News

EBR Decision
Dr. Tom Puk, a Professor from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay was the person who made the application which resulted in the land-mark 2005 decision to have the Ministry of Education subject to the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR). This decision is important because it requires the Minister of Education to establish and make public a Statement of Environmental Values (SEV). In addition it means that the public can voice any concerns they have about the SEV via a public forum on the internet. Until this time the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance were two of the major Ministries that were not accountable to the EBR (there are still eleven Ministries not subject to the EBR). Acts, regulations or instruments that Ministries put forward that might affect environment must be posted on the Registry before these laws are legislated. Like most of the other Ministries, under the current ruling the Ministry of Education is still not subject to the review process. Unfortunately the Ontario Government has never followed-up on their commitment and the decision to prescribe the Ministry of Education to the EBR has never been acted upon. We would ask that people write in and demand that the Ministry of Education be subject to Notice and Comment and Review ASAP. Even better, citizens should contact their MPP's, the Premier, Minister of Environment, and Minister of Education now. For additional information on how the EBR can impact Ecological Education please contact us at inquiries@ecologicaleducation.ca.



The following Earth News items provided by:

EcoEarth.Info - The Environmental Sustainability Portal

07/28/2014
Agriculture Affects River Flow Rates
Nature World: Changes in agriculture affect river flow rates in both rainy and dry times, according to two University of Iowa researchers. While it may seem obvious that river flow rates in the Midwest can change depending on how heavy or light rainfall is, what's not so clear is how changes in land use can impact these river flows. "We wanted to know what the relative impacts of precipitation and agricultural practices played in shaping the discharge record that we see today," lead author Gabriele Villarini...

07/28/2014
Pangolins being eaten to extinction, conservationists warn
Guardian: Pangolins are being "eaten to extinction" due to a demand for their meat at banquets in China and Vietnam and their scales for use in Chinese medicine, conservationists have warned. In an update last week to the authoritative Red List of endangered animals, all eight species of the scaly anteaters were upgraded to threatened status. Resembling a pine cone on legs, they are the world's only scaly mammal, using their scales for armour to protect against predators and their long, sticky tongues...

07/28/2014
California drought dries up plans for historic gold rush celebration
Reuters: California’s drought has claimed yet another historic casualty in this parched capital city - the annual heritage celebration known as Gold Rush Days. Staged for the past 15 years by tourism groups who turn the city's Old Sacramento district into a dirt-paved scene from the 1850s, the Labor Day weekend tradition was canceled on Monday due to concerns about water use and fire. Steve Hammond, president and chief executive officer of the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, said that up to...

07/28/2014
Observatory: Shipping Lanes Threaten Pacific Blue Whales
New York Times: Two major feeding grounds for Pacific blue whales are bisected by busy shipping lanes near major seaports in San Francisco and Santa Barbara, Calif., a new study reports. “It’s an unhappy coincidence,” said Ladd Irvine, a marine biologist at Oregon State University who led the study, published in the journal PLOS One. “The whales are purely there because they need to find the densest food aggregations possible.” Large ships could easily injure or kill whales that are looking for food, he said....

07/28/2014
Netflix about to hijack our evenings with grim environmental films
Grist: Netflix has already burned weeks of our lives with its early ventures into original programming. You know what I`m talking about. Every episode of House of Cards or Orange is the New Black left you tearing out your hair screaming, “I NEED JUST ONE MORE, PLEEEASE!” Now that the good people at Netflix have come to realize their power, they’re going to try to use it to show us something even more unnerving than murderous politicians: real life. As part of their new documentary push, they bought the...

07/28/2014
Cranking Up the Carbon: Researchers Expose a Forest to Our Future's Conditions
Nature World: A new facility is launching that will expose natural woodland to raised carbon dioxide levels, simulating conditions expected in the near future. This research is expected to give conversationalists and policy makers a look at future troubles the world's forest will face. The University of Birmingham has reportedly secured initial funding to support ten years of a free-air carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE) experiment at its brand new Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR). According to...

07/28/2014
Q&A: Ebola Spreads in Africa—and Likely Will Spread Beyond
National Geographic: A top Liberian doctor has died and two Americans have become infected in West Africa's Ebola epidemic, which has now spread to the region's most populous city, Lagos, Nigeria. Until this epidemic, the virus, which kills up to 90 percent of those who fall ill, had struck mainly in small, rural villages. But this outbreak has covered a much broader area-and has killed more than 670 people since late last year. It has now spread to Lagos, and reports came in over the weekend that it had killed a...

07/28/2014
California and Mexico sign pact to fight climate change
Reuters: California Governor Jerry Brown and Mexican environmental officials signed a pact on Monday aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, an agreement that could eventually expand the market for carbon credits. The six-page memorandum of understanding calls for cooperation in developing carbon pricing systems and calls on the partners to explore ways to align those systems in the future. “California can’t do it alone and with this new partnership with Mexico, we can make real progress on reducing...

07/28/2014
GAO Report: Drinking Water Risk Underground Fracking Waste Injection
EcoWatch: The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) publicly released its report today finding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is "not consistently conducting two key oversight and enforcement activities for class II programs" for underground fluid injection wells associated with oil and gas production. The report shows that the EPA`s program to protect drinking water sources from underground injection of fracking waste needs improvement. According to the report, "The U.S. EPA...

07/28/2014
Brazil farmers say GMO corn no longer resistant to pests
Reuters: Genetically modified corn seeds are no longer protecting Brazilian farmers from voracious tropical bugs, increasing costs as producers turn to pesticides, a farm group said on Monday. Producers want four major manufacturers of so-called BT corn seeds to reimburse them for the cost of spraying up to three coats of pesticides this year, said Ricardo Tomczyk, president of Aprosoja farm lobby in Mato Grosso state. "The caterpillars should die if they eat the corn, but since they didn't die this...

