The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.
The military's official newspaper, Krasnaya Zvezda (or "Red Star"), reported Friday that the Defense Ministry has teamed up with the local administration and environmental experts to protect the village inhabitants from "the aggressive behavior of polar bears."
One of the actions to prevent future invasions include converting an open dump into a waste incineration site within the next two years so it will no longer attract hungry bears, the report stated.
Video footage and photos posted to social media show the animals eating garbage from a trash dump, appearing near school grounds and entering buildings and residential homes.
"It is impossible to run away from a polar bear!" Belushya Guba administrators said in a statement quoted by DPA. "Due to a deficit of food, polar bears can turn their attention to any potential source of food, including a human."
The Russian military is being called in to help an Arctic Russian town ward off a wave of hungry polar bears… https://t.co/1BRl1aYLoV— dpa news agency (@dpa news agency)1550243400.0
Polar bears are considered an endangered species in Russia, so killing them is prohibited. But officials said that if non-lethal means cannot drive away the marauders, they might have no choice but to cull them, the BBC reported.
A polar bear uses sea ice as a platform to catch its favored prey, ringed and bearded seals. But the rapidly warming Arctic has broken up sea ice and has forced bears to spend more time on land to search of food, like in the Russian settlement, experts have theorized.
What do #polarbears do when their sea ice habitat fails? They look for alternatives. The bears in the Barents-Kara… https://t.co/Afx3uj1xe3— Andrew Derocher (@Andrew Derocher)1549910689.0
A group of scientists from the national natural resources agency have recently been sent to the area to help disperse the animals, according to the Associated Press. They are equipped with the tools and training to properly sedate and relocate the bear.
"That's just an option; at the moment it is being considered, but there's no 100-percent guarantee it will be applied," Alexander Gornikh, regional head of the natural resources agency, told the AP.
Fortunately, the military said in Krasnaya Zvezda's report that there is hope that the bears will go away on their own, as ice cover has formed amid falling temperatures.
Polar Bears Could Be Struggling to Catch Enough Prey, Study Shows https://t.co/q0xiaRZ6iP @TheCCoalition @climatecouncil— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1517654105.0
This year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates focused on nine things that surprised them. For the Microsoft-cofounder, one thing he was surprised to learn was the massive amount of new buildings the planet should expect in the coming decades due to urban population growth.
"The number of buildings in the world is going to double by 2060. It's like we're going to build a new New York City every month for the next 40 years," he said.
Construction materials such as steel, cement wood "requires lots of energy from fossil fuels," as Gates noted in the letter, "and the processes involved release carbon as a byproduct."
"We need to find a way to make it all without worsening climate change," he wrote.
The "larger point," the billionaire philanthropist said, is that battling climate change requires much more than just solar panels and wind turbines. It requires "breakthrough inventions" across every polluting sector—buildings, agriculture, electricity, manufacturing and transportation.
Those five industries are the biggest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, or as Gates calls them, the five "grand challenges in climate change."
"Solar panels are great, but we should be hearing about trucks, cement, and cow farts too," he wrote.
For instance, electricity counts for only a quarter of the emissions, Gates said in a promo video with Melinda for their annual letter. "Things like cement, steel, meat—there's a lot of other activities that are generating 75 percent of it," he said.
Bill and Melinda Gates's 2019 Annual Letter www.youtube.com
Meanwhile, agriculture accounts for another 24 percent of greenhouse gases. Gates quipped: "That includes cattle, which give off methane when they belch and pass gas. (A personal surprise for me: I never thought I'd be writing seriously about bovine flatulence.)"
On that note, Gates was happy to report that the European Commission recently committed to invest in research and development on the five challenge areas, and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the $1 billion fund he helped launch, will be using the five areas to as a guide for their future investments in clean-energy companies.
Breakthrough Energy Ventures counts a number of wealthy and influential billionaires as investors and board members, including Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, Virgin Group's Richard Branson, Alibaba founder Jack Ma and more.
"Part of the solution is to invest in innovation in all five sectors so we can do these things without destroying the climate," Gates concluded. "We need breakthrough inventions in each of the grand challenges."
World's Richest Launch $1 Billion Fund to Fight Climate Change, Invest in Clean Tech https://t.co/0BgcxJqFpg @greenpeaceaustp— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1481625310.0
A good backup generator can help you keep your home running smoothly, even in the event of a major power outage. And, when you choose a solar generator, you can power your home using clean, renewable energy from the sun. By contrast, gas and diesel generators burn fossil fuels, and are extremely loud and spew harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Here are the best solar power generators available today that can provide a cleaner alternative for home generators.
Our Picks for the Top Solar Generators
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Best Overall - Renogy Lycan Powerbox
- Best All-Purpose - Goal Zero Yeti 6000X
- Best for Camping - Jackery Explorer 1000
- Most Affordable - Westinghouse iGen600s
- Fastest Charging- EcoFlow DELTA
- Best for Appliances - MAXOAK Bluetti AC200P
- Most Powerful - Point Zero Energy Titan
How We Reviewed the Best Solar Generators
There are a number of factors we considered when choosing which solar power generators to recommend, including:
- Battery capacity. Battery storage capacity is an important ranking factor. A greater battery capacity means the generator can store more energy, which ultimately means it will last longer without requiring a recharge. This is measured in watt-hours (Wh).
