|IndyWatch Environment News Feed Archiver|
IndyWatch Environment News Feed was generated at World News IndyWatch.
A new species of pygmy seahorse was just officially discovered
off the coast of southeastern Japan and they grow no bigger
than a grain of rice.
This colorful creature, known as the Japan pig or Hippocampus japapigu, is between 14 and 16 millimeters tall, and incredibly hard to see with the naked eye.
Thats equivalent to putting three of them on my pinkie nail, Graham Short, lead author of a study on the animal published in the journal ZooKeys, told The Dodo. They look like little Daffy Ducks to me, really cute.
Credit: Graham ShortThe seahorses lentil-like size has historically helped it escape the notice of both people and predators until now. The unique little seahorse got its nickname from divers who have been spotting the animal for several years in the waters off southeastern Japan and Hachijo-jima Island, 150 miles south of Tokyo.
Credit: Graham ShortYou dont have to wade too far out to find a Japan pig. Unlike most seahorses, who prefer deeper waters where temperatures do not fluctuate too much, the Japan pig inhabits the shallows, blending in with his environment.
A sweet little interaction spotted in the forest in Africa is an
astonishing reminder of how closely related humans are to
Credit: Liran Samuni/Tai Chimpanzee ProjectAn observer at the Tai Chimpanzee Project on the Ivory Coast was lucky enough to capture the moment on video.
Credit: Liran Samuni/Tai Chimpanzee ProjectIt's exactly the game of airplane that the majority of us remember from our days as toddlers, when we'd demand our parents lift us up on their feet and let us pretend to fly.
Credit: Liran Samuni/Tai Chimpanzee Project"Understanding something about great apes often also helps us understand something about ourselves," Gi...
The dog was so
malnourished she could no longer stand. But when she sat
on the pile of rags beneath her, a
short chain around her neck prevented her from putting her head
down. Instead, her head would literally hang from the chain.
The dog, named Cala, was being kept as a guard dog by a mechanic living near San Jose, Costa Rica. However, the mechanic rarely gave Cala any food, and he didnt take her to the vet when she got sick.
Credit: Territorio de ZaguatesCalas health grew increasingly worse, and she struggled keep her head up. She even started having trouble breathing. If help didnt come soon, Cala was going to die.
Credit: Territorio de ZaguatesI felt desperately sad and frustrated, Lya Battle, founder of Territorio de Zaguates, told The Dodo. The picture I first saw of her showed a pitiful creature robbed of its dignity and ready to give up a dog whose spirit had been broken and was just waiting for the end to come while living a never-ending nightmare.
Although parts of the northeastern United States have already received record-breaking rainfall this summer, persistent rainfall and flooding are likely to continue. "The weather pattern this summer is one of the most dramatic outbreaks of rain ever to hit...... Read more
For decades, researchers studying the global fishing industry had to cope with minimal data about what goes on out at sea. The oceans surface is so vast that most of what vessels do, especially once they are in international waters, goes unrecorded. Or at least, its not recorded in a way thats available to scientific and public scrutiny. Technological breakthroughs in recent years are putting an end to that. Marine scientist Boris Worm from Dalhousie University in Canada, who looks back on 20 years of research in this field, calls the trend one of the biggest revolutions in fisheries. What has changed is that more and more fishing vessels are equipped with a device that regularly sends out a so-called automatic identification system, or AIS, signal. The signal carries information about the vessel, like its name, country of origin, speed and position. More and more satellites in the sky, shot into orbit by companies like Spire and Planet Labs, exist to gather these messages. Today, the sector has reached a point where there is a pretty complete picture of where vessels are and where theyve been, at any given time, encapsulated in billions of individual AIS signals. At the same time, advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence are making it possible to see patterns in this glut of data. I felt right away this was a game changer, Worm said, recalling when a grad student in his lab proposed studying AIS signals. Worm and his team subsequently learned that
Recent research found that, despite having expanded into 90 percent of the worlds oceans, the industrial fishing fleets of the top 20 fishing countries in the world are catching less than a third of the fish they hauled in prior to 1950. Findings like these are increasingly calling into question the sustainability of how we exploit global fisheries even as the global human population continues to climb. The more humans there are on the planet, the more we will have to rely on fish as an important source of food and there are already about 3.2 billion people who rely on fish for 20 percent or more of their animal protein, which has driven 33.1 percent of the worlds fisheries to be operated at biologically unsustainable levels, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Another study, published earlier this month in the journal Science Advances, helps put a finer point on just why access to declining fisheries could be a major food issue going forward. The study, led by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) in the United States, shows that wealthy countries industrial fishing fleets dont just dominate Earths oceans, they have a virtual monopoly on them, especially on the high seas. The researchers found that vessels registered to wealthy countries are responsible for 78 percent of trackable industrial fishing in the waters of less-wealthy countries and a whopping 97 percent on the high seas, international waters that are outside of any one countrys
No one knows exactly why this year's "red
tide" is so deadly, but Florida Governor Rick Scott just
declared a state of emergency because thousands of animals
fish, sea turtles, dolphins, manatees and even whale sharks are
turning up dead, washing up on shores and floating to the surface
of the waters.
Credit: Matt Devitt WINK Weather/FacebookThe images are apocalyptic crows and vultures diving toward the carcasses are the only signs of life along some shorelines in seven southwestern counties of Florida. And even these birds who ingest the toxins contained in these bodies are in danger.
