Summer Increasingly Brings Toxic Algae to Freshwater Lakes in US – Watch Your Pets

Summer Increasingly Brings Toxic Algae to Freshwater Lakes in US – Watch Your Pets

As the “dog days” of summer are here, so is the threat of toxic algae in lakes and ponds across the U.S., according to reports from news outlets nationwide.  The Boston Globe’s David Abel reported on how the 996 small lakes on Cape Cod that had provided a respite from saltwater are now warming so rapidly that they are being “transformed by climate change” that saps their oxygen, makes them dangerous for swimming by humans and pets, and harms wildlife.

Why This Matters:  Often these blooms occur because of runoff pollution, but in some locations on Cape Cod with little of that, the culprit seems to be climate change.

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House Dems Pack the “Minibus” Government Funding Bill With Environmental Fixes

House Dems Pack the “Minibus” Government Funding Bill With Environmental Fixes

It’s the time of year that Congress passes funding bills for agencies and this year’s mashup of bills — known as a “minibus” because it only funds some parts of the government — is chock full of environmental provisions intended to reverse Trump rollbacks, take actions the Administration has blocked, and to prevent them from taking others.

Why This Matters:  There are more than 100 environmental amendments that the House will debate and many will pass only on party lines.

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China Fishing Illegally in North Korean Waters According to New Investigation

China Fishing Illegally in North Korean Waters According to New Investigation

Using satellite monitoring technology and intelligence capabilities, an investigation by NBC News and Ian Urbina an author and former NY Times journalist, has uncovered massive fishing by a “dark” fleet in North Korean waters with deadly results for North Korean fishermen.

Why This Matters:  China is a member of the UN Security Council that in 2017 banned fishing in North Korean waters (which China used to pay to access) as part of sanctions it imposed after North Korea’s nuclear missile tests.  If it’s true (and the UN has an anonymous report corroborating China’s violations with evidence to back it up) it would be a serious breach of the UN’s security rules

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CA Federal Court Invalidates Trump Rollback Allowing Methane Pollution on Federal Lands

CA Federal Court Invalidates Trump Rollback Allowing Methane Pollution on Federal Lands

A federal court in California on Wednesday tossed out the Trump Administration’s rollback of an Obama administration rule that limited wasteful venting, flaring, and leaking of gas from drilling operations on federal and tribal lands. The Judge re-instated the prior Obama Administration rule beginning in 90 days.

Why This Matters:  Once again, the Trump Administration’s flagrant disregard for democratic principles of government and the rule of law came back to bite them.

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Climate TRACE Project Aims to Identify Carbon Emissions Everywhere In Real Time

Climate TRACE Project Aims to Identify Carbon Emissions Everywhere In Real Time

To comply with the Paris Climate Agreement it is crucial to actually track the emissions of greenhouse gases from places like power plants and factories. One newly announced project, Climate TRACE (Tracking Real-Time Atmospheric Carbon Emissions) Coalition, a coalition of nonprofits and tech companies backed by Al Gore, is working to identify emissions from every single specific source, Adele Peters reported in Fast Company yesterday.

Why This Matters: Currently, emissions data is often self-reported, and, according to Fast Company, it “can sometimes take years for the data to be gathered.”

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WEF: New Report Finds That Failing To Conserve Nature Is Risky Business

WEF: New Report Finds That Failing To Conserve Nature Is Risky Business

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is issuing three reports this year, and it published the second one yesterday in which it argues that addressing the global nature crisis requires “a critical shift towards nature-positive models in three key socio-economic systems: food, land and ocean use; infrastructure and the built environment; and extractives and energy.” 

Why This Matters:  This analysis makes clear what needs to be fixed to get the most benefit for biodiversity — agriculture — and why making the changes will be good for the global economy and jobs.

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