Edition for 14 March 2020

Top Stories

Why Scientists Should Shape Environmental Policy (Foreign Policy)

  • Although methane does occur naturally in Pennsylvania’s drinking-water aquifers, a recent analysis of environmental records revealed that 39 wells drilled into the Marcellus Shale between 2004 and 2015 allowed methane migration that impacted 108 drinking water supplies.
  • For adaptive management to work, industry must engage with managers and scientists from the environmental community.

Food tech start-up gets US$2.7m funding for climate change fighting platform (FoodIngredients First)

  • "Farmers are at the front line of the climate crisis and their practices have the power to not only reduce carbon emissions in the food system but also draw down carbon into the soil and the above-ground biomass."
  • Decades of destruction to our ecosystems have placed the global community in a difficult situation: successfully limiting climate change while feeding the world.
  • The industrialization and commodification of food over the last century have resulted in releasing carbon from soils, reducing nutrient density in food and depleting the ability of the land to continue to support agriculture.

Why Manila is at risk of becoming an underwater city (Channel News Asia)

  • The troubles plaguing this village foreshadow future events in Metro Manila, which is faced with a multitude of problems including climate change and excessive groundwater extraction, the programme Insight discovers.
  • And these tropical storms, scientists believe, are likely to become more frequent and stronger because of climate change.

Indiana Is About to Bail Out the Coal Industry for Some Reason (Gizmodo)

  • Her town, Evansville, sits within 30 miles of seven coal-fired power plants, four of which are called “super polluters” because they generate inordinate amounts of particulate matter, carbon dioxide, and other toxins that can cause cancer.
  • The carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases that these coal plants produce also warm the climate.
  • In recent years, the climate crisis has caused major flooding in Indiana.

Courts slow Trump's agenda to open public lands to oil and gas drilling (LA Times)

  • Courts have ordered the government to suspend or void hundreds of leases, finding that the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management made procedural mistakes and violated environmental laws in its haste to increase domestic oil and gas production.
  • Taken together, the rulings are another example — as with immigration, healthcare and the rollbacks of environmental regulations — of the check that courts are exerting on an unorthodox president eager to act quickly and often in defiance of established rules of governance.
  • The industry blames environmental groups’ unyielding opposition and litigiousness; environmentalists counter that the court rulings validate their argument that the administration views scientific analysis and public comment as a burden, rather than a legal requirement.

Recycling in the U.S. Is Broken. How Do We Fix It? (Earth Institute)

  • Landfills emit carbon dioxide, methane, volatile organic compounds and other hazardous pollutants into the air.
  • When these countries later instituted bans on imported plastic waste, the U.S. diverted its waste to Cambodia, Bangladesh, Ghana, Laos, Ethiopia, Kenya and Senegal — countries with cheap labor and lax environmental rules.
  • In 2020, more than 37 states are considering over 250 bills to deal with plastic pollution and recycling, according to the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.

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