Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Scott Pruitt is slowly strangling the EPA

The unprecedented regulatory slowdown and rollbacks at the Environmental Protection Agency

The mandate of the head of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and enforce environmental regulations.
Yet since he was confirmed last February, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has worked to stall or roll back this core function of his agency, efforts he’s now celebrating with posters:

He’s also taken some highly unusual, even paranoid, precautions, arming himself with a 24/7 security detail, building a $25,000 secret phone booth in his office, spending $9,000 to sweep his office for surveillance bugs, and hiding his schedule from the public. When one employee turned one of the celebratory posters around, Pruitt assigned a worker to look through security camera records to see who did it.
Pruitt’s posters are a list of the regulatory rollbacks he’s delivered to his allies in coal, oil, gas, and chemicals industries. These gifts include the reversal of a ban on chlorpyrifos, a pesticide linked to developmental problems in children.
Some of the biggest changes Pruitt has made at the EPA have come by not doing anything at all. He’s steering the EPA’s work at an agonizingly slow pace, delaying and slowing the implementation of laws and running interference for many of the sectors EPA is supposed to regulate.
With more staff and funding cuts looming, even fewer toxic chemicals and other environmental hazards will be banned or regulated, and the laws that protect  Americans against them won’t be enforced.
“People will get sick and die,” Christine Todd Whitman, who served as EPA administrator under President George W. Bush, told Vox. “It’s that simple.” Some 230,000 Americans already die each year due to hazardous chemical exposures. “You stop enforcing those regulations and that number will go way up,” she said.
Chaos at the White House and on Capitol Hill has provided Pruitt cover  for his activities, namely deregulating and dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency piece by piece.  He has quietly positioned himself as the greatest threat to the EPA in its entire existence. But some lawmakers and the courts are starting to catch onto him. Since the EPA’s inception, it’s been the judiciary that’s again and again beaten back attempts to undermine the agency from the inside. This year is again shaping up to be momentous.
States are now suing to block Pruitt’s regulatory changes, and federal judges are starting to force him to speed up. Pruitt will have to choose between knock-down, drag-out legal fights to deliver for his allies in industry or fold and grudgingly enforce environmental rules. Whatever he decides, Congress, courts, industry, and activists will be watching.
Pruitt can’t simply repeal all the rules he doesn’t like, so he’s had to embrace a different strategy: stall. By stalling, Pruitt can effectively shift policy by doing nothing. If he leaves regulations in limbo or delays their implementation, industries get relief from environmental rules while the EPA retains plausible deniability.

Here are some of the EPA's actual achievments: 
  • The EPA announced it was seeking a two-year delay in implementing the 2015 Clean Water Rule, which defines the waterways that are regulated by the agency under the Clean Water Act.
  • In May, the EPA stalled on tracking the health impacts of more than a dozen hazardous chemicals at the behest of a Trump appointee at the agency, Nancy Beck.
  • The agency has said nothing and done nothing about counties that failed to meet new ozone standards by an October 2017 deadline and now face fines.
  • Environmental law enforcement has declined; the rules are simply not being followed and the EPA ignores that fact.. By September, the Trump administration launched 30 percent fewer cases and collected about 60 percent fewer fines than in the same period under President Obama.
  • The EPA delayed regulations on dangerous solvents like methylene chloride, a paint stripper, that were already on track to be banned, instead moving the process to “long term action.”
  • The EPA asked for a six-year schedule to review 17-year-old regulations on lead paint.
  • The implementation date of new safety procedures at chemical plants to prevent explosions and spills was pushed back to 2019.
  • Pruitt issued a directive to end “Sue & Settle,” a legal strategy that fast-tracks settlements for litigation filed against the EPA to force the agency to do its job. The agency will spend more time in courts fighting cases that it’s likely to lose.
  • The agency’s enforcement division now has to get approval from headquarters before investigating violations of environmental regulations, which slows down efforts to catch violators of laws like the Clean Water Act.

