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Environmental Updates
Nor'easters of the ilk that recently battered the East Coast of the U.S. are now just as dangerous as hurricanes. Rising seas due to climate change across the northeast have greatly increased the flooding potential of winter superstorms, putting them on a par with hurricanes. Coastal floods, a leading indicator of a warming world, are now reportedly the biggest single threat to coastal development.
The farther north you go, the earlier spring now arrives, according to a new study published in the online journal "Nature". The change progresses from one day earlier in southern to mid latitudes to 16 days earlier in the Arctic. An accelerated spring has an impact on migratory birds who rely on springtime cues when they move northward.
The controversial herbicide dicamba has the potential to damage sensitive ecological areas, particularly habitats for butterflies, according to environmental groups. Several states complained of pesticide drift last year after dicamba was sprayed on soybeans. Although the EPA responded by increasing regulation of the pesticide last fall, the new restrictions do not protect natural areas. Butterflies only lay eggs in milkweed plants, which are less likely to flower if exposed to dicamba. There is also concern for plant species critical for migratory and other wildlife.
The new "blended beef" burger being touted by the popular chain Sonic Drive-In is being lauded by some as a healthy way to help preserve your health as well as the planet. The new burger replaces 25 percent of the beef with chopped mushrooms, a move that reportedly delivers "juicy, savory deliciousness" and possibly helps the planet. The World Resources Institute estimates that if 30 percent of the beef in every burger in America were replaced by mushrooms, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the same amount as taking 2.3 million vehicles off the road. While Sonic is not specifically claiming that eating their burgers will impact the environment, they do promise you'll get a flavorful experience with "none of the guilt".
Malibu, California has become the latest in ever-increasing list of places banning or limiting the use of plastic straws in restaurants. While plastic straws often end up on beaches and in the ocean, they comprise only a small percentage of the plastic materials contaminating the environment, prompting some to belittle the effort. Others say that banning straws is a small step in the right direction.
The Trump administration has made clear its goal to eliminate federal regulations seen as burdensome to the fossil fuel industry.Some have been overturned, some are in the process of being rolled back, and some are in limbo. Click on the above link to review over 60 rules that the administration has sought to overturn.
Roman Hills