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A Fair Climate Deal? Accountability First!

Joachim Schleich, Grenoble École de Management (GEM) On June 1, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, ignoring pleas from businesses (including fossil-energy heavyweights such as ExxonMobil), city mayors (including the former steel capital Pittsburgh), federal states (including the world’s sixth-largest economy, California), his own Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, all other G7 leaders and, last but not least, the Pope. After almost two decades of tedious negotiations, the Paris Agreement (or Accord de Paris) was adopted in December 2015 by virtually every country in the world, including the U.S. The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to hold global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Unlike its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement not only involves greenhouse gas emission targets for developed countries but also for emerging and developing countries such as China and India. The countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement are obliged to submit a plan every five years to the United Nations stating how they intend to achieve their “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs), which are voluntary pledges to limit national greenhouse-gas emissions and to help developing countries cope with climate change. In a nutshell, President Trump essentially decided to pull his country out of a voluntary deal that has no enforcement mechanism in place, thereby snubbing the global coalition of almost 200 countries that signed the Paris Agreement, and adding stress to transatlantic diplomatic relations. Why did Donald Trump dump the Paris Agreement […]

Life Below The Ocean’s Surface Wholly Depends On How We Live Above It

Life below the surface cannot endure without us changing how we live our lives above the surface. And that means our idea of “ocean conservation” needs to be greatly broadened.Over the past decades, we have grown more sophisticated in our ability to monitor and measure the deteriorating state of the oceans – the dramatic decline of many marine species, the buildup of harmful pollutants in bays and estuaries, and the ongoing loss of large swaths of critical habitats – like coral reefs. But sadly, we are nowhere near as sophisticated at arresting the losses, reversing the tide, and improving ocean health. We need healthy oceans to support all life on the planet. Ocean health is ultimately a lifestyle problem, and this means we must reinvent how we live our lives above the water […]

Of Mice, Monsanto And A Mysterious Tumor

(First published in Environmental Health News.)Call it the case of the mysterious mouse tumor.It’s been 34 years since Monsanto Co. presented U.S. regulators with a seemingly routine study analyzing the effects the company’s best-selling herbicide might have on rodents. […]

Climate Change Is Literally Making You Lose Sleep

Climate change caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases is wreaking havoc on our planet — from heat waves to heavy rainstorms to higher sea levels, the consequences of global warming are far-reaching. The mere thought of the irreversible damage being done to our planet is enough to leave us tossing and turning at night. But as it turns out, there’s a scientific reason that climate change is literally making us lose sleep.Many of us have had the experience of struggling to fall and stay asleep during a heat wave — especially if we don’t have air conditioning. A newly published paper in the journal Science Advances predicts that as global temperatures continue to rise an increasing number of people will lose sleep.This side effect of climate change will disproportionately affect certain demographics — specifically, people who can’t afford to run their air conditioning all night, and the elderly, who have a harder time regulating their body temperature.According to the researchers’ calculations, an extra six nights of sleeplessness can be expected every month for every 100 Americans by 2050. That number will surge to 14 nights per month by 2099 if global emissions continue at their current level. Sleep deprivation is miserable, but it’s more than a mere inconvenience.Sleep deprivation is miserable, but it’s more than a mere inconvenience […]

Dear World, we’re actually not giving up on Paris

125 American cities, 9 states, 902 businesses, and 183 schools so far have all signed a declaration promising to honor the Paris Climate Agreement. […]

Will The Future Blame Us For Donald Trump’s Presidency?

Remember when we had to deal with a story like President Obama wearing a tan suit for like a week? What about when something as silly as Howard Dean yelling, “YEAAAAH!” at a rally could destroy his entire campaign for president? Back then, something as miniscule as how you sound or what you wore could be played on repeat for days on every news channel. But now? […]

News Roundup for June 2, 2017

Welcome to the irredeemable garbage fire! 1. The White House can’t let its racist travel ban go. President Trump is appealing the Supreme Court to reinstate it. […]