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Category Archives: Environmental Law

Roadmap to 2030: A new resource to help cut food waste by 50%

ReFED: “In 2019, an enormous 35% of all food in the United States went unsold or uneaten. That’s $408 billion worth of food – roughly 2% of U.S. GDP – with a greenhouse gas footprint equivalent to 4% of total U.S. GHG emissions. Most of this became food waste, which went straight to landfill, incineration, or down the drain, or was simply left in the fields to rot. Businesses, government agencies, funders, and others are already making efforts to address this challenge – but a massive acceleration is needed to achieve national and international goals to reduce food waste by 50% by the year 2030. ReFED is a national nonprofit working to end food loss and waste across the U.S. food system. We estimate that an annual investment of $14 billion over the next ten years can reduce food waste by 45 million tons each year. That investment would result in $73 billion in annual net financial benefit – a five-to-one return. Plus, every year, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75 million metric tons, save 4 trillion gallons of water, and recover the equivalent of 4 billion meals for those in need. Over ten years, it would create more than 51,000 jobs – and achieve our 2030 reduction goal…”

See also Project Drawdown – “Roughly a third of the world’s food is never eaten, which means land and resources used and greenhouse gases emitted in producing it were unnecessary. Interventions can reduce loss and waste, as food moves from farm to fork, thereby reducing overall demand. Impact:  After taking into account the annual adoption of plant-rich diets, if 50-75 percent of food waste is reduced by 2050, avoided emissions could be equal to 10.3-18.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide. Reducing waste also avoids the deforestation for additional farmland, preventing 74.9-76.3 gigatons of additional emissions. We used forecasts of regional waste estimated from farm to household. This data shows that up to 35 percent of food in high-income economies is thrown out by consumers; in low-income economies, however, relatively little is wasted at the household level…”

Artificial Intelligence and Legal Disruption: A New Model for Analysis

Liu, Hin-Yan and Maas, Matthijs M. and Danaher, John and Scarcella, Luisa and Lexer, Michaela and Van Rompaey, Léonard, Artificial Intelligence and Legal Disruption: A New Model for Analysis (September 16, 2020). Law, Innovation and Technology 12, no. 2 (September 16, 2020): 205–58. https://doi.org/10.1080/17579961.2020.1815402. , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3761620 “Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the latest… Continue Reading

Flood Factor – Find your home’s Flood Factor

“Flood Factor is a free online tool created by the nonprofit First Street Foundation that makes it easy for Americans to find their property’s risk of flooding and understand how flood risks are changing because of a changing environment. Flood Factor was created to make the most cutting edge flood science. First Street Foundation aims… Continue Reading

This Teenager Helped Launch Seed Libraries in Every State

Modern Farmer – “During the pandemic, Alicia Serratos has spent countless hours assembling kits containing organic vegetable, herb and flower seeds, envelopes and plant markers to help communities establish seed libraries.Seed libraries maintain stocks of seeds that the public can “check out” to plant in their gardens. Boxes stocked with packets of seeds are often… Continue Reading

Forest Service, NASA upgrade online active fire mapping tool

“Today, the USDA Forest Service, in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is releasing a new online active fire mapping tool to better support fire suppression efforts in North America. The new Fire Information for Resource Management System US/Canada application will provide wildfire management teams and the public real-time access to data, maps and… Continue Reading

Bitcoin consumes ‘more electricity than Argentina’

BBC News: “”Mining” for the cryptocurrency is power-hungry, involving heavy computer calculations to verify transactions. Cambridge researchers say it consumes around 121.36 terawatt-hours (TWh) a year – and is unlikely to fall unless the value of the currency slumps. Critics say electric-car firm Tesla’s decision to invest heavily in Bitcoin undermines its environmental image. The… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Preview of 2020-2021 Environmental and Energy Law Cases and Review of 2019-2020 Rulings

CRS Report – Supreme Court Preview of2020-2021 Environmental and Energy Law Cases and Review of 2019-2020 Rulings, Updated February 11, 2021: “The Supreme Court 2019-2020 term, which started on October 1, 2019, was historic in unexpected ways. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in the Court indefinitely closing its building to the public, postponing… Continue Reading

How to (properly) get rid of all your e-waste

Mashable: “…“Globally, e-waste is the most traded hazardous waste on the planet,” Jim Puckett, the executive director of the Basel Action Network (BAN) said. BAN is an electronics recycling watchdog organization that monitors where electronic waste ends up after being “recycled.” Unfortunately, all too often, e-waste from affluent countries like the U.S. gets shipped offshore… Continue Reading

Why 2021 Is Setting Up to Be a Pivotal Year for Digital Content in Libraries

Publishers Weekly:  “As the calendar turned to 2021, it dawned on me that I have now been working with the American Library Association on e-book and digital content issues for a decade. My work with ALA began in 2011, when then-president Molly Raphael asked me to co-chair the association’s inaugural Digital Content and Libraries Working… Continue Reading

We use 6.8 billion face masks a day. Researchers want to turn them into roads

Fast Company – And the roads could be even stronger than traditional roads, according to new research in the journal ‘Science of the Total Environment: “The disposable masks you see every day have to go somewhere. Many, if not most, end up in a landfill. Researchers have developed a new material that turns all those… Continue Reading