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U.S. Interior Department Plan:
Open Atlantic Coast to Offshore Drilling
The Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's new five-year offshore drilling strategy calls for opening the offshore stretch from Virginia to Georgia, an area the energy industry says could hold large amounts of oil and gas.
The Obama administration proposes an unprecedented opening of the waters off the Atlantic coast for oil and natural gas drilling, even as it put vast areas in the Arctic off-limits.
Environmentalists and people who live on the coast fear a potential oil spill that could threaten the beaches that are the centerpiece of the tourism industry ...Full article
Something Terrible is About to Happen to the Ocean's Coral
Coral reefs provide habitat to 25% of sea-dwelling fish species. Coral scientist C. Mark Eakin, coordinator for the Coral Reef Watch program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been sounding a warning since last year that the globe's corals appear to be on the verge of a mass-scale bleaching event. Bleaching happens when corals lose contact with an algae that feeds them nutrients. When water warms above normal levels, corals tend to expel their algae lifeline and in doing so, lose their brilliant colors—hence the term "bleaching." During the last mass bleaching event, we lost almost a fifth of the world's coral reefs ...Full article
The Climate Science Behind New England's Historic Blizzard
According to Dr. Kevin Trenberth, former head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a "big part" of the epic blizzard bearing down on New England is due to "human-induced climate change."
Before this latest storm, we've seen a long-term pattern of more extreme precipitation, particularly in New England winters. Climate scientists have long predicted this would happen in a warming world ...Full article
President Obama Seeks Wilderness Designation for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
The Department of the Interior announced the release of a conservation plan that recommends additional protections for the Refuge that asks Congress to designate core areas the highest level of protection available to public lands.
If passed by Congress, the Artic National Wildlife Refuge would become the largest ever wilderness designation since Congress passed the Wilderness Act more than 50 years ago.
The recommendation covers 12.28 million acres including four rivers which would ensure the land and water would remain unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has the most diverse wildife in the arctic including caribou, polar bears, gray wolves, muskoxen, more than 200 species of birds, 37 species of mammals and 42 species of fish ...full article
Storage of High-Level Radioactive Waste Still Has No Solution
It is the latest setback for the nuclear industry that claims nuclear power is the low-carbon answer to climate change, but has not yet found a safe resting place for radioacive rubbish it creates when nuclear fuel and machinery reaches the end of its life.
This extraordinary legacy of dangerous radioactive waste is present in every country that has adopted nuclear power as a form of electricity production, as well as those with nuclear weapons. No country has yet solve the problem of how to deal with the waste that remains dangerous for thousands of years ...full article
Why Are the Feds Abusing Research Animals?
The New York Times food/agriculture reporter Michael Moss has an excellent piece on the US Meat Animal Research Center, a UDDA-run institution that, Moss writes, has "one overarching mission: helping producers of pork, beef and lamb turn a higher profit." Moss shows, the center has routinely subjected animals to cruel conditions since its inception in 1964, unchecked by the Animal Welfare Act, which exempts farm animals used in research ...more
New Video from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Shows Perennial Sea Ice is Melting
Perennial sea ice stays frozen year round but is melting at a steady rate since 1979. the chart below show the decline using measurements taken every September, when the ice reaches its minimum for the year.
Ice is relective and helps beam much of the sun's energy back into space. The darker ocean aborbs the heat and this contributes to the warming of the world's oceans ...more
Humans Are Damaging the High Seas — Now the Oceans Are Doing Harm Back
About 3 billion people live within 100 miles of the sea, a number that could double in the next decade. It has long been clear that people are damaging the oceans — witness the melting of the Arctic ice in summer, the spread of oxygen-starved dead zones and the death of coral reefs. Now, the consequences of that damage are starting to be felt onshore ...Full article
Unexpected Toxics Are Surfacing with Fracking Fluid from Oil and Gas Wells
Researchers find alarming levels of ammonium and iodide in fracking wastewater released into Pennsylvania and West Virginia streams. The toxic substances, which can have a devastating impact on fish, ecosystems, and potentially human health, are extracted from geological formations along with natural gas and oil during both fracking and conventional drilling operations ...Full article
The best way to get people to save energy isn't through their pocketbook. To save power, appeal to health benefits
Conventional wisdom holds that the most effective way to get people to save energy is to show them how much money they'll save. Turns out there's a more efficient approach.
Reminders of the environmental health benefits of cutting electricity use are far more powerful motivation, scientists found in research published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science ...Full article
11 Earthquakes Rock Texas Fracking Heartland in 24 Hours
A recent study showed that a series of earthquakes outside of Youngstown, OH, were caused by the fracking operations in the area.
