Lorraine Chow

Here are 10 worst-case climate predictions if we don’t keep global temperature rise under 1.5 degrees Celsius

The summer of 2018 was intense: deadly wildfires, persistent drought, killer floods and record-breaking heat. Although scientists exercise great care before linking individual weather events to climate change, the rise in global temperatures caused by human activities has been found to increase the severity, likelihood and duration of such conditions.

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99 Percent of Seabirds Will Have Plastic in Their Guts Within Decades

The world’s plastic problem may seem vast and incalculable, but its footprint has actually been measured. In a sweeping 2015 study, researchers calculated that 9 billion tons of the material have been made, distributed and disposed in fewer than 70 years. That’s an astonishing figure, but it’s also one that’s hard to picture. Perhaps a better way to illustrate the problem of plastics is by looking at the damage that can be caused by a single drinking straw.

In 2015, a team of marine biologists in Costa Rica pried a plastic straw from the nose of a male olive ridley sea turtle. Footage of the excruciating, bloody extraction was posted online and viewed by millions of people around the globe. The video is powerful not only because it suggests the pervasiveness of plastics and shows the harm it can inflict on a vulnerable species, but it also strikes a much deeper chord within: shame.

“Subconsciously, people who watched the video knew that the straw in that turtle’s nose could have been thrown away by any of us,” Christine Figgener, the biologist who extracted the straw, wrote in a Medium post after the video went viral. “They saw their own actions reflected in its eyes.”

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India's Top Court Just Dealt a Devastating Blow to Monsanto

In an another legal blow to Monsanto, India's Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay the Delhi High Court's ruling that the seed giant cannot claim patents for Bollgard and Bollgard II, its genetically modified cotton seeds, in the country.

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Groundbreaking Youth Climate Lawsuit Gets a Trial Date

A trial date of Oct. 29 has been set for a landmark climate change lawsuit brought by a group of young Americans despite the Trump administration's efforts to halt the case.

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We Now Have Clear Evidence That Plastic Bag Fees Actually Work

If you ever feel like the world's plastic nightmare might never end, a new study shows proof that plastic pollution legislation actually works.

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Another 333 Minke Whales Killed by Japanese Fleet

In defiance of international protests, Japanese whaling vessels returned to port with another 333 minke whales on Saturday after its months-long hunt in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in Antarctic waters.

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Despite Overwhelming Opposition From Residents, Michigan Permits Nestlé to Draw More Groundwater for Bottling

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has granted Nestlé Waters a permit to increase groundwater withdrawal from 250 gallons per minute to 400 gallons per minute from its White Pine Springs well for the purpose of bottling drinking water.

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Court Tosses Exxon's 'Implausible' Lawsuit Seeking to Stop Climate Probe

A federal judge on Thursday threw out ExxonMobil's lawsuit that sought to derail New York and Massachusetts' probe into whether the oil giant misled investors and the public about its knowledge of climate change.

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Brazilian School Districts Make Historic Switch to 100% Plant-Based Meals

Four cities in Brazil have pledged to transition all of the meals served at its public school cafeterias to 100 percent plant-based by the end of 2019, with the mission of reducing the cities' environmental footprint (especially water consumption), aiding local produce farmers and fostering humane and healthy eating habits for students.

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Trump Administration Is Now Auctioning Off Public Land in Utah for Oil and Gas

The Interior Department on Tuesday is auctioning off 32 parcels of public lands in southeastern Utah for oil and gas development.

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World's Last Male Northern White Rhino Dies

The world's last male northern white rhino has died, leaving only two females left to save the subspecies from extinction, the wildlife conservancy taking care of him announced Tuesday.

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EPA Sued Over Failure to Release Correspondence With Heartland Institute

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is being sued for its "unlawful and unreasonable delay" in responding to requests for information about the agency's communications with the Heartland Institute, according to a complaint by the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

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Judge to Decide If Raft of Cancer Lawsuits Move Forward Against Monsanto

A federal judge in San Francisco will hear from expert witnesses on the science and safety of glyphosate at critical hearing starting Monday that will determine if plaintiffs around the country can move forward with their legal action against Monsanto over cancer claims.

