In ultimate insult, Trump rolls back EPA's climate policies from within the EPA
President Donald Trump took his first swing at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when he tapped the agency's biggest opponent — a man who denies climate science — to run the show. His second hit came earlier this month when Trump proposed shrinking the EPA's budget by 31 percent. Trump landed his third big blow on Tuesday afternoon, when he issued a sweeping executive order that will begin unraveling the Obama administration's key efforts to address climate change, including the EPA's Clean Power Plan. SEE ALSO: Trump's order will unravel America's best defense against climate change Adding insult to injury, he signed the order from within the very walls of the EPA's headquarters — a move that prompted plenty of bitter eye-rolling on Twitter. Trump will visit #EPA today at 2pm to sign Exec Orders rolling back climate protections. Ah the irony. Wonder what the P will stand for now? — Tracy Sabetta (@tsabetta) March 28, 2017 At the EPA, because in 2017, irony is dead. Trump poised to roll back climate protections https://t.co/C0Y75Pq6uB — Elizabeth Evans (@Wallacewriter) March 27, 2017 The Trump administration says the order will simply prioritize the EPA's focus on clean air and water while winding down "job-killing" policies designed to reduce emissions contributing to global warming. A White House official briefed on the plan told CNN that Trump officials believe the government can "serve the environment and increase energy independence at the same time." Trump's supporters have said the coming changes will finally lift EPA's "strangling effect" on the economy. But many climate and environmental experts have staunchly opposed the Trump administration's regressive vision for the 47-year-old agency. The EPA is, by definition, supposed to protect Americans from environmental harm, including the effects of human-driven climate change such as rising sea levels, more intense droughts, extreme weather events and more. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Image: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images Current and former EPA employees have turned out by the hundreds to oppose Trump's attempted rollback of Obama-era policies to cut emissions from power plants, automobiles and oil and gas well sites. The EPA's new boss, Scott Pruitt, is one of the nation's biggest champions of such reversals. As Oklahoma attorney general, he led a Republican legal battle against the Clean Power Plan, which requires states to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. Like Trump, Pruitt has also questioned the mainstream scientific consensus that the planet is warming and that human activity is primarily to blame. While some climate rollbacks can be changed with the stroke of a pen, others could take years to complete. The Clean Power Plan, for instance, requires at least a year of bureaucratic work to unravel, and lawsuits from environmental groups could delay the process even longer. Still, at Trump's signing ceremony, smiles and prolonged handshakes filled the room. But down the halls of the EPA, and in many homes and offices across the U.S., the mood is resoundingly sour.
UPDATE: March 28, 2017, 2:35 p.m. EDT This story was updated to reflect that the executive order has been signed. WATCH: 2016 was Earth's warmest year on record, continuing a three-year streak
03/28/2017 - 12:07 PM
London, Paris, Seoul launch 'name-and-shame' polluting car index
The mayors of Paris, London and Seoul on Wednesday launched an initiative to rate the most polluting vehicles in a bid to keep them off the roads of their cities. The aim of the "Air'volution" scheme is to help drivers avoid buying the most harmful diesel vans and cars. Speaking at a press conference in Paris, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said respiratory problems caused by emissions led to 9,000 deaths a year in his city.
03/29/2017 - 09:44 AM
Neuralink: New Elon Musk company wants to supercharge our brains before computers leave us behind
An existential risk to humanity caused by developments in artificial intelligence is too hard to ignore, says Elon Musk, who has created a new company which aims to merge computers with human brains. Musk, who is already the chief executive of electric car company Tesla and space rocket manufacturer SpaceX (and is busy creating a new way of tunnelling with The Boring Company) is about to set up a new business called Neuralink. Hours after news broke of the venture, first by anonymous sources speaking to the press, Musk tweeted confirmation and said an article explaining his plans would be published in the coming days.
03/28/2017 - 04:45 AM
Paralysed man feeds himself with help of implants
Paralysed man says he is "wowed" after implants allow him to regain control of his right arm.