Now the area of Irving, TX, has been hit with a cluster of 112 earthquakes, ranging in magnitude from 1.7 to 3.6. Several of the quakes were felt throughout the metropolitan area, with Irving's emergency operations center receiving 100's of calls.
"The upsurge in quakes started in Texas around the time the oil and gas boom took hold several years ago.," reported StateImpactTexas. "Residents in many parts of the state blame them on wastewater dispolsal wells, where fluid byproducts of oil and gas drilling are pumped deep into the ground. Scientists have shown how injecting fluid into the ground can cause earthquakes." ...Full article
Another Study Confirms Fracking is Definitely Causing Earthquakes
Another study has found a link between hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes. This study examined 77 minor earthquakes near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.
Studies have found that it's not just the actual drilling and extraction that causes the earthquakes; more often, the routine practice of injecting fracking wastewater into deep disposal well is to blame. Once the toxic mix of water, sand, and chemicals is underground, it can travel for miles, changing the pressure on fault lines and sometimes triggering earthquakes ...Full article
2015 Forum on Science &
April 30 - May 1, Washington, DC
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)'s annual forum on Science and Technology Policy is the conference for people interested in policy issues facing the science, engineering, and higher education communities ...More
Faith, Science & Action
Sunday, February 15th, 2015
The Muddy Branch Alliance is sponsoring its 3rd Annual Forum which strives to bring congregations together to learn from one another, share praise for our Creator, and discuss projects that we can all do to make a real difference for our local environment. The forum is no cost and features projects and speakers from a variety of local congregations. Download PDF ...Full details
The Buzz on Bees
Approximately one third of all the food Americans eat is directly or indirectly derived from honey bee pollination.
There are nearly 20,000 species of bees living on every continent except Antarctica.
Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including water.
A queen bee can lay up to 3,000 eggs per day.
A worker bee in their short lifetime will fly the equivalent of 1 1/2 times the circumference of the earth? ...More on bees
President Obama Takes Action to Protect Bristol Bay, Alaska
The President's action places a national treasure—and one of the nation's most productive fisheries—off limits for oil and gas leasing. Alaskans have been fighting to preserve Bristol Bay for decades ...more
Newspapers Complicit in Selling Phony "War on Coal"
A new study shows that American newspapers push the coal industry's misleading narrative.
There are a number of reasons why the tide has turned against the coal industry around the globe. Coal is the single largest source of global warming pollution—while coal-fired power represents only 39% of all electricity generated in the U.S., according to the EPA, it is responsible for 75% if carbon emissions ...Full article
Find Your State's Climate Change Action Plan
A climate change action plan can include specific policy recommendations and a strategy that a state will use to address climate change and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions ...more
NEW FILM SCREENINGS AND MORE!!!
Oceans Campus Underwater Photography Program
Mossel Bay, South Africa
Looking for summer opportunities? Acquire the knowledge and skills required to mast the art of underwater photography while exploring the incredible diversity of the warm Indian Ocean.
Developed by internationally acclaimed underwater photography, jounalist and convervationist Fiona Ayerst, this course will empower students to see and explore the underwater realm in a totally new and intimate manner using high end DSLR cameras and accesories ...more
Eco-Comedy Video Competition
Spring 2015 - Call for Entries
The 2015 Eco-comedy Theme is
"Clean Water, Clean Air" — $2,000 Prize
Produce a short, humorous video for YouTube tackling this year's theme. The contest is open to anyone worldwide who has a flair for producing videos and something to say about conservation ...Full details
Environmental Photographer Competition
Check out these mesmerizing pictures from the Environmental Photographer Competition exposing climate change issues around the world! …more
Online Ocean Symposium
The Online Ocean Symposium provides a unique forum for discussion, interaction and outreach on ocean issues through the use of Google+ Hangouts on air for conversations in ocean advocacy and science. 2014 was a great year for the Online Ocean Symposium with incredible events such as the BLUE Ocean Film Fest, the John Kerry "Our Ocean" Conference, and the World Parks Congress. Here is a quick list of the top 5 hangouts of 2014 …more
Will New Technologies Give Critical Boost to Solar Power?
Promising new technologies, including more efficient photovoltaic cells that can harvest energy across the light spectrum, have the potential to dramatically increase solar power generation in the next 2 decades ...more
See the latest facts about climate change with charts, graphs and information from the new Third Edition
of the EPA's Climate Indicators
The Earth's climate is changing. Temperatures are rising, snow and rainfall patterns are shifting, and more extreme climate events—live heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures—are already taking place ...More
Our Food Supply is Being Threatened by Alarming Rates
of Honeybee Deaths
1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat is dependent on our honeybees!
