Day: January 19, 2018

Change is afoot in Trump country

Read the full story from the Washington Post.

It was a quarter after eight on a steamy August morning when Rachel Grantham rumbled up in a big black pickup truck. The 26-year-old, six-foot-three agronomist sported a pink top, a purple miniskirt, camouflage muck boots and a single blonde braid draped over one shoulder. I hoisted myself into the cab of the truck, and we sped down I-95 through eastern North Carolina’s “Swine Alley” — a land of industrial-scale hog farms, expansive vistas of soybeans and enormous confederate flags — on an unlikely climate crusade.

New Tracker Keeps Tabs on Government Attacks on Science

Read the full story at State of the Planet.

Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund have launched a new online resource to track actions by the government to silence scientists working on environmental, public health and climate issues. The launch of the Silencing Science Tracker coincides with the first anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, on January 20, 2017.

Opinion: Why we need a National Living Soil Repository

Read the full piece in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A National Living Soil Repository would store agricultural cryogenic and air-dried soil samples, analyze samples for microbial community composition, assess samples for microbial viability, and serve as a potential source of living organisms for various agricultural ecosystem services.

Minnesota Out Front on Addressing Nitrogen Problems

Read the full story at Minnesota Public Radio.

Minnesota is the first state in the nation to try telling farmers how to apply fertilizer to their crops.

The state’s Department of Agriculture has drafted a rule meant to cut down on nitrogen runoff.

Civil War-era U.S. Navy ships’ logs to be explored for climate data, maritime history

Read the full story from the University of Washington.

A new grant will let a University of Washington-based project add a new fleet to its quest to learn more about past climate from the records of long-gone mariners. The UW is among the winners of the 2017 “Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives” awards, announcedJan. 4 by the Washington, D.C.-based Council on Library and Information Resources.

Scientists Peek Inside The ‘Black Box’ Of Soil Microbes To Learn Their Secrets

Read the full story at NPR.

A tablespoon of soil contains billions of microscopic organisms. Life on Earth, especially the growing of food, depends on these microbes, but scientists don’t even have names for most of them, much less a description.

That’s changing, slowly, thanks to researchers like Noah Fierer, at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Fierer think microbes have lived in obscurity for too long. “They do a lot of important things for us, directly or indirectly, and I hope they get the respect they deserve,” he says.

NFWF Issues RFP for National Resilient Communities Program

Read the full story in Philanthropy News Digest.

In 2017, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with Wells Fargo, launched the Resilient Communities Program, designed to prepare for future environmental challenges by enhancing community capacity to plan and implement resiliency projects and improve the protections afforded by natural ecosystems by investing in green infrastructure and other measures. The program focuses on water quality and quantity declines, forest health concerns, and sea level rise and emphasizes community inclusion and assistance to traditionally underserved populations in vulnerable areas.

This four-year initiative is supported through a $10 million contribution from Wells Fargo that will be used to leverage other private and public funds with an expected total investment of more than $20 million.


Waste Dumps Remain A Burden For Minority Neighborhoods

Read the full story from WOSU.

Marion Motley Playfields is a park on Cleveland’s east side. Named for a local pro football star, it has grassy fields, baseball diamonds and hills.

But those fields hide a troubling history. Before the park was created, parts of the property were used as a storage yard for a brick and tile plant, and a stream became an industrial sewer.

Results from Iowa Waste Characterization Study Jump-Start Diversion Conversations

Read the full story at Waste360.

About 70 percent of landfilled waste in the State of Iowa could potentially be diverted through new and expanded reuse, recycling and composting programs. This was a finding of a waste characterization study looking at 61 items in the municipal solid waste stream generated by residential, commercial and industrial sectors.

EU declares war on plastic waste

Read the full story in The Guardian.

The EU is waging war against plastic waste as part of an urgent plan to clean up Europe’s act and ensure that every piece of packaging on the continent is reusable or recyclable by 2030.

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