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

05/29/2016
The birthplace of North American surfing ranked dirtiest beach, again
Mercury News: Heal the Bay released its 2015-2016 Beach Report Card Thursday. The good news is that California's overall water quality was excellent with 95 percent A or B grades. The bad news is that Santa Cruz's Cowell Beach is the most polluted beach in the state for a third consecutive year. In fact, for seven straight years, Cowell Beach, which stretches west from the Santa Cruz Wharf to the cliffs, has ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 on the nonprofit's "Beach Bummer" list. During the dry summer months,...

05/29/2016
A Rhode Island Senator speaks out often about dangers of climate change
PRI: “I'm from the Ocean State,” he explains. “Ninety-plus percent of the heat captured from greenhouse gases has been taken up by the oceans. So they're warming and you [can] measure that with thermometers. And unless somebody's going to repeal the law of thermal expansion, when oceans warm they get bigger, and when they get bigger they rise against our shores.” Off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island, scientists have measured 10 inches of sea level rise since a devastating hurricane in 1938, Whitehouse...

05/29/2016
World Health Organization rejects call to postpone Rio Olympics over Zika
NBC: The World Health Organization says there is "no public health justification" for postponing or canceling the Rio Summer Olympics because of the Zika outbreak in Brazil. The assessment, in a statement early Saturday, came a day after 150 health experts issued an open letter to the U.N. health agency calling for the games to be delayed or relocated "in the name of public health." Friday's letter cited recent scientific evidence that the Zika virus causes severe birth defects , most notably babies...

05/29/2016
Sri Lanka: Latest Population Projection of 25 Million Poses Serious Challenges
Inter Press Service: The most recent population projections expect the Island's population to reach 25 million by 2042 and 25.8 million by 2062. It is expected to stabilise around the mid 2060s at 25-26 million. This is a significant departure from earlier projections that expected population stability much earlier at around 23-24 million in the 2030s and to decline thereafter. This higher population growth that is mainly due to the recent increase in fertility from below replacement level to above replacement level,...

05/29/2016
Australia: Turnbull tells leaders' debate he will meet tough climate change targets
Guardian: Malcolm Turnbull conceded bipartisanship on climate change was desirable and committed to meet higher targets if set by the global community in the second leaders’ debate of the Australian election campaign. But the prime minister failed to outline how Australia would reach the 2030 emission reduction targets agreed to in Paris. Bill Shorten, the Labor leader, baited Turnbull, asking: “Whatever happened to the old Malcolm Turnbull on climate change?” “You were so impressive when you were leading...

05/29/2016
Wrecked By Superstorm Sandy, Conservationists Work To Restore Migratory Birds' Refuge
National Public Radio: The migratory birds of the East Coast are about to get back a piece of habitat they lost to Hurricane Sandy — a freshwater pond in Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in New York City.

05/29/2016
Arizona’s Getting Hotter, But State Leaders Oppose Solutions
Think Progress: On average, 2,000 Arizonans visit the emergency room because of heat-related illnesses every year. Unfortunately, things are likely to get worse because it`s only getting hotter. This April was just named the hottest on record, making it the 12th consecutive month to break a temperature record. Last year was named the hottest year on record, and at this pace 2016 is set to top it. This week, the Obama administration recognized Extreme Heat Week - something Arizonans have become well-acquainted with...

05/29/2016
Indigenous People Lead March Against Monsanto in San Francisco
IndyBay: On May 21st, Aztecs led the march, Winnemem Wintu tribal leader Caleen Fisk came from the Shasta County area to speak, and Tongans from East Palo Alto represented the Pacific Islands. The March Against Monsanto on Saturday moved along the Embarcadero, ending at the Aquatic Park in San Francisco. Top photo by Helene Sisk. This past weekend in San Francisco, Aztecs led the march, Winnemem Wintu tribal leader Caleen Sisk came from the Shasta County area to speak, and Tongans from East Palo Alto represented...

05/29/2016
Clean Energy to Take Bigger Share of Electricity Market by 2030
Bloomberg: Renewable energy will account for 40 percent of electricity output capacity by 2030, almost double today’s market share, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. The expansion will be due to lower technology costs, Adnan Amin, Irena’s director general, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV in Dubai. “We anticipate with the lower technology cost, by 2030 we’re going to have renewables capacity in the global power system at around 40 percent, which is quite remarkable growth.” That compares...

05/29/2016
Could biodegradable six-pack rings save the sea turtles?
Christian Science Monitor: A Florida craft beer maker has replaced the harmful plastic of six-pack rings with ones made out of the barley and wheat leftover from the beermaking process. In a project led by New York ad agency We Believers, the partners have engineered rings that are biodegradable and perhaps even edible – although this has not be proven – by marine animals that often fall victim to entanglement, strangulation, and deadly digestive problems caused by the ubiquitous rings that are used to package cans of soda...

05/29/2016
Inside the Movement to Stop the Oil Industry's 'Bomb Trains'
Vice: If you're one of the approximately 180 families who live in the Ezra Prentice Homes, in the poor, industrial southern section of Albany, New York, oil trains are a daily fact of life. These trains rumble through as they move crude oil from North Dakota and elsewhere to the northeastern US. Sometimes, the trains pass 15 feet from people's homes. South Albany isn't unusual among poor communities throughout the country--many are located near train tracks and highways, oil refineries, and other sources...

05/29/2016
Australia covered up UN climate change fears for Tasmania forests and Kakadu
Guardian: A draft UN report on climate change which was scrubbed of all reference to Australia over fears it could deter visitors to the Great Barrier Reef, also outlined possible threats to the Tasmania wilderness and Kakadu. The draft report contained a chapter on the Great Barrier Reef, which described climate change as “the biggest long-term threat to the [reef] today, and to its ecosystems services, biodiversity, heritage values and tourism economy”. It concluded that “without a comprehensive response...