Losing the environmental protections established by the EPA could harm millions of Americans

The EPA is essentially an environmental public health agency. Its regulations directly affect millions of Americans as it diagnoses ailments in the air, water, and soil, to name a few, and prescribes solutions.
It has had a pretty great track record.
The Clean Air Act, for example, reduced conventional air pollutants by 70 percent since 1970. Substances like ozone, carbon monoxide, and lead have dangerous consequences for human health like heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory arrests.
According to one estimate, the legislation prevents 184,000 premature deaths each year and has saved $22 trillion in health care costs over a period of 20 years.
But enforcing these rules bears a cost as well, and critics say that continuing to make many of these regulations stick costs businesses more and more to comply with them. This is the main rationale for the White House’s aim to cut back on “job-killing” regulations.
Many of these regulations took years to put together and will require years to take apart, endeavors that would likely not resolve until well into President Trump’s second term.

The courts are losing their patience with the agency and are now forcing Pruitt’s hand

Federal courts don’t agree with Pruitt's deconstruction of the EPA and are no longer deferring to the new administration. Courts have already blocked the EPA’s efforts to suspend rules on methane emissions and denied the EPA’s request to spend years researching lead paint, instead giving the agency 90 days to come up with a new regulation.
“I think you’re going to see courts get more involved in the work of the agency,” said former EPA general counsel Avi Garbow, who served under President Obama. “That judicial patience cannot be counted on forever.”    
Some states are suing the department for not controlling air pollution moving across state lines. Some of the scientists who were ousted from the EPA’s advisory boards are now suing the agency, arguing that their removal violates the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Public lawsuits are also going forward to try to force the agency’s hand to fight climate change.
There are also some regulations Pruitt supports. He wants to remove lead from all drinking water in the United States in 10 years and has started taking comments on revising rules for water pipes. He also wants to control leaks of methane, the primary component in natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas.
All the while, lawmakers are also growing increasingly suspicious about Pruitt’s activities and are launching investigations. Michael Dourson, a former chemical industry consultant who was nominated to lead the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, withdrew his name from consideration after facing stiff opposition from Congress.
The laws that govern the EPA require action, and whether those demands come from Congress, the courts, or constituents, the agency needs to produce results that stand up to legal challenges from all sides.
The goal is not to give industries a free pass from all responsibility for the environment, but to protect American lives. Pruitt may soon find out that doing nothing, or even very little, is not an option.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Who does climate change affect?

Climate change is already devastating people's lives all over the world. And it's the world’s poorest people who are hardest hit, and who have least resources to cope. In the UK flooding is set to get worse with warmer, wetter summers, and food prices could rise as crops fail elsewhere in the world.

We're seeing increased drought, storms, floods, crop damage and sea-level rise. Millions of people are fleeing their homes as a result.

The UN Refugee Agency says climate change is a 'threat multiplier' in many of today’s conflicts — from Darfur to Somalia to Iraq and Syria.

The effects will get worse as temperatures rise further. So we must cut greenhouse gas emissions to stop temperatures rising. But people also need protection from the climate change we can no longer avoid: that means financial support for developing countries and legal protection for climate refugees.

What causes climate change?

Our planet supports life because of the greenhouse effect — a blanket of gases trapping some of the sun’s rays. But increase the amount of these gases, and more heat is trapped. This causes the planet to heat up, and leads to a more extreme climate.

Our planet is warmer now than at any point in the past 800,000 years, and heating up fast. This is mainly a result of the huge increase in the amount of coal, oil and gas we’ve been burning since the industrial revolution, pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Other things contribute to climate change too, such as deforestation, which means trees absorb less of these gases; and other greenhouse gases such as methane from cows.

Sha  C.  -----Jenny & Nanook's Knight

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Heat loss from Earth's interior triggers ice sheet slide towards the sea

Greenland’s ice sheet is becoming smaller and smaller. The melting takes place with increased strength and at a speed that no models have previously predicted.

In  Scientific Reports, researchers from the Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University, and the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources present results that, for the first time, show that the deep bottom water of the north-eastern Greenland fjords is being warmed up by heat gradually lost from the Earth’s interior. And the researchers point out that this heat loss triggers the sliding of glaciers from the ice sheet towards the sea.

Icelandic conditions
“North-East Greenland has several hot springs where the water becomes up to 60 degrees warm and, like Iceland, the area has abundant underground geothermal activity,” explained Professor Soren Rysgaard, who headed the investigations.

For more than ten years, the researchers have measured the temperature and salinity in the fjord Young Sound, located at Daneborg, north of Scoresbysund, which has many hot springs, and south of the glacier Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden, which melts rapidly and is connected to the North-East Greenland Ice Stream (NEGIS).

By focusing on an isolated basin in the fjord with a depth range between 200 and 340 m, the researchers have measured how the deep water is heated over a ten-year period. Based on the extensive data, researchers have estimated that the loss of heat from the Earth’s interior to the fjord is about 100 MW m-2. This corresponds to a 2 megawatt wind turbine sending electricity to a large heater at the bottom of the fjord all year round.

Heat from the Earth’s interior – an important influence
It is not easy to measure the geothermal heat flux – heat emanating from the Earth’s interior – below a glacier, but within the area there are several large glaciers connected directly to the ice sheet. If the Earth releases heat to a fjord, heat also seeps up to the bottom part of the glaciers. This means that the glaciers melt from below and thus slide more easily over the terrain on which they sit when moving to the sea.

“It is a combination of higher temperatures in the air and the sea, precipitation from above, local dynamics of the ice sheet and heat loss from the Earth’s interior that determines the mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet,” said Soren Rysgaard.

“There is no doubt that the heat from the Earth’s interior affects the movement of the ice, and we expect that a similar heat seepage takes place below a major part of the ice cap in the north-eastern corner of Greenland,” said Soren Rysgaard.

The researchers expect that the new discoveries will improve the models of ice sheet dynamics, allowing better predictions of the stability of the Greenland ice sheet, its melting and the resulting global water rise.

Thanx : Arctic Research Centre, Aarhus University, and the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources 

Jenny the Crusader

Sunday, January 21, 2018


The data shows the changing biology of Earth from space and has been described as like "watching Earth breathe".

Amazing NASA map shows how climate change altered the face of our planetTHIS amazing NASA map of Earth from multiple satellites shows climate change has altered the face of our planet in the past 20 years.

The data visualisation, released this week, shows Earth's fluctuations as seen from spaceNASA
The data visualisation, released this week, shows Earth's fluctuations as seen from space
Polar ice caps and snow cover are shown ebbing and flowing with the seasons.

Varying ocean shades of blue, green, red and purple depict the abundance or lack of undersea life.

Two decades of imagery from September 1997 to this past September are crunched into minutes of viewing.

NASA oceanographer Jeremy Werdell said: "It's like watching the Earth breathe, it's really remarkable.

 This map shows the biology changes on earth as viewed from space. The images focus on changes in the Middle East
This map shows the biology changes on earth as viewed from space. The images focus on changes in the Middle East
"It's like all of my senses are being transported into space, and then you can compress time and rewind it, and just continually watch this kind of visualisation."

Werdell said the visualisation released this week shows spring coming earlier and autumn lasting longer in the Northern Hemisphere.

And he notices the Arctic ice caps and the Antarctic receding over time.

Werdell was struck by "this hugely productive bloom of biology" that exploded in the Pacific along the equator from 1997 to 1998 when a water-warming El Nino merged into cooling La Nina.

The algae bloom is evident by a line of bright green.

In Lake Erie in Canada, more and more contaminating algae blooms are apparently appearing red and yellow.

The NASA data can provide resources for policymakers as well as commercial fishermen and many others, according to Werdell.

