Tuesday, March 18, 2014

WIMS Environmental HotSheet 3/18/14

<> AAAS Kicks Off Initiative to Recognize Climate Change Risks - American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is announcing the launch of a new initiative to expand the dialogue on the risks of climate change. At the heart of the initiative is the AAAS's " What We Know" report, an assessment of current climate science and impacts that emphasizes the need to understand and recognize possible high-risk scenarios.

<> EPA Asks Americans to Join the Race to Stop Water Leaks - WaterSense celebrates Fix a Leak Week Beginning March 17. In the race against water waste, EPA is urging people to fix household water leaks during the sixth annual Fix a Leak Week, March 17 through 23, 2014.

<> API: Happy Birthday Hydraulic Fracturing - With birthday cards and a social media campaign, the American Petroleum Institute celebrated the 65th birthday of the technology that has spurred an energy revolution in America: hydraulic fracturing or fracking. . .

<> NCDC Releases February 2014 U.S. Climate Report - The February 2014 average temperature for the contiguous United States was 32.2°F, 1.6°F below average. . .

<> Conflict Disclosures for Regulatory Science: Slow but Steady Progress at Last - Basic disclosures of conflicts of interest have been required by the top science journals for decades. Yet most regulatory agencies - despite strong urging from a variety of bipartisan sources - have failed to require these disclosures for private research submitted to inform regulatory decisions. This omission is particularly alarming since, unlike journals, agencies

<> GE Crops: Why Did USDA Ignore Environmental and Economic Harms? - Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a lawsuit demanding the release of federal documents which may uncover undue political pressure over USDA's decision to approve genetically engineered alfalfa. The lawsuit seeks 1179 documents from USDA's Agriculture. . .

<> Will Tesla be a Game-Changer for Battery Energy Storage? - Last week Tesla, an electric car manufacturer based in Palo Alto, made national news by announcing it intends to launch a "Gigafactory" to produce lithium-ion batteries for at least 500,000 vehicles by 2020. This is no small potatoes. The level of battery production Tesla envisions is equivalent to the lithium ion batteries produced worldwide last year.

<> William Koch, pessimistic about coal's future in the U.S., is out of the business - William Koch, CEO of energy and industrial products giant Oxbow Carbon LLC, expressed pessimism about the future of coal in the United States during an interview last week. While not as active in politics as siblings David and Charles Koch, Bill Koch has also donated millions to political candidates, including a large political action committee backing former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney

<> Climate-change agenda heats up - Source: The Jordan Times - For many people around the world this year, the weather has become anything but a topic for small talk.

<> Climate change webinar - The next in Ohio State University's climate change webinar series is Adaptation and forest management in Great Lakes forests: custom-made, real-world examples. This free webinar takes place on March 25; advance registration is required.

<> USDA Announces Support for Innovative, Sustainable Wood Building Materials to Protect Environment and Create Jobs - March 18, 2014 - At a meeting hosted by the White House Rural Council today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new partnership to train architects, engineers and builders about the benefits of advanced wood building materials, and plans for a forthcoming prize competition to design and build high-rise wood demonstration projects. . .

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