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SAN JOS DE WISUY, Ecuador One morning in November 2015, one of the elders, or taitas, of the Siona indigenous community in San Jos de Wisuy, in Ecuadors Sucumbos province, heard strange noises in the rainforest near his home. When he went to see what was happening, he found a team of workers using machinery to clear the forest to create an access road. It was all knocked down near his house. They didnt leave anything, says one of the leaders of the community, located by the Putumayo River, which separates Ecuador and Colombia in the Amazon. The workers gave no explanation, but the discovery of their work was the beginning of a series of complaints from the Siona community against the oil companies Amerisur Resources and PetroAmazonas. Amerisur is a British company that operates in Colombia, and PetroAmazonas is a state-owned Ecuadoran company that searches for and extracts oil. Members of the Siona community say the companies work has caused environmental damage that has also led to spiritual harm. More than two years after the Siona community complained about this invasion of their territory, neither the Ministry of Environment, the state ombudsman, nor the local ombudsman (defensor del pueblo), have resolved their case. Silence from the oil companies Amerisur has operated in Colombia since 2003, and one of the oil fields that it works, Platanillo, is located in the department of Putumayo, across the border from Ecuador. The Platanillo oil field has a long history of armed conflict.
by Jordan Flaherty / Medium
This week, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is meeting in New Orleansat the same hotel that hosted guests at the progressive Netroots Nation conference just a few days before. ALEC, a secretive group funded by right-wing billionaires from the Koch brothers and Scaife Family, as well as a wide range of corporate donors, writes conservative legislation that has been adopted across the country, from Stand Your Ground laws to anti-immigration bills, restrictions on voting rights, and many more. Activists from New Orleans Palestine Solidarity Committee, 350 New Orleans, and the New Orleans Peoples Assembly were among those present and speaking out.
In the video below, demonstrators were chanting peacefully in front of the Hilton Hotel, when four were arrested without warning.
submitted to Earth First! Newswire
The time to act is now!
Earth First! Humboldt invites all forest defenders young and old, near and far to a Week of Action from August 25th 31st to protect the ancient forest of the Mattole River.
The threat of forest destruction on Rainbow Ridge is more eminent than ever after the violent security contractor raid and take down of the years-long forest protection blockade camp.
We are putting the call out to assemble for rallies and direct action to keep the trees standing. Come for one day or stick with it all week, there will be camping available for out-of-towners.
Inspired by the non-violent mass mobilizations of Redwood Summer in 1990, the Mattole Forest Week of Action is being organized as an opportunity for people to gather together and be supported while taking action for what they believe in.
Contrary to what the corporations want the public to think, the timber wars never ended as the fight to protect the Mattoles forest is entering its 20th year of direct action. The Mattole Forest Week of Action is a continuation of this historical struggle to save the last old growth forests still untouched by industrial logging. This week will not mark the final actions to these logging projects but rather it is a rising tide of growing resistance.
Lets show Humboldt Redwood Company even though they may take down our blockades and threaten our safety, they cannot break our spirits and with every destructive action the resistance keeps growing stronger.
This is a call out for all wild creatures who love this planet to show up, speak up and act out on behalf of this precious ecosystem.
On Saturday we will host a Non-Violent Direct Action training to prepare for a week of rolling actions to defend the forest. Come prepared and ready to follow your interests whether you are rallying in front of the gates, creating protest art and signs, or taking direct actions in the woods.
We are asking folks to show up as...
In the midst of record or near-record heatwaves across the northern hemisphere this summer, deadly wildfires have swept through many regions, such as the western US, Europe and Siberia. This has focused a great deal of public attention on the role that climate change plays in wildfires.
Recently, some commentators have tried to dismiss recent increases in the areas burnt by fires in the US, claiming that fires were much worse in the early part of the century. To do this, they are ignoring clear guidance by scientists that the data should not be used to make comparisons with earlier periods.
The US National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), which maintains the database in question, tells Carbon Brief that people should not put any stock in numbers prior to 1960 and that comparing the modern fire area to earlier estimates is not accurate or appropriate.
Here, Carbon Brief takes a look at the links between climate change and wildfires, both in the US and across the globe. As with any environmental issue, there are many different contributing factors, but it is clear that in the western US climate change has made and will continue to make fires larger and more destructive.
As one scientist tells Carbon Brief: There is no question whatsoever that climate plays a role in the increase in fires.
Many areas of the western US are currently being ravaged by record-setting wildfires for the second year in a row. The...
Whale sharks need greater protection from local and regional threats
Heathrow expansion challenge taken to High Court by Friends of the Earth
From an Article by Kristina Marusic, Environmental Health News, July 27, 2018
Stress and depression are higher among those living closest to more and bigger wells.
People who live near unconventional natural gas operations such as fracking are more likely to experience depression, according to a new study.
For the study, which is the first of its kind and published today in Scientific Reports, researchers from the University of California at Berkeley and Johns Hopkins University looked at rates of depression in nearly 5,000 adults living in southwestern Pennsylvanias Marcellus shale region in 2015.
They found that people living near fracking-related operations are more likely to be depressed than the general population, and that stress and depression went up among people living closest to more and bigger natural gas wells.
Previously weve looked at the links between unconventional natural gas development and things like asthma exacerbations, migraine headaches and fatigue, study co-author Joan Casey, a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeleys School of Public Health, told EHN. The next step was thinking about mental health, because we had a lot of anecdotal reports of sleep disturbances and psychosocial stress related to unconventional natural gas development.