05/29/2016
Florida brewery creates edible beer holders to save marine life
Guardian: Instead of killing animals, our packing design will provide them with food, explains Saltwater Brewery co-founder Chris Gove of his company’s biodegradable, edible beer pack rings. The rings, made from wheat and barley waste – natural byproducts of the beer-making process – are being touted by the Florida-based microbrewery as a pragmatic solution to repurposing waste in the brewing process. It also hopes they can help combat the growing problem of ocean plastic pollution. The packaging starts...

05/29/2016
Sustainable energy: inside Iceland’s geothermal power plant
Guardian: Thanks to its position on a volatile section of the Mid-Atlantic ridge, Iceland is a world leader in the the use of geothermal energy, and of the six geothermal power plants in Iceland, Hellisheiði (pronounced “het-li-shay-thee”) is the newest and largest. Fully operational since 2010, it sits on the mossy slopes of the Hengill volcano in the south-west of the country; a green and placid-looking landscape that belies the turbulent geological activity rumbling beneath it. To access the potential...

05/29/2016
United Kingdom: Women lead the call to arms as anti-fracking fight intensifies
Guardian: “We are ready for them,” said Tina Louise Rothery. “It has been a long battle but we have been ready for a confrontation for a long time.” Rothery is one of a growing group of women at the forefront of opposition to fracking. Of the 250 anti-fracking community groups that have sprung up in Britain in the past few years, very many are led, or strongly backed, by women, who say they have been outraged at plans to risk people’s health by exploiting the countryside for shale gas. With drilling...

05/29/2016
Eve the Jurassic sea monster
BBC: It's the biggest jigsaw puzzle you've ever seen but in this case, there are no instructions on the box. Hundreds of bones are laid out on the floor and Dr Hilary Ketchum, of the Oxford Museum of Natural History, has kindly offered to piece them all together. It takes more than an hour to slot the makeshift skeleton of Eve the plesiosaur into place. And you can clearly see the giant scale of the animal, with its large flippers and long neck. Plesiosaurs ruled the oceans for more than a...

05/29/2016
The eco guide to pet fish
Guardian: We need to talk about Dory. As Pixar’s charming version of a tropical blue tang swims on to screens in Finding Dory next month, conservationists fear a wave of inappropriate fish buying. Finding Nemo, which triggered just such a global craze in 2003, posed less of a threat. Clownfish (Nemo’s ilk) are usually bred in captivity for the aquarium trade, but blue tangs are “harvested” from the wild for aquariums, with up to 80% dying during capture and transportation. There is intense pressure on wild...

05/29/2016
Climate concerns on rise among energy corporation investors
Palm Beach Post: The climate is warming and energy companies are starting to feel the heat. Three of America`s biggest energy companies held shareholder meetings this month. And at each, there were votes on resolutions related to climate change. The resolutions didn`t win. But they got a third of the vote or more. And that’s significant. It’s now harder for the corporations to dismiss climate change as the obsession of an irritating fringe. The concern is going mainstream -- as it should. As The Post’s Susan...

05/29/2016
California Back in Big Oil's Crosshairs as Feds Quietly OK Offshore Fracking
Common Dreams: Two federal agencies on Friday quietly finalized two reports, set for release next week, that found offshore fracking in California poses no "significant" risk to the environment--paving the way for oil and gas companies to resume the controversial extraction method in the Santa Barbara Channel and imperiling the region's wildlife in the process, opponents said. The announcement Friday from the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (OEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement...

05/29/2016
At the top of their game
ScienceDaily: Being at the top of the food chain is no guarantee of a species survival. Not only are many of these so-called apex predators susceptible to human impacts, they also are slow to recover from them, which makes these animals vulnerable despite their high-ranking ecosystem status. Ecologists and conservation biologists have repeatedly sounded the alarm about the global decline of apex predators -- a group that includes gray wolves, spotted owls, bald eagles, cheetahs, killer whales and sea otters....

05/28/2016
Trouble with parasites? Just migrate
ScienceDaily: Why do animals migrate? Explanations behind the evolution of such a costly, yet common behavior are varied. However, rarely do parasites and pathogens figure into the story. Researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Neuchâtel think this is an important oversight, and have worked out the math to prove it. Animal migration typically takes place over a huge range of different environments. For example, animals may move from fresh to salt water, cool to hot temperatures or humid...

05/28/2016
Why robin eggs are blue
ScienceDaily: People have always wondered why many birds lay bright blue eggs. David Lahti of the City University of New York and Dan Ardia of Franklin & Marshall College tested the hypothesis that pigmentation might help an egg strike a balance between two opposing and potentially damaging effects of the sun: light transmission into light-colored eggs, and heating up of dark-colored eggs. As predicted, more intensely blue eggshells shielded the interior from light, including dangerous UV radiation--but more...

05/28/2016
Watching Worlds Sink -- Witnessing Climate Change In Pacific
Huffington Post: These pictures are part of a piece called Warm Waters -- a long-term, ongoing photography project documenting how man made global warming is an immediate problem for some of the world's smallest nations and countries. Sokhin first started to think about the effects of climate change while on assignment in Papua New Guinea, where he visited a region known as Manus Island. He had worked on several assignments about deforestation and climate change, but it was a small island off Manus -- half eroded...

05/28/2016
Time has come to care for water like it’s precious
Press Herald: Even in a spring dry by Maine standards, it’s hard to envision how parched some places can become. Water scarcity is increasingly coming to define landscapes and lives. By the start of 2015, NASA calculated that California had reached a water deficit of 11 trillion gallons (roughly 93 times all the water used annually by Maine households). Global thirst will only grow as the world warms. A new World Bank report, High and Dry, warns that water scarcity – aggravated by climate change – could lead...

05/28/2016
Climate change threatens U.N. World Heritage sites
Bend Bulletin: The catastrophes seem like the stuff filmmaker Roland Emmerich’s dreams are made of: In the United States, Yellowstone National Park morphs from thick woods to sparser brushland in the aftermath of frequent and furious forest fires. In Italy, Venice sinks beneath a swelling Adriatic Sea. In England, Stonehenge tumbles to the ground when the local mole and badger populations explode, and their burrows weaken the earth beneath the 5,000-year-old rock monuments. None of these disasters are certain...

