Two Years Ago Today, Obama Announced This Ground-Breaking Climate Action Plan
The Clean Power Plan aimed to establish the first-ever set of national carbon limits on power plants, our biggest source of the pollution.
This ground-breaking move planned to reduce carbon pollution 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. That would save lives and money—look at the estimates the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave at the time:
- The Clean Power Plan would prevent almost 3,600 premature deaths, an almost 90 percent reduction in deaths from power plant pollution in 2030.
- The Clean Power Plan would result in 90,000 fewer asthma attacks in kids, preventing 300,000 missed school and work days.
- The Clean Power Plan would save consumers nearly $85 each year on electricity bills in 2030.
- The Clean Power Plan would save consumers a total of $155 billion from 2020 to 2030.
What's more—these savings would come because of a tremendous investment in clean energy by states. The Clean Power Plan created a great opportunity for states to chart a course to renewable energy instead of the same dirty, outdated, and dangerous fossil fuels.
Yet now, here we are in 2017, under Donald Trump and his EPA head Scott Pruitt—two people who think fossil fuels are the future. They're trying to scrap the Clean Power Plan in favor of plans to line the pockets of their polluter friends. That's in spite of strong public support for taking action—just this week, a new national survey by the Yale Center for Climate Communications found that 69 percent of all registered voters support strong carbon standards for coal-fired power plants.
Utilities aren't listening to Trump, either. A recent Reuters survey of 32 power providers operating in the states that sued to block the Clean Power Plan found that all of them plan to continue moving away from coal and toward renewable energy, regardless of Trump's policy agenda or his designs on the Clean Power Plan.
Trump and Pruitt are putting polluter profits before clean air, clean water and public health. The Sierra Club and our allies will fight their attempts to roll back these safeguards every step of the way.
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Australia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. It is home to more than 7% of all the world's plant and animal species, many of which are endemic. One such species, the Pharohylaeus lactiferus bee, was recently rediscovered after spending nearly 100 years out of sight from humans.
Scientists have newly photographed three species of shark that can glow in the dark, according to a study published in Frontiers in Marine Science last month.
- 10 Little-Known Shark Facts - EcoWatch ›
- 4 New Walking Shark Species Discovered - EcoWatch ›
- 5 Incredible Species That Glow in the Dark - EcoWatch ›
FedEx's entire parcel pickup and delivery fleet will become 100 percent electric by 2040, according to a statement released Wednesday. The ambitious plan includes checkpoints, such as aiming for 50 percent electric vehicles by 2025.
- Which Is Worse for the Planet: Beef or Cars? - EcoWatch ›
- Greenhouse Gas Levels Hit Record High Despite Lockdowns, UN ... ›
- 1.8 Billion Tons More Greenhouse Gases Will Be Released, Thanks ... ›