February 2020: Monthly Environmental News Roundup

1. USING SUPER BOWL TO RAISE AWARENESS

Miami had hosted the Super Bowl 11 times. For the first time, the committee decided to make an awareness campaign focused on the environment. They called that Ocean to Everglades. Everglades Foundation, one of the non-profit groups was putting on that campaign. When they turn on the tap at home for drinking, to washing cars, to go to the pool, the water supply comes from the Everglades. According to Eikenberg, the focus was on plastics in the ocean, invasive species and algal blooms. Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis announced the launch of this Super Bowl campaign on Earth Day in the previous year and proposed more than $600 million for Everglades’s restoration and water quality projects. The bigger problem crises that is facing South Florida is the climate change and sea-level rise.

2. PREVENT THE EXPORT OF PLASTIC WASTE UNDER NEW ENVIRONMENT BILL

Due to be introduced the environmental bill in parliament,  to prevent the export of plastic waste in developing countries, the quality of air and water and the protection of wildlife will be improved.

The government has promised to review every two years regarding the developments in the environment. The environment secretary, Theresa Villiers said that the environmental bill is a crucial part of achieving the standard of improving air quality. It will help in protecting nature, increasing recycling and cut down plastic waste. The government aims to reduce fine particulate matter, the lung-damaging pollutant, linked to numerous illnesses. The bans of plastic exports to poor countries create a problem for the developing world. It will also enshrine “biodiversity net gain,” as a result, natural ecosystems will be restored.

3. STARBUCKS: BREW UP A NEW ENVIRONMENTAL PLAN

After an investigation, it is shown that there is rampant food waste at company stores across New York City. Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson called upon his company to become resource positive and store more carbon than eliminated waste, and provide more clean drinking water than we use and commit to reducing carbon emissions up to 50%. Recently, during a nighttime raid of Starbucks’ trash, it was found many of the sandwiches and snack packages were discarded by Starbucks employees. These were in their original wrapping. Most of the food sell-by date would have been accepted by soup kitchens around the city. After announcing ambitious goals in 2016, Starbucks revealed that about 60% of stores are currently participating.

4. ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS TARGET AIRCRAFT EMISSIONS

The major environmental groups have given six months to take action against aircraft pollution. The Center for Biological Diversity announced that aircraft emissions are a danger to human health but hasn’t done anything to curb them. 2 percent of global greenhouse emissions are caused by Aviation and 12 percent by the transportation sources.  U.S. airplanes are the largest producer of pollution, which creates climate change. In the next 20 years, it is expected that Global air traffic is going to rise to double, but more fuel-efficient aircraft engines should mitigate the emissions levels in somehow. The new aircraft aimed at making future growth carbon neutral. In addition to the better engines, ICAO hopes to curb emissions through the use of bio-fuel and more efficient procedures.

5. For Environmental Achievement, Pavan Sukhdev wins Tyler Prize in 2020

Pavan Sukhdev received the award for his work as a conservation biologist. Mr. Sukhdev and Ms. Daily will deliver a presentation about their work in New York City, a major project launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. It demonstrates that the greening of economies is a new engine for growing wealth, increasing employment, and reducing poverty. 

Pavan Sukhdev has generated interest in the economic value of our natural environment. He has prompted decision-makers to implement new measures to protect ecosystems and biodiversity.  By the University of Southern California, the Tyler Prize is administered.

6. AMAZON WARNS PEOPLE TO FACE CATASTROPHE ON THE ENVIRONMENT

Unless human society listens to the expertise, Ecosystems will continue to collapse around the world. The world has been investing lots of money to implement public policy for climate change, help in conservation and restoration. But these policies are made in offices only, while large people ignored resulting in climate crisis and biodiversity loss. Environmental “catastrophes” like the fires that devastated the world’s largest rainforest in 2019, would continue if the contributions are not respected. Now, biodiversity loss was named as the biggest risk to the world. If the management practices of indigenous people are not listened to, there will be the issue of fires in the Amazon that will continue the degradation of forests, water and deforestation will continue.

7. Trump strip away Pollution Controls on Streams and Wetlands

The Trump administration has finalized a new rule to remove environmental protections. Protections to certain wetlands and streams that run intermittent launder the 1972 Clean Water Act. The new rule allows the property developers and landowners to dump pesticides and fertilizers directly into the waterways. It destroys or fills in wetlands for construction projects. So, drinking water for millions of Americans is at risk due to contamination from unregulated pollution. Wetlands play an important role in filtering surface water and protecting against floods. So, pollutants from smaller and seasonal bodies of water might have an impact on the health of larger water systems.

8. ENVIRONMENTAL ARTIST’S PAINTINGS GO TOWARD PLANTING TREES

John Leben, an environmental artist, got inspired for finding wacky solutions to environmental problems, is doing a painting to save the planet. His goal was to make the difference by thinking about the impacts of that picture. The portion of the profits from selling each of his paintings goes towards planting trees. Leben’s recent series of paintings is entitled “The Magic of Trees.” Leben has been taking his talents on the road, traveling to eight art fairs across Florida.

9. TEMPORARY BAN IS NOT ENOUGHTO CURB CORONAVIRUS, SAYS ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT

A chinese environmental leader has called upon a permanent ban on wildlife markets in China to curb the spread of corona virus. But experts suggested that the ban failed to address the root cause of high levels of illegal trade. It is believed that the flu-like virus has emerged from The Huainan seafood market where wild animals were kept alive in small for sale. Chinese officials said that national ban means the trade of such animals is not allowed in markets, restaurants or on e-commerce sites until the corona virus outbreak ends. Until new rules are introduced, the trade should be banned indefinitely. Humans are getting sick from being exposed to these markets.

