|IndyWatch Environment News Feed Archiver|
IndyWatch Environment News Feed was generated at World News IndyWatch.
Telangana, the youngest state in India, was hit by two consecutive years of extreme drought, with this year being the worst in living memory. Drought brought severe water crisis, with scarcity hitting not just its villages and towns but even the capital Hyderabad,...... Read more »
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t is rare to spot an Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) in the wild, according to Yang Jun, director of the Hunchun Forestry Bureau’s wildlife protection department. However, on July 19, residents of Machuanzi, a village merely 10 kilometers away from downtown Hunchun in China’s northeastern Jilin Province, informed him that a tiger came to the residential area and ate two dogs on a single day. Yang went to the village immediately after he heard the news and saw footprints of the tiger and blood stains of its prey just 20 to 30 meters away from a villager’s house. “We then left four foot-bound roosters on the ground near the house for the tiger,” Yang told Mongabay. “The tiger did come back and picked the roosters one by one, four consecutive times, and we took video of the whole process.” Living inside the buffer zone of Hunchun National Nature Reserve near the border with Russia, most villagers in Machuanzi never encounter a live tiger in their lifetime due to the animal’s scarcity. The villagers set off firecrackers to scare the tiger away, but it seemed unwilling to leave the human domain, where it could easily obtain prey. Yang said the tiger, a sub-adult not yet fully capable of finding its own prey in the wild, remained in a neighboring village about four kilometers from Machuanzi and ate sheep from local’s sheepfold. Jilin province’s Forestry Department was planning to trap the tiger and send it to a remote forest area away from…
When people think about rhinos, they likely think of Africa, where black and white rhinoceroses roam the grasslands and savannas. However, Asia is also home to three distinct species of rhinos: Javan, Sumatran and Indian or greater one-horned rhinos. As conservationists around the world mark World Rhino Day, each of these three species faces its own unique challenges. The Indian or greater one-horned rhino (rhinoceros unicornis) once ranged from Pakistan to Burma. Today, they are concentrated in a few nature reserves in Southern Nepal and the Indian states of Assam, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. The bulk of the population lives in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park. [caption id="attachment_189571" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Greater one-horned rhinoceros. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.[/caption] The population of greater one-horned rhinos stands at around 3,500 -- smaller than either African species. That number is rising, though, and it represents a remarkable turnaround from 100 years ago. "They are coming back from 100-200 at the beginning of the 20th century," explains CeCe Sieffert, deputy director of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF). In 2008, the IUCN downlisted the Indian rhino’s status from endangered to vulnerable. "It’s one of our biggest large animal success stories in Asia," says Nilanga Jayasinghe a program officer for species conservation at the WWF. Conservation programs in Kaziranga park have gone so well that efforts are now starting to focus on moving rhinos elsewhere to establish a second viable population in India. "They are all in one basket and we need to distribute the eggs,"…
Montreal is days away from voting on legislation that would ban any dog resembling a pit bull — and kill thousands more.
Mayor Denis Coderre claims the ban is in the interest of public safety following a spate of attacks from dogs who may or may not be pit bulls .
But critics claim it's overkill, in the most literal sense of the word.
"We are talking a very large number of completely unnecessary deaths of adoptable dogs in a very short time," Alanna Devine, director of animal advocacy at the Montreal SPCA , tells The Dodo.
ONE LAST CHANCE RESCUE
Even more alarming, Devine says, the legislation is so vaguely
worded, it's impossible to know how much damage it can
"It does not make any sense," she says. "I have a legal background and read the legislation a thousand times and can't understand what it will entail."
Ultimately, the law could affect just about any medium-sized dog "with short fur and a big head," she adds.
In other words, if you happen to be a dog, or love a dog, in Montreal, you have reason to worry.
Especially since, despite a tide of criticism from animal advocates around the world , the ban is expected to be approved by the city council on Monday.
"We're still encouraging people to reach out to their elected officials," Devine says. "But ... it's an uphill battle."
After September 26, owning a dog who looks like a pit bull will
Current owners will have until next March to get a special permit for their dogs — and that's only after a criminal background check. The dog will also have to be sterilized, vaccinated and microchipped. Owners would also have to keep their dogs muzzled and on a leash no longer than 4 feet in public.
And, of course, there's a $150 fee.
"There are a lot of low-income and homeless people in Montreal who simply won't be able to afford all of the criteria they need in order to get the special permit," Devine says. "Those dogs will have to be seized and have to be euthanized."
Bayer and Syngenta criticized for secrecy after unpublished research linked high doses of their products to damage to bee colonies
Politicians need to realize it, too. Some 375 scientists have written a letter about what’s at risk.
From an Article by Kerry Emanuel and Ben Santer, Washington Post, September 20, 2016
The climate is changing in dangerous ways, and we are responsible for most of these changes. This is not a matter of conjecture or political opinion — it is the conclusion of the overwhelming majority of climate scientists, based on solid evidence that mounts each year. Rising sea levels, extreme heat, increased incidence of floods and drought, ocean acidification and expansion of tropical diseases pose an unacceptable level of risk to our descendants. So do many other climate-related threats.
Business, scientific and technical leaders are responding to these threats by finding ways to adapt to climate change, increase our energy efficiency, and develop carbon-free energy sources. Political leaders here and abroad are creating policies that promote these advances. At the Paris climate conference in December, 195 countries adopted an historic climate agreement, whose main goal is to prevent the world’s mean temperature from rising more than 2 degrees centigrade above its pre-industrial level. This agreement was the culmination of many years of efforts by governments and citizens. The negotiators of the agreement came together despite differences in forms of government, in responsibility for past emissions of greenhouse gases and in susceptibility to future climate change.
But these efforts to reduce the risk to future generations are now being imperiled by a small yet vocal group that denies the validity of the evidence and of scientific expertise in general. Of special and immediate concern is the stated intent of the current Republican Party platform and presidential nominee Donald Trump to...
Dane Wigington geoengineeringwatch.org The battle to expose and halt the ongoing climate engineering insanity has been incredibly arduous for all that have truly committed themselves to this monumental and dire task. Some have made immense sacrifices in this fight, their testimonies should be an inspiration to us all. A former elementary school teacher, Laura Kozicki, is a stellar
CJ Members FIRE-EARTH Report: RRTC – Part II [Prepared by FIRE-EARTH Science Team] Details of this report [Parts I and II] are available from FIRE-EARTH AQUAMARINE BEACONS. Filed under: News Alert Tagged: 000922, AQUAMARINE BEACONS, CJ Members, FIRE-EARTH Report, FIRE-EARTH Science Team, RRTC
by Jean Tepperman / Earth Island NewsWhen Nathan Stout moved to Vallejo, by the San Francisco Bay, he wanted to get involved in the community. So he joined the citizens’ commission the city had formed to work on a new general plan. He was inspired by the project’s principles — resident involvement in planning, focus on the needs of South Vallejo, the city’s poorest neighborhood, and a beautiful, iconic waterfront.
The citizens’ commission presented its vision at a meeting late last year. “We wanted to have open space on the waterfront — a green walkway, a promenade,” Stout said. But to the group’s surprise, “The city attorney told us we couldn’t do that because there was a pending project, so the industrial sites needed to remain industrial.”
The members of the General Plan Working Group — and pretty much everyone else in Vallejo — had been kept ignorant of a parallel planning process. Three city council members had been meeting in secret with local business leaders since April 2014 with the aim of getting the US Army Corps of Engineers to dredge a shipping channel between Vallejo and Mare Island, site of a former Navy shipyard. In its first few months, this Mare Island Straits Economic Development Committee embraced a proposal for a massive project to build a deep-water port — Vallejo Marine Terminal (VMT) — and a cement processing plant on the city’s south shore.
