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Category Archives: Environmental Law

How to mine precious metals in your home

BBC Future – “With so many of us now stuck in our homes during the pandemic, long-postponed jobs such as clearing out the loft or attic may seem like a good way of keeping the monotony at bay. Perhaps sorting through the “drawer of junk” in the kitchen or cleaning out that over-stuffed cupboard in the spare room are rising up your to-do list. If you need a little extra motivation for the spring clean, though, there’s probably treasure hidden in there. Locked inside the old products we hoard in dusty corners are valuable metals and minerals. These are the same, much-needed natural resources that our modern world runs on. Collectively, our homes and backyards are an “urban mine” filled with these essential materials that are just waiting to be dug out. Around the world there are millions, if not billions, of unused electronic devices in our homes – old mobile phones, neglected games consoles, ancient stereos, outdated computer equipment and defunct printers to name a few. Each of these contains copper, silver and even gold, along with a wide range of valuable rare earth elements.

The key, however, is getting people to get rid of their old devices in a way that means these metals can be extracted, recycled and reused. But before you start your own treasure hunt, a quick caveat: some local authorities are currently asking people not to create more rubbish at a time when refuse collection services are over-stretched. So, view this more as an opportunity to sort your hoard into neat piles, for recycling later…”

Study identifies clear link between long-term exposure to pollution and Covid-19 death rates

Exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 mortality in the United States (Updated April 5, 2020) “Background: United States government scientists estimate that COVID-19 may kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans. The majority of the pre-existing conditions that increase the risk of death for COVID-19 are the same diseases that are affected by long-term exposure to… Continue Reading

How to Keep the Gas Fresh, Protect Your Car During Coronavirus Pandemic

Consumer Reports – Experts give some simple tips to protect your engine from stale gas if your car is sitting idle – There are a lot fewer cars out on the road right now, because many drivers are isolating in their homes to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. Overall road travel in the… Continue Reading

Virtual Dives – An immersive 360 view of your national marine sanctuaries

NOAA: “Immerse yourself in the ocean and your national marine sanctuaries without getting wet! These virtual reality voyages use 360-degree images to highlight the amazing habitats, animals, and cultural resources you can find in each national marine sanctuary. Select which sanctuary you want to visit, scroll through the gallery, and click on a panorama to start… Continue Reading

Air pollution’s impact on health and the immune system – and the ventilator quagmire

Jamie Hopkins – PublicIntegrity.org: “I wrote a story this week about air pollution’s impact on health and the immune system that included a quick data analysis. Academics who studied the impact of the 1918 flu looked at 180 cities and found that higher-pollution places — as measured by coal use — saw more deaths. I… Continue Reading

Ted Chiang Explains the Disaster Novel We All Suddenly Live In

Electric Lit Interview – The esteemed science fiction author on how we may never go “back to normal”—and why that might be a good thing – “…Halimah Marcus: This pandemic isn’t science fiction, but it does feel like a dystopia. How can we understand the coronavirus as a cautionary tale? How can we combat our own… Continue Reading

Earthwatch Institute concluded that bees are the most important living being on the planet

The Bee Is Declared The Most Important Living Being On The Planet  – “Earthwatch Institute concluded in last debate of Royal Geographical Society of London that bees are the most important living being on the planet, however, scientists have also made an announcement: Bees have already entered into extinction risk. Bees around the world have… Continue Reading

Traffic and Pollution Plummet as U.S. Cities Shut Down for Coronavirus

The New York Times – “In cities across the United States, traffic on roads and highways has fallen dramatically over the past week as the coronavirus outbreak forces people to stay at home and everyday life grinds to a halt. Pollution has dropped too. A satellite that detects emissions in the atmosphere linked to cars… Continue Reading