Category Archives: Environment

Mapping USA electronics manufacturing pollution

The US ‘tech sector’ has been a major source of toxicant releases. These interactive maps show the chemical legacy of electronic manufacturing in the US.

Not all marine fish eat plastics

The Gulf Stream, which curves along the southern shore of Newfoundland, is saturated with plastics. Fish that feed from the surface waters, where plastics tend to accumulate, are in an ideal position to ingest plastics. But what about the bigger fish that eat these fish, especially when we eat those predators? In 2016, our laboratory […]
Read More »

Hope and mourning in the Anthropocene

These experiences resonate strongly with the concept of “solastagia,” described both as a form of homesickness while still in place, and as a type of grief over the loss of a healthy place or a thriving ecosystem.

Science with heart

Conservation biologist Alex Bond on dealing with pollution, harm, and suffering as a scientist.

Nuclear State, Nuclear Waste

Nuclear State, Nuclear Waste: Emily Simmonds on Canada as a nuclear nation & ongoing colonialism through uranium mining.

Waste colonialism

Waste colonialism refers to how waste and pollution are part of the domination of one group in their homeland by another group. The concept has been gaining traction since the 1990s to explain patterns of power in wasting and pollution.

What the world misses about recycling

Recycling was never just a solution to a disposal crisis, and it did not uniformly reduce total waste management costs. Rather, it addresses a range of other concerns which are equally valid but nearly impossible to quantify.

These chemicals are bad for babies and whales: Why haven’t they been banned in Canada?

Canadian regulators are all over the map with respect to flame retardants. On PBDEs, Canada infamously refused to take meaningful regulatory action. The government found most PBDEs to be toxic substances in 2006, but it declined to ban or restrict them in consumer products in 2008 or in 2016.

Moving the Circular Economy Beyond Alchemy

This review of a special issue of the Journal of Industrial Ecology titled, “Exploring the Circular Economy” is a virtual tour of circular economy definitions and current directions. The authors discuss and derive new definitions of “circularity.” They cover fundamental determinants of material lifespan, such as economic demand, thermodynamics, product design, and durability.

Urban noise pollution is worst in poor and minority neighborhoods and segregated cities

Neighborhoods with median annual incomes below US$25,000 were nearly 2 decibels louder than neighborhoods with incomes above $100,000 per year. And nationwide, communities with 75 percent black residents had median nighttime noise levels of 46.3 decibels – 4 decibels louder than communities with no black residents. A 10-decibel increase represents a doubling in loudness of a sound, so these are big differences.