Latest Bird Flu News

Benzene found in Santa Rosa water in the aftermath of October’s fires.
Sunday February 25th 2018, 2:54 PM

The drought-related fires that devastated Santa Rosa CA last October not only killed people outright and burned whole neighborhoods, but they have led to water pollution problems that may have resulted from the diversity of chemicals in the housing stock and water infrastructure that was burned.

The city may be zeroing in on the cause of the contamination in the water supply of one neighborhood devastated by the October wildfires. Now there are troubling signs the problem may extend into the surrounding area. The presence of phthalates in the water implicates plastics in water service lines, according to one expert.

[News Source]

Benzene found outside Fountaingrove contamination area
Sunday February 25th 2018, 2:54 PM

Santa Rosa may be zeroing in on the cause of the contamination in the water supply of a Fountaingrove neighborhood devastated by the October wildfires, but there are troubling signs the problem may extend into the surrounding area.

[News Source]

Weekend Reader, Sunday Feb. 25
Sunday February 25th 2018, 12:48 PM

Must-read: The

New Orleans Times-Picayune

and the

New York Times

are publishing a joint series on Louisiana’s disappearing coast. The

town of Jean Lafitte

waits to be swamped by rising seas and sinking land; and

invasive insects

compound the unfolding disaster along the vanishing coast.

An EPA report says people of color suffer

more from air pollution

in 46 states than do white people.

The AP’s Seth Borenstein looks at

satellite monitoring of the high seas

— and fisheries’ huge footprint on ocean ecosystems.


The Onion


Climate scientists hang it up,

advise us to just enjoy the next 20 years. (You know this is satire, right?)

Former Interior Dept. official David Hayes argues that

expanding drilling on public lands

is the opposite of “America First.”


York Dispatch

editorializes on

Trump’s environmental budget cuts

, and their impact on Chesapeake Bay.

Chicago Tribune

columnist Steve Chapman offers a

harsh assessment of Scott Pruitt

: First-class travel is the least of his problems.


Living on Earth,

Peter Dykstra and Helen Palmer discuss


— the gross, sometimes-enormous globs of fat and grease that clog urban sewer systems.

After his forced resignation, Trump climate adviser

George David Banks

called the Paris Accord “a good Republican agreement.”

Sometimes, ya just gotta state the obvious: Are

Trump’s attacks on science

meant to sway public opinion? From

The Hill.


just-released EPA study,

conducted in the pre-Trump era, found that people of color cope with air pollution more than white people in 46 states.

The Conservative Political Action Conference hosted a

climate change panel discussion

. They found good news: Increased CO2 will make blue crabs enormous!!

At EPA, enforcement fines in Trump’s first year in office total

less than half

of any recent President.

Amidst the misery of Syria’s three-way Civil War, a garden in a

northern Iraq refugee camp

provides a ray of hope—and fresh food. NPR’s Julia Travers with a great story.

We welcome

Kristina Marusic

as our new reporter. Based in Pittsburgh, Kristina will cover environmental health and justice issues in the region.

Funny things happen to some Congressmen when they consider life after Congress.

Trey Gowdy, the angular South Carolinian who rose to fame with his relentless pursuit of the Benghazi investigation, announced he won’t run again in 2018. Gowdy came to Congress in the 2010 election by swamping incumbent Bob Inglis in the primary.

In a year when “primaried” became a verb, a moderate like Inglis—who even spoke up about climate change—had no chance.

A former prosecutor who won the nickname “Bulldog,” Gowdy took the lead in pressing the Benghazi investigation—credited (or blamed) with helping defeat Hillary Clinton. His strong conservative credentials seemed perfect for Trumpism.

But last week by Trumpian standards, Congressman Gowdy Benghazi’d up the wrong tree. As chair of the House Oversight Committee, he sent a letter Tuesday to EPA, demanding details on Administrator Scott Pruitt’s extensive first class travel, and on the size of his entourage.

Pruitt is said to have pulled field investigators off of protecting the environment and into a head-of-state sized personal security detail. Democrats on a second panel, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, have made a similar request.

Then there’s the Cone of Silence. Pruitt reportedly spent $25,000 to

install a private phone booth

for conversations.

This week, another facet of Pruitt’s leadership turned up. In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Pruitt offered a spiritual angle to his

drill-baby-drill policies


“The biblical world view with respect to these issues is that we have a responsibility to manage and cultivate, harvest the natural resources that we’ve been blessed with to truly bless our fellow mankind.”

[News Source]

Cape Town, South Africa is running out of water
Sunday February 25th 2018, 12:02 PM

The combination of a lack of rainfall and an explosion of urban growth has pushed the city’s reservoirs to their limits and is forcing officials to consider turning off the taps.

[News Source]

The White House’s attack on scientists could manipulate public opinion
Saturday February 24th 2018, 4:28 PM

So much of what the Trump administration has done involves manipulating science to match political goals. In reality, Trump’s claim to “tell it like it is” is the greatest hoax of all.

[News Source]

Trump’s rush to drill on public land is the opposite of ‘America First’
Saturday February 24th 2018, 3:25 PM

This Republican president should heed Republican President Theodore Roosevelt.

[News Source]

BMW admits it misled on emissions
Saturday February 24th 2018, 3:15 PM

FRANKFURT (AFP-Jiji) — German high-end carmaker BMW has admitted to authorities that it built software that misleads regulatory emissions tests into some models, potentially staining the auto giant’s clean image, Der Spiegel magazine reported Friday.

[News Source]

Sighing, resigned climate scientists say to just enjoy next 20 years as much as you can
Saturday February 24th 2018, 3:10 PM

Attending a conference to discuss alarming new data on rising sea levels, a weary group of top climatologists suddenly halted their presentation Friday, let out a long sigh, and stated that the best thing anyone can do at this point is just try to enjoy the next couple decades as much as possible.

[News Source]

Left to Louisiana’s tides, a village fights for time
Saturday February 24th 2018, 3:03 PM

For the community of Jean Lafitte, the question is less whether it will succumb to the sea than when — and how much the public should invest in artificially extending its life.

[News Source]

Insects feast on Louisiana wetlands, inviting the Gulf in
Saturday February 24th 2018, 2:59 PM

A pest known as a scale appears to be killing off reeds that bind the state’s coast together, speeding land loss and endangering oil wells, shipping routes and fishing grounds.

[News Source]

Everything’s fine and the crabs will get huge according to CPAC climate panel
Friday February 23rd 2018, 11:15 PM

On the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference, in a small, airless ballroom in the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, a few dozen people gathered to be reassured that the planet was not facing imminent catastrophe. “There’s so much disinformation out there, so much propaganda,” moaned Jim Lakely, communications director at The Heartland Institute.

[News Source]

Satellites see big fishing’s footprint on the high seas
Friday February 23rd 2018, 4:05 PM

Scientists tag sharks to see where they roam in the high seas, but until now they couldn’t track the seas’ biggest eater: Humans.

[News Source]