- Power output. When your generator is up and running, it will put out a certain amount of energy, measured in watts. It's important to select a generator that offers enough watts for you to power your essential home appliances.
- Inverter rating. The inverter is a critical part of any backup power generator. Basically, this is the component that turns solar energy into AC (alternating current) electricity. Inverter rating, along with battery capacity, determine how much power you can get from your home backup generator.
- Expandability. In order for your backup generator to function, you'll need some way of charging it. And if you plan to rely on solar energy, that means using solar panels. Expandability means that you can add solar panels to your generator as needed, making it easier to absorb more sunlight for energy.
- Number of outlets. How many devices or appliances do you need to charge? The functionality of your backup generator will be determined by how many outlets or ports are available.
- Price. Of course, as you look for the best home backup generator, one of the most crucial considerations of all is your budget. We've sought to emphasize generators that offer maximum value.
Based on these criteria, we've determined the solar backup generators that offer the most consumer value.Check out our complete list of recommendations below. You can also read our complete review of the best solar energy companies for rooftop home solar systems.
The Best Solar Energy Generators
Best Overall: Renogy Lycan Powerbox
Renogy produces several different power stations and chargers, but we especially like the Lycan Powerbox, a solar power solution that's only a little bit bigger than a suitcase. It comes with an easy-grip handle and heavy-duty wheels, making it one of the most portable solar generators around while still offering 1200W of output, which is enough power for most electronic devices and some appliances.
Why buy: The Lycan Powerbox can provide 1075 watt-hours of continuous power without the noise or fumes associated with gas generators. It offers great portability and includes an LCD display and easy, intuitive controls that allow you to switch between DC power and AC power as needed, as well USB ports and 12 volt car charger ports.
Best All-Purpose: Goal Zero Yeti 6000X
The Yeti 6000X is actually a portable power station that can be used for off-grid camping or powering an RV. With 6,000 watt-hours and two 2000W AC charger ports, it will give you plenty of power for your home. With a home integration kit, it's easy to use the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X to power essential circuits.
Why buy: Though it isn't exactly cheap, the Yeti 6000X power station is a great all-purpose backup generator, including a top-of-the-line charge controller and two robust AC outlets that make it easy for you to keep your household essentials up and running. It can even power a full-size refrigerator or microwave.
Best for Camping: Jackery Explorer 1000
The Jackery Explorer 1000 portable power station is one of the best all-around options, equally suited for outdoor activities and for emergency power readiness. Though it's rated for 1,000 watts, it can actually get closer to 2,000. The lithium battery pack offers a capacity of 1,200 watt-hours, and Jackery's professional MPPT technology makes it easy to get your unit fully charged in a relatively short span of time (usually just eight hours if you have two panels going).
Why buy: Jackery is one of the leading names in outdoor equipment and in clean energy products. This portable power station is a great pick for campers and can also be a very effective home backup power solution for small appliances and electronics thanks to its pure sine wave inverter AC outlets.
Most Affordable: Westinghouse iGen600s
Westinghouse Outdoor Power
Westinghouse is another company that specializes in solar powered generators, most of which are more ideally suited for camping trips. Their iGen600s portable generator, however, offers a wattage of up to 1,200 peak watts, which can certainly function as a decent emergency backup for certain household appliances and small devices.
Why buy: For a portable yet still very versatile solar generator, Westinghouse is a company to keep on your list. The iGen600 power system can run a mini fridge for up to 42 hours or a CPAP machine for up to 46 hours thanks to its lithium-ion battery that offers 592 Watt-hours of energy and a long battery life.
Fastest Charging: EcoFlow DELTA
The EcoFlow DELTA power station is a wonderfully rugged, dependable backup generator that can help meet your power needs during a blackout. For one thing, the charging time is incredible; you can potentially go from zero to 80 percent in under an hour with a wall outlet. Should you ever find yourself facing a power outage, this is an emergency energy solution you'll be really thankful for.
Why buy: The DELTA station from EcoFlow offers a lot of value and usability; in particular, it has one of the fastest recharging times of any solar generator, which may be reason enough for you to choose it over the competitors. The DELTA unit offers 13 ports, meaning it's compatible with pretty much any device or appliance you could ever need to charge.
Best for Appliances: MAXOAK Bluetti AC200P
For a heavy-duty emergency power solution, look no further than to MAXOAK, and particularly to a product called the Bluetti AC200P. With a 2000 Watt-hour capacity, this is one of the most robust solar generators you'll find anywhere.
Why buy: MAXOAK's Bluetti AC200P is the one you're going to want for really heavy-duty home energy backup. With massive AC inverters that offer up to 4800W surge capacity, it can provide more than enough power to fuel all your most critical home appliances, even some HVAC units. Also note the two-year warranty, a generous consumer protection.
Most Powerful: Point Zero Energy Titan Solar Generator
Point Zero Energy is one of the foremost names in disaster preparedness, and when you take a look at their product specs, you'll see why. Their Titan model solar generator offers almost twice the storage of similarly priced units with a high-capacity 2,000-watt-hour battery capacity and 3,000 watt high-efficiency inverter.
Why buy: On a purely technical level, this is the beefiest generator on our list, though of course, it's also one of the priciest. The unit is made with high-efficiency components, meaning it doesn't waste a lot of energy running the system; instead, it just supplies you with plenty of functional electricity when you need it the most.
How Does a Solar Generator Work?
