Environmental Concerns 2012
Mission Statement: The GMM Environmental Concerns Working Group hopes to raise awareness of environmental issues that affect the lives of everyone and about which we can make a difference. Our goal is to raise awareness of the importance of a sustainable lifestyle.
–> See our Environmental Events Calendar.
–> See our blog on Delaware Valley Environment.
–> See our Sustainable Living Resource page.
Dec 26, 2012:
A recent article explains how researchers in New Mexico are studying tree death caused by global warming.
See the predicted consequences of climate change for forest ecosystems worldwide.
A recent article interprets trade-related CO2 emission deficits.
An energy expert predicts that oil production will start declining in 2015.
Dec 23, 2012:
A recent research article shows that Antarctica is among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth.
Read a recently published book called Clean break: The Story of Germany’s Energy Transformation and What Americans Can Learn from It.
Dec 20, 2012:
Read an essay about the irresponsible monitoring of pollution from oil extraction in the tar sands of Alberta.
Dec 19, 2012:
A recent study shows that mega-cities are responsible for most global greenhouse-gas emissions.
See an editorial that explains why carbon capture and storage are one hope for preventing climate change.
See the latest report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, showing further global warming during November 2012.
Dec 14, 2012:
More than 100 physicians urge President Obama to halt rush to expand facilities for exporting shale gas from fracking.
See a summary of why climate deniers have no credibility.
A recent article explains why renewable energy will provide the best jobs and quality of life.
Dec 12, 2012:
Residential installations of solar photovoltaic panels reached a new record high this year.
Dec 9, 2012:
Read an article on one homeowner’s struggle to stay healthy next to a fracking well.
Learn why jobs due to fracking have been overestimated.
See an article describing the risks involved in the use of Roundup, the most widely used weed killer in the world, and GM Roundup-tolerant seeds. See the original research article, and a rebuttal of criticisms of the study.
Dec 6, 2012:
According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the arctic is warming much faster now that ocean ice and snow cover are at record lows.
Climate and energy experts at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) have crafted a groundbreaking proposal that will curb emissions from hundreds of existing power plants while creating many new jobs.
A consensus has been reached about the CO2 emissions caused by deforestation in tropical forests. Yet the rate of deforestation in Brazilian jungles has dropped.
A recent article explains that cheatgrass, an invasive grass in the western US, burns more rapidly than other grasses and is responsible for many of the recent wildfires.
See the scientific report.
Dec 5, 2012:
To help fight climate change, students at many colleges are demanding that the endowment funds get out of coal, oil, and gas stocks.
Dec 3, 2012:
Carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere reached a new high level in 2011, making it less likely that our planet can keep below a 2 deg C rise in average temperature.
A recent article explains that the Doha conference in Qatar has a tremendous challenge ahead to forge an agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Nov 28, 2012:
A recent article explains that Canada’s government is undermining climate science and gutting oil regulations.
See the latest news about the United Nations Climate Talks.
The area of arctic ice that melted the this summer was greater than the area of the United States.
Nov 27, 2012:
Due to a revolution of decreasing cost and increasing efficiency for solar technology, solar experts predict huge growth in the solar industry worldwide.
A recent film explains the unacceptable levels of chemicals in our environment. See also a related article about environmental chemicals.
Nov 25, 2012:
Learn more about the controversy about disclosure of results from water testing near fracking sites.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) calls for focus on energy efficiency. According to IEA, current subsidies for fossil fuels are six times greater than for renewable energy such as solar and wind.
Nov 23, 2012:
A new study of how trees utilize water finds that many forests, even those in wet climates, are vulnerable to drought from global warming.
Nov 21, 2012:
A recent letter from three prominent scientists involved in energy research urges a complete moratorium on further development of fossil fuel infrastructure.
Learn how sand used for fracking is mined.
Nov 20, 2012:
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a record high level in 2011.
The University of Buffalo has shut down its institute on fracking.
