Day: May 27, 2014

FDA data shows arsenic in rice, juice and beer

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Data from the Food and Drug Administration has found arsenic levels in rice and rice products comparable to those found by Consumer Reports in its own investigation. And the FDA found another surprising source of arsenic: beer, which sometimes uses rice as an ingredient.

Google Doodle Honors Conservationist Rachel Louise Carson

Read the full story in Time.

The blue scene portrayed in Tuesday’s Google Doodle honors a very green woman.

To celebrate what would have been nature author and conservationist Rachel Louise Carson’s 107th birthday, Google put her in her natural habitat—surrounded by birds and sea creatures. Carson was born in 1907 and began her career as a marine biologist. She became a writer in the 50′s and her 1951 work, The Sea Around Us, won a National Book Award.

Rachel Carson Google Doodle

As Dairy Farms Grow Bigger, New Concerns About Pollution

Read the full story at Yale Environment 360.

Dairy operations in the U.S. are consolidating, with ever-larger numbers of cows concentrated on single farms. In states like Wisconsin, opposition to some large operations is growing after manure spills and improper handling of waste have contaminated waterways and aquifers.

 

Americans care deeply about ‘global warming’ – but not ‘climate change’

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Yale researchers have found that the two terms, often used interchangeably, generate very different responses.

The full report, What’s In A Name? Global Warming vs Climate Change, is available here.

More by this team

Roser-Renouf, Connie and Stenhouse, Neil and Rolfe-Redding, Justin and Maibach, Edward W. and Leiserowitz, Anthony, “Engaging Diverse Audiences with Climate Change: Message Strategies for Global Warming’s Six Americas” (March 17, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2410650 orhttp://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2410650.

Abstract: Global climate change – a threat of potentially unprecedented magnitude – is viewed from a variety of perspectives by Americans, with some dismissing the danger, some entirely unaware of its significance, and still others highly concerned and motivated to take action. Understanding the sources of these diverse perspectives is key to effective audience engagement: Messages that ignore the cultural and political underpinnings of people’s views on climate change are less likely to succeed.

In this chapter, we describe Global Warming’s Six Americas – six unique audience segments that view and respond to the issue in distinct ways. We describe the beliefs and characteristics of each group and discuss methods of effectively communicating with them in light of: (1) the pro- or counter-attitudinal nature of messages on the issue for each group; (2) their willingness to exert the cognitive effort necessary to process information on the issue; (3) their propensity for counter-arguing, motivated reasoning and message distortion; and (4) the communication content they say they most desire and, hence, would be most likely to process and accept.

In California, a real-world proving ground for energy-efficient buildings

Read the full story at Smart Planet.

FLEXlab, a new testing facility at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, uses science to ferret out the actual energy savings that energy-efficient building systems and designs are likely to return.

Scientists Found Microplastics in Arctic Sea Ice

Read the full post in NOAA’s Marine Debris Blog.

Arctic sea ice regularly makes the news because, well, it’s declining to record lows, but this month scientists discovered another alarming observation. According to a new study, microplastics were found frozen in the ice, and there are a lot of them.

Rachel Obbard, an engineering professor at Dartmouth, and her colleagues wrote in the journal Earth’s Future that, “Arctic sea ice from remote locations contains concentrations of microplastics at least two orders of magnitude greater than those that have been previously reported in highly contaminated surface waters, such as those of the Pacific Gyre.”

Here’s what to expect from Obama’s big new climate rules

Read the full post at Grist.

The moment is nigh. After years of frustration and delay, the Obama administration is on the verge of taking its biggest step to cut greenhouse gas emissions. On June 2, the EPA will release proposed regulations to curb CO2 emissions from existing power plants. In a video chat with Grist on Monday, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy confirmed reports that President Obama will likely unveil the regulations himself, calling it “a strong indication of how important he sees this.”

Though the rules will apply to all power plants, they’re really aimed at cutting emissions from coal-fired facilities. Electricity generation accounts for one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and coal — the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel — is responsible for the majority of that.

Before repairing the climate, we’ll have to repair the impacts of racism

Read the full Grist post by Brentin Mock.

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ 18-page cover story for The Atlantic making a case for reparations for African Americans is a must-read, even if you’re not into all that hopey, changey racial justice stuff. Even if you believe that the only thing we need to repair right now are the practices that are leading to surplus greenhouse gas emissions and resultant climate change, you need to read it — in fact, you are the ideal audience for it. Coates makes the case that after two-and-a-half centuries of slavery, and another century-plus of Jim Crow, segregation, and racial terror, African Americans deserve redress. Financial redress? Yes.

To celebrate freedom and democracy while forgetting America’s origins in a slavery economy is patriotism à la carte. Perhaps no statistic better illustrates the enduring legacy of our country’s shameful history of treating black people as sub-citizens, sub-Americans, and sub-humans than the wealth gap. Reparations would seek to close this chasm. But as surely as the creation of the wealth gap required the cooperation of every aspect of the society, bridging it will require the same.

If you wonder why more black people aren’t so quick to fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, it’s because we’re too busy fighting the school-to-prison pipeline — or in places like California, the pollution-to-school-to-prison pipeline. Not to mention all of the other racial ills making our lives hectic, before we can even think about something like climate. As Anthony Giancatarino of the Center for Social Inclusion recently wrote, “to truly address climate change, we need to understand how our past and current policies have reinforced climate change and inequity and the implications for our work.”

2014 ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable Research Grant for Iron Catalysis

Download the RFP.

The ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable is seeking to fund a 1-2 year R&D program to address the Roundtable’s initiatives in iron catalysis.  Proposals should target the development of innovative and novel iron-catalyzed coupling reactions or catalytic iron based alternatives for current coupling technologies that enjoy widespread use. Proposals are invited from public and private institutions of higher education worldwide. This collaborative project is intended for a student within the selected Principal Investigator’s research group. One grant in the amount of $100,000 will be awarded to support execution of research for a period of 1-2 years.

Deadline for receipt of proposals is August 22, 2014 at 5 PM EDT (GMT-4).