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Category Archives: Environmental Law

Economist – Asia’s mania for “reclaiming” land from the sea spawns mounting problems

Such quantities of sand – The Economist: “The area of land Singapore has taken from the sea is dwarfed by reclamation elsewhere—in Japan and China, for example. Since the 19th century, Japan has reclaimed 25,000 hectares in Tokyo Bay alone. For a planned new city near Shanghai, Nanhui, more than 13,000 hectares have been reclaimed. In Hong Kong, as Victoria harbour has been filled, the island has moved closer to mainland China geographically if not politically. Singapore is unusual both in being so small that such a large proportion of its territory is man-made, and in being so close to its maritime neighbours, Malaysia and Indonesia. Not only has it faced criticism from environmental groups because of the impact its sand purchases have had in the exporting countries, in 2003 it also faced a legal challenge under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) from Malaysia over land-reclamation projects at either end of the Johor Strait that separates the two countries. Malaysia alleged the work was impinging on its sovereignty, harming the environment and threatening the livelihoods of some of its fishermen.”

Environmental Working Group Annual ‘Dirty Dozen’ List

“Nearly two-thirds of the 3,015 produce samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2013 contained pesticide residues – a surprising finding in the face of soaring consumer demand for food without agricultural chemicals. EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce calculates that USDA tests found a total 165 different pesticides on thousands ofContinue Reading

Effects of Regional Temperature on Electric Vehicle Efficiency, Range, and Emissions in the US

Effects of Regional Temperature on Electric Vehicle Efficiency, Range, and Emissions in the United States. Tugce Yuksel and Jeremy J Michalek.  Environ. Sci. Technol., Just Accepted Manuscript DOI: 10.1021/es505621s Publication Date (Web): February 11, 2015. “We characterize the effect of regional temperature differences on battery electric vehicle (BEV) efficiency, range, and use-phase CO2 emissions inContinue Reading

PSE Citation Database on Shale & Tight Gas Development

“This citation database provides bibliographic information, abstracts, and links to many of the vetted scientific papers housed in the PSE Healthy Energy Library, as well as other peer-reviewed journal articles. This database is a near exhaustive and evolving list of the peer-reviewed literature that directly pertains to shale and tight gas development. This literature is organizedContinue Reading

Controversy surrounds $500 million commercial development project on Grand Canyon rim

Who Can Save the Grand Canyon? by David Roberts, Smithsonian magazine: “When Teddy Roosevelt declared the Grand Canyon a national monument, in 1908, he famously said: “Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.” In that sense, the EscaladeContinue Reading

Insights into Advanced Distribution Management Systems

  Insights into Advanced Distribution Management Systems, February 2015, U.S. Department of Energy, ADMS Working Group Guide. “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 spurred investments in smart grid technology and programs at utilities across the country. The Smart Grid Investment Grant program and Smart Grid Demonstration projects that it funded provided unprecedentedContinue Reading

National Park Service Releases Map of Noise Levels Across America

Newsweek: “Where is it quiet, and where is it loud? A map unveiled at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose, California, shows you where to go if you want a landscape without much racket. It was produced by researchers from the National Park Service and elsewhere,Continue Reading

2013 Toxic Release Inventory National Analysis

“Tens of thousands of chemicals are used by industries and businesses in the United States to make the products on which our society depends, such as pharmaceuticals, clothing, and automobiles. Many of the chemicals needed to create these products are toxic, and while the majority of toxic chemicals are managed so that they are notContinue Reading

New Research Paper: How Uncertainty in Climate Science Turns Good News Bad

News release: “Can good news actually be bad news when it comes to the effects of global climate change?  That is the question Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Professor Richard Zeckhauser and his co-authors are attempting to answer in a new HKS Faculty Research Working Paper.  Their report, titled Climate Sensitivity Uncertainty: When is Good NewsContinue Reading

Report – Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean

Science 13 February 2015: Vol. 347 no. 6223 pp. 768-771  DOI: 10.1126/science.1260352 [subscription req’d]: “Plastic debris in the marine environment is widely documented, but the quantity of plastic entering the ocean from waste generated on land is unknown. By linking worldwide data on solid waste, population density, and economic status, we estimated the mass ofContinue Reading

Report – 12 Risks that threaten human civilisation

“This report [via Global Challenges Foundation] has, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, created the first list of global risks with impacts that for all practical purposes can be called infinite. It is also the first structured overview of key events related to such risks and has tried to provide initial rough quantifications forContinue Reading

New Scientist – Your Warming World

“The heat is on for the planet as a whole, but what has been happening where you live? Click on the map to find out, or enter a location in the search box at top right. The initial map shows average temperatures over the past 20 years; use the drop-down menu to see maps forContinue Reading