Next week, the United Nations’ Open Working Group will convene in New York to continue negotiating a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These SDGs -- focused on issues such as gender equality, health, education, poverty, climate change, and biodiversity -- are intended to drive social, economic, and environmental development on an international scale. They will also serve as a continuation of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015.
Connecticut lawmakers are considering a ban of waste from “fracking,” the controversial method of obtaining natural gas cheaply. This comes less than a year after the state approved a major expansion of its natural gas infrastructure to capitalize on production in nearby states. Now, some are wondering whether Connecticut can avoid the environmental risks of the fracking boom.
Last month, Governor Dannel Malloy announced more than $880,327 in state grants for dozens of Connecticut farms. Among the recipients is a farmer in Higganum looking to fill 1,000 logs with many more mushrooms.
Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 4:33 pm
This week, scientists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History will start unpacking some rare and precious cargo. It's something the Smithsonian has never had before — a nearly complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex.
Baby eels are making their annual migration from Long Island Sound to rivers across Connecticut, but along the way, they're encountering one persistent obstacle: river dams. Now, one man in Greenwich is working to make the eels' journey a little easier.
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has ordered genetic testing for seven hybrid “wolfdogs” found in the state. But if all dogs come from wolves, can a DNA test actually tell us how much “wolf” and how much “dog” is in a hybrid?
A report released by the World Health Organization last week found that some 7 million people died from air pollution exposure in 2012. In other words, one in eight of all global deaths that year resulted from breathing bad air.
Today, the WHO considers air pollution to be the single greatest environmental health risk, linking it to cases of asthma, heart disease, stroke, and even cancer.
Originally published on Sun March 30, 2014 5:59 pm
At Green's Sugarhouse in Poultney, Vt., visitors are gathered around four squeeze bottles of maple syrup, sampling the each under brand-new labels.
Vermont recently replaced its syrup grading system and now uses new names that make different syrups sound more like wine or expensive coffee.
Gone is the former system, with names like "Fancy," "Grade A Dark Amber" and "Grade B." The new labels give both the color — "Golden," "Amber" or "Dark" — and a flavor description: "Delicate," "Rich," "Robust" or "Strong."
State officials said DNA tests will be conducted on seven animals to determine if they are hybrid "wolfdogs." The animals, which are illegal to own in Connecticut, have allegedly threatened several people in the southeastern part of the state.
The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that owners of horses or other domestic animals must prevent the animal from causing injuries, siding with a family whose child was bitten by a horse. The court on Wednesday upheld an Appellate Court ruling that said a horse belongs to "a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious."
An environmental advocacy group is challenging how energy policy is coordinated by New England's six governors. The Conservation Law Foundation has submitted public records requests to the region's six states.
With a 15-5 vote, Bridgeport's City Council approved a massive solar energy project this week that could bring thousands of solar panels to a former city landfill. Since dumps are no longer allowed in Connecticut, that's left a lot of city leaders wondering what to do with that old space.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection hasn't done a statewide estimate for about five years, but at last count, there were around 120,000 deer in Connecticut, with the largest concentrations in Fairfield County.
DEEP officials said the numbers are getting out of control, and voiced their support for a legislative proposal that would expand deer hunting in Connecticut.
Last week, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority called for a "voluntary suspension" of so-called "enhanced tree-trimming" around the state. United Illuminating and CL&P quickly filed formal responses and -- surprise -- they both want to keep trimming.
If you think about why you fiddle with your clock twice a year, there are probably two things that spring to mind: farmers and energy savings. Neither are the reasons why we have Daylight Saving Time, so I called Michael Downing, the author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time, and asked him why these myths persist.
Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 7:04 pm
This is Hungerford, a large female snowy owl. Last summer she was just a hatchling — a gray ball of fuzz in the middle of the Arctic tundra. In the fall, newly equipped with adult plumage, she flew thousands of miles south until she reached the coast of Maryland. And this winter, she became an important part of an unprecedented research project.
A live hemlock woolly adelgid in the spring. This winter's extreme cold has reduced population numbers statewide, but there is evidence that bugs in the northwest corner of the state are becoming more cold-weather resistant.
Credit Carole Cheah / Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Scientists say this winter's extreme cold is having a limited impact on the state's invasive bugs, and it may even be making one insect stronger. It's called the hemlock woolly adelgid, and it was first identified in Connecticut in 1985.