Day: April 8, 2020

New Research Links Air Pollution to Higher Coronavirus Death Rates

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Coronavirus patients in areas that had high levels of air pollution before the pandemic are more likely to die from the infection than patients in cleaner parts of the country, according to a new nationwide study that offers the first clear link between long-term exposure to pollution and Covid-19 death rates.

The 2020 census can help us fight climate change — if coronavirus doesn’t get in the way

Read the full story in Grist.

Every 10 years the United States government endeavors to do something miraculous — a count of every human being living on U.S. soil. This survey of the population, known as the decennial census, is one of the foundations of American democracy. It helps us track changes in how many people live in different areas, so that representation in Congress reflects reality. It is the statistical backbone for academic research, city planning decisions, and the distribution of government funds. And all of these functions have serious implications for environmental justice and climate policy.

Universities Form Global Network on Climate Change

Read the full story at Inside Higher Education.

Several dozen of the world’s top universities have teamed up to press for action on climate change, saying the coronavirus pandemic should not erase attention on the dangers of a warming world.

DDT’s toxic legacy could span three generations

Read the full story in Grist.

More than 50 years ago, scientists at the Permanente Foundation Hospital in Oakland started a simple experiment: When a pregnant woman would come in for routine maternal care, they were asked to give a sample of blood, to be frozen for future research. They didn’t know it at the time, but those samples would later be key in understanding the long-term health impacts of the then widely-used pesticide DDT.

Webinar: Software solutions that set the global circular economy spinning

May 20, 2020 noon-1:30 pm CDT
Register here

As Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) takes hold around the world, the demands on organizations that manage complex recovery and recycling programs, like producer responsibility organizations (PROs) and government-run stewardship programs, grow more numerous each year. To meet the demands of these complex circular supply chains, PROs and other stewardship organizations need better tools— ones that are specifically designed for them and their programs. Current systems fall short as government regulators, consumers, and manufacturers are demanding greater transparency in the chain of responsibility for the materials they are collecting, increased financial transactions with vendors, and irrefutable data integrity.

Canadian software company Diversys has developed DiversysPRO, a workflow software solution specifically designed to address the challenges of the recycling industry, particularly under EPR systems. PSI and Diversys have teamed up to provide this webinar, which will explore the factors driving the need for more and better data, including supply chain management, financial responsibility, regulatory compliance, and environmental challenges. We will also examine current solutions, how Diversys meets the needs of PROs, and look to the future of EPR program design. This webinar will continue PSI’s global conversation about EPR and the circular economy.

Yes, Electric Cars Are Cleaner, Even When The Power Comes From Coal

Read the full story in Forbes.

A new study by the universities of Exeter and Cambridge in the UK and Nijmegen in the Netherlands has concluded that electric cars lead to lower carbon emissions overall, even if electricity generation still relies on fossil fuels. The results are reported in the journal Nature Sustainability.

Energy-harvesting design aims to turn Wi-Fi signals into usable power

Read the full story from MIT.

Device for harnessing terahertz radiation might enable self-powering implants, cellphones, other portable electronics.

Sensor Data Shows Environmental Benefits of Home Isolation

Read the full story from Government Technology.

Data from air-quality sensors shows double-digit reductions in air pollution since millions of commuters in the San Francisco Bay Area are off the roads during the state’s coronavirus stay-home order.


Ubuntoo is a platform that connects innovators and industry leaders to collaborate on solutions and technologies in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Their initial focus is to promote solutions to end plastic pollution.

A free membership allows you to do limited searches, receive the newsletter and daily news digest, and participate in forums. Full subscription is $500/year. They have special membership categories for scientists, researchers, academicians, and non-profits. Contact Ubuntoo for more information.

Empty labs, abandoned research: Coronavirus puts science on hold

Read the full story in Grist.

In the two long weeks since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, research into our warming climate has been put on hold. Research trips are getting scrapped or postponed, experiments are being cut short, and scientists are worrying that the upheaval will cut their funding. The fallout of coronavirus will leave gaps in scientific data about another global crisis, climate change, and shelve ongoing studies. And an economic slump is expected to put research funding at risk.

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