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

02/28/2015
Gogebic Taconite says Wisconsin mine isn't feasible; cites wetlands, EPA
WSJ: The company that promised a huge mine in northern Wisconsin announced Friday that it was dropping the controversial project because it is not feasible. “We don’t want to throw out false hope,” Gogebic Taconite president Bill Williams told the State Journal. “Our parent company felt there wasn’t enough certainty to it.” State Republicans crusaded for the mine starting in 2011, saying it would create thousands of jobs in an economically distressed area, but scientists warned of possible environmental...

02/28/2015
Wisc: Gogebic dropping plans massive iron mine
Journal Sentinel: Gogebic Taconite said Friday afternoon that it was closing its office in Hurley after concluding that the expanse of wetlands at the site made the prospects of constructing a massive iron ore mine unfeasible. The company said it would continue to investigate prospects for an iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties, but officials said work would be sharply curtailed. With the exception of one, all personnel were being furloughed. The chief engineer will continue to work on the project as...

02/27/2015
Mining company closing office in northern Wisconsin
Associated Press: The company looking to open an iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin announced Friday it was closing its office in Hurley, saying future investment was "unfeasible at this time," a move that marks the end for now of the project near Lake Superior that sparked fierce debate and opposition from environmentalists and tribal members near the site. Bill Williams, president of mining company Gogebic Taconite, released a statement announcing the decision. It comes after field explorations were put on hold...

02/26/2015
New Fund Helps Cities Build a ‘Climate-smart Future’
Environment News Service: The World Bank Group, with financial support from The Rockefeller Foundation, is expanding its program to help cities unlock capital to build the infrastructure that supports a climate-smart urban future. The Rockefeller Foundation has provided a grant of US$1 million as seed funding for a new multi-donor trust fund to improve financial management and enhance creditworthiness of cities in developing countries through the World Bank`s City Creditworthiness Initiative. Vulnerable to sea level...

02/26/2015
Is there a cancer cluster around the Alberta Tar Sands
Vox: In 2006, Canadian doctor John O’Connor made a startling realization. Specialists had diagnosed three of his patients in the northern Alberta village of Fort Chipewyan with cholangiocarcinoma -- a deadly cancer of the bile duct. The same cancer had killed his own father years earlier in Ireland. Only about one in 100,000 Canadians contracts this type of cancer, so the likelihood of three cases in a town of about 950 was minuscule. O’Connor suspected pollution from Alberta’s tar sands, 100 miles...

02/25/2015
UN: world must address water challenge or risk conflict
Blue and Green: Without large new water-related investments many societies will soon confront “rising desperation and conflicts over life’s most essential resource”, according to a new report published by the UN. Population increases and climate change are expected to put more people at risk of extreme water scarcity in the coming decades. One study suggested that without climate change mitigation policies, half of the world could be faced with extreme water scarcity by the end of the century. The latest UN report...

02/25/2015
Head of U.N. Climate Panel Resigns Amid Harassment Accusations
New York Times: The head of the United Nations panel on climate science resigned on Tuesday after allegations of sexual harassment were filed against him in India, where he lives and works. Rajendra K. Pachauri, whose 13 years as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had made him one of the world’s most important voices on the risks of global warming, had been scheduled to leave the post in October. But he tendered his resignation early after news that a woman employed at an institute that he...

02/24/2015
Leak Is Disclosed at Nuclear Plant
New York Times: The operator of the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant said Tuesday that it had neglected to stop a leak of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean since last May. The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said it had first detected the flow of contaminated rainwater nine months ago, but did not explain why it had been so slow in responding. The company, known as Tepco, said it would place sandbags to block the leak of water, which it said was too small to change radiation levels in the...

02/24/2015
Australia's oceanic marine reserves: underprotected and under threat
Guardian: Those who have spent their lives fighting for the protection of the Jervis Bay region, such as the film-maker Attila Kaszo, say the commonwealth’s massive marine park in the area achieves nothing and needs to be overhauled. Astonishingly perhaps, not one square inch of the recently-declared Jervis commonwealth marine reserve is closed to mining or fishing interests. And, while what is happening at Jervis Bay is an extreme case, it is a story being repeated around the continent. The Jervis...

02/24/2015
Corals face 'slow starvation' from ingesting plastics pollution, experts find
Guardian: Corals such as those found on the Great Barrier Reef are at risk from the estimated 5tn pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans because researchers have discovered they digest tiny fragments of plastic at a significant rate. A study led by the ARC centre of excellence for coral reef studies at James Cook University found that corals consumed “microplastics” – plastics measuring under 5mm – about the same rate as their normal food. These small plastics were found deep within the gut cavity tissue...

02/24/2015
Lester Brown: 'World is overusing resources on a scale that's dangerous'
Guardian: Laurence Mathieu-Léger

02/24/2015
The remote Alaskan village that needs to be relocated due to climate change
Washington Post: This tiny and isolated town of 400 cannot be reached by road. It lies on a fragile barrier island along the Chukchi Sea, 83 miles above the Arctic circle. And for generations, the Iñupiat people of the region have hunted gigantic bowhead whales from camps atop the sea ice that stretches out from the town’s icy shores. But in recent years, climate change has thinned the ice so much that it has become too dangerous to hunt the whales. Soon, the U.S. government says, it may be too dangerous to live...

02/24/2015
3 reasons give a damn about deep sea
Grist: It`s not news that the ocean plays a role in climate change. It absorbs heat, sequesters carbon, releases carbon, impacts local weather patterns, etc. Hell, the ocean covers about 70 percent of the Earth`s surface, so it would be kind of shocking if it didn`t have a big role to play. But we are still literally in the dark about some of the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean - they might as well be in outer space given how much we know about them. Fortunately, scientists are working hard to remedy...

02/24/2015
Climate Change Will Hit America in Breadbasket, Scientists Say
NBC: Climate experts have seen the future of America's breadbasket — and from their perspective, it doesn't look pretty. "I don't want to be a wheat farmer in Kansas in the future," said Harold Brooks, a senior scientist at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma. Brooks isn't a wheat farmer. He's a researcher who has analyzed how climate change could affect the weather in America's midsection, based on historical data and computer modeling. Last year, he and his colleagues found...

02/24/2015
Santander Bank cuts off APRIL due to deforestation
Mongabay: Banking giant Santander says it will not extend further financing to Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) due to evidence that the Singapore-based pulp and paper company is continuing to destroy rainforests in Indonesia. The move comes after Greenpeace launched a global campaign against the bank. In a message sent to customers Tuesday, Banco Santander (NYSE:SAN) admitted to a relationship with APRIL and said it recently requested an audit of the logger's operations, which raised...

02/24/2015
Resistant Malaria: Global Threat is Spreading
Nature World: The big concern here revolves around the drug artemisinin, the frontline treatment - and often only treatment - against malaria infection in undeveloped worlds. A report recently published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases details how the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) in Bangkok, Thailand recently coordinated a new field survey of mosquito populations and malaria patients in Myanmar, as well as its bordering region, to measure the prevalence of artemisinin-resistant...

02/24/2015
Could big data turn us into ocean protectors instead abusers?
Mongabay: The devastating tsunami that hit Japan in 2011 washed away millions of tons of plastic debris into the Pacific Ocean. It even swept away a Harley Davidson motorcycle that subsequently ended up on Canada's coast. As production and consumption of plastic increases across the world, more of it gets discarded as waste. Much of this plastic waste eventually goes into the oceans, choking marine life. In 2010, for instance, about eight million metric tons of plastic waste ended up in the world's oceans,...

02/24/2015
'Invest more' in protected areas
BBC: The world's national parks and nature reserves receive eight billion tourist visits a year, generating around $600bn of spending, according to research. The tourism income vastly outweighs the $10bn a year spent safeguarding them, says a Cambridge University team. The study, published in PLOS Biology, highlights the need for more investment in protected areas, they say. The idea of natural capital, the worth of natural assets, is increasingly being used in policy making. It is based on...

02/24/2015
Is the world ready for GM animals?
BBC: The use of genetically engineered animals could revolutionise whole areas of public health and agriculture, according to advocates. But is the world ready for modified mosquitoes and GM salmon? The Aedes aegypti mosquito is a principal vector for diseases such as dengue Back in the 1950s, two American scientists came up with a revolutionary idea to eliminate a longstanding scourge of livestock farming. A parasite known as screwworm was devastating herds in the American south, disrupting...

02/24/2015
On Rajendra Pachauri’s Resignation from the U.N. Climate Panel
New York Times: Rajendra K. Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 2002, resigned today amid allegations of sexual harassment by a 29-year-old female employee of the Indian energy institute he has long run. Bloomberg Business discusses the complaint: Last week, a 29-year-old researcher accused the 74-year-old Pachauri of making physical advances and sending lewd text messages and e-mails, according to a copy of the complaint and her lawyer. The female researcher had joined...

02/24/2015
Obama’s Keystone XL Veto Not a Death Blow to Pipeline
Climate Central: President Obama on Tuesday vetoed the bill Congress passed this month forcing approval of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. But the project isn't dead yet, and the U.S. State Department's long approval process for the Keystone XL continues. The bill, an effort by Congress to override the State Department's protracted environmental review of the pipeline, would have authorized TransCanada to build the $8 billion Keystone XL along 875 miles of U.S. soil from the Canadian border in Montana to Steele...

02/24/2015
UN refuses to conduct probe against Pachauri in sexual harassment case
India Tv: The United Nations on Wednesday made it clear that it will not conduct any inquiry into accusations of sexual harassment against RK Pachauri, who resigned as the chairman of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as the case is being probed by national authorities. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters that the UN chief received a letter from Pachauri informing him of his decision to step down as the chairman of the panel with immediate...

02/24/2015
Obama blocks Keystone pipeline in rare veto of Republican bill
Guardian: Barack Obama has blocked a Republican bill that would allow a contentious extension of the Keystone oil pipeline, in a rare veto that arrived in low-key fashion but leaves open a long road to the end of his presidency. Though long expected and downplayed by the White House, the symbolic clash over a pipeline from Canadian tar sands to US refineries on the Gulf coast is the first time the president has refused to sign legislation in his second term, and only the third veto of his presidency. Obama...

02/24/2015
‘Not Under Our City’ — Oil train protest speaks defiance to power
Post-Intelligencer: Derailment and fires of two oil trains last week, in a remote region of Ontario and a populated West Virginia river shore, have intensified opposition here even as oil refiners step up shipments along waterfronts of Puget Sound population centers. “Not Under Our City,” said the sign behind speakers at a Tuesday rally outside King Street Station above the entrance to Seattle’s century-old railroad tunnel, through which trains pass en route to Anacortes and Cherry Point refineries. “The railroad...

02/24/2015
Keystone XL Bill Heads Obama Desk Today, Pipeline Opponents Urge Veto
EcoWatch: Congress plans to send the Keystone XL pipeline bill to President Obama’s desk today. The president is “poised to reject” the GOP-backed legislation “with a swift veto,” according to The Hill. “I would anticipate, as we’ve been saying for years, that the president will veto that legislation, and he will, so I would not anticipate a lot of drama or fanfare around it,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told The Hill. Republicans say a veto will not be the end. “The allure of appeasing environmental...

02/24/2015
Report: UK will need to import half of food to meet 2040 demand
Blue and Green: Farming leaders have warned that by 2040 the UK will need to import almost half of its food to meet demand as the population rises. A report from the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) warns of “serious implications” for the economy and food security if the country does not improve productivity. The union predicts that by 2040 there will be an extra 13 million people living in the UK, putting pressure on food resources. If farming continues at current rates, the UK will only produce enough food to meet...

02/24/2015
EU calls for 60% emission cut by 2050
Blue and Green: The European Union has said it wants to see a legally binding emissions cut of 60% by mid-century and reviews every five years agreed at the UN climate summit in Paris later this year, according to a leaked document. The treaty set to be agreed in Paris will replace the Kyoto Protocol and aims to avoid dangerous levels of climate change. The leaked document has been published ahead of the European Commission publishing a blueprint for tackling climate change on Wednesday. The paper states,...

02/23/2015
UN climate panel head steps down amid sex claims
Agence France Press: The head of the UN's climate science panel, Rajendra Pachauri, stepped down Tuesday in the wake of sexual harassment claims against him that have surfaced at a crucial time on the climate agenda. Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002, has denied any wrongdoing, claiming his email account and mobile phone were hacked. But the 74-year-old Indian tendered his resignation with immediate effect on Tuesday in a letter to UN chief Ban Ki-moon. "The...

02/23/2015
Outgoing government wipes hard drives, slowing environmental progress in Peru
Mongabay: Non-profit organizations are working with the regional government of Loreto, in northeastern Peru, to replace documents and data reportedly lost or destroyed before newly-elected officials took office. Some hard disks had been removed from computers. Others had been deleted, password protected, or infected with viruses, according to regional government officials who took office at the beginning of the year. The lack of data, combined with massive personnel turnover in some offices, will set...

02/23/2015
Here’s Where Ocean Acidification Will Hit the U.S. Hardest
Climate Central: U.S. coastal communities better start preparing for ocean acidification now, especially if we want scallops, oysters and other shellfish to keep appearing on our dinnerplates. That's the message of a new study that shows that shellfisheries across the U.S. are more vulnerable to climate change's less considered counterpart than previously thought. That vulnerability is due to more than changing ocean chemistry. Social and economic factors, local and more distant pollution and natural ocean processes...

02/23/2015
Most critical months for snowpack loom
Coloradoan: The coming months will make or break snowpack levels on the Cache la Poudre River Basin and determine all important water supplies for families and farmers. As of Feb. 1, the Poudre basin was at 92 percent of the median, seeing a rise in snowpack levels during the first part of February while levels in much of the Colorado declined. The same time last year, the Poudre Basin's snowpack was 112 percent. But February, March and April are historically the snowiest months on the Poudre basin and...

02/23/2015
At last, proof of a climate scientist getting rich pedaling science
Daily Climate: We`ve heard the charges leveled for years: Unlike oil and coal multinationals, climate scientists are only in it for the money. This week, researchers found the smoking gun. At least for one. But there`s a catch. I have known this, and I have warned of this. I've not been able to prove it, however. - Rush Limbaugh Wei-Hock "Willie" Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has been a go-to voice for climate deniers and a frequent flier in contrarian media. Documents obtained...

02/23/2015
As ocean acid grows, coasts and fisheries vulnerable, study says
McClatchey: The gradual increase of acid in the oceans threatens coastal communities in 15 states, although the reason for the impact – and what to do about it – varies widely, according to a new study. Writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, a group of researchers declared ocean acidification “a complex and seemingly overwhelming problem.” That’s partly because of its varied nature, and partly because of big gaps in what is known about it. States are at risk, according to the study, because of straight...

02/23/2015
European grain yield stagnation related to climate change, says researcher
PhysOrg: The European Union led the world in wheat production and exports in 2014-15. Yet Europe is also the region where productivity has slowed the most. Yields of major crops have not increased as much as would be expected over the past 20 years, based on past productivity increases and innovations in agriculture. Finding the causes of that stagnation is key to understanding the trajectory of the global food supply. Logically, it would seem that climate change would affect crops. But in the overall...

02/23/2015
Indigenous Food Systems Should Be on the Development Menu
Inter Press Service: Overcoming hunger and malnutrition in the 21st century no longer means simply increasing the quantity of available food but also the quality. Despite numerous achievements in the world's food systems, approximately 805 million people suffer from chronic hunger and roughly two billion peoples suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiencies while, at the same time, over 2.8 billion people are obese. Unfortunately, the debate over how to address this challenge has polarised, pitting agriculture...

02/23/2015
Cutting Through India Smog
New York Times: Proof of the grave air pollution problem confronting India is seen not just in the suffocating smog that on many days crowds out the sun in New Delhi, the world’s most polluted city. It can be measured as well in the fact that the country has the world’s highest death rate from chronic respiratory diseases, which kill an estimated 1.5 million Indians every year. A 2014 World Health Organization report concluded of the 20 most polluted cities in the world, India has 13. After years of denial and...

02/23/2015
The wealth of forests
SciDevNet: The day I first set foot in a tropical rainforest, in Malaysia in the early 1980s, I experienced something profound. From the echoes of gibbons calling from the canopy in the early morning mist to the iridescent flash of a bird in a beam of sunlight, rainforests are a sensory delight as well as a marvel to anyone's scientific curiosity. As I subsequently watched these forests dwindle and, in some cases, vanish, I have felt an equally profound sense of loss and a nagging guilt that I was somehow...

02/23/2015
How 'Bad Parenting' Among Birds Could be Evolution at Work
Nature World: Many will argue that there is no worse parent than one who abandons their child - especially for selfish reasons. Unfortunately, evolution doesn't select for what we think is "right" but for what works best. Now, new research has found that not only is abandoning a chick to be raised by others beneficial for zebra finches, but it may even be a trait that is selected for - improving the species as a whole. What we're talking about here is called "brood parasitism" and it's all that different from...

02/22/2015
Guess Who’s Been Secretly Funding a Famous Climate Change–Denying Scientist?
Takepart: In the midst of a climate-change crisis, that’s just what the fossil fuel industry has been doing. And the latest scientist linked to the clandestine practice is Wei-Hock Soon. According to The New York Times, politicians fighting climate-changelegislation often cite the work of the scientist, who is employed by the Smithsonian Institution on a part-time basis. Though he’s often referred to as a “Harvard astrophysicist” on conservative news shows, Soon has never worked for the Ivy League school....

02/22/2015
British 'chocolate greenhouse' saving the world's cocoa
Agence France-Presse: Chocolate lovers take heart: a steamy greenhouse near London is helping to ensure that cocoa crops globally remain disease-free and bountiful to cope with the growing appetite for sweet treats. On a winter morning, the temperature is a chilly eight degrees Celsius but inside the International Cocoa Quarantine Centre (ICQC), which simulates tropical conditions, the air is a balmy 23 degrees. "Cocoa plants are generally quite difficult plants to grow," said Heather Lake, a technician at the newly-revamped...

02/22/2015
U.S. shale oil's crash diet likely to bring forward output dip
Reuters: Shale oil producers are throttling back so quickly on drilling that U.S. crude output could fall sooner than expected, within months, executives say as they slash costs to cope with tumbling crude prices and compete with Persian Gulf rivals. About a dozen chief executives who talked to Reuters or who spoke publicly, acknowledged they were taken aback by the scale and speed of the cutbacks, noting how this oil price downturn was different from several previous episodes in their careers. For...

02/22/2015
After nearly being wiped out decades ago, wolverines are coming back to state
Yakima Herald-Republic: Wildlife biologist Aja Woodrow has a system to get one of the Northwest’s most elusive animals -- the wolverine -- to pose for pictures. The trick is to rig a roadkill deer in a remote tree, forcing the smart scavenger to climb to a narrow pole and then stand on its hind legs to reach the carcass, located next to a camera with a motion sensor. The resulting photos can capture the creature’s unique chest markings for later identification. Clamps also snag a small clump or two of hair for DNA analysis....

02/22/2015
Climate change bill faces uphill battle
CNN: With Republicans in control of both houses of Congress, the odds of passing a climate change bill this year are virtually non-existent. But Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, plans to reintroduce legislation to cap carbon emissions this week, anyway, due in part to the impact it could have on the 2016 election. "Our goal is to keep attention focused on this issue as we head into this congressional session, and also into the presidential election in 2016," Van Hollen told CNN, explaining the bill...

02/22/2015
Al Gore on Pollution in Delhi
Wall Street Journal: Climate change crusader and former United States Vice-President Al Gore is in Delhi to warn the country about the dangers of pollution and rising global temperatures. "Indians must know that this is a life or death issue," Mr. Gore said in an interview with the television channel NDTV. While many Indians in Delhi - which according to some measures is the world's most-polluted city - are acutely aware of the problems of air pollution, the rest of the country is only just beginning to wake up...

02/22/2015
Malaysian-born astrophysicist paid write 'doubtful' climate change reports
Asia One: A Kangar-born astrophysicist took money in exchange for writing allegedly doubtful reports on climate change, the international media has claimed. In a New York Times report, Dr Willie Wei-Hock Soon was alleged to have received more than US$1.2mil (RM4.36mil) from the fossil fuel industry over the past decade. The report added that Dr Soon, who claimed that global warming was linked more to the sun than human factors, failed to report these contributions in his research. "At least 11 papers...

02/22/2015
Noted climate-change skeptic linked to corporate money
Seattle Times: For years, politicians wanting to block legislation on climate change have bolstered their arguments by pointing to the work of a handful of scientists who claim that greenhouse gases pose little risk to humanity. One of the names they invoke most often is Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who claims that variations in the sun’s energy can largely explain recent global warming. He has often appeared on conservative news programs, testified...

02/22/2015
Climate Change Denier Wei-Hock Soon Took Over $1 Million Oil Industry
Saving Advice: There is an ongoing debate about how humans are affecting the global climate and subsequently, what governments and policy makers should do to stem the effects of climate change. According to Wikipedia, no scientific body disagrees with the view that global surface temperatures have increased primarily due to human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and as such, there should be political pressure to prevent continued changes. However, there is a small group of scientists who disagree with this...

02/22/2015
Forest Trends recasts preservation debate, econ benefit conservation
Times: Michael Jenkins believes there`s more than one way to hug a tree. The president of the Washington-based nonprofit Forest Trends is trying to recast the long-running debate between developers and environmentalists over how to preserve and profit from the world`s forests. This means emphasizing redefining conservation as something that deals with more than just ecology and also with economics and business development. "What we tried to do when we started Forest Trends was to say, 'How can...

02/22/2015
Australia: Hunter Valley coal's annual health bill $600 million, doctors groups say
Age: The coal industry in the Hunter Valley could leave taxpayers with annual health bills running into the hundreds of millions of dollars and further mine expansion should be halted, a report released by 28 health groups says. The Coal and Health in the Hunter report by the Climate and Health Alliance estimates that burning coal for electricity in the valley alone produces health damage in the order of $600 million annually from the resulting air pollution, including the release of small particles....

02/22/2015
Now is the time to invest in real geothermal energy
Mother Nature Network: In a recent post on ground source heat pumps, I purposely used a photo of a geothermal installation in Iceland to make the point that geothermal energy was a very different thing. Many complained that I obviously didn't know what I was talking about ("The big clue starts with the picture at the top which is NOT a geothermal heat pump system.") Well, duh — that was the whole point. Geothermal power is a very different thing and a very important source of renewable energy. With true geothermal energy...

02/22/2015
Carbon Pricing Pays the Way for Cleaner Energy
Climate Central: Following more than two centuries of fossil-fueled industrialization, during which the atmosphere has been used as a free dump for climate-changing pollution, an incipient era of carbon-pollution pricing is paying dividends to the climate. More than 80 percent of the $4.8 billion raised by the European Union's emissions trading system (ETS) in 2013 was spent supporting growth of clean energy and other climate-friendly initiatives. The leading cap-and-trade programs in the U.S. are spending similar...

02/22/2015
Q+A: Prioritize food security, not conflict, wheat scientist advises
Reuters: Heat and drought are a major cause of wheat yield losses worldwide, problems that scientists predict will worsen due to climate change. As a wheat physiologist, Matthew Reynolds works to bolster crop yields and improve the capacity of wheat to survive hot temperatures, particularly in developing countries. "Climate change puts farmer livelihoods at risk and can lead to vast food-crop losses in vulnerable environments,' said Reynolds, who was recently named a distinguished scientist at the International...

02/22/2015
Leading climate change denier was paid by energy companies
Verge: Wei-Hock Soon, a leading climate change denier whose work has fortified right-wing political arguments for years, was paid more than $1.2 million by energy companies, The New York Times reports. New documents uncovered by Greenpeace via the Freedom of Information Act show that over the last decade, Soon received sizable funding from oil and gas corporations, which he failed to disclose in scientific papers he published. This is not the first time Soon has been found receiving compensation for...

02/22/2015
Climate Change Deniers Take Yet Another Hit
Mother Jones: Climate change deniers don't have a lot of credible scientists who support their view. But they have a few, and one of the busiest and most prolific is Wei-Hock Soon, who insists that global warming is caused by variations in the sun's output, not by anything humans are doing. Soon's doctorate is in aerospace engineering, not atmospheric science or geophysics or some more relevant discipline, but he's nonetheless an actual scientist and a reliable ally for the climate deniers. Unfortunately, the...

02/22/2015
UN climate chief to miss key meeting after sex harassment claim
Daily Star: A top United Nations climate change official has pulled out of a key meeting in Kenya next week as Indian police investigate a sexual harassment complaint against him, officials have said. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), withdrew due to "issues demanding his attention," the U.N. body said in a statement late Saturday. The allegations come at a crucial time as Pachauri tries to set the table for a key climate change summit...

02/22/2015
Kyoto protests disrupt oil trading
Guardian: Oil trading was interrupted for more than an hour yesterday in the world's second largest energy market when 35 Greenpeace activists invaded the International Petroleum Exchange in London on the day the Kyoto global warming treaty came into effect. The exchange, which trades oil worth up to $1,000bn a year and sets the price for as much as 60% of the world's crude supply, was thrown into chaos just before 2pm as traders and security guards clashed with the activists coming through the only door...

02/22/2015
At Geneva, India opposes dilution of tasks
Hindu: India`s position underscoring the historical responsibilities of developing countries in the context of climate change was up against proposed dilutions to that concept notably by the U.S. and the European Union at the recent climate talks in Geneva. An Indian official said the meeting did not have any high ambition on targets though all countries took an active part in including various points in the draft treaty for Paris. The U.S. suggested doing away with the differences between developed...

02/22/2015
India: Union Budget: Sowing sustainable agriculture
Financial Express: Increasing climate change threat and deteriorating soil and water health are posing serious challenge to Indian agriculture. With growing number of smallholders and their declining areas of operations, the problem becomes more complex for their viability. Therefore, future policies and resource allocation should focus on sustainable and resilient agriculture that enhances income of smallholders and reduces their risks. With the budget around the corner, the finance ministry may be allocating resources...

02/22/2015
David Attenborough calls Chinese president to end ivory trade & halt extinction African elephant
Independent: Sir David Attenborough and a group of broadcasters, conservationists and MPs have called on the Chinese president to bring his country’s ivory trade to an end and save the African elephant from extinction. In an open letter to Xi Jinping, the broadcasting legend asks China’s leader to outlaw the buying and selling of ivory and to provide Chinese citizens with information on the issue. The letter is timed to place pressure on China, the world’s biggest market for ivory, despite a global ban...

02/22/2015
Fuel-hauling trains could derail at 10 a year
Associated Press: The federal government predicts that trains hauling crude oil or ethanol will derail an average of 10 times a year over the next two decades, causing more than $4 billion in damage and possibly killing hundreds of people if an accident happens in a densely populated part of the U.S. The projection comes from a previously unreported analysis by the Department of Transportation that reviewed the risks of moving vast quantities of both fuels across the nation and through major cities. The study completed...

02/22/2015
US Chevron Quits Shale Gas Operations in Romania
Novinite: US energy giant Chevron is quitting shale gas exploration in Romania after prolonged anti-fracking protests. Romania was the last shale gas project of Chevron in Europe. Last month Chevron made clear that it was suspending shale gas exploration activities in Poland, while last year the company terminated this type of activity in Lithuania and Ukraine. “That leaves Romania, where we are in the process of relinquishing our concession interests,” a Chevron Spokesman was quoted as saying by...

02/22/2015
Call for wider fracking moratorium in Scotland
Scotsman: AN alliance of community and environmental groups has called for the Scottish Government`s moratorium on fracking to be extended to cover underground coal gasification. Almost 30 organisations and individuals, including residents’ associations, academics, Friends of the Earth and Unison Scotland, have made the plea in a letter to energy minister Fergus Ewing. Campaigners welcomed the moratorium on unconventional oil and gas developments announced by Mr Ewing last month but say it does not go...

02/21/2015
Climate change panel warns New York seas and temperatures will rise destructive level
National Monitor: The end of the century could see a six-foot rise in water level and cause the number of heat waves to triple Although it may seem ludicrous to think about heat waves while the northeast continues to get battered by snowstorms, scientists have revealed new predictions that indicate that the drastic weather across the country will only get worse as climate change gathers steam in the years to come. According to the New York City Panel on Climate Change, an independent organization of climate...

02/21/2015
Indian IPCC chair pulls out of chairing session
Agence France-Presse: The chairman of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will not chair one of its sessions next week due to "issues demanding his attention" in his home country of India, it said Saturday. Rajendra Pachauri will not be in charge of the plenary session in Nairobi of the IPCC, a scientific body under United Nations auspices which assesses climate change. The Financial Times newspaper reported that he had been accused of sexual harassment. The FT quoted a spokesman for Pachauri as...

02/21/2015
Modi bets on GM crops for India's second green revolution
Reuters: On a fenced plot not far from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home, a field of mustard is in full yellow bloom, representing his government's reversal of an effective ban on field trials of genetically modified (GM) food crops. The GM mustard planted in the half-acre field in the grounds of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi is in the final stage of trials before the variety is allowed to be sold commercially, and that could come within two years, scientists associated...

02/21/2015
Global 'green club' of companies will fight climate change and poverty
Independent: One of Britain’s leading environmental entrepreneurs, Jeremy Leggett, is setting up a “club” of companies that will reserve five per cent of their profits for causes that fight climate change and alleviate global poverty. Mr Leggett, who has advised the World Economic Forum on green energy, said that he has already had unsolicited emails of interest from a dozen companies, including some of the biggest in the US, interested in the 5 per cent For-Climate-and-Development Club, which will be launched...

02/21/2015
Is a controversial breeding project saviour of wild salmon, or wreaking havoc with nature?
Independent: Bob Kindness makes fishing look easy. It seems that no sooner has he cast his line into the fast-flowing river Carron in Wester Ross than he’s playing the rod, smiling and reeling in a marvellous-looking wild Atlantic salmon. Despite this success, wild salmon numbers across Scotland are at their lowest level for a decade, with catches in some areas down by 50 per cent. The situation is so dire that SNP ministers in Holyrood have just announced a plan to ban anglers taking salmon from Scottish...

02/21/2015
At long last, Australia is able to halt the relentless advance of the cane toad
Independent: When farming experts sought a solution 80 years ago to the damage that beetles were doing to Australia’s sugar cane crops, and to profits, they fixed upon a voracious amphibian as the answer. It was a decision they have regretted ever since. Introducing the cane toad Down Under in 1935 was an ecological disaster. Placed in where food was plentiful and predators had no idea how to avoid its highly toxic skin, the toad thrived while native wildlife paid the price. Quolls (carnivorous marsupials),...

02/21/2015
Head of UN climate change panel skips Nairobi meet amid sexual harassment allegations in India
Associated Press: The Indian leader of the U.N.'s expert panel on climate change has pulled out of a key meeting in Nairobi while pledging to cooperate with New Delhi police investigating allegations of sexual harassment. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said its chairman, R.K. Pachauri, would skip next week's plenary session in the Kenyan capital "because of issues demanding his attention in India." While the organization refused to elaborate, Pachauri is being investigated after a 29-year-old...

02/21/2015
The US proposes first-ever federal regulations for Arctic oil and gas drilling
Verge: The Obama administration yesterday proposed the first-ever federal regulations for oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Ocean, The Wall Street Journal reports. The rules would require companies to create contingency plans in the event of a spill or rig malfunction. The Interior Department's proposals, which would only apply to exploratory wells, stem from its 2014 discussions with Royal Dutch Shell to fortify the company's safety plan in the Arctic. That plan included new tugboats, an extra helicopter,...

02/21/2015
Ties to Corporate Cash for Climate-Change Researcher
New York Times: For years, politicians wanting to block legislation on climate change have bolstered their arguments by pointing to the work of a handful of scientists who claim that greenhouse gases pose little risk to humanity. One of the names they invoke most often is Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who claims that variations in the sun's energy can largely explain recent global warming. He has often appeared on conservative news programs, testified...

02/21/2015
United Kingdom: Climate change not just an environmental issue
Guardian: The general election means 2015 is a critical year for Britain. It is also a critical year for the world on climate change. Within months of Britain voting, the UN is holding a summit in Paris to agree a binding global agreement to tackle climate change. But there is a real danger that this great chance to achieve action is going to slip by, without the world even noticing. That might suit some politicians at home but it will be a disaster for our country and the world. Over recent months the EU,...

02/21/2015
RK Pachauri to skip Nairobi climate meet after woman complains of sexual harassment
Deccan Chronicle: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC has said its chairman RK Pachauri has expressed his inability to go to Nairobi next week for chairing its plenary session in the wake of a complaint of sexual harassment against him. "The Chairman of the IPCC, Rajendra K Pachauri, has informed the IPCC that he will be unable to chair the plenary session of the IPCC in Nairobi next week because of issues demanding his attention in India," IPCC said in a statement in Delhi. This comes after...

02/21/2015
Another winter storm to pummel eastern United States with snow & sleet
Reuters: A fresh band of winter weather was churning up the East Coast on Saturday after pummeling parts of the South and Midwest, threatening to pile up more snow in storm-weary Boston and send the region back into a deep freeze. The system cut a curving, 2,000-mile path from southern Missouri to Maine, with a winter storm warning in effect until Sunday for parts of southern Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania, the National Weather Service (NWS) said. In Kentucky and Tennessee, forecasters...

02/21/2015
Report offers options for new fracking rules in Michigan
Associated Press: University of Michigan researchers are releasing policy options the state could adopt in anticipation of a potential upswing in a natural gas development process known as "fracking." Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process that uses high volumes of water, chemicals and sand to break apart rock deep underground and release trapped gas and oil. The process is widely debated in the U.S. Critics fear it could pollute water and cause other problems, while the industry says it's safe. Michigan...

02/21/2015
UN climate panel head to miss key meeting due sex harassment complaint
Reuters: A top United Nations climate official, Rajendra Pachauri, has pulled out of a high-level meeting in Kenya next week, a spokesman said on Saturday, as Indian police investigate a sexual harassment complaint against him. Delhi police said Pachauri, 74, chairman of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is accused of sexually harassing a 29-year-old female researcher from his Delhi-based thinktank The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). The woman claims the Indian scientist...

02/21/2015
UN climate panel chief Rajendra Pachauri accused of sexual harassment
Sydney Morning Herald: Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has been accused of sexually harassing a woman colleague at a New Delhi-based research institute headed by him. The 29-year-old researcher accused 74-year-old Pachauri of making physical advances and sending lewd text messages and e-mails since she joined The Energy and Research Institute in September 2013, according to a copy of the complaint and her lawyer. The preliminary complaint has been registered...

02/20/2015
TransCanada has big new plans for moving oil around, you won’t like them
Grist: TransCanada, the company pushing the Keystone XL plan, is cooking up some new projects. Watch out. First: A pipeline going in the other direction. This one would move oil from North Dakota, where drilling is booming, up to Canada. The company hopes it will be particularly appealing since the alternative method of moving that volatile crude is by rail -- and, unfortunately, the trains keep blowing up. From the Associated Press: TransCanada Corp.`s proposed $600 million Upland Pipeline would...

02/20/2015
Alberta Fracking Quake Fears Prompt Tougher Rules for Shale Area
Bloomberg: Shale producers in Alberta’s Duvernay region are being asked to monitor and prevent earthquakes after regulators linked a series of seismic events over the last two months to hydraulic fracturing. Producers must test for quakes and, if they detect seismic events greater than magnitude 2.0 on the Richter scale, take measures to reduce the impact of their activity, the Alberta Energy Regulator said Thursday. If a tremor is detected above magnitude 4.0, producers must immediately halt drilling and...

02/20/2015
A cloud has caused problems, fighting it effectively: Pachauri
Indian Express: Accused of sexually harassing a junior associate, R K Pachauri has told his colleagues at TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) that a “cloud” had created problems for him “personally” and that he was fighting it “effectively”. In a mail to all his colleagues, three days after the woman complained to the police, Pachauri said TERI as an institution was “much larger than an individual” and would continue to march ahead. Also Read: Police FIR against R K Pachauri on charges of sexual harassment...

02/20/2015
Harvard faces court over fossil fuel divestment
Blue and Green: Harvard, the world’s richest university, is set to appear in court over calls to divest from fossil fuels, Harvard is asking the court to dismiss the case against it. A group of students filed a lawsuit against Harvard for “mismanagement of charitable funds”. The suit, filed by seven students, argues that fossil fuel investments are damaging to the university’s reputation and its students future prospects. The group also accuses Harvard of putting profit ahead of the threats that climate change...

02/20/2015
U.N. climate panel chief Pachauri accused of sexual harassment
Reuters: Police are investigating claims that the one of world's top climate change officials, Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, sexually harassed a 29-year-old woman, police and lawyers said on Friday. The woman, who is a researcher at Pachauri's Delhi-based The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), claims the 74-year-old Indian scientist began harassing her soon after she joined the non-profit think-tank in September 2013. Pachauri has denied...

02/20/2015
Brazil: Dams or indigenous land: battle over the Munduruku frontier
Mongabay: The Munduruku indigenous tribe have begun to mark out the limits of their land, in an action that could halt the giant São Luiz do Tapajós hydroelectric dam, the apple of the Brazilian government's eye. Although sacred, this land will be flooded if the dam goes ahead. "We are not leaving," says the village chief. Along the banks of Brazil's Tapajós River in the west of the state of Pará, the forest undergrowth crackles as Munduruku warriors march over it. They are about 20 in number, all strong,...

02/20/2015
Fossil fuel divestment effort comes to energy-rich Colorado
Associated Press: A campaign to get universities to stop investing in greenhouse gas-producing fuels has come deep into energy country as activists ask the University of Colorado to divest from coal and petroleum companies. A group called Fossil Free CU planned to make the request to the university's governing Board of Regents on Friday. The board wasn't expected to make any immediate decisions. Colorado is the nation's No. 7 energy state, and its coal, oil and gas industries produce billions of dollars in revenue...

02/20/2015
US geological agency calls for data sharing on fracking-induced tremors
RT: The US Geological Survey has called for more transparency and cooperation among “interested stakeholders” in order to monitor and mitigate the effects of fracking, a process widely blamed for the recent explosion of earthquakes in states like Oklahoma. A new USGS report, published in the journal Science, connected the increase of unnatural seismic activity in states targeted for oil and gas drilling -- including Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania -- with the injection of wastewater vital...

02/20/2015
India's Largest Bank Commits $12.5 Billion For Renewable Energy Funding
Clean Technica: Private sector project developers in India`s rapidly growing renewable energy would be happy to have the backing of the country`s largest bank as they get ready to participate in cut-throat competitive bidding. The State Bank of India (SBI) has committed to provide $12.5 billion in debt funding to renewable energy projects over the next few years. The announcement was made at the RE-INVEST summit organised by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. The bank hopes to provide debt financing...

02/20/2015
India 100 GW Solar Target Could Create 1 Million Jobs by 2022
Energy Collective: "Renewable energy is essential for India to achieve energy swaraj (independence)." ~Railroads Minister Suresh Prabhu at RE-Invest 2015 Government officials (including Ministers of Finance, Power, Environment, & Railroads) and luminaries gather during the valedictory session to close out RE-Invest 2015. © Nehmat Kaur, NRDC Delhi is abuzz as the first renewable energy-financing summit organized by the Indian government, RE-Invest 2015, wrapped up with commitments totaling a whopping 266 GW...

02/19/2015
Assessing carbon stock value of forests is tricky business, study finds
Mongabay: With financial incentives encouraging maintenance of carbon stocks and the increased popularity of carbon trading between countries, a forest has become economically a lot more than a clump of trees that supplements livelihoods. A forest now has an intrinsic value by just existing, a value that can be measured in economic terms. A study recently published in Forest Ecology and Management examines the carbon stock value of forests in Guyana, finding dramatic differences between different kinds of...

02/19/2015
Divest Harvard Campaign Heats Up
EcoWatch: Student movements urging their colleges and universities to divest their endowments from investments in fossil fuels have been spreading across the U.S. and abroad. Hampshire College in Massachusetts, Vermont’s Goddard University, University of Maine system, University of Dayton (Ohio), the University of Glasgow (UK) and Stanford University are among the more than two dozen that have taken the step.

02/19/2015
Illicit timber feeds Indonesia’s industrial forestry sector, alleges new report
Mongabay: Amid government schemes to curb illegal land clearing and systematically enhance a struggling legal wood certification system, a new report analyzing Indonesia’s forestry industry alleges that more than roughly 30 percent of wood used by the country’s industrial forest sector is derived from illegal sources. But some say the report's analysis wasn't deep enough to support its claims. The report, released by Washington, DC-based NGO Forest Trends and The Anti Forest-Mafia Coalition, an umbrella...

02/19/2015
New York City Set for Major Sea Level Rise By 2050s, Report Concludes
Yale Environment 360: The waters surrounding New York City are on track to rise 11 to 21 inches by the 2050s, according to an analysis based on NASA climate change models. The city's average temperature, which has increased by 3.4 degrees F since 1900, is set to rise another 5 degrees F by the 2050s, the report says, and annual precipitation is also likely to rise significantly over that period. New York City has already seen sea levels rise by over 1 foot since 1900 — nearly twice the average global rate, according to...

02/19/2015
Natural gas drilling is causing earthquakes in Europe too
Grist: Shell and ExxonMobil, as well as the Dutch government, ignored for decades that drilling in Europe’s largest gas field was causing earthquakes that put human lives and property at risk. That’s the takeaway of a new report out this week from an independent group advising the Dutch government. As the natural gas beneath the Netherlands has dwindled in recent years, residents of Groningen County have experienced an increasing number of earthquakes. Last year, the area was hit with 84. The New York...

02/19/2015
Biodiversity may reduce the threat of disease
Mongabay: Biodiversity level changes can have consequences for species and habitats around the world. A new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, reaffirms previous findings that higher diversity in ecological communities may lead to reduced disease threat. The study concludes that higher amphibian diversity in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest is linked to a lower infection rate of a fungus that is devastating amphibian populations around the world. According to the new study, biodiversity...

02/19/2015
Funai confirms land threatened dam projects belongs indigenous tribe
Mongabay: The Brazilian government opposes granting traditional land to the Munduruku people since it would jeopardize seven proposed hydroelectric dams on the Tapajós River. For this reason, a year-old report by Funai that supports the Munduruku claim has not been officially published, but a copy of this report was obtained by Brazilian news outlet Pública. Considered a historic territory by the Munduruku, the land of Sawré Muybu in the Amazon state of Pará has never been officially recognized as an Indigenous...

02/19/2015
Leaked Document Shows Mounties View Anti-Oil Activists as Security Threat
EcoWatch: Fascism is alive and well in Canada. What else would you expect from a government that sanctions the seal slaughter? Canada likes to think of itself as "good", but it is just as "good" as the US. Both nations place money above all else because their citizens don`t give a damn about anything but themselves. Yet representatives from Canada’s broad environmental movement say the document is another example of the Harper government’s efforts to criminalize legitimate civil dissent such as peaceful...

02/19/2015
New Ozone-Depleting Chemicals Rapidly Increasing, Study Finds
Business Times: In 1989, the United Nations enforced a treaty to regulate the use and production of chemicals that cause ozone depletion. Since then, the Montreal Protocol has had six amendments to include scientific update on substances that damage Earth’s atmosphere. A recent report by scientists from the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds states that some chemicals not included in the treaty have been damaging the ozone layer. These very short-lived substances (VSLS) are increasing in...

02/19/2015
Sea ice still declining, despite Antarctica’s gains
Climate Central: When Antarctica grabbed headlines last year because of record-high sea ice levels circling the southernmost continent, it created confusion. Its increase was so at odds with the trend of dwindling sea ice, particularly in the Arctic, that it prompted those skeptical of the science of climate change to suggest it meant ocean ice is not disappearing. But research shows that ice lost in the Arctic dwarfs any gains around Antarctica, as a recent study in the Journal of Climate clearly illustrates...

02/19/2015
California water becomes scarce and energy hungry
Climate Central: In drought-stricken California, ensuring water flows from faucets is nearly as much about energy as it is about the water's source. Water needs more than gravity to flow from its sources, often hundreds of miles away. It is pumped through aqueducts and pipelines from mountain sources, reservoirs and the Colorado River, often far from Los Angeles, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Central Valley, where most of the water is consumed. With California in the throes of one of the worst...

02/19/2015
Warming oceans could spell disaster for coral reefs
CBS: It looks like 2015 is shaping up to be a bad year for coral reefs. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned this week that warm waters in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans spark widespread coral bleaching across the world this year - making it the third time in less than two decades that this has occurred. Reefs are one of the world's most important ecosystems, supporting more species than any other marine environment including 4,000 fish species. They are also a crucial...

02/19/2015
Millions at risk from rapid sea rise in swampy Sundarbans
Associated Press: The tiny hut sculpted out of mud at the edge of the sea is barely large enough for Bokul Mondol and his family to lie down. The water has taken everything else from them, and one day it almost certainly will take this, too. Saltwater long ago engulfed the 5 acres where Mondol once grew rice and tended fish ponds, as his ancestors had on Bali Island for some 200 years. His thatch-covered hut, built on public land, is the fifth he has had to build in the last five years as the sea creeps in. "Every...


Did You Know?

Most of the water on earth is polluted.

 

Website developed by: