Day: June 19, 2020

EPA adds first chemical in 30 years to toxics list

Read the full story at E&E News.

For the first time in three decades, EPA is poised to expand — albeit only by one — its roster of regulated hazardous air pollutants linked to cancer, birth defects and other serious ailments.

The White House regulations office last week finished a review of EPA’s final decision on two Obama-era petitions to put n-propyl bromide on the list, a step that could eventually lead to emissions limits on the solvent, used by dry cleaners and a host of other businesses.

Twelve Black climate activists changing our world

Read the full story at Deceleration.

The politics of climate change are shifting. This year, as the most diverse Congress in history was sworn in, its newest members called for an ambitious plan to overhaul the U.S. economy to draw down carbon pollution while tackling social injustice. While the big, mostly white environmental groups hemmed and hawed about whether to support the proposal, a young, racially diverse coalition of advocates took to the Capitol steps to make the case. Organizers and activists long relegated to the sidelines are gaining momentum—and political power—as they push for bold solutions to the greatest challenge of our time. A new generation of Black luminaries stands at the vanguard of this movement.

Pandemic leads to a bicycle boom, and shortage, around world

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

 Fitness junkies locked out of gyms, commuters fearful of public transit, and families going stir crazy inside their homes during the coronavirus pandemic have created a boom in bicycle sales unseen in decades.

In the United States, bicycle aisles at mass merchandisers like Walmart and Target have been swept clean, and independent shops are doing a brisk business and are selling out of affordable “family” bikes.

Bicycle sales over the past two months saw their biggest spike in the U.S. since the oil crisis of the 1970s, said Jay Townley, who analyzes cycling industry trends at Human Powered Solutions.

This Copenhagen artist turns trash into trolls

Read the full story in National Geographic.

Scandinavian legends and landscapes inspire fairy tales, films, and tourist attractions, including goofy giants by a Danish ‘recycle art activist.’

10 Sustainable Swaps For An Eco-Friendly Kitchen

Read the full story at Refinery29.

There are lots of little lifestyle tweaks we can make that will ultimately have a big impact on the environment: like switching to a reusable water bottle or a BYOC (bring-your-own-coffee) mug. While committing to such small alternatives may seem like an inconsequential drop in the pond, ultimately the environment will be under a lot less pressure as a result of us all reexamining our everyday habits and behaviors. A solid place to start, if you haven’t already, is inside your kitchen with a simple product swap.

How STRANGE are your study animals?

Read the full story in Nature.

A new framework for animal-behaviour research will help to avoid sampling bias — ten years on from the call to widen the pool of human participants in psychology studies beyond the WEIRD.

Woman Sets Up A Feeder Cam In Her Yard And The Photos Are Extraordinary

Read the full story at Bored Panda.

Wild birds can be difficult to approach, but capturing them on camera is even more challenging as they often fly away the second they sense you. For Lisa, better known as Ostdrossel, capturing wild birds became a full-time hobby as she even has an ingenious setup that allows her to photograph them from up close without scaring them away. Her homemade feeder camera setup captures incredible pictures of a variety of species remotely as they enjoy tasty bird feed. Scroll down for Bored Panda’s interview with the author.

If you are interested, you can find her previous posts here and here on Bored Panda.

‘Cicada Safari’ helps scientists track periodical cicadas across Southern Illinois

Read the full story in the Southern Illinoisian.

What’s that sound? It may be periodical cicadas emerging years ahead of schedule across parts of Illinois.

The 13-year cicadas known as Brood XIX — or the “Great Southern Brood” — are not expected in Southern Illinois until 2024. The same is true for the 17-year Brood XIII cicadas native to northern Illinois. But different cicada species from both broods have been spotted in large numbers in different pockets of the state, according to the University of Illinois Extension…

According to Cicada Mania, a website dedicated to “the most amazing insects in the world,” the following Southern Illinois counties may expect to see early emerging Brood XIX periodical cicadas, roughly from May to late June: Franklin, Williamson, Gallatin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Saline, Washington and Marion. Others may be found in parts of central Illinois.

Scientists are asking citizens to help them track these off-schedule periodical cicadas so that they can learn more about them. Katie Dana, an entomology specialist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, said that northern Illinois residents have made numerous reports of sightings. But less is known about what’s happening in Southern Illinois.

“It’s kind of a weird year” with the pandemic limiting travel “because a lot of the cicada researchers can’t get out to these spots as easily,” she said. She encouraged Southern Illinoisans interested in citizen-scientist work to download a phone app called “Cicada Safari” and help fill in those gaps.

City Water, Light & Power in the running to host DOE CO2 capture project

Read the full story in Public Power.

City Water, Light & Power (CWLP), the public power utility of Springfield, Ill., could host one of the biggest carbon dioxide capture research projects in the world, depending on the outcome of a Department of Energy (DOE) grant.

The $45 million DOE grant would be used for the third phase of a project designed to test and demonstrate the feasibility of capturing carbon dioxide from a power plant at commercial scale under the DOE’s Large Scale Pilot Fossil Fuel program. The separation unit would capture CO2 to test commercial feasibility and then release the CO2 into the atmosphere.

About 30 companies responded to the DOE grant offering and about five are now on the shortlist, including the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at the University of Illinois and the university’s partner, Linde-BASF. Linde and BASF teamed up to participate in the project. Linde would design the CO2 separation unit, and BASF would provide the chemicals needed to separate CO2 from the plant’s flue gas stream.

Phase three involves construction of the CO2 capture unit. The first phase of the DOE program studied the feasibility of the CO2 separation concept. Phase two involved a detailed engineering proposal for a CO2 separation unit.

Unequal Impact: The Deep Links Between Racism and Climate Change

Read the full story at e360.

Activist Elizabeth Yeampierre has long focused on the connections between racial injustice and the environment and climate change. In the wake of George Floyd’s killing and the outsized impact of Covid-19 on communities of color, she hopes people may finally be ready to listen.

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