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Friday, 23 February


Kitten Who Wouldn't Stop Crying Was Trying To Tell His Rescuer Something "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

When Alana Hadley, of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, arrived home with her new rescue kitten, Ares, she was excited to help him settle into his new life but Ares seemed hesitant.

The 4-month-old kitten had come from the Wisconsin Humane Society's Door County Campus. It's a fair assumption that a homeless cat would be happy to be welcomed to his forever home for the first time. But something was obviously bothering Ares. He would not stop meowing no matter what Hadley did. 

Credit: Alana Hadley

"I originally thought he was meowing because he wanted attention and to be by us," Hadley told The Dodo. In addition to a lot of snuggling and attention, she tried giving Ares stuffed animals to help comfort him. 

Credit: Alana Hadley

But no matter what Hadley did, Ares would eventually start howling again. And Hadley had a hunch about what was really wrong. 

"I realized it's probably because he was never away from his sister and wanted her," Hadley said.

Credit: Alana Hadley

Ares had come into the shelter as a stray at the end of December with his sister, Aphrodite, a gray tabby.

Credit: Wisconsin Humane Society Door County Campus

When Hadley had gone to t...


Woman Goes To Help Hundreds Of Abandoned Pet Rabbits And Sees The Worst Thing "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

For the past five years, Stacey Taylor has spent night and day caring for a colony of over 900 rabbits who live outside a psychiatric treatment center in Las Vegas.

They have individual personalities, friendships and, despite their large numbers, are even known by name to Taylor and her dedicated group of volunteers.

Credit: Bunnies Matter in Vegas Too

So when they showed up on Sunday and were only greeted by two of them, Taylor knew instantly that something was very wrong.

Usually when you walk out, youre greeted by 100 of them, Taylor told The Dodo. I cant even begin to explain the feeling. I felt weak. I felt like I couldnt breathe.

Credit: Bunnies Matter in Vegas Too

Walking across the property, dead rabbits were everywhere. Their tiny bodies lay in the grass with no signs of trauma as the survivors hopped among them. She started filming a live video on the page for her rabbit rescue group, Bunnies Matter in Vegas Too, which has since gone viral.

Volunteers frantically scooped up any rabbits that they could and loaded them into carriers, worried at the possibility of more deaths. Theyve managed to bring over 100 of them to safety while they await transfer to foster or adoptive homes but many are still on the property.

Weve named them, Taylor said. We know these rabbits. They were our friends.


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Thursday, 22 February


Adaptation Bangladesh: Sea Level Rise film shows how farmers are fighting climate change "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

This is a story of hope. Bangladesh is extremely vulnerable to climate change. Threatened by rising sea levels, storms and cyclones, floods have become commonplace, with seawater encroaching both homes and agricultural farms. But Bangladeshi people have found ingenious ways of adapting to the rising sea level. A recent documentary, Adaptation Bangladesh: Sea Level Rise, explores one such example of resilience. To keep their farms from flooding, Bangladeshi farmers have been building floating gardens farms made of water hyacinth and bamboo that float on water, no matter what the water level. These floating gardens help the people fish, raise ducks, and grow produce, Aliz Carrre, a cultural anthropologist and National Geographic explorer, told National Geographic in 2016. Adaptation Bangladesh, featuring Carrre, and directed by documentary filmmaker Justin DeShields, looks not only at simple floating farms that farmers have traditionally used in flood-prone areas, but also explores more advanced floating farms, schools and libraries, and even high-tech floating farms that could potentially provide food for entire cities. For Carrre, it was important to document these slices of hope. So while I sometimes wonder if people will criticize these stories as futile or inaccurate portrayals given whats coming down the pike, I have to remind myself that those small narratives (and practices) of resilience are all that we have left, she told Mountain film education. And frankly, most of what weve used so far to push people to action on climate change are doomsday narratives, which clearly havent been working. So why not try a new, more


Criterion E: Verdict on Injustice Q & A "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

CJ IGE OCT TML TWM FIRE-EARTH Conference: Criterion E Verdict on Injustice  (Q & A) [FIRE-EARTH Tribunal in Absentia for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for High Crimes Against Nature, Rape, Pillage and Plunder (RPP) of Planet Earth.] Details available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS. All Groups FIRE-EARTH ALERTS, FORECASTS, BULLETINS and MESSAGES available via FIRE-EARTH []


Communications/Video Summer Internship "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"



This summer, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) is working to double renewable energy in Maryland, stop dangerous fracked-gas pipelines in Virginia, and implement the nations first progressive carbon fee-and-rebate policy in Washington, D.C.

Take part in these visionary campaigns to reduce climate change pollution in the Chesapeake region, while cleaning up our air, improving the health of our communities, and creating good-paying new jobs.

Were hiring smart, motivated students for a summer video internship to stand up and take climate action. Apply today!


The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) is the only group in the Chesapeake region of Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. dedicated exclusively to building a powerful grassroots movement to fight climate change. Our mission is to build the kind of movement it will take to put our region on the path to climate stability, while using our proximity to the nations capital to inspire action in neighboring states, around the country and around the world.


Interns at CCAN work side-by-side with our experienced communications experts to create compelling content and run impactful media campaigns across our region. They gain valuable experience for careers in the communications and video industries.


  • Conceptualizing and creating compelling videos
  • How a media campaign works from start to finish
  • How to incorporate videos into social media outreach strategies
  • And having an amazing opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the organization that climate activist Bill McKibben has called the best regional climate organization in the world.


  • A driving passion to combat climate change despite a climate denier in the White House, and secure clean energy victories
  • A commitment to a fair and equitab...


Activists: Palm oil must not get wider access to EU under Indonesia trade talks "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

JAKARTA Environmental activists have called for the issue of palm oil to be excluded from discussions taking place this week between the Indonesian government and a European Union trade delegation. They fear that favorable terms for Indonesian palm oil to enter the EU market, under the auspices of the Indonesia-EU Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (I-EU CEPA) currently being hashed out, will only exacerbate the issues of deforestation and land conflicts that have long dogged the palm oil industry in the Southeast Asian nation. Palm oil must be excluded from the negotiations, said Yuyun Harmono, campaign coordinator for the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), because open market access will benefit corporations and worsen climate change and social conflicts. A key sticking point for activists worried about a freer flow of Indonesian palm oil into the EU market is the issue of efforts to improve environmental sustainability in the industry. Paul de Clerck, head of the economic justice team at the European chapter of the worlds biggest grassroots environmental network, Friends of the Earth International (FOEI), said he had seen a leaked document from the Indonesian government which laid out the governments proposals for palm oil in the I-EU CEPA negotiations. He said the pitch called for the EU to ditch both tariff and non-tariff barriers, including prevailing environmental and health standards, to allow full access for Indonesian palm oil to the 28-nation EU market. Environmental activists from Indonesia and Europe talk about their concerns over the potential inclusion of palm oil

Drought-driven wildfires on rise in Amazon basin, upping CO2 release "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Looking up at the Amazon canopy in Amazonas, Brazil. Intensifying drought in the Amazon is drying out the forest, creating fuel. However, most wildfires are ignited by people, often to clear land for cattle. Photo credit: alextorrenegra on / CC BY Intensifying droughts in the Amazon basin are now a primary determinant of increases in forest fires, a reality that will hinder Brazils efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions solely by limiting deforestation, according to a new study published in Nature Communications. An international team of researchers led by Luiz Arago of Brazils National Institute for Space Research (INPE) combined satellite data with greenhouse gas emission inventories and historical climate data to assess and compare the impact of drought and deforestation on forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon between 2003 and 2015. They found that forest fires are becoming increasingly common, and they linked that increase to more frequent and severe droughts in the region. Those fires release a massive amount of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere: the team calculated that forest fires in Brazil currently release around 450 teragrams of carbon each year roughly one third the emissions produced by Amazonian deforestation. Despite a 76 percent decline in deforestation rates between 2003 and 2015, fires were 36 percent more common during the 2015 drought than in the preceding 12 years. The study adds weight to research published in 2015 suggesting that a previously reported link between deforestation and an uptick in forest fires is beginning to become


Native voices on food and farming "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Kyle Powys Whyte

PAN board member Kyle Powys Whyte holds the Timnick Chair in the Humanities at Michigan State University. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability and a member of the Potawatomi Nation. PANs Executive Director Kristin Schafer recently chatted with Kyle about Indigenous food sovereignty and how PANs work intersects with his own.

What brings you to PANs board?

Im primarily a scholar and activist working on climate justice and environmental justice. But, since I work mostly with Indigenous peoples, these issues are almost always related to food. Indigenous peoples who are concerned with climate change are most often concerned with the food system, as theres a long history of Native peoples being dispossessed of their lands by the industrial agricultural system. So many of the issues PAN works on in fighting for a healthier food system are directly related to what I focus on in my own work.

How does industrial agriculture impact Indigenous peoples?

Historically, industrial agriculture wouldnt have been possible without the dispossession of Indigenous peoples from their homelands. Then the environment was transformed by deforestation and terraforming of the land required to install monocultures. The U.S. very deliberately tried to force Indigenous peoples to be...


Black Panther Film Reminder of Real Life Black Panther Party, Jailed Activists "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Screengrab via   The movie Black Panther has become a historic box office success and a cultural milestone shortly after its release on Feb. 16, telling the story of a super powered African king. Its three-day gross... Read More

The post Black Panther Film Reminder of Real Life Black Panther Party, Jailed Activists appeared first on Global Justice Ecology Project.


How climate change is provoking clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

How climate change is provoking clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria

Catherine Harte 22nd February 2018
Teaser Media


Were Not Individuals, Were Colonies "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Our existence is part of a continuum shared by many other beings that exist outside our bodies


Everything you need to know about the CEPA trade deal but were afraid to ask "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Everything you need to know about the CEPA trade deal but were afraid to ask

katie hodgetts 22nd February 2018
Teaser Media


Deadly landslide hits Java, over a dozen missing "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A deadly landslide hit the Indonesian island of Java on February 22, 2018, after several days of heavy rain. At least 5 people were killed and more than 15 are missing. The landslide hit the village of Pasir Panjang, Brebes district of Central Java around 08:00...... Read more

Peak food as modern agriculture fails "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

In the following video presentation, Christian Westbrook, also known as the Ice Age Farmer, talks about huge agricultural losses caused by severe weather and suggests that we are now hitting peak food. "There will never be more food available at such low prices...... Read more

Year of Weather 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

EUMETSAT has just published its annual Year of Weather animation, which illustrates where 2017s major storms formed, the conditions that spawned them, and their tracks, as well as other significant weather events. The 11-minute animation is narrated by...... Read more

Seychelles announces two new marine protected areas the size of Great Britain "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Seychelles, a small island nation located off East Africa in the Indian Ocean, has announced the creation of two new marine protected areas covering 210,000 square kilometers (81,100 square miles), according to a press release from the U.S.-based conservation group The Nature Conservancy (TNC). The area covered by the two parks is the size of the island of Great Britain. The first marine protected area includes 74,400 square kilometers (28,700 square miles) of waters surrounding the extremely isolated Aldabra archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has remained largely untouched by people. The Aldabra Atoll is home to the elusive dugong (Dugong dugon) and the worlds largest population of about 100,000 rare giant tortoises (Aldabrachelys gigantea). The islands are also important nesting grounds for hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) and green turtles (Chelonia mydas). The second marine protected area covers 136,000 square kilometers (52,500 square miles) of a commercially important stretch of ocean between the Amirantes group of coral islands and Fortune Bank. This region is important for both tourism and fishing activities, some of which will be allowed under stricter regulations, according to TNC. Aerial view of Aldabra. Photo by Simisa via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0). The Seychelles government designated the two new marine protected areas as part of a debt-for-nature deal drawn up with the help of TNC. The deal allows Seychelles to restructure part of its national debt in exchange for its commitment to increase marine protection from 0.04 percent of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to 30 percent. Seychelles commitment to


Civil society decries FSANZ approval of Golden Rice "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The recent release of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approval report of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) application for a Golden Rice safety stamp and trade liability clearance have garnered negative reactions and widespread critique. 


Climate science denial group GWPF sees membership income double post Trump's election "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Climate science denial group GWPF sees membership income double post Trump's election

Catherine Harte 22nd February 2018
Teaser Media


Why economic growth is not compatible with environmental sustainability "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Why economic growth is not compatible with environmental sustainability

Catherine Harte 22nd February 2018
Teaser Media


Cost of Atlantic Coast Pipeline Estimated Now at $6.5 Billion "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Regulators neglect the cost of the pipeline impacts

Escalating Cost of ACP Pipeline Now Estimated at $6.5 Billion

By John Downey, Charlotte Business Journal, February 20, 2018

Duke Energy Corp. CEO Lynn Good says the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline could now cost as much as $6.5 billion to complete about 30% more than estimated when the project was first proposed just three-and-a-half years ago.

Good disclosed the latest estimate during Charlotte-based power companys earnings call.

Due to delays and more stringent conditions in the permitting process, ACP now estimates total project cost between $6 billion and $6.5 billion, Good told analysts on the conference call.

That would put Dukes share of the price at between $2.7 billion and $3.1 billion.

The joint project of Dominion Energy Inc., Duke and The Southern Co. was announced in September 2014. At that time, the partners (including Piedmont Natural Gas, which is now part of Duke) said it would cost about $4.5 billion to $5 billion to build.

The price has risen several times since then as the regulators demanded changes to the route and other specifications to meet environmental, cultural and safety objections.

Delays in construction have also added to the cost. The partners originally had hoped to start construction in 2016 and have the project in service by late this year. That has, over time, slipped to construction work starting by summer (there is pre-construction tree clearing already underway) and completion by late next year.


Report Released on Economic Impact of Atlantic Coast Pipeline NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA on March 1, 2016


Researchers shed new light on how hunting impacts the Amazon rainforest's ecosystem "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Researchers shed new light on how hunting impacts the Amazon rainforest's ecosystem

Catherine Harte 22nd February 2018
Teaser Media


Shelter Dog Insists On Holding Rescuer's Hand During Car Ride Home "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The big, wide world can at times feel like a pretty daunting place but certainly much less so when you have a friend. Fortunately for this sweet pup named Regan, she no longer has to face the future alone.

Credit: Kim Mozena Rezac

"So this girls person died and she found herself homeless," Kim Mozena Rezac, founder of Goofy Foot Dog Rescue in Tennessee, wrote online. "She was in our shelter for a couple days and I felt sorry for her so I brought her home."

Though Regan and Rezac were only recently acquainted, the dog seemed to understand that she now had a faithful companion by her side once again. During her ride to freedom in the passenger seat of Rezac's car, Regan insisted on holding hands with the woman shuttling her to a better life.

"I think she felt secure in touching someone familiar," Rezac told TODAY. "She was so nervous and scared in the shelter but as soon as she jumped into my car she seemed so grateful."

Rezac's video of Regan's sweet gesture has since gone viral, racking up more than 2.6 million views on Facebook. But that's not the end of the story.

TODAY reports that Regan was placed in the loving company of a foster family who, with any luck, will be there to hold the dog's hand literally and figuratively until she finds a new forever home of her own. 


Blind Pit Bull Wanders Into Junkyard, Hoping Someone Will Help Him "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

After wandering into a junkyard one day, 12-year-old Duncan crawled under a dumpster and lay down, tired and defeated. One of the employees noticed him under there and quickly brought the poor senior dog some food and water. The employee could see that Duncan was blind and in terrible condition, and while her boss wanted to call animal control, she knew he probably wouldn't last long in a public shelter. Instead, she quickly contacted a rescue. 

Credit: Hope for Paws

Hope for Paws got the call about Duncan and rushed out to the junkyard to save him. Rescuers offered him some more food, but the sweet old dog was so disoriented and confused, his rescuers knew it would be best to get him out of there as quickly as possible. 

Credit: Hope for Paws

They slipped a leash around his neck  

Credit: Hope for Paws

and being old, blind and sick, Duncan didnt object, and let his rescuers slowly pull him out from under the dumpster. 

Credit: Hope for Paws

Once he was out, they could see how truly neglected poor Duncan was. He had a piece of rope tied around his neck, meaning that someone had been responsible for him at one point, and had completely let him dow...


Stray Dog Who Lived At Garbage Dump Begged People To Rescue Him "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Every time the visitors parked their cars at a garbage dump in Corum, Turkey, a dog named Hercules raced over to meet them.

He was very good about recognizing the cars of the people who would come to feed, Amanda Cunefare, a volunteer for Rescuers Without Borders (RWB), an organization that rescues dogs in Turkey, told The Dodo. Hed jump up on the windows of the car, and he clung to every person. He was a people dog.

Credit: Rescuers Without Borders

But Hercules wasnt the only dog at the landfill. More than 800 other strays lived there too and life for all of them was incredibly difficult.

It is cold, there is no clean water and food is scarce, Cunefare said. You have to fight with 800 dogs for resources, and bury yourself in piles of garbage to stay warm. Its a horrible, horrible place to have to survive for years.

Credit: Rescuers Without Borders

About four years ago, a 23-year-old Turkish woman named Gocke Erdogan started feeding the landfill dogs, getting them vet care and rehoming as many as she could. And last year, volunteers from RWB, which is based in the U.S., joined forces with Erdogan. So far, the team has managed to pull 47 of the dogs from the dump, and rehome most of them in the U.S. They also help Erdogan continue to feed and give vet care to the dogs at this landfill, as well as dogs living in remote villages across Turkey.

Credit: Rescuers Without Borders



Schoolboy Writes The Sweetest Letter To Comfort Teacher Who Lost Her Dog "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Mrs. Dunne is a primary school teacher, instructing a class of mostly 8- and 9-year-olds in Glasgow, Scotland. Recently, however, it was actually one of her young students who taught the greatest lesson of all on what it means to be kind.

Credit: Lucie Dunne

When they weren't studying the basics of reading, writing and mathematics, Mrs. Dunne's students enjoyed frequent discussions on a less scholarly subject her family's dog, Charlie. Though none of the kids ever met the 18-month-old golden retriever, they all adored him just the same.

"My mum was so excited by Charlie and loved telling everyone about him and showing them photos, including her class!" Lucie Dunne, the teacher's daughter, told The Dodo. "The kids often drew pictures of the dog for her and asked about him."

Sadly, though, the Dunne family was hit with some heartbreaking news.

Credit: Lucie Dunne

Despite Charlie's young age, he was found to have a malignant growth on his chest. His family sought out help immediately, but nothing could be done to save him: "Before we knew it he was in intensive care with cancer and a massive tumor pressing into his heart. By the end he was oxygen-dependent and we had to let him go," Lucie said.

Charlie's family was devastated. The following Monday, Mrs. Dunne knew she wouldn't be her normal self in front of her class, so she decided then to let them know her dog had passed away. They, too, were saddened, of course but one little boy, named Callum, found a way to help his teacher heal.

"Callum had asked for paper in class on Monday, and wrote her the note without her realizing," Lucie said.

This is what Callum wrote:

Credit: Lucie Dunne



The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: February 14 - 20, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

New activity/unrest was reported for 2 volcanoes between February 14 and 20, 2018. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 12 volcanoes. New activity/unrest: Mayon, Luzon (Philippines) | Sinabung, Indonesia. Ongoing activity: Agung, Bali...... Read more


Land plants may have evolved much earlier than we thought "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A new study drastically upends conventional wisdom about when plants colonized land, pushing back the date about 80 million years to around half a billion years ago. The new date more closely aligns with when land animals emerged, and could help advance our understanding of how and when Earths physical and biological systems formed. While previous estimates relied on limited fossil evidence to gauge when plants made the jump to land, researchers from the University of Bristol used molecular clock methods to analyze the genetic differences between living plant lineages. They then translated these differences to ages by comparing them to dated fossils to establish an evolutionary timeline for land plants as a group. Their results were published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Instead of emerging 420 million years ago the age of the oldest known fossil land plants the study indicates land plants first appeared around 500 million years ago. Rhynia gwynne-vaughanii 400 million-year-old fossil plant stem from Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Image courtesy of The Natural History Museum, London This pushes the emergence of land plants back into the Cambrian, a time period associated with a boom in the development and proliferation of multicellular life descriptively called the Cambrian explosion. Scientists believe land-dwelling arthropods first arrived on the scene mid-way through the period, which correlates to the studys new date for land plant emergence. Our results show the ancestor of land plants was alive in the middle Cambrian Period, which was similar


Photo Ark a quest to document global biodiversity: Q&A with photographer Joel Sartore and director Chun-Wei Yi "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

At turns haunting, humorous or just downright bizarre, the studio portraits of the thousands of animal species that photographer Joel Sartore has collected are more than just a catalog of life on Earth. When someone sees one of his photographs for the National Geographic Photo Ark, Sartore wants the encounter, often with an animal looking directly into the cameras lens, to be inspiring. A recent three-part film documents the lengths to which hell go to take the most compelling images and showcase our planets biodiversity. RARE: Creatures of the Photo Ark follows Sartore through jungle treks and sittings with ornery birds, and the filmmakers will be honored Thursday for Best Conservation Film at the New York WILD Film Festival, held at the Explorers Club in Manhattan. An endangered Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni) at Omahas Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, in Nebraska, taken for the National Geographic Photo Ark. Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark. Sartore isnt picky about the species he photographs. Hes trained his lens on raccoons and dung beetles as eagerly as he has on critically endangered orangutans and rhinos. But theres a sense of urgency with the rarer animals. Yes, its an image for posterity, a snapshot of life as it exists at this moment in time before some of these animals disappear forever. But Sartore also knows that it might just be the push that someone needs to make a difference. I want people to care, to fall in love, and to take action, Sartore

DJ and ornithologists create wildlife music game "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Wildlife DJ Ben Mirin has teamed up with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Cornell Hip Hop Collection on a new online game that is sure to entrance nature lovers of all ages who also enjoy music. BeastBox users take sound recordings of wild creatures and transform them into loops, creating a wide variety of entertaining beats, breaks, and drops. Players also learn about the animals and their habitats. Ben Mirin, aka DJ Ecotone, is an explorer, wildlife DJ, educator, and television presenter who creates music from the sounds of nature to help inspire conservation efforts. Last year he appeared on the Mongabay Newscast, Mongabays biweekly podcast, to discuss his work and to perform some mixes hes created (listen here from minute 5 on): Ben Mirin collects wildlife sounds. Photo courtesy of Of this new project, Mirin said in a statement, Ive used my passions for music and nature to explore the world, recording wildlife sounds and sampling them to create music that inspires conservation. BeastBox is another way to share that joy and knowledge with others. I hope people who play the game will be inspired to take their own creative approaches to nature, because the future of the planet depends on the ingenuity of people who care. BeastBox is a surprise mashup brought to you by scientists, musicians, designers, animators, and coders, said Mya Thompson, leader of the Cornell Lab of Ornithologys Bird Academy project. Its dedicated to the idea that we could all use a


Neglected Dog Was So Scared He Wouldn't Let Anyone Comfort Him "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Whatever the dog had been through, it must have been bad.

Two and a half weeks ago, animal control officers found the dog tied up in a patch of woods near Dalton, Georgia. Someone had fastened a thick leather belt around his neck, and attached it to a heavy logging chain that was tied to a tree.

He was skinny, dirty and terrified.

Credit: Rebecca Rood Photography

Clearly this dog had a very rough past, Courtney Bellew, director of Special Needs Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation (SNARR), told The Dodo. I dont think well ever know what he actually went through, but the way he was found is a good indication that he had a pretty horrible life up until he was rescued.

The officers delivered the dog now named Stewart to Whitfield County Animal Shelter, but no one was able to get close to him.

Credit: Rebecca Rood Photography

He didnt want to be bothered, didnt want to be touched, Bellew said. He would growl, and then he would just go hide in the corner, and turn his face against the wall. He was totally terrified and shut down.

In fact, the shelter workers couldnt even remove the leather belt from Stewarts neck.

Credit: Rebecca Rood Photography

He would get so stressed anytime anyone would go near him, so they said, You know what? Lets just let him chill out and decompress, Bellew said. S...

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Wednesday, 21 February


Electricity from Small Modular Reactors: Hope or Nuclear Mirage? "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

M. V. Ramana | Courtesy: Energy Collective In October 2017, just after Puerto Rico was battered by Hurricane Maria, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry asked the audience at a conference on clean energy in Washington, D.C.: Wouldnt it make abundant good sense if we had small modular reactors that []

The post Electricity from Small Modular Reactors: Hope or Nuclear Mirage? appeared first on


Sleepwalking to Armageddon: the Latest Must-Read, Edited by Dr. Helen Caldicott [Book Review] "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Edited by Nobel Prize Nominee and pediatrician Dr. Helen Caldicott, this slim volume is a particularly timely book during this second year of an American administration that has openly flirted with nuclear war with North Korea. The current American administration has brought us closer to that un-winnable scenario than we have ever been since those terrifying days in 1962.

The post Sleepwalking to Armageddon: the Latest Must-Read, Edited by Dr. Helen Caldicott [Book Review] appeared first on


Climate Justice Forum: Sandpoint Railroad Issues Meeting, Second Lake Rail Bridge Application, Payette Riverside Gas Wells, Anti-Silicon Smelter Meeting & March, Jordan Cove LNG Project Protest, Solar Panel Tariff 2-21-18 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The Wednesday, February 21, 2018 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT), features a recording of an Idaho Conservation League, railroad issues meeting in Sandpoint, and news and reflections on an application to build a second, Lake Pend Oreille, rail bridge, Alta Mesa gas well drilling next to the Payette River, a WIRT and Newport silicon smelter resisters meeting and march, an Oregon meeting disruption by Jordan Cove LNG project protesters, and a Trump administration tariff on imported solar panels.  Broadcast for six years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide, community resistance to fossil fuel projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Widespread flooding hits US South and Midwest, excessive rain continues "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Several days of heavy rainfall and snowmelt caused widespread flooding from parts of US South to Midwest, leading to numerous water rescues and leaving at least one person dead. Excessive rain and areal flooding will continue over the next couple of days, NWS warns....... Read more


Announcement: FIRE-EARTH Bulletin Genocide in Myanmar "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

CJ OCT TML FIRE-EARTH Bulletin Genocide in Myanmar 022102 FIRE-EARTH Bulletin Genocide in Myanmar is available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS. Posted in News Alert | Tagged: 022102, Aung San Suu Kyi, burma, FIRE-EARTH Bulletin, genocide, Genocide in Myanmar, Henry Van Thio, Htin Kyaw, Myint Swe, Rohingya . . . . .


Study: Biomass Energy Has Big Climate Impact Even Under Best Case Scenario "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Pelham, MA.  Burning wood in power plants will significantly undermine efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions over the next 10 50 years even under industry best-case scenarios where only forestry wastes are burned as fuel, according to a study published in Environmental Research Letters.
Not Carbon Neutral: Assessing the net emissions impact of residues burned for bioenergy, by Mary S. Booth, Ph.D., assesses net CO2emissions from burning tree tops and branches left over from forestry operations. Such materials are often considered to have zero net greenhouse gas emissions since they are assumed to emit CO2 from decomposition or incineration even if they are not burned for energy. The paper explodes this fallacy by demonstrating that even when power plants burn true wood residues and exclude whole trees specifically cut for fuel, net emissions are still significant.

To avoid dangerous climate warming requires us to reduce power sector CO2 emissions immediately, said Mary Booth, author of the study. However, this analysis shows that power plants burning residues-derived chips and wood pellets are a net source of carbon pollution in the coming decades just when it is most urgent to reduce emissions.
The study examines the net CO2 emissions impacts of biomass burned in US power plants and exported wood pellets that are burned to replace coal at the UKs massive Drax power station and other power plants in the EU. Combined, these facilities consume tens of millions of tonnes of wood per year. The study acknowledges that wood pellets are often sourced from whole trees, not forestry residues, but evaluates carbon emissions from residues-derived pellets because the biomass industry so often claims residues are a main pellet feedstock. It finds that even assuming the materials burned are true residues, up to 95% of the cumulative CO2 emitted represents a net addition to the atmosphere over decades.

Drax and other wood-burning power plants emit as much or more CO2 per megawatt-hour as when they burn coal, but the policy of treating biomass as having zero emissions means companies avoid pay...


Criterion E: Verdict on Injustice 022102 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

CJ IGE OCT TML TWM FIRE-EARTH Conference: Criterion E Verdict on Injustice  (X) [FIRE-EARTH Tribunal in Absentia for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for High Crimes Against Nature, Rape, Pillage and Plunder (RPP) of Planet Earth.] Details available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS. All Groups FIRE-EARTH ALERTS, FORECASTS, BULLETINS and MESSAGES available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.   []


Second Rail Bridge Application, WIRT & Smelter Resisters Meeting & March "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

2/13 Second Lake Rail Bridge Application

At the Idaho Conservation League (ICL) After Hours convergence in Sandpoint on February 13, ICL conservation associate Matt Nykiel revealed that Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway has applied to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for an individual (not a more lenient, general) permit to construct a second, parallel, 4800-foot, rail bridge over Lake Pend Oreille in north Idaho [1].  The public comment period on this federal, BNSF application could open any day and last 30 to 90 days.  BNSF must also first receive a permit from the notoriously oil and gas industry-friendly Idaho Department of Lands, before the Army Corps can approve the project.  North Idaho activists and residents are calling on the Northwest community to halt this expansion of the longest water crossing and most bottlenecked section of the Northwest, coal and oil pipeline-on-wheels.

In the wake of four significant, northern Idaho and western Montana, train derailments during 2017, and Washington Governor Jay Inslees January 29 rejection of the proposed, Tesoro Savage, oil train terminal at the Port of Vancouver, on the day after WIRT hosted the Idaho to Inslee: No Vancouver Oil Terminal! rally in Sandpoint, and BNSF ran four oil trains through north Idaho in eight hours, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) continues to monitor and document full, westbound, coal and oil unit trains through the downtown Sandpoint frontline, the present, single-track, lake bridge, and the second bridge, pile load-testing site at Dog Beach Park, southeast of Sandpoint.

2/21 WIRT & Smelter Resisters Meeting

Please join the regional, climate activist community and #No2ndBridge group members at 7 pm on Wednesday, February 21, at the Gardenia Center, 400 Church Street in Sandpoint, for ongoing discussions and actions opposing Northwest, fossil fuel megaloads, trains, terminals, derailments, rail and lake bridge double-tracking, drilling, and waste injection wells, HiTestSands silicon smelter proposed for Newport, Washington, and exploratory, silicon drilling near Lakeview, Idaho.  For WIRTs third-Wednesday monthly, Sandpoint gathering, we have reserved a larger venue than the usual, Eichardts Pub, upstairs room, to foster interest and participation in these issues and to host organizers of several groups of Old Town, Idaho, and Newport residents, including Citizens Against the Newport Silicon Smelter (CANSS), presenting an information session about smelter resistance, and linking our various, overlapping campaigns.

Invite your friends and families for an evening of conversations sharing knowledge, exploring connections, and creating strategies and tactics in support and solidarity with the movement against extreme fossil fuels and for clean energy and livable communities.  Welcoming your ideas and inpu...


Analysis: BP significantly upgrades its global outlook for wind and solar again "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

BP, the oil and gas major, has significantly increased its global outlook for wind and solar energy.

The main scenario in the companys latest annual Energy Outlook, released yesterday, shows renewables rising four-fold to 2,000 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) by 2035. This is an upwards revision of around 400Mtoe compared to last years main forecast.

The projections also show, for the first time, global oil demand peaking by 2040. Oil remains the worlds largest fuel source, however.

This 2018 edition of BPs outlook also projects coal will peak before 2030, an even earlier projection than it gave last year.

Oil peak

BPs report focuses on its new evolving transition scenario, which replaces its base case scenario from previous years (see more on this below). However, it no longer says this is the most likely future scenario.

In this new projection, rising energy demand over the next 20 years is driven by fast-growing developing economies, with China and India accounting for half of the growth.

As the graph below shows, it projects a peak for both coal and oil in the coming decades, but continually rising demand for gas.

The path of global energy demand to 2040 by fuel, according to BPs evolving transition scenario, in millions of tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe). Wind & solar includes other non-hydro renewables, but excludes biofuels. Source: BP Energy Outlook 2018. Chart by Carbon Brief using Highcharts 

Oil consumption peaks for the first time at some point between 2035 and 2040. However, even in 2040, it will sit at around 4,800Mtoe, more than 50% higher than in 1990.

This is driven in part by falling demand from transport due to vehicle efficiency improvements and alternative fuels, says BP. By 2040, 40% of new cars sold are electric vehicles (EVs) in the evolving transition scenario, while 31% of kilometres travelled by car are in EVs. The scenario expects energy use in transport to plateau around 2035-40.


Red Clouds Revolution "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

How the Oglalla Sioux are freeing themselves from fossil fuels


Yellowstone earthquake swarm in the same area as last summer's Maple Creek swarm "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Another seismic swarm is taking place at Yellowstone National Park since February 8, 2018. The swarm started with just a few events per day and intensified on February 15. Earthquake swarms like this account for more than 50% of the seismic activity at Yellowstone,...... Read more

Bright fireball over the State of Bahia, Brazil "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A bright fireball was observed streaking through the night sky over the State of Bahia, eastern Brazil at 01:32 UTC on February 21, 2018. The event lasted about 3 seconds before the object disintegrated in a bright flash. The American Meteor Society (AMS) received...... Read more


Legal history made in ClientEarth case as judge makes exceptional ruling "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Legal history made in ClientEarth case as judge makes exceptional ruling

brendan 21st February 2018
Teaser Media


DC Carbon Pricing Summer Internship "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"


This summer, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, or CCAN, and our allies in the D.C. Carbon Fee and Rebate coalition are working to make D.C. the first place in the country to hold polluters accountable with a carbon fee and rebate for all.

And you can be a part of this historic fight.

Were hiring smart, talented students for summer internships on our campaign to pass the Carbon Rebate in D.C.


The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) is the only group in the Chesapeake region of Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. dedicated exclusively to building a powerful grassroots movement to fight climate change. Our mission is to build the kind of movement it will take to put our region on the path to climate stability, while using our proximity to the nations capital to inspire action in neighboring states, around the country and around the world.


Washington, D.C. is at the forefront of cities nationwide when it comes to promoting clean energy and tackling the climate crisis head-on. Now its time for D.C. to lead againnot only in cutting fossil fuel pollution but in creating a more just and sustainable economy for all.

We know that putting a price on carbon is the most straightforward and cost-effective way to fight climate change and spur more clean energy.

Thats why we are working with partners across the District to move toward putting a price on carbon. By making fossil fuel polluters pay for the real and damaging costs of their emissions, we can unleash the clean energy solutions we need, and make D.C. families better off in the process.

A carbon fee will mean less carbon pollution wrecking our lungs and our atmosphere, more investment into energy efficiency solutions, and a faster transition to clean, renewable energy sources. D.C. families would benefit both economically and environmentally from cleaner air and water, new jobs created in energy efficien...


VA Hampton Roads Summer Internship "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"



The Chesapeake Climate Action Network, or CCAN, is working to protect the Hampton Roads region from the catastrophic impacts of climate change.  

Climate Changecaused primarily by the burning of of fossil fuelsis the major driver of sea level rise globally and in Hampton Roads. The impacts of flooding are here now, and its only getting worse. Scientists say our coast could be inundated by as much as six feet of sea level rise within this century.


While the impacts of climate change are at our doorstep, so are the solutions. CCAN is working to help adapt our coast to rising tides, reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the root of the problem, and tap into Virginias vast wind and solar energy resources that means taking on the states biggest utility, Dominion Virginia Power, and stopping its dirty energy projects, like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, in their tracks.


The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) is the only group in the Chesapeake region of Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. dedicated exclusively to building a powerful grassroots movement to fight climate change. Our mission is to build the kind of movement it will take to put our region on the path to climate stability, while using our proximity to the nations capital to inspire action in neighboring states, around the country and around the world.


What you will learn:

  • Learn to organize campaign events and creative actions
  • Help conduct outreach, including tabling at events, phone banking and collecting petitions  
  • Help recruit new volunteers to the campaign
  • Write and publish your own letters to the editor and blog posts
  • Conduct campaign research
  • Support constituent lobby meetings with elected officials and legislators
  • Learn gras...


Civil society decry FSANZ approval of Golden Rice "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The recent release of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approval report of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) application for a Golden Rice safety stamp and trade liability clearance have garnered negative reactions and widespread critique. 


Civil society decries FSANZ approval of Golden Rice "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The recent release of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approval report of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) application for a Golden Rice safety stamp and trade liability clearance have garnered negative reactions and widespread critique. 



Climate change could cause more severe droughts in 98% of European cities "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

More than 500 European cities could face sharp increases in droughts, floods and heatwaves if climate change continues to rise unabated, a new study finds.

The UK and Ireland could experience the largest rise in urban flood risk out of any region in Europe, the research shows, while the greatest heatwave temperature increases could be felt in Austria and Germany.

The findings also show that more than 100 cities could face a rise in the risk of two or more types of extreme event by the second half of the century, with Leeds, Cardiff and Exeter featuring in the top 20% of cities at risk of both heatwave and flooding increases.

The study is an example of what might happen if we dont start cutting our carbon emissions in a timely fashion, a scientist not involved in the study tells Carbon Brief.

City concerns

More than 75% of the European Unions population live in urban areas and this figure is expected to rise to 82% by 2050.

The new study, published in Environmental Research Letters, estimates how climate change could affect the risk of flooding, drought and heatwaves in 571 European cities by the second half of the century.

For the study, the researchers used a collection of climate models to simultaneously assess the risk of floods, droughts and heatwaves for every city.


RCP8.5: The RCPs (Representative Concentration Pathways) are scenarios of future concentrations of greenhouse gases and other forcings. RCP8.5 is a scenario of comparatively high greenhouse gas emissions brought about by rapid population growth, high energy demand, fossil fuel dominance and an absence of climate change policies. This business as usual scenario is the highest of the four RCPs and sees atmospheric CO2 rise to around 935ppm by 2100, equivalent to 1,370ppm once other forcings are included (in CO2e). The likely range of global temperatures by 2100 for RCP8.5 is 4.0-6.1C above pre-industrial levels.

RCP8.5: The RCPs (Repres...


Try a little tenderness - why compassion really is the best medicine "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Try a little tenderness - why compassion really is the best medicine 

brendan 21st February 2018
Teaser Media


Action Alert: Keep Protective Pollution Control Standards for the Ohio River "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The Ohio River needs monitoring & protection

Comment Period for Pollution Control Standards for the Ohio River

ACTION ALERT from the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, February 20, 2018

The Ohio River serves as a 256-mile border between West Virginia and Ohio. In this photo, the left bank is Chesapeake, Ohio and the right bank is Huntington, West Virginia.

The mighty Ohio River is in danger and the drinking water for millions of people who depend on it is at risk. The commission in charge of the rivers pollution limits is considering abandoning their responsibility by rolling back pollution control standards during their triennial review process.

Act Now: Contact the Ohio River commissioners, tell them you want strong and protective pollution control standards for the Ohio River.

The Ohio River already tops the list of the nations most polluted waterways. Dont let the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO), the commission charged overseeing the Ohios water quality, rollback critical protections!

Contact ORSANCO by Saturday, February 24, and tell them to say NO to eliminating pollution control standards for the Ohio River!


The Indigenous Climate Action women fighting for mother earth "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The Indigenous Climate Action women fighting for mother earth

brendan 21st February 2018
Teaser Media


Security Camera Shows Man Dumping Sick Puppies In The Middle Of The Night "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Back in September, Pablo and Penny (then called Pippin and Perdy) were only a few weeks old when someone put them in a bag, brought them to a random neighborhood around 9 at night

Credit: RSPCA

and dumped them over a wall and into someones garden. They were abandoned in the freezing cold and rain as if they were nothing but trash, and were discovered around 2:45 a.m. and quickly taken in by the RSPCA

Credit: RSPCA

The CCTV clearly shows a man walk past and then stop, before holding a carrier bag over the wall and tipping it out into the garden, Sally Bamforth, an inspector with the RSPCA, said in a press release. Then as he walks away, he pauses as the two tiny, disorientated puppies appear from underneath a bush and potter across the lawn. They must have been freezing and its a miracle that they survived until they were discovered. 

When rescuers came to collect the two tiny siblings, they were shocked by what terrible condition they were already in at only a few weeks old. They both had awful skin infections which had caused them to go almost completely bald, and needed immediate medical attention. 

Credit: RSPCA

It took weeks and weeks of intense treatment to finally get the pups completely healed  



Pig Can't Wait To See Her Favorite UPS Driver Every Day "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

As a 30-year veteran of UPS, driver Scott Hodges knows to always come prepared with treats when delivering a package.

And if he doesnt, a sassy pig named Miss Porkchop will surely have something to say about it.

Credit: Scott Hodges

One day three years ago, Hodges was making a delivery to a vineyard in Newberg, Oregon, when he was greeted not only by the winery owners dogs, but also their pet pig.

The dogs seemed to have tipped her off about the treats they always got from delivery people and there was no way she was missing out on the goods.

She came right up to me along with the dogs, so I gave her a piece of my granola bar, Hodges told The Dodo. After that, she started coming out to greet me every time Id come for a delivery.

Credit: Scott Hodges

Since Miss Porkchop lives at the vineyard, she regularly greets visitors coming in for a wine tasting. But Hodges quickly became Miss Porkchops most-anticipated visitor, due to all the snacks and over the past few years, delivering to the winery has become the highlight of his week, too.

Shes super friendly. I think she thinks shes just one of the dogs, Hodges said. A lot of the time the dogs will come up into my truck waiting for their treat, but she can only get her front legs up on the steps since they're too short to climb all the way in. Which is good because shes 400 pounds and Im not sure how wed get her down.

Since the winery sends out quite a few orders, Hodges is usually there up to four times each week to pick up new shipments. While the dogs usually get biscuits, Miss Porkchop will get granola, carrots or apples depending on the day.

Since having piglets last year, Miss Porkchop has even brought her babies along for a few visits to Hodges. The small family recently moved into a new barn and outdoor enclosure next to the main building to keep them safe from cars, but the specia...


Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Condemns the Rochford Mining in Black Hills: Committing to Additional Action "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

from Native News Online

GREEN GRASS, SOUTH DAKOTA -The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe passed two (2) resolutions on 8 February 2018 opposing gold mining operations in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Mineral Mountain, LLC is a Canadian-based mineral extraction company preparing to drill hundreds of holes in the Black Hills in the search of gold.

 Its important that we protect and take care of Unci Maka Grandmother Earth as she has taken care of us. She has not only provided us a good life but all South Dakotans, commented Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier. South Dakota should wake up and see what is being done to our land. It must be a priority for all of us that live here in South Dakota to oppose all threats that would harm her. I am proud we are taking a stand and thinking about what our grandchildren will inherit from us. 

Resolution 17-2018-CR directly opposes the Canadian-based companys operations on the Black Hills. It begins by explaining the situation that has allowed the occupation of the Black Hills from Treaty to unconstitutional Acts by the U.S. Congress and how the land is managed by the Forest Service in violation of treaty agreements.

The resolution goes further to explain the proximity of the drilling to Pe Sla which is within a couple of miles of the proposed drilling and calls for government to government dialogue between the United States and the Great Sioux Nation. The resolution continues to remind the Federal government of its responsibilities under the National Historic Preservation Act and the National Environmental Act while opposing the exclusions this activity enjoys at the expense of Unci Maka Grandmother Earth.

Resolution 17-2018-CR calls on the Federal government to provide funding for the Great Sioux Nation to employ professionals to investigate the environmental and archeological impact of the Rochford Mining Project while authorizing litigation regarding the operations.

Resolution 18-2018-CR alliterates the history of pollution and environmental disasters associated with mining operation in the Black Hills that still plag...


Anti-Pipeline Activists Set to Converge on Burnaby Mountain in March "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

by Tereza Verenca / Burnaby Now

Burnaby Mountain will once again be the site of a mass demonstration.

In response to Kinder Morgans $7.4-billion Trans Mountain expansion project, anti-pipeline activists are organizing a protest on March 10.

Photograph By NOW files

Its very important to protect our waters, said project leader Will George, also a member of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation. That pipeline produces so many dangers and hazards that we cant allow it to come to our water.

George said the protest has been in the works for the last two years and he anticipates upward of 500 attendees.

Members of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation launched a nationwide call-out on Feb. 6 to rise up and support the mobilization. The call-out went to hundreds of thousands of people, including environmental groups, civic society organizations and pipeline opponents.

The call-out came less than a week after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the CBC the pipeline expansion and two key programs the Oceans Protections Plan and carbon pricing are a package deal. Trudeau has maintained the pipeline is in the national interest and will get built.

Under no circumstances will we be blackmailed by (Justin) Trudeau into accepting the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, said Chief Bob Chamberlin, vice-president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, in a press release. We resent his threats to cancel the oceans protection plan and carbon cuts unless the pipeline goes forward. Well do whatever it takes to stop this pipeline. The question is, will Justin Trudeau do whatever it takes to build it?

In an emailed statement, Trans Mountai...


Time for FSC to Embrace Traceability, Transparency and Technology "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

In a new article in Yale Environment 360, renowned environmental writer Richard Conniff identifies fundamental problems facing the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification group. Unfortunately, in too many parts of the world, organizations such as the FSC are merely certifying the status quo. This often undermines any meaningful reform efforts to truly protect the worlds forests, by instead offering governments and companies the false appearance of good forest management and sourcing practices.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) supports the principle and potential of certification to enhance legal and sustainable wood sourcing, and to improve forest governance. In the past, EIA has been encouraged by the possibility of responsible companies acting as role models for following the rule-of-law in forest producing countries.

However, it is becoming increasingly clear that certification be it under the FSC, PEFC or any of the dozen other labels - is not the same thing as due diligence, already a legal requirement for importers of wood products into the EU, US and Australia. FSCs lack of traceability and transparency make it difficult for buyers and the public to assess the claims of the certifier; under the current system, its all too easy for illegal and unsustainable timber to find its way into FSC-certified supply chains.

The passage of key amendments to the US Lacey Act in 2008 were followed by the entry into force of the EU Timber Regulations in 2013, and Australias Illegal Logging Prohibition Act in 2014. All of these laws prohibit imports of illegally acquired timber. Notably, they require companies importing wood products to conduct some form of due diligence to assess the level of risk that the trees were cut or traded in violation of the law. Knowing the origin of timber where the trees were cut is an essential first step in the due diligence process.

In the Yale360 article, FSCs director general Kim Carstensen states that the FSC system relies on external watchdogs to bring evidence of wrongdoings. However, at present, maps of FSC-certified concessions are not available to the public much less, details about when and where the timber was bought and sold through the production process. As a first step, release of FSC-certified concession maps would go a long way towards improving the system.

Ultimately, for the FSC to keep pace with evolving global norms, it must embrace technology. In a...

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Monday, 19 February


EPA weakens worker protections. Senators fight back. "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Farmworkers in field

In October 2015, we celebrated with farmworker unions and advocates when a much-improved Worker Protection Standard (WPS) was approved. The WPS is the only federal rule that protects farmworkers from exposure to hazardous pesticides on the job, and hadn't been updated in more than 20 years.

Not surprisingly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it is planning to put the new rules on hold.

Rolling back commonsense safeguards

The WPS covers all workers and pesticide handlers who are exposed to pesticides in agriculture. In a December 2017 Federal Register notice, EPA announced its intent to reconsider the following protections for hardworking farmworkers across the country:

  • The minimum age requirement which prohibits children under 18 years old from mixing, loading and applying pesticides
  • The right of a farmworker to designate a representative who can request pesticide application and hazard information on their behalf.
  • The application exclusion zone (AEZ) which requires a 25-100 foot buffer zone between the application site and any worker or bystander (depending on the application method.)

These are commonsense protections that prevent children from handling pesticides, facilitate farmworker access to information about the pesticides they are exposed to, and prevent workers and bystanders from being sprayed or drifted on during pesticide applications....

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Thursday, 08 February


A Tale of Two Laws: How European and US legislation can better combat illegal timber "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

This report explores new legal analysis by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) that outlines existing but previously unrecognised risks and liabilities under the USAs Lacey Act in relation to the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).

Over the past year, EIA has both identified and explored the previously unrealised fact that the US Lacey Act prohibits timber which has been sold in violation of any foreign law protecting plants and that the EUTR is such a foreign law. In turn, EIA analysis concludes that placing wood on the EU market in violation of the EUTR is a predicate offense under Lacey and that wood sold in violation of the EUTR is, by definition, contraband under US law. Further, because the Lacey Act regulates all products containing wood, any product containing wood that was placed on the EU market in violation of the EUTR is contraband under Lacey.

The insight has significant implications, extending legal and/or commercial risks and liabilities to virtually all actors in the entire supply chain of any type of product incorporating timber traded from the EU to the US. As this briefing describes, these liabilities now extend to companies not even regulated by either the EUTR or Lacey, resulting in the intent of these laws embedding Due Diligence and Due Care into company procurement decisions being more likely to be applied by a far larger source of timber demand in both markets. 


Saturday, 03 February


3 women in a Globe "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

On January 30th Savitri D, Dragonfly and former choirmember Monica H climbed into the globe at Trump International just by Columbus Circle and unfurled a banner. They stayed in the globe for about 90 minutes and were arrested when they came down. A huge very supportive crowd had gathered and joined them in chants and song. They will be in court on March 13.

picture of globe

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