Happy Sunny Days! Yes, it’s a great time of year to get out and have some fun, but we should take measures to do it safely, too.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) just released its 2013 Sunscreen Guide rating the safety and efficacy of more than 1,400 sunscreens, lotions, lip products and makeups that advertise sun protection. What fascinates me most about this report is that the stuff we think is protecting us from terrible sun damage and cancer can actually be exposing us to more frightening threats!
This year, 25 percent of products on the market meet researchers’ standards by offering strong and broad UV protection and posing few safety concerns.
Even though 1/4 of the sunscreens looked at made the best list, they are not enough. The vast majority of sunscreens available aren’t as good as most of us think they are. EWG’s advice to you is to use the tips in the guide: wear sun-protective clothing, stay in the shade to reduce intense exposure and schedule regular skin examinations by a doctor.
Here are some highlights from this year’s EWG report:
“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revised its May 9 reading at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii, saying it remained fractions of a point below the level of 400 ppm, at 399.89.”
The measurement stayed just under the 400 ppm mark! Do we breath a sigh of relief? Did we dodge a bullet? I mean, for the last 800,000 years we have never broken the 300 ppm level, so I am not sure that the revised measurement really makes me feel all that much better…
So I for one am horrified at recent news of atmospheric CO2-e concentration reaching 400+ppm… Why? Climate Change is a serious problem. Not because it can harm the environment (though it will, and that does pain me) but because of the wicked uncertain predicaments we face. The bigger issue with uncertainty is the threat it poses to national security- and even more, global human stability (i.e., peace).
And for those of you (how!?) still on the fence about whether climate change is real, is caused by CO2-e, is man-made or not, etc. This video is awesome! It uses no climate models (something anti-climate change folks use in their debate to say it’s all guess-work) and it’s not funded by or produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (again, often sited as spinning fallacies and using scare-tactics claiming it’s all for the sake of folks like Al Gore to get rich or whatever…). This is based on historical, peer-reviewed, science. Science. Not speculation. Not feelings or emotions. Not guess-work. Science.
We have reached a new record. For the first time in 800,000 years the atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have reach 400 parts per million. For 1000s of years, the atmosphere has remained under 300 ppm of carbon dioxide. We were around 315 ppm in 1960. The rate of growth continues to grow.
A new video that is part of our TLC event. Walking the Walk: My Enduring Sustainability Journey Stephenie Presseller
Childhood places, experiences with inspirational people, and life choices push us in new directions in life. Stephenie Presseller takes us on her ongoing journey that has led her to become the first sustainability manager at Moraine Valley. This is an amazingly beautiful, challenging, and winding road that invites us all to come along and walk the walk toward sustainability.
WOW! This really goes beyond Meatless Monday. I would love to hear a response to this… could it be done at Moraine Valley? Or a local K12 school? Why or why not?
REPOST: By Elizabeth Chuck, Staff Writer, NBC News Braised black beans and plantains. Tofu roasted in Asian sesame sauce. Falafel and cucumber salad. These aren’t menu items from a high-end restaurant; they’re lunchtime grub for students at a Flushing, Queens, public school’s all-vegetarian cafeteria, the first in New York City to nix meat and believed to be one of the first public school in the nation to serve only vegetarian fare. … full article linked below
The Moraine Valley library has several themed blogs, which anyone can find them on its homepage. Of particular interest to me lately is the Film Blog series posted by Moraine Valley Librarian, Sarah Ando. Sarah has been reviewing several films on food, carbon & climate change. Check it out!
Or if you’re interested in personal liberty and freedoms of expression, Librarian, Troy Swanson has a really interesting piece on Bassem Youssef of Egypt and his fight for free speech.
Librarian Jen Kolan wrote about “a breakthrough in hydrogen fuel production” and its potential impact on how we might fuel our vehicles in the near future. Jen also directs readers to more books and resources that can be found in the Library to learn more on the topic.
I share all this to highlight the Library, the great resources within (including the Librarians!) and to also show how integrated sustainability topics are in our current events, in research and in the Moraine Valley culture. Check out the blog to learn more or peruse the Center for Sustainability website to find out what Moraine Valley is addressing to ensure a sustainable today and tomorrow.
So there you have it. NY State just listed climate change as a real threat to the value of the State’s bonds. This is alongside other risks like unresolved litigation and potential cuts in federal spending! Here’s a clip from the Environmental Leader article about this:
“The decision by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Administration follows Hurricane Sandy, which caused more than $40 billion in damage in the state after it made landfall last year, according to Bloomberg News. New York may be the first US state to warn investors of the risk caused by climate change, such as rising sea levels, flooding and erosion, the news agency says.”
It goes to reason that other states will soon follow NY’s lead. Of course, there are a lot of concerns with increased hurricanes and sea-level rise, so coastal states are sure to consider this. But, climate change affects us in the middle, too, with increased droughts and mega-snow storms. Perhaps Illinois will be next?
Apple has come under fire in the past from environmental groups including Greenpeace, who say one of the world’s most valuable companies can do more with renewable energy and that it had not been as forthright in its disclosure about the efforts it was making to make the company a greener business. Former CEO Steve Jobs penned an open letter in 2007, voicing his commitment to provide ongoing updates on the company’s progress.
And yesterday Apple released their latest update to include a proud annoucement that it is now using 100% renewable and clean energy in all of its data centers. Cool!
“We’re currently on track toward achieving an ambitious goal: to power every Apple facility entirely with energy from renewable sources — solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal. We’ve already reached this milestone at all of our data centers that provide online services to our customers, including in Maiden, North Carolina. We’ve also reached 100 percent at our facilities in Austin, Cork, and Munich and at our Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino,” the company said in its annual environmental impact report, which is posted on its web site. ”Among all Apple corporate facilities worldwide, 75 percent of the total energy used comes from renewable sources — a 114 percent increase since 2010.”
Read Connie Guglielmo’s Forbes article here to learn more.