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Environmental Updates
Paul Daniel Smith, the newly appointed acting director of the National Park Service (NPS), came under fire 12 years ago for allegedly pressuring park staff to allow the owner of the Washington Redskins to cut down trees on his property so the owner could have a better view of the Potomac River. Redskins owner Dan Snyder ultimately cut down 130 trees on federally protected property, circumventing policies put in place by the NPS . Smith defended his actions, stating that it stemmed from a legitimate request from a landowner who had a legitimate issue with the NPS.
2017 marked the hottest year on record for the world's oceans, according to a study conducted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The Atlantic and Antarctic oceans warmed the most, reportedly because of a "long term warming trend due to human activities". Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are reportedly driving the warming temperatures. The study focused on the effects that ocean warming has on coral bleaching and melting sea ice.
New tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines imposed by the Trump administration has some industry people worried about the possible loss of U.S. jobs and rising prices. The growing solar industry anticipates fewer consumers may want to install solar in their homes due to rising costs. And a trade expert is warning consumers who need a washing machine to do it right away before prices go up. Not everyone is unhappy, though. Whirlpool said the action will result in more manufacturing jobs and called the tariffs "a victory for American workers and consumers alike".
The farmed honey bee, lauded by environmentalists as a symbol of conservation, is really not the bee we should worry about, say scientists. Honey bees can compete with wild bees for food, making it harder for their wild counterparts to survive. There are thousands of wild bee species that pollinate flowering plants and play an important role in the environment. Experts say the wild bees are in peril and that exalting the status of farmed bees by promoting their honey and their protection is detrimental to the plight of the wild bees.
McDonalds has announced that it wants to have 100 percent of its packaging come from recycled, renewable, or certified sources by the year 2025. The company also wants to have recycling available in all of its its stores by that time. Currently, only 50 percent of McDonalds packaging comes from sustainable sources and only 10 percent of their restaurants are recycling.
Galeophobia aka, a fear of sharks, is not uncommon, but shouldn't keep you awake at night. Several factors, including frightening movies ("Jaws"), fear of losing control in the face of a powerful predator, and the mere size and appearance of large sharks such as Great Whites inspire terror in many. However, experts point out that you're more likely to die from a cow falling on you in a field or by being crushed to death by a falling vending machine in your office than in the jaws of a shark. For more shark facts, click on the above link.
Roman Hills