Tag Archives: Environment

News & Comment

No More Plastic Microbeads. Thanks, Obama!

beadsJust when you think Obama can’t do anything cooler, he does it.

Here’s some news to end 2015 on a high note. Pres. Obama has signed a ban on plastic microbeads. Who cares, you ask? You should. This is huge.

A microbead is any solid plastic particle that is less than 5 millimeters and is used for the purpose of exfoliating or cleansing, according to the bill.

These tiny plastic beads have become ubiquitous in hundreds of products ranging from body scrubs to toothpastes. They provide an exfoliating sensation for users and are designed to wash down drains.

Toothpaste? Who knew? That means most of us have been ingesting plastic microbeads for years. I bet if you took a random poll of any group of people and asked if they prefer to brush their teeth with plastic microbeads or something they recognize on the label like say, baking soda, they’d choose the baking soda.

It’s not just us swallowing all this tiny plastic. Would you like the catch of the day fried, blackened or grilled, and with or without plastic microbeads?

In September, a study published in Environmental Science & Technology reported that more than 8 trillion microbeads were entering the country’s aquatic habitats daily. The volume was enough to coat the surface of 300 tennis courts every day…

Not only are they hard to clean up because they are about the size of a pinhead…Some marine life mistake small plastic as food particles. Scientists are researching whether microplastics affect the health of marine life once ingested and if chemicals transfer to humans who eat those species later, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Yes, he turned around the economy, but banning plastic microbeads is one big reason we’re going to miss Pres. Obama, even if the next president is a Democrat.

News & Comment

Because a Mistake is Not an Error Until We Refuse to Correct It

It’s worth your time to watch this on Earth Day or any day.

Verbatim

Graham: GOP Need an Environmental Policy Going Into 2016

I think there will be a political problem for the Republican Party going into 2016 if we don’t define what we are for on the environment. I don’t know what the environmental policy of the Republican Party is.

— Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), quoted by Roll Call.

News & Comment

Solar Freakin’ Roadways Can Change the World

If you’re down in the dumps and worried, feeling like we might be witnessing the end of the world as we’ve known it and there’s nothing we can really do about global warming and climate change, then you’ve got to watch this video. Seriously. Watch it now.

News & Comment

Oh Vanna! Response to Pat Sajak from a Science Blogger

If you’re behind on your Pat Sajak news (and who, besides your grandmother, isn’t?), the Wheel of Fortune host recently tweeted the following:

I now believe global warming alarmists are unpatriotic racists knowingly misleading for their own ends. Good night.

What those ends are is never explained but climate change deniers often hint at a conspiracy on the part of scientists to get people to pollute less, conserve resources, and achieve a healthier planet. Jack-booted thugs!

Greg Gladen, who posts at Science Blogs, provided the perfect image for a tweet back to Sajak, which said, “Suggestion for Wheel of Fortune puzzle!” You see it here.

Enumerati

You Only Have to Be 25 Years Old to Be Part of the Problem

50%

Of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere since the start of the industrial age was produced since 1990, according to a new report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The group urges major reforms to how energy is produced and consumed globally, including not exploiting every last fossil fuel deposit left on earth.

Enumerati

We’re All in Hot Water Over This One

57.2°F

Average temperature of Atlantic coastal waters last year. The number represented the biggest one-year jump, the highest average recorded since measurements began 150 years ago, and a temperature almost three degrees warmer than the past 30 years.

Enumerati

Most Think U.S. Government is Not Doing Enough for the Environment

47%

Of Americans tilt toward the view that the government is doing too little to protect the environment, while 16% say it is doing too much and 35% say the government’s efforts on the environment are about right.

News & Comment

Always Coca-Cola? Yes, and Plastic Water Bottles are Forever

GCI’ve never been to the Grand Canyon but it’s on my list. When I get there, I hope I will be so enthralled with the majesty of the canyon that I am not distracted by plastic bottle litter behind every creosote and juniper.

But a recent reversal by the National Park Service makes this prospect less likely.

Weary of plastic litter, Grand Canyon National Park officials were in the final stages of imposing a ban on the sale of disposable water bottles in the Grand Canyon late last year when the nation’s parks chief abruptly blocked the plan after conversations with Coca-Cola, a major donor to the National Park Foundation.

Stephen P. Martin, the architect of the plan and the top parks official at the Grand Canyon, said his superiors told him two weeks before its Jan. 1 start date that Coca-Cola, which distributes water under the Dasani brand and has donated more than $13 million to the parks, had registered its concerns about the bottle ban through the foundation, and that the project was being tabled. His account was confirmed by park, foundation and company officials.

Disposable plastic water bottles are a scourge like few others. By the numbers: read more »

News & Comment

‘Styrofoam Dan’ Lungren Could Pay a Price for Killing Capitol Compostable Program

photo-styrofoam-dan-landfill
Garbage dump in metro D.C. area; inset: Rep. "Styrofoam Dan" Lungren, R-Calif

It has only been about three months since Republicans took control of the House and there are already signs that voter remorse is setting in.

“This is a case of the Republicans being spiteful and stupid,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)

The reason for this is clear. Republicans won the House by promising to focus on fixing the economy and produce “jobs, jobs, jobs.” Not only have they broken those promises — they haven’t even bothered to schedule a hearing on employment — they passed $61 billion in budget cuts that conservative economic experts predict would kill about 1 million jobs and stall or reverse recovery from the Bush recession.

Otherwise, all the GOP has done is waste time on the taxpayers’ dime with a series of gimmicks. They read the Constitution out loud (and bungled even that). They voted to repeal of health-care reform even though they knew it had no chance of becoming law and have yet to utter a peep about the replacement bill they promised. And they passed a resolution to encourage placing “In God We Trust” signs on all 9,000 federal buildings.

Add to that list of gimmicks their cynical decision to reverse part of the Democrats’ program to make the Capitol Building more energy efficient:

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