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

04/23/2014
In South Carolina leaders reconsider drilling along coastline
McClatchy: The push to start drilling in the Atlantic Ocean is gaining momentum and dividing people along the grand coast of South Carolina, where some local leaders fear what it could mean for tourism. "If we had an event like they had in the Gulf it would be devastating for us," said Hilton Head Mayor Drew Laughlin, referring to the April 2010 drilling rig explosion that killed 11 and gushed 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. "Our beach and our environment are our signatures. Our entire...

04/23/2014
Want to stop climate change? Take the fossil fuel industry to court
Nation: In November 2013, American climate scientist Richard Heede, of the Colorado-based Climate Accountability Institute, published a paper with a revolutionary thesis. After nine years of researching the energy industry in dozens of countries, he concluded that nearly two-thirds of the world's carbon dioxide and methane emissions dating back to the dawn of the industrial era were the responsibility of just ninety companies. Heede called them the "carbon majors.' Not surprisingly, the biggest players...

04/23/2014
United Kingdom: Eight renewables projects given go-ahead in ‘green energy investment boom’
Blue and Green: The government has given eight major renewable projects the go-ahead as part of its electricity market reforms. The developments have been described as a significant part of the coalition’s plans to provide cleaner and more secure energy to the UK. It is anticipated that by 2020, the projects will provide up to £12 billion of private sector investment and generate around 4% of Britain’s energy mix. They include offshore wind farms and coal-to-biomass conversions, and will go some way to help Britain...

04/23/2014
China says more than half of its groundwater is polluted
Associated Press: Nearly 60% of the groundwater at sites monitored throughout China is of poor or extremely poor quality, with excessive amounts of pollutants, according to an annual report by the Ministry of Land and Resources. Tests at 4,778 monitoring sites across China showed a slight increase in polluted sites over last year, from 57.4% to 59.6%, according to the report, released late on Tuesday. Beijing has been responding to public demands for transparency in environmental data. Last week, the government...

04/23/2014
Jackfruit heralded as 'miracle' food crop
Guardian: It's big and bumpy with a gooey interior and a powerful smell of decay - but it could help keep millions of people from hunger. Researchers say jackfruit – a large ungainly fruit grown across south and south-east Asia – could be a replacement for wheat, corn and other staple crops under threat from climate change. The World Bank and United Nations warned recently that rising temperatures and unpredictable rainfall had already reduced yields of wheat and corn, and could lead to food wars within...

04/23/2014
Climate Change Likely to Make Everest Even Riskier
Associated Press: Climbing to the roof of the world is becoming less predictable and possibly more dangerous, scientists say, as climate change brings warmer temperatures that may eat through the ice and snow on Mount Everest. Nepal was left reeling when a sudden ice avalanche slammed down onto a group of Sherpa guides on Friday and killed 16 in the deadliest single disaster on Everest. While it is impossible to link any single event to long-term changes in the global climate, scientists say the future will likely...

04/23/2014
Maltese people call for referendum over migratory bird hunts
Blue and Green: British conservationists have joined Maltese citizens in protesting against the annual hunting of migratory birds, which local hunters have defended as a ‘tradition’. Each year, several bird species migrate from Africa to Northern Europe, flying over Malta. Despite spring hunting being banned by the EU, the country is allowed to shoot 5,000 quails and 11,000 turtledoves. The numbers are in fact higher because of illegal hunting. However, conservation charities have been backed by more than...

04/23/2014
‘Animals Are Persons Too’
New York Times: How does a thing become a person? In December 2013, the lawyer Steven Wise showed the world how, with a little legal jujitsu, an animal can transition from a thing without rights to a person with legal protections. This Op-Doc video follows Mr. Wise on his path to filing the first-ever lawsuits in the United States demanding limited “personhood” rights for certain animals, on behalf of four captive chimpanzees in New York State. Mr. Wise (who is also the subject of The New York Times Magazine’s...

04/23/2014
EU climate chief urges China to show international commitment
Reuters: China could set a new pace for slow-moving international climate talks by bringing its domestic commitment to fight global warming on to the world stage, the EU's top climate change official said on Wednesday. EU Climate Change Commissioner Connie Hedegaard is visiting China this week for two-way talks ahead of a June U.N. meeting in Bonn where negotiators from more than 190 nations will continue efforts to agree a new international climate treaty. Hedegaard said she was impressed by the action...

