In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States sent the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury Air Toxics Standard (MATS) rule back to a lower court for review. Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion, which hinged on an interpretation of administrative law requirements and did not overturn EPA’s ability to regulate hazardous air pollutants from power plants.
A new, peer-reviewed article published in the scientific journal SCIENCE estimates that 3 million hectares of land (that’s 11,583 square miles, or 30,000 square kilometers) have been lost due to oil and gas well pads, storage tanks and associated roads developed in North America since the year 2000. Rangeland and cropland through the heartland have been particularly damaged. The study says, “The total amount lost in rangelands is the equivalent of approximately five million animal unit months…” and ”The amount of biomass lost in croplands is the equivalent of 120.2 million bushels of wheat…”.
Utilities are a huge expense for any business, however they are also an area with the biggest potential for cost-savings. When planning energy consumption for your business, it’s important to weigh up the short- and long-term costs facing your organization, especially when considering the relative pros and cons of renewable energy.
Although the crude oil price crash in 2014 brought massive relief to business energy costs, the unavoidable truth is that sustainable energy is the future. But is now the right time to invest in renewable energy for your business? Let’s take a look.
There are lot of good reasons to adopt the use of alternate water sources such as rainwater collection, grey water recycling, and various other conservation measures. Return on investment is one of the most talked about reasons. At Ecovie, we have seen many cases where residential clients install a potable rainwater system because they do not have access to cheap municipal water. Furthermore a well is not always feasible, and trucking tankers of water in (while feasible in emergencies) costs a fortune. In these cases, the ROI of a rainwater system is very easy to justify. In other cases, the alternate costs of stormwater management, cost of running municipal lines, and other factors put together make for a compelling ROI justification.
Earth Day was again a phenomenal success this year with a tremendous amount of cooperation amongst those seeking to heal the planet, but where does that energy go during the rest of the year? Four of the remarkable leaders who expanded environmental awareness to new heights on Earth Day say they are more concerned about the days after Earth Day.
The popular quick-service restaurant understands that genetically engineered foods, called GMOs, are often grown in a way that is harmful to the environment.
In particular, Chipotle has highlighted the fact that the use of herbicide-tolerant GMOs is leading to a huge increase toxic weed killers.
No wonder executives at Chipotle have come to the conclusion that buying GMOs is not in line with their brand values to find “the very best ingredients [they] can – with respect for animals, farmers, and the environment…”
But Billions of Dollars and Kilowatt-Hours Can Be Saved
Approximately $19 billion worth of electricity, equal to the output of 50 large power plants, is devoured annually by U.S. household electronics, appliances, and other equipment when consumers are not actively using them, according to a groundbreaking study released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
A few hours north of Atlanta begins the range of what was once a common site in the canopies of eastern forests: the American Chestnut. With the importation of the trees’ Asian counterparts came a fungal blight that reduced a common canopy dweller to mere shrubs in forest undergrowth. By the 1940s the blight, Cryphonectria parasitca, had infected almost all of the trees despite both chemical and physical interventions by the American Forest Service. The fungus delivers its major blow by entering the bark of the tree and subsequently killing everything growing above the point of infection. The loss of this fast growing lumber and the chestnuts that fell from its branches annually created a hole in the economy of the Appalachian people as well an absence in the diet of many forest creatures of the region. While it may have seemed like the end for the American Chestnut, hope still existed in the small shoots that emerged from the root systems still living beneath the forest floor. Although the blight prevents the trees from reaching full size, scientists saw that there was still a chance for recovery. Charles Burnham and Paul Rutter believed the answer would be found in the blight resistant genes of Chinese Chestnuts and in the 1980s they implemented a breeding program to test their theory. Today, this project lives on in the form of the American Chestnut Foundation. However, new evidence may suggest that, in addition to the classic breeding program, genetic engineering shows promise in the efforts to introduce blight resistance into the chestnut trees.
SRI Conference Poll Confirms Strong Growth of Fossil-Free Focus, Interest in "Low Carbon" Investments
The number of investment professionals in the U.S. offering fossil fuel-free portfolios to investors nearly doubled-jumping from 22 percent to 42 percent of those polled-from 2013 to 2015 amid growing signs of retail and institutional investor interest in such choices, according to The SRI Conference 2015 Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey released today by First Affirmative Financial Network.
Organic, GMO, Pesticide-free, Fair-trade – what do these really mean, are they just trends and how do they affect our planet? Agriculture is a complex industry, that to some extent we are all reliant upon. Understandably, for decades the focus has been on how to increase crop yield more efficiently and cheaper. At first glance, this seems intuitive. And in large measures the agricultural industry has been able to accomplish this through the widespread use of pesticides and genetically modified crops that are resistant to pests and other external factors. But does more equal better?