See how fracking companies are attempting to recycle the water from fracking wells. See another comment here.
A recent article explains that a green lifestyle will increase our dependence on copper, which will generate waste and pollution.
Nov 19, 2012:
A recent article explains why the fracking fight is spreading like wildfire.
A recent article explains that silica dust from fracking operations is hazardous to health.
A recent Ken Burns documentary the Dust Bowl shows how ecological disasters are often caused by humans.
Read a recent article about how the sustainable management of a green economy is preferable to current policy of environmental protection.
HCFC-22, the gas used in cooling appliances is illegal to sell in new refrigerators and air conditioners but is being sold openly around the world. See an article describing the problem.
Apparently because of a political controversy, President Obama explained recently that he will not press for a big change in climate policy.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to require gasoline to contain a mix of ethanol.
Nov 16, 2012:
Read a six-part article on how Germany has built a clean energy economy rejected by the US 30 years ago.
According to biologists, one third of all marine species are still unknown to science.
Nov 15, 2012:
A recent article explains that extreme predictions of climate change may be correct because fewer clouds are likely in the future. See the original study.
A recent article explores how a tax on carbon can help transition to more sustainable energy and prevent climate change.
Nov 14, 2012:
A recent commentary explains that a global water commodities market will elevate the price of food.
A recent article explains that chemical contaminants in drinking water have unexpected and potent effects at even very low doses.
An organic farmer in Pennsylvania has set up the first conservation easement to ban fracking on his property.
Nov 9, 2012:
According to a recent report, to prevent global warming from increasing more than 7 deg F, we must drastically reduce our unsustainable use of fossil fuels.
Check out the dirty truth behind fracking.
According to a recent article, The Obama election will embolden the Senate to further environmentally-friendly legislation.
A recent article about renewable fuel technology explains that wood chips can be transformed into gasoline inexpensively.
Nov 2, 2012:
See a recent article on community-owned solar projects.
A report from 2007 predicted flooding that would occur from a large storm or climate change.
A recent article described the threat to New York of a rising sea level.
An Audubon Society program improves bird habitat by encouraging farmers to plant seed crops.
Oct 30, 2012:
See a recent article about climate change and flooding from storms.
Oct 27, 2012:
See a recent video explaining that fracking isn’t worth it.
Triclosan, a toxic chemical that is pervasive in the environment is being phased out by its manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, in response to consumer pressure.
Oct 26, 2012:
A recent article explains that excessive nutrients from farm fertilizer runoff in rivers can cause loss of salt marshes
Oct 24, 2012:
Oct 21, 2012:
Runoff from agriculture continues to pollute our waterways.
Learn about the plastic materials in clothing and lingerie.
See a slide show on the human cost of coal.
Although the rush to drill for natural gas has added to the US economy it has caused huge losses for the non-sustainable drilling industry by causing natural gas prices to crash.
Read about the giveaway of public lands in Pennsylvania to the fracking industry and also what you can do to stop it.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is witholding payments from fracking companies to four local townships in southwest Pennsylvania.
Oct 18, 2012:
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court hears the challenge to Act 13 that removed local municipal zoning rights by the gas industry.
Oct 16, 2012:
Check out the quest for sustainable methods for farming fish onshore.
Phosphorous and nitrogen in agricultural runoff is responsible for the dead zone at the bottom of coastal waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
Twenty-five primate species are near extinction.
Oct 14, 2012:
The social cost of carbon may be much higher than the government has been calculating.
Oct 13, 2012:
A recent article explains California’s new climate change law.
See a collection of recent photographs about fracking.
Oct 10, 2012:
The Constitution Pipeline, planned to carry natural gas from fracking in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania into New York state, will carry a non-sustainable fuel and will generate pollution. The public comment period for the pipeline has been extended to November 9th, and a new public hearing date has been set for October 24th.
Some responses to climate change doubters.
Oct 9, 2012:
A recent article explains the consequences of the coming oil and natural gas boom.
