Day: January 27, 2020

Trump Removes Pollution Controls on Streams and Wetlands

Read the full story in the New York Times.

The Trump administration on Thursday finalized a rule to strip away environmental protections for streams, wetlands and groundwater, handing a victory to farmers, fossil fuel producers and real estate developers who said Obama-era rules had shackled them with onerous and unnecessary burdens.

Advanced polymers help streamline water purification, environmental remediation

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

It takes a lot of energy to collect, clean and dispose of contaminated water. Some contaminants, like arsenic, occur in low concentrations, calling for even more energy-intensive selective removal processes.

In a new paper, researchers address this water-energy relationship by introducing a device that can purify and remediate arsenic-contaminated water in a single step. Using specialized polymer electrodes, the device can reduce arsenic in water by over 90% while using roughly 10 times less energy than other methods.  

Pop Culture May Evolve at the Same Rate as Birds and Bugs

Read the full story in Wired.

How quickly do music and literature change? Evolutionary biology could give us a hint.

The Ukraine-Denmark Energy Center launches advanced database with open and transparent energy data

Read the full story from the Danish Energy Agency.

The State Statistics Service of Ukraine (SSSU) and the Danish Energy Agency have launched a database covering three decades of previously disconnected energy data. By documenting developments in energy supply and consumption, the database could play a crucial part in visualizing possible scenarios for reaching Ukraine’s renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy independence targets.

On the edge between science and art: Historical biodiversity data from Japanese ‘gyotaku’

Read the full story at Phys.org

Historical biodiversity data is being obtained from museum specimens, literature, classic monographs and old photographs, yet those sources can be damaged, lost or not completely adequate. That brings us to the need of finding additional, even if non-traditional, sources.

Biodiversity observations are made not only by researchers, but also by citizens, though rather often these data are poorly documented or not publicly accessible. Nowadays, this type of data can be found mostly with online citizen science projects resources.

In Japan many recreational fishers have recorded their memorable catches as ‘gyotaku‘, which means fish impression or fish rubbing in English. ‘Gyotaku’ is made directly from the fish specimen and usually includes information such as sampling date and locality, the name of the fisherman, its witnesses, the fish species (frequently its local name), and fishing tackle used. This art has existed since the last Edo period. Currently, the oldest ‘gyotaku’ material is the collection of the Tsuruoka City Library made in 1839…

A Japanese research team, led by Mr. Yusuke Miyazaki, has conducted multiple surveys among recreational fishing shops in different regions of Japan in order to understand if ‘gyotaku’ information is available within all the territory of the country, including latitudinal limits (from subarctic to subtropical regions) and gather historical biodiversity data from it.

The puzzle-like pattern on these Nike sneakers isn’t just a cool design—it’s a waste-reduction trick

Read the full story in Fast Company.

When the company’s swoosh is cut out for one side of a shoe, the piece that’s left becomes part of the design on the other side.

Stoneflies and mayflies, canaries of our streams

Read the full story at The Conversation.

Experienced anglers recognize that for a trout, the ultimate “steak dinner” is a stonefly or mayfly. That’s why fly fishing enthusiasts will go to extreme lengths to imitate these graceful, elegant and fragile insects.

I share their passion, but for different reasons. As a an entomologist who has studied stoneflies and mayflies for over 40 years, I’ve discovered these insects have value far beyond luring trout – they are indicators of water quality in streams and are a crucial piece of the larger food web. And they are in trouble.

The Unified Website for Biotechnology Regulation

The U.S. Coordinated Framework for Biotechnology Products outlines a comprehensive Federal regulatory policy for ensuring the safety of biotechnology products. The goal of the Coordinated Framework is to ensure public confidence in the regulatory system and improve transparency, predictability, coordination, and, efficiency of the biotechnology regulatory system.

EU Climate Benchmarks and Benchmarks’ ESG Disclosures

Final Report on Climate Benchmarks and ESG Disclosures

On 30 September 2019, the TEG published its final report on Climate Benchmarks and Benchmarks’ ESG Disclosures.

The final report recommends a list of minimum technical requirements for the methodologies of ‘EU Climate Transition’ and ‘EU Paris-aligned’ benchmarks, with the objective to address the risk of greenwashing. The report also recommends a set of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosure requirements, including the standard format to be used for the reporting. Those aim to improve transparency and comparability of information across all benchmarks.

Below please find the report and the 2-pager that summarises the key aspects of the final report.

The final report will serve as a basis for the Commission for the drafting of delegated acts in accordance with the empowerments laid down in the amending regulation to Regulation (EU) 2016/1011.

Handbook on Climate Benchmarks and benchmarks’ ESG disclosures

On 20 December 2019, the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG) published a Handbook on Climate Benchmarks and benchmarks’ ESG disclosures. The Handbook follows on the publication of the TEG final report on Climate benchmarks that was published on 30 September 2019. The aim of the Handbook is to clarify those recommendations put forward by the TEG and to respond to frequently asked questions from the market.

Why Selling Our Recyclables Isn’t Always Easy

Read the full story at Waste360.

Veteran scrap dealers have a saying, “Scrap is bought, not sold.” All too often, we forget that recyclables are just raw materials.

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