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Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 11, 2019, 07:38:03 pm »

Posted by: anonymous
« on: May 11, 2019, 06:24:24 pm »


May 9th, 2019 by Steve Hanley

Fully Recyclable Plastics Breakthrough! This Could Change Everything

Plastics today are made up of large molecules called polymers which in turn are created from shorter compounds called monomers. Then those polymers are mixed with additives that make them suitable for a particular purpose. Some make a plastic tough. Others make it flexible. Still others change its color. But those additives create strong chemical bonds with the polymers. Breaking those bonds is next to impossible in any cost effective way.

That’s what makes it so hard to recycle plastics. All recycling plants do is chop up all the waste plastic that comes in the door into small bits. When the chopped-up plastic is melted to make a new material, it’s hard to predict which properties it will inherit from the original plastics.

“Circular plastics and plastics upcycling are grand challenges,” says Brett Helms, a staff scientist at Berkeley’s Molecular Foundry. “We’ve already seen the impact of plastic waste leaking into our aquatic ecosystems, and this trend is likely to be exacerbated by the increasing amounts of plastics being manufactured and the downstream pressure it places on our municipal recycling infrastructure.”

The researchers went back to basic principles. This time, instead of inventing plastics that never breakdown, they focused on recyclability from the beginning. The result is a new kind of plastic called polydiketoenamine or PDK. Their report on PDKs has been published recently in the journal Nature Chemistry. “With PDKs, the immutable bonds of conventional plastics are replaced with reversible bonds that allow the plastic to be recycled more effectively,” Helms says.

Unlike conventional plastics, the monomers of PDK plastic can be recovered and freed from any additives simply by dunking the material in a highly acidic solution. The acid helps to break the bonds between the monomers and separates them from the chemical additives that give plastics their look and feel, according to a report by Science Daily.

Read more:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 28, 2019, 02:40:03 pm »

Video: Dried-up Aral Sea springs back to life

FRANCE 24 English

Published on Sep 18, 2017
Subscribe to France 24 now:

FRANCE 24 live news stream: all the latest news 24/7

Straddling the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the Aral Sea was once the fourth-largest saline lake in the world, an inland sea of 66,000 square kilometres. But in 1950, the Soviets diverted the two rivers that fed it in order to irrigate fields and grow cotton. Little by little, the Aral Sea dried up, ruining thousands of livelihoods. Since the construction of a dam in 2005, the water is slowly beginning to rise, and with it residents' hopes. FRANCE 24 went to meet them.


Visit our website:
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 17, 2019, 08:34:43 pm »

APRIL 12, 2019

By Joe McCarthy

How Drones Are Saving Myanmar's Mangrove Forests   

Conservationists are using drone technology to plant thousands of trees per day to restore areas affected by deforestation.


Biocarbon Engineering is working with the Myanmar-based nonprofit Worldview International Foundation (WIF) to oversee the project. WIF has already worked with local villages to plant six million trees since 2012, but the drones now make the project exponentially easier.

The drones work by first mapping deforested areas and analyzing the topography. Then they fire biodegradable pods into ideal locations. Sometimes the pods get displaced, so it’s essential for local communities to be involved to make sure the saplings can flourish.

Mangroves are resilient trees that thrive in coastal areas, where their tendril-like roots weave through swamps and shallow bodies of water. In many parts of the world, mangroves are critical to the integrity of coastal communities — they foster food sources, absorb carbon, improve air and water quality, and defend areas against sea level rise and storms.

Despite these benefits, mangroves are being destroyed at an alarming rate — up to five times faster than forests elsewhere in the world, according to the United Nations. So far, nearly a quarter of all mangroves have been destroyed.

The primary drivers of this deforestation are development for coastal communities and aquaculture.

Full article:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 16, 2019, 02:01:51 pm »

April 15, 2019 by The Loadstar

The French proposals, submitted at the end of last month and seen by The Loadstar, call for a two-step approach of short-term measures to cut GHG emissions in shipping. 👍

They include regulating ship speeds on a sector by sector basis 👍, followed by the adoption of globally applicable annual emissions caps 👍 based on each ship’s output.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 16, 2019, 01:30:49 pm »

Sulphur-Sniffing Drone to Sniff Out Polluters in Danish Waters
April 15, 2019 by gCaptain

sulphur sniffing drone Photo courtesy Danish Maritime Authority

Authorities in Denmark have deployed a large sulphur-sniffing drone to literally sniff out ships breaking EU rules governing the sulphur content of marine fuel.

The drone is being used by the Danish Maritime Agency to monitor ship emissions around the area of the Great Belt, where a number of large tankers transit to and from the Baltic Sea. The first aerial sulphur emission inspection took place on a ship in the area on April 11.

Known officially as a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System, the drone is fitted with a so-called gas “sniffer” system that capable of measuring sulphur emissions by flying into the ship’s exhaust gas plume.

The payload also includes daylight and infrared cameras, as well as an AIS receiver.

The drone technology is provided by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) as a means of preventing ship pollution by ensuring compliance with the legal requirements for European Emission Control Areas (ECA), limiting the amount of sulphur in marine fuel to 0.10%.

“These kinds of RPAS operations are expected to contribute to a more efficient enforcement of the Sulphur Directive, thereby reducing air pollution from ships while ensuring a level playing field for the companies involved,” the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) says.

In Denmark, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for enforcing the sulphur rules, while the the Danish Maritime Authority conducts ship inspections in Danish ports and now also with drone monitoring.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 14, 2019, 04:17:23 pm »

Support CleanTechnica’s work via donations on Patreon or PayPal!

Or just go buy a cool t-shirt, cup, baby outfit, bag, or hoodie.