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Climate Change and Conflict Leave 224 Million Undernourished in Africa (Video)

An official with the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warns that climate change and conflict are leading to food insecurity for millions of people living in Africa.

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One Million Trees Pledged to 'Trump Forest' to Offset President's Anti-Climate Agenda (Video)

Trump Forest—a global reforestation project aiming to offset President Trump's anti-climate policies—has reached 1 million trees after thousands of pledges from around the world.

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Electric Vehicles Are Setting Sales and Usage Records in the U.S.

While electric vehicles only make up a tiny 0.2 percent of passenger cars around the world, that number is growing, and growing fast. In 2016, there were 2 million EVs on the world's roads, up from "virtually non-existent" in 2012. Nearly 200,000 electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. in 2017 alone, a new record.

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5 Million Gallons of Freshwater Used to Frack a Single Gas Well

A lot has been said about the toxic slurry of fracking fluids and its impact on water quality, but what about the millions of gallons of water that's sucked up by the drilling process and its impact on water quantity?

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Donald Trump Is Even More Clueless About Climate Change Than You Think

President Trump, notorious for his views on climate change, again said something about the topic that's the opposite of what's actually happening.

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Why Urban Farming Is Key in the Fight Against Hunger and Climate Change (Video)

The urban farms sprouting up and across cities around the world aren't just feeding mouths—they are "critical to survival" and a "necessary adaptation" for developing regions and a changing climate, according to a new study.

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2017 Weather and Climate Disasters Cost U.S. Record $306 Billion

2017, one of the hottest years in modern history, was also an extremely costly year. According to a new report from the National Centers for Environmental Information, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), "the U.S. experienced 16 weather and climate disasters with losses exceeding $1 billion, with total costs of approximately $306 billion—a new U.S. annual record."

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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.

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100% Renewable Energy Worldwide Isn't Just Possible, It's More Cost-Effective Than the Existing System

Transitioning the world to 100 percent renewable electricity isn't just some environmentalist pipe dream—it's "feasible at every hour throughout the year" and is more cost-effective than the current system, which largely relies on fossil fuels and nuclear energy, a new study claims.

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Monsanto Giving Cash to Farmers Who Use Controversial Pesticide

Looks like Monsanto really wants farmers to use XtendiMax. The agribusiness giant is offering a cash incentive to farmers to apply a controversial pesticide linked to 3.1 million acres of crop damage in nearly two dozen heartland states, according to Reuters.

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France Awards U.S. Climate Scientists Multi-Year Grants to ‘Make Our Planet Great Again'

French President Emmanuel Macron will announce the first recipients of the "Make Our Planet Great Again" grants Monday evening.

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The Surprising Reason Why Transportation Is Now the Top Source of U.S. Pollution

With the holidays coming around, it may be a good time to note that the countless miles that Americans will drive, train or fly has a big planetary impact.

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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.

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Leonardo DiCaprio Joins Forces With Mexican Government to Save the World's Most Endangered Marine Mammal

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Leonardo DiCaprio and telecom tycoon Carlos Slim signed a memorandum of understanding committing to conserve marine ecosystems in the Gulf of California and to save the vaquita porpoise—the most endangered marine mammal in the world.

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3 Major Spills in 7 Years: Keystone Has Leaked Far More Than TransCanada Estimated

TransCanada's existing Keystone pipeline has already leaked a significant amount of oil three times in less than seven years. That's a much higher rate than the company predicted in its risk assessments provided to regulators, Reuters reported.

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Massive Pipeline Leak Shows Why Nebraska Should Reject Keystone XL

About 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) of oil leaked Thursday from TransCanada's Keystone oil pipeline near Amherst, South Dakota, drawing fierce outcry from pipeline opponents.

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Educated Republicans Are Less Likely to Believe in Climate Change

Just this week, more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries signed a paper issuing an urgent plea to global leaders about the "current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change." The article, titled World Scientists' Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice, is a wakeup call to anyone concerned about rapidly rising temperatures and stronger and more frequent extreme weather events.

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