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Wednesday, 25 October

03:59

FSC mulls rule change to allow certification for recent deforesters Conservation news

The certification organization Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) took a step toward allowing timber companies that have cut down forests since 1994 to apply for the organizations stamp of approval. Current rules bar any company that has deforested areas to convert them to timber plantations since FSCs inception 23 years ago from certification. The passage of Motion 7 at the General Assembly meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Oct. 13 did not change that. However, its approval by the organizations membership, comprising private companies, individuals and conservation NGOs, indicates that FSCs requirements could change. Proponents argue that the measure would increase access to certification in developing economies. But some question about how effective certification actually is and say that changing the date could increase the destruction of forests. A timber plantation in Malaysia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay. I think its becoming more and more apparent for FSC that this 1994 rule is becoming like a blockage, said Aditya Bayunanda of WWF Indonesia. The FSC should be open to all. Bayunanda proposed the motion, which allows discussions about changing this regulation to continue. In his view, a rule change would allow the participation of companies from developing countries, whose economies were just getting going around the time FSC was created. It wasnt by design, Bayunanda said in an interview. It was just like that. Allowing these companies to earn certification would require them to adhere to FSCs standards regarding biodiversity conservation and the protection of human rights, Bayunanda said, and he cautioned that

03:52

Magnitude 6.7 141km NNE of Palue, Indonesia October 24, 2017 BC-ESP Seismograms

USGS Event Page
Magnitude 6.7
141km NNE of Paue, Indonesia
2017-10-24 10:47:47 UTC
-7.236S   123.040E

549.2 km depth

 


02:42

Call to Action: Support Water Protectors at Camp Makwa in Minnesota Earth First! Newswire

from Its Going Down

Warriors at Camp Makwa Frontline Camp need your help obtaining these things to continue fighting to protect our water and land on Anishinaabe territory.

Things were in need of:

1. 4X4 Truck with towing capacity of F250
2. 40 Chords of Firewood
3. Carpenters and Teams of Skilled Builders
4. Those Experienced in Non-Violent Direct Action

If youre interested in sending money or supplies, our amazon wishlist, supply list and youcaring donation pages are ALL currently up to date and on our fb groups pinned post.

Please SHARE this with your networks so we can get camp winterized and focus on taking down Enbridges Line 3 black snake.

Miigwech family!

02:23

UF, State of Florida Splurge Over $500K Protecting One Fascist Global Justice Ecology Project

Students and Protesters Disrupt Spencer at Every Level    By RUDDY TURNSTONE Global Justice Ecology Project   While climate change is impacting communities all over the world, taking lives, destroying peoples homes and livelihoods while people of... Read More

The post UF, State of Florida Splurge Over $500K Protecting One Fascist appeared first on Global Justice Ecology Project.

02:00

Study: Ending extreme poverty and limiting warming to 2C still possible Carbon Brief

Bringing extreme poverty to an end will not jeopardise the chances of limiting global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels, a new study says.

Pulling the 770 million people around the world out of extreme poverty which is defined as living on less than $1.90 a day would add a mere 0.05C to global temperatures by 2100, the research shows.

However, eradicating poverty entirely by moving the worlds poorest into a global middle class income group, which earns a modest $2.97-8.44 a day, could add 0.6C to global temperatures by 2100.

In order to end all forms of poverty without driving up global temperatures, world leaders will need to ramp up climate mitigation efforts by 27%, the lead author tells Carbon Brief.

Climate-development conflict

Ending extreme poverty for all people everywhere is the first of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, an internationally-agreed set of targets aimed to improve the global standard of living by 2030.

However, putting an end to extreme poverty could bring additional challenges to meeting the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global temperature rise to well below 2C.

This is because raising the quality of life of the worlds poorest would mean using more of the planets resources such as food and energy driving up carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.

This paradox is known as the climate-development conflict, explains Prof Klaus Hubacek, a researcher at the University of Maryland and lead author of the new research published in Nature Communications.

In his research, he aimed to quantify the total cost, in terms of carbon emissions, of ending extreme poverty. He tells Carbon Brief:

Eradicating extreme poverty does not jeopardise the climate target even in the absence of climate policies and with current technologies.

Carbon inequality

To calculate the cost of eradicating extreme poverty, the researchers first set about estimating the carbon footprints of the worlds poorest and richest people.

For each carbon footprint, researchers considered both direct carbon emissions from the consumption of food, heating and cooling of homes and the use of transport and indirect carbon emissions from the production of household goods and services. They then c...

01:58

The Sambor Dam Is a Tragic Mistake for Cambodia Latest News

Planned mega-dam threatens fish populations and food security in the lower Mekong Basin

01:17

Lies and Manipulation: The Sorry State of Global Climate Alarmism Watts Up With That?

Guest opinion by Vijay Jayaraj As a citizen of a third-world country, I bring a different perspective about climate change from that held by most people in wealthy countries. While they fret about possible tenth-of-a-degree changes in global average temperature, I think about how a billion of my fellow Indians and I will obtain the

00:36

Call to Action: Blockade at Oregons Goose Timber Sale, Help Needed Earth First! Newswire

from Cascadia Forest Defenders

McKENZIE BRIDGE, OR On October 23, Cascadia Forest Defenders [CFD] erected a road blockade at the entrance to the W Timber Sale to protest the current logging on National Forest Land. Already clashes between loggers and protesters have resulted in one protester sustaining minor injuries.

The protesters aim to end Seneca Jones Timber Company plan to destroy thousands of acres in the McKenzie River watershed. The road blockade consists of large slash piles, multiple cars, and a refrigerator all serving as an anchor for a human-occupied platform suspended 80 feet up a Douglas fir tree.

Were protecting drinking water, biodiversity, a stable climate, and ultimately our own survival, said Scrimshaw Forest, of Cascadia Forest Defenders. We oppose resource extraction and deforestation.

The sale is part of the 2000+ acre Goose Project in the Willamette National Forest just a few miles from McKenzie Bridge. Logging began on October 16.

CFD states that this blockade isnt about stripping Oregonians of jobs but stopping the loggers from destroying one of the last intact roadless areas. The group hopes the companies the loggers work for are paying their employees for a full days work and the loggers can take the day off to go enjoy life away from the chainsaws.

