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Category Archives: Environmental Law

New plan to remove a trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

Washington Post – The new plan to remove a trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere: Bury it – “It sounds like an idea plucked from science fiction, but the reality is that trees and plants already do it. Last month, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere surpassed 415 parts per million, the highest in human history. Environmental experts say the world is increasingly on a path toward a climate crisis. The most prominent efforts to prevent that crisis involve reducing carbon emissions. But another idea is also starting to gain traction — sucking all that carbon out of the atmosphere and storing it underground. It sounds like an idea plucked from science fiction, but the reality is that trees and plants already do it, breathing carbon dioxide and then depositing it via roots and decay into the soil. That’s why consumers and companies often “offset” their carbon emissions by planting carbon-sucking trees elsewhere in the world. But an upstart company, ­Boston-based Indigo AG, now wants to transform farming practices so that agriculture becomes quite the opposite of what it is today — a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.

By promoting techniques that increase the potential of agricultural land to suck in carbon, the backers of Indigo AG believe they can set the foundation for a major effort to stem climate change. On Wednesday, the company announced a new initiative with the ambitious goal of removing 1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by paying farmers to modify their practices. Called the Terraton Initiative (a “teraton” is a trillion tons), the company forecasts that the initiative will sign up 3,000 farmers globally with more than 1 million acres in 2019…”

GAO identifies potential economic effects of climate change

Climate Change: Opportunities to Reduce Federal Fiscal Exposure. GAO-19-625T: Published: Jun 11, 2019. Publicly Released: Jun 11, 2019. “There were 14 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events in the U.S. in 2018—with a total cost of at least $91 billion. These costs will likely rise as the climate changes, researchers say. The federal government’s… Continue Reading

NASA dataset includes more than a Trillion precise measurements of Earth’s height at various locations

Center for Data Innovation: “NASA has released a dataset that includes more than a trillion precise measurements of the Earth’s height at various locations, including the height of glaciers and the height of the canopy of forests. NASA gathered the data, which includes the exact latitude and longitudes for a corresponding elevation, by shooting photons… Continue Reading

Americans May Be Ingesting Thousands of Microplastics Every Year

Smithsonian – A new study found that we consume between 74,000 and 121,000 plastic particles annually—and that’s likely an underestimate – “Microplastics are everywhere in our environment: oceans, soils, the air, the bodies of animals. It’s hardly surprising, then, that the tiny fragments have also been found in humans. But a new study is shining troubling… Continue Reading

Audubon Mural Project documents climate threatened birds

“The Audubon Mural Project is a collaboration between the National Audubon Society and Gitler &_____ Gallery to create murals of climate-threatened birds throughout John James Audubon’s old Harlem‐based neighborhood in New York City. The project is inspired by the legacy of the great American bird artist and pioneering ornithologist and is energized by Audubon’s groundbreaking… Continue Reading

New Report Suggests ‘High Likelihood of Human Civilization Coming to an End’ Starting in 2050

Vice – The climate change analysis was written by a former fossil fuel executive and backed by the former chief of Australia’s military. “A harrowing scenario analysis of how human civilization might collapse in coming decades due to climate change has been endorsed by a former Australian defense chief and senior royal navy commander. The… Continue Reading

Photos: The Incredible Ice Formations of Lake Baikal

The Atlantic – “Lake Baikal, in the Russian region of Siberia, is a massive body of water—the world’s deepest and most voluminous freshwater lake. Its location and the surrounding geography can lead to fascinating phenomena in the winter, as ferocious winds and cycles of melting and refreezing build and sculpt works of structural beauty—stones supported… Continue Reading

EPA wants to triple level of rocket fuel chemical allowed in drinking water

Think Progress – “The Trump Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to raise the threshold for a chemical found in rocket fuel to triple the previous limit allowed in drinking water supplies. This is the first new drinking water rule introduced by the agency since the George W. Bush administration. In the EPA’s latest move to… Continue Reading

Study – Climate crisis more politically polarizing than abortion for US voters

The Guardian – Democrats ranked global heating as the third most important issue on their list, while Republican voters ranked it last in a Yale poll: “Surging concern among Americans about an overheating planet has done little to shift a political polarization that has now reached a stunning extreme: climate breakdown divides Democrats and Republicans… Continue Reading