07/28/2014
US Energy Secretary defends possible German nuke waste imports
Reuters: U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on Monday defended his agency's controversial move to consider processing spent nuclear fuel from Germany at South Carolina's Savannah River Site nuclear facility, saying the proposal is consistent with U.S. efforts to secure highly enriched uranium across the globe. The United States has for years accepted spent fuel from research reactors in various countries that was produced with uranium of U.S. origin as a part of U.S. nuclear non-proliferation policy and...

07/28/2014
Study: Climate change increases chance slowdown in yields
Des Moines Register: The odds of a major production slowdown of corn and wheat are as much as 20 times greater with climate change, according to researchers at Stanford University and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The authors used global climate computer models, along with data about weather and crops, to calculate the chances that climatic trends would slow the growth in yields by 10 percent during the next 20 years. The result, researchers found, would mean yields would grow about half as quickly as...

07/28/2014
Deadly lightning strike was rare event for Southern California coast
Reuters: Lightning storms that killed a 20-year-old beachgoer in Los Angeles and sent eight other people to the hospital stemmed from a combination of atmospheric conditions relatively unusual for coastal Southern California, weather experts said on Monday. A bolt of lightning, accompanied by what witnesses described as an explosive thunder clap, struck near the shore of Venice Beach on Sunday during a storm that materialized quickly and lasted about 15 minutes. An estimated 20,000 people were at the...

07/28/2014
Climate warming may not drive net losses soil carbon from tropical forests
Environmental News Network: The planet's soil releases about 60 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year, which is far more than that released by burning fossil fuels. This happens through a process called soil respiration. This enormous release of carbon is balanced by carbon coming into the soil system from falling leaves and other plant matter, as well as by the underground activities of plant roots. Short-term warming studies have documented that rising temperatures increase the rate of soil respiration. As...

07/28/2014
Crews make headway against destructive Northern California wildfire
Reuters: Firefighters began to gain the upper hand on Monday against a Northern California wildfire that has destroyed 13 homes and blackened nearly six square miles in the drought-parched foothills east of Sacramento, officials said. Crews had built containment lines around roughly two-thirds of the so-called Sand Fire as of Monday morning, up from only 35 percent on Sunday evening, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. Some residents who were forced to flee their homes ahead...

07/28/2014
3 Arrested Blockading Train Tracks Protesting Oil-By-Rail
EcoWatch: Three Seattle area residents were arrested today after blockading train tracks at an oil facility at Tesoro’s Anacortes Refinery. The protestors were demanding an immediate end to the shipment of Bakken oil through Northwest communities, all new oil-by-rail terminals proposed for the Northwest and Clean Air Act violations by oil refineries. “Thursday’s derailment was the last straw,” said Jan Woodruff, an Anacortes resident who was blockading the tracks. “If federal and state regulators won’t...

07/28/2014
Save the tiger: Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them
Independent: Global experts reckon that the wild tiger population has dropped by 97 per cent since 1900. We’re bombarded by so many shock-horror statistics about the state of the world that a lot of them just bounce off us. But that one sticks: 97 per cent. Tomorrow is International Tiger Day, and The Independent is working with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to highlight the plight of the tiger. No one’s quite sure exactly how many tigers there are alive today, but back in 2010, the global population...

07/28/2014
NOAA study shows oceans hotter than ever as US tops global climate denier list
Examiner: An ever-growing mountain of facts and scientific studies to support man-made climate change--not to mention extreme weather incidents and changing seasonal patterns being experienced every day--wasn’t enough information to keep the United States from taking the top spot in climate change denial, according to a UK Global Trends poll reported last week in EcoWatch that included 16,000 people in 20 countries. The US even beat Australia, which is unexpected since that country now has a climate change-denier...

07/28/2014
Invasion of the oil palm: western Africa's native son returns, threatening great apes
Mongabay: As palm oil producers increasingly look to Africa’s tropical forests as suitable candidates for their next plantations, primate scientists are sounding the alarm about the destruction of ape habitat that can go hand in hand with oil palm expansion. A study recently published in the Cell Press journal Current Biology sought to take those warnings a step further by quantifying the overlap in suitable oil palm land with current ape habitat. “It’s a huge worry,” said lead author Serge Wich of oil...

07/28/2014
United Kingdom: Tories target seats will be opened for fracking says Greenpeace
Independent: More than three-quarters of the Tories’ top target seats in the next general election have been opened up for oil and gas exploration, Greenpeace has claimed. As the Government launched the latest bidding round for onshore oil and gas licences, which covers around half the country, the environmental campaign group warned that the licensing area also covered freshwater aquifers and intruded on 10 national parks. The analysis by Greenpeace comes after a ComRes poll of more than 1,000 people in...

07/28/2014
General Mills takes new steps to combat climate change
LA Times: General Mills said Monday it would take new steps to combat climate change, including expanding its emission reduction targets to include its vast network of suppliers and contractors. About two-thirds of General Mills’ greenhouse gas emissions and 99% of its water use comes from its indirect operations such as the farms it purchases raw materials from. The Minneapolis-based company known for brands such as Cheerios, Pillsbury and Haagen-Dazs pledged to include their supply chain in its emission...

07/28/2014
United Kingdom: Government pushes ahead with fracking plan despite wide opposition
Guardian: Overwhelming opposition to the government's plans to expanding fracking across Britain was expressed by interest groups during an official consultation, whose results were released a day after ministers signalled a go-ahead for shale gas drilling around the country. The Department of Energy and Climate Change's report on the government's Strategic Environmental Assessment of its nationwide fracking plan recorded a wide range of objections, including from bodies such as Public Health England and...

07/28/2014
The ‘Holy Grail’ of batteries might double your smartphone’s battery life
Yahoo: Researchers from Stanford including former U.S. Secretary of Energy and Nobel laureate Steve Chu are currently working on “fixing” lithium-ion batteries in order to offer a longer charge to various devices that require such batteries, including smartphones and electric cars. A battery has three components including an anode that discharges electrons, a cathode to receive them and an electrolyte to provide electrons. Stanford researchers are trying to create a battery that has lithium in the anode...