04/23/2014
Apple reveals environmental progress and warns that climate change ‘is real’
Blue and Green: Tech giant Apple has outlined a range of improvements to its sustainability credentials and warned that climate change “is real” and is “a problem”. The company also claimed that it wants to leave the world in a better state than how it found it. Apple revealed that 94% of its corporate facilities and 100% of its data centres are now powered by clean energy sources. It also said that it had cut the energy use of its products by 57% and had worked to remove toxins, such as PVC, brominated flame...

04/23/2014
The case for a global fund for science education
SciDevNet: In today’s global economy, a workforce trained in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) is recognised as a primary driver of growth. Around the world, STEM education initiatives vary in scope, size, type, target populations and funding sources. What’s missing is a unified global mechanism for STEM education. Creating a Global STEM Fund would help support and implement effective and innovative STEM programmes in developing countries. [1] The NGO Cosmos Education, the STEM Innovation Camp...

04/23/2014
Senate holds Miami Beach hearing on climate change
Associated Press: South Florida officials testified Tuesday before a U.S. Senate subcommittee that they're already shouldering the burdens of rising sea levels and they need state and federal partners to do more to help adapt their coastline to the effects of climate change. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., was the only member of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation's subcommittee on science and space to make the trip to Miami Beach City Hall. "I specifically wanted to come here because this is...

04/23/2014
Poll: One in Four ‘Solidly Skeptical’ Global Warming
Time: Americans are becoming more divided in their opinion on impact of global warming and humanity’s role in the phenomenon, as the number of global warming skeptics has roughly doubled over the past 10 years to encompass one in four of the population. The portion of Americans with mixed opinions about global warming has declined from 49 percent in 2001 to 36 percent today, according to a Gallup poll released on Earth Day Tuesday. Over the same period the number of people who are concerned about global...

04/23/2014
Jimmy Carter urges US, China leadership on climate
AsiaOne: Former US president Jimmy Carter on Tuesday urged his country and China, two of the world's biggest fossil fuel polluters, to take the lead on halting climate change. If the two economic and political giants could agree on a way forward, the rest of the world would likely follow their lead, the statesman told AFP on the sidelines of a climate change discussion with students at the Paris Institute of Political Science. "If we could put those two together as leaders of the Western world and the...

04/23/2014
Better Climate Data Could Help Tanzania Curb Malaria
allAfrica: Tanzania is enlisting climate data in a new approach to curbing malaria. Enhancing National Climate Services (ENACTS), a system established by the Tanzania Meteorological Agency in conjunction with the US-based International Research Institute for Climate and Society, is designed to identify long-term drivers of the disease by compiling historical climate data and making it available for analysis by health policy-makers. Malaria is a major public health concern in Tanzania. More than 10 million...

04/23/2014
China carbon cash party over as U.N. credit stream dries up
Reuters: Revenues for China's biggest sellers of U.N.-issued carbon credits shrunk last year to a tenth of 2012 values, choking off billions of dollars flowing to clean energy projects in the world's top carbon-emitter. China will now have less money to put into a stepped-up campaign to cut greenhouse gas emissions, clean its air and raise the share of fossil-free energy in its total mix to 15 percent by the end of the decade, from a current 8 percent. The U.N.'s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is...

04/23/2014
Draft climate change legislation to tighten carbon pledges
Irish Times: Draft climate change legislation to be published today contains several key changes that will tighten the State’s obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The heads of the Climate Action and Low-Carbon Development Bill will be unveiled today by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan. Earlier versions of the planned legislation were criticised by a number of organisations campaigning in this area because they contained no specific medium-term or long- term targets for the key dates of...

04/23/2014
Climate change fight our lives
Guardian: This is a story about bad timing. One of the most disturbing ways that climate change is already playing out is through what ecologists call "mismatch" or "mistiming." This is the process whereby warming causes animals to fall out of step with a critical food source, particularly at breeding times, when a failure to find enough food can lead to rapid population losses. The migration patterns of many songbird species, for instance, have evolved over millennia so that eggs hatch precisely when food...

04/23/2014
Chairman of Veolia unit in China apologizes after water pollution
Reuters: The chairman of the Chinese unit of French utility Veolia Environment has apologized to the public after a cancer-inducing chemical was found in tap water supplied by the company, the Xinhua news agency said. Benzene was found in tap water supplied by the Lanzhou Veolia Water Company in the northwestern city of Lanzhou on April 10, forcing the city of 3.6 million people to turn off supplies in one district. Other residents were warned not to drink tap water for a day. Last week, China blamed Veolia...