10. SOUTH-EAST’S LARGEST TOWNS AND CITIES ARE GREATEST RISKS FROM EXPOSURE TO TOXIC AIR

Due to air pollution, more than one in 19 deaths are linked in Britain’s largest towns and cities. In 2017, London, Slough, Chatham, Luton, and Portsmouth had the highest record of deaths attributable to pollution. By high levels of harmful particulates in the atmosphere, the deaths are around one in 16 caused. Air pollution was a problem in urban areas of the UK, especially in the south-east, places like Southampton, Reading, Oxford, Cambridge, Basildon, and Northampton. Air pollution was the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK, producing 40,000 deaths per annum. Therefore, the government has introduced district legal guidelines to tackle the problem.

11. UK GOVERNMENT SUED FOR APPROVING NEW GAS POWER PLANT

The UK government had developed a large new gas-fired power plant, by Drax in North Yorkshire, The Govt. sued for overruling the climate change objections. When the plant will run fully operational, it would become the biggest power station in Europe and produce 75% of power emissions. The planning inspectorate found if the plant goes ahead the public risks, a huge asset would require to cover-up by the taxpayer. As a result, the company’s carbon negative ambition could be achieved. The government’s forecasts estimate the UK will need 6 GW of new gas generation. The planning inspectorate concluded that wind and solar power would cut payers’ bills, while the proposed gas plant would not.

12. The Deaths of 40 Koalas at Blue Gum Plantation is a crime: says Environment Minister

In an emotional video, she posted on Facebook, Portland woman Helen Oakley said that 140 acres of land had been bulldozed. So, all koalas were killed. Australia should be ashamed of this devastation. 80 koalas had been assessed on-site and 30 of them had been euthanized, so far, which is very distressing for everyone. Conservation Regulator wildfire officer Ash Burns would take measure steps to capture and assess every animal. Within challenging conditions, including piles of logs and natural debris of slash were making it difficult for rescuers to find and assess the remaining koalas. A terrible outcome after promising a thorough investigation, killing native wildlife was an offense.

13. UK will resist in trade talks

Britain will resist accepting EU rules on social protections and the environment. After the UK ended its 47-year membership of the EU, the prime minister will deliver his first major speech. It will likely alarm EU officials, businesses and environmental groups. Mr. Johnson has vowed not to extend the negotiating period. The UK could be forced to rely on World Trade Organization (WTO) trading terms with the EU by 2021.The prime minister will assert that Britain need not accept a free trade agreement to involve accepting EU rules on competition policy, subsidies, social protection, and the environment. Mr. Johnson hopes a free trade agreement, similar to Canada.

14. SCOTTISH HEALTH PROJECT AIMS TO TACKLE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT BY PHARMACEUTICALS

When a pill passes through a person’s body, some of the compounds reach rivers and the sea because waste water plants cannot filter them out. Some pharmaceutical compounds cause changes to the development of sexual organs in male fish. The One Health Partnership has been set up to investigate the problem in Scotland, identify ways of reducing the number of compounds reaching natural water sources. By using bark, or grain left as a by-product of the whiskey distilling industry, to absorb the material from wastewater, the problem will be solved. While minimizing the environmental impact of pharmaceutical waste, it also helps in maximizing the health benefits from medicines.

15. ENVIRONMENT CRISIS FILLS TOP PLACES OF WORLD ECONOMY

Extreme weather events of global heating have created the climate emergency to the top of the list of issues. In the 15-year history of environmental movement, environment filled the top place in the list of concerns. The major impact will occur over the next decade. The president of the World Economic Forum reported that sea levels are rising and climate fires are burning. This is the year when all sectors of society to repair and reinvigorate existing systems of cooperation, for tackling our deep-rooted risks. The bushfires have raged out of control in Australia:

16. NORA SPRINGS SOYBEAN WINS ENVIRONMENTAL LEADER AWARD FOR PROMOTING AGRICULTURE

Dean Sponheim of Nora Springs was presented with the Iowa Soybean Environmental Leadership Award during the annual leadership banquet held in Des Moines. The award is sponsored by Agri Drain. It is recognized as a self-described “accidental conservationist” for its commitment to practicing and promoting agriculture management practices to improve the environment. Sponheim is a fourth-generation farmer, who has been working over his soil on his farm through the use of conservation practices instead of a plow. When he was growing up in the 1970s, at that time, there was mould board plowing. But, things have changed at that time. In 2004, Sondheim, his wife, Cindy, and son, Josh started a custom strip cropping in 2011.

17. OCEAN ABSORBS 90% OF HEAT TRAPPED BY GREENHOUSE GASES

The world’s oceans are the clearest measure of the climate emergency as they absorb more than 90% of the heat by greenhouse gases. These are emitted by fossil fuel burning, forest destruction, and other human activities. Hotter oceans lead to severe storms. It disrupts the water cycle, resulting in more floods, droughts, and a rise in sea level. Higher temperatures are harmful to the life in the seas. As greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere, the heat is increasing at an accelerating rate. The vast majority of ocean regions show an increase in thermal energy. This energy drives bigger storms and extreme weather conditions.

18. 2019 WAS THE SECOND WARMEST YEAR ON RECORD

According to the latest research, the year 2019 was the second hottest on record. The analyses reveal the climate crisis. The average global surface air temperature rises due to more than 90% of the heat trapped by human activities. Greenhouse gas emissions are absorbed mostly by the oceans. Now, global heating beyond 1.5oC will worsen extreme weather conditions and suffering for hundreds of millions of people. The level of carbon dioxide is the highest when the sea level was 15-20 meters higher. Now, we are breaking more records for dangerous temperature rises, or the floods and fires that come, but cannot run away from the climate emergency.

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