Week in Review: Environmental News for Sept. 1-8 | Earth Day Network

Here’s our week in review, a roundup of the top environmental stories of the week, with reports on climate impacts and action, threats to public health and species, progress in the fight to end plastic pollution, efforts to safeguard science, and more.

An ambitious effort is underway to clear plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch with a huge floating barrier. (Hannah Summers, The Guardian)

The structure comprises 60 adjoining units forming a giant C-shaped tube attached to a three-metre deep impenetrable skirt which will collect plastic waste of 1cm diameter and larger, as well as discarded fishing nets, as it skims the ocean’s surface…. More…

The BBC shared a memo with staff with clear guidelines on how to better report on climate change. (Leo Hickman, Carbon Brief)

“To achieve impartiality, you do not need to include outright deniers of climate change in BBC coverage, in the same way you would not have someone denying that Manchester United won 2-0 last Saturday. The referee has spoken….” More…

8 bird species have been confirmed as extinct so far this decade. (Patrick Barkham, The Guardian)

“Historically 90% of bird extinctions have been small populations on remote islands. Our evidence shows there is a growing wave of extinctions washing over the continent driven by habitat loss from unsustainable agriculture, drainage and logging….” More…

The Trump administration’s analysis of the Environmental Protection Agency’s power plant plan eliminated references to dangerous emissions and dire climate change impacts. (Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Bloomberg)

The administration also scrapped a reference to numerous “major scientific assessments” that “strengthen the case that GHGs endanger public health and welfare both for current and future generations…. More…

Lego reveals it plans to remake its brick toys with alternative materials, eliminating the use of petroleum-based plastics. (Stanley Read, New York Times)

“It is important,” said Mr. Brooks, “that we can make a toy that doesn’t jeopardize” children’s future…. More…

Recommended Reading and Viewing
“Climate change is speeding up. Our response needs to be even faster” (Christiana Figueres, World Economic Forum)

Time is of the essence. As we have been rudely reminded this summer, there is no more room in the atmosphere for our carbon pollution. Going forward from 2020, annual global greenhouse gas emissions need to be half of what they were in the preceding decade…. More…

“Greenhouse gases aren’t just warming the planet. They’re also acidifying our oceans” (James McClintock, LA Times)

Marine life is reacting to the acidification of our oceans, and not in a good way. In some coastal regions, oysters, clams and snails are struggling to produce and maintain their shells. The tiny offspring of these animals are particularly vulnerable. Coral reef ecosystems are also at risk. Half of the coral in the Great Barrier Reef has died since 2016 in a catastrophic bleaching event exacerbated by acidification…. More…

“The energy and climate stakes of the midterm elections” (Amy Harder, Axios)

The midterm elections will go a long way in shaping both state-level policies and Washington’s future appetite to consider legislation in this area…. More…

“Roger Federer Is Tough to Beat. Global Warming Might Have Pulled an Upset.” (Kendra Pierre-Louis, New York Times)

Short-term weather conditions are not the same as long-term changes to the climate, and a few hot days do not prove a trend. But the unusual heat and humidity that appeared to strain Federer are in keeping with the changes that atmospheric scientists are seeing under human-caused global warming…. More…