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

06/29/2016
Here comes the sun: US solar power market hits all-time high
Guardian: Solar energy in the US has had a rocky existence. Ever since Ronald Reagan symbolically removed Jimmy Carter’s solar panels from the White House roof in 1986, federal policy has been unpredictable, such that manufacturers and consumers could never depend on reliable incentives to produce and install solar energy systems. Remarkably, the US solar energy industry is now entering what may be its most prosperous decade ever, thanks to a new wave of federal and state policies and positive economics...

06/29/2016
Brexit is not a vote against climate change says UN’s climate chief
Guardian: Britain’s decision to leave the European Union was not a vote against climate change, nor was it a vote against the innovation key to fighting climate change, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres told an audience of business and policymakers at the annual Business & Climate summit in London today. In her last speech as the head of UN’s climate change body the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Figueres said, “It’s absolutely clear that should article 50 be triggered, the UK would have...

06/29/2016
Firefighters gain ground over devastating California blaze
Reuters: A burned out truck rests on a roadside after the Erskine Fire burned through Weldon, California. Reuters/Noah Berger left1 of 2right Firefighter Bryan Gant sprays water on a residence leveled by the Erskine Fire in South Lake, California, U.S. June 26, 2016. LOS ANGELES Firefighters in the foothills of central California have made significant gains against a blaze that has killed at least two people and destroyed scores of homes in a devastating start to the state's wildfire season, authorities...

06/29/2016
GHGs are rising despite fuel economy standards. What's the solution?
ClimateWire: Americans' cars are getting bigger and they're driving more than ever before -- two reasons why U.S. transportation emissions continue to grow despite fuel economy standards, experts say. Correction appended. Ingrid Fol chose her minivan, a 2007 Honda Odyssey, because it gets good mileage. Now that gas prices have gone down, the Northern Virginia resident said, there's less pressure to make every gallon count. "When it was $3-something, I would try to stay within a budget, and choose to...

06/29/2016
Mexico, Canada, US to make clean power pledge
Climate Central: The U.S., Mexico and Canada are expected to pledge Wednesday to collectively generate 50 percent of their electricity from zero-carbon sources by 2025, according to White House officials. The agreement is expected to be struck at the North American Leaders' Summit in Ottawa. It means that when all the electricity generated in the three countries is added up, the amount coming from zero-carbon sources will jump from 37 percent today to half within 10 years. Zero-carbon sources include solar, wind,...

06/29/2016
Banning fracking is the only rational option
BaltimoreSun: Unconventional gas development using high-volume hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as fracking, has been intensely debated in our state for almost a decade. Initially promoted as a "clean" fuel that would provide cheap energy, create jobs and help the climate, fracked gas was embraced by politicians of both major parties. States like Pennsylvania and West Virginia welcomed the industry with open arms, setting in motion a vast public health experiment. Maryland wisely waited. When Maryland...

06/29/2016
Science groups to Congress: Climate change is real threat
Associated Press: Thirty-one of the country's top science organizations are telling Congress that global warming is a real problem and something needs to be done about it. The groups, which represent millions of scientists, sent the letter Tuesday, saying the severity of climate change is increasing and will worsen faster in coming decades. Eighteen groups sent a similar letter in 2009. But Rush Holt, chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said the climate problem...

06/29/2016
Fill Good Inc – are we close to a refill revolution?
Guardian: While Boris Johnson is busy reducing the size of Europe, his father, Stanley, is appealing to Europe to help us reduce the amount of rubbish we create. This month, Environmentalists for Europe, the cross-party group co-chaired by Johnson senior, called on the EU to ban non-returnable bottles. Instead, the group said, consumers should be charged a 20p deposit, refundable when they take back the bottle. Or we should make all plastic bottles refillable. Refilling isn’t a new idea, but it’s one...

06/29/2016
Witnessing a great white shark breach ... terrifying, awesome or both?
Mother Nature Network: For those who have been forever traumatized by the 1972 classic "Jaws," there is nothing more terrifying than the prospect of seeing a great white shark burst through open water and fly through the air. On the other hand, for fans of Discovery's annual Shark Week, there is nothing more amazing than observing one of these breaches firsthand: Shark breaching may be rare, but it represents just one of many fascinating behaviors exhibited by these cartilaginous marine creatures. Scientists believe...

06/29/2016
Scotland's fishing industry welcomes decision to leave the EU
Guardian: Scottish fishermen’s representatives were adamant on Tuesday that Brexit would be good news for the 5,000 strong fleet, despite warnings that the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s departure from the EU could hurt fisheries. Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said that leaving the EU would give fleets “the ability to recover proper, sustainable, rational stewardship through our own exclusive economic zone for fisheries”, comparing the situation with Norway...

06/29/2016
Soy diesel less toxic than other fuels
SciDevNet: Unlike conventional diesel, fuel made from soybeans does not directly damage lung cells, a lab study has shown. "Some of the soybean biodiesel presently being used in Brazil does not exhibit direct adverse effects on human lung cells nor [does it] induce inflammatory response,' says the paper, published in the August issue of the journal Toxicology in Vitro. To assess the fuels' toxic effects, researchers from Brazil and Puerto Rico exposed lung cell cultures to particles emitted by the combustion...

06/29/2016
California firefighters contain most of state's biggest wildfire
Reuters: Firefighters in central California had by Wednesday contained most of a major blaze that ranks as the biggest and deadliest of several that are raging in an early summer heatwave. Crews had contained about 60 percent of fire, named Erskine, up from 15 percent on Tuesday, in the drought-parched foothills near Lake Isabella in Kern County, about 110 miles (180 km) north of Los Angeles, fire managers said. A major highway through the area had also been reopened and more evacuees had been allowed...

06/29/2016
UK Won’t “Step Back” From Climate Change Fight
Blue and Green: Amber Rudd MP confirmed that the fight against climate change will not take a back seat following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. The UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change made the announcement at the start of the second day of the Business and Climate Summit 2016 which is taking place in London’s Guildhall. She said: “Climate change has not been downgraded as a threat. It remains one of the most serious long term risks to our economic and national security. “I was...

