Green Gaze

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.

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.

Environmental super PAC falling short of 2014 midterm elections goal

AP writer
Friday, 18 July 2014 04:56

A super PAC aiming to make climate change a key issue in this year's midterm elections is falling far short of its goal to raise $100 million, cramping the group's ability to influence major races with just four months left until Election Day.

NextGen Climate announced plans in May to spend at least $100 million in seven competitive Senate and gubernatorial races. Its founder, retired hedge fund manager and longtime Democratic donor Tom Steyer, put up $50 million of his own money, and the group said it would raise the rest from likeminded donors.

Chicken-sized bird could tip balance in U.S. Senate

Written by The AP Friday, 11 July 2014 01:54

An obscure, chicken-sized bird best known for its mating dance could help determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the U.S. Senate in November.

The U.S. government is considering listing the greater sage grouse as an endangered species. Doing so could limit development, energy exploration, hunting and ranching on the 165 million acres of the bird’s habitat across 11 Western states.

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.

Wisconsin urged to reject application for ‘green’ status from frac sand mining company

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 23 July 2014 07:55

Conservation voters across Wisconsin are calling on the state Department of Natural Resources to reject the Green Tier application submitted by Smart Sand Inc., an out-of-state frac sand mining company.

Environmentalists say the company has a history of environmental violations.

Deal allows for Walmart, Chick-fil-A on rare forest land in Florida

Written by The Associated Press Tuesday, 15 July 2014 10:03

Environmentalists are scratching their heads over a recent deal between the University of Miami and a Palm Beach County developer that will bring a Walmart store, restaurants and apartments to a section of rare forest.

The Miami Herald reports that last month the university sold some 88 acres of rockland, which is habitat to plants animals and insects found nowhere else. The developer agreed to set aside a 40-acre preserve.

State, federal subsidies for fossil fuel production top $37 billion

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 10 July 2014 08:16

Federal and state subsidies for fossil fuel production tops $37 billion a year, according to a new report from Oil Change International.

“Cashing in on All of the Above: U.S. Fossil Fuel Production Subsidies under Obama” outlines the subsidies going to the fossil fuel industry. In total, the report catalogs more than $37 billion in U.S. federal and state support for the fossil fuel industry in 2013.

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.

NHL: Climate change poses threats to the winter sport

Written by Lisa Neff,
Staff writer
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 14:08

In a first of its kind report, the NHL this week says that climate change threatens hockey, a sport that many pros began playing on the frozen ponds and lakes of North America.

“The NHL represents the highest level of hockey in the world,” said Commissioner Gary Bettman. “But before many of our players ever took their first stride on NHL ice, they honed their skills on the frozen lakes and ponds of North America and Europe. Our sport can trace its roots to frozen freshwater ponds, to cold climates. Major environmental challenges, such as climate change and freshwater scarcity, affect opportunities for hockey players of all ages to learn and play the game outdoors.”

24 protesters arrested in anti-fracking demonstration

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 14 July 2014 12:15

About two dozen people were arrested on July 14 as they blocked the entrances to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission headquarters in protest of the proposed Cove Point liquefied natural gas export facility and others proposed around the country.

The demonstration was the second consecutive day of action, according to a statement from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

Climate, genetics affect how long virus-carrying mosquitoes live

Written by Wisconsin Gazette Wednesday, 09 July 2014 10:07

It’s just math: The longer a mosquito lives, the better its odds of transmitting disease to humans or animals.

But as it turns out, factors such as the mosquito’s own genetics and the climate it lives in have a big — albeit complicated and not wholly understood — role to play in its lifespan.