Folks are needed ASAP at the blockade to help out the folks there. There is currently many Law Enforcement Officers present. If they leave, those there might be vulnerable to other attacks from the loggers or other upset by the protest. For directions call the phone number below.

Contact Cascadia Forest Defenders

phone: 541-554-2519
email: keepgoosewild[at]protonmail.com

00:33

Strong Earthquake Strikes Flores Sea, Indonesia Fire Earth

EDI-683F M6.7 quake occurs 141km NNE of Palue, Indonesia EQD: Magnitude 6.7 mww Location: 7.236S 123.040E Depth: 549.2 km Time: 2017-10-24 10:47:47 (UTC) Source: USGS Advertisements Filed under: News Alert Tagged: BANDA SEA, earthquake, Flores Sea, Indonesia, M6.7, Palue

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Tuesday, 24 October

23:36

Strong, very deep M6.7 earthquake hits off the coast of Indonesia The Watchers Latest articles

A strong earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.7 hit off the coast of Indonesia at 10:47 UTC on October 24, 2017. The agency is reporting a depth of 549.2 km (341.2 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.5 at a depth of 550 km (341.7 miles). According to the USGS, the...... Read more

22:04

Natural Gas Production is Out of Control A Potent Greenhouse Gas Frack Check WV

The Energy Information Agency is in the U. S. Department of Energy

Too Much Gas? EIAs Henry Hub Price Forecasts Revised Lower

From an Article by David Bradley, Natural Gas Intelligence, October 17, 2017

Henry Hub natural gas spot prices this year and next will be lower than previously forecast, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which now predicting an average of $3.03/MMBtu for 2017 and $3.19/MMBtu next year.

Those price forecasts, included in EIAs latest Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook, are both down from last month, when EIA was forecasting prices would average $3.05/MMBtu this year and $3.29/MMBtu in 2018.

Expected growth in natural gas exports and domestic consumption next year contribute to the forecast increase between 2017 and 2018 Henry Hub natural gas spot prices, EIA said.

In September, the average Henry Hub natural gas spot price was $2.98/MMBtu, up 8 cents/MMBtu from the August level.

New York Mercantile Exchange contract values for January 2018 delivery traded during the five-day period ending Oct. 6 suggest a price range of $2.28-4.63/MMBtu, encompassing the market expectation of Henry Hub prices in January at the 95% confidence level, EIA said.

Futures prices declined in early September, largely because of reduced demand related to Hurricane Irma in Florida, EIA said. Most electricity generation in Florida is natural gas-fired, and electricity generation in Florida on Sept. 11 was 41% lower than the average of the first seven days of September.

Injections of working natural gas into underground storage exceeded market expectations and historical averages for the first three weeks in September, which further contributed to lower prices.

EIA expects domestic dry natural gas production to average 73.6 Bcf/d this year, a 0.8 Bcf/d increase from 2016, and is forecasting 2018 production to reach a record 78.5 Bcf/d.

As rising natural gas production keeps pace with increasing consumption and demand for exports particularly for liquefied natural gas (LNG) EIA projects a balanced market from the last quarter of 2017 through 2018, the agency said. LNG export capacity is expected to increase, with LNG exports projected to exceed 3 Bcf/d in 2018, 66% higher than in 2017. Increased takeaway capacity out of the Marcellus and Utica shale plays is expected...

18:36

New study: Risky roads cause more than just environmental harm Conservation news

Roads can be arteries that ferry goods and people, connect communities and markets and bolster economic development. But if theyre not well-planned, they can instigate conflict, saddle countries with debt and open the door to environmental destruction, according to a new study published Monday. Globally, some 25 million kilometers (15.5 million miles) of paved roads are set to be built in the next three-and-a-half decades. Yet, until now, there have been few studies on the economic, social and environmental risks of roads. None of the research is completely focused on integrating all three of these sectors, said Mohammed Alamgir, an environmental scientist at James Cook University in Cairns and the lead author of the new study. He and his colleagues pulled together the available research on the effects of road building and uncovered a disconcerting pattern. They reported their findings in the journal Current Biology. Road-killed Malayan tapir in northern Peninsular Malaysia. Photo WWF-Malaysia. Theres this kind of insidious dynamic of systematically overestimating the benefits and underestimating the costs, said William Laurance, a tropical ecologist at James Cook and one of the papers authors, in an interview. The impacts of a road tend to ripple through an ecosystem. As people move in, they mine the earth, hunt wildlife and cut down trees, potentially destroying habitat, decimating species and affecting important ecosystem services like the provision of clean water. Laurance led a team in 2014 that discovered that nearly 95 percent of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon takes place within 5.5

16:09

Whales and dolphins have rich 'human-like' cultures and societies The Watchers Latest articles

Whales and dolphins (Cetaceans) live in tightly-knit social groups, have complex relationships, talk to each other and even have regional dialects - much like human societies. A major new study, published recently in Nature Ecology & Evolution, has linked the...... Read more

Saving the Star Wars gibbon: Q&A with primatologist Carolyn Thompson Conservation news

In January this year, scientists described a new species of ape a white-browed gibbon that lives in the remote forests of the Gaoligong Mountains on the border of China and Myanmar. The gibbon was originally classified as the eastern hoolock gibbon (Hoolock leuconedys). But the lead researcher, Fan Peng-Fei of Sun Yat-sen University in China, noticed that the gibbons of the Gaoligong Mountains seemed different: they had different markings on their bodies and their calls were unusual. So the team studied the gibbon in detail and confirmed that the primate was indeed a new species, previously unknown to science. The researchers, who are big Star Wars fans, named it the Skywalker hoolock gibbon (Hoolock tianxing) after Luke Skywalker. Adult male Skywalker hoolock gibbon, China. Photo by Fan Peng-Fei. The newly described Skywalker hoolock gibbon is a mystery. Scientists are unsure of its population size, or what threatens its survival in the wild. Carolyn Thompson, a primatologist and doctoral student at University College London, is trying to fill these gaps. Thompson has spent nearly a decade studying primates. She worked as the head primate scientist at the Borneo Nature Foundation in Kalimantan, Indonesia, where she studied primates like the Bornean white-bearded gibbon. It was there that I fell in love with our singing, swinging cousins, the gibbons, she told Mongabay. Now, Thompson is doing her doctoral studies with the very team that described the Skywalker hoolock gibbon. This is her dream Ph.D., Thompson says, but finding the funds to cover her research costs has been tough. Currently,

15:08

Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4. ~ Winston Smith Head Space

Locus of Control refers to an individuals perception about the underlying main causes of events in he/she/its life. From a behavioral and cognitive psychology perspective, Julian Rotter in the 1950s, provides us with his construct known as Locus of Control of Reinforcement. With it, comes the notion that through contingencies of various types of stimulus []

14:32

International Gibbon Day: smaller apes are endangered, yet overlooked CHANGING TIMES

Today (Tuesday) is International Gibbon Day and events are being organised around the world to foster awareness about the endangered primates and raise money for gibbon conservation.

Gibbons live in tropical and subtropical rainforests from eastern Bangladesh and northeastern India to southern China and Indonesia.

Today, Changing Times is focusing on the plight of gibbons in Malaysia, and the work of Mariani Ramli. 

There are twenty recognised gibbon species. On the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, four are listed as critically endangered, 14 as endangered, and one as vulnerable. One has yet to be assessed.

The major threats to gibbons include loss of habitat and hunting pressure, often for the wildlife trade. 

 

...

14:26

Bill Nye: I am a Failure Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall Bill Nye seems to think he has failed to reach people with his demand for urgent action on climate change, but he blames others for creating the conditions which led to his failure. Bill Nye on his climate change education efforts: I am a failure The Science Guy looks back

13:44

9 million-year-old teeth suggests earliest human relatives lived in Europe The Watchers Latest articles

Researchers in Germany have recovered an unusual set of teeth estimated to be 9.7 million years old. The teeth are unlike any found in Europe or Asia, but closely resemble the teeth of Lucy, the famed female specimen of the hominin species Australopithecus...... Read more

11:00

Shifting Finance to Protect Forests: 2017 Progress Assessment of the New York Declaration on Forests Illegal Logging Portal

This report draws on, consolidates, and interprets data from various initiatives by leading think tanks and research organizations engaged in tracking finance related to forests, reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, and the sectors driving deforestation. Key findings:

  • Current forest finance is not enough to end deforestation; integrated approaches are needed An estimated USD 200 billion is needed for transformation to deforestation-free commodity production. This is 10 times more than current commitments. Addressing deforestation will take unlocking the right combination of finance for differing contexts. The public sector needs to set incentives and the right conditions, but the private sector will be crucial in pushing forward a transition to sustainable land and forest use in the long term.
  • Forest finance does not reflect forest mitigation potential While tropical forests can provide up to 30 percent of the climate change mitigation needed to meet the principal objective of the Paris Agreement, mitigation finance for forests in deforestation countries accounts for just over one percent of global mitigation-related development funding.
  • Across sectors, green finance is dwarfed by grey finance The amount of green finance aligned with forest and climate goals   roughly USD 20 billion since 2010 is marginal compared to  the USD 777 billion in grey finance for the land sector that influences forests.
  • Achieving zero deforestation will require a dramatic shift of finance from traditional to sustainable investments Traditional investments in the drivers of deforestation must be redirected toward those in sustainable agriculture and forestry. Only the coordinated and strategic use of finance can enable this transition by targeting the vast existing flows of investment that have an influence on forests. The public sector has a range of tools available to them that can assist in developing an attractive sustainable investment environment for private sector actors to shift existing grey finance into.
Source: 
Document: 
PDF icon...

10:46

Another Manntastic modeling claim: sea level rise will cause NYC to flood Watts Up With That?

From Penn State and the freaking out about sea level is easy when you don pay attention to history department. (well worth a link click) Sea-level rise, not stronger storm surge, will cause future NYC flooding Rising sea levels caused by a warming climate threaten greater future storm damage to New York City, but the

09:42

50 simulations of the Really Big One show how a 9.0 Cascadia earthquake could play out The Watchers Latest articles

One of the worst nightmares for many Pacific Northwest residents is a huge earthquake along the offshore Cascadia Subduction Zone, which would unleash damaging and likely deadly shaking in coastal Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and northern California. The...... Read more

Life and death and the jaguars of the mind (commentary) Conservation news

In 1913, former President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt visited a remote part of Brazil, where he shot dead a wild jaguar. Posing for a photograph, he pulled back the jaguars lips to reveal its sharp fangs. Its flesh, by the way, he wrote, proved good eating, when we had it for supper. A little over a century later, another man went on a jaguar hunt, this time in the Peruvian Amazon. His name was Celsor and he believed an elderly hunter from a village downstream had turned into the big cat when he died. As Emma Marris reported for National Geographic, Celsor shot the jaguar through the heart with a bow and arrow, then burned its body to ensure the mans dangerous spirit would not return. To Celsor, the hunt was urgent. The jaguar had killed dogs and chickens; a villager could be next. To Roosevelt, killing the jaguar was sport. It affirmed his masculinity. While he called himself the conservationist president, his view of the jaguar was rooted in prejudice, not science. Celsors spiritual beliefs, meanwhile, have a surprising link to ecology. Such differences of perspective determine whether people kill jaguars wantonly or out of necessity. For a species being nudged to the edge of extinction, the way people think matters. But the jaguars of the mind are always evolving. And, as new research shows, when money enters the picture, opinions can soon shift. Illustration of a jaguar attacking a tapir from 1911. Via Wikimedia Commons. The

09:02

Hikers Rescue Dog Trapped Inside An Abandoned Mine Shaft Thrillist

Earlier this month, Preston Gladd was hiking near his home in South Park, Colorado, when he had a sudden change of plans. Gladd had been hoping to explore an abandoned mine at the end of a rural road, recommended to him by a friend. But when he arrived, a strange sound from within caused him to turn back.

"As soon as I got to the opening, I heard growling," Gladd told The Dodo. "I assumed a wild animal was living in there, so I just left. I didnt want to get attacked."

The mine was indeed occupied just not by the kind of creature he thought it might be.

Credit: Portia Scovern

A week later, Gladd returned to the mine to see if the coast was now clear. This time, he heard a sound from within again, only far more recognizable.

"It sounded like a dog barking and baying," he said. "I went into the mine with my headlamp on, I saw that there was a dog in this shaft that went straight down about 25 feet. I knew I couldnt get down there by myself, so I went to my house and got my roommate and my girlfriend."

Equipped now with climbing shoes, ropes, harnesses and more headlamps, the three of them raced back to the mine. The trapped dog was thrilled to have finally been noticed after so many days.

Then Gladd began to rappel down to save her.

Credit: Portia Scovern

"When she saw us looking down into the shaft, she was so happy. She was running around," he said. "When I actually got down into the shaft, she was trying to climb up me. She was definitely really happy to see me down there."

Gladd's girlfriend, Portia Scovern, captured these images of the dramatic rescue.

The dog was visibly exhausted, skinny and thirsty. So, after giving her water, they rushed her to a veterinarian.
...

08:27

NASA follows extra-Tropical Cyclone Lan speeding through northern Japan Watts Up With That?

From the NASA/GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER Now an extra-tropical cyclone over northern Japan, Lan was a typhoon when it made landfall just south of Tokyo over the weekend of Oct. 21 and 22. NASAs Aqua satellite and NASA-NOAAs Suomi NPP satellite provided imagery of the extra-tropical cyclone. On Oct. 23 at 03:42 UTC (Oct. 22

07:49

Cops Caught Doing The Nicest Thing For A Homeless Woman And Her Dog Thrillist

When Kaitlyn McNamara stopped by this Buffalo, New York, gas station on Sunday morning, she had no idea she'd soon see something that would move her to tears.

Credit: Google Street View/Kaitlyn McNamara

Prior to entering the station's market to purchase some coffee, McNamara noticed a woman and her dog seated on the sidewalk out front. Based on her appearance, and the bag she seemed to be toting, McNamara surmised that the woman was homeless or living on the streets but her canine companion nevertheless appeared to be fit, healthy and well taken care of.

As McNamara stepped inside, she noticed two Buffalo Police officers a few paces behind her. One stopped to talk to the woman out front: "I heard the officer ask to pet her dog before walking into the store," McNamara told The Dodo.

While waiting for her coffee, McNamara noticed the two officers were buying dog food and treats. Turns out, they were for the woman and her pup.

"I walked out at the same time as them and heard the officer say, 'Here, I bought your dog some stuff,'" McNamara recalls. "Her face immediately lit up."

Credit: Kaitlyn McNamara

Seeing that simple gesture of kindness had a profound effect on McNamara.

"I started crying," she said. "I didnt want to intrude on the moment too much so I continued into my car and secretly watched from afar. It was very selfless and genuine and real. It did not feel rehearsed or out of obligation. It was very real. Truly beautiful."

For the next several minutes, McNamara observed as the officers cordially spoke with the woman and pet her dog. While we can only speculate on their background and level of need, the pet owner and pup seemed to appreciate the warmth and generosity they were shown. McNamara surely did.

"We live in a beautiful world and, despite the negativity that often rises to the headlines, there is still good out there," she said. "A lot of it."
...

07:45

Sweetest Dog Has Been Waiting At Shelter For Almost 8 Years Thrillist

It can take Milan a little while to get comfortable around new people. But once she's comfortable, she is comfortable.

Here she is plopping right over for a belly rub from some of her favorite people at the Hilton Head Humane Association in South Carolina. She loves the staff and volunteers at this shelter to bits, and they adore her right back they've all had the time to grow close, since Milan has been at the shelter since 2009. 

"Milan has been at the shelter for so long that she probably does not know that it is not a home," Sassa Enscoe, the shelter's administration coordinator, tells The Dodo. "As much as we love her, we want Milan to find a home just for her."

On May 19, 2009, Milan was found on the side of the road. She'd been shot; a single bullet had gone through two of her legs. 

The dog was taken to the Hilton Head Humane Association for help and that's where she remains to this day.

Credit: Hilton Head Humane Association

Folks at the shelter really do love Milan. She's been there since she was just a year and a half old, and now shes almost 9.

Credit: Hilton Head Humane Association

There was a two-year period from 20122014 when Milan was with a family. She got returned to the shelter "because the family was moving to a location that did not allow pets," Enscoe says.

...

07:18

Shelter Starts Sorting Dogs Into Hogwarts Houses To Help Them Get Adopted Thrillist

A shelter in Florida was noticing that a lot of people looking to adopt dogs were focusing on breed rather than personality. Wanting people to look at their dogs for who they really are, the shelter came up with a fun (and super nerdy) way to showcase their dogs personalities using Harry Potter.

Credit: Art Faulkner

Stephen Bardy, executive director at Pet Alliance Orlando, was chatting with other staff members at the shelter about how to get people to focus less on breed and more on personality when they came up with the genius idea to start sorting dogs into Hogwarts houses. Each dog is sorted based on his personality, and the shelter actually has a very sophisticated system for figuring out which dog belongs in which house, just like the Sorting Hat

Credit: Art Faulkner

Our animal behaviorist, Diane Andersen, (and Harry Potter guru), created a test using toys that represent different qualities of each house, Bardy told The Dodo. The dogs are tested individually similar to the Sorting Hat process in the novels. In our case, the dogs choice of toy indicates his house, not the Sorting Hat but we do have one on hand. 

Its universally known that Gryffindors are brave and heroic, Slytherins are determined and resourceful, Hufflepuffs are kind and loyal and Ravenclaws are intelligent and witty, and the shelter has worked hard to translate these characteristics into the traits of their dogs. ...