05/28/2016
Grant goes toward UGA geneticist's plant, climate change study
Online Athens: Jill Anderson, an assistant professor of genetics in the University of Georgia’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, has received a $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation Early Career Development Program to study the effects of climate change on plants. CAREER awards are among the foundation’s most prestigious, and they support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar and the integration of education and research. Anderson’s project tests whether plants will...

05/28/2016
Teslas Are Greener But Are Still Cars
Clean Technica: Teslas are much more benign environmentally than gasoline or diesel cars, but they are still typically single-occupant automobiles. Given the continued dominance of automobiles as the primary form of transportation in most countries, even in train-mad Europe as the chart shows, it`s critical to reduce the impact of them. The best information currently available about the relative climate change merits of electric vs gas cars is from a two-year study by the Union of Concerned Scientists of the...

05/28/2016
Canada: Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May talks climate change in Muskoka
CTV: Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says Canada can do much better when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. She was in Bracebridge on Saturday for the Muskoka Summit on the Environment. The theme of the summit was “Solutions for a Warming World.” She and several other environmental experts spoke at the summit. May says climate change is a problem everyone should take personally. Some already are. “This might sound radical but did you know that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia announced...

05/28/2016
Indus era 8,000 years old, not 5,500; culminated due to climate change
Zee: Experts have found evidence of the Indus Valley Civilization being at least 8,000 years old and not 5,500 years old . In addition, researchers have found proof of a pre-Harappan civilization that existed for at least 1,000 years before this. As per a report published in Times of India, this may force a global rethink on the timelines of the so-called 'cradles of civilization'. The scientists called climate change the reasson behind the ending of the civilization 3,000 years ago. "We have...

05/28/2016
Portland School District Let Kids Drink Lead-Contaminated Water After It Tested Positive
Vice: Public schools in Portland, Oregon failed to follow US federal protocols and did not notify parents after high levels of lead were detected at two of its schools two months ago, the district said on Friday. Traces of lead -- a toxic substance that can damage the nervous system -- were detected at levels exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency's maximum in 14 fountains and sinks at the Creston and Rose City Park schools in March, according to a statement released by the district on Friday....

05/28/2016
In Jammu and Kashmir, animals too fall prey to 'enforced' disappearances
First Post: In the conflict-ridden Kashmir valley, it is not people alone who go missing. Animals too are now falling prey to ‘enforced’ disappearances and a case in hand is a Hangul, an endangered Kashmir red stag that had been tagged with a satellite collar by wildlife scientists in 2013. The decision to fit satellite collars on a group of Hangul at Dachigam Park was taken to find out the causes of extinction of the species, but ironically, the lone sample for the research remains untraced. It is being...

05/28/2016
Some states may be making a big mistake about rooftop solar
Washington Post: Rooftop solar installations are a fast-growing part of the booming U.S. solar sector, which some experts say is poised to experience its biggest year yet. But while the industry’s rapid expansion is considered a clear win for the climate, it hasn’t come without backlash. Utility companies across the country have begun to raise concerns that the rates and credits given to homeowners with rooftop solar installations -- which commonly include payments for any excess power they generate and send back...

05/28/2016
Flint, Michigan, pipe-replacement cost nearly doubles: newspaper
Reuters: The cost of replacing water lines in Flint, Michigan, has nearly doubled amid a health crisis from high lead levels in drinking water, the Detroit Free Press reported on Saturday. The average cost for replacing a service water line in Flint through a pilot project that ended this month was $7,500, the newspaper said. The figure is almost twice the $4,000 estimated by the state Department of Environmental Quality at the beginning of Flint's water crisis last fall. The cost comes from a report...

05/28/2016
Grizzlies and polar bears mating more frequently
Comment: The warmer temperatures have led to expanded territories for the grizzlies to roam and run into polar bear mates, which could lead to polar bears as we know them to dissolve into the grizzly population. Grizzlies and polar bears have enough genetic similarity to allow for interbreeding - they are thought to have split off from the same genetic line no more than 500,000 years ago - but scientists have yet to determine if a hybrid bear can reproduce or what their survival rate might look like. "If...

05/28/2016
Colorado Towns, Farmers Battle Over Water Rights
National Public Radio: The City of Thornton is one of many growing suburbs of Denver, Colo. On a day without much traffic, it's only a 20-minute commute into the state capitol, and its new homes with big yards make it an attractive bedroom community. Nearly 130,000 people live there, and the population is expected to keep booming. All that big growth comes with a big need for water. In the 1980s, Thornton placed its hopes in the Two Forks Dam project, which would have provided the city with enough water well into the...

05/28/2016
A Conversation About The Future Of Water
National Public Radio: The event featured panelists including author Paolo Bacigalupi, Colorado State representative Kathleen Curry, Tribal energy and economic consultant Roger Fragua, Colorado state historian Patty Limerick and clean water activist Melissa Mays. The event also featured performances by the Seven Falls Indian Hoop Dancers and poet Lori Howe. What used to work pretty darn well was to do studies of water. Precipitation patterns, chart goes out and look at what's likely in the future. Now there's no such...

05/28/2016
Wolf confirms antibiotic-resistant strain found in Pa. woman
Investment Undergound: For the first time, doctors have diagnosed a patient in the USA with a superbug resistant to the so-called antibiotic of last resort, the Washington Post reported on Thursday. According to Newsweek, the infection was detailed in a study appearing in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The 49-year-old woman has recovered from an infection of E. coli resistant to colistin. The CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Health then mobilized,...

