Located near the Sugarfoot subdivision in Gainesville, Green Acre Park is a hidden gem of the community and another step in Hogtown Creek's journey to the Floridan Aquifer.
The official Friends of Nature Parks website states that the park provides a “mix of recreational opportunities. A playground and open field in the center of the park provide for active recreation, while trails pass through the park’s live oak hammock, offering a place for quiet strolls or bike-riding. The park also protects part of the Hogtown Creek floodplain."
As the description implies, the creek spreads out into a floodplain swamp near the park. This step in the creek's journey is vital, as the floodplain filters out some of the pollutants accumulated by the creek as if flows through the city. Certain features of the park are designed to protect the floodplain from further contamination, and visitors can witness this firsthand as they traverse the main trail.
The trail passes over an elevated tract of land that separates the floodplain from the neighborhood on its border. This portion of land creates a natural barrier that prevents pollutants from the neighboring houses from seeping into the floodplain. Likewise, it prevents the neighborhood from becoming inundated with water when the floodplain overflows during periods of heavy rainfall.
The floodplain is not a cure-all, however, and many of the pollutants in the water continue to be deposited into the aquifer as the creek heads toward its destination. Because of this, the Friends of Nature Parks website also emphasizes that visitors should “stay on the established trails and keep pets on a leash at all times. Motorized vehicles, camping, fires and digging are prohibited."
Green Acre Park is an important stop along the creek’s journey and another example of how a community exists side by side with the natural resources that sustain it. For the residents that live near the park, and for the city of Gainesville as a whole, the protection and preservation of Hogtown Creek is vital to ensuring that future generations will have clean drinking water for years to come.
Floating wind projects take advantage of steady winds that blow offshore. Those faster, steadier winds can produce more energy. Wind power increases with the cube of wind speed. Bigger turbines with longer blades capture more wind and are more aerodynamically efficient. How they overcome obstacles such as interference with fisheries, environmental damage, and high cost will influence how many, and which ones, get built.
The San Onofre reactors are among dozens across the United States phasing out, but experts say they best represent the uncertain future of nuclear energy. “It’s a combination of failures, really,” said Gregory Jaczko, who chaired the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the top federal enforcer, between 2009 and 2012, of the situation at San Onofre.
On one side, proponents of nodule extraction claim it could save the world, while opponents warn it could unleash fresh ecological mayhem. For better or worse, these mineral spheres are going to play a critical role in determining our future – either by extricating us from our current ecological woes or by triggering even more calamitous outcomes.
In May, the Biden administration and California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, announced a plan to bring floating offshore wind to California. They have identified two sites: a nearly 400-square mile area north-west of Morro Bay, which could host 380 floating wind turbines, and another further north off Humboldt Bay. Together these projects could bring up to 4.6GW of clean energy to the grid, enough to power 1.6m homes.
Recent research has shown that small increases in air pollution are linked to significant rises in depression and anxiety. It has also linked dirty air to increased suicides and indicated that growing up in polluted places increases the risk of mental disorders. Other research has found that air pollution causes a “huge” reduction in intelligence and is linked to dementia. A global review in 2019 concluded that air pollution may be damaging every organ in the human body.
Congress enacted legislation in 2016 designed to tighten oversight of the toxic chemical approval process. Instead, career EPA managers have worked to sabotage the process by altering risk assessments, waging harassment campaigns against employees, internally accelerating the approval process and retaliating against staff who raise concerns, according to the four agency scientists.
But the most promising concrete technologies utilize very little energy to incorporate CO2. That’s because when CO2 is incorporated into concrete, it’s literally piped into the mix. The natural tumbling motion of churning concrete is all the energy that’s needed to transform the CO2 into a calcium carbonate, a substance that doesn’t just act as filler but also actively strengthens the concrete mix. All of this tough calcium carbonate means the concrete needs less cement in its mix, which is another environmental savings, since cement is the worst polluting component of concrete.
"We consider it most likely that it's due to females, mums, not laying eggs in these areas," he said. The lighting also disturbed their feeding behavior: when the team weighed the caterpillars, they found that those in the lighted areas were heavier.
We need to address the root of the problem, redesigning the system and tackling the throwaway society once and for all.” The government intends to make companies pay the full cost of recycling and disposing of their packaging and has consulted on introducing the scheme, called “extended producer responsibility” on a phased basis from 2023.