07/28/2014
Smaller Seals: A Consequence of Climate Change
Nature World: Antarctic fur seals are being born smaller and breeding less, experts are reporting. This, they say, is a direct result of changing climate conditions in their natural habitats. A study recently published in the journal Nature details how nearly three decades of data is showing an alarming trend: fur seal pups, namely the females, are being born smaller and smaller. "Over 27 years, we see pups being born with eight percent less body mass. We also see the females breeding later in age - at least...

07/28/2014
NOAA May Save Bluefin Tuna with Commercial Fishing Ban
Nature World: Soon the diminishing Pacific bluefin tuna population may be thrown a lifeline. The NOAA Fisheries Service is considering enacting a ban on both recreational and commercial fishing of the species in an effort to save it. According to The Dodo, there are just 40,000 adult Pacific bluefin tuna remaining in the wild today - four percent of the fish's historic average. Commercial and recreational fisheries have targeted the Pacific bluefun tuna (Thunnus orientalis) for some time, but the rise of...

07/28/2014
Warming Threatens Roads, Ports and Planes, Report Says
Climate Central: The transportation sector is a major contributor to climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions, and, worldwide, it's also one of the most vulnerable sectors to the effects of climate change, according to a new report. In other words, climate change could mean "sun kinks' could warp train tracks in the heat, airplanes will be more expensive to fly, highway surfaces could soften in heat waves, roadways and bridges could be washed away in rising seas and storm surges, and storms in the open ocean...

07/28/2014
Trees Save Lives and $7 Billion in Health Costs Annually, Forest Service Finds
Environment 360: Trees are saving more than 850 human lives each year and preventing 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms in the U.S., according to the first broad-scale estimate of trees' air pollution removal by U.S. Forest Service researchers. Looking at four common air pollutants -- nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 microns -- researchers valued the human health benefits of the reduced air pollution at nearly $7 billion annually in a study published...

07/28/2014
U.S. coastal flooding on the rise, government study finds
Reuters: Flooding is increasing in frequency along much of the U.S. coast, and the rate of increase is accelerating along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts, a team of federal government scientists found in a study released Monday. The study examined how often 45 tide gauges along the country’s shore exceeded National Weather Service flood thresholds across several decades. The researchers found that the frequency of flooding increased at 41 locations. Moreover, they found that the rate of increase was...

07/28/2014
Songbirds dying from DDT in Michigan yards
Mother Nature Network: Jim Hall was mowing the town’s baseball diamond when he felt a little bump underneath him. “And there it was, a dead robin,” he said. Just last week, he found another one. “Something is going on here,” said Hall, who has lived in this mid-Michigan town of 7,000 for 50 years. Two dead birds may not seem like much. But for this town, it’s a worrisome legacy left behind by a chemical plant-turned-Superfund site. After residents complained for years about dead birds in their yards, 22 American...

07/28/2014
Climate Change A Greater Threat To Global Food Production Than Previously Thought: MIT Researchers
Business Times: Climate change could pose an even greater threat to global food production than previously thought, according to new research. Rising temperatures will not only damage heat-sensitive crops – they’ll also increase toxic air pollution, which will harm crops even further. The study, out this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, is the first to explore how this interaction between warming temperatures and air pollution affects staple crops. Scientists have long known that the two can independently...

07/28/2014
Trees Reduce Air Pollution, Respiratory Problems
Nature World News: Trees are nature's answer to diminishing air pollution, as well as reducing respiratory problems for the human population, according to US Forest Service scientists and collaborators behind a new study. Their broad-scale estimates concluded that trees are saving more than 850 human lives a year and preventing 670,000 incidents of acute respiratory symptoms - and that's just by improving air quality less than one percent. Not to mention that trees can help save $7 billion a year in health costs...

07/28/2014
Red Tide Threatens Gulf of Mexico Fish
Nature World: A "Red Tide" of harmful algae has been identified just off Florida's west coast in the Gulf of Mexico. Officials say that it is likely behind the large number of fish and sea turtle deaths recently reported by fishermen and beachgoers. Red Tide, also known as "Rust Tide" or "Red Bloom," are most commonly characterized by a rusty red color of the blooming phytoplankton dinoflagellates Alexandrium or Karenia brevis - single celled algae. Harmful algae blooms, (HABs) have been associated with...

07/28/2014
10 Biggest Threats to Human Existence
AlterNet: AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is at the top of the cultural zeitgeist these days, one of the most popular television series on the air. In the show, a virus has ravaged the Earth, killing most of humanity, with the dead corpses rising to terrorize the few remaining living souls. While enormously entertaining, it is not a likely scenario for the end of the human race. Dick Cheney notwithstanding, zombies aren’t real. The end of humanity, however, could be. While it is difficult to envision a world without...

07/28/2014
Designing improved cookstoves for Tanzanians
SciDevNet: Improved cookstove designs reduce the use of firewood in rural communities, countering deforestation, soil erosion and food insecurity. They also ensure cleaner combustion than in traditional open-fire cooking, reducing harmful indoor pollution. CHEMA Programme, a Tanzanian NGO that works in the rural Kagera region, develops stoves that are designed to be a good match for available fuel resources and local people’s cooking habits. It aims to preserve the environment, produce energy from organic...

07/28/2014
Diesel truck enthusiasts ‘roll coal’ protest environment regulation
Boston Globe: Craig Wedge floors his pickup and the souped-up diesel engine of his Ford F-350 Power Stroke rumbles like a muscle car, blasting black smoke through an unfiltered exhaust pipe. He and other diesel enthusiasts call this burst of unburned fuel “rolling coal”; for many of them, it is an act of protest against environmental regulations. In defiance of the law, coal rollers disable or discard their trucks’ pollution controls and modify their engines to maximize power and blow smoke with the flip of a...

07/28/2014
United Kingdom: Beauty spots still at fracking 'risk', say campaigners
BBC: Fracking licences can only be issued for beauty spots in "exceptional circumstances", according to new rules issued by the government. It said the regulations for the new bidding round for licences - the first in six years - are stricter than before. And companies applying to frack near beauty spots will have additional obligations. But some environmental campaigners say the new rules are not tough enough. Right to refuse Fracking involves blasting water, chemicals and sand at high...

