Countdown to Earth Day - Environmental Issues

Artistic Skaters

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- Earth Day is April 22. Needed now more than ever!!

https://www.earthday.org/

The theme this year is end plastic pollution. Will more people start using their own filters & reusable bottles & finally say no to the cases of bottled water now that the new study is out about how much plastic they're ingesting with their pure spring water?

*** Plastic particles found in bottled water :
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43388870
Tests on major brands of bottled water have found that nearly all of them contained tiny particles of plastic.

Sherri Mason, a professor of chemistry at the university, conducted the analysis and told BBC News: "We found [plastic] in bottle after bottle and brand after brand.

"It's not about pointing fingers at particular brands; it's really showing that this is everywhere, that plastic has become such a pervasive material in our society, and it’s pervading water - all of these products that we consume at a very basic level."
- A new book about Cecil the lion is coming out as Trump's "wildlife protection board" convenes.

*** Trump wildlife protection board defends trophy hunting :
http://www.dispatch.com/news/20180316/trump-wildlife-protection-board-defends-trophy-hunting
The Associated Press reported Thursday the advisory council appointed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is stuffed with celebrity hunting guides, representatives from rifle and bow manufacturers, and wealthy sportspeople who boast of bagging the coveted “Big Five” ” elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and Cape buffalo.
We should expect nothing less from the man who brought the Big Buck Hunter arcade game to the department cafeteria & challenges the other employees to shooting matches on it. :rolleyes:

*** Cecil the lion 'suffered incredible cruelty' for hours, new research claims :
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/03/07/cecil-lion-suffered-incredible-cruelty-hours-new-research-claims/403969002/
Before an American dentist killed the beloved lion known as Cecil outside a Zimbabwe national park, the animal "suffered incredible cruelty for at least 10 hours, severely wounded and slowly dying."
 

BittyBug

And the band played on
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Thank you for starting this thread, @Artistic Skaters.

Trump claimed he was going to "drain the swamp" and disgorge lobbyist influence in Washington, and yet of course, we have seen them do the exact opposite all the while trying to convince us otherwise. Nothing exemplifies their Orwellian approach more than Scott Pruitt at the EPA. Rather than pursuing his charge to protect our environment from harm, he appears ready to willfully ignore years of scientific data in favor of input from the very industries whose deleterious practices they are supposed to be guarding against. To wit, Pruitt appears to be seeking counsel solely from industry representatives and is doing so under a veil of secrecy.

For example, Pruitt's new head of the EPA's Scientific Adivsory Board "has accused the EPA of 'overstating' the risks associated with mercury, a neurotoxin, and of disregarding 'good science which demonstrates a chemical is not as toxic as it thinks it is.'" It would seem to me that we understood the toxic impact or mercury long before we had the scientific data (Mad Hatter anyone?), yet Pruitt is taking advice from someone who would like us to believe that a little mercury isn't all that bad?

But where Pruitt is especially dangerous is in his approach to agribusiness, where he seems completely beholden to Dow Chemical and Monsanto. Pruitt appears willing to completely ignore the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the devastating impact of neocotinoids on pollinators, despite the fact that a significant portion of the food we eat depends on pollination. Without the insects to do this work, our food supply is imperiled, and that is not just an environmental issue, it's a national security risk.

He also appears perfectly content to allow the continued use of genetically modified plants and dicamba, relying on only changes to labeling and self-enforcement. Basically, when given the choice between industry and the environment, he has consistently sided with industry. And that's just a few examples.

I'll pause here with a :wall::rolleyes::wall::rolleyes::wall::rolleyes:. To be continued......
 

BittyBug

And the band played on
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And here is another global issue - deforestation, which is contributing to climate change and driving species (like tigers) to extinction:

https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation

You can help by reducing the amount of disposable paper that you use and making sure that the paper products you do use are either FSC-certified or 100% recycled.
 

