Sustainability
Give A Shit About Nature's Sustainability Content

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The United States has begun the long, four-year process of pulling out of the Paris climate agreement. The rest of the world has remained steadfast in their support of comprehensive goals to avoid catastrophic climate change.

While the politicians in Washington D.C. may not be willing to work with the international community on the issue of climate change, U.S. states are on board and the world is taking notice.

Both China and the European Union have declared an eagerness to work with any states and cities that want to continue fighting against climate change.

“Strong transatlantic ties are far more important and far more durable than the latest unfortunate decisions of the new administration,” EU President Donald Tusk said.

Despite Trump’s desire to “renegotiate” the terms of the Paris climate accord, the international community is having none of it and numerous cities and states have signed on to a climate alliance to meet the goals laid out in our original agreement.

One of the most challenging aspects of the United States pulling out of the agreement is finding the funding dedicated to helping poorer countries develop while meeting their own carbon reduction goals. China and the European Union have made it known that the funding will be available, topping $100 billion by 2020.

“The decision of the United States to pull out of the Paris agreement is utterly regrettable, and that is me choosing very restrained language,” said German chancellor Angela Merkel.

“This is why it is necessary now after this announcement by the US administration yesterday evening, to turn our attention to the future.”

American states with mostly Democratic leadership have begun to declare their intents to see through the Paris agreement. On Tuesday, Hawaii became the first state in the country to officially sign a bill into law that adopts the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

“Reducing greenhouse emissions in Hawaii is now the law — the state law,” reports Hawaii Public Radio’s Bill Dorman. “While the specifics are a bit vague, the political message is clear: to keep pace with environmental commitments made as part of the Paris accord.”

Governor David Ige signed the senate bill, citing his own motivation by the overwhelming evidence of climate change that is visible to Hawaiians every day.

“We are the testing grounds. … We are especially aware of the limits of our natural environment,” Ige said. “Tides are getting higher, biodiversity is shrinking, coral is bleaching, coastlines are eroding, weather is becoming more extreme. We must acknowledge these realities at home. That is why Hawaii is united in its political leadership on tackling climate change.”


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Trump has indicated through words and action time and time again that he doesn’t give a shit about nature, allowing big ag to destroy wetlands and streamsas well as letting hunters kill wolf pups and bears while they hibernate.

Now, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is in Trump’s sights. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has issued a directive to find out how much oil is located under ANWR and how much can be extracted.

In 2013, a plan was written that limited the scope of drilling for oil and natural gas in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. Oil companies were quick to complain about these restrictions, and Trump’s administration was all too eager to listen.

“This is land that was set up with the sole intention of oil and gas production; however, years of politics over policy put roughly half of the NPR-A off-limits,” Zinke said in a statement. “Using this land for its original intent will create good-paying jobs and revenue.”

ANWR is a 19-million-acre reserve that was originally established by congress in 1980. Today, it is estimated that 12 billion barrels of crude oil sits below the reserve, which has drawn the interest of oil companies as well as politicians.

Environmental advocates are already pushing back.

“It’s hard to see how they could open up more land to development without putting at risk some pretty sensitive areas,” said Kate Kelly, the public lands director at the Center for American Progress. “Zinke might give lip service to balance, but this announcement shows the scales are tipped pretty far in industry’s favor.”

Regardless, Zinke is pushing forward with further fossil fuel development in the region, which will only end up costing the natural environment, and you, in the long run.


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Located at a waste incineration facility in Zurich, Switzerland, the first commercial carbon-capturing plant is now operational. The plant is able to capture carbon and turn it into something that can be used or simply buried.

Inside of the Climeworks plant, three shipping containers hold six carbon collectors. Inside these collectors, spongy filters are in place to absorb carbon pulled in by fans. Each sponge is fully saturated within a few hours.

Once the container is full, it’s closed and heated to over 200 degrees Fahrenheit, which releases carbon in a usable form. This carbon can be turned into products, buried, or sold to interested commercial buyers.

But don’t get too excited about this plant, it’s a drop in an ocean. Climeworks believes that hundreds of thousands more will be needed by 2050 if we’re to put a dent in the amount of carbon currently in the atmosphere and keep runaway climate change from happening.

Carbon that has been captured in facilities like this has numerous uses. Researchers at UCLA recently found a way to turn it into concrete for building.

“You can do this over and over again,” Jan Wurzbacher, director of Climeworks, told Fast Company. “It’s a cyclic process. You saturate with CO2, then you regenerate, saturate, regenerate. You have multiple of these units, and not all of them go in parallel. Some are taking in CO2, some are releasing CO2.”


This website isn’t paid for by deceitful ads or annoying popups. If you would like to support more stories like these, visit our store and pick up a sticker or a sweet men’s or women’s I’m With Her t-shirt. They’re made in the United States and for each one sold, we plant 10 trees.

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Pollution will be one of the lasting legacies of our era. You can look no further than Henderson Island, an atoll in the Pacific, for proof of that.

Henderson Island is a tiny chunk of land with no human inhabitants. In a sense, you could argue that humans have left it mostly untouched. And yet, our touch is still present on this pristine island.

Researchers have concluded that more than 3,500 pieces of trash wash up on the island every day, adding to the 38 million pieces of ocean-moved garbage already present on the island. Almost all of this trash is plastic.

“The quantity of plastic there is truly alarming,” Jennifer Lavers, a co-author of the report, said in an interview with the Associated Press. “It’s both beautiful and terrifying.”

Images like the one above, provided by Lavers, shows the variety of trash that washes up on the island, anything from plastic nets, helmets, water bottles, and even plastic garden planting buckets.