By the end of 2015, 9,669 wells had been drilled in Pennsylvanias Marcellus shale, and by 2016, the region led the nation in shale gas production. While there have been other small studies on the links between fracking and depression, this is the first to investigate a link between the two using a validated survey among a larger population.
The researchers compared data on the number of wells, the phase of extraction, and the volume of production in order to group residents into categories of very low, low, medium, and high levels of exposure to fracking operations...
Industrialism and ambivalence on the Queensland coast: Part 1
Lynx reintroduction to UK boosted by 'unprecedented landowner approval'
A strong aftershock registered by BMKG as M6.2 hit Lombok, Indonesia at 05:25 UTC (12:25 WIB) on August 9, 2018. The agency is reporting a depth of 12 km (7.4 miles). USGS registered it as M5.9 at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). This quake hit just 4 days after...... Read more
How the neoliberal dream became the reality of Thatcherism
One of the best perks of Mike McEuens job is the pets he gets to
meet along his routes.
While McEuen, a mail carrier in McKinleyville, California, loves them all, one special animal named Bijou stands out from the rest.
There are a few dogs on my routes that I really love seeing, and a couple that seem to know the sound of my truck's door sliding open. If I can make it work (still gotta get done on time!) I like to at least give them a hello and some quick love before moving on, McEuen told The Dodo. However, Bijou is the only cat I have on my routes that seems to make it a point to visit every time I am there.
Credit: Mike McEuenMcEuen met Bijou four years ago when he started a new route.
Credit: Mike McEuenThe first time I met her, my first impression was that she was a super old, sweet kitty that looks to have been through it all. A bit rough around the edges but nice as can be, McEuen said. I told the regular carrier on the route about it and he told me, Yeah, that's Bijou. Shes the best!
The first time Woody, a 5-year-old Great Pyrenees, got to ride
in an airplane, he was on his way to freedom.
And he had a special way of showing his thanks.
Credit: Paul SteklenskiInitially found as a stray on the streets of North Carolina, Woody had spent his days inside a local shelter, with nothing but concrete walls to stare at.
Credit: Paul SteklenskiLaMancha Animal Rescue heard of Woodys situation and agreed to take him in. The only problem? The rescue was located hundreds of miles away in Unionville, Pennsylvania.
Credit: Paul SteklenskiAt the time, I was completing my airmans certificate and adopting Tessa, and it just all came together and made sense, Steklenski told The Dodo. You realize the airplane is a really efficient way to move a lot of animals hundreds of miles in a short amount of time to get them off death row.
Since the dawn of the Space Age, the planet Venus has been a proving ground for competing hypotheses in planetary science. From the 1950s to 1970s, Venus was at the center of a blazing scientific controversy. In 1950, in the bestselling book Worlds in Collision, the...... Read more
Extremely dangerous flash floods in Chamoson, Switzerland A torrent of rock and mud erupted onto the streets of the small Swiss village of Chamoson on August 7 after record-breaking rains hit the area. The incident was triggered by an intense thunderstorm which...... Read more
Jorge Jurado has been farming oil palm on Ecuadors coast for almost 20 years, and has seen the industry go through many changes. But over the last few years, he and hundreds of other small-scale farmers have been hit by two major plagues: abnormally low market prices for palm oil over the past five years, and a deadly disease that has killed thousands of hectares of oil palm crops in the country. Those who carry all the weight is the farmer, said Jurado, who in addition to farming oil palm also works another a full-time job in a neighboring city as an English tutor in order to provide for his family. Palm oil is one of the most common vegetable oils in the world, found in everything from cosmetics, certain fabrics, and almost 50 percent of everything in your local grocery store. Ecuador is the second-largest producer of palm oil in Latin America (only behind Colombia), and sixth largest in the world although its output doesnt reach anywhere near that of top producers Indonesia and Malaysia, which together produce around 85 percent of the worlds palm oil supply. Palm oil is produced by pressing the fruit of oil palm trees, which grow in bunches. Oil palm is an important part of Ecuadors agricultural economy, particularly in the La Concordia portion of the province of Santo Domingo de Los Tschilas, where Jurado lives. The region has long been known as the heart of Ecuadors palm industry, since it was here
Its a scene thats becoming far too common.
Wandering around barren, iceless rocks, a polar bear searches his home aimlessly for food. Eventually, he stumbles upon a lone plastic bag.
He grabs the bag and sinks his teeth into it, pulling it apart in hopes of finding food inside.
Credit: Caters TVThis bear lives in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean hundreds of miles away from the mainland. But somehow, our litter is making its way there.
Hunter thought he had a forever home with people who would
love him for a lifetime. Sadly, he was wrong.
Last week, the 6-year-old pup was surrendered to the Houston Humane Society in Texas. Hunter's former owners told staffers there that he wasn't getting along with their new puppy, so they'd decided they didn't want him anymore.
No one explained that to Hunter, of course, but it soon became clear that he'd gotten the message.
Credit: Houston Humane SocietyRandi Bertholet has been volunteering at the humane society for the past seven years. She was among the first to interact with Hunter after his life was uprooted.
Dwayne The Rock Johnson, long known as one of the nicest guys in
Hollywood, disappointed some fans this week when he posed
with a captive beluga at the Georgia Aquarium. The beluga is
standing halfway out of the water, while Johnson grins and reaches
out to the animal with a friendly fist pump.
Found my next co-star. Just look at this beautiful animal with staggering intelligence. And the Beluga Whale is awesome too, he wrote jokingly on Instagram. Seriously, in awe of these creatures.