Why the beaver needs the wolf.
Oct 8, 2012:
An article in prestigious Nature magazine explains that the EPA is currently investigating whether fracking for natural gas contaminates ground water.
A recent article explains that the true cost of construction includes the fossil fuels used to produce concrete.
Zoos are attempting to explain the effects of global warming on life in the oceans.
Oct 7, 2012:
Britain is phasing out the use of peat in horticulture because it is not sustainable.
Oct 6, 2012:
A recent article explains why higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are making the oceans more acid.
Oct 5, 2012:
Coverage of sea ice on the Arctic Ocean is now at a record low.
A recent article explains why use of GM crops and pesticides has caused widespread resistance to pesticides, driving increased pesticide use.
A recent article explains that China’s solar panel industry is in disarray because of overproduction.
A recent editorial explains why Pennsylvania needs an independent study of health effects from fracking.
Oct 4, 2012:
Oct 1, 2012:
San Diego will purchase water from the largest desalinization plant in the Western Hemisphere.
Georgia Power Co. proposes to triple its use of solar energy by 2015.
Governor Cuomo has decided to restart and further delay the regulatory process necessary to approve fracking in New York.
Sept 28, 2012:
Philadelphia City Council approved a resolution opposing Pennsylvania Act 13, which would have prevented all state cities and towns from protecting the health and safety of their residents by passing bans, moratoria, or even the most moderate zoning restrictions on any aspect of heavy industrial shale gas drilling.
Sept 25, 2012:
See an article about one citizen’s perspective on the toxic substances used in fracking.
Sept 24, 2012:
A recent article in Science magazine confirms the 1972 study “Limits to Growth” and points out that global Net Primary (plant) Production has nearly reached its limit.
Governor Cuomo’s State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens decided not to conduct an independent study of fracking in New York but to conduct an internal health study instead.
In Quincy, WA, local officials are concerned about diesel exhaust pollution from computing cloud server farms.
To understand more about the fracking issue, look at this map of fracking fees to be collected by Pennsylvania.
Organizers against fracking in Pennsylvania see civil disobedience on the horizon.
Sept 23, 2012:
A recent article in Nature magazine explains how trawling plows smooth the deep sea floor.
A recent article in Nature magazine explains how forests increase rainfall.
See a summary of the happenings last Thursday, Sept 20, 2012 in downtown Philadelphia about the problems with natural gas drilling.
Sept 21, 2012:
Check to see how bad pollution is in your area.
See this excellent recent article about Rachel Carson and the Environmental Movement. A must read.
A crowd of about 1000 people from throughout Pennsylvania and the shale regions of neighboring New York, Ohio, West Virginia and beyond, along with downstreamers from Maryland and Delaware, joined together to protest the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s industry convention in downtown Philadelphia yesterday, making a unified statement to “Stop Fracking Now.”
See a report about the event here.
On Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, participants are also attending the Health Impacts Symposium at College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 19. S. 22nd St. Philadelphia, PA. Shale Gas Outrage is screening Kirsi Jansa’s Gas Rush Films from 1 – 2 at Friends Center, followed by strategy sessions.
Sept 20, 2012:
The Shale Gas Outrage demonstration outside the Shale Gas Insight Conference in downtown Philadelphia was covered in a favorable article by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
From PHS Online:
PHS Pop Up Garden Grows onto Walnut Street for Park(ing) Day
On Friday, September 21, from 9 am – 3 pm, the PHS Pop Up Garden will grow onto Walnut Street for Park(ing) Day 2012, an annual international celebration of one-day “parklets” that take over parking spaces. PHS’s 19th and Walnut Street parklet, one of 50 citywide, will preview the Fall Garden Festival—happening the very next day—as well as the 2013 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show.
Sept 18, 2012:
A must see: Maya Lin’s Memorial to a Vanishing Natural World
Sept 7, 2012:
A blog by Bill Huston outlines his concern about toxic waste water from fracked wells contaminating towns and cities downstream in the Susquehanna Watershed. It’s a must read.