April 14, 2019

Air Pollution Increases ER Visits — Largest US Study On The Topic Confirms It

By Cynthia Shahan

We may not even see them, but tiny particles, particulates in the PM2.5 size range, are able to travel deeply into the respiratory tract. PM2.5 infiltrates the lungs, all the way to the alveoli, where oxygen is transferred into the bloodstream. Exposure to nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter, or PM, can cause grave trouble with one’s health.

Image courtesy US EPA

Those fine particles get into our bloodstream which affects every part of one’s body, and go to our brain as well. They worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease.

Eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath can all emerge from an overload to vulnerable human immune responses.

CleanTechnica reports continuously on air pollution studies, and there is always more study going on to examine the effects on babies, kids, adults, and the elderly. The BBC has a good piece titled “What does air pollution do to our bodies?“ Along with known links to cancer and other diseases, these fine particulates are suspected to offset growth in the young.

Emissions from traffic and poor choices in transit are one of the major causes of our dangerous air. Fresh air, a precious commodity, disappears as many fossil-powered cars, trucks, buses, and off-road vehicles (e.g., construction equipment, snowmobile, locomotive) emit fine particulates from their tailpipes.

A US study published online in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine signals that, as levels of ozone and fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) rise, more patients end up in the ER.

The reason: they struggle to breathe. It is not a comfortable experience. Worse, it can be life-threatening. Breathing problems due to air pollution, according to the study, have led to increased emergency room visits from patients of all ages.

“In ‘Age-specific Associations of Ozone and PM2.5 with Respiratory Emergency Department Visits in the U.S.,’ Heather M. Strosnider, PhD, MPH, and colleagues report on the associations between ground-level ozone and fine particulate pollution and ER visits for asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and respiratory infections.”

“Previous studies of ER visits related to respiratory illness have shown that children are particularly susceptible to air pollution, but those studies were mostly confined to a single city,” said Dr. Strosnider, lead health scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program (Tracking Program). This study, however, looked at ER visits across hundreds of US counties.

“Ozone, the main ingredient of smog, and fine particulate pollution, microscopic particles that penetrate deep into the lung, are two important forms of air pollution in the U.S. The study looked at the levels of these two pollutants in 869 counties in the week prior to an ER visit for a breathing problem. The study included nearly 40 million ER visits for breathing problems from the counties, which represent 45 percent of the U.S. population.” The study found:

🚩 An association between ozone and respiratory ER visits among all age groups, with the strongest association in adults under age 65. Per 20 parts per billion (ppb) increase in ozone, the rate of an ER visit for respiratory problems increased 1.7 percent among children, 5.1 percent among adults under 65 and 3.3 percent among adults over 65.

🚩 Increased levels of ozone resulted in increased ER visits for asthma, acute respiratory infections, COPD and pneumonia. Overall the association was strongest for asthma among adults under 65. An association was found between fine particulate pollution (PM5) and respiratory ER visits among children and adults under the age of 65, with the strongest association among children. Per 10 microgram per cubic meter (µg/m3) increase in PM2.5, the rate of an ER visit increased 2.4 percent in children and 0.8 percent among adults under 65.

🚩 Increased levels of fine particulate matter resulted in increased visits for asthma, acute respiratory infections and pneumonia.

The authors wrote that their study findings support the Environmental Protection Agency’s “determination of a likely causal relationship between PM2.5 and respiratory effects and a causal relationship between ozone and respiratory effects.” However, they emphasized that their study also found important variations in those relationships based on the age of the patient, the pollutant, and the respiratory illness under consideration.

A CleanTechnica favorite, the movie The Human Element, takes this issue to heart and features some of the heroic voices of the children affected. Don’t miss hearing the children describe the daily work of breathing compromised air. The new film shows first hand the struggle affecting young students who must go to a special school rather than miss months of formal education.

This ATS study was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program (cdc.gov/ephtracking).

Tags: air pollution, Air Pollution and Respiratory Health, alveoli, American Thoracic Society, bloodstream, coughing, EPA, ER, fine particulates, Lungs, ozone, particulates, PM2.5, public health, Respiratory Emergency, Respiratory Health, runny nose, shortness of breath, sneezing, throat, tiny particles, truck

About the Author

Cynthia Shahan started writing by doing research as a social cultural and sometimes medical anthropology thinker. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education. Eventually becoming an organic farmer, licensed AP, anthropologist, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)


Agelbert COMMENT:
Thank you Cynthia Shahan 👍, for this truth filled article.

THIS is the 🦖😈🦕 Fossil Fuel Industry's attitude towards the pollution they produce (and profit from):

To think that we-the-people are being coerced 24/7 to subsidize the government welfare queen fossil fuel polluters that are killing us and the rest of the biosphere is very depressing. A study should be conducted to find out how many people are now medicating themselves due to the realization that our government is corrupt and stupid beyond measure.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 05, 2019, 07:23:35 pm »

Good news - strangely ;) censored
Roundup ☠️ is under attack worldwide - even in the US!

The trend seems unstoppable
Good news - strangely censored...

Roundup - which contains the deadly biocide glyphosate implicated in many serious health problems - is being banned by countries and cities all over the world.

Even in the US!

It's headline news, right?

No it isn't.

FOX and CNN and the New York Times and the Washington Post and all the other news outlets that have covered for Monsanto for decades are keeping quiet about this global trend.

I find even many activists are unaware of the scope and scale of this post positive development.

Well, now the cat is out of the bag.

Brasscheck brings you the news that matters when no one else will - again.

Click here to support: Next World TV

We recommend these books as a foundation for educating yourself about health in the 21st Century.

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Clean, Green, and Lean

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Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 05, 2019, 01:25:14 pm »

Singapore Will Seek Prison for Captains and Owners Breaking 2020 Low Sulphur Fuel Rules

April 3, 2019 by Bloomberg

]Singapore  Photo: joyfull / Shutterstock

By Saket Sundria and Ann Koh (Bloomberg) — Singapore has a message for shipping companies considering cheating on rules starting next year to combat pollution to save a few dollars on their fuel bills: don’t.