Programmer Alex Kekesi of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland said it took three months to complete the visualisation, which was made using satellite imagery.
Thanx  NASA
Jonny  L. C.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

CLIMATE CHANGE :Will Polar Bears Die Out Because of Climate Change?

Everyone has heard that polar bears are threatened by climate change. But what does that mean, exactly? Will they eventually go extinct, morph into another species, or something else? What does the science really say?

The Top line: No Sea Ice, No Seals, No Polar Bears

As with most species that are or will be vulnerable to climate change, habitat is key in the case of the polar bear. Climate change is warming the Arctic along with the rest of the planet — and in the Arctic, that means sea ice is melting.
And sea ice is crucial for polar bears survival.

Why? Because polar bears’ main prey — seals — are best hunted on sea ice. Without sea ice, polar bears cannot catch enough seals to eat — and without enough seals to eat, they are unlikely to gain enough weight to survive their autumn to summer .

In addition, longer periods between successful hunts decrease polar bears’ reproductive success. A female polar bear who has not gained sufficient weight may not produce cubs; may produce less milk (leading to smaller, less viable cubs); or may abandon cubs — all behaviors that, if they become prevalent enough, will impact a population’s viability (Robbins 2012).

Most scientists agree that these trends spell likely trouble for polar bears.

There are 19 distinct sub populations of polar bears living in the Arctic, and each population will be affected somewhat differently.

Without human intervention, most polar bear populations will be extinct in 30-40 years .

The populations of polar bears living farthest to the north (in the Canadian Arctic Islands, northern Greenland, and farther to the north) have actually seen population increases in recent years  .

However, they will be at risk from continued climate fluctuation ; contaminants in the Arctic ; increased disease risk  .

But Can’t They Eat Something Else?

If nothing is done, lack of sea ice will force polar bears on land for longer periods of time. On land, bears “fast” eating some berries, eggs and birds  .

However, scientists’ opinions are mixed on whether these foods could provide enough added energy for the long-term survival of these large bears.

Bears would still need to get some food from hunting seals; the question is, how many calories could be offset by terrestrial sources?
A polar bear in the Hudson Bay. 

“The nests don’t run away from them like a caribou might,” Iles told Nat Geo. “It’s a ton of calories just basically sitting there that the bears can take advantage of.”

Nevertheless, Iles cautioned that we don’t really know if the bears will take advantage of this bounty.

“We need to do more research to figure out how much benefit this will really be to polar bears, the effects that this will really have on snow goose populations, and how sustainable this type of predation will be, depending on how severe it is,” he told Nat Geo.

But in the same story, Steven Amstrup, chief scientist for Polar Bears International, warned that nothing might replace what polar bears’ current habitat provides them.

“Unfortunately, we have no evidence to suggest that eating geese, or eating char, or eating anything else has any ability to offset the loss of the sea ice and the [primary] foraging opportunities it presents for polar bears,” Amstrup said.

Though Iles is cautiously optimistic about the possibility that polar bears could survive on goose eggs, his recent publication in Polar Biology found that adult geese were an unlikely source of energy for bears . Other studies have expressed doubt that polar bears could survive by foraging on land at all .

Northern populations of polar bears may stay in place and continue eating seals, but not the same species. The changes in Arctic temperatures have caused subarctic species of seals to move farther north, and the northern polar bears are now eating them. These seals carry more man-made contaminants, which may affect polar bears .

Migrating South Instead of North and Interbreeding with Grizzlies

You might expect that polar bears would move north to find colder climates and sea ice to hunt on — but actually, sea ice drifts south as it breaks up. For this reason, polar bears in some populations are more likely to move south to stay with the ice .

Some Hudson Bay population polar bears have already been spotted farther south of their normal territory, leading to an increased number of conflicts between humans and bears .

If southern polar bears cannot find a better food source on land, then they will die off as a result of starvation unless humans begin to feed them .

