Thanks Mr. Narwhal!


    Thanks Mr. Narwahl!

    What’s Going On?

    Collaborative research by dozens of scientists from 17 countries came out this week about the rate at which ice is melting in Antarctica. Since 1992, 3 trillion tons of ice has melted, with forty percent of that melting in the last five years. The Union of Concerned Scientists predicts that over 300,000 coastal homes could be flooded in the next 30 years due to sea level rise. Greenhouse gases from human activity are largely the cause of the melting ice and warming waters. Greenland’s ice is melting too. Narwahls off the coast of east Greenland used to be inaccessible to researchers, but as the melting ice is opening up access to their habitats, researchers are studying their sounds.

    Why You Should Care

    Carbon dioxide levels are rising and we need to start cutting emissions to curb irreversible changes to the earth. Actions taken in the next decade could have lasting effects for many generations to come.

    I'm Just a Bill

    What’s Going On?

    The Farm Bill is a massive piece of legislation that renews every five years or so and includes crop insurance and subsidies for farmers, conservation, and SNAP benefits. Right now there are two versions of the bill trying to make their way into law. The controversial House version of the bill passed last week with a 213 to 211 vote. This bill would increase work requirements for individuals seeking food stamps, while cutting funding for nutrition education and agricultural development programs in rural areas. It would also cut clean energy programs and agricultural research, and relax regulation on pesticides and the Clean Water Act. The more bipartisan Senate version of the bill, which passed last week in committee, is similar to the bill that passed in 2014 and includes mental health support for farmers, organics research and funding, and would legalize hemp production in the US.

    Why You Should Care

    Both the House and the Senate bills still don’t cap subsidies or crop insurance for farmers. These subsidies largely support big agribusiness and harm small farmers. That means that farms that operate more like large corporations are receiving tax payer dollars in the forms of subsidies or crop insurance – money that could go towards feeding more people who need food stamps, conservation, and research.

    Flex Your Mussels

    What’s Going On?

    Farmed shellfish, mollusks, mackerel and sardines have the lowest environmental impact when compared to farmed livestock and wild caught seafood. Farmed catfish and industrial beef are among the highest offenders of carbon emissions. This study is based on ten years of life-cycle data and looks at the emissions at each stage of animal protein production.

    Why You Should Care

    How you eat and purchase food matters. Food purchases were responsible for 16% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2013.You don’t have to go vegan, but if you educate yourself on which protein sources have the least negative impacts on the environment, your choices will make a difference.

    Environmental Regulation

    What’s Going On?

    The Trump administration has planned to or has already reversed over sixty environmental regulations. The Journal of American Medicine calculates that the overall the reversal of these policies will cost 80,000 lives over the next decade. The majority of health consequences will come from declining air quality due to repealing the Clean Power Plan (each state must cap it’s power plant emissions) and weakening automobile emission regulations. Trump also reversed an Obama policy protecting oceans this week and reversed the ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which has been shown to harm children’s brains.

    Why You Should Care

    The majority of Americans believe that the government is doing too little to protect the environment. The EPA is trying to ignore the science behind these public health policies.

    Weekly Scraps

    Plants are losing nutrients as carbon dioxide levels increase from human activity. Scientist are researching what this means for our food supply.

    Be better at recycling plastic food containers.

    In more positive news, American water use has been declining since 2010.

    Marine animals can’t stop eating plastic.

    As if you needed more reasons to go to Paris, the neighborhood or Clichy-Batignolles is building an eco-village of your dreams.

    China is testing solar paved freeways.

    Use of public transportation is declining in rich countries.

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