05/28/2016
Barriers between bear species go south as climate change arrives in the Arctic
Gazette Mail: In the far north, global warming is making for some strange den-fellows, according to a Washington Post article that appeared last week. The Post article, titled “Love in the Time of Climate Change, details the hybridization now occurring between polar bears and grizzly bears. While habitat for grizzlies is increasing due to retreating glaciers and thawing permafrost, it’s the opposite for polar bears, who need sea ice to feed on seals and walruses, but are now spending more time on land than...

05/28/2016
Kenya: Climate Change adaption could cost USD$500b
East African Business Week: The cost of adapting to climate change in developing countries could rise to between $280b and $500 billion per year by 2050, a figure that is four to five times greater than previous estimates, according to a new United Nations Environment (UNEP) report. According to UNEP’s Adaptation Finance Gap Report released as nations signed the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change, the report assesses the difference between the financial costs of adapting to climate change in developing countries and...

05/28/2016
India: We can no longer be called a roadblock ministry: Prakash Javadekar
Economic Times: Conserving forests is our duty, said prime minister Narendra Modi in his Mann ki Baat last Sunday. Minister of state (independent charge) for environment , forest and climate change Prakash Javadekar talks about his ministry's targets and achievements in an interview with ET. He talks about the transformation it has made from being a "speed-breaker ministry" to one that is giving speedy clearances for green projects and increasing forest cover. Edited excerpts: On the ministry's achievements over...

05/28/2016
Replacing pipes to fix Flint’s water crisis could cost twice as much as expected
Guardian: Replacing pipes to solve the lead-tainted water crisis in Flint could cost at least twice previous estimates, according to a report obtained by a newspaper. Engineering company Rowe Professional Services told the state the average cost for replacing a service water line through a completed pilot project was $7,500. The Michigan department of environmental quality previously estimated it would cost $4,000, the Detroit Free Press reported on Saturday. The company’s report said costs could be...

05/28/2016
Scientists discover gigantic sea sponge in Hawaii – video
Guardian: Deep sea scientists exploring the remote waters between Hawaii and Midway atoll find a gigantic sea sponge “about the size of a minivan” that could be the oldest animal on earth. A remote-operated submersible found the sponge about 2,100m (7,000ft) down, while exploring the depths of the Papahanaumokuakea marine park

05/28/2016
Lakomi the wolf loves her some belly rubs
Mother Nature Network: Lakomi loves all the belly rubs she gets from Sarah, a woman who helps wolves socialize after they've been placed in sanctuaries. In fact, based on the whimpers when Sarah stops, Lakomi wants all the belly rubs she can possibly get. Lakomi has been through a lot. She was discovered in the wild at 8 months old but was wearing a harness intended for an 8-week-old pup. She had obviously been raised, if not bred, partially in captivity. She was brought to a sanctuary where vets set to work to remove...

05/28/2016
Five things that made no sense in Trump’s big energy speech
BuzzFeed: The presumptive Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, said lots of fun things on Thursday about climate and energy. Trump spoke at the North Dakota Petroleum Council conference in Bismarck, at a press conference and in a speech to oil industry executives. Essentially, he argued that the Obama administration has put forth regulations and lawsuits aimed at stifling fossil fuels in the U.S. "Every single move he`s made has been to block production of oil and natural gas." Trump`s...

05/28/2016
Australia, fearing fewer tourists, has chapter taken out climate report
New York Times: Leading scientists in Australia and abroad have expressed concern that a new United Nations report about the impact of climate change on dozens of World Heritage sites is absent a chapter describing damage to the Great Barrier Reef, after the Australian government requested that the section be cut. “I was amazed,” the lead author of the report, Adam Markham, deputy director of climate and energy programs at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said by telephone. The Australian government requested...

05/28/2016
Ecological triage and other reasons get up in morning
Environmental Century: Like many environmental scientists and educators, I struggle to keep my deep sense of loss from overtaking my belief that we must not give up the fight to preserve the living systems of Earth. The science is about as grim and daunting as it can be. We have lost much of the nature that we believed so precious and we will certainly lose much more. Bearing witness is soul crushing. Although spiritual practice eases the pain, many of us who are aware of the depth of transformation underway struggle daily...

05/28/2016
Meteorologists are seeing global warming's effect on the weather
Guardian: Whatever happened to normal weather? Earth has always experienced epic storms, debilitating drought, and biblical floods. But lately it seems the treadmill of disruptive weather has been set to fast-forward. God’s grandiose Symphony of the Seasons, the natural ebb and flow of the atmosphere, is playing out of tune, sounding more like a talent-free second grade orchestra, with shrill horns, violins screeching off-key, cymbal crashes coming in at the wrong time. Something has changed. My company,...

05/28/2016
Donald Trump's energy policies would harm the nation and worsen global warming
LA Times: Here`s Donald Trump`s vision of America`s energy future: warmer climate, higher seas and worsened smog with increased risks of serious illness among Americans forced to inhale emissions from ramped-up coal-fired power plants. Yeah, that`ll make America great again. Trump, unlike Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, says he disbelieves that human activities are causing global warming and the resultant change in the climate, which already have pushed up sea levels, melted glaciers and polar ice...

05/28/2016
Pretty much everything Donald Trump said about energy and climate was wrong, ignorant, or gibberish
Huffington Post: The presidential campaign of Donald Trump has largely been a policy-free, fact-free, detail-free event, based on emotion (especially fear), pandering to shallow slogans ("Make America Great"), and the aggressive personal and ad hominem abuse of his Republican and Democratic opponents. As a result, it is of special interest when Trump tries to address real issues and policies. This has happened only a few times, but it offers a glimpse into how woefully ignorant Trump is and how absolutely unprepared...

05/28/2016
Developer rejects Trump’s Keystone pipeline proposal
Hill: Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, said Thursday that as president, he would approve the pipeline if the U.S. government got “a piece of the profits, because we’re making it happen.” But TransCanada Corp. on Friday said that’s not the way these projects are usually structured, and the company would expect any United States leader to abide by that. “The role of the U.S. government in such transactions is that of a regulator -- ensuring various laws and regulations are followed...