07/28/2014
New study confirms water vapor as global warming amplifier
PhysOrg: A new study from scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and colleagues confirms rising levels of water vapor in the upper troposphere - a key amplifier of global warming - will intensify climate change impacts over the next decades. The new study is the first to show that increased water vapor concentrations in the atmosphere are a direct result of human activities. "The study is the first to confirm that human activities have increased water...

07/28/2014
Rising Levels of Human-Caused Water Vapor in Troposphere will Intensify Climate Change Projections
Voice of America: When it comes to greenhouse gases that contribute most to global warming, most people think of substances such as carbon dioxide, methane or even hydrofluorocarbons. But did you know that, for a while now, scientists have considered the vapor of the most important ingredient in sustaining life on Earth -- water -- as one of the most abundant greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and a key driver of global warming? A new study led by scientists from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of...

07/28/2014
Peru and Colombia: Community Self-Defense Against Megaminería
Upside Down World: When states act to facilitate the business of multinationals and leave communities unprotected, as with mining, those communities have no choice but to defend themselves by their own means–through self-defense organizations, mobilization of affected communities, or the creation of new ways to prevent dispossession. Peru and Colombia are experiencing this situation today. Resistance to mining in the Andean region shows great vitality as in the opposition to the Conga gold mining project in northern...

07/27/2014
United Kingdom: Ban bee-harming pesticides, MPs say
BusinessGreen: The government should accept a ban on pesticides that could harm bees and reconsider whether it is appropriate to allow pesticide companies to carry out research on the impact of their products on pollinators, MPs will today recommend. MPs on the Environmental Audit Committe are set to respond to the government's draft National Pollinator Strategy, which was released for consultation in March with the aim of safeguarding pollinators' essential role in ecosystems. According to the government,...

07/27/2014
5 facts about coal trade, global warming
Associated Press: As the Obama administration weans the U.S. off polluting fuels blamed for global warming, energy companies have been sending more of America's unwanted energy leftovers to other parts of the world where they could create even more pollution. Here are five things to know about the issue: As U.S. reduces coal use, demand rises globally Over the past six years, the U.S. has cut consumption by 195 million tons as power plants have burned cheaper natural gas instead. The Environmental Protection...

07/27/2014
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger, dying out - a majestic animal on its knees
Independent: The tiger has walked the Earth for two million years. One hundred years ago, there were more than 100,000 in Asia. Now, only just over 3,000 survive in the wild – and their number keeps on declining. In the week that sees the world mark International Tiger Day, The Independent and the World Wildlife Fund are working together to highlight the dangers these iconic animals face and how wildlife experts are desperately trying to save them. Reports will run every day on their present plight, starting...

07/27/2014
United Kingdom: Parks to be protected from fracking
Wigan Today: National Parks in England will be protected from fracking unless there are "exceptional circumstances", ministers announced today. The policy was unveiled as the latest bidding process for shale companies seeking licences to explore for oil and gas was opened. The Government has committed to going ''all out for shale'', claiming development of the gas and oil resource is needed to improve energy security, boost jobs and the economy and bring down energy prices. But opponents say it causes disruption...

07/27/2014
Fracking push gets go-ahead across UK as ministers tighten safeguards
Guardian: Ministers will give the go-ahead on Monday for a big expansion of fracking across Britain that will allow drilling in national parks and other protected areas in "exceptional circumstances". The government will invite firms to bid for onshore oil and gas licences for the first time in six years, with about half of the country advertised for exploration. Ministers are also clarifying the rules on when drilling can take place in national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) and world...

07/27/2014
Global plans of action endorsed to halt escalating degradation of soils
eTB: Urgent action is required to improve the health of the world's limited soil resources and stop land degradation, so as to ensure that future generations have enough supplies of food, water, energy and raw materials, government representatives and experts meeting at FAO warned today. The Global Soil Partnership has endorsed a series of action plans at its plenary assembly in Rome today to safeguard soil resources which provide the basis for global agricultural production. Recommendations include...

07/27/2014
Two California wildfires threaten homes
BBC: Two fast-moving wildfires in California are threatening homes and could result in the evacuation of hundreds of people, US officials say. In the Sacramento region, a fire has spread to cover an area of about 4,000 acres, while another blaze threatens homes around Yosemite National Park. The Sacramento fire is only 20% contained, officials told local media. Months of drought have caused more fires in California this year - some 1,400, twice the usual number. Homes evacuated The Sacramento...

07/27/2014
14 concepts will be obsolete after catastrophic climate change
Washington Post: Naomi Oreskes is a professor of the history of science at Harvard University. Erik Conway is a historian of science and technology at the California Institute of Technology. They are the co-authors of “The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From the Future” (Columbia University Press), from which this article is excerpted. It’s 2393. A historian is recounting the collapse of Western civilization due to catastrophic climate change. In her anniversary lecture, she explains how the carbon-combustion...

07/27/2014
In Chesapeake Bay waters warmed by summer sun deadly pathogen lies in wait
Washington Post: The last thing Rodney Donald was expecting during his family’s vacation on the Chesapeake Bay was to almost lose a leg to an aggressive bacteria growing in the brackish waters. “I’ve grown up on the bay my whole life, and I’m 66,” said Donald, propped up in a bed at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, his right leg stretched out, swathed in bandages. “I’d never even heard about it.” Vibrio vulnificus, of the same family as vibrio cholera, is a rapid-spreading flesh-eating bacteria that naturally...

07/27/2014
United Kingdom: Sea temperature off Plymouth hotter than California
Telegraph: Ocean temperatures have a soared to a seven-year high off southwest Britain - making our seas as hot as California. Marine scientists say the water has reached 20.4C (68.7F) off Start Bay, Devon, and 20.1C (68.2F) off Perranporth, Cornwall. That is even warmer than readings taken from Santa Monica beach in Los Angeles, where its currently lagging behind at 19.4C (66.9F) and only 8C short of the sea temperature in Bali. Temperatures off the British coast are also rising by almost 4C a month...

