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Tuesday, May 21st

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Plastics Aren’t Just Polluting — They’re Making Climate Change Worse

Plastics adding to climate changeBy now, the headlines about dead whales washing ashore with pounds of plastic in their belly are commonplace. Photos of bird carcasses bursting with bottle caps and other plastic detritus are seared into our memory. But plastic’s effects on nature doesn’t stop there ― it’s also making climate change worse.

A new report published this week by the Center for International Environmental Law details the greenhouse gas emissions from each step in the lifecycle of plastics: from fossil fuel extraction, transport and refining to the production of consumer goods, the managing of plastic waste, and the proliferation of trash in the oceans. The study authors warn that, if demand for plastics continues to rise, the material’s contribution to climate change will grow significantly.

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Trump buildings face millions in climate fines under new New York rules

Trump buildings will face huge fines for environmental violations

Donald Trump’s reluctance to address climate change is set to cost his business empire millions of dollars in fines levied by New York City due to the amount of pollution emitted by Trump-owned buildings.

According to data shared with the Guardian, eight Trump properties in New York City do not comply with new regulations designed to slash greenhouse gas emissions. This means the Trump Organization is on track to be hit with fines of $2.1m every year from 2030, unless its buildings are made more environmentally friendly.

According to city officials, the president’s eight largest New York properties pump out around 27,000 tons of planet-warming gases every ear, the equivalent of 5,800 cars. The buildings that exceed the new pollution thresholds include Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, and the Trump Building on Wall Street.

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187 countries sign plastic waste agreement; US does not

Plastic waste treaty signed by 187 countriesNearly every country in the world agreed to a new provision in a treaty that would aim to limiting plastic waste pollution, but the U.S. was not among them, as it has not ratified a treaty to which the provision was added.

The governments of 187 countries agreed to add plastic to the United Nations-supported Basel Convention, which regulates the transfer of certain materials between borders, CNN reported Saturday.

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‘Boy, We Are in Trouble’: The Most Terrifying Bits in ‘Unprecedented’ UN Extinction Report

Extinction Report shows mass extinctions

Nature is in the worst shape in all of human history and we’re the ones responsible for it.

“Boy, we are in trouble,” said Sir Robert Watson, chairman of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, as he described an “ominous” global picture in which “the health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever.”

He was introducing a landmark 1,500-page United Nations report in Paris on Monday. The assessment states that 1 million of the 8 million known plant and animal species on Earth are now at risk of extinction—many within decades, a rate “unprecedented in human history.”

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Historic Mississippi River flooding could extend into June, experts warn

Mississippi floodingFlooding along the Mississippi river could persist through the end of the month and even into June as relentless rains continue to saturate the Midwest, forecasters say.

“We have points in Iowa and Illinois that have been in flood stage for over 30 days, which hasn’t occurred since we started keeping records — and some of them go back 150 years,” said Patrick Burke a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

At least four people have died in the flooding, which has closed hundreds of roads, stopped vessel traffic along parts of the Mississippi River and inundated multiple towns, including major flooding in Davenport, Iowa, and Rock Island, Illinois.

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Trump erases offshore drilling rules enacted after BP oil spill

Deepwater Horizon spillThe Trump administration on Thursday dismantled safety rules for offshore drilling put in place by the Obama administration after the disastrous BP oil spill fouled the Gulf of Mexico nearly a decade ago.

The rollbacks are a major victory for the oil and gas industry that has criticized the Obama rules as too onerous and costly to comply with, but which supporters say have helped prevent a repeat of the accident that killed 11 workers and spewed more than 200 million gallons of oil in 2010.

“Incorporating the best available science, best practices and technological innovations of the past decade, the rule eliminates unnecessary regulatory burdens while maintaining safety and environmental protection offshore," Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement.

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Trump Administration Tried to Remove All Mention of Climate Change From Arctic Policy Statement: WaPo

Trump tried to remove climate change from Arctic policyThe Trump administration pushed to remove all references to climate change in an international statement on Arctic policy, despite the fact that the Arctic is warming at about twice the rate of the rest of the world, The Washington Post reports Thursday.

Initially, the Post reports, Trump tried to stonewall the negotiations on the non-binding declaration by pledging not to sign a document that mentioned climate change.

TVNL Comment: This is an outrage.  How any sane person still supports this madman is beyond belief.

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