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Environmental Updates
April 22 marked the 48th celebration of Earth Day, a movement that began as a protest against industrial development that had a detrimental effect on biodiversity. Now observed annually by approximately 192 countries, this year's focus was on ending plastics pollution. Global wildlife populations have declined by 58 percent and one in five plant species face a threat of extinction since 1970.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has pledged to donate $4.5 million dollars to cover this year's U.S. commitment to the Paris climate agreement. Donald Trump pulled out of the deal last year, making the U.S. the only country in opposition. The multi-billionaire did not commit to providing funds past 2018 and said he hoped that the President would change his mind.
A complete ban on the outdoor use of insecticides known as neonicotinoids has been approved by the European Union due to what is says are confirmed risks to both wild and honeybees. Exposure to the substance causes a devastating attack on the bee's nervous system and has been blamed for a substantial decline in the bee population. Bayer CropScience, the biggest seller of neonicotinoids, called the ban "a sad day for farmers and a bad deal for Europe."
An earthquake in South Korea has been linked to nearby hydraulic fracking, say researchers who looked at geological and geophysical data. The quake, which occurred in November of 2017, injured close to 100 people. More recent earthquakes in Oklahoma have also been connected to the process. Previous studies have found that fracking can cause seismic activity and have raised questions about long-term risks.
Most supermarkets aren't doing a very good job minimizing food waste, according to two groups who recently rated major grocery chains. Walmart ranked the highest, getting a B rating. Kroger, Albertsons and the parent company that owns Food Lion and Stop and Shop got C's. D's went to Costco, Publix, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and Target. Aldi came in at the bottom with an F rating. Click on the above link to learn how the stores were rated.
Planting trees in an urban setting can be challenging and warrants careful selection of specimens that can thrive under the stress of city conditions. Pest resistance, the ability of root systems to exist in a small area, non-invasiveness, and whether to plant native or non-native trees are all important considerations. An expert from Cornell's Urban Horticulture Institute explains the details via the above link.
Roman Hills