Environment and the Policy Changes Impacting It, Mother Earth, and Us

A grouping of eclectic topics spread across various subtitles supposedly giving them some organization. These show up in my In-Box and I leave them their till I clean up the collection

Energy and Business

A Beginner’s Guide to Plastic-Free Living, treehugger.com, Katherine Martinko. “You need to write a step-by-step guide to giving up plastic.”

Electric Vehicles Have a Public-Charging Problem, The Atlantic, Patrick George. Driving from Boston to Charlotte meant bringing along a 50-foot extension cord; a blanket, in case he needed to turn the car’s heater off to maximize its range; and a spreadsheet full of alternate plans in case the unexpected happened at public charging stations.

Brazil rejects oil drilling project, citing environmental goals, qz.com, Diego Lasarte. Lula’s government nixed an offshore drilling project in the Amazon, exposing an internal rift on how to balance conservation and economic development.

Why State Farm has decided not to insure homes in California, consumeraffairs.com, Mark Huffman. The company pointed to increasing wildfire risks and rising construction costs.

Shell fined $10 million for its Pennsylvania plant’s pollution, qz.com, Ananya Bhattacharya. Shell acknowledged the plant breached emissions limits, and will keep doing so in the coming months.

The Landmark Trial That Could Determine Who Pays to Rid America’s Drinking Water of PFAS, Grist, Zoya Teirstein. The state had identified a class of chemicals linked to cancer called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS or “forever chemicals,” in Stuart’s drinking water supply.

Not all carbon offsets are a scam—but many still are, qz.com, Tim McDonnell. the market remains plagued by widespread, fundamental flaws in how offsets are tallied, turning a critical element of the corporate campaign against climate change into a house built on sand.

A report found that carbon offsets aren’t reducing emissions, qz.com, Aurora Almendral.  carbon offsets and carbon capture and storage technologies—are so far proving to be better at justifying fossil fuel use than reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Europe’s new energy problem: it now has too much gas, qz.com, Aurora Almendral. As of May 9, Europe’s gas storage was full to 62%, and at the current pace of refilling, storage is expected to hit its capacity of about 1,138 terawatt-hours (TWh) by late August, according to estimates by Morgan Stanley. And it is driving down natural gas prices.


Delta faces a class action lawsuit over its climate commitments, The Verge, Justine Calma. Delta Air Lines misled customers with its sustainability claims, a new class action lawsuit alleges. The suit was filed in California yesterday and seeks damages for any resident who’s been on a Delta flight since it made a big climate commitment back in 2020.

Not all carbon offsets are a scam—but many still are, qz.com. Companies are scrambling to buy carbon offset credits based on forest conservation projects. The accounting of reductions are often riddled with flaws.

The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season forecast is ‘near-normal’ — but there’s a wild card, The Verge, Justine Calma. With conflicting forces at play, it’s harder than normal to predict what will happen this Atlantic hurricane season.

The Significance of Trees After Natural Disasters Hit, treehugger.com, Dan Lambe. Given the magnitude of damage following a hurricane, trees are—understandably—not the first focus. Addressing urgent needs and communities are ready to rebuild, replanting is often a key part of recovery.

Frogs Singing in Malaysian Swamp at Dusk Judged to Be ‘Most Beautiful Sound in the World,’ treehugger.com, Michael G. Richard. Out of all the submissions, a sample recording at dusk in Malaysia near a swamp was judged to be the most beautiful sound of all.

El Niño could take a $3 trillion bite out of the world economy, The Verge, Justine Calma. El Niño is costly, and this year’s event could be particularly intense.

Good News: A 1987 Treaty Has Successfully Preserved Arctic Ice, Scientists Say, vice.com, Becky Ferreira. The Montreal Protocol delayed the total loss of sea ice by 15 years, but scientists say more intervention is needed.

Nature always bats last! one-handed-economist.com, David Zetland. The key idea in the phrase is not that “Nature will win” but that we cannot always imagine how Nature (anthropomorphising here) will “react” to our actions.

Colorado River deal: Southwest states reach landmark deal to stave off water crisis, CNN, Ella Nilsen. Three Southwest states announced Monday they have a historic deal to cut billions of gallons of Colorado River water usage over the next four years. Half of which would be occurring by next year. A planning effort to stave off a crisis at the nation’s largest reservoirs.

Space and Public Access

Why the ‘Right to Roam’ Is So Important, treehugger.com, Elizabeth Waddington. No matter where in the world you live, public access to land should be the status quo.

How tall should a building be: How not to build in a climate crisis, Carbon Upfront! Lloyd Alter. In Toronto, where I live, developers knock down perfectly good rental buildings like the one on the left to build far taller condominium buildings like the ones on the right.

Family Builds Two Remarkable Tiny Houses Together, treehugger.com, Kimberly Mok. For many people, a tiny house represents more financial freedom and the possibility to live a fuller life within a smaller footprint—both literally and ecologically. 

Getting public space right: transforming society from the ground up, Metropolis, LauraValdés. From squares and streets to parks, markets and playgrounds, public spaces hold meaning. They define the culture of a city by shaping how people live and experience urban life.

The Need for Public Spaces, Rethinking The Future, From the earliest civilizations, humans have cultivated a sense of community and culture through public spaces. In ancient Greece, the Agora (literally meaning “assembly” or “gathering place”) was a geometric square hosting meetings, tribunals, and debates. In the Middle Ages, peasants congregated at the lively marketplace to trade and socialize.


Why we must save our “third spaces,” Carbon Upfront! Lloyd Alter, “The term “third place” was coined by sociologist Ray Oldenburg in the 1980s. In his book, “The Great Good Place,” he talks about the public spaces where people can gather and set aside the concerns of home and work, their first and second places, in order to simply enjoy the company of others

Overspending on homes and cars lands many people in financial hot water, consumeraffairs.com, Mark Huffman. During Financial Literacy Month, it pays to assess how major purchase decisions, such as a home or car, can have an oversized impact on your financial health.

The issue for boomers won’t be “aging in place. Carbon Upfront! Lloyd Alter. For years, people have been worrying about how olders will get around, but Andy Boenau is one of the few to get to the root of the problem. I wrote this five years ago for the Mother Nature Network:

Scammers are victimizing people who sell things online, FTC warns, consumeraffairs.com, Gary Guthrie. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of scammers who are trying to swindle unsuspecting sellers. In fact, these scams are so prevalent that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a warning to consumers and is providing information on how they can avoid becoming victims.

Forever chemicals are disproportionately polluting Black and Hispanic neighborhoods, The Verge, Sebastián Rodríguez. PFAS, also known as ‘forever chemicals’ for their extreme persistence in the environment, are toxic byproducts of heat-resistant materials.

Republicans Are Pushing to Make Child Labor Easier, vice.com, Paul Biest. Republicans in Arkansas passed a bill that would allow children as young as 14 to work without first obtaining permission. 

Hundreds of Tenants Protest at NY State Capitol Building for ‘Good Cause’ Eviction Law, vice.com, Roshan Abraham. A Good Cause law would ban evictions in most cases, except for where a tenant has violated their lease or when a landlord wishes to live in the unit.

Environmental and Policy Impacting Mother Earth and Us, Angry Bear, angry bear blog