Furthermore, even if polar bears manage to find food as they move south, they may hybridize with populations of closely related grizzly bears — essentially causing the extinction of a distinct polar bear species .

Possible Next Steps: Reducing Emissions and More Drastic Measures

One possibility: Do nothing, and watch to see if polar bears “sink or swim.” But since climate change is a human-caused problem, doing nothing to mitigate its effects or help affected animals is unpalatable to many .

AA polar bear cub at the Detroit Zoo. Photo credit: Dave Hogg/Flickr through a Creative Commons license.
One of the most important things that we can do — and that we should do anyway because of all the other impacts climate change will have on people and nature — is to start cutting our carbon emissions, right now. (Find out more about your carbon footprint and how you can reduce it.)

The science says that significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions alone could be enough to protect northern populations of polar bears indefinitely and to give southern populations a chance of survival .

But should we not reduce carbon emissions significantly enough to keep polar bear habitat intact, observers have suggested at least three other options for saving polar bears:

+ Polar bear populations could be fed and managed in or near the areas that they currently occupy. This would be costly, but it would keep the bears alive and maintain the tourist industry that has sprung up around these charismatic animals .

+ Existing zoos and new specially designed zoos could take in large numbers of polar bears. This option would preserve the species and would provide opportunities for education, but it would be difficult to return the bears to the wild if conditions ever became suitable for them in the distant future .

+ People could move polar bears to the Antarctic, where sea ice is expected to remain indefinitely. This would have serious ramifications for Antarctic species like penguins, but if polar bears were located at a distance from penguin colonies and both populations were managed, it could preserve the species as a wild population. We could also move other Arctic species to the Antarctic to increase biodiversity, though such moves may have unforeseen negative effects on the current ecosystem (Albrecht 2013). While this was suggested more as an exercise in making people think about impacts, a smaller scale relocation has been considered 

Thanx Lisa                        Sharon  L . C.
Lisa Feldkamp is the senior coordinator for new science audiences.  She got her start with the Nature Conservancy through the ACLS Public Fellows program.  (American Council of Leaned Societies)

Attention : Jenny the Crusader  and her Knights  will be telling you about  space , our planet  and lots of interesting things . Come back regular , we love  exploring  our  planet .

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Let's Take Back Our World Before it's too Late

my poppa was  the smart man  in the world  he teach me good things, i  do not  get to see him anymore   he is gone to heaven  to pinh the angel   i want  to get as smart as poppa

It  funny when poppa  bend over   you hear gas leaks   poppa say it is my dog scout .

poppa told us lot about climte  change   how we can help    put  your plastc in a buckt  so the plastc would not get in the river and ocean .

Poppa  told us that the driling make earthqute   people put a lot of gas   other burning  stuf in the air  that mak the earth  warm  melt the ice    some animal and people depend on the ice to live  and get food from the ocean      we try to tell people how to help save the world  we are nanook polar bear cub  and jenny  the cursder knghts   help us change the world to a better place .

i  am 9 years old   i can see   the  world is in troble   join us   we are going places  .
thank you for reading 
by  G   Man   C    Juniur 

Bravo British Supermarket ! ....Goodbye plastic packaging

Image result for images of plastic packaging waste


 UK Supermarket chain becomes first in the world to remove plastic packaging from ALL its own-label products