05/28/2016
Trump vows to solve California's water crisis
Associated Press: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told California voters Friday that he can solve their water crisis, declaring, "There is no drought." California is, in fact, in midst of a drought. Last year capped the state's driest four-year period in its history, with record low rainfall and snow. Speaking at a rally in Fresno, Calif., Trump accused state officials of denying water to Central Valley farmers so they can send it out to sea "to protect a certain kind of three-inch fish."...

05/28/2016
Zika fears prompt 150 public health experts to call for olympics to be moved from Rio
ABC: A group of 150 prominent scientists, doctors and medical ethicists have signed a letter calling for this summer's Olympic Games to be postponed or moved from Rio de Janeiro due to the ongoing Zika virus outbreak in Brazil. In a letter directed to World Health Organization Director Dr. Margaret Chan, the group said that new findings about the Zika virus should result in the games being moved or postponed to safeguard the thousands of athletes, staff and reporters scheduled to attend the games....

05/28/2016
Feds expect more Atlantic tropical storms than last 3 years
Washington Post: U.S. government forecasters expect a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season, after three relatively slow years. But they also say climate conditions that influence storm development are making it difficult to predict how many hurricanes and tropical storms will arise over the next six months. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s outlook Friday called for a near-normal season with 10 to 16 named storms, with four to eight hurricanes and one to four “major” ones with winds reaching...

05/28/2016
World needs food system overhaul
Business Week: A major overhaul of the global food system is urgently needed if the world is to combat hunger, use natural resources more efficiently and stem environmental damage, the International Resource Panel (IRP) says. In its latest report, the IRP -- a consortium of 34 internationally renowned scientists, over 30 national governments and other groups hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) -- calls for a switch to a "resource-smart' food system that changes the way food is grown, harvested,...

05/28/2016
Protecting the Sun Bears of Borneo
National Geographic: See how the small sun bear, native to southeast Asia, is struggling to survive amid deforestation and poaching. The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre is

05/28/2016
Uluru Image, Australia
National Geographic: Streaking from a sky as red as the earth, lightning strikes the famous dome-shaped, sandstone monolith Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia. “I had heard a lot about how beautiful Uluru should look when it rains,” writes Christoph Schaarschmidt, who captured this image. “But I never believed that I would see it with my own eyes because the Red Centre of Australia is a very arid area.”

05/28/2016
USA election: Donald Trump rules out United States presidential debate with Bernie Sanders
Wingatewire: Shortly after Donald Trump nabbed enough delegates to clinch the Republican nomination for president on Thursday, the businessman said he'd "love" to debate Bernie Sanders for $10 million. Trump and Sanders have previously expressed an interest to hold a one-on-one encounter in California, in what could have been an unprecedented move since Republican and Democratic candidates traditionally do not debate each other until the parties have selected their nominees. At a rally in Pomona, California,...

05/28/2016
Australia: CSIRO dismantles 'integrated' climate science group as pressure mounts
Sydney Morning Herald: CSIRO's deep cuts to its science programs have come under fresh criticism with the head of a global network of monitoring stations warning Australia will lose key researchers that will dent the country's ability to manage future climate change. Almost all the staff at CSIRO's Yarralumla, ACT site researching how vegetation is responding to rising temperatures and shifting rainfall patterns – information that feeds into the world's main climate models – have been told their jobs are "surplus to...

05/28/2016
From cookstoves to forests, UN puts eye on mending global environment
Christian Science Monitor: For millions of people across the planet, environmental degradation is a daily reality that’s also a serious threat. Air pollution causes the premature death of around 7 million people each year, the World Health Organization estimates. The number goes much higher when other environment-linked challenges, from chemicals exposure to poor sanitation, are factored in. A new UN report released this week, documents the problem. With this in mind, representatives of more than 170 countries gathered...

05/28/2016
Planting the seeds of sustainability in Palestine
Deutsche-Welle: A zero-waste, food-producing, nature-harmonizing way of life in Palestine’s villages has been the subject of one man's dreams for over 15 years. Now, they are coming true. It was back in 2012 that agronomist, environmentalist and seasoned yoga instructor Saad Dagher finally identified the community that is to become Palestine’s first eco-village: Farkha. Located in the Salfit Governorate in the West Bank and home to 1500 residents, 30 cows and 3500 sheep and goats, it is being turned into a...

05/28/2016
Climate damage threatens heritage sites
Climate News Network: A world that faces the loss of the Statue of Liberty, where the ancient Italian city of Venice has been overwhelmed by flooding and a Ugandan forest that shelters mountain gorillas is at risk is all too real a possibility, says a new report. Its authors say 31 natural and cultural world heritage sites in 29 countries have been identified as affected by climate change. The impacts include rising temperatures, higher sea levels, more extreme weather, and fiercer droughts. The report by the UN...

05/28/2016
Will There Be Tax on Meat Production?
Nature World News: To meet the global rise in consumption and the environmental damage it invites, a UN expert recommended taxing meet production. The world could face serious environmental problems if China and other emerging economies take down Europeans and Americans in the amount of meat they consume, said Prof Maarten Hajer, the lead author of a report on the impact of food production and the environment. He told this to the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, according to The Guardian. "If we were all to...

05/28/2016
United Kingdom: Solved: the mystery of our absent red squirrels
Guardian: One of the main wildlife mysteries in the strath is the distribution of red squirrels in gardens in the adjoining villages of Farr and Inverarnie. Over many years we have advised people over putting out peanuts and feeders, and every one has succeeded in attracting them. However, one garden of an acre with mature trees and seemingly ideal has not succeeded, and it is ours! Various feeders have been tried to no avail, and I watched a badger climb two metres up the tree and tear one to pieces. ...

05/27/2016
New Cambodian protected forest offers hope for endangered wildlife
Mongabay: A new protected area in northern Cambodia has raised hopes for the future of five critically endangered bird species. About 65,000 hectares of the Western Siem Pang protected forest, long-recognized as an important biodiversity hotspot, was granted legal protection on May 9 under a prime ministerial sub-decree. In January 2014, the northern half of the biodiversity area was also transformed into a wildlife sanctuary, meaning that now the area under protection covers more than 132,000 hectares BirdLife...

