How Oil Spills Benefit Butterflies?! Plus More Environmental News

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butterflies and oil spills

Listen to this Green Divas myEARTH360 Report for the latest in environmental news, including how in the world butterflies could possibly benefit from oil spills. Then read on for headlines (curated by moi) and links to read more…

Milkweed touted as oil-spill super-sucker — with benefits for butterflies

A Quebec company is taking a unique approach to cleaning up oil spills by producing the world’s only industrial crop of milkweed, which will be used as new kind of absorbent.

And the added benefit: It will supply 50 national parks in Canada with milkweed AND There’s a growing movement in North America to plant milkweed along the migration route to help the disappearing butterflies.

“The more milkweed we grow, the more monarchs we’re going to see.”

“You can leave an absorbent [milkweed] sock in water and it will only absorb the oil. It’s very unique in nature to have fibres like that,” said Simard in an interview at his factory in Granby, Que. Read more…

Senate Bans ‘Coal Rolling’ — Way to Bypass Pollution Controls on Diesel Vehicles

“After you are done making jokes about NJ, note that it is the first state to BAN coal rolling, which is a belligerent practice of intentionally sending out polluting black smoke through your truck with special pipes and is generally done directly near hybrid and EV cars. NJ doesn’t need any extra smog . . . ” ~ Green Diva Meg

The state is trying to prevent diesel-fueled trucks and other vehicles from being retrofitted to allow them to spew more soot, smoke, and other pollutants into the air.

By a 76-0 vote, the Senate approved a bill (S-2418) that would prohibit vehicles from installing smokestacks on vehicles to disable their pollution controls, a modification that allows engines to maximize their power while increasing emissions.

The practice, dubbed “coal rolling,” is viewed as a protest by some owners of diesel cars and trucks against tougher regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency aimed at curbing soot and particulate emissions from motor vehicles.

“Individuals who coal roll are attempting to make a political expense of our air quality and our health and it is absolutely ludicrous,’’ said Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-Mercer), the sponsor of the bill. Read more…

Not convinced coal rolling is bad for the environment and our health? Watch this…

Clean energy provides more jobs than oilsands, report says

Which industry employs more Canadians? The oilsands or clean energy?

Guess again.

Employment in Canada’s clean energy sector has jumped 37 per cent in the past five years, says a new report from the think tank Clean Energy Canada, and now exceeds employment in the oilsands. Read more…

Hillary Praises Fracking, Stays Silent on Keystone

At a speech to the League of Conservation Voters in midtown Manhattan Monday night, before hundreds of deep-pocketed donors, Hillary Clinton praised the environmental legacy of Teddy Roosevelt, touted the prospect of new green technologies, and had warm words for Barack Obama’s aggressive efforts to combat climate change.

Absent from the former Secretary of State’s speech? Any sense of where she stood on the controversial Keystone pipeline project, or what she would do differently as president to steer the nation towards a more sustainable future.

But that didn’t mean that Clinton wasn’t clear about where she came down on environmental matters—she praised both her husband’s record of cleaning up air and water standards, and the Obama administrations recent efforts to strike a climate deal with China and to toughen pollution standards.

“We continue to push forward. But that is just the beginning. Science of climate change is unforgiving, no matter what the deniers may say,” Clinton said, reading off of prepared remarks. Read more…

Not business as usual: 200 firms back EPA climate regs

More than 200 U.S. companies came together Tuesday to support a major reduction in carbon pollution from power plants proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“As businesses concerned about the immediate and long-term implications of climate change, we strongly support the principles behind the draft carbon pollution standard for existing power plants,” states a letter that was sent to the EPA, the Obama administration and congressional leaders.

Major brand names and Fortune 500 companies — including Kellogg’s, Starbucks, Ikea, Levi Strauss and Nestlé — were among the 223 companies that signed the letter. Read more…

Now for some WTF…

Major deltas ‘could be drowned’

Sea-level rise and river engineering “spell disaster” for many of the world’s river deltas, say scientists.

Half a billion people live in deltas, but the newly published research suggests many of these areas are set to be inundated by rising seas.

Some of the lowest lying, including the Mekong and Mississippi, are particularly vulnerable.

The paper is published in the journal Nature.

Lead researcher Dr Liviu Giosan, from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, said dams and other river engineering had exacerbated the problem by reducing the amount of sediment rivers could carry.

In an article he said was “a call to action before it’s too late”, Dr Giosan said rivers were losing the fight between land and sea. Read more…

The Nightmare of Ann Craft: Fracked, then Poisoned

Fracking in your back yard?

“It’s mind-boggling.”

For two years now Craft has been involved in a fight with the Alberta government over the structural damage to her property along with the appearance of strange substances on her land and dug-out along with changes to her well water due to oil and gas activity.

In addition, a private water hauler delivered a batch of toxic water to her cistern instead of potable water. Craft then bathed in it. Read more…

Deforestation may be at root of Brazil drought

Vera Lucia de Oliveira looks to the sky, hoping for any sign of rain.

For weeks, the taps in her home have run dry as Sao Paulo has suffered its worst drought in eight decades, with rainfall at one-third the normal level. Without heavy and prolonged rain, the megacity of 23 million could soon run out of water, experts warn.

“We are always thinking: The rain is coming, the rain is coming,” said Oliveira.

But it doesn’t, and a growing consensus of scientists believes the answer to what is happening to Oliveria and her neighbors lies not in the sky above their heads but in decades of deforestation of Amazon rainforest hundreds of miles away. Read more


Listen to the latest episode of The Green Divas Radio Show….


About the author / 

Green Diva Lynn

Lynn Hasselberger is the former Managing Editor of The Green Divas blog and was a producer of the Green Divas Radio Show. She's also a mom, writer and award-winning cat-herder who lives in Chicagoland. Sunrises, running, yoga, chocolate and comedy are just a few of her fave things.

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