07:03

Saline lakes around the world shrinking at alarming rates The Watchers Latest articles

Saline lakes around the world are shrinking in size at alarming rates. Lakes like Utah's Great Salt Lake, Asia's Aral Sea, the Dead Sea in Jordan and Israel, China's huge Lop Nur and Bolivia's Lake Popo are just a few that are in peril. These lakes...... Read more

Sudden strong explosion at Stromboli volcano, Italy The Watchers Latest articles

A strong explosion occurred at Stromboli volcano, Italy at 14:04 UTC on Monday, October 23, 2017, ejecting bombs on a vast area around the crater. There were no people near the volcano at the time of the explosion and there are no reports of damage or injuries. ...... Read more

Temer guts Brazils slavery law, to the applause of elite ruralists Conservation news

A wealthy Brazilian family in Rio de Janeiro, at home with their slaves, as portrayed in 1839. The severe economic divide between elite ruralists and the slaves they profit from is just as wide today, say experts. Painting by Jean-Baptiste Debret in the public domain Over the last year the Michel Temer government has rolled back many progressive environmental, indigenous and land policies, achieved over three decades, to please the ruralist lobby in Congress, upon which it is dependent for its political survival. Yet none of these significant setbacks has provoked the furore that erupted after Temers recent decision to change the legislation dealing with slave labor. On 16 October the Labor Ministry issued a decree (Portaria N 1129/2017) that altered the way slave labor is defined and prosecuted in Brazil. Under the new rules, it is no longer enough for workers to be laboring for many hours in degrading and inhumane conditions or to be paid only in food. From now on, for workers to be considered to be working in conditions analogous to slavery, employers must deny them the freedom to come and go. Moreover, for an employer to be found guilty of slave labor, a police officer, accompanied by a Labor Ministry official, must catch the person in the act of denying workers this freedom almost an administrative impossibility in remote settings like the Amazon, where much slavery occurs to hide environmental crime. Its a legal absurdity, a monstrosity exclaimed Luiz Eduardo Bojart, a prosecutor in

06:38

Kim Jong-un Wins MIC Prize for Regional Arms Sales Forecast Fire Earth

Zombies Vote for Abes War Party Background: The Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) aims to remilitarize Japan with the help of their hand puppets in North Korea and Japan. North Koreas puppet regime, installed by the Military-Industrial Complex and lead by the rogue dictator Kim Jong-un, is playing to Japans fear of atom bombs, helping the deplorable []

06:00

New York City could face damaging floods every five years in a warmer climate Carbon Brief

New York City could be struck by severe flooding up to every five years by 2030-45 if no efforts are made to curb human-driven climate change, new research finds.

Floods that reach more 2.25m in height enough to inundate the first story of a building could dramatically increase in frequency as a result of future sea level rise and bigger storm surges, the study suggests. Such severe floods would be expected only around once in every 25 years during 19702005.

The findings make it clear that [flood] adaptation measures are critical to protect lives and infrastructure in a changing climate, the lead author tells Carbon Brief.

Flooding threat

Like many coastal cities in the US, New York is vulnerable to flooding driven by storm surges from tropical cyclones, as well as sea level rise. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy overwhelmed the city with floodwater, killing 43 people and causing close to $50bn in damages.

Storm surges occur when a storm weather system moves from the sea to the land. As the weather system moves over the sea surface, its low pressure centre pulls up the surface of the water. Then, as the storm blows towards land, wind pushes the sea towards the coast, hitting the shore with large waves.

The height of these waves is dependent on the underlying sea level, the tide, and the size of the tropical cyclone. As sea levels rise, a storm surge has more chance of breaching coastal flood defences.

During Hurricane Sandy, the combined impact of the storm surge and a high tide saw sea levels reach a record height of 3.44m.

05:48

Scared Baby Zebra Snuggles Up To Human Friends On Way To Vet Thrillist

This little zebra is now named Shaq but he almost didn't survive. 

Credit: Jamie Traynor/The Rhino Orphanage

Shaq was just 3 weeks old when he was spotted in the wild in South Africa by people who realized that there was something seriously wrong with him. They contacted The Rhino Orphanage, a sanctuary and rehabilitation center for orphaned rhinos and occasionally other kinds of animals, to get the little guy some help.

Credit: Jamie Traynor/The Rhino Orphanage

The people at the orphanage welcomed the little guy with open arms. 

Credit: Jamie Traynor/The Rhino Orphanage

Credit: Jamie Traynor/The Rhino Orphanage

Shaq had a badly broken leg he never would have survived out there all on his own so rescuers wrapped it up in a cast. And they did everything they could to make him feel comfortable, including giving him a lot of bottle feedings.

"He weighs 27 kg [59 lb] and drinks 250 ml [8.4 oz] of milk every two hours," Jamie Traynor, who works at the orphanage, wrote. "To ensure that he has adequate exercise and outdoor stimulation a carer is always with him to help support his broken leg. It's hard not to instantly fall in love with his adorable face, sweet personality and his super soft mane and coat!"...

05:28

Senate Budget Resolution Creates Pathway to Opening ANWR to Drilling!!! Watts Up With That?

Guest cheer-leading by David Middleton U.S. Senate passes bill that offers a chance to open Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling Author: Erica Martinson clock Updated: 3 days ago calendar Published 3 days ago WASHINGTON The U.S. Senate passed a budget resolution Thursday that could provide Alaskas congressional delegation its best shot in four

04:43

Canada: Totem Pole Raised on Lelu Island after LNG Project Falls Earth First! Newswire

by Shannon Lough / The Northern View

See The Northern View for a related video

Photo from The Northern View.

In a stand of defiance against federal authorities, members of the Gitwilgyoots Tribe and supporters raised a totem pole on Lelu Island on Oct. 20 to signify their claim to the land.

The occupation of Lelu Island began in 2015 on the site where Petronas proposed to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and it has continued even after the company abandoned its Pacific NorthWest LNG project in July. People who either took part or supported the resistance movement came to witness the totem pole being raised on a mound overlooking where the sea meets the Skeena River.

Its a historic event. Its to signify who were are, where we come from, what we stand for and this is our territory. Were marking our territory, were occupying our land as we have years ago, said Ken Lawson, or Gwishawaal of wolf clan, a Gitwilgyoots house leader of one of nine allied tribes of the Lax Kwalaams.

However, the territory they have claimed is federal Crown land. While a few boats transported approximately 100 people from Port Edward to the island, the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) patrol boat remained close.

Lelu Island is federal land within the managerial jurisdiction of PRPA. In compliance with that responsibility, PRPA considers any activit...

