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High-tech farming poised to change the way the world eats.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 19:30
Investors and entrepreneurs behind some of the world's newest industries have started to put their money and tech talents into farming with an audacious and ambitious agenda: to make sure there is enough food for the 10 billion people expected to inhabit the planet by 2100.
Categories: Ecological News

A guide to a waste-free, environmentally friendly Thanksgiving.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 19:30
The nonprofit group Food Tank says Americans will waste approximately five million tons of food between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.
Categories: Ecological News

The EPA's ozone rule could be its biggest, most controversial regulation yet.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 19:30
The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing stricter regulations on ground-level ozone pollution — more commonly known as "smog." Right now, US cities are supposed to keep ozone levels in the air below 75 parts per billion (many still don't).
Categories: Ecological News

Obama builds environmental legacy with 1970 law.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 19:30
President Obama could leave office with the most aggressive, far-reaching environmental legacy of any occupant of the White House. Yet it is very possible that not a single major environmental law will have passed during his two terms in Washington.
Categories: Ecological News

The mine disaster that shook Turkey.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 19:30
Just after 3 o’clock, the shearer machine stopped working. The conveyor belts that carried the coal stopped working. The lights stopped working. The power had gone out. Only the lamps on the miners’ helmets shone in the dark.
Categories: Ecological News

Federal judge rules Big Island GMO law invalid, pre-empted by state, federal law.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 19:30
A Hawaii County law restricting genetically engineered crops is invalid, a federal judge said in an order issued Wednesday.
Categories: Ecological News

CDC: Fewer than 18 percent of American adults smoke cigarettes, a new low.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 19:30
The proportion of American adults who smoke cigarettes has hit a new low, new federal data show.
Categories: Ecological News

China’s growth fuels boom in world shipping traffic.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 19:30
Ship traffic on the world's oceans has quadrupled over the past two decades, raising new concerns about escalating emissions, according to a new study that's the first to rely on satellite data to produce global maps of shipping on the open seas.
Categories: Ecological News

African states should double agriculture research spending, report says.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 19:30
Sub-Saharan Africa needs to double its investment in agricultural research to meet the challenges of high population growth, climate change and deteriorating soils, a new report said on Wednesday.
Categories: Ecological News

In new drainage projects, long-buried urban streams see the light again.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 19:30
In recent years many cities have been undoing the past century's drainage projects, uncovering or "daylighting" buried streams, using innovative techniques that mimic nature to help restore open waterways, prevent pollution and create habitats for animals.
Categories: Ecological News

Vultures could hold key to deadly bacteria.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 19:30
As millions of Americans tuck into the traditional turkey dinner this Thanksgiving, they might spare a thought for the turkey vulture, whose meal will certainly be undercooked, lacking in trimmings, eaten at the side of the road and seething with toxic bacteria that would kill most other animals.
Categories: Ecological News

Golden Temple to be under pollution scanner 24x7.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 19:30
Worried over reports about India's most loved monument Taj Mahal turning yellow due to pollution, the Punjab Pollution Control Board has woken up to the imminent threat to Golden Temple, Sikhs' holiest shrine.
Categories: Ecological News

China hit by second deadly mine blast in 2 days.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 19:30
At least 11 people were killed Thursday in the second deadly coal mine accident to hit China in two days, pointing to continuing safety issues in the industry despite a major decline in deaths among miners in recent years.
Categories: Ecological News

Nigeria's parliament says Shell should pay $4 billion for 2011 oil spill.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 19:30
Nigeria's National Assembly said on Wednesday oil major Shell should pay $3.96 billion for a 2011 spill at its offshore Bonga oilfield in the latest assessment of damage to the environment.
Categories: Ecological News

Heavy pollution ruins Hunan landscape.

Environmental Health News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 19:30
Central China's Feitian Mountain was once described by Chinese explorer Xu Xiake as “unique in every inch of land.” But a wastewater treatment station of a local power plant has been legally discharging waste to the region since 2007, after the area failed to be listed within the local geopark.
Categories: Ecological News

Thanksgiving dinner in 1909 for just 50 cents reveals how much of America's wealth has been stolen by the Federal Reserve

Natural News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 11:30
(NaturalNews) A Thanksgiving dinner at the Hotel Gettysburg in 1909 offered a lush array of gourmet food for just 50 cents. (h/t to The Burning Platform)The menu, shown below, offered diners fresh lobster salad, broiled lake trout, beechnut ham, roast ribs of prime beef, young...

From seed to plate - how food went wrong and what you can do about it

Natural News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 11:30
(NaturalNews) There is no shortage of dangers to be wary of when attempting to preserve our quality of life. With toxins at every turn, our bodies have become polluted and compromised leaving us with a shadow of the vibrancy we would normally enjoy. Things like food, that would normally...

Beyond vitamin D: Sunlight exposure reduces weight gain and helps stop diabetes

Natural News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 11:30
(NaturalNews) In recent years, health experts have emphasized the importance of increasing blood levels of vitamin D as a way to prevent not just bone and tooth disorders but also autoimmune disease, cancer and many other chronic health conditions. Yet, rather than recommending that...

