Environment

Climate change hurts food harvest: Study

Source: 
Los Angeles Times

A study released by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs finds that climate change has hurt U.S. crops, with higher carbon dioxide levels lowering the protein in wheat, among other impacts, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Private money boosts federal public lands program

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) — Hundreds of young people will be clearing weeds and planting trees from Hawaii to Vermont under a federal program that depends largely on private funding, the U.S. interior secretary said Thursday.

The government is putting in $1.9 million of the $6.7 million for the project announced by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a nonprofit created by Congress in 1984 to support wildlands, managed the donations for the young workers' project and said the largest contribution, of $130,000, was provided by Wells Fargo & Co. for six projects, and the remainder by groups working on the projects such as Groundwork Denver in Colorado and the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps in the form of cash, equipment, travel, or in-kind services.

Forecasters predict slow Atlantic hurricane season

NEW YORK (AP) — A slower-than-usual hurricane season is expected this year because of an expected El Nino, federal forecasters said Thursday, but they warned that it takes only one storm to wreak havoc and urged Americans to be prepared.

The El Nino, which warms part of the Pacific every few years and changes rain and temperature patterns around the world, will likely reduce the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in New York City.

Senate approves $12.3 billion water bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress sent the White House a $12.3 billion water projects bill half the size of its last one seven years ago — before the economy sank into a deep recession that helped swell the government's debt and before lawmakers swore off cherry-picking pet projects for folks back home.

With a 91-7 vote Thursday, the Senate passed the bill authorizing 34 new projects over the next 10 years. The House passed it Tuesday after key lawmakers spent six months blending separate House and Senate versions approved last year.

Organ Mountains monument sparks border concerns, raises GOP hackles

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — President Barack Obama on Wednesday declared almost a half-million acres of rugged desert terrain along the U.S.-Mexico border as a national monument, marking the largest swath of land to be set aside for that purpose since he took office.

While praised by environmentalists, the move is generating criticism from some lawmakers in the West and local law enforcement agents who see Obama's use of power as a threat to security in a region where the influence of Mexican drug cartels, human smuggling and illegal immigration are all apparent.

US forecasters to predict slow hurricane season

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal forecasters are expected to predict a slower than usual hurricane season this year.

Experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will gather in New York on Thursday to release the agency's outlook for the six-month storm season that officially begins June 1.

Colorado State University researchers have forecast nine named storms in 2014, with just three expected to become hurricanes and one major storm with winds over 110 mph.

Sally Jewell to visit Colorado wildlife refuge

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is visiting Colorado to make an announcement about youth jobs on federal public lands.

Jewell will unveil the plan during a visit to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge outside Denver on Thursday. The former head of REI will be joined by representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and will also participate in a service project.

House approves $12 billion-plus water bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House passed the closest thing so far this year to an infrastructure bill — a $12 billion-plus bipartisan measure authorizing 34 water projects, ranging from flood protection in California and North Dakota to deepening the Port of Savannah and widening a Texas-Louisiana waterway that services the oil industry.

The Water Resources Reform and Development Act passed Tuesday on a 412-4 vote. Lawmakers shook off criticism from conservative and watchdog groups like Heritage Action and Taxpayers for Common Sense that argued the bill should have done more to rein in wasteful government spending.

Big food firms ‘silent accomplices’ to accelerating climate change: Oxfam

Source: 
E&E

The world’s ten biggest food companies, including Kellogg’s, General Mills, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, are responsible for nearly 264 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent gases per year, according to the humanitarian group Oxfam, which noted that the cereal makers in particular were also vulnerable to rising prices for grain as a result of climate change, E&E reports.

Forest Service adds planes before bad fire season

DENVER (AP) — As the Obama administration pushes Congress to ensure that enough money is available to fight destructive wildfires, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Tuesday that the U.S. Forest Service was adding four aircraft to its firefighting fleet ahead of what's expected to be another hot, dry summer in the West.

A second DC10 and three smaller planes will support over 10,000 firefighters "in the face of what is shaping up to be a catastrophic fire season in the southwest," the Forest Service said in a statement.

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