04:33

Woman Builds Eagle A New Wing So She Can Fly Again Thrillist

A white-bellied sea eagle might have never flown again if it weren't for some kind people and one woman with a very particular kind of skill.

Credit: Danny Lett/ARCC

A Good Samaritan in Australia spotted the young eagle recently and it was clear she was in trouble. She had become separated from her family and gotten tangled up in twine on a fence. Rescuers disentangled her and rushed the bird to a veterinary clinic for care. 

The people at the Grafton Vet Clinic examined the eagle and discovered that four of her primary feathers were very badly damaged, even though there were luckily no broken bones or other injuries.

Credit: A.Barsony/ARCC

Without those primary feathers, though, this bird wouldn't be able to fly with the kind of precision she needs in order to hunt and survive. So a specialist who knew just how to rebuild her wing was brought in from Casino Vet Clinic.

"Feather repair using the imping technique was the best option to get this young bird back out with her family," Australian Raptor Care and Conservation Inc (ARCC) wrote on Facebook last week. "After a suitable donor wing from the same species and aged bird was sourced, the imping was carried out by raptor rehabber Melanie." 

Credit: A. Barsony/ARCC

"Imping," short for implantation, takes feat...

04:21

10 killed, 7 missing in an avalanche on Otgontenger, Mongolias highest peak The Watchers Latest articles

Ten people have been killed and 7 are missing after being caught in an avalanche on Mount Otgontenger, Mongolia's highest peak. Authorities banned climbing the peak for safety reasons two years ago. According to the Mongolian National Emergency Management...... Read more

04:11

Australia: Court Case Won Against Tasmanian Anti-Protest Laws Earth First! Newswire

by Michael Slezak / The Guardian

Tasmanian forest

The former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown has won a landmark high court fight against Tasmanian anti-protest laws passed in 2014 and under which he was charged in 2016.

Brown, the third person arrested under the Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Act 2014, argued the laws directly targeted implied freedom of political expression in the constitution and were therefore unconstitutional.

The landmark case stemmed from Browns arrest while filming a video about an anti-logging protest at Lapoinya state forest in Tasmanias north-west in January 2016.

The Tasmanian government dropped the charges against Brown and his co-arrestee, Jessica Hoyt, once they mounted the high court challenge but Brown continued the challenge to protect future environmental actions, arguing they impinged on an implied right to free speech in Australias constitution.

In a 183-page judgment, the court ruled in favour of Brown and Hoyt by a six-to-one majority.

The law prohibited protesters from preventing, hindering or obstructing businesses, even in public areas such as state forests or the access points to areas where commercial activities are conducted, if they ought to have known the impact their political activity would have on the business.

Speaking after the decision was handed down, Brown told the Guardian it was a great day for Australian democracy.

The high court has said: There is a right to political expression and we will uphold it. You cant just start jailing people on account of their political beliefs or peaceful actions they might take to uphold those beliefs.

At the...

03:28

Time to End Oil & Gas Subsidies and Adopt Renewable Energy Frack Check WV

Energy Subsidies: Fossil Fuels vs Renewable Energy (Clean Technia)

Getting rid of oil and gas subsidies is the way to a renewable future

Essay by S. Tom Bond, Retired Chemist & Resident Farmer, Lewis County, WV

Subsidies, where the government provides funds to advance the interests of some industry, are the best thing the petroleum and coal industries have going for them. They are, in fact, payments to increase profits, the motivation for business. The fossil fuel industry gets $20 billion a year. Sounds like a lot of motivation!

That figure comes from Dirty Energy Dominance: Dependant on Denial. The global warming we are experiencing is being subsidized by our government. The result of a second study published by the Stokholm Environmental Institute in a peer reviewed journal includes this in the abstract:

This study finds that, at recent oil prices of USD 50 per barrel, tax preferences and other subsidies push nearly half of new, yet-to-be-developed oil investments into profitability, potentially increasing U.S. oil production by 17 billion barrels over the next few decades.

This oil, equivalent to 6 billion [long tons] of CO2, could make up as much as 20% of U.S. oil production through 2050 under a carbon budget aimed at limiting warming to 2 C. Our findings show that removal of tax incentives and other fossil fuel support policies could both fulfil G20 commitments and yield climate benefits.

The abstract is available here.

Its a really good investment for the companies, too. A few hundred million dollars in lobbying and candidate support, and the return is $20 billion. Thats a many-fold return.

It is clear that the big pipelines are not about helping Americans (most of us, that is). Adequate shipping capacity is in place to meet present demand. On the one hand, they are intended to allow more gas to be used for electrical generation when cleaner and cheaper renewables are just around the corner, and to provide liquid natural gas for export. The former not only screws up the atmosphere, but the economy, too. Oil and gas extraction are a mature industry, capital intensive and high return to capital.

For each dollar spent, solar and wind energy projects create twice as many jobs as coal or natural gas, economists at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, calculated in 2009. That includes mo...

03:21

FIRE-EARTH ALERTS: GJCT, JDZP, KZSR, NPWH, TFVH Fire Earth

All Groups FIRE-EARTH ALERTS: GJCT, JDZP, KZSR, NPWH, TFVH [Issued by FIRE-EARTH Science and CW Teams.] Details via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.  Filed under: News Alert Tagged: 102301, FIRE-EARTH Alerts, FIRE-EARTH PULSARS, FIRE-EARTH Science, GJCT, JDZP, KZSR, NPWH, TFVH

02:44

Announcing the Animal Rights Gathering 2018: January 20 in Baltimore, MD Earth First! Newswire

from Animal Rights Gathering 2018

Animal Rights Gathering 2018, was inspired by No New Animal Lab campaign that reinvigorated AR campaigns on a national level. Through working together on NNAL, many of us kept in touch. Recently, through conversations about the flaws and undesired mainstream narratives provided to the Animal Rights community, we decided to attempt to disrupt those narratives, through a non-organizational gathering.

The No New Animal Lab campaign brought together a diverse and geographically broad group of animal rights, vegan, intersectional, and feminist people to stand with non-human animals against their exploitation.

The campaign was damaged by heavy law suits that prevented the organizers, or people who had spoken to the organizers, from continuing the work. Since the end of that campaign, some of us have stayed in touch and frequently revisited the question of how, or if, we bring the non-human animal question into the intersections of where we exist, organize, and support.

With the election of Trump, we felt even more at loss at how to broach or consider this question. In the matter of a night, so many communities became overtly under attack. With time though, we have been able to respond to the changing political arena and still come back to this question how or if we bring the non-human animal into the intersections of our existence, organizing, and support work.

In weighing this questions and its implications, we acknowledged there was more to our questioning. The mainstream animal rights movement often embarrassed us. Its standard narrative about who, when, and how to be vegan is negligent to our human family and suggests that, by being a conscious consumer, one can attain the highest level of vegan. This kind of veganism ignores the oppressive nature of capitalism, what animal rights are, and how we work for them within the wider framework of this world.

Outside this mainstream movement, we sense a lack of strategy. People work tirelessly to free, document and protect non-human animals. But what is our greater strategy to make headway in their liberation? Is welfare work enough, how far does it go, and why dont we push for abolition more frequently?

As white people ourselves who care about our full human family, we want to discuss, explore, and take responsibility with a diverse group of animal rights folks for how our movement can best show up for marginalized communities; how we ca...

02:29

The Tragic Tale of Tony the Truck Stop Tiger Latest News

Tony's life and death as a roadside attraction expose the failure of the American legal system

01:47

Typhoon "Lan" slams into Japan, leaves at least 4 dead, extensive flooding The Watchers Latest articles

Typhoon "Lan" made landfall at Shizuoka Prefecture, some 175 km (110 miles) southwest of Tokyo at 18:00 UTC on Sunday, October 22, 2017 (03:00 JST, October 23), side-sweeping the capital, bringing heavy rain and wind gusts up to 198 km/h (123 mph). The...... Read more

As Northwest salmon economy teeters on brink, Trump gives it a push Conservation news

Salmon fisherman Malcolm Sampson, an ethnic-Tsimshian and member of the Lax Kwalaams First Nation. Photo Jim McAuley LAX KWALAAMS, British Colombia: Four years ago, Malcolm Sampson says, the ocean changed in a way that terrified him. Now in his 60s, Sampson, an ethnic-Tsimshian and member of the Lax Kwalaams First Nation, had spent his entire life hunting salmon in the open ocean and torturous passages of Canadas North Coast, just south of the Alaska border. But he had never seen anything like that: The water went warm, he said, nodding down at the blue-gray waves lapping at his boat, anchored about a mile offshore. In the distance, we could see the forbidding heights of British Columbias coastal range poking through the haze. Sampson was dour. We pulled the sockeye out of the gill nets still alive, and they were already rotting, he said. Algae bloomed on the waters surface, pushing the surviving salmon far out to sea. Throughout the fishery, he said, the harvest collapsed. By the time colder seas returned in 2017, the years of bad catches had eviscerated Lax Kwalaams commercial fishing fleet. When Sampson took off this morning from the small reserve town, he left a marina full of fishing boats bobbing, but half-abandoned, in their docks, their captains having given up. You just cant make money at it anymore, Sampson said, shaking his head. He lives in Lax Kwalaams, an indigenous reserve village of about 600, largely members of the nine tribes of the Tsimshian,

01:44

Plague Epidemic Spreading at Alarming Rate in Madagascar Fire Earth

70+ Percent of the reported cases are highly virulent pneumonic plague: Health officials The deadly disease outbreak has hit Madagascars two biggest cities, Antananarivo and Toamasina, and its spreading at an alarming rate, health officials said Normally, people who catch the plague live in poor areas, but people in every place in society are catching []

Monday, 23 October

23:14

Shallow M6.0 earthquake off Bouvet Island, South Atlantic Ocean The Watchers Latest articles

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.0 hit off the coast of Bouvet Island, South Atlantic Ocean at 08:32 UTC on October 23, 2017. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). EMSC is reporting M6.0 at a depth of 20 km (12.4 miles)....... Read more

18:01

A skeptic attempts to break the pal review glass ceiling in climate modeling Watts Up With That?

Propagation of Error and the Reliability of Global Air Temperature Projections Guest essay by Pat Frank Regular readers at Anthonys Watts Up With That will know that for several years, since July 2013 in fact, I have been trying to publish an analysis of climate model error. The analysis propagates a lower limit calibration error

18:00

In-depth: How will climate change affect animal sex ratios? Carbon Brief

From habitat loss to extreme weather events, the worlds wildlife faces a list of challenges as a result of climate change.

But a growing field of research suggests that climate change could affect the numbers of males and females differently. An imbalance between the sexes in some animal populations could stifle reproduction, which could lead to population declines and even species extinctions.

Carbon Brief spoke to scientists who are studying how climate change could affect the sex ratios of a diverse group of animals.

Turtle trouble

Rising temperatures could spell trouble for animals that use temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). This is when an animals gender is controlled by the temperature that an animal is exposed to while it is developing as an embryo or larvae.

Sea turtles are one group of animals that are subject to TSD. During the reproductive season, female sea turtles come ashore to bury their eggs in the sand. The temperature of the sand determines whether the clutch is born male or female. For most turtles, low temperatures result in an all-male clutch, while high temperatures result in an all-female clutch.

Because of this, scientists have expressed fears that a rise in global temperatures could lead to a large proportion of new turtle hatchlings being born female.

There is evidence that this may be happening already. In Florida, an important breeding spot for the loggerhead sea turtle, there has been a strong female bias in the hatchlings that have emerged over the past five years, reaching 95% female in some areas.

And in Cape Verde, another breeding ground for loggerhead turtles, the proportion of hatchlings being born female is thought to have risen from around 59% in the 1850s to close to 70% today.

However, it is not yet clear how any female bias will affect overall loggerhead population numbers, says Dr Jacques-Olivier Lalo, a researcher in turtle sex ratios from Swansea University.

He points out that female turtles may be able to cope with a shortage of males because they are able to store sperm. This m...