Meanwhile, the federal government is taking the first steps to vastly increase the size of the nation’s carbon dioxide pipeline network as a way of fighting climate change. Our investigation reveals that such pipelines pose threats that few are aware of and even fewer know how to handle.
“I am ‘report fatigued.’ We need action,” Marshall Shepherd, director of the University of Georgia’s atmospheric sciences program, wrote at Forbes this month. He called for more planning from local and federal governments for a transition to “a renewable energy economy,” and urged leaders to “address the disproportionate burden” of climate disasters on “vulnerable, poor, and marginalized populations.” The experts HuffPost spoke to all had the same antidote to climate dread: Take action. The climate crisis is urgent, the changes needed are at a massive scale, but it doesn’t mean individuals can’t make a difference.“We are now in an all-hands-on-deck moment,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of Yale University’s program on climate change communication. “We need everybody doing everything they can, at the individual level, community level, national government and business level. This is all of society.”
The string of U.S. floods comes about a month after catastrophic flooding in Germany and Belgium, which left a trail of destruction and killed nearly 200 people. Megadroughts and megafloods might seem like opposites, but they are in fact two sides of the same deadly coin. As human greenhouse gas emissions drive up global temperatures, the world can expect both extreme events to become more frequent and severe, warned a recent landmark report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.“There’s increasing evidence for an overintensification of the water cycle,” said Alex Ruane, a NASA scientist and a lead author of the IPCC report’s chapter on regional impacts. “Water is moving through the climate system faster than it used to. That means it is being evaporated into the air faster, it’s being moved around, and it’s raining down harder when it does rain. All of these things are actually connected to the same factor, which is that warmer air has a tendency to hold more moisture.”
Microplastics are found in our clothes, cosmetics and cleaning products. One load of laundry can release an average of 700,000 microplastic fibres. Less than a millimetre in length, these fibres make their way into rivers and oceans, where they are eaten by fish and even corals. Because of their tiny size, microplastics are able to pass through filtration systems, making it very difficult to avoid them.
San Onofre is not the only place where waste is left stranded. As more nuclear sites shut down, communities across the country are stuck with the waste left behind. Spent fuel is stored at 76 reactor sites in 34 states, according to the Department of Energy. Handling those stockpiles has been an afterthought to the NRC, the federal enforcer, said Allison Macfarlane, another former commission chair.
In other words, fiddling with viruses in laboratories is not the dangerous activity. The real threat comes from the wildlife trade, bulldozing rainforests and clearing wildernesses to provide land for farms and to gain access to mines. As vegetation and wildlife are destroyed, countless species of viruses and the bacteria they host are set loose to seek new hosts, such as humans and domestic livestock. This has happened with HIV, Sars and very probably Covid-19.
We weren’t sure whether to sit outside because of the surging Delta variant of Covid, or inside because stinging smoke from wildfires consuming northern and western California had spread into the Bay Area.
The destruction unfolded as other extreme weather events around the country stoke concerns that the changing climate is making natural disasters more frequent and more intense. The Northeast braced for an unrelated pummeling from Tropical Storm Henri, which was downgraded to a depression Sunday night after it made landfall; the West is battling wildfires; and flooding in North Carolina recently left several people dead.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III declared global warming an existential threat to U.S. national security at a White House climate summit earlier this year. Using language normally applied to conventional adversaries like China and Russia, Austin described the climate crisis as “a profoundly destabilizing force for our world,” generating widespread havoc and bloodshed. If we take his assessment at his word, the Department of Defense will have to mobilize its capabilities as if preparing for a major war — altering its priorities and operations and hardening its military bases against extreme climate effects.
Not only did village officials have to draw up a new town from scratch, they also had to persuade hundreds of residents who had lost their homes to the flood that moving would be worth it, and that this venture could replace a lost community. The principal challenge was unlocking funding to aid with the transition. Nearly two decades later, it’s an obstacle shared by many towns staring down their own growing environmental and climate concerns.
