In 'remarkable shift,' 4 out of 5 Texans say climate change is real. Now what?
During his time representing Fort Worth in the Texas House, Lon Burnam recalls a member of the governor's staff issuing a stern warning: Keep the words "climate change" in a piece of legislation, and the bill will be "dead on arrival." A lot has changed since Burnam, a Democrat, left office in 2015 and became the chair of the Tarrant Coalition on Environmental Awareness. In a "remarkable shift from the past," a University of Houston study published in December found that 81% of Texans agree that climate change is happening. That result, from a survey of 500 Texans conducted in October, now mat...
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Why the new COVID-19 mutations may not spread as fast as you fear
As if 2020 needed any more alarming headlines, each day brings news about the new “mutant” strain of the coronavirus identified in Great Britain, where health officials have proclaimed that it spreads far more readily than the microbe that has been crisscrossing the globe for months. Well, maybe. Scientists who study the biology of viruses say that so far, there is no proof that this new strain is more transmissible, only what amounts to circumstantial evidence. Human behavior and random chance also could explain the sudden emergence of the strain which, given that it was identified in a Color...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Landmark climate policy faces growing claims of environmental racism
When California passed its landmark cap-and-trade law in 2006, supporters were hopeful that the program would provide the template for other states — and eventually the federal government — to solve the climate crisis. Now, many environmental groups are increasingly saying the program has done little to curb climate change. Worse, they say, it is harming the lower-income areas and communities of color most affected by pollution. Those environmental justice concerns stopped President-elect Joe Biden from picking Mary Nichols, who leads the California Air Resources Board — the agency that overse...
Q&A: Distribution? Effectiveness? Safety?Coronavirus vaccine questions answered
CHICAGO — When someone gets a vaccine, how long will it take to become effective? What happens when groups of people are approved to be vaccinated? Are experts concerned about long-term safety? These are some of the many questions readers sent us that we’ve put to health and science experts. Q. How long does it take before the vaccine is effective in the body? A. The vaccine starts to work right away within the body, said University of Chicago Medicine infectious diseases expert Dr. Emily Landon. In a Chicago Tribune Facebook Live, Landon explained how it signals our immune system: “We create ...
Alligators can regrow their tails, study finds
Alligators can regrow their tails, according to a new study.Researchers have discovered that the reptiles, which date back to dinosaur days and can grow 14 feet long or more, can regenerate themselves — not unlike geckos, or the tuatara of New Zealand.The team from Arizona State University and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries discovered that young alligators have the ability to regrow their tails up to three-quarters of a foot, or 18% of their total body length, according to a study published this week in Scientific Reports.The interdisciplinary team used advanced imaging tec...
New York Daily News
What the science says about coronavirus, cold weather, and steps you can take to stay safe
As the weather cools, COVID-19 is only surging hotter across the country. With safer, outdoor gatherings less viable, people inevitably flock for warmth and shelter — and its more conducive environment for viral transmission.But there is new evidence of another factor driving the surge: This new coronavirus also thrives in colder conditions, as well as at extreme relative humidities. That can further guide public health measures, as well as your own personal actions through what has been billed as a long, dark winter.“Bottom line, this virus is well adapted to multiple environmental stressors,...
The Mercury News
Landmark book from 1995 by pioneering Minnesota conservationist gets update
MINNEAPOLIS — The voice of a Minnesotan who knew as much as anyone about the state’s ecology and spent a lifetime researching it and telling its story will echo again later next month.John Tester died last November, two days shy of his 90th birthday. Most of those years filtered through the lens of the state’s outdoors. As a boy in a hunting family in Gibbon, Minn. As a wildlife scientist on the front edge, for example, of wildlife radio telemetry still used to this day. As a University of Minnesota professor trying to teach what was known about the state’s environment and how the pieces conne...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Federal judge knocks down 2 permits needed for proposed $2 billion Kalama methanol plant
SEATTLE — A U.S. District Court judge in Tacoma struck down Army Corps of Engineers permits for a proposed $2 billion methanol plant in Kalama, Cowlitz County, because they were not the result of a full review of greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts, according to a ruling released Monday.The loss of the two federal permits is the latest in a series of setbacks for the project first proposed in 2014 by NW Innovation Works to convert natural gas to methanol for shipment to China. The project also has so far failed to gain approval by the state Ecology Department.The permits —...
The Seattle Times
New details in notorious 1990 'killer clown' case show why prosecutors are so sure who was under the wig
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — After South Florida’s killer clown slipped away three decades ago, witnesses told investigators the culprit wearing white makeup and an orange wig looked like a man.But finally it’s been revealed that evidence found in the getaway car — a strand of burgundy head hair with the root attached — is why authorities in 2017 unmasked the clown as a woman: Sheila Keen Warren.In court documents filed this month, Palm Beach County prosecutors gave new insights into how they intend to use DNA evidence and other findings to win a conviction in the 1990 murder of Marlene Warren.It’s...
Bezos Earth Fund gives nearly $800 million to climate groups in first round of grants
SEATTLE — In its first round of grants, the $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund will award $791 million to 16 environmental organizations largely focused on researching and implementing ways to reduce carbon emissions, build green jobs and restore wildlife.The funding round announced Monday was remarkably large for an organization that does not have a website and has not published a list of staff, named a director or released instructions on how to apply for grants.Five big-name environmental nonprofits — the Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, World Res...
The Seattle Times