Captains and owners of vessels that burn overly sulfurous fuel in the Asian country’s territorial waters could face as long as two years in prison from the start of 2020, according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. If enforced, such a penalty would probably be among the strongest deterrents yet to dodging regulations that are supposed to cut emissions of a pollutant blamed for asthma and acid rain.

From next year, the ships must emit 85 percent less sulfur in most parts of the world than they do in most places today. The world’s second-biggest port said that ships that fail to use an approved abatement technology such as a scrubber, alternative fuel or compliant fuel will also be considered non-compliant.

The MPA didn’t clarify precisely what rule infringement would incur a prison sentence. Other penalties include a fine of up to S$10,000 ($7,400).

Based on precedent in the the U.S., the harshest penalties would likely be imposed if there were exacerbating factors like falsification of documents or obstructing justice, according to Magdalene Chew, a director at AsiaLegal LLC and Wole Olufunwa, a senior associate at Holman Fenwick Willan in Singapore.

“Presumably, this may be used as a yard stick comparison for what penalties imposed for breach of the sulfur cap may look like,” Chew and Olufunwa, who specialize in shipping at the law firms, said in a joint email.

The most severe penalty Singapore ever imposed for breaches of maritime air pollution regulations was more than two decades ago, said Chew and Olufunwa. Then, a vessel’s owners, master and agents, who all pleaded guilty, were fined S$400,000 each for “flagrant disregard of any concern for the marine environment.” The ship’s master also received a three-month prison term for an oil spill charge, according to the law firms.

Such penalties matter far beyond the confines of individual port states because there’s an expectation that many owners — particularly in Asia — could start by ignoring the sulfur-emission rules. The extent to which that happens will have an impact on the maritime industry’s fuel-buying patterns. However, with thousands of ships each year stopping at the island state to refuel while en route to other parts of Asia, the country’s deterrent could make many owners — and ship captains — more wary of cheating.

The penalties could mean tougher times for shipping firms as they prepare for the rules. To comply, companies can either purchase more expensive, cleaner fuel with less than 0.5 percent sulfur content, or they can install pollution-reducing scrubbers that let them keep using oil with a higher sulfur content. To make matters worse, analysts question whether sufficient low-sulfur fuel will be available in time.

“MPA is also working closely with the industry to ease the transition to the requirements under the IMO 2020 regulations,” a spokesperson said, adding that the authority has issued technical guides, along with the Singapore Shipping Association, on options available for ship operators to comply.

The authority will inspect both Singapore-registered ships as well as foreign-flagged vessels visiting the port, and employ fuel-testing service providers for detailed laboratory analysis of fuel samples. It will also deploy electronic systems for ships to declare their method of compliance before arrival.

Along with other nations, Singapore already banned open-loop scrubbers from discharging washwater, the waste liquid containing impurities after airborne sulfur emissions have been removed.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 01, 2019, 05:04:27 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 30, 2019, 12:14:12 pm »

Maersk Tests Biofuel as It Sets Sail for 2050 Carbon Neutrality 🤔

March 22, 2019 by Bloomberg

Fotokon / Shutterstock.com

By Christian Wienberg (Bloomberg) — A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S is about to conduct the shipping industry’s biggest test yet of biofuel as it seeks to cut emissions and meet its target of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.

The Mette Maersk, one of the company’s biggest vessels, will this month set off on a 25,000 nautical miles round trip from Rotterdam to Shanghai using a blend containing 20 percent of so-called second-generation biofuel produced from plant waste. The switch should save the environment 1.5 million kilograms of CO2, the equivalent of what 200 households emit in a year.

“This biofuel project is the first concrete action in our effort to reach our goal of becoming carbon-neutral,’’ Soren Toft, Maersk’s chief operating officer, said in an interview in Copenhagen. “We’re looking for ways to make carbon-neutral sailing commercially viable, because that’s key if the industry is to move ahead.”

Maersk, which operates about a fifth of the world’s container fleet, has invested $1 billion over the last four years to improve energy efficiency. 👍

The test is being organized by the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition and Maersk is partnering with some of its biggest clients in the Netherlands, including Heineken, Unilever and Philips. Shell will sponsor the fuel and all the parties will share the costs, which will be “significantly” higher than for a trip using normal marine fuel, Toft said, declining to elaborate.

Alternative Solutions

About 90 percent of the world’s goods are transported by the shipping industry, which is responsible for about 3 percent of global CO2 emissions. Maersk estimates that this rate could rise to 15 percent by 2050 if the industry doesn’t come up with less polluting alternatives.

Toft said using biofuel only removes “a fraction’’ of the CO2 that a ship normally emits, meaning it may only offer a “short-term or medium-term solution.’’

“We can’t say if biofuel will end up being the future that will help the industry,’’ Toft said. “We’re hoping to find some of the answers here with this trial.’’

Maersk is also working on other, cleaner, fuels for its more than 600 ships. These include ammonia, hydrogen and electric ⚡ batteries , Toft said.

“Batteries would obviously only work for short trips close to the coast line, because the technology isn’t very developed yet and, like with cars, you would need to recharge often,” he said. ::)

Last year, D/S Norden completed what it said was the world’s first test voyage with a large commercial ocean-going vessel powered by biofuel. The trip was with a product tanker vessel , which sailed the short stretch from Rotterdam to Tallinn, Estonia.

The Mette Maersk, which can carry 18,000 containers, is expected back in Europe in June.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 23, 2019, 01:57:47 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 22, 2019, 10:49:56 pm »

March 22, 2019

How Flooding is Messing Up Soil

The Midwest's catastrophic floods may do irreversible harm to the crucial agriculture industry following serious damage to the region's soil, farmers and experts say.