These pieces of plastic travel thousands upon thousands of miles through the South Pacific Gyre, a central point where tons of plastic trash accumulate.

Researchers spent a total of three months researching Henderson Island in 2015, analyzing the garbage. Most of the trash was found to come fro industrialized countries around the Pacific rim as well as Europe.

If there isn’t real action soon, the fate of Henderson Island could be seen around the world.


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If you’ve opened up a utility bill in recent years, you’ve probably noticed a modest upward trend in the cost of keeping the lights on and the water running. But that upward trend could start going a whole hell of a lot faster if this paper is correct.

Researchers at Michigan State University have found that the cost of water will need to increase by 41% in order to pay for replacing outdated water infrastructure.

Already, about 14 million households have trouble paying for their water. A 41% hike in water costs could expand that number to over 40 million, or one-third of all American homes, by 2020.

The worst part is, in many of the places most impacted by this, the water quality is poor. Already we’ve been hearing reports about how 50,000 households in Flint, Michigan are facing repercussions for their inability to pay for lead-tainted tap water.

There’s a water crisis brewing, and pretty much no one is talking about it.


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Coal is a dying form of energy. The writing has been on the wall for years. It’s not lost on me that thousands of families rely on jobs in the coal industry to make ends meet, but when Trump tells you that he’s going to save coal, he’s lying.

According to a report by Greenpeace, new coal power plants being built around the world dropped by two-thirds last year in comparison to 2015.

This report comes as a shock to some who knew of a decline but not this steep of one. China and India accounted for a large chunk of the declining investments, but the United States played a role as well.

The death of coal is not coming as a result of bad government policy. Coal’s is dying at the hands of the free market. Natural gas and renewable energy are simply cheaper, and more and more, the market craves cheap clean energy.

“Markets are demanding clean energy, and no amount of rhetoric from Donald Trump will be able to stop the fall of coal in the US and across the globe,” says Nicole Ghio, a senior campaigner at the Sierra Club.


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For 25 years now, the Energy Star program has given homeowners an easy insight into energy efficient products, from computers to toasters to ovens. Many homeowners seek out the blue logo to help save big bucks on the energy cost of their appliances.

But Trump, who I guess loves the idea of you paying more for operating your appliances, is set to gut the program’s already fairly limited operational budget.

Donald Trump is obsessed with blowing up the size of the U.S. military’s budget another $54 billion, but has to justify paying for it somehow. The $57 million budget for Energy Star is a part of his absurd, terrifying military buildup.

In total, Energy Star has saved $430 billion and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by around 2.7 billion tons, according to estimates in 2015.

Energy Star gives consumers a chance to make an educated, environmentally friendlier choice. Donald Trump doesn’t give a shit about you or the environment. Period.


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Even after a deal was brokered with the EPA to keep it running through 2044, the owners of the Navajo Generating Station, the 7th largest carbon polluter in the U.S., have decided to shut it down.

The station, which is located near Page, Arizona, pumps out 14 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, but that’s not the reason it’s being closed down. At the core of the issue is money: cheap natural gas has made it so the NGS is just not viable anymore.

Even though there are clear negative effects on the health of the Navajo who live near it, the Navajo and Hopi tribes are bothered by the loss of revenue from the plant’s closure. The tribes are hoping that President Trump, an advocate for coal, will step in and intervene.

But even if the president did want to help, it would only delay the inevitable. No amount of money or deregulation can save coal at this point. It’s dying at the hands of the free market, and that’s okay.

While the plant is closing down, the infrastructure exists in the reservation for new electrical generation plants. The area is prime real estate for solar and wind power in particular. My hope is that the NGS will be replaced by cleaner power generation.


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The Trump administration is expected to come out with a plan to cut a quarter of the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, causing layoffs for about 20% of the agency.

The proposed cuts would remove about $2 billion from current spending and about 3,000 employees.

The White House has been laying out its plan for federal agencies as well as the budget as a whole, announcing a plan to add more than $50 billion to the defense budget and cutting domestic discretionary spending, like the safety net, by about the same amount.

Ultimately, congress is responsible for making the budget, but they will doubtless be looking to the White House for guidance. Democrats are gearing up to oppose it as furiously as possible, but without a majority in either legislative chamber, it will likely be futile.

These cuts will give us an EPA with fewer resources than at any time since Reagan was president. Their ability to enforce regulations that keep our air and water clean will be severely hindered. When it comes time to vote in 2018 and 2020, don’t forget this.


resistpromoThis site is not paid for by third party ads or annoying popups that don’t go away. If you want to support more articles like these, consider picking up a Resist Tee or bumper sticker. Together, we’ll resist environmental destruction by planting 10 trees for each one sold. ✊

To Bill Nye and Bernie Sanders, ending climate change isn’t just about saving the planet: it’s a huge jobs creator too. That’s the opening point that Nye made in today’s live chat with Bernie Sanders on climate change.

As of this writing, the video has been viewed 2.4 million times and has received more than 65,000 shares.

Sanders, a former presidential candidate, has been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump on a number of issues, including climate change.

“We have a president of the United States who thinks that climate change is a ‘hoax’ emanating from China,” Sanders said in his opening remarks. “We have a new administrator of the EPA—somebody who I strongly opposed—who is in the process of dismembering environmental protection regulations in this country.”


holierThis site is not paid for by third party ads or annoying popups that don’t go away. If you want to support more articles like these, consider picking up a Resist Tee or bumper sticker. Together, we’ll resist environmental destruction by planting 10 trees for each one sold. ✊