Almost 7 years ago, while going through some personal issues, I made a terrible mistake and ended up being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in the State of California. It was a dark period in my life, but I have moved on and learned my lesson. This spring, however, my intoxicated driving conviction […]
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Diana Gutiérrez (far right) takes measurements of a river during a community water monitoring day in El Guayabal, Panama. (Photo: CATHALAC)
Drought and water shortages have long been a fact of life in Panama, but as the climate continues to change, the Central American country is ramping up its efforts to conserve and manage the resource. Part of an ongoing series of stories about innovative projects in the developing world, a partnership between the International Development Research Centre and Canadian Geographic.
Cynically, I’ve been known to ask for examples of population based initiatives that actually led to sustained increases in physical activity (with the expectation of there not being any).
Well, I can’t do so anymore as Scotland’s managed to increase recreational walking by 13% over a 6 year period for the whole of their population!
Their National Walking Strategy targeted Scotland’s 5 million residents with messages about the health benefits of walking.
The strategy involved multiple sectors including:
And together their aim was to create a culture of walking by way of developing better walking environments that supported ease and convenience.
How to counsel patients on physical activity became a topic in medical schools. The Daily Mile encouraged 1,000 schools to help every student walk, run, or jog a mile a day, increased funding for active transport programs was obtained including a doubling of infrastructure funding for same, #SoMe was leveraged to share encouragement and information to the public, and community walking programs were launched nationwide.
Now before you get too excited, the bar was low to begin with whereby the increase in walking represented the self-report of walking at least 30 minutes for recreation once over the past month, but at least it’s a start.
Changing behaviour requires more than just education and a good reason to do so, it also requires a change to social norms and culture, as well as environmental engineering. Clearly there’s more to do in Scotland and elsewhere, but nice to see that these needles might actually be movable.
Did you play soccer as a kid? I did and let me tell you something, brother: it wasn’t pretty. Nope, I was a baggy-shorts wearing, skinned-knees masterpiece of fumbly awkwardness. I would strap my glasses around my head, velcro up my sneakers, and keep the bench warm in case someone got hurt. My appearances were […]
The post #479 Actually seeing a goal when you’re watching soccer appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
…but far from built. I’ve talked about this before. My opinion is that Trudeau did the right thing by approving the pipeline. You can’t really rule this country if the entire middle bit hates your guts because you took away the…
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday is reportedly expected to approve a $5.5 billion expansion of the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline, a move environmentalists warned would make an “absolute mockery” of the House of Commons’ vote to declare a climate emergency just hours earlier.
Congratulations on reaching Total Shoe Actualization. AWESOME! Photo from: here — Check out my Youtube channel —
The post #480 When your shoes are tight enough to stay on but loose enough to slide off appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.
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Scientists and security analysts have warned for more than a decade that global warming is a potential national security concern.
They project that the consequences of global warming — rising seas, powerful storms, famine and diminished access to fresh water — may make regions of the world politically unstable and prompt mass migration and refugee crises.
Some worry that wars may follow.
Yet with few exceptions, the U.S. military’s significant contribution to climate change has received little attention. Although the Defense Department has significantly reduced its fossil fuel consumption since the early 2000s, it remains the world’s single largest consumer of oil — and as a result, one of the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters.
Limnocorrals installed in ELA Lake 260 for the BOREAL study, which aims to understand the impacts of an oil spill in a freshwater lake. (Photo: Jose Luis Rodriguez Gil)
It’s an overcast spring day in northwestern Ontario and myself and a crew of students and scientists are getting ready to transform a freshwater lake into a science experiment.
Map: Detail of Map to illustrate Mr. Kane’s travels [1845-1848] in the territory of the Hudson’s Bay Company, 1859, Edward Weller and Paul Kane, London, Longman & Co., Library and Archives Canada, e011303037. Stamp: Paul Kane, painter, 1971, Canada Post Corporation, Library and Archives Canada, s000605k, © Canada Post Corporation, 1971. Reproduced with permission.
Get your snack on long. Get your snack on strong. Yes, as your movie-watching group melts into the couch for some lazy, late night, limbs everywhere screen time, there’s nothing finer than pouring Pepsis and passing around potato chips, cheesy puffs, and crisp-cracking nacho snacks. People, life’s too short not to snack when we feel […]
Read time: 5 mins
A West Virginia Republican is gathering signatures from fellow members of Congress for a letter opposing any extension to the electric vehicle (EV) tax credit. Representative Alex Mooney is getting an assist in his efforts from FreedomWorks, the major conservative advocacy center that helped launch the Tea Party movement.
In an email sent Monday to Congressional staffers and reviewed by DeSmog, FreedomWorks’ Vice President of Legislative Affairs, Jason Pye, “urges your boss to sign the letter against an expansion of the electric vehicle tax credit.” The “Draft Anti-Electric Car Tax Credit Letter” repeats a number of easily discredited and false talking points that have been echoed repeatedly by opponents of the tax incentive.