06/29/2016
How will leaving the European Union affect our food?
Guardian: Food barely featured in the referendum, but years of jibes about Eurocrats controlling our food standards, and myths about bent bananas, left their mark. Food politics will now come to the fore in ways most consumers might not like. This was predicted by the few studies which bothered to look at this vital area of UK life. The academic reports on Brexit unanimously anticipated not liberation but a period of turmoil and dislocation in the food system. Farming was at the foundation of the common...

06/29/2016
Leaving the EU 'will make it harder for UK to tackle climate change'
Guardian: Brexit will make it harder for Britain to play its role in tackling climate change, the UK energy and climate secretary has said. But Amber Rudd said that the UK remained committed to action on global warming and Whitehall sources have told the Guardian that on Thursday she will approve a world-leading carbon target for 2032. “While I think the UK’s role in dealing with a warming planet may have been made harder by the decision last Thursday, our commitment to dealing with it has not gone away,”...

06/29/2016
Brexit hot air causes climate problems
Climate News Network: The shock waves felt round the world at the UK’s decision in a referendum to leave the European Union will have unexpected consequences for some major projects linked to climate change. Plans for four giant nuclear reactors to be built in England by the French are almost certain to be scrapped because opposition among trade unions in France has hardened since last week’s vote. A second major project - a third runway at Heathrow, London’s busiest airport - was due to be given the go-ahead on...

06/29/2016
A Third Of California’s Deep Groundwater Aquifers Are Being Used For Oil And Gas
ThinkProgress: California has a lot more usable groundwater than previously thought - but that water might already be in danger from oil and gas extraction in the state. A study released this week by Stanford scientists shows that there is nearly three times more groundwater in California`s Central Valley than earlier surveys had indicated. “It’s not often that you find a ‘water windfall,’ but we just did,” study co-author Robert Jackson, the Michelle and Kevin Douglas Provostial Professor at Stanford, said...

06/29/2016
Repeat Oil Spills Turning Peruvian Amazon into 'Sacrifice Zone' for Big Oil
Common Dreams: Less than six months after two horrific oil spills in the Peruvian Amazon devastated Indigenous communities and the local ecosystem, yet another spill in the region has been reported. "Somehow virtually none of the profits generated by the oil industry over decades is available to ensure that Amazonian communities don't have to watch their primary sources of livelihoods--the river, the forest--become irrevocably polluted by spills." --Andrew Miller, Amazon WatchOn Friday afternoon, a leak was...

06/29/2016
Amber Rudd: UK will be a climate leader post Brexit
Climate Home: "The UK will not step back from international leadership... climate change has not been downgraded as a threat." Addressing clean energy investors in London on Wednesday, Britain’s climate and energy chief Amber Rudd struck a bullish tone post last week’s vote to leave the European Union. It was not a result she had wanted, but the decision to leave the world’s largest single market would not affect the government’s commitment to tackling global warming, she stressed. Rudd confirmed the...

06/29/2016
Beyond Sightseeing: You'll Love The Sound Of America's Best Parks
National Public Radio: Every place has its own sound. A small group of scientists is hard at work recording the natural sounds of national parks all across the U.S. - more than 70 soundscapes so far. For our series on the centennial of the national parks, we traveled to Colorado, to find out how they create these portraits of sound. First Lesson: It's Very Hard To Escape The Sound Of Humans. We started at Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. The dunes loom into view like a 30-square-mile patch...

06/29/2016
As Extreme Weather Sweeps Across U.S., Is New Democratic Platform on Climate Change Too Weak?
Democracy Now: Extreme weather is sweeping across the United States, from scorching heat in the Southwest to uncontrollable wildfires in California, to deadly flooding in Appalachia. In West Virginia, at least 23 people have died in once-in-a-thousand-year flooding, and a number of people remain missing across the state. Meanwhile, wildfires are raging up and down the state of California. At least two people have died, and hundreds of homes have been destroyed. May was the 13th straight month to smash global temperature...

06/29/2016
North American Leaders to Discuss Climate Change in Canada
Voice of America: Climate change will be a priority during President Barack Obama's discussions in Canada Wednesday as he attends a North American Leaders' Summit in Ottawa. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto will join Obama in announcing a continent-wide climate partnership aimed at generating half of North America's electricity from non-carbon sources by 2025. Currently just over a third of the continent's electricity comes from clean energy sources such as wind, solar,...

06/29/2016
'Devastated': scientists too late to captive breed mammal lost to climate change
Guardian: The Bramble Cay melomys has become more famous in extinction than it ever was in life. A mouse-like rodent, the melomys amazingly survived on a 3.6 hectare grass-covered cay (a low-lying island in a coral reef) in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef like a ratty Robinson Crusoe for thousands of years. There, it thrived off just a few plant species until human-caused climate change--in the form of rising sea levels and increasing inundations of sea water on the low-lying island--wiped it off the planet....

06/29/2016
Climate change 'most serious' environmental issue for New Zealand - report
Stuff: Climate change is a global problem. Urban areas are key to reducing carbon emissions, says an environmental report. Climate change is the most serious environmental issue New Zealanders face, according to a new report by the Environment Commissioner. Dr Jan Wright said there was "no question" climate change was worrying and had flow-on effects, in her commentary on the government's Environment Aotearoa 2015 report. That report had singled out rapid growth in dairy farmland and surging carbon...

06/29/2016
Murders, violence on rise as parched central India battles for water
Reuters: Imrat Namdev and her younger sister Pushpa Namdev were neighbors in Chhatarpur district, in the drought-hit Indian region of Bundelkhand. Both relied on the same well for water and, according to police, frequently quarreled over how much the other was using. In May, during one fight over water, Pushpa, 42, beat Imrat, 48, with a stick, police say. The injured sister was rushed to a hospital, but died there, and Pushpa was charged with murder. "Our village faces a severe shortage of potable...

06/29/2016
100-million-year-old bird wings found perfectly preserved in amber
Mother Nature: Amber is a remarkable preservative, as anyone who has seen the "Jurassic Park" movies is well aware. Insects and other small creatures are often found trapped inside these ancient deposits, but sometimes scientists get lucky and find something even bigger. In fact, a recent find from ancient amber deposits in Myanmar might just be the amber jackpot. Scientists identified two ancient bird wings, which presumably belonged to two baby birds that got stuck in a tree's gooey resin around 100 million...

06/29/2016
Australia: Tragic lack of leadership put red hot climate change out in the cold
Guardian: If ever there was going to be a climate change election, surely this was going to be it. As May came and the election date was announced, the implications of the global Paris agreement between more than 190 countries just months earlier were still resonating – the world was moving away from fossil fuels and the challenge to keep global warming well below 2C was agreed. The globe had just had its hottest year on record. April was the 12th consecutive month to break global heat records. In Australia,...

06/29/2016
Unprecedented. Jet Stream Crosses Equator
YouTube: The jet stream in the Northern Hemisphere has crossed the equator and joined up with the jet stream in the Southern Hemisphere. This is new behaviour, and indicates that climate system mayhem is ongoing.

06/29/2016
Humans artificially drive evolution of new species
PhysOrg: Species across the world are rapidly going extinct due to human activities, but humans are also causing rapid evolution and the emergence of new species. A new study published today summarises the causes of manmade speciation, and discusses why newly evolved species cannot simply replace extinct wild species. The study was led by the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate at the University of Copenhagen.
A growing number of examples...

06/29/2016
Science Organizations Again Urge Congress to Take Climate Change Seriously
InsideClimate: Thirty-one major American scientific organizations sent a letter to Congress on Tuesday emphasizing the overwhelming consensus on climate change science and the urgent need for climate action. The letter served as a scientific counterpoint to recent actions by Congress designed to question that consensus. Reminding members of Congress that "rigorous scientific research concludes that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver" of global warming, they cited nearly universal...

06/29/2016
WWF launches new Singapore alliance on sustainable palm oil
Eco-Business: WWF Singapore on Monday launched a new alliance on sustainable palm oil in a bid to boost demand for the commodity, and ultimately, help tackle the haze pollution plaguing the region for many decades. Speaking at the launch of the alliance at Marina Bay Sands on Monday, WWF Singapore chief executive officer Elaine Tan said the alliance "sends a clear signal to consumers about which companies are committed to sustainability'. "This is a timely opportunity for NGOs and businesses to work together...

06/29/2016
UK light pollution 'causing spring to come a week earlier'
Guardian: Light pollution is causing spring to come at least a week earlier in the UK, a new study has revealed. The report, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, found that budburst in trees occurs up to 7.5 days earlier in brighter areas, with later-budding species being more affected. The link between light pollution and changes in animal behaviour has been well documented, but this is the first time its impact specifically on plant phenology has been examined on a national...

06/29/2016
Democrats force Clinton’s hand on prosecution of climate skeptics
Washington Times: The debate over prosecuting climate change "fraud" has landed squarely in the lap of Hillary Clinton, who must now decide whether the Democratic Party platform will include a resolution urging the Justice Department to pursue climate dissent. So far it doesn`t look good for climate skeptics. The 15-member Democratic Platform Drafting Committee approved Friday a statement calling for a Justice Department investigation into "alleged corporate fraud on the part of fossil fuel companies who have reportedly...

06/28/2016
UK govt says committed to fighting climate change despite Brexit
Reuters: Britain's government remains committed to fighting climate change despite last week's vote to leave the European Union, the country's energy and climate minister said on Wednesday. "While I think the UK's role in dealing with a warming planet may have been made harder by the decision last Thursday, our commitment to dealing with it has not gone away," Amber Rudd told a Business and Climate Summit in London. "Climate change has not been downgraded as a threat. It remains one of the most serious...

06/28/2016
New study shows impact of human-made structures on Louisiana's coastal wetlands
ScienceDaily: As Louisiana's wetlands continue to disappear at an alarming rate, a new study has pinpointed the human-made structures that disrupt the natural water flow and threaten these important ecosystems. The findings have important implications for New Orleans and other coastal cities that rely on coastal wetlands to serve as buffer from destructive extreme weather events. Scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science found that human-made canals limit...

06/28/2016
Acidic waters dull snails' ability to escape from predatory sea stars
PhysOrg: Ocean acidification makes it harder for sea snails to escape from their sea star predators, according to a study from the University of California, Davis. The findings, published in the journal Proceedings of The Royal Society B, suggest that by disturbing predator-prey interactions, ocean acidification could spur cascading consequences for food web systems in shoreline ecosystems. For instance, black turban snails graze on algae. If more snails are eaten by predators, algae densities could...

06/28/2016
Committed to fighting climate change in face of Brexit - Amber Rudd
Reuters: Britain's government remains committed to fighting climate change despite last week's vote to leave the European Union, the country's energy and climate minister said on Wednesday. "We made a clear commitment to climate change in our manifesto and that will continue," Amber Rudd said, speaking at the Business and Climate Summit in London. "Climate change has not been downgraded as a threat. It remains one of the most serious long term risks to our economic and national security," she said....

06/28/2016
Stressed Indus River threatens Pakistan’s water supplies
Nature: Population growth and agriculture have stressed the Indus, which flows the length of Pakistan. The Indus River, which supports the lives of 300 million people, is supplying Pakistan with less water than it did 50 years ago, particularly in the spring and summer, researchers have found. The news comes as demand for water is projected to rise sharply. The findings contradict previous predictions that the river’s volume would stay the same, or even grow, as climate change kicks in, although that...

