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Are We Heading Toward Extinction?

The following has been excerpted from the long-form essay Facing Extinction. For much of my life, I thought our species would soon go extinct. I assumed we might last another hundred years if we were lucky. Now I suspect we are facing extinction in the near future. Can I speculate as to exactly when that might happen? Of course not. My sense of this is based only on probability. It might be similar to hearing about a...

Why are harmful flame-retardant chemicals still sh...

July 26, 2019 — Environmental and children’s health advocates breathed a sigh of relief when, over a decade ago, U.S. manufacturers began to phase out a number of flame retardant chemicals from furniture, electronics, textiles and other everyday items. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, were facing increasing scrutiny (and some had already been banned in parts of Europe) for impacts on children’s brain development,...

A brief introduction to climate change and nationa...

Extreme weather, rising seas, and a melting Arctic could worsen global tensions. A series of punishing droughts set the stage for the Syrian civil war in 2011. A drying East Africa fuels ongoing conflicts over natural resources in Somalia and Kenya. Rising seas threaten future refugee crises in Southeast Asia. Melting sea ice in the Arctic is opening new shipping lanes, creating new potential for tensions among competing...

Trump drilling leases could create more climate po...

US has offered close to 378m acres of public lands and waters for oil and gas leasing since Trump took office through April 2019 Donald Trump’s leases of public lands and waters for oil and gas drilling could lead to the production of more climate-warming pollution than the entire European Union contributes in a year, according to a new report. The Wilderness Society estimates heat-trapping emissions from extracting and...

Natural gas leaks are a much bigger problem than w...

Natural gas has been touted as a green energy source by some because, when burned for fuel, it emits less CO2 than coal. But before that happens, leaks from across the natural gas supply chain — from the drilling process to gas stoves — can unintentionally vent methane into the atmosphere. That’s especially bad news, since methane is roughly 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2. And, according to a new study in...

The ‘war on coal’ myth

Environmental regulations aren’t the reason that coal is falling off the map. Is environmental extremism causing the decline of the American coal industry? A look at the economics shows that coal has been beaten fair and square in the marketplace by cheaper and cleaner alternatives. The best way to support coal communities is to confront these economic realities, rather than creating a divisive and false narrative...

Groundwater Depletion May Cause Domestic Wells to ...

Well depths are increasing across much of the United States, but advocates worry drilling deeper isn’t the solution. In the United States, some 120 million Americans—and nearly all Americans in rural areas—rely on underground aquifers for drinking water, farmers tap into groundwater stores to irrigate their crops, and the industrial sector uses underground water during the manufacturing process. But the U.S. has been...

Former Interior scientist calls out ‘culture of fe...

“The American people lose when we end up with manipulated, suppressed, or distorted information.” There is a “culture of fear, censorship, and suppression” within the Trump administration that is impeding government scientists from doing their best work, former Interior Department policy director and scientist turned whistleblower Joel Clement warned on Wednesday. Speaking to lawmakers on the House Science...

Controversial agency relocation slammed as attack ...

Critics of the Trump administration’s efforts say the decision is politically motivated. Employees and Democratic lawmakers are pushing back on the Trump administration’s plans to relocate hundreds of positions within two agencies outside of Washington, D.C. — a move some see as an effort to clamp down on science. While the planned moves of both the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and parts of the...

Climate change is worsening wildfires, new study h...

Research shows that warming temperatures are likely fueling more deadly and devastating fires. New research this week provides fresh evidence about the connection between climate change and wildfires, specifically in California, where experts say global warming is a key factor in the state’s deadly and increasingly devastating fire seasons. The findings coincide with an already-vicious wildfire season in parts of North...

Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are Up to 70% M...

Researchers at the University of Colorado studied pregnant women who are among the 17 million Americans living within a mile from an active oil or gas well “Looking at where mothers lived immediately before pregnancy and during the first critical weeks after conception and what was going on at nearby fracking wells, researchers found startling patterns,” said public health advocate Dr. Sandra Steingraber. (Photo:...

A Climate Action for Every Type of Activist

  Pick one of these nine activism styles, and you can start making change. YES! Illustrations by Delphine Lee By Cathy Brown Most of us have heard about UN researchers warning that we need to make dramatic changes in the next 12 years to limit our risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty caused by climate change. Report after report about a bleak climate future can leave people in despair. But another option is...

How to Avoid Brain-Damaging Chlorpyrifos in Milk a...

You may know that many conventional oat cereals contain troubling amounts of the carcinogenic pesticide glyphosate. But another toxic pesticide may be contaminating your kids’ breakfast. A new study by the Organic Center shows that almost 60 percent of the non-organic milk sampled contains residues of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide scientists say is unsafe at any concentration. But by making a few changes to your grocery...

Trump’s EPA Won’t Ban Brain-Damaging Pesticide

President Donald Trump‘s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not ban the agricultural use of chlorpyrifos, a toxic pesticide that the EPA’s own scientists have linked to brain damage in children, The New York Times reported Thursday. The decision, announced Thursday, was a response to a petition from public health and environmental groups who had pushed for a ban. The agency ruled that “critical...

Top 10 Heat-Related Terms You Need to Pay Attentio...

Because extreme heat is one of the deadliest weather hazards we currently face, Union of Concerned Scientist’s Killer Heat Report for the U.S. is the most important document I have read. It is a veritable wake up call for all of us. It is timely, eye-opening, transparent and factual and it deals with the stark reality of our future if we do not make changes quickly (think yesterday). It is important to ensure that we...