16:53

Economic headwinds buffet once-resilient Sumatran forest-farms Conservation news

For more than a century, agroforests in the Sumatran port town of Krui used to be a prime example of how interspersing native tree species among crops could give locals an economic alternative to the ubiquitous oil palm and timber plantations that blanket the island. Farmers practicing the method typically benefit from multi-crop harvests while at the same time nurturing a more productive and sustainable farming ecosystem. Until the end of the 1990s, Kruis agroforests were still largely intact amid the spread of timber and oil palm plantations, with most forest-farmers opting to plant the native rainforest tree species damar (Shorea javanica). During that period, less than 5 percent of households reported clearing damar agroforests. But by 2014, one-fifth of damar agroforests in Krui had been razed to make way for sawmills and oil palm plantations, according to a new study by environmental anthropologist David Gilbert from Stanford University. In his recent research published in the journal Human Ecology, Gilbert said that the single largest cause of agroforest clearing was for oil palm, notably over the last 15 years.   In his paper, The Capitalist Squeeze and the Rise and Fall of Sumatras Krui Agroforests, Gilbert argues that a complex process of state support for logging and agribusiness, inheritance patterns, and emergent inequalities among Krui smallholders have compelled the regions forest-farmers to abandon damar agroforestry over the past decade. Damar trees in Pahmungan village in Sumatras Lampung province. Krui is located in Lampung province, bounded by the Indian Ocean and Bukit

Helmeted hornbill, on verge of extinction, finds respite in new zone outside of known range Conservation news

A conservation area in western Borneo holds an unexpectedly rich population of the helmeted hornbill, a bird driven close to extinction by poaching for its distinctive casqued beak, a field survey has found. A research team from the conservation group Planet Indonesia recorded over 50 visual and audio detections of the hornbill during its yearlong survey in the protected area in northwestern Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo. The discovery indicated a large concentration of the helmeted hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil), said Adam Miller, executive director of the NGO, in a statement. A helmeted hornbill is sighted by the Planet Indonesia research team at a protected site in western Borneo. Photo courtesy of Planet Indonesia. While Borneo in general is known to be a habitat of the species, Miller pointed out that his teams findings were the first to detect the birds presence in the protected region. When we found the helmeted hornbill we could not believe it, Miller wrote in a separate email. We had not expected this rainforest to be so rich with hornbills. Stretching across 1,800 square kilometers (695 square miles) of forested area, the remote landscape covers three administrative districts and connects to a national park in Malaysias Sarawak state. Other than the helmeted hornbill, Miller said, the region contains seven other hornbill species: the oriental pied hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris), the bushy-crested hornbill (Anorrhinus galeritus), the wreathed hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus), the black hornbill (Anthracoceros malayanus), the white-crowned hornbill (Berenicornis comatus), the rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros) and the

14:04

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #288 Watts Up With That?

Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project Quote of the Week. The modern world, after all, is not the product of a successful search for consensus. Its whats emerged from centuries of critical enquiry and hard clash. Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister of Australia Number of the Week: 2.2

14:00

EPA Staff Still Wasting Time on Climate Change Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall The New York Times is calling censorship, that EPA management has cancelled a trip by three staff scientists to speak at a climate conference. My question why does the NYT think EPA staff scientists have the right to dictate how they spend their work hours? E.P.A. Cancels Talk on

10:31

And so the story goes Head Space

the devils in the details On one occasion, so it was narrated, Stalin called for a live chicken and proceeded to use it to make an unforgettable point before some of his henchmen. Forcefully clutching the chicken in one hand, with the other he began to systematically pluck out its feathers. As the chicken struggled []

10:03

Bottom up versus top down thinking on just about everything Watts Up With That?

Guest opinion by Neil Lock Today, Im going to look at two diametrically opposed ways of thinking, and at the practitioners of those two ways. One way, I call bottom up; the other, top down. Bottom up thinking is like the way we build a house. Starting from the ground, we work upwards, using what

09:49

Asteroid 2017 UR2 flew past Earth at 0.83 LD, 2 days after discovery The Watchers Latest articles

A newly discovered asteroid designated 2017 UR2 flew past Earth at 0.83 LD / 0.00213 AU (~318 643 km / 197 995 miles) on October 17, 2017, two days after it was discovered. This is the 41st known asteroid to flyby Earth within 1 lunar distance since the start of the...... Read more

08:08

Video: The Vietnam War And The Phoenix Program: A Computerized Genocide Geoengineering Watch

wilkinson_vietnam-warSource: Global Research Michael Maclears 1975 documentary, Spooks and Cowboys, Gooks and Grunts (Part 1) Introduction by Douglas Valentine Michael Maclears 1975 documentary, Spooks and Cowboys, Gooks and Grunts (Part 1) is more relevant now than ever. Forty-two years after its release, it exposes the suppressed, shameful truths that have corrupted America since the Vietnam

08:05

Saying it again Head Space

Imagining that some fantasies are true, doesnt necessarily mean that absolutes cease to exist.  A cannot be B and not B at the same time. So, choosing wishful thinking over harsh reality may genuinely be regarded as delusion. Nevertheless If you can tell a big enough lie for long enough some people will begin to []

03:34

B.C. Fish Farm Injunctions Against Protestors Lifted Earth First! Newswire

by Laurie Hamelin / APTN News

Injunctions against three First Nations activists protesting a fish farm off the northern coast of Vancouver Island was temporarily suspended Wednesday by the company.

Marine Harvest Canada, the owner of Port Elizabeth Fish Farm, was officially occupied by activists Sunday night.

Notices were served to two protesters occupying Port Elizabeth, and one protestor occupying Swanson Island, a fish farm approximately 10 km away, also owned by Marine Harvest.

But early Tuesday morning protestors were forced to pack up their tent and leave Port Elizabeth.

When protesters were served with a notice to appear in court for an injunction hearing, all protesters vacated our worksite, said Ian Roberts, the companys Director of Public Affairs.

We have since adjourned the court hearing on condition that we can reset it upon 36 hours notice to the defendants should they return to the site.

But Sherry Moon, one of three female First Nations occupiers said they left due to extreme weather, not the injunctions.

We only left because of weather, said Moon. Winds were hitting over 35 knots and our tents were blowing over touching our noses.

Marine Harvest said the protestors safety is a major concern, but that they filed injunctions because protests may have contributed to approximately 5,000 fish dying.

Port Elizabeth...

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