Green Gaze

200,000 urge EPA to strengthen protections for farmworkers

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 20 August 2014 13:37

Some 200,000 people called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to strengthen its Agricultural Worker Protection Standard, which is the only federal standard designed to protect the nation’s more than 2 million farmworkers from pesticide exposure.

“Farmworkers face dangerous exposure to poisons over the course of their working life,” said Eve Gartner, an attorney for Earthjustice, a public interest law firm. “While most Americans benefit from broad workplace protections, farmworkers are not protected by the same health and safety standards.”

Journalists, scientists oppose EPA muzzling of experts

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 20 August 2014 13:24

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must not interfere with leading national scientists from talking to media outlets and the public, says a coalition of journalists and scientists concerned with the an agency memorandum instructing Science Advisory Board members to get permission before talking to the press.

“The EPA wants to control what information the public receives about crucial issues affecting Americans’ health and well-being,” Society of Professional Journalists president David Cuillier said in a news release. “The people are entitled to get this information unfiltered from scientists, not spoon-fed by government spin doctors who might mislead and hide information for political reasons or to muzzle criticism.”

Scientists develop spray-on solar cells

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 05 August 2014 15:12

A team of scientists at the University of Sheffield is the first to fabricate perovskite solar cells using a spray-painting process — a discovery that could help cut the cost of solar electricity.

Experts from the university’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering have previously used the spray-painting method to produce solar cells using organic semiconductors — but using perovskite is a major step forward.

Settlement requires federal review of pesticides' impact on endangered species

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 29 July 2014 06:09

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must examine the impact of five common pesticides on endangered animals across the nation under the terms of a settlement with an environmental advocacy group.

The FWS must review carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, malathion and methomyl. These pesticides are toxic to wildlife and may threaten human health, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

Over the barrel: Activists champion 
efforts to divest from fossil-fuel industry

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Thursday, 24 July 2014 11:19

Meet Planet Enemy No. 1: The fossil-fuel industry. - IMAGE: Courtesy

Meet Planet Enemy No. 1: The fossil-fuel industry.

Study: Red squirrels cause evolutionary change

Written by The AP Friday, 08 August 2014 14:55

When most people think about Yellowstone National Park and animals, the big ones come to mind: bison, wolves or grizzly bears.

They’re the species that draw tourists from around the globe. They’re also the ones that raise controversy and debate. But when it comes to actual impact on the forest, scientists recently discovered a much smaller, much more common creature is causing large, evolutionary changes to the park: the red squirrel.

Oregon seeks to be 1st state to map GMO fields

Written by The AP Tuesday, 05 August 2014 12:34

Before residents in southern Oregon overwhelmingly voted to ban genetically modified crops earlier this summer, farmers negotiated for months with a biotech company that grows engineered sugar beets near their fields.

Their goal was to set up a system to peacefully coexist, an online mapping database of fields to help growers minimize cross-pollination between engineered and non-engineered crops.

Pollution = death

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Friday, 25 July 2014 19:33

Pollution is the largest factor in disease and death in the developing world, killing more than 8.4 million people each year, according to the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution.

The new analysis, based on new data from the World Health Organization, indicates that 7.4 million deaths in a single year were due to pollution sources from air, water, sanitation and hygiene.

Audubon: Glassy new Vikings stadium poses serious threat to birds

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 23 July 2014 10:56

The National Audubon Society says the new Minnesota Vikings stadium poses a serious threat to migratory birds and calls for quick action by the team and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to protect animal welfare.

State guidelines require bond-funded buildings to protect birds from window collisions, but the Vikings and the MSFA have rejected calls to use safer types of glass that could help prevent birds from colliding with the stadium’s huge glass windows.

Sierra: Enbridge seeks to make Wisconsin a superhighway for toxic oil transport

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 06 August 2014 09:45

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on Aug. 5 announced the permitting process for two proposed pipelines by Enbridge Energies.

Both pipelines enter Wisconsin from Minnesota and go to a refinery in Superior.

Not in my backyard: US sending dirty coal abroad

AP writer
Monday, 04 August 2014 14:08

Coal from Appalachia rumbles into Newport News, Virginia, 150 railroad cars at a time, bound for the belly of the massive cargo ship Prime Lily. The ship soon sets sail for South America, its 80,000 tons of coal destined for power plants and factories, an export of American energy — and pollution.

In the United States, this coal and the carbon dioxide it will eventually release into the atmosphere are some of the unwanted leftovers of an America going greener. With the country moving to what the administration calls cleaner natural gas, the president wants to reduce power plant pollution to make good on its promise to the world to cut emissions.

More support required under oil pipelines in Great Lakes waterway

Written by The Associated Press Friday, 25 July 2014 05:52

Two oil pipelines at the bottom of the waterway linking Lakes Huron and Michigan will get additional support structures to help prevent potentially devastating spills, officials said this week.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Dan Wyant, director of the Department of Environmental Quality, said they had put Enbridge Energy Partners LP on notice following the company's acknowledgement it was partly out of compliance with an agreement dating to 1953, when the pipelines were laid in the Straits of Mackinac.

Too darn hot: Ben & Jerry’s, Climate Reality partner on environmental campaign

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 23 July 2014 08:07

Nothing says summer heat like a melting ice cream cone. That’s why The Climate Reality Project is teaming up with Ben & Jerry’s to turn the celebrated symbol of the season — the ice cream truck — into a rallying point for action against climate disruption.

Climate Reality and Ben & Jerry’s have partnered in the I’m Too Hot Campaign and are bringing ice cream trucks to the four cities hosting Environmental Protection Agency hearings on the Obama administration’s proposed Clean Power Plan.