Jana Asenbrennerova, in Quanta Magazine, on how a gifted grad student’s solution to a fundamental problem in quantum computing is an incredible breakthrough.
Maris Kreizman, in the New York Times, on why she’s stockpiling insulin in her fridge.
Rafi Letzler, in Live Science, discusses the results of his 9 different commercial DNA tests.
Read time: 5 mins
An environmental group based in New Mexico is suing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over alleged violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) related to climate change. It’s the second lawsuit the agency has faced over its approval of oil and gas leases on public lands in recent years.
WildEarth Guardians has filed a lawsuit against BLM and the Department of Interior, asking a federal court in New Mexico to vacate 210 oil and gas leases approved between 2017 and 2018. The leases cover over 70,000 acres of public land in the southeastern portion of the state, just a few miles away from Carlsbad Caverns National Park and within the Permian Shale, a hotbed for fracking.
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On June 6, the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced that the company Energy Transport Solutions LLC had applied for a special permit to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) in unit trains 100 cars long and for the express purpose of moving LNG to export facilities. The notice in the Federal Register starts a comment period, ending July 8, for the public to weigh in on the proposal, which represents a new mode for transporting LNG and includes no new safety precautions.
The permit documentation and environmental assessment from PHMSA suggest that federal regulators — instead of learning from the deadly mistakes of the essentially unregulated oil-by-rail boom — are poised to allow the fossil fuel and rail industries to repeat the same business model with LNG, with potentially even higher consequences for public health and safety.
In our first ever Quirks & Quarks public debate, recorded live in Toronto, astronaut Chris Hadfield, cosmologist Renée Hložek, planetary scientist Marianne Mader and space flight historian Amy Shira Teitel weigh in on whether we should leave space to the robots. An extended podcast edition includes Q&A segments not in the radio broadcast.
Canadian molecular biologist Miranda Wang is pioneering a system to turn previously unrecyclable plastic into reusable chemicals. (Photo: ©Rolex/Bart Michiels)
Canadian molecular biologist Miranda Wang, 25, was today named one of five laureates in the prestigious 2019 Rolex Awards for Enterprise, which supports entrepreneurs whose work is making a significant contribution globally to improve people’s lives and/or the environment.
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The Adani Carmichael coal mine — one of the most controversial fossil fuel projects in Australia’s history — has been handed its final environmental approval.
Based in Queensland, the Indian-owned mine has been beset by controversy after gaining its first set of approvals back in 2014, sparking a nationwide “Stop Adani” movement and multiple legal challenges.
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A recent Congressional amendment, which backers say will soon reach the House floor for debate, could have major ramifications for the petrochemical industry’s plan to move into the Ohio River Valley and start manufacturing plastics and chemicals in Appalachia.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently considering extending $1.9 billion in federal loan guarantees to the Appalachia Development Group, which submitted an application for loan guarantees through the DOE’s Title 17 Loan Guarantee Program in 2017.
The Appalachia Development Group would use that loan guarantee to build a $3.4 billion storage hub that could store over 10 million barrels of so-called natural gas liquids (NGLs), which can be used to make plastics and petrochemicals and are in high supply due to fracking in the nearby Marcellus and Utica Shales.
Green groups supporting the amendment say that those DOE loan guarantees are meant for energy projects — specifically those that cut down on greenhouse gas emissions — not for the petrochemical industry.
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In the wake of fresh revelations that a Massachusetts agency withheld critical air pollution data, calls on the state to retract a permit for a proposed natural gas compressor station in the greater Boston area have intensified this week.
In a letter Thursday to a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) official presiding over an appeal on the permit for Enbridge’s facility in Weymouth, Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA) slammed the DEP for what he called “gaping insufficiencies” in granting the permit, which “compromise the integrity of the DEP process.”
The Liard River, which flows some 1,200 kilometres through the Yukon, northern B.C. and the Northwest Territories, is Canada’s longest “wild” river, meaning a river that has remained largely unchanged by human activity. A recent study found that around the world, such rivers are disappearing, lending a new sense of urgency to the efforts of researchers and Indigenous people to understand and protect Canada’s watersheds. (Photo: Heather Crochetiere)
Sixty years ago, British Columbia’s Bridge River Valley was known as the “land of plenty” to the St’át’imc people. Home to deer, moose, and Chinook salmon, the valley — located in the province’s southwest, a few hundred kilometres north of Vancouver — sustained several First Nations communities for thousands of years.
In 1959, that natural abundance was washed away. Two massive dams were constructed as part of the Bridge River Power Project, diverting the flow of Bridge River and flooding the valley.
It’s like a mirage. You see that distant Do Nothing day coming up on the horizon of your kitchen calendar. You stare at its white squarey blankess beckoning you closer and closer and closer. Time moves forward, days march on, and still nothing gets planned on that beautifully perfect patch of nothingness. No homework, no […]
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What’s the future of coal? The answer may be blowing in the wind. Or running through our waters. Or, maybe it’s at the end of a sunbeam.
