Garbage ‘patch’ is much worse than believed, entrepreneur says

Read the full story at SFGate.

It is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — a mass of plastic floating debris estimated to be twice the size of Texas and concentrated between California and Hawaii.

But to Boyan Slat, the 21-year-old Dutch entrepreneur who is orchestrating what he envisions as the largest ocean cleanup effort in history, “patch” is far too gentle a term. He prefers “ticking time bomb.”

Illini Gadget Garage will provide a space to repair electronics on University of Illinois campus

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

You’ve dropped your cellphone and cracked the screen. Or your computer needs a memory upgrade, the headphone jack no longer works or the hard drive has failed.

You’ve had the electronics for several years, and you could just buy the latest device with the newest features.

Or you could fix the one you have. If repairing an electronic device yourself sounds prohibitively complex and you aren’t sure where to start, help will soon be available on the University of Illinois campus.

The Illini Gadget Garage will open this semester. It will be a place for collaborative repair, modeled after the Campus Bike Center, only for electronics.

EPA rule impact: More emissions

Read the full story in Agri-View.

A proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to change ethanol-blending rules would significantly increase carbon emissions to the equivalent of adding nearly 1 million more passenger vehicles on the road, according to an analysis conducted by the Energy Resources Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Pope Francis’ Climate Change Epiphany

Read the full story in Popular Science.

Science and religion usually make uneasy bedfellows. That’s why Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change, published in June, made headlines. The papal essay is the Vatican’s first authoritative word on climate policy, and it takes an unequivocal stance: The world needs to act.

Atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, says the Pope’s message might prove more effective than 30 years of scientists’ efforts to communicate the urgency of climate change.

Indiana school adopts Great Lakes Literacy Principles

Read the full post at Lakeside Views.

“This is awesome! You guys are going to be the pedestal by which we hold everybody else up,” IISG environmental educator Kirsten Hope Walker proclaimed to a roomful of teachers last week at the Discovery Charter School in Porter, Ind.

What was so “awesome” is the school’s adoption and focus on the Great Lakes Literacy Principles for the upcoming year.

Discovery Charter School, a public school of about 500 students from grades kindergarten through eighth, was founded six years ago with an emphasis on place-based education.

So what better place to learn about the Great Lakes when the Indiana Dunes and Lake Michigan are right within sight?

Central Valley sinking fast because of groundwater pumping

Read the full story at SFGate.

The floor of the Central Valley is sinking at a record pace as drought-gripped farmers pump out the groundwater beneath them, new satellite data show.

In some places the ground is dropping nearly 2 inches a month, according to measurements taken by the state and NASA. The sinking soil is dragging roads, bridges and other infrastructure with it, raising concern that state pumping restrictions scheduled to take effect in five years won’t arrive in time to head off costly damage and environmental ruin.