05/27/2016
Sea sponge size minivan discovered in ocean depths off Hawaii
Guardian: Scientists on a deep-sea expedition in the waters off Hawaii have discovered what they say is the world’s largest known sponge. The creature, roughly the size of a minivan, was discovered about 2,100m (7,000ft) down in a marine conservation area off the shores of the north-western Hawaiian -islands. The rare sponge, with a bluish-white colour and brain-like appearance, stunned scientists when it appeared in the remote cameras attached to their underwater rover. Scientists from the National...

05/27/2016
The EU's Hard Choice: Climate Change or National Politics
Huffington Post: Last year’s Paris Climate Agreement at COP21 marked a paradigm shift in the international response to climate change. Skeptics argue the targets aren’t ambitious enough, but few can deny that COP21, thanks in part to Europe’s leadership, achieved the first multilateral climate agreement since the Kyoto Protocol. In April 2016, with Earth Day as a backdrop, 175 parties accounting for 94% of global emissions reconvened to sign the Paris Climate Agreement. But only 15 countries—mainly small island...

05/27/2016
Burning all fossil fuels would scorch Earth: study
PhysOrg: Average temperatures would climb by up to 9.5 degrees Celsius (17 degrees Fahrenheit)-five times the cap on global warming set at climate talks in Paris in December, they reported. In the Arctic region-already heating at more than double the global average-the thermometer would rise an unimaginable 15 C to 20 C. Burning all known reserves of oil, gas and coal would inject about five trillion tonnes of heat-trapping carbon into the atmosphere, mainly in the form of carbon dioxide, a team wrote...

05/27/2016
Bacteria resistant to 'antibiotic of last resort' found in the United States
Daily Crouton: But when Public Health England began testing 24,000 bacterial samples from 2012 to 2015 it found 15 cases of colistin-resistance. "We are taking the emergence of this resistance gene very seriously". The report added that Defense Department researchers have determined that the strain is resistant to colistin. "This is another piece of a really nasty puzzle that we didn't want to see here", said Dr Beth Bell, who oversees CDC's emerging infectious diseases programmes. There have been a few bacterias...

05/27/2016
Dinosaur Extinction Event Took Out Polar Creatures, Too
United Press International: Whether caused by asteroid or volcanism -- or both -- scientists now know few places on Earth offered safety from the extinction event that killed the dinosaurs. An extensive survey of ancient marine fossils from the Antarctic Peninsula proves the ecosystems to the south suffered considerably during the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event. The survey included 6,000 marine fossils dated to between 69 million and 65 million years old. A wide range of species and sizes were included -- from sea...

05/27/2016
Trump vows scuttle Paris climate agreement in 'America first' energy speech
Daily Crouton: "Under my presidency, we'll accomplish a complete American energy independence". Shortly after that statement, though, Trump said: "The government should not pick winners and losers". Just prior to the North Dakota event, Trump surpassed the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the GOP nomination after 29 unbound Republican delegates told the Associated Press that they would support him at the party's July convention. "We are a vanishingly small threat to eagles", Kelley said. "But I'm always...

05/27/2016
Antarctic Fossils Suggest That Mass Extinction Event in Polar Regions as Rapid as Elsewhere
Nature World: A new study, published in the journal Nature Communications revealed that animals living in the Polar Regions suffered from the sudden and deadly effect of the mass extinction event just like elsewhere in the world. Previously, scientists believe that animals in the Polar Regions are far enough away from the cause of the extinction to be badly affected. They also proposed that organisms living in the poles would have been more resilient to global climatic changes associated with an asteroid impact...

05/27/2016
NOAA: Near-Normal Hurricane Season Expected
Climate Central: The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1, but is off to an early start this year. Not only is a storm poised to form off the coast of the Southeast, but the first named storm of the season actually occurred way back in January. Forecasters put the greatest odds on this hurricane season being a near-average one, with smaller chances it will over- or under-perform, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday. The outlook predicts 10 to 16 named storms, with...

05/27/2016
Global Warming Threatens the World’s Special Places
Climate Central: The most precious places on the planet are under siege by climate change. From Venice being slowly consumed by the sea to rising temperatures stressing out Uganda's famous gorillas, history and the natural world are facing a threat unlike anything they've ever experienced before. On the eve of Memorial Day and the unofficial start to summer tourism season, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the United Nations have put out a report chronicling the risks climate change poses to cultural...

05/27/2016
Fossil fuel darling Ted Cruz demands the feds stop investigating Exxon
Grist: He`s baaaack! Just a few weeks after Ted Cruz tucked his three-pronged tail between his legs and headed back to D.C., the Texas senator and one-time presidential hopeful has gone right back to advocating for his real constituents in Congress: Big Oil. The Guardian reports that Cruz, along with four other senators, has demanded that the Department of Justice cease any investigation into whether oil companies lied to the public about climate change. Exxon, which wasn`t specifically mentioned...

05/27/2016
“Rattled” by Trump, G7 nations eager to move up timeline for the Paris climate deal
Grist: This week, leaders of the world`s wealthiest developed countries and the E.U., the G7, met in Japan, where they agreed to expedite the Paris climate agreement so it enters into force by the end of the year. He was difficult to avoid, after all. On Thursday, the professional Twitter user delivered a lengthy speech on energy policy, in which he doubled down on his commitment to "cancel the Paris climate agreement and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs." Seventeen...

05/27/2016
Why does PETA sometimes use nudity in its campaigns?
PETA: Why does PETA sometimes use nudity in its campaigns? PETA believes that women--and men--should be able to use their own bodies as political statements. Like Lady Godiva, who rode naked on a horse to protest taxes on the poor in the 11th century, PETA knows that provocative, attention-grabbing actions are sometimes necessary to get people talking about issues that they would otherwise prefer not to think about. The smart, compassionate men and women who pose "naked" for PETA choose to do so...

05/27/2016
Tropical storm warning issued for SC
The Villages Suntimes: Hurricane Alex formed in early January and made landfall as a tropical storm in The Azores. The U.S. Air Force sent a Hurricane Hunter plane to the storm late Friday afternoon to gather more information. Wind shear in the area and cooler waters deep in the Atlantic could slow the low's development into a named storm, said Paul Walker, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc.in State College, Pennsylvania. According to forecasters, among the factors contributing to the uncertain predictions...

05/27/2016
Here's what Donald Trump had to say about climate change
Christian Science Monitor: In an address on energy Thursday, Donald Trump laid out a new breed of climate skepticism taking hold among conservatives. He pledged to deregulate the American fossil-fuel industry, he decried the cost of renewable energy, and he promised American energy independence to an enthusiastic crowd of oil executives. But he steered clear of climate change entirely. It is not that Republicans have changed their position on climate change. Some 56 percent of Republicans in the 114th Congress denied...

05/27/2016
To rebuild coral reefs quickly, just add electricity
Mother Nature Network: To rebuild coral reefs quickly, just add electricity Biorock reefs -- sunken steel frames connected to a low-voltage current -- are giving coral a second chance at surviving humanity You may have heard that coral reefs are in trouble. Serious trouble. A recent survey of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the largest living structure on the planet, found 93 percent of the coral has been impacted by bleaching; a stark warning sign that the ecosystem is under tremendous environmental stresses. The...

05/27/2016
At least one person dies in severe flooding in southeast Texas
Reuters: Record rainfall and severe flooding have hit parts of southeast Texas, forcing evacuations and killing at least one person, authorities said on Friday. A record 16.6 inches (42 cm) of rain fell in Brenham, about 80 miles (130 km) west of Houston, on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service, which posted flash flood watches in some parts of southeast Texas for Friday. Locally heavy rainfall could persist on Friday with the risk of strong to severe storms, the NWS said on its website....

05/27/2016
Solar Boat to Make Solo Trip From California to Hawaii
EcoWatch: The Seacharger, a solar-powered boat built by "a couple of hobbyists" in a garage, will set sail for a solo, 2,000-mile ocean journey from California to Hawaii on Memorial Day. This autonomous boat is trying to cross an ocean using only #solar powerhttps The project was conceived by Silicon Valley-based Damon McMillan, who has a background in aeronautics and astronautics and currently works in the unmanned vehicle industry. McMillan--with help from his team of friends, who happen to be computer...

05/27/2016
7 monuments, cities world treasures could lose rising sea levels
Mother Nature Network: 7 monuments, cities and world treasures we could lose to rising sea levels These are just a sample of the things we could lose if temperatures rise 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit over the next 200 years. Every year the worldwide sea level rises about 3 mm. That doesn’t sound like much, just a little over a 1/10 of an inch, but even that small rise spread out over the entire ocean is a lot of water. Multiply that over years and decades, factor in an increased rate of rise (thanks to our growing addiction...

05/27/2016
10 Popular Dive Sites Closed in Thailand Due to Coral Bleaching Crisis
EcoWatch: Some of Thailand`s most prized dive sites have been closed indefinitely after the Department of National Parks` survey found coral bleaching on 80 percent of some of the reefs. This is a bold move for a country where tourism accounts for 10 percent of its economy--and where officials were hoping to attract 32 million tourists this year, The Guardian reported. But then again, it sends the message Thailand officials want: Ignorant tourism is killing the reefs. “The coral reefs are affected by...

05/27/2016
Busier hurricane season forecast
Durango Herald: U.S. government forecasters expect a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season, after three relatively slow years. But they also say climate conditions that influence storm development are making it difficult to predict how many hurricanes and tropical storms will arise over the next six months. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's outlook Friday called for a near-normal season with 10 to 16 named storms, with four to eight hurricanes and one to four “major” ones with...

05/27/2016
New International Accord to Tackle Illegal Fishing
Inter Press Service: A new international accord to tackle illegal and under-reported fishing will come into force on June 5. Under the Port States Measures Agreement (PSMA) governments will be required to inspect foreign fishing vessels that dock in their ports. "The vessels themselves have the obligation to prove that their condition and the catches that they have on board are in fact taken legitimately," Matthew Camilleri, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO)'s chief shepherd of the Port State Measures...

05/27/2016
Zambian villagers win right to have pollution case heard in Britain
Guardian: Eighteen hundred Zambian villagers claiming to have had their water supplies polluted and their health affected by a giant mining company’s subsidiary have won the right to have their case heard in the British courts rather than in Zambia. Vedanta, which is headquartered in London, had argued strongly in the high court that the villagers’ case against them and their subsidiary, KCM, should be heard in Zambia, where the alleged pollution took place near the town of Chingola and the giant Nchanga...

05/27/2016
South African Solar-Powered Eco-Village Will Be Car-Free
EcoWatch: One village in South Africa is taking green living to a whole new level. Blue Rock Village, situated just 45 minutes outside of Cape Town, sits on Blue Rock Lake, an old rock quarry that provided construction materials to Cape Town in the late 1990s. The village was inspired, according to architecture firm Swisatec, "by our vision to create a safe, environmentally friendly, car-free village for all ages." Blue Rock will be a self-functioning 1,000-apartment town, equipped with a lifestyle...

05/27/2016
Poland Begins Logging Ancient Forest Despite Fierce Protests
Yale Environment 360: Renata Krzysciak-Kosinska The Bialowieza Forest in Poland. Despite intense protests from environmentalists and scientists, Poland began logging the Bialowieza Forest this week, the last remaining fragment of Europe’s ancient woodlands and a World Heritage site. The forest, covering more than 350,000 acres, is home to the continent’s largest population of European bison and 20,000 other wildlife species. Polish officials said the logging is to remove spruce trees dead or dying from a bark beetle infestation,...

