To create a broad-based coalition of non- and for-profit organizations committed to educating society about the benefits of environmentally responsible lawn care and gardening, and effect a quantum change in consumer and industry behavior.
San Francisco Baykeeper
The mission of Baykeeper is to protect and enhance the water quality of the San Francisco Bay for the benefit of its ecosystems and human communities.
To protect the water quality of the Savannah River and the integrity of its watershed and to promote an enlightened stewardship of this unique heritage.
Save the River
Save The River was formed in 1978 to protect and preserve the ecological integrity of the Upper St. Lawrence River through advocacy, education, and research.
Save Our Canyons
We are dedicated to protecting the beauty and wildness of the Wasatch canyons, mountains and foothills.
Save our Shores
Our mission is caring for the marine environment through ocean awareness, advocacy and citizen action.
Save Our Springs Alliance
The Save Our Springs Alliance works to protect the Edwards Aquifer, its springs and contributing streams, and the natural and cultural heritage of the Hill Country region and its watersheds, with special emphasis on Barton Springs.
Save Our Water
Save Our Water is a statewide program aimed at helping Californians reduce their everyday water use.
Save the Bay
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) mission is to Save the Bay, and keep it saved, as defined by reaching a 70 on CBF’s Health Index.
Save the Colorado
The Save the Colorado campaign, initiated by New Belgium Brewing and the Clean Water Fund, will donate money to environmental nonprofits in the Colorado River basin working to promote water conservation and protect the river.
Save the Frogs
Their mission is to protect amphibian populations and to promote a society that respects and appreciates nature and wildlife.
Save the Prairie Society
Our mission is:
• Acquire natural areas and wildlife habitat
• Preserve, protect and enhance biodiversity
• Restore native ecosystems
• Offer field trips, prairie tours and natural historic and cultural programs and events at Wolf Road Prairie and the Prairie House
• Promote a connection to nature through the arts and
• Work to restore the historic Prairie House as a Nature Center and Museum
SaveOurEnvironment.org is a collaborative effort of the nation's most influential environmental advocacy organizations harnessing the power of the internet to increase public awareness and activism on today's most important environmental issues.
Save The Wild UP’s mission is to protect Michigan’s Upper Peninsula’s (UP) unique way of life, wildlife, landscape and freshwater resources. Through public awareness and education we strive to protect the Upper Peninsula from unsustainable development, degradation and dangerous contamination.
SavingSpecies is dedicated to conservation of biodiversity.
Scenic Hudson is dedicated to protecting and restoring the Hudson River, its riverfront and the majestic vistas and working landscapes beyond as an irreplaceable national treasure for America and a vital resource for residents and visitors.
Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.
Seacoast Eat Local
Seacoast Eat Local connects people with sources of locally grown foods and advocates eating locally for the health of our environment, community, culture and economy. Through advocacy, organizing and education, we work toward a sustainable local food system that meets the needs of both producers and consumers.
Seas at Risk
Seas at Risk is an European association of non-governmental environmental organizations working to protect and restore to health the marine environment of the European seas and the wider North East Atlantic.
Part of the international Greendrinks network, Seattle Greendrinks is a volunteer-driven non-profit created to connect and grow Seattle’s environmental community.
Second Nature’s mission is to accelerate movement toward a sustainable future by serving and supporting senior college and university leaders in making healthy, just and sustainable living the foundation of all learning and practice in higher education.
Shaleshock Alliance is a major outreach and information hub about fracking in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes region, connecting people to the growing movement to protect our communities and environment.
Our mission is to stop pollution and to restore clean water in the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers and tributaries through enforcement and community engagement.
The Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. Inspired by nature, we are 1.4 million of your friends and neighbors, working together to protect our communities and the planet.
Sierra Club—Cascade Chapter
The Washington Chapter of the Sierra Club is working for a better future by leading the fight to stop global warming – addressing greenhouse gas pollution from all sources and promoting a green economy.
Sierra Club—Delta Chapter
We advance the cause of protecting Louisiana’s environment in a variety of ways, including lobbying the state legislature in Baton Rouge, sponsoring a Mercury Public Education Campaign, raising public awareness about climate change, and working to keep the Atchafalaya Basin, America’s greatest river swamp, wet and wild.
Sierra Club—El Paso
We support conservation, smart energy solutions to combat global climate change and wise use and protection of public lands.