03/28/2017 - 07:30 PM
The Mexico Tourism Board made a cloud that rains tequila and we're booking our flights now
Grab your rim-salted margarita glass and your galoshes because there is now a cloud that can answer all of your Happy Hour prayers. The Mexico Tourism Board and the creative agency LAPIZ have partnered to create a manmade cloud that produces raindrops of actual tequila. The first cloud that rains tequila. #tequilacloud #visitmexico A post shared by VisitMexico (@visitmexico) on Mar 9, 2017 at 5:41am PST SEE ALSO: Drought drives huge, deadly cobra to calmly drink from a villager's water bottle The boozy puff was developed as a promotional stunt to attract German tourists to Mexico and was put on display at an art gallery in Berlin called Urban Spree. Unfortunately, the cloud can't float freely and meet you at your favorite bar. It's actually formed by a tequila-based mist held together by a plastic container to help it keep its fluffy cloud shape. According to The Huffington Post, the LAPIZ team used ultrasonic humidifiers to "vibrate" the tequila at a rate that turns the alcohol into a visible mist that is filtered into the container. #tequilacloud Serving free shots of delicious Silver Tequila since 2016. Come to Urban Spree, Revaler Strasse 99 for a taste #mexico #travel #tequila #art #berlin A post shared by Ernesto Adduci (@eadduci) on Mar 10, 2017 at 7:31am PST The vapor of the tequila then condenses inside of the plastic and drops from the cloud. It was also synched with the local weather patterns so when it rained in Berlin, the tequila poured down, too. Drinkers can hold their glasses under the cloud for an alcoholic rain shower shot. If that seems like too much work to get your buzz, there is a spout beneath the cloud for anyone who doesn't want to wait for the storm. A post shared by pøj pøj (@pojpojberlin) on Mar 8, 2017 at 9:07am PST A post shared by Cristina Zambet (@cristinazambet) on Mar 11, 2017 at 1:17pm PST We predict that we'll see this cool cloud trick tried by amateur bartenders everywhere before your next crawl. It's 5 o'clock somewhere and it might just be in the clouds.
[H/T: The Huffington Post
] WATCH: The Raindrop Cake is back and this time it's a bright shade of purple
03/28/2017 - 09:14 PM
Study predicts significant Southern California beach erosion
LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than half of Southern California's beaches could completely erode back to coastal infrastructure or sea cliffs by the year 2100 as the sea level rises, according to a study released Monday.
03/27/2017 - 07:31 PM
Wild Thai tiger cub footage sparks hope for endangered species
Conservationists on Tuesday hailed the discovery of a new breeding population of tigers in Thailand as a "miraculous" victory for a sub-species nearly wiped out by poaching. Images of some tigers including six cubs, captured by camera traps in an eastern Thai jungle throughout 2016, confirm the presence of what is only the world's second known breeding population of the endangered Indochinese tiger. The only other growing population -- the largest in the world with about three dozen tigers -- is based in a western forest corridor in Thailand near the border with Myanmar.
03/28/2017 - 09:52 AM
Floods in Peru threaten to sweep away rich archaeological legacy - explorer
By Marco Aquino LIMA (Reuters) - Extreme floods wreaking havoc in Peru are also threatening the South American country's rich archeological heritage and the tourism that thrives on it, a Peruvian archaeologist said on Tuesday. At least 50 archaeological sites in Peru have been damaged by the intense rains that are battering northern Peru, resulting in a drastic drop in related tourism, said archaeologist and explorer Walter Alva.
03/29/2017 - 12:56 AM
Passengers on plane see incredible light show as it flies through Southern Lights
Passengers on a Boeing 767 from New Zealand saw a view of the ‘southern lights’ no one had ever seen before – on the first charter flight booked to fly into the light display. The 134 passengers on the sold-out flight were treated to an incredible display of light at the edge of space after the plane took off from Dunedin. Organiser and Otago Museum Director Ian Griffin said, ‘I thought it was absolutely brilliant.
03/28/2017 - 05:43 AM
How Cyclone Debbie got her name
The huge storm that tore through parts of northeastern Australia this week was almost called Caleb instead of Debbie. Debbie started life as a tropical low off Queensland state, but formed into a cyclone just after Caleb -- another weather system brewing off Western Australia -- fizzled out. The process of chosing a moniker for storms comes from a formal system managed by the World Meteorological Organisation, with 10 global regions submitting names.
03/29/2017 - 12:18 AM
Why One Woman Had Oil in Her Lung for Decades
An elderly woman in Florida had oil in her lungs — for decades — from a now-outdated procedure she received in her 20s to treat tuberculosis (TB), according to a new report of the woman's case. This cloudy area was concerning to her doctors, because it could have meant that she had fluid buildup in the space between her chest wall and her lung, known as the pleural cavity. However, the woman remembered having oil injected into her lungs decades earlier, as a treatment for tuberculosis.
03/28/2017 - 03:29 PM
New calls for tech companies to monitor suspicious activity
Reaction from Ron Hosko, former FBI assistant director
03/27/2017 - 04:40 PM
It's time to let a robot invasion stop the Lionfish explosion
Undoing man's folly is, sometimes, a robot's work. Unwittingly introduced to the Atlantic Ocean over a quarter of a century ago, the lionfish, which is native to the Pacific, is responsible for an ecological disaster of epic proportions in the Caribbean, Bermuda's, and off the shore of Florida coast, and it's spreading up the coast. A complete lack of predators, voracious appetite and ability to reproduce at an astonishing rate has resulted in a mushrooming lionfish population that is decimating ecosystems, coral reefs and the fishing business. SEE ALSO: A fish that doesn't belong is wreaking havoc on our ocean Catching and eating lionfish, which are delicious, sounds like a reasonable solution, but the fish can't be netted, and are generally fished one person and one spear at a time. If fisherman can't catch lionfish en masse, they can't sell them at quantities to food stores and restaurants. Supply creates demand, which generates more demand that fisherman can supply. If they can figure out how to catch the fish. RISE, which stands for Robots in Service of the Environment, has come up with a very 21st century solution to the lionfish disaster: robots. "Erika and I love diving and, through diving, became increasingly aware of the crisis," said Colin Angle who co-founded RISE with his wife Erika. Angle is also the co-founder and CEO of iRobot (Roomba robot vacuum, Packbot military robot). On one dive, their boat captain challenged Angle, "Okay, you build robots, build one to go hunt lionfish." This was not as crazy of an idea as it sounds and Angle had already been wondering "if there was still a way to use robot technology to solve larger environmental problems and maybe more proactively than merely sending our defense robots to natural disaster zones." The Lionfish challenge Image: rise Robots for good sounds cheesy, but there were more practical considerations. Could, Angle wondered, a robot even do the job and could it do it at scale? "Spending half a million dollars to build a robot that kill 10 lionfish is absurd," he told me. Angle shared a few details of the robot they built and that will make its public debut next month. They started with fresh-water electro fishing technology and adapted it for salt water. The robot stuns, but doesn't kill the lionfish and then it sucks them into the robot. It does this over and over again, until full of unconscious fish and then rises to the surface where a fisherman can unload the catch and deliver them to waiting restaurants and food stores. "Ultimately, the control of this device is like a PlayStation game: you're looking at screen and using a joystick controller. Zap it, catch it, do it again, said RISE Executive Director John Rizzi who told me that a team of unpaid volunteers have been working on the prototype for over a year. They also got some seed funding from The Angle Family, Schmidt Marine Technology Partners and the Anthropocene Institute. Stunning, eating and feeding brains RISE is a two-pronged effort: slow damaging growth of the lionfish population
and create a rich curriculum around this and future RISE work that can be used in American middle schools. Erika Angle, herself a biochemist, has spent a decade working with the non-profit Science from Scientist, which brings real scientists into classrooms where they not only talk about their work, but offer hands-on science demonstrations. "It's such an integral part of RISE mission...We're trying to reach these kids with knowledge. Ultimately, we’re going to be relying on these kids to save planet for next generation," said Erika Angle. RISE will, she said, build a curriculum around the RISE lionfish robot that can go anywhere in the country. While there's currently no plan for a practical lesson, like going on a boat and piloting one of the robot-catching fish, that could happen in the future. For now, though, the biggest demonstration of the RISE's lionfish hunter will happen in Bermuda on April 19, as part of the America's Cup festivities. There'll even been a celebrity chef lionfish cook-off, the 11th Hour Racing #EatLionfish Chef's Throwdown. All of it designed to help launch RISE's Kickstarter project, which Colin Angle hopes can help raise funds to further developer, build and deliver these robots to commercial fishermen and woman at about $500-to-$1,000 each. What if the robot is so effective, it wipes out the lionfish in the Atlantic? "That's a perverse reality you can worry about, but we're confident that the lionfish can reproduce so quickly [one fish produces 30,000-to-40,000 eggs every few days] that it would be hard to eliminate them," said Rizzi. Colin, though, reminded me that that's still the goal. "This is an invasive species," he said. A significant reduction in lionfish numbers would help the fish and reef ecosystem to recover. There is another benefit to using robots like this to solve ecological problems. "Unlike biological systems that once you deploy are out of your control, this one you can simply turn off," said Angle. WATCH: Invasion of the lionfish - Part 1 - The threat
03/28/2017 - 08:30 AM
Exxon Mobil urges Trump to stay in Paris climate accord
Energy giant Exxon Mobil has asked the Trump administration not to scrap US participation in the landmark Paris climate agreement, running counter to White House moves on carbon emissions. The news came as President Donald Trump on Tuesday unveiled a new executive order that could roll back some of the previous Democratic administration's policies aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. In a March 22 letter to Trump energy advisor G David Banks, Exxon's head of environmental policy and planning, Peter Trelenberg, praised the 2015 Paris Agreement as the first to tackle emissions by both the developed world and developing countries such as China and India.
03/28/2017 - 09:07 PM
The DNA of oil wells - U.S. shale enlists genetics to boost output
A small group of U.S. oil producers has been trying to exploit advances in DNA science to wring more crude from shale rock, as the domestic energy industry keeps pushing relentlessly to cut costs and compete with the world's top exporters. Shale producers have slashed production costs as much as 50 percent over two years, waging a price war with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Now, U.S. shale producers can compete in a $50-per-barrel oil market, and about a dozen shale companies are seeking to cut costs further by analyzing DNA samples extracted from oil wells to identify promising spots to drill.
03/28/2017 - 01:08 AM
Corporate Scientists Go to Washington
Corporate Scientists Go to Washington
03/28/2017 - 01:00 PM
Giant ancient palace unearthed in Mexico was the ruler's home and the seat of government
The remains of an ancient palace complex dating back 2,300 years have been unearthed Mexico's Valley of Oaxaca. It is the oldest royal building excavated to date in the area, providing some of the earliest evidence of early states' emergence in Mesoamerica. Finding evidence for the emergence of early state societies is a major challenge for archaeologists.
03/27/2017 - 03:00 PM
New York Firm Unveils Plan to Hang Skyscraper From Asteroid
A New York architecture firm is taking experimental design out of this world with a plan to hang a skyscraper from an asteroid that would roam between the northern and southern hemispheres. The Analemma Tower, which Cloud Architecture Office is calling the “world’s tallest building ever,” would hang from the sky, suspended by air cables attached to an asteroid. It would travel a figure-eight route over the Earth’s surface, slowing its orbit over New York City, and returning to the same point every 24 hours, according to the company’s initial design plans.
03/29/2017 - 05:26 AM
Scientists make breakthrough in synthetic blood, but won’t ditch donations just yet
Scientists from the University of Bristol and NHS Blood and Transplant announced a recent breakthrough that makes it possible to mass produce red blood cells, opening the door for the wide-scale use of manufactured blood.
03/28/2017 - 12:10 PM
Hong Kong convicts two over ivory using radiocarbon dating
A Hong Kong court has convicted two people of illegally possessing ivory chopsticks after radiocarbon dating proved the items were produced after 1990 and therefore unlawful, the government said Wednesday. Domestic trade in ivory imported legally into Hong Kong before that year is not against the law if the seller has a government licence. "It's the first time the Hong Kong government has ever used radiocarbon analysis to determine the age of ivory -- that's a total game-changer in the market," WildAid wildlife campaigner Alex Hofford told AFP.