07/27/2014
African biodiversity under threat from climate change
Deutsche-Welle: Researchers meeting in Cameroon have warned that Africa could lose up to 30 percent of its animal and plant species by the end of the century because of global warming, population growth and unregulated development. It is mid-afternoon in Lom Pangar in Eastern Cameroon. People are busy working, digging holes and cleaning up. Some are cutting down trees in preparation for the construction of a new dam that could generate up to 30 megawatts of hydroelectric power. Nformi Johnson works for one of...

07/27/2014
Climate needs new support for nuclear power
Des Moines Register: Almost 30 years after James Hansen, NASA's chief atmospheric scientist, warned Congress that the burning of fossil fuels leads to global warming, the evidence still points to one conclusion: Increasing the use of zero-carbon nuclear power must be part of the solution. Hansen, along with other prominent climatologists, sees great value in using nuclear power to reduce carbon emissions. Nuclear power, in one or more advanced designs, holds promise for the generation of abundant, clean and affordable...

07/27/2014
Smart aid for the world's poor
Wall Street Journal: n September next year, the United Nations plans to choose a list of development goals for the world to meet by the year 2030. What aspirations should it set for this global campaign to improve the lot of the poor, and how should it choose them? In answering that question, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his advisers are confronted with a task that they often avoid: setting priorities. It is no good saying that we would like peace and prosperity to reach every corner of the world. And it is...

07/27/2014
Scientists begin hi-tech quest for Arctic sea ice answers
Climate News Network: An international team of scientists plan to spend months watching ice melt. But although it will take longer and cost a lot more than watching paint dry, it will be much more interesting and rewarding. A sophisticated array of automatic sensors will allow scientists to conduct the longest ever monitoring program to determine the precise physics of summer sea ice melt in the Arctic. They plan to discover just how the Arctic ice retreats, the rate at which it melts, and the oceanographic processes...

07/27/2014
Planning to sink: What happens when Kiribati drowns?
PBS: Venice isn’t the only piece of land sinking today. The nation of Kiribati, made up of 33 tiny islands far out in the Pacific Ocean, is getting smaller as rising sea levels continue to swallow the land by an average of 3.7 millimeters a year, according to the National Tidal Centre of Australia. “Never in history has a state disappeared because of a physical problem,” said Michael Gerrard, Director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School. To deal with the country’s uncertain...

07/27/2014
Obama food aid ravages Third World farmers
Ecologist: The US taxpayers who finance foreign food aid surely believe they are feeding starving people, writes James Bovard. But the truth is the reverse - it is undermining indigenous agriculture in recipient countries - creating famine and chronic malnutrition, while sabotaging self-sufficiency. Despite uplifting rhetoric, Obama is perpetuating a program that sabotages foreigners' self-sufficiency. President Obama proclaimed two years ago: "As the wealthiest nation on Earth, I believe the United States...

07/27/2014
Hundreds flee as two California wildfires threaten homes
Associated Press: Fire crews were battling two fast-moving wildfires in California that threatened many homes and forced hundreds of evacuations, officials said. A fire in the Sacramento region had mushroomed to about 4,000 acres by late Saturday, while a blaze that began in the afternoon around Yosemite National Park threatened a small community. The so-called Sand Fire began Friday in the Sierra Nevada foothills and has since raced through more than 6 square miles of drought-stricken grasslands east of Sacramento....

07/27/2014
Boom-Or-Doom Riddle For Nuclear Industry
Climate News Network.: The headline figures for 2014 from the nuclear industry describe a worldwide boom in progress, with 73 reactors presently being built and another 481 new ones either planned or approved. The World Nuclear Association (WNA) official website paints a rosy picture of an industry expected to expand dramatically by 2030. It says that over the period 1996 to 2013 the world retired 66 reactors, and 71 started operation. Between now and 2030, the industry expects another 74 reactors to close, but 272...

07/27/2014
Study: climate change affecting fur seals in Antarctica
Blue and Green: Warming climate impacting on krill population – seals’ primary food sources – is leading to animals being born smaller and females breeding later than usual, according to new research. In a study published in the journal Nature, scientists have suggested that changes in the availability of krill – small crustaceans depending on sea ice – have caused Antarctic fur seals from South Georgia to become food-stressed. This has meant pups being born with 8% less body mass and females breeding later...

07/27/2014
Climate change may slowdown crop yield, study finds
Blue and Green: Climate change makes 20 times more likely for corn and wheat crop production to decrease, significantly affecting food prices and availability in the long-term, according to a new study. Scientist from Stanford University and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have said in a new study that although a massive and severe crop production slowdown is unlikely, global warming increase the risk of losses by 20 times. There is therefore a substantial risk of decreasing production of wheat...

07/27/2014
We're putting a forest on a climate-change fast-track
New Scientist: One way it will stand out is a novel experiment called FACE - Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment. It will be the first in the world to take a mature, temperate, broad-leafed woodland ecosystem and, where it stands, expose it to predicted future atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. We will look at the effects of the CO2 on the structure and functioning of the woodland. With FACE we are responding to a lack of long-term data on the effects of CO2 on woodland. People have been saying we...

07/27/2014
Ebola Outbreak: Sierra Leone Nurse Says Virus Is a Ruse Meant to Encourage Cannibalism, Sparks Protests
Latin Post: As the deadly virus continues to advance through West Africa, many in one stricken nation have begun to protest, not because of their country's handling of the epidemic, but because of a rumor. Thousands in the city of Kenema in Sierra Leone gathered outside the city's main Ebola treatment facility, according to Reuters. A rumor started to circulate claiming that the virus, which has killed hundreds in the region, was merely a ruse "aimed at carrying out cannibalistic rituals." A former nurse...

07/27/2014
Invertebrate species have declined 45% in 40 years, study finds
Blue and Green: opulations of invertebrates such as insects, spiders and worms – many of which are essential to the health of ecosystems – have fallen by 45% on average over the past 40 years, according to a new study. The paper, published in the journal Science, reports that invertebrate numbers have plummeted while the human population has boomed and suggests that humans are to blame. In the UK, for example, the numbers of bees, butterflies and beetles have declined by 30% to 60% since the 1970s. The authors...

07/26/2014
Pacific summit to urge action on climate change
Agence France-Presse: Pacific island leaders will renew calls for meaningful action on climate change at a regional summit opening in Palau on Tuesday, amid fears rising seas will swamp their low-lying nations. Many of the 15 nations represented at the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) lie barely a metre (three feet) above sea level, and regard themselves as the frontline of climate change, an issue they say threatens their very existence. While emissions controls and carbon footprints can seem like abstract concepts in the...

07/26/2014
Half of Britain to be opened up to fracking
Telegraph: Ministers are this week expected to offer up vast swathes of Britain for fracking in an attempt to lure energy companies to explore shale oil and gas reserves. The Department for Energy and Climate Change is expected to launch the so-called "14th onshore licensing round', which will invite companies to bid for the rights to explore in as-yet untouched parts of the country. The move is expected to be hugely controversial because it could potentially result in fracking taking place across more...

07/26/2014
Declining Wildlife Can Lead to Conflict and Despicable Crime
Nature World: Child and slave labor, military aggression, and profiteering have all been found to arise from declining animal populations, especially in the underdeveloped countries. Now experts are claiming that the "unprecedented loss of wildlife" seen within the last few decades is ushering in new conflict and human tragedy. Late last June, United Nations investigators and INTERPOL released a new report at the United National Environmental Assembly that details how the prevalence and profitability of environmental...

07/26/2014
Latin America, Africa & Asia: Community Forests and Their Peoples Need Enhanced Protections
Latin Post: A new report argues that expanding and strengthening the community forest rights of indigenous and rural people in Latin America, Africa and Asia can lead to less deforestation and contribute to lower carbon dioxide emissions. The report "Securing Rights, Combating Climate Change," sponsored by the World Resources Institute and Rights and Resources Initiative, studied 14 forest rich countries including, Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nepal, Nicaragua,...

07/26/2014
Fracking in Nova Scotia should be put on hold to allow for more study: expert
Canadian Press: Hydraulic fracturing should not proceed in Nova Scotia until a broader public discussion is held and more research is completed, says the head of an expert panel reviewing the industry's potential in the province. David Wheeler, president of Cape Breton University, said Friday the province needs more time to get up to speed with the rapidly expanding unconventional oil and gas industry. "We need more research in a couple of particular areas before anyone could take a view on whether this is...

07/26/2014
Solar industry is rebalanced by US pressure on China
New York Times: Even as regulators continue to wrestle with the protracted trade conflict with China over solar panels, the case has already started to reshape the industry, lifting manufacturers based outside China while also raising prices of panels for developers. On Friday, the United States Commerce Department took another step in that direction, finding that Chinese solar companies had dumped their products on the American market at below cost, and imposing duties of 10.74 percent to 55.49 percent. The...

07/26/2014
Extreme weather: Canadians better get used to it
Globe and Mail: Floods (again) in southern Manitoba. Ferocious forest fires (again) in the Northwest Territories. Memories still fresh from last year’s terrible floods in Calgary. Summer in Canada. Canada’s climate is changing, and with that change goes more extreme weather conditions. We are not immune from global warming caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions; we just have to adapt differently from other places. Weather is, of course, day-to-day, month-to-month stuff. Climate change is certainly not responsible...

07/26/2014
Australia bets on coal as climate policy crumbles
Sydney Morning Herald: Victoria, Australia. Drought, fierce winds and 47 degree C temperatures led to the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, which killed over 170 people and millions of animals and plants. The intensity and frequency of bushfire conditions is rising in south-eastern Australia. Michael Hall, Victoria, Australia, 2009. Photo: Michael Hall/The Climate Institute When the Senate voted on July 17 to axe the carbon tax, Australia became the first country to reverse course on pricing greenhouse gas emissions. ...

07/26/2014
Abrupt climate shifts in the past offer warning for future
ClimateWire: At the end of the last Ice Age 18,000 years ago, the Northern Hemisphere transitioned rapidly into a new climate state. Glaciers retreated and the world warmed, and by 11,500 years ago, the planet had entered the constant summer of today's Holocene Epoch. Right before this shift, there may have been a warning sign that the planet was hitting a tipping point into a warmer state, finds a new study published yesterday in the journal Science. The signal was this: Climate and temperature conditions...

07/26/2014
California's water crisis
Living on Earth: To cope with California's drought, farmers are carefully selecting which crops they plant and overpumping from deep underground aquifers. But as the President of the Pacific Institute, Peter Gleick, tells host Steve Curwood, a viable long-term solution to the growing water crisis requires rethinking priorities and conserving much more water. Transcript CURWOOD: So come December, there may be relief for California's record-breaking drought, but for now, it's about as bad as anyone can remember....

07/26/2014
Texas border fracking standoff: NY court ruling may affect outcome
Fronteras: The Big Bend of Texas, so named for the way the region hugs a massive bend in the Rio Grande, is renown for its desert landscapes, open spaces and tranquility. But parts of it lie within the oil-rich Permian Basin, the nation’s highest producing oil field thanks to fracking technology. Now, Mexico is drilling at least 29 exploratory wells across the border from the Big Bend and saying it wants to jumpstart fracking operations there. Of course, fracking requires water. And in the Big Bend, some...

07/26/2014
EPA on right course in shrinking carbon footprint
Denver Post: The Environmental Protection Agency has taken an important step for our future by proposing a strategy to reduce carbon pollution from power plants. The Clean Power Plan, proposed in June and now in the middle of a public comment period, would finally put limits on this heat-trapping gas by 30 percent, compared to 2005 levels, just like any other pollutant that threatens public health and well being. This is a welcome step forward. Carbon pollution and other heat-trapping gases are pushing our...

07/26/2014
Report: Coal trains planned for Washington state carry issues, bring jobs
Seattle Times: Communities throughout the Puget Sound region would need overpasses and underpasses costing $50 million to $200 million each to prevent traffic from being stopped by a proposed 18 daily coal trains, a government report says. Elected officials on the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) sounded the alarm Thursday about the magnitude of traffic delays, and the hazards of more trains and people crossing paths. The study, requested last year by then-Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, might be viewed as...

07/26/2014
Hundreds of juvenile salmon die due to low flows, warm weather
Times_Standard: After a recent population assessment of chinook salmon and steelhead found 54 adult and hundreds of juvenile fish dead in the Salmon River, researchers and tribes are concerned what the future will hold for the anadromous fish should the effects of drought persist. "We're all on alert," California Department of Fish and Wildlife environmental scientist Sara Borok said. "We don't to want lose this year's spring run. There's not a whole lot we can do other than have more rain dances." The 54...

07/26/2014
Sea-level surge changing coastal Prince Edward Island
Guardian: Back in 1959 it was prime waterfront property and at $15 an acre, a bargain to boot. But those three lovely acres in Savage Harbour snapped up by Emmett McKenna are gone. They once offered a lovely north shore view — now they’re under water. The family had to move the cottage back when rising sea levels claimed Pigot’s Point, but McKenna still pays the $1 tax every year — just in case it comes back. WHO IS UNDER WATER NEXT? Prince Edward Island is slowly disappearing, parts of it anyway, and...

07/26/2014
'We've only 20 years to save Ireland from climate catastrophe.'
Independent: ENVIRONMENTAL experts have warned that we have just 20 years to act over climate change or it will be too late. Speaking at the MacGill Summer School yesterday, they warned that the clock is ticking and if nothing is done we will see dire consequences. Dr John Sweeney of NUI Maynooth and An Taisce and Laura Burke of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spoke at the morning session which was titled 'Climate change is for real – what can and should we do?" They told the packed hall in...

07/26/2014
Montana GOP lawmaker slams Obama for 'war on coal'
Hill: Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) slammed President Obama for a "war on coal" in the Republican weekly address Saturday. The GOP weekly address zoned in on Obama's energy policies, primarily his signature climate regulation, days before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launches its public hearings across the U.S. Daines, who is challenging Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) for his Senate seat this year, called the administration's carbon pollution rules "job killing regulations on the industries...

07/26/2014
Beijing to stop polluting industries from further expanding in the city
Blue and Green: The Chinese capital has decided to put an end to further expansion of resource-intensive and polluting industries in the city, in an effort to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants. Beijing local government said in a statement that the city has grown too much. “Constantly-developing Beijing is now facing a series of problems, including overpopulation, congestion, water shortages and air pollution -- these deep-rooted problems are related to the fact that the city has too many functions,...

07/26/2014
Study: Climate change to slowdown growth of global crop yields
Medical news: The world faces a small but substantially increased risk over the next two decades of a major slowdown in the growth of global crop yields because of climate change, new research finds. The authors, from Stanford University and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), say the odds of a major production slowdown of wheat and corn even with a warming climate are not very high. But the risk is about 20 times more significant than it would be without global warming, and it may require planning...

07/26/2014
“A story of love and obsession gone bad”: How the U.S. Navy is killing the world’s whales
Salon: "You never truly win a conservation battle," says Joshua Horvitz. The best you can do is "win the right to fight another day." That`s certainly true of the 20-year battle between conservationists and the U.S. Navy, over the military`s use of sonar and the deadly effect its equipment has on the oceans` whales. It was, in fact, just two conservationists: Ken Balcomb, a whale researcher and himself a Navy veteran, and Joel Reynolds, an environmental lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council,...

07/26/2014
If All The Ice Melts, What Happens To Hockey?
National Public Radio: A report from the National Hockey League says climate change could threaten the sport's future. NPR's Scott Simon talks to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman about the league's sustainability plan.

07/26/2014
Blood defects Japanese monkey linked Fukushima nuclear disaster
Blue and Green: Abnormally low levels of white and red blood cells and haemoglobin have been found in Japanese macaques in the Fukushima region, with scientists suggesting that the phenomenon might be linked to the 2011 nuclear disaster. A study that compared blood tests from 61 monkeys living 44 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant with those of 31 monkeys from the Shimokita Penisula, -- 249 miles from Fukushima – found the first group had low blood counts and radioactive caesium in their bodies,...

07/25/2014
Fresh Focus on Siberian Permafrost as Second Hole is Reported
New York Times: I had a Skype chat Wednesday about Siberian permafrost in the context of climate change with Marina Leibman, a top Russian permafrost expert who had just returned from examining the unusual crater spotted on the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia late last week. We talked just before fresh reports circulated about reindeer herders finding another such hole in the region. I hope you’ll watch our chat, which I regret I have not yet had time to transcribe (if you are in the mood, I’d be grateful for help;...

07/25/2014
Profile of academic feud: What do 97 percent of scientists believe about climate change?
ClimateWire: Academic disputes are different from bar fights. At a House hearing last month, someone suggested to Sarah Green that she meet Richard Tol, a climate change economist who had attacked her research moments before in front of a panel of lawmakers. Green declined politely, with a wry smile. Tol, a professor of economics at Britain's University of Sussex, had no idea Green was in the hearing room. The two have never met, although they have been tussling in obscure journals. The point of contention...

07/25/2014
42 reasons for banning fracking
Daily Camera: I have spent a year collecting newspaper and Internet articles about fracking and its negative consequences. I made sure that the articles reported legitimate studies (not funded by the oil and gas industry) or statements from recognized experts on fracking, health, and environmental protection. All that I report is referenced. Here are the results. Fracking reduces real estate values; causes earthquakes; damages roads through heavy trucks/equipment traffic; contributes to over half of ground level...

07/25/2014
Antarctic fur seals, once hunted to near extinction, now face climate threat
Christian Science Monitor: Climate change appears to be pulling the ecological rug out from under a once-stable population of Antarctic fur seals. Their numbers on a remote island in the South Atlantic are falling, even though an increasing proportion of survivors are displaying greater genetic variation – a trait generally thought to boost an organism's ability to adapt to environmental stress. That's the pattern a pair of scientists has detected in a new study of the seal population, which researchers have been scrutinizing...

07/25/2014
Climate change may reduce corn, wheat crop yields
Bloomberg: Rising temperatures caused by climate change increase the odds that corn and wheat yields will slow even as global demand for the crops for food and fuel increases in the next 10 to 20 years, according to a study published in Environmental Research Letters. There is as much as a 10 percent chance the rate of corn yields will slow and a 5 percent probability for wheat because of human-caused climate change, said David Lobell, the associate director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment...

07/25/2014
Rubin: Climate change inaction will kill economy
Hill: Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin says climate change is a "present danger" to the U.S. economy. In a Washington Post op-ed, Rubin writes that the U.S. should incorporate climate change-related finances into yearly budget expenditures for the federal government. "While we can’t define future climate-change risks with precision, they should be included in economic policy, fiscal and business decisions because of their potential magnitude," Rubin writes. Rubin's op-ed comes as the Senate...

07/24/2014
Scientists Identify Possible 'Tipping Point' of Global Warming
Nature World: Scientists have long been concerned that global warming may push the Earth's climate system past a "tipping point," and a new study from Oregon State University (OSU) may have finally identified that threshold. According to the research, synchronization of climate variability in the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans is that tipping point - where rapid melting of ice and further warming may become irreversible. This is what happened a few hundred years before the rapid warming that took place...

07/24/2014
Serious Water Losses Identified in Colorado Basin
Nature World: The Colorado River basin is drying up. According to data recently released by NASA, the basin has lost nearly 53 million acre feet of freshwater since 2004, taking away far more water than the nation's largest reservoirs can refill. The Colorado River basin is drying up. According to data recently released by NASA, the basin has lost nearly 53 million acre feet of freshwater since 2004, taking away far more water than the region can hope to refill. Based on data from NASA's Gravity Recovery...

07/24/2014
New Ad Campaign Blasts U.S. Chamber’s ‘Desperate’ Attempts to Kill Clean Power Plan
EcoWatch: A new ad campaign from the League of Conservation Voters characterizes the recent behavior of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other fossil fuel supporters and donors with three D’s—dirty, desperate and dangerous. The $250,000 “Desperate” campaign blasts the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its allies’ attempts to kill the Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions proposal in advance of next week’s public hearings in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Denver and Washington D.C. The ad is in response to the analysis...

07/24/2014
Desperate measures: researchers say radical approaches needed beat extinctions
Mongabay: Today, in the midst of what has been termed the “Sixth Great Extinction” by many in the scientific community, humans are contributing to dizzying rates of species loss and ecosystem changes. A new analysis published in Science refutes the value of common conservation measures, such as establishing protected areas, to preserve ecosystem integrity in the long term. It suggests the time may have come to start widely applying intensive, controversial methods currently used only as “last resort” strategies...

07/24/2014
Japan: Fukushima Monkeys' Blood Shows Signs of Radiation Exposure
LiveScience: Wild monkeys living in forests of Fukushima — the Japanese city that was the site of a nuclear power plant meltdown in 2011 — have lower blood cell counts than monkeys from northern Japan, and carry detectable levels of cesium in their bodies, researchers have found. The researchers studied blood changes and signs of radiation exposure in 61 monkeys living 43 miles (70 kilometers) from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, about one year after an earthquake and tsunami struck the region in...

07/24/2014
Oregon GMO labeling measure certified for November ballot
Reuters: An Oregon citizens' initiative that would require labeling of foods made with genetically modified ingredients has garnered more than enough signatures to gain a spot on the state's November ballot, a state government spokesman said on Thursday. "It cleared easily," said Tony Green, a spokesman for the Oregon Secretary of State's Office. Advocates collected 118,780 valid signatures, far exceeding the 87,213 needed to qualify for the ballot, according to the state certified count. The initiative,...

07/24/2014
Vital invertebrates decline by 45 per cent, study finds
Independent: Insects, worms and other small animals that carry out vital functions for life on earth have declined by 45 per cent on average over 35 years, threatening human health, water quality and food supplies, a study has found. The rapid decline in the number of invertebrates – animals without backbones – is at least as bad as the well publicised plight of the larger animals, according to scientists who said they were shocked by the findings. Although there has has been far less research on invertebrates...

07/24/2014
Drilling in Pennsylvania has damaged the water supply 209 times in last seven years
Grist: Whether or not you think that`s alright depends on your perspective. According to Patrick Creighton, those numbers are pretty good -- so many oil and natural gas wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania in the past seven years that 209 problem wells is a mere 1 percent of the total. But Creighton happens to be the spokesperson for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a trade group composed of natural gas drillers. So there`s that. According to Steve Hvozdovich, 209 is a lot. "You are talking about somebody’s...

07/24/2014
Who Is Most To Blame For Climate Change?
National Public Radio: Here in southeastern Virginia, our biggest city, Norfolk, is saddled with an unwanted claim to fame. As The Washington Post has reported, Norfolk is the place "where normal tides have risen 1.5 feet over the past century and the sea is rising faster than anywhere else on the East Coast." NPR notes that the Norfolk area "is particularly vulnerable because the land is sinking as sea levels are rising." Scientists from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science here at the College of William and...

07/24/2014
Study Suggests Link Between Fukushima Radiation and Japanese Monkeys’ Low Blood Count
EcoWatch: In addition to the area residents, cleanup crew members and consumers of regional seafood, monkeys have also suffered health issues likely attributable to the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011. In the case of the Japanese macaques, the radioactive material spewed by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has led to abnormally low white and red blood cell levels and low haemoglobin. The findings, published Thursday in the Scientific Reports journal, show that the low counts make the monkeys...


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The peak of oil reserves in expected between 2010 - 2020.

 

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