The removal of Endangered Species Act protections had been in the works for years and was the right thing to do when finalized in Trump’s last days, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Assistant Director for Ecological Services Gary Frazer told AP. On Friday, attorneys for the administration asked a federal judge in California to reject a lawsuit from wildlife advocate s that seeks to restore protections, signaling the conclusion of Biden’s promise on his first day in office to review the Trump move. But wolf management policies in place at the state level have shifted dramatically since protections were lifted, and Frazer suggested the federal government could take steps to restore protections if population declines put wolves back on the path to extinction.“Certainly some of the things we’re seeing are concerning,” he said.
Yet despite a universal desire to avoid more destruction, experts aren’t always in agreement about what should be done before a blaze ignites. Forest management has long been touted as essential to fighting wildfires, with one new set of studies led by the University of Wisconsin and the U.S. Forest Service concluding that there is strong scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of thinning dense forests and reducing fuels through prescribed burns. But some ecologists say that logging, thinning and other tactics that may have worked in the past are no longer useful in an era of ever hotter, larger and more frequentwildfires.“The fact is that forest management is not stopping weather- and climate-driven fires,” said Chad Hanson, a forest and fire ecologist and the president of the John Muir Project.
San Diego formally launched Friday the largest infrastructure project in city history, a sewage recycling system that will boost local water independence in the face of more severe droughts caused by climate change. Dubbed “Pure Water,” the multibillion-dollar project is the culmination of a lengthy process featuring thorny lawsuits, complex labor deals and an aggressive public education campaign to fight the derogatory early nickname “toilet to tap.” “Pure Water is a legacy project that promises to deliver a reliable source of clean water to our region for decades to come — that’s why I advocated for $50 million in this year’s state budget,” state Senator Toni Atkins said at Gloria’s Friday news conference. “With worsening drought conditions in our state, this project is needed now more than ever.”
Not only do these batteries require large amounts of raw materials, including lithium, nickel and cobalt – mining for which has climate, environmental and human rights impacts – they also threaten to leave a mountain of electronic waste as they reach the end of their lives.
It finds that virtually every child on the planet is exposed to at least one climate or environmental hazard right now. A staggering 850 million, about a third of all the world’s children, are exposed to four or more climate or environmental hazards, including heat waves, cyclones, air pollution, flooding or water scarcity. A billion children, nearly half the children in the world, live in “extremely high risk” countries, the UNICEF researchers report.This is the world being left to us. But there is still time to change our climate future.
The report is the first to combine high-resolution maps of climate and environmental impacts with maps of child vulnerability, such as poverty and access to clean water, healthcare and education. “It essentially [shows] the likelihood of a child’s ability to survive climate change,” said Nick Rees, one of the report’s authors.
Carrying out a new assessment, they said, would “ensure a full and significant environmental review that includes assessing the project’s real costs on environment, public health, and climate change and ensuring the public is aware of those costs.” The Army Corps conducted “almost no independent evaluation of the risk of oil spills at the crossings it authorized, despite the fact that the route for Line 3 crosses 227 lakes and rivers, including the headwaters of the Mississippi River and rivers that feed directly into Lake Superior,” the letter said.
American schools are the second-largest public infrastructure investment. But what most people don’t know is that they are also among the biggest energy consumers in the public sector. K-12 schools consume about 8% of all the energy used in commercial buildings. In turn, they emit as much carbon dioxide as 18 coal-powered power plants. This not only burdens the environment, but children themselves – students suffer from heatstroke, affected hormone and sleep cycles, as well as respiratory issues. Many schools have started redesigning their infrastructure with the climate crisis in mind. From installing more solar panels to replacing old heating, cooling and ventilation systems, or HVAC systems, with more sustainable ones, school districts are increasingly transitioning to cheaper and greener options. But old building habits and funding constraints can pose a challenge.
“Ending the use of chlorpyrifos on food will help to ensure children, farmworkers, and all people are protected from the potentially dangerous consequences of this pesticide,” he said in a statement. “After the delays and denials of the prior administration, EPA will follow the science and put health and safety first.” That science indicates the chemical can cause irreversible harm. Children exposed to organophosphate pesticides, including chlorpyrifos, have an increased risk for abnormal neurodevelopment, including persistent loss of intelligence and behavior problems, studies have shown. Even low-dose exposure, particularly in the womb, has been found to harm brain development, leading to higher risk of disorders such as autism.
