In St. James Parish, Louisiana, a Taiwanese industrial giant seems likely to be granted a permit to build a billion-dollar plastics plant. Its proposed emissions could triple levels of cancer-causing chemicals in one of the most toxic areas of the U.S.
Tracking the Sun is an annual report from Berkeley Lab on installed solar panel prices and other trends among grid-connected, distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the United States. Primary authors of this year’s report were Galen Barbose and Naïm Darghouth.
The focal points are on systems installed through year-end 2018, with some emphasis also on preliminary trends for the first half of 2019. The scope of 1.6 million systems, representing 81% of all distributed PV systems installed in the United States through the end of 2018, accurately feeds the analysis based on project-level data.
The U.S. EPA reported a slight increase in the national recycling rate, from 34.6% in 2015 to 35.2% in 2017, in a newly released edition of the Advancing Sustainable Materials Management report. Overall MSW generation increased from 262.1 million tons to 267.8 million tons during that same period, while per capita generation held steady around 4.51 pounds daily.
Among the more notable shifts, the volume of material composted (excluding backyard composting) reached a record high of 27 million tons in 2017 – up from 23.4 million tons in 2015. Yard trimmings comprised the vast majority of this increased activity and overall volume.
Products with the highest recycling rates in 2017 included lead-acid batteries (99.1%), corrugated boxes (88.4%), steel cans (70.9%), newspapers/mechanical papers (76.8%), major appliances (60.3%), aluminum cans (49.2%), mixed paper (48.3%), tires (39.9%) and certain consumer electronics (35.9%).
Once, snails decorated the forests of Hawaii like Christmas ornaments. There were more than 750 unique species, which descended from ancestral mollusks that arrived on the islands millions of years ago. Hawaii’s snails were exemplars of evolution’s generative prowess.
But in recent decades, Hawaii’s snails have become notorious for the opposite force: extinction. Due to habitat loss and invasive predators, more than half of the snail species on the islands have gone extinct. Of those that remain, many have only a few dozen members left in their total populations. Some are endlings, the last of their kind.
For many people, turning on the tap or flushing the toilet is something we take for granted. But a report released Monday, called “Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States,” shows that more than 2 million Americans live without these conveniences and that Native Americans are more likely to have trouble accessing water than any other group.
Designers in India are rejecting the western canon and instead searching for home-grown approaches to their discipline.
The movement to decolonise design in India comes as practitioners question the way they were taught about the subject. Design education in the subcontinent has until now largely focussed on overseas examples.