Day: January 14, 2020

White House announces Trump would likely veto bill regulating ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

Read the full story in Newsweek.

Tuesday, the White House indicated that it would veto the PFAS Action Act of 2019 legislation designed to keep harmful chemicals out of groundwater should it pass through the House and the Senate.

Sponsored by Michigan Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, the act is designed to reduce involuntary human exposure to PFAS, which are chemicals used in products like non-stick cookware and flame retardant foams. PFAS are known as “forever chemicals” because they are not expelled from the human body once they are ingested. Traces of PFAS, which have been linked to the formation of certain kinds of cancer, have been found in multiple sources of drinking water across the country.

A decade in review: the most underrated clean energy stories

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

The 2010s were a seminal decade for clean energy. 

At the start of the decade, solar, wind and energy storage technologies largely were dismissed as being fringe, not cost-competitive and pie-in-the sky. The movement’s main messengers were environmentalists and climate activists. 

Today, clean energy is recognized as an economic driver. The private and public sectors are embracing it not only because of environmental concerns, but also because it’s a smart economic move. Advocates are in every sector, from finance to industrial manufacturing.

The rising power of renewables reflects a confluence of many factors, large and small. I asked some of my favorite brilliant, inspirational clean energy leaders two questions: 

  • What was the most underrated clean energy story of the last decade?
  • What will be the big clean energy story of the next 10 years? 
Here’s what they said. Answers are edited for clarity and length. All individuals are sharing personal opinions, not those of their organizations. 

10 key trends to watch for the 2020s

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

If we look back at the last year, who could really say it turned out as expected? In January 2019, were we expecting Boris Johnson to assume the premiership and a landslide majority in Parliament? Were we expecting Trump’s impeachment? The fervor for a “hot priest”?

Perhaps most crucially of all, were we expecting the rise of net-zero as the ultimate climate target? If so much can change in a year, imagine what the next decade could bring. We’ve got some ideas.

Officials Identify Mysterious Bright Green Liquid That Spilled Onto Michigan Highway

Read the full story from NPR.

Environmental safety officials in Michigan say they think they have determined the source of a mysterious green slime that seeped onto an interstate in December.

Water Crisis Puts Oregon Community At A Crossroads

Read the full story from NPR.

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey just spent three years studying the Harney Basin, mapping an aquifer starkly out of balance. They found powerful wells draining isolated pockets of water much faster than those spaces refill. But historically, lawmakers divvied up groundwater as if it were coming from some giant subterranean ocean that would never run out.

I’ve been polluting the planet for years. I’m not an oil exec—I’m an architect

Read the full story in Fast Company.

And no amount of data or complex modeling will rectify the building industry’s staggering impact on the environment. Design culture itself needs to change.

The Faces of Extinction: The Species We Lost in 2019

Read the full story at the Revelator.

Three bird species, two frogs, a shark, a famous snail and one of the world’s largest freshwater fish were among those declared extinct this year.

How One Band Is Helping Climate Researchers Tackle The Music Industry’s Carbon Emissions

Read the full story from Here & Now.

Coldplay isn’t planning a tour for its most recent album — but the rock band has different reasons for putting performances on hold than the Beatles and One Direction.

Frontman Chris Martin recently announced plans to pause touring because of concerns over the environmental impact of the band’s concerts.

Big data, big world: new NOAA datasets available on Google Cloud

Read the full story from Google.

Our natural world is full of wonders, and full of data about those wonders. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) documents the world and its changes by gathering and distributing scientific data. Its goal is to keep citizens informed about what’s going on in the world around them—from the ocean to the sun. Their mission includes understanding and predicting changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, and conserving and managing coastal and marine ecosystems and resources. 

We’re pleased to continue our partnership and expand our collaboration with NOAA to share its valuable data. A vast trove of NOAA’s environmental data is now available on Google Cloud as part of the Google Cloud Public Datasets Program and NOAA’s Big Data Project, opening up possibilities for scientific and economic advances. We are thrilled to make this valuable data available for your exploration. Google Cloud will host 5 PB of this data across our products, including BigQuery, Cloud Storage, Google Earth Engine, and Kaggle. The stored data is available at no cost, though usual charges may still apply (processing, egress of user-owned data, for example).

In “Cancer Alley,” Toxic Polluters Face Little Oversight From Environmental Regulators

Read the full story at ProPublica.

Louisiana’s Department of Environmental Quality has been accused of protecting the chemical industry it regulates. The agency is facing cutbacks as new plants are slated for communities that already have some of the country’s most toxic air.

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