Unprecedented Colorado River Water Shortage Could Be Declared in 2020

After years of unrelenting drought , federal forecasters reported there are better-than-even odds that the nation’s largest reservoir will decline into shortage conditions by 2020, forcing Arizona, Nevada and Mexico to reduce their Colorado River water use. Millions of U.S. residents and farmers are served by the Lake Mead reservoir that’s supplied by the Colorado. However, water levels have dropped consistently after years of back-to-back drought. The reservoir is considered full at 1,220 feet above sea level, which has not been seen since 1983. If the lake’s surface elevation falls below 1,075 feet in January of any given year, it would trigger the first-ever federal shortage declaration. Worryingly, the latest projections from the the U

NTP Scientist: Glyphosate Formulations ‘Much More Toxic’ Than Chemical Itself

Amid conflicting scientific studies and growing public concern over the impacts of the world’s most widely used herbicide, the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) has launched research to examine the health risks of glyphosate and glyphosate-formulations. “Due to the multiple interpretations of evidence on the potential health risks of glyphosate exposure, major public concern about exposure risks, and reported differences in the toxicity of different glyphosate products, NTP is conducting more research on glyphosate and its formulations,” according to the NTP website . The NTP’s initiative was first reported by Carey Gilliam in The Guardian . Gilliam is an author, investigative journalist and research director for U.S. Right to Know . Glyphosate, the star

Campaign to Create World’s Largest Sanctuary in Antarctic Ocean Gains Momentum

Greenpeace’s ship Arctic Sunrise is on its way to Antarctica, where the crew on board will be the first humans ever to visit the seafloor in the Weddell Sea. The three-month expedition will aim to further the case for a massive ocean sanctuary. In an effort to combat the threats of overfishing , plastic pollution and

‘Clean Energy Is a Fundamental Civil Right’: Major Campaign to Expand Access to Solar

The NAACP is launching a major environmental justice campaign on Jan. 13 to mark the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. The ” Solar Equity Initiative ” aims to provide solar job skills training to 100 individuals, install solar panels on more than 30 homes and community centers in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, and strengthen equity in solar access policies in at least five states. The first panels will be installed on transitional housing for domestic violence survivors being served by the Los Angeles-based Jenesse Center , a nationally recognized non-profit domestic violence prevention and intervention organization

China to Plant New Forests the Size of Ireland This Year

China ‘s government announced plans for a major reforestation project. The country aims to grow about 6.66 million hectares of new forests this year, an area roughly the size of Ireland. The announcement was made last week by Zhang Jianlong, the head of China’s State Forestry Administration, in an effort to shed the country’s image as a major polluter and become a global environmental leader, the Telegraph reported. China is the world’s largest emitter and remains heavily dependent on coal, but the country has been cleaning

World’s Largest Solar Plant Secures Key Milestone in Development

South Australia—home to the world’s largest battery —is one step closer to also hosting the world’s largest solar thermal power plant following developmental approval from the state government. California-based SolarReserve is behind the $650 million, 150-megawatt ” Aurora ” project that will be located 30 kilometers north of Port Augusta. Solar thermal plants are different from traditional photovoltaic panels on rooftops and solar farms. These plants, also known as concentrated solar plants, consists of a large field of moveable mirrors, or heliostats, that concentrate the sun’s rays to a central

Hundreds of Flying Foxes ‘Boil’ in Extreme Australia Heat

The catastrophic heat wave in Australia led to the death of hundreds of flying foxes in the Sydney suburb of Campbelltown on Sunday. Temperatures hit 117.14 degrees Fahrenheit in the Sydney metropolitan area that day—its hottest temperature in nearly 80 years. “So many little lives lost due to the extreme heat and not enough canopy cover to shade them or keep them cool,” the Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown campaign posted on Facebook. “As the dead bodies were recovered and placed in

