Your weekly news roundup on everything environment
Environmental Action Connects the Dots in Miami
On May 5th, people around the world volunteered, documented, educated and protested as part of an international day of action to help the world “connect the dots” between extreme weather and global warming.
Since Miami will be one of the first metropolitan areas to be affected by sea level rise, we thought Miami’s historic Art Deco district was the perfect place to hold a day of action.
With its iconic neon-lit hotels and beautiful beach front – Miami Beach could be inundated with over 10 feet of water as rising seas and severe storm surges combine to create the biggest floods ever.
Working along side our friends at 350.org and the Sierra Club, we marched along Miami’s beach front to spread awareness about global warming. Check out our video below and click here to see photos from events all over the world.
Heartland Institute Compares Climate Science Believers to Mass Murderers, Loses Sponsors
In an ill-advised and incredibly offensive move, the Heartland Institute that has been behind many climate-science denying campaigns in the past, launched an experimental billboard campaign comparing believers in climate change to mass murderers including Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber), Charles Manson and Osama bin Laden, to promote their Chicago Climate Science conference later this month.
GM and AT&T have already ended their financial support of Heartland over their push to teach global warming denial in schools, and now the leading drink company Diageo, which owns brands like Smirnoff, Guinness and Johnnie Walker announced it will end its ties to Heartland.
In a statement, the Diageo spokesperson said, “Diageo vigorously opposes climate skepticism and our actions are proof of this. Diageo’s only association with the Heartland Institute was limited to a small contribution made two years ago specifically related to an excise tax issue. Diageo has no plans to work with the Heartland Institute in the future.”
Heartland’s disgusting and reprehensible campaign to liken climate science believers as mass murderers didn’t last long. According to the Washington Post, the think tank decided to pull the plug on the ad campaign after confirmed speaker Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI)--who is no friend of environmentalists--contacted Heartland and threatened to not participate unless the think tank immediately discontinued the ad campaign.
While the billboards have since been taken down, in a release, Heartland President Joseph Bast stated, “We do not apologize for running the ad.”
All 50 Nuclear Reactors in Japan Closed for Maintenance
A little over a year after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami triggered a meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japan has shut down its last working nuclear reactor as part of a safety drive.
While the closures are not permanent, the closure of the third reactor at the Tomari plant in Hokkaido prefecture means all of the country’s 50 nuclear reactors have been taken offline, leaving the country with no nuclear-derived electricity for the first time since 1970.
Following the announcement, hundreds of people took to the streets, marching and waving banners in support of ending nuclear power in Japan.
Great Pacific Garbage Patch Increased 100-fold Since the 1970s
According to a research paper published this week, plastic waste floating in the North Pacific has grown 100-fold over the last 40 years.
Today, the swirling mass of waste is roughly the size of Texas, with the plastic particles heavy with toxic chemicals are being vacuumed up by marine life and birds.
The grotesque garbage patch has also led to a new habitat for ocean insects that prey on plankton and fish eggs, which could prove quite hazardous for marine life if insect numbers continue to grow.
Beijing to Get Rid of 1,200 Polluting Enterprises
Heavy smog that envelops Beijing — sometimes resulting in grounded planes and trains, as well as sparking health concerns amongst the general population, could be something of the past as China announced Wednesday that it will get rid of 1,200 high-polluting enterprises by 2015. Such industries include foundries, chemical plants and furniture factories.
Beijing was subject to an online campaign, after the US embassy in Beijing began publishing pollution readings to a Twitter feed — prompting netizens to pressure Beijing to publish more accurate pollution readings.
Beijing has also set up rental kiosks for bicycles around the city and are currently considering creating new bike lanes to reduce pollution and traffic congestion.
TransCanada reapplies for Keystone Pipeline Permit
The Canadian firm behind the Keystone XL pipeline has reapplied for a presidential permit, despite the Obama administrations rejection in January and the failure to force Obama’s hand in the Senate in early March.
The new application includes a new route to go through Nebraska steering clear of the ecologically sensitive Sand Hills region, but it will still run over the Ogallala aquifer and environmentalists have charged the Nebraska officials of defining the Sand Hills region too narrowly.
The pipeline will transport dirty tar sand oil from Alberta, Canada to Port Arthur. Since the pipeline passes over an international border, the State Department holds jurisdiction over the pipeline permit. In March, over 800,000 people signed on to a petition opposing the Keystone XL pipeline and the dirty bitumen