Day: June 7, 2019

Available for beta testing in Zotero: Retracted paper notifications

Read the full story from Zotero.

In the latest beta, Zotero will automatically check your database for retracted papers and notify you if it finds any matches. We’re providing this service in partnership with Retraction Watch, and we’re proud to help sustain their important work.

$3 Million Settlement Revealed In High-Profile Fracking Case

Read the full story from NPR.

In an unusual event, a legal settlement in a high-profile fracking case has been made public because of a computer error. The document, dated Aug. 31, 2018, shows that the gas drilling company Range Resources and other defendants agreed to pay $3 million to three Washington County, Pa., families who alleged that nearby fracking contaminated their properties and made them sick.

The court document was issued under seal but was discovered last week in a public database by a reporter with the public radio program The Allegheny Front and the StateImpact Pennsylvania project. After issuing an injunction, Judge Katherine B. Emery on Tuesday ruled that it could be published. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is suing to have the entire agreement made public.

Illinois coal ash a statewide groundwater threat

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

No one region of Illinois is safe from contamination of groundwater from coal ash.

It is a statewide crisis, environmentalists say.

What Does ‘Scientific Consensus’ Mean?

Read the full story in Forbes.

Should we get vaccinated? Fluoridate our water? Fight global warming? Believe in evolution? The Big Bang? Dark matter? It’s difficult for many of us to base the answer to these questions on what a nameless, faceless expert tells us, since we like to think we have the capabilities of gathering the relevant information and making up our own minds. Part of having a working mind means having the confidence to gather, synthesize and draw conclusions from the information you can access yourself. To an individual with a working mind, the fact that most people — even if it’s the overwhelming majority of intelligent, informed people — believe in something shouldn’t shape your opinion at all. It’s one of the most valuable traits we possess as human beings.

8 must-watch environmental documentaries to kick off your summer

Read the full story at Grist.

Another Memorial Day, another Mountainfilm Festival. Since 1979, outdoor enthusiasts and environmental activists alike have flocked to the mountain town of Telluride, Colorado, to watch the drama of the natural world unfold on the big screen.

Grist, the media sponsor of this year’s Mountainfilm Festival, reviewed a few of our favorite docs from more than 150 films. In the following features and shorts, newts dance underwater to a jazzy soundtrack, salmon hurtle through the air, and a mud explosion wreaks havoc on an Indonesian village.

Can data be human? The work of Giorgia Lupi

Read the full story in The New Yorker.

The information designer and data humanist Giorgia Lupi describes her profession as “telling stories with data,” which sounds like an oxymoron, until you see her work.

What Can We Do as Consumers About Climate Change?

Read the full post from the Northeast Recycling Council.

For much of my life, shopping has been a form of recreation. I learned good shopping techniques from the best, my grandmother, who was a real pro. She shopped largely for value, quality, and the brands she liked. So that’s what I have usually done. But that’s changing.

I was recently involved with writing a new NERC and NEWMOA handout, “What Can We Do as Consumers About Climate Change?” This short write-up is intended for a general audience and focuses on the climate change impacts of the stuff we consume. From what NEWMOA and NERC staff could find online, there are no other short fact sheets on this topic targeted for consumers. For me, the most powerful statements in the fact sheet emphasize that, “for most products, the greatest contributions to… greenhouse gas emissions happen during production… 42 percent of all green gases are associated with the production, transportation, and disposal of materials and products. Studies…have revealed that greenhouse gas releases from consumption are increasing even as those from the direct use of energy by consumers in their homes and for transportation are decreasing.” These simple statements are a compelling call for much greater attention to the climate change impacts of what we buy.

Residents concerned about groundwater pollution from coal ash ponds

Read the full story from the Missourian.

She wasn’t intimidated when the pig’s head showed up in her driveway.

She wasn’t afraid when she found “LEO PIG” spray-painted in red on the back of her black Honda Accord.

She didn’t back down when the security cameras around her home slowly disappeared.

Patricia Schuba has been fighting for environmental justice for the past decade as president of the Labadie Environmental Organization, and she hasn’t let harassment and intimidation stop her. Schuba’s nemesis is visible from any point in the town: The smokestacks of Ameren’s Labadie Energy Center, the largest coal-fired power plant in the state, rise above the Missouri River flood plain and the small town of Labadie in eastern Missouri.

Schuba’s main concern, though, is what lies below the surface. Since 1970, the Labadie plant has been dumping coal ash, the leftover waste from burning coal to create energy, in massive pits in the ground called coal ash ponds.

In Ohio, craft breweries emerge as leaders for clean energy

Read the full story at Midwest Energy News.

Clean energy helps Ohio breweries save money, stand out on crowded cooler shelves, and spread the cause to customers.

With infrastructure reform, U.S. could build world’s biggest, greenest carbon sink

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

In the middle of last month, U.S. Sen. (and New Green Deal co-sponsor) Ed Markey (D-Mass) told Voxthat his party would make sure that any overhaul of the country’s infrastructure was done with clean energy.

“If there is an infrastructure bill, we’re going to make it a green energy bill,” he said. “We’re going to be submitting amendments that ensure that bill has aggressive renewable energy resource and energy efficiency standards, and that there are higher and stronger standards for federal renewable energy procurement.”

But infrastructure goes beyond roads and bridges and into forests, farms, rivers and streams — all of which help us manage storm runoff and meet our needs for clean drinking water. U.S. cities such as Denver and New York already funnel water fees into forests, farms and fields, because that’s where their water comes from. The cities of Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., meanwhile, are using stormwater fee assessments to encourage investment in green spaces that absorb water instead of concrete ones that repel it.

These “green infrastructure” projects don’t just keep greenhouse-gas emissions down; they generate environmental benefits. Some even can become carbon negative, meaning they can absorb more greenhouse gas than they emit. (For details, see “New Green Deal Aims to Boost the Restoration Economy. But What IS the Restoration Economy?”)

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