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18 Oct 2011 00:18


World: As the ice caps get smaller, so do Earth’s plants and animals. Wait, what?

  • 45% of species are shrinking over time, a new study says source
  • » Blame climate change, the study says: It’s like scary, natural shrink ray. But, yep, animals such as fish, reptiles, birds and mammals are all smaller than generations previous — apparently a difference of one degree celsius is enough to make things smaller. The researchers, who published their study in the journal Nature Climate Change, warn to not jump to conclusions, though: “We do not yet know the exact mechanisms involved, or why some organisms are getting smaller while others are unaffected,” the authors of the study, based at the National University of Singapore, said in an interview. “Until we understand more, we could be risking negative consequences that we can’t yet quantify.”

17 Oct 2011 11:22


Biz: Has-bean? Starbucks worried climate change will damage coffee supply

  • They say they’re already seeing the effects: Could you imagine a world without Starbucks … or coffee? That’s what officials for the world’s largest caffeine hawker are seriously worried about, especially after a fairly busy hurricane season and more resistant bugs. The company has even considered partly converting many outlets to juice bars. “What we are really seeing as a company as we look 10, 20, 30 years down the road – if conditions continue as they are – is a potentially significant risk to our supply chain, which is the Arabica coffee bean,” says the company’s sustainability director, Jim Hanna. Three words, Jim: Yerba Mate Frappuccino. (photo via TPEGroup Photography & Design’s Flickr page) source

08 Sep 2011 10:28


Politics: Why would Obama not curb smog emissions? Gore has a few ideas.

  • Al Gore: He’s not happy with Obama. President Obama has recently halted regulations that would curb “smog-creating emissions until at least 2013“. According to Gore, the “result of the White House’s action will be increased medical bills for seniors with lung disease, more children developing asthma, and the continued degradation of our air quality.” He also likened Obama to George W. Bush, a seemingly low blow. source

29 Aug 2011 17:42


Politics: House Republicans plot major deregulatory push

  • Deregulation = jobs: A memo obtained by ShortFormBlog contains details of an upcoming Republican effort to push massive deregulatory legislation through the House of Representatives, in hopes of unshackling “costly bureaucratic handcuffs” faced by businesses. The letter, sent today by Eric Cantor to the House Republican caucus, details the “Top 10 Job-Destroying Regulations,” and how Republicans plan to address them. “By pursuing a steady repeal of job-destroying regulations,” Cantor wrote, “we can help lift the cloud of uncertainty hanging over small and large employers alike, empowering them to hire more workers.” Some key proposals:
  • Weakened emission limits  The TRAIN (Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation) Act, along with the EPA Regulatory Relief Act, would delay implementation of EPA standards intended to limit air pollution.
  • Limiting union power The Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act would limit the National Labor Relations Board’s power, rescinding its ability to influence relocation of manufacturing plants.
  • Farm dust for all The Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act would, as expected, restrict the federal government’s ability to regulate farm dust, allowing it to do so only within state and local regulations. source
  • » In keeping with Republican orthodoxy, Cantor also proposes to two tax cuts (one for government contractors, another for small businesses), and the repeal of unspecified provisions of the Affordable Care Act. What do you all think of Cantor’s plan? Read the whole thing at the link. (AP Photo)

16 Jun 2011 20:41


Biz, U.S.: Amendment killing ethanol subsidies passes — but bill may not

  • The best way for ethanol to survive is to stand on its own two feet, without spending something we don’t have to get something we’re going to have anyway.
  • Sen. Tom Coburn • Making an argument against handing out ethanol subsidies — which cut gas prices but also cost the federal government $6 billion per year. An amendment to kill the subsidies passed both the House and Senate. In the case of the Senate, it was a straight-up bipartisan vote: 73-27. And a number of groups — including environmental groups — note that the subsidies are no longer needed because the federal government already requires refineries to mix ethanol and gasoline. However, don’t get too excited, budget hounds: The amendment is tied to an economic development bill that likely will not pass. source

28 Apr 2011 12:47


U.S.: The DEA will take those prescription drugs off your hands

  • problem Painkiller addiction is a big problem in America. The CDC says in 2007, around 12,000 people died of opioid overdose. There’s an environmental cost as well; unused drugs are often flushed down the toilet into water systems.
  • solution? Police departments and the DEA are trying to combat this with “National Take Back Day” this April 30th, wherein you can safely, cleanly unload unwanted prescription drugs at a number of sites, searchable here. source

26 Apr 2011 17:20


Politics: CA assemblyman proposes liquefaction as “green” cremation alternative

  • dirty death Cremation has long been one of the two mainstream methods of corpse disposal. The burnings are not necessarily eco-friendly, though, releasing carbon into the air and using up a fair share of energy to turn a body to ash.
  • clean death? Jeff Miller, a California state assemblyman, proposes allowing people to have their remains liquefied, a new process that uses 1/10th the energy of cremation. We can’t help but think this is going to hurt his political career. source

(via John Ness)


02 Feb 2011 13:30


U.S.: EPA seeks new regulatory limits on perchlorate in drinking water

  • 26 states had the toxic rocket fuel chemical in their tap water source

31 Oct 2010 10:41


Biz, Politics: Prop. 23-pushing Valero claims they’re not so eco-evil

Just because we’re pushing for Prop. 23 to pass means we hate the environment! Look! Here’s a worker of ours RIDING A BIKE AT OUR PLANT! SEE? source

05 Oct 2010 20:45


World: Hungary covered in disgusting red sludge. No, it’s not ketchup.

If you’re attempting to stop a toxic sludgefest, this is the outfit you should wear. Jesus Christ. You’d think a Roger Corman movie broke out. source