Day: January 23, 2020

Court Quashes Youth Climate Change Case Against Government

Read the full story in the New York Times.

A federal appeals court has thrown out the landmark climate change lawsuit brought on behalf of young people against the federal government.

While the young plaintiffs “have made a compelling case that action is needed,” wrote Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz in a 32-page opinion, climate change is not an issue for the courts. “Reluctantly, we conclude that such relief is beyond our constitutional power. Rather, the plaintiffs’ impressive case for redress must be presented to the political branches of government.”

U.S.D.A. targets school food waste in proposed rule

Read the full story in Food Business News.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Jan. 17, during a round table discussion on school nutrition issues held in San Antonio, announced a new proposed rule that would provide local school food authorities additional flexibility in planning National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program meals. The proposed rule also would reduce regulatory burdens faced by those same bodies partly by extending administrative review cycles to five years from three. The proposed rule is titled Simplifying Meal Service and Monitoring Requirements in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. Its publication in the Federal Register will mark the beginning of a 60-day public comment period.

It’s Time to Stop Making Excuses for Amazon’s Disposable Tech

Read the full post at IFIXIT.

Amazon offers a flotilla of “smart” devices to replace your microwave, kids’ nightlights, wall plugs, and, coming soon, rings and eyeglasses. But the company’s barely-noticeable effort to recycle or help people repair these things is dumb, and it’s costing our planet a whole lot. It’s time people stop giving Amazon’s cheap products a pass on responsible stewardship. The retail giant has the resources to do so much better.

Emissions in the stream: estimating the greenhouse gas impacts of an oil and gas boom

Andrew R Waxman, Achmad Khomaini, Benjamin D Leibowicz, and Sheila M Olmstead (2020). “Emissions in the stream: estimating the greenhouse gas impacts of an oil and gas boom.” Environmental Research Letters 15(1), 014004. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab5e6f

Abstract: The Shale Revolution has stimulated a large and rapid buildout of oil and gas infrastructure in the Gulf and Southwest regions of the United States (US), expected to unfold over decades. Therefore, it is critical to develop a clearer understanding of the scale and composition of the likely greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with this activity. We compile a detailed inventory of projected upstream oil and gas production expansions as well as recently and soon-to-be built midstream and downstream facilities within the region. Using data from emissions permits, emissions factors, and facility capacities, we estimate expected GHG emissions at the facility level for facilities that have recently been constructed or are soon to be constructed. Our central estimate suggests that the total annual emissions impact of the regional oil and gas infrastructure buildout may reach 541 million tons of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) by 2030, which is more than 8% of total US GHG emissions in 2017 and roughly equivalent to the emissions of 131 coal-fired power plants. A substantial fraction of the projected emissions come from petrochemical facilities (38%) and liquefied natural gas terminals (19%). Researchers have largely focused on upstream emissions such as fugitive methane (CH4) associated with new US production; our findings reveal the potentially greater prominence of midstream and downstream sources in the studied region.

Used Nissan LEAF batteries given “second life” thanks to WMG, University of Warwick

Read the full story from the University of Warwick.

The ability to reuse high numbers of electric vehicle lithium ion batteries for domestic and industrial use is becoming a reality for Nissan thanks to a new grading system developed by researchers at WMG, University of Warwick.

Michigan’s ‘green ooze’ may be ‘tip of iceberg’ of state’s toxic sites

Read the full story at Bridge.

The discovery of toxic PFAS chemicals at a contaminated site in Madison Heights could triple the cost of an already expensive cleanup effort,  a state official told lawmakers Wednesday. 

And taxpayers could get stuck with the bill to clean up the green ooze site, since it’s unclear if its imprisoned owner can pay for it.

Politics & Global Warming: November 2019

Download the document.

Drawing on a nationally representative survey (N = 1,303; including 1,114 registered voters), this report describes how Democratic, Independent, and Republican registered voters view global warming, climate and energy policies, and personal and collective action.

Chicago Ordinance Would Ban Foam Containers, Reduce Plastic at City Restaurants

Read the full story from NBCChicago.

Under the ordinance, restaurants will be allowed to provide disposable foodware if it is compostable or recyclable

‘There are millions of consumers who would like to support biodiversity and low carbon farming’

Read the full story in Food Navigator.

The demand for sustainable produce among consumers is opening up opportunities for new types of wildlife-friendly and ‘forgotten’ foods.

Medline temporarily halts sterilization as Illinois ethylene oxide regs take force

Read the full story at MedTech Dive.

Medline Industries has not operated its Waukegan, Illinois sterilization since Dec. 13, the Lake County Health Department wrote in an update Tuesday.

The temporary closure came as a result of Medline not yet meeting new state standards for emissions of ethylene oxide, a carcinogenic gas used to sterilize at least half of U.S. medical devices.

The Lake County Health Department wrote in an ethylene oxide status update Friday that Medline began installing additional pollution controls in late November, but did not finish installation by December. It now expects the facility to resume operations the week of Jan. 27 amid testing of new emissions controls.

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