Day: June 17, 2020

The Environmental Justice Wake-Up Call

Read the full story in the New York Times Climate Fwd: newsletter.

“I can’t breathe” was one of the last things George Floyd said before he was killed in police custody in Minneapolis. The words have become a rallying cry for protesters demanding accountability. Increasingly, they’ve also been taken up by environmental activists seeking to address the fact that communities of color carry a disproportionate burden of the country’s air pollution and other environmental hazards.

Recycling of photovoltaic waste boosts circular economy

Read the full story from CORDIS.

An EU-funded initiative has developed methods for recovering valuable materials from photovoltaic (PV) waste such as silicon (Si) for re-use in the industry.

It’s Raining Plastic, Researchers Say

Read the full story in Vice.

Microplastics had earlier been found in pristine snow and on untouched mountaintops. A recent study now confirms that airborne plastic is everywhere.

How Trump’s Consumer Safety Nominee Weakened Regulation of ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Consumer Products

Read the full story from Environmental Working Group.

There are many reasons for the Senate to oppose President Trump’s nominee to chair the Consumer Products Safety Commission, Nancy Beck.

Since 1980, the use of methylene chloride in paint strippers has killed scores of people. But while in a top position at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Chemical Safety, Beck delayed a proposed ban of methylene chloride in paint strippers. People died.

Beck also stymied a proposed ban of some uses of the known carcinogen TCE, which contaminates hundreds of military bases, and played down the impact of TCE on fetal hearts. Beck twisted federal law to frustrate EPA’s efforts to finally ban asbestos – an interpretation recently deemed illegal.

But it’s Beck’s efforts to weaken consumer protections from the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS – also called “forever” chemicals because they never break down and build up in our blood – that should give senators the most serious pause.

NOAA Chief Violated Ethics Code in Furor Over Trump Tweet, Agency Says

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Neil Jacobs violated the agency’s scientific integrity policy with a statement last year backing the president’s inaccurate claim that a hurricane was headed for Alabama, a panel found.

Webinar: Design Agency & Civic Engagement: Building Sustainable Communities

Jun 25, 2020, 2pm
Register here.

Design agency can be used as a toolkit to build sustainable communities through civic engagement. Through this webinar, we will explore paths used to identify civic design problems, potential community stakeholders, development partners, clients and funders. Proactive engagement and meaningful action lead to transformative social change.

The architectural profession is experiencing an expanding role as thought and action leaders in improving the cities, town, and neighborhoods in which we live, work, and play. One goal of this presentation is to explore the potential for creating a new peer network for urban planners who are focused on inclusive community engagement!

Chemical Recycling Won’t Solve The Plastic Crisis As Over 50% Of Carbon Contained Gets Lost

Read the full story in Forbes.

Chemical recycling is an environmental health risk and will not solve the plastic crisis, a new report shows. Besides, more than half of carbon in the plastic is lost in the process of upgrading the gas or oil outputs.

The technical assessment Chemical Recycling: Status, Sustainability and Environmental Impacts finds that chemical recycling so far has had more cons than pros.

Meet the scientists: David Zaya studies plant communities

Read the full story from U of I Extension.

By studying plant communities, researchers can better understand what impacts monarchs as they lay their eggs. David Zaya, plant ecologist at the Illinois Natural History Survey, has studied how and why plant communities have changed. Citizens around the country can join his efforts to better understand the health of pollinators as part of the I-Pollinate program. 

Coffee’s robust back-up bean isn’t as resistant to climate change as once thought

Read the full story in Salon.

Farming of both Robusta and Arabica beans will have to adjust to a new climate.

Uh-oh: All those disposable masks and wipes are clogging the sewers

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Many people are getting rid of their face masks, wipes, and gloves by flushing them down the toilet, and it’s causing a surge in clogged pipes and sewage overflows, according to a report by the Associated Press.

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