Sept 5, 2012:
A terrific book: Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy by Peter W Brown and Goeffrey Garver. Brown and Garver discuss the shortsighted and downright dangerous assumptions that underlie our current answers to the limits to continued growth. They propose novel answers that combine an acute awareness of ecological limits with a focus on fairness and a concern with the spiritual, as well as our material well-being. And they outline what each of us can do to enable a sustainable lifestyle. ISBN: 978-1576757628
Sept 2, 2012
Science on Tap
Science on Tap is a monthly science café in Philadelphia for anyone who is interested in getting together with other people to discuss a range of engaging science topics. It’s held at National Mechanics, a relaxed, convivial bar in Old City, and features a brief, informal presentation by a scientist or other expert followed by lively conversation.
Science on Tap is held on the second Monday of every month at 6 pm. This program is for people age 21 or older, but folks under 21 can come with a chaperone who is older than 25.
Science on Tap is sponsored by a consortium of five Philadelphia institutions: the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, The American Philosophical Society (APS) Museum, Chemical Heritage Foundation, Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and the Wagner Free Institute of Science.
Sept 2, 2012:
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is sponsoring a series of lectures about environmental issues, Food Politics: Nov 8, 2011, and Water-borne toxins and human health: Jan 15, 2013.
Aug 31, 2012:
Seventh Annual GreenFest Philly is an exciting event not to miss!
Sunday, September 9, 2012 – 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Headhouse Square – 2nd and South Sts. Philadelphia
Greenfest Philly is the largest environmental festival in the Philadelphia area. With over 100 exhibitors and vendors, Greenfest is the place to learn about living sustainably while having fun! This event has something for everyone: shopping for local green wares, great food, live music, live demonstrations, kid-friendly activities, and more. Greenfest Philly is scheduled on Sunday, September 9, 2012 from 11am to 5pm in the historic Headhouse Row. The festival is free to attend and all are welcome!
Aug 30, 2012: Please read this eloquent essay by Sean Lennon on the destruction caused by fracking.
Aug 29, 2012: A message from Protecting Our Waters
[[ Protecting Our Waters is a Philadelphia-based grassroots nonprofit organization committed to protecting the Delaware, Susquehanna and Ohio River Basins — the state of Pennsylvania — and our region from unconventional gas drilling and other threats to our drinking water, environment, and public health.
Through extended and serious study, Protecting Our Waters has learned that unconventional gas drilling negatively impacts water, air, human health, the economy, and community well-being. Unfortunately, current state and federal regulations are wholly inadequate to prevent environmental destruction by this heavily polluting industry and protect the inhabitants. POW has succeeded in a number of local and regional campaigns to protect our waters, but new activists are constantly needed to confront the momentum of these huge multinational corporations.
To protect our streams and rivers, drinking water, air quality, forests, habitat, and public health, we call for a MORATORIUM on unconventional shale gas drilling in Pennsylvania.]]
Important Upcoming Events:
DEAR PROTECTORS:Our movement is growing like wildfire, and just in time!
On September 20th -21st, we’ll be demonstrating our strength in numbers at Shale Gas Outrage 2012 in Philadelphia. What will you do to spread the word about and build turnout for Shale Gas Outrage 2012?
Just email Shale Gas Outrage Lead Organizer Liz Arnold (email@example.com) to
confirm your identity and get the conference call-in code.
DON’T FRACK NY: Albany and New York City, August 25th – 27th. www.dontfrackny.org
Some slide shows about environmental issues:
Links to lists of top environmental blogs:
Climate Reality Project
Inside Climate News
Global Climate News
State Impact at NPR
DeSmog Blog for all aspects of climate
National Climatic Data Center
EPA Climate Change
GreenPeace Climate Change
NASA Climate Change
WHO Climate Change
Center for Sustainable Economy
Some environment blogs for Philadelphia: