Day: November 14, 2019

Philly school knew about toxic lead in drinking water but kept parents in the dark

Read the full story from WHYY.

It was a display of kindness that should have been heartwarming. Instead, Frederick Douglass Elementary School teacher Alison Marcus just felt queasy.

In 2016 — while headlines blared about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan — Marcus’ North Philadelphia charter school raised money to buy bottled water for residents of the distressed Midwestern city. But as she watched students at the charter, run by Mastery, toss change into a large plastic bucket, she felt a pang of guilt.

“I just remember thinking, ‘We should definitely be testing the water here,’” she said in an interview this month.

The shallowest Great Lake provides drinking water for more people than any other. Algae blooms are making it toxic — and it’s getting worse.

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune. This is part of a series on how climate change impacts the Great Lakes Region.

Every year, an explosion of microscopic life reigns over western Lake Erie, forming a green slick of algae and bacteria so massive and vibrant that it can be seen from space.

The harmful algae bloom slimes fishing boats, paints beaches in toxins and engulfs water intake cribs. In 2014, it left 400,000 people without drinking water for three days after toxins infiltrated Toledo’s water system. Then-Gov. John Kasich declared a state of emergency and called in the National Guard to distribute bottled water in an incident that served notice that drinking water from Lake Erie was in peril.

This year, the bloom was among the most severe and toxic since scientists began keeping track in the early 2000s. At its peak, it coated around 620 square miles of Lake Erie’s surface waters, an area more than twice the size of Chicago, according to satellite imagery. The sheer weight of blue-green bacteria making up the bloom — forecast to be around 46,000 metric tons — was expected to be a new record.

Energy Efficiency Strategies for Food Processors

Read the full story in Food Engineering.

While food processors have to commit to using a certain amount of energy to meet production and food safety requirements, there are ways to be more efficient about how that energy is used. Whether it’s on the production line or converting waste into power, here’s a look at how some processors are finding new ways to be more efficient with energy.

Are Numbers of Species a True Measure of Ecosystem Health?

Read the full story at e360.

A recent study that found no general decline in the numbers of species in individual ecosystems has sparked controversy. Some scientists see it as evidence of how species adapt, while others see it as a sign that common invasive species, such as rats and mosquitoes, are the real winners.

Flint’s Children Suffer in Class After Years of Drinking the Lead-Poisoned Water

Read the full story in the New York Times.

The city’s schools, stretched even before the lead crisis, are struggling with demands for individualized education programs and behavioral interventions for children with high lead exposure.

How To Talk To Kids About Climate Change

Read the full story from NPR.

A few months ago, I was standing at the sink in the kitchen. Suddenly my daughter, who’s seven, said, “You’re lucky you got to have your adulthood before the planet was completely destroyed by climate change.”

I didn’t know this was on her mind. I hadn’t spent all that much time talking to her about it.

And the worst part, somehow, is that her voice wasn’t full of emotion. It was completely matter-of-fact. Like, oh well, we don’t have time to stop for ice cream, and I don’t get to grow up in a world with a functioning ecosystem.

How do you comfort a child when the science suggests she’s correct?

These six tips form a guide to parenting through a slow-motion emergency.

Nestlé and Corbion eye microalgae for ‘next generation’ plant proteins

Read the full story from Food Navigator.

Swiss food manufacturer Nestlé and Dutch ingredients supplier Corbion have entered into a strategic partnership to develop what they describe as the ‘next generation’ of microalgae-based ingredients for plant-based applications.

Italy is the first country to require climate change lessons in school

Read the full story at Fast Company.

When the school year begins in Italy next September, students in all grades will learn about climate change in civics classes—and the subject will also begin to be part of the curriculum in classes such as math and physics. The country is the first to make climate change a mandatory part of education.

Great Barrier Reef: scientists find high levels of pesticides and blast chemical regulator

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Leading marine scientists have detailed a litany of “serious deficiencies” by Australia’s chemical regulator that have failed to prevent the ongoing pollution of the Great Barrier Reef catchment, where they found excessive levels of several pesticides banned by other countries.

A new paper, co-authored by reef water quality expert Jon Brodie and fisheries veterinarian Matt Landos, found that pesticide regulation and management in the reef catchment areas of Queensland had failed to prevent the exposure of ecosystems to the significant risk of agricultural chemicals.

New report: Efficiency can cut U.S. energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050

Read the full story at Ensia.

Improved energy efficiency can make a big contribution to U.S. efforts toward dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to a new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

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