BittyBug

And the band played on
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And back to plastic pollution. There are some very easy ways to help with this issue:

Stop using:

Plastic straws http://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/no-straw-please
Bottled water (and even if you don't care about the environment, as @Artistic Skaters noted, it's poisoning you)
Single use plastic bags (which thankfully are being banned in many areas now)
Glitter (yes, glamor fans, it is killing our oceans http://www.newsweek.com/glitter-environmental-scourge-wrecking-oceans-should-it-be-banned-725826 )
 

Japanfan

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Sudan, the last remaining male white Northern rhino has died in Kenya: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-43468066

With his death, this species is now doomed to extinction. Sadly, it looks like many more will follow as humans continue their assault on and decimation of wildlife and wild places.
:(:mad::(:mad::wuzrobbed

A new book about Cecil the lion is coming out as Trump's "wildlife protection board" convenes.
Cecil will at least be remembered. RIP you majestic creature.

It's hard to feel hope for humanity when one realizes that there people who actually enjoy and take pride in causing such suffering.
 

Artistic Skaters

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*** 'It's more than just turning off the lights': what else to do for Earth Hour :
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/23/its-more-than-just-turning-off-the-lights-what-else-to-do-for-earth-hour
For one hour every March since 2007, darkness has swept the globe as grassroots environmentalists, schools, offices and those responsible for some of the world’s most iconic landmarks switch off lights in a symbolic call for more action on climate change.

This year, the WWF, which manages the initiative, hopes to build on its growing success and says millions of actions will be taken in at least 180 countries and territories. A record 187 countries took part in the event’s record breaking 10th year.

An hour is not going to save the world – but a key message in publicising the event is that every action counts and that energised individuals can make genuine change to the way we think about human impact on the planet.
 

Artistic Skaters

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The further adventures of Ryan Zinke as he attempts to drive an ATV to every possible green space across America. Don't forget to bring some supersized drinks & cheeseburger wrappers from park vendors for the trip. The trash might decompose by the birth of your great great grandchildren once it's dumped out there, & even if it doesn't, Zinke & committee won't ever find any scientific research to say it couldn't happen. :rolleyes:

*** Zinke creates new outdoor recreation panel made up almost entirely of industry advisers :
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/zinke-creates-new-outdoor-recreation-panel-made-up-entirely-of-industry-advisers/2018/03/26/04f3e960-2f9a-11e8-8688-e053ba58f1e4_story.html
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has appointed 15 representatives of the outdoor recreation industry to advise him on how to operate public lands, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post, including three people whom department officials flagged as potentially having a conflict of interest on the matter.

The membership of the “Made in America” Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee, which Zinke launched in November, marks the third time the secretary has assembled panels dominated by industry players to help chart policies affecting their businesses.

Records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that industry representatives urged Zinke to establish the new recreation panel to provide their clients a greater voice in shaping Interior Department policies. The appointments — which the department announced shortly after The Post made the appointments public — include officials representing companies with National Park Service contracts, such as those in the hospitality sector, as well as those from the manufacturing, fishing, boating and all-terrain-vehicle industries.
 

topaz

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14,349
The Louisiana pipe line issue - currently construction is halted. But the Bayou Bridge pipeline is owned by the company Energy Transfer Partners. The same company responsible for Dakota Pipeline that had 5 spills in 6 months as of January 2018.

https://theintercept.com/2018/01/09/dakota-access-pipeline-leak-energy-transfer-partners/

Louisiana Bayou Bridge pipeline.

https://www.pri.org/stories/2018-03-10/federal-judge-halts-louisiana-pipeline

Critics of Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana Decry State & Company Surveillance of Protesters

https://www.democracynow.org/2018/3/13/critics_of_bayou_bridge_pipeline_in - video
 

Artistic Skaters

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*** Entrance fees to go up by $5 at Utah’s national parks — and most others across U.S. — after feds scrap plan to double some of those charges :
https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2018/04/12/exclusive-entrance-fees-to-go-up-by-5-at-utahs-national-parks-and-most-others-across-us-after-feds-scrap-plan-to-double-some-of-those-charges/
Arizona Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, said the backlash from Americans against the original plan is a “prime example that activism works.”