Sierra Club—Four Lakes Group Sierra Club
Offering nature outings, educational programs, activism campaigns addressing local environmental issues like public transit, recycling, sprawl, clean energy and more!
Sierra Club—Houston Regional Group—Bayou Banner
To explore, enjoy and protect the wild places of the earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.
Sierra Club—Lone Star Chapter
Our State Conservation Office located near the State Capitol in Austin serves as a lobbying office and grassroots communications center supporting advocacy and education about our environmental priorities:
• Clean Air & Water
• Smart Energy Solutions
• Texas Land & Wildlife Legacy
• Responsible Transportation Choices
• Water for People & the Environment
With over a forty year history in this chapter, the Massachusetts Sierra Club represents about 22,000 members throughout the state and nearly one million nationwide. We fight for clean air, clean water, the preservation of the Commonwealth’s most precious natural spaces and healthy, vibrant communities.
Sierra Club—Missouri Chapter
Resources on statewide environmental issues including information on current legislation and suburban sprawl.
The Oregon Sierra Club is a non-profit member-supported, public interest organization that promotes conservation of the Oregon natural environment by influencing public policy decisions—legislative, administrative, legal, and electoral.
Sierra Club—Rio Grande Chapter
Sierra Club—Southern New Mexico Group
Sierra Club—Virginia Chapter
The Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club is 17,000 members strong. We are your friends and neighbors working to build healthy, livable communities and to conserve and restore our natural environment.
Simply Living of Central Ohio supports individuals, families and organizations in creating a more compassionate and sustainable world.
Slow Food International
Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization with supporters in 150 countries around the world who are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to their community and the environment.
Slow Food Northern Ohio
Their mission is to foster awareness and appreciation of Northern Ohio’s foods, farms and culinary traditions, new and old.
Slow Food USA
Food is a common language and a universal right. Slow Food USA envisions a world in which all people can eat food that is good for them, good for the people who grow it and good for the planet.
Small-Scale Intensive Farm Training Program
Small-Scale Intensive Farm Training Program is an intensive, hands-on training program that will teach farmers and future farmers, urban food producers, community leaders, and citizens how to commercially produce high-value, nutrient-rich food on small parcels of land.
Smart Growth America
Smart Growth America advocates for people who want to live and work in great neighborhoods. We believe smart growth solutions support businesses and jobs, provide more options for how people get around and make it more affordable to live near work and the grocery store. Our coalition works with communities to fight sprawl and save money. We are making America’s neighborhoods great together.
Smart Growth Network
The SGN works to encourage development that serves the economy, community and the environment. It is a forum for:
• Raising public awareness of how growth can improve community quality of life;
• Promoting smart growth best practices;
• Developing and sharing information, innovative policies, tools and ideas;
• Cultivating strategies to address barriers to and advance opportunities for smart growth.
Society for Ecological Restoration International
To promote ecological restoration as a means of sustaining the diversity of life on Earth and reestablishing an ecologically healthy relationship between nature and culture.
Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests
As a non-profit membership organization, the Forest Society is dedicated to protecting the state’s most important landscapes while promoting the wise use of its renewable natural resources.
Solar Energy International
Solar Energy International was founded in 1991 as a nonprofit educational
organization to help others to use renewable energy resources and sustainable building technologies through education and technical assistance.
Solar Oregon is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit membership organization providing public education and community outreach to encourage Oregonians to choose solar energy.
Solar San Antonio
Solar San Antonio is a non-profit 501(c)(3) advocacy and resource center for renewable and sustainable energy applications. Utilizing community education and outreach, we strive to decrease energy costs and improve the quality of life in San Antonio and South Texas.
To promote the common good by being the most cost-effective provider of the most beneficial solar energy systems.
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe and healthy communities throughout the Southeast.
Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy
Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy works to protect the world’s oldest mountains for the benefit of present and future generation.
Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards
Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards is an organization of concerned community members and their allies who are working to stop the destruction of our communities by surface coal mining, to improve the quality of life in our area and to help rebuild sustainable communities.
Southern Environmental Law Center
Use the power of the law to protect the environment and health of the Southeast.
Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group
Southern SAWG's mission is to empower and inspire farmers, individuals and communities in the South to create an agricultural system that is ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just and humane.
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
The mission of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) is the preservation of the outstanding wilderness at the heart of the Colorado Plateau and the management of these lands in their natural state for the benefit of all Americans.
