‘Recyclable’ is a word, not a promise — most plastic goes to landfills | SFChronicle.com


No. These announcements may sound great, but they look painfully naive in the face of the growing storm that is the global plastic recycling market. At the same time that the news is filled with these flashy industry recycling pledges, we are getting an increasingly frantic story from across the country and the world that our plastic simply isn’t getting recycled.

A 2017 study found that of all the plastic ever created, only a paltry 9 percent has been recycled, and the rest is clogging our streets, waterways, and has even made its way into our food systems. Beyond the fish on our plate, tiny pieces of plastic have been found in sea salt, honey, and even beer. Not to mention 94 percent of the United States’ drinking water.

Source: ‘Recyclable’ is a word, not a promise — most plastic goes to landfills – SFChronicle.com

This City Lost 1 Million Pounds–Now It’s Redesigning Itself To Keep Them Off


This City Is Going On A Diet.”

The success came because of a massive public awareness campaign that educated and encouraged citizens to eat fewer fried foods and more fresh produce, and more importantly, a collective goal that spurred competition among local employers and businesses.

But it turns out hitting the weight loss goal was only the beginning. It won’t do much good if the city just goes back to its old ways. To keep off the pounds, Oklahoma City’s four-term Republican mayor, Mick Cornett, believes permanent, longer-term changes are needed, which is why Oklahoma City’s streets, sidewalks, and parks are now in the process of getting a makeover.

Source: This City Lost 1 Million Pounds–Now It’s Redesigning Itself To Keep Th

Trump Admin Reverses Ban on ‘Bee-Killing’ Pesticides in National Wildlife Refuges


The Trump administration has lifted an Obama-era ban on the use of genetically modified crops and pesticides linked to bee decline in certain national wildlife refuges where farming is allowed, Reuters reported Saturday.

In a memo signed Aug. 2, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Principal Deputy Director Gregory J. Sheehan said the move was necessary to provide adequate food for waterfowl.

Source: Trump Admin Reverses Ban on ‘Bee-Killing’ Pesticides in National Wildlife Refuges

Why SETI Relies On Us Accepting Our Mediocrity


One summer’s day in 1950, the great Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi was having lunch with the physicists Edward Teller, Emil Konopinski, and Herbert York at Los Alamos when the conversation turned to a flood of recent UFO sightings all over the United States.

The lunchtime chat stayed on the topic of ET. While they obviously didn’t take seriously the reports of flying saucers, Fermi and his companions began to earnestly discuss things like interstellar—and even superluminal—travel.

Then, after some delay—and, one might imagine, in the midst of some tasty dish—Fermi allegedly asked his famous question. Where, indeed, is everybody? Where are the extraterrestrials?

Source: Why SETI Relies On Us Accepting Our Mediocrity

Reducing food insecurity among households with children is still a challenge for the United States


Households across the United States continue to have difficulty in providing enough food for all their members at a given time during the year, due to a lack of resources.

In 2016, 12.3 percent of households were food insecure. In households with children, 16.5 percent did not have consistent access to adequate food.

Source: Reducing food insecurity among households with children is still a challenge for the United States

Endangered Species Act Has Economic Benefits — And Costs | Time


Economists often describe this broad set of benefits as “ecosystem services,” and their value to the U.S. economy is enormous. Think of bees that pollinate more than 90 commercial crops in the U.S. like fruits, nuts and vegetables or birds that eat mosquitoes that would otherwise spread disease to humans.

A 2011 study prepared for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a government-affiliated conservation group, tabulated the total value of ecosystem services at about $1.6 trillion annually in the U.S. The value totaled more than $32 billion in National Wildlife Refuges protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Source: Endangered Species Act Has Economic Benefits — And Costs | Time

Intern History: How Internships Replaced Entry-Level Jobs | Time


So how did internships become essentially the new entry-level job?

The answer varies by industry, but the idea of something similar to an internship — a training position set apart from regular employment — has a very long history.

The most obvious and frequently cited parallel is the apprenticeship, an idea that dates back to the Middle Ages.

Young people would learn a craft from an expert and earn access to a guild, which would often supervise these apprenticeships. The analogy isn’t perfect: many apprenticeships provided food, boarding and clothing, whereas today’s interns are usually on their own for all of that.

Source: Intern History: How Internships Replaced Entry-Level Jobs | Time

Five meat and dairy companies emit more emissions than major oil companies, study finds | EURACTIV.com


The combined emissions of the top 20 meat and dairy companies surpass the emissions of entire nations like Germany, Canada, Australia or the United Kingdom, the report revealed.

“Unlike their counterparts in the energy sector, the big meat and dairy companies have thus far escaped public scrutiny of their contribution to climate change. The lack of public information on the magnitude of their greenhouse gas footprints is one contributing factor,” the study says.

Geographically speaking, most meat and dairy emissions come from the major meat and dairy exporting regions: the United States and Canada; the European Union; Brazil and Argentina; and Australia and New Zealand, the report says.

These regions account for 43% of total global emissions from meat and dairy production, even though they are home to only 15% of the world’s population, it adds.

Under a business-as-usual scenario, the livestock sector could eat up over 80% of the budget, making it virtually impossible to keep temperatures from rising to dangerous levels in excess of 1.5 degrees Celsius, it adds.

Source: Five meat and dairy companies emit more emissions than major oil companies, study finds – EURACTIV.com

Shocking Wave of Plastics Washes Ashore in Dominican Republic


A literal wave of mostly plastic marine debris, including beverage bottles and takeaway containers, was filmed washing ashore Montesinos Beach in the Dominican Republic capital after a storm on Thursday.

“Plastic is a design failure and there is no circular economy that can fix this,” he said. “It’s really the material itself, and we don’t believe this material can ever be contained.”

Source: Shocking Wave of Plastics Washes Ashore in Dominican Republic

How Coca-Cola and Climate Change Created a Public Health Crisis in a Mexican Town


A lack of drinking water and a surplus of Coca-Cola are causing a public health crisis in the Mexican town of San Cristóbal de las Casas, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Some neighborhoods in the town only get running water a few times a week, so residents turn to soda, drinking more than half a gallon a day on average.

“Soft drinks have always been more available than water,” Maria del Carmen Abadía, a 35-year-old security guard, told The New York Times.

Source: How Coca-Cola and Climate Change Created a Public Health Crisis in a Mexican Town