Credit: Matt Devitt WINK Weather/FacebookTo some extent, the red tide is natural it's a certain kind of algae bloom. The red tide produces a poisonous neurotoxin, though, and this can cause the nervous systems of animals to shut down.
Credit: Matt Devitt WINK Weather/Facebook"In sea turtles, clinical signs often include being very weak or lethargic, sometimes to the point the turtle is in a comatose state, and gastrointestinal issues," Heather Barron, medical and research director at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), told The Dodo last week after saving two loggerhead sea turtles from the brink of death. "It can even be harmfu...
Practice makes perfect but petting a dog is much more fun, right
Credit: Facebook/KTVQ NewsThat's evidently what this charming basset hound in Montana had in mind when she decided to pay a visit to a group of football players from Geraldine-Highwood High School smack dab in the middle of their training session.
At least 35 people have been killed and dozens more are feared dead as a huge section of highway bridge collapsed in Italian port city of Genoa during an intense storm on August 14, 2018. The disaster occurred around 09:30 UTC on a highway that connects Italy to...... Read more
Plants and animals in the tropics are disproportionately threatened by a range of dangers, including habitat loss, overexploitation, and climate change, warn researchers writing in the journal Nature. Conducting an extensive review of academic literature, a group of scientists led by Jos Barlow of Lancaster University highlight the extent of biodiversity across the seas, savannas, and forests that lie between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. For example, they note that nearly 80 percent of the species within the ten groups of plants and animals they reviewed live in the tropics. But even this likely represents an undercount because most research efforts historically have been outside the tropics. The proportion of species found within tropical latitudes for ten taxonomic groups. Bars are color-coded to show the percentage of species ranges within the tropics. n gives the total number of species analyzed in each group. Only birds, amphibians and mammals have been comprehensively sampled. Numbers at the end of the bars give the precise percentage of species whose ranges overlap tropical latitudes, as shown in the bars The tropics also house the bulk of societal diversity, including 85 percent of the worlds spoken languages, and make vital contributions to globally important ecosystem services. Tropical forests and savannas, they remark, account for more than 60 percent of global net primary productivity and 40 percent of carbon storage, respectively. Coral reefs afford local populations with food and coastal protection, while rainforests like the Amazon are the engines of regional precipitation. For example, 70
We stayed quiet for a while because after the customary fine they never came back, said Markus, deputy head of the village council in Ongko Asa, a traditional Dayak village in East Kalimantan province, in Indonesian Borneo, that is resisting plans to mine coal in their traditional territory. But then they came back. Markuss village is one of six in the district of West Kutai whose leaders sought to apply customary law and penalize PT Kencana Wilsa, a coal mining company granted a business permit by the local government. According to opponents of the project, the permit was granted despite the lack of approval from the villagers. In 2010, the West Kutai district government granted PT Kencana Wilsa a permit to operate in six villages: Ongko Asa, Muara Asa, Geleo Asa, Pepas Asa, Juaq Asa and Muara Benangaq. But when the company came to the villages to announce its plans, it met with rejection. Tribal elders then gathered and decided to apply customary law and fine the company. At the time, Markus says, the company complied with requests from the village leadership, including paying the fine. The villagers thought the company would put to rest its mining plans. However, Markus says, following the payment of the fine, the company told the government that it had reached a consensus with local residents. In June 2018, mining company representatives, accompanied by officials from the local environment agency, came to map areas in the six villages. [The company] has the permit from the
An ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) stalking its prey. Passage of Bill PL 3,751 / 2015 would greatly endanger Brazils extraordinary biodiversity. Image by Rhett A. Butler Mongabay. What do the ocelot, giant anteater, cougar, and hyacinth macaw have in common? They all live within Brazils protected areas areas now at risk of losing their protected status if a newly written bill becomes law. Bill PL 3,751 / 2015 would set a five-year deadline for the resolution of land issues and disputes, such as land ownership conflicts, in protected areas. If issues are not resolved within that time frame, a protected area could have its protected status removed. In Brazil, there is a difference between creating a protected area and enforcing or implementing the protection of that area. When a protected area is first created, this does not immediately affect land ownership. Negotiations must be conducted with existing landowners and restitutions paid for the land to transfer it into government protection. This all happens in the implementation phase of the land protection process, which can take many years or even decades to complete. The new law, if passed by the National Congress and signed by the president, would short circuit this process. There are currently more than 100 protected areas that have not had their permanent status implemented. If this legislation was applied retroactively to these areas, over 17 million hectares (roughly 66,000 square miles) over half of all currently protected areas in Brazil would be at risk. Gandarela National Park. Brazil
On July 30th, Mexico released their new proposed safeguards to reduce oil and gas air pollution specifically methane and associated toxic volatile organic compounds. These new standards are stronger than anything (proposed or existing) in the United States at the federal or state level, even stronger than Californias new safeguards adopted in 2017. Mexicos rules would, among other things:
Mexicos community and environmental groups are hopeful. Groups have known oil and gas production was polluting their community which is why they requested Earthworks travel to Poza Rica, Veracruz to use our optical gas imaging cameras to document emissions. . As predicted, Earthworks captured harmful emissions from storage tanks, compressors, and pump jacks near community schools.
While Mexico acts to protect the health of its citizens and climate, the Trump administration is ignoring health a...
Source: The Telegraph Russia this year has suffered the most Arctic wildfires since satellite monitoring started as climate change creates the conditions necessary for blazes to start and then take hold. Monitoring by two Nasa satellites recorded 10,057 hotspots in Russia's Arctic territory by the start of August, 10 times more than were found in
from Camp Cloud
Camp Cloud is an Indigenous Grass Root Surveillance Camp situated at the gates of Kinder Morgan on Shellmont street.
