Small but meaningful progress towards a federal Right to Repair rule

The Right to Repair movement has introduced dozens of state-level laws that would force companies to support independent repairs by making manuals, parts and diagnostic codes available, and by ending the illegal practice of voiding warranties for customers who use independent repair services, but these bills keep getting killed by overwhelming shows of lobbying force from members of the highly concentrated manufacturing sector, particularly Apple, whose CEO, Tim Cook, warned investors in January that the number one threat to Iphone sales is that customers are choosing to repair, rather than replace, their mobile devices. Read the rest

You can't recycle your way out of climate change

Mary Annaise Heglar of the Natural Resources Defense Council is tired of her friends confessing their environmental sins to her, like using disposable containers; as she points out, climate change is a systemic problem, not an individual one, and the Ayn-Rand-ish framing of all problems as having individual causes with individual solutions is sheer victim blaming. Read the rest

To reduce plastic packaging, ship products in solid form

There's no one way to solve the plastic waste problem, but in the packaged goods sector, an enormous amount of plastic is used in order to surround and protect simple solutions of some agent dissolved in water, from toothpaste to window cleaner to shampoo. Read the rest

Chinese environment ministry finds widespread pollution coverups and corruption at the local government level

The Chinese central environment minister has released a report detailing thousands of instances of corruption and coverups from local governments in ten provinces last year: the report details instances of fabricated meetings, imaginary progress on remediating toxic waste spills, and falsified claims that polluting factories had been shut down. Read the rest

Study attributes mysterious rise in CFC emissions to eastern Chinese manufacturing

A new study reported in Nature (Sci-Hub mirror) tracks down the origins of the mysterious rise in CFC-11, a banned ozone-depleting greenhouse gas whose rise was first reported a year ago, and blames the increase on manufacturing in eastern China. Read the rest

Global sea levels could rise 6 feet by year 2100, twice as high as previous estimates

A new study on polar ice sheet melt warns that global sea levels could rise by almost six feet by the year 2100, an estimate twice as high as previously predicted. Read the rest

Under Trump, EPA kills funding for kids' health research centers

“The Trump administration is ending funding for a network of research centers focused on environmental threats to kids, imperiling several long-running studies of pollutants' effects on child development,” report @CorbinHiar & @ArielWittenberg for @EENewsUpdates. Read the rest

Plastic bag and other human trash found at the bottom of Earth's deepest ocean trench

During the deepest human sea dive ever, 35,853 feet/10,928 meters down to the bottom of the western Pacific's Mariana Trench in a one-person submarine, underwater adventurer Victor Vescovo found what may be newly discovered species of marine life along with candy wrappers and a plastic bag. This is the third plastic bag that divers have found in the Mariana Trench, considered the deepest natural trench on Earth. From National Geographic:

A study released in October 2018 documented what is still the deepest known piece of plastic—a flimsy shopping bag—found at a depth of 36,000 feet inside the Mariana Trench....

Single-use plastics are virtually everywhere, and they may take hundreds of years or more to break down once in the wild. The Mariana Trench has higher levels of overall pollution in certain regions than some of the most polluted rivers in China, according to a study in February 2017. The study's authors theorized that the chemical pollutants in the trench may have come in part from the breakdown of plastic in the water column.

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Organic cotton shopping bags have to be used 20,000 times before they're better for the Earth than plastic disposables

In February 2018, Denmark's Ministry of Environment and Food published its Life Cycle Assessment of grocery carrier bags, which looked at the overall embodied energy, materials and labor in different grocery bags, and also evaluated the environmental impacts of different kinds of plastic bags. Read the rest

Mystery solved: why has a beach in France been blighted by washed-up parts for toy Garfield phones for more than 30 years?

For more than thirty years, the beaches of France's Iroise Marine Nature Park have been blighted by a seemingly endless stream of a highly specific form of washed-up plastic waste: part of a toy Garfield telephone -- more than 200 pieces in all.

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Zinke fingered in Bears Ears corruption probe over uranium mining interests

An energy firm linked to uranium mining interests around Bears Ears National Monument in Utah met with a senior Department of Interior official just one month President Donald Trump issued a surprise request to review the monument's boundaries. When the review concluded, Trump shrank the monument by 85%. Some 100 uranium claims that were previously *inside* the monument's protected boundary were suddenly on the outside. Read the rest

Former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler is new EPA administrator

The GOP-led U.S. Senate today confirmed ex-coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to run Environmental Protection Agency, in a 52-47 vote mostly along party lines. Read the rest

#JoinJuliana: Kids suing U.S. government over climate change need your help

'They said we could never win. And then we started winning.' — Young people around the U.S. are taking legal action in the fight against climate change. #JoinJuliana

India's e-waste recycling "markets" are toxic nightmares filled with child laborers

Millions of tons of e-waste -- much of it from rich countries like Australia -- are recycled in India, in "markets" with terrible, dangerous working conditions and equally awful environmental controls. Read the rest

NOAA says 2018 was 4th warmest year on record, in an undeniable global warming trend

2018 was the fourth warmest year ever recorded on planet Earth, NOAA reported today. Read the rest

Trump picks former oil lobbyist David Bernhardt to run U.S. Interior Department

They're just gonna drill everything they can while Trump's in power, aren't they. Read the rest

No Deal Brexit will lead to "putrefying stockpiles of rubbish" and "slurry"

If the UK does not secure a Brexit deal, it will lose its export license for "millions of tonnes of waste," meaning that the British Isles will have to find somewhere to stockpile all that waste, with concomitant "odours" and "runoff of leachates, causing secondary pollution." Read the rest

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