Gas Flaring Wastes Energy and Pollutes the Air – Why is it Still Happening? click button

Gas Flaring Wastes Energy and Pollutes the Air – Why is it Still Happening?

Gas flaring was responsible for Texas’s recent increase in oil refinery pollution, but it’s hardly a new problem. We’re less than a decade away from the UN’s goal of Zero Routine Flaring by 2030, but refineries still flare 150 billion cubic meters of natural gas each year, releasing 400 million tons of greenhouse gasses and other pollutants into the atmosphere.

Why This Matters: Companies have historically practiced gas flaring as a convenient and inexpensive way to “dispose of ” gas that was extracted alongside oil, as opposed to storing paying to store it.

Continue Reading 578 words
New Study Finds It’s Noisy in the Deep

New Study Finds It’s Noisy in the Deep

New scientific research sheds light on a growing problem — ocean noise pollution — but the good news is that this one is solvable.  The problem is that much of ocean life depends on sound for survival and when anthropogenic noise increases, it drowns out the soundscapes that guide ocean life, The New York Times reports.

Why This Matters:  Impacts of noise had been documented on marine mammals like dolphins, but now it is clear it impacts a wide variety of marine life, including zooplankton and jellyfish.

Continue Reading 546 words
The 15 Minute City of the Future

The 15 Minute City of the Future

When you leave your front door, what can you reach in 15 minutes by foot or bike? A grocery store? A school? A park? That’s the question that many urban planners are using to shape plans for how cities operate in the future. The 15-minute city means designing neighborhoods where everything people need, from housing to dining to cultural institutions, is within that 15-minute radius. 

Why this Matters: It’s a good idea to create neighborhoods that fulfill people’s basic needs so that they won’t have to travel as far to manage their daily lives – especially post-pandemic when more people are likely to work from home. 

Continue Reading 473 words
The Lancet’s Diagnosis: Climate Change Is Bad For Your Health click button

The Lancet’s Diagnosis: Climate Change Is Bad For Your Health

The COVID-19 pandemic and climate change represent converging crises, according to The Lancet, one of the oldest and most prestigious medical journals in the world.  This year’s edition of The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change drives home the point that it is impacting everyone.

Why This Matters: Rising seas and rising temperatures are public health issues. More extreme heat worldwide means that people with pre-existing conditions, people who work outdoors, and the elderly all face a higher risk of heat-related death.

Continue Reading 421 words
What Can Biden Do On Day 1?  Litigate and Enforce Environmental Laws click button

What Can Biden Do On Day 1? Litigate and Enforce Environmental Laws

The incoming Biden Administration’s Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency can immediately reverse current policies directing lax enforcement of the nation’s pollution laws, which undoubtedly have resulted in decreased compliance by facilities across the country.

Why This Matters:  The likelihood of a divided government has led many legal and climate experts to worry that a Biden administration will be hamstrung on climate change.

Continue Reading 508 words
Key West Votes to Ban Large Cruise Ships Citing Economic and Environmental Impact

Key West Votes to Ban Large Cruise Ships Citing Economic and Environmental Impact

The environment was on the ballot this year, as we have noted.  Interestingly, last week voters in Key West, Florida voted to ban large cruise ships from docking there.

Why This Matters: The marine life of the Florida Keys — particularly its famed coral — is in crisis. A recent report showed that some of Florida’s coral reefs have only 2% of the coral populations they once did.

Continue Reading 588 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.