03/29/2017 - 05:52 AM
Programme to be axed by Trump saves energy
Voluntary efficiency programmes -- including one targeted for elimination by the Trump administration -- have led to energy savings of up to 30 percent in commercial buildings in Los Angeles, researchers have reported. Describing their study as the first large-scale analysis of green certification schemes for big buildings, a pair of researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles reviewed data on nearly 179,000 properties in the city. "We found that -- with the programmes -- there is a significant improvement in energy efficiency," said co-author Magali Delmas, an environmental economist.
03/28/2017 - 12:59 PM
Drought drives huge, deadly cobra to calmly drink from a villager's water bottle
King cobras are not known for their gentle nature— the whole point of "snake charming" is that it's dangerous to even be around them— but the drought currently gripping Southern India has at least one animal so dehydrated that its less-than-friendly instincts were replaced with those of survival. A 12-foot-long cobra was rescued after straying to a village, where it was believed to be looking for water. Southern India has been at the mercy of an extended, extreme drought that has greatly impacted both drinking water supplies and agriculture. It has affected the lives of tens of thousands of families in the area, and also, apparently, the wildlife. A rescue worker offered this parched snake water from the bottle almost immediately upon rescuing it and the snake very calmly drank its fill. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, there's just something about a snake sipping straight from the bottle that's
charming in it's own right. Sorry.
03/28/2017 - 03:06 PM
New species of 'Maerdy Monster' millipede found in South Wales coal mine
A group of naturalists surveying the Maerdy colliery site in the Rhondda Valley has unearthed a new species of arthropod. The brown-hued millipede has been nicknamed the 'Maerdy Monster' and is thought to be the first arthropod found in Britain for over 33 years. Scientist Liam Olds said: "It's not every day that you find a species new to science.
03/27/2017 - 07:35 PM
Agtech startup Arable raises $4.25m to mass produce IoT and communication tools
New Jersey startup Arable has raised $4.25 million, which will support the mass production of its crop and weather monitoring IoT device, as well as international expansion.
03/27/2017 - 08:56 PM
3,800-year-old tomb found in Egypt linked to brother of powerful governor of Elephantine
A tomb thought to be that of the brother of one of the most important governors of Egypt's 12th dynasty, Sarenput II, has been unearthed at the site of Qubbet el-Hawa, on the western bank of the Nile. A number of elite burials are known to be located at Qubbet el-Hawa, many dating from the time of the Old Kingdom of Egypt (2649-2150 BC). This tomb dates back to roughly 3,800 years ago and was discovered during excavations by the Spanish Archaeological Mission led by Dr Alejandro Jimenez-Serrano.
03/28/2017 - 05:27 AM
Uber's self-driving car program resumes after crash
William La Jeunesse tells us why on 'Special Report'
03/27/2017 - 06:35 PM
Japan scientist eyes energy burst from 'typhoon turbine'
Most people look for a place to hide when a typhoon is on the horizon, but Atsushi Shimizu hopes that the fury of nature may one day help resource-poor Japan tackle its energy woes. As thousands of Australians seek shelter from a "monster" cyclone battering the country's northern coast, the Tokyo-based engineer believes that his bladeless wind turbine can not only stand up to the raw force of these destructive storms, but also harness that power to generate electricity. "There are some estimates that wind power has more potential here than solar," said the 37-year-old, who quit his job at an engineering firm to launch startup Challenergy in 2014.
03/28/2017 - 11:51 PM
Diet Of Humans, Other Primates Led To Their Big Brains: Study
The research from New York University showed it was the diet of primates, and not their sociability, that led to their brains growing to large sizes.