On Friday 10th of August the City of Burnaby was in court to get an injunction on Camp Cloud. Judge Geoffrey Gomery issued a 48 hour eviction notice to the camp.
Baltimore Responding to legal and technical arguments from environmental groups and concerned citizens, Maryland Governor Larry Hogans Administration has imposed limits on toxic metals in water pollution from three of the states largest coal-fired power plants.
These pollutants including arsenic, mercury and selenium cause cancer and neurological damage, and are toxic to fish, at very low doses. The new limits at the Chalk Point power plant in Prince Georges County, Dickerson plant in Montgomery County, and Morgantown plant in Charles County could reduce toxic discharges by up to 97 percent in some cases.
We are pleased to see that the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is following the law and stepping up to protect the environment at a time when the EPA is actively trying to undermine environmental protection said Abel Russ, attorney with the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP).
EIP learned about the MDE decision on the Morgantown plant in a letter the advocacy group received yesterday, and about the other two plants late last week, although though the new state permits became effective on July 27.
EIP and the Sierra Club, joined by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, Clean Water Action, and the Patuxent and Potomac Riverkeepers, argued in comments sent to MDE last October that EPAs Clean Water Act regulations compel Maryland to meet new federal limits on toxic metals in wastewater from air pollution scrubbers by November 1, 2020. The groups also presented a technical analysis by a leading expert on coal plant pollution showing that the new limits could be met quickly and affordably.
In the final permits, MDE agreed with the public comments, and imposed the new limits with a 2020 deadline. The final determination requires compliance with federal EPA effluent limitation guidelines forwastewater by Nov. 1, 2020, the MDE letter to EIP states.
The facilities must also cease discharging any water that been mixed with (and used to transport) a power plant waste product called bottom ash byNovember 1, 2020, and must report on their progress toward meeting both standards every six months.
This is yet another step, among many left to go, in order to bring under some level of control and accountability for the egregious environmental impacts these plants have inflicted on their neighbors...
NJ Declares State of Emergency NJ Governor has declared a state of emergency in Bergen, Essex, Monmouth, Ocean and Passaic counties due to the damage caused by torrential rains. Many areas of the state have experienced flooding over the past few days. Know how to stay safe after a flood https://t.co/BzTQIgv9VH. #ReadyNJ #flooding #floodsafety #TurnAroundDontDrown 
CJ IGE OCT TML FIRE-EARTH Alerts: DZPM, LWFD, YRNT, RWWB, CTNF, GJCP, WRRK 081402 ALERTS issued by FIRE-EARTH Science. Details available to authorized groups via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS. Alerts 081402 . . . . . . . .
Leaders from environmental advocacy, justice, and business organizations send letter to Northam one week ahead of key State Water Control Board hearings on the controversial pipelines
RICHMOND, VA Today, 54 Virginia organizations and businesses sent a letter to Governor Ralph Northam asking him to visit the land and communities at risk from the Atlantic Coast Pipeline for fracked gas, and to oppose the highly controversial Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines.
The letter, signed by 54 Virginia organizations including the Virginia State Conference NAACP, Virginia Student Environmental Coalition, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and many more asks Northam to visit the property of Bill and Lynn Limpert at Miracle Ridge in Bath County. Their property, filled with hundreds of centuries-old trees, sits in the right-of-way of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The ridge would need to be leveled by the equivalent of a two-story building to build the pipeline. The signers asks Northam to see for himself whats at stake in the construction of the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines for fracked gas.
Miracle Ridge has been designated by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as one of the finest oak-hickory forests they have ever seen in all of Virginia, said Joan Maloof, Executive Director of the Old-Growth Forest Network. It is imperative that Governor Northam and the Virginia State Water Control Board visit this land first-hand to fully appreciate the magnitude of devastation that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would have on this old-growth forest.
The Limperts have been hosting a summer-long encampment on their property in Bath County dedicated to stopping Dominion Energys proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. This pipeline is slated to go right through their property, destroying hundreds of old-growth trees some as old as 300 years and decapitating much of the 3000-foot-long ridge known as Mi...
A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M6.1 hit South Sandwich Islands region at 03:29 UTC on August 14, 2018. The agency is reporting a depth of 25 km (21.7 miles). EMSC is reporting Mw6.1 at a depth of 30 km (18.6 miles). According to the USGS,...... Read more
With the long-term goal of restricting global temperature rise to well below 2C or 1.5C above pre-industrial levels now enshrined in the Paris Agreement, attention has increasingly turned to how these limits could be met.
Model scenarios that limit warming to 1.5C or 2C typically rely on large amounts of negative emissions to extract CO2 from the atmosphere and store it on land, underground or in the oceans.
Bioenergy crops with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is, perhaps, the most prominent of the various negative emissions techniques. There are many attractive features, since this technology would provide energy thus reducing our need for fossil fuels and remove CO2 from the atmosphere at the same time.
However, the full carbon-cycle impacts of large-scale deployment of BECCS are not well studied. And, before now, no studies have looked at these impacts specifically for a scenario that could meet the 1.5C target.
In our new study, published in Nature Communications, my colleagues and I find that expansion of bioenergy in order to meet the 1.5C limit could cause net losses in carbon from the land surface. Instead, we find that protecting and expanding forests could be more effective options for meeting the Paris Agreement.
