Day: June 29, 2020

Racism as an Environmental Issue, Nature as a Healing Force

Read the full story at Finding Nature.

While reading the recent horrific headlines, I remembered Dr. Gail Cristopher’s powerful keynote during the 2016 Children & Nature Network International Conference in May. Dr. Christopher talked about nature as a healing force, particularly for people suffering from trauma. She called nature “a Balm in Gilead,” a biblical reference to a perfume that doubled as medicine in ancient times.

Clean Jobs Midwest 2020

Read the report.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, clean energy companies employed more than 744,000 Midwesterners and clean energy jobs were growing in nearly every state, according to the latest available data. Across the region in 2019, the industry added more than 7,500 new jobs. At the end of 2019, more people in the Midwest worked in clean energy than the combined workforce of real estate agents and brokers, computer programmers, web developers, and waiters and waitresses. However, according to a recent analysis of U.S. Department of Labor unemployment data, in just the first three months after the pandemic began more than 131,600 workers in clean energy-related companies lost their jobs.

Weʼve seen how government investment in clean energy can help create jobs and restart the economy. After the financial crisis, federal stimulus funding in 2009 contributed to the
creation of hundreds of thousands of new clean energy jobs nationwide. It provided loans to help start about 500 new clean energy companies; weatherize thousands of homes and other
buildings, and helped triple the amount of energy America gets from solar and wind.

As federal and state lawmakers once again look toward economic recovery, Clean Jobs Midwest illustrates the size, reach, and importance of the clean energy industry at a pivotal moment for our nationʼs economy.

In Minnesota, a geothermal innovation revives interest in systems’ potential

Read the full story at Energy News Network.

A startup company is beginning to market geothermal systems that circulate heat from shallow aquifers.

A clean-energy project on Lake Erie faces stiff head winds because of warblers and waterfowl

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The nation’s first wind energy project on fresh water has big ambitions. It also has big bird problems.

Known as Icebreaker Wind, it aspires to position as many as several hundred turbines on Lake Erie, where strong winds, shallow depths and the proximity of power stations would seem to be a winning trifecta. According to the project’s developer, the potential could meet 10 percent of the nation’s electricity needs by 2030.

But a pilot with six turbines is facing strenuous opposition from some wildlife activists because of the risk they say it would pose to the millions of warblers and waterfowl that migrate over this Great Lake every spring and fall.

In a classic chicken-or-the-egg conundrum, the project’s supporters are having a hard time fighting back. They need data that can’t be collected until a minimal number of blades are up and turning.

Webinar: How To Offset Financial Losses with Energy Efficiency Projects

July 2, 2020,11 am CDT
Register here.

COVID-19 has significantly impacted small businesses throughout the state. One way businesses can offset those financial losses is through implementing an energy efficiency project. This webinar will cover everything from simple no-cost/ low-cost changes to more complex energy efficiency projects. We will go over energy saving tactics related to your building envelope, lighting, compressed air system, and boilers. In addition, this webinar will cover different funding sources available for small to mid-sized companies in Pennsylvania to complete these projects.

Op-ed: Republicans must lead on clean energy jobs

Read the full op-ed in the IndyStar.

The trend among conservative voters, especially the next generation, has never been more clearly in favor of clean energy.

These Very Good Dogs Will Suffer Most From a Warming Climate

Read the full story from Bloomberg.

The last five years are the warmest on record—and humans aren’t the only ones affected. In 2016—the hottest year globally—at least 395 dogs in the U.K. received veterinary care for heat-related illnesses; 56 of these died, a 14% mortality rate.

How canines respond to extreme summer weather is an under-studied phenomenon, according to a new study Scientific Reports that draws on anonymized records from more than 900,000 veterinary visits in the U.K.

Indiana’s just transition away from coal

Read the full story at Nuvo.

The Utilities District of Western Indiana-Rural Electric Co-Op recently announced that it was closing the Merom Generating Station, Indiana’s fifth-biggest power plant, in 2023. In light of this and other inevitable closures around the state, Indiana has dug its heels into the ground by passing House Bill 1414.

The bill, which makes it more difficult for utilities to close down coal-fired power plants, is emblematic of Republican anxieties surrounding the coal industry’s recent economic plight; they fear that a premature shift to allegedly unreliable clean energy would be risky for a state that gets 70 percent of its electricity from coal-burning plants. 

Milk dispensers and glass bottles a hit with shoppers

Read the full story in Dairy Reporter.

Fresh milk dispensers and reusable glass bottles are being introduced into grocery stores in New Zealand following calls from shoppers for milk brands to ditch plastic bottles.

Emissions from 13 dairy firms match those of entire UK, says report

Read the full story in The Guardian.

The biggest dairy companies in the world have the same combined greenhouse gas emissions as the UK, the sixth biggest economy in the world, according to a new report.

The analysis shows the impact of the 13 firms on the climate crisis is growing, with an 11% increase in emissions in the two years after the 2015 Paris climate change agreement, largely due to consolidation in the sector. Scientific reports have shown that consumption of dairy, as well as meat, must be reduced significantly in rich nations to tackle the climate emergency.

The report, by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) in the US, also says the growth of giant dairy companies has helped force milk prices below the cost of production for the last decade, causing a crisis in rural livelihoods and requiring taxpayer subsidies to keep farmers afloat. The researchers say caps on production should be reintroduced to protect both the climate and small farmer.

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