Coal in ‘Freefall’ Worldwide, Report Finds

by Nika Knight, staff writer

Common Dreams | 22 March, 2017

The coal industry is in “freefall” worldwide, the latest annual survey from environmental groups Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and CoalSwarm finds.

“The staggering uptick in clean energy and reduction in the new coal plant pipeline is even more proof that coal isn’t just bad for public health and the environment—it’s bad for the bottom line,” said Nicole Ghio, senior campaigner for the Sierra Club’s International Climate and Energy Campaign, in a statement. “Markets are demanding clean energy, and no amount of rhetoric from [President] Donald Trump will be able to stop the fall of coal in the U.S. and across the globe.”

Read More »

Extremely high levels of toxic pollutants in the deepest parts of the world’s oceans

A Journal of People report

Source: Internet

Scientists have detected “extremely high levels” of organic chemicals in the fatty tissue of amphipods, a type of crustacean, living in Mariana trench ― the deepest part of the world’s oceans.
“We still think of the deep ocean as being this remote and pristine realm, safe from human impact, but our research shows that, sadly, this could not be further from the truth,” study author Alan Jamieson, a marine ecologist at Newcastle University in Britain, said in a statement.Read More »

Alliance of 600,000 British Doctors Calls for ‘Imperative’ Coal Phase-Out

by Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Common Dreams | 19 October, 2016

Although the U.K. government promised to phase out coal by 2025, the groups raised concerns over the seeming lack of preparation to do so. (Photo: Nikon Ranger/flickr/cc)

A coalition representing Britain’s 600,000 doctors and health workers on Wednesday called for a rapid phase-out of coal, saying it was an “imperative” measure and that climate change and air pollution were both “major health threats.”

Read More »

Fall of the Wild: Study Documents ‘Catastrophic Decline’ in World’s Untouched Places

by Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Common Dreams | 08 September, 2016

Spider Meadows in the central Cascade mountains' Glacier Peak Wilderness. (Photo: Andy Porter/cc/flickr)
Spider Meadows in the central Cascade mountains’ Glacier Peak Wilderness. (Photo: Andy Porter/cc/flickr)

Wilderness, though remote by nature, is not immune to the ravages of humanity. In fact, according to a new study in the journal Current Biology, the world’s wild places are undergoing “catastrophic decline” and could be facing elimination within decades if monumental policy shifts are not implemented.

Read More »

Humanity Just Ate Through Planet’s Annual Resource Budget Faster Than Ever

…and it’s only August. That’s the fastest pace yet

by Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Common Dreams | 08 August, 2016

“Our economy is built very heavily on fossil fuels, and that’s the challenge we face.” (Photo: Bill Dickinson/flickr/cc)
Earth Overshoot Day—the day on which people worldwide have officially used up more natural resources like air, food, and water than the planet can regenerate in a year—has come early.The 2016 threshold was hit on Monday, making it the fastest pace yet, according to a new report by the Global Footprint Network, which measures the dubious milestone every year.

Read More »

Stop “Massive Strip Mining” in Utah’s Public Lands: Green Groups to BLM

by Nika Knight, staff writer

Common Dreams | 16 June, 2016

Naturally burning oil shale. (Photo: Ian West via Oil Shale)

In the latest chapter of a decades-long battle over oil-rich shale in Utah, this week over a dozen conservation groups submitted public comments urging the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reject an Estonian oil giant’s attempts to sidestep environmental review and start the first commercial oil shale project in the United States.

Utah residents have opposed oil shale mining since at least the 1960s, and now an Estonian oil shale giant called Enefit “seeks to strip-mine 9,000 acres for oil shale near the Green and White rivers, and ultimately expand its operations to process up to 1.2 billion barrels of kerogen oil,” as the Center for Biological Diversity wrote in a statement.

Read More »

‘Overwhelming’ Evidence Shows Path is Clear: It’s Time to Ditch Industrial Agriculture for Good

by Andrea Germanos

Common Dreams | 02 June, 2016

 

If you can count as successes increased greenhouse gases, ecosystem degradation, rises in hunger and obesity, and unbalanced power in food systems, then industrial agriculture has done one heck of a job.

That’s according to a panel of experts, whose new report, From Uniformity to Diversity: A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems (pdf), calls for breaking the chains that lock monocultures and industrial-scale feedlots to the dominant farming systems in order to unleash truly sustainable approaches—ones that use holistic strategies, eschew chemical inputs, foster biodiversity, and ensure farmer livelihoods.Read More »

GMOs Safe to Eat, Says Research Group That Takes Millions From Monsanto

by Nadia Prupis

Common Dreams | 18 May, 2016

 

The report comes as U.S. Congress considers labeling GMO products. (Photo: CT Senate Democrats/flickr/cc)

Public skepticism is growing over a new report that claims genetically modified (GE or GMO) foods are safe for consumption, particularly as information emerges that the organization that produced the report has ties to the biotechnology industry.

Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects (pdf), released Tuesday by the federally-supported National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, states not only that GMO crops are safe to eat, but that they have no adverse environmental impacts and have cut down on pesticide use. Its publication comes as U.S. Congress—which founded the institution—considers making GMO labeling mandatory on consumer products.Read More »

‘Warning for the World’: Five Pacific Islands Officially Lost to Rising Seas

By Nadia Prupis

Rates of sea level rise in the Solomons are almost three times higher than the global average. (Photo: ILO in Asia and the Pacific/flickr/cc)

Five Pacific Islands have been swallowed by rising seas and coastal erosion, in what Australian researchers say is the first confirmation of what climate change will bring.

The submerged region, which was part of the Solomon Islands archipelago and was above water as recently as 2014, was not inhabited by humans.

However, a further six islands are also experiencing “severe shoreline recession,” which is forcing the populations in those settlements—some of which have existed since at least 1935—to flee, according to a study published last week in Environmental Research Letters.Read More »

‘On Borrowed Time’: Human Activity Puts One in Five Plant Species at Risk of Extinction

By Deirdre Fulton

Common Dreams | May 10, 2016

 

The Royal Botanical Garden report suggests orchids are “underrepresented” on the so-called Red List of Threatened Species. (Photo:Simon Clancy/flickr/cc)

Human activity, from the razing of forests to the spewing of carbon, has imperiled large swaths of the plant kingdom, according to a landmark survey of the world’s flora published Tuesday.

The State of the World’s Plants (pdf) report “provides, for the first time, a baseline assessment of our current knowledge on the diversity of plants on earth, the global threats these plants currently face, and the policies in place and their effectiveness in dealing with these threats,” according to scientists at the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) in Kew, London.Read More »