04/23/2014
Vilsack:Agriculture unfairly blamed climate change
Des Moines Register: U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today that agriculture tends to take the brunt of criticism about climate change, but the industry contributes only 9 percent of the greenhouse gases blamed for a warming planet. "Everyone assumes what's happening globally is happening nationally," said Vilsack, a keynote speaker at Drake University forum on climate change. "Clearly, there are challenges globally in terms of agriculture and its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. That's not necessarily...

04/23/2014
Dying coral reefs threaten the livelihood of millions
PhysOrg: Declining coral reef health is threatening the food security and livelihoods of millions of people living in the coastal tropics, according to a study by University of Queensland researchers. Lead author Dr Alice Rogers said coral reefs were dying due to pollution, climate change and overfishing and further decline would impact on reef fisheries. "We studied coral reefs in the Caribbean where many people rely on reef fisheries for food and income," said Dr Rogers from UQ's School of Biological...

04/23/2014
Earth Day 2014 focuses on need for 'Green Cities,' fight against climate change
Tech Times: Earth Day is an annual event that happens every 22nd of April. This year, the people behind Earth Day are pushing their "Green Cities Campaign" as a viable solution to the problems brought about by climate change. Earth Day Network's Green Cities Campaign was first launched last year in an effort to promote sustainable urban development in cities around the world. The aim of the campaign is to help foster sustainable growth while making a concerted effort to reduce carbon emissions and a city's...

04/23/2014
Liberal Donor Steyer Rejects Koch Comparison
Real Clear politics: Liberal billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer rejected a comparison to the Koch brothers in an interview Tuesday, arguing that the Kochs’ goals “line up perfectly with their pocketbooks, and that’s not true for us.” “I think they have not been huge embracers of transparency,” he told reporters from Politico and the Washington Post. “I think they’re in a very, very different position than me and from the people that I work with. And the fact that we’re on opposite sides of the table...

04/23/2014
Group sues U.S. stronger Idaho, Montana grizzly protection
Reuters: Federal protection status for a population of grizzly bears facing extinction in the mountains of Idaho and northwest Montana should be raised to endangered from threatened, environmentalists said in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday. The Montana-based Alliance for the Wild Rockies is asking a judge to order the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to strengthen protections for the fewer than 50 grizzlies that roam the Cabinet Mountains and the Yaak River drainage. The group also is seeking tougher restrictions...

04/22/2014
Shark cull to be assessed by Western Australias environmental watchdog
Guardian: Western Australia’s environmental watchdog has said it will assess the state government’s bid to extend its controversial shark-baiting program to three years. WA’s Environmental Protection Authority previously ruled out assessing the trial of the shark cull, which began in January and is set to end next week, claiming that it posed a negligible risk to shark species. The decision outraged conservationists. But the EPA will now assess the WA government’s plan to resume the cull on 15 November...

04/22/2014
Rural India looks to past & present to meet growing water needs
Reuters: Farmers in rural India are adopting a combination of centuries-old water storage methods and modern irrigation techniques to adapt to increasingly dry conditions. With funding from international donors, the government of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh is renovating thousands of medieval water ponds, and training farmers to use carefully targeted drip irrigation instead of flooding their fields with water. One of the converts to this mix of old and new methods is 80-year-old rice farmer...

04/22/2014
After IPCC Report, What's Next for Climate Groups
U.S. News and World Report: The warnings were dire, the consequences of inaction portrayed to be catastrophic and the proposed solutions made to seem within reach. Yet the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's compendium on global warming published April 13 -- the body’s third in the past year -- has already largely faded into the background of the American news cycle. The next major climate report from the IPCC won’t come out for another four to seven years -- if it’s approved at all. Meanwhile, though the vast...

04/22/2014
A Green Economy Could Add $45Bn (€32.6Bn) to Kenya's GDP
Softpedia: The United Nations Environment Programme and the Government of Kenya have released a new joint report saying that, should said country agree to switch to a so-called green economy, its GDP (gross domestic product) could up by an impressive $45 billion (€32.6 billion) by the year 2030. In their report, the United Nations Environment Programme and the Government of Kenya detail that, according to data at hand, an investment of just 2% of the country's current GDP in green-oriented measures that have...

04/22/2014
Humans: the real threat to life on Earth
Guardian: Earth is home to millions of species. Just one dominates it. Us. Our cleverness, our inventiveness and our activities have modified almost every part of our planet. In fact, we are having a profound impact on it. Indeed, our cleverness, our inventiveness and our activities are now the drivers of every global problem we face. And every one of these problems is accelerating as we continue to grow towards a global population of 10 billion. In fact, I believe we can rightly call the situation we're in...

04/22/2014
Barrier Reef: miners' advertising campaign to defend dredging of ports
Guardian: A “galvanised” mining industry has promised a prolonged campaign of advertising and lobbying to counter what it sees as scaremongering by environmental activists. The Queensland Resources Council will on Wednesday launch its first ever TV advertisements aimed at challenging claims by environmentalists that ports, shipping and seabed dredging for coal exports are threatening the health of the Great Barrier Reef. The ads state there is no scientific evidence linking degradation of the reef to...

04/22/2014
New map could refocus state's pollution battles
LA Times: The California Environmental Protection Agency has released a statewide list of census tracts most burdened by pollution, providing a first-of-its-kind ranking certain to pressure regulators to clean up neighborhoods with long-standing health risks. Many of the worst pollution pockets identified and mapped by state officials are in the San Joaquin Valley, Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire. Their residents are largely low-income Latinos who have had little power to force improvements in their...

04/22/2014
Tackling global warming will require all nations to get on board
Straight: It’s fitting that the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was released during Earth Month. After all, the third chapter of its Fifth Assessment focuses on ways to keep our planet healthy and livable by warding off extreme climatic shifts and weather events caused by escalating atmospheric carbon. Doing so will require substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions--40 to 70 percent by 2050 and to near-zero by the end of the century. We must also protect carbon “sinks” such...

04/22/2014
Experts Warn Wildlife Response Climate Change Is Likely Underestimated
RedOrbit: Analyzing thousands of breeding bird surveys sent in by citizen scientists across the western United States and Canada over 35 years, wildlife researchers report that most of the 40 songbird species they studied shifted either northward or toward higher elevation in response to climate change, but did not necessarily do both. This means that most previous studies of potential climate change impacts on wildlife that looked only at one factor or the other have likely underestimated the effects of...

04/22/2014
Climate Change Affects State, But Legislative Answers Stalled
Hartford Courant: Climate change has been blamed for raising the sea level and eroding the shoreline, but the issue is a political firestorm so divisive that most legislative efforts have stalled in Congress. U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both Democrats from Connecticut, have worked to pass legislation that would combat global warming that they say threatens the Nutmeg State. Blumenthal notes that scientifically substantiated climate change will adversely affect agriculture, infrastructure and...

04/22/2014
The noughties: a decade of lost species
Guardian: From rhinos to redwood trees, the noughties decade has spelled the end for some species of plants and animals. Many have not been sighted in their natural habitat for some time, while others have been declared officially extinct by body that compiles an annual 'red list' of the status of endangered species, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

04/22/2014
Planet Earth Is Trolling American Climate Change Activists
Wire: New data indicates that last month was the world's fourth-warmest March in recorded history. But, apparently to troll American environmental activists, that warmth was obvious everywhere except the United States. This is how temperatures in each part of the globe compared in March, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Most of the Earth's surface area is red to some degree, indicating temperatures above the average temperature the world saw between 1981 and 2010. But...

04/22/2014
Parched California moves to boost water saving toilets, faucets
Reuters: With California facing its worst drought in a century, state officials have fast-tracked first-in-the-nation water efficiency standards for new toilets, urinals and faucets, an action expected to save about 8.2 billion gallons of water the first year while cutting energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The draft standards, released late last week, would prohibit the sale of appliances in California that do not meet proposed standards, which are expected to go into effect in 2016. The standards...

04/22/2014
Virtual Earth plays out fate of life on planet
New Scientist: We can simulate the climate and we can even simulate babies. Now, we can simulate life on Earth, too - the vast and complex interactions of the living organisms on our planet. Named Madingley, after the village in Cambridgeshire, UK, where the idea was dreamed up, it's a mathematical model that could help us predict the future. It could tell us what would happen if all the bees disappeared, the difference it would make if pandas died out, and what the world might have looked like if humans had...

04/22/2014
EPA cuts 2013 target for cellulosic biofuel
Reuters: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency slashed its target for 2013 use of cellulosic biofuel to less than a million gallons on Tuesday after the industry failed to meet goals for production of the fuel last year. The agency lowered the mandate to 810,185 gallons in a new rule, well below the 6 million gallons it had required in the plan it finalized last August. Oil groups challenged the previous plan after one of the two companies slated to make cellulosic biofuel in 2013 dramatically reduced...

