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Ocean Assets Valued at $24 Trillion but Dwindling Fast
A new report highlights the economic value of Earth's marine environments
According to a new WWF report Reviving the Ocean Economy: the case for action—2015, the goods and services from coastal and marine environments amount to about $2.5 trillion each year. That makes the ocean the 7th largest economy in the world in terms of Gross Domestic Product ...Full article
Bees May Become Addicted to Nicotine-like Pesticides, Study Finds
Bees have a preference for sugar solutions laced with pesticides, scientists say, as a separate landmark field trial show neonicitinoids harm bee population.
In a study published in the journal Nature, scientists from Newcastle University showed that bees have a preference for sugar solutions that are laced with the pesticides imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, possibly indicating they can become hooked on the chemicals in much the same way smokers are hooked on tobacco ...Full article
Advocacy Group Offers U.S. Testing for Herbicide Feared Linked to Cancer
An advocacy group seeking a ban on the world's most widely used herbicide said it is launching a U.S. public testing project to gather data on detectable levels of the herbicide in drinking water, human urine and breast milk.
Feed the World, the group behind the effort, is offering test kits that can be ordered for $119 each on its website, feedtheworld.info, and sent to a central laboratory for processing ...Full article
North Carolina Residents Worry Over Tainted Water From Nearby Coal Ash Pond
After state regulators began telling people who live near Duke Energy coal ash ponds that their well water was contiminated, some residents said their worst fears are being confirmed. The State Department of Environment and Natural Resources said that test of 87 private wells near 8 Duke palnts across North Carolina showed results that failed to meet state groundwater standards ...Full article
RCC President Robert K. Musil blogs from the Huffington Post about The Vast Climate Conspiracy and Rachel Carson's Legacy.
The Unseen Slaughter Under the Sea
Imagine there's a fence running through the wilderness and that each animal that passes by—deer, bear, bison— is in danger of getting its head stuck in the chain link and starving to death. The happens every day in the world's oceans as lost, abondoned, and derelict fishing gear trap countless numbers of marine animals for years, decases and perhaps even centuries ...Full article
Global Summary Information - March 2015
According to the National Climatic Data Center, March 2015 and first quarter of year warmest on record; Arctic sea ice extent smallest on record for the month of March.
During March, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.53ºF above the 20th century average. This surpasses the previous record in 2010 by .09ºF ...Full article
This is Not My State
This speech, by Derb Carter, Director of the Southern Environmental Law Center, focuses on the damage being inflicted on North Carolina's environment by the state's General Assembly and current state administration. Budget cuts, the repeal of longstanding legislation and sweetheart deals with polluters have all contributed to increasing damage to North Carolina's beautiful mountains, coast, rivers and natural areas ...more
8 Things You Need to Know About Hillary Clinton and Climate Change
Photo: Pete Souza/White House
Now that Hillary has announced her candidacy and is poised to coast through the 2016 Democratic primary, would a Clinton presidency be similar to Obama's concerning climate change?
It seems the answer is yes. Clinton certainly seems to appreciate the seriousness of the threat of catastrophic climate change and supports domestic policies and international agreements to reduce carbon emissions ...Full article
19 Students Arrested by Yale Police at Fossil Fuel Divestment Sit-In
Nineteen Yale students were arrested by Yale police yesterday following a day-long sit-in that called for the university to reopen the conversation on fossil fuel divestment. Yale is one of the first schools where a fossil fuel divestment action has led to arrest.
"Yale would rather arrest its students than re-engage in the conversation" said Fossil Free Yale Project Manager Mitch Barrows. Photo credit: Fossil Free Yale ...Full article
This General Rescued New Orleans—Now He Wants to Save the World
Russel Honoré says pollution is a national security threat
The 67-year-old retire lieutenant general, seen here addressing members of the Green Army, doesn't fit the stereotype of your typical green activist. Many soldiers called him "The Ragin' Cajun," though he is in fact a Louisana Creole.
Though retired, his soldiering days aren't over. He's now the leader of the Green Army, a coalition of Gulf Coast residents taking on pollution in their region ...Full article
Drought Stricken California Exempts Big Oil and Big Ag From Mandatory Restrictions
An April snowpack assessment in California, which set an all-time record for lowest snowpack levels in the state's history, finally spurred governor Brown's office to issue an executive order to residents and non-agricultural businesses to cut water use by 25% in the first mandatory statewide reduction in the state's history.