05/27/2016
Forecaster predicts near-normal hurricane season
Reuters: U.S. meteorologists on Friday predicted the number of storms in the upcoming hurricane season will increase from years of below-average levels, as a weather system brewed off the East Coast potentially disrupting Americans' Memorial Day weekend. As Americans readied for the long weekend that marks the start of the U.S. summer, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said it saw a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms with winds of 39 miles per hour (63 kms per...

05/27/2016
Malawi’s Drought Leaves Millions High and Dry
Inter Press Service: It's Saturday, market day at the popular Bvumbwe market in Thyolo district. About 40 kilometers away in Chiradzulu district, a vegetable vendor and mother of five, Esnart Nthawa, 35, has woken up at three a.m. to prepare for the journey to the market. The day before, she went about her village buying tomatoes and okra from farmers, which she has safely packed in her dengu (woven basket). Now she's just waiting for a hired bicycle to take her and her merchandise to the bus station, where she...

05/27/2016
The real rich v poor battle over climate change has just started
Climate Home: The Paris Agreement on climate change was hailed as the moment when 195 countries set aside their differences to tackle a common challenge. Five months on, was it all too good to be true? The outlook is mixed, say envoys and analysts who followed the last two weeks of UN climate talks in Bonn. On the surface, the atmosphere was positive. “We are moving beyond previous disagreements from the past few years,” said Elina Bardram, the EU’s chief negotiator. “We’ve had a positive tone over the...

05/27/2016
Climate Change Could Make Crops Toxic
ThinkProgress: By now, it`s fairly well-established that climate change is going to be a major challenge for food production. Rising temperatures are set to severely damage crop yields, lessen the nutritional value of important crops, and make large portions of the planet inhospitable to crop production. And some studies argue that it won`t be easy to innovate our way out of these problems, with data suggesting that developed countries have a more difficult time maintaining yields during droughts and heat waves...

05/27/2016
Shell Pipeline Leaks 20,000 Gallons of Oil in California’s Central Valley
EcoWatch: For the second time in two weeks, Shell has spilled thousands of gallons of oil, this time in California’s Central Valley. Less than two weeks after dumping nearly 90,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, Shell Oil is at it again. The company’s San Pablo Bay Pipeline, which transports crude oil from California’s Central Valley to the San Francisco Bay Area, leaked an estimated 21,000 gallons into the soil near in San Joaquin County this week. Responders are on the scene to clear oil that’s...

05/27/2016
Donald Trump would 'cancel' Paris climate deal
BBC: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said he would "cancel" the Paris climate deal in his first major speech on energy policy. More than 195 countries pledged to reduce carbon emissions in a landmark agreement last year. The billionaire businessman has said before there is no evidence that humans are responsible for climate change. He called for more drilling, fewer regulations and the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada. "Any regulation that's outdated, unnecessary,...

05/27/2016
UN's Ban decries G7 absence at humanitarian summit
Wingate Wire: Convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and hosted by Government of Turkey, the World Humanitarian Summit (COMMITMENT) is taking place on May 23-24, a Foreign Office statement said. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila told the World Humanitarian Summit gathering that included German Chancellor Angela Merkel: "Part of giving faith-based organisations a bigger role is to recognise that people must become agents of the rebuilding of their lives and not be made to feel simply like beneficiaries...

05/27/2016
5 surprising facts about salamanders
Mother Nature Network: The oldest salamander species rubbed elbows with Jurassic dinosaurs. A 157-million-year-old salamander fossil discovered a few years ago in China is the oldest of its kind and places this ancient species as living with Jurassic dinosaurs. It is thought that salamanders diverged from other amphibians somewhere around 200 million years ago. Who knows what future fossil discoveries may reveal! The Mexican salamander or axolotl stays forever young. Unlike other salamander species, the unique...

05/27/2016
Peru Declares State of Emergency as Mercury Contamination From Illegal Gold Mining Poisons
EcoWatch: Peru`s government has declared a two-month state of emergency across 11 Amazon jungle districts due to mercury contamination caused by widespread illegal gold mining activities. Real action is needed to end the tribal mercury poisoning crisis @Minsa_Peru https://t.co/qsGDnrQASX pic.twitter.com/tDBTFK8LoF -- Survival (@Survival) May 25, 2016 The South American country, home to 13 percent of the iconic Amazon rainforest, is the sixth largest gold producer in the world. Covert mining for the...

05/27/2016
Trump: America First on Fossil Fuels, Last on Climate Change
Inside Climate: Donald Trump vowed Thursday that if elected president he would dismantle the landmark global treaty to tackle climate change endorsed by the whole world in Paris last year. Instead, he promised the domestic fossil fuel industry a no-holds-barred, America-first development policy aimed at maximizing production of coal, oil and natural gas. Speaking on the day he clinched the delegates to win the Republican presidential nomination, Trump delivered his first substantive speech on energy and climate...

05/27/2016
Antarctica may not be as isolated as we thought, and that's a worry
Conservation: For a long time, we have thought of Antarctica as isolated from the rest of the world. The continent is entirely surrounded by the Southern Ocean, which heaves with giant waves whipped up by intense winds, and is home to the world’s strongest ocean current, the eastward-flowing Antarctic circumpolar current (ACC). The Southern Ocean is associated with several circumpolar oceanic fronts (see image below), where sharp transitions in ocean temperature and salinity occur. One of the most significant...

05/27/2016
Coral vs. coal
New York Times: Tim Flannery, a scientist and environmentalist who was named Australian of the Year in 2007, lost his job in 2013. The right-wing government of then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott shut down the Climate Commission that Flannery headed in a peremptory move designed to demonstrate its contempt for climate change. The commission had been established two years earlier to provide “authoritative information” to the Australian public. Abbott, of the conservative Liberal Party, had no time for such information....


Did You Know?

A child dies every 8 seconds from drinking contaminated water.

 

Website developed by: