Day: February 5, 2018

Air pollution: black, Hispanic and poor students most at risk from toxins – study

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Schoolchildren across the US are plagued by air pollution that’s linked to multiple brain-related problems, with black, Hispanic and low-income students most likely to be exposed to a fug of harmful toxins at school, scientists and educators have warned.

Video: A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities tells the story of two very different Michigan communities—picturesque, small town Evart and gritty, industrial Flint— who have found their futures inextricably linked by a threat to the one thing that all life requires: water.

The film explores the growing threat of water privatization and what happens when the government runs a critical function, like providing clean drinking water, as if it were a business.

After years of progressively damaging cost-cutting measures that favor corporate interests throughout the state of Michigan, Flint’s water crisis made international news. Four years later, many still rely on bottled water for their everyday needs and have some of the highest water rates in the country.

Despite the state’s failure to protect its people’s access to water in Flint — and its intentional deprivation of water to thousands in Detroit — the multinational corporation Nestlé nets massive profits from of the state’s abundant water sources. Nestle pumps mere hours away from Flint, outside of Evart, paying only a $200 annual permit fee and nothing for the water itself.

The uncounted cost of shipping’s environmental impact

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Single industries easily can seem negligible when examined within the global scale of the Paris Agreement. This is particularly the case for international shipping because it is very much an industry that’s out of sight, a phenomenon known as “sea blindness.”

Despite emissions exceeding those of Germany, the industry remains outside any international agreement to limit its emissions. While policy is ultimately necessary, key actions should be taken by banks to begin steering the industry towards even preparing for decarbonization.

What Happens to the Losing Team’s Pre-Printed Championship Shirts?

Read the full story in Mental Floss.

Following a big win in the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, or any other major sporting event, fans want to get their hands on championship merchandise as quickly as possible. To meet this demand and cash in on the wallet-loosening “We’re #1” euphoria, manufacturers and retailers produce and stock two sets of T-shirts, hats and other merchandise that declare each team the champ.

Apparel for the winning team quickly fills clothing racks and gets tossed to players on the field. But what happens to the losing team’s clothing?

EPA division that studies the health risks of toxic chemicals is in a fight for its life — against the EPA

Read the full story at The Intercept.

A small but vitally important program within the Environmental Protection Agency is in a fight for its life. The Integrated Risk Information System, or IRIS, is the only division of the EPA that independently assesses the toxicity of chemicals. IRIS supplies evaluations used by states, tribes, private developers, Superfund sites, and foreign countries, among others, and has long been a target of the companies whose profits can rise and fall based on its findings.

New research tackles Great Lakes regional problems

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

We’re used to troubling news about the Great Lakes basin — Asian carp, zebra mussels, habitat degradation, fluctuating water levels, algal blooms, chronic wasting disease, lead-poisoned drinking water, endangered species and other problems.

But we pay less attention to promising news with useful findings from science and public policy experts.

Brewers Association Names Ian Hughes as Sustainability Ambassador

The Brewers Association (BA) has announced that Ian Hughes will fill the newly created position of sustainability ambassador. Hughes will work in conjunction with Quality Ambassador Neil Witte and Safety Ambassador Matt Stinchfield to bring attention to BA resources in their areas of expertise. In this role, Ian will promote the mission of the BA Sustainability subcommittee to “help current members and future generations to brew the highest quality beers in a manner that strengthens the value of their businesses, increases the resiliency of the natural environment and agricultural systems that provide brewing ingredients, and enhances the lives of our workforce and their communities.”

“I am honored to support the exciting environmental stewardship work of the Brewers Association and the Sustainability subcommittee in this new role,” said Hughes. “I look forward to advocating for the BA sustainability manuals and inspiring breweries across the U.S. to join their colleagues already participating in the BA benchmarking project!”

Hughes spent nearly a decade studying and consulting in environmental science before diving into the brewing industry in 2007. He started off scrubbing tanks in the Great Lakes cellar in Cleveland, then moved to Chicago and held the positions of brand ambassador, environmental health and safety manager, and assistant brewery manager at Goose Island. Over the course of eight years at Goose Island, Hughes focused on developing safety and environmental regulatory compliance programs, leading continuous improvement projects, and growing Goose Island’s sustainability initiatives. During this time, he also served on the Brewers Association Sustainability subcommittee. In his current role at the University of Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Ian provides technical sustainability consulting services to public and private entities across the state.

“Beer has the unique ability to effortlessly bring people together and open up a dialogue,” Hughes continued. “Let’s put this powerful tool to work and use it to inspire our industry, communities, and consumers by creating and sharing stories of brewery sustainability.”

In his new role Hughes will deliver presentations at state brewers guild meetings. He’ll also assist Sustainability Mentor John Stier—helping BA members to utilize the BA benchmarking tools and identify simple, quick, and sustainable return-on-investment projects in their breweries.

What if the Chinese import ban is a good thing?

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

What if China’s import ban on 24 recyclable materials is an opportunity, not an obstacle? What if it’s an opportunity to transform the waste industry and to transform how people view the current system?

Reducing waste, focusing on a new process and implementing technological improvements will help manage waste across the supply chain – and offer positive change from an initially unsettling ban.

Opinion: Big business, not taxpayers, should pay to clean up plastic waste

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Plastic is destroying our oceans, yet big corporations are still being given money to produce cheap plastic. It’s time for polluters to pay for the damage they cause

In New Park, China Creates a Refuge for the Imperiled Siberian Tiger

Read the full story at e360.

As part of a new national park system, China is setting aside a vast territory that is home to small numbers of Siberian tigers and Amur leopards along the Russian and North Korean borders. Officials hope it will bolster populations of the endangered big cats.

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