Southside Community Land Trust
Southside Community Land Trust provides access to land, education and other resources so people in Greater Providence can grow food in environmentally sustainable ways and create community food systems where locally produced, affordable and healthy food is available to all.
Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
Southwest Energy Efficiency Project promotes greater energy efficiency in a six-state region that includes Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming — a high-growth region that is making great strides in advancing energy efficiency since 2002.
Southwest Environmental Center
Their mission is to protect and restore native wildlife and their habitats in the Southwestern borderlands, through advocacy, education and on-the-ground projects.
The Center for Justice is a nonprofit law firm dedicated to the experience of justice for those of limited or no resources through compassion and an awareness of the sacredness of the Earth.
Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development
Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development is a coalition of more than 500 businesses, organizations and individuals dedicated to conserving irreplaceable habitats so future generations can hunt and fish on America’s public lands.
St. Johns Riverkeeper
Our mission is to work on behalf of the community for clean and healthy waters in the St. Johns River, its tributaries and its wetlands, through citizen-based advocacy.
Stand for the Land
Stand for the Land focuses on news relating to public land issues, treaty rights and related citizen activism in the Upper Great Lakes Region.
Stockholm Environment Institute
Stockholm Environment Institute is an independent international research institute engaged in environment and development issues at local, national, regional and global policy levels for more than 20 years.
Stop Climate Chaos
Stop Climate Chaos is dedicated to action on climate change and limiting its impact on the world’s poorest communities.
The Story of Stuff Project
They amplify public discourse on a series of environmental, social and economic concerns and facilitate the growing Story of Stuff community’s involvement in strategic efforts to build a more sustainable and just world.
The Student Conservation Association
The Student Conservation Association’s mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of our environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land.
Fighting for people over profits.
Their mission is the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.
Sustain Dane works toward our vision by staying in touch with what is happening locally and globally, identifying opportunities, building networks and relationships and acting as a catalyst for big ideas and partnerships in our region.
• Shift mindsets—values, attitudes and beliefs—when they are out of step with the realities of a finite planet and a globally powerful human race.
• Restructure systems when the rewards and incentives of the system are inconsistent with long term social, environmental, and economic goals.
• Build the capability to manage and learn in complex environmental, social, and economic systems.
Sustainable Green Country
Sustainable Green Country actively advocates in the areas of: sustainably-grown local food, clean air, mercury emissions, green building, energy conservation & renewable energy, and “greening” local churches and city governments.
Sustainable OKC is a grassroots organization working at the crossroads of business, social justice and the environment. Sustainable OKC promotes community sustainability by facilitating local action, fostering awareness of sustainability, and serving as an informational and networking resource in the Oklahoma City area.
Sustainable Woodstock, a not-for-profit organization founded in 2009, builds on Woodstock’s legacy as the birthplace of the modern conservation movement. We’re working to create a vibrant, inclusive, thriving community where we live sustainably, now and in the future.
Take Action Spread Knowledge Ohio
Take Action Spread Knowledge Ohio is students, parents, faculty, neighbors, public officials and industry representatives who believe in Taking Action and Spreading Knowledge about social and environmental issues, both locally, nationally and globally.
Tar Sands Action
To stop the Keystone XL pipeline.
Terra Madre Foundation
The Terra Madre Foundation is made up of all those who wish to act to preserve, encourage, and support sustainable food production methods.
Texas League of Conservation Voters
The Texas League of Conservation Voters works to preserve and enhance the quality of life of Texans by making conservation a top priority with Texas elected officials, political candidates and voters.
Tilth Producers of Washington State
Tilth Producers promotes ecologically sound, economically viable and socially equitable farming practices that improve the health of our communities and natural environment.
To lead in fostering healthy and active living communities through innovative programs, planning and policy that promotes walking and bicycling throughout the St. Louis bi-state region.
To conserve, protect and restore North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.
Trout Unlimited – Central Wisconsin Chapter
Trout Unlimited’s mission is to conserve, protect and restore North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds.
The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come.
By Dirk Lorenzen
2021 begins as a year of Mars. Although our red planetary neighbor isn't as prominent as it was last autumn, it is still noticeable with its characteristic reddish color in the evening sky until the end of April. In early March, Mars shines close to the star cluster Pleiades in the constellation Taurus.