Three amazing herbs for a clear and healthy complexion

Natural News - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 11:30
(NaturalNews) The skin is the body's largest organ. It's constantly eliminating toxins via perspiration through every single pore on the body. Every now and then, the burden of removing toxins can become too much for the skin, and trouble manifests itself in the form of pimples, acne...

EPA Proposes Smog Standards to Safeguard Americans from Air Pollution

Ecology Today - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 00:55

By EPA

WASHINGTON– Based on extensive recent scientific evidence about the harmful effects of ground-level ozone, or smog, EPA is proposing to strengthen air quality standards to within a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion (ppb) to better protect Americans’ health and the environment, while taking comment on a level as low as 60 ppb. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to review the standards every five years by following a set of open, transparent steps and considering the advice of a panel of independent experts. EPA last updated these standards in 2008, setting them at 75 ppb.

“Bringing ozone pollution standards in line with the latest science will clean up our air, improve access to crucial air quality information, and protect those most at-risk. It empowers the American people with updated air quality information to protect our loved ones – because whether we work or play outdoors – we deserve to know the air we breathe is safe,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Fulfilling the promise of the Clean Air Act has always been EPA’s responsibility. Our health protections have endured because they’re engineered to evolve, so that’s why we’re using the latest science to update air quality standards – to fulfill the law’s promise, and defend each and every person’s right to clean air.”

EPA scientists examined numerous scientific studies in its most recent review of the ozone standards, including more than 1,000 new studies published since the last update.  Studies indicate that exposure to ozone at levels below 75 ppb — the level of the current standard — can pose serious threats to public health, harm the respiratory system, cause or aggravate asthma and other lung diseases, and is linked to premature death from respiratory and cardiovascular causes. Ground-level ozone forms in the atmosphere when emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds “cook” in the sun from sources like cars, trucks, buses, industries, power plants and certain fumes from fuels, solvents and paints. People most at risk from breathing air containing ozone include people with asthma, children, older adults, and those who are active or work outside. Stronger ozone standards will also provide an added measure of protection for low income and minority families who are more likely to suffer from asthma or to live in communities that are overburdened by pollution. Nationally, 1 in 10 children has been diagnosed with asthma.

According to EPA’s analysis, strengthening the standard to a range of 65 to 70 ppb will provide significantly better protection for children, preventing from 320,000 to 960,000 asthma attacks and from 330,000 to 1 million missed school days. Strengthening the standard to a range of 70 to 65 ppb would better protect both children and adults by preventing more than 750 to 4,300 premature deaths; 1,400 to 4,300 asthma-related emergency room visits; and 65,000 to 180,000 missed workdays.

EPA estimates that the benefits of meeting the proposed standards will significantly outweigh the costs.  If the standards are finalized, every dollar we invest to meet them will return up to three dollars in health benefits. These large health benefits will be gained from avoiding asthma attacks, heart attacks, missed school days and premature deaths, among other health effects valued at $6.4 to $13 billion annually in 2025 for a standard of 70 ppb, and $19 to $38 billion annually in 2025 for a standard of 65 ppb.  Annual costs are estimated at $3.9 billion in 2025 for a standard of 70 ppb, and $15 billion for a standard at 65 ppb.

A combination of recently finalized or proposed air pollution rules – including “Tier 3” clean vehicle and fuels standards – will significantly cut smog-forming emissions from industry and transportation, helping states meet the proposed standards.  EPA’s analysis of federal programs that reduce air pollution from fuels, vehicles and engines of all sizes, power plants and other industries shows that the vast majority of U.S. counties with monitors would meet the more protective standards by 2025 just with the rules and programs now in place or underway. Local communities, states, and the federal government have made substantial progress in reducing ground-level ozone. Nationally, from 1980 to 2013, average ozone levels have fallen 33 percent. EPA projects that this progress will continue.

The Clean Air Act provides states with time to meet the standards. Depending on the severity of their ozone problem, areas would have between 2020 and 2037 to meet the standards. To ensure that people are alerted when ozone reaches unhealthy levels, EPA is proposing to extend the ozone monitoring season for 33 states. This is particularly important for at-risk groups, including children and people with asthma because it will provide information so families can take steps to protect their health on smoggy days.

The agency is also proposing to strengthen the “secondary” ozone standard to a level within 65 to 70 ppb to protect plants, trees and ecosystems from damaging levels of ground-level ozone. New studies add to the evidence showing that repeated exposure to ozone stunts the growth of trees, damages plants, and reduces crop yield.  The proposed level corresponds to levels of seasonal ozone exposure scientists have determined would be more protective.

EPA will seek public comment on the proposal for 90 days following publication in the Federal Register, and the agency plans to hold three public hearings. EPA will issue final ozone standards by October 1, 2015.

To view the proposal: http://www.epa.gov/glo/

Categories: Ecological News
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