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California may reach 50% renewable power goal by 2020 — 10 years early
Tuesday November 14th 2017, 6:45 PM

Two years ago, Gov. Jerry Brown signed an ambitious law ordering California utility companies to get 50 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030. They may hit that goal a decade ahead of schedule.

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Millions are plagued with highly fluorinated chemicals in water. Feds need to act, say scientists
Tuesday November 14th 2017, 5:48 PM

Highly fluorinated chemicals are contaminating the water of millions of people in the U.S. and it’s time for the federal government and researchers to coordinate research and education efforts to protect communities from the toxics, according to a letter sent to U.S. House and Senate committees today.

The letter, signed by 39 scientists and published in the research journal

Environmental Health

, points to increasing evidence that the compounds—called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and commonly used as stain and water repellents and in fire fighting foams—are pervasive in drinking water.


2016 study

estimated the drinking water for about 6 million people in the U.S. exceeded federal health advisory levels for two of the most common compounds, perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The chemicals are currently unregulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

However, a new report by California-based Eurofins Eaton Analytical laboratories found that while EPA data estimated about 4 percent of the nation’s drinking water supplies contain chemicals such as PFOS and PFOA,

its own testing data

suggests about 28 percent of water supplies contain some amount of the chemicals.

This would mean tens of millions of Americans would be drinking contaminated water.

Thank you




for your leadership in calling for action on this critical public health issue.



— Silent Spring Inst (@SilentSpringIns)

November 14, 2017

“We as scientists and public health professionals support the development of a coordinated research strategy to learn as much as possible from the unfortunate exposure of millions of Americans to PFASs in their drinking water,” the scientists wrote, adding that “action is needed now.”

An estimated 95 percent of people in the U.S. have some level of highly fluorinated chemicals in their blood, according to a

2011 study

. The chemicals have been linked to a variety of human health problems, including kidney cancer, decreased birth weights, thyroid disease, decreased sperm quality, high cholesterol, pregnancy-induced hypertension, asthma and ulcerative colitis.

States across the country

are dealing with the chemicals tainting water supplies. In July the House of Representatives included amendments to the 2018 U.S. Defense authorization bill that would authorize a five-year U.S. study of PFOA and PFOS exposures resulting from military use of firefighting foam containing the chemicals.

The scientists who sent today’s letter said the amendments were a “step in the right direction … but likely insufficient.”

“If and when the study is carried out, its scope should be expanded to include a wider range of PFASs than PFOA and PFOS,” they added.

Arlene Blum, of the Green Science Policy Institute and co-author of the letter, said people in the communities affected by these chemicals are “test subjects in an unintended chemical experiment.”

Blum and colleagues point to the massive study a decade ago of nearly 70,000 community members in the Ohio River Valley—dubbed the

C8 Science Panel

—as a model for studying current contamination and health impacts from PFOS, PFOA and other highly fluorinated chemicals.

See the

full letter

in the

Environmental Health


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Climate change and water woes drove ISIS recruiting in Iraq
Tuesday November 14th 2017, 2:53 PM

Battered by shifting resources, desperate farmers were driven into terror recruiters’ clutches. Can it happen again?

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In drive to cut emissions, Germany confronts its car culture
Tuesday November 14th 2017, 2:32 PM

Despite its green image, Germany is being held back by its national love of the gasoline-powered car. To truly transition to renewable energy, experts say, Germans must start moving beyond private autos and embrace new digitally-run systems of shared mobility.

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How climate change could lead to more wars in the 21st century
Tuesday November 14th 2017, 2:27 PM

A new book offers a dark picture of humanity’s future.

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Can carbon-dioxide removal save the world?
Tuesday November 14th 2017, 2:08 PM

CO₂ could soon reach levels that, it’s widely agreed, will lead to catastrophe.

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How climate change affects California
Tuesday November 14th 2017, 1:07 PM

California could one day be uninhabitable. Fire. Heat. Flooding. Infestation. Disease. Suffering. Is the end near?

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Indonesia coal power push neglects rural households, chokes urban ones
Tuesday November 14th 2017, 12:48 PM

There’s so much power surging into the capital, Jakarta, that it could end up killing residents from the air pollution expected to be generated by seven new coal-fired power plants.

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Flying blind: The dangerous decline of the U.S. ocean monitoring fleet
Tuesday November 14th 2017, 12:48 PM

Budget shortfalls and aging ships are starting to undermine key climate-change data-collection programs that help scientists gauge the state of the world’s oceans.

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Justice, Thrasher tout China deal, but won’t release project list or MOU
Tuesday November 14th 2017, 12:41 PM

Gov. Jim Justice on Monday continued to tout what he says is a deal for $83.7 billion in Chinese investment in West Virginia’s natural gas industry, but he refused to

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The ‘population bomb’ will only explode if we rely on government to defuse it
Tuesday November 14th 2017, 12:39 PM

Prince William has been woefully misunderstood.

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Norway sued over Arctic oil exploration plans
Tuesday November 14th 2017, 12:35 PM

The case, led by Greenpeace, claims Norwegian government has violated constitutional right to a healthy environment and contravenes Paris agreement

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