<![CDATA[GEOLOGY WITH JEFF SIMPSON - GEONEWS]]>Mon, 02 May 2022 07:29:38 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[How Americans’ love of beef is helping destroy the Amazon rainforest]]>Mon, 02 May 2022 05:39:17 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/how-americans-love-of-beef-is-helping-destroy-the-amazon-rainforest
"Cattle ranching, responsible for the great majority of deforestation in the Amazon, is pushing the forest to the edge of what scientists warn could be a vast and irreversible dieback that claims much of the biome. Despite agreement that change is necessary to avert disaster, despite attempts at reform, despite the resources of Brazil’s federal government and powerful beef companies, the destruction continues. But the ongoing failure to protect the world’s largest rainforest from rapacious cattle ranching is no longer Brazil’s alone, a Washington Post investigation shows. It is now shared by the United States — and the American consumer. - Washington Post (Original)
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<![CDATA[May 01st, 2022]]>Mon, 02 May 2022 05:37:11 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/may-01st-2022Studies find microplastics in human lungs, blood stream; scientists investigating possible health risks
Scientists from the Netherlands and the U.K. recently identified microplastics deep in the lungs of some surgical patients and in the blood of anonymous donors. Researchers say that it's possible to take in these particles through the air we breathe. Leigh Shemitz, president of SoundWaters, and Paul Anastas, director of the Center for Green Chemistry at Yale University, join CBS News' Lana Zak to discuss microplastics' impact on humans and what can be done to mitigate plastic pollution. - CBS News]]>
<![CDATA[As Oceans Warm, Marine Life Faces Extinction Levels That Rival Dinosaurs' End]]>Sun, 01 May 2022 18:41:43 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/as-oceans-warm-marine-life-faces-extinction-levels-that-rival-dinosaurs-endBy 2100, we could be heading towards a loss of life in our oceans that rivals some of the largest extinction events in Earth's history if we don't continue to tackle the climate catastrophe, new modeling warns. But "it is not too late to enact the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions needed to avoid a major extinction event," Princeton geoscientists Justin Penn and Curtis Deutsch explain in their paper. Using modeling calibrated against ancient fossil records, they predict the consequences of runaway climate change on marine animals and provide a plausible explanation for an enduring ocean mystery in the process. - Science Alert]]><![CDATA[Oyster reefs in Texas are disappearing. Fishermen there fear their jobs will too]]>Fri, 29 Apr 2022 19:19:54 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/oyster-reefs-in-texas-are-disappearing-fishermen-there-fear-their-jobs-will-too
At Johny Jurisich's family dock in Texas City, more than a dozen empty oyster boats with names like Sunshine and Captain Fox lazily float in the marina on a recent Monday morning – an odd sight for what is normally peak oyster harvesting season. "On a Monday morning, this beautiful weather, they would all be out there (in the bay). This would be an empty marina," says Jurisich, whose family owns the wholesale company US Sea Products and has worked in the oyster business for generations. Nearby at Misho's Oyster Company in San Leon, mariachi music blares into an empty shucking room, the conveyor belts at a standstill. Just a few dozen oyster sacks line what would normally be a full freezer room. Currently, 25 of the state's 27 harvesting areas are already closed. The season normally runs from Nov. 1 through April 30, but many of the areas have been closed since mid-December – a move the state says is necessary for future sustainability. - NPR
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<![CDATA[Texas stumbles in its effort to punish green financial firms]]>Fri, 29 Apr 2022 19:13:37 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/texas-stumbles-in-its-effort-to-punish-green-financial-firms
For years, fossil fuel producing states have watched investors shy away from companies causing the climate crisis. Last year, one state decided to push back. Texas passed a law treating financial companies shunning fossil fuels the same way it treated companies that did business with Iran, or Sudan: boycott them. "This bill sent a strong message to both Washington and Wall Street that if you boycott Texas energy, then Texas will boycott you," Texas Representative Phil King said from the floor of the Texas legislature during deliberations on the bill, SB 13, last year. But the Lone Star state is straining to implement the law. Loopholes and exceptions written into the law could sap its impact on financial firms that have aggressive climate policies. - NPR
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<![CDATA[A Quiet Revolution: Southwest Cities Learn to Thrive Amid Drought]]>Fri, 29 Apr 2022 19:10:27 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/a-quiet-revolution-southwest-cities-learn-to-thrive-amid-drought
