TARGET: Save with the Red Card!


Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Green Apps



Burpee Gardening

Whole House Water Filter


Soft Phone Banner



Natural Mosquito Control

10% Off Mosquito Magnet Accessories - Use Code MMACCTEN

FTC Disclosure

Green Reflection may receive remuneration from the advertisers on this site.

Just as John Oliver predicted, a coal tycoon is suing him.

On Monday, 38 of the EPA’s research advisers found out that their terms, set to end in August, would not be renewed.

One of them is Elena Craft, a senior health scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund. “It creates a huge void in terms of scientific capacity,” Craft told Grist. “Systematically gutting these committees is essentially cutting off access to some of the greatest science advisers really in the world.”

The purge will leave 11 members on the Board of Scientific Counselors’ subcommittees. The latest move follows sweeping cuts to federal agencies in April. The empty seats on the EPA’s advisory board are expected to be filled with a more industry-friendly bunch.

Craft said that after the announcement, Robert Kavlock, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s research arm, told the advisers in a phone call that he expected the board to pay less attention to climate change.

The board of experts has counseled the EPA on its research programs for two decades. Last year, the board’s subcommittees recommended that the agency work on engaging with communities in its clean-air programs and investigate environmental risks from toxic chemicals. All this advice comes free of charge.

“For an agency that is slated to have its budget cut fairly significantly, cutting out all of the free labor and free help doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense,” Craft said.


City trees suffer from not getting enough sleep

Streetlights and other city circumstances lead to poor health and prevent urban trees from being all that they can be. […]

The Times is now publishing climate denial. Scientists are not having it.

Two weeks ago, the New York Times took on Bret Stephens — who once called climate change an “imaginary” problem — as an op-ed columnist in an effort to reflect more political perspectives.

His first column came out on Friday, and — surprise — it casts doubt on the certainty of the scientific consensus on climate.

Previously, while some readers had threatened to cancel their subscriptions as a result of his controversial stances on science, Muslims, and campus rape, “relatively few” had done so, wrote Liz Spayd, the Times’ public editor.

The backlash to Spayd’s piece was real. Climatologist Michael Mann canceled his subscription and started the Twitter hashtag #ShowYourCancellation.

“There is no left-leaning or right-leaning climate science, just as there is no Democrat or Republican theory of gravity,” wrote Stefan Rahmstorf, head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in his cancellation letter.

Other scientists joined in:

James Bennet, the paper’s editorial page editor, defended the decision to hire Stephens. We shouldn’t ignore the perspective of the “millions of people who agree with him,” he told HuffPost.

Well, yes — but millions of people have been wrong before. That doesn’t mean alternative facts should be given a platform.

Now that Stephens’ first piece is up, we’ll see if more cancellations follow.


What’s A Scientist To Do? March!

It’s hard to believe that 92 years after the Scopes Monkey Trial (which debated teaching evolution in public schools), the integrity of the science community is in politically charged territory.The reality of climate change, possibly the greatest concern of the 21st century, is challenged by those who refuse to accept findings which indicate that the world is warming.There is an ongoing effort to refute that human activity has been a key driver in the “greenhouse effect.”For stakeholders in the fossil fuel industry, facts pointing to human-produced climate change is an impediment to their agenda.With greater fossil fuel carbon in the air, more heat is returning to earth. Arctic sea ice is decreasing, oceans are rising, extreme weather is frequent, birds and other species are changing their behavioral patterns.The new head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, has maintained that the science of climate change is “far from settled.”What’s a scientist to do, beyond present the facts?March! Scientists and supporters of science will do just that at the March for Science on April 22, Earth Day.Science needs a higher profile in our country. Currently, studies show that America lags woefully behind in graduating science majors. Stats underscore that America ranked number 38 out of 40 countries. In 2012, President Obama set the goal of increasing STEM graduates by one million by 2022.Unfortunately, science isn’t considered “sexy.” When featured in news stories it too often doesn’t get the eyeballs (except glazed).That’s about to change — the tagline for the march is, “Science, Not Silence.” The organizers state:“The mischaracterization of science as a partisan issue, which has given policymakers permission to reject overwhelming evidence, is a critical and urgent matter. It is time for people who support scientific research and evidence-based policies to take a public stand and be counted.”There are several core principles featured, with the purpose of bringing key positions to the forefront:Science serves the common good and should be “free from manipulation by special interests.”Science education is essential. (That includes encouraging girls and people of color to go into the STEM fields!)Communication of scientific facts to the public should be freely accessible […]

Pruitt Earns A Failing Grade When It Comes To Climate Science

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said on CNBC:“I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do, and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”This is consistent with Pruitt’s previous public statements and writings on climate change. It is also false and misleading.There is not “tremendous disagreement” among scientists but a strong consensus that humans are the primary cause of recent climate change. The consensus exists because of clear and convincing evidence from empirical observations of temperatures and many different Earth systems, fundamental and tested laws of physics and insights gained from model simulations of how the climate behaves under changed conditions. Nearly 30 years of review of the evidence by a variety of scientific organizations have led the non-partisan U.S. National Academy of Sciences, as well as many other national science academies and scientific associations, to conclude that the climate is changing and humans very likely are the major cause.The most comprehensive and carefully peer-reviewed assessment of the science of climate change is conducted every five to six years by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC’s most recent assessment of the physical science of climate change, published in 2013, was written by several hundred scientists from 39 countries, including the U.S., with expertise in climate science and related fields and who work for universities, scientific institutions, private businesses and government science agencies.The author team examined over 9200 scientific publications to produce a 2000-plus page report on the state of knowledge about climate change. Drafts of the report went through two rounds of formal review in which over 1000 reviewers submitted over 50,000 comments. Fifty review editors oversaw the review process, charged with assuring that issues identified by the reviewers were appropriately resolved for the final report [Disclosure: I served as a review editor for the IPCC’s 2014 companion report on the impacts of climate change]. […]

Getting down and dirty about the hygiene hypothesis

There are “old friends”- bugs that we need, and there are killer pathogens. So you still have to wash your hands. […]

This is what the sonic boom of an earthquake looks & sounds like (Video)

Using computer code, the seismic data of powerful earthquakes are transformed into sound-rich visualizations that may help advance the study of earthquakes further. […]