04/22/2014
Illegal logging makes up 70 percent of Papua New Guinea's timber industry
Mongabay: Corruption, weak governance, and powerful timber barons are illegally stripping the forests of Papua New Guinea, according to a new report from the Chatham House. The policy institute finds that 70 percent of logging in Papua New Guinea is currently illegal, despite the fact that 99 percent of land is owned by local indigenous communities. "The biggest challenge is dealing with collusion between corrupt officials and logging firms," author of the report Sam Lawson told mongabay.com. "The logging...

04/22/2014
United Kingdom: Seal cull abandoned amid protests
BBC: A major wild salmon producer has said it is giving up the culling of seals after protests at a harbour in the north east of Scotland. The Montrose-based Scottish Wild Salmon Company claimed it had been confronted by activists at Gardenstown harbour. The company said it was removing firearms from its operations, meaning only acoustic devices would be used to drive seals away from nets. The protest group, Sea Shepherd, expressed "delight" at the news. Police Scotland said it was monitoring...

04/22/2014
Run-of-River Hydropower Could Be a $1.4Bn (€1Bn) Industry in 10 Years' Time
Softpedia: Run-of-river hydropower is more eco-friendly than conventional one, specialists argue If specialists working with Tocardo International BV, i.e. a Dutch turbine maker, are right, then run-of-river hydropower has high chances to be worth a $1.4 billion (approximately EUR1 billion) in about 10 years' time. This will probably happen due to the urgency to limit climate change and global warming by curbing greenhouse gas emissions, and also because, when compared to more conventional means to harvest...

04/22/2014
Australia: Mass starfish cull to save Great Barrier Reef
Telegraph: An official cull of starfish in Australia has killed more than 250,000 of the "nasty critters' in the past two years to try to save coral in the ailing Great Barrier Reef. Authorities have adopted a more efficient method of killing the creatures, using a single injection method which causes them to die within 24 to 48 hours. Previously, up to 20 injections were required. The government said the method had led to a fourfold increase in the number of starfish killed but the injections caused...

04/22/2014
G7 countries aim to cut energy ties to Russia
BusinessGreen: The G7 will consider ways to reduce reliance on Russian oil and gas to prevent the country wielding its vast energy supplies for political ends. UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey told The Times that a package of measures to boost energy security will be considered at a meeting in Rome on May 5 and 6. This could see the UK expedite electricity interconnectors to Belgium, France and Norway, accelerate UK exploration of shale gas as well and alternative gas supplies, and boost energy...

04/22/2014
United Kingdom: ‘Freedom to frack’ on private land sparks outrage
Blue and Green: The government is about to include plans in an infrastructure bill to allow energy companies to drill on private land without permission, despite protests of residents and green groups. The bill will be part of the Queen’s speech in June and would see changes in the trespass law, so that landowners would receive only a small compensation for drilling operations. The bill would also make changes to road construction, giving more powers to the Highway Agency to renew the UK’s ageing infrastructure....

04/22/2014
Britain’s nuclear waste site almost certain to leak
Blue and Green: The Environment Agency has admitted that it was a mistake to build the UK’s nuclear waste dump on its current location on the West Cumbrian coast, warning it is almost certain to leak contaminated waste within "a few hundred to a few thousand years". According to an internal document published in January and recently obtained by the Guardian, erosion from storms and rising sea levels caused by climate change will almost certainly cause the Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) to leak and contaminate...

04/22/2014
After Declaring War on Smog, China Updating Environmental Laws
Bloomberg: If there’s any country that needs new-and-improved environmental laws, it’s China. The pollution in Beijing and other cities is visible from space, and tourists worried about unbreathable air can now buy smog insurance. Pollution has left 16 percent of Chinese land unfit for use, according to a recent government report, and two-thirds of companies surveyed by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China identify pollution as the biggest challenge in attracting foreign talent. Chinese Premier...

04/22/2014
Britons should ‘embrace’ onshore and offshore wind, says Ed Miliband
Blue and Green: Leader of the Labour party Ed Miliband has called for Britain to “embrace” both onshore and offshore wind farms. He added that the party’s manifesto for the next election would include renewable energy commitments. According to the Telegraph, Miliband said, “I understand the reasons why people worry about wind turbines in particular places. People always have to have the right to make their objections, planning issues and so on. “I do think personally that we have got to embrace in general...

04/22/2014
Conservationists and marksmen of Malta battle over annual bird hunt
Guardian: As dawn breaks over the sea and ancient stone churches turn pink, the morning's stillness is broken by volleys of gunfire. Tucked behind walls, sitting on armchairs in specially built turrets or else popping up from old stone sheds, Malta's marksmen open fire as migrating birds flap desperately for cover. When it comes to bird hunts, this is one of Europe's more uneven contests. Birds flying over the islands of Malta on their annual migration to northern Europe must evade 31 licensed marksmen...