As a member of the Smart on Pesticides Coalition, RCC is working to protect Marylanders and the natural systems we depend upon from the toxic impacts of pesticides. Honeybees are dying at alarming rate around the world; Maryland beekeepers have been losing approximately 30% of their hives every year for the past decade. Scientists believe neonicitinoid pesticides are partly to blame. Tell Maryland elected officials that you support restricting the use of pesticides known to kill and harm bees and wildlife! ...Full article and petition
Groundbreaking Maps Detail Acidity of the Earth's Oceans
A team of scientists at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the University of Colorado at Boulder have published a groundbreaking set of maps that offer a comprehensive picture of the acidity of the Earth's oceans as they absorb climate change-causing cargon emissions, causing changes to marine ecosystems ...Full article and maps
2014 State of the Nation's River Report: River Friendly Growth
Potomac Conservancy's 2014 State of the Nation's River report calls for urgent action to preserve local water quality in the face of rapid urbanization and deforestation. The report draws attention to several threats facing the Potomac including:
• Loss of Healthy Forests in the rural parts of the region
• Sprawl in growing suburban communities
• Aging sewer infrastructure in the urban area
Full article and report
Here Comes the Sun: America's Solar Boom, in Charts
Mother Jones recently posted an article in which an energy analyst at Deutsche Bank concluded that by 2016, solar power will be as cheap or cheaper than electricity from the conventional grid in every state except 3. That's without any change in existing policy! ...Full article with charts and infographics
The Case Against Chlorpyrifos: The Long Battle Over Pesticides, Birth Defects and Mental Impairment
by Dr. Janette D. Sherman, MD
The recent number of articles in the popular press concerning loss of intellect among children exposed to chlorpyrifos is important in the case of this pesticide. Although in-home use of chlorpyrifos was restricted in the U.S. in 2000, it is widely used in agriculture, and is a serious risk to health and intellect for people working and living in proximity to fields. Detectable levels of chlorpyrifos detected in New York City children, raises the question of exposure via food ...Full article
You can help with the birds and the bees! Help update our new organic landscaping map!
Find bee, butterfly and bird friendly landscape and garden supplies here. Just click on our new map of nursery and garden supplies stores and centers to find them. Then you can help by sending information about bee-friendly and organic centers near you directly to the Rachel Carson Council (RCC) so we can share them with our members, supporters and friends around the country! Send us an email or call 301-214-2400 with your information.
Our thanks to our environmental colleagues at Friends of the Earth who were the first to start gathering this data and to our Sustainable Landscape intern, Brandi Metzger of Oberlin College, who has created the Rachel Carson Council map! Check it out!
Great Resource for Environmental Activists
Climate Change Fact Sheet: Polling the American Public on Climate Change 2014
This fact sheet provides information on climate change polling in the United States over the last year from a variety of sources. Overall, the studies show:
Belief that climage change is happening and is caused by human actions is continuing to rise.
There is still a large disparity along party lines, with a large majority of Democrats believing that human actions are changing the climate, while fewer Republicans hold the same belief.
There is support for somewhat higher electricity bills if it means decreasing carbon dioxide pollution ...more
Serious About Saving the Bees?
Time to rethink agriculture
There is much more to "saving the bees" than spring flowers and a golden mascot. We need mulitcultural pollinator communities if we want to keep eating our favorite foods ...more
Scientists: Fracking Wastewater Poses Threat to Drinking Water
Every year, hundreds of billions of gallons of wastewater are produced by fracking operations across America. Some of that water gets stored in manmade ponds, some of it is injected underground, and some of it is treated and put back into rivers ...Full article
Map Shows Rise in Temperature Trends in the US by State
Based on thermometer records from weather stations you can click on your state and see how temperatures have changed. This site compares the global warming with temperature trends at local levels ...Find your state
Support the Rachel Carson Council by shopping on-line at smile.amazon.com
You shop. Amazon gives directly to the RCC! The Rachel Carson Council is now eligible for funding from the AmazonSmile Foundation! Further details
RACHEL CARSON ON CAMPUS
Rachel Carson is famous for her best-selling environmental writing. She ignited the modern ecogical movement. But Rachel also linked professors, doctors, public health specialists, and more on campuses around the nation.
The Rachel Carson Council carries on Rachel Carson's legacy and has begun to build today's network of Rachel Carson Campuses.
Join with us today and find out more about how your campus can connect to the Rachel Carson Campus network ...more
RCC President Bob Musil was the invited Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow during November for a week at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon ...more
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Special Donations to RCC
Occasionally donations are made to the Rachel Carson Council, in memory of or in honor of friends, relatives or special pets. You can find a list of these Special Donations here
Past Issues and News Items
Looking Ahead... News and Events
- 12/12/14: RCC President at Furman University
March 23-27, 2015
RCC President Rober K. Musil will be at Furman University in Greenville, SC
for a week-long residency.