Policy changes helping avoid food waste

CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK Italy, known for its amazing food, is facing a related problem — food waste. According to government estimates, the country currently wastes about five million tons of food every year. To combat the issue, the Italian government recently passed a new law aimed at making it easier for both retailers and consumers to prevent food waste. The law …

Zillow says be ready for climate change to gobble 1.9 million houses in hundreds of cities, with homeowner losses of nearly a trillion dollars by 2100

Sea level rise may put nearly a trillion dollars of U.S. coastal homes underwater by the end of the century, a new real estate study has found. Storm surges and higher tidal flows caused by climate change could gobble almost 1.9 million houses in hundreds of cities, according to a report by the real estate company Zillow. In total, homeowners …

Phoenix tries to tackle urban heat with trees, for increased shade. Lake Tahoe and other western lakes face impacts.

In Phoenix, an ambitious plan aims to cover 25% of the metropolis with tree shade, Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2016. With a new emphasis on downtown development and walkable neighborhoods, as well as on increasing climate-change-driven concerns about heat on human health, the city is planning to double its tree canopy. Warming at alarming rate, Lake Tahoe reflects rapid …

National Park Service Director calls climate change “fundamentally the greatest threat to the integrity of our national parks that we have ever experienced.”

From RMCO newsletter – Aug 2016 With the coming 100th anniversary on August 25 of the legislation defining the national park system and creating the National Park Service, the media are drawing new attention to how climate change is now widely recognized as the greatest threat ever to our national parks. We at the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization were the …

Every additional μg/m3 of lead in air increased assault rates 21 years later (163 per 100K) — accounting for 29.8 % of the variance in assault rates 21 years later (compared to 5% for proportion of youth or finishing high school)

For every additional μg/m3 of lead in air, assault rates 21 years later increased by 163 per 100,000 population (see Table 3). Lead in air was the strongest predictor in the model, accounting for 29.8 % of the variance in assault rates 21 years later. By comparison, the proportion of the population aged 15–24 accounted for 5.4 % of the variance, and the proportion of …

Link between air pollution and anti-social behavior – raises crime rates 6-8% in spring and summer in Chicago study

The University of Chicago’s Crime Lab has been evaluating risk factors associated with crime include gender, age, race, economic status, exposure to violence, and community instability — now extending to a  recent study on how environmental factors may also affect crime. The study found a significant relationship between air pollution and criminal behavior. The researchers were able to attribute $1.8 million annually in extra crime-related …

Steps to creating a Net Zero Energy (NZE) district

Cross-posted from RMI – 3 Aug 2016   Net zero energy (NZE) buildings—those that are responsible for the production of as much (or more) clean energy as they use annually—have been gaining momentum around the world. And now, there are even net zero energy districts being contemplated, like Fort Collins’s Fort ZED, Arizona State University, and UC Davis’s West Village. …