03/28/2017 - 06:53 AM
Spiders could eat all humans in one year, and this petition wants to make it happen
The Washington Post either ruined or made your day on Tuesday when it published a bit of an analysis that suggests spiders could eat every human on Earth in one year if they really wanted to. Now musician John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats is petitioning Senator Al Franken to help make that happen. SEE ALSO: Watch this horrifying redback spider take out a snake It reads: The
WaPo piece that kicked off Darnielle's bid for swift human extinction bases its analysis on a study published this month on the global spider population's eating habits. Researchers Martin Nyffeler and Klaus Birkhofer found that spiders the world over consume, in total, between 400 and 800-million tons of prey per year. It's a set of numbers large enough to trigger a fear-induced blackout for anyone with arachnophobia. After a bit of numbers crunching,
WaPo guesses that the world's spiders could end us all in a year, if they really felt the need. So far, they've taken mercy on us. If this is the prologue to the human vs. spider war I've gotta say, its characters are way overdrawn — Alanna Bennett (@AlannaBennett) March 28, 2017 How about not every human but I'll recommend some names via DM to @hiwearespiders ? https://t.co/COCPGRXQNH — man on spider (@Tony_Pumilia) March 28, 2017 And while others were grappling with the concept of death-by-spider, Darnielle chose to take an active approach to the issue. I started a petition to help the spiders eat every human on earth https://t.co/X0rAc35m8T via @Change — The Mountain Goats (@mountain_goats) March 28, 2017 With 335 supporters and counting, others have embraced his cause with enthusiasm. Happy 2017. Please give https://t.co/nqhQG2BaWq — Reyhan Harmanci (@harmancipants) March 28, 2017 It's going to be a great year!https://t.co/mLtUpg3Dp4 — Maura Judkis (@MauraJudkis) March 28, 2017 Guys, @mountain_goats made the only petition worth signing. https://t.co/bczvAiIzKZ — Paul DeBenedetto (@pauldebenedetto) March 28, 2017 change you can believe inhttps://t.co/zedUZITEwD — Shane D. Kavanaugh (@shanedkavanaugh) March 28, 2017 WATCH: This spinach leaf is actually a tiny, beating human heart
03/28/2017 - 06:09 PM
This brilliant teenager just corrected NASA’s mistake
Next time you make a mistake on the job, don’t be too hard on yourself — as it turns out, even the…
03/28/2017 - 06:37 PM
Astrophysicists created a virtual worldwide observatory to photograph black holes in space
Black holes are invisible; they are places in space where gravity is so strong that nothing emerges from beyond. Not even light. But scientists still want to try to see what they look like, so from April 5-14 this year, astronomers will try to glance at these absences and capture them on camera, focusing on…
03/28/2017 - 12:35 PM
Skeletons came to life in chalky oceans half a billion years ago
A wide and unrelated range of creatures began to grow skeletons around the world at almost the same time because of a fundamental shift in ocean chemistry 550 million years ago. A shift from magnesium-dominated chemistry to chalky water meant calcium carbonate precipitated out onto these organisms.
03/28/2017 - 07:56 PM
Mysterious X37-B ‘space plane’ stays in orbit for 677 days - and no one knows why
A mysterious robotic ‘space plane’ has now been in orbit for a record 677 days – and America is remaining silent about what it’s doing up there. The robotic Boeing X-37B craft – also known as Orbital Test Vehicle 4 – conducts long missions in orbit, carrying a classified payload. The aircraft has a wingspan of less than 15ft – and is taken into space on a rocket, but glides back to Earth like a space shuttle.
03/28/2017 - 05:36 AM
A brain scan to tell if you're depressed – and what treatment is needed
Talking therapy or antidepressants? An MRI scan could reveal what would work for you.
03/29/2017 - 05:04 AM
Mysterious moon volcano Ina is billions of years older than previous thought
An enigmatic volcanic caldera on the Moon, known as Ina, is said to have formed within the past 100 million years of lunar history – an extremely young age for volcanism on the Moon. The bumpy, D-shaped depression is a volcanic caldera two miles long and a mile wide. Several of Ina's features suggest that it is relatively young.
03/29/2017 - 06:20 AM
Titanic open to public exploration?
Tourist companies set to transport passengers to the bottom of the ocean floor, to explore the wreckage site and remains of the Titanic
03/27/2017 - 05:34 PM
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