Heather Grady: From today's tragedy, let’s shape a new and valuable trajectory for people and our planet
2020 was poised to be a "Super Year for Nature," and it's turned into a super year for pandemic instead. We can't change what is - but with systemic thinking and action, we can change what will be.
As the coronavirus continues to spread around the world, more than a third of the planet's population is under some form of lockdown, with many under order to stay at home and avoid social gatherings.
David Attenborough's highly personal new documentary A Life On Our Planet allows the nature filmmaker to say what he really thinks about our destructive ways.
Must-watch video: Despite extreme weather and surging activism, 2019 saw political paralysis on climate
From PBS NewsHour's Miles O'Brien: The past year and crucial year ahead in climate change.
Trump is working to whip up his anti-government base while nurturing his own psychological need to tear down every piece of President Barack Obama's legacy.
It is possible to build better by adopting innovative materials and engineering techniques for more sustainable structures.
According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), we have less than 12 years to avert the consequences of catastrophic climate change, with worsening food shortages, rising sea levels, floods and wildfires.
Plastic pollution is a "threat to human life and human rights" and, in order to stem this problem, we have to overhaul how we produce, use and dispose of it, according to an international report released today.
Two-thirds of all plastic ever produced remains in the environment<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTIwNjE0Ny9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMDUwOTI0OH0.W8mcLg-IUCo9QoGZ_kMSQdbLxt3pjEggcx81MLAes0Y/img.png?width=762&coordinates=0%2C0%2C0%2C0&height=692" id="e3a95" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c510f33c7708fc4696d327c5bc976562" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p> The report cites shocking statistics on plastic production, including data that shows plastic production has increased from 2 million metric tons in 1950 to 380 million metric tons in 2015. </p><p> Currently about 42 percent of plastic is designed for packaging, which is especially troubling because most plastic packaging is designed for single-use.</p><p> And the tons of plastic already produced is not going anywhere— "roughly two thirds of all plastic ever produced has been released into the environment and remain there in some form—as debris in the oceans, as micro- or nanoparticles in air and agricultural soils, as microfibers in water supplies, or as microparticles in the human body," the authors wrote. </p><p>"Plastic has now permeated our air, our soil, our water and our bodies, and the consequences cannot be ignored," said Jacqueline Savitz, chief policy officer of North America for international ocean advocacy organization Oceana.</p><p>"Companies cannot continue hiding behind waste-management solutions like recycling, when none of that will be enough unless they also dramatically reduce plastic use by using alternatives to single-use plastics," she added.</p><p><span></span>There has been momentum in recent years for plastic bans. A United Nations' December report found 66 percent of countries globally have put in place regulation to tackle plastic bags, for example. But the report found only eight countries had bans on microbeads.<br></p><p> "This report suggests more comprehensive regulatory approaches must be explored that will integrate the lifecycle of plastic products: from production to use, and distribution to disposal. Countries must seriously consider alternatives to plastics that are causing at least $8 billion of damages per year," said Celine Salcedo-La Viña, research associate at the World Resources Institute and one of the lead authors of the December report, in a statement about the UN's findings. </p><p> To help tackle the seemingly intractable problem, the new report recommends looking at the entire lifecycle of plastics; a stronger focus on the harmful additive chemicals; increased transparency about what's in plastics and how they're disposed; and putting human rights and human health at the core of any proposed solution. </p><p> The authors remain hopeful: Azoulay pointed to some recent progress on the issue, citing how quickly the European Union banned a series of single-use plastics, and a ban passed just last month in Berkeley, California, on disposable plastic food ware. </p><p> "We're seeing a level of awareness and mobilization that is unheard of, for any environmental issues," he said. </p><p> You can see the <a href="https://www.ciel.org/plasticandhealth/" target="_blank">full report here.</a> </p>
Fish exposed to harmful contaminants can pass on health issues such as reproductive problems to future generations that had no direct exposure.
Hunter-donated meat provides crucial protein to US food banks. But an EHN investigation found a lack of oversight that could result in potentially hundreds of thousands of lead-contaminated meals this year.
An expanding wood pellet market in the Southeast has fallen short of climate and job goals—instead bringing air pollution, noise and reduced biodiversity in majority Black communities.
As the virus rampages through Washington, essential workers nationwide are paying the price: Derrick Z. Jackson
Essential workers in the United States continue to face relentless and tragic pressures.