Archive for the ‘environment’ Category

They’re Dirty. They’re Loud. They’re Immigrant Invaders.

August 19, 2019

They’re terrorizing our parks, soccer fields, cemetaries, and golf courses. They crossed the border and, thanks to a permissive law, they never left. They’re Canada Geese.

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Time to Rebel

July 30, 2019

Greta Thunberg joins forces with The 1975 to address climate change. Proceeds to benefit Extinction Rebellion.

More:

“‘Time to rebel’: Greta Thunberg adds voice to new song by the 1975,” Laura Snapes, The Guardian

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What’s actually in the Green New Deal?

July 9, 2019

More:

“What’s actually in the Green New Deal, explained with a video,” Alvin Chang and Dion Lee, Vox

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World’s smallest McDonald’s. It’s for bees.

July 2, 2019

There’s a McDonald’s restaurant in Sweden that serves thousands every day — thousands of bees. The tiny apian eater, designed and built by award winning set designer Nicklas Nilsson, was purchased by a McD franchisee in Sweden at a charity auction. Several Swedish McDonald’s restaurants have rooftop beehives and bee-friendly landscaping.

More:

“McDonald’s just opened a tiny restaurant for bees — here’s what it’s like inside,” Meredith Cash, Business Insider

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Ocean acidification explained in 2 minutes

September 21, 2018

“Ocean acidification explained in 2 minutes,” a Grist video animated by Amelia Bates and written by Amelia Urry.

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New Fairfax County Archery Program

September 18, 2018

New Fairfax County Archery Program

Like many Eastern suburbs, Virginia’s Fairfax County has way too many whitetail deer munching on backyard greenery and blundering in front of moving minivans. The county’s parks department has a chosen technology to control the antlered population boom: bows and arrows. Registered bow hunters climb into tree stand blinds and shoot down at the critters, so there’s little chance of stray shots perforating the neighbors.

Yum, venison steaks!

More:

“Deer control hunt begins in Fairfax County,” Madeleine Simon, WTOP News

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Image (“Fairfax County Deer Hunt, after Atelier Disney”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Scott Pruitt Slithers Out of Washington

July 5, 2018

Scott Pruitt Slithers Out of Washington

EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt resigned on Thursday, maybe because of the stern yet civil scolding he got from a sixth-grade teacher on Monday. More likely it was due to a mean tweet by Fox host Laura Ingraham. This is the Trump Administration, so the 13 active investigations into Mr. Pruitt’s conduct don’t count.

Lest you think the environment will now be saved and EPA will emerge from the swamp, the agency is now run by coal industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler. Fun fact: coal is the product of 300 million-year-old swamps.

More:

“Trump EPA head steps down after wave of ethics, management scandals,” Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post

“E.P.A. Chief Scott Pruitt Resigns Under a Cloud of Ethics Scandals,” Coral Davenport, New York Times

“Scott Pruitt resigns: Trump’s scandal-ridden EPA chief steps down,” Oliver Milman and Sabrina Siddiqui, The Guardian

“The scandals that led to Scott Pruitt’s resignation,” Haley Britzky, Axios

“Local Mom Who Told Scott Pruitt To Resign Reacts To His Departure,” Rachel Kurzius, DCist

“Trump Defends Pruitt Until the Very End,” Maria Mendez, Roll Call

“Pruitt Survived By Praising Trump, Who In Turn Fired Pruitt Without Speaking To Him,” Nicole LaFond, TPM Livewire

“Scott Pruitt’s parting words to Trump: you are president ‘because of God’s providence,’”Tara Isabella Burton, Vox 

“How things will (and won’t) change at EPA with Scott Pruitt gone,” Amy Harder, Axios

“Scott Pruitt’s replacement Andrew Wheeler could be even more dangerous for the EPA,” Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz

“Scott Pruitt is gone. His successor is already feeling the heat.” Dino Grandoni, Washington Post

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Mr. Trash Wheel

March 9, 2018

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor features 10 museums, 5 historic ships, a sports complex, concert halls, an aquarium, restaurants, bars, and shopping, but everyone wants to see Mr. Trash Wheel. The floating water wheel has collected millions of stares, hundreds of Twitter followers, and 1,490,960 pounds of trash since May 2014, including 703,799 chip bags and 9,857,900 cigarette butts.

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Ocean Acidification: A Crash Course

February 20, 2018

As the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, it’s becoming more acidic—eroding the shells of marine life vital to the food web. Jim Toomey illustrates the issues. Produced by the Pew Trusts.

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Wildfire: Let It Burn

August 11, 2017

Wildfire: Let It Burn

“Scientists at the cutting edge of ecological research … argue that the century-old American practice of suppressing wildfires has been nothing less than a calamity. They are calling for a new approach that basically involves letting backcountry fires burn across millions of acres.

In principle, the federal government accepted a version of this argument years ago, but in practice, fires are still routinely stamped out across much of the country. To the biologists, that has imperiled the plants and animals — hundreds of them, it turns out — that prefer to live in recently burned forests.”

“Scientists are still trying to figure out how regularly forests burned in what is now the United States in the centuries before European settlement, but reams of evidence suggest the acreage that burned was more than is allowed to burn today — possibly 20 million or 30 million acres in a typical year. Today, closer to four million or five million acres burn every year.

‘From an ecological standpoint, everything I’ve learned teaches me this is a good idea: Stop putting out fires,’ said Jennifer R. Marlon, a geographer at Yale who was among the first to use the term “fire deficit” to describe the situation. ‘These forests are made to have fire.’

Human lives are at stake, too. Firefighters die, more than a dozen in some years, putting out fires that many scientists think should be allowed to burn.”

— Let Forest Fires Burn? What the Black-Backed Woodpecker Knows,” Justin Gillis, New York Times

More:

“The Future of Fighting Wildfires in the Era of Climate Change,” Bob Berwyn, Pacific Standard

“Benefits of Fire,” SmokeyBear.com

“Adapt to more wildfire in western North American forests as climate changes,” Tania Schoennagela, Jennifer K. Balcha, Hannah Brenkert-Smith et al., PNAS

“Fire Ecology,” Pacific Biodiversity Institute

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Top image (“Smokey Says ‘Let It Burn'”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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