Credit: Instagram/The RockIts great that Johnson recognized the whales intelligence, but some of his 112 million Instagram followers were disappointed he was supporting marine mammals in captivity. Along with the beluga image, Johnson posted photos of himself with captive seals and whale sharks. Naomi Rose, a marine mammal scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), said that criticizing Johnson may not be the right approach instead, his fans should spread the word about animals in captivity.
Credit: Instagram/The RockRose sent a tweet to Johnson, suggesting he check out information from AWI about Georgia Aquariums history mainly, how the aquarium recently tried to import 18 wi...
Ever since Boone was a puppy, he and his dad, Jayce Conway, have
done everything together.
Boone basically goes everywhere that I will go, Conway told The Dodo. He would wake up with me at 4:30 in the morning, ride with me to work and then he would ride around on my golf cart with me all day while we managed the golf course.
Credit: Chris Davis/Good Road CoAbout a year and a half after getting Boone, Conway started dating Angie Blumberg, a girl he knew from his hometown of Freeburg, Illinois. Blumberg and Conway ended up falling in love, although they had to navigate a long-distance relationship for about five years while living in different states. Whenever they did spend time together, Boone was always there, too.
Credit: Chris Davis/Good Road CoSo when Conway and Blumberg were planning their wedding, which took place in Big Sky, Montana, they knew Boone had to be involved. However, Conway knew it probably wasnt a good idea for Boone to be a ring bearer.
Credit: Chris Davis/Good Road CoDuring the ceremony, Boone dutifully lay by Conw...
When Heather Blazina saw the puppy at a county shelter in
Jacksonville, North Carolina, she knew she had to get her out. The
5-month-old pit bull mix had
lost all her fur, and Blazina could see that she was very, very
I could see that she needed out, Blazina told The Dodo. My background is medicine and surgery from the military, so I knew her time was growing short.
Credit: Heather BlazinaThe puppy was also on the euthanasia list for the following day, so Blazina had to act quickly. She reached out to Adoption First Animal Rescue and asked for help.
Credit: Heather BlazinaThe first thing Blazina did was try to treat her mange, the illness that had caused Amaani to lose her fur. But Blazina was surprised when Amaani didnt respond to the medication.
Credit: Heather BlazinaDistemper is a serious viral disease that attacks a dogs immune system, and its often fatal. Yet Blazina refused to give up on Amaani, and she worked with the vet to help Amaani get better. With medication and a lot of love, Amaani managed to pull through....
After a 12-year-old cow gave birth to her last baby over a year
ago, she didn't manage to get pregnant again and that meant the end
of her life.
That's because this old cow, who is also totally blind, was part of an industrial dairy farm, where she had lived her whole life. She had never even been allowed to go outside. And once she stopped being able to have babies and lactate, she no longer served a purpose. She was being sent to slaughter when she had an incredible stroke of luck.
The people at Black Goat Farm and Sanctuary in Ontario, Canada, heard that the old cow was going to be killed and so they offered to take her to their sanctuary. On Thursday, she arrived and took her first steps out onto fresh grass in her entire life.
Credit: Black Goat Farm and Sanctuary"She was a dairy cow for 12 years. Shes never been outside," Megan Mostacci, cofounder of the sanctuary, told The Dodo. "She has had at least 10 babies and at this dairy farm they take them away right away. They never get to clean their babies or let them nurse. She has also been blind her entire life cant see one bit."
Credit: Black Goat Farm and SanctuaryWhen the old blind cow arrived in the truck on Thursday, her rescuers were also surprised to find that she wasn't alone.
Two loggerhead sea turtles who were just admitted into a rescue
center in Florida were on the brink of death before people rushed
to help them.
Credit: Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife"They were rescued near the shoreline off Captiva Island. They were observed struggling and rolling over in the surf," Heather Barron, medical and research director at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), told The Dodo. People from the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) managed to approach the visibly weak, nearly comatose turtles and capture them, transporting them to CROW for emergency care.
Credit: Clinic for the Rehabilitation of WildlifeThe red tide is a particular kind of harmful algae bloom that produces a poisonous neurotoxin that can kill animals who live in the water.
When the staffers at Wildlife Care of
SoCal first saw a picture of the coyote they were supposed
to help, they could barely tell what they were looking at. His body
covered in mange that he looked like a stone.
Literally, when we were looking for him, he looked like a stone or a piece of cement, Anna Reams, director of Wildlife Care of SoCal, told The Dodo. We had to go up to rocks and poke them to make sure it wasnt him.
Credit: Wildlife Care of SoCalEarlier this year, Reams had started getting phone calls from members of the public whod spotted this coyote around Whittier, California but Reams knew that catching him was going to be tricky.
Credit: Wildlife Care of SoCalAfter a couple tries, Reams finally had a breakthrough in late May. The coyote, now known as Ser Jorah after the Game of Thrones character, had started hanging out at a local dog park, and Reams and her team managed to sneak up on him while he was sleeping and catch him in a net.
Credit: Wildlife Care of SoCalAfter we had him netted, he just dove into the bushes and went limp, Reams said. He basically gave up.
