snow comes road salt to help it melt and prevent ice from forming. The downside of melting snow with rock salt is that when the snow melts most of that salt makes its way into waterways where it can harm aquatic species should enough of it accumulate. As CNN explained, salt can also change the way the water mixes and lead to the formation of salty pockets near the bottom of lakes, creating biological dead zones.

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EVs for Show at the Auto Show in Detroit

EVs for Show at the Auto Show in Detroit

The major U.S. and foreign auto companies are racing to catch up to Tesla in the EV market, and are using this year’s auto show in Detroit to make the PR point, but there are few vehicles ready for market yet.   According to the AP, one of the reasons is that SUVs and trucks make up 72% of the new vehicles sold in the U.S. last month, compared to 49% in December 2012.  Thus, these new EVs will need to be SUVs, according to Axios.  But only two of the vehicles scheduled to be “rolled out” at the Detroit auto show are electrified, AP notes, and neither is available for sale yet. 

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