California faces another "critically dry year" according to state officials, and a destructive wildfire season looms on its horizon. But in a state that welcomes innovation, water efficacy approaches and drought management could replenish California, increasingly threatened by the climate's new extremes.
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By Kate Whiting
From Greta Thunberg to Sir David Attenborough, the headline-grabbing climate change activists and environmentalists of today are predominantly white. But like many areas of society, those whose voices are heard most often are not necessarily representative of the whole.
1. Wangari Maathai<p>In 2004, Professor Maathai made history as the <a href="https://www.nobelpeaceprize.org/Prize-winners/Prizewinner-documentation/Wangari-Maathai" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize</a> for her dedication to sustainable development, democracy and peace. She started the <a href="http://www.greenbeltmovement.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Green Belt Movement</a>, a community-based tree planting initiative that aims to reduce poverty and encourage conservation, in 1977. More than 51 million trees have been planted helping build climate resilience and empower communities, especially women and girls. Her environmental work is celebrated every year on <a href="http://www.greenbeltmovement.org/node/955" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Wangari Maathai Day on 3 March</a>.</p>
2. Robert Bullard<p>Known as the 'father of environmental justice,' Dr Bullard has <a href="https://www.unep.org/championsofearth/laureates/2020/robert-bullard" target="_blank">campaigned against harmful waste</a> being dumped in predominantly Black neighborhoods in the southern states of the U.S. since the 1970s. His first book, Dumping in Dixie, highlighted the link between systemic racism and environmental oppression, showing how the descendants of slaves were exposed to higher-than-average levels of pollutants. In 1994, his work led to the signing of the <a href="https://www.nrdc.org/experts/albert-huang/20th-anniversary-president-clintons-executive-order-12898-environmental-justice" target="_blank">Executive Order on Environmental Justice</a>, which the <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/27/executive-order-on-tackling-the-climate-crisis-at-home-and-abroad/" target="_blank">Biden administration is building on</a>.<br></p>
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Pollution has a race problem. Elizabethwarren.com
3. John Francis<p>Helping the clean-up operation after an oil spill in San Francisco Bay in January 1971 inspired Francis to <a href="https://planetwalk.org/about-john/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">stop taking motorized transport</a>. Instead, for 22 years, he walked everywhere. He also took a vow of silence that lasted 17 years, so he could listen to others. He has walked the width of the U.S. and sailed and walked through South America, earning the nickname "Planetwalker," and raising awareness of how interconnected people are with the environment.</p>
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4. Dr. Warren Washington<p>A meteorology and climate pioneer, Dr. Washington was one of the first people to develop atmospheric computer models in the 1960s, which have helped scientists understand climate change. These models now also incorporate the oceans and sea ice, surface water and vegetation. In 2007, the <a href="https://www.cgd.ucar.edu/pcm/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Parallel Climate Model (PCM)</a> and <a href="https://www.cesm.ucar.edu/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Community Earth System Model (CESM)</a>, earned Dr. Washington and his colleagues the <a href="https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/2007/summary/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Nobel Peace Prize</a>, as part of the <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change</a>.</p>
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5. Angelou Ezeilo<p>Huge trees and hikes to pick berries during her childhood in upstate New York inspired Ezeilo to become an environmentalist and set up the <a href="https://gyfoundation.org/staff/Angelou-Ezeilo" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Greening Youth Foundation</a>, to educate future generations about the importance of preservation. Through its schools program and Youth Conservation Corps, the social enterprise provides access to nature to disadvantaged children and young people in the U.S. and West Africa. In 2019, Ezeilo published her book <em>Engage, Connect, Protect: Empowering Diverse Youth as Environmental Leaders</em>, co-written by her Pulitzer Prize-winning brother Nick Chiles.</p>
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Kidney stones are hard deposits that form in the kidneys. They are produced when minerals and salts, most commonly calcium oxalate, crystallize in the kidneys, creating hard, crystal-like stones. If you've ever had a kidney stone, we're sure you won't want to repeat the experience!
Ideally, you never want to have to go through this painful process. Fortunately, several steps and natural treatments can be used to reduce the chances of suffering them. In this article we'll examine how these annoying solidifications originate and how to treat them effectively and quickly with natural remedies.
Massive rainfall in Australia's most populous state of New South Wales (NSW) has brought the worst flooding in decades, forcing more than 18,000 people to flee their homes.
By Tara Lohan
One of President Joe Biden's first acts in office put an end to a decade-long fight over the Keystone XL — a pipeline that would have carried climate-polluting tar sands from Alberta, Canada into the United States.
How did you get involved in being a water protector?<p>When I was in law school, I started doing tribal law work and ended up in Washington, D.C. representing tribes all over the country. At the same time there were serious environmental issues coming through D.C. My first internship was at the White House when Obama was reviewing Keystone XL and I saw a lot of breakdowns in the efficacy of the federal system and a lack of movement.</p><p>When the<a href="https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2014/05/14/cowboys-and-indians-stand-together-against-keystone-xl/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> Cowboy Indian Alliance</a> staged a protest in 2014 against the Keystone XL pipeline, I went. It was my first protest. After that I kept working on environmental justice issues for tribal nations, and then two years later a <a href="https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a20822956/pipeline-protesters-run-their-message-to-capitol-hill/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">group of runners</a> from Standing Rock came out to D.C. [to raise awareness about the Dakota Access Pipeline that would carry Bakken crude across the Plains].</p><p>I listened to LaDonna Brave Bull Allard [from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe] on Facebook Live ask for help. I could tell she meant everything she said, so I just packed up my stuff, rented a car and drove out to North Dakota.</p><p>I planned on being out there [at the Standing Rock protest camp] for a weekend. I ended up staying six months.</p><p>Something was different about this Native tribe saying no. There've been lots of tribes that have said no for hundreds of years, but these guys weren't just saying it, they were putting their bodies in front of the machines and refusing to move. The groundswell of youth, the encampment, the legal fight against the federal government — it all came together in this moment.</p><p>I think for a lot of tribal people it felt different. We were very united in the struggle.</p><p>It was also eye-opening for a lot of other people around the world. Mostly because I don't think a lot of people are even aware that Native people still exist. And that we're still very much engaged in an ongoing struggle for our land and water against either the United States or these foreign interests.</p>
And now you’re engaged in a similar struggle against another Canadian energy company — Enbridge. What’s at stake with Line 3?<p>After the ground fight at Dakota Access ended and they bulldozed our camp, I went back to D.C., but I had a hard time coming back to the world as I understood it, because it'd been changed.</p><p>So in 2018 I founded the Giniw Collective. It was in response to the Minnesota Public Utility Commission unanimously approving Line 3 after years of work and tens of thousands of comments and engagement against the project by Minnesotans.</p><p>I started building and finding others to build with, to create a strong resistance community that was also engaging in traditional foods and establishing foundational relationships with the land.</p>
Construction has already begun. Where do things stand legally with efforts to stop it?<p>There's a set of legal opinions due March 23 that are very critical in terms of the feds hearing what we are bringing forward, particularly from the tribal nations that have signed onto these lawsuits and are impacted directly by Line 3.</p><p>Then there's also an ongoing lawsuit by the Minnesota Department of Commerce against the Minnesota Public Utility Commission. The state is actually suing itself for not being able to demonstrate that there's a need for this project. The tar sands and oil products that will go through the pipeline are for foreign markets. They're not for Minnesota or the United States.</p>
What about at the federal level?<p>There's also this <a href="https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/03/08/climate-time-bomb-370-groups-urge-biden-immediately-halt-line-3-pipeline" target="_blank">huge push</a> on [President Joe] Biden, who canceled Keystone XL on day one and has centered himself as the climate president. We're looking to the administration to intervene on something that's an obvious climate disaster.</p><p>How can we say we'll cancel one pipeline but build another? It's the same types of violations and the same types of climate impacts coming out of the Alberta tar sands.</p><p>Building Line 3 will have the equivalent emissions of building <a href="https://mn350.org/giant-step-backward/" target="_blank">50 new coal power plants</a>. That's insane.</p><p>We <em>are</em> seeing progress, though. We just secured another meeting with the Council on Environmental Quality. I had a number of meetings with members of the Biden transition team and different agencies. I know [National Climate Advisor] Gina McCarthy was just questioned a couple of weeks ago by Showtime about Dakota Access and Line 3. So the message is getting into their ears. It's just that we need to hear some response.</p>
Where are you finding inspiration now?<p>The pieces that inspire me the most and give me the most hope are seeing people engaged in resistance during a pandemic to defend the planet and defend life for someone who's not even born yet. That's incredibly powerful to be part of and to see that happen in real time.</p><p>To watch someone harvest wild rice for the first time, to watch someone stop destruction of a place in real time for a day — that's really powerful. To see young people finding their voices and using their bodies to try to protect what's supposed to be their world. They are literally fighting for life and their right to a future. That's a really beautiful thing to see, and it's really inspiring and hopeful.</p><p>We've trained hundreds of people over the last two and a half years in direct action. I try to push folks to think about direct action not just as being about getting arrested or something like that. To me, it's about standing with the Earth in a real way, putting something at risk and being uncomfortable. I don't think that we're going to solve the climate crisis comfortably. I don't think we're going to solar panel or policy-make our way out of this massive existential threat we're facing.</p><p>To take action is to do something in community with the Earth. To think about our own connection to her in everything that we do. I like to remind people that Native people are 5% of the world's population and we're holding <a href="https://www.iucn.org/news/secretariat/201908/iucn-director-generals-statement-international-day-worlds-indigenous-peoples-2019#:~:text=For%20centuries%2C%20indigenous%20peoples%20across,preserved%20much%20of%20Earth's%20biodiversity.&text=As%20much%20as%2080%25%20of,in%20the%20world's%20tropical%20forests." target="_blank">80% of the world's [forest] biodiversity</a>.</p><p>That isn't by accident or happenstance. That is because we have a deep connection to the Earth and an understanding that the Earth is a living being, just like we are.</p>
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Hawaii is on its way to banning more reef-damaging sunscreens.
Coastal Oahu, Hawaii and the Kualoa Ranch. Hawaii is considering banning more reef-harming sunscreens to protect its unique coral reefs. Art Wager / E+ / Getty Images<p>"This is great news for our imperiled <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/coral-reefs" target="_self">coral reefs</a> and <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/marine-life" target="_self">marine life</a>," Maxx Phillips, Hawai'i director and staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), <a href="https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/hawaii-senate-bill-bans-harmful-sunscreen-chemicals-2021-03-09/" target="_blank">said</a> in response to the Senate vote. "People can protect their skin without harmful petrochemicals while Hawai'i protects public and environmental health."</p><p>The bill comes amidst growing scientific awareness of the impact of common sunscreen chemicals on marine life. These chemicals can make corals more susceptible to viral infections and <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/coral-bleaching" target="_self">bleaching</a>, as well as disrupting the reproductive systems of <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/fish" target="_self">fish</a> and other animals, the <a href="https://www.staradvertiser.com/2021/03/12/breaking-news/sunscreen-bill-banning-more-reef-unfriendly-chemicals-in-hawaii-advances-legislature/" target="_blank">Honolulu Star Advertiser reported</a>.</p>
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"I AM DONE!!! I DID IT!!!"
<div id="d84cc" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="3c537d3ba68dd21f051700d08c1a5f13"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1367960194949464065" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">I AM DONE!!! I DID IT!!! After **589** days of picking up trash every single day, I can say with confidence that E… https://t.co/7ko2wntQK3</div> — Edgar McGregor (@Edgar McGregor)<a href="https://twitter.com/edgarrmcgregor/statuses/1367960194949464065">1614982100.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="8f228" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1585b4364c0b6f60f18be712302eb9cc"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1369740026964180994" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Trash pickup day 594. This was a 150 minute pickup. #EarthCleanUp It's hailing! Did two buckets in my park. Most… https://t.co/AcEAkC10Xn</div> — Edgar McGregor (@Edgar McGregor)<a href="https://twitter.com/edgarrmcgregor/statuses/1369740026964180994">1615406445.0</a></blockquote></div>
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By Andrew Christ and Paul Bierman
In 1963, inside a covert U.S. military base in northern Greenland, a team of scientists began drilling down through the Greenland ice sheet. Piece by piece, they extracted an ice core 4 inches across and nearly a mile long. At the very end, they pulled up something else – 12 feet of frozen soil.
Engineers pull up a section of the 4,560-foot-long ice core at Camp Century in the 1960s. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Workers build the snow tunnels at the Camp Century research base in 1960. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Geomorphologist Paul Bierman (right) and geochemist Joerg Schaefer of Columbia University examine the jars holding Camp Century sediment for the first time. They were in a Danish freezer set at -17 F. Paul Bierman / CC BY-ND
Maps of Greenland show the speed of the ice sheet as it flows (left) and the landscape hidden beneath it (right). BedMachine v3; Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) / CC BY-ND
The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today is well beyond past levels determined from ice cores. On March 14, 2021, the CO2 level was about 417 ppm. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory / CC BY-ND
Tundra near the Greenland ice sheet today. Is this what Camp Century looked like before the ice came back sometime in the last million years? Paul Bierman / CC BY-ND
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French environmental groups have won a landmark court case hailed as the "affair of the century."
By Kimberly Nicole Pope
During this year's Davos Agenda Week, leaders from the private and public sectors highlighted the urgent need to halt and reverse nature loss. Deliberate action on the interlinked climate and ecological crises to achieve a net-zero, nature-positive economy is paramount. At the same time, these leaders also presented a message of hope: that investing in nature holds the key to ensuring economic and social prosperity and resilience.
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The state of Virginia is taking a stand against single-use plastics.
By Jonathan Levy
During a presidential election debate on Oct. 22, 2020, former President Donald Trump railed against Democratic proposals to retrofit homes. "They want to take buildings down because they want to make bigger windows into smaller windows," he said. "As far as they're concerned, if you had no window, it would be a lovely thing."
Maintenance is key to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Healthy Home Principles. HUD
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Washington state residents are taking climate matters into their own hands. Beginning this month, 90 members of the public join the country's first climate assembly to develop pollution solutions, Crosscut reported.