Most people know that forests have many benefits, ranging from high biodiversity to improved soil and water quality compared to agricultural land. Tree-planting programmes, where carbon in new trees is tracked and sold for carbon credits, are already providing additional income for farmers.
Afforestation (growing new forests) and reforestation (restoring existing forests), combined with a variety of land management and conservation practices, could remove around 1-2bn tonnes of carbon from t...
An article of this title recently ran in the Wheeling Intelligencer. It represents a cave in by a significant environmental group that give the business oriented Intelligencer some thing to brag about. It is unlikely the report, Improving Steep-Slope Pipeline Construction to Reduce Impacts to Natural Resources, will meet the needs of our steep and rocky terrain.
It will be applied to the entire range of conditions from the soft soil and rock on the Appalachian Plateau through the folded Appalachian Mountains to the south and east. Through limestone karst, famous for caves and sinkholes and slopes up to and beyond 173% (60 degrees).
If the pipe must go in, what is required is meticulous attention to local topography and geology and equally meticulous attention to small scale engineering. This is unlikely to occur due to the great cost involved.
The Nature Conservancy is doubtless well intentioned, but really not directed by people close to conditions involved.
>>> S. Tom Bond, Retired Chemistry Professor & Resident Farmer, Lewis County, WV
Brief Comment on TNC Pipeline Project
This is why I consider TNC foremost among the Shady Lady environmental groups, to put it politely.
They also collaborated with the gas industry on a study of how much methane leaks, with findings coming out much lower than independent studies. Looks to me like they aid industry much more than the environment, with this attitude that the pipelines must and will b...
While it might lack the coordinated attacks that lions or wolves can mount against their prey, a species of coral has shown that it, too, can pull together a collaborative hunting effort. A team of scientists recently reported in the journal Ecology that coral species called Astroides calycularis can capture mauve stinger jellyfish (Pelagia noctiluca). Although both species have been known for years, we had no idea that the coral could catch and eat these jellyfish, Fabio Badalamenti, a marine ecologist with the Italian National Research Council in Rome and a co-author of the study, said in a statement. Its the first time that scientists have documented this type of collective behavior, Badalamenti and his colleagues write. Astroides calycularis orange corals capture and eat a mauve stinger jellyfish. Image by Fabio Badalamenti/Italian National Research Council. A. calycularis, sometimes called orange coral for its brilliant color, lives only in the western Mediterranean Sea, where it latches onto vertical walls and the sides of underground caves in tightly packed groups. Most often, the polyp extending out from the rocky surface to which the coral has fastened itself measures 4 or 5 millimeters (0.16 or 0.2 inches), the authors write, though it can grow to twice that length. Between 2010 and 2017 in different places throughout the Mediterranean, the team noticed that currents sometimes trap a common type of jellyfish called the mauve stinger against walls or in the overhanging roof of an undersea cave covered with A. calycularis coral. Moving in for a closer
Tropical birds benefit from more forest by rivers in oil palm areas
The path of the panda: interview with Kyle Obermann
Flash flood emergency declared in parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey A flash flood emergency was declared for western Bradford County in Pennsylvania on August 13. Numerous residents were rescued from the town of Troy after widespread flooding, TWC reports. The...... Read more
JAKARTA Songbird owners in Indonesia are up in arms over the recent inclusion of hundreds of bird species in the national list of protected animals. The owners plan to protest outside the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in Central Jakarta on Aug. 14, according to the Indonesian Songbird Fan Club (FKMI), a coalition of owners groups. The move comes in response to the ministrys expansion of the list of protected species to 919, from 677 previously. The majority of the listed species, which are prohibited from being traded or hunted, are birds, at 562, including species typically caught and caged for the popular and highly lucrative songbird trade. These include the white-rumped shama (Kittacincla malabarica), greater green leafbird (Chloropsis sonnerati) and straw-headed bulbul (Pycnonotus zeylanicus). We call for the support and participation of all songbird fans, including bird sellers who have been immediately impacted [by the updated regulation], the head of the songbird owners group Indo Jaya Nusantara, who is identified as Christ Murdoch, said in a statement on Omkicau, one of the biggest songbird enthusiast forums in Indonesia. The FKMI has also taken its movement to Facebook and Twitter, where it is spreading the hashtag #TolakPermenLHK20, short for Reject ministerial regulation No. 20. A greater green leafbird is spotted in south of Jakarta, Indonesia. Image by Melindra12/Wikimedia Commons. The group says the ban on buying and selling commonly traded songbirds lacks scientific and cultural bases. It says several species included in the update are currently bred on a large
Lawson becomes chancellor - attacks miners, sells coal, oil and gas
Molly the dog has always had a knack for making everyone she
meets feel welcome and she gets plenty of opportunity living
Equine Rescue and Assistance (CERA), a nonprofit that cares for
abused, neglected and abandoned horses.
Dogs, cats, pigs, goats, horses the golden retriever loves them all, and makes sure that every new arrival at the sanctuary knows they have someone on their side from day one.
She just goes up with a wagging tail, and sniffs them and licks them like a long-lost friend, Darlene Kindle, founder of CERA, told The Dodo.
Credit: Darlene KindleSo when Sammie, an emaciated silver dapple miniature horse, arrived at the rescue earlier this month, the 3-year-old dog instantly knew he need her help.
Credit: Darlene KindleSammie was barely skin and bones when an animal control officer found him wandering the streets of South Carolina in July. Animal control knew the neglected little horse needed to be treated with care if he was going to make it through the next few days.
Credit: Darlene KindleThe shelter contacted Kindle in hopes of finding the horse a home, and she called the vet to see what treating Sammie would entail.
Photographer Adrien Mauduit put together a two-minute compilation of his best real-time sequences of the Perseid meteor shower peaking on August 12 - 13, 2018 in the Valais in Switzerland. Did you miss it because of weather or personal reasons? Fear not, we got...... Read more
After at least 17 days and swimming 1,000 miles in a
captivating display of grief, a wild orca mother has finally
let go of the body of her dead calf.
Credit: CWRJ35, also known as Tahlequah, was spotted on the afternoon of August 12 chasing a school of salmon with her friends in Haro Straight, off British Columbia, Canada.
Credit: CWR"Her tour of grief is now over, and her behavior is remarkably frisky," CWR wrote in a release.
Credit: CWRThe death was not just a singular loss suffered by Tahlequah: It has actually been three years since any orcas of the endangered southern resident killer whales which includes J Pod, K Pod and L Pod have given birth to healthy calves. Overfishing and damming rivers have severely depleted...
The USGS recorded more than 270 earthquakes in Alaska's North Slope on Sunday, August 12 and Monday, August 13, 2018, including M6.4, the most powerful earthquake ever to hit the region. The previous most powerful quake in the North Slope was M5.2 registered in...... Read more
Heavy monsoon rains enhanced by Tropical Storm "Yagi," known in the Philippines and Karding, caused deadly floods in the Philippine capital Manila and nearby areas over the past two days. At least 6 people lost their lives, 4 in the capital region and 2...... Read more
A newly discovered asteroid designated 2018 PD20 flew past Earth at a very close distance of 0.09 LD / 0.00022 AU (33 210 km / 20 636 miles) at 14:31 UTC on August 10, 2018. This near-Earth object belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids and its estimated diameter...... Read more
More than 90 institutional investors managing more than $6.7 trillion in assets have called on the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil to strengthen its standards, including by banning deforestation. The investors outlined their demands in a letter to the RSPO, the worlds largest association for ethical production of palm oil, a ubiquitous commodity found in everything from chocolate to laundry detergent. The RSPO is an association whose members consist of companies up and down the palm oil supply chain, from plantation and milling companies to consumer goods firms that use palm oil in their products. Some banks and NGOs are also members. The RSPO certifies palm oil produced by its members as sustainable if it meets certain criteria. At present, members are allowed to clear certain kinds of forest to make way for their plantations. Indonesia, the worlds top palm oil producer, has one of the highest rates of forest loss. The investors want the RSPO to ban clearance not just of some types of forest, but of all forest. (The term used in the letter is high carbon stock forest, which is essentially a reference to all forest.) They also want to the RSPO to mandate that companies come up with management plans for the conservation of forest in their concessions. Our investment portfolios include companies that have significant exposure to deforestation risks and therefore, have made robust no-deforestation policies and strong commitments to sourcing sustainably certified palm oil, the investors write. Further, the investors want the RSPO to
As development in Thailand is increasing, so is deforestation. Acres of forests are cleared for contract farming, habitats are torn down to make room for new factories, and soil is eroded, causing massive flooding during the rainy season. But amid the environmental wreckage, some trees remain untouched. These trees are wrapped in iconic bright orange robes and deemed sacred, protected from harm and destruction. These trees have been ordained as monks. At a time when Pope Francis is calling upon religious leaders to step up as environmental advocates, Thai Buddhist monks are answering the call. Through rituals like tree ordinations, some monks in Thailand are integrating Buddhist principles into the environmental movement in order to garner support from their followers and encourage sustainable practices. Dr. Susan Darlington, professor of anthropology and Asian studies at Hampshire College in the U.S. and author of the book The Ordination of a Tree, explains that protecting trees is a form of merit-making, an important practice in Buddhism. By accumulating merit through performing good deeds, Buddhists are ensuring a better next life and taking a step closer to reaching enlightenment and, ultimately, Nirvana. An ordained tree wrapped in the orange robes of a Buddhist monk found in a forest of Chiang Mai, Thailand. Image by Kiley Price. Making merit is extremely important for Thai Buddhists, Dr. Darlington said. They see [tree ordination ceremonies] as an act of making merit, which can help with rebirth and, in some cases, having a better life now. One of
from Freedom News
The 7 prisoners from Sukorharjo in Central Java province charged for involvement in the riots outside the PT. RUM synthetic textiles factory faced their final hearing last Tuesday.
The conflict between RUM and the local residents began in October last year, when RUM opened the factory. Since then, the inhabitants of 16 nearby villages reported putrid smell: a smell so bad that dozens of villagers were forced to leave their homes. Moreover, since the factory opened, Sukoharjo Health Agency reported that each day on average 80 local residents seek medical help for headaches, nausea and respiratory problems.
On 22nd February, thousands of residents protested in front of the Sukoharjo regents office, demanding that Regent Wardoyo Wijaya halt RUMs operation. The demonstration descended into a chaotic riot that led to the torching of security posts and clashes with the police and soldiers, and arrest of seven activists, who have been kept in custody since then.
