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Tag: Climate Change

New Report Maps Growing Impact Of Ocean Acidification On Marine Life Worldwide

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

New research maps the growing impact of ocean acidification and identifies the regions worst affected, while scientists and world governments are collaborating more and sharing ways to slow or reverse its progress.

Fossil fuels and human industry are releasing increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere where it is absorbed by the oceans as carbonic acid, an invisible but highly destructive substance that’s rapidly changing the chemistry of the earth’s waters and disrupting underwater ecosystems in a process called ocean acidification.

The latest effort at mapping ocean acidification comes from research led by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and published last week in the science journal “Global Biogeochemical Cycles.” The study tracked the saturation levels of the mineral aragonite, which is crucial to the formation of shells in marine species.

Indigenous Canadians Resist Pipeline Developers And Oil Companies Since 2009

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

In central British Columbia, a band of First Nations people has maintained a remarkable resistance against big oil for the last six years.

The Wet’suwet’en, a band of about 140 indigenous members, maintain the Unist’ot’en Camp, a checkpoint blocking the only bridge entering their land. It’s a direct challenge to the Canadian status quo because the Wet’suwet’en say they won’t let pipeline crews, oil company developers, or even Canadian police onto their land. A website for the Idle No More movement, which seeks equality and civil liberties for Indigenous people, describes the purpose of the camp:

Environmental Justice Report: 81% Of Products Tested At U.S. Dollar Stores Are Unsafe

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

On July 1, activists gathered at dollar stores nationally to declare their “independence” from toxic chemicals, after a report earlier this year suggested products sold by these discount chains could be hurting consumers.

To produce the report, issued in February by Environmental Justice for All’s Campaign for Healthier Solutions, researchers tested 164 products from multiple discount chain stores nationwide and found that 133 contained “at least one hazardous chemical above levels of concern,” meaning that 81% of tested products were hazardous. These include chemicals identified to be carcinogenic, capable of causing developmental disabilities in children, or were otherwise found at levels considered toxic. Unlike major chains like Wal-Mart and Target, no major dollar store chain has a formal policy on selling or disclosing toxic ingredients in products.

In Austin, Texas, the campaign partnered with local activists from Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (TEJAS) and Texas Campaign for the Environment. Dressed in white hazardous material-handling suits, they gathered in front of a Family Dollar store on the south side of the city to chant and hold protest signs and banners.

Koch, Exxon And Other Big Oil Spend $141 Million Lobbying Washington For More War

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

As of April, the oil and gas industry had already spent over $34 million to influence American politics this year. Fossil fuel companies are one of the top sources of funding for Washington lobbying firms, and their deep pockets allow them to far outspend those who seek to protect the environment and the earth’s resources from exploitation.

The figures come from the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization working “to create a more educated voter, an involved citizenry and a more transparent and responsive government.” According to their data, lobbying from the energy sector topped $141 million last year. The top single corporate spender was Koch Industries, Inc., which spent $13.8 million in lobbying, followed by Exxon Mobil and Occidental Petroleum, one of the country’s top oil producers.

The center’s overview of oil and gas funding suggests that while both parties receive funding from the oil and gas industry, that money has increasingly flowed to the GOP for the last two decades, with 90 percent going toward Republicans during the 2012 election cycle.

Texas Bans Fracking Bans

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

The Texas Senate on Monday approved the so-called “Denton Fracking Bill,” a proposed new law that prevents cities from exerting any local control over the energy industry.

The law is a response to a successful referendum in Denton, Texas, which banned the fracking industry from operating inside the progressive college town, located about 40 miles northwest of Dallas. Denton’s fracking ban was inspired by concerns for air and water quality, but also the fear that the industry may have caused a recent, dramatic, increase in earthquakes — a link confirmed both by local Texas scientists and a federal study by the U.S. Geological Survey that suggested fracking can activate dormant fault lines.

House Bill 40 awaits Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature. A public supporter of the oil and gas industry, Abbott will almost certainly make the bill a law.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Troy Fraser, called the bill a “carefully crafted compromise” between the interests of energy and cities, but environmental advocates scoffed at the notion.

“The oil and gas industry got the better of everyone,” said Andrew Dobbs, program director for Texas Campaign for the Environment, in a telephone interview with MintPress News.

Fracking Pollutes California Water As Drought Crisis Worsens

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

California is in the midst of a historic drought, with some estimates suggesting that as little as a year’s worth of water could remain available to the state. Gov. Jerry Brown announced a water reduction plan earlier this month that requires mandatory changes in how communities, households and some businesses use water.

Since the plan’s announcement, dozens of articles in the media have debated the role of agriculture in the California water crisis, especially water intensive crops like almonds, which take up as much as 10 percent of the state’s agricultural water use.

Some growers even report backlash from their communities.

Yet while farmers will face water restrictions, one major user — and polluter — of the state’s water is exempt: the oil and gas industry, which, according to RT, uses 2 million gallons of fresh water per day.