Industrial fishing fleets are traveling ever-farther across the globe in pursuit of a dwindling haul of fish, a new study finds. Researchers with Sea Around Us, a research initiative spearheaded by the University of Western Australia (UWA) and the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada, produced high-resolution maps of fish catches between 1950 and 2014 in order to examine the geographic expansion of industrial fishing. Their results were detailed in the journal Science Advances last week. According to the study, the average distance industrial fishing fleets travel from their home ports to fishing grounds is twice what it was in the 1950s, expanding the total area of the worlds oceans that are fished from 60 to 90 percent. Despite ranging farther afield and fishing in new waters, however, the fleets of the top 20 fishing countries collectively responsible for 80 percent of the global industrial fishing catch are hauling in far smaller amounts of fish. Today, about 7 metric tons of fish are caught per 1,000 kilometers (about 621 miles) traveled by those 20 countries fleets, less than a third of the more than 25 metric tons they caught per 1,000 kilometers traveled in the 1950s. Noting that global industrial fishing hit peak catch in 1996 and has continually declined in productivity since then, the researchers write in the study that the worlds industrial fishing fleets might be in danger of running aground on a hard barrier to meeting future demand: The trends in the spatial expansion
KUALA LUMPUR By 2012, when then-prime minister Najib Razak formally launched the River of Life project to improve water quality and restore the aesthetic virtue of the Klang River, France had already demolished obsolete dams in the magnificent headwaters of the Loire River. Oakland, California, was busy jackhammering the concrete culverts that served for decades as straitjackets on streams flowing from its coastal hills. Seoul, South Korea, had spent $384 million to demolish a central city highway and construct wastewater treatment plants that turned the Cheonggyecheon River into a promenade of reedy banks and tranquil pools of clean water. In short, the 21st-century idea of mending rivers dirtied and damaged by the 20th centurys industrial hydraulics and waste was taking hold around the world. In forward-thinking cities, the old principle of harnessing flowing water for the unbridled use and convenience of man was being replaced by a new operating program. Restoring river habitat and ecological processes not only enhanced the quality of the human experience, it also added resilience to local economies. I believe there will be a drastic change to Kuala Lumpurs image, Najib said in a downtown Kuala Lumpur ceremony. This is what Kuala Lumpur folks have been waiting for. The Klang River has all the elements to become an attractive waterfront bustling with daily activities. I visited the Cheonggyechoen River project in Seoul. The project is the best example of the transformation of a polluted and dirty river into a model river complete with beautiful walkways,
Climate Justice Forum: Noam Chomsky on Trump, Climate Change, & Nuclear Weapons, Bayou Bridge Pipeline Resistance, Appeal of Lake Pend Oreille Railroad Expansion, Tribal Canoe Journey Honoring Water, Train Rides for Idaho Officials, Montana Rail Bridge Wreck, Iowa Derailment-Oiled Debris in Landfill, Idaho Waste Injection Well Regulation Transfer, Pipeline Lawsuit Against Activists 8-8-18 Wild Idaho Rising Tide
The Wednesday, August 8, 2018 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features a Noam Chomsky interview about Trump administration policies, climate change, nuclear weapons, and human survival, and a video about Bayou Bridge pipeline resistance. We also share news and reflections on an appeal of an Idaho agency permit for Lake Pend Oreille railroad expansion, a Kalispel tribe water-honoring canoe journey, train rides cajoling Idaho officials and emergency responders, a Montana rail bridge derailment, landfill deposits of oiled vegetation from an Iowa train wreck, transfer of oil and gas waste injection well regulation from Idaho to federal agencies, and a pipeline company lawsuit against direct activists. Broadcast for six years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide resistance to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.
A massive landslide hit Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, after days of heavy rain battered the region. The slide took place in Kinnaur's Ribba area. While it reportedly washed away many vehicles and a few houses, there are no reports of...... Read more
Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton at around 21:00 EDT on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, ahead of a slow-moving area of tropical moisture-fueled rain showers. Parts of Toronto experienced widespread flash flooding...... Read more
The European vegetable processing sector raised concerns last month about potential losses to crop quantity and quality as a result of the very hot summer and prolonged drought conditions in all leading European production regions. Today, these regions have been...... Read more
by Los Angeles Times and Christina Pascucci / KTLA 5
A federal appeals court appeared uncertain Tuesday whether it had authority to weigh in on a dispute about the Trump administrations plans to replace border fencing in California.
California and several environmental groups challenged the projects, arguing that the administration lacks authority to build them and illegally waived environmental requirements and other laws in a rush to establish new barriers on the border.
The administration counters that it has wide discretion under a 2005 federal law that gave the Department of Homeland Security the ability to waive enforcement of environmental rules and other laws that can stymie border construction projects.
During a hearing in Pasadena, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals questioned lawyers about the precise wording of the federal law and how to interpret it.
Read the full story on LATimes.com.
Claims of Successful Genetically Engineered Tree Sterility Overblown FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 08/08/2018 Claims of Successful Genetically Engineered Tree Sterility Overblown Long-term risks and threats of GE trees remain unanswered Joint Statement from: Global Justice Ecology Project, Indigenous Environmental Network, Rural Coalition, Biofuelwatch, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network U.S.In an apparent effort to allay serious public and 
The post Claims of Successful Genetically Engineered Tree Sterility Overblown appeared first on STOPGETREES.ORG.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 08/08/2018 Claims of Successful Genetically Engineered Tree Sterility Overblown Long-term risks and threats of GE trees remain unanswered Joint Statement from: Global Justice Ecology Project, Indigenous Environmental Network, Rural Coalition, Biofuelwatch, Canadian Biotechnology Action... Read More
In late 2017, Shell Pipeline Company filed a 20,000 page application for permits to construct the 45-mile Falcon Ethane Pipeline and thats just for its route through Pennsylvania. But dont be fooled by the huge volume of information: this plan falls far short of fully accounting for the pipelines potential impacts.
To its credit, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) agreedpointing out 101 significant technical deficiencies in Shells application. Many of these echo formal comments from Earthworks, partners, and residents. These include:
Releasing aerosols into the atmosphere in order to limit the rise in global temperature would not stave off damage to crop yields, a new study suggests.
Scientists have suggested that intentionally releasing aerosols into the atmosphere a type of solar geoengineering could help to limit global warming by reflecting away incoming sunlight in a similar way to a volcanic eruption.
The new research uses historical data to investigate how past major volcanic eruptions have impacted global crop yields. It finds that, following past eruptions, global crop yields have been negatively impacted by a reduction in direct sunlight which impairs the ability of plants to photosynthesise.
The findings suggest that, if ever used, solar geoengineering could benefit crops by cooling temperatures and reducing the risk of heat stress. However, this positive effect could be largely offset by the negative impacts associated with a reduction in sunlight, the authors say.
However, the new research is limited and does not take into account the differences that are likely to exist between volcanic eruptions and solar geoengineering, other scientists tell Carbon Brief. Therefore, they say, it should not be used to draw solid conclusions.
Solar geoengineering is a term used to describe a set of still-hypothetical technologies that could limit global warming by reflecting more sunlight away from Earth.
The most commonly proposed technology is stratospheric aerosol injection, a technique where reflective solid particles known as aerosols such as sulphur dioxide would be released high up in the stratosphere using, for example, a high-altitude balloon or plane.
Because the technique has never been tested, it is still unclear what its impacts would be.
However, previous research using modelling suggests that releasing aerosols could limit temperature rise and restore rainfall to pre-industrial conditions. This could benefit crop production, which is likely to face threats from heat stress and drought as the climate warms.
Yet, other scientists have postulated that solar geoengineering could be harmful to crops. This...
Nobody knows just how much rosewood Madagascars timber barons have hidden away in caches throughout the country. Buried in the sand, sunken in rivers, or tucked away in remote, walled compounds, these illicit stockpiles are thought to be worth tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars in all, the product of a wave of illegal logging that laid waste to the countrys national parks during a political crisis surrounding a 2009 coup dtat. But after years of Sisyphean attempts to figure out the extent of the haul, Madagascars government is now proposing paying loggers for access to their illicit stockpiles in order to keep tabs on the wood, or even buying the wood back from them directly. By doing so, the government hopes to clear the way for the wood to be exported legally so the country can at last achieve stock zero, that is, eliminate all stockpiles of cut rosewood to make it easier to keep tabs on any new logging. It is clear the wood is illegal, said Nanie Ratsifandrihamanana, who runs the Madagascar program for the international conservation NGO World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). As such, she says shes worried that compensating operators who submit to government monitoring or a buyback program would send a wrong message of rewarding people who broke the law. The Madagascar government made its latest proposal informally in a two-day workshop in the capital, Antananarivo, in June. The World Bank facilitated the workshop, which included representatives from other intergovernmental organizations,
JAKARTA Dolphins havent had it easy in Bali, a resort island in Indonesia thats massively popular with tourists. Theyre often held captive in chlorinated pools for traveling circuses; a report alleges that dolphins at one such outfit had their teeth filed down or removed altogether to prevent bite injuries to swimmers. But the biggest challenge they face is one that threatens their habitat and that could potentially drive them away from the islands waters. That challenge comes in the form of a massive coal-fired power plant in the sleepy fishing village of Celukan Bawang, on Balis north coast. The plant lies west of the popular Lovina Beach, a prime spot for dolphin-watching boat tours. But the tour operators could soon be out of business, if the grim scenario painted by a Greenpeace report plays out. Since the plant began operating in 2015, the environmental watchdog says, it has dumped coal waste residue on the land and in the sea, wreaking havoc on the local ecosystem. The steady traffic of coal barges supplying the plant have also damaged coral reefs and driven away fish. The impact has been far-reaching, the report says, with local fishermen forced to sail further out to sea because of declining catches in their traditional fishing areas closer to shore. Dolphins putting on a bit of a show for tourists (in exchange for a bucket of fish) off the island of Bali, Indonesia. Image by Dominic Alves/Flickr. In hot water Didit Haryo, a climate and energy
The highly venomous forest cobra, the largest of Africas true cobras, is not one, but five separate species, according to a new study. At first glance, forest cobras, which can grow to lengths of nearly 3 meters (10 feet) and are frequently kept in zoos, research institutes and private collections, may not look very different. But Wolfgang Wster, a herpetologist at Bangor University, U.K., and colleagues chanced upon the snakes potential diversity around 15 years ago by accident. The team had been working on another species, and had collected some DNA samples of forest cobras from captive collections for comparison. To our surprise we found that the mitochondrial DNA sequence differences between [the forest cobra samples] were far greater than between clearly distinct species of other cobras, even though the forest cobras did not appear very distinct visually, Wster told Mongabay. Some populations of the brown forest cobra (Naja subfulva), like this snake from western Kenya, are black and white, complicating their identification. Image by Wolfgang Wster. Other researchers were also investigating the possibility of the forest cobra being more than a single species. Luis Miguel Pires Ceraco, a herpetologist at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, U.S., for instance, found genetic evidence suggesting that the forest cobras on So Tom Island in the Gulf of Guinea, off Central Africa, were a new species called Naja peroescobari. To tease apart the snakes diversity, Wster and his team collected tissue samples, including scale clippings, blood, shed skin and liver tissue, from 71 individual
From an Article of Marcellus Drilling News, WWW Internet, August 2, 2018
For years Energy Solutions Consortium (ESC) has been trying to build several natural gas-fired electric plants in West Virginia, but have been prevented from doing so by Big Coal lawsuits. Its understandable that coal doesnt want to give up its virtual monopoly on electric generation in the Mountain State. Some 95% of all electricity produced in the state comes from coal-fired plants.
Last year then-WV Sec. of Commerce Woody Thrasher observed that Ohio has built 19 new gas-fired power plants, and Pennsylvania has built 22 new gas-fired power plants, while WV has built NONE. Why not?
Because of Robert Murray, CEO and founder of Murray Energy, one of the largest independent coal mine operators in the U.S. Bob Murray is using a front organization called Ohio Valley Jobs Alliance (OVJA) to file a blizzard of frivolous lawsuits that have kept all new gas-fired plant projects from being built in WV.
The best chance ESC has in building its first gas-fired plant is in Harrison County. Only one roadblock remainsan OVJA challenge to the projects air permit previously granted by the West Virginia Air Quality Board. Kind of ironic that Big Coal is challenging an air permit for far-cleaner-burning natural gas. Coal pollutes the air way more than natural gas.
The WV Supreme Court hears challenges to these kinds of permits. The paperwork has been filed with the high court. Once the court accepts and hears the case, which ESC thinks will be early fall, and the air permit is upheld, the first shovel of dirt will fly to build the $880 million Harrison County Power Station.
An ESC rep recently updated Harrison County officials and labor union members about the status of the project.
BJ Services moving from central WV back to Penna., employs some 200 people
Five years ago today, more than 400 farmers, women, youth and consumers uprooted the secret Golden Rice field trials in Pili, Camarines Sur, decisively showing the rejection of the people against the genetically modified rice. The historic action has resulted to increased awareness and renewed debate globally and has driven the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to postpone the commercialization slated in 2016 supposedly due to the lower yields of the Golden Rice.
Malaysias former prime minister Najib Razak today (Wednesday) pleaded not guilty to three new charges at a High Court hearing in Kuala Lumpur.
Najib first appeared before Judge Azura Alwi, where the three money laundering charges were read to him, then he entered his pleas in High Court 3, where Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali was presiding.
On July 4, Najib pleaded not guilty to three charges of alleged criminal breach of trust and one of alleged abuse of power.
The prosecution and defence agreed today that all seven charges should be dealt with together in one trial.
Micropia: high entertainment value that lacks critical thinking
Campaigners resist Northern Ireland's gold rush over cyanide fears
The ecological footprint of work
How free market economics was smuggled into Britain - alongside factory farming
Does animal-based research constitute 'silent fraud'?
Submitted by a reader in Sydney, Australia Millions of Australians suffering from combined physical, mental ill health, new report finds 4 million Australians have a mental health condition One in two Australians have a chronic disease Mental health conditions are the leading cause of illness and disability More than 2.4m Australians have a mental and 
Two weeks after a dam in the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower facility collapsed in southern Laos, sending millions of tonnes of water crashing through villages downstream, authorities are still counting the dead. The official death toll is at least 31, but at least 130 people remain unaccounted for, which could push the final figure much higher. Rescue teams are still searching for survivors, while thousands of villagers reside in emergency shelters, not knowing if they will ever be able to return to their homes now submerged in floodwaters. Authorities are now looking into why the dam burst. The initial scrutiny is focused on the dams structural integrity. Laotian Energy and Mines Minister Khammany Inthirath echoed a chorus of observers when he blamed the accident on the project developers: two companies from South Korea, and one each from Laos and Thailand. I am fairly certain that the construction technique for the dam was poor, which led to a collapse during heavy rainfall, he said. The companies building the dam say it is too early to say why the accident happened, and have emphasized the monsoon rains that inundated the structure in the days leading up to its collapse. But Ian Baird, a geography professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who has studied the hydropower project, wasnt convinced. When at the end of July do we not get rain in this part of the world? he asked. The companies are trying to play this out as a natural disaster that wasnt their
EU vegetable sector in most serious crisis since 1978With the hot and dry weather continuing throughout July across most parts of Europe, vegetables have continued to suffer and crop yields have fallen sharply. Today the situation for vegetable growers and...... Read more
As of August 7, 2018, the Mendocino Complex of fires in California has burned 117 638 hectares (290 692 acres) of land, making it the largest fire in state's history. It is 34% contained. Estimated containment date is August 15. The Mendocino Complex eclipsed...... Read more
Typhoon "Shanshan" is expected to pass very close to Tokyo, Japan on August 8, 2018 as a Category 1 hurricane equivalent, bringing heavy rain and damaging winds to the region. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) warned residents living on the Pacific...... Read more
Hector remains Category 4 hurricane as it moves closer to Hawaii today but some weakening is expected during the next 24 hours and Hector is expected to be a strong Category 2 hurricane as it moves south of Big Island on Wednesday, August 8, 2018. Swells generated...... Read more
Myanmars Timber Merchants Association is crying foul over what they say are the devastating impacts from a one-year logging ban and new, restrictive government policies. Soe Win, secretary of the Association, told domestic media Voice Daily that approximately 80 percent of wood processing plants have been forced to close their doors for lack of timber. According to Win, the Burmese governments decision to institute a one-year ban on domestic logging for export on anything other than certified and stockpiled wood is largely to blame for current business failures. The government has claimed that the illegal harvest and export of both prized teak and non-teak wood was drastically reduced during the 2016-2017 logging ban. Yet according to reports, the ban was largely ineffective. A Mongabay investigative series published in late 2017 found that much of the timber harvested in Myanmar actually crosses the border illegally to China after it is made into charcoal. The local currency has also depreciated, pushing up the price of importing raw materials for use in production and making it cheaper for exporters to legally import timber. Myanmar is now taking other steps to curb illegal logging, including a new independent certification system run by the Myanmar Forest Certification Committee. Third-party certification bodies will employ documentation-based auditing practices, which will also impose more bureaucracy on independent milling operators. The certification bodies were soft-launched in mid-July and are being developed alongside documentation and auditing systems. Three domestic and one international certification bodies will be set up. According to analysts, the country is hampered
Coming together in the face of disaster
By Liz Lee, former CCAN Director of Maryland Volunteer Outreach
With streams converging into the Patapsco River, Ellicott City, a town built on the river has been no stranger to flooding. After the historic July 2016 flooding, the community came together to rebuild the downtown to rebuild their businesses, their homes, their lives. On May 27th, residents and business owners of Ellicott City were hit once again by another historic devastating flash flood. Theyve only just re-opened their doors.
