Posted on April 15, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
100 days of pain …
FRISCO — A furious assault on the environment during the first 100 days of a GOP-controlled Senate has environmental advocates on the defensive.
Instead of making progress on climate change and other key conservation issues, progressives are in the position of trying to hold the line on gains they made during the first six years of the Obama administration.
According to a coalition of advocacy groups, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear that his top priority is protecting polluters and dismantling clean air and public health protections. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, Democracy, Environment | Tagged: climate change, coal, Environment, environmental politics, Mitch McConnell, pollution, U.S. Senate | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 14, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Off the road, into the stream … Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Transportation.
Coal-tar sealant fingered as highly damaging to DNA
FRISCO — New research led by U.S. Geological Survey scientists shows that pavement sealants made with coal tar are highly toxic. Runoff from surfaces treated with such sealants can kill fish and other stream organisms for months after it’s applied, the researchers concluded in a pair of recent studies.
Pavement sealant is a black liquid sprayed or painted on the asphalt pavement of parking lots, driveways and playgrounds to improve appearance and protect the underlying asphalt.
Pavement sealants that contain coal tar have extremely high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Coal tar is a known human carcinogen; several PAHs are probable human carcinogens and some are toxic to fish and other aquatic life. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, rivers, water, water quality | Tagged: blacktop, coal-tar sealant, Environment, highways, PAHs, pollution | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Study finds that some Persistent Organic Pollutants are ‘pervasive’ in the environment around Antarctic base
FRISCO — Antarctica is often described as one of the last pristine environments on Earth, but that may be changing as human activity increases.
Researchers with the Australian Antarctic Division recently said they tracked pollutants from common household sources dispersing from a research station into the surrounding environment. As a result, the scientists are rethinking how they store and dispose of materials that could be the source of pollutants. Continue reading
Filed under: Antarctica, Environment | Tagged: Antarctica, Environment, Persistent organic pollutants, pollution | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘As a wealthy country, Australia has the capability and responsibility to improve its management of the reef’
FRISCO — Strong local management may be the key to preserving treasured world heritage sites, researchers concluded in a new study after taking a close look at threats facing the Amazon Rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef and Spain’s Doñana wetlands.
The team of scientists, who published their findings in the journal Science, said protecting such areas from the larger dangers of climate change requires addressing local threats, for example overfishing, fertilizer pollution and land clearing — all of which can exacerbate the effects of climatic extremes, such as heat waves and droughts. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, coral reefs, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: Amazon Rainforest, climate change, Environment, Great Barrier Reef, pollution, world heritage sites | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 1, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Pesticide pollution hotspots are identified in a new map.
Global warming could exacerbate pesticide woes
FRISCO — The world has a long way to go to come to grips with pesticide pollution say scientists who recently created a global map showing which areas are most susceptible.
Their modeling suggests that streams across about 40 percent of the planet’s surface are at risk from the application of insecticides, with the Mediterranean region, the USA, Central America and Southeast Asia among the hotspots.
On average, farmers apply about 4 million tons of agricultural pesticides annually, equating to an average of 0.27 kilograms per hectare of the global land surface. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, rivers, water, water quality | Tagged: agriculture, Environment, pesticides, pollution | 1 Comment »