Plastic has gone from a miracle material to an un-natural disaster

Published on September 12th, 2017 | by

1 week ago by

Back when America was great, DuPont had a catchy slogan: “Better Things For Better Living…Through Chemistry.” We were all amazed at how chemists could concoct cool new stuff like Teflon or the polyester yarns that made leisure suits so terrific. (If you missed the golden age of leisure suits, consider yourself lucky.)  And who can […]

The environment is drowning in plastic waste. Here are 8 ways to use less.

Published on September 12th, 2017 | by

1 week ago by

Plastic waste is becoming a major scourge of civilization. The trend had humble beginnings in the 60s, when scientists were discovering hundreds of new uses for the complex chains of hydrocarbons that make up a barrel of oil. In the 1967 Mike Nichols movie The  Graduate, young Ben Braddock is home from college and contemplating what […]

You’re drinking plastic. Microfibers are in 94% of your water.

Published on September 12th, 2017 | by

1 week ago by

The scale of the world’s current micro plastic pollution problem can’t be overstated. Plastic, and more importantly its nearly invisible half-broken-down remnants, are now everywhere. It’s in the food you eat, the water you drink, and even often enough in the air you breathe. By James Ayre Even knowing that, I was still somewhat surprised by […]

Scott Pruitt’s EPA red-team blue-team on climate change is anything but teamwork (Part 2)

Published on September 11th, 2017 | by

2 weeks ago by

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is leading a formal Trump administration program to plan a debate about climate change. He wants to recruit government scientists to challenge other scientists about the scientific consensus on climate change. “What the American people deserve, I think, is a true, legitimate, peer-reviewed, objective, transparent discussion about CO2,” Pruitt said. By Pam Shaouy […]

Delta Tunnels: Bureau of Reclamation is “Beyond reclamation.”

Published on September 11th, 2017 | by

2 weeks ago by

The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), the group that filed the original complaint resulting in the audit that revealed the $84.8 million in illegal Bureau of Reclamation payments to the California Department of Water Resources for the planning of Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels Project, today issued a statement concluding that the Bureau of Reclamation is “now beyond reclamation.” […]

James Howard Kunstler: Thanks to Hurricane Irma, Florida gets a taste of post-industrial economy

Published on September 11th, 2017 | by

2 weeks ago by

The stock market is zooming this morning on the news that only 5.7 million people in Florida will have to do without air conditioning, hot showers, and Keurig mochachinos at dawn’s early light Monday, Sept 11, 2017. I’m mindful that the news cycle right after a hurricane goes kind of blank for a day or […]

Electric Vehicles: Drive Electric Week kicks off across the US

Published on September 11th, 2017 | by

2 weeks ago by

This weekend kicked off the 7th annual National Drive Electric Week, which sees electric vehicle advocates taking to the streets en masse with creative new ways to spread the word about electric vehicles. The week runs September 9–17 this year, which means two fun-filled weekends packed with events. By Kyle Field  National Drive Electric Week events vary […]

After Hurricane Harvey, can we please rebuild our infrastructure in a way that makes sense?

Published on September 11th, 2017 | by

2 weeks ago by

At The Conversation, Thaddeus R. Miller and Mikhail Chester write—6 rules for rebuilding infrastructure in an era of ‘unprecedented’ weather events. By Meteor Blades Unfortunately, Harvey delivered and then some with early estimates of the damage at over US$190 billion, which would make it the costliest storm in U.S. history. The rain dumped on the Houston area by Harvey has been […]

California native women leaders join forces to protect sacred sites and salmon

Published on September 10th, 2017 | by

2 weeks ago by

Ohlone leader Corrina Gould of the Confederated Villages of Lisjan and Chief Caleen Sisk of the Winnemem Wintu held a press conference at the West Berkeley Shellmound site on Friday, September 8. The two highly respected women leaders announced their mutual alliance to protect California’s indigenous sacred sites and the state’s endangered salmon runs from […]

“Where’s the driver?” Lyft rolls out self-driving vehicels in San Francisco

Published on September 10th, 2017 | by

2 weeks ago by

Lyft says it will soon begin offering users in San Francisco the option to hail one of their “self-driving” vehicles. I chose to put “self-driving” in quotes, because the vehicles will of course still possess an overseer/engineer sitting in the front seat, ready to take over if need be, as current law requires. By James Ayre  The […]

Trump admin wants to make nuclear war more likely.

Published on September 10th, 2017 | by

2 weeks ago by

As part of its Nuclear Posture Review—the first since the 2010 review was completed—the Trump regime is said to be considering the building of a “mini-nuke,” a nuclear bomb with a low explosive yield. Advocates have long claimed this would improve U.S. deterrence. Approval of such a development would overturn the Obama administration’s policy of limiting reliance on […]

First responders slammed by (preventable) wall of chemicals at Houston plant damaged by Harvey

Published on September 9th, 2017 | by

2 weeks ago by

Fire fighters and police officers who responded to the explosion and fire at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas after Hurricane Harvey swept through and left devastating floods in its wake have filed suit, claiming that they suffered “severe bodily injuries.” By Steve Hanley  The lawsuit claims that Arkema officials repeatedly held press conferences in […]

US sale of fully electric vehicles up 82% in 2017

Published on September 9th, 2017 | by

2 weeks ago by

The US market for electric vehicles has continued to grow at a rapid pace in the past year — led by California’s particularly strong electric vehicles market, of course. From January through August, national sales of 8 fully electric vehicles* grew 82%. Sales of 6 plug-in hybrid cars were up 28%. Overall, that meant sales […]

Hurricane Irma: Bad planning and climate change denial make Florida even more vulnerable

Published on September 9th, 2017 | by

2 weeks ago by

The Tampa Bay area appears to be in the direct path of Hurricane Irma, which may remain a category 4 hurricane when it comes ashore in Florida this weekend. Irma has already killed at least 18 people in the Caribbean on Barbuda, St Martin, and the British Virgin Islands, where this biggest hurricane in at […]

Hurricane Irma: Florida Power and Light shuttering 2 nuclear reactors to ride out the storm

Published on September 9th, 2017 | by

2 weeks ago by

With Hurricane Irma’s landfall in Florida now seemingly unavoidable, one of the state’s electric utilities, Florida Power & Light (FPL), has announced that it is shutting down its two nuclear power plants as a precaution. By James Ayre  The two nuclear facilities in question — the Turkey Point plant and the St Lucie plant — together […]