Sustainability Reads: 3/10- 3/16

After 54 years of thirst, the U.S. and Mexico partner to save the Colorado River Delta

Article tells the sad, but vital story of the Colorado river which has not made it to its natural endpoint in Mexico since 1960 due to extensive exploitation all the way down its path from Colorado. However, for the first time U.S. is sending water down in a temporary ‘pulse flow’ which will mimic the natural spring that once thrived. Pulse flow is possible due to bilateral cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico through new agreement to ‘share surpluses in times of plenty and reductions in times of drought, which provides incentives for leaving water in storage, and conserves water through joint investments in projects from water users in both countries.’ Example that countries can work together to improve the environment! by Jennifer Pit on EDF Voices.

Was Your Senator #Up4Climate or In Bed with the Oil Industry?

Last Monday in the United States, democratic legislators participated in an all-night talk to bring attention to climate change. Yet many senators did not attend the overnight talk-a-thon, both Democratic and Republican alike, and as this article points out, the “most striking element separating those who participated and those who stayed home: the volume of campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry.” For example, each of the “30 participating senators raised an average of $56,269” from the oil industry since 2006, while the “70 senators not taking part raised an average of $289,544 over the same period.” Check out this link to find out more and to see if your state senators made it to the all-night climate talk. Article by Jon Queally and published on Renewable Energy World.

Kerry directs State Dept. to make climate change a top priority

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has once again outlined the importance of addressing climate change and has recently “instructed the agency’s  50,000 employees globally to make the issue a “top tier” diplomatic priority.” He has mentioned that coming up with a climate agreement by 2015 is top priority and released a document advising employees to lead by example by following a seven step plan that includes “combating climate change through domestic actions within the Department and at the federal, regional, and local level.” By Lisa Friedman and posted on the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition.

Livestrong Wristbands Are Good For Something Else: Measuring Our Exposure To Pollution

A new yet low tech device can allow us to track how much pollution from our environment our bodies are absorbing. The silicone bracelets known as the Livestrong wristbands are actually soaking up chemicals in the air all around us, absorbing toxins at about the same rate as human cells. According to the article, “not only did the bracelets absorb caffeine and nicotine, but they also reflected a range of cosmetic and fragrance chemicals, pet flea medications, and flame retardants.” Researchers from Oregon State University say that the wristbands are a helpful new tool in analyzing the environmental harms around us, as they are literally connected to the body and they are easy to use/carry, especially compared to current pollution monitoring tools. Posted on CoExist.

Paris restricts car use after pollution hits high

After pollution hit levels of 180 microgrammes of PM10 particulates per cubic metre (more than double the safe limit of 80), on Friday Paris introduced restricted how many cars will be driving in the city as an attempt to bring down the high levels of pollution. Starting tomorrow, drivers will only be able to use their vehicles every other day, and public transportation was made free of charge for three days to encourage use. This is the second time since 1997 that a restriction like this has been implemented and French officials say that pollution levels in Paris are currently similar to that of Beijing. Published on BBC News.

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