Green your tailgating, no matter your school’s colors

Read the full story at Earth911.

What happens when you get 92,000 people together in one place on a Saturday before a football game? Tailgating is one of the most fun parts of watching a football game (both college and pro), but it isn’t one of the most environmentally friendly. Have you ever seen what those parking lots and lawns look like after a game?

Even when trashcans are provided, trash is littered everywhere. The residents, cities and schools end up spending lots of time trying to clean up the trash from the event. Even with recycling programs in place, all the recyclables never seem to end up in the right collection bin.

However, there are some practical ways that fans can green their tailgating and still have fun. Ready to find out how? Green 32, green 32 … set … hike.

Arkema Chemical Plant Explosion Shows Downsides to EPA Cuts

Read the full story at Triple Pundit.

Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) has a few probing questions for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt these days. And with the recent explosion at the Crosby, Tex. Arkema plant, it seems that list is getting much longer.

Last week, while Hurricane Harvey was pummeling the Texas coast, the Arkema chemical plant, which stores volatile substances like organic peroxides under refrigeration, lost power. Although the cause of the explosion is still being determined, there’s been some question as to whether the plant was up to date on its risk assessment protocol and whether it should have had a back up system in place to ensure the chemicals didn’t lose refrigeration.

Worse, is the fact that nearly a week later, authorities still do not have a complete list of the chemicals that are on site, or what the concoction of fumes was that police officers were inhaling when they arrived at the explosion. Fifteen officers were subsequently sent to the hospital for inhaling toxic fumes.

Carper, who has been fairly critical of Pruitt’s plan to downsize the EPA’s role in regulating industries like chemical manufacturing plants, had investigators quickly assess what backup procedures were in place when the power went down. Carper is one of the top Democrats of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which has direct oversight for the EPA.

Those 3% of scientific papers that deny climate change? A review found them all flawed

Read the full post from Quartz.

It’s often said that of all the published scientific research on climate change, 97% of the papers conclude that global warming is real, problematic for the planet, and has been exacerbated by human activity.

But what about those 3% of papers that reach contrary conclusions? Some skeptics have suggested that the authors of studies indicating that climate change is not real, not harmful, or not man-made are bravely standing up for the truth, like maverick thinkers of the past. (Galileo is often invoked, though his fellow scientists mostly agreed with his conclusions—it was church leaders who tried to suppress them.)

Not so, according to a review published in the journal of Theoretical and Applied Climatology. The researchers tried to replicate the results of those 3% of papers—a common way to test scientific studies—and found biased, faulty results.

Gas Prices Spike But Texas Wind Farms — and Grid — Hold Steady After Harvey

Read the full story in Triple Pundit.

Harvey was the first major hurricane to hit the Gulf region since Katrina in 2005, and energy infrastructure has changed dramatically since then with the advent of wind and solar power. For that reason, energy observers have been keenly interested in the impact that Harvey would have on wind farms and other renewable energy installations when it hit Texas on August 28.

Texas is an especially significant test case because its wind industry has been surging in recent years.

Why Restaurants are Going Straw-less in Seattle by 2018

Read the full story in Waste360.

Around the world scientists, environmentalists and even manufacturers are looking at plastics and their impact on ocean life, the environment and the health of human life as well. While banning plastic disposable straws seems like a rather small step in a complex ecosystem, environmentalists and local government officials are finding it something that can be acted on in a simple way.

The city of Seattle passed a law nearly a decade ago requiring food service vendors to switch to compostable or recyclable wares when available for use. By July 1, 2018, disposable plastic straws and cutlery will be replaced in all Seattle food service venues with compostable or recyclable options.

Waste360 sat down with Sego Jackson, strategic advisor of waste prevention and product stewardship for the city of Seattle’s Public Utilities, to discuss how an ordinance passed eight years ago laid the foundation for replacing the plastic straws and cutlery in city restaurants.

Digging in the dirt: Researchers develop new methods for assesing risk of subsurface phosphorus

Read the full story in Science Daily.

New methods for assessing the loss of phosphorus in soil have now been developed by researchers. While current measurements focus mainly on surface runoff, the new research is looking at the best way to measure the risk of underground phosphorus that winds up in drainage water.

How Lego lends a hand in digitising 300 year old Herbarium books

Read the full post from the Natural History Museum (London).

The Museum is on a mission to digitise 80 million specimens. We want to mobilise the collections to give the global community access to this unrivaled historical, cultural, geographical and taxonomic resource.

Carrying out pilot projects helps us to establish bespoke digital capture workflows on areas of the collections. Mercers Trust funded a small scale pilot project to digitise the more difficult to image herbarium specimens from the Samuel Browne Volumes of the Sloane Herbarium that contain specimens of medicinal plants form India. Dr Steen Dupont from the Museum’s Digital Collection programme has been leading on this project.