Wherever the answer is found, the message is clear. Coal is on a downward trend in the U.S. and renewables are on the rise, according to a new report released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC.
The report shows that renewable energies had slightly more installed capacity than coal, as CNN reported.
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The technology exists to hold polluters accountable, but can it now be used to help monitor pollution and prevent toxic messes?
In the early 2000s, residents of a small, Rust Belt city called Tonawanda, New York, began noticing something strange: Over the years, it seemed, an increasing number of people were getting sick — primarily with cancer.
Tonawanda’s a highly industrial city with more than 50 polluting facilities situated within a three-mile radius. It was common for the air to feel dense and to smell like gasoline. Residents wondered what toxic chemicals might be in the air and if they were making them sick.
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The Trump administration issued one of its most blatant attacks on climate science this past week when it tried to stop a State Department employee from testifying on the climate crisis, reports showed on Saturday.
As the Washington Post reported, intelligence analyst Rod Schoonover’s testimony was submitted to the White House for approval ahead of his planned appearance before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. His remarks focused on the national security risks posed by the climate crisis.
I’ve been asked a few times, “Have I read anything you’ve written?” My first smart-ass instinct is to reply, “I don’t know, what do you read?” But I don’t. Because for some people, meeting a writer is surprising. They don’t know what to say and that’s …
From the Journal of Duh! (ok, actually it was PLOS Medicine) comes Behavioural intervention for weight loss maintenance versus standard weight advice in adults with obesity: A randomised controlled trial in the UK (NULevel Trial). The study involved 288 people who had lost ≥ 5% of their weight in the preceding 12 months who were randomized into two groups. One where they received periodic newsletters, and the other where they had a single face-to-face visit where they discussed goal setting and self-monitoring (including being told to weigh themselves daily) followed by every other day automated text messages. The hope was that the single visit and text messages would help prevent weight regain in the group that received them. So did that minimal intervention help?
No, both groups regained the same amount of weight over the study’s duration.
What was most surprising about this study wasn’t that minimal interventions don’t help prevent weight regain, but rather that someone thought they might. Because if minimal interventions prevented weight regain, do you really think weight regain would be so commonplace?
So in case you were looking for proof that single office visits and text messages aren’t in and of themselves sufficient to prevent weight regain, there you have it I suppose.
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The famous inventor Edwin Land said, “It’s not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas.” He seemed to be telling us that solutions lie just beyond our old habits of thinking.
Cities, states and countries around the world are committing to clean energy economies that run on very high levels — even 100 percent — of renewable energy. In New York state alone, four competing bills target 50 percent to 100 percent renewables by or before 2040.
Realistically, only two renewable energy resources are large enough to meet these very high-penetration objectives on the supply side in the U.S. — solar (by far) and wind.
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The goal is part of Bloomberg’s new Beyond Carbon initiative, which he will formally announced during a commencement address at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Friday, The Associated Press reported. Bloomberg is pledging $500 million towards an effort to close coal plants and transition the country towards 100 percent renewable energy. It is the single-largest philanthropic effort dedicated to addressing the climate crisis, Bloomberg’s foundation said.
Every once and a while there’s a story that has such an impact on me, that I want to feature it by itself. Today’s Saturday Story, written by Dana Horn for the Atlantic, was a searing read for me. It details her recent visit to a “massive blockbuster exhibition (about the Holocaust) that opened in May at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in downtown Manhattan“, by the same people who brought you Human Bodies, and how it left her feeling flat. Her closing paragraph,
“The Auschwitz exhibition does everything right, and fixes nothing. I walked out of the museum, past the texting joggers by the cattle car, and I felt utterly broken. There is a swastika on a desk in my children’s public middle school, and it is no big deal. There is no one alive who can fix me.“
shouldn’t be the only one you read. Please click it for more.
Congratulations to Dr. Michael Mann for successfully putting the boots to Winnipeg’s Frontier Centre for Public Policy. They defamed him; he fought back and won. See their grovelling apology below. Bask in their tears. &nbs…
Microplastics are everywhere – including in your food and drink
Elephants can smell numbers – sort of
25 years of research on the genetics of depression is wrong
Magnetic stimulation may reverse concussion symptoms in the future
How we’re trying to prove we own the North Pole
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Minnesotans for Line 3, a group established last year to advocate for an Enbridge oil pipeline project, presents itself as a grassroots organization consisting of “thousands of members.”
But a DeSmog investigation has found that behind the scenes, the Calgary-based energy giant is pulling the strings. Enbridge has provided the group with funding, public relations, and a variety of advocacy tactics.
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Two Democratic Congressional leaders are calling out U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Wheeler for knowingly deceiving the public and Congress on the proposed Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles rule.
Senator Tom Carper, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Representative Frank Pallone, Jr., Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, sent a letter to Wheeler expressing concern that the EPA head “[has] made numerous public statements, including statements to Congress, that directly conflict with the information and analyses prepared by EPA’s career experts.”