The sentences of the 7 prisoners are as follows:
The first 3 defendants were convicted for violating Article 406, paragraph (1) of the Indonesian Criminal Code regarding the destruction of property belonging to another person. The judges sentencing was lighter than the demands of Prosecutor Rohmadi who was seeking 4 years and two months imprisonment for...
from Dan Bacher / Daily Kos
As massive wildfires continued to ravage the state, 35 California youth held a sit-in at Governor Jerry Browns office at the state capitol in Sacramento on Tuesday, August 7, demanding that he freeze new fossil fuel drilling and develop a plan to phase out oil and gas extraction.
Six of them were arrested Tuesday night as they continued the sit-in in at the door of the Governors Office after the office closed Tuesday evening.
Before the State Police arrested them, three of the young activists explained why they were willing to risk arrest and vowed not to back down from their demand that the Brown administration halt new oil drilling.
My generation is going to feel the biggest effect of climate change and I am sitting here risking arrest because Jerry Brown is not doing enough, said Carmen Bouquin, age 18: He is putting corporate interests over people and continuing to use his power to contribute to climate change while our communities are feeling the impacts of erratic climate change.
I am risking arrest because our futures are on the line, said Zo Cina-Sklar, age 25. We cannot afford new oil and gas projects, here in California or anywhere else. Neighborhood drilling and climate disasters harm millions of Californians, particularly low-income people and people of color. Politicians like Governor Jerry Brown need to step up and take action to get off fossil fuels, before its too late.
I am risking arrest today in solidarity with all those for whom climate change puts so much more at risk: life, family, health, homeland, safety, said Morgan Curtis, age 26: Governor Jerry Brown, this is you last chance to be a real climate leader. I want you to know we will not back down. Future generations are depending on us.
You can check out...
The U.S. Wildfire Situation Report Report issued by NIFC Monday, August 13, 2018 @ 05:30 MT National Preparedness Level: 5 [on a scale from 1 to 5 as of July 27 at 2 pm MDT ] More than 30,000 firefighters and support personnel continue to work on 110 large fires that have burned 
Aerial view of new Cerrado forest clearing. Roughly half the deforestation occurring in the Cerrado is legal, say analysts, highlighting the need for legislation to protect this biome important for its biodiversity, aquifers and carbon storage. Image by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay A handful of companies account for half of South American exports of major commodities including soy, palm oil, cane sugar and cocoa according to a new report by the Stockholm Environment Institute and Global Canopy. Soy production has expanded rapidly in Brazil, where exports are dominated by just six companies, with the majority of those exports feeding the ever-expanding Chinese demand for the oily bean. The Trase Yearbook 2018 is the first in an annual series of reports tracking countries and companies involved in the trade of commodities such as soy, sugarcane, and maize, and assessing the deforestation risk associated with those crops, using data collated as part of the Transparency for Sustainable Economies (Trase) platform. While the report itself is making news, so is Trase a relatively new tool developed jointly by international non-profit organization (NGO) Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and Global Canopy to improve transparency in supply chains globally. Until the advent of Trase, the tracking of commodities by investors, environmentalists, economists, journalists, consumers and other interested parties was largely hit and miss. With Trase a commodities supply chain can often be identified with a couple mouse clicks. Linking commodities to deforestation Significantly, Trase offers the first [ever] systematic accounting of
Pesky itchiness caused by parasitic worms may have driven one of Madagascars lemur species to come up with a natural remedy. New research, published July 30 in the journal Primates, suggests that red-fronted lemurs (Eulemur rufifrons) apply millipede secretions to parts of their bodies, a process called self-anointment. Self-anointment combined with eating millipede secretions may be a way of self-medication by red-fronted lemurs, Louise Peckre, a primatologist at the Leibniz Institute for Primate Research in Gttingen, Germany, and the studys lead author, said in a statement. A red-fronted lemur in Kirindy Forest. Image by Louise Peckre/Leibniz Institute for Primate Research. In 2016, Peckre was in the midst of several months of field observations of red-fronted lemurs, a near-threatened species according to the IUCN, in central Madagascars Kirindy Forest, when hordes of millipedes exploded from dormancy. Kirindy is dry most of the year, but during the Southern Hemispheres summer, it gets hot and rainy for a few months. This first substantial rain of the season probably spurred the appearance of the millipedes. Right after this happened, Peckre watched as six lemurs, from two different groups, made apparent use of the bounty. A lemur would grab a millipede and chew part of it, creating an orange substance as it mixed with saliva. The lemur would then rub its fur and the area around its genitals, including the anus. Then it would bite the millipede again and repeat the sequence, typically switching the hand it held the millipede in, back and forth. Sometimes, though
Laos will suspend new hydropower projects and carry out safety inspections of all existing dams, the government announced last week. The Aug. 7 decision came in the aftermath of the collapse of a hydroelectric dam in the countrys south on July 23. The dam failure caused devastating floods in both Laos and Cambodias Stung Treng province, which lies downstream of the dam. Thirty-one bodies had been recovered and 130 people were still missing as of August 7, according to Lao government figures. The government also estimates that 13,000 people have been affected by the disaster, around 7,000 of whom will need to be rehoused. Despite the announcement, the six-month prior consultation process for the proposed 770-megawatt Pak Lay hydropower project on the Mekong mainstream in Laos kicked off on August 8, according to the Mekong River Commission, the inter-government agency that manages water resources in the Mekong Basin. Operational and planned dams along the Mekong River. Image courtesy of Map for Environment. Placing blame The inspection committee will investigate the cause of the July 23 disaster, assess the quality of nearly 50 dams currently in operation and investigate new dams being built or considered, officials say. In the meantime, the government will suspend new investments in hydropower projects. A committee will also be set up to investigate the responsibility of government officials in approving the construction and disaster-warning systems for the now-collapsed dam, which is part of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower project in the Lao provinces of Champassak and Attapeu.
