UN environment chief see mercury use phase-out under new treaty within 3 decades

Read the full story from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

A new global treaty could eliminate within three decades the commercial use of mercury in everything from batteries, paints and skin-lightening creams to utility plants and small-scale gold mining, the head of the U.N.’s environment agency said Thursday.

Achim Steiner, the executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, describes the Minamata Convention on Mercury as a major game-changer for a naturally occurring element that — once released into the environment through an industrial process — tends to accumulate in fish and work up the food chain.

The agreement still needs ratification by dozens of countries, and includes a concession to nations with small-scale gold mining — one of the biggest sources of pollution.

A triumphant Cory Booker heads to Washington, with big green shoes to fill

Read the full story in Grist.

When Cory Booker’s name is mentioned in the same sentence with “green,” it’s usually in reference to the money he attracts. Still, in his six years as mayor of Newark, N.J., he’s been no slacker on the environmental front.

Tooting his own horn on his website, Booker credits himself with an impressive list of green achievements, among them creating “the largest parks and green-space expansion in Newark in over a century,” building hundreds of green affordable housing units, securing $1.5 million to reduce urban heat island effect, and creating “acres of urban farms” that benefit underserved neighborhoods.

Booker, who just trounced his Tea Party challenger, Steve Lonegan, in the race to succeed longtime Sen. Frank Lautenberg, now takes this experience, along with his state’s deep tradition of environmental justice advocacy, to Washington, D.C. But when it comes to environmental policy, Booker has huge ECCO sandals to fill, and not everyone is as impressed with his green chops as he seems to be.


The Government Shutdown Was Temporary, Its Damage to Science Permanent

Read the full post at Scientific American.

In many ways the federal government shutdown was a huge, unplanned experiment in what happens when we give up on science for two weeks. The experiment is now over and the results are still incomplete. But so far, they are ugly…

For long-term research in many fields, the impact could be severe and lasting. Losing two weeks of data collection during a critical research period or two weeks of a key experiment that took months or years to set up will have repercussions for years.

Artificial wetland in Ohio filters runoff, fights algae

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

Ohio officials have built an artificial wetland to help prevent blooms of toxic algae in Grand Lake St. Marys by filtering runoff from a nearby creek.

The Ohio lake located about two and a half hours southwest of Lake Erie has been a hotspot for toxic algal blooms over the past few years.

Linda Hall Library 2014 Residential Fellowships

Linda Hall Library is pleased to announce that resident fellowships for 2014 are now available. Though the Library is open to anyone who wishes to use the collections, fellowships up to $3,500 per month will assist scholars in financing a research visit.

Resident fellowships are offered for the duration of 1 to 9 months in support of research projects in science, engineering, and technology; in the history of science, engineering, and technology; or in interdisciplinary topics that link science or technology to the broader culture. Applications from U.S. and international scholars are welcome.

Recipients of fellowships are expected to work full time on their research projects while at the Library, to engage with other resident scholars, and to offer a presentation on their work to the general public.

Doctorate-seeking scholars, scholars with a PhD or equivalent, and independent scholars who can demonstrate similar professional or academic experience are eligible to apply.

Application Information
The application deadline for 2014 fellowships is January 3, 2014. Recipients will be notified in early spring 2014. Please see the Linda Hall Library fellowships webpage for more information and application instructions: http://www.lindahall.org/fellowships/

For further information contact:
Donna Swischer
Linda Hall Library
5109 Cherry Street
Kansas City, MO 64110

Green Halloween: costume swaps

Read the full story in Treehugger.

Halloween is two weeks away, so here’s a seasonal twist on the clothing swap. A Halloween costume swap is a not only a great way to save money, it’s also a great way to recycle. Costumes often only get used once or twice before kids grow out of them, and there’s often a lot of opportunity for Halloween accessories to be re-mixed. It’s another way to participate in the sharing economy, cutting down on consumption and be social.

How to make sustainability ideas stick

In their P2 Impact article “How to make sustainability ideas stick“, authors Thomas Vinson and Jennifer Lasseterexplain how to improve your core business while at the same time making it cool.

Read previous P2 Impact columns at http://www.greenbiz.com/business/engage/enterprise-blogs/p2-pathways.