Understanding alternative reasons for denying climate change could help bridge divide, study finds

Read the full story from the University of Kansas.

Mainstream criticism of people who deny climate change essentially portrays climate skeptics as being out of touch, ignorant or somehow incapable of understanding the facts about climate change.

However, an early look at ongoing work by a University of Kansas researcher examines alternative reasons for climate change denial, specifically economic, social or cultural influences on why individuals or entire communities remain skeptical of climate change.

Probiotics help poplar trees clean up toxins in Superfund sites

Read the full story from the University of Washington.

Researchers from the University of Washington and several small companies have conducted the first large-scale experiment on a Superfund site using poplar trees fortified with a probiotic — or natural microbe — to clean up groundwater contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE), a common pollutant found in industrial areas that is harmful to humans when ingested through water or inhaled from the air. Their results were published in final form Aug. 11 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Safe Drug Disposal Portal

Most Americans are aware of the dangers posed by illegal drugs. But what about prescription drugs? And over-the-counter drugs? Not only do these types of medicine play a big role in today’s drug abuse epidemic, but their disposal can also contribute to water contamination and can disrupt aquatic life.

Whether this is your first time considering the risks lurking in your medicine cabinet, or you’re an expert seeking tips on organizing a safe drug take-back program for your community, the Product Stewardship Institute’s Safe Drug Disposal portal has resources to help you.

Nanotechnology Gives Green Energy a Green Color

Read the full story at Science Daily.

Solar panels have tremendous potential to provide affordable renewable energy, but many people see traditional black and blue panels as eyesores. Architects, homeowners and city planners may be more open to the technology if they could install colorful, efficient solar panels, and a new study brings us one step closer. Researchers have developed a method for imprinting existing solar panels with silicon nanopatterns that scatter green light back toward an observer.

How the renewable energy transition could usher in an economic revolution

Read the full story at Insurge Intelligence.

In the sixth contribution to the INSURGE symposium, ‘Pathways to the Post-Carbon Economy’, Felix FitzRoy, Professor Emeritus at the School of Economics and Finance, University of St Andrews, argues that scepticism of the potential for a prosperous renewable energy ignores two key issues: the colossal, yet often hidden, economic costs of fossil fuels, including huge subsidies, many times greater than renewable energy subsidies; and the myriad economic dividends that could thereby open up when a renewable energy transitions weans us away from fossil fuel dependence. More details are in the book — An Introduction to Climate Change Economics and Policy, 2nd ed.Routledge, 2016, by Felix FitzRoy and Elissaios Papyrakis.

In this context, concerns about net energy decline, while understandable, might not account for what a renewable energy transition could achieve, with the right sort of support from both government and industry. For FitzRoy, we have still barely begun to tap into the potential to scale up for renewable energy in a way that is sustainable.

The key, he says, is not in any single renewable energy source — which alone would be insufficient — but in the way multiple renewable sources can be effectively combined and integrated through a smart grid.

Lead Workshop for Communities

Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2017, from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Location: Metcalfe Federal Building, 77 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL
For more information and to register: https://www.epa.gov/publicnotices/forms/lead-workshop-communities

EPA Region 5 is hosting an introductory workshop for communities and their partners about lead poisoning prevention. The workshop will cover a range of tools, strategies, and resources to help eliminate lead poisoning. Speakers are expected to include federal, state, and local governments, community leaders, and non-governmental partners with experience in working to eliminate lead poisoning. The workshop will also include time for dialogue and networking to foster the exchange of ideas and support a growing community of practice in this important area of environmental and public health protection.

MPCA will place air quality sensors in every Minneapolis/St. Paul ZIP code

Read the full story from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

To get a better picture of how air pollution may vary across urban areas, the MPCA is starting a project to place new air quality sensors in all the ZIP codes of Minneapolis and St. Paul, thanks to a grant from the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.  The sensors represent a new type of technology for measuring air quality and are smaller and less expensive to operate than traditional air monitors.