06/28/2016
5,300 U.S. water systems are in violation of lead rules
CNN: Eighteen million Americans live in communities where the water systems are in violation of the law. Moreover, the federal agency in charge of making sure those systems are safe not only knows the issues exist, but it's done very little to stop them, according to a new report and information provided to CNN by multiple sources and water experts. "Imagine a cop sitting, watching people run stop signs, and speed at 90 miles per hour in small communities and still doing absolutely nothing about it...

06/28/2016
Penguin population could drop 60 percent by end of the century
PhysOrg: The geologic record shows that as glaciers expanded and covered Adélie breeding habitats with ice, penguin colonies were abandoned. When the glaciers melted during warming periods, this warming positively affected the Adélie penguins, allowing them to return to their rocky breeding grounds. But now, University of Delaware scientists and colleagues report that this beneficial warming may have reached its tipping point. In a paper published today (June 29) in Scientific Reports, the researchers...

06/28/2016
Brexit could halt climate change deal
Irish Independent: IN BREXIT fallout news, EU governments might not see the publication of the Commission's climate change proposals by July 20, as expected. The Commission intends to table proposals as a follow-up to the international climate agreement in Paris in January, which requires a 30pc reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in sectors not covered by the emissions trading scheme such as agriculture, as part of an overall aim to reduce total emissions by 40pc by 2030. Climate chief Miguel Arias...

06/28/2016
In Florida, the politics of Zika matter
Boston Globe: Worried women, some visibly pregnant and others hoping to conceive, packed a hospital conference room, while outside the muggy June evening carried hints of the threat: Mosquito season has arrived in Florida. With it comes a potentially potent political issue in a crucial swing state. Anxious residents are looking to health experts to help them cope with the dangers of Zika, a virus that can result in devastating birth defects. In a presidential election that Democrats hope will hinge on questions...

06/28/2016
Cambridge University Draws Criticism for Not Divesting from Oil and Gas Industries
Naharnet: The University of Cambridge has been criticized for not divesting from oil and gas companies, despite pressure from students and academics to do so. The decision comes after a year in which the university has faced intense pressure on its fossil fuel investments which saw over 2,000 students sign a petition for divestment, while the students’ union council voted 33:1 in favor of divestment. The Cambridge Zero Carbon Society - a student group which has been campaigning for the university to...

06/28/2016
Visible Pollution Leaking from NY Nuclear Plant
Free Thought Project: US Coast Gaurd officials have cordoned off a portion of Lake Ontario this week, after aerial spotters found a visible "sheen" that is coming from a nuclear power plant in upstate New York. The Coast Guard Auxiliary aircrew first noticed the sheen on Sunday. Shortly after, a boat crew from the Oswego station tested the sheen and a "temporary safety zone" was put in place. The Free Thought Project spoke to the Coast Guard Sector Buffalo Command Center on Tuesday and confirmed that the zone was...

06/28/2016
2 ways to limit the number of heat-related deaths from climate change
Environmental News Network: By the 2080s, as many as 3,331 people could die every year from exposure to heat during the summer months in New York City. The high estimate by Columbia University scientists is based on a new model--the first to account for variability in future population size, greenhouse gas trajectories, and the extent to which residents adapt to heat through interventions like air conditioning and public cooling centers. Results appear online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Researchers...

06/28/2016
Southeast Asian fires emitted most carbon since 1997: scientists
Reuters: Forest fires that blanketed Southeast Asia in thick haze last year released the greatest amount of climate-changing carbon since record blazes in 1997, producing emissions higher than in the whole of the European Union, scientists said on Tuesday. Singapore, Malaysia and northern Indonesia choked under a layer of toxic smog in September and October last year, caused by thousands of fires started in Indonesia to cheaply clear land for palm oil crops and for pulp and paper plantations. The fires...

06/28/2016
31 scientific bodies tell US Congress: Climate change is real
Independent: The idea that climate change is a vast global conspiracy -- involving everyone from Nasa and the British Met Office to Chinese government scientists and – has persisted in the United States to an alarming degree. So much so that more than 180 members of Congress are believed to be climate deniers, including Senator Jim Inhofe, who once tossed a snowball to the presiding officer in February, saying: “You know what this is? It’s a snowball, from outside here. So it’s very, very cold out. Very unseasonable.”...

06/28/2016
Notice to warming deniers: Weather and climate are different things
Newport Independent: Global-warming skeptics love to make the argument that the changeability of weather forecasts in the short term disproves claims by climate scientists that potential disaster lies just a few decades away as the planet heats up. The fundamental problem with such skepticism is that weather and climate are not the same thing. TV meteorologists are not climatologists. Sometimes it's more difficult to predict whether Sunday's ballgame will be rained out than whether melting glaciers will cause...

06/28/2016
Drought Prompts Debate on Cuba’s Irrigation Problems
Inter Press Service: Five gargantuan modern irrigation machines water the state farm of La Yuraguana covering 138 hectares in the northeastern province of Holguín, the third largest province in Cuba. However, "sometimes they cannot even be switched on, due to the low water level," said farm manager Edilberto Pupo. "The last three years have been very stressful due to lack of rainfall. We take our irrigation water from a reservoir that has practically run dry," Pupo told IPS. In 2008 La Yuraguana received new irrigation...

06/28/2016
Oakland council bans coal
MercuryNews: OAKLAND -- During a raucous four-hour meeting Monday night, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to ban the storage and handling of coal and petroleum coke in the city. Councilmember Desley Brooks was absent from the meeting. Hundreds of people filled the council chambers, spilling into overflow rooms, and offered several hours of commentary frequently punctuated by cheers, applause and outbursts from audience members on both sides of the issue. Following the vote, audience members burst...

06/28/2016
Oakland Votes to Ban Coal Shipments, Could End Export Plans
Inside Climate News: Officials in Oakland, California, effectively ended proposals to open a new coal export terminal by voting to ban the transport and storage of the fossil fuel within city limits. The Oakland City Council announced its 7-0 decision on Monday as hundreds of anti-coal protestors descended on City Hall. The vote, which must be reconfirmed before it's made official, came after Mayor Libby Schaaf and council member Dan Kalb argued that a coal export terminal would pollute the area, according to the...

06/28/2016
BP Oil Spill Cost Fishing Industry At Least $94.7 Million in 2010
Times-Picayune: The BP oil disaster cost the Gulf of Mexico's commercial fishing industry $94.7 million to $1.6 billion and anywhere from 740 to 9,315 jobs in the first eight months, according to a new study by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The $355,888 study measured the effect of the Macondo well blowout from May through December 2010, the same period of time that is being used to calculate claims being paid to fishers under a 2012 court-approved settlement agreement between private parties and BP....

06/28/2016
California's Wildfires Just Tripled in Size
Mother Jones: When it comes to forest fires, California can't seem to catch a break. Last year was a hellacious one for uncontrolled burns, and 2016 is looking just as bad. In the past week, the number of acres scorched by wildfire has tripled from around 32,000 to more than 98,000, according to the state's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The number of fires the department, known simply as Cal Fire, has responded to is slightly above the seasonal five year average. But it's early in the fire season....

06/28/2016
Poor Children Are Twice As Likely To Die Before 5th Birthday Than Rich: UN
Huffington Post: The number of children who do not attend school is rising, child marriage has not dropped in decades and millions of young children will die mostly preventable deaths by 2030 if global poverty is not addressed, UNICEF said in a bleak report issued on Tuesday. Poor children are twice as likely as rich children to die before age 5, and poor girls are more than twice as likely to become child brides in signs of troubling inequality, said the annual report by the United Nations' children's agency....

06/28/2016
Canada: Dried bogs play role in wildfires: research
Canadian Press: New research from an Ontario professor indicates that bogs dried for logging or other purposes can experience catastrophic deep burns that can last for months and contribute to the spread of wildfires in both Canada and northern Europe. But Mike Waddington of McMaster University says his research, published Monday in Nature Scientific Reports, also shows peat bogs -- wetlands with dead plant material and mosses -- can be restored through "re-wetting," which can help mitigate the spread of fires...

06/28/2016
New York's whales to be studied for the first time
Guardian: The habits of New York’s little-understood whale population is to be fully analysed for the first time, with scientists hoping the new information will help protect the marine behemoths that navigate one of the busiest shipping areas in the world. An acoustic monitoring buoy has been deployed off the coast of Long Island to eavesdrop on the cacophony of underwater noises made by whales that feed and travel through New York waters. Data from the research project will plug a surprising gap in scientists’...

06/28/2016
Zimbabwe's wildlife agency suspends boss over missing rhino horns
Reuters: Zimbabwe's wildlife authority has suspended its director general and is investigating the disappearance of 228 kg (500 pounds) of the agency's stored rhino horn, it said on Tuesday. The southern African nation keeps in storage 70 tonnes of ivory from elephants and rhinos - worth at least $35 million - and is seeking support from neighboring countries to engage in international trade in ivory. Namibia is also bidding to open international ivory trade but Kenya is leading initiatives for a complete...

06/28/2016
Could climate change affect your day fishing? Ontario researcher presents findings in Washington DC
CBC.ca: A Thunder Bay researcher with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has just returned from briefing Senate staff in Washington, D.C. on the potential impacts of climate change on North America's recreational fishery. The invitation to speak on Capitol Hill came from the United States Geological Survey, following his participation in a number of conferences and workshops on the issue, says Len Hunt, who holds a PhD in geography and environmental studies from Wilfrid Laurier University....

06/28/2016
United Kingdom: How London Array blows away the competition in green energy
Guardian: At the widest point of the Greater Thames estuary, 12 miles north of the Kent coast and 12 miles south of Essex, lies the London Array – the largest operational offshore wind farm in the world. Completed in 2013, after 10 years of planning and construction, it covers an area of 40 square miles – roughly the same size of Bristol – and comprises 175 individual turbines laid out in neat rows like an enormous nursery flower bed. “Standing on a boat in the middle of the wind farm surrounded by these...

06/28/2016
TransCanada Asks $15 Billion for Keystone XL Rejection
Environment News Service: This weekend, TransCanada moved forward with a lawsuit against the United States under the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, seeking US$15 billion in damages due to President Barack Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The Keystone XL Pipeline Project was a proposed 1,179-mile (1,897 km), 36-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline, beginning in Hardisty, Alberta, and extending south to Steele City, Nebraska. It was supposed to carry diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands...

06/28/2016
Tanzania: Helium discovery a 'game-changer'
BBC: Scientists say they have found a large helium gas field in Tanzania. With world supplies running out, the discovery is a "game-changer", say geologists at Durham and Oxford universities. Helium is used in hospitals in MRI scanners as well as in spacecrafts and radiation monitors. Until now, the precious gas has been discovered only in small quantities during oil and gas drilling. Using a new exploration approach, researchers found large quantities of helium within the Tanzanian East African...

06/28/2016
Three More Monitoring Wells To Be Built Near Red Hill Fuel Spill Site
Civil Beat: Three monitoring wells will be built near where 27,000 gallons of fuel spilled from the U.S. Navy’s Red Hill fuel storage tanks in January 2014. Red Hill is the largest underground fuel storage facility in the nation with a capacity of 250 million gallons. The 2014 spill came dangerously close to an aquifer used for Oahu’s drinking water, and there are already 10 monitoring wells in the area. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Hawaii Department of Health, the U.S. Navy and the Defense Logistics...

06/28/2016
Risks, ethics and consent: Australia shouldn’t become world’s nuclear wasteland
Conversation: Last month the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission recommended that the state government develop a business venture to store a large fraction of the world’s high- and intermediate-level nuclear power station wastes in South Australia. It proposes to do this by first building an interim above-ground store, to be followed by permanent underground repository. But the commission’s recommendation is based on several debatable assumptions, including: an economic analysis that purports...

06/28/2016
Shortage of safe land blocks Sri Lanka disaster relocation efforts
Reuters: Every time the wind picks up in the night, the Karunadasas get the shivers. The couple has been living in this remote village in the western foothills of Sri Lanka’s central mountains for over five decades. But since May, when a massive landslide hit another mountain slope 15 kilometers away, they have struggled to sleep at night. The landslide, which followed relentless rainfall, buried 130 people in the Egalpitiya area. But the Karunadasa’s village may have been on the verge of slipping as...

06/28/2016
Republican Voters Evenly Split on Climate Change, Poll Finds
Morning Consult: Most voters, including about half of Republicans, believe the climate is changing and the federal government should step in to cut greenhouse gases, according to new polling commissioned by a group of right-leaning energy-focused organizations. The groups will present their findings Tuesday at an event in Washington, D.C. According to the poll conducted by Just Win Strategies and TargetPoint Consulting, 68 percent of all respondents said they want federal government action “to reduce emissions...

06/28/2016
Obama's New Clean Energy Goal For North America: 50 Percent By 2025
National Public Radio: President Obama and his counterparts from Canada and Mexico are preparing to unveil an ambitious new goal for generating carbon-free power when they meet this week in Ottawa. The three leaders are expected to set a target for North America to get 50 percent of its electricity from nonpolluting sources by 2025. That's up from about 37 percent last year. Aides acknowledge that's a "stretch goal," requiring commitments over and above what the three countries agreed to as part of the Paris climate...

06/28/2016
Controlled Colorado River Flooding Released Stored Greenhouse Gases
Eurasia Review: aboratory, Johnson Space Center, Wikipe The 2014 experimental controlled pulse of water to the Colorado River Delta has revealed an interesting twist on how large dry watercourses may respond to short-term flooding events: the release of stored greenhouse gases. The findings were reported at the Goldschmidt conference in Yokohama, Japan. As presenter Dr Thomas Bianchi said, "We saw a rapid release of greenhouse gases (CH4 and CO2) from the riverbed sediments to the floodwaters. These gases...

06/28/2016
Scientists just made it cheaper to produce hydrogen from water
Science Daily: A hydrogen-fuel economy could finally become a reality with the recent discovery of a cheap, stable and efficient means of getting hydrogen from water. If a cheap, stable and efficient way could be found to produce hydrogen from water, a hydrogen-fuel economy could finally become a reality. Scientists at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm now report that they have unlocked one major barrier to exploiting this renewable energy source. Because the best-performing catalysts for...

06/28/2016
British fishermen warned Brexit will not mean greater catches
Guardian: British fishermen have been warned that, despite the promises made by the Leave campaign, they cannot expect to be granted greater catches after the UK leaves the European Union, and they may face increased economic turmoil. Fishermen will have to remain within their current catch quotas while the UK is still a member, and even if new arrangements are negotiated after a Brexit, they will not necessarily be more generous, fisheries chiefs and campaigners have warned. British fishing fleets will...

06/28/2016
Cecil the lion's legacy: death brings new hope for his grandcubs
Guardian: The tiny lion cubs bounce down the dusty track alive with curiosity about their new world from their inquisitive faces to the tips of their tails. This new life is a symbol of the surprising good that has stemmed from the tragic death of their grandfather, Cecil. Cecil, killed by US dentist Walter Palmer one year ago, has 13 surviving sons and daughters and 15 known grandcubs so far. They, like Cecil before he died, have survived brushes with death. But the researchers who have closely observed...

06/28/2016
Climate determines violence of a nation, scientists say
Al Jazeera: People who live in places with a varied climate are generally less violent than those who live in consistently hot areas, according scientists who have been trying to explain why violent crime is often higher near the equator. Several studies have shown that levels of violence and aggression are higher in hotter countries, but according to the scientists, the leading theories are incomplete. One model, known as the Routine Activity Theory, suggests that people are outside more in warm weather....

06/28/2016
The First Official Climate Refugees in the U.S. Race Against Time
Nationsl Geographic: A shot rings out across what remains of Isle de Jean Charles as the sun drops behind the gnarled skeletons of what once were massive oak trees. Rifle in hand, Howard Brunet, 14, stands on the deck of his uncle's stilted house looking down at the rabbit he shot on the far edge of the property. His sister Juliette, 13, leaps down the stairs to retrieve the body-since neither of the boys will touch it. Next comes rabbit stew. It's a normal evening at the Brunet household. The kids are tough. The water...

06/28/2016
Does California shutdown mean the end of nuclear power? Not so fast
Christian Science Monitor: The debate around the closing of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., signals a broader conversation around power sources that could be crucial to the nation's energy future. When California’s largest electric utility announced last week that it would close the state’s last operational nuclear power plant, supporters were quick to call the moment a potential game changer for America’s energy future. The basic message, after all, is that officials in America’s...

06/28/2016
Heat waves could bring lots more deaths to NYC
Grist: Annual heat-related deaths in New York City could soar by more than 500 percent by the 2080s, according to a new study. Published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, it finds a wide range of potential outcomes depending on how much warming we endure, how New York’s demographics shift (elderly people are more likely to die from heat), and whether the city proactively adapts to the more severe heat waves that are certain to come. Deaths could be reduced by more cooling centers, more...

06/28/2016
Reserve with rare gorillas finally protected
Mongabay: Itombwe is one of the last strongholds of the Grauer’s gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri), currently listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List. The region is also home to more than 750 species of terrestrial vertebrates and over 1,000 plants, including at least 53 globally threatened species. Several animals, such as the Itombwe Golden Frog (Chrysobatrachus cupreonitens), the Itombwe or Prigogine’s nightjar (Caprimulgus prigoginei) and Schouteden’s swift (Schoutedenapus schoutedeni), are found only...

06/28/2016
Paris Agreement Top Priority at Business and Climate Summit
Blue and Green: Businesses and politicians from across the world are coming together today for the Business & Climate Summit. The second annual Summit is dedicated to tackling climate change. The event specifically focuses on how businesses should address the Paris Agreement, which was signed back in April 2016. With the Paris Agreement now in place, attention must turn to the practical implementation of the commitments made last year. Investment decisions and business strategies must have decarbonisation and the...

06/28/2016
These countries have deadliest air pollution. (Surprisingly, Georgia is No. 1.)
Vox: Every year, air pollution kills about 6.5 million people worldwide -- linked to everything from lung cancer to heart disease to strokes. It’s an honest-to-goodness public health crisis. So the International Energy Agency just put out a huge report on how pollution got so bad and what we might do about it. Here’s a striking chart showing where air pollution is deadliest, with countries ranked by deaths per 100,000 people. This includes deaths linked to sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx),...

06/28/2016
North America Will Draw Half Its Electricity from Carbon-free Sources by 2025
Scientific American: The United States, Mexico and Canada will make a joint pledge tomorrow to draw half the continent’s power from non-emitting sources by 2025. President Obama, President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada will announce the ambitious target at the North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa, Ontario, which will also address security issues and other concerns to the continent’s three governments. White House climate adviser Brian Deese described the pact as a...

06/28/2016
Leave vote makes UK's transition to clean energy harder, say experts
Guardian: The UK’s challenge to build a clean, secure and affordable energy system has become significantly harder amid the political and economic turmoil following the nation’s vote to leave the European Union. Higher customer bills and delayed or cancelled projects are expected by experts, the most pessimistic of whom warn of the lights going out. The optimists argue that the global rush towards clean energy and strong domestic UK climate change targets can keep the transition to clean, green energy moving...

06/28/2016
Marine rescue crews work to help entangled blue whale in California – video
Reuters: Rescuers off the coast of southern California work to help a blue whale which had become entangled in fishing gear. The whale, said to measure between 70ft (21 metres) and 80ft (24 metres) long, appeared around 5 miles (8km) off the coast of Dana Point. It was not immediately clear to the marine crews whether they had succeeded in detangling the whale before it disappeared

06/28/2016
South China Sea reefs 'decimated' as giant clams harvested in bulk
Reuters: Ornaments made from the shells of endangered giant clams, renowned in China for having auspicious powers and the luster of ivory, have become coveted luxuries, a trend which has wreaked havoc on the ecosystem of the South China Sea. China banned harvesting of giant clams last year but in the tiny seaside town Tanmen on the southern island of Hainan, most stores still sell products made from the over four-foot-wide shells. The once sleepy fishing village has transformed over the past three years...

06/28/2016
Insurers' pledge to help developing countries on climate change
Financial Times: When powerful earthquakes rocked New Zealand and Haiti in 2010, each measuring 7.0 magnitude, very different dramas unfolded: New Zealand, though hit hard, was able to start recovering relatively quickly; Haiti, meanwhile, was brought to its knees. One major reason for the difference was the role insurance played in the two island nations’ recoveries. Whereas most of New Zealand’s earthquake-related damages were covered by insurance, very few of Haiti’s were. The lack of insurance for emerging...

06/28/2016
Rescuers attempt to untangle blue whale trapped in crab nets off California
Guardian: Rescue teams were trying to untangle a blue whale after it became snared in crab nets off the coast of California on Monday. The alarm was raised after the animal, about 80ft long (24m), was spotted about three miles off the coast of Orange county raising its head out of the water and not swimming normally. It is rare for blue whales, the largest living animals on Earth, to become tangled in fishing nets and lines because they usually swim far from shore. YouTube video showed the blue whale...

06/28/2016
United Kingdom: Diligent insects in the summer garden
Guardian: The day presses down, close and sultry, as I sit cross-legged in front of our three compost bins. There’s a low hum from bumblebees foraging deep inside the nearby comfrey flowers, but I’m interested in a different type of bee. In front of the wooden bins are some large stone slabs, the thumb-width gaps between them unmortared. There, coming and going, are several large black bees. One lands on my trousers, brushing golden pollen from its body on to the hairs of its hind legs. With pollen sac neatly...

06/28/2016
Can the advertising industry sell us waste-free living?
Guardian: It was diving in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia that sparked Andy Ridley’s interest in environmental issues. Shocked at its state, he joined WWF and went on to launch Earth Hour in 2007, the huge climate change awareness campaign that sees buildings in 7,000 cities turn off their lights. Now, in his new role as CEO of Circular Economy, a Netherlands-based social enterprise, Ridley wants to build a similar global grassroots movement to accelerate the circular economy. “My experience of...

06/27/2016
Australia: Call for NSW land-clearing laws to be dropped after losing support of farmers
Guardian: Drastic changes to land-clearing laws in NSW, which have been fiercely opposed by conservationists, have now also lost the support of farmers, leading to renewed calls for them to be dropped. The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party told Guardian Australia it would take advice from the farmers’ lobby group not to support the laws in their current form. With Labor and the Greens opposed, the bill will have trouble passing the state’s upper house. In May, the NSW government released its long-awaited...

06/27/2016
'Climate change, erosion pushing new generations to poverty along Ganga'
Money Life: Climate change and vicious river bank erosion in the post-Farakka Barrage period have blurred the lines between the rich and the poor and are pushing successive generations to grinding poverty along the lower stretches of the mighty Ganga in West Bengal. The frequent nature of erosion is induced by hydraulic control by the commissioning of the barrage in 1975 and Indo-Bangladesh water sharing treaty of 1977 and 1996, experts say. And the famed weaver's colony (taantis) in Shantipur block of West...

06/27/2016
New Josh Fox Documentary on Climate Change Falls Short
Clean Technica: Josh Fox’s Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning film Gasland was ahead of its time. The documentary not only woke the world up to fracking’s risks, it also sparked a social movement that led New York state to ban natural gas drilling. That’s why I was so excited to see his new film, How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change, airing on HBO. I hoped Fox would once again elevate the conversation and perhaps go beyond the stories of tragedy and despair that have stymied so...

06/27/2016
Picky eaters: Bumble bees prefer plants with nutrient-rich pollen
ScienceDaily: Bumble bees have discriminating palettes when it comes to their pollen meals, according to researchers at Penn State. The researchers found that bumble bees can detect the nutritional quality of pollen, and that this ability helps them selectively forage among plant species to optimize their diets. "Populations of many bee species are in decline across the world, and poor nutrition is thought to be a major factor causing these declines," said Christina Grozinger, director of the Center for Pollinator...

06/27/2016
Universal support needed to tackle global warming, UN climate chief says
Guardian: “Universal support” is needed from businesses across the world to tackle global warming, the United Nations climate chief says. Business leaders and politicians are meeting in London to discuss how to implement the first comprehensive climate agreement, secured at UN talks in Paris in December, to cut greenhouse gas emissions and avoid dangerous temperature rises. The two-day Business and Climate Summit will look at how companies can continue with leadership that has already seen firms take...

06/27/2016
African policy to end hunger silent on climate risk
Associated Press: Experts call for African nations to invest in climate risks knowledge creation. The African Union's Malabo Declaration adopted in 2014 to double agricultural productivity and end hunger by 2025 underestimated the risk that climate change will pose, a report says. The declaration failed to consider investing in Africa's scientific capacity to combat climate threats, according to the report, which was produced by the UK-based Agriculture for Impact, and launched in Rwanda this month (14 June). "Food...

06/27/2016
Climate change: communities and councils fill void on zero emissions targets
Guardian: Communities and councils are filling the void left by the federal government on ambitious climate action. Many are frustrated by the government’s lack of progress on climate change and instead are getting on with the job themselves. A survey conducted by Beyond Zero Emissions of 152 councils across Australia shows that almost one in five of the councils surveyed have set their own zero emissions or 100% renewable energy targets. At the Australian Local Government National General Assembly in...

06/27/2016
US, Canada and Mexico pledge 50% of power from clean energy by 2025
Reuters: Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau and Enrique Peña Nieto will commit to a new regional clean power goal at a summit this week in Ottawa, the White House has said. The leaders of the US, Canada and Mexico, meeting on Wednesday at the so-called “Three Amigos” summit, will pledge to have their countries produce 50% of their power by 2025 from hydropower, wind, solar and nuclear plants, carbon capture and storage, as well as from energy efficiency measures. “We believe this is an aggressive goal, but...

06/27/2016
South China Sea reefs 'decimated' as giant clams harvested in bulk
Reuters: China Ornaments made from the shells of endangered giant clams, renowned in China for having auspicious powers and the luster of ivory, have become coveted luxuries, a trend which has wreaked havoc on the ecosystem of the South China Sea. China banned harvesting of giant clams last year but in the tiny seaside town Tanmen on the southern island of Hainan, most stores still sell products made from the over four-foot-wide shells. The once sleepy fishing village has transformed over the past three...

06/27/2016
Volkswagen Agrees to Pay $14.7 Billion to Settle Diesel Scandal Claims in the U.S
New York Times: Volkswagen has agreed to pay nearly $15 billion to settle claims stemming from its diesel emissions cheating scandal in what would be one of the largest consumer class-action settlements ever in the United States. The proposed settlement, valued at $14.7 billion and involving the federal government and lawyers representing the owners of about 475,000 Volkswagen vehicles, includes just over $10 billion to buy back affected cars at their pre-scandal values, and additional cash compensation for the...

06/27/2016
Oakland council bans coal shipments
Associated Press: Oakland city officials unanimously voted to ban the shipment of coal, sidelining a plan to transport Utah coal to Asia through a proposed marine terminal on an old army base. The proposed terminal is in West Oakland, a historically black neighborhood that's among the poorest and most polluted in the region. Detractors highlight the environmental dangers of bringing millions of tons of coal through the area while supporters tout the economic benefits of good-paying union jobs. The terminal...

06/27/2016
UN highlights benefits from and challenges confronting oceans
New Kerala: Addressing a gathering on laws affecting the world's oceans, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson on Monday underscored that healthy oceans are critical to maintaining life on the planet, while also noting their connection to broader sustainable development aims. In his remarks to the opening of the 40th annual Conference of the Centre for Oceans Law and Policy, the UN official also emphasized that oceans are fundamental to meeting many of the worlds most pressing challenges,...

06/27/2016
Josh Fox on Letting Go and Climate Change
Progressive: On June 3 I attended a screening with Josh Fox of his latest documentary How To Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change at a Beverly Hills theater. Susan Sarandon, Shailene Woodley of the Divergent series, Frances Fisher of Titanic and Hollywood’s longtime eco-advocate/actor Ed Begley, Jr. made personal appearances. The following Tuesday, on the night of California’s presidential primary, I spoke with Fox at the Santa Monica hangar where Senator Bernie Sanders addressed supporters....

06/27/2016
Water windfall' discovered beneath California's Central Valley
ScienceDaily: California's drought-stricken Central Valley harbors three times more groundwater than previously estimated, Stanford scientists have found. Accessing this water in an economically feasible way and safeguarding it from possible contamination from oil and gas activities, however, will be challenging. "It's not often that you find a 'water windfall,' but we just did," said study co-author Robert Jackson, the Michelle and Kevin Douglas Provostial Professor at Stanford. "There's far more fresh water...

06/27/2016
With Britain Gone, Europe Unclear How to Meet Climate Goals
ClimateWire: As the dust settles on Britain’s unexpected decision to depart the European Union, there are more questions than answers about what the pullout means for everything from trade to energy policy. Bewildered European policy analysts—many of whom assumed the “Brexit” referendum would deliver a narrow victory for the “remain” camp—are still grappling with Thursday’s result. What will the split between Britain and the other 27 nations of the European Union mean for British expats? Do a tumbling pound...


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It takes 17 billion gallons of water coming from the aquifers to pump oil in Alberta per year.

 

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