<![CDATA[GEOLOGY WITH JEFF SIMPSON - GEONEWS]]>Fri, 30 Oct 2020 02:49:28 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Trump Admin Strips Protections for Alaska's Tongass National Forest]]>Wed, 28 Oct 2020 16:53:16 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/trump-admin-strips-protections-for-alaskas-tongass-national-forest
The Trump administration on Wednesday eliminated federal protections for and opened Alaska's Tongass National Forest, the largest old-growth forest in the United States, to logging and other business operations. The Tongass National Forest in Alaska is one of the world's largest intact temperate rainforests and traps more carbon emissions than any other forest in the United States. File Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service - UPI


]]>
<![CDATA[Coal Magnate Robert Murray Fought Mine Safety Regulations, Dead at 80]]>Wed, 28 Oct 2020 16:45:14 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/coal-magnate-robert-murray-fought-mine-safety-regulations-dead-at-80
Robert Murray, the board chairman of the largest privately owned U.S. coal operator, who long fought federal regulations to reduce black lung disease, died at his home in Ohio less than a week after announcing his retirement.  No official cause of death was given. Public reports recently stated Murray had applied for black lung benefits with the U.S. Department of Labor. The application said Murray was heavily dependent on oxygen. - CBS News
]]>
<![CDATA[All of South Australia's Power from Solar Panels in World First for Major Jurisdiction]]>Mon, 26 Oct 2020 20:10:37 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/all-of-south-australias-power-from-solar-panels-in-world-first-for-major-jurisdiction
The state once known for not having enough power has become the first major jurisdiction in the world to be powered entirely by solar energy.  For just over an hour on Sunday, October 11, 100 per cent of energy demand was met by solar panels alone.  "Never before has a jurisdiction the size of South Australia been completely run by solar power, with consumers' rooftop solar systems contributing 77 per cent."  Large-scale solar farms, like the ones operating at Tailem Bend and Port Augusta, provided the other 23 per cent.  Any excess power generated by gas and wind farms on that day was stored in batteries or exported to Victoria via the inter-connector. - ABC.net


]]>
<![CDATA[Will the Extraction Industry’s Economic Turmoil Blight Colorado?]]>Thu, 22 Oct 2020 18:47:16 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/will-the-extraction-industrys-economic-turmoil-blight-colorado
Mark Schell’s family has farmed in Colorado since 1906 and even though he works as a certified public accountant, he hasn't left that way of life behind.  About a year ago, Schell bought a 310-acre farm in Mead, Colorado, that he leases to someone else to raise crops. But he was spending more and more time there, trying to get Occidental Petroleum to clean up, or “plug,” old wells the company inherited when it bought Anadarko Petroleum in 2019.  “(Occidental) started plugging these in April and then they told me they weren’t going to plug the rest of them...because they don’t have the money,” Schell said. - HCN


An aerial view shows gas wells encroaching on the Roan Plateau near the town of Battlement Mesa, Colorado.
]]>
<![CDATA[EPA Scientists Said U.S. Should Air Pollution Limit. The Agency’s Head Said No]]>Wed, 21 Oct 2020 23:06:56 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/epa-scientists-said-us-should-air-pollution-limit-the-agencys-head-said-no
Andrew Wheeler, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), today proposed leaving national soot standards unchanged at least through the middle of the next decade as he questioned the reliability of scientific research suggesting that tighter limits are needed to save lives.  “There’s still a lot of uncertainty” surrounding that research, Wheeler told reporters on a conference call announcing his decision to leave the 2012 standards on fine particulate matter in place. Wheeler said he considered “the latest scientific evidence and analysis,” as well the recommendations of an EPA advisory panel that favored the status quo despite the conclusions of agency career staff. “We believe that the current standard is protective of public health,” Wheeler said. - AAAS  
]]>
<![CDATA[Astronomers Report That Venus' Atmosphere Contains a Building Block of Protein]]>Tue, 20 Oct 2020 22:29:11 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/astronomers-report-that-venus-atmosphere-contains-a-building-block-of-protein
A team of researchers claims they've discovered the amino acid glycine in Venus' atmosphere.  (The paper hasn't been peer-reviewed and published in a journal… yet.  Caution.)  There are ~500 known amino acids, but only 20 are present in the genetic code. Glycine is the simplest. Glycine and other amino acids are some of the building blocks of life, of proteins. They were also some of the first organic molecules to appear on Earth. Glycine is important for the development of proteins and other biological compounds. - Science Alert


]]>
<![CDATA[Dutch Inventor Cleans World's Most Polluted Rivers in Effort to Save Oceans]]>Tue, 20 Oct 2020 00:54:32 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/dutch-inventor-cleans-worlds-most-polluted-rivers-in-effort-to-save-oceans
Just 10 rivers are responsible for around 90% of all the ocean's plastic, according to a 2017 study.  "...If we focus on the worst rivers, we believe we can really have the fastest and most cost-effective way to close the tap and prevent more plastic from reaching the oceans in the first place."  Ocean Cleanup is deploying floating trash collectors or "Interceptors." These solar-powered, autonomous systems use the rivers' currents to guide the trash onto a conveyor belts that carry the waste to awaiting bins. - CNN
]]>
<![CDATA[Exxon, Oil Rivals Shield Their Carbon Forecasts From Investors]]>Mon, 19 Oct 2020 18:51:04 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/exxon-oil-rivals-shield-their-carbon-forecasts-from-investors
There’s evidence oil majors do assess the climate consequences of their future plans. Exxon had internal projections, never made public, that showed a 17% rise in carbon-dioxide emissions over the next five years, according to company documents reviewed by Bloomberg. In a statement, Exxon said those projections were “a preliminary, internal assessment of estimated cumulative emission growth through 2025” and that its projections had since changed. - Bloomberg NEF via MSN

]]>
<![CDATA[Arctic Circle Teens Call for Help to Save their Homes]]>Sun, 18 Oct 2020 18:24:32 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/arctic-circle-teens-call-for-help-to-save-their-homes
Teenagers living in remote Arctic communities say they’re worried about the effects of climate change. Scientists warn that melting ice and warming temperatures show rapid climate change is taking place.  Rarely heard young people from multiple countries within the Arctic Circle say their way of life is at risk and governments must act. - BBC  
]]>
<![CDATA[More Than 200 Million Americans Could Have Toxic PFAS In Their Drinking Water]]>Sat, 17 Oct 2020 04:23:31 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/more-than-200-million-americans-could-have-toxic-pfas-in-their-drinking-water
A peer-reviewed study by scientists at the Environmental Working Group estimates that more than 200 million Americans could have the toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS in their drinking water at a concentration of 1 part per trillion, or ppt, or higher. Independent scientific studies have recommended a safe level for PFAS in drinking water of 1 ppt, a standard that is endorsed by EWG. "We know drinking water is a major source of exposure of these toxic chemicals," said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., vice president for science investigations at EWG and a co-author of the new study. "This new paper shows that PFAS pollution is affecting even more Americans than we previously estimated. PFAS are likely detectable in all major water supplies in the U.S., almost certainly in all that use surface water." - Phys.Org

]]>