EDN Week in Review: Environmental News for the Week of June 17

Ending Plastic Pollution

A Giant Wave of Pastic Garbage Could Flood the U.S., A Study Says” (Darryl Fears and Kate Furby, Washington Post)

“Studies say that between 8.3 billion and 9 billion metric tons have been produced since 1950. That’s more than four Mount Everest’s worth of trash.” More…

“New York Follows London’s Lead with Plan to Ban Plastic Straws” (Miranda Bryant, Evening Standard)

A bill that would ban venues, bars and restaurants from providing plastic straws in the city, which gets through an estimated 15 million of them per day, had its first hearing at New York City Hall… More…

Fighting Climate Change

“Warned 30 Years Ago, Global Warming ‘Is In Our Living Room'” (Seth Borenstein and Nicky Forster, AP)

On June 23, 1988, a sultry day in Washington, James Hansen told Congress and the world that global warming wasn’t approaching — it had already arrived. The testimony of the top NASA scientist, said Rice University historian Douglas Brinkley, was “the opening salvo of the age of climate change.” More…

“The Natural Gas Industry Has a Leak Problem” (John Schwartz and Brad Plumer, New York Times)

The new study, published Thursday in the journal Science, puts the rate of methane emissions from domestic oil and gas operations at 2.3 percent of total production per year, which is 60 percent higher than the current estimate from the Environmental Protection Agency. More…

“Allergies, Glaciers, Pikas: Climate Change in Action” (Seth Borenstein, AP)

Warmer water is repeatedly causing mass global bleaching events to Earth’s fragile coral reefs. Before 1998 there had been no global mass bleaching events – which turn the living coral white and often lead to death. But there have been three in the last two decades. U.S. government coral reef specialist Mark Eakin said for multiple reasons, including global warming, “most of the reefs that were in great shape in the 1980s in Florida are just barely hanging on now.” More…

“Weather Reporters Donned This Striped Pattern On Thursday For A Good Reason” (Sara Boboltz, Huffington Post)

“The Refugees The World Barely Pays Attention To” (Tim McDonnell, NPR)

Since 2008, an average of 24 million people have been displaced by catastrophic weather disasters each year. As climate change worsens storms and droughts, climate scientists and migration experts expect that number to rise. More…

Protecting the Environment and Species

“The EPA Just Killed Three Expert Advisory Committees” (Brian Kahn, Earther)

The decision to shut down the Ecological Processes and Effects Committee, the Environmental Engineering Committee, and the Environmental Economics Advisory Committee was made at a late May meeting of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board, but researchers on the committees were only notified on Thursday. More…

It was National Pollinators Week! Find out about bees and what you can do to protect them.