“The American people raised their concerns, participated in the public comment period and made sure that the Trump White House knew that the proposal was unpopular,” Grijalva said. “If it wasn’t for the power of the people, Secretary Zinke would have gone ahead with his ridiculous proposal. Since we have his ear, let’s remind the secretary that shrinking national monuments and opening more of our coasts to drilling are unpopular as well.”

The National Parks Conservation Association said its analysis of nearly 110,000 public comments found 98 percent of them were against the larger hikes.
 

genevieve

drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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And back to plastic pollution. There are some very easy ways to help with this issue:

Stop using:

Plastic straws http://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/no-straw-please
Bottled water (and even if you don't care about the environment, as @Artistic Skaters noted, it's poisoning you)
Single use plastic bags (which thankfully are being banned in many areas now)
Glitter (yes, glamor fans, it is killing our oceans http://www.newsweek.com/glitter-environmental-scourge-wrecking-oceans-should-it-be-banned-725826 )
This can't be overstated. It's frustrating what is happening at governmental levels with environmental protections in the US, but we all can make choices that reduce the demand for wasteful/harmful products.

I've been struggling with the straw issue - I'm traveling, and was recently in countries where straws are automatically inserted in every cold drink. There is often a language/cultural barrier where the person does not understand that I do not want a straw, and it shows up anyway. Or there are times that it doesn't occur to me that someone would use a straw (glass of water, for instance). There are also places that use real glassware for hot beverages, but if you want something cold, it's automatically put in disposable plastic :duh:. At this point, I'm just trying to not order beverages :shuffle:
 

BittyBug

And the band played on
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In the spirit of Earth Day, two stories that may offer some glimmer of hope for tackling plastic pollution. Humans got ourselves into this mess - can we innovate our way out of it?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/16/scientists-accidentally-create-mutant-enzyme-that-eats-plastic-bottles

https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2018/04/there-is-an-area-of-plastic-in-the-ocean-thats-three-times-the-size-of-france-this-23-year-old-thinks-he-can-clean-it-up/

Of course, nothing will change if we don't stop generating so much waste. Everyone, please think twice before you use single-use plastic, including:
  • Your to-go cup at Starbucks (plastic lid, plastic stirrer, plastic-lined paper cup that is NOT biodegradable)
  • Straws
  • Single use plastic bags
  • Saran wrap
  • Plastic bags for your sandwiches
Each of us can make a difference.
 

once_upon

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I hate straws for my water, soda or tea when eating out. They always put one on the table. I don't open it, but believe that once it is on the table they have to throw them away. I try to tell them before it hits the table but 98% of the time I'm too late
 

genevieve

drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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I hate straws for my water, soda or tea when eating out. They always put one on the table. I don't open it, but believe that once it is on the table they have to throw them away.
If the straw is individually wrapped, they don't have to throw it away unless it gets wet or damaged - but I'm guessing most servers/bussers do pitch it because it's easiest. Same thing with unopened sugar packets (if there's not a container of them on the table). Conservation just isn't a high priority for most businesses and people.

BittyBug said:
Your to-go cup at Starbucks (plastic lid, plastic stirrer, plastic-lined paper cup that is NOT biodegradable)
When I first moved to Seattle, I worked in an espresso shop where the co-owner was always tossing her to-go cups (that she used for drinking her espresso IN THE SHOP :rolleyes: ) in the recycling bin. I'd fish them out and tell her to-go cups weren't recyclable, and she'd sniff "well, I'M recycling them!!" and flounce away. :wall: That's not an uncommon attitude, unfortunately.
 
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twinsissv

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Memo to the EPA and Congress:
"When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover, you cannot eat money." :(
-Native American Rights Fund
 

topaz

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14,349
I hate straws for my water, soda or tea when eating out. They always put one on the table. I don't open it, but believe that once it is on the table they have to throw them away. I try to tell them before it hits the table but 98% of the time I'm too late

lol, I always use the straws because my thinking is the tops of the glass are being touched by the server or dishwasher. Not thinking if the top of the glass is dirty then odds are the glass itself if dirty too.
 

topaz

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14,349
Did anyone see Trump's tweet on Earth Day?

“It is our responsibility to protect them for our own benefit and that of generations to come,” Trump said in the statement, before praising his administration for repealing regulations meant to do just that.
“We know that it is impossible for humans to flourish without clean air, land, and water,” according to the statement. “We also know that a strong, market-driven economy is essential to protecting these resources. For this reason, my Administration is dedicated to removing unnecessary and harmful regulations that restrain economic growth and make it more difficult for local communities to prosper and to choose the best solutions for their environment.”
A market driven economy protect clean air, land and water along with removing "unnecessary and harmful" regulations for economic growth?
 

twinsissv

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Did anyone see Trump's tweet on Earth Day?



A market driven economy protect clean air, land and water along with removing "unnecessary and harmful" regulations for economic growth?
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
-Upton Sinclair
(Of course the EPA understands it, but they are convinced that their red-capped followers will believe anything they're told to believe.
MAGA? 'Make Atmosphere Grotesque Again!')
 

BittyBug

And the band played on
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twinsissv

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That is a great suggestion @genevieve for people who prefer drinking with a straw. Maybe carry it in one’s purse just like many people carry their own chopsticks.

Meanwhile, right whales are on the brink of extinction. 😢. We humans do not deserve this earth.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/these-whales-will-be-extinct-in-25-years-scientists-say--unless-we-act-now-to-save-them/2018/04/20/57bf89b2-4320-11e8-8569-26fda6b404c7_story.html
I agree. We really don't deserve this beautiful little blue planet and her creatures don't deserve us. :(
 

Artistic Skaters

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*** Could hydropanels creating water out of air be a solution to shortages?
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hydropanels-creating-water-out-of-air-possible-shortage-solution/
For the past year, Phoenix homeowner Nick Robbins has been getting all of his drinking water from an unlikely source: panels on his roof. It comes out of his refrigerator spigot just like tap water, but it starts from the roof at what looks like solar panels. They're called Source hydropanels, and they actually create water out of air.
 

Japanfan

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A market driven economy protect clean air, land and water along with removing "unnecessary and harmful" regulations for economic growth?
Possibly, providing that the economy prioritized environmental health and sustainability. But this would require a paradigm shift in how we produce and consume. I'm not sure what that would would like it.

But, it's not going to happen under Trump.
 

Artistic Skaters

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While Pruitt continues on the path to dismantle the Clean Power Plan despite public support for it, the shake up continues at the National Parks.

*** Proposed shake-up at National Park Service could make senior leaders hit the road :
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/04/27/proposed-shake-up-at-national-park-service-could-make-senior-leaders-hit-the-road/
“It’s a huge concern if they’re making giant wholesale changes across many national parks without having a National Park Service director,” said Aaron Weiss, media director at the Center for Western Priorities, another advocacy group. “That’s a Senate-confirmed position for a reason.”

Such a scrambling of top career executives is unprecedented, said Phil Francis, a former Park Service employee who now chairs the Executive Council of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks.

“That’s new to my experience, but of course I was only in the Park Service for 41 years,” Francis said. “We wonder about the motive. We don’t understand why. We haven’t seen a plan. We don’t know if it’s part of a greater strategy.”
Our beautiful parks will be barren toxic wastelands by the time Trump & Co have depleted all the resources to benefit his cronies. Zinke said in a speech last year he had captured the pirate ship (citing employee disloyalty to Trump's plans for drilling, etc), but this certainly makes it sound like the real pirate is actually Zinke.
 
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