Monthly Archives: October 2014
Filed in Agriculture & Food , Ecosystems, Wildlife & Biodiversity , October 30 2014
Flupyradifurone is a new neonicotinoid pesticide from Bayer. That’s right, another one!
Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) explained that:
“Flupyradifurone may pose a risk to bees, non-target beneficial arthropods, and freshwater and saltwater invertebrates when used for foliar application. Flupyradifurone may pose a risk to birds and small wild mammals when used for soybean seed treatment.”
The neonicotinoid pesticide can enter the environment through a number of different insecticide applications and covers a large number of ‘pests’ in a variety of crops. It can also enter groundwater and aquatic environments through surface run-off.
Health Canada’s PMRA is accepting comments on Flupyradifurone until this Saturday, November 1st. Do you think Flupyradifurone should be allowed on the market? Share your thoughts today by visiting the Sierra Club website.
Read more on John Bennett’s blog, Sierra Club Canada’s Executive Director, originally published on the Sierra Club Canada website (www.sierraclub.ca):Read More
Filed in Energy , Environment & Climate , October 29 2014
Hey Mr. Green,
My 10-year-old electric water heater uses about 5,000 kilowatt-hours a year. Should I wait until it dies or replace it now? If the latter, what’s the most energy-efficient water heater on the market?
—Randi, in Putnam Valley, New York
Holy starry dynamo of night! Your water heater alone uses almost twice as much electricity as my entire house. At New York’s average residential rate of 19.6 cents per kilowatt-hour, you could be spending $1,000 a year to feed that energy hog. I’d rather take cold showers with Dick Cheney and Mitch McConnell than shell out that much.
Depending on where your energy comes from, conventional electric water heaters can suck up even more fossil fuel energy than gas heaters since two-thirds or more of the fossil energy that makes electricity gets used up as heat and in transmission.
So, to replace or not to replace your electric water heater?
Read the entire story in Sierra Magazine, originally published on the Sierra Club website (www.sierraclub.org): http://sierraclub.org/sierra/2014-6-november-december/green-life/mr-green-should-i-replace-my-water-heaterRead More
Filed in Environment & Climate October 15 2014
The Union of Concerned Scientists’ Kendall Science Fellow and Scientist Roberto Mera discusses how today’s changing climate and recent record-setting wildfires this year in the Pacific Northwest is compelling scientists to search for ways to determine the cause behind the observed trends.
The Pacific Northwest has experienced a statistically significant warming trend of 0.7°C (1.3°F) in an annual mean temperature from 1901-2012, as indicated in a recent study by Abatzoglou and co-authors in the Journal of Climate. This trend has been attributed to heat trapping emissions as the leading contributor to long-term warming.
This past week we saw a highly provocative alternative to Abatzoglou et al’s findings: the main cause of the century-long warming trend is due to natural changes in atmospheric circulation over the northeast Pacific, according to a new study by Johnstone and Mantua in the PNAS journal. The publication by Johnstone and Mantua has received a great deal of attention in the media, including an article in the New York Times. But how could such different conclusions be reached?
Read more on the Union of Concerned Scientists blog: http://blog.ucsusa.org/warming-trends-in-the-pacific-northwest-are-not-due-to-natural-variability-668Read More
Filed in Agriculture & Food , Environment & Climate , October 15 2014
Good news for earth and chocolate lovers: the Hershey Company has recently significantly strengthened its commitment to zero deforestation for all the palm oil it uses. The Union of Concerned Scientists – particularly Palm Oil Outreach Coordinator Miriam Swaffer – has been talking with The Hershey Company for nearly a full year about this policy.
The Union of Concerned Scientists’ Senior Scientist and Director of Climate Research and Analysis Doug Boucher writes on how the organization urged the Hershey Company to follow the science and the lead of the most advanced consumer goods companies, including competitors of theirs such as Nestle and Unilever. And they have.
Hershey’s stronger commitment to zero deforestation is significant for several reasons; because it is a strong policy by almost every criterion; because UCS has been working with the Hershey Company for nearly a year, urging energetic and scientifically rigorous action; and because I’ve liked their chocolate bars for an awfully long time.
Now, that’s a sweet deal. Read more on the Union of Concerned Scientists blog: http://blog.ucsusa.org/hershey-bars-global-warming-and-deforestation-a-sweet-new-policy-666Read More
Filed in Environment & Climate October 7 2014
Hey Mr. Green,
It seems hypocritical for the Sierra Club to voice concern about the environment while promoting air travel to distant destinations. How bad is plane travel? Would traveling by blimp help? Is it ethical?
–Robert in Rochester, New York
Commercial flights make up 9 percent of U.S. transportation-based fuel consumption. But given air travel’s effects on the upper atmosphere, its global-warming effects may be far greater. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, aviation’s share of U.S. transportation’s global-warming effects could be 20 percent, or even 5.5 percent of total U.S. emissions. (Air travel can be very efficient, however. Domestic flights move a passenger 50 miles on a gallon of fuel, compared with 30 miles per person for cars. International flights do even better.)
Read the entire story in Sierra Magazine, originally published on the Sierra Club website (www.sierraclub.org): http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2014-4-july-august/green-life/mr-green-tells-us-how-bad-plane-travelRead More
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