'Trump's Election Is a Disaster'
Totally freaked out is the best way I can explain how I'm feeling right now knowing Donald Trump has won the presidency. Yes, the billionaire television personality who denies climate change, has ties to the Dakota Access Pipeline, and has promised to "renegotiate" the Paris agreement and completely dismantle the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will be the next President of the United States!
My email inbox is stuffed full with reactions from the environmental community and Twitter is on fire. Here are some of those reactions:
"Our hearts go out today to the millions of people who voted against bigotry and hate and now have to accept the fact that the man who ridiculed and threatened them for months is the President-elect of the United States," Greenpeace USA's Executive Director Annie Leonard shared. "Fear may have won this election, but bravery, hope and perseverance will overcome.
"Trump's election is a disaster, but we must channel our anger and fear into hope and resolve," said May Boeve, 350 Action's executive director. "Our work becomes much harder now, but it's not impossible, and we refuse to give up. Together, we will put everything on the line to protect the progress we've made and continue to push for bold action. We refuse to leave the future of our climate in Trump's hands. Now is the time to take a deep breath and fight like never before."
Renowned climate scientist Michael Mann sums it up perfectly:
Gary Wockner, a Colorado-based environmental activist and former Democratic Party campaign manager, blames the Democratic Party for Trump's win.
"This election is a sharp and dramatic repudiation of mainstream Democratic and environmental politics, which supported every anti-environmental whim of Hillary Clinton and aggressively undermined the candidacy of Bernie Sanders," Wockner said. "We now have a historic wakeup call and opportunity to recapture American environmentalism as the voice of the people, not of corporate Democratic Party power."
As far as the Paris agreement goes, Jean Su of the Center for Biological Diversity said, "The Paris agreement was signed and ratified not by a president, but by the United States itself. One man alone, especially in the twenty-first century, should not strip the globe of the climate progress that it has made and should continue to make. As a matter of international law, and as a matter of human survival, the nations of the world can, must and will hold the United States to its climate commitments. And it's incumbent upon U.S. communities to unite and push forth progressive climate policies on a state and local level, where federal policy does not reign."
And, as Friends o the Earth puts it, "We will have to harness our new energy, join together and use every strategy possible to fight against hate and greed and environmental destruction. While I wish we had a different fight before us, we must fight the one presented to us. The future of our country and planet depends on it."
By Tim Radford
Scientists have calculated yet another item on the human shopping list that makes up the modern world: plastics. They have estimated the mass of all the plastic bottles, bags, cups, toys, instruments and fabrics ever produced and tracked its whereabouts, as yet another index of the phenomenal change to the face of the planet made by recent human advance.
Altogether, since about 1950, with the birth of a new industry, more than 8.3 billion tonnes (or 9.1 tons) of synthetic organic polymers have been generated, distributed and discarded. Of that total, 6.3 billion tonnes are classified as waste.
By Jessica Corbett
As Senate Democrats stay silent on an energy bill that environmental groups call "a pro-fracking giveaway to oil and gas interests that would commit America to decades more of dangerous fossil fuel dependence," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is receiving applause for speaking out against it.
"As a nation, our job is to move away from fossil fuels toward sustainable energy and energy efficiency. This bill does the opposite," Sanders said in a statement.
ExxonMobil filed suit against the federal government last week, claiming that a $2 million fine levied against the company by the Treasury Department is "unlawful" and "capricious."
The Treasury Department fined Exxon Thursday morning, alleging that the oil giant displayed "reckless disregard" of U.S.-Russian sanctions in its dealings with Russian company Rosneft in 2014 under CEO Rex Tillerson.
By Andy Rowell
For years, environmentalists have warned that due to climate change, there will be billions of barrels of oil that we will never be able to burn. These reserves will become what has increasingly been called "stranded assets."
To give you one example: In a new report, Friends of the Earth argued that "The coal, oil and gas in reserves already in production and development globally is more than we can afford to burn. There is no room for any new coal, oil or gas exploration and production.
Late last year, the tiny house community celebrated a watershed moment—an official appendix in the 2018 version of the International Residential Code, the model building code used by most jurisdictions in the U.S.
"There are many things that are monumental in the adoption of tiny house construction codes by the IRC," cheered Thom Stanton, the CEO of small space developer, Timber Trails. "Among them, that architects, designers, builders, community developers and (maybe most importantly) zoning officials have a means of recognizing tiny houses as an official form of permissible dwelling."
The colossal mass of throwaway plastic—from straws to bags to bottles—has grown much faster than recycling and disposal efforts can contain it. You might even say this is obvious, no matter where you look.
Check out this video from National Geographic to watch underwater photographer Huai Su film a diver collecting an endless amount of plastic bottles that litter the seafloor off Xiaoliuqiu Island, Taiwan.
A reef off the coast of Cancún will become the first in the world with its own insurance policy, testing a new strategy meant to encourage local investment in the wellbeing of the reef.
Under the policy, created by insurance company Swiss Re and the Nature Conservancy, local hotels and other organizations dependent on tourism will pay into the policy, receiving reimbursements to repair the reef and local beaches after natural disasters.
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) denounced the USDA's permit for the world's first open-air trials of the Genetically Engineered (GE) Diamondback moth to be released in Geneva, New York.
This announcement came concurrently with the availability of a final environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact for the field release of the GE Diamondback moths. NOFA-NY considers the Environmental Assessment lacking comprehensive health and environmental details.