Andrew Johnson's ordinance would ban Styrofoam containers in Mpls

Andrew Johnson
Did you know Minneapolis already has an ordinance on the books banning Styrofoam containers? Before he successfully ran for City Council last year, neither did Andrew Johnson.

"When I was campaigning I would come back late at night and go through city ordinances because when I had worked with the Longfellow Community Council, a lot of small businesses felt there was a lot of red tape," Johnson tells us. "And so, I was going through these ordinances and I found this one on environmentally sustainable containers, and I thought, does this mean Styrofoam is banned?"

See also:
Meg Tuthill wants to ban plastic bags in Minneapolis

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St. Paul and Mpls both make top 10 of "Greenest Cities" list

Categories: Environment, Lists
Michael Adams
St. Paul ranks just ahead of Minneapolis in NerdWallet's list of the "Greenest Cities in America," but both cities crack the top 10.

The list ranks the county's 95 largest cities using an algorithm that accounts for the median Air Quality Index, number of parks per 10,000 residents, the percentage of commuters not using cars, and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion. St. Paul clocks in 8th, Minneapolis 10th.

See also:
Someone put a deer carcass in their single-sort recycling bin

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Why the Twin Cities' air quality is worst it's been all year

Categories: Environment
This is the first time in 2014 this map has featured an orange blob over the Twin Cities.
Today, for the first time in 2014, the Twin Cities is under an "orange" air quality alert. That means breathing the air could be unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Reached this morning, Cassie McMahon, air quality research analyst for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, said that unfortunately, relatively poor air quality is just a fact of life in the upper midwest this time of year.

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Someone put a deer carcass in their single-sort recycling bin

This fella isn't meant to be recycled!
From the "burying the lede" file:

This morning, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader published a story entitled, "Too much trash is going into recycling bins, garbage handlers say." Whatever. But 13 paragraphs deep is this Weird Wisconsin-worthy passage:

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Winona film festival's decision to cancel pro-fracking documentary stirs controversy

Categories: Environment
"FrackNation" was set to be shown along with the anti-fracking documentary "Gasland 2."
The Winona Frozen River Film Festival's decision to cancel a showing of a film sympathetic to the fracking industry a week before this weekend's event has the controversial documentary's director crying foul.

SEE ALSO: Red Wing Mayor Dennis Egan resigns amid frac sand lobbying controversy

Speaking of the festival organizers, one of the directors of "FrackNation," Phelim McAleer, said, "Their environmentalism is based on a lot of emotion and fear and when someone challenges them they get emotional and fearful."

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MNGOP leader Kurt Daudt suggests today's freezing temps mean global warming is a myth

Kurt Daudt: Not a scientist.
It's freezing outside today today. Therefore, global warming isn't happening.

SEE ALSO: Jeff Dubay outs himself as a global warming denier

You don't have to ace a college logic class to understand why that's a bunk argument. Nonetheless, it's the sort of taking-empiricism-to-a-whole-new-level reasoning MNGOP House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, wants you to ponder as you shiver.

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Petition calls on Star Tribune to stop paying attention to climate change deniers

Should media outlets take seriously people who say the changes depicted in this graphic aren't the result of human activities?
In the wake of the Los Angeles Times deciding to discontinue publication of letters to the editor from climate change deniers, a petition signed by more than 1,100 people as of this morning calls upon on the Star Tribune to do the same thing.

RELATED: MNGOP attacks Dayton's support for clean energy in wake of UN climate change report

"With the science on climate change becoming increasingly grim and time running out to prevent catastrophic extreme weather events from becoming near-constant occurrences, we can't afford to let major American newspapers mislead the public by printing factually incorrect climate change denial conspiracy theories," the petition, addressed to Strib editor Rene Sanchez, says. "It is time for every major newspaper in the United States to explicitly reject climate change denial and publicly announce that they won't promote lies in their pages."

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Moose dying in Minnesota at alarming rate; climate change cited as cause

This bull moose was photographed in Minnesota's Superior National Forest.
A New York Times piece published this week takes a look at rapidly declining moose populations across the country, with particular attention paid to Minnesota.

SEE ALSO: Grand Rapids police chase cute black bear cub [PHOTO]

Minnesota has two geographically distinct moose populations, one in the far northwestern part of the state and the other in the arrowhead. According to the NYT, both populations have rapidly declined in recent years. The one in the northwest "has virtually disappeared since the 1990s," the NYT writes, with that population dropping to less than 100 from 4,000. In the arrowhead, the number of moose is declining by 25 percent a year, down to less than 3,000 from 8,000 in the late 1990s. As a result, all moose hunting in the state has been suspended.

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MNGOP attacks Dayton's support for clean energy in wake of UN climate change report

MNGOP gubernatorial candidates Kurt Zellers (left) and Dave Thompson don't buy the hype about climate change and the need for cleaner energy.
At the State Fair, Mark Dayton called for the state to move toward eliminating coal-burning power plants and said Minnesota ought to "be in the forefront of creating a cleaner environment."

SEE ALSO: Will Steger baffled by Tim Pawlenty's global warming flip flop

Nothing too out of the norm, right? But in the wake of new UN report that's raising questions about climate change, two Republicans who want to win their party's gubernatorial nomination are suggesting they plan to turn Dayton's support for clean energy into a campaign issue.

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Eagle and wolf among 29 species off the DNR's endangered list

Pen Waggener
The DNR says that this guy is no longer endangered in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources today released an update to its list of at-risk species for the first time since 1996. Those 17 years have yielded good news: The DNR has opted to no longer classify a full 29 species, including the bald eagle and the gray wolf, as endangered.

See Also:
- Is the bald eagle still an at-risk species? The DNR wants your take
- Should wolf hunting be banned -- again -- in Minnesota?

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