Day: August 17, 2018

Full Harvest Closes on Investment to Tackle Food Waste Problem

Read the full story at Waste360.

While the food industry struggles to meet increasing global production demands, more food reaches U.S. landfills and incinerators than any other waste, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In an effort to help solve this problem, Full Harvest, a marketplace for excess produce that would otherwise go to waste, announced it has closed an $8.5 million Series A round of financing led by Spark Capital.

The Trump administration said weaker fuel standards would save lives. EPA experts disagree.

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Staffers at the Environmental Protection Agency strongly criticized the logic behind a recent move to loosen future gas mileage rules for cars, at one point requesting that the EPA’s name and logo be removed from a key regulatory report.

Documents released Tuesday provide a window into a tense technical battle between experts at two separate government agencies — the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an agency of the Transportation Department — and show that just months or even weeks before the rollout of a massive new policy proposal, the two agencies behind it had major disagreements.

How soil scientists can do a better job of making their research useful

Read the full post at The Conversation.

Soil is a vital part of the natural environment. It supports the growth of plants, is a habitat for many different organisms and is at the heart of nearly all agricultural production. It also plays an integral role in countless other ecosystem services like water and climate regulation.

Despite this, soil degradation is widespread. Soils rarely get the policy attention they deserve. There is little incentive for farmers to adopt practices that conserve soil. In the longer term soil degradation costs farmers and countries money, reducing farm productivity and capacity to adapt to climate change, and causing environmental damage such as poor water quality and silting of dams from soil erosion.

One of the major barriers when it comes to governments and policymakers taking soil science seriously is the approach of scientists themselves.

There are three main ways in which soil science has failed its stakeholders. The first relates to over generalising recommendations beyond the conditions for which they were developed. The second has to do with uncertainty: scientists don’t properly communicate the risks inherent in their recommendations. And the third is about “translating” findings into economic terms so that farmers and policy makers can work with them.

Luckily, there are solutions, as is being shown through the work being done by the Africa Soil Information Service, which has started using a different approach to research in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania.

Critics pan EPA plan for evaluating studies of toxic chemicals

Read the full story in Science.

Academic scientists and advocacy groups are urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw and rewrite proposed guidelines for determining which scientific findings to use when evaluating the safety of toxic chemicals. Critics say that if adopted, the guidance will allow regulators to exclude high-quality health and risk studies for “ridiculous” reasons, favor industry-backed research, and prevent EPA from considering academic studies that rest on innovative methods.

33 poems on nature that honor the beauty and brutality of the natural world

Read the full post at BookRiot. My good friend Katherine Riegel is one of the featured poets.

Poems on nature: during the height of mosquito season, they are our link to the outdoors, the only way to enjoy the great green world out there. (No? Just me? Okay.) The poet’s gaze, their observation and insight and word play, can bring the outdoors to us in ways we hadn’t considered, ways we might not have known to look. A good poem on nature slows us down. It reminds us of the dirt we walk on, the trees we pass by, the birds overhead, the hands that have tilled and planted, the survival of seeds—of animals, of humans—despite everything. And in that seeing, in that remembering, we honor the beauty and brutality of the natural world. To that end, here are 33 poems by poets who might not necessarily be considered “nature poets,” but whose nature poems are on point.

Using narratives and storytelling to communicate science with nonexpert audiences

Michael F. Dahlstrom (2014). “Using narratives and storytelling to communicate science with nonexpert audiences.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111(Supplement 4), 13614-13620. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1320645111

Abstract: Although storytelling often has negative connotations within science, narrative formats of communication should not be disregarded when communicating science to nonexpert audiences. Narratives offer increased comprehension, interest, and engagement. Nonexperts get most of their science information from mass media content, which is itself already biased toward narrative formats. Narratives are also intrinsically persuasive, which offers science communicators tactics for persuading otherwise resistant audiences, although such use also raises ethical considerations. Future intersections of narrative research with ongoing discussions in science communication are introduced.

Time to Dress Up: Introducing the NYPL Grow Up Work Fashion Library

Read the full story from the New York Public Library.

If you are looking to get dressed up for a job interview, wedding, audition, graduation, prom, or other formal event, the Riverside Library can help.

With our NYPL Grow Up work accessories collection, you can now borrow:

  • Neckties and bowties
  • Briefcases
  • Handbags

 

Paul Gilding: How Do We Continue To Grow If The Earth Has Reached Its Limit?

Environmental activist Paul Gilding says the world has been growing too fast for too long. And now…the Earth is full. The only solution, he says, is to radically change the way we consume.

 

 

Attorney general sues Trump Tower for threatening Chicago River ecosystem

Read the full story from Curbed.

Chicago’s Trump International Hotel & Tower may find itself in legal hot water due to a recent lawsuit filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan alleging that the building’s river-fed cooling system is in violation of multiple state and federal clean water laws.

Aquifer update: New legal measures part of ‘ongoing process’

Read the full story in the News-Gazette.

A bill signed into law in Champaign on Thursday was hailed as a major step forward in protecting a critical natural resource that provides millions of gallons of water to East Central Illinois.

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