On Saturday, Oct. 19, thousands of people joined together in an international day of action, with more than 250 events on six continents, calling for a ban on fracking.
“Fracking is a global issue with significant policy and political implications both in the U.S. and overseas,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “In January, President Obama promised to take ‘bold action’ on climate change, but his plans to accelerate drilling and fracking will only exacerbate the problem. It’s time for him to be a leader on the global stage and reject fracking as many communities around the world have already done.”
A sampling of Global Frackdown 2 events in the U.S., included:
- California: On the heels of Gov. Brown signing a weak bill on fracking, Environment California coordinated with student activists on several University of California campuses.
- New Jersey: Activists and students attended events in New Brunswick and Highland Park, two towns that have banned fracking.
- Wisconsin: Volunteers organized citizens to write hand-written letters to state legislators to stop frac-sand mining, which is threatening land, water and farms in the western part of the state.
- Colorado, New York, New Mexico and North Carolina: Volunteers urged citizens to sign petitions calling on leaders and policy makers to take action to stop fracking.
- Massachusetts: Community members attended a farmers’ market to let local farmers know about the threat of fracking to water, soil and livestock.
- Pennsylvania: PennEnvironment addressed thousands of students gathered in Pittsburgh for the Powershift conference, coordinated a march and rally, and distributed Student Frack Packs for action when they get back to campus.
- Ohio: A letter, signed by Food & Water Watch, Buckeye Forest Council, FRAC Action Columbus and more than 30 local, state and national groups, was delivered to Gov. Kasich's office calling for a ban on injection wells in the state.
"The Global Frackdown shows that the movement for a ban on fracking is truly worldwide. To frack or not to frack comes down to this simple choice: do we want another fifty years of dependency and addiction to toxic fossil fuels, or do we want to move on—worldwide—to renewable energy,” said Josh Fox, the director of Gasland and advisory board member for Americans Against Fracking.
“From every perspective; be it water and air contamination, global climate change or the health of our democracies worldwide, we need to break from the past. The Global Frackdown is one of many powerful moments where the world is saying we need to move on."
A recent poll released by the Pew Research Group finds that opposition to fracking has grown significantly across most regions and demographic groups, according to Food & Water Watch. Overall, 49 percent are opposed to increased fracking, up from 38 percent in March. Scientific studies continue to confirm the inherent dangers of fracking to the environment and public health. American people are seeing through the millions of dollars being spent on advertising by the oil and gas industry, and are increasingly opposing fracking, according to Food & Water Watch.
Polls in key states such as New York, California and Pennsylvania also show high levels of opposition to fracking. A recent poll released by Siena College finds that 45 percent of New York voters oppose the state Department of Environmental Conservation plans to move forward with fracking in the Southern Tier.
“Fracking is an environmental nightmare–from contaminated water in New Mexico to residents getting sick in Pennsylvania to tons of global warming pollution released,” said John Rumpler, senior attorney at Environment America and co-author of Fracking by the Numbers: Key Impacts of Dirty Drilling at the State and National Level. “As the truth gets out about all the damage done by this dirty drilling, more and more people are calling for a ban on fracking.”
Last week, the European Parliament voted to require energy companies to conduct environmental audits before commencing drilling and fracking, and a French court upheld a ban on fracking. Bulgaria and some Swiss and German states have also adopted a ban or a moratorium on fracking activities, and other European Union member states, such as the Czech Republic, Romania and Germany are considering a moratorium on fracking until an adequate regulatory framework has been is in place for unconventional energy projects such as shale gas, according to Food & Water Watch. To date, 383 communities in the U.S. have passed measures against fracking.
“All over the world people are rising up to say, ‘Instead of fracking for ever dirtier fuel, it's time to tap the endless energy of the wind and sun,’" said Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org.
- New Clues Help Monarch Butterfly Conservation Efforts - EcoWatch ›
- Monarch Butterflies Will Be Protected Under Historic Deal - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
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.
- Remarkable Drop in Colorado River Water Use Sign of Climate ... ›
- California Faces a Future of Extreme Weather - EcoWatch ›
Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.
<div id="dadb2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa2ad8cb566c9b4b6d2df2693669f6f9"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1357796504740761602" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🚨Cute baby alert! Wisdom's chick has hatched!!! 🐣😍 Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, ban… https://t.co/Nco050ztBA</div> — USFWS Pacific Region (@USFWS Pacific Region)<a href="https://twitter.com/USFWSPacific/statuses/1357796504740761602">1612558888.0</a></blockquote></div>
By Hui Hu
Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.
Comparing rime ice and glaze ice shows how each changes the texture of the blade. Gao, Liu and Hu, 2021, CC BY-ND
Ice buildup changes air flow around the turbine blade, which can slow it down. The top photos show ice forming after 10 minutes at different temperatures in the Wind Research Tunnel. The lower measurements show airflow separation as ice accumulates. Icing Research Tunnel of Iowa State University, CC BY-ND
While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
- 14 Countries Commit to Ocean Sustainability Initiative - EcoWatch ›
- These 11 Innovations Are Protecting Ocean Life - EcoWatch ›
- How Innovation Is Driving the Blue Economy - EcoWatch ›