The multibillion-dollar plan, known as Willow, by the oil giant ConocoPhillips had been approved by the Trump administration and legally backed by the Biden administration. Environmental groups sued, arguing that the federal government had failed to take into account the effects that drilling would have on wildlife and that the burning of the oil would have on global warming.
This is a horror story about a war against nature… the poisons used in agriculture seep into our food, water and air. And all to kill a plant that indigenous communities have relied on for centuries. -tr. The plant is native to the Southwest, and its leaves were once baked and eaten by people among the Cocopah and Pima tribes; the Navajo ground the seeds into meal. But as the pigweed spread eastward, the plants began competing with cotton in the South, emerging as a serious threat to the crops by the mid-1990s.
As the drought deepens, a number of small-scale farmers in California have found themselves in a similar position: scraping the barrel. Earlier this year, we reported that farmers in the state are coping with the drought by fallowing land, transitioning to less thirsty crops, and trucking in water. Since then, California Governor Gavin Newsom has expanded the emergency drought declaration to include more counties, as surface water has been curtailed and groundwater levels have dropped, but the state has yet to include relief earmarked for small farmers in the budget.
Globally, more than a million plants and animals face extinction due to habitat loss, climate change and other factors related to human activity, and this alarming loss of biodiversity is only accelerating. In California, conservationists and biologists have identified scores of species in potential peril, including many icons of the state’s beloved wildlands — chinook salmon, giant sequoias, Joshua trees, desert tortoises, California red-legged frogs, gray whales. Now, a hellish summer of extreme fire activity, drought and heat are again pushing some species to the brink of oblivion. Seized by a newfound urgency, state and federal biologists, research institutions, conservation organizations and zoos have been racing to save the most threatened species with a bold campaign of emergency translocations, captive breeding programs and seed banks. Some have likened the effort to a modern-day Noah’s Ark.
As drought worsens, there are few, if any, protections in place for California’s depleted groundwater. The new law gave local agencies at least 26 years — until 2040 — to stop the impacts of over-pumping. During the height of the state’s last drought, thousands of Californians in the Central Valley ran out of water as their wells went dry. So much water was pumped from underground, mostly by growers, that the earth collapsed, sinking up to two feet per year in parts of the San Joaquin Valley. Alarmed, the California Legislature in 2014 enacted a package of new laws that aimed to stop the over-pumping. But seven years later, little has changed for Californians relying on drinking water wells: Depletion of their groundwater continues. Pumping is largely unrestricted, and there are few, if any, protections in place.
Sitting Bull College (SBC) in Ft. Yates, North Dakota, has received a $3.5 million grant award to assist in its efforts to provide tribal communities in the Great Plains prairie region with pertinent information about their environment. The grant from the National Science Foundation, will expand the college’s research capacity, provide funding to hire additional research staff, provide funding for faculty and students to conduct advanced research, and establish a research center on the SBC college campus. A multidisciplinary team will contribute to advancing knowledge in a variety of fields, including soil science, water quality, genetics, wildlife and plant ecology, microbiology, and engineering.This project will have a direct impact on tribal communities in areas related to prairie ecosystem services, ecology, and restoration.
A new analysis forecasts the number of U.S. outdoor sector workdays and annual earnings that could be lost if the world fails to slow global warming.
ExxonMobil’s huge new Guyana project faces charges of a disregard for safety from experts who claim the company has failed to adequately prepare for possible disaster, the Guardian and Floodlight have found.
She worries about her younger siblings, a 12-year-old sister and an eight-year-old brother. “What’s it going to be like in the future?” she asks. She wonders how responsible it would be for her to have children. Bit is 17. Now, she and fellow student activists are working to break one big link in the fossil fuel chain that is driving climate change: gas stations. There are two proposed new gas stations in her town she wants scrapped. “We don’t need them,” she said.
The big challenge, he says, is mutual understanding: "What can photovoltaics do? What does agriculture need for successful integration?" Trommsdorff and his colleagues see huge potential for agrivoltaics worldwide. There are already some agrivoltaic plants in Europe, Mali, Gambia and Chile; but the vast majority so far are in Asia.
