Day: July 6, 2020

Opinion: The insanity of plastic recycling

Read the full opinion piece in The Hill.

It has been said that insanity can be defined as “doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Yet here we are, after decades of failures and broken promises, convinced that we’ll recycle our way out of the plastic pollution crisis.

How Cities Are Trying to Avert Gridlock After Coronavirus Lockdowns

Read the full story in the New York Times.

As coronavirus lockdowns loosen around the world, city leaders are scrambling to address a new problem: the prospect of gridlock worse than before the pandemic. From Shenzhen to Milan to Austin, officials are trying to coax people back onto buses and subways and reclaim road space for cyclists and pedestrians.

In many cities, officials worry that people will avoid public transit for fear of catching the virus, and decide to drive instead, which will push vehicle traffic higher than ever. Staving off a surge of cars on city streets is important not only to avoid congestion delays, accidents and higher air pollution, which kills an estimated four million people worldwide each year. It’s impossible to stop global warming unless cities sharply reduce pollution from cars, trucks and motorcycles.

Youth Climate Justice Forum launches new podcast

Via Smile Politely.

Champaign-Urbana’s Youth Climate Justice Forum is a youth-led group of climate activists from schools around Champaign-Urbana working to collectively create change by empowering and inspiring their peers and their community, particularly through raising awareness about the harmful effects of climate change and steps we can all take towards a solution. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve sought to answer how we can ensure that climate activism is strengthened, and not undermined, by these uncertain times. To that effect, they’ve begun a podcast series in collaboration with radio station WRFU in which they interview local legislative leaders and activists to learn their opinions on the coronavirus, climate change, and what we as community members can do. 

Listen to their first three episodes, with interviewees including Urbana Sustainability and Resilience Officer Scott Tess, Illinois State Representative Carol Ammons, and Prairie Rivers Network water resources engineer Andrew Rehn on their website, and tune in to WRFU 104.5 at 5 p.m. this Friday to hear their fourth episode, featuring Traci Barkley, Director of Sola Gratia Farm.

Another Reason to Cut Down on Plastics

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

Greetings and welcome to Plastic Free July! This month, millions of people across 177 countries have pledged to cut down on the amount of plastic they use.

The movement started small almost a decade ago in Australia, but last year more than 250 million people pledged to participate. This year, the annual challenge arrives as plastic is making something of a comeback amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As America struggles to reopen schools and offices, how to clean coronavirus from the air

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Experts are recommending a suite of measures to ensure healthy air indoors. Across the country, though, they are not mandatory.

New Scorecard: Supermarkets Failing to Tackle Super Pollutant HFCs

Read the full story at BusinessWire.

Today, EIA launched the Climate-friendly Supermarket Scorecard assessing U.S. supermarkets on actions to reduce hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – potent greenhouse gases used in cooling. Although climate-friendly options are readily available, American supermarkets continue to rely on HFCs with thousands of times the climate impact of CO2.

How ‘Sustainable’ Web Design Can Help Fight Climate Change

Read the full story at Wired.

To cut the carbon, programmers are cutting the code. Call it green programming.

Does PFAS exposure make you more vulnerable to coronavirus? Senators want a study to find out

Read the full story from the Bucks County Courier Times.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey was part of a group of 19 senators to write to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Alex Azar last week to inquire about whether the potential connection between PFAS exposure and COVID-19 was being “thoroughly examined.”

Getting energized about efficiency

Read the full story at Politico.

Most of us have been spending a lot more time at home lately, but even before the pandemic we were indoors 90 percent of the time. Keeping the lights on and maintaining a comfortable temperature inside takes a lot of energy, and efforts to reduce that demand find bipartisan support, a rare bright spot in contentious debates over climate change policy. Energy efficiency presents a classic win-win scenario — it can lower homeowners’ utility bills and reduce pollution — but is still a difficult area in which to legislate. Broader disagreements over energy and climate change often get in the way of efforts to enact programs that encourage homeowners to invest in new appliances or install new windows and installation.

Universities and Tech Giants Back National Cloud Computing Project

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Leading universities and major technology companies agreed on Tuesday to back a new project intended to give academics and other scientists access to the computing resources now available mainly to a few tech giants.

The initiative, the National Research Cloud, has received bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate. Lawmakers in both houses have proposed bills that would create a task force of government science leaders, academics and industry representatives to outline a plan to create and fund a national research cloud.

%d bloggers like this: