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

06/30/2015
UH: Mauna Kea summit road to remain closed
KITV: The Mauna Kea summit road, beginning at the Halepohaku mid-level facilities, will remain closed to all but authorized personnel until further notice, according to the University of Hawai'i. The UH Office of Mauna Kea Management is currently assessing damage to the road and stability of the slopes for potential rockfalls. UH exercised its authority under the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan to close the road last week due to hazardous conditions. They included the presence of boulders...

06/29/2015
Climate Change: Colder Europe after Sea Ice Retreat?
Nature World News: Will warmer climates like France, United Kingdom, and southern Europe feel chillier in the future? A new study contributes more to the idea that, contrary to the oft-publicized view that climate change means warming, melt, and palm-tree havens, retreating sea ice in the Iceland and Greenland Seas could change the circulation of warm and cold water in the Atlantic Ocean, throwing off Europe's balance of warm air from its traditional circulation of currents--and make Europe colder. "A warm western...

06/29/2015
Pesticide study shows that sexual conflict can maintain genetic variation
ScienceDaily: New research from the University of Exeter has shown that the sexually antagonistic gene for resistance to the pesticide DDT, which increases fitness in female flies but simultaneously decreases fitness in male flies, helps to maintain genetic variation. The findings contribute to the understanding of evolutionary dynamics and have important implications for pest management. The researchers used a genetic model and multiple experimentally evolving populations of the fly Drosophila melanogaster to...

06/29/2015
Rain Harvesting Could Provide Major Economic Benefits in India, Study Finds
Yale Environment 360: Collecting precipitation in rain barrels could result in significant savings for many people in India, according to an analysis of precipitation data collected by a NASA satellite. Estimates showed that harvested rain could provide at least 20 percent of average indoor water demand, or entirely irrigate a household vegetable garden. The savings associated with a vegetable garden could be between 2,500 and 4,500 rupees per year (39 to 71 U.S. dollars) — an amount equivalent to half a year’s rent in...

06/29/2015
Rick Santorum: Need Fight Gay Marriage More Than Climate Change
EcoWatch: Rick Santorum, one of the many climate-denying GOP candidates running for president in 2016, accused the U.S. Supreme Court of judicial overreach with its decision on Friday that effectively made same-sex marriage legal across the country. “Instead of doing their proper limited job, they’ve decided to step into the realm of politics,” Santorum said. The presidential hopeful explains how he would reform the judicial branch if he were president and how he would use “the bully pulpit” to change the...

06/29/2015
Texas Just Banned Sales of Shark Fin, Will Other States Follow?
LiveScience: Across the globe, sharks are being murdered for a culinary gimmick -- shark fin soup, even though shark fins offer virtually no flavor or nutritional value. Shark finners slice off sharks' pectoral and dorsal fins, often while the animals are still alive, and throw them back overboard to drown or bleed to death. According to the most recent statistics from the journal Ecology Letters, shark finning accounts for 73 million shark deaths every year. This weekend, the state of Texas took an important...

06/29/2015
United Kingdom: Demonstrators celebrate Lancashire fracking licence rejected
Guardian: Anti-fracking protesters cheer outside County Hall in Preston as news emerges that an application to frack in the area has been rejected. On Monday Lancashire County Council turned down a planning request to allow fracking on a site near Little Plumpton, prompting campaigners to parade through Preston city centre in celebration.

06/29/2015
Chinese turtle heist sends rare Philippine species brink of extinction
Mongabay: On Friday, June 19, Philippine authorities raided a warehouse on the island of Palawan and confiscated more than 4,000 live, illegally harvested rare turtles, only days before they were to be shipped to foreign food and pet markets. "It appears that a businessman, a Chinese national in the Philippines, had stored them in a warehouse in large cement tanks, piled a dozen deep, awaiting export to China," Dr. Brian D. Horne told mongabay.com. Horne is the Wildlife Conservation Society's coordinator...

06/29/2015
Washington wildfire engulfs 3,000 acres, homes burn
Reuters: A wildfire racing through central Washington state "blew up" overnight, threatening homes and businesses as flames enveloped roughly 3,000 acres, nearly double the area burning only a day earlier, state officials said Monday. "It jumped last night, just blew up," said Janet Pearce, spokeswoman for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. "It is such a bad year." Emergency officials were deploying added teams of firefighters to the area, Pearce said. On Sunday, hundreds of people were...

06/29/2015
Supreme Court Blocks Obama Administration Plan On Power Plant Emissions
National Public Radio: The Supreme court has ruled against an Obama administration effort to limit toxic mercury emissions from power plants, saying the costs of compliance with regulation should be taken into account. In a 5-4 decision, the court sided with industry and 23 states that challenged the Environmental Protection Agency over the rules for oil- and coal-fired utilities, which the EPA estimated would cost $9.6 billion dollars annually. The states and industry groups said the cost estimate far outweighed the...

06/29/2015
Iceland whaling season underway despite protest
Guardian: Icelandic whaling boats have left port to begin the 2015 whaling season, authorities said on Monday as more than 700,000 people signed a petition calling for an end to the hunt. Two whaling boats, Hvalur 8 and Hvalur 9, left on Sunday, Gunnlaugur Gunnlaugsson, the manager of the Hvalfjordur whaling station, told AFP. No whales had been caught as of Monday afternoon. Iceland and Norway are the only nations that openly defy the International Whaling Commission’s 1986 ban on hunting whales....

06/29/2015
Car-sharing greens the city
ScienceDaily: Sharing your neighbour's car may be the most climate-friendly way of getting to work. One shared car can replace as many as 13 privately owned vehicles. In the green, smart city of the future, we will probably travel quite differently from today. Maybe we'll live right by the train station and cycle to the office on a shared city bike. Or we may check an app on our mobile to see if anyone else is heading in the same direction, so that we can drive together. Both ride-sharing and car-sharing are...

06/29/2015
Little faith in carbon capture in the EU and USA
ScienceDaily: Pessimism prevails about the future of carbon capture and storage in both the USA and EU. This is despite the fine promises that it was precisely this technology that would save the oil and gas industry. "There's a sombre mood among people who work with carbon capture and storage now. Lobbyists in the US and the EU wonder how much longer they can keep going," says Mads Dahl Gjefsen, a scientist at the TIK Centre of Technology, Innovation and Culture at the University of Oslo. In his PhD thesis:...

06/29/2015
Particulate matter from modern gasoline engines damages our lungs
ScienceDaily: Particulate matter from gasoline engines is harmful to our airways, regardless of whether the engines are a bit older or comply with recent EU standards. Fine dust particles allow pathogens to enter the lungs easier. Researchers at the University of Bern and the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have shown this conducting a realistic laboratory experiment. According to the latest report from the World Health Organization (WHO), 7 million worldwide died early of the consequences of air pollution in 2012....

06/29/2015
Mediterranean Sea classified as sixth highest region for accumulation of plastic debris
ScienceDaily: The team of Andrés Cózar, an ecologist at CEIMAR at the University of Cadiz in Spain, provided the first global map of the abundance of plastic debris in the open oceans. The map showed the existence of five areas of large-scale accumulation of floating plastic debris in the centres of the North Pacific, South Pacific, North Atlantic, South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Ocean currents transport the floating plastic dumped by man to central convergence areas in the open oceans where these materials...

06/29/2015
US supreme court strikes down Obama's EPA limits air pollution
Guardian: The US supreme court struck down new rules for America’s biggest air polluters on Monday, dealing a blow to the Obama administration’s efforts to set limits on the amount of mercury, arsenic and other toxins coal-fired power plants can spew into the air, lakes and rivers. The 5-4 decision was a major setback to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and could leave the agency more vulnerable to legal challenges from industry and Republican-led states to its other new carbon pollution rules....

06/29/2015
Supreme Court invalidates Obama administration mercury air pollution rule
Reuters: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled the Obama administration should have considered compliance cost when it decided to limit emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants mainly from coal-fired power plants, a setback for the government that leaves the legal status of the regulation in limbo. The court ruled in a 5-4 decision, with its five conservative justices in the majority, against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The rule stays in effect for the time being, with...

06/29/2015
Supreme Court Blocks Obama Limits on Power Plants
New York Times: The Supreme Court on Monday blocked one of the Obama administration’s most ambitious environmental initiatives, one meant to limit emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the majority opinion in the 5-to-4 decision, joined by the court’s more conservative members. Industry groups and some 20 states challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to regulate the emissions, saying the agency had failed to take into account...

06/29/2015
Dalai Lama Endorses Pope Francis’s Encyclical on Climate Change
EcoWatch: The Dalai Lama endorsed the Pope`s encyclical on climate change yesterday while speaking at Glastonbury festival, a massive five-day festival that takes place in Somerset, England. The Buddhist leader spoke at a panel on climate change, praising the encyclical and saying it was the duty of everyone to "say more. We have to make more of an effort, including demonstrations.” Watch the @DalaiLama talk #climate action with @350 & @guardian at Glastonbury Festival http://t.co/6CMVnKbrJz -- 350 dot...

06/29/2015
China's Li says working 'win win' climate plan
Reuters: China is seeking a fair, global system to tackle climate change and is about to make a joint announcement on the environment, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at talks in Brussels with EU leaders on Monday. China will work with the international community to seek a "fair, reasonable, win-win" global climate governance system, Li said, according to a translation of his speech. The world's biggest polluter, China, is expected to formally submit to the United Nations its plans to cut carbon emissions...

06/29/2015
Supreme Court rejects Obama drive to cut power plant emissions
Huffington Post: The Supreme Court on Monday ruled against an Environmental Protection Agency regulation limiting mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants, undermining the Obama administration's drive to cut pollution from electricity generators. The case looked at the EPA's regulation of mercury and other emissions from power plants under the Clean Air Act, which Republicans have attacked as a "war on coal" and an example of presidential overreach. The EPA interpreted the law "unreasonably" when...

06/29/2015
The surprisingly important climate policy moment that’s coming this week
Washington Post: White House officials confirmed Thursday that in President Obama’s meetings this coming week with the president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, they’re going to be talking about climate change. It’s unclear whether the result will be any kind of climate-related pact between the U.S. and Brazil on emissions, as we saw between the U.S. and China last year. But there’s certainly plenty of speculation about one. Brazil is a nation of more than 200 million people — the fifth most populous in the world —...

06/29/2015
California oil spill cleanup continues as state may allow expanded production
Guardian: Just over a month after California experienced its worst oil spill in decades, the state is considering allowing a company to triple its oil production off the coast of Santa Barbara and run the oil through the same pipeline that leaked on 19 May. Both oil producers Venoco and ExxonMobil had to halt operations in the region this week as crews continued repairing the ruptured pipeline and cleaning the beaches surrounding it. But that didn’t stop regulators at the State Lands Commission from holding...

06/29/2015
British Columbia is looking at a new approach to tackling climate change – adaptation
Globe and Mail: Premier Christy Clark just handed out her cabinet ministers' assignments for the coming year, laying out their responsibilities and pet projects. Balance the budget, keep government lean, secure the generational opportunity of liquefied natural gas - all the usual themes are there. But buried in the bottom of the priorities list is one new task that signals her government has started to grasp the inescapable impact of climate change. "Working with the Ministry of Environment, undertake an analysis...

06/29/2015
Australia in the climate change spotlight ahead of Paris summit
Morning Herald: This article is part of Climate for Change, a Fairfax Media series on global warming. Full coverage can be found here. 2nd Degree columns can be found here. The Chinese bureaucrat pushed the point. Was, he wondered, Australia expecting the world to do more to address climate change than it was prepared to do itself? Back home, the Abbott government was furiously arguing that there was nothing unusual about this – that the probe was a standard part of the laborious theatre of international...

06/29/2015
How coastland development 'blue carbon' contributes to climate change
Sydney Morning Herald: Coastal developers should be paying to offset air pollution – not from their bulldozers and or dredging barges, but from the tonnes of ancient carbon released into the atmosphere when wetlands are drained and dug up. This is the view of Dr Peter Macreadie, award-winning marine ecologist and Australian Research Council Fellow, who has just completed the first major survey of "blue carbon" stocks along 2000 kilometres of Victorian coastline. Blue carbon is stored many metres deep in the sediment...

06/29/2015
EPA to hear testimony on plan to cut renewable fuels
Associated Press: A federal proposal to reduce the amount of renewable fuels required in gasoline would have a stifling impact on the ethanol industry and goes against the intentions of Congress when it set the standards eight years ago, opponents of the suggested changes said. The Environmental Protection Agency announced plans last month to reduce renewable fuels requirements by 4 billion gallons in 2015 and more than 3 billion in 2016. It is conducting a public hearing on Thursday in Kansas City, Kansas,...

06/29/2015
Pakistan heat wave eases more 1,150 die
Reuters: Sea breezes brought lower temperatures on Friday to ease a heat wave that killed more than 1,150 people around Pakistan's teeming port city of Karachi during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Mass funerals were held for 50 unidentified victims on Friday before their bodies were hastily buried. The extreme heat of up to 44 degrees Celsius (111 Fahrenheit) - the hottest since 1981 - coincided with power failures and triggered sharp criticism of the government's response in the city of 20 million...

06/29/2015
Alberta puts pressure on oil sands with plan double carbon fee
ClimateWire: The top environmental official in Alberta -- home to the Canadian oil patch that would be the point of origin for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline -- announced yesterday that the province will raise its carbon price next year. Shannon Phillips, Alberta's minister of environment and parks, said the exiting fee of $15 per metric ton will climb to $20 per metric ton in 2016 and $30 per ton in 2017. "Our regulations are now obsolete," said Phillips, telling reporters that the current regulations...

06/29/2015
Which oil and gas companies are leaking the most methane?
ClimateWire: Over the years, ConocoPhillips -- an energy company so rich that it earns as much in a year as Croatia -- has positioned itself as a good guy among its peers when it comes to greenhouse gas pollution. It is a member of a U.N.-led initiative to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is the primary component of natural gas. In the United States, it is a longtime participator in U.S. EPA's voluntary program to curb methane leaks. In January, Ryan Lance, CEO of ConocoPhillips, said...

06/29/2015
With 2015 energy plan, N.Y. bids become cleanest energy state in U.S
EnergyWire: New York made a bold declaration about clean energy yesterday with a state energy plan that promises a host of policy efforts aimed at scrubbing the state of fossil fuels and advancing a future heavy on distributed generation and renewable energy. The much-anticipated document from Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) lays out targets under the state's fast-moving "reforming the energy vision" (REV) for electricity and complementary programs for other areas. Taken together, the promised targets under those programs...

06/29/2015
Asia-Pacific countries require climate-resilient infrastructures
Daily Times: Climate Change Minister Mushahidullah Khan said growing risk of climate change-induced natural disasters is most likely to aggravate state of poverty in the Asia-Pacific region. “However, the best viable way to tackle poverty in the region is to help people, particularly farmers, adapt to changing weather patterns caused by climate altering global warming,” the minister said in a statement on Sunday. Mushahidullah suggested that boosting adaptation in climate-sensitive agriculture, water, livestock,...

06/29/2015
China carbon crunch
BBC: There are growing expectations that China will soon give details of its pledge to cut carbon emissions ahead of key UN climate talks at the end of the year in Paris. As the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, China's contribution is of global significance. China announced last November, in a joint declaration with the US, that it would peak its carbon emissions by 2030. This target forms the blueprint for China's offer. Although the core commitments are not likely to change, more...

06/29/2015
U.S. Supreme Court rejects BP, Anadarko over Deepwater Horizon spill penalties
Reuters: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected bids by BP Plc(BP.L) and Anadarko Petroleum Corp(APC.N) to avoid penalties under federal pollution law in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The high court left in place a June 2014 ruling by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the companies were liable for civil penalties under the federal Clean Water Act. The April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion and Macondo oil well rupture killed...

06/29/2015
El Nino-spawned dry spell to hit Philippine food production
Agence France-Presse: The Philippines is facing an El Nino-spawned dry spell that will cut rainfall by as much as 80 percent and hit food production, a government weather forecaster warned Monday. "There will be many places that we expect to have below normal rainfall as early as August," warned Anthony Lucero, head of the climate monitoring and weather prediction division of the government weather station. Most places in the Philippines are expected to have 'below normal' to 'way below normal' rainfall due to El...

06/29/2015
Beijing growing explosively, impacting weather and climate
Environmental News Network: A new study by scientists using data from NASA's QuikScat satellite has demonstrated a novel technique to quantify urban growth based on observed changes in physical infrastructure. The researchers used the technique to study the rapid urban growth in Beijing, China, finding that its physical area quadrupled between 2000 and 2009. A team led by Mark Jacobson of Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, and Son Nghiem of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, used data from QuikScat...

06/29/2015
China Ready to Go Further on Climate Change, Sources Say
Politico: China appears ready to set a more ambitious climate change pledge by moving up the timeline for peaking its carbon emissions and opening the possibility of sending money to other countries to take action, according to EU sources close to the negotiations. The declaration is expected Monday, when Chinese representatives head into parallel summits in Brussels, with the EU, and New York, with United Nations members. This follows a round of negotiations in New York over the weekend between China,...

06/29/2015
After two decades, Indonesia publishes plan tackling invasive species
Mongabay: Twenty years after ratifying a legally binding UN convention which obligates parties to deal with invasive alien species, considered to be main direct drivers of biodiversity loss across the globe, Indonesia has drawn up a national strategic plan on the matter. The plan, published on June 19 by the Environment and Forestry Ministry, outlines steps to mitigate invasive species through policy, institution-building, information management, research and education, capacity-building and public awareness....

06/29/2015
Protecting Mauna Kea: We Are Satisfied With The Stones
Free Press: Contributor Will Falk has been working and living with protesters on Mauna Kea who are attempting to block construction of an 18-story astronomical observatory with an Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). Opposition in Hawaii to the building of the telescope is based on concerns about potential disruption to the fragile alpine environment and the fact that Mauna Kea is a sacred site for the Native Hawaiian culture. On June 24th, agents with the Department of Land and Natural Resources abandoned an attempt...

06/29/2015
Gates to double investment renewable energy project
Financial Times: High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4f66ff5c-1a47-11e5-a130-2e7db721f996.html#ixzz3eRGE8iae Bill Gates is planning to double his personal investment in innovative green technologies to $2bn over the next five years in an attempt to “bend the curve” in combating...

06/29/2015
Green group's unconventional fight against fracking
Reuters: The residents of Grant Township, Pennsylvania, were worried about Little Mahoning Creek, a picturesque trout stream best fished in the spring when the water runs fast. The Pennsylvania General Energy Company had acquired a federal permit to drill an injection well down 7,000 feet about seven miles from the creek to dispose of wastewater from its natural gas hydraulic fracturing operations. Fearing the operation would harm the Little Mahoning watershed, the town’s supervisors last year passed a...

06/29/2015
Oil companies played hardball in bid to defeat climate outsiders
Reuters: Petty legal filings. Diversionary ballot measures. Counting abstentions as no votes. These are just some of the tactics U.S. oil companies used this spring to quash efforts by investors to win the right to nominate climate experts for board seats. Led by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and proposed at 75 U.S. companies in various industries this year, the so-called proxy access measure would give investor groups who own 3 percent of a company for more than three years the right to nominate...

06/29/2015
China's UN climate pledges 'expected': state media
Agence France-Presse: China is expected to unveil its long-awaited national pledges to reduce carbon emissions beyond 2020, a state-run newspaper said Monday, as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits Belgium and France ahead of a Paris climate summit. The world's number one emitter has yet to put forward its intended nationally determined contribution (INDC), as the pledges are called by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Speculation has mounted that the announcement will be made during Li's visit...

06/28/2015
Does Australia have workable climate change policy?
Guardian: How we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions after 2020? Lenore Taylor asks two long-term participants in this debate; Danny Price, managing director of the consultancy firm, Frontier Economics, and Professor Ross Garnaut, who conducted two investigations of climate policy for the previous Labor government.

06/28/2015
Aloha Aina Music Festival rocks Waikiki in support of protecting Mauna Kea
KHON: Some of the biggest names in Hawaiian music showed their support for protecting Mauna Kea at a concert at the Waikiki Shell Saturday evening. The "Aloha Aina Music Festival" featured performances by Shawn Pimental, Mana`o Company, Henry Kapono, Amy Hanaiali`i, Hapa, Fiji, Paula Fuga, among others. It was organized by supporters of the effort to protect Mauna Kea. They say proceeds will help save Mauna Kea and other sacred lands. Among those in the audience, some who were there on Mauna Kea...

06/28/2015
Hawaii Governor Says Protests Atop Volcano Are Acts Of Vandalism
Associated Press: Hawaii Gov. David Ige says recent attempts to block the road to the summit of Mauna Kea were unlawful and unacceptable. Hundreds of protesters had flocked to Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island to prevent construction of a giant telescope from resuming. A dozen people were arrested and charged with obstructing. Ige said in a statement Friday that the state will do whatever is necessary to ensure that the road remains accessible. He says when the roadway was blocked with rocks and boulders that...

06/28/2015
Inter-religious march in Rome demands action on climate change
Reuters: Several thousand Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and Moslems marched through Rome to the Vatican on Sunday to demand action on climate change and thank Pope Francis for his encyclical on the environment. They marched behind banners reading "Many Faiths - One Planet" and "The Earth - Our Common Home - Climate Action Now!" to lobby leaders to take decisive action at a United Nations summit in Paris this year to stem the effects of global warming. Speaking to crowds gathered in St....

06/28/2015
Get healthy for environment's sake
Independent: Banning carbon dioxide-filled fizzy drinks from schools and cutting consumption of red meat and dairy products are not only ways to make nations healthier but also key methods for tackling global warming, a new study has said. Climate change has given people a golden opportunity to improve their health, according to the report on links between lifestyles and global warming - which even said that phasing out asthma inhalers could help. Politicians, scientists, schools and the NHS must work together...

06/28/2015
Climate Marchers Gather to Show Rousing Support for Pope
New York Times: When Pope Francis appeared on the balcony of the Apostolic Palace, where he delivers an address each Sunday, he was met by the usual cheers and by an unusual forest of bright green oversized paper leaves. Had he been able to read what was written on the leaves — which he could not because he was too far away — the pope would have found quotes from “Laudato Si’,” or “Praise Be to You,” his encyclical on the environment published this month. The leaves were among the colorful props carried by...

06/28/2015
Brazil, China, India, South Africa in push for climate financing
Agence France-Presse: Brazil, China, India and South Africa voiced disappointment Sunday over the failure of rich countries to come up with billions of dollars needed to help them sign on to a landmark climate change deal. Ministers and top negotiators from the four key countries met in New York to close ranks as talks on the climate deal head into crucial months before a Paris conference in December. In a joint statement, they expressed "disappointment over the continued lack of any clear roadmap for developed...

06/28/2015
Scientists Detect Mysterious Warming In U.S. Coastal Waters
Climate News Network: Oceanographers are puzzled by an accelerated burst of warming sea that threatens the fisheries of the American Atlantic coast. Meanwhile, off the US West coast, scientists report that they have been baffled by a mysterious “blob” of water up to 4°C warmer than the surrounding Pacific, linked to weird weather across the entire country. Jacob Forsyth and research colleagues from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts report in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans...

06/28/2015
Rick Santorum Wants US Stop Combatting Climate Change And Promote Traditional Marriage
Huffington Post: Republican presidential candidates are still squirming over Friday’s Supreme Court ruling that made gay marriage legal across all 50 states in the US. Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker and Ted Cruz all excoriated the landmark decision, some even calling for the abolition of the Supreme Court. Yet there is good news for religious conservatives. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has a plan to ensure the “survival of the country,” which he voiced on Sunday. He proposed redirecting...

06/28/2015
Redford: Time to step up game on climate change
CNN: On Monday, I'll have the honor of addressing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and representatives from 193 countries gathered at U.N. headquarters in New York to call for immediate action on global climate change. This meeting is part of a growing groundswell being felt throughout the world with citizens, cities, religious leaders, corporations and nations demanding real action. And when world leaders meet in Paris this December, the world will be watching. I believe climate change is the...

06/28/2015
Pope Francis’s environmental message brings thousands on to streets in Rome
Guardian: Thousands of campaigners and religious leaders have marched through Rome, backing Pope Francis’s uncompromising environmental message ahead of a Vatican conference on climate change, and urging world leaders to take action. Holy See officials will this week discuss the environment with activists and scientists at a meeting at which Naomi Klein, a prominent social activist, will take centre stage alongside Cardinal Peter Turkson, one of the pontiff’s most senior aides. Soon after the release...

06/28/2015
Scientists Baffled Over Unprecedented Warming Ocean Off Atlantic and Pacific Coasts
EcoWatch: Oceanographers are puzzled by an accelerated burst of warming sea that threatens the fisheries of the American Atlantic coast. Meanwhile, off the U.S. West coast, scientists report that they have been baffled by a mysterious “blob” of water up to 4°C warmer than the surrounding Pacific, linked to weird weather across the entire country. Jacob Forsyth and research colleagues from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts report in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans...

06/28/2015
Lions to be reintroduced to Rwanda 15-year absence following genocide
Guardian: Seven lions in South Africa are to be tranquillised, placed in steel crates and loaded on to a charter flight to Rwanda on Monday, restoring the predator to the east African country after a 15-year absence. Cattle herders poisoned Rwanda’s last remaining lions after parks were left unmanaged and occupied by displaced people in the wake of the 1994 genocide, according to the conservation group African Parks, which is organising the repopulation drive. It said two parks in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal...

06/28/2015
Thousands March in Rome to Celebrate Pope Francis’s Call Urgent Climate Action
EcoWatch: People of faith, civil society groups and communities impacted by climate change marched together in Rome today to express gratitude to Pope Francis for the release of his encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si`, and call for bolder climate action by world leaders. Under the banner of "One Earth One Family," the march brought together Catholics and other Christians, followers of non-Christian faiths, environmentalists and people of goodwill. The march ended in St. Peter’s Square in time for...

06/28/2015
Australian climate policy paralysis has end, business roundtable says
Guardian: An unprecedented alliance of business, welfare and environmental groups and trade unions is demanding an end to Australia’s decade of political paralysis and division on climate policy, insisting the Abbott government make credible emission reduction commitments and the major parties agree on how the pledges should be implemented. In an attempt to reset the bitter political debate on climate policy, the powerful lineup of interest groups has reached a historic agreement on “principles” that should...

06/28/2015
Australia: Broad coalition formed to seek common ground on tackling climate change
Conversation: Major business, union, research, environment, investor and social groups have formed the Australian Climate Roundtable in an effort to “put the climate policy debate on common ground and offer a way forward”. The group’s formation comes just weeks before the Abbott government announces Australia’s emission reduction target for post-2020, in the run-up to the United Nations climate change conference in Paris later in the year. China is expected to announce its target imminently. The organisations...

06/28/2015
Is Arctic oil a losing gamble?
Globe And Mail: Michael Byers holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of International Law and the Arctic, which was awarded the Donner Prize in 2014. Eighty-three billion barrels: That’s how much oil could be present in the Arctic, according to a high-profile U.S. geological survey report released in 2008. But the wave of excitement from the report is now receding, as some harsh realities sink in. First, 83 billion barrels...

06/28/2015
EU Ministers Seek Binding Deal at Paris Climate Talks
Reuters: European Union ministers are seeking an ambitious, durable and legally binding deal to curb global warming, enforced through five-yearly reviews, a draft of their position statement for U.N. climate talks shows. EU environment ministers meet on Sept. 18 in Brussels to iron out their joint position ahead of the U.N. talks in Paris in December. Diplomats have already drawn up a draft text. The Paris climate agreement must be "legally binding in order to enshrine the strongest expression of political...

06/27/2015
Ige vows keep road Mauna Kea accessible to all
Advertiser: Gov. David Ige pledged to keep the road to the summit of Mauna Kea opened and said Friday that he is “working to find ways to enable” the Thirty Meter Telescope project to proceed atop Mauna Kea “without putting workers, protestors and the general public at risk.” Ige’s statement came hours after a protester Friday morning said he was struck by the side-view mirror of a TMT security truck -- an incident that Hawaii County police are investigating. Ige said that efforts to block the road to the...

06/27/2015
Gov. Ige: Mauna Kea road must remain open
Hawaiian Independent: Governor David Ige released the following statement about recent incidents on Mauna Kea: We are a patient people in Hawai‘i. We listen to and understand differing points of view, and we respect the many cultures of this land, especially that of the host culture. I have done my very best to follow this process in the case of Mauna Kea and set forth a way forward that I believe is reasonable. We expected there to be a protest when construction resumed, and there was. We hoped we would not have...

06/27/2015
Ige: Will Do Whatever Necessary Ensure Lawful Access
Nathan Eagle: The gravel road leading up to the summit of Mauna Kea has been cleared of the boulders and rock structures that protesters of the Thirty Meter Telescope project had placed in the path of construction crews Wednesday. But the road remains temporarily closed until further notice. The governor`s office said in a statement Thursday that the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan authorizes the University of Hawaii to close the road in the event of hazardous conditions and emergencies. The road to the...

06/27/2015
Peaceful Protectors of Hawai'i: Kaleikoa Ka'eo
CNN: State agents and protectors clashed with Aloha atop one of the tallest mountains in the world yesterday. The mountain Mauna Kea in Hawai?i is "ground piko" for this most recent display of Hawaiian activism. Twelve individuals were arrested as the crowd of over 500 peacefully blocked the road in order to prevent construction vehicles from desecrating the sacred mountain. Construction of the 18 story, $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) has drawn great opposition from around the world, including...

06/27/2015
Oral Arguments Set for TMT Hawaii Supreme Court Case
Big Island: The Hawaii Supreme Court has set a date for oral arguments in the case challenging the state-awarded permit to build the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. Arguments will be heard on Thursday, August 27, 2015 , at 8:45 a.m. in the Supreme Court Courtroom in Honolulu. Although TMT was granted the right to proceed with construction by the state, those opposed to the project say all legal challenges should first be seen to their conclusion. Notice was recently posted to the state judiciary website:...

06/27/2015
‘Renewables Are Cheapest Energy Option’ When Fossil Fuel Subsidies Are Removed, Says REN21
EcoWatch: A significant threshold has been crossed by renewable energy as analysts report that the sector's size last year reached double the level it was at just 10 years earlier. This expansion happened in a year when the global economy and energy use both grew, but without a matching rise in emissions of carbon dioxide—the main greenhouse gas targeted in efforts to restrain global warming. The report by REN21, a global renewable energy policy network, says the result is an example of sustainable development....

06/27/2015
300+ Wildfires Rage Alaska
EcoWatch: Thousands of firefighters are working to put out wildfires in Alaska as they blaze across the state. The Alaska Division of Forestry reported that as of today there are 317 wildfires burning in the Last Frontier. On Wednesday alone, there were 40 new fires and Thursday saw an additional 28 new fires, bringing the total acreage burned to 624,496 acres. Acreage burned in #Alaska increased by almost 200,000 acres yesterday. Up to 624,496 acres. http://t.co/hNwOR5KU3m pic.twitter.com/AI2tOGKIWe --...

06/27/2015
Canadian province to double carbon tax
Hill: The newly-elected liberal government of Alberta, Canada, announced Thursday that it will double the province’s carbon tax by 2017. Regulators will also ask big industrial facilities to cut their emissions intensity by 12 percent next year and up to 20 percent by 2017, the Calgary Herald reported on Thursday. The move is designed to encourage oil sands operators and power plants to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. “If Alberta wants better access to world markets, then we’re going to need...

06/27/2015
How Pakistan and India can prevent future heat wave fatalities
Mashable: The 1.4 billion people of India and Pakistan are no strangers to long periods of sizzlingly hot and humid weather at this time of year. The average daily high temperature in Delhi in the month of May is 105 degrees Fahrenheit. But with nearly 3,000 people killed between the two countries in two distinct heat wave events during May and June, it has become clear to local populations that their governments failed to prepare for and respond to the heat waves. It has also become clear that something...

06/27/2015
Like the Pope says, climate change in Seattle will impact the poor most
Seattle Globalist: Pope Francis is not the first to urge humanity to change its wasteful ways. But he may have given the harshest lecture last week, when he released an encyclical condemning policymakers’ weak responses to climate change problems, calling developed countries to cut carbon emissions, and linking climate change and social inequity. “The deterioration of the environment and of society affects the most vulnerable people on the planet,” the encyclical reads. “Both everyday experience and scientific research...

06/26/2015
Fossil fuel divestment alone will not halt climate change: Gates
Agence France-Presse: Fossil fuel divestment would be ineffective on its own as a means of halting global warming, software billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates said Friday. Pulling money out of carbon-heavy industry must be coupled with large spending on alternative technologies to make any difference, said the Microsoft mogul who is under fire for his charitable Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's reported $1.4-billion (1.3-billion-euro) investment in carbon-spewing companies like BP. The Financial Times reported...

06/26/2015
Satellite-based forest mapping platform hits its stride
Mongabay: Global Forest Watch, a young online forest monitoring and alert system, provides free, near real-time data on deforestation and tree-cover loss around the world. It allows users to create customized interactive maps detailing forest change, concession areas for natural resource extraction and agricultural production, conservation areas, and community land boundaries. The system acts as a research platform, providing country profiles and rankings based on forest statistics, and allowing users to crowdsource...

06/26/2015
New reserve in Peru protect nearly a million acres of pristine forest
Mongabay: A tract of Peruvian rainforest bigger than California's Yosemite National Park is officially more protected, with formal declaration of the Maijuna-Kichwa Regional Conservation Area (RCA) made last week in Lima. Those involved with the reserve's formation hope it will safeguard the area's biodiversity as well as the ancestral homeland and way of life of local indigenous communities. Northeastern Peru, sandwiched between Ecuador, Colombia, and Brazil, still has large tracts of forest untouched...

06/26/2015
Fuels from Canadian Oil Sands Have Larger Carbon Footprint, Analysis Finds
Yale Environment 360: Gasoline and diesel refined from Canadian oil sands have a significantly larger carbon footprint and climate impact than fuels from conventional crude sources, according to an analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory. Oil sands-derived fuels will release on average 20 percent more carbon into the atmosphere over their lifetime — and possibly up to 24 percent more — depending on how they are extracted and refined, the study says. Methane emissions from tailing ponds...

06/26/2015
Arrested protesters return Hawaii Mountain obstruct construction of TMT
Perf Science: On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters who are against the construction of a giant telescope on Mauna Kea prevented workers from reaching the site. The planned $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope (TNT) was under fire by many native Hawaiians. The protesters marched to turn over the project as they consider the mountain sacred. In April, the construction halted for about two months after 31 protesters were arrested. A dozen of protestors arrested Wednesday for obstructing were released after posting...

06/26/2015
Jon Stewart Slams GOP for Criticizing the Pope’s ‘Call for Environmental Consciousness’
EcoWatch: Pope Francis released his encyclical last week, urging swift action on climate change ahead of the Paris climate talks in December. And before the ink had even dried, many conservative American politicians were criticizing the Pope for speaking out about environmental issues. The Pope “ought to stay with his job and let us stay with ours” said Sen. James Inhofe at the Heartland Institute’s 10th International Conference on Climate Change. Jeb Bush also thought the Pope needed to butt out, saying...

06/26/2015
Pope Francis Slams GMOs and Pesticides for Destroying the Earth’s ‘Complex Web of Ecosystems’
EcoWatch: Pope Francis’s encyclical didn’t just cover climate change, he also denounced pesticides and genetically engineered (GE) crops, declaring “the spread of these crops destroys the complex web of ecosystems, decreases diversity in production and affects the present and the future of regional economies.” Biotech companies claim their products are key to solving hunger, but the Pope knows this isn’t true. No commercial GE crops are engineered for increased yield. Five of every six acres of GE crops...

06/26/2015
Power from the tides, begins to show some muscle in Europe, Canada
ClimateWire: Backers of tidal power technology say 2015 is going to be a big year on the road to commercialization. Utility-scale projects in France, the United Kingdom and Canada all show promise, with turbine manufacturer OpenHydro touted as the first company likely to get two machines deployed together in the water and connected to the grid. OpenHydro's success could herald a key step toward larger tidal farm development, though analysts are still hesitant given the inherent difficulties of operating in...

06/26/2015
Good news reefs: How corals survive a heating planet
Christian Science Monitor: As concern grows over the threat coral reefs face from pollution, destructive fishing practices, and especially climate change and ocean acidification, a research team has found that heat-tolerant corals pass along that tolerance to corals adapted to cooler waters. One of the key questions regarding heat tolerance is the extent to which it is genetically inherited or whether the corals build an ability to endure heat stress through repeated exposure, a process analogous to hardening tomato plants....

06/26/2015
House GOP pushes bill on California drought
Hill: California’s entire Republican House delegation is getting behind a bill to increase the amount of water available to Californians during the state's worst drought in centuries. The bill, introduced by Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.) on Thursday, would change how the federal government releases water through the massive Central Valley Project, while making other changes aimed at the drought in other western states. Its supporters include House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), a vocal...

06/26/2015
First big heat wave of the summer to grip Spain, France and UK
Mashable: A heat wave is forecast to envelop much of continental Europe and the UK during the end of June into the first week of July, potentially setting records from Spain to England. Competitors in the famous Wimbledon tennis tournament, for example, may have trouble dealing with temperatures that may reach the low-to-mid 30s Celsius (up to the mid-90s Fahrenheit) in the London area by next week. The heat will first build across Iberia over the weekend, before spreading its tentacles into the UK for...

06/26/2015
Who’s to blame for Pakistan heat wave?
Wall Street Journal: The Pakistani Taliban joined the chorus of criticism over response to the devastating heat wave that has left more than 1,000 people dead in the country’s southern Sindh province. But instead of blaming the government – their usual target – the militant group blamed the power company in Karachi, the country’s largest city, for the heat-related deaths. The group, formally known as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, said on Friday that it holds K-Electric responsible for the “human tragedy.” Most of...

06/26/2015
Alberta to boost carbon price ahead of climate policy revamp
Bloomberg: Alberta will increase its carbon price for industrial emitters, the first step in revamping climate regulations to curb greenhouse-gas output from coal plants and oil-sands production. The price will rise to C$20 ($16) a metric ton next year, from C$15 now, and will increase to C$30 in 2017, when the rules will expire, the environment ministry said in a statement Thursday. The government will also begin a climate-policy review led by University of Alberta Professor Andrew Leach to prepare recommendations...

06/26/2015
Scientists try to understand heatwave
BBC: Scientists in India and Pakistan say higher temperatures were just one factor behind the recent heatwaves and other causes have yet to be established. They say low air pressure, high humidity and an unusually absent wind played key roles in making the heat unbearable but they do not know why such conditions prevailed at this time of the year. The temperature forecast for the heatwave peak in Karachi last week was 43C, according to meteorologists in Pakistan. The prediction was accurate but...

06/26/2015
NGOs urge world leaders to harness ‘historic opportunity’
Blue and Green: World leaders have a “historic opportunity” this year to tackle climate change and eradicate poverty, according for NGOs who are calling on them to seize the opportunity. In a report, development and environmental NGOs CARE and WWF argues that two important government summits can be used to forge lasting change to reach an agreement on strong sustainable development foals and a global climate deal. However, they argue that in order for these two processes to be successful they must be mutually reinforcing....

06/26/2015
Illegal forest clearing spotted in Aceh's biggest peat swamp
Mongabay: Encroachers have been clearing forest at three locations in Aceh's biggest peat swamp since February, analysis of Landsat satellite imagery by environmental group Greenomics-Indonesia shows. The Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve, on the western coast of Indonesia's Aceh province and the island of Sumatra, is home to the densest population of critically endangered Sumatran orangutans in the Leuser Ecosystem. It is not yet clear who is responsible for the deforestation, but encroachment for oil palm...

06/26/2015
Texas Leading Challenge to New Smog Standards
Texas Tribune: Intent on wringing more smog from the nation's skies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is just months away from imposing new ozone standards meant to lessen pollution from the nation's cars, factories and power plants widely believed to worsen asthma, lung and heart disease. The impending restrictions have already drawn the wrath of Republican leaders, who have trotted out studies portending economic doom. Nearly a dozen Republican governors, including Texas' Greg Abbott, have cautioned...