Google Maps Ed Atkins, University of Bristol There are few dams in the world that capture the imagination as much as Belo Monte, built on the Big Bend of the Xingu river in the Brazilian Amazon. Its construction... Read More
Alaska Earthquake Center
Main Shock: USGS Event Page
84km SW of Kaktovik, Alaska
2018-08-12 14:58:54 UTC
Location: 69.624N, -145.247W
9.9 km depth
USGS Event Page
65km SSW of Kaktovik, Alaska
2018-08-12 21:15:02 UTC
Location: 69.554N, -144.333W
11.7 km depth
Its a tiny handful of the community thats responsible for the lions share of the bloodshed. In Boston during the period between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s, more than half of all murders, more than three-quarters of youth homicides and 70 percent of all shootings were perpetrated by 1 percent of youth between the ages of 
from Earth First! Journal
THE TIME HAS COME!
For the last couple of months, the two of us currently working at the Earth First! Journal office in Florida (along with our one, tirelessly working volunteer) have been editing, laying out, and mailing out a magazine, publishing to the Newswire, sending out merchandise, managing subscriptions, answering emails, pretending we understand social media, and more, all while packing up the office, throwing away nine years of horded nonsense, orchestrating a continent-spanning move, and a whole bunch of other stuff we dont even want to go into.
Starting tomorrow, we are going to be focusing just on moving this nearly-40-year-old project out of its current home and to a new shiny one in Grants Pass, Oregon. This will take a lot of time, but we hope to have the Journal firmly planted in Oregon by early to mid September.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!
The Newswire will be much quieter. Social media will be asleep. If you email us, youll probably get an annoying automatic response (if we can figure out which buttons to press on this computer doohickey).
Anything ordered on our online store after August 16 will not be sent out until the Journal is settled in Oregon, so please order what you want now, and be patient if you order anything after August 16.
Go ahead and email us and enjoy our automatic reply! (But seriously, if you have questions about this try to send them before tomorrow: collective[at]earthfirstjournal.org).
Thanks again to everyone who helped make this move possible! And we apologize for any inconvenience us being out of touch may cause.
Remember, no matter how quiet the Newswire is for a few months, you are not alone in your fight for...
Natural ocean variability is heightening the rate of retreat of the West Antarctic ice sheet, a new study finds.
A 16-year study of ocean conditions in Antarctica suggests that the periodic arrival of warm currents as a result of natural variability is worsening the rate of ice mass loss from key glaciers in the region.
The natural pulses of warm water could be key to driving short-term changes in glacier ice mass loss, the lead author tells Carbon Brief. In the long term, this periodic ocean warming is likely to be exacerbated by climate change, he adds.
The new findings serve as a smoking gun by helping scientists to understand the mechanisms behind the ice sheets retreat, another scientist tells Carbon Brief.
Antarctic ice melt is occuring at an increasingly rapid rate, according to recent satellite data, with mass loss from the West Antarctic ice sheet contributing the most to this rise.
The Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) in West Antarctica (marked with a blue square on the map of Antarctica below) is an area of ice roughly the size of Texas that drains into the Amundsen Sea. It contains both the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers.
The economic damage from coastal flooding in Europe could reach almost 1 trillion per year by 2100 without new investment in adaptation to climate change, a new study finds.
The research looks at how rising sea levels and continued socioeconomic development will affect future coastal flood risk in 24 European countries.
In contrast to the past century, the main reason behind rising loses from coastal flooding will be global warming, rather than socioeconomic changes, the lead author tells Carbon Brief. The acceleration of loss is also unprecedented, he adds.
The UK would be the worst hit by far, the study finds, seeing up to 236bn in annual damages and 1.1 million people exposed to coastal flooding by 2100, if no upgrades are made to coastal protection.
Europes coastline stretches to more than 100,000km. Many of its coastal zones are highly populated and developed.
This leaves it vulnerable to increased coastal flooding due to extreme sea levels. These arise from a combination of sea level rise, tides, and storm surges and waves due to cyclones.
Future damages due to coastal flooding will also be highly dependent on socioeconomic changes, which will impact the number of people moving to the coast and the extent of development.
The new study, published in Nature Climate Change, aims to combine modelling of both extreme sea levels and socioeconomic development to show what damages could look like this century without further adaptation efforts.
It projects that the economic damages from these extreme events will increase from 1.25bn per year today to between 93bn and 961bn per year by 2100 (in todays money), depending on how socioeconomic trends play out over the rest of this century. This is a 75- to 770-fold increase on todays levels.
Written by Pam Dehmer from Harford County Climate Action
Our group aims to lessen Harford Countys carbon footprint and adapt to the effects of climate change. We started in October 2014 right after the Peoples Climate March in NY. Seeing passionate activists from around the world gave us hope that change was possible. Thats why, over the past four years, we have been working to educate the local community about the causes and impacts of climate change.
However, there is a dangerous strand of climate change denial running through our community. On February 13, the retiring County Council President Mr. Slutsky ended a public meeting by spouting a number of misinformed opinions about global warming, including calling climate change a hoax.