‘World’s First Solar Highway’ Opens in China for Testing

Jinan, the capital city of China’s Shandong province, opened on Thursday a kilometer-long stretch of solar expressway for testing, joining France and the Netherlands that have tapped into the nascent technology. China’s new solar road consists of an insulating layer on the bottom, photovoltaic panels in the middle, and transparent concrete on top. The solar panels cover 5,875 square meters and can generate 1 million kilowatt-hours of power in a year, or enough to meet the energy demands of about 800 homes, Qilu Transportation Development Group , the project developer, claimed . If the technology proves effective, the electricity generated by the panels could power everything from street lights to

Germany Sets New Renewable Energy Record

Germany has broken another renewable energy record, with clean power providing a third of of the country’s electricity in 2017. Preliminary data from the Association of Energy and Water Industries show that renewable electricity generation grew to a record 33 percent this year, up from 29 percent in 2016. “The figures show impressively that there is already an accelerated shift in power generation from CO2-intensive to low-carbon and almost CO2-free energy sources,” Stefan Kapferer, the chairman of the association, said . “The energy industry is clearly on course with regard to energy and climate targets: our industry is able to reduce CO2 emissions by 40

Hurricane Tree Recovery Campaign Aims to Plant 5 Million Trees in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico

Hurricanes Harvey , Irma and Maria didn’t just destroy buildings and dump several feet of water into several American communities—the powerful winds also snapped and downed innumerable trees , altering treasured landscapes. That’s why the Arbor Day Foundation launched its Hurricane Tree Recovery Campaign in an effort to help tree restoration efforts in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico following this year’s string of devastating hurricanes. The

Some Bigelow Tea Not ‘Natural’ Because It Contains Glyphosate, Lawsuit Says

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has filed a lawsuit against R.C. Bigelow, Inc. alleging that glyphosate —the world’s most widely used weedkiller—can be detected in some of the company’s popular tea products. But the consumer interest group is not suing Bigelow due to the presence of the controversial chemical in its tea products (an estimated 0.38 ppm in Bigelow Green Tea, according to the lawsuit). Rather, the complaint alleges that Bigelow deceptively labeled, marketed and sold tea products with the representation of ” All Natural ” and “Natural,” making the products appear environmentally friendly. The lawsuit was filed Dec. 15 in Superior Court in

Netherlands Launches Landmark Zero-Subsidy Wind Power Auction

The Netherlands has launched the world’s first “zero subsidy” tender on Friday to build 700 megawatts of offshore wind . Shortly after the announcement, the country already found its first bidder. Zero subsidy tenders have been labeled as a “ game-changer ” for the sector because it means that potential bidders would rely solely on wholesale electricity prices without financial aid from the government. The Netherlands is seeking an estimated $2.7 billion to install two 350-megawatt projects in the North Sea. Only companies that require no support at all can participate, as Reuters reported. The landmark Dutch

One Planet Summit: World Bank to Stop Financing Oil, Gas Projects

In effort to bolster a global shift to clean energy , the World Bank—which provides financial, advisory and technical support to developing countries— announced it will “no longer finance upstream oil and gas , after 2019.” The announcement was made Tuesday at the international One Planet climate summit called by French President Emmanuel Macron , President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim, and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. The World Bank’s plan to stop financing oil and gas exploration and extraction is aimed at helping countries meet their emissions reduction pledges made at the 2015 Paris climate talks .

Judge Stops Walmart Shopping Center From Being Built on Endangered Florida Forest

Environmentalists cheered after a Miami district court judge issued an emergency injunction on Friday to stop bulldozers from razing a stretch of endangered pine rocklands—one of the world’s rarest forests , and home to species found nowhere else on Earth—to make way for a Walmart shopping center near Zoo Miami and Everglades National Park. Judge Ursula Ungaro’s decision was made only hours after the Center for Biological Diversity , Tropical Audubon Society , Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition and South Florida Wildlands Association sued the Trump administration for approving the proposed Coral Reef Commons. “Plaintiffs will suffer immediate and irreparable injury arising from the

