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Saturday, 23 September

01:28

Maria's death toll rises to 37, Caribbean The Watchers Latest articles

Hurricane "Maria" has left a trail of destruction across the Caribbean islands and has so far claimed the lives of at least 37 people. Maria is the 13th named storm, 7th hurricane, 4th major hurricane, and the 2nd Category 5 hurricane of the unusually...... Read more

Liberian park protects Critically Endangered western chimpanzees Conservation news

The Liberian government designated a new national park in August 2017 that will protect an important population of Critically Endangered western chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus), as well as several other species of large mammals. The rainforests of the new Grebo-Krahn National Park in southeastern Liberia are home to some 300 western chimpanzees, according to the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation (WCF), based in Leipzig, Germany. A decade in the making, the 961-square-kilometer (371-square-mile) park won the approval of Liberias legislature on Aug. 22. Now, it only requires signatures from the president and the Minister of Foreign Affairs formalities, WCF says to become officially designated. Grebo-Krahn National Park is situated in southeastern Liberia and is part of the Ta-Grebo-Sapo forest complex that extends into Cte dIvoire. Map courtesy of the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation Creating a new national park is of course very exciting after years and years of collecting data and engaging the various stakeholders, said Annika Hillers, a primatologist with WCF, in an email. What bigger reward could there be? But those years of work that WCF, other conservation organizations, and the Liberian government have put it were just the beginning, Hillers said. It is now that we all have to work harder than ever, to make sure that Grebo-Krahn National Park is effectively protected and local communities are adequately involved, she added. Grebo-Krahn forms the heart of the Ta-Grebo-Sapo forest complex, extending into neighboring Cte dIvoire. The contiguous habitat is a critical home to not only chimpanzees, but

Documenting Africas poaching epidemic: Q&A with the director of The Last Animals Conservation news

After years of documenting some of the worlds bloodiest conflicts, a vacation in Kenya inspired photojournalist Kate Brooks to turn her lens to a different kind of violence: the slaughter of elephants and rhinos to feed black-market demand for ivory and rhino horn. Poaching is having a devastating impact on Africas wildlife. From 2006 to 2015, the population of African elephants is estimated to have declined by around 110,000, leaving just 415,000 still alive in the wild. The situation is no better for the continents rhinos: demand for their horns as decorative items and in traditional medicine has caused more than 7,100 to have been poached in the last decade, leaving a population of just 25,000. In her film The Last Animals, war-photographer turned filmmaker Kate Brooks traces this deadly trade across four continents traveling from protected areas in Africa to wildlife markets in Asia and North America in order to illustrate the complex web of global consumer demand, transnational criminal syndicates and local conflicts and political problems that contribute to the current poaching epidemic.  Along the way, Brooks also meets with investigators, scientists, zookeepers and rangers engaged in an all-too-often life threatening struggle to preserve the last remaining elephants and rhinos. The Last Animals is a finalist for the Special Jury award in the 2017 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival taking place September 24-29 in Jackson, Wyoming. Winners in 25 awards categories will be announced September 28. In an email interview, Kate Brooks shared her experience documenting the

01:19

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS SWIPING THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS Fire Earth

HURRICANE CONDITIONS OCCURRING ON THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS NHC Status as of 11:00 AM EDT Fri Sep 22 Location: 22.3N 71.0W Moving: NW at 8 mph Min pressure: 958 mb Max sustained winds: 125 mph [~200 km/h, Cat. 3B hurricane on FEWW New Hurricane Scale]   Advertisements Filed under: News Alert Tagged: Caribbean islands, []

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Friday, 22 September

22:49

Bright fireball over the Netherlands, over 310 reports to IMO The Watchers Latest articles

A bright fireball was observed and filmed over Amsterdam, Netherlands at 19:00 UTC (21:00 CET) on September 21, 2017. The event lasted more than 5 seconds, flaring several times before disappearing. While the fireball was primarily seen from Amsterdam, users...... Read more

Poor grade for Malaysia, Singapore brands in palm oil sustainability: WWF Conservation news

The majority of Malaysia and Singapores most popular brands have failed to push for the use of sustainable palm oil in their products, with some refusing to disclose who they buy from, according to a new survey by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Earlier this year, the international NGO surveyed 47 locally based food and restaurant-chains, with 27 from Singapore and the rest from Malaysia. The survey is called the Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard (pdf). Of the 47 companies that were contacted, only 16 disclosed information on their palm oil usage. And half of those had taken no action to support the use of sustainable palm oil. Even though 100% certified palm oil is available today, most businesses in Malaysia and Singapore are still not sourcing it, the report of the survey read. A snapshot of Singapores brands surveyed by the WWF in its Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard. Image courtesy of the WWF. Palm oil is one of Southeast Asias biggest industries, with Malaysia and Indonesia responsible for most of the worlds production. These countries are also home to many manufacturers that use palm oil. For its part, Singapore serves as a base for the regional operations of major growers and refiners in the industry, as well as a financial hub by supplying loans and investments to these companies. As the industry expands across the world, calls for more sustainable practices have intensified as well on the back of environmental concerns. Many oil palm companies take community lands without their

Can the Javan rhino be saved before disaster strikes? Conservation news

As the old saying warns, its bad enough to put all your eggs in one basket. If you have to, though, at least try not to leave that basket sitting on the beach under an active volcano. Unfortunately, thats basically the situation of the last population of the Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus). The Javan rhino was once found throughout Southeast Asia, but since the poaching of the last member of its mainland subspecies in Vietnam in 2009, its only population is found in Ujung Kulon National Park on the western tip of Indonesias Java Island. Such a limited geographic distribution puts any species at risk, but to make matters worse, this location is subject to a number of hazards. One is the volcano Anak Krakatau, growing basically right next door where the famous and deadly Krakatoa once stood. Recently published work also shows that the locations the rhinos prefer are at high risk from tsunamis. On the bright side, this research is collecting previously unknown information thats crucial for ensuring the future of this little-known species. However, the findings also add to the pressure to find a location for a second population a process thats far from simple. Ujung Kulon National Park sits on the western tip of Java Island, and is one of a few intact forested areas on the densely populated island. Map created using Map For Environment. Where the rhinos are Although they are all in a limited area, its not easy to study these animals,

22:30

A climate science milestone: a successful 10-year forecast! Watts Up With That?

From the Fabius Maximus Blog.  Reposted here. By Larry Kummer. From the Fabius Maximus website, 21 Sept 2017. Summary: The gridlock might be breaking in the public policy response to climate change. Lets hope so, for the gridlock has left us unprepared for even the inevitable repeat of past extreme weather let alone what

21:34

Ethane Hype has Reached a New Level in West Virginia Frack Check WV

Where did the 100,000 jobs and the $36 billion investment figures come from? Despite what Wheelings papers tell you, it wasnt a WVU study

From the Blog entitled The Wheeling Alternative, Internet Blog, September 2, 2017

On Wednesday, the top-of-the-front-page headline in both Wheeling papers highlighted what looked to be an important story for the Ohio Valley:

>>>Ethane Storage Could Bring 100,000 Jobs

The sub-headline further explained:

>>> WVU study looks at possible $36B investment

And here is the storys lead paragraph about a just-released WVU study:

>>> West Virginia University researchers believe a Marcellus and Utica shale ethane storage hub could help create $36 billion in investment and more than 100,000 permanent jobs some of which could occur at industrial sites left behind by Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel, Weirton Steel and Ormet Corp.

100,000 jobs? Thats a lot of job creation. Investment of $36 billion? If the reporting is correct, the study certainly looks good for the tri-state region. Unfortunately for the Ohio Valley, the WVU study doesnt mention any of the above. The reporter, Casey Junkins, who last year misrepresented a study on the retraining of coal miners to draw an opposite conclusion, once again makes claims for findings that are not in the study.

Here is a link to WVUs Appalachian Oil and Natural Gas Research Consortium which then links to the WVU study as a PDF. The study is very technical and science-oriented. Fortunately, a PDF program that can open the study will usually have a search feature which will look for specific words or phrases. So if you open the study, try jobs or investment. You should get the same results that I did both will be highlighted only once in the 181 page document and both are in the same sentence:

>>> In the United States, petrochemical projects are expanding. Industry investment and jobs have increased; the value of NGLs has increased; and fractionation capacity has increased as new processing plants come on line.

Thats it there are no other references to job creation or investment in the study.

But if its not in the study, where did the headlines $36 billion in investment and 100,000 jobs come from? With a little research I found both figures side-by-side in a different study published by the American Chemistry Counc...

20:37

US Prison Locations Added to Environmental Justice Mapping Tool Earth First! Newswire

As an environmental reporter, its not every day that I get to communicate good news the state of our environment often feels pretty bleak. But today, at least, there is a victory to celebrate: Thanks to the persistence of a small group of prison ecology advocates, the support of their allies, [] prisoners rights and environmental justice advocates have a new tool to add to their activist arsenal.

This summer, the EPA added a prisons layer to its Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool. Known as EJSCREEN for short, the tool can be used by the public to assess possible exposure to pollutants that might be present in the environment (i.e., land, air, and water) where they live or work.

The new layer allows the public to overlay the locations of the countrys 6,000-plus prisons, jails, and detention centers with information about environmental hazards like superfund and hazardous waste sites, something the nonprofit Human Rights Defense Center has been pushing for as part of its campaign for the EPA to consider prisoners within an environmental justice context. For the prison ecology movement, which addresses issues at the intersection of mass incarceration and environmental degradation, it could be a game changer.

Its huge, says Panagioti Tsolkas, cofounder of the Prison Ecology Project, a program of the Human Rights Defense Center. Its one of those things that I think if you just look at it quickly, it seems almost mundane to have added a layer to this existing map. And in the absence of a movement present to actually use it for something, it could be meaningless. But in the presence of what weve been doing over the last thr...

20:29

Thousands Evacuated in Bali amid Continued Unrest at Mt Agung Fire Earth

Mt Agung threatens to explode The volcano is ejecting white smoke and ash to a height of more than 3km above the crater, which could affect air travel. Volcanic activity remains high and there are indications of magma rising to the surface and causing tremors, the National Disaster Management Agency has said, warning nearby residents []

20:21

Mapuche Political Prisoner Hunger Strike Reaches Day 107: Urgent Call for National and International Solidarity Earth First! Newswire

from The Womens Coordinating Committee For a Free Wallmapu [Toronto]

posted on Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Since July 7th, 2017, four Mapuche Political Prisoners have maintained a hunger strike that has now lasted upwards of over 107 days. They have been held in pre-trial custody for over a year, under what has been considered an abusive and irregular process under the Anti-Terrorist Law in using anonymous witnesses. Despite the announcements made by the Prosecutor, Luis Torres, in finalizing the investigation seven months ago, bypassing the recent Chilean Independence celebrations, the trial has yet to commence. Family members and support networks have solicited the Chilean government to deal with the prisoners situation, recurring to regional authorities and even to the Ministers of the Interior and Justice, but these have remained evasive and broad in their response. Family and prisoner support networks had given a 72-hour ultimatum, which ended on Wednesday September 20th, 2017, with no response from government officials.

Various protests have taken place nationally and internationally that demand justice for Lonko [Chief] Alfredo Tralcal Coche, and brothers Ariel Alexis Trangol Galindo, Benito Rubn Trangol Galindo, and Pablo Ivn Trangol Galindo, imprisoned in the Penitentiary Centre of Temuco. They wait for the word of Mario Fernandez, Minister...

19:32

Turono Karuturi (Bye-bye Karuturi in Anuak) grain.org - english

Land activists around the world celebrated the news of the collapse of one of the worlds biggest land grabs: the Indian company Karuturi Global Ltds 300,000 hectare farmland deal in Ethiopia. CEO Sai Ramakrishna Karuturi claimed he would bring food security to the horn of Africa while boasting he would soon join the ranks of the worlds biggest food producers.

18:24

Borneo foundation to create a forest island for albino orangutan CHANGING TIMES

The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) is appealing for funds to create a forest island for an albino orangutan rescued in April.

The primate, who has been named Alba, is believed to be the only albino orangutan alive in the world.

It would be too risky to release Alba into the wild for health reasons, and because she could easily fall prey to poachers.

BOSF CEO Jamartin Sihite says five-year-old Alba has poor sight and hearing and her albinism could lead to her developing skin cancer later in life.

To ensure that Alba can live a free and fulfilling life we are making her a forest island home, where she can live freely in natural habitat, but protected from threats posed by humans.

The forest island will be enclosed by a moat and cover a minimum of five hectares, Sihite says, and Alba will share her new home with three other orangutans with whom she has bonded.

Once on the island, the group of orangutans will be protected, monitored, and observed by a full-time team, who will assess how they are adapting to forest island life.

...

15:50

Mexico Earthquake: Explaining Absence of Aftershocks Fire Earth

All Groups The bad news: NO aftershock, so far, days after deadly 7.1 quake struck Mexico [Issued by FIRE-EARTH Science Team.] Details via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.  Filed under: News Alert Tagged: 092201, aftershock, Deadly Quake, earthquake, M7.1, Mexico City

14:09

International Week of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space [7-14 October] DiaNuke.org

Solidarity events worldwide demanding No Missile Defense
Close U.S. Bases Worldwide
No to NATO
Stop Drones Surveillance & Killing
End Privatization of Foreign/Military Policy
Convert the Military Industrial Complex
Deal with climate change and global poverty

The post International Week of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space [7-14 October] appeared first on DiaNuke.org.

11:30

Climate Model Projections Significantly Diverge from Paleoclimate Analogs Watts Up With That?

By Renee Hannon Introduction Over the past million years, our Earth displays a rhythmic beat when exiting full glacial cycles and entering interglacial warm periods. The characteristics and duration of these systematic warm periods provide an excellent dataset to help prognoses of future climate patterns. Astronomical Milankovitch cycles play a major role and trigger internal

11:24

Wild Kratts episode up for film festival award teaches about rare white bear Conservation news

An episode of the popular cartoon Wild Kratts has been named a 2017 finalist in the biannual Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival competition. Drawn from a pool of over 1,000 entries competing for only 25 awards, finalists include a diverse range of entries. Wild Kratts: Spirit Bear was nominated for finalist for Best Engaging Youth Film. The mixed live video and animation film tells the story of the importance of bears and presents a popular scientific hypothesis about the origin of the white fur of the so-called spirit bear, or the Kermode bear. The spirit bear is a rare subspecies of the American black bear. The bear can be found in the central and north coastal regions of British Columbia in Canada. Mongaby interviewed Chris Kratt, who makes Wild Kratts with his brother Martin, by email. Mongabay: What led you and your brother to create Wild Kratts? Chris Kratt: Martin and I have been making wildlife programs for decades. Our previous work, like Wild Kratts, Zoboomafoo, and Be The Creature were all wholly live action, filmed in various locations around the world. When creating the Wild Kratts series, we thought what if we could make a series that utilizes both live action and animation, and combines them in a way that maximizes story elements and natural history content for the kids audience. The result is the Wild Kratts series, which looks at animals in terms of their amazing creature powers. The animated portion allows us to showcase wildlife behaviors that are difficult,

09:30

Oil sands crude pellets touted as cure for industrys transport headaches Watts Up With That?

From BNN.ca The Canadian Press A dump truck works near the Syncrude oil sands extraction facility near the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta , The Canadian Press CALGARY A new technology that transforms heavy crude oil into pill-sized pellets could cure the oilsands industrys transportation headaches, according to University of Calgary professor Ian Gates.

08:58

Temer uses controversial deforestation data in speech to UN Conservation news

Representatives of more than 150 civil society organizations gathered in Brasilia on Tuesday (19 September) to protest over the speech made by Brazilian president Michel Temer on Monday (18 September) at the opening of 72nd General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. In his speech, Temer said: Deforestation is a question that worries us, especially in Amazonia. We have concentrated attention and resources on this question and I now bring you the good news that the first available figures [for this year] indicate a fall of over 20 percent in deforestation in [Amazonia]. Temers speech appears to have been intended to re-assure the international community, which has strongly criticized the environmental and indigenous policies of his administration over the past few months. We have returned to the good path and we will continue along this path, Temer told the Assembly. Brazilian president Michel Temer speaks before the UN General Assembly on Monday, September 18. Photo courtesy of the United Nations.Brazil In June, Norway gave a stern warning to Temer on his visit to Oslo that Brazil could lose millions of dollars from the Amazon Fund if Brazils deforestation continued to rise. In August, the outcry after Temer signed a presidential decree to abolish a gigantic national reserve in the Amazon was so great that Temer had to issue a second decree, clarifying the first. Eventually, a federal judge annulled both decrees. In his address, Temer also stressed Brazils contribution to combatting global warming. My country and it

07:18

Cat Cries When He's Not Being Held So Shelter Staff Gets Creative Thrillist

Cats can get a bad rap for being antisocial. But not Dougie.

Dougie loves to snuggle like, all the time.

And the senior shelter cat is certainly not shy when it comes to demanding what he wants.

Credit: Ashley Perkins

When the 15-year-old orange tabby arrived at Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland (ARL) in early June, he was in bad shape. Suffering from feline inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the shelter staff had to work overtime to get him the medical care he so desperately needed.

After months of treatment, Dougie finally became strong and healthy enough to start looking for a new home. By then, the shelter staff had become quite familiar with Dougies adorable quirk.

He is incredibly social, and very people-motivated, Jeana Roth, director of community engagement, tells The Dodo. He always wants to be near the people around him, and meows until he gets affection and attention.

Credit: Ashley Perkins

Dougies need to be cuddled had, in fact, become something of an enjoyable nuisance to the shelter staff, who would continually have to stop the tasks they were doing to hold Dougie or else be forced to listen to his friendly, no-nonsense meows. Dougie is very vocal in his need for attention. If he wasnt held, or being petted, he would let you know, Roth says.
 
When the time came to move Dougie to the adoption floor, the staff had come up with the perfect way to showcase the senior cats unique personality. They posted a photo to Facebook showing Dougie snuggled up in a BabyBjrn worn by one of his favorite pals at the shelter.

When hes not bein...

06:32

Capturing the wonder and vulnerability of coral reefs in real-time: Q & A with the director of Chasing Coral Conservation news

Coral reefs support 25% of the worlds marine species, protect shorelines, support fisheries, and encourage eco-tourismtheir global economic value is over US $30 billion per year. A new film, Chasing Coral, documents the mass coral bleaching that occurred across the tropics between 2014 and 2016 and killed large portions of reefs. The cameras follow a team of divers to help audiences visualize what happened to the corals and what is expected to happen in the coming years. The divers and photographers spent more than 500 hours filming underwater over three years, engaging reef conservationists in more than 30 countries, to capture healthy corals and the changes they experienced during the bleaching process, in real time. The unseen underwater effects of rising ocean temperatures on coral, here in American-Samoa. Photo credit: XL Catlin Seaview Survey The Ocean Agency Richard Vevers Coral reefs are iconic structures made of millions of coral polyps, tiny animals that eat passing microorganisms, reproduce in annual mass spawning events, and add their skeletons to the structure of the reef. Corals have algae living inside their tissues. Like most plants, these algae photosynthesize, converting the energy from sunlight to food, which helps sustain the coral. They also give the corals their color. When the oceans waters become too warm, the algae cant photosynthesize properly and either abandon or are expelled by the corals, causing the coral to turn white. Corals can survive a short-term bleaching event, but only if conditions improve and the algae recolonize

Does forest certification really work? Conservation news

Tropical timber has earned a bad reputation. When we think of timber from lush, tropical forests, it conjures up images of valuable old-growth trees pillaged by logging companies and illegal timber mafias, ignoring the plight of wildlife and local communities. But tropical timber does not have to be bad, some experts say. Tropical wood forms an integral part of many of our daily-use products, like furniture, toilet paper, flooring, construction, and packaging material. And this important resource can be harvested from forests responsibly and sustainably, experts say, ensuring that we meet our future wood needs while conserving forests. When you speak about tropical forests with anybody, my mom or whoever, its always corruption, its always blood, its always stealing, its always dirty. Nobody wants tropical timber anymore, Paolo Cerutti, a senior scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) who has been working on sustainable forest management in sub-Saharan Africa, told Mongabay. But that is bad because we can harvest the forest in a way that is clean and proper and sustainable. It is this need for clean timber that gave birth to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) a voluntary, worldwide certification program formed in 1993 by a group of environmentalists, indigenous groups, human rights organizations, and timber users and traders. The FSC, headquartered in Bonn, Germany, hopes to change the way forests are managed.

When will cattle ranchers be proud to show their farms in the Amazon? (commentary) Conservation news

On one of our business trips to the city of Madison, in the U.S., we visited Graze, a restaurant that is proud to show the origin of the ingredients it uses in its kitchen. At the entrance, we were struck by a map of the state (Wisconsin) showing the restaurant connected to dozens of farms, their suppliers of vegetables, meat, cheese, and other products. Inside the restaurant, always packed with costumers, we observed a huge panel with a picture of the producer of the month and the characteristics of their products and farm. Wanting to know more, we surfed the Graze website and found a map and a list of its farm suppliers. Revealing the source of food is a worldwide trend now that consumers increasingly seek information on the origin of the products they consume, whether they are concerned about the quality, animal welfare, workers, or the environmental impact of production. In Brazil, however, many rural producers are reluctant to reveal too much about how their farms are operated. Environmental, labor, and fiscal problems explain this resistance. Currently, however, there is a battle to increase transparency about the farms to eliminate these problems, especially in the Amazon, which is responsible for 40 percent of the countrys cattle herd. In the region, about 86 million head of cattle graze on 61 million hectares, distributed throughout 400 thousand farms. Pastures are equivalent to two-thirds of the total deforestation in the region, which very frequently is illegal and, in all cases, releases

06:05

People Are Making This Jewelry For The Saddest Reason Thrillist

Smugglers involved in a massive criminal network that's driving an endangered animal to extinction are becoming creative so that they can sneak loot past international borders.  

Rhinos are teetering on the brink of extinction because of an incessant demand for their horn, falsely thought to be a cure-all in some parts of Asia and now worth more than gold or cocaine even though it's just keratin, the same material that grows on our fingernails.

Traffickers who are operating in South Africa have started to make beads and pendants out of rhino horn so that smugglers can literally wear the product and fly out of the country to trade it in Asia, according a report just released by TRAFFIC, an organization that tracks the illegal wildlife trade.

Considering that South Africa just made domestic trade of rhino horn legal, the revelation that rhino horn is leaving the country in the form of jewelry is especially concerning. South Africa is home to 79 percent of the last remaining rhinos on the planet. Over the past decade, over 7,100 rhinos have been killed by poachers for their horns.

"At the moment, most law enforcement agencies are looking for whole horns, they're looking for pieces of horn," Julian Rademeyer, spokesman for TRAFFIC, explained in a video statement. "But they're not looking for these smaller items that are being smuggled out."

Earlier this year, poachers broke into a rhino orphanage in South Africa and killed two young rhinos for their tiny horns. Just days after that, a rhino in a zoo in France was killed by poachers who broke in just to steal his horn. ...

05:54

Former Fox-Hunting Hounds Finally Learn What It's Like To Be Loved Thrillist

For years, the hounds had only one purpose to chase down foxes. They were owned by a fox hunting group, which didnt kill the foxes but still chased them in an effort to preserve traditional hunts. When the hounds werent being used, they lived in small, barren kennels floored with sawdust they didnt have any beds or toys, and rarely had human companionship.

But this May, the lives of 23 hounds changed forever.

Credit: Main Line Animal Rescue

When the hunting club, which was located in Pennsylvania, decided to downsize, it approached Main Line Animal Rescue (MLAR) and asked if it would take some of the retired dogs.

In the past, they had never released any dogs up for adoption, Russ Stewart, development coordinator for MLAR, told The Dodo. But they said they had a number of dogs who had been retired, or who hadnt even been out with the pack because they either werent hunters or they werent fast enough to keep up anymore.

Credit: Main Line Animal Rescue

The hunt club didnt have particular dogs in mind to surrender instead, it invited Stewart and another staff member from MLAR to the hunt club to pick out the dogs themselves.

We really tried to focus on the older dogs in the group, simply because we figured they were the most at risk, Stewart said. We also wanted to make an effort for these dogs who had been there for five, six or more years. All they had known was the hunt club, and we wanted to give them a shot to get into a home and spend their golden years in a home with a family.

Credit: Main Line Animal Rescue

With a grant from The Grey Muzzle, an o...

05:30

San Francisco and Oakland sue top five oil and gas companies over costs of climate change Watts Up With That?

From PR Newswire Companies knew for decades that their products caused climate change and posed catastrophic risk, but misled the public and continued to make enormous profits News provided by City Attorney of San Francisco 13:15 ET SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Oakland City Attorney Barbara

05:16

Petitio Principii Head Space

The truth of the conclusion is assumed by the premises. Social media mentally affects people. Pseudo-reality-based interactions with other people tend to become increasingly impersonal leading to a separation phenomena. Recall the Six degrees of separation pushed at the onset of Facebook, that is being further utilized by AI based Information Routing Groups, which are []

04:48

When Landscape Restoration Actually Means More Fake Forests

by Wally Menne with TimberWatch

It is generally considered normal for decent people to be opposed to human poverty and hunger, to corporate power and money-lust, to ignorance and greed, to inequities and discrimination, to dishonesty and deceitfulness; so, why do so many people seemingly still not understand why socially and ecologically harmful industrial tree plantations deserve the same level of civil society opposition to them, and must be the target of a co-ordinated international campaign to oppose their proliferation?
With large-scale industrial monoculture tree plantations, you can get all of these fantastic benefits in a convenient single package:
  • POVERTY and HUNGER of the worst kind are experienced by rural communities and indigenous peoples whose land has been degraded or taken away from them, and thus been dispossessed of their primary means of survival their forests, fields, wildlife and water together with the associated indigenous knowledge and cultural traditions.
  •  POWER and MONEY-LUST are the forces that drive the aggressive efforts of the international pulp, paper, packaging and wood-products industry to cheaply access communal or state-owned land; tribal land in indigenous territories; land designated as forest reserves, or even land in protected areas, for new tree plantations.
  • GREED and IGNORANCE are what drive banks, investment funds, pension schemes, university endowment funds, even some churches, and the foreign aid agencies of Northern governments, to finance the establishment of new tree plantations on prime land in poor countries where it is claimed that sustainable development is required.
  • DISCRIMINATION and INEQUITY are essential ingredients if such tree plantation projects are to be successful, and these take the form of low wages for dangerous work, separation of workers from their families, shockingly poor worker living conditions, inadequate worker training and safety precautions, and minimal retirement benefits.
But thats not all, folks!  You can get a...

04:30

Strange ring comet discovered by Hubble telescope Watts Up With That?

Hubble discovers a unique type of object in the solar system From the ESA/HUBBLE INFORMATION CENTRE With the help of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, a German-led group of astronomers have observed the intriguing characteristics of an unusual type of object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter: two asteroids orbiting each other and

04:23

Dog Loves Money So Much She Collects It To Pay For Her Treats Thrillist

Holly is a 5-year-old dog who has been with her family since she was a puppy. Shes a pretty typical dog in most ways, but she has one very unusual obsession: money. Holly is absolutely in love with money. 

Credit: Casi Cook

It started when she was a puppy, Casi Cook, Hollys mom, told The Dodo. She was a thief, just like any puppy. She used to steal stuff out of all our bags, including money, and instead of chasing her around the house we would kind of bribe her with treats, so when she had money in her mouth we didn't want her to eat it so we would say, Here Holly, take the treat and give me the money, so it clicked in her head, if she has the money, she will get treats. 

Credit: Casi Cook

Due to this accidental conditioning as a puppy, Holly now loves money more than anything in the whole world. Sometimes her family gives it to her, and sometimes she just steals it, because she can never have enough. Her mom works at a restaurant, and whenever she starts counting her tips, Holly can hear it a mile away and comes running. She currently has $87 to her name, and her collection is growing every day. 

Credit: Casi Cook

Holly has her very own piggy bank to keep her money in, but she also keeps it in the living room, on the stairs, in her moms bed, in the kitchen, in the hallway and pretty much everywhere in the house. 

Holly still likes to play with toys, too

...

04:05

Why Do Some Cats Have Six Toes? Thrillist

Our differences are what make us special. In a way, they are like superpowers. This is not only true for humans, but animals, too.

Found on the streets of Portland, Oregon, a small kitten with unusual paws was dropped off at a veterinary clinic by a couple of kind passersby. The little kitten had long white fur, one blue eye and one green eye, and to top it off, an extra toe on each of his front feet. At 6 weeks old, veterinarian Stephanie Harvey could tell this tiny ball of white fluff was different from the rest, and named him Wallace.  

Credit: Stephanie Harvey

Harvey knew that uniqueness was something to be cherished, and decided she and the odd little kitten were meant to be. I see A LOT of kittens and had so far resisted taking any home with me, but Wallace was special and I had to have him, Harvey told The Dodo.

Wallace has polydactylism, a genetically inherited trait that causes cats to be born with more than the usual number of toes on their paws. Cats typically have a total of 18 toes, explains New York City-based veterinarian Dr. Lisa Lippman: Five toes on each front paw and four on each hind paw, so anything extra makes a cat polydactyl. The extra equally sized toes tend to give the impression that polydactyl cats have big feet.

Credit: Howie831/Wikimedia Commons

Like most polydactyl cats, Wallaces additional toes are only present on his forepaws. It is considered rare for cats to have extra toes on their hind paws, even moreso to have all four feet affected by the condition (though one Canadian polydactyl cat was found to have as many as 28 toes, seven on each paw).

Harvey quickly adopted the six-toed kitten, but all was not smooth sailing. The combination of Wallaces large feet and his energeti...

04:01

2014 HGS Presentation: Climate Change: Facts and Fictions Watts Up With That?

Guest post by David Middleton Dr. Rusty Rieses May 2014 presentation to the Houston Geological Society Speaker:  W.C. Rusty Riese Adjunct Professor, Rice University Climate Change: Facts and Fictions The past several years have seen several opinion pieces regarding climate change appear in the pages of many publications, both scientific and secular.  Although both sides

03:30

Gravity waves influence weather and climate Watts Up With That?

In fluid dynamics, gravity waves are waves generated in a fluid medium or at the interface between two media when the force of gravity or buoyancy tries to restore equilibrium. An example of such an interface is that between the atmosphere and the ocean, which gives rise to wind waves. source From GOETHE UNIVERSITY FRANKFURT FRANKFURT. Gravity waves form in the atmosphere as

03:27

Videos: Dangers of Monocultures and GE Trees

In 1974 the decree of law 701 was created. As a result, more than 3 million hectares of pine and eucalyptus have been planted in. This has caused forced migration, loss of water sources and fertile soils, disappearance of native forest, and desertification in central and southern Chile.

In March of 2017, the Campaign to STOP GE Trees traveled to Chile for the Delegation on the Social and Ecological Impacts of GE Trees and the Campaigns international strategy meeting. This took place after the worst wildfires in the countrys history, caused by eucalyptus plantations. These videos were taken at that delegation to bring awareness to the dangers of GE Trees and the predatory monoculture forest model within the Country.

The Campaign to Stop GE Trees, along with our colleagues and vast amount of supporters both within Chile and globally, say For water and our forests: Neither expansion [of tree plantations], nor GE Trees.

[Videos in English, subtitles in Spanish]

 

Orin Langelle: Founder of Global Justice Ecology Project, Director of Langelle Photography, and steering committee member for the Campaign to STOP GE Trees, speaking out against GE Trees.

Ruddy Turnstone: GE Trees campaigner for Global Justice Ecology Project and steering committee member for the Campaign to STOP GE Trees, discussing the negative impact of the Chilean forest model.

Keith Brunner for Biofuelwatch discussing the expansion of tree plantations and GE Trees.

 

Videos by Miguel Hechenleitner and Orin Langelle on behalf of Olca (Olca.cl)

The post Videos: Dangers of Monocultures and GE Trees appeared...

02:34

FIRE-EARTH ALERTS: GNJR, JQHM, HRXP, NVPL Fire Earth

All Groups FIRE-EARTH ALERTS: GNJR, JQHM, HRXP, NVPL [Issued by FIRE-EARTH Science Team.] Details via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.  Filed under: News Alert Tagged: 092101, Fire-Earth Alert, FIRE-EARTH Alerts, FIRE-EARTH PULSARS, FIRE-EARTH Science, GNJR, HRXP, JQHM, NVPL

02:30

"Sacred" song and video released on 9.21.17 by Unify on International Peace Day, written by conscious Hip Hop artist J Brave: 100% single proceeds will benefit Honor The Earth News

We are excited to share this the "Sacred" music video featuring Porangui and Kayt Pearl written by conscious Hip Hop artist J Brave dropped on Thursday, Sept. 21st with a some help from Unify!! The artists will be giving away 100% of the Bandcamp single proceeds to Honor The Earth supporting the preservation of sacred sites, Native environmental issues, and the protection of indigenous culture. 

02:30

Scientists Go After The Media For Highlighting A Study Showing IPCC Climate Models Were Wrong Watts Up With That?

From The Daily Caller Michael Bastasch 9:16 AM 09/20/2017 A climate model expert told The Washington Post there would be extra eyes really scrutinizing a new study claiming climate models predicted more global warming than has been observed this century. And he was right. Climate scientists have rushed to criticize a study published in the

02:27

Active volcanoes in the world: September 13 - 19, 2017 The Watchers Latest articles

New activity/unrest was reported for 3 volcanoes between September 13 and 19, 2017. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 16 volcanoes. New activity/unrest: Agung, Bali (Indonesia) | Dieng Volcanic Complex, Central Java (Indonesia) | Zhupanovsky,...... Read more

Mumbai inundated after more than a month's worth of rain in 24 hours The Watchers Latest articles

Less than a month after Mumbai was flooded by unusually high rainfall that killed many people, the metropolis has again experienced near-record rainfall that caused widespread flooding on Wednesday, September 20, 2017. It is the second wettest September day in...... Read more

Ships, sonar and surveys: Film explores impacts of a noisy ocean Conservation news

Animals in the worlds oceans have faced an ever-increasing cacophony in recent decades. Theyre inundated with sonar intended to keep countries safe, air gun charges that help energy companies find new sources of oil and gas, and the sounds of the 60,000 commercial ships that ply the seas at any given time. A new film called Sonic Sea by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Imaginary Forces catalogs the growing risks that noise poses to whales, dolphins, and porpoises and what scientists and conservationists are doing about it. Its up for the Best Science in Nature prize at the 2017 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival beginning Sept. 24 in Jackson, Wyoming. The film Sonic Sea explores the impacts of sound in the ocean on whales, dolphins and porpoises. Photo courtesy of Imaginary Forces Cetaceans, the group that includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises, depend on sound to communicate, to hunt and to avoid predators. The problem is, in the ocean, we are injecting enormous amounts of noise, so much so that we are basically acoustically bleaching the ocean, said bioacoustician Christopher Clark of Cornell University in the film. All the singing voices of the planet are lost in that cloud of noise. The recent uptick in sounds in the ocean has also been linked to lesions on cetaceans organs and hemorrhaging around their brains. Its also been connected to mass strandings, in which large animals beach themselves, often with fatal consequences. Scientists suspect that they may be trying to get away from

02:22

FIRE-EARTH E-E ALERTS 092101 Fire Earth

All Groups FIRE-EARTH E-E ALERTS 092101 [Issued by FIRE-EARTH Science Team.] Details via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.   Filed under: News Alert Tagged: 092101, E-E ALERTS, FIRE-EARTH Alerts, FIRE-EARTH E-E ALERT, FIRE-EARTH PULSARS, FIRE-EARTH Science

00:02

One Hundred Cops Spend 11 Hours Evicting a Tripod in Germanys Hambach Forest Earth First! Newswire

by Hambach Forest Defenders / Earth First! Newswire

photo from Twitter: @JustHambi

On September 19th at 8 oclock in the morning approx 100 cops entered the millenarian Hambacher Forest, occupied for last six years blocking the expansion of RWEs open cast lignite mine, to remove the The Tripod, a live-in barricade. The official state line was that it was to keep the roads open for emergency vehicles in case of accident occurring in the forest. The emergency vehicles are the harvesters, bulldozers and loaders of this years cutting season which will begin on Oct. 25 and the accident is the global climate chaos, millions of premature deaths a year, and irreplaceable habitat loss to which Hambacher (cynically named after the forest its destroying) Mine: single largest net CO2 emitter in Europe, is not an innocent bystander to but rather a culprit extending its effect through emission and pollutants and through RWE Global Power Conglomerate machine impacting and destroying communities and ecosystem from Colombia, England and Germany to Siberia.

When the police entered the forest they at first surrounded the Tripod to prevent supporters joining in the two blockaders, one of whom was locked on the ground to a concrete lock-on and the second who was in the top of the tripod which in its mid level included a platform with a tent. Through walkway from a neighbouring tree additional person was still able to join those on the inside. For the next 5 hours the cops massed up around the barricade as large bulldozers removed the barricades leading into the heart of the forest (each year a 500 meter swath which is cut to enlarge the mine) followed by back loaders loading the scrap metal and tarps which comprises left over material from the occupation and performing a function of trash removal for the struggle.

The barricade clearing was also immediately followed by peeps emerging from the forest and rebuilding the barricades behind the heavy equipment
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Thursday, 21 September

23:49

At least 12 dead, 92 missing after river overflows in North Kivu, DR Congo The Watchers Latest articles

At least 12 people have died and another 92 are missing after heavy rains caused Bihambwe river to overflow its banks and flood two villages in Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province on Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Julien Paluku, the governor of the...... Read more

23:38

EPA Adds Prison Locations to its Environmental Justice Mapping Tool Latest News

EJ activists celebrate move as an advance in the struggle to recognize the environmental rights of prisoners

22:30

Welcome to Australia where its always warmer somewhere! Watts Up With That?

(and other nonsense from Australias Bureau of Meteorology, the University of Melbourne and The Conversation). Dr. Bill Johnston[1] Main points. Australias Bureau of Meteorology and climate scientists at the University of Melbourne should know that nowhere on planet-earth could rainfall be less than none! The Bureaus latest Seasonal Summary (winter 2017) spuriously claims rainfall is

22:03

Mispronouncing Namibia, A Country in Southern Africa, is not acceptable, or something Head Space

The moronic fall-out by imbeciles jumping to conclusions has been contagious. But isnt it always? Trump pronounced it Nambia. Jokes aside, Namibia is a real African country Namibia is a real country in southern African and on Wednesday it got its 15 minutes of fame in America after President Donald Trump mistakenly referred to it []

21:34

WV Air Quality Board Rejects Appeal on Methanol Chemical Plant Frack Check WV

WV-AQB refuses to hear environmental appeal

Air board refuses to hear concerns over Institute methanol plant

From an Article by Ken Ward, Jr., Charleston Gazette-Mail, September 18, 2017

Photo: Air Quality Board Chairman Michael Koon (left) and board lawyer Mark Weiler announce the boards ruling Monday on an appeal of a permit for a US Methanol plant that is under construction in Institute, WV.

Members of a state board on Monday refused to hear a permit appeal from a citizen group that is concerned that potential fires, explosions or other accidents at the US Methanol plant under construction in Institute could pose health and safety risks for area residents.

The West Virginia Air Quality Board granted the Department of Environmental Protections motion to dismiss an appeal that the group People Concerned About Chemical Safety filed, agreeing with the DEP that the issues raised were beyond the scope of the state agencys job. The decision means the board wont hold a full hearing with testimony about the citizen group concerns.

In arguing against the appeal being dismissed, Bill DePaulo, attorney for the People Concerned organization, urged the board members to make clear what ruling for the DEPs motion would be saying to the public.

Win or lose, Id just like a clear ruling, DePaulo told board members. Do it in big, bold letters: We do not consider the human health and safety in issuing this permit.

US Methanol hopes to start production in mid-2018 at the plant that would convert natural gas to methanol, a common industrial feedstock. The facility, located at the Institute property now operated by Dow Chemical, would use parts from a deconstructed plant in Brazil.

A variety of political leaders, including Gov. Jim Justice and Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper praised the project, which promises 60 permanent jobs, during a groundbreaking ceremony two weeks ago. Construction had already begun, despite the pending challenge to the projects air pollution permit.

In the permit appeal filed in April, People Concerned argued that the DEPs Division of Air Quality did not examine the potential consequences for the surrounding community of a spill, leak, fire or explosion at the US Methanol facility.

The citizen group had planned to present an expert to testify to the board about what could happen if one of the facilitys largest tanks h...

21:30

Fish Farm Occupation Moves From Sea to City Earth First! Newswire

by Emilee Gilpin / The Tyee

First Nations campaigners occupying fish farms on Vancouver Island received a boost of support last Friday when a group of supporters occupied the constituency office of Attorney General and Vancouver-Point Grey NDP MLA David Eby.

Jay Peachy, who played a key role in organizing the office occupation, said they wanted the government to followup on promises made during the election and the following summer.Were here to emphasize the moral imperative around Indigenous rights and reconciliation, said Peachy, who calls himself a fish warrior and is often seen at salmon-related events as Will the salmon, wearing a papier-mch sockeye head and rollerblades. Were here to remind this new government that they made critical promises.

Peachy referred to a statement made by Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena, who is also the NDP MLA for North Island. Trevena visited the Namgis First Nation bighouse in Alert Bay this past summer and promised fish farms would be removed from First Nations territories and move inland.

The bighouse is a sacred space for many First Nations, where official meetings, ceremonies and decisions are held. Peachy said that a commitment in a bighouse indicated a level of honour and responsibility from the government that the hereditary chiefs involved in the Vancouver Island occupation wont soon forget.

First Nations groups from the Namgis and Musgamagw Dzawadaenuxw have occupied two Norwegian-owned Marine Harvest fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago for more than...

21:19

Far Away From any Witnesses, My Small Town is Being Poisoned by Fracking Waste Earth First! Newswire

by Allison Stine / The Guardian

Some days, the air would smell acrid, sharp like bleach, and I would hurry from the car into the house. Other days, the wind seemed normal, unremarkable. I didnt know why.

My south-eastern Ohio town in the Appalachian foothills is a small, rural place where the demolition derby at the county fair is a hot ticket, Walmart is the biggest store, and people in the even smaller villages surrounding the county seat must often drive for 30 minutes to grocery shop. We hold the unfortunate distinction of being the poorest county in the state: an area that is both stunning rolling hills, rocky cliffs, pastures and ravines and inaccessible, far from industry.

Its here that fracking companies dump their waste.

The Hazel Ginsburg well, an injection well built in the hillside decades ago, was meant to deposit saline and sand underground into porous rock. For the last few years, however, the well has held waste from out-of-state fracking operations done in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and other states.

A forgotten byproduct of fracking is the waste. What goes into the ground must come out: a sludge of toxic chemicals and undrinkable water, which trucks ship across the country. Far from the drill pads, far from the cities that profit from fracking, far from any city at all, the leftover wastewater is injected into the ground my countys forgotten ground.

These hills once held coal. Some still do. Though many of the mines have shut down, coals legacy remains. Some streams in the woods run red from the acid leaking from abandoned shafts. My step-grandmother, the daughter of a Kentucky miner, used to tell me stories of washing her clothes in red water, downstream from mines. Coal companies exploited employees like her father, paying him in company scrip and keeping him poor and exploiting the land.

That kind of abuse continues. It has just changed shape.

...

20:38

German election 2017: Where the parties stand on energy and climate change Carbon Brief

Germany goes to the polls this Sunday and current chancellor Angela Merkel is set to win a fourth term.

Merkel is likely to need one or two coalition partners from the five other parties expected to enter the Bundestag. This means the next governments priorities will have to be negotiated post-election and may not reflect individual party positions.

Germany has become a key player in international climate politics in recent years, yet it is falling behind its domestic carbon targets.

While the election outcome is unlikely to alter its global positioning, future government policy will likely affect its national climate progress.

Carbon Brief sets out the key climate and energy options facing Germans at the polls this week.

Background

Germany has a long-term goal to reduce emissions by 80-95% below 1990 levels in 2050. Last year it set interim emissions targets for individual sectors, including agriculture, industry and transport.

However, Germanys emissions have stagnated in recent years.

As a result, it is set to miss its interim 40% by 2020 target, according to a report released earlier this month. The research, from German think tank Agora Energiewende, found the country is on track to achieve only a 30-31% reduction.


German greenhou...

20:30

Mexico shakes, sometimes without aftershocks Head Space

A Shock Without Aftershocks When the blogger called the big magnitude 8.1 earthquake, which occurred off the coast of southern Mexico on September 8th, a rare event, he couldnt have known that our neighbor to the south would be shaken by an even stranger temblor 12 days later. The hypocenter of Tuesdays quake, which has []

19:37

Biological Health Hazard Fatal Hepatitis A (HAV) Outbreak: Sanctuary State of California (public health emergency) Head Space

Ongoing Public Health Crisis: HEPATITIS A USA (32): (CALIFORNIA) ************* Published Date: 2017-09-20 09:45:13 Subject: PRO/EDR> Hepatitis A USA (32): (CA) Archive Number: 20170920.5328456 Date: Tue 19 Sep 2017 3:50 PM PDT Source: Los Angeles Times [edited] Los Angeles [LA] County health officials declared a hepatitis A outbreak [Tue 19 Sep 2017], days []

19:19

Biological Health Hazard Pneumonic Plague Outbreak: Madagascar Head Space

PLAGUE MADAGASCAR (04): FATAL ********** Published Date: 2017-09-20 17:45:09 Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Plague Madagascar (04): fatal Archive Number: 20170920.5329820 Africa    Madagascar | Antananarivo Nationwide Location: 185600.0S 473100.0E Bio-hazard Level: 4/4 Hazardous Date: Wed 20 Sep 2017 Source: Outbreak News Today [edited] In a follow-up to a report last [Fri 15 Sep 2017], on []

18:53

Four new toads discovered in Sumatra Conservation news

BOGOR, Indonesia Scientists described four new toads from the hills of Sumatra, adding to the islands already astounding biodiversity. The discoveries mark the first Sumatran additions to the Philautus genus of shrub frogs since the early 20th century. Several were described in the Western Ghats of India in 2009. The researchers published their findings in Herpetological Monographs last month. They hail from the University of Brawijaya in Indonesia, and the University of Texas at Arlington and Broward College in the U.S. Specimens of the newly described species Philautus amabilis, Philautus polymorphus, Philautus thamyridion and Philautus ventrimaculatus were collected from 2013 to 2015 in jungles over 1,000 meters above sea level. As in the rest of Indonesia, the forests of Sumatra are full of unknown creatures, but are rapidly dwindling as industry expands, especially in the agriculture and mining sectors. Globally, scientists believe that more than 80 percent of species remain undiscovered. Maps showing the distribution of the Sumatran Philautus genus. Image courtesy of Herpetological Monographs. The four toads differ from one another in their skin patterns, limb shapes and voices. The last name of Philautus amabilis derives from a Latin word meaning charming or pretty. For the scientists, this defines the toads bright brown back and the dark lines that appear on its arms, thighs, hind legs and outer fingers. The name Philautus polymorphus was inspired by its variety of colors and patterns, but the animal is recognizable by the cone-shaped bumps on its eyelids. Philautus thamyridion was named after Thamyris,

18:09

Hubristic Clowns, Imbeciles, and Professional Morons Head Space

But wait theres more Observable facts clearly show that Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D,TX) has proven to be a polarizing and divisive figure amongst her constituents with her flamboyant hubris and personality and a penchant for getting in front of any and all cameras to prove her ineptitude. Following are some of the notable []

15:20

Fake News rears its head in NZ Election Earthrace Conservation Blog

Its been disconcerting watching the NZ election. Despite our isolation, it seems we are not immune to the fake news cycles that have increasingly plagued elections overseas. Theres a few reasons why Fake News has become so prevalent, but it is a shame when it impacts at the very heart of our democracy.

Who will you be voting for?

Who will you be voting for?

In the last week, National have been making sustained claims that Labour plan to increase income tax rates next year. And yet when you dig into the issue, Labour have actually said they will not be implementing Nationals proposed tax cuts. Not getting a tax cut is way different to increasing tax rates, and yet if the polls are to be believed, National has been rewarded for this dishonest scaremongering. Its not an isolated incident though. Earlier in the campaign, National claimed Labour had an $11b fiscal hole, a message that quickly gained traction on traditional and social media alike, and yet it was subsequently proven to be false.

The trouble is these Fake News stories travel so quickly, and have become a powerful tool for Politicians willing to exploit them. That something is false or dishonest hardly seems to matter anymore, but get used to it, as it is being driven by a number of forces.

Firstly, people no longer care for the details. We have become driven by soundbites, gifs and memes, and our Politicians have figured this out. When Bill English made his initial claims of Labour increasing income tax, he knew most people wouldnt bother checking into Labours policy. A simple sentence and the damage was done, with right wing media and pundits all jumping on to post the quote and share it around.

Secondly, social media can give anyone a voice. In some ways this is a good thing. I can post about conservation issues and get a decent audience, and it has to some degree weakened the hold of traditional media on the public consciousness. But it means nutcases with very skewed versions of reality can also become very influential. A disgruntled troll living in the basement of his mothers house may have as much media reach as a Journalist who spends weeks researching and fact checking.

The entire media landscape is also splintering. Leading up to the US election last year I was in Florida and watching both Fox and CNN covering the same issue, and yet it was like a completely different story. One would be praising Trump as the only many to solve the US problems, while CNN was likening him to Lucifer. As media sources have proliferated, so to have our options in terms of what we watch, an...

14:56

Mexico Declares State of Disaster, 3 Days of Mourning as EQ Toll Rises Fire Earth

M7.1 Earthquake Leaves Hundreds Dead across Five Mexican States Mexico has declared a state of disaster, and three days of mourning, as the earthquake death toll continues to rise. A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck near Atencingo in Puebla state, about 120km SSE of Mexico City on September 19, at 18:14 (UTC). The earthquake destroyed scores []

14:06

MARIA Mercilessly Devastates Puerto Rico Fire Earth

Torrential Rains Trigger Severe Flooding Across Puerto Rico  Hurricane MARIA has completely devastated Puerto Rico, plunging the Caribbean island into complete darkness, as widespread flooding submerge roads and inundate the rickety buildings and decaying infrastructure. HURRICANE MARIA MOVING AWAY FROM PUERTO RICO BUT TORRENTIAL RAINS CONTINUE WEATHER CONDITIONS DETERIORATING OVER EASTERN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND []

13:33

The New Carpetbaggers, greatest enemy of the black family in America DACA, Open Borders, and More Illegal Immigration. Head Space

The Black Family is Struggling, and Its Not Because of Slavery The black family was stronger the first 100 years after slavery than during what will be the second 100 years. That the problems of todays black Americans are a result of a legacy of slavery, racial discrimination, and poverty has achieved an axiomatic status, []

13:04

A Tsunami of Earthquakes Striking Globally Fire Earth

Grace-285H Significant Earthquakes Strike Vanuatu, PNG, Japan Region Significant and Notable Earthquakes Strike Vanuatu, PNG, Japan Region. Vanuatu Magnitude: 6.4 mww   Location: 18.798S, 169.095E [85km NNW of Isangel, Vanuatu] Depth: 200.2 km Time: 2017-09-20 20:09:49 (UTC) Papua New Guinea (PNG) M 5.9 165km N of Finschhafen, PNG   Location: 5.110S 147.834E Depth: 10.0 km Time: []

12:29

Hilarious: Identity Fiddling Ex-EPA Chief Demands More Transparency Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall h/t John, Daily Caller Lisa Jackson, who may have broken federal law by using a fake email alias during her tenure as EPA chief, has demanded more EPA transparency. Apples Lisa Jackson says the EPA hasnt changed, leadership has changed Apples Vice President Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa

12:18

Some Supermassive black holes are binary, so? Head Space

Boffins discover tightest black hole binary system and its supermassive Sitting less than one light year apart in spiral galaxy NGC 7674 Scientists have discovered the closest-ever supermassive black hole binary system. Its in the spiral galaxy NGC 7674, and the pair of voids are separated by a distance of less than one light year. Supermassive []

10:05

Strong and deep M6.4 earthquake hits Vanuatu The Watchers Latest articles

A strong and deep earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.4 hit Vanuatu at 20:09 UTC on September 20, 2017. The agency is reporting a depth of 200.2 km (125 miles). Geoscience Australia is reporting M6.3 at a depth of 204 km (126 miles). According to the USGS, the...... Read more

Historical nautical maps show coral loss more extensive than previously believed Conservation news

A team of researchers based in Australia and the United States have used historical nautical maps to determine that coral reef loss in the Florida Keys is much more extensive than previously understood. The British empire began mapping its overseas territories in the 18th century, and coral reefs in particular were quite thoroughly documented given the danger they posed to wooden-hulled ships. In the process, these imperial cartographers unwittingly provided a source of high-resolution spatial data on coastal areas that, as it turns out, can still be useful today in establishing historical baselines for the extent of coral reefs and assessing changes to those reef systems over the ensuing centuries. The degree of biologically relevant information recorded varied by cartographer, but the best of these British maps describes the depth, shape, and color of shallow-water corals and distinguishes them from other hard structures such as rocks, the authors of a study published in the journal Science Advances earlier this month wrote. The researchers used nautical charts dating from the 1770s to help quantify changes in the coral reefs of the Florida Keys over the past 240 years. The maps were essential to expansion of the British Empire, and luckily for us, they also included a lot of useful ecological information, according to Benjamin Neal, a postdoctoral researcher at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, Maine and a co-author of the study. Loren McClenachan, a professor at Colby College in Waterville, Maine who led the study, said that,

09:57

Factcheck: Climate models have not exaggerated global warming Carbon Brief

A new study published in the Nature Geosciences journal this week by largely UK-based climate scientists has led to claims in the media that climate models are wrong and have significantly overestimated the observed warming of the planet.

Here Carbon Brief shows why such claims are a misrepresentation of the papers main results. In reality, the results obtained from the type of model-observation comparisons performed in the paper depend greatly on the dataset and model outputs used by the authors.

Much of the media coverage surrounding the paper, Millar et al, has focused on the idea that climate models are overestimating observed temperatures by around 0.3C, or nearly 33% of the observed warming since the late 1800s. For example, the Daily Mail reported:

According to these models, temperatures across the world should now be at least 1.3 degrees above the mid-19th century average, which is taken as a base level in such calculations. But the British report demonstrates that the rise is only between 0.9 and 1 degree.

Lead author Dr Richard Millar and his co-authors have pushed back against such media coverage, releasing a statement which says:

A number of media reports have asserted that our [study] indicates that global temperatures are not rising as fast as predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and hence that action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is no longer urgent. Both assertions are false. Our results are entirely in line with the IPCCs 2013 prediction that temperatures in the 2020s would be 0.9-1.3 degrees above pre-industrial [levels].

[Carbon Briefs guest post by Dr Millar earlier this week includes the papers key figures. Additionally, one of his co-authors, Prof Piers Forster, provides further reaction at the end of this article.]...

09:22

Follow the money To spot a counterfeit, study the real thing Head Space

A false prophet is one who falsely claims the gift of prophecy or divine inspiration, or who uses that gift for evil ends. How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart A true prophet is a truth-teller, one who []

08:48

Shelter's Fattest Cat Gets The Family She's Always Deserved Thrillist

Sometimes, having a bit of extra pudge pays off just ask this rather corpulent kitty named Faye. 

After a stint at the animal shelter, where her eye-catching size certainly made her hard to miss, she just landed a new forever home of her own to let it all hang out in.

Credit: The Jacksonville Humane Society

Faye was rescued by Florida's Jacksonville Humane Society after her original owner was no longer able to take care of her but she clearly had no shortage of food at her last home. The affectionate kitty came in weighing a whopping 24 pounds, making her one of the chubbiest cats anyone there had ever run across.

"We have had a few other cats around 18 to 20 pounds in recent years but Faye tips the scale," a shelter spokesperson told The Dodo.

But not only is Faye quite plump, she's pretty jiggly too. Photos posted online show that even getting a grip on her can be quite a challenge (albeit a cute one).

"It's like holding the world's most adorable medicine ball!" the shelter confirmed.

Credit: The Jacksonville Humane Society

While she's perhaps not the most cooperative model, photos of Faye were a hit on social media. In less than 24 hours, she racked up hundreds of likes and shares on the Jacksonville Humane Society's Facebook page. Adoption offers came pouring in after that, but one family took the initiative to ensure Faye was out of the shelter sooner rather than later.

"Her new mom drove over two hours to be first in line," the shelter reports. "She said she felt an instant connection they were very excited."

Credit: Th...

08:28

Curious Dog Accidentally Crashes Couple's Wedding Thrillist

Silvija Vil was attending a wedding at a gorgeous outdoor venue in Lithuania, waiting for the couple to finally exchange their vows when suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, she noticed the most unusual wedding crasher: a big, excited dog. She seemed very confused as to why everyone was there but VERY eager to join them. 

At first, no one else really seemed to notice the uninvited guest but Vil, being a dog lover, was mesmerized.

Credit: Silvija Vil

The dog wasn't a disruption at all, Vil told The Dodo. I think most people just focused on the wedding, whilst I couldn't resist but film the doggo. 

The dog considered going over to congratulate the bride and groom  

Credit: Silvija Vil

but then decided against it, and went to try and mingle with the guests instead. 

Credit: Silvija Vil

When no one seemed to be willing to play with her  

Credit: Silvija Vil

she went off to play in a little stream right next to the bride and groom instead, completely oblivious to the wedding going on around her. 

...

08:25

Major Bank to Governments: Go on, Give us your Carbon Tax Money Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall Banks have become remarkably coy about demanding carbon tax cash, in return for support for climate investment, but at least one major bank wanted to make sure readers got the hint. Banking on climate change 19 Sep 2017 Andrew Cornell Leaving aside that the energy debate in Australia is almost

07:39

Category 4 Hurricane "Maria" slams Puerto Rico, first Cat. 4 since 1932 The Watchers Latest articles

Category 4 Hurricane "Maria" made landfall in Puerto Rico at 10:15 UTC (06:15 AST) on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 with maximum sustained winds of 248 km/h (155 mph). This was the first Category 4 hurricane landfall in Puerto Rico since Hurricane...... Read more

Cross currents: Mega-dams and micro-hydro offer two different futures for rural Borneo Conservation news

ULU PAPAR VALLEY, Malaysia A gentle afternoon drizzle provides some relief from the tropical heat as six men from the village of Longkogungan dig a narrow, snaking channel that represents one of their two possible futures. The canal theyre building will carry water from the villages new micro-hydropower electrical system, a cooperative effort to manage the areas resources and retain the local population. Like birds, they fly, but they return home, Gosibin Lodukin says of his children and grandchildren, whom he hopes will come back from the nearby big city to Longkogungan. However, Lodukin and all residents of the Ulu Papar Valley will need to leave their villages if construction of the much larger Kaiduan Dam downstream proceeds and submerges their homes, rice fields and forests.  No under any circumstance is the response of Irene Kodoyou, who leads the effort to fight any plan for a dam and resettlement. Kodoyou traces seven generations of her family back in Ulu Papar. She worries that leaving the valley would mean a loss of identity for future generations. The collective efforts at local control by Ulu Papar residents are competing with urban interests seeking a new water source for the growing population of the nearby Kota Kinabalu area. The outcome will determine the future course of the Papar River and the lives of the people dependent on it. Left: Stopped to help another truck stuck in the mud on the way to Ulu Papar. Right: Looking down the Ulu Papar Valley at

07:05

Soldier Responding To Hurricane Finds Tiniest Survivor Who Needs Him Thrillist

The kitten clung to the soldier, and the soldier clung to the kitten. Neither of them wanted to let go of each other.

Corporal Orville Williams had found the tiny orange kitten while on duty with the Antigua military on the small Caribbean island of Barbuda after Hurricane Irma hit a couple of weeks ago. The hurricane had devastated Barbuda, flattening houses and forcing its residents to evacuate to the neighboring island of Antigua. Unfortunately, many animals got left behind.

Credit: World Animal Protection

While driving through the island surveying for damage, Williams and a couple fellow soldiers heard a tiny, weak meow. When Williams got out of his truck and had a look around, he found the kitten.

She was tiny too tiny to be left on her own, Scott Cantin, global head of disaster communications for World Animal Protection (WAP), told The Dodo. So they took her into the truck.

Credit: World Animal Protection

Williams and the other soldiers named the kitten Irma, and they did the best they could to care for her, despite having limited means to do so.

They [the soldiers] were just staying in these bunks at the port, and the kitten stayed with them, Cantin said. And there was an area where they would give her food and water.

Credit: World Animal Protection

But when a rescue team from WAP arrived on Barbuda to look for stranded animals, Williams knew what he had to do.

The soldier said to us, Hey, since youre bringing back animals, we have this little kitten and shes pro...

06:44

Dog Found Alive In Rubble After Deadly Mexico City Earthquake Thrillist

The ground had barely stopped shaking from the powerful earthquake that rocked Mexico City on Tuesday before rescue efforts were underway. Many buildings had toppled during the 7.1 magnitude quake, sparking a hurried search for survivors amidst the rubble.  

But while the death toll sadly continues to rise, scenes of hope have emerged that show the dedication of those countless volunteers who've stepped in to help both human and animal victims alike.

Credit: Twitter/@Dia0_Noticias

One poignant rescue after the earthquake is quickly going viral. Digging through the remnants of one collapsed building on Tuesday, emergency crews happened upon a dog who'd been trapped beneath the debris confused and frightened, but miraculously still alive.

Footage shows the pup carefully lifted out of the ruins, tenderly being pet by those who had just saved her. And as she's revealed to the crowd of volunteers below, appearing to have survived without obvious injury, they burst into applause.

The status of the dog's family is unclear, but her survival in that moment clearly bolstered hopes that they, and others trapped throughout the city, too would be found alive.

Elsewhere, other scenes of solidarity have been carrying out as strangers come to the aid of pets displaced by the earthquake. A forum has been established on Twitter for people whose pets are missing, and for those who've taken in lost pets for safekeeping.

But while many dogs are being rescued, some are actually doing the saving. One search and rescue dog, named Titan, has reportedly led to the safe recovery of 21 people who had been trapped alive beneath rubble and his work is only just beginnning.
...

06:30

Climate Justice Forum: Tar Sands Pipeline Valve Turners Conversation with Wen Stephenson, Spokane Train Blockader Hearings, Second Lake Rail Bridge Equipment Removal, Smoldering Montana Coal Train Spill 9-20-17 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

The Wednesday, September 20, 2017 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features a webcast conversation among the tar sands pipeline valve turners and independent author and activist Wen Stephenson, discussing their climate direct action motivated by hope and doom.  We also cover upcoming court hearings of coal and oil train blockader George Taylor in Spokane, equipment removal from the second, Lake Pend Oreille, rail bridge, pile load test site near Sandpoint, and smoldering, uncleared coal at the August 13, Clark Fork River, coal train derailment and spill site in Montana.  Broadcast for five and a half 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, community resistance to fossil fuel projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Climate Justice Forum

06:18

Celebrating Dolores Pesticide Action Network

Dolores Huerta

At age 87, political activist Dolores Huerta is getting some long-overdue recognition for the central role she's played for years in the farmworker movement. It's a role well worth celebrating.

The documentary film Dolores, produced by director Peter Bratt, is now in theaters. The film puts Huerta's decades of organizing front and center where it should be, rather than portraying her as a "sidekick" of Cesar Chavez, as too many narratives have. 

We learn, for example, that it was actually Huerta that coined the phrase Si se puede!, which has long been the rallying cry for the farmworker movement. The English translation also became the slogan for President Obama's presidential campaign in 2008; he rightly acknowledged this when he awarded Huerta the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

Fighting for farmworkers

Though it's not highlighted in the movie, Huerta has long been concerned about the impacts of pesticides on farmworkers, particularly women and children. As she noted in a recent interview:

  The pesticides in the fields really affect women even more than they do men. They affect children...we have had so many women that have cancer, so many children have been born with deformities."

She's also an active supporter of PAN's current campaign to remove the brain-harming pesticide...

05:20

Scared Little Chimp Relaxes As Soon As Rescuer Puts His Arm Around Him Thrillist

When a tiny baby chimp arrived at a sanctuary in Cameroon, he wouldn't let anyone touch him.

That's because he'd already seen some of the worst things people can do to creatures like him. Now known as Farah, the 10-month-old chimp was confiscated from a man who was carrying him around in a bag, trying to sell him as a pet. 

It was later revealed that the man had killed Farah's mother himself. 

Credit: LAGA

The moment his mom died, Farah's life would never be the way it would have been in the wild. He was kept in the man's house, chained up, until authorities confiscated him. 

Credit: Ian Bickerstaff

He had no reason to trust people, but this time they were there to help. Rescuers from Ape Action Africa brought little Farah to their sanctuary for displaced animals like him.

Credit: Ian Bickerstaff

"He was exhausted and very distressed, so he was given food and water, then quickly settled into our infant nursery with caregiver Romain for some rest," the organization wrote on Facebook. "Tired, hungry and anxious, its no wonder that little Farah refused to trust our manager when he tried to lift him from the back of the car. Or later when our director, Rachel, tried to smooth the blanket around him for sleeping. This is the cost of the illegal pet trade."
...

05:15

The Value of Old Textbooks Watts Up With That?

Guest post by David Middleton Back in my early days of debating climate change on the Internet, I ran across this New York Times article: From a Rapt Audience, a Call to Cool the Hype By WILLIAM J. BROADMARCH 13, 2007 Hollywood has a thing for Al Gore and his three-alarm film on global warming,

05:12

Shallow M5.9 earthquake hits off the coast of Honshu, Japan The Watchers Latest articles

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the JMA as M5.9 hit off the east coast of Honshu, Japan at 16:37 UTC on September 20, 2017 (01:37 JST, September 21). The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). USGS is reporting M6.1 at a depth of 10 km. If...... Read more

Citizen scientists use mobile apps to help green the ocean Conservation news

Few people get to witness the breadth and wonder of underwater life, from coral to kelp to fish and sea anemones. SCUBA divers gain a unique view of not only the beauty but also the condition of underwater communities. Unfortunately, they are increasingly seeing non-biodegradable trashmostly plastic but also metal, glass, rubber, cloth, ceramic, and cardboard on reefs and other marine habitats. Divers have the unique opportunity to observe sea life underwater, such as these sea goldies (anthias) at Little Brother, Red Sea, Egypt. Photo credit: Derek Keats, CC 2.0 According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), marine debris injures and kills marine life, interferes with navigation safety, and poses a threat to human health. Some animals become entangled in ropes or fishing gear; others mistake debris for food, which can damage their tissues or cause them to starve. Plastics degrade very slowly and can leach harmful chemicals into the ocean. Fish and shellfish consume the waste particles and chemicals and are then caught and sold in our fish markets, causing concern about harmful substances in our food. A 2015 study calculated that 192 coastal countries worldwide generated 275 million metric tons (MT) of plastic waste in 2010, 513 million MT of which found its way to the ocean. Marine debris litters beaches across the globe, even those with little local human activity, as currents move trash across oceans. A sea turtle entangled in a ghost net, abandoned fishing nets that drift with ocean currents and harm

Stalking snow leopards: Q&A with the director of Ghost of the Mountains Conservation news

Snow leopards (Panthera uncia) are known for their elusive ways. Even people who share the mountains with the silvery felines seldom spot them. In spring 2014 a crew of filmmakers with Bristol, U.K.-based Brian Leith Productions undertook what the companys website describes as a mission impossible. They ventured to the remote mountains of Sanjiangyuan in Chinas western province of Qinghai to film wild snow leopards for Disneynatures 2016 movie Born in China. We were successful in capturing the best footage of snow leopards ever, and a wildlife first, to film snow leopard cubs in their natural environmental [sic], the website boasts. Ghost of the Mountains, a new film by the same company documenting the excursion, is a finalist for Best People and Nature Film in the 2017 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival taking place next week in Jackson, Wyoming. Almost 1,000 entries are competing for 25 awards. The winners will be announced next Thursday, September 28. Mongabay caught up with Ben Wallis, writer and director of Ghost of the Mountains, by email. Trailer for Ghost of the Mountains via Youtube.com.   Mongabay: What drew you to make this film? Wallis: This film documents the behind the scenes adventures that took place as we attempted to film snow leopards for Born In China, a Disneynature movie. As soon as we knew we were making the film and had decided to film snow leopards, it was clear that a behind the scenes film would be very compelling. Mongabay: Snow leopards are often

03:45

Joseph Buddenberg Transferred to FCI Coleman Earth First! Newswire

from Support Nicole and Joseph

Josephs transfer is now complete, and hes at FCI Coleman Low and no longer in SHU. He would really appreciate starting to receive letters, books, postcards, articles, etc. again. He just arrived at Coleman yesterday, but so far is doing well with starting to settle in there.

You can order a book for him of his book wish list here (make sure its mailed to his Coleman address) and send him mail to:

Joseph Buddenberg #12746-111
FCI Coleman Low
PO Box 1031
Coleman, FL 33521

[EF! Newswire editors note: For more info on Josephs case see our Eco-Prisoner List and his support page.]

03:28

Sept. 21 is Intl Day of Action against Tree Plantations: Videos, Photos & More

September 21 is the international Day of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree Plantations. The Campaign to STOP GE Trees is coordinating with the World Rainforest Movement to speak out against the social and ecological dangers associated with tree plantations. Join us and share the following stories and videos online to help spread this important message. 
Video: Ten Replies to Ten Lies about Tree Plantations

This new short video summarizes the ten top lies of the timber and pulp industries in their justification of destroying native forests for the expansion of industrial tree plantations.

 

5 Video Shorts: Tree Plantations Are NOT Forests

In the link above, World Rainforest Movement, a founding member of the Campaign to STOP GE Trees, offers five one minute videos on the impacts of tree plantations.

 

Monoculture Tree Plantat...

03:02

Shelter Dog Covered In Tiny Scars Gets His First Real Hug Thrillist

Duncan's face and body are covered in wounds and scars. His eyes ask only for affection. 

Sarah Rosenberg, community engagement manager for the LifeLine Animal Project in Atlanta, was there at just the right moment to give it to Duncan.

"One look at his chewed-up face and I knew he had been through a living hell, but his eyes were soft and warm and invited me to hold him," Rosenberg tells The Dodo. "I opened his kennel, and he melted into my arms."

Credit: LifeLine Animal Project

Duncan had been found in bad shape on a porch in Atlanta, just after Hurricane Irma blew through. An animal control officer brought him to the shelter on September 14.

Duncan has a lot of old scars, as well as some fresh new wounds and, of course, no way of explaining how he got any of them, though it seems a distinct underbite likely prevents him from protecting himself.

Duncan had just arrived when Rosenberg came into work on that Thursday it was a day that was mainly to be spent cleaning and painting, getting the shelter ready for animals who'd been evacuated.

Knowing Rosenberg's soft spot for blocky-headed dogs, a colleague brought her over to meet Duncan right away. 

Rosenberg found herself deeply moved. Duncan seemed to feel it, too. As soon as his kennel was open, Duncan tucked his battered head onto Rosenbergs shoulder "so he could be cradled like a baby," she says.

"I held him for a long time, but he held me harder," Rosenberg says. "I could tell he expected nothing but accepted everything with grace and such unbelievable sweetness."

Credit: LifeLine Animal Project

That...

02:46

Asteroid 2017 SR2 to flyby Earth at 0.24 LD on September 20, second of the day The Watchers Latest articles

A newly discovered asteroid designated 2017 SR2 will flyby Earth at a very close distance of 0.24 LD (~92 160 km / 57 265 miles) at 20:29 UTC on September 20, 2017. This is the second known near-Earth asteroid to flyby Earth at a distance of 1 LD today, the third...... Read more

Asteroid 2017 SM2 flew past Earth at 0.81 LD on September 20 The Watchers Latest articles

A newly discovered asteroid designated 2017 SM2 flew past Earth at 0.81 LD (~311 040 km / 193 271 miles) on September 20, 2017. This is the 30th known asteroid to flyby Earth within 1 LD since the start of the year and the second within the past 7 days, according to...... Read more

Bright green fireball recorded over Montgomery, Alabama The Watchers Latest articles

A bright green fireball was recorded above Montgomery, Alabama around 08:00 UTC (03:00 CDT) on September 19, 2017. The event lasted between 1 and 2 seconds and was recorded by a security camera. At this time, the American Meteor Society has no reports about this...... Read more

02:36

5 Video Shorts: Tree Plantations Are NOT Forests

The short videos were produced by World Rainforest Movement for the 2017 International Day of Action Against Monoculture Tree Plantations.  Each addresses a different problem.

The post 5 Video Shorts: Tree Plantations Are NOT Forests appeared first on .

02:33

Man Who Lost His Wife Finds Peace By Taking Care Of The Birds She Left Behind Thrillist

Six years ago, Michael Petruzzi lost his wife to cancer but in some ways, she's never really left.

For as long as Michael had known her, his wife had been an avid bird lover. Throughout her life, she'd adopted numerous feathered companions whom she doted upon like real members of her family. Michael had always liked them too, but admits that he couldn't quite understand why she was so devoted to them going as far as to decline travel opportunities just to remain close at hand. 

"I never knew how much she loved them," Michael tells The Dodo. "She had no children. They were her babies."

Now, Michael says he understands.

Credit: Michael Petruzzi

When Michael's wife became ill, she had 20 cockatiels under her care: "She would adopt so many. Because she loved them," Michael says.

As her cancer progressed, he began to learn more about the birds and how to care for them but such a large flock was too much for a newcomer to handle. So, when she ultimately passed away, friends of Michael's wife stepped in to help, taking in 12 of her birds and leaving him with eight she'd thought suited him best. And before long, Michael came to know why his wife had such deep affection for them.

"I never knew birds could be so loving," he says. "They are my babies now. I guess I love them so much because they remind me so much of my wife. I love and feel her through the birdies. They make me happy when I'm down."

Credit: Michael Petruzzi

Six years have gone by now since he lost his wife, but Michael still tears up when talking about her. In that time, four birds she'd left to him have passed away from old age. Still, he's heartened to share his golden years with the remaining four senior birds under his care creatures whom his wife had loved so dearly.

"They are my family now," he says. "I have found peace with my flock." 

Michael's flock has found peace with him as well, thanks to his understanding of how these pets should be treated and loved. He hopes others might take note.

"Birds are supposed to be free," Michael says. "D...

02:33

FUMIER Torches Internet Company Oranges Cars: Albi, France Earth First! Newswire

from Anarhija

translated by Earth First! Journal

Albi [France]: Creation Act of F.U.M.I.E.R [Fronte Unito di Movimenti Insurrezionalisti delle Aree Rurali=Fumier=Dunghill] (17/09/2017): United Front of Insurrectionalist Movements of Rural Areas!

September 17, Albi, in the capital of crime, because crime pays.

Two members of FUMIER, who wanted to swap away whatsapps picture of laughing kittens, suddenly found themselves without the internet! They had already heard of Oranges participation in the capitalist world, somewhat hegemonic and somewhat in the brim So this network problem was really the drop that overflowed the pot

Without wasting time, they sent a fax, and decided to meet up that same night with the (bio) devil in Vigan Square. Furiously, they left quickly in the direction of Orange offices to file a complaint, and there they were offered a series of vehicles from that company. Without wasting time, five of them immediately were set fire! In fact, the secretary-general and his vice-mayor, who were always very angry people, placed several lighters under the front wheels.

That night, capitalism sobbed in fear, trembling with anguish, before the sudden birth of the United Front of Insurrectionalist Movements of Rural Areas!

The General Secretary, at the hands of his Vice-President, invites you to create local sections of DUNGHILL [FUMIER, ndt]. Because we are all and all DUNGHILL, and DUNGHILL is everywhere.

The D.U.N.G.H.I.L.L/F.U.M.I.E.R/L.ET.A.M.A.I.O.

P.S .: We were a bit angry, but this is going to be worse, lets know!

General Secretariat

***ITALIAN***

Albi [Francia]: Atto di creazione di F.U.M.I.E.R (17/09/2017)

Fronte Unito di Movimenti Insurrezionalisiti delle Aree Rurali [F.U.M.I....

02:08

Brazil Photo Essay: Eucalyptus plantation from clones to pulp mill

Photos and commentary by Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project (Exception: the last two photos are by GJEP Co-Director/Strategist Orin Langelle)

In June 2011 the Tree Biotechnology Conference hosted by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations took place in Bahia, Brazil where many industrial eucalyptus plantations are concentrated and where future plantations of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees are planned.

On Wednesday, June 29th, I joined conference participants for a tour of a eucalyptus plantation owned by Veracel, a major Brazil-based pulp and paper corporation. This photo essay describes the field trip, which shows eucalyptus plantations from their beginnings in the clonal greenhouse, to their end in the pulp mill. The tour was mainly a public relations ploy by Veracel and began at their visitors center next to to a patch of wild forest surrounded by eucalyptus plantations.

The photos below describe the Veracel guided tour of eucalyptus plantations:

First Stop: Veracel Forest Preserve where children and visitors are educated about the importance of eucalyptus pulp and the greenness of Veracel.  Note that the human figure in the poster is exhibiting total dominance over the trees.

On the way into the forest preserve, children and visitors are presented with a native forest monster and representations of some of the scary wildlife that live in forests.

In the 6,000 hectare forest preserve consisting mainly of formerly logged lands and some primary forest, participants were treated to a canopy rope bridge and photo shoots with 4 large trees we encountered on the path.  Most of the forest contained very young trees.

...

01:41

Why Do Some Dogs Like TV So Much? Thrillist

Its true that you wont find your pup binge-watching Game of Thrones any time soon (even with all the direwolves), but that doesnt mean dogs dont like TV far from it.

While the TV-watching habits (and tastes) of dogs are quite different from our own, plenty of dogs take pleasure in watching TV, and, under the right circumstances, leaving the screen on while youre away can even be beneficial for your pup.

When deciding whether or not to leave the TV playing for your dog, there are two things pet owners should keep in mind, explains Dr. Patrick Melese, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist in San Diego what the program is and what is normal for your dog in your household.

Those who tend to leave the TV tuned to a certain station as background noise when theyre home, be it cable news or a nature channel, should consider leaving the TV on the same channel when they head to work to make the transition easier for their pup.

Part of what youre trying to do is create an acoustical, visual environment that doesnt rock their boat. Whereas if you shut down the TV, close all the windows, do all the things you do when youre going to be gone all day, youre giving the dog a lot of things they have to deal with, Melese tells The Dodo.

No matter what station you choose for your dog, it is important to try it out first so you have an idea of what your pup will be exposed to while youre away.

Melese suggests sitting with your pet in front of the TV for an hour or so to assess how they respond to a program. If all things go well, and your dog benefits from it, watching TV can help your pup forget that his beloved person is gone.

Why are our dogs so engaged with the TV images in the first place? If your dog tends to bark or become excited when he sees a fellow pup on the screen, it is, in part, thanks to advancements in TV technology. In the decades since TV first entered the home, improvements in our viewing experience have had a profound effect on our pets.

01:32

The Environmental Destruction Wrought by War Latest News

Transitioning from terracide to ecolibrium

01:31

Churchill on Hudson Bay 2017: Parasitic Jaegers at Home The PhotoNaturalist

Though jaegers look superficially like a species of gull, they have a quite different lifestyle (can birds have lifestyles?). Jaeger is the German word for hunter and that is exactly how the Parasitic Jaeger makes its living on the tundra. I found this active pair (*June 18, 2017) on a stretch of open tundra near []

01:29

UK: Badger Cull Update from Dorset Hunt Sabs Earth First! Newswire

from Dorset Hunt Sabs

With North camp up and running smoothly and a lovely base in the South zone we enter the second week of the cruel badger murder. The badger cull this year is covering pretty much all of Dorset and having people living throughout the county we have paid the odd visit to some old hot haunts in West Dorset. We can report things are going very well throughout all three Dorset zones and we are finding things in numerous locations and calling the pixies in to assist us ! Sadly we were too late for one poor soul as you can see in the enlarged photo from the blood that remained in the cage from the day before but the pixies assure us this wont happen again. This really does show how concerned everyone is with bio security !!
We have found some beautiful setts complete with latrines whilst patrolling across the county which are all safely plotted on the map.

How can you help ??

1. Send us details of any setts you know about in Dorset incase we do not have them plotted on our map.
2. Donate money we are travelling many miles across 2 and sometimes 3 zones in multiple vehicles and have accommodation in South and a camp in the North running costs. Not to mention new equipment we need which is not cheap !
3. Have you got an old iPhone kicking around ?? We could put it to serious use if you want to donate it condition does not matter it just needs to work !
4. If you see any badgers at the side of the road anywhere in Dorset please report them to us ASAP.
5. Come and join us either sett surveying, on a training walk or on a nightly patrol. We are a friendly group of people without egos or dramas who are getting the job done and with more help we could be as effective right across the county.
6. To give info or offers of help please send us a PM direct or email us at ...

01:28

Monoculture Tree Plantations and GE Trees in the United States An Update Global Justice Ecology Project

Photo of (non-GE) eucalyptus monoculture plantation in Florida   In July of this year Global Justice Ecology Project, the Campaign to stop GE Trees and a handful of other organizations, were successful in collecting signatures and comments from... Read More

The post Monoculture Tree Plantations and GE Trees in the United States An Update appeared first on Global Justice Ecology Project.

00:51

FBI Seeks to Question A Minor in Western North Carolina Earth First! Newswire

from Its Going Down

On September 8, 2017, an FBI agent attempted to visit a comrade in western North Carolina. They visited a house, and the person there stepped outside to talk to the agent, who repeatedly asked if the comrade in question lived there. The person at the house did not engage with those questions, and instead insisted on a card from the agent that a lawyer could call later. The agent said it was regarding a case being handled by another office.

This comes at a time when anarchists have been standing up to a grand jury and other FBI harassment across the state of North Carolina. The person who the FBI agent was seeking secured legal representation. On September 13, 2017, their lawyer called a number the agent wrote down, and the FBI specified that they were actually looking to speak with the persons child, a minor. The FBI said that they were seeking the original person because a legal guardian had to be present for the agent to talk to the minor. During that call the agent stated she wanted to ask about graffiti on a car related to a case being investigated by the FBI Field Office in Raleigh, NC. The minor in question has now secured legal representation. Nobody above is speaking to the FBI.

We cannot just hope that harassment like this stops. Get educated on how to protect yourself if the FBI shows up. If you are approached by the FBI, refuse to answer their questions. Know your rights! Please read If An Agent Knocks for more information. We cannot let them intimidate us and raise fear and distrust.

If An Agent Knocks: https://ccrjustice.org/if-agent-knocks-booklet

[Earth First! Newswire editors note: The FBI appears to have taken a special interest in North Carolina activists lately. See this article and the articles it links to for more information.]

00:11

FIRE-EARTH E-E ALERTS 092001 Fire Earth

All Groups FIRE-EARTH E-E ALERTS 092001 [Issued by FIRE-EARTH Science Team.] Details via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.   Filed under: News Alert Tagged: 092001, E-E ALERTS, FIRE-EARTH Alerts, FIRE-EARTH E-E ALERT, FIRE-EARTH PULSARS, FIRE-EARTH Science

00:06

CENTER OF HURRICANE MARIA PASSING WSW OF SAN JUAN Fire Earth

DESIGNER HURRICANE MARIA BISECTING PUERTO RICO POSITION AND INTENSITY UPDATE  9:00 AM AST Wed Sep 20 Max sustained winds: 145 mph [~235 km/h, Cat. 4B hurricane on FEWW New Hurricane Scale] Location: 18.3N, 66.3W Moving: NW at 13 mph Min pressure: 927 mb Interesting Cloud Formations: The Hurricane Maker!  Filed under: News Alert Tagged: Cat. []

Wednesday, 20 September

23:39

From the The Stupid, It Burns Department: Science denial not limited to political right Watts Up With That?

Guest rant by David Middleton Science denial not limited to political right September 19, 2017 In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, many claims have been made that science denial, particularly as it relates to climate change, is primarily a problem of the political right. [] UIC Today Thats like saying in the wake

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