A Landing Like a James Bond Movie<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUyOTIwMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY3MDU5MDQ2Nn0.aLE-s5r9YhoJs40XbavhUwUXdY97iykXqo0OO0S5eso/img.jpg?width=980" id="19fa1" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c758d3cd0d3e11fbd5290bb95da86396" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="700" data-height="394" />
NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover (shown in artist's illustration) is the most sophisticated rover NASA has ever sent to Mars. Ingenuity, a technology experiment, will be the first aircraft to attempt controlled flight on another planet. Perseverance will arrive at Mars' Jezero Crater with Ingenuity attached to its belly. NASA<p>The highlight of this year's Mars exploration is the landing of the NASA rover "Perseverance" on February 18. Once the spacecraft enters the atmosphere it will be slowed down by friction. The heat shield will surpass 1,000 degrees Celsius. Later, parachutes will deploy to slow it down even more. Roughly two kilometers above the planet's surface, a sky crane comes into play. Four thrusters keep the crane properly oriented.</p><p><span></span>The rover is connected to the crane by nylon tethers. Upon approach of Mars' surface, the sky crane will lower Perseverance down about 7 meters. Once the rover has touched down, the tethers are cut and the sky crane flies off to land somewhere else on the surface.</p><p>Entry, descent and landing takes just seven minutes – the so-called seven minutes of terror. The flight team can't interact with the spacecraft on Mars. Experts have to sit and watch what's happening more than 200 million kilometers away. Radio signals from the spacecraft need about 11 minutes to travel in one direction. When the control center in Pasadena, California receives the message that entry has begun, Perseverance will already be on the ground. There is only one chance for a smooth landing. Any error could mean the mission is lost. The audacious sky crane maneuver would be a great feat in any action movie. But NASA knows how to do it – the Curiosity rover landed with a sky crane in 2012.</p>
Life on Mars?<p>Scientists want to use Perseverance to explore whether there is or ever has been life on Mars. Today the planet is a hostile environment – dry and cold with no magnetic field shielding the harsh radiation from space. Life as we know it can't survive on the Martian surface right now. But billions of years ago, Mars was hotter and wetter and had a shield against radiation. So it is at least plausible that simple microbes developed there. Maybe they live in the soil now, one or two meters below the surface. Perseverance will collect samples to find out. A future mission by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) will pick up the samples and return them to Earth. But this won't happen before 2030.</p>
The Long Wait for James Webb<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUyOTIxMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2OTM1MDUzNX0.0Jmw-vIz6zuOa7eNsVX2oVzc0L6AFp05cAs4QbzdK6c/img.jpg?width=980" id="9cf3e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d46a2f73a4a2e32a9775087750c92431" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="700" data-height="394" />
The Hubble Space Telescope has been orbiting the Earth for more than 30 years. NASA<p>The Hubble Space Telescope's images of planets, nebulae, star clusters and galaxies are legendary. The cosmic eye, launched in 1990, is likely to fail towards the end of this decade. The James Webb Space Telescope will be its successor. It is scheduled to launch on October 31 with a European Ariane 5 rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.</p><p><span></span>The launch date is about 14 years later than planned when the project began in 1997. At almost $10 billion (€8.2 billion), the telescope is more than ten times as expensive as originally conceived. Its namesake James Webb was the NASA administrator during the height of the Apollo project in the 1960s.</p><p>Astronomers expect completely new insights from James Webb Telescope images, such as how the universe came into being, how it developed and how galaxies, stars and planets are formed. The instrument will observe the earliest childhood of the cosmos and photograph objects that already existed in the universe 200 to 300 million years after the Big Bang. James Webb, as the experts call the telescope for short, may even provide information about possibly inhabited exoplanets – planets like ours orbiting stars other than the Sun. </p>
A Sensitive German Camera<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUyOTIxNS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxOTE0MzY3Mn0.o3aPaW5t0MFkEgeJl0HQ1V9lz6WDxKVGXyYWvpfoYyk/img.jpg?width=980" id="6ff49" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="187458ae2291c2aeb3bd36bc1ed777e0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="985" data-height="657" />