We could not let this go without responding. So 16 of us spoke out at the next County Council public meeting. Each person took a point made by Mr. Slutsky and explained why his statements were false. At the end of the session, two HCCA members and a scientist spoke privately with Mr. Slutsky and arranged a meeting with him the following week. During that meeting, two citizens discussed the climate change subject again trying to inform our council president. Even though Mr. Slutsky was not convinced, he offered HCCA the opportunity to speak at a public meeting to educate the public.
So this was our chance to educate the rest of our local officials! Under the guidance of our leader, Tracey Waite, six of us worked hard to create a presentation. It took hours and hours of research, discussion and fine-tuning as we were given a time limit of just twenty minutes. We met and rehearsed four times in order to make sure the presentation was concise, accurate and informative.
On April 17, we made the presentation at the public, televised, County Council meeting. At the end, all six council members affirmed their support for HCCA and our mission to educate!
While we were pleased th...
In 2016, a group of researchers set out to explore Serra da Neve Inselberg, an isolated mountain and Angolas second-highest peak, in search of frogs and toads. Now, they have described a new and unusual species of African pygmy toad that they chanced upon during their expedition. The new species, formally named Poyntonophrynus pachnodes, or the Serra da Neve pygmy toad, has a distinct trait that sets it apart from its close relatives: it lacks both external and internal parts of the ear that help frogs hear, researchers report in a new study published in ZooKeys. The studys lead author, Luis Miguel Pires Ceraco, a herpetologist at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, U.S., said his team spotted the Serra da Neve pygmy toad on their very first night on the remote mountain. The toads were roaming around their camp, and could be seen amid leaf litter and under rocks. But we only noticed that the toad was different in the laboratory, under the microscope, Ceraco told Mongabay in an email. Toads, especially small species like this, have a very common toad-like appearance. In the field we are usually very busy collecting, fixing and taking notes, so many times smaller details are overlooked. Even in cases like these, where an entire structure was missing! While earless toads arent rare, this is the first time a Poyntonophrynus species has been reported without ears. This loss of ear happened several times in frogs, especially in toads of the family Bufonidae, to which the Poyntonophrynus belongs, Ceraco said. Some lineages loose it
Excerpt from Article by Kate Mishkin and Ken Ward Jr., The Charleston Gazette-Mail, and Beena Raghavendran, ProPublica, August 10, 2018
Update, August 10, 9 p.m.: On Friday evening, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order halting all work on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. FERC cited an appeals court ruling that found the National Park Service and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service skirted environment rules when approving the $5.5 billion, 600-mile project.
A week ago, the federal government halted work on the massive MVP pipeline project that runs from Northern West Virginia through Southern Virginia.
The government said it had no choice but to order work on the multibillion-dollar Mountain Valley Pipeline stopped after a federal appeals court ruled that two federal agencies had neglected to follow important environmental protections when they approved the project.
The court had found that the U.S. Forest Service had suddenly dropped without any explanation its longstanding concerns that soil erosion from the pipeline would harm rivers, streams and aquatic life. It also found that the Bureau of Land Management approved a new construction path through the Jefferson National Forest, ignoring rules that favor sticking to existing utility rights-of-way.
American citizens understandably place their trust in the Forest Service to protect and preserve this countrys forests, and they deserve more than silent acquiescence to a pipeline companys justification for upending large swaths of national forestlands, Judge Stephanie Thacker wrote for a unanimous ruling from a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Citizens also trust the Bureau of Land Management to prevent undue degradation to public lands by following the dictates of federal law.
It turns out, those werent the only times state and federal regulators bent environmental standards for the project, which began construction in February....
Gambias environmental campaigners are calling time on fishmeal
Living forests: Kichwa people of Sarayaku launch defence of indigenous territories worldwide
Can building a new home be environmentally friendly?
Sir David Attenboroughs long career as a presenter of BBC natural-history programmes first began in 1953 with a three-part series called Animal Patterns.
In the seven decades since, he has fronted dozens of iconic series filmed and broadcast around the planet, helping to earn him the status as one of the worlds most respected and influential science communicators.
For example, the magnitude of Attenboroughs influence today is such that the UK government was moved to announce new plastic-recycling policies within days of the final episode of Blue Planet II airing late last year. This was in response to the public and media outrage at the scenes in the series showing turtles, whales, albatrosses and other marine species endangered by discarded plastic.
In 2005, a TV reviewer in the Times even described him as the most trusted man in Britain.
So, given his influence, what has Attenborough said about climate change? Despite presenting series about wildlife and the natural environment for many decades, Attenborough has only relatively recently discussed the issue.
Carbon Brief has trawled the archives and now located the key moment in 2004 which finally convinced him that his millions of viewers around the world deserved to be informed about the facts and consequences of a fast-warming climate.
Over the past decade or so, it has been rare that one of Attenboroughs series does not at least reference climate change. Similarly, in the many interviews he gives each year when publicising his latest programme, he is invariably asked for his views on the topic. His typical response is one of consternation and the need for urgent collective action by humans.
However, despite regularly expressing serious concern about the impacts and implications of climate change, Attenborough readily admits that it took him a long time to be fully convinced about the underlying science.
Writing in the Independent in 2005, he said:
I was sceptical about climate change. I was cautious about crying wolfBut Im no longer sceptical. Now I do not have any doubt at all. I think climate change is the major challenge facing the world. I have waited until the proof was conclusive tha...
Costly hailstorms are rapidly increasing Costly hailstorms are increasing in the United States, with the average year now accumulating $8 to $10 billion in hail damage, Bryan Wood of Capital Weather Gang reports. Additionally, hailstorms account for 70% of the...... Read more
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