“California beats its 2020 goals for cutting greenhouse gases”

"California has beaten its self-imposed goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, achieving a milestone in the state’s fight against climate change. The California Air Resources Board announced Wednesday that total statewide carbon emissions fell to 429 million metric tons in 2016, a drop of 12 million tons from the year before. The decline means California met the Legislature’s goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels, and did so a full four years before the target year of 2020."


“It All Started With a Few Trout. Now Yellowstone’s Iconic Birds Face ‘Collapse.'”

"DOUG SMITH DOESN’T remember the moment he realized that a serious ecological crisis was under way in Yellowstone National Park. But as more and more birds began to dwindle, what appeared before him was, he says, “an expanding picture of avian collapse.” One of the first signs Smith spotted presented itself on the normally tranquil Riddle Lake in 2014. There, floating upside down, was a young trumpeter swan killed by a bald eagle. The cygnet was the last of an entire clutch of five siblings eaten by the mighty white-crowned raptors, an act that in one fell swoop wiped out all of the park’s newborn swans for the year."


“Teens work to address needs of ‘food desert’ with vegetable-based desserts”

"From coast to coast, thousands of communities in the United States are classified by the Department of Agriculture as "food deserts" — meaning there is limited access to fresh vegetables, fruit and grocery stores. These "food deserts" tend to be found in low-income areas, where grocery stores are far from residential areas and many locals don't have cars."


“The Key to Saving the Planet May Be Under the Sea”

"A Cold War-era joke has an American economist asking a Soviet peer how the communist economy is progressing. “In a word: good” the Russian responds. “In two words: not good.” So it goes this century with the rapidly changing energy industry. Advances are taking place in clean energy, transport and efficiency that may have rightfully been considered miraculous a decade ago. But here’s the catch: As fast as everything is proceeding, it’s still not fast enough. "


“This Seaside Community Is Getting Swallowed by the Ocean”

"SLOWLY BUT SURELY, North Carolina's Outer Banks are being eaten up by the sea. The 200-mile stretch of islands that sits just off the coast is known for its idyllic beaches and thriving tourism, but scientists say those beaches are in jeopardy. Rising sea levels are forcing residents to grapple with a home that's slowly washing out from under them. One 2010 report predicted that sea levels around North Carolina could rise 39 inches by 2100 as climate change melts glaciers and contributes to global sea level rise. Already, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality says, about six feet of coastal land erodes every year."


“Seattle Becomes the First Major U.S. City to Ban Plastic Straws”

"STRAWLESS IN SEATTLE. On Sunday, Seattle became the first major city in the U.S. to ban plastic straws and utensils. The ban is part of a 2008 ordinance that banned any one-time-use food-service items that aren’t recyclable or compostable. The city made an exception for straws and utensils, since alternatives to plastic were hard to come by at the time. That exemption ended on June 30. Businesses that don’t comply with the ban can now face a $250 fine."


“These animals depend on darkness. But humans have ruined their nights.”

"On warm nights beginning in July, baby loggerhead turtles hatch from nests buried on Southeastern U.S. beaches. Tiny fins churn the sand with such vigor that biologists call the scene a “boil.” Moonlight beckons. The new turtles, a hundred per clutch, follow the light sparkling off the water into the ocean. That’s how their first hours on Earth are supposed to go. Except the night isn’t what it once was."


“Where 3 Million Electric Vehicle Batteries Will Go When They Retire”

"The first batches of batteries from electric and hybrid vehicles are hitting retirement age, yet they aren’t bound for landfills. Instead, they’ll spend their golden years chilling beer at 7-Elevens in Japan, powering car-charging stations in California and storing energy for homes and grids in Europe. Lithium-ion car and bus batteries can collect and discharge electricity for another seven to 10 years after being taken off the roads and stripped from chassis—a shelf life with significant ramifications for global carmakers, electricity providers and raw-materials suppliers."


“How climate change is hurting monarch butterflies”

"Most monarch butterflies spend the winter in Mexico. But the rest of the year they can be found throughout much of the continental U.S. – as long as there’s milkweed. This tall plant is the only food monarch caterpillars eat, so that’s where the butterflies lay their eggs. But Chip Taylor of the University of Kansas Monarch Watch says human development and agricultural practices, including herbicide use, have eliminated a lot of milkweed. That’s making it harder for monarchs to find stop-over sites where they can lay their eggs during their summer migration."


“UPS is buying a fleet of 1,000 electric vans from Workhorse”

"Parcel delivery companies are all starting to look at electric vehicles to reduce their operating costs and their impact on air pollution. UPS is arguably leading the way on that front as it orders a fleet of 1,000 electric vans from Workhorse as it latest electrification effort. I say latest electrification effort because UPS has many of them. We reported on them deploying a small fleet of new neat-looking custom-built all-electric delivery trucks in London last month."