06/26/2015
Fracking Health Complaints Received Little Follow-Up from Pennsylvania Officials
National Public Radio: Newly released documents from the Pennsylvania Department of Health on fracking-related health complaints reveal a lack of follow-through and inaccurate record-keeping. The telephone logs, which span four years from 2011 to 2015, were gained through a Right-to-Know request by the environmental group Food and Water Watch. The documents include about 87 separate complaints from residents and workers who feared exposure to fracking chemicals and were looking for advice from the Department of Health....

06/26/2015
Which States Leaking Natural Gas at Expense of Their Taxpayers?
ThinkProgress: Oil and gas operations located on federal and tribal lands leaked $360 million worth of fuel in 2013, money which would have gone in part to taxpayers and tribes in the form of royalties, according to a new report. Tuesday`s report was commissioned by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to track fugitive methane emissions, a term referring to methane released when natural gas is leaked, vented, or flared. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, and is 86 times...

06/26/2015
G7 Report: Climate Change Can Fuel Political Upheaval Like Civil Wars
Vice: Climate change isn't just coming, it's already here — and the world's leading economic powers need to be ready to act before a simmering problem turns into a boiling crisis. That's the conclusion of a new report prepared for the Group of Seven nations, which at their latest summit have pledged to eliminate fossil fuels by the end of the century. But many of the effects of warming are already baked in — and the worst effects are expected to be felt in the developing world, where they can compound...

06/26/2015
World Aquifers Losing Replenishment Race, Researchers Say
New York Times: From the Arabian Peninsula to northern India to California’s Central Valley, nearly a third of the world’s 37 largest aquifers are being drained faster than they are being replenished, according to a recent study led by scientists at the University of California, Irvine. The aquifers are concentrated in food-producing regions that support up to two billion people. A companion study indicates that the total amount of water in the aquifers, and how long it will last at current depletion rates, is...

06/26/2015
Climate change explained with the help of Billy Nye and emoji
Independent: While Barack Obama sat down with the legendary Sir David Attenborough in the White House to pick his mind about ways to save the planet, another luminary of the science world, Bill Nye, was doing his bit to educate the masses about climate change. And the Science Guy wasn't just lecturing people - he was teaching them the basics with the help of everyone's favourite new language, emoji. Nye, the TV host, comedian and science man, who made his name with the nineties PBS show "Bill Nye the Science...

06/26/2015
Hawaii protesters free after blockade halts telescope construction
Guardian: Protesters arrested while preventing construction of a giant telescope posted bail and were returning to the Hawaii mountain they say they are protecting from desecration. Hundreds of protesters who flocked to the Big Island’s Mauna Kea on Wednesday successfully prevented workers from reaching the site for the planned $1.4bn Thirty Meter Telescope. The workers turned their vehicles around when they encountered boulders in the road leading to the site. The governor’s office said the road would need...

06/26/2015
Hawaii: Hundreds protesters block controversial telescope
Digital Journal: On Hawaii's Mauna Kea volcano, construction on what would be one of the world's largest telescopes was blocked once again by protesters who say that the $1.4 billion dollar project would desecrate sacred land. Officials from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and construction workers for the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT), wound up making their way back down the summit just after noon Wednesday. They cited concerns for public safety because the road was blocked by boulders, ScienceInsider...

06/26/2015
Rocks removed from Mauna Kea Access Road
KITV: Gov. David Ige said the boulders and rock structures that were found on the gravel road leading to the summit of Mauna Kea have been removed on Thursday. The University of Hawaii says there were four completed rock walls as of 7 a.m. Thursday. They were removed by around noon. All that is left are two newly-constructed ahu on Mauna Kea Access Road. The road has been temporarily closed until further notice. The Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan authorizes the University of Hawai'i to close...

06/26/2015
Rocks removed, but Hawaii access road Thirty Meter Telescope closed
Pacific Business: Boulders and rocks placed by protesters to block the restart of construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope were removed Thursday, but the state of Hawaii temporarily closed the Mauna Kea access road and placed construction of the observatory on hold until further notice. "We are currently assessing the situation and our plans to restart,” TMT International Observatory Board Member Michael Bolte told PBN in an email Thursday afternoon. “We are concerned primarily about the safety of our team and...

06/26/2015
Protesters in Hawaii block construction one world's largest telescopes
Mashable: Hundreds of protesters in Hawaii have blocked the construction of what would become one of the world's largest telescopes. Native Hawaiians say the billion-dollar, 18-story observatory called the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will harm sacred land on the Big Island's Mauna Kea mountain. The protesters gathered more than 9,000 feet up the mountain to block workers who intended to install fencing near the summit. Construction crews eventually turned around and retreated from the site. Officials said...

06/26/2015
These emotional photos cut to the heart the battle for this sacred Hawaiian mountain
Business Insider: Hundreds of protestors flocked to Mauna Kea on Wednesday to block construction of the world's largest optical telescope. It's the second time in the past few months that demonstrations have broken out on the dormant volcano. Astronomers want to build the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) there because the cloudless air and dark skies offer one of the most pristine windows into the universe on Earth. From such a lofty perch, the observatory could reveal parts of the cosmos we've never glimpsed before....

06/26/2015
Road to Mauna Kea closed while protesters remain
KHON: Closed until further notice. That`s what University of Hawaii officials decided to do regarding the road that leads to Mauna Kea`s summit. KHON2 News learned Thursday only observatory workers were allowed up, with about a hundred protesters remaining on the mountain. That`s a big difference from Wednesday, when many more gathered to protest the Thirty Meter Telescope project. It was a quieter day on Mauna Kea with less activity, as protesters stopped to enjoy the moment. "Knowing that at...


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