Solar generators capture energy from the sun using photovoltaic solar panels, and store it in a built-in battery. Note that in order to absorb the sun's energy, your portable generator will need solar panels. These are typically sold separately, or as a package with the unit, so you'll need to factor in this additional cost. Solar panels contain solar cells, which are typically made of monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicone that acts as a semiconductor.
Once the sun's energy is stored in the battery, it is converted into AC energy. This happens via a component known as an inverter. AC power is required for most of your household appliances, as well as for charging devices like your phone, laptop, or tablet that normally require a wall charger or AC outlet.
Can a Solar Generator Power My Whole House?
Generally speaking, a rechargeable solar generator won't be able to power your entire house if you lose power. With that said, even a smaller generator can be used to power key devices or appliances, sometimes for days at a time depending on its power consumption. For instance, you can keep your refrigerator up and running, and/or ensure plenty of sustained use for medical devices, like CPAP machines.
With an especially robust generator, you may also be able to connect to core circuits, running multiple appliances at one time.
So, while having an emergency power supply from a solar generator may not mean that you can go about your life just like you would normally, you can at least keep the lights on at home, run your air conditioner, or ensure your perishable food items remain fresh until your electricity comes back on.
What are the Benefits of a Solar Generator?
There are a number of advantages you can anticipate from an emergency generator, especially when you choose to go solar. Consider:
You can minimize the disruption of a power outage.
Again, inclement weather can cause power outages that last for hours, sometimes even days. During that time, you can use a backup generator to keep your essential appliances and devices up and running. This level of preparedness can offer ample peace of mind.
Solar generators offer a clean alternative to other energy sources.
Most generators are powered by fossil fuels, which means they emit a lot of noxious emissions. If you want a clean power source and a minimal environmental footprint, these solar solutions are just the ticket. They are also much quieter than traditional gas or diesel generators.
They can be very cost-effective in the long run.
While the initial purchase price of a solar generator may seem steep, keep in mind that sunlight is free. You don't have to worry about buying fuel or any additional expenses associated with your solar unit.
Find the Solar Generator That's Best for You
Disaster preparedness begins by identifying a reliable power source, and if you want that power source to be clean and renewable, solar generators are ideal. Take a moment to explore the options and find the generator that's right for you.
Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. He covers natural health, nutrition, supplements, and clean energy. His writing has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.
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Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open.
Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal supplied by Murray Energy Corporation, whose CEO is Robert Murray, is a major Trump donor.
But the TVA board of directors voted 5-2 in favor of closing that plant as well as the Bull Run plant in Tennessee.
Coal is an important part of our electricity generation mix and @TVAnews should give serious consideration to all f… https://t.co/yljvUmkAE5— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1549922605.0
After the vote, the agency tweeted that the decision to close the plants "will ensure continued reliable power at the lowest cost feasible."
The part about "lowest cost feasible" is key: It simply became too expensive to maintain and operate the aging plants. As TVA CEO William Johnson the Associated Press, "It is not about coal. This decision is about economics."
In an environmental assessment released Monday, the agency recommended retiring the Paradise plant due to high maintenance costs, unreliability and its need for repairs.
"The overall costs to our customers would be $320 million lower if these two plants were not in the fleet," TVA CFO John Thomas told the board, as quoted by the AP.
Keeping them open would have cost an estimated $1.3 billion in equipment and maintenance investments, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
So the board's decision to close the plants wasn't even based on coal being the most polluting energy source. It was so TVA customers can save money on electricity bills (the benefit of cleaner air is just a bonus).
President Trump's pledge to end the so-called "war on coal" was one of his signature campaign promises. But coal plants are closing at a rapid pace because of economics and competing power sources. As Bloomberg wrote, "What was true under President Barack Obama is still true today: Coal's share of the power mix is declining, and wind and solar remain the fastest-growing U.S. sources of electricity." Coal's decline has also been attributed to the rise of natural gas.
#Wind and #Solar Are the Final Nails in #Coal’s Coffin https://t.co/eVZpnIIUG2 @cleantechnica @BeyondCoal— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1547503216.0
It's clear that Trump's efforts were not enough to sway the TVA board's vote, even though he appointed four of its seven members, the AP noted. One of the "no" votes came from Trump-appointee Kenny Allen, a retired coal exec from Kentucky.
"I'm just not completely comfortable with the recommendation because the impact and ripple effect on community cannot be fully quantified," he said, as quoted by the AP.
The shuttering of the two plants will cost 167 jobs at Paradise and about 100 jobs at Bull Run, and will affect the people in related jobs that support the facilities, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.
But Johnson, TVA's CEO, said 40 percent of the plant employees whose jobs will be displaced are eligible for retirement, and added that those who want to stay could be offered jobs elsewhere in the utility, the Chattanooga Times Free Press wrote.
TVA board member Virginia Lodge, an Obama-appointee, sided with the majority.
"I don't want anybody to think we have not heard and understood the heartfelt pleas from these communities," she told NPR. "If we could make our decisions based on our sympathetic feeling it would be easy. Unfortunately we've all taken an oath to do what we think is best for the entire Valley."
TVA said on Twitter, "We will work with impacted employees and communities."
The TVA Board votes to retire Paradise Unit 3 and Bull Run within the next few years. Their decision was made after… https://t.co/vDDin4sAI7— Tennessee Valley Authority (@Tennessee Valley Authority)1550160137.0
With border wall construction imminent, the center posted a two-minute video featuring a bobcat living in the facility's southern 70 acres that will be cut off by the barrier once it's built.
"Little does this bobcat know," the center states in the video, "its ability to hunt, find shelter, find a mate and raise its young is about to be drastically affected by a concrete and steel wall it will never be able to get past."
What's more, the center noted, the floodlights that will be installed along the wall will "light up the entire area like a war zone all night long."
The underlying message of the clip is the U.S.-Mexico barrier's negative impact to native species and the surrounding environment.
The Trump administration waived 28 environmental laws including the Endangered Species Act in order to build 33 more miles of wall in the Rio Grande Valley, including a 5.5-mile concrete and steel barrier through the butterfly refuge. The project was funded by last year's congressional appropriations.
The National Butterfly Center Director Marianna Wright told the Guardian that the wall's construction would harm the butterflies as well as other species like the Texas tortoise, Texas indigo snake and Texas horned lizard that also find refuge on the center's land.
The butterfly sanctuary has filed an emergency restraining order on Monday to halt the construction, the Texas Observer reported. The center is also urging supporters to call their senators and representatives to stop any further border wall funding.
A 2017 study by the Center for Biological Diversity looking at the potential impact of the wall on 93 threatened or… https://t.co/wJzVEDBhA6— Center for Bio Div (@Center for Bio Div)1549994979.0
Meanwhile, the center wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday that trees were being taken down in their section of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Wildlife Conservation Corridor, "a remnant of native habitat set aside for species protection."
The post also included a Facebook live video from writer and conservation photographer Krista Schlyer, who went to the site to observe the construction work. Schlyer said in a later video that authorities escorted her away from the construction site.
"They really don't want me to see what's going on back there," she said.
Construction of #borderwall began this morning on the La Parida tract of the Lower Rio Grande Refuge. The forest is… https://t.co/F9CuOvfNhs— krista schlyer (@krista schlyer)1550153951.0
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will propose a regulatory determination on highly toxic nonstick chemicals "by the end of this year," a timeline that's been criticized as too slow to take on the notorious drinking water contaminants.
At a press conference on Thursday in Philadelphia, EPA acting administrator Andrew Wheeler announced a "comprehensive cross-agency plan" to tackle perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl compounds, or PFAS, while keeping the federal health advisory level at 70 parts per trillion.
"We feel right now that 70 parts per trillion is a safe level for drinking water," Wheeler said, as quoted by the Foster's Daily Democrat, referring to PFOS and PFOA—two common PFAS compounds.
But health and environmental groups, as well as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have advised far lower levels than what the EPA considers safe. The CDC said in its toxicology report published in June that the risk level for PFOA should be 11 parts per trillion and just over 7 parts per trillion for PFOS.
The man-made chemicals are found in a wide range of products, from non-stick cookware to firefighting foam. The compounds have been found in military bases and in many species of wildlife around the world. A Harvard 2016 study found that 6 million Americans get drinking water from sources that exceed current EPA guidelines for the chemicals.
Exposure has been linked to health issues such as cancer, liver disease, fertility problems, thyroid issues and asthma. Even extremely low, daily doses of the substances showed an adverse impact on lab animals.
#DrinkingWater PFAS Contamination Crisis: Ex-Koch Chemicals Executive Playing Key Role in Shaping #EPA's Response… https://t.co/sxwp9RAyt1— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1549411218.0
Responding to today's announcement, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said in an emailed press release that the EPA is failing to take strong, decisive action to protect the public from PFAS.
"While the agency fumbles with this 'mis-management plan,' millions of people will be exposed to highly toxic PFAS from drinking contaminated water," said Erik Olson, senior director for health and food at the NRDC, in a statement. "As a guardian of public health, Administrator Andrew Wheeler should revisit this embarrassing decision. With EPA asleep at the wheel, it's up to states, citizens, and public-minded companies to take action."
Further, as noted by The Hill, rather than setting a drinking water standard, the EPA announced today it will issue a draft regulation by the end of 2019, which kickstarts months to years of long public comment periods.
In a press release, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, criticized Wheeler for effectively prolonging the need for a drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS by almost a year.
UPDATE: No #PFAS drinking water standard in today's announcement from @EPA. It has taken them nearly a year just t… https://t.co/tNWxxjjVEe— Senator Tom Carper (@Senator Tom Carper)1550160361.0
Carper pointed out that in May 2018, then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt already announced four "concrete steps" to address PFAS contamination and to take steps to set a maximum contaminant level.
"Nearly a year ago, then-Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that EPA would decide on whether to set a drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS as part of its PFAS Action Plan," Carper said. "The PFAS Action Plan being trumpeted by EPA today is insufficiently protective, and it explains why Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler would not commit to setting a drinking water standard for PFAS during his nomination hearing last month."
Carper added, "It has taken them nearly a year just to kick the can even further down the road."
He urged the acting EPA boss to "treat this public health threat with the urgency it deserves."
Regional Administrator Doug Benevento brushed aside the criticism about the EPA's timeline.
"It would be inaccurate to say we're not setting an MCL [maximum contaminant level]," he said, according to an EPA Region 8 tweet. "We are moving through the regulatory process required under the Safe Water Drinking Act before we make a determination."
Regional Administrator Doug Benevento addresses timeline for maximum contaminant level for #PFAS: "It would be inac… https://t.co/RBo8ep3PjC— EPARegion8 (@EPARegion8)1550165608.0
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is the world's most widely used weedkiller and has been surrounded by controversy ever since the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified it as "probably carcinogenic to humans" in 2015.
The latest paper is a comprehensive review of epidemiologic studies published between 2001 and 2018, including last year's large Agricultural Health Study that tracked the health of tens of thousands of agricultural workers and determined no firm association between exposure to the pesticide and cancer, including NHL, as Reuters reported then.
Even with the Agricultural Health Study's assessment, the authors of the new paper still found "a compelling link" between glyphosate exposure and an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and makes an even stronger case of the link compared to previous reports.
For each study that was reviewed, the researchers focused on the groups that were the most highly exposed to the chemical.
"This research provides the most up-to-date analysis of glyphosate and its link with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, incorporating a 2018 study of more than 54,000 people who work as licensed pesticide applicators," study co-author Rachel Shaffer, a University of Washington doctoral student in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, in a press release.
She added their findings aligned with the classification from the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
The meta-analysis was published this week in the journal Mutation Research/Reviews in Mutation Research, whose editor-in-chief is U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) genetic toxicologist David DeMarini, GM Watch noted.
"Overall, in accordance with evidence from experimental animal and mechanistic studies, our current meta-analysis of human epidemiological studies suggests a compelling link between exposures to GBHs [glyphosate-based herbicides] and increased risk for NHL," the study states.
This conclusion contradicts the results of previous scientific assessments and international governmental bodies, including the EPA, which declared in 2017 that the controversial chemical is "not likely to be carcinogenic to humans."
Pharmaceutical giant Bayer—which bought glyphosate-maker Monsanto—has adamantly rejected any cancer claims and said the new study is "flawed" and uses "cherry-picked data" in a statement to Carey Gillam, a journalist and researcher for US Right to Know, who wrote about the new findings in the Guardian.
Bayer is facing more than 9,000 U.S. lawsuits from people who believe the chemical causes NHL.
New study by top US scientists shows increased risk for NHL cancer from exposures to @Bayer Monsanto glyphosate her… https://t.co/JhZXfBMPws— carey gillam (@carey gillam)1550149927.0
The research was conducted by scientists from the University of Washington, the University of California, Berkeley and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York.
As noted by GM Watch, three of the five researchers are part of an EPA scientific advisory panel on glyphosate and have publicly stated that the agency failed to follow proper scientific procedures in determining the herbicide has no link to cancer.
Senior author Lianne Sheppard, a professor in the UW departments of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences and Biostatistics, told the Guardian that the EPA evaluation is wrong.
"It was pretty obvious they didn't follow their own rules," she said to the publication. "Is there evidence that it is carcinogenic? The answer is yes."
In a comment to the Guardian, an EPA spokesperson said: "We are reviewing the study."
Funding for the new study was provided by the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences and the University of Washington Retirement Association Aging Fellowship.
"Our analysis focused on providing the best possible answer to the question of whether or not glyphosate is carcinogenic," Sheppard said in the press release. "As a result of this research, I am even more convinced that it is."
In a rare bipartisan push, the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of a major public lands package on Tuesday.
The Natural Resources Management Act, approved 92-8, establishes 1.3 million acres of new wilderness, adds 694,000 acres of new recreation and conservation areas, creates four new national monuments, among other important conservation measures, according to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), who introduced the bill with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
Significantly, the Cantwell-Murkowski package also permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is considered America's most important conservation and recreation program.
The LWCF was established by Congress in 1964 and is funded by fees and royalties from federal offshore oil and gas leases. More than 42,000 state and local projects across the country are supported by the program but it expired last September because Congress failed to reauthorize and fund the program.
"The Land and Water Conservation Fund has been a pre-eminent program for access to public lands," Cantwell said in a press release. "It gives local communities the tools and resources to manage public lands, to give more access to the American people, to do the things that will help us grow jobs and preserve against a very challenging and threatening climate."
Today is a great day for Alaska and our country. Proud to stand with @SenatorCantwell to share the strong, bipartis… https://t.co/gpNKMkZDFe— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@Sen. Lisa Murkowski)1550015349.0
The measure is the largest public lands bill considered by Congress in a decade, the Associated Press noted. The 662-page document contains more than 110 individual bills, including provisions sponsored by dozens of senators on both sides of the aisle.
Murkowski told the AP it was a "very, very collaborative" process.
Other notable provisions include 367 miles of new " Wild & Scenic Rivers" and 2,600 miles of new national trails. The Washington Post also pointed out that the bill includes funds for the the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act through 2022 to provide habitat protection for more than 380 bird species; a permanent mining ban on 370,000 acres around Yellowstone and North Cascades national parks; and codification of the Obama-era Every Kid Outdoors Act that allows free admission to national parks for fourth graders and their families.
The new national monuments proposed by the bill include the Mississippi home of civil rights activists Medgar and Myrlie Evers, as well as the Mill Springs Civil War battlefield in Kentucky.
What's more, the Congressional Budget Office projects the bill will save taxpayers $9 million, the Post reported.
It now heads to the House of Representatives, which is expected to "quickly" take up the bill and pass it, Cantwell's office said in the release.
The Senate's overwhelming support of the bill is contrasted by the Trump administration's drastic slashing public lands in favor of mining, drilling and other development. Incidentally, the Post reported that "White House officials have indicated privately that the president will sign it."
Environmental groups and public lands advocates applauded the upper chamber's efforts.
"The Republican-led Congress should have never let LWCF expire as they did last September, and while this package is not perfect, we welcome the Senate's passage of this bipartisan legislation, which would permanently reauthorize LWCF and protect millions of acres of lands and waters," League of Conservation Voters president Gene Karpinski said in an issued statement. "We will also continue to urge Congress to enact full, dedicated funding for LWCF, in addition to permanent reauthorization, to end the chronic underfunding of this critical program."
Garett Reppenhagen, an Iraq war veteran and the western states director of the Vet Voice Foundation, urged the House to swiftly take up and pass the public lands package.
"It has been a hard, uphill battle against the White House and Republican leadership, but we are pleased that LWCF is one step closer to reauthorization," Reppenhagen said. "This program is essential for protecting and preserving lands that veterans depend on when they come home, and for maintaining our historic battlefields for future generation to learn from. This cannot wait any longer, and we urge the House to immediately take this bill up so it can be signed into law."
"I'm so pleased that this image did well because it illustrates the emotion and feeling of animals and emphasizes that this is not limited to humans," Lloyd said in a press release.
"It is something I think more people need to be aware of for the sake of all animals," he added.
Lloyd, who is from New Zealand and based in London, talks about how he caught the heartwarming scene here:
The public chose Lloyd's photo out of 25 pre-selected images by the Natural History Museum. The museum made its shortlist from more than 45,000 submissions across 95 countries.
Museum director Michael Dixon praised the photographer for capturing a tender moment between the wild animals.
"Lions are individuals with complex social bonds, and David's winning picture provides a glimpse into their inner world," Dixon said in the release. "A truly stunning photograph, this intimate portrait reminds us that humans aren't the only sentient beings on this planet. I hope the empathy and wonder garnered by this image will inspire more people to become advocates for nature."
These two adult males, probably brothers, greeted and rubbed faces for 30 seconds before settling down. Most people never have the opportunity to witness such animal sentience, and David was honored to have experienced and captured such a moment. The picture was taken in Ndutu, Serengeti, Tanzania. Bond of Brothers by David Lloyd, New Zealand / UK
Lloyd's photograph can be seen at an exhibition at the Natural History Museum until June 30 along with other "highly commended" entries, including the four shown below.
These include Matthew Maran's shot of a fox walking towards graffiti art of another fox in north London; Bence Mate's picture of three painted wolves playing with the leg of an impala; and Wim Van Den Heever's photo of three king penguins on a beach in the Falkland Islands.
One of the most striking pictures in the top five is Justin Hofman's devastating photo of an emaciated polar bear in the Canadian Arctic. According to the image caption, the American photographer's "whole body pained" while watching the starving bear at an abandoned hunting camp.
"With little, and thinning, ice to move around on, the bear is unable to search for food," the caption states.
"Highly Commended" Photos
Matthew has been photographing foxes close to his home in north London for over a year and ever since spotting this street art had dreamt of capturing this image. After countless hours and many failed attempts his persistence paid off.Fox Meets Fox by Matthew Maran, UK
Wim came across these king penguins on a beach in the Falkland Islands just as the sun was rising. They were caught up in a fascinating mating behavior—the two males were constantly moving around the female using their flippers to fend the other off.Three Kings by Wim Van Den Heever, South Africa
Justin's whole body pained as he watched this starving polar bear at an abandoned hunter's camp, in the Canadian Arctic, slowly heave itself up to standing. With little, and thinning, ice to move around on, the bear is unable to search for food.A Polar Bear's Struggle by Justin Hofman, USA
While adult African wild dogs are merciless killers, their pups are extremely cute and play all day long. Bence photographed these brothers in Mkuze, South Africa—they all wanted to play with the leg of an impala and were trying to drag it in three different directions!One Toy, Three Dogs by Bence Mate, Hungary
In a 2-1 decision (pdf), the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an earlier district court ruling that determined the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has broad authority under the Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to waive statutes such as the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act and many more environmental rules to build border barriers.
"Because the projects are statutorily authorized and DHS has waived the environmental laws California and the environmental groups seek to enforce, we affirm the district court's grant of summary judgment to DHS," judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote in the majority opinion.
A Justice Department spokesperson told The Hill that the ruling was "a victory for the Trump administration, for the rule of law, and above all, for our border security."
The lawsuit was originally filed in 2017 by multiple conservation groups and the state of California in response to the federal government's waiver of 37 environmental regulations to build prototypes of the planned border wall in the Otay Mesa area of San Diego County, as well as a replacement for existing border infrastructure along a 15-mile stretch of the U.S.-Mexico boundary south of San Diego.
The Center for Biological Diversity, one of the litigants, was disappointed by Monday's court ruling, especially as the challengers tried to take the case to the Supreme Court but was rejected in December.
"Congress has ceded its authority to Trump, who has swept aside fundamental public safety and environmental laws to build walls that won't work," Brian Segee, a Center for Biological Diversity attorney, said in a statement to The Hill after the decision. "This lawlessness is destroying irreplaceable ecosystems and militarizing communities."
A 2017 study by the Center for Biological Diversity looking at the potential impact of the wall on 93 threatened or… https://t.co/wJzVEDBhA6— Center for Bio Div (@Center for Bio Div)1549994979.0
Environmental concerns about the controversial border wall are on full display in Texas, where construction is imminent at the National Butterfly Center—the most diverse butterfly sanctuary in the U.S.
A planned 5.5-mile section of concrete and steel border wall that was funded by the the 2018 Omnibus spending bill will cut off 70 percent of the 100-acre property.
Some 200 species of butterflies find a home there each year, including the Mexican bluewing, the black swallowtail and the increasingly imperiled monarch.
On Monday, the nonprofit filed a temporary restraining order against the federal government to halt construction until a lawsuit filed by the center has been resolved, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
The Trump administration also waived 28 environmental laws including the Endangered Species Act in order to build 33 more miles of wall in the lower Rio Grande Valley, including the section through the butterfly center.
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The new bill—called the "Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act"—states that "oil and gas activities are not compatible with the protection of this national treasure."
Thank you @RepHuffman @RepLowenthal @RepBrianFitz for introducing the "Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection… https://t.co/o8mZBX0bDa— Alaska Wilderness League Action (@Alaska Wilderness League Action)1549912615.0
Inclusion of the drilling measure in the 2017 tax bill helped Republicans secure the vote of Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who has long sought to open part of ANWR for oil and gas development.
Even though the majority of voters across the political spectrum oppose ANWR exploitation and the area was kept off-limits thanks to Obama-era policies, the tax law, which passed with only GOP support, allowed drilling for the first time the refuge's coastal plain.
[email protected] announces introduction of the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act, bipartisan legislation… https://t.co/dUBsxypXDy— Sierra Club Live (@Sierra Club Live)1549908595.0
The 1.5-million-acre coastal plain, also known as the 1002 Area, is believed to hold a vast and untapped trove of oil. Debate over opening the area for fossil fuel exploration has been at the center of political debate for decades.
Environmentalists worry that drilling would harm native wildlife. An analysis from the Center for American Progress and Conservation Science Partners describes the coastal plain as the "biological heart" of the Arctic refuge that hosts one-third of all polar bear denning habitat in the U.S. and one-third of the migratory birds that come to the Arctic Refuge.
Fossil fuel development would also further stress a region that's already impacted by climate change.
"The Arctic is being impacted by climate change at unprecedented levels," the bill states. "Temperatures are rising at twice the rate of the rest of the country, and wildlife and habitat that depend on the Arctic are being detrimentally impacted."
The area is also considered sacred to the indigenous Gwich'in people, who sustain themselves from the caribou that migrate there.
Repealing the drilling provision in the tax law "would best protect the unspoiled ecosystem of the Coastal Plain, the human rights of the Gwich'in, and the integrity of the National Wildlife Refuge System," the bill states.
Northern Alaska National Wildlife Range (ANWR), Coastal Plain 1002 AreaUSEIA
Last year, the Trump administration approved the first offshore oil drilling development in federal Arctic waters even though rising global temperatures have dramatically reduced the extent of sea ice.
Case in point, Hilcorp Alaska's Liberty Energy Project—which involves building a 9-acre artificial drilling island in the shallow waters of the Beaufort Sea—was delayed because there was not enough sea ice to build a foundation for the artificial island.
The Sierra Club praised the new bill and noted that even major financial institutions, including Barclays, National Australia Bank, HSBC, BNP Paribas, Royal Bank of Scotland and Societe General are rejecting financing for drilling or exploration in the Arctic refuge.
"Drilling in the Arctic Refuge would threaten the food security and human rights of the Gwich'in people and permanently destroy one of the world's last wild places, all to dig up more oil that would worsen the climate crisis," Sierra Club lands protection program director Athan Manuel said in a press release. "That's why the overwhelming majority of Americans oppose drilling there, as do a growing number of investors and financial institutions."
Manuel added, "Now Congress has a chance to undo the dangerous and short-sighted decision to sell off this special place to corporate polluters. We applaud Representative Huffman and the bill's co-sponsors for their leadership in protecting America's Refuge."
#Arctic Refuge Oil Surveys Put #PolarBears in the Crosshairs https://t.co/mhJ6QlwAo0 @CenterForBioDiv @SavetheArctic— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1548273620.0
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's sweeping Green New Deal resolution was never going to be embraced by her Republican foes, but she's taking the criticism in stride—even if the missives come from the very top.
At his El Paso, Texas rally on Monday, President Donald Trump referred to her signature issue as a "high school term paper."
"Last week they introduced a massive government takeover that would destroy our incredible economic gains. They introduced the so-called Green New Deal," the president said in his speech. "It sounds like a high school term paper that got a low mark."
President Trump blasts 'Green New Deal' www.youtube.com
The star Democrat from New York did not back down from the president's remarks.
"Ah yes, a man who can't even read briefings written in full sentences is providing literary criticism of a House Resolution," Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter after retweeting Trump's quote from Breitbart News' Charlie Spiering.
She then included a quote from a Washington Post report about how Trump skips written intelligence reports, which are usually dense and lengthy, and relies on oral briefings instead.
Ah yes, a man who can’t even read briefings written in full sentences is providing literary criticism of a House Re… https://t.co/Ru0Ub1r75E— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1549941470.0
That wasn't the problem the president had with the Green New Deal. Trump falsely claimed in his rally speech that the deal would "shut down" American energy and air travel.
"It would shut down American energy which I don't think the people of Texas are going to be happy with that. It would shut down a little thing called air travel," he said.
He claimed the resolution would "take away your car, reduce the value of your home and put millions of Americans out of work."
Trump's comments are akin to his tweet on Saturday, where he also took a jab at the Green New Deal.
I think it is very important for the Democrats to press forward with their Green New Deal. It would be great for th… https://t.co/vEaju3l195— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1549754485.0
The president was probably referring to a widely circulated FAQ section, in which Ocasio-Cortez's office quipped, "we aren't sure that we'll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes." But that statement was in reference to bringing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions "to net-zero, rather than zero emissions" within 10 years.
Republican lawmakers and other critics have pounced on what has been called the "botched rollout" of the Green New Deal, which is also sponsored by Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in the Senate. The most prominent issue was language on a Feb. 5 blog post on the congresswoman's website that called for economic security "for all who are unable or unwilling to work." That information has since been retracted.
Republicans bashed the concept of the "Green New Deal" as technologically impossible, unimaginably costly and a “so… https://t.co/pxpHOWVak8— POLITICO (@POLITICO)1549924209.0
Despite the naysayers, momentum for climate policy has been growing ever since its was popularized by Ocasio-Cortez as well as the young climate activists of the Sunrise Movement who staged a sit-in inside then-presumed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office not long after the midterm elections to demand a Green New Deal.
Varshini Prakash, founder and executive director of Sunrise Movement, called the resolution "a litmus test for progressive leadership."
As EcoWatch previously wrote, ideas outlined in the proposal include "unprecedented levels of prosperity and economic security" for all citizens and "meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources."
The non-binding resolution calls for a wide-ranging mobilization of the U.S. economy and creating jobs through infrastructure and industrial projects, such as zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing; installing smart grids; updating or creating buildings that are energy efficient; expanding clean energy jobs (like solar, wind turbine, battery and storage manufacturing); cleaning existing hazardous waste sites; and restoration of damaged and threatened ecosystems.
Along the same lines, the plan includes a significant social justice component because it aims to create millions of family-supporting and union jobs and will help protect disadvantaged communities on the frontlines of pollution and climate change.
Ocasio-Cortez recently retweeted a string of praise for the Green New Deal from presidential contenders, including fellow progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The Green New Deal is a bold plan to shift our country to 100% clean and renewable energy. We do not fight this fig… https://t.co/VVjBuvZVc7— Kamala Harris (@Kamala Harris)1549642351.0
The U.S. is the most powerful economy on earth and we must lead the world in the fight against climate change. We c… https://t.co/TLglbSZTas— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders)1549817285.0
A #GreenNewDeal is ambitious. It's bold. And I’m cosponsoring this resolution with @aoc and @senmarkey because it’s… https://t.co/TR1Al96BYv— Kirsten Gillibrand (@Kirsten Gillibrand)1549563437.0
The first question I was asked in Iowa was about #GreenNewDeal. The hard truth is climate change has imperiled our… https://t.co/DicuVzYa2P— Cory Booker (@Cory Booker)1549645486.0
If we want to live in a world with clean air and water, we have to take real action to combat climate change now. I… https://t.co/Qa3iDU1Ec9— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren)1549555157.0
Financial losses are estimated at $300 million Australian dollars (about $212 million U.S.).
Days of "unprecedented" rainfall earlier this month led to widespread flooding across the state, causing power outages, damaging roads and buildings and prompting evacuations, according to AccuWeather. Some areas, the Guardian noted, received three years' worth of rain in about a week.
Tragically, farmers in northwest Queensland initially welcomed the rains, as the region had suffered years of back-to-back drought, according to Michael Guerin, the CEO of Queenlands agricultural body AgForce.
"The loss of hundreds of thousands of cattle after five, six, seven years of drought, is a debilitating blow not just to individual farmers, many of whom have lost literally everything, but to rural communities," he said in a press release.
Guerin said the cattle industry could take decades to recover after the entire herds of cattle were wiped out from the extreme weather.
"There is no doubt that this is a disaster of unprecedented proportion," he said. He urged governments of all levels and other agencies to help the farmers with recovery efforts.
Local farmers expressed heartbreak at the sheer scale of destruction caused by the floods, not just for cattle but to other native wildlife and to infrastructure.
"As we begin to access our paddocks we are being confronted with death and devastation at every turn," Kate Hunter, who works at the Gipsy Plains Brahmans farm, wrote in a widely shared Facebook post. "There are kangaroos dead in trees and fences, birds drowned in drifts of silt and debris and our beloved bovine family lay perished in piles where they have been huddling for protection and warmth. This scene is mirrored across the entire region, it is absolutely soul destroying to think our animals suffered like this."
"The true scale of destruction this disaster has left in its wake we are only just beginning to discover," she continued. "The sheer amount of water that engulfed the region has demolished fences, exposed pipelines, destroyed water infrastructure, created huge gullies that were once only small seasonal streams, turned roads into rivers and completely washed dam banks away."
Hunter wrote that graziers around the district are "working tirelessly" to save all the animals they can and also to humanely euthanize the ones that are "sadly beyond saving."
"This is an absolutely gut wrenching time for all of us out here, these cattle are not just our source of income, firstly they are our family and for many of us our life's passion," she continued.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Monday that the federal government will provide an immediate non-gratia payment of $1 million to each of the affected Queensland shires.
"This payment will be for them to use on priorities they deem most urgent—whether that be rate relief for impacted properties, infrastructure, or the disposal of cattle which have perished," he said, as quoted by the Australian Associated Press.
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