Some groups have been exempted from the water restrictions, specifically big agriculture which uses about 80% of Caiifornia's water, and oil companies ...Full article
More Than 70% of U.S. Adults Concerned About Global Climate Change
Survey Touches on Leadership, Household Choices, Pope Francis
A first-of-its-kind survey from the RC Campus Network member school Saint Leo University's Polling Institute shows that 73% of adult Americans responding are concerned about global climate change. 33% reported being very concerned, and 43% said they were somewhat concerned ...more
Syracuse to Drop Fossil Fuel Stocks
Syracuse University is dropping all fossil fuel stocks from its endowment, the university announced on Tuesday.
At $1.2 billion, Syracuse's is the largest endowment to divest entirely of fossil fuel stocks. The university's chancellor, Kent Syverud, said the move was part of Syracuse's "long record of supporting responsible environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship." ...Full article
Study Links Widely Used Pesticides to Antibiotic Resistance
Glyphosate, 2,4-D, and Dicamba found to affect bacteria inways that could promote resistance to common antibiotics.
A study published by the American Society of Microbiology's journal mBio has linked glyphosate and 2 other widely-used herbicides-2,4-D and dicamba-to one of the most pressing public health crises of out time: antibiotic resistance ...Full article
US Coal Sector in 'Structural Decline', Financial Analysts Say
Over 200 mines shut down and industry loses 76% of its value in 5 years, report finds.
The US coal sector is in a "structural decline" which has sent 26 companies bust in the last 3 years, according to financial analysts.
A report for the Carbon Tracer Initiative found that between 2011 and 2013 at least 264 mines were closed. The world's largest private coal company, Peabody Energy, lost 80% of its share price. These declines were in spite of the Dow Jones industrial average increasing by 69% in the same period ...Full article
Opinion: Spring Eternal
After years of false prospects on climate change breakthroughs, seven reasons for new hope.
1) The numbers on wind and solar are finally beginning to add up impressively.
2) Non-Usual suspects are taking up the discussion
3) Global carbon emissions flatlined in 2014.
4) The embarassments for hardcore deniers are beginning to add up.
5) Beyon a few celebrated columnists, other media are now wide awake.
6) Divestment is showing a few big wins and beginning to work.
7) Some U.S. political operatives are getting louder about Republican climate denial being a dead end.
New Fracking Rules on Public Lands
'A Giveaway to Oil and Gas Industry,' Advocates Say
The new rules are released following a 4-year process that included more than 1.5 million public comments. The Bureau of Land Management claimed they would "support safe and responsible hydraulic fracking on public and American Indian lands."
Drilling has been occuring on federal lands for years with more than 100,000 wells in existence. However, following the fracking book of the last 2 decades, more than 90% of new drilling operations involve that process, evading the regulations of 30 years ago ...Full article
Health Agency Says Widely Used Herbicide Likely Carcinogenic
Herbicide, glyphosate, is sold by Monsanto under Roundup™ brand. The World Health Organization (WHO) agency recently said that the herbicide widely marketed by Monsanto Co. likely has the potential to cause cancer in humans. Consumer and environmental groups have long warned of health problems that they say could arise from applying the weekiller on farms ...Full article
The Melting of Antarctica Was Already Really Bad. It just got worse.
A hundred years from now, humans may remember 2014 as the year that we first learned that we may have irreversibly destabiized the great ice sheet of West Antarctica, and thus set in motion more than 10 feet of sea level rise.
Americans should take note—when the bottom of the world loses vast amounts of ice, those of us living closer to its top get more sea level rise than the rest of the planet, thanks to the law of gravity ...Full article
Construction Begins on Solar Farm at Elon University's Loy Farm
An array of solar panels on university property will generate nearly 3 megawatts of electricity.
Work is underway on a 15-acre solar farm at the Loy Farm area of Elon University. The solar farm is being developed by Suntuity, a NJ based company that focuses on large-scale solar power projects around the world, including 10 in the US ...Full article
Fukushima Radiation Found in Sample of Green Tea from Japan
According to the New York Times, a sample of powdered tea imported from the Japanese prefecture of Chiba, just southeast of Tokyo, contained traces of radioactive cesium 137.
300 tons of radioactive water have been pouring into the Pacific every day. According to scientific sources, more than 30 times as much radioactive Cesium was released at Fukushima as was created at the bombing of Hiroshima ...Full article
Don't Drink the Water
In 1991, the EPA Learned That There Were Toxins in a Mountain Stream. But Nobody Told the Family That Owned the Property
Terry Rice lives in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, about 10 miles outside of Asheville, in a cabin his grandfather build by hand. The Rices drew their regular water supply from a spring just a few hundred yards behind the cabin.
