Are electric vehicles pushing oil demand over a cliff?

With China now planning to phase out gas-powered cars, automakers are talking about an all-electric future. It could mean a big drop in emissions.

With China now planning to phase out gas-powered cars, automakers are talking about an all-electric future. It could mean a big drop in emissions.

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Why California’s nitrate problem will take decades to fix.

WHEN FOLKS TALK about “black gold” in California’s Central Valley, it’s usually a reference to oil – unless you’re in the dairy business. No state in the country produces more milk than California, thanks to its 1.7 million cows. Those cows also produce a lot of manure – 120 pounds per cow per day. But manure isn’t a problem; it’s an opportunity, says Ryan Flaherty, director of business partnerships at the San Francisco-based Sustainable Conservation, a nonprofit that works with diverse stakeholders to help clean water, air and land.

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Canada’s new marine (less) protected (than it could have been) area.

Canada is about to get its largest marine protected area: 11,619 square kilometers in the Laurentian Channel off the southwest coast of Newfoundland. This summer, the Canadian government will begin the process to establish the area, which has been in discussion for seven years. It sounds like a huge win for the environment, but the area’s final boundaries and regulations bear the heavy hands of industry, according to Rodolphe Devillers, a geographer at Newfoundland and Labrador’s Memorial University who helped identify the area as a conservation priority. Now he’s asking whether this protected area and others to follow will actually safeguard at-risk species. And if not, why bother creating them?

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Fisheries and Oceans Canada was ignoring Its own habitat protection guidelines.

Where development and fish habitat come into conflict in Canada, fish lose, says Brett Favaro, a conservation biologist at Newfoundland and Labrador’s Memorial University. That’s because Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the federal department in charge of fisheries and waterways, was not enforcing its own policies to protect fish habitat, he says.

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New technologies are shrinking wastewater’s hefty carbon footprint.

March 27, 2017 — Wastewater treatment plants are energy hogs. A 2013 study by the Electric Power Research Institute and Water Research Foundation reported that they consumed about 30 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, or about 0.8 percent of the total electricity used in the United States. Wastewater treatment’s high energy footprint is ironic because the organic matter in wastewater contains up to five times as much energy as the treatment plants use, according to the American Biogas Council. Reducing treatment plants’ energy footprints through energy efficiency and using the currently wasted energy could save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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In California, salt taints soil, threatening food security.

In much of California's flat, sunny San Joaquin Valley, canals deliver the irrigation water that has made the state an agricultural powerhouse, supplying one-third of vegetables and two-thirds of fruit and nuts eaten in the United States. But along the west side of the valley, some fields are sprouting not crops, but solar panels.

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Is China’s hands-off approach to fisheries producing more fish?

China, the world’s largest seafood producer, has a reputation for being a fish vacuum, its trawlers sucking up nearly 15 million tonnes of fish annually, many of which are illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fish caught off the West African coast and elsewhere. Yet for the past 20 years—despite minimal management and some of the most intensive industrial fishing in the world—China has purportedly maintained high catches of key species in its own backyard, the East China Sea.

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Political suppression of science: Lessons from Canada.

The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States has touched off a mad scramble by some scientists to back up critical scientific data as government researchers reckon with the new administration’s threats to scrub climate data and strip funding for ongoing climate research.

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From our Newsroom

The dangerous fringe theory behind the push toward herd immunity: Derrick Z. Jackson

Resumption of normal life in the United States under a herd immunity approach would result in an enormous death toll by all estimates.

My urban nature gem

Thanks to the Clean Water Act and one relentless activist, Georgia's South River may finally stop stinking.

Dust from your old furniture likely contains harmful chemicals—but there’s a solution

Researchers find people's exposure to PFAS and certain flame retardants could be significantly reduced by opting for healthier building materials and furniture.

Hormone-mimicking chemicals harm fish now—and their unexposed offspring later

Fish exposed to harmful contaminants can pass on health issues such as reproductive problems to future generations that had no direct exposure.

How Europe’s wood pellet appetite worsens environmental racism in the US South

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.

America re-discovers anti-science in its midst

Fauci, Birx, Redfield & Co. are in the middle of a political food fight. They could learn a lot from environmental scientists.

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