At CCAN, we wondered what can we could do to help this community during this disaster. More importantly, what could we do to push for stronger climate change policy in Maryland so this would not happen again to Ellicott City and other vulnerable communities. I was touched by my experience at Ellicott City following the May flooding I saw a community come together once again.
Last August, my intern, Gaby, and I business canvassed the downtown area of Ellicott City to gather endorsements in support of the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Initiative. We heard heartbreaking stories one after the next as owners showed us the height of the watermarks on their walls from the 2016 flood. I met the local hero of a toy shop on Main Street as the last link of a human chain, he pulled a woman out of her car which was immediately swept away in the flood waters on the doorstep of his store. In the end, 20 local businesses signed our resolution for a total of over 660 businesses, labor and faith groups supporting the initiative, which will double solar and wind energy in Maryland and move us away from our reliance on fossil fuels.
I was in disbelief when I saw the shocking footage of the May 27th flooding on social media and checked to make sure I did not mistakenly look at footage from the last 2016 flood. On June 7th, just days after the flood, I went back to Ellicott City to find out how CCAN and I could help. We were in contact with an owner from an oriental rug store on Main Street and I planned to meet him at St. Peters Episcopal Church, the command center for business owners, residents and volunteers. I saw many of those business owners from canvassing last August, including the toy store owner.
Due to safety reasons, access to owners and residents to clean and recover property from their stores and homes was limited from 5PM to 7PM. In order to get a wristband to go to downtown Ellicott City, businesses and residents with photo id badges had to vouch for volunteers as you needed a specific reason to be there. Only credentialed people could get rides to the downtown area on golf carts. The atmosphere was somber as owners hustled...
Originally published on the Baltimore Sun
Over the last decade, power generated by wind and solar has become a growing portion of Marylands electricity each year. More people now work in Marylands wind and solar industries over 5,500 than the states crab industry, and in 2017 alone wind energy generation avoided 1.1 million metric tons of CO2 pollution in the state.
As representatives of solar and wind companies that power Marylands homes and businesses, we can say unequivocally that Marylands Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) has been the single biggest factor in the growth of these clean energy sources.
Yet, in spite of these facts, a new report by the Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility (CPSR) entitled Unbundled: How Renewable Energy Credits Undermine Marylands Transition to Clean, Renewable Energy, incorrectly claims that Marylands energy policy is causing the state to go backward on building a clean energy economy. These inaccuracies have been echoed by Food and Water Watch, who puzzlingly gives Maryland, a leader in renewable energy policy, an F grade when 21 other states lack an RPS policy to begin with. Worse yet, misinformation about the RPS and its expansion threatens the jobs created and environmental progress we have made to date.
It is the consensus view of a broad coalition of renewable energy companies that CPSRs conclusions are based on misinformed analysis and a failure to account for key aspects of Marylands RPS. We are writing on behalf of that coalition, which includes the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition (MAREC), the Maryland-D.C.-Virginia Solar Energy Coalition (MDV-SEIA) and the Maryland Utility Scale Solar Energy Coalition (USSEC).
CPSRs report diverges from a broad consensus that RPS policies efficiently drive the development of new renewable energy projects. This virtually universal view is confirmed by the renewables industry and studies from U.S. national labs. Marylands RPS is achieved with a cost-efficient mix of renewable resources including in-state solar and wind projects along with renewable energy credits called RECs, which represent the environmental attributes of clean energy generation.
In a July report, economists at the well-regarded Brattle Group concluded that regional trading of unbundled RECs is one of the most promising opportunities to use markets to meet states and customers environmental goals. Brattle concludes that States that work togetherto express their goals in a resource-neutral and market-based...
Ever since Dani Viverito was a kid, shes always had a soft spot
for dogs. Anytime she found a stray or injured dog, she would bring
him straight home which is why, currently, she and her husband have
seven rescue dogs.
We kind of just gradually became rescuers; if there was a dog in need we took them in and try to give them their best life ever, Viverito told The Dodo. We have been together for 18.5 years and have had just as many rescues!
Credit: Dani ViveritoWith so many rescue dogs with so many different backstories living under one roof, there are a lot of different personalities roaming around the house, which is why Viverito and her dogs have a very strict schedule in place to make sure that everything runs smoothly and no one is ever left out.
Credit: Dani ViveritoThey all get along for the most part, but two are more unstable so I have the group of five on one schedule and a group of two on another, and I swap them out every three hours around the clock, Viverito said. Its so ingrained at this point we dont even need alarms! That way everyone has equal amount of ... time to play, potty, eat, snuggle with us humans, and walk around doing their own thing and then they go down for nap time for three hours, where they can sleep or play or do whatever.
Credit: Dani ViveritoThey all run and break off into their designated rooms when I call cookie time, Viverito said. Jax, Sasha and Annabelle are in one room and Muppet is in the other with Harlin. When Tyler and Tucker a...
Just a few days before Christmas last year, residents in a
California neighborhood spotted a strange-looking visitor roaming
from yard to yard and rummaging through their garbages.
The large animal had huge paws, a nubby tail and big, high-set ears. She was almost completely bald, with pink, scaly skin and barely-there wisps of hair along her back.
Many were left guessing what type of animal she could be.
Credit: FFAWCThats when the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center (FFAWC), an affiliate of the Humane Society of the United States, came in. The creature was no stranger to them at all; she was actually a black bear who just happened to have a horrible case of mange.
Credit: FFAWCExhausted and near emaciated, the bear arrived at the FFAWC center the day before Christmas. Her rescuers named her Eve.
A powerful tornado rated EF-4 ripped through parts of the Canadian province of Manitoba on Friday, August 3, 2018. Environment Canada upgraded the preliminary EF-3 rating to EF-4 on August 6, making it North America's strongest tornado of the year. The twister...... Read more
Two people were killed and more than 320 evacuated after a major mudslide swept through parts of Val Ferret, near the resort town of Courmayeur in northern Italy around 18:00 local time on August 6, 2018. The slide took place after heavy rain in the Val Ferret area...... Read more
We discuss one of the worlds most overlooked keystone species, the beaver, on this episode of the Mongabay Newscast. Listen here: Most of us might not think of beavers as being a particularly remarkable animal, but these rodents are actually brilliant ecosystem-engineers whose value cannot be overstated. They help mitigate flooding, improve water quality, and capture more water for agriculture in the face of climate change. They also help provide habitat for species like salmon and can trap polluted sediments in rivers. Environmental journalist and writer Ben Goldbarb is a big proponent of giving beavers far more attention than theyre paid. His latest book is fittingly called Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter. To me I think the remarkable thing about beavers is that, in a lot of ways, theyre the species that most resembles human beings, Goldfarb says. You know, were these incredibly meddlesome primates, right? We love building roads, and towns, and farms. We modify our environment to kind of suit our food and shelter needs, and beavers do the exact same thing. Beavers are building dams, creating these ponds and wetlands, basically increasing the extent of their own watery habitat and in so doing, in creating ponds and wetlands, theyre also creating habitat for countless other species, as well. There were once as many as 400 million beavers in North America, but by 1900 fur trapping had reduced their numbers to just 100,000. Today, the North American beaver population is on
Rainier weather could be hampering the ability to siphon methane from the air by forest soils, thought to be important repositories for the growing concentrations of the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, new research shows. Our data strongly suggests that were significantly overestimating how much methane is being captured by forest soil, Peter Groffman, one of the studys authors and a biogeochemist at the City University of New York, said in a statement. [That] means a lot more of this greenhouse gas is ending up in our atmosphere a lot faster than we believe. Groffman and fellow author Xiangyin Ni of Sichuan Agricultural University in Chengdu, China, reported their findings Aug. 6 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Groffman and his field team have been measuring nutrient uptake and gas exchange in Baltimore area forests for nearly 20 years. Image by Dan Dillon. A lot of human activity releases methane into the atmosphere. The fossil fuel we burn to run our cars and heat our homes, the livestock and crops we raise and the decomposing trash we leave behind are all significant sources of methane. And, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it has 28 to 35 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide. Until now, scientists have generally seen the bacteria-rich soils of forests as a reliable sink for the methane weve been pumping into the air, with some hinting that global warming might even be increasing these soils capacity to take in methane.
In July, a
basset hound named Bo turned up at an Alabama shelter after his
elderly owner moved into a nursing home. Bo was quite old himself
his owners family claimed he was 20 years old.
The shelter wrote a post about Bo that went viral and Tri-State Basset Hound Rescue, a local rescue group, volunteered to take him into its care. When the rescue group wrote its own post about Bo, it caught the eye of Reba Morse, founder of Sandy Wayne Sanctuary of Hope.
Credit: Russell County-Phenix City Animal ShelterI just saw his face, and I couldnt turn away from him, Morse told The Dodo. He had the most gorgeous little face, and I love the old guys. I sent them a message and said, If you need me, Im here.
Credit: Tri-State Basset Hound RescueBo turned out to be in very good health, which indicated that his former owner had loved and cared for Bo really well. However, the vet wasn't certain Bo was 20 years old he guessed he was more like 14 or 15.
from Unoffensive Animal
An ALF cell by the name of FAM964 liberated 22 turkeys from a farm in the south east UK. We have dedicated this action in solidarity with UPiii, arrested at Liberate or Die in Hambacher. They were sentenced to 9 months for doing the right thing
Crippling and sometimes deadly heat waves have blanketed many countries across the world thus far this season, including the United States. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has released two new synthesis fact sheets on extreme heat. The first examines... Read More
Thousands of firefighters battle blaze as it destroys homes and forces evacuations
by Umair Irfan / Vox
The 2018 wildfire year has been devastating. As of Monday, the National Interagency Fire Center reports that there are 60 uncontained large fires across the country, with a total of 5.1 million acres ravaged by fire so far this year.
These deadly infernos have killed several firefighters, forced hundreds of people to flee, and destroyed hundreds of homes and thousands of acres of wilderness.
The Carr Fire in Northern California is now the states fifth-largest fire on record after igniting more than 160,0000 acres and killing seven people. But its been bested in size by the Mendocino Complex fire, which, at 273,000 acres, is the second-largest in state history.
Late last month, President Trump signed a federal emergency declaration for the state of California, allowing the federal government to assist with firefighting efforts.
So its not surprising that Trump would weigh in on the California blazes. But on Sunday night, he used them to bash environmental regulations:
California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which arent allowing massive amount of re...
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