A toxic project
Residents first got wind of the project when the city quietly issued a draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) last September. Longtime Vallejo resident Boudicca Todi recalled, “I read the whole thing and I just started crying. It was so obvious they were targeting this community to put in a toxic project.” Meanwhile fellow Vallejo resident Peter Brooks and a few friends got together to read over the report and discuss it. They immediately decided to form Fresh Air Vallejo to fight the project.
There were problems with the cement plant, Todi said, “but VMT is scarier.” The VMT proposal lists examples of bulk products the port might handle, such as feed grains, lumber, and steel. “’Such as,’” Todi emphasized. “That should scare anyone!” Vallejo residents were acutely aware that farther down the Bay, residents of Oakland were engaged in a massive battle to prevent their city from becoming a coal-export center. Especially after the residents won and Oakland banned coal shipments in June, Vallejo resident...
by Oliver Milman / The Guardian
Archeologists and museum directors have denounced the “destruction” of Native American artifacts during the construction of a contentious oil pipeline in North Dakota, as the affected tribe condemned the project in an address to the United Nations.
The $3.8bn Dakota Access pipeline, which will funnel oil from the Bakken oil fields to Illinois, will run next to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. The tribe has mounted a legal challenge to stop the project and claimed that several sacred sites were bulldozed by Energy Transfer, the company behind the pipeline, on 3 September.
A coalition of more than 1,200 archeologists, museum directors and historians from institutions including the Smithsonian and the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries has written to the Obama administration to criticize the bulldozing, which Energy Transfer claims did not disturb any artifacts.
The letter states that the construction work destroyed “ancient burial sites, places of prayer and other significant cultural artifacts sacred to the Lakota and Dakota people”.
It adds: “The destruction of these sacred sites adds yet another injury to the Lakota, Dakota, and other Indigenous Peoples who bear the impacts of fossil fuel extraction and transportation. If constructed, this pipeline will continue to encourage oil consumption that causes climate change, all the while harming those populations who contributed little to this crisis.”
The Obama administration has halted construction of the 1,170-mile pipeline that occurs on federal land while it reassesses the initial decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to allow the project to proceed. The approval sparked furious protests at a camp near the North Dakota construction site but Energy Transfer has vowed to push ahead after a federal judge sided with the company.
“What the Standing Rock Sioux are going through is just one example of a systemic and historical truth around how extractive and polluting infrastructure is forced upon Native communities,” said James Powell, former president and director of the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum.
“It is long past time for us to abandon fossil fuel projects that harm native communities and threaten the future of our planet.”
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has taken its case to the UN, addressing the human rights commission in Geneva on Tuesday. Dave Archambault II, chairman of the tribe, said that E...
translated by Earth First! Journal
An anonymous comrade sent this email, assuming all individual responsibility for the liberation of one rabbit, rescued from UNLP’s animal lab (University of La Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina) where it was being forced to undertake experiments along with many other animals condemned by the speciesist and anthropocentric science.
From here we want to salute and applaud this compañerx’s valiant gesture; let us remember that actions like this one demonstrate that we do not need large means nor recognition to make animal liberation something more than just words. May each one take initiative that they deem convenient or necessary.
I am a university student of La Plata and have witnessed the daily horror, evidenced through this years by tremendous images, directly seeing torture, murder, and how animals are turned into “things.” When I believed that no one was realizing what was happening, around campus animals began to be liberated and things destroyed; at first I did not understand well but then I realized that there were people who thought as I did and who valued life (the reason I started studying here). The faculty, when they realized things like the animal lab arson were happening, they tried to hide it, they tried to dirty the perpetrators by saying things like that animals died in the fire, LIES! It was not like that. They try to cover up! Just like they try to cover up when they steal from their own funds.
In the beginning I thought I could learn good things here but now I no no longer believe it; they torture, murder, lie, and cheat.
Thanks to the people who started doing things from the inside, today I had the will to do something myself, so I liberated a rabbit who they planned to experiment on. I am no longer going to look the other way as I have done for so many years; I no longer want to be an accomplice to this barbarity.
***ORIGINAL IN SPANISH***
Argentina – Estudiante de la UNLP libera un conejo con el que experimentaban
Un compañero anónimo envió el siguiente escrito al correo electrónico, asumiendo la responsabilidad individual por la liberación de un conejo, rescatado de un bioterio de la UNLP (Buenos Aires, Argentina) donde era sometido a experimentos junto a otros muchos animales condenados por la ciencia especista y antropocentrista.
Desde aquí saludar y aplaudir el valiente gesto del compañero y recordar que acciones como ésta demuestran que no son necesarios grandes medios o conocimientos para hacer de la liberación animal algo más que simples palabras. Que cada cual tome la iniciativa que estime conveniente o necesaria.
Soy estudiante en la facultad de La Plata y convivo acá con el h...
A major fire event is threatening natives and wildlife in the central Amazon region of Peru. According to the National Civil Defense Institute, the fire broke out on September 10 in an indigenous community called Pitsiquia, in the heart of Peruvian Amazon, and is...... Read more »
Myanmar has emerged as the major transit route for trafficking of Indian rhino horns, according to a new report. In the past, poachers would move horns of the greater one-horned rhinos from India to China through Nepal. But trade patterns have changed, conservationists write in the report submitted to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Myanmar now appears to be the preferred transit hub. This is mainly because the Nepalese government has been proactive in arresting poachers and rhino horn smugglers, as well as successfully convicting them, Bibhab Talukdar, Chair of the IUCN SSC Asian Rhino Specialist Group, told Mongabay. “That has led to the shift of transit point to Myanmar.” In October 2013, for example, a joint operation of the Nepalese army and special police arrested 14 alleged members of a Nepal-Tibet cross-border smuggling enterprise, including its Kathmandu-based leader. The gang allegedly killed more than 12 rhinos over six years. In June this year, a Nepalese court sentenced rhino poacher, Rajkumar Chepang, to 15 years in prison for his involvement in the killing of 21 rhinos. [caption id="attachment_189567" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Greater one-horned rhinos in Kaziranga National Park. Photo by Udayan Dasgupta.[/caption] Nepal intensified its anti-poaching measures in 2011, which has helped boost rhino numbers in the country. Nepal now has the second largest population of the greater one-horned rhinos with more than 645 individuals. In the last two years, there were no records of any rhino poaching, until September 2016 when an adult…
The trade ban on rhino horn is not working, writes Keith Somerville. But non-lethally and sustainably harvested rhino horn can earn income to encourage breeders, pay rangers and anti-poaching teams, provide surveillance and supply wider benefits that will gain the support of people around parks, reserves and ranches.
New activity/unrest was reported for 5 volcanoes between September 14 and 20, 2016. During the same period, ongoing activity was observed at 9 volcanoes. New activity/unrest: Bulusan, Luzon (Philippines) | Klyuchevskoy, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Piton de la...... Read more »
Simply stated: “They kill and behead innocent people, plunder the property of regular people, and they do the worst possible things, such as raping homosexuals.” Diversity is what it is… See: ISIS Muslim Militants Raping Homosexual Men ‘..for the Crime of Being Gay..’Filed under: Computers and Internet, Education, News and politics, Political View Points, Technology Tagged: […]
An attack on Máxima Acuña de Chaupe, farmer and environmental activist, took place on her property the morning of September 18. "She has fainted!" are the last words heard in a video recorded by Yanacocha’s security personnel. According to the video, between 15 and 20 security guards of Yanacocha mining company — owned and operated by Colorado-based Newmont Mining and Peruvian Buenaventura mining company — entered Acuña’s property. While part of the security team dealt with Acuña and her husband, Jaime Chaupe, who were protesting the guards’ intrusion, the other removed a 200-square-meter crop field where the family planted potatoes and yucca. Yanacocha claims the family is illegally occupying the field. Back in 2011, Máxima Acuña defended the land she purchased in Peru’s Cajamarca region – an area in the northern highlands known as Tragadero Grande – against Yanacocha mining company. Yanacocha claimed to own the land and went to trial with Acuña in order to extract copper and gold as part of its Conga project. In December 2014, she won the legal battle and asserted her right to her land and halted the Conga Mine operating in Tragadero Grande. In total, 80 people entered the Chaupe-Acuña property on September 18, according to Julia Ortega, manager of Grufides, a Peruvian non-profit that defends human rights and the environment and has legally advised the Chaupe-Acuña family for the past five years when the dispute over the ownership of the land began. As seen in the video, when the married couple saw…
There were as many as 570 vaquita in the world back in 1997, but now there are fewer than 60 left — and the species is facing extinction in the very near future if we don’t take immediate action, environmentalists are warning. The critically endangered vaquita (Phocoena sinus) is often referred to as “the world’s most endangered cetacean species,” but not because of any direct threat, like overfishing. The most severe threats to the remaining vaquita is incidental death due to becoming entangled in fishing gear such as gillnets or being killed by commercial shrimp trawlers. But it is China’s demand for swim bladders from a giant Mexican fish called the totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi) that is really putting the species at the greatest risk. Between 2011 and 2015, the vaquita population decreased by an estimated 80 percent as a result of bycatch in gillnets set illegally to capture totoaba, according to a new report by the UK-based Environmental Investigation Agency. Demand for the dried swim bladder or “maw” of the totoaba amongst practitioners of Chinese traditional medicine, who believe that totoaba maws help treat circulatory and skin problems, has risen so high that the maws are called “aquatic cocaine” because of the huge sums they command on the black market, EIA said. “EIA investigations into the totoaba trade since 2015 have found persistent illegal trade in totoaba swim bladders to supply the main markets in southern China and Hong Kong,” according to the report. “A surge in trade occurred around…
by Sara Roth / KGW
A Native American woman who lives in Cascade Locks is fasting for five days outside of the state capitol to protest a proposed Nestle bottled water plant in the Columbia River Gorge.
Anna Mae Leonard, who is a member of a Columbia River Treaty Tribe, is wearing traditional Native American dress during her fast. Dozens of supporters also joined her at the entrance of the state senate chambers in Salem during the fast, which began Sept. 19 and will end Sept. 23.
Leonard is protesting a proposed Nestle bottling plant in Cascade Locks. The international corporation wants to bottle water from Oxbow Springs, facilitated through a water rights transfer from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
She also said she timed the fast to coincide with the Dakota Access Pipeline protest in North Dakota.
“Just as the Federal government failed to adequately consult with Tribes on the destructive North Dakota pipeline project, the State government and Governor Brown, have also failed to adequately consult with Tribes on the Nestle bottling proposal,” Leonard and local water advocates said in a statement.
Cascade Locks continues to move forward with the plan to welcome a Nestle bottling plant, despite the county voting against it.
Hood River County voted in May to impose a ban on commercial water bottling.
But the fight isn’t over. The town of Cascade Locks voted in favor of the project, despite opposition from every other precinct in the county.
“The citizens of Cascade Locks still want the bottling plant to come,” said city administrator Gordon Zimmerman.
A few things still need to happen before the city can sell Oxbow Springs water to Nestle, and the vote throws an obstacle in that path but doesn’t block it entirely.
First, the city needs to get control of Oxbow Springs water. A water transfer from Little Herman Creek to Oxbow Springs is nearing the end of a four-year process. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is expected to complete that transfer by the end of October.
Then the actual water exchange needs to be approved by the Oregon Water Resources Department. That process could take two years, Zimmerman said.
After that, Cascade Locks will have the authority to sell water to Nestle.
Once that groundwork has been laid, the city will see if it can override the county charter that blocks the plant. Zimmerman said the city may take legal action at that point.
Nestle continues to show interest in bottling Oxbow Springs water. Zimmerman said the company visits Cascade Locks for a couple of days every month.
An international research team has found that mercury contamination is widespread across western North America in the air, soil, lake sediments, plants, fish and wildlife. The team, led by researchers from the USGS, evaluated potential risks from mercury to the...... Read more »
[caption id="attachment_189548" align="alignnone" width="768"] Wolverines are elusive and difficult to study, but new high-tech equipment is making that task easier. Photo by Jeffrey C. Lewis / USDOT[/caption] [dropcap type="3"]A[/dropcap]lmost everything about North American wolverines (Gulo gulo luscus) makes them hard to study. This reclusive mustelid — part of a carnivorous mammalian family that includes otters, badgers, weasels, martens, ferrets and minks — can traverse sprawling home ranges of up to 1,500 square kilometers (about 600 square miles) or more. In the continental US, wolverines often live at hard-to-reach elevations where the springtime snow stays deep enough for females to dig their dens within it. It’s a lifestyle that’s threatened by the warming climate, with experts predicting losses of more than 30 percent of habitat and range over the next 30 years. In 2014, the wolverine was on the brink of getting listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Although the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) withdrew that proposal, the prospect of getting the wolverine listed at the time was enough to trigger new research in the US Pacific Northwest where the population appears to be making a recovery. (The wolverines’ fortune may change yet again: in 2016, the USFWS was court-ordered to reconsider the ESA listing withdrawal based on insufficient consideration of the threats posed by climate change and genetic isolation.) [caption id="attachment_189542" align="alignleft" width="384"] Robert Long sets up a dispenser device unit and bait bone in Washington's North Cascades. The high-tech dispensers keep the scent lure dripping all…
Climate Justice Forum: North Idaho NoDAPL Support & Solidarity Rally Speeches, Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance, Boise Hearing & Protests of Highway 12 Megaload Rules, & Upcoming WIRT Events across Idaho 9-21-16 Wild Idaho Rising Tide
The Wednesday, September 21, 2016 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features recordings and reports of the Moscow and Sandpoint NoDAPL Solidarity Rallies on September 16 and 17, updates on Dakota Access pipeline resistance and support in North Dakota and north Idaho, a Boise hearing and protests of proposed Idaho Transportation Department rules for Highway 12 megaloads, investor lawsuits against the primary oil and gas developer in southwest Idaho, and eight upcoming events across Idaho addressing climate change and activism during the next two weeks. Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm PDT, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.
Source: Australian Broadcasting Corp. Scientists fear a sharp reduction in Antarctic sea ice in recent weeks will impact marine life and climate systems. Key points Antarctic sea ice retreating earlier than usual Instability of ice affecting access to research stations Impacts expected on marine life, climate, research New daily records have been set for measuring
UPDATE : Mimi has been adopted! It took a little longer for this cat to find a home. But Mimi, the only animal who didn't get adopted during a two-day adoption event, just had to wait a little longer at the empty shelter. A couple took her home on Wednesday afternoon.
Brampton Animal Services
For one cat, things just went from really busy to really lonely,
Just a couple of days ago, Mimi the cat was surrounded by friends at the shelter where she lived. Until Brampton Animal Services in Ontario, Canada, held a two-day adoption event. It was a resounding success — 18 kittens, 7 cats, a couple of bunnies and one dog found new homes.
In fact, all of these cards hanging proudly at the shelter represent a happy ending:
Brampton Animal Services
There's just one card missing. And it belongs to Mimi the
In all the rush of goodwill and love for animals, the 1-and-half-year-old cat got left behind.
Brampton Animal Services
Cassy Viterbo, a kennel attendant at Brampton, doesn't think it
is any reflection on Mimi. Sometimes, someone just gets left
Mimi's situation could change, again, in a hurry.
"We've had some calls today from people who saw him on our Facebook page," Viterbo tells The Dodo. "They're coming in sometime today, so fingers crossed that they take him home."
And … look at this face!
Brampton Animal Services
NOTE: Although Mimi did find a home the next day, there are countless animals like her still waiting for their day to come. Think you might like to take one home? Visit Adopt-a-Pet.com .
In recognition of Sept. 21, International Day of Struggle Against Tree Monocultures, we are happy to present the short documentary The Green Invasion produced by World Rainforest Movement. The Green Invasion reflects local peoples’ concerns about large scale tree... Read More
The post WATCH: Green Invasion – Documentary on Forest Monocultures appeared first on Global Justice Ecology Project.
Residents wary of Antero’s answer to fracking wastewater problem
From an Article by Ken Ward, Jr., Charleston Gazette-Mail, September 17, 2016
<< Antero Resources is still seeking some of the permits it needs for a massive fracking wastewater treatment operation, but construction of the facility is well underway along the Doddridge-Ritchie County line >>
Greenwood, WV — Large cranes loom over the rolling hills just off Sunnyside Road. The tip of a large industrial tank and the steel skeleton of a building peek over the tree line along U.S. 50 near the Doddridge-Ritchie County line. Construction crews crowd the narrow road that winds up the hill from the four-lane, as workers push forward on a $275 million, two-year effort to complete what Antero Resources has dubbed “Clearwater.”
Antero officials say their new major complex — including a water treatment plant and adjacent landfill — will help solve a nagging problem faced by its natural gas operations across Appalachia: Getting enough water for gas drilling and then disposing of that water once it is contaminated with salts from underground mineral deposits and chemicals used to help release the gas from the region’s Marcellus Shale formation.
“This significantly improves the safety and reduces the environmental impact of shale development by removing hundreds of thousands of water truckloads from the roads every year, and recycles and reuses the water rather than dispose of it,” Antero CEO Paul Rady said when the project was announced a little more than a year ago.
But in the months since that announcement, residents near the project site and in the surrounding communities have become increasingly wary. Some residents have simple questions, like whether a new stoplight eventually will be installed at the intersection where the plant is being built. Others aren’t convinced that the water treatment facility will really remove some of the most potentially dangerous contamination — metals and radioactive materials — from the water from Antero’s natural gas production activities.
Still other critics of Antero’s plan worry that installing such a huge piece of industrial infrastructure simply furthers the state’s ties to another polluting fossil fuel industry, hindering any effort to make West Virginia a state that thrives on renewable energy production.
“There’s been strong community interest about this significant project coming to Doddridge and Ritchie counties,” said Angie Rosser, executive director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, which has been working with the local Friends of the Hughes River Watershed Association...
The Trade in Services Agreement is a multilateral deal like TPP, TTIP and CETA, writes Zachary Davies Boren. But while the 50-nation negotiations are even more secretive, its impacts could be even greater: undermining national sovereignty; allowing only corporate regulation deemed 'necessary' by a panel of WTO lawyers; and allowing no rollback on trade liberalisation.
More than 200 climate science and policy researchers, economists and social scientists have descended this week on Keble College in Oxford for a two-day conference entitled “1.5 degrees: Meeting the challenges of the Paris Agreement.” The conference has been organised by the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford.
Up for discussion is what kind of evidence the scientific community will need to produce to feed into a special report on 1.5C, requested by the United Nations after Paris and due for publication in 2018.
A public event on Tuesday night in Oxford town hall featured several of the architects of the Paris Agreement, ensuring the conference got off to an optimistic start.
Janos Pasztor, senior advisor to the UN Secretary-General, spoke about the policy community passing the baton to the scientists. He told the audience:
Laurence Tubiana, French ambassador for the climate negotiations, offered an insight into the diplomatic processes credited with the success of the Paris agreement. Carbon Brief spoke to Tubiana afterwards about the questions scientists now need to answer about 1.5C. She told us:
A key theme for day one at the 1.5C conference was understanding the impacts on natural and human systems of 1.5C of warming, and how they might compare to those at 2C. In the video below, Carbon Brief talks to:
A new report from Rewilding Britain highlights the positive impact which rewilding the UK's landscapes can have upon flood risk. The report comes as MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee consult on better ways to manage the UK's environment post-Brexit, with many calling for an approach which places nature centre stage.
This letter is written [by Chuck Tanner of the Institute for
Research and Education on Human Rights] in solidarity with the
Standing Rock Sioux tribe, the Oceti Sakowin and the many tribes
and non-Native allies around the country who have joined together
to block the Dakota Access Pipeline and its potential contamination
of the water on which we all depend. Water is Life. The courageous
stand of the Protectors offers a path out of the dilemmas we
currently face. It is the path of communities standing together – a
community of communities acting boldly and resolutely to save the
Earth and truly demand justice for all. When we stand together to
stop giant companies like Energy Transfer Partners and Enbridge
that view Native lands and our communities as so many profit-making
opportunities. When we stand together to demand that American
institutions recognize the sovereignty of tribal nations and the
full humanity of all people. And when we stand together to tell the
forces of organized racism that their bigotry and division are not
welcome in our communities – we can change the world. This letter
addresses the efforts of the far right paramilitary group Oath
Keepers to opportunistically use the stand of the Water Protectors
to further their narrow and bigoted ends. Our communities, united
in a vision of racial, economic and environmental justice cannot,
and will not, be defeated. ~Charles Tanner
I first of all want to extend warm thanks and solidarity to all of those gathered at the Sacred Stone Camp to defend tribal homelands and the water on which we all depend for survival. This stand has inspired people around the world. All of us who yearn for a better future owe all of you a deep debt of gratitude. Thank you.
I am sending this memo to provide some background on a far right group that appears to be attempting to use the defense of water at the Sacred Stone Camp to further its own narrow goals. The group is Oath Keepers, a Las Vegas, Nevada-based paramilitary organization that has mobilized armed protests to oppose federal regulation of federal lands.
Oath Keepers Media Director Jason Van Tatenhove has made two trips to the Standing Rock area. The first occurred in late August and a second began on September 8. Tatenhove may be presenting himself as a reporte...
On the eve of the 1.5 Degrees scientific conference taking place at the University of Oxford this week, Carbon Brief spoke to Laurence Tubiana, the French climate change ambassador who played a pivotal diplomatic role in securing the Paris Agreement last December.
Carbon Brief asked Tubiana what questions policymakers need scientists to answer as they prepare to provide the evidence base for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report on 1.5C, which is due to be published in 2018. The Paris Agreement surprised many observers, not least the scientific community, by committing the world’s nations to limit the rise in global temperatures, compared to pre-industrial times, to “well below” 2C and “pursue” 1.5C.
In the video interview below, Tubiana says:
On whether this is putting pressure on scientists, Tubiana adds:
On where there are specific knowledge vacuums and where scientists can best target their research, she says:
The post Video: Laurence Tubiana on the 1.5C questions scientists need to answer appeared first on Carbon Brief.
The International Criminal Court in The Hague is to broaden its focus to prosecute governments and individuals for environmental crimes, write John Vidal & Owen Bowcott. Examples include illegal deforestation, theft of resources, and expulsion of populations from their land.
by Tony Bizjak / Sacbee
The Benicia City Council on Tuesday unanimously rejected a controversial plan by the Valero Refining Co. to ship crude oil trains through Sacramento and other Northern California cities to its bayside refinery.
The 5-0 vote, taken after four years of bitter debate, represents a victory for environmentalists and offers relief to Sacramento-area leaders who said the oil trains would put local residents and habitat at risk of a catastrophic oil spill and fire.
The Valero proposal, if approved, would have sent up to two 50-car crude oil trains rolling daily through Roseville, downtown Sacramento, Davis and other rail cities, as well as along mountainsides in the Feather River Canyon.
“I’m over the moon,” Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor said Tuesday night. “The community of Benicia, in the crosshairs of history, made one of those decisions that will make a difference for the country. They stood up and said the safety of our communities matters.”
Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna said he believed letters and legal briefs from local leaders, as well as lobbying by Sacramento-area activists, played a role in persuading the Benicia council to say no to that city’s biggest employer. “I’m very pleased,” he said.
A coalition of environmental groups, including Benicia-area residents, Stand.earth, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, issued a statement Tuesday night calling the decision “a victory for the right of communities to say no to refineries’ dangerous oil train projects.”
Valero officials expressed disappointment with the decision. The company had previously said it likely would challenge an adverse decision in court, but it did not indicate Tuesday what its next steps will be.
“After nearly four years of review and analysis by independent experts and the city, we are disappointed that the city council members have chosen to reject the crude by rail project,” company spokesman Chris Howe wrote. “At this time we are considering our options moving forward.”
Increased oil train shipments in the United States and Canada in the last five years have led to a serious of crashes and explosions, including one that killed 47 people in a small Canadian town three years ago. Federal officials have issued new safety regulations, but officials in many rail cities have said the government has not gone far enough to ensure safer shipments.
A Benicia environmental impact report last year concluded that the trains would pose significant health and safety risks along the rail line, but also concluded that a harmful spill would be a rare event.
Benicia City Council member Christina Strawbridge...
Kelly Trout, 240-396-2022, email@example.com
Mike Tidwell, 240-460-5838, firstname.lastname@example.org
Citizens announce a three-day picket outside of Governor McAuliffe’s Richmond offices in early October to demand protection from fossil fuel harm
RICHMOND, Va. — Statewide poll results released today show that, on the hot-button issues of fracked-gas pipelines and coal ash disposal, Virginia voters disagree with the approach being taken by Governor Terry McAuliffe by significant, bipartisan margins.
The results of the poll, conducted by the nonpartisan firm The Cromer Group, indicate that:
“This poll shows that Governor McAuliffe’s cheerleading for fracked-gas pipelines is not only dangerous for communities and the climate, but decidedly unpopular in Virginia,” said Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. “The Governor likes to dismiss both the pipelines and coal ash as ‘federal issues’ beyond his influence, but that’s untrue. He has direct executive power to act on behalf of Virginians facing direct harm now. Governor McAuliffe has the means and the moral responsibility to reject the pipelines and to reform coal ash disposal, and his legacy depends on it.”
The poll results were released by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and Virginia Organizing during a tele-briefing this morning, which also included Virginia citizens who are being directly affected by the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines and by water contamination linked to coal ash.
“Governor Terry McAuliffe was elected on promises to protect our environment, and that’s what Virginia voters clearly still expect him to do,” said Janice “Jay” Johnson, a Newport News resident and State Governing Board member of Virginia Organizing. “By putting the welfare of people over polluters, Governor McAuliffe can gain the support and trust of a growing grassroots movement. He can protect me and my neighbors in Hampton Roads who live in daily fear of flooding and extreme weather, wondering when ‘the big one’ will hit us.”
Citizens on the call announced plans for a first-of-its-kind, three-day picket outside of Governor McAuliffe...
As leading figures from the world of law, ecology and technology prepare to come together and discuss how best to deal with non-native invasive plants in the UK, more research is still needed on how best to manage these species taking over the countryside writes LAURA BRIGGS
from Anarchist News
For weeks, your numbers and our hearts have swelled
The world is watching as you spark the revolution.
We all wish that we could join you but realize we have ways to help from here.
We have work to do right here.
And so we offer up a small act of resistance. Of defiance.
A rejection of their narrative.
Enbridge is funding the Dakota Access pipeline, as well as Line
As of one week ago, a merger made them the largest energy delivery company on Turtle Island.
But the era of oil snakes is over.
Gone are the days where companies can profit off death and destruction unopposed.
Enbridge has blood on their hands.
We have made this clear by using our hands to cover their Hamilton office in red prints.
A message was left on the windows to have it known we stand in solidarity.
There are those that will conflate this with an act of violence.
Yet stay silent as corporations use the mouths of hounds as weapons against women and children.
These are people who value property above people.
Things over beings.
Some of us have blood responsibilities to protect the land and
The rest have the responsibility to support those protectors.
We fight for the water and land. For life.
And for a world where we don’t have to.
We are with you. We are watching.
We stand with Standing Rock
from My North Dakota Now
A message from cyberspace: Olowan is being held at Morton County Corrections. Call (701) 663-9984 and leave her your support! Nebraska State Police will pick her up within 10 days. Keep calling and keep supporting! Call 701-667- 3318 and demand answers! Stay updated! And demand freedom of Olowan Martinez! DO NOT MAKE THREATS! STAY CALM! and be PEACEFUL and ASSERTIVE . ~ #FreeOlowan
Bismarck, ND-Several Mandan streets were closed down today as a large group of people rallied in front of the Morton County Courthouse. There were well over a hundred people voicing their support for a woman who was arrested in connection with a Dakota Access Pipeline.
While this effort was growing outside — inside — law enforcement announced a new task force designed to investigate perhaps the most notorious pipeline protests in recent weeks. They sing songs, beat their drums, and made their collective voice heard. Their audience is a line of law enforcement dressed in riot gear.
“Again we’re just trying to show our support for Olowan. Maybe some songs, maybe some words. That threatens them. So they met us with that kind of attitude. How do you think we feel now?”
Redboy Means is here to support a fellow South Dakotan.
Olowan Martinez was arrested for criminal tress pass while protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. “Everybody want’s to let her know that we support exactly what she did, what she’s doing, what she’s going through, and that we’re here for her and praying for her,” says Means.
Morton Counties Sheriff Kirchmeier says right now, she’s not being held for that crime. “Those charges she has bonded out from that. There are active felony warrants out of Nebraska for her. She is being held upon extradition to Nebraska,” While this protest formed outside the Morton County Courthouse, Kirchmeier was inside announcing a law enforcement task force. The sole purpose is to investigate the moment the Pipeline Protests turned violent. “There’s been allegations on both sides, from the protestors, and from the pipeline personnel about what happened there,” says Kirchmeier.
On September 3rd, protesters and private security clashed. Hundreds crossed onto private property after pipeline workers bulldozed what native Americans say were sacred areas. Injuries were reported on both sides. Kirchmeier says the task force will also investigate the use of dogs by private security. The task force will have four people from the Morton and Mercer County Sheriff’s Departments, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
It’s been seventeen days since...
Massive floods and landslides caused by several days of heavy rain have claimed lives of at least 19 people in Indonesia's province of West Java on September 20, 2016. Nine people are still missing in its Garut and Sumedang districts, said National Disaster...... Read more »
from BC Blackout
Loggers arriving at cut block A87125 in the forest above Roberts Creek Monday morning were greeted by a flaming log blockade across the access road.
The fiery obstacle is the latest salvo in a confrontation that has been simmering since Peninsula Logging won a B.C. Timber Sales auction for the 18-hectare mixed forest earlier this year.
“We thought there would be a protester presence here, but we didn’t expect this,” said Aaron Service, co-owner of Peninsula Logging. “Every time they pull something like this it costs (the crew) about two hours work.”
Several groups of protesters have been camping in the woods near the cut block over the summer, watching for activity on the site.
But with logging now in full swing, the opposition has escalated to protest rallies, road blockades and arrests. Some protesters have entered the worksite.
“It’s extremely dangerous,” Service said of the incursions. “We don’t want to see anyone get killed.”
Over the past two weeks, nine people have been arrested on the forest service road leading to the site for violating a Supreme Court injunction, according to Sechelt RCMP spokesman Harrison Mohr.
Peninsula obtained a temporary injunction to stop protesters from interfering with logging activity late in August. Attempts by the protest group Elphinstone Logging Focus to lift the injunction were unsuccessful.
“We have a real problem with the way they obtained their injunction, it was an underhanded process,” said Ross Muirhead, founder of ELF. “They went to a judge in Vernon and because it was a ex parte (single party) decision, they didn’t even notify us, so we couldn’t make a submission.”
The ELF took no responsibility for Monday’s fiery blockade, though the group has participated in several protests and blockades
When protesters blockaded the road Friday, the RCMP came to enforce the injunction.
One woman, who calls herself Salamander, attached herself to a piece of heavy equipment by the neck with a bicycle lock.
“I care about the natural world and this is an endangered ecosystem,” she said. “There aren’t many places like this in the world.”
A complaint lodged by ELF to the Forest Practices Board contends that the work site and the area surrounding should be protected as a vulnerable “blue-listed” ecosystem, with characteristics similar to the Great Bear Rainforest. That investigation may take months to complete, said Muirhead.
Logging opponents claim the cut block is in an area of emerging old growth – an old growth forest that was razed by fire about 150 years ago, but never logged. Many of the older trees still standing show scars from that fire.
The cut block also falls within the boundaries of a 1,500-hectare expansion of Mount Elphinstone Provincial Park proposed by the official community plan for Roberts Creek. The park is divided into three widely separated parcels total...
All 193 UN states will sign a declaration today to fight the spread of drug-resistant 'superbugs', writes Alastair Kenneil. The problem is often blamed on overprescription of antibiotics by doctors. But that's to ignore the massive use of antibiotics on animals in factory farms, both to prevent infection and to assist weight gain - turning farms into superbug breeding centres.
In July 2016, the Indian Parliament passed the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, known as the CAF Act, which we apprehend will result in gross violations of forest dwelling communities’ rights and in a massive expansion of industrial tree plantations.
The CAMPA Bill, or the CAF Act, as it stands, contributes to the violation of the 2006 Forest Rights Act (known as FRA), a landmark and historic statute passed by the same Indian Parliament for recognizing the rights of forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers in the country. The Bill particularly undermines the provision in FRA for empowering community institutions like the Gram Sabhas (assemblies in forest villages) to monitor, control and, if necessary, stop any development project in the forest areas in their jurisdiction. (1)
The Compensatory Afforestation, Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) was originally set up to administer the funds that the State collects by means of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund. Since more than 20 years, any activity resulting in deforestation must “compensate” for the damage by paying to establish a tree plantations area that is “equivalent” to the destroyed one. This process of so-called Compensatory Afforestation Fund disguises the fact that a forest can neither be compensated by monetary means nor recreated through plantations – a forest is not only a collection of trees! Besides the money for afforestation, the CAMPA fund also receives money accruing from the payment of NPV (net present value) of the forest area being denuded.
The idea behind is that because it takes time for the trees to grow, forest destroyers, in the meantime, should also pay for all the “goods and services” that the cleared forest would have provided for an interim of 50 years. This so-called Net Present Value, which includes timber, fuelwood, carbon sequestration, soil conservation, water recharge and other “ecosystem services”, is somehow calculated for every patch of forest. But this money doesn’t go to the affected communities whose livelihoods and cultures are destroyed along with the forests. The money is put in the CAMPA Fund mainly for promoting tree plantations, which will also severely affect local communities. Currently, there is US$ 6 billion dollars accumulated in this Fund, and it will continue to increase, as deforestation linked to extractive industries is rampant in India.
The government pretends to use the CAMPA funds for establishing enormous afforestation plans, not only through the Compensatory Afforestation activities, but also with the so-called Green India Mission, which plans to establish 5 million hectares of tree plantations. The CAMPA money has not and will not stop deforestation. Rather, it encourages clearance of more forests by justifying deforestation as long as a...
Mit der Energiewende hat Deutschland einen Begriff geprägt, der weltweit als Beispiel für die typisch deutsche Liebe für zusammengesetzte Wörter gilt, die zwei bislang unverbundene Begriffe kombinieren und damit etwas Neues schaffen.
Energiewende ist ein Begriff, der eine Vielzahl von Bedeutungen in ein Wort packt. Die einen macht er zu unerschütterlichen Befürwortern, die anderen zu erbitterten Kritikern. Dabei besteht oft wenig Einigkeit darüber, wofür das Wort eigentlich steht und wie es überhaupt entstanden ist.
Ergänzend zu unserer interaktiven Karte zur Stromerzeugung in Deutschland hat Carbon Brief die Archive durchforstet, um die Geschichte der Energiewende in einer Zeitleiste darzustellen.
Bei der Energiewende denken die meisten an Kanzlerin Angela Merkel. Im “Energiekonzept” ihrer Regierung aus dem Jahr 2010 kommt das Wort allerdings nicht ein einziges Mal vor.
Aufgetaucht ist der Begriff allerdings bereits in den späten 1970er Jahren, als die Anti-Atom-Bewegung eine Energiewende forderte.
Merkel machte sich den Begriff erst nach der Atomkatastrophe von Fukushima 2011 zu eigen, als sie die zuvor beschlossene Laufzeitverlängerung zurücknahm und einen Atomausstieg bis 2022 durchsetzte, so wie es die frühere rot-grüne Regierung geplant hatte – ein klassisches politisches Manöver, um dem Gegner die Themen aus der Hand zu nehmen. Inzwischen ist die Energiewende Teil der offiziellen Klima- und Energiepolitik Deutschlands.
Weitere Details zur Geschichte der Energiewende finden Sie oben in unserer interaktiven Zeitleiste, die anhand von 28 markanten Ereignissen die Jahre zwischen 1971 und 2016 abdeckt.
Bekannt wurde der Begriff durch ein Buch aus dem Jahr 1980 mit dem programmatischen Titel “Energiewende: Wachstum und Wohlstand ohne Erdöl und Uran“.
Einer der Autoren des Buchs, Florentin Krause, erläuterte im Rückblick 2013, worum es ihm und seinen Mitautoren ging:
Wie Krause betont, hatte das Buch aber weit mehr im Blick als das, was heute unter Energiewende verstanden wird:
Zu Beginn war die Energiewende ein Projekt, das auf Energieeffizienz, Versorgun...
The Energiewende (energy transition) is an internationally recognised example of Germans’ love for compound nouns, where two previously unconnected words are joined at the hip.
It conveys a package of meaning in a single word that tends to conjure up fierce support, or disdainful criticism. Yet not everyone agrees on what the term means, or even where it comes from.
As a companion piece to our interactive map showing how Germany generates its electricity, Carbon Brief has delved into the archives to bring you a timeline of the Energiewende.
The Energiewende is widely associated with German chancellor Angela Merkel. However, her government’s 2010 “Energiekonzept” (energy strategy) makes no mention of the word.
In fact, the term Energiewende emerged in the late 1970s as part of the anti-nuclear movement.
Only after the post-Fukushima decision to speed up Germany’s nuclear phaseout did Merkel claim the Energiewende as her own, in a classic political manoeuvre that co-opted her opponents’ ideas. It was later adopted as the official nomenclature for Germany’s wider climate and energy strategy.
You can explore a detailed history of the Energiewende by scrolling through our interactive, 28-frame timeline, above, spanning 1971 to 2016.
The word was popularised in a 1980 book, titled “Energiewende: Wachstum und Wohlstand ohne Erdöl und Uran” (Energy Transition: Growth and Prosperity Without Oil and Uranium). The book’s title makes its priorities clear.
In a 2013 retrospective, Florentin Krause, one of the book’s authors, explained their thinking:
Krause emphasised the broad scope of the project, a point all too frequently forgotten in Energiewende coverage that focuses on wind, solar, nuclear and coal:
The Energiewende started out as an approach encompassing energy efficiency, energy security, renewables and nuclear phaseout. Climate change only became a mainstream concern some years later – yet t...
Modern Education Is Pavlovian Conditioning Assessing the problems in American public education and academia elicits standard responses that are generally trite and multitude. “Lack of funding,”, or “adequately trained teachers,” often round out the usual replies, yet system-generated solutions to the perceived problems are always external in nature (especially given the problems are themselves system-generated). The […]
The Day Zero Hedge Goes Dark The alternative media is a giant thorn in the side of the powers that be. They will strike back. Guest post by Robert Gore at Straight Line Logic The mainstream media’s (MSM) coverage of Hillary Clinton’s medical travails offers yet another instance of its blatant bias, and its distortion […]
When most people think of Bangladesh's native ecosystems, the Sundarbans — the world's largest mangrove forest — are probably the first thing that come to mind. But the Sundarbans aren't the country's only wildlife-rich forest ecosystem: dense tropical forests once extended across large expanses of the country, housing tigers, elephants, pangolins, gaur, and numerous other species. Today most of these forests have been cleared for agriculture, firewood and charcoal, and urban areas. Yet some of the forests that survive remain incredibly biodiverse. Bordering Myanmar on the southeast and the Indian states of Tripura on the north and Mizoram on the east, the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is one of these areas. Characterized by semi-evergreen forest that is considered part of the highly endangered Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot, CHT is a refuge for at least 26 globally threatened species, making it a critical conservation priority. But conservation efforts in the region have historically been challenged by the very remoteness and political instability that have helped protect it from deforestation seen in other parts of Bangladesh. That protection is now disappearing with the influx of settlers from other regions who are increasingly clearing forests for agriculture, logging trees for timber and firewood, and hunting wildlife. In other words, time is running out for Bangladesh's last rainforest and its traditional tribes. [caption id="attachment_189512" align="alignright" width="360"] Caesar Rahman in CHT[/caption] Concern for the well-being of these forests and their inhabitants spurred Shahriar Caesar Rahman and associates to last year launch the Creative Conservation Alliance (CCA),…
Scientists say that the Amazon’s rich diversity of life and the knowledge of its indigenous peoples could be paired with recent advances in biological, digital, and material science technologies to further fuel the Fourth Industrial Revolution currently underway. A team of researchers led by climatologist Carlos Nobre of Brazil’s National Center for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters published an article today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) arguing for “a new development paradigm” in which we “research, develop, and scale a high-tech innovation approach that sees the Amazon as a global public good of biological assets that can enable the creation of innovative high-value products, services, and platforms.” Nobre and his co-authors hope to supplant the dominant economic paradigm of today, which seeks to balance conservation priorities with environmentally destructive economic development activities such as agriculture, cattle ranching, and hydropower projects. Because these activities require intensive use of the Amazon’s natural resources, they have led to “significant basin-wide environmental alterations” over the past half-century, the team writes. “The loss of biodiversity and continued deforestation will lead to high risks of irreversible change of [the Amazon’s] tropical forests,” the researchers add, noting that studies have shown the Amazon may have two tipping points: an average temperature increase of 4 degrees Celsius or deforestation exceeding 40 percent of the forest area. If we allow present trends to continue, the Amazon could experience large-scale “savannization” due to high rates of deforestation, increased frequency of fires, and long…
The health ministries of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore have played down a study by Harvard and Columbia universities estimating a mean of more than 100,000 premature deaths resulting from the 2015 Southeast Asian haze crisis. The study in Environmental Research Letters, a journal, derived a range of 26,300 to 174,300 premature deaths from measurements of fine PM2.5 particulate matter in air, which is proved to affect the brain, heart and lungs. The study compared the haze in 2015 with 2006, another year in which Indonesian wildfires sent palls of smoke over much of the region. Greenpeace characterized the study as “groundbreaking.” “Now that we know the scale of the death toll, failure to act immediately to stem the loss of life would be a crime,” said Greenpeace Indonesia forestry campaigner Yuyun Indradi. Statisticians have cautioned that the complexity of the scale and long timeframe of measuring PM2.5 makes a precise estimate difficult. However, Howard Frumpkin, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Washington, told the Associated Press that health consequences in at-risk, poorer populations could be more severe, due to the pre-existing susceptibility to ill health. The governments of the three countries most-affected by the toxic haze have commented sparingly on the study. The study estimates last year’s haze was responsible for 2,200 premature deaths in Singapore, higher than the number of deaths from road accidents in the city state in the last 10 years combined. [caption id="attachment_187033" align="aligncenter" width="768"] A dried-out peatland burns last…
[caption id="attachment_189521" align="alignnone" width="768"] The Mindanao Bleeding-heart, classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN. All five Bleeding-heart species are of conservation concern. Conservation groups are now scrambling to protect the species. Photo by Paulo Jardim85 on flickr reproduced under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license[/caption] [dropcap type="3"]T[/dropcap]he 7,100 islands of the Philippine Republic, scattered across the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea, teem with life. The entire nation is a recognized biodiversity hotspot — rated among the 17 most mega-biodiverse countries in the world — with rainforests, volcanic mountain ranges and tropical waters known for species found nowhere else on the planet. The archipelago’s isolation for millions of years, and its wide variety of habitats has contributed to speciation across the island chain’s 300,000 square kilometers (115,831 square miles) of land area. Species such as the Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi), one of the largest in the world, the Sulu hornbill (Anthracoceros montani), of which fewer than 30 are thought to still exist, and the Philippine Mouse deer (Tragulus nigricans), which stands just seven inches tall, live in forests across the archipelago. A staggering 40 percent of all bird species found in this island nation are endemic — 226 out of 569 species. Compare that to the level of avian endemism in the United States, which stands at just 7.5 percent, even though the US is more than thirty times the size of the Philippines. BirdLife International has identified ten Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs) in the Philippines — EBAs being “the…
Via Coalition Against Land Grabbing: MAXIMA ACUÑA, PERU’S RENOWNED LAND-RIGHTS -DEFENDER AND 2016 GOLDMAN PRIZE WINNER, ALMOST BEATEN TO DEATH Maxima Acuña and her partner were severely hurt Sunday morning in an attack by alleged hitmen hired by the... Read More
The post Peruvian Land Rights Activist Taking on Mining Company Attacked, Severely Injured appeared first on Global Justice Ecology Project.
While the confrontation at Standing Rock has galvanized Indians and non-native supporters from across the continent, writes Stanley L. Cohen, it's but a symptom of a much deeper crises facing several million Indians holding on to endangered traditions and cultures that predate 'our' arrival by several thousand years. We may call Indian people sovereign. But it's all a grand, perverse lie.
The commander of the Prime Minister Bodyguard Unit (PMBU), however, said the man was not on the force’s roster, also contending that members of the unit were too busy protecting the premier to run a business on the side.
Acting on a tip from the provincial court, police raided the warehouse in Malai district and discovered 90 cubic meters of luxury-grade Thnong and first-grade Sokrom wood worth tens of thousands of dollars.
The officer who led the raid, provincial anti-economic crime chief Chap Sopharith, said on Monday that his subordinates were scouring the province for the building’s owner, a military officer and timber trader named Teuk Bunthoeun.
“We will ‘invite him for questioning’ if we see him at any time,” Mr. Sopharith said, using a euphemism for arrest. “Mr. Bunthoeun must take responsibility for the wood found in the warehouse,” he said, warning that if the suspect denied ownership of the building, it would become the property of the state.
Mr. Sopharith said he did not know Mr. Bunthoeun’s military rank or position. Deputy provincial military commander Phork Sambath, however, said Mr. Bunthoeun was a senior PMBU member based in Phnom Penh
“I know Mr. Teuk Bunthoeun. He is a military official from Samdech Hun Sen’s bodyguard unit,” Mr. Sambath said. “He is a high-ranking official and drives a new Lexus SUV.”
“Mr. Bunthoeun’s usual business is timber and prahok,” he added, referring to the fermented fish paste central to Cambodian cuisine. “His wife has run a sawmill in Poipet City for a long time.”
PMBU commander Hing Bun Heang denied that Mr. Bunthoeun worked for the unit.
“All bodyguards are forbidden from working in the timber business,” General Bun Heang said. In any case, he added, “Bodyguards have no time for business because they are busy providing protection for Samdech Prime Minister.”
Considered the best trained and equipped combat unit in the country, the PMBU was once part of the military’s Brigade 70, which according to a 2007 Global Witness report “operates an illicit timber trafficking service that spans Cambodia and encompasses exports to Vietnam.”
A senior member of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s elite bodyguard unit is the owner of a warehouse that was used to stockpile illegally logged luxury wood until police raided the building in Banteay Meanchey province on Sunday, a military official said on Monday.
Mining is risky business. Some major international mining companies have billions of dollars of investment at stake in their project portfolios. Last week, Ernst & Young (E&Y) released their annual Business Risks Facing Mining and Metals report.
Topping this year’s list are concepts laden with financial jargon like cash optimization and capital access. Related listed challenges involve techniques for penny pinching or turning some money in to more money.
Yet, E&Y’s report also reveals some of the greatest risks mining companies and their investors face having nothing to do with markets, commodity prices, or the boom and bust cycle. In fact, in any economy, these major risks are completely avoidable.
#4 SLTO- Social License to Operate
The fourth greatest risk to mining investors stems from company misbehavior. Ignoring community voices and their environmental and public health concerns comes at a cost. Mining projects that generate protests, civil unrest, or riots are bad for business. This is the social license to operate (SLTO). According to last year’s E&Y report:
Illegal mining activities can also threaten a company’s SLTO, with poor conditions, dangerous practices and environmentally hazardous activities, continuing to threaten the health and safety of employees and local economies
Which is why this year E&Y said:
Ongoing engagement, collaboration and effective communication with all of these stakeholders is crucial.
Mining operators should take E&Y’s advice. Projects that receive the free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) of the neighboring communities have a substantial competitive advantage over operators who hire armed mercenaries to suppress, intimidate, and harm the opposition.
# 5 Transparency
Sunshine disinfects and creates efficient markets. Better information for investment decisions inspires market confidence. Transparency signals to investors that the principles of good governance and the rule of law will help protect their money. E&Y highlights the contribution of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a multi-stakeholder process that publishes and reconciles payments and receipts between miners and governments. On EITI, E&Y urges mining companies to:
Identify the level and granularity of disclosure and reporting necessary and then establish processes to gather and assemble the data regarding government payments for proper reporting
What’s Not on the List? Environmental Regulation...
In September–October 2015, El Niño and positive Indian Ocean Dipole conditions set the stage for massive fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), leading to persistently hazardous levels of smoke pollution across much of Equatorial Asia. This study quantifies the emission sources and health impacts of this haze episode and compare the sources and impacts to an event of similar magnitude occurring under similar meteorological conditions in September–October 2006.
The study estimates that haze in 2015 resulted in 100 300 excess deaths across Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, more than double those of the 2006 event, with much of the increase due to fires in Indonesia’s South Sumatra Province.
The model framework introduced in this study can rapidly identify those areas where land use management to reduce and/or avoid fires would yield the greatest benefit to human health, both nationally and regionally.
A BuzzFeed News investigation has shined new light on the extent to which a secretive international legal system has enabled global mining companies to muscle their way into Indonesia’s last remaining rainforests.
A former Newcrest Mining executive told BuzzFeed News he had threatened to use the system, known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), to sue Indonesia over a 1999 environmental law banning open-pit mining in protected forests. Prior to the legislation’s passage, the Australian company had won the right to explore for gold on a heavily forested island in the Malukus, an east Indonesian archipelago. But Newcrest had obtained the license during the 32-year rule of strongman President Suharto, who was finally driven from power in 1998.
Newcrest was one of 13 miners to be granted an exemption from the prohibition, in 2004, allowing them to open vast pits in some of the Southeast Asian country’s most pristine ecosystems. Soetisna Prawira, the mining ministry’s chief lawyer at the time, told Buzzfeed News that the threat of “arbitration is the only reason” the government caved in to the companies’ demands.
ISDS is an instrument of international law that empowers foreign companies to sue host states in secretive arbitral tribunals presided over by corporate lawyers. The system is written into thousands of trade and investment treaties, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership now being pushed by the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama.
Introduced in the years following World War II, ISDS was originally intended as a means to protect foreign companies from having their assets seized by a rogue regime or from being discriminated against in favor of a domestic firm. “But over the last two decades,” BuzzFeed News reporter Chris Hamby wrote in the four-part series, “ISDS has morphed from a rarely used last resort, designed for egregious cases of state theft or blatant discrimination, into a powerful tool that corporations brandish ever more frequently, often against broad public policies that they claim crimp profits.”
Had Newcrest sued Indonesia over the 1999 Forestry Law, it likely would have sought hundreds of millions of dollars from the newly democratized country. Former Indonesian environment minister M.S. Kaban told BuzzFeed News that other companies had made similar threats, which influenced the government’s decision making. Officials had done the math and calculated that if other miners also sued, the state stood to lose up to $22.7 billion, about half of its entire 2003 budget.
Indonesia had already lost a case against a U.S.-owned geothermal company, Karaha Bodas, whose project in the archipelagic country was put on hold following the 1997 Asian financial crisis. An arbitral tribunal awarded the firm $261 million, mainly over the loss of potential future profits.
“Because of this bitter experience, we tend to find solutions,” Kaban told Buzzfeed News.
One of the BuzzFeed News articles portrays a debate in the Indonesian parliament over whether to sign off on the presidential decree that exempted the 13 miners from the 1999 Forestry Law. Hamby writes:
'Environmental groups, scientists, and academics urged legislators not to approve the decree, warning that open-pit mining in protected forests not only would destroy a precious resource but would also contaminate people’s water and expose them to landslides and floods. One politician implored his colleagues to stand firm, saying, “We do not need to be haunted by arbitration.”
But, in meetings and hearings, legislators fretted over the possibility that the nation would lose a...
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