Energy sensors and controls could boost Wisconsin economy, study says

From Midwest Energy News, January 17, 2018. Wisconsin is poised to capitalize on “the biggest market opportunity of our era,” according to a report released Wednesday by the Wisconsin Energy Institute, the Midwest Energy Research Consortium and the American Jobs Project. That would be the manufacture of sensors and controls crucial to the advanced energy […]

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Study: End of coal burning at Pa. plant better for pregnant women

From the New Jersey Herald, January 11, 2018. When the Portland (Pa.) Generating Plant burned coal to produce electricity, pregnant women who lived downwind in four New Jersey counties had a statistically higher chance of having a low birth weight or pre-term birth. Now that the plant no longer burns coal to create electricity, birth […]

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EPA Could Allow Teenage Workers To Handle Dangerous Pesticides

From Huffington Post, January 10, 2018. Officials have signaled they may eliminate the age requirements for working with toxic chemicals on farms and other worksites. If the Environmental Protection Agency follows through with a reform now under consideration, teenage farmworkers and other working minors would once again be allowed to handle dangerous pesticides while on […]

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Bill Berry: Nitrate in groundwater calls for our attention

From the CAP Times, January 8, 2018. Sometimes, really important news just doesn’t get much attention. Consider the case of nitrate, primarily tied to agricultural fertilizers, and the 2017 report by the Wisconsin Groundwater Coordinating Council. The council is comprised of state agencies with responsibilities for groundwater management, plus a governor’s appointee. The section of […]

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Pesticide report shows no residue on half of U.S. food tested

From Food Safety News, November 7, 2017. The annual analysis of pesticide residues in domestic and imported foods, with the results for fiscal year 2015, showed 98 percent of tested foods produced in the United States do not violate federal limits. Of the 835 domestic food samples tested from 39 states, almost half, 49.8 percent, […]

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Exposure to fine particulate pollution linked to increase in early births: study

From The Sydney Morning Herald, January 3, 2018. Exposure to fine particulates from burning coal, vehicle exhausts and other pollution sources is linked to an increased risk of pre-term births, according to a study of more than 1 million Chinese births that included an Australian researcher. The study, published Wednesday by the American Medical Association’s […]

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‘Big Milk’ Brings Big Issues for Local Communities

From Civil Eats, January 3, 2018. Mega-dairies are moving to Oregon, bringing concerns about their impacts on the state’s rural communities, family farms, and environment. It’s important to respect “the cow-ness of the cow,” says Oregon dairyman Jon Bansen, quoting sustainable farm guru Joel Salatin in explaining what differentiates his pasture-raised cows from those living […]

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‘Smothered’ and ‘shoved aside’ in rural America

From The Murcury News, January 2, 2018. BUCKEYE, Iowa — “Come on! Come on! Go girls!” Annette Sweeney was on horseback, hollering at her chocolate-colored cows on a perfect Iowa morning, happy that her life is better since Donald Trump became president. Sweeney, 60, raises Angus cows and corn on the flat, green farmland of […]

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Fighting Climate Change, One Laundry Load at a Time

From The New York Times, January 1, 2018. COPENHAGEN — A Danish biotechnology company is trying to fight climate change — one laundry load at a time. Its secret weapon: mushrooms like those in a dormant forest outside Copenhagen. In the quest for a more environmentally friendly detergent, two scientists at the company, Novozymes, regularly […]

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Fiber Is Good for You. Now Scientists May Know Why.

From The New York Times, January 1, 2018. A diet of fiber-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, reduces the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Indeed, the evidence for fiber’s benefits extends beyond any particular ailment: Eating more fiber seems to lower people’s mortality rate, whatever the cause. That’s why experts are […]

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Air Pollution Contributes to More Than 20,000 Deaths a Year

From the New York Times, December 27, 2017. Day-to-day increases in air pollution, even at levels generally considered acceptable, are associated with increased deaths among the elderly. Previous studies have suggested an association, but most have been based on small populations in metropolitan areas. This new study, in JAMA, used Medicare files and nationwide air […]

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