A historic drought across the U.S. West is taking a heavy toll on California's $6 billion almond industry, which produces roughly 80% of the world's almonds. More growers are expected to abandon their orchards as water becomes scarce and expensive. Almonds are California's top agricultural export. The industry ships about 70% of its almonds overseas, fueled by strong demand in India, East Asia and Europe, according to the board. "All of this increase in almonds and this increase in water demand, it's been done at a time when there's virtually no increase in water supply," said David Goldhamer, a water management specialist at the University of California, Davis. "The water embodied in the production of those almonds is being exported out of this country."
From the data on his devices, Angell calculated that the underground water table in Madera County, one of the most over-tapped in the West, had dropped an astounding 60 feet over late spring and summer. So many agricultural pumps were dipping their bowls into the same depleted resource that the aquifer was collapsing, a descent he had never witnessed. “I’m 62 years old. I’ve been doing this more than half my life, and I’ve never seen this. Not even close,” he said. “This is all brand new, and it’s shaken everything I believe in.” “Drought on top of drought. Climate change on top of drought. And our response is always the same,” Angell said. “Plant more almonds and pistachios. Plant more housing tracts on farmland. But the river isn’t the same. The aquifer isn’t the same.”
People are beginning to feel that “nature is hitting back”, wrote the Kenyan environmentalist Elizabeth Wathuti in a foreword to the report.“People in power seem to feel it is OK to fell old trees or destroy natural ecosystems for buildings or roads, or to dig up oil, so long as they then plant new trees. But this approach is not working, and the findings in this report show that many people no longer support such economic idiocy.”
Power use will become smarter and more automated, with technology helping spread energy use throughout the day to work in tandem with a grid powered by variable wind and solar, rather than cause big surges in demand that require the burning of gas or coal.
… weak zoning and land-use laws have encouraged a population explosion in the fire-prone wildland-urban interface, areas near forests and other vegetation. Likewise, federal flood-insurance subsidies have encouraged continued construction in coastal areas threatened by flooding.
With climate change and long-term drought continuing to take a toll on the Colorado River, the federal government on Monday for the first time declared a water shortage at Lake Mead, one of the river’s main reservoirs. The declaration triggers cuts in water supply that, for now, mostly will affect Arizona farmers. Beginning next year they will be cut off from much of the water they have relied on for decades. Much smaller reductions are mandated for Nevada and for Mexico across the southern border. But larger cuts, affecting far more of the 40 million people in the West who rely on the river for at least part of their water supply, are likely in coming years as a warming climate continues to reduce how much water flows into the Colorado from rain and melting snow.
Low water in the Colorado River’s largest reservoir triggered the first-ever federal declaration of a shortage on Monday, a bleak marker of the effects of climate change in the drought-stricken American West and the imperiled future of a critical water source for 40 million people in seven states.
A joint investigation by The Times and the news outlet Floodlight in partnership with the Guardian found that in 2017 at least 20 locals were organized by Method Campaign Services to push for “near-zero-emission” trucks at the ports. Their comments at public meetings and press conferences bolstered successful industry lobbying for trucks that run on natural gas, which is less polluting than diesel but still contributes to lung-damaging emissions and climate change. San Pedro resident Sholeh Bousheri, who was hired by Method to speak at public hearings, was one of several paid campaigners who said they only learned later that their work was part of a natural gas industry effort.
Photographer Bob Wick is retiring from the Bureau of Land Management after 30 years documenting public lands across the western United States. This selection shows the diverse beauty of the landscapes, and the work of the BLM in protecting the wildlife and people that inhabit them.
Touting natural gas and biomass fuel as renewable doesn't fly. - tr* "Our community needs to step up efforts to cut carbon emissions, but do so in a way that gets widespread support and spreads costs equitably. The world's countries have little hope of working together to combat climate change if Gainesville can’t even figure it out."
Experts studying the issue agree that sea level rise in coming decades could pose an enormous threat to San Francisco Bay’s shoreline. So perhaps it’s no surprise that there’s now talk of looking into an equally enormous response. Why not build a barrier to keep rising tides outside the Golden Gate? Researchers in the past have dismissed this seemingly straightforward concept on environmental grounds. Engineers are skeptical, too. But the enormity of the challenge has some Bay Area leaders saying it should at least be studied.Tom Kendall, who heads planning for the corps’ San Francisco district, says a study of this scale would need to be requested at a regional level before funding could be sought. If nothing else, the exercise could help get local activists and decision-makers thinking in terms of the overall bay.