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Weekly Environmental Updates
The Oklahoma Energy Resources Board has created lesson plans for K through 12 students that are heavy on the details of fracking and seismic exploration but include no mention of the environmental impact of fossil fuels. Representatives from the Sierra Club have met with the state's Energy and Environment Secretary to ask if the state will include lessons on climate change and renewable energy. The cash-strapped school system also gets oil and gas centric lesson plans that come with plastic tubs filled with $1,200 full of supplies and lab equipment.
Enterprising nuns in Pennsylvania have built an open air chapel in the direct path of a proposed pipeline in an effort to protest its construction. A federal agency has already granted permission for pipeline builders William Partners to take the land by eminent domain. The pipeline company has filed a request for an emergency order that would allow them to immediately seize the land with a hearing scheduled for 7/21.
Weather patterns altered by climate change are the suspected cause of the death of hundreds of seabirds known as shearwaters. Emaciated and dying birds washed up on Long Island beaches last month in an event scientists labeled as "extraordinary". Although bits of plastic were found in the their stomachs, the immediate cause of death was reportedly starvation.
The invasive Sahara mustard plant is overtaking U.S. southwestern deserts, crowding out the wildflowers that draw tourists as well as plants that wildlife need to survive. Introduced in the 1920's, the growth of Sahara mustard has exploded over the last 20 years. DNA sequencing is being used in the hopes of developing biological control agents to control the plant's rapid spread.
It's summertime and the living can be itchy. Now's the time to attack that poison ivy in your yard before it attacks you. Pulling plants out by the roots may be the best method, but systemics are also a potent weapon. If you don't want to mess with potent chemicals, salt dissolved in water is an all-natural alternative.
The hens that produce Eggland's Best organic eggs organic eggs live in conditions that satisfy USDA requirements, but may not satisfy the 80 percent of consumers who believe that organic means that the chickens should be allowed access to the outdoors. Eggland's 180,000 birds live three hens per square foot and the birds are unable to venture outside their enclosures. Organic eggs such as Eggland's fetch higher prices than conventional eggs and are usually sold to consumers who believe that the chickens are leading a more natural life than conventionally raised fowl.
Roman Hills