The floods, which caused an estimated $1 billion in agricultural losses in Nebraska alone, ripped up inches of valuable and nutritious topsoil, soaked fields and deposited debris like concrete and trees in planting areas, forcing some farmers who were preparing to plant crops this spring to reconsider their plans.

Nebraska's farming industry is already facing a serious decline, and trade conflicts and tariffs cooked up in DC have caused farmers to lose more than $1 billion. "We need to be really clear [the flooding] is not just farmers’ problem," soil specialist Mahdi Al-Kaisi told Gizmodo. "This is society’s problem."

Read more:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 22, 2019, 10:24:14 pm »

Monsanto’s Weed Killer is “Substantial Factor” in Cancer, Says Jury

March 22, 2019

Monsanto is about to face 11,200 more trials over the potential carcinogen in Roundup, which has prompted legislation to limit the chemical’s use

Story Transcript

MARC STEINER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Marc Steiner. Great to have you all with us once again.

One of the largest biotech agribusiness chemical companies on the planet is Monsanto, the makers of Roundup, now that it merged with Bayer, that is, especially. They were back in the news again because a federal jury ruled that the weed killer Roundup was a substantial factor in causing the cancer of defendant Mr. Edwin Hardeman. While Trump’s EPA said Roundup is probably not carcinogenic to people, the World Health Organization and independent researchers have found Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate, is most likely a carcinogen. Thousands more cases are being filed. What will this mean and what will this portend for Monsanto and the future of their products, the battles with agribusinesses, and for the rest of us?

Well, we’re joined today by Samara Geller, who is a Senior Research and Database Analyst for the Environmental Working Group. And Samara, welcome. Good to have you with us.

SAMARA GELLER: Thank you for having me.

MARC STEINER: So I want to start with this short video of the lawyer who won the case. This took place last month in February when he was commenting on the case and his deposition he took with the folks from Monsanto. Let’s listen to what he had to say.

ROBERT BRENT WISNER: When I took Monsanto’s deposition, I took their corporate representative deposition. He said to me that there is no evidence across the board that there’s any association with cancer. That’s just nonsense. There is a mountain of evidence and this company needs to get straight and to be honest with its customers and say listen, there is evidence that it’s associated with cancer, and let people make a choice about whether or not they use the product. This case is about failure to warn. And the simple fact is they haven’t warned, and they’re going to keep being sued until they do so.

MARC STEINER: I’m curious, your perspective on this. You have what he was saying here as he was taking the deposition before the verdict took place. And clearly, our EPA in the United States has been saying that there’s probably no real connection between that product, Roundup, and their products, and cancer. The World Health Organization, some independent researchers, have found just the opposite, that there probably is. And nobody’s really spoken definitively as I’ve read or seen so far. But talk about this debate going on and what that really means.

SAMARA GELLER: So there is mounting evidence showing a link between glyphosate and cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. So in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, or IARC, which is part of the World Health Organization, they classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. Also in 2017, the state of California included glysophate on its Proposition 65 registry. So this Proposition 65 registry is a list of chemicals that the state of California publishes every year. That list contains carcinogens, also reproductive and developmental toxicants. And so, we have the World Health Organization which is fiercely defending its position on glyphosate as being a probable human carcinogen. We have the state of California, which is also aligned with the World Health Organization.

But we also have emerging evidence coming out of the University of Washington. So these researchers recently did a meta-analysis. So they actually pooled data from studies that were published between 2001 and 2018, and this particular subset of studies actually found a 41 percent increased risk in non-Hodgkin’s in the highest exposed group. That’s pretty damning evidence right there, so that’s a very compelling link between glyphosate and the development of cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But we also know that the judge in this case recently in San Francisco unsealed internal documents from Monsanto that showed that the company worked behind the scenes with the EPA to promote the claim that glyphosate was safe and to point the finger away from the evidence showing to the contrary.

MARC STEINER: And this is the second phase of these trials, is that correct?

SAMARA GELLER: Right. So we’re actually in that second phase right now, so the jury will have an opportunity to review this evidence, this batch of unsealed documents from Monsanto. Also, Monsanto publicly worked to discredit the valid work of researchers and the valid conclusions of scientists revealing the harms of this chemical.

MARC STEINER: So I’m going to play another clip here for all of you and for our guest. This is a gentleman who actually won the first case last year leading up to this year’s case, and this is what he had to say. I found it really interesting and compelling, and I want to see where we think this might take this entire struggle.

SPEAKER: Why was the label important?

DEWAYNE JOHNSON: The label is important because as a pest controller and as those guys out there doing this in the professional field of applying herbicides, it’s a requirement to understand your label and to look at your label. It’s very serious. There’s a whole chapter on reading the label, how to read it, and what to look for. So if that was on the label, people can make an informed choice.

SPEAKER: What did that verdict mean to you?

DEWAYNE JOHNSON: The verdict really meant to me that this thing was not done in vain. And I remember standing there saying to myself, if I lose this case, this company is going to be able to get away. And then they’ll be able to say see, we told you our stuff didn’t do that.

MARC STEINER: So that was Dewayne Johnson, whose case came before this one last year. And so, the question really in all this for me is what this means for the future of Monsanto. I mean, there’s a battle going on with Monsanto across the globe on numbers of fronts. And while they can lose a lot of money in these court cases, there’s 11,200 cases that are in various stages against Monsanto around this very same issue. So I’m curious in terms of regulation, in terms of the health of the people who are eating, the health of the people who are farming, the health of the people who are lawn workers and farm workers. I mean, what does this all mean for this? I mean, where do you think we’re going with this?

SAMARA GELLER: So this is the second time in less than a year that Monsanto’s signature weed killer has been implicated as the cause of a person’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. And as you said, there’s now more than over 11,000 lawsuits that are coming from farm workers, they’re coming from licensed pesticide applicators, they’re coming from groundskeepers, they’re coming from those most heavily impacted among us. They have repeated exposure to this pesticide from the highest levels of exposure. So these lawsuits are really just the beginning of a long list of cases that will keep coming against Bayer. And so, the chickens are really coming home to roost here. We really think the scientific evidence is mounting, and so there will be similar verdicts and similar outcomes to the last two.

MARC STEINER: So Samara, since there are like 11,200 cases we talked about that are now going to be brought against Monsanto, and that we’ve heard these last two cases were not precedent setting in regard to these other cases coming, but they clearly are going to have an effect. So this is a huge company, and we’re talking about settlements that are tens of millions and hundreds of millions of dollars and more maybe that could be set against Monsanto and Bayer. So what’s the significance of all of this in terms of the entire things that have gone before this when it comes to dealing with Monsanto and Roundup?

SAMARA GELLER: Well, it certainly puts Roundup in the spotlight. It certainly gets consumers, regulators, policymakers thinking differently about the way we regulate pesticides and the way we regulate tolerances of pesticide residues in foods. So this is all having an impact on a lot of different platforms. So EWG actually commissioned tests of popular oat-based products, a lot of them marketed to children. And so, in our tested based products, we detected glyphosate in nearly all of the samples, 95 percent of the samples we tested for glyphosate were positive. And so, we’re actually pushing consumers to do a number of things.

First of all, eat organically if possible, so purchase organic food when you have the means and the opportunity to do so, and the choice to purchase organic. That will help reduce your exposure to glyphosate. But what’s really important to note about the way that the EPA regulates pesticides is that they often set the tolerances far too high to be adequately protective of children’s health. We know children are heavily impacted by pesticides. We know that there are children eating oat-based products that are growing, their bodies are developing, and they’re more susceptible to harms, including cancer.

MARC STEINER: I’ve covered those things in the past and that’s very real. I think most people don’t know about that and people need to know about that. And finally, I’m just curious… These cases, we’ll see what happens in the second part of this case, but I’m wondering what effect you think this has on the work of your organization, other organizations in the political struggles with Monsanto, as well as the legislative battles in this country and in Europe. What effect do you think this will have on all that?

SAMARA GELLER: Well, we’re urging the EPA to actually re-evaluate the evidence of harms from glyphosate. We’re urging them to prohibit this use of glyphosate as a pre-harvest desiccant. And so, we’re assuming this trial will definitely elevate these issues for those EPA regulators. We’re also looking to the FDA to really step up their game. They’ve been really woefully inadequate at releasing information that would help us to fully understand the scope of the problem. So right now, FDA recently released data on the detection of glyphosate in corn and soy, but they’ve really withheld data on some other food crops. We know it’s in wheat, we know it’s in barley, we know it’s in beans. So we’re pressuring the FDA to release data that would help shed light on the full scope of where it’s located in our food supply.

We’re actually looking toward some recently introduced legislation by Representative DeLauro. She’s a representative from Connecticut and she’s promoting the idea that we should prohibit use of glyphosate as a pre-harvest desiccant on oats. The bill is also calling to reduce the permissible residue level of glyphosate by 300 fold, from 30 parts per million down to 0.1 parts per million. So that’s pretty significant. So this bill would dramatically lower people’s exposure to glyphosate, including children’s exposure. They want the USDA to routinely test these products that are marketed to children. That’s one component of DeLauro’s bill.

MARC STEINER: Clearly this is kind of pushing some new issues out here and kind of extending this in ways that hasn’t happened before. We’ll have to really follow this closely. And Samara Geller, first, a, thank you for your work, and b, I look forward to talking to you again as we follow Monsanto and see where this goes.

SAMARA GELLER: Great. Thank you so much.

MARC STEINER: Thank you so much. And I’m Marc Steiner here for the Real News Network. Thank you all so much for joining us. Take care.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 18, 2019, 07:27:52 pm »

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March 18, 2019

No, Air Pollution Isn’t Racist. But People Are, and the Trump Administration is No Exception.

Last week, research published in PNAS documented how white people cause more PM2.5 air pollution than their communities experience, while black and brown communities experience significantly more pollution than their consumption produces. In the absence of systemic racial inequities, one would expect the ratio of pollution produced to pollution experienced to be even. But in our country, per the study, “Blacks and Hispanics on average bear a ‘pollution burden’ of 56% and 63% excess exposure, respectively, relative to the exposure caused by their consumption.”

The reaction from the deniersphere was, of course, denial. Preeminent scholar of all things science and race Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that “now we have RACIST AIR. This insanity has to stop.” (Surely it’s “just a joke”...)

Meanwhile, per Media Matters, black Fox host David Webb  told Fox and Friends that the study is “gobbledy gook.” Webb explained that, and we’re not kidding about this, the study was done by “a ‘peer-reviewed group’” and that “these enviro-terrorists, these eco-terrorists, they want to sell you a narrative. So they peer review it and say it’s a study, they don’t apply the scientific method.”

While on some level it is hysterical that Webb chose to criticize the study for being peer reviewed (huh?), there are lives on the line here. Lives that, in part because they’re more likely to be brown and black, the Trump administration is all too happy to sacrifice in the name of protecting polluters’ profits.

It’s happening right now on the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC). We raised this issue back in November 2017, when Scott Pruitt followed the instructions of former tobacco defender and current fossil fuel promoter Steve Milloy and installed a handful of tobacco and fossil-fuel supported deniers on to advisory committees. Then it came up again last October when some, but not all, of Pruitt’s pro-polluter PM2.5 denial policies were backbenched, not long after reporting showed how Trump’s own paperwork acknowledged that the PM2.5 regulatory rollbacks would lead to some 40,000 additional deaths. 

As expected, the tobacco and fossil fuel hacks installed on the committees are fighting against the science showing that PM2.5 kills people. Though it is a complicated story in the details, Marianne Lavelle at InsideClimate News provides some concise (and un-paywalled) coverage of the story.

In broad strokes, it looks like this. Tony Cox 🦕, who has worked on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute, is now chair of the CASAC. He sent a letter to the EPA attacking the draft of a recent EPA report on PM2.5, criticizing it for not including (bogus) studies he and his buddies have been paid by polluters to produce in order to make it seem like that pollution is no big deal.

In response, one of the scientists whom Pruitt 🦖 kicked off the panel, Christopher Frey 👍of UNC, submitted his own comments indicating that Cox was out of line for sending that letter to the EPA as though he spoke for the entire advisory council, because doing so  would be a violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

It’s now in the hands of the EPA to finalize the report on PM2.5 pollution, and it can choose whether or not to incorporate the PM2.5 denial studies suggested by Cox. Meanwhile, House Democrats are working on legislation to protect these panels, as well as science in general, from politicization by the administration.

But while we wait for the slow wheel of Congress to legislate, the science is clear that PM2.5 air pollution is deadly ☠️. And though communities of color are responsible for producing less of it, they’ll bear more of the burden. A cost they will pay with their bodies.

Not all racists use guns to kill the people they consider unwelcome in their white nation, but that doesn’t make them any less deadly. The Trump administration is pushing for policies that, if allowed to go forward, will literally kill tens of thousands of people. And black and brown communities will continue to bear the greatest burden of that suffering

But please, do go on about how the Green New Deal is wrong to incorporate racial justice, and is “tantamount to genocide.”

Read more:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 14, 2019, 12:26:06 pm »

By Mike Schuler on Mar 13, 2019 06:25 pm

The MV Grande America on fire in the Bay of Biscay, March 12, 2019, shortly before sinking. Photo: Marine Nationale

Oil Slick Spotted Near Sunken Grande America Off France

French authorities said an oil slick measuring several miles long has been spotted in the vicinity of the sunken ship Grande America in the Bay of Biscay one day after its sinking.

The oil was spotted during an overflight of a French Navy Maritime Patrol Aircraft and confirmed by the response vessel VN Sapeur which remains in the area.

France’s Maritime Prefecture for the Atlantic has ordered the immediate departure of the anti-pollution vessel Argonaute from Brest. The vessel is expected to arrive in the area on Thursday morning. The agency reports that the the spill measures ten kilometers long by one kilometer wide. It has requested the assistance from the European Agency for Maritime Safety (EMSA).

Weather on scene on Wednesday was reported to be force 6 winds of 39 to 49 km per hour and seas of 4 to 6 meters.


The Italian-registered Grande America sank Tuesday approximately 180 nautical miles from the French coast after fire 🔥 broke out on the deck of the combination roll-on/roll-off vessel Sunday night. All 27 crew members on board were rescued safely. The vessel is located in a water depth of 4,600 meters.

The Grande America is owned by the Italian shipping group Grimaldi. French authorities said they are working with the shipowner on the response to the incident.

[#GrandeAmerica] La frégate multi-missions (FREMM) Aquitaine et le BSAA (Bâtiment de Soutien et d’assistance affrété) VN Sapeur sont toujours sur zone. Ils continuent d’assurer la sécurité et la surveillance de la navigation. @SGMer @MarineNationale pic.twitter.com/rz98mZlf8B

— Premar Atlantique (@premaratlant) March 12, 2019

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 12, 2019, 06:35:54 pm »

March 12th, 2019 by The Beam

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 05, 2019, 11:33:35 pm »

Insect Apocalypse: New Study Reveals Stunning Decline in Insect Populations 😨

March 5, 2019

Dr. Francisco Sanchez-Bayo explains that, if current trends persist, insects could be essentially wiped out within 100 years

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: February 28, 2019, 05:53:25 pm »

Barn Owl


Matthew Johnson, a professor of wildlife habitat ecology at Humboldt State University, used GPS tags on barn owls 🦉 to determine that they spend a third of their time hunting in vineyards in Napa wine country. He put infrared cameras in owl nest boxes, documenting that a pair of owls 🦉🦉 with four chicks can eat up to 1,000 rodents in a breeding cycle.

Full article: 

Red Tailed Hawk

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 27, 2019, 05:35:36 pm »

JAN. 17, 2019

Trump’s anti-environment scheme is no match for the law

The Trump administration spent the last two years relentlessly attacking our environment. Nearly all of those attacks have failed in court — thanks to Earthjustice.

Executive Summary:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 09, 2019, 05:22:25 pm »


By  Olivia Rosane

Jan. 09, 2019 07:40AM EST

An oil tanker caught fire off of Hong Kong's Lamma Island Tuesday morning, leaving one person dead and two missing.

Oil Tanker Fire 🔥 Near Hong Kong Kills 1, Potential Spill Could Threaten Endangered Turtles and Dolphins


"We could see that the victim who passed away had been burned," police representative Wong Wai-hang said in a briefing reported by The New York Times. "There were clear injuries on his head and fractures in his hands and feet."

An additional 23 crew members were rescued from the water. Four were injured and one was being treated in intensive care.

The explosions 💥 were strong enough to be felt by residents of the nearby island, CNN reported.

"My windows shook really badly but (there) was no wind," Lamma resident Deb Lindsay told CNN. "I thought there had been an earthquake!"

Lamma Island residents worried about a potential oil spill reaching their coastline. Southern Lamma Island hosts a protective nesting site for green turtles, a severely endangered species. An endangered colony of white dolphins also calls Hong Kong waters home.

Full article:


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 08, 2019, 01:00:05 pm »

Bunker Fuel Spilled from Maersk Ship at Port of Hong Kong

By Mike Schuler on Jan 07, 2019 12:47 pm

An unknown quantity of bunker fuel was spilled at the Port of Hong Kong on Sunday during bunkering operations on a Maersk ship at berth, A.P. Moller Maersk confirmed Monday. The bunkering was taking place on the 4,340 TEU Maersk Gateshead as it was berthed at the Modern Terminal Limited. At this time, the amount […]  Read full story...

Tug to Retrieve Burning 🔥 Yantian Express in North Atlantic

By Mike Schuler on Jan 07, 2019 01:13 pm

Yantian express

The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday is continuing to coordinate the response to a container fire on board the now abandoned Yantian Express located approximately 1,015 miles northeast of Bermuda. Saturday evening, 11 non-essential crew members were evacuated from the Yantian Express to the tugboat Smit Nicobar, following by the remaining crew Sunday morning. All […]Read full story...
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 06, 2019, 05:03:36 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: January 05, 2019, 01:00:34 pm »

Structural Issue Forces U-Shaped Ocean Cleanup System to Leave Great Pacific Garbage Patch, But Return Planned for 2019

January 4, 2019 by Mike Schuler

Ocean Cleanup Project’s System 001 during sea trials off the coast of California with the Maersk Launcher. Photo: Ocean Cleanup Project

The u-shaped cleanup system that was deployed to the Pacific Garbage patch last fall is headed back to port for repairs due to a “structural malfunctioning” of the system, the company behind the project has announced.

In a blog post published this week, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup Project, Boyan Slat, said crews had discovered that an 18-meter end-section of System 001 had detached, requiring the entire system to be towed back to port for repairs and upgrades earlier than initially planned.

Both the 580-meter main section and the 18-meter end section are both reported to be completely stable. System 001 has now been safely opened and reconnected to the Maersk Transporter, which has commenced the tow back to the United States.

System 001, dubbed “Wilson”, departed from San Francisco for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch back in September as the world’s first large-scale system that would attempt to remove some of the nearly 2 trillion pieces of plastic that is estimated to be floating on or near the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

Despite early performance issues, which Slat openly detailed in a blog post published in November, plus these new developments, Slat admits that although disappointing, the system is returning to port with terabytes of data that will be used to make upgrades so that the system can return to the Garbage Patch again in 2019.

The Maersk Transporter is also carrying around 2000 kg of plastic that was recovered over the past few weeks through a combination of the cleanup system and ghost net fishing. For comparison, Slat notes, System 001 is expected to harvest 1000 kg per week

“Although we would have liked to end the year on a more positive note, we believe these teething troubles are solvable, and the cleanup of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch will be operational in 2019. The fact that the cleanup system orients itself in the wind, is able to follow the waves well and is able to catch and concentrate plastic gives us confidence in the technology,” Slat writes.

Down the road, the Ocean Cleanup Project envisions System 001 to be the first of around 60 systems focused on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch over the next two years. According to the group, the fleet could be enough to remove half of the plastic in the Garbage Patch within just five years’ time.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 21, 2018, 06:21:10 pm »

Spain’s Supreme Court Upholds 1.6 Billion Euro Prestige Oil Spill Ruling 

December 20, 2018 by Mike Schuler

The bow of the Prestige oil tanker floats above water moments before sinking in waters off northwestern Spain in this November 19, 2002 file photo. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

The bow of the Prestige oil tanker floats above water moments before sinking in waters off northwestern Spain in this November 19, 2002 file photo. A Spanish court on November 13, 2013 found the crew and the government not guilty of responsibility in Spain’s Prestige disaster, a 2002 accident caused by a leaking tanker which coated the northwestern coastline with thousands of tonnes of oil. REUTERS/Paul Hanna (SPAIN – Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER)

Spain’s Supreme Court upheld Thursday a lower court’s ruling that Spain is to be paid 1.6 billion euros in damages over the 2002 Prestige oil spill.

The definitive ruling confirms an earlier ruling handed down by a lower court in La Coruna, Galicia, where the oil spill occurred, in November 2017. France will also be awarded 61 million euros as its coastline was also impacted by the oil spill.

The bulk of the damages will be paid by Prestige’s insurer, the London P&I Clud, as well as Prestige’s captain.

The single-hulled oil tanker Prestige broke in half and sank off the northwestern coast of Spain after being denied a port of refuge after one of its tank was damaged in a storm.

The wreck is estimated to have spilled some 63,000 tonnes of oil, which severely impacted Spain’s Galicia coast and closed some of the country’s richest fisheries. The oil spill is considered one of Europe’s worst-ever environmental disasters.

Prestige’s captain, Apostolos Mangouras, was initially clear of criminal wrongdoing, but Spain’s Supreme Court in 2016 overruled and convicted Mangouras of recklessness resulting in catastrophic environmental damage. Mangouras was sentenced to two years in prison, and the ruling opened the door to damage claims against him and the insurer.


Is this the Writing on the Oil Tanker Hull Wall for Big Oil?
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 16, 2018, 05:42:36 pm »

U.S. Coast Guard to Tackle 14-Year-Old Oil Leak in the Gulf of Mexico

December 14, 2018 by Mike Schuler

Oil slick at the Taylor MC20 site. Credit: U.S Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard has partially assumed federal control over the operation to contain an oil dishcarge from the site of MC20 platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico that has likely been leaking since the platform toppled back in 2004.

The platform, owned by Taylor Energy 🦕, LLC, was located in Mississippi Canyon Block 20, approximately 11 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River. It toppled in September 2004 during Hurricane Ivan after storm surge triggered an underwater mudslide. The incident left the platform well conductor pipes buried in more than 100 feet of mud and sediment, impacting 25 of 28 connected wells. The spill went unnoticed for years until 2008 when it was identified as the source of daily sheen reports.

Now more than fourteen years after the hurricane, crude oil continues to discharge from the site and surface on the Gulf waters.

IN 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement estimated that oil continues to leak at a rate of approximately 1 to 55 barrels of oil per day. >:(  Satellite imagery and overflights have shown oil slicks on the surface varying in size, sometimes ranging up to 30 miles in length.

Even still, the specific source, or sources of the discharge at the MC20 site are not fully known. 🙉 🙊

Federal officials have directed Taylor Energy 🦕, as the Responsible Party, to remove the platform deck, remove sub-sea debris, decommission the oil pipeline, attempt to contain the leaking oil, and plug nine of the 25 impacted wells that were deemed highest risk.

Following several scientific studies conducted over several years by federal and industrial experts, the Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) issued Taylor Energy an administrative order back in October requiring it to propose a final viable plan to install a containment system. Last month, however, the FOSC ultimately issued Taylor Energy a Notice of Federal Assumption, and assumed authority for containing the oil. 

Under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Coast Guard will now be able to access the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and assume authority for containing and disposing the oil.

“While the safety of response personnel is paramount, we don’t want to delay response activities,” said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Kristi Luttrell, the Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) for the MC20 response. “We plan to leverage every weather window available from now until the system is installed and collecting oil,” she said.

In November, Coast Guard contracted a specialized team to conduct a comprehensive site survey, fabricate a containment system, and install it at the source to start collecting the oil, however, as of now, the team is still in the planning phase. The Coast Guard says weather and sea state will largely dictate operations, which is expected to involve cumulative weeks at sea, extensive dive and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) operations, and underwater equipment installation.

“We are committed to public safety and preserving the Gulf marine environment,” said Luttrell. “As we move swiftly to develop and install the containment system, we will continue working with our federal, state, and local partners to ensure a permanent solution is in place,” she said.

As the Responsible Party, Taylor Energy 🦕, which is now defunct 😈, is required to pay for oil spill recovery and response costs under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA). It also has a continuing legal obligation to respond to the ongoing oil discharge and also must comply with the Coast Guard Administrative Orders.


Agelbert NOTE: It's the CAPITALISM, stupid! WHY? Because the people that ran Taylor Energy (into the ground) are NOT "defunct". They have money. They have assets. THEY should be made ro PAY. BUT, since the LIABILITY is deliberately, AND ARTIFICIALLY "LIMITED" under CAPITALISM's "rules" for
😈 corporations, the COST of this cleanup will be SOCIALIZED to WE-THE-PEOPLE.

A "responsible LLC" is an oxymoron. It is a SICK JOKE for the Coast Guard to talk about "responsibility for cleanup"
under this or that Law  "ensures compliance" when applied to ANY Corporate polluter in the USA, ESPECIALLY the Fossil Fuelers, who are well practiced in the ethically bankrupt "art" of declaring bankruptcy and running off with the profits to start another Hydrocarbon Hellspawn operation with "limited liability". 

We are all dead if we do not stop pretending this IRRESPONSIBLE AND CRIMINAL behavior is "okay". What's it gonna take, people?

 The Fossil Fuelers 🦖 DID THE Clean Energy  Inventions suppressing, Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks 🦀, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or   PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!   
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: December 05, 2018, 09:49:26 pm »

The Most Toxic Retailers on the Planet

Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola

December 05, 2018

toxic chemicals in consumer products


► In recent years, researchers and scientists have raised warnings about mounting toxic exposures, leading to efforts to rein in the use of chemicals known to be hazardous to human health

► About half of the 40 retailers evaluated by the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families’ Mind the Store campaign have made “slow but meaningful progress at improving the chemical safety of the products, food and packaging they sell”

► Retailers that received a failing grade include Trader Joe’s, McDonald’s, Subway, Publix, Panera Bread, Macy’s, Ulta, Nordstrom, Office Depot, Dollar General, Sally Beauty, TJX Companies and Ace Hardware

► Apple, Target, Walmart and IKEA received A-grades “for their work to protect customers from toxic products and packaging”

► Walgreens, Rite Aid and Amazon were ranked “most improved” during 2018

Full article with detailed list of "F" grade retailers:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 29, 2018, 11:36:22 am »

November 29, 2018

How Climate Change is Impacting Health Now

Rising temperatures as a result of climate change are already exposing populations around the world to an unacceptably high health risk, new research published in The Lancet medical journal shows.

The 2018 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change, produced by 150 experts from 27 global institutions, documents how vulnerability to heat is rising in all regions of the world, with 157 million more vulnerable people subjected to a heatwave last year than in 2000, and 18 million more than in 2016.

The dire and wide-ranging report also finds that 153 billion hours of work were lost in 2017 due to extreme heat as a result of climate change, that rising temperatures and unseasonable warmth are responsible for cholera and dengue fever spreading, and that aging populations—especially those living in cities in Europe and the East Mediterranean—are particularly at risk to heat exposure. "These are not things happening in 2050 but are things we are already seeing today," Countdown executive director Nick Watt told the Guardian.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 28, 2018, 10:02:34 pm »

How Inequality Increases Environmental Damage for Everyone (But Not Equally)

November 27, 2018

James Boyce of PERI discusses how inequalities in power encourage the creation of environmental damage. Inequality disempowers some communities while allowing the powerful to profit at the environment’s and everyone else’s expense

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: November 24, 2018, 02:09:31 pm »

The Guardian

Fri 23 Nov 2018 23.38 EST

By Dom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro @domphillips

Brazil records worst annual deforestation for a decade

Nearly 8,000sq kms lost in the year to July amid alarm new president Jair Bolsonaro will make situation worse


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