In the rolling hills around San Diego and its suburbs, the rumble of bulldozers and the whine of power saws fill the air as a slew of new homes and apartments rise up. The region is booming, its population growing at a rate of about 1 percent a year. This, in spite of the fact that Southern California, along with much of the West, is in the midst of what experts call a megadrought that some believe may not be a temporary, one-off occurrence, but a recurring event or even a climate change-driven permanent “aridification” of the West. The drought is so bad that last year federal officials ordered cuts to water provided to the region by the Colorado River for the first time in history. Water officials in San Diego, though, say they are not worried. “We have sufficient supplies now and in the future,” said Sandra Kerl, general manager of the San Diego Water Authority. “We recently did a stress test, and we are good until 2045” and even beyond. - Yale Environment350
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<![CDATA[Nature loss: Insatiable greed degrading land around the world - UN]]>Thu, 28 Apr 2022 06:07:18 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/nature-loss-insatiable-greed-degrading-land-around-the-world-un
Up to 40% of the global terrain has already been devalued, mainly through modern agriculture. If nothing changes, then an additional area of land the size of South America will be damaged by 2050. But if lands are restored and protected, they could help contain climate change and species loss. A report outlines the damage that's already been done but also offers hope that improvements in how we manage the land environment can offer a better future. - BBC
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<![CDATA[The Power of Big Oil]]>Wed, 20 Apr 2022 05:42:23 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/the-power-of-big-oil
FRONTLINE examines the fossil fuel industry’s history of casting doubt and delaying action on climate change. This three-part series traces decades of missed opportunities and the ongoing attempts to hold Big Oil to account. - Frontline
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<![CDATA[Switching to clean energy would save over 100,000 US lives, American Lung Assn.]]>Wed, 20 Apr 2022 05:37:58 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/switching-to-clean-energy-would-save-over-100000-us-lives-american-lung-assnIf the United States switched completely to cleaner energy vehicles and power plants, it would not only benefit the environment but also save an estimated 110,000 lives and $1.2 trillion in health costs over the next 30 years, the American Lung Association says in a new report. “These numbers are enormous," said Will Barrett, the national senior director of advocacy, clean air, for the American Lung Association. "It's hard to wrap your head around. $1.2 trillion in public health benefits and 100,000 lives saved." - ABC News]]><![CDATA[How ending mining would change the world]]>Tue, 19 Apr 2022 03:54:46 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/how-ending-mining-would-change-the-world
"If you can't grow it, you have to mine it" goes the miner's credo. The extraction of minerals, metals and fuels from the ground is one of humankind's oldest industries. And our appetite for it is growing. Society is more dependent on both greater variety and larger volumes of mined substances than ever before. If you live in a middle-income country, every year you use roughly 17 tonnes of raw materials – equivalent to the weight of three elephants and twice as much as 20 years ago. For a person in a high-income country, it is 26 tonnes – or four and a half elephants' worth.- BBC
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<![CDATA[More than 57 billion tons of soil have eroded in the U.S. Midwest]]>Sun, 17 Apr 2022 04:12:49 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/more-than-57-billion-tons-of-soil-have-eroded-in-the-us-midwest
With soils rich for cultivation, most land in the Midwestern United States has been converted from tallgrass prairie to agricultural fields. Less than 0.1 percent of the original prairie remains. This shift over the last 160 years has resulted in staggering, and unsustainable, soil erosion rates for the region, researchers report in the March Earth’s Future. The erosion is estimated to be double the rate that the U.S. Department of Agriculture says is sustainable. If it continues unabated, it could significantly limit future crop production, the scientists say.  “These rare prairie remnants that are scattered across the Midwest are sort of a preservation of the pre-European-American settlement land surface,” says Isaac Larsen, a geologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. - Science News
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<![CDATA[What Is the Keystone XL Pipeline?]]>Sat, 16 Apr 2022 22:45:13 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/what-is-the-keystone-xl-pipeline
The Keystone XL pipeline extension, proposed by TC Energy (then TransCanada) in 2008, was initially designed to transport the planet’s dirtiest fossil fuel, tar sands oil, to market—and fast. As an expansion of the company’s existing Keystone Pipeline System, which has been operating since 2010 (and continues to send Canadian tar sands crude oil from Alberta to various processing hubs in the middle of the United States), the pipeline promised to dramatically increase capacity to process the 168 billion barrels of crude oil locked up under Canada’s boreal forest. It was expected to transport 830,000 barrels of Alberta tar sands oil per day to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas. From the refineries, the oil would be sent chiefly overseas—not to gasoline pumps in the United States. - NRDC
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<![CDATA[AZ regulators deny SRP gas plant expansion, citing community impacts and insufficient supporting evidence]]>Wed, 13 Apr 2022 18:31:36 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/az-regulators-deny-srp-gas-plant-expansion-citing-community-impacts-and-insufficient-supporting-evidence​The Arizona Corporation Commission on Tuesday voted 4-1 to deny an 820-MW expansion at a gas plant proposed by Salt River Project. Regulators said there was insufficient evidence in the record to make a decision, and the expansion would put too much pressure on the nearby, historically-Black community of Randolph. - Utility Dive]]><![CDATA[Powell’s looming power problem]]>Wed, 13 Apr 2022 06:09:20 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/powells-looming-power-problem
Over the last two decades, climate change-induced drought and increasing water demand have depleted Lake Powell substantially: It is now less than one-fourth full. As water levels drop, so, too, does the potential energy of the falling water. That, in turn, lowers the turbines’ generating capacity and power output. In the 1990s, the dam produced as much as 7,000 gigawatt hours per year, enough to power nearly 600,000 homes. Last year, it was down to just 3,000 gigawatt hours. - HCN
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<![CDATA[Scientists find fossil of dinosaur ‘killed on day of asteroid strike’]]>Sat, 09 Apr 2022 01:24:48 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/scientists-find-fossil-of-dinosaur-killed-on-day-of-asteroid-strike
Scientists believe they have been given an extraordinary view of the last day of the dinosaurs after they discovered the fossil of an animal they believe died that day. The perfectly preserved leg, which even includes remnants of the animal’s skin, can be accurately dated to the time the asteroid that brought about the dinosaurs’ extinction struck Earth 66m years ago, experts say, because of the presence of debris from the impact, which rained down only in its immediate aftermath. - Guardian
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<![CDATA[The future cost of climate inaction? $2 trillion a year, says the government]]>Fri, 08 Apr 2022 05:19:31 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/the-future-cost-of-climate-inaction-2-trillion-a-year-says-the-government
With time running out to head off the worst damage from climate change, the United States government is starting to quantify the cost of inaction – for taxpayers. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the first ever accounting of how unchecked global warming would impact the federal budget, looking at its potential to dampen the economy as a whole, and balloon the costs of climate-related programs over time. "The fiscal risk of climate change is immense," wrote Candace Vahlsing, Associate Director for Climate, Energy, Environment, and Science at OMB, and Danny Yagan, Chief Economist at OMB, in a blog post discussing the analysis. -NPR
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<![CDATA[A magnetic field reversal 42,000 years ago may have contributed to mass extinctions]]>Thu, 07 Apr 2022 21:15:09 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/a-magnetic-field-reversal-42000-years-ago-may-have-contributed-to-mass-extinctions
A flip-flop of Earth’s magnetic poles between 42,000 and 41,000 years ago briefly but dramatically shrank the magnetic field’s strengthand may have triggered a cascade of environmental crises on Earth, a new study suggests. With the help of new, precise carbon dating obtained from ancient tree fossils, the researchers correlated shifts in climate patterns, large mammal extinctions and even changes in human behavior just before and during the Laschamps excursion, a brief reversal of the magnetic poles that lasted less than a thousand years. It’s the first study to directly link a magnetic pole reversal to large-scale environmental changes. - Science
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<![CDATA[SRP’s baffling, costly natural gas expansion (Op-Ed)]]>Thu, 07 Apr 2022 19:25:01 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/srps-baffling-costly-natural-gas-expansion-op-ed
The U.S. power generation market has changed dramatically over the past five years. Natural gas has been bleeding market share to cheaper sources of electricity, which include solar, wind, and even nuclear. At roughly $5 per MMbtu, the price of natural gas today is more than double what it was just two years ago. Even at half of that price, natural gas has been unable to compete with solar in the Southwest. - AZ Capitol Times
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<![CDATA[Why geothermal energy is being viewed as a viable alternative to fossil fuels (8:30)]]>Thu, 07 Apr 2022 19:05:39 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/why-geothermal-energy-is-being-viewed-as-a-viable-alternative-to-fossil-fuels-830
President Biden and the European Union on Friday announced new plans to enable Europe to become less dependent on Russian oil and gas. But for now, the Russian invasion has opened up much larger questions over our dependence on fossil fuels and the need to develop cleaner renewable energy. Science correspondent Miles O'Brien reports on how and why geothermal energy is attracting new interest. - PBS Video
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<![CDATA[The Oldest Mummies in the World Are Rotting and Sprouting Mold]]>Fri, 01 Apr 2022 23:52:15 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/the-oldest-mummies-in-the-world-are-rotting-and-sprouting-mold
Climate change is bringing rain and humidity to usually dry and arid Northern Chile, causing ancient mummies to decompose as they are exposed to increased moisture and the elements. The phenomenon puts some of the world’s oldest known mummies at risk of deteriorating after thousands of years of artificial and natural preservation. The mummies were created by the people of the Chinchorro culture, a fishing community who lived in what is now Chile and Southern Peru from 5,000 BC to 500 BC. They carefully prepared their dead by removing skin and organs and filling out the bodies with animal skins or clay and reeds. Some even had their original skin put back onto reshaped bodies, as if they were reupholstered for the afterlife. - Gizmodo
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<![CDATA[Recycled water revives a flourishing ecosystem on the Santa Cruz River in Tucson]]>Wed, 30 Mar 2022 00:48:59 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/recycled-water-revives-a-flourishing-ecosystem-on-the-santa-cruz-river-in-tucson
For much of the past century, the Santa Cruz River flowed through Tucson only when rainstorms sent muddy runoff coursing down the riverbed. Most of the time, the Santa Cruz sat parched in its channel, looking like a big dry ditch beneath the overpasses. Then on a hot summer day in 2019, the water came. Released from a pipe, the treated wastewater poured onto the sand and flowed downstream. A transformation began. Ecologist Michael Bogan hadn’t planned to study the resurgence of the Santa Cruz when he pedaled his bike down to the riverbed that day to watch the water roll down the dry channel. But as he snapped photos, Bogan was astonished to see dragonflies and damselflies soaring past and laying eggs in the water.
“This is crazy,” he said he thought to himself. “This is the first day of this ecosystem and they’re already moving in.” - AZ Central




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<![CDATA[Europe's Biggest Lie - (2-Part Documentary Videos)]]>Wed, 30 Mar 2022 00:25:36 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/europes-biggest-lie-2-part-documentary-videos
This is offered without vetting. It seemed worth inclusion for somebody to review. If you review this, please let me know what you think, what questions you have.  JS

Told by people in the UK and the Netherlands, this two-part series reveals the scale and life-threatening impact of the pollution we breathe in every day, as well as the inaction of our governments. - WaterBear Films
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<![CDATA[Gas Prices May Be Rising But You’re Still Not Paying for the True Cost of Driving]]>Sun, 27 Mar 2022 05:49:51 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/gas-prices-may-be-rising-but-youre-still-not-paying-for-the-true-cost-of-driving
But nonetheless, as politicians try to bring down the cost of gas, I want to take a moment to reflect on the true cost of driving. That cost includes not just the price of a vehicle and filling up the tank but also the costs that operating it impose on society, including pollution that drives climate change. Calculating the damage done by pollution and other factors such as traffic and accidents—what economists call externalities—is a fraught process, and economists don’t necessarily agree about all the variables. But one thing is true under any reasoned consideration: driving costs society much more than you’re paying to do it. - Yahoo / Time
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<![CDATA[Why geothermal energy is being viewed as a viable alternative to fossil fuels]]>Sat, 26 Mar 2022 07:16:13 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/why-geothermal-energy-is-being-viewed-as-a-viable-alternative-to-fossil-fuels
President Biden and the European Union on Friday announced new plans to enable Europe to become less dependent on Russian oil and gas. But for now, the Russian invasion has opened up much larger questions over our dependence on fossil fuels and the need to develop cleaner renewable energy. Science correspondent Miles O'Brien reports on how and why geothermal energy is attracting new interest. - PBS
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<![CDATA[Dr. Katharine Hayhoe - How to Talk to People Who Don’t Believe in Climate Change]]>Sat, 26 Mar 2022 00:09:05 GMThttp://softpath.org/geonews/dr-katharine-hayhoe-how-to-talk-to-people-who-dont-believe-in-climate-changeNote: This different GeoNews seems worth including.  Dr. Hayhoe has been a featured speaker at AGU, the yearly conference of ~25,000 geoscientists in San Francisco. 

​Climate Scientist Dr. Hayhoe talks about living in Texas, how the issue of climate change became Republican vs Democrat, which groups of Americans we need to target to make change, fossil fuel companies paying to spread disinformation, how to communicate with someone who doesn’t believe in climate change, and her new book "Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing In A Divided World." - YouTube]]>