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Greenpeace included with neo-Nazis on UK counter-terror list

The UK government is equating Greenpeace and other environmental groups with the Nazis.

Vikram Dodd and Jamie Grierson, The Guardian »

A counter-terrorism police document distributed to medical staff and teachers as part of anti-extremism briefings included Greenpeace, Peta and other non-violent groups as well as neo-Nazis, the Guardian has learned.

The guide, produced by Counter Terrorism Policing, is used across England as part of training for Prevent, the anti-radicalisation scheme designed to catch those at risk of committing terrorist violence.

Watch » 2019 was the second warmest year on record

According to the World Meteorological Organization, and confirmed by NASA, 2019 was the second warmest year on record Since records were first kept more than 140 years ago.

The warmest on record was 2016.

Since the 1980s each decade has been warmer than the previous. This trend is expected to continue because of record levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

More » Press Release

Video » The extinction of homo sapiens

A film by Steve Cutts

Trump wants to scale back a bedrock federal environmental law to make it easier to build oil and gas pipelines

There he goes destroying things again.

Zack Colman, Politico »

The Trump administration is proposing scaling back a bedrock federal environmental law to make it easier to build infrastructure like roads and pipelines by sidestepping concerns about climate change and imposing strict deadlines on federal agencies.

The National Environmental Policy Act requires agencies to conduct detailed environmental reviews for major projects that receive federal funding or permits and could significantly affect the environment, such as by increasing air pollution or bulldozing wildlife habitat. In a proposed rule announced by President Donald Trump today, the federal government would narrow its interpretation of the 50-year-old law, a move he said would help businesses avoid government red tape.

Shutdown of American coal power facilities saved over 26,000 lives in the US alone

Oliver Milman, The Guardian »

The shutdown of scores of coal power facilities across the US has reduced the toxic brew of pollutants suffered by nearby communities, cutting deaths from associated health problems such as heart disease and respiratory issues, the research found.

An estimated 26,610 lives were saved in the US by the shift away from coal between 2005 and 2016, according to the University of California study published in Nature Sustainability. threatens to fire workers speaking out on climate change without approval

Karina Mazhukhina, KOMO News »

Amazon employees who have publicly criticized the company’s environmental policies allege the online retail giant is trying to silence workers by threatening termination.

At least two Amazon workers have been warned of the consequences of violating the company’s external communications policy, one of which is Maren Costa, a user experience principal designer.

Oregon and Utah ask electric vehicle owners to pay extra for road use

Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica »

… the US has traditionally paid for the upkeep of its roads via direct taxation of gasoline and diesel fuel, which means that as our fleet becomes more fuel-efficient, that revenue will drop in relation to the total number of vehicle miles traveled each year.

As a result, some states are starting to grapple with the problem of how to get drivers to pay for the roads they use in cars that use less or even no gas per mile. At the start of this year, Utah has begun a pilot Road Usage Charge program, coupled to an increase in registration fees for alternative fuel vehicles. Assuming a state gas tax of 30c/gallon and 15,542 miles/year driven, Utah says it collects $777 a year from a 6mpg heavy truck, $311 from a pickup getting 15mpg, $187 from a 25mpg sedan, $93 from a 50mpg hybrid, and nothing from anyone driving a battery EV.

So in 2020, Utah is increasing vehicle registration fees. In 2019, registering a BEV in Utah would cost $60; in 2020 that will be $90, increasing to $120 in 2021. PHEV fees were $26 in 2019, increasing to $39 this year and $52 in 2021, and not-plug-in hybrid fees have gone from $10 to $15, increasing to $20 next year. An extra $30 a year—or even $60 a year—is pretty small in the grand scheme of things, particularly considering how much cheaper an EV is to run.


Oregon is another state that has been working on solving this problem for a while now—this Ars forum thread about the topic is exactly 11 years old today, in fact. In 2020, Oregon is increasing its state gas tax by 2c/gallon, and like Utah, it’s also increasing vehicle registration fees. Now, fees for registering your car in Oregon will depend on how many miles per gallon your car gets; a two-year registration for something that gets below 19mpg will cost $122, rising to $132 for a vehicle between 20–39mpg, then $152 for a vehicle that gets 40mpg or better, and $306 for a BEV.

More » Daily Herald

Climate change will impact people’s health

Climate change will result in an increase in waterborne diseases, skin cancer, lung diseases, and temperature-related deaths.

Shauna Bowers, Irish Times »

Dr Kelly said the consequences of climate change, such as flooding, extreme temperatures and wildfires, will pose a number of challenges to public welfare.

“With flooding, for example, you can have drowning, and the mental health impacts of being displaced. It’s also likely that we will see more water-borne diseases such as enterotoxigenic e coli, which breaks down blood cells and can damage kidneys,” she said.

“Then there’s UV radiation. UV causes a very large number of skin cancer cases every year and if the weather gets warmer, people are more likely to expose themselves to the sun and the UV index might be higher during warmer weather and so on.”

With rising temperatures there will also be more wildfires, Dr Kelly said, which will increase air pollution.

Trump administration shuts down pollution-tracking database

Trump and his administration are not friends of the Earth or of Americans. Pollution kills 30,000 Americans each year.

John Bowden, The Hill »

TOXMAP, an interactive map hosted by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and accessible to the public, allowed users to track pollution-producing factories and other environmental concerns such as superfund cleanup sites.

However, on Dec. 16, all links to the application on the NLM’s website were deprecated, following an announcement from the agency in September notifying users that the site would be “retired.”

Man successfully cooks a pork roast in his Datsun during an Australian heatwave

Reuters »

A man has successfully cooked a pork roast in a car on a scorching hot day in Australia.

Stu Pengelly placed the slab of pork in a baking tin on the car seat of his red Datsun Sunny in Perth, Western Australia, for around 10 hours.


Pengelly also gave the temperature as it increased throughout the day, culminating in a “staggering 81 degrees Celsius inside temperature” (177.8 degrees Fahrenheit) at 1 p.m.

Read the whole story on Reuters »

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