Category: Green

Report: Climate Change Poised to Deprive the Poor of Clean Water

To mark World Water Day on March 22, WaterAid released its State of the World’s Water report, warning that because of climate change, the world’s poorest communities will face an even tougher struggle for access to clean water. Countries ranking highest in population without access to clean water also rank high in vulnerability to climate change and low in their ability to adapt to it. “Extreme weather events resulting from climate change can mean more storm surges, flooding, droughts and contaminated water sources. They can wipe out fragile infrastructure, dry up rivers, ponds and springs, and contribute to the spread of waterborne diseases making an already difficult...

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Lead-Ammo Ban Reversal Puts Bald Eagles in Peril

Earlier this month, an order banning the use of lead ammunition and fishing weights on wildlife refuges was revoked. The order was aimed at protecting over 130 species of wildlife, as well as humans, that are often poisoned by the lead. LEAD EQUALS DEAD FOR MANY BIRDS Lead is a deadly toxin known to be harmful to both humans and animals. Lead ammunition and fishing weights affect numerous animals, but predatory and scavenging birds are particularly susceptible. The birds most directly affected include raptors, vultures, owls, and corvids, like jays and ravens. Symptoms of birds with lead poisoning include depression,...

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Good News for the Planet: Solar is set to Triple in the Next 5 Years in the U.S.

Even though the president and his cabinet deny climate change and have given the cold shoulder to renewable energies, that doesn’t mean the rest of us have. In fact, solar power is booming in the U.S., and it looks like that trend won’t be stopping anytime soon. During 2016, the annual U.S. solar photovoltaic (PV) system installations nearly doubled, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight 2016 Year-in-Review report. Not only that, representing 39 percent of electricity generating capacity, solar power was the largest new source of energy in 2016, even surpassing natural gas and wind power. “It would...

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This New Sponge Can Actually Clean Up Oil Spills

Oil spills are catastrophic events, wreaking havoc on the environment and putting marine ecosystems in peril by killing plants and animals at every step in the food chain. Even animals lucky enough to survive being smothered by oil can have long-lasting health effects, and some habitats may never fully recover. It goes without saying that oil spill clean-up efforts are of emergency level importance, and require round-the-clock recovery efforts by professionals. Luckily for them, they just got a new tool to use in their artillery against these man-made disasters. A sponge. Ok, it’s not just a sponge. It is...

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Study Finds Fracking Caused 6,600 Oil Spills in Only Four States

Fracking is causing more toxic, chemical-laden water to spill into our earth than previously estimated by the EPA, a new study found. The study, which was conducted from 2004-2015 by researchers from Duke University, looked at the frequency and size of oil and gas spills in four states—Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota and Pennsylvania—and found that fracking caused 6,647 spills in 10 years. The researchers created an interactive map to plot the spills. North Dakota had the most spills (4,453 incidents), followed by Pennsylvania (1,293 incidents), Colorado (475 incidents), and New Mexico (426 incidents). “Given the rapid recent development of...

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“No-kill” Meat is Getting Cheaper – and Could be Coming to Stores Soon

Who says you have to kill animals to eat meat? Researchers have started growing meat from stem cells in an attempt to meet growing demand. If you’re interested, you won’t have to wait long. A Dutch team grew the first burger in 2013 and the “no-kill” meat may be available in stores as early as 2020. That first burger cost a pretty penny – over $300,000. Since then, however, several biotechnology startups have entered the market and improved the process, lowering costs. Now, the same quarter pounder would only cost about $11, or $40 for a pound, according to Next Big Future. “There is...

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How A San Francisco Biologist Saved a Butterfly Species in His Own Backyard

Though not yet extinct, Northern California’s native Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly was a rare find and had all but vanished from San Francisco. Tim Wong, known as the “Butterfly Whisperer,” has single-handedly repopulated the species. As a volunteer at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, Wong was able to get a few clippings of the rare California Pipevine, which will sometimes fly to death to find the delicate vine where it lays its eggs. Wong gathered up caterpillars and built a screen-sheltered ecosystem in his backyard. The caterpillars survive by eating this same host plant. Once the caterpillar pupates, a chrysalis forms. At...

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Warning: The Salish Orca is Headed for Extinction

If we don’t act now, the Salish orca of Canada may disappear forever. Canadian Minister for Fisheries and Oceans, Dominic LeBlanc, has called for a long-overdue federal recovery plan for the Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW), also known as the Orcas of the Salish Sea. Under the Canadian federal Species at Risk Act (SARA), the animals have been listed as endangered since 2001, and likewise, in the United States, they have been listed as endangered since 2005. Despite an orca “baby boom” of sorts in 2015, in which four baby orcas were born, 2016 brought seven deaths to the three pods (J,...

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