In 1999, a visiting friend volunteered to clean out the spring. He was shocked when he climed down to the water and saw dead plants and an oily liquid near the surface and a diesel-like odor ...Full article
College Town Cuts Ties With TransCanada Over Keystone XL, Plans to go 100% Renewable
The battle over building the Keystone XL ppipelline is having an impart far from its proposed route. One of those places is the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, home to Harvard University and MIT.
the city currently purchased the electricity that powers its municiple buildings from TansCanada, Keystone XL's parent company. But now it city council has passed a unanimous resolution advising city manager Richard Rossi not to do business witht the company once its current contract expires at the end of 2015 ...Full article
Better Air Quality Helps Lungs Grow, Science Shows For the First Time
A groundbreaking new study has found that long-term improvements in air quality are associated with better respiratory function in children during critical growth years. The study, published on Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, looked at lung development in children ages 11 to 15 in Southern California over the course of the last two decades as air pollution controls significantly improved air quality. It is the first time that researchers have shown that better air quality leads to the direct improvement of lung development in children ...Full article
Climate Change Can Skew Fish Gender Ratios
Scientists find that zebrafish exposed to hormone-disrupting chemical pollution produce abnormal numbers of male offspring, especially in increasingly warmer water. LONDON - Climate change seems to make everything worse - at least for some wild creatures. British scientists have just confirmed that higher temperatures could amplify the impact of hormone-disrupting chemicals that already pollute the environment. The world's waterways are full of industrial pollutants with potentially damaging effects. They include industrial agents, the waste products of birth-control pills, herbicides, pharmaceuticals and even the residues of illegal narcotics. Altogether, more than 800 chemicals have been identified as having some hormone-disrupting capacity ...Full article
Kids Are Smarter Than Senators on Climate Change, and This Poll Proves It!
Every kid forever has dreamt of bossing around a bunch of authoritive grown-ups. On Capital Hill, six teens met with climate-denying GOP senators to school them on elementary-level climate science ...Full article
Wright Brothers, Lindbergh, Earhart Here We Come!
When Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first sustained, powered heavier-than-air flight at the turn of the 20th century, few people who wwren't science fiction enthusiasts envisioned that their small craft was the precursor of a major mode of internatinal transportion.
So it's best not to scoff at Solar Impulse, a solar-powered airplane able to sustain flight at night with a pilot on board. The company is about to launch it on a round-the-world flight to demonstrate its capacity and draw attention to the potential of solar-powered flight ...Full article
Miami Is Already Sinking Under Rising Sea Levels
You don't have to look 85 years into the future to see what a sinking world looks like — you only need to look as far as Miami ...Full article
Pig Poop Fouling North Carolina Streams
Streams near large factory pig farms have high levels of bacteria. Health groups are raising a stink.
Few people know the pig business like North Carolina's Don Webb.
Webb raised pigs in Wilson County, North Carolina, until, in the late '70s, residents told him the smell near his farms was unbearable. He tried some solutions. They didn't work ...more
Chesapeake Bay Recovering But Still Under Stress, Report Finds
(Reuters) the ailing Chesapeake Bay is slowly recovering from pollution and overfishing but still has problems that include a drop by half in a key segment of the blue crab population, a report on the largest U.S. estuary said. The health snapshot from the Chesapeake Bay Program said the 64,000-square-mile watershed covering 6 states and the District of Columbia was threatened by rising sea levels, warmer water and urban development ...Full article
Rachel Carson on Campus Update
Have you ever wondered how sustainable your food on campus is? Sustainability Graduate Assistant, Christine Lacayo, with Students for Sustainability (SFS) and Topper TV at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas go behind the scenes to get a better view of what striving for sustainability is all about at Bon Appétit Management Company ...Watch video
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
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
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
NEW FILM SCREENINGS AND MORE!!
And the Winner is...
The winners of this year's best Sustainable Food and Farming Short Film competition have been announced. Out of 175 submissions there were 10 winners announced. All under 4 minutes in length, the winning films are diverse in style, perspective and place ...more
Why should you buy Rainforest Alliance certified products?
Because they help cocoa farmes like Adrian improve their wages and take care of their local environment. A film that put a face to cocoa farmers
Environmental Photographer Competition
Check out these mesmerizing pictures from the Environmental Photographer Competition exposing climate change issues around the world! …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
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.
Looking Ahead... News and Events
- 03/02/15: RCC President Robert K. Musil's Upcoming Campus Events
RCC President Robert K. Musil's Upcoming Campus Events
April 3, Lecture at University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
April 7-10, Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, Elon University, Elon, NC.