  • Iceland supermarket has become the first to remove plastic packaging in full
  • All it's own-label products will have no plastic packaging within five years
  • It puts pressure on other supermarkets to follow suit a lower levels of pollution 
  • Packaging on 1,400 product will be replaced across more than 250 suppliers
  • Last week Theresa May set a 25-year deadline to banish 'avoidable' plastic
A UK supermarket will be the first in the world to remove plastic packaging from all of its own-label products. 'ICELAND's' landmark move puts pressure on its rivals to follow suit amid public demands to turn back the tide of plastic pollution. The company, which has more than 900 stores, has a five-year plan to ditch plastic from all of its own-brand products.
Packaging on 1,400 product lines will be replaced, and the changes involve more than 250 suppliers. First to go will be plastic instant meal trays in favour of wood-pulp alternatives made in Britain. Plastic bags used for frozen vegetables and other food will then be dropped in favour of paper alternatives.
ICELAND, which has already removed plastic disposable straws from its own range of products, is also working on alternatives for plastic bottles and milk cartons. Last week Theresa May set a 25-year deadline to banish 'avoidable' plastic and called on supermarkets to introduce plastic-free aisles.
ICELAND's move – the latest victory for the Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign – suggests it is possible to go further and faster.
ICELAND managing director Richard Walker said yesterday: 'The world has woken up to the scourge of plastics."
"A truckload is entering our oceans every minute, causing untold damage to our marine environment and ultimately humanity – since we all depend on the oceans for our survival."
"The onus is on retailers, as leading contributors to plastic packaging pollution and waste, to take a stand and deliver meaningful change."
"Other supermarkets, and the retail industry as a whole, should follow suit. This is a time for collaboration."
The packaging - currently made from polypropylene plastic - will be replaced with so-called flow wrap made from paper
The packaging - currently made from polypropylene plastic - will be replaced with so-called flow wrap made from paper
New wood pulp trays will replace Iceland plastic ready meal trays with wood within five years
New wood pulp trays will replace Iceland plastic ready meal trays with wood within five years

Unable to play media
Up next:


    Embed code Size:

    Direct link

    The switch from plastic will cost ICELAND  money, but it pledged there will be no corresponding rise in prices.
    The company's move comes amid mounting concern about the impact of plastic packaging on the environment, and follows news that China will no longer take British waste plastic for recycling, meaning big business will have to clean up its own mess. The media has highlighted the huge amount of excess plastic packaging used by  retail stores, and turned the spotlight on waste and blight associated with bags, microbeads, bottles and plastic-lined coffee cups.
    ICELAND is harnessing the latest technology to create new plant-based 'green' packaging options, which are fully recyclable through household waste collections.
    Its new ready meal trays are wood pulp rather than plastic, and although they will initially be coated with a thin layer of plastic, the supermarket giant plans to replace this with a water-based, non-plastic spray coating.
    Iceland Managing director Richard Walker holds the current plastic tray (left) and the new wood pulp tray (right) 
    Iceland's landmark move puts pressure on its rivals to follow suit amid public demands to turn back the tide of plastic pollution
    ICELAND's landmark move puts pressure on its rivals to follow suit amid public demands to turn back the tide of plastic pollution. ICELAND cannot dictate the packaging used by the big food brands it stocks, but it will encourage them to switch away from plastic.
    Recently, some of retail's biggest figures, including former bosses of Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Asda and Debenhams, signed a statement calling for an end to throwaway plastic packaging. They said: 'Over the past decade Britain's retailers have in the main focused on recycling in a bid to reduce the environmental impact of the plastic waste they produce.
    'But we have to accept that this isn't enough – by recycling plastic, we are merely recycling the problem. It is therefore essential that retailers and packaging manufacturers work together to turn off the tap of throwaway packaging.'
    Iceland own branded burgers are put into a plastic bag and then inside a cardboard box. In future, the bag will be removed and they will go straight in the box
    ICELAND own branded burgers are put into a plastic bag and then inside a cardboard box. In future, the bag will be removed and they will go straight in the box
    Greenpeace executive director John Sauven last night congratulated ICELAND on 'its bold pledge', adding: 'It's now up to other retailers and food producers to respond to that challenge.
    'The tidal wave of plastic pollution will only start to recede when they turn off the tap. They know the scale of systemic change we need, and yet their responses have been timid and piecemeal. Iceland has offered a more radical solution that shows the way forward for the sector.' 
    Now all we have to do is convince all the other supermarket giants of the western world to reduce or eliminate plastic packaging like this brave British company. Easy, huh?