Day: May 4, 2021

White House releases facts sheets with connections to the EPA P2 program

The White House has released factsheets on how President Biden’s American Jobs Plan advances racial equity and supports rural America. Both factsheets emphasize how the plan would impact manufacturing and economic development, provide opportunities to support environmental justice and tribal communities, and reduce the impacts of climate change.

Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics launches first public database of scientists in state politics

Read the full story from Rutgers University.

The Science and Politics Initiative at Rutgers’ Eagleton Institute of Politics has launched the first publicly accessible national database of elected state legislators with scientific, engineering and health care training.

UMass Amherst Political Economy Research Institute launches new tool to track air pollution at every U.S. school

Read the full story from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) today unveiled a new interactive, web-based tool for tracking industrial toxic air pollution at every school in the United States. The tool, Air Toxics at School, reports toxicity-weighted concentrations of pollutants to show individual chronic human health risk from industrial toxic air pollutants at the schools’ locations.

Scientists put GPS in trash to find out how far it travels

Read the full story from the Longview News-Journal.

A project aimed at reducing plastic pollution along the Mississippi River is deploying new technology in an ancient form: This is not your average message in a bottle.

Scientists are placing GPS devices inside plastic bottles to study how trash enters the watershed and travels downstream, with the ultimate goal being to reduce pollution in rivers and oceans. The initiative was launched last Saturday in Baton Rouge, the first of three cities participating in a pilot program that involves tracking several bottles on their journeys toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Find your next adventure with the new National Park Service app

Read the full story from the National Park Service.

Just in time for National Park Week, the new National Park Service (NPS) mobile app (go.nps.gov/app) is now available for visitors to national parks across the country. Created by park rangers with visitors in mind, the NPS App gives the public up-to-date information about all 423 national parks in one easy-to-use app.

Visitors can download the NPS App in the iOS App Store and Google Play Store to plan a trip, find interactive maps, download maps and tours ahead of time and find things to do and places to visit during National Park Week and beyond.

Carbon Mapper launches satellite program to pinpoint methane and CO2 super emitters

Read the full story from Carbon Mapper.

Carbon Mapper, a new nonprofit organization, and its partners – the State of California, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA JPL), Planet, the University of Arizona, Arizona State University (ASU), High Tide Foundation and RMI – today announced a pioneering program to help improve understanding of and accelerate reductions in global methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. In addition, the Carbon Mapper consortium announced its plan to deploy a ground-breaking hyperspectral satellite constellation with the ability to pinpoint, quantify and track point-source methane and CO2 emissions.

Walton Family Foundation launches environmental journalism initiative exploring how to support field at critical moment

Read the news release.

In advance of Earth Day, the Walton Family Foundation today announced a new initiative aimed at strengthening the field of environmental journalism. #HeresWhy seeks to explore the challenges facing environmental journalism, expand the audience for environmental news, and determine what role philanthropy can play in bolstering the field.

Dispelling the myth of sustainability vs. profit

Read the full story at Kalypso.

In the 1970s, after a decade of lackluster returns, it became the prevailing mission of corporations to generate value for their shareholders. Business leaders generally believed that the market would adjust to take care of other parties. Fast forward to 2020 and the world’s largest investor, Blackrock, has expanded the mission of companies everywhere with the statement “climate risk is investment risk.” This has ignited a new discussion in boardrooms to refocus on stakeholders, as opposed to the myopic focus on shareholders.

Corporate leaders are now developing plans to mitigate their environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) risks in ways that benefits all their stakeholders over the long term.

Initial sustainability initiatives were focused on the cost of introduction, rather than the opportunity it provides. Businesses across sectors that have begun to embrace ESG have realized that reducing waste of raw materials and energy also provides direct bottom-line savings. Outside of operations, businesses are also thinking about how to best satisfy an important stakeholder group – consumers, many of whom are demanding sustainable products and processes by choosing brands, like Patagonia and Allbirds, over less sustainable alternatives.

This article investigates how sustainability and profit come together to drive value for stakeholders around the world.

New evidence shows deforestation didn’t cause Cahokia’s collapse

Read the full story from St. Louis Public Radio.

What caused residents to abandon the ancient settlement that made the area near Cahokia, Illinois, home to the biggest city in the Western world? At its peak approximately 1,000 years ago, the settlement was bigger than London. But by A.D. 1400, it was virtually deserted.

Cahokia’s collapse has long been a subject of speculation. For several decades, one of the most persistent theories has blamed self-inflicted ecological disaster. First suggested by researchers at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in 1993, the theory held that the Mississippians who inhabited the city cut down forests in the nearby uplands, leading to erosion and flooding.

But the evidence underlying the theory was negligible, said geoarchaeologist Caitlin Rankin. The researchers knew that the people living in the area used wood, and that “there was increasing use of upland trees, happening more towards the end of Cahokia’s occupation,” she explained on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Why universities must prioritise sustainable development to fight the climate crisis

Read the full story at edie.

Last November, when world leaders should have been gathering in Glasgow for COP26, Boris Johnson announced his 10-step plan for a green industrial revolution – as part of the path for the UK to be Net Zero by 2050.

However, in the first instance, 2050 is still too far away. Based on the science, we need to all work towards the goal of Net Zero by 2030 and that means radically changing how we operate in the next 10 years, not the next 30. 

Universities will be key to ensuring this, and we need to set challenging targets to make net-zero a reality. This will be achieved through reviewing operations to ensure sustainability is at the front of mind, investing time and thought into the environmental practices of universities and altering curriculums to ensure students are aware of how important it is to tackle our growing climate emergency.

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