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Category Archives: Environmental Law

Report – Reckoning with the U.S Role in Global Ocean Plastic Waste

National Academies: “The United States should create a national strategy by the end of 2022 to reduce its contribution to plastic waste in the ocean, including substantially reducing the amount of solid waste generated in the U.S., says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report also recommends the U.S. establish a nationally coordinated and expanded monitoring system to track plastic pollution in order to understand the scale and sources of the U.S. plastic waste problem, set reduction and management priorities, and measure progress in addressing it. Reckoning with the U.S Role in Global Ocean Plastic Waste concludes plastic waste in the U.S. is ubiquitous and increasing. Worldwide, at least 8.8 million metric tons of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans each year — the equivalent of dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute — and in 2016 the U.S. generated more plastic waste than any other country, exceeding that of all European Union member states combined. Plastic waste has devastating impacts on the ocean’s health, marine wildlife, and communities. Without changing current practices, the report says, plastics will continue to accumulate in the ocean with adverse consequences. The report says today’s recycling processes and infrastructure are grossly insufficient to manage the complexity and quantity of plastic waste produced, and that a large portion of plastic waste is disposed of in landfills. While the U.S. solid waste management system is advanced overall, the committee that wrote the report concluded there is both a need and opportunity to expand and evolve municipal solid waste management in the U.S. to ensure it better manages plastic waste, and serves communities and regions equitably, efficiently, and economically…”

A new ratings industry is emerging to help homebuyers assess climate risks

Via LLRX – A new ratings industry is emerging to help homebuyers assess climate risks – Matthew E. Kahn studies environmental economics, and in his recent book, “Adapting to Climate Change: Markets and the Management of an Uncertain Future”, he explores how the rise of Big Data will help people, firms and local governments make… Continue Reading

The Most Detailed Map of Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution in the U.S.

ProPublica: “It’s not a secret that industrial facilities emit hazardous air pollution. A new ProPublica analysis shows for the first time just how much toxic air pollution they emit — and how much the chemicals they unleash could be elevating cancer risk in their communities. ProPublica’s analysis of five years of modeled EPA data identified… Continue Reading

This New Tool Lets You See Floods From Around the World, Dating Back to 1985

Smithsonian Magazine: An innovative interactive map could aid future disaster planning, especially for vulnerable countries in the developing world. “Last month, the United Nations University released a free tool that generates high resolution maps of floods worldwide since 1985. The new resource comes after a year of historic water-related disasters, including severe floods in Western… Continue Reading

DC Fall Foliage Map

Casey Trees: “Check out our Fall Showstoppers of DC Map and see what trees you can spot on your walk or while you’re hanging in the park and see what color-changing trees you may find along the way. This map highlights the five showstopper fall color trees, as well as trees with significant fall color… Continue Reading

Stunning, Ultra-HD Short Films of National Parks

Kottke.org: “For the past 5 years, More Than Just Parks, an organization established by two self-professed “National Park nuts”, have been making short films about America’s National Parks and Forests. Each ultra-HD video is only 3-4 minutes long, extended trailers for the beauty and grandeur of parks like Zion, Grand Teton, and the Badlands and… Continue Reading

Global State of Democracy in 2021 Report

“Democracy faces perfect storm as the world becomes more authoritarian Many democratic governments are increasingly adopting authoritarian tactics, accentuated by the Covid-19 pandemic, while autocratic regimes are consolidating their power. The world is becoming more authoritarian as autocratic regimes become even more brazen in their repression. Many democratic governments are backsliding and are adopting authoritarian… Continue Reading

This camera uses AI to automatically identify the birds in your yard

Fast Company: “A new camera designed for use with bird feeders promises to tell you when there are birds visiting your yard—and even use machine learning to identify what types of birds they are. The Birdfy, from Netvue which also makes surveillance cameras and video doorbells, has raised more than $38,000 on Kickstarter, with pricing… Continue Reading

Infographic: The 100 most polluted cities in the world

Aljazeera:  Out of the world’s 100 most polluted cities, 94 are in India, China, and Pakistan…How is air quality measured? Air quality is determined by the levels of air pollutants PM2.5, PM10, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide.Particulate matter (PM) comprises tiny particles that negatively impact health. PMs vary in size, most damaging… Continue Reading

Recyclable vs compostable packaging

BBC News – Plastic pollution: New meat tray ‘could save tonnes of waste’ America’s Plastic Manufacturers – “Our Recycling System Needs a Refresh – We Can Recycle More Plastic Packaging. Lots More.” Plastic wrap – Biodegradable Compostable PLA Vegetable Packaging Bags – “Our compostable vegetable bags is a great alternative to regular plastic bags. These bags… Continue Reading