Why the scariest nuclear threat may be coming from within the White House

Read the full story in Vanity Fair.

Donald Trump’s secretary of energy, Rick Perry, once campaigned to abolish the $30 billion agency that he now runs, which oversees everything from our nuclear arsenal to the electrical grid. The department’s budget is now on the chopping block. But does anyone in the White House really understand what the Department of Energy actually does? And what a horrible risk it would be to ignore its extraordinary, life-or-death responsibilities?

Study confirms how lead got into Flint’s water

Read the full story from PBS.

Flint’s pipes were only part of the problem in the city’s water crisis.

The absence of a water treatment — called orthophosphate — was a major contributor to lead contamination of Flint, Michigan’s water supply, scientists confirmed recently in Environmental Science and Technology Letters. Omitting orthophosphate, which controls metal corrosion, caused lead embedded in the pipes to leach into the water. The results suggest Flint’s public health emergency could have been prevented if this corrosion control had not been overlooked.

How many billions do US businesses and individuals invest in energy efficiency each year?

Read the full story from ACEEE.

Energy efficiency investments occur in virtually every sector of the economy. When combined, their total number is substantial — estimates range from about $60 to $115 billion a year in the United States. In this post, we look at some recent estimates of energy efficiency spending, updating and expanding information we compiled earlier this year so that we may better understand the magnitude of these investments and where they occur. These findings provide a foundation for two subsequent posts we will publish in the next month on “Who invests in energy efficiency and why?” and “How can we increase energy efficiency investments?”

Webinar: The ABC’s of K-12 Food Waste Reduction: Start with the Guide to Conducting Student Food Waste Audits

Thu, Aug 24, 2017 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM CDT
Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5241897873918733828

We can reduce food loss and waste throughout the food system, and significant reductions can happen at institutions, such as schools. Students and schools can find opportunities and participate in actions that reduce waste and ensure nutritious food ends up feeding people, not landfills – by taking a closer look at what’s being thrown away at their location.

In April 2017, EPA, USDA, and the University of Arkansas finalized the Guide to Conducting Student Food Waste Audits: A Resource for Schools. The guide presents information for students, and those who work in schools, on the value of conducting an audit, how to perform the audit itself, and what to do with the data collected. It also includes a number of food waste prevention ideas.

This webinar will introduce participants to the guide, and share examples from schools that have used to the guide to meet their waste reduction goals.

China’s ageing solar panels are going to be a big environmental problem

Read the full story in the South China Morning Post.

The issue of how to dispose of hazardous waste from ageing panels casts a shadow over the drive towards renewable energy and away from fossil fuels.

We only have a 5 percent chance of avoiding ‘dangerous’ global warming, a study finds

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Last week, a group of climate researchers published research suggesting the climate has been warming for longer than we thought due to human influences — in essence, pushing the so-called “preindustrial” baseline for the planet’s warming backwards in time. The logic is clear: If the Earth has already warmed more than we thought due to human activities, then there’s even less remaining carbon dioxide that we can emit and still avoid 2 degrees of warming.