ICYMI: Environmental Reads From Last Week (Labor Day Weekend Edition)

In which I share the five most interesting and important environmental stories (IMHO) that I’ve read this week on various environmental threats that birds face globally, the latest IPCC draft report leaked Tuesday, a mysterious blue substance born from the Mount Polley mine disaster and more.

Carbon Day 2013

A treat for passers-by at Copley Square yesterday: Carbon Day 2013! Co-sponsored by Boston University Sustainable Neighborhood Lab and the City of Boston Greenovate, Carbon Day is a public exhibition event to promote awareness about carbon and educate the public about steps they can take to reduce their carbon footprint, according to organizer Linda Grosser from Boston University. Pictures available!

Did human activity cause lobster shell disease?

Here’s a treat for lobster-lovers: a video from the American Chemical Society featuring the New England Aquarium director of research, Dr. Michael Tlusty, explaining why they turn red when they’re cooked, but also introducing shell disease, a problem that has been troubling lobsters for a while. This was one of the videos that I produced with colleague, Kirk Zamieroski, while I was on internship with the American Chemical Society over the summer.

Chinese New Year, and reflections on combustion

Late Saturday morning, I watched children go down the snow-covered streets with sleds as text messages started to stream in from my family. It was approaching midnight of Chinese New Year in Malaysia, where my family returned every year to reunite with my father’s siblings and their families. It occurred to me that there are a lot of Chinese practices that involve burning stuff. If climate change went up against these deep-rooted traditions, who knows what sort of debate we’ll get into?

An open letter to the EPA

Dear EPA officials,

I was quite excited by several headlines this weekend saying that a federal court decision had gone against the ethanol mandate. Considering the devastated corn crop from last summer’s drought, the rule forcing gasoline producers to maintain ethanol levels at ten to fifteen percent is expected to result in almost half of the corn crop ending up as ethanol. It would make a lot of sense for the rule to be relaxed this year, if not forever.