The fully assembled James Webb Space Telescope with its sunshield and unitized pallet structures that will fold up around the telescope for launch. NASA<p>The mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope is 6.5 meters in diameter and consists of 18 hexagonal segments. The entire instrument unfolds in 178 steps over a period of several months. Only then – probably in the spring of 2022 – will we see its first images.</p><p>Many communication or reconnaissance satellites only unfold in space. However, not every micrometer is as important as with this telescope. </p><p>NIRSpec, one of the four cameras on board, was built at Airbus in Ottobrunn near Munich. It is made of an unusual material: ceramic. Both the basic structure and the mirrors are made of this very light, hard and extremely temperature-insensitive material. With good reason – the large camera has to withstand a lot in space. It is cooled to around -250 degrees Celsius in order to register the weak infrared or thermal radiation from the depths of space. Plastic or metal bend and lead to blurred images. Ceramic, on the other hand, remains in perfect shape.</p><p>The NIRSpec instrument will examine, among other things, emerging stars and distant galaxies. The ceramic camera is incredibly sensitive – it could register the heat radiation from a burning cigarette on the Moon. Thanks to this precision, astronomers will get completely new insights into the cosmos with the James Webb Telescope and NIRSpec.</p>
No Flight to the Moon but to the ISS<p>It's not very likely that the Orion spacecraft from NASA and ESA will start its maiden voyage to the Moon before the end of 2021. As part of the Artemis-1 mission, it will remain in space for four weeks and will orbit the Moon for a few days. There will be no crew on board for the first flight, but two dummies from the German Aerospace Center, which use thousands of sensors to measure the conditions that human beings would be exposed to. The Orion capsule comes from NASA, while the ESA supplies the service module. The service module, which is being built by Airbus in Bremen, provides propulsion, navigation, altitude control and the supply of air, water and fuel. After problems with an engine test in mid-January, the new NASA large rocket Space Launch System (SLS), with which Orion is supposed to be launched, is unlikely to be operational until early 2022.</p><p><span></span>Matthias Maurer from Saarland is scheduled to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) in October. The flight will be in a Crew Dragon capsule from Cape Canaveral. Maurer will live and work in the orbital outpost for six months. He is currently training to work on numerous scientific experiments. Maurer will be the twelfth German in space.</p><p>So far, Germany has only sent men into space. In mid-March, ESA will start the next application process for astronauts. A few years ago, the private initiative Die Astronautin ("She is an astronaut") showed that there are numerous excellent female applicants.</p>
Two Lunar Eclipses<p>Even if there is no flight to the Moon, sky fans are looking forward to two eclipses this year. On May 26, there will be a lunar eclipse between 9:45 and 12:53 UTC. From 11:10 to 11:28 UTC, the Moon will be completely in the Earth's shadow. It can then only be seen in a copper-red light. This is sunlight that is directed into the Earth's shadow by the Earth's atmosphere – reddish, like the sky at sunset. This eclipse can be observed throughout the Pacific, and will be best viewed in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Antarctica. In Europe, the Moon will be below the horizon and therefore the eclipse will not be visible.</p><p>This also the case for the partial lunar eclipse on November 19. From 07:18 to 10:47 UTC, the Moon will be partly in the shadow of the Earth. In the middle of the eclipse (around 9:03 UTC) 98% of the Moon will be eclipsed. The spectacle will be best seen in North America, Greenland, East Asia and much of the Pacific, such as Hawaii and New Zealand.</p>
Two Solar Eclipses: One Annular, One Total<p><span>In 2021, the Moon will pass right in front of the sun, twice. On June 10, the moon will be nearly in the furthest point of its elliptical orbit around Earth. So it will be too small to cover the sun completely. In the middle of this eclipse, an annulus of the sun will remain visible. The sun's ring of fire appears between 9:55 and 11:28 UTC for a maximum of four minutes – but it will only be visible in the very sparsely populated areas of northeast Canada, northwestern Greenland, the North Pole and the far east of Siberia.</span></p><p>In the North Atlantic, Europe and large parts of Russia, an eclipse will be seen at least partially. Between 8:12 and 13:11 UTC, the Sun will appear like a cookie that has been bitten into as the Moon covers parts of the bright disk. In some places, the eclipse will last about two hours. In Central Europe, a maximum of one-fifth of the sun will be covered.</p>
Dark Sun Over Antarctica<p>The celestial event of the year will be a total solar eclipse on December 4. In a 400-kilometer-wide strip, the New Moon will cover the sun completely. For a maximum of one minute and 54 seconds, day will turn to night. For that short time, the brightest stars can be seen in the sky and the flaming solar corona can be seen around the dark disc of the Moon.</p><p><span></span>Unfortunately, hardly anyone will get to see this cosmic spectacle because the strip of totality only runs through the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic. From 7:03 to 8:04 UTC the umbra of the Moon moves across the Earth's surface – and perhaps some ships' crews will enjoy the solar corona.</p><p>Only during the few minutes of totality is it possible to look safely at the Sun with the naked eye. During the partial phase or in the case of an annular eclipse, suitable protective goggles are necessary to watch the spectacle. Normal sunglasses are not safe. Looking unprotected into the sun can lead to severe eye damage or even blindness.</p>
Two Giant Planets in Northern Summer and Southern Winter<p>Venus, our other neighboring planet, will be behind the sun on March 26. It is not visible for the first few months of the year. From the end of April through Christmas, it will be visible as an evening star in the sky after sunset. The planet, shrouded in dense clouds, is the brightest object in the sky after the Sun and the Moon. The best visibility will be from September to December.</p><p>The giant planet Jupiter is in its best position of the year on August 20. It then shines in the constellation Capricorn, only disappearing from the evening sky at the beginning of next year. The ringed planet Saturn is also in the constellation Capricorn and can be observed particularly well on August 2. </p><p>Jupiter and Saturn are the stars of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and those of the long winter nights in the Southern Hemisphere. They are in the same area of the sky, almost forming a double star with Jupiter being the brighter of the two.</p>
Shooting Stars in August and December<p>There are certain periods when the Earth crosses the orbital path of a comet and shooting stars are much more likely than on other nights. Many small stones and dust particles are scattered on comet orbits, which light up the Earth's atmosphere for a moment when they enter.</p><p>The Perseids are particularly promising: August 9-13, a few dozen meteors (the technical term for shooting stars) will scurry across the sky per hour. The traces of light will seem to come from the constellation Perseus, near the striking celestial W of Cassiopeia. The Geminids – meteors coming from the constellation Gemini – will be similarly exciting with up to 100 shooting stars per hour, December 10-15.</p>
- What 21 Stars Reveal About the Universe - EcoWatch ›
- Earth Is Spinning Faster Than Ever - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Michael Svoboda, Ph.D.
Despite a journey to this moment even more treacherous than expected, Americans now have a fresh opportunity to act, decisively, on climate change.
The authors of the many new books released in just the past few months (or scheduled to be published soon) seem to have anticipated this pivotal moment.
- 10 Best Books On Climate Change, According to Activists - EcoWatch ›
- New and Recent Books About Hope in a Time of Climate Change ... ›
By Katy Neusteter
The Biden-Harris transition team identified COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change as its top priorities. Rivers are the through-line linking all of them. The fact is, healthy rivers can no longer be separated into the "nice-to-have" column of environmental progress. Rivers and streams provide more than 60 percent of our drinking water — and a clear path toward public health, a strong economy, a more just society and greater resilience to the impacts of the climate crisis.
Public Health<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUyNDY3MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MDkxMTkwNn0.pyP14Bg1WvcUvF_xUGgYVu8PS7Lu49Huzc3PXGvATi4/img.jpg?width=980" id="8e577" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1efb3445f5c445e47d5937a72343c012" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="3000" data-height="2302" />
Wild and Scenic Merced River, California. Bob Wick / BLM<p>Let's begin with COVID-19. More than <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html?name=styln-coronavirus&region=TOP_BANNER&block=storyline_menu_recirc&action=click&pgtype=LegacyCollection&impression_id=2f508610-2a87-11eb-8622-4f6c038cbd1d&variant=1_Show" target="_blank">16 million Americans</a> have contracted the coronavirus and, tragically,<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html?name=styln-coronavirus&region=TOP_BANNER&block=storyline_menu_recirc&action=click&pgtype=LegacyCollection&impression_id=2f508610-2a87-11eb-8622-4f6c038cbd1d&variant=1_Show" target="_blank"> more than</a> <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html?name=styln-coronavirus&region=TOP_BANNER&block=storyline_menu_recirc&action=click&pgtype=LegacyCollection&impression_id=2f508610-2a87-11eb-8622-4f6c038cbd1d&variant=1_Show" target="_blank">300,000 have died</a> due to the pandemic. While health officials encourage hand-washing to contain the pandemic, at least <a href="https://closethewatergap.org/" target="_blank">2 million Americans</a> are currently living without running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater treatment. Meanwhile, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/23/millions-of-americans-cant-afford-water-bills-rise" target="_blank">aging water infrastructure is growing increasingly costly for utilities to maintain</a>. That cost is passed along to consumers. The upshot? <a href="https://research.msu.edu/affordable-water-in-us-reaching-a-crisis/" target="_blank">More than 13 million</a> U.S. households regularly face unaffordable water bills — and, thus, the threat of water shutoffs. Without basic access to clean water, families and entire communities are at a higher risk of <a href="https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/news/2020/08/05/488705/bridging-water-access-gap-covid-19-relief/" target="_blank">contracting</a> and spreading COVID-19.</p><p>We have a moral duty to ensure that everyone has access to clean water to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Last spring, <a href="https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/03/coronavirus-stimulus-bill-explained-bailouts-unemployment-benefits.html" target="_blank">Congress appropriated more than $4 trillion</a> to jumpstart the economy and bring millions of unemployed Americans back to work. Additional federal assistance — desperately needed — will present a historic opportunity to improve our crumbling infrastructure, which has been <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/23/millions-of-americans-cant-afford-water-bills-rise" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">grossly underfunded for decades</a>.</p><p>A report by my organization, American Rivers, suggests that <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/american-rivers-website/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/09223525/ECONOMIC-ENGINES-Report-2020.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Congress must invest at least $50 billion</a> "to address the urgent water infrastructure needs associated with COVID-19," including the rising cost of water. This initial boost would allow for the replacement and maintenance of sewers, stormwater infrastructure and water supply facilities.</p>
Economic Recovery<p>Investing in water infrastructure and healthy rivers also creates jobs. Consider, for example, that <a href="https://tinyurl.com/y9p6sgnk" target="_blank">every $1 million spent on water infrastructure in the United States generates more than 15 jobs</a> throughout the economy, according to a report by the Value of Water Campaign. Similarly, <a href="https://tinyurl.com/yyvd2ksp" target="_blank">every "$1 million invested in forest and watershed restoration contracting will generate between 15.7 and 23.8 jobs,</a> depending on the work type," states a working paper released by the Ecosystem Workforce Program, University of Oregon. Healthy rivers also spur tourism and recreation, which many communities rely on for their livelihoods. According to the findings by the Outdoor Industry Association, which have been shared in our report, "Americans participating in watersports and fishing spend over <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/american-rivers-website/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/30222425/Exec-summary-ECONOMIC-ENGINES-Report-June-30-2020.pdf" target="_blank">$174 billion</a> on gear and trip related expenses. And, the outdoor watersports and fishing economy supports over <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/american-rivers-website/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/30222425/Exec-summary-ECONOMIC-ENGINES-Report-June-30-2020.pdf" target="_blank">1.5 million jobs nationwide</a>."</p><p>After the 2008 financial crisis, Congress invested in infrastructure to put Americans back to work. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act <a href="https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-a-budget/25941-clean-water-green-infrastructure-get-major-boost" target="_blank">of 2009 (ARRA) allocated $6 billion</a> for clean water and drinking water infrastructure to decrease unemployment and boost the economy. More specifically, <a href="https://www.conservationnw.org/news-updates/us-reps-push-for-millions-of-restoration-and-resilience-jobs/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">an analysis of ARRA</a> "showed conservation investments generated 15 to 33 jobs per million dollars," and more than doubled the rate of return, according to a letter written in May 2020 by 79 members of Congress, seeking greater funding for restoration and resilience jobs.</p><p>Today, when considering how to create work for the <a href="https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">10.7 million</a> people who are currently unemployed, Congress should review previous stimulus investments and build on their successes by embracing major investments in water infrastructure and watershed restoration.</p>
Racial Justice<p>American Rivers also recommends that Congress dedicate <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/american-rivers-website/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/09223525/ECONOMIC-ENGINES-Report-2020.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">$500 billion for rivers and clean water over the next 10 years</a> — not just for the benefit of our environment and economy, but also to begin to address the United States' history of deeply entrenched racial injustice.</p><p>The <a href="https://www.epa.gov/npdes/sanitary-sewer-overflows-ssos" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">23,000-75,000 sewer overflows</a> that occur each year release up to <a href="https://www.americanrivers.org/2020/05/fighting-for-rivers-means-fighting-for-justice/#:~:text=There%20are%20also%2023%2C000%20to%2075%2C000%20sanitary%20sewer,to%20do%20with%20the%20mission%20of%20American%20Rivers." target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">10 billion gallons of toxic sewage</a> <em>every day</em> into rivers and streams. This disproportionately impacts communities of color, because, for generations, Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other people of color have been <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/flooding-disproportionately-harms-black-neighborhoods/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">relegated</a> to live in flood-prone areas and in neighborhoods that have been intentionally burdened with a lack of development that degrades people's health and quality of life. In some communities of color, incessant flooding due to stormwater surges or <a href="https://www.ajc.com/opinion/opinion-partnering-to-better-manage-our-water/7WQ6SEAQP5E4LGQCEYY5DO334Y/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">combined sewer overflows</a> has gone unmitigated for decades.</p><p>We have historically treated people as separate from rivers and water. We can't do that anymore. Every voice — particularly those of people most directly impacted — must have a loudspeaker and be included in decision-making at the highest levels.</p><p>Accordingly, the new administration must diligently invest in projects at the community level that will improve lives in our country's most marginalized communities. We also must go further to ensure that local leaders have a seat at the decision-making table. To this end, the Biden-Harris administration should restore <a href="https://www.epa.gov/cwa-401#:~:text=Section%20401%20Certification%20The%20Clean%20Water%20Act%20%28CWA%29,the%20United%20States.%20Learn%20more%20about%20401%20certification." target="_blank">Section 401 of the Clean Water Act</a>, which was undermined by the <a href="https://earthjustice.org/news/press/2020/tribes-and-environmental-groups-sue-trump-administration-to-preserve-clean-water-protections#:~:text=Under%20Section%20401%20of%20the%20Clean%20Water%20Act%2C,seeks%20to%20undermine%20that%20authority%20in%20several%20ways%3A" target="_blank">Trump administration's 2020 regulatory changes</a>. This provision gives states and tribes the authority to decide whether major development projects, such as hydropower and oil and gas projects, move forward.</p>
Climate Resilience<p>Of course, the menacing shadow looming over it all? Climate change. <a href="https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/IFRC_wdr2020/IFRC_WDR_ExecutiveSummary_EN_Web.pdf" target="_blank">More than 100 climate-related catastrophes</a> have pummeled the Earth since the pandemic was declared last spring, including the blitzkrieg of megafires, superstorms and heat waves witnessed during the summer of 2020, directly impacting the lives of more than <a href="https://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/IFRC_wdr2020/IFRC_WDR_ExecutiveSummary_EN_Web.pdf" target="_blank">50 million people globally</a>.</p><p>Water and climate scientist Brad Udall often says, "<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQhpj5G0dME" target="_blank">Climate change is water change</a>." In other words, the most obvious and dire impacts of climate change are evidenced in profound changes to our rivers and water resources. You've likely seen it where you live: Floods are more damaging and frequent. Droughts are deeper and longer. Uncertainty is destabilizing industry and lives.</p><p>By galvanizing action for healthy rivers and managing our water resources more effectively, we can insure future generations against the consequences of climate change. First, we must safeguard rivers that are still healthy and free-flowing. Second, we must protect land and property against the ravages of flooding. And finally, we must promote policies and practical solutions that take the science of climate disruption into account when planning for increased flooding, water shortage and habitat disruption.</p><p>Imagine all that rivers do for us. Most of our towns and cities have a river running through them or flowing nearby. Rivers provide clean drinking water, irrigate crops that provide our food, power our homes and businesses, provide wildlife habitat, and are the lifeblood of the places where we enjoy and explore nature, and where we play and nourish our spirits. Healthy watersheds help <a href="https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/03/1059952" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mitigate</a> climate change, absorbing and reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Healthy rivers and floodplains help communities adapt and build resilience in the face of climate change by improving flood protection and providing water supply and quality benefits. Rivers are the cornerstones of healthy, strong communities.</p><p>The more than <a href="https://archive.epa.gov/water/archive/web/html/index-17.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">3 million miles</a> of rivers and streams running across our country are a source of great strength and opportunity. When we invest in healthy rivers and clean water, we can improve our lives. When we invest in rivers, we create jobs and strengthen our economy. When we invest in rivers, we invest in our shared future.</p>
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