Underground Farm Pays Rent in Heat it Supplies to Building Above

Vertical farms have been touted as a way to feed a rapidly urbanizing world population (I’ve waxed poetic about them myself.) Critics of the trending technology, however, contend that these energy-intensive hubs are too costly and perhaps impractical to maintain. Sure, the naysayers have a point, but what if vertical farms did more than just feed mouths? In Stockholm, Sweden, the Plantagon CityFarm located in the basement of the iconic DN-Skrapan building in the Kungsholmen district has a whole other purpose besides nourishing the office workers on site—the farm also

From Pond Scum to Food Bowl, Dutch Designers 3D-Print Algae Into Everyday Products

You might not think of pond scum as something that’s good for the environment, but Dutch designers have developed a bioplastic made from algae that they hope could replace petroleum-based plastics . According to Dezeen , Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros have been cultivating live algae and processing it into material that can be used for 3D printing . This algae polymer can be churned

Trump to Gut Bears Ears by 85%, Grand Staircase-Escalante by 50% on Monday

President Donald Trump is expected to order a significant downsizing of two national monuments in Utah next week, a move environmentalists have condemned as the “largest rollback of federal land protections ever.” According to leaked documents obtained by the Associated Press , the president plans to shrink Bears Ears National Monument by nearly 85 percent and reduce Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Boston City Council Approves Plastic Bag Ban

You might want to bring a tote if you plan on shopping in Beantown next year. Boston City Council voted 12-0 on Wednesday to ban single-use plastic bags across the Massachusetts capital. The measure now heads to Mayor Marty Walsh, who is said to be reviewing the proposal, which requires

5,500 K-12 Schools Have Already Gone Solar

Nearly 5,500 K-12 schools in the U.S. are harnessing the sun’s rays for energy , according to a new report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the Solar Foundation and clean energy nonprofit Generation 180 . That means about five percent of all K-12s in the nation are solar powered. The study , Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. Schools, 2nd Edition, touts that this switch to renewables has allowed schools to reduce their electricity bills, all while freeing up resources to invest in education. Roughly four million students attend such schools. A total

This Brilliant Initiative Is Sending 100 Solar Trailers to Puerto Rico for Free

A remarkable collaborative effort to deploy portable solar energy systems to relieve critical areas in Puerto Rico is well underway. The ” Power On Puerto Rico ” project from the Amicus Solar Cooperative , a nationwide solar energy cooperative , and Amurtel , an international disaster relief nonprofit, is sending 100 off-grid Solar Outreach Systems (SOS) to the storm-battered island . New England-based solar company ReVision Energy is building the emergency power hubs at a warehouse in North Andover, Massachusetts. These 12-foot-long trailers each come with six foldable solar panels and can charge cellphones, lights, radios, laptops and other

Mexico Revokes Monsanto’s Permit to Market GMO Soy in Seven States

Monsanto has lost its permit to commercialize genetically modified (GMO) soy in seven Mexican states, Reuters reported. Mexico’s agriculture sanitation authority SENASICA revoked the permit—a decision that the St. Louis-based seed giant called unjustified. Citing a SENASICA document, Mexican newspaper Reforma reported that the permit was revoked after authorities detected Monsanto’s GMO soy in unauthorized areas. But Monsanto rejected that argument. According to a statement seen by Reuters, the company

3D Printing Turns Plastic Trash Into Public Furniture

Dutch designers are giving Amsterdam’s plastic trash a second life by creating 3D-printed benches out of discarded plastic bags . The “XXX” plastic bench, a collaboration between The New Raw and Aectual , made its debut in late October in the Dutch capital. The benches are made to look like rocking chairs that can fit up to four people. The beauty of such a product is that the shape and size of the bench can be easily customized. Notably,

Denver Becomes Latest City to Require Green Roofs

Denver is the latest city to mandate rooftop gardens or solar installations on new, large buildings, joining San Francisco , New York, Paris, London and other cities around the world with similar green roof measures, the Associated Press reported. The Colorado capital ranks third in the nation for highest heat island and