Pollution and Waste

Biodegradable plastic 'false solution' for ocean waste problem

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http://www.theguardian.com - Adam Vaughan
Plastic litter washed up on Pembrey beach, Carmarthenshire, Wales, UK. A UNEP report says plastic litter is spreading from Arctic to the Antarctic. Photograph: Paul Quayle/Alamy
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UN’s top environmental scientist warns bottles and bags do not break down easily and sink, as report highlights the ubiquity of plastic debris in oceans.

Biodegradable plastic water bottles and shopping bags are a false solution to the ubiquitous problem of litter in the oceans, the UN’s top environmental scientist has warned.  Most plastic is extremely durable, leading to large plastic debris and “microplastics” to spread via currents to oceans from the Arctic to the Antarctic, a UN report published on Monday found.
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Geodesign Session 4 Water Sustainable Practices SD and No Baja

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Geni Geodesgin

There are several different directions that our planet can take to address the ever growing need for water and energy. This will involve integrating technologies of a large and small scale into our grid and into our homes as well. There are two main technologies in which to address large scale water sustainability: desalination and ‘pure water’ recycling. As the California dries out, it is increasingly important to adopt proven strategies to maintain the current standard of living. ... Read more about Geodesign Session 4 Water Sustainable Practices SD and No Baja

How the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves manages 700 partners

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Andrea Useem
Rahda Muthiah, left, talks with a woman using an improved cookstove in Gujarat, India. Photo: Romana Manpreet, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.
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In the partnerships-for-development arena, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is one of the largest and most complex. It launched with fewer than 20 partners and now has 700 around the world. Devex Impact asked the Alliance’s executive director, Radha Muthiah, how the small secretariat manages such a complex alliance and what other “mega partnerships” can learn from the alliance’s experience.

Tell us about how the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves came to life? ... Read more about How the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves manages 700 partners

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China: The electronic wastebasket of the world

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Ivan Watson
Where your used electronics go in China
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Did you ever wonder what happens to your old laptop or cellphone when you throw it away?

Chances are some of your old electronic junk will end up in China.

According to a recent United Nations report, "China now appears to be the largest e-waste dumping site in the world."

E-waste, or electronic waste, consists of everything from scrapped TVs, refrigerators and air conditioners to that old desktop computer that may be collecting dust in your closet. ... Read more about China: The electronic wastebasket of the world

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Asian Cities’ Air Quality Getting Worse, Experts Warn

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Bettina Wassener
New Delhi is enveloped by a blanket of smog, caused by a mixture of pollution and fog. Credit Altaf Qadri/Associated Press
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HONG KONG — Air pollution has worsened markedly in Asian cities in recent years and presents a growing threat to human health, according to experts at a conference that began on Wednesday. ... Read more about Asian Cities’ Air Quality Getting Worse, Experts Warn

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China and Australia top list of 'carbon bomb' projects

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Oliver Milman
guardian.co.uk
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China and Australia top a global list of planned oil, gas and coal projects that will act as "carbon bombs" and push the planet towards catastrophic climate change, a Greenpeace report warned on Tuesday. ... Read more about China and Australia top list of 'carbon bomb' projects

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Air pollution scourge underestimated, green energy can help: U.N.

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Alister Doyle
Artist Matt Hope adjusts the helmet linked to his air filtration bike in front of the China Central Television (CCTV) building on a hazy day in Beijing, March 26, 2013. Photo: Petar Kujundzic
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Air pollution is an underestimated scourge that kills far more people than AIDS and malaria and a shift to cleaner energy could easily halve the toll by 2030, U.N. officials said on Tuesday.

Investments in solar, wind or hydropower would benefit both human health and a drive by almost 200 nations to slow climate change, blamed mainly on a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from use of fossil fuels, they said. ... Read more about Air pollution scourge underestimated, green energy can help: U.N.

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Environmental threats could push billions into extreme poverty, warns UN

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Claire Provost
A Filipino boy washes his face in murky waters in Manila. Inaction on the environment will accelerate global poverty, warns the UN. Photograph: Francis R Malasig/EPA
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The number of people living in extreme poverty could increase by up to 3 billion by 2050 unless urgent action is taken to tackle environmental challenges, a major UN report warned on Thursday.

The 2013 Human Development Report hails better than expected progress on health, wealth and education in dozens of developing countries but says inaction on climate change, deforestation, and air and water pollution could end gains in the world's poorest countries and communities. ... Read more about Environmental threats could push billions into extreme poverty, warns UN

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China burns half of coal consumption worldwide, figures show

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Adam Vaughan
China consumes nearly as much coal as the rest of the world combined Photograph: US Energy Information Administration U.S. Energy Information Administration
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China now burns nearly as much coal as the rest of the world combined.

The country's appetite for the carbon-intensive fuel rose by 9% in 2011, to 3.8bn tonnes, meaning it now accounts for 47% of worldwide coal consumption. ... Read more about China burns half of coal consumption worldwide, figures show

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Michael Russell

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Michael Russell

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