November 25, 2014

‘I Hate That Oil’s Dropping': Why Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant Wants High Oil Prices for Fracking

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog Outgoing Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) chairman Phil Bryant — Mississippi’s Republican Governor — started his farewell address with a college football joke at IOGCC’s recent annual conference in Columbus, Ohio. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant; Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons “As you know, I love SEC football. Number one in the nation Mississippi Read More

November 25, 2014

EPA Delays Setting Renewable Fuel Standard to 2015 & Angers Both Environmentalists and Big Oil

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it will not issue a renewable fuel standard until 2015. This postponement follows nearly a year of delay, frustrating biofuel investors and leading critics to call on Congress to force the agency’s hand. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a federal policy requiring a minimum volume of Read More

November 25, 2014

Scientists Conduct ‘Autopsies From Space’ to Find Disappearing Sea Lions

In just three decades, the population of Alaska’s Steller sea lions plummeted by 80 percent. This became an increasingly frustrating mystery for researchers, who observed no unhealthy behavior in the surviving mammals during their summer breeding season. To solve the mystery, researchers led by Markus Horning, Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Oregon State University, Read More

November 25, 2014

World’s Largest Solar Plant Opens in California

Late last month, the Topaz Solar Farm came online in San Luis Obispo, California. With a 550 megawatt capacity, Topaz is now the largest working solar plant in the world. According to project developers First Solar, Topaz will displace an annual 377,000 tons of carbon dioxide and distribute enough energy to power 160,000 average homes. Read More

November 25, 2014

Old Coal Plants Never Die

This is the first of a three-part series on the fate of coal-fired power in the US.  An unprecedented number of coal-fired power plants in the US will be shut down in the next few years, replaced by natural gas, solar and wind. The first article is about what happens to these plants as they Read More

November 25, 2014

‘Ask an Expert’ With Marcus Eriksen

Welcome to the very first installment of Planet Experts’ Ask an Expert series. Two weeks ago, PE asked its readers to send in their questions to 5 Gyres co-founder Marcus Eriksen. Today, Dr. Eriksen is back to answer them! 1) Alex @brekkeal: “Compared to larger bodies of water, how polluted are the Great Lakes?” In terms of plastic, Read More

November 24, 2014

Spartanburg BMW Plant Offers Lessons in Sustainability

Last month, BMW Group announced that it would spend $1 billion to expand its Spartanburg, South Carolina auto plant, the production base of the carmaker’s X series of sport-utility vehicles. It was certainly good news from an economic standpoint (the investment will increase the plant’s annual production by 50 percent and add 800 jobs to Read More

November 24, 2014

World Bank: Climate Change Impacts ‘May Now Be Simply Unavoidable’

On Sunday, the World Bank released the third report in its Turn Down the Heat series, focusing on climate change impacts in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia and revealing that the world is on track to warm 2°C by 2050 and potentially 4°C by 2100. As Read More

November 24, 2014

Glacier National Park Will Lose Its Glaciers in 15 Years

Grinnell Glacier, one of Glacier National Park’s most studied ice sheets, used to sport a wall of ice 25 feet high. You wouldn’t know that today. Dr. Daniel B. Fagre, a research ecologist with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and an expert on glaciers and climate change, recently told the New York Times that Read More

November 24, 2014

A Media Analysis of Discovery’s ‘Eaten Alive’

On December 7, 2014, Discovery Channel is planning on airing a new “wildlife special” called Eaten Alive. Eaten Alive has a relatively simple premise: a man is going to let himself be eaten by a green anaconda while wearing a snake-proof suit. You know, for science. Many people have been making the argument that this Read More

November 24, 2014

Fish Dosed With Anti-Depressant Kill Their Mates, Study Finds

A recent study that exposed minnows to traces of the anti-depressant Prozac found that the chemical caused the fish to become more hostile – in some cases, enough to kill their own mates. This study has far-reaching implications for marine life in America’s waterways, in which traces of pharmaceuticals have already been found. The study Read More

November 23, 2014

Would You Eat Bugs to Save the Planet?

This year, 45 countries held the first “Insects to Feed the World” conference, an international colloquium for discussing “the state of the art in research, business and policy” in making insects a more palatable food choice for humankind. The conference was organized by Wageningen University in the Netherlands and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Read More

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