04/22/2014
Scientists Use Krypton Dating to Estimate Antarctic Ice's Age
Nature World: Researchers have used radiometric krypton-dating to find the age of ancient Antarctic ice. The new technique can be used to hunt and date old ice samples. Finding old ice samples is important because it helps scientists construct and fine-tune ancient climate models. The latest krypton-based dating technique shows that the ice from Taylor Glacier in Antarctica is around 120,000 years old. Just so that we are clear, researchers here are using krypton- the noble gas and not kryptonite, which...

04/22/2014
MA-Sen: Ed Markey (D) Calls Out Climate Denying Kochs, Pushes For Action On Climate Change
Daily Kos: Today is the 44th annual Earth Day -- a day when we take time to acknowledge all the work we’ve done to leave the planet in a better condition than we inherited it, and remember how much work we have to do. Our planet has a fever. A recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirms that climate change is happening, that man-made factors are now the primary driver of it, and that if we don’t take action soon, our window to reverse the effects of climate change will slam...

04/22/2014
China's new environment law submitted to parliament
Reuters: Amendments to China's 1989 environmental protection law that will mean stiffer punishments for polluters have been submitted to the country's parliament for deliberation, official news agency Xinhua reported late on Monday. The National People's Congress (NPC), China's legislature, will consider the amendments during its latest bimonthly session, which runs until Thursday this week, Xinhua said. The first change to the legislation in 25 years will give legal backing to Beijing's newly declared...

04/22/2014
Apple Aims to Shrink Its Carbon Footprint With New Data Centers
Wired: On a stunning cloudless day in the Nevada desert, Lisa Jackson stands with her back to an array of advanced solar cells, peering across a low chain link fence at NV Energy's Fort Churchill Power Generating plant just a few hundred yards away. The 1960s vintage facility has two giant boilers rising from the scrub brush, belching steam and god knows what else. It couldn't be more different than the futuristic tract where Jackson is standing, with its gleaming rows of curved mirrors and palm-size silicon...

04/22/2014
Skip the meat on Earth Day
CNN: Before we jump into a debate about the environmental costs of eating meat, here are three things you should know: 1. I've experimented with vegetarianism twice, but it's never really stuck. Round one ended when I had a dream about a spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy's, and then woke up to march zombie-style to that fast-food restaurant to order it. Round two may or may not have ended with the brunch I had Sunday, I'm still not sure. 2. I ate chicken chilaquiles for brunch on Sunday. It was...

04/22/2014
Americans Still Unconvinced by Scientific Concepts
WebProNews: If the results of a new AP poll are any indication, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Seth MacFarlane, and FOX should probably order up another season of Cosmos. The survey asked American adults about a handful of scientific and medical issues–more specifically, to say how confident they are that a certain scientific statement (all of which are accepted by the vast majority of scientists) is true. The AP-GfK poll asked about a variety of issues, from the tangible (smoking causes cancer) to the seemingly intangible...

04/22/2014
Australia: Great Barrier Reef safer with success of starfish cull
Guardian: The government has said it is making good progress in culling coral-eating starfish that have been blamed for munching through much of the Great Barrier Reef. Greg Hunt, the environment minister, said 250,000 crown-of-thorns starfish had been killed by a new culling method over the past 21 months, a four-fold increase on the previous rate of removal. The new method, developed by James Cook University, involves a single injection into the starfish; previously the multi-armed creatures needed...

04/22/2014
These Are the Oldest Living Things on Earth, and They're Dying
Motherboard: They have endured for millennia, but the world's oldest living organisms face an uncertain future. These ancient, yet fragile entities encounter new threats from a changing climate, and humans populating the Earth. For a decade now, photographer and artist Rachel Sussman has wandered around the planet, crossing 20 countries and every continent, to chronicle these ancient creatures. Sussman's photographs, entwined with stories and essays, can be found between the covers of The World's Oldest Living...

04/22/2014
Fields And Farm Jobs Dry Up With California's Worsening Drought
National Public Radio: On a recent afternoon on the main drag of Orange Grove, Calif., about a dozen farm workers gathered on the sidewalk in front of a mini-mart. One man sits on a milk crate sipping a beer. A few others scratch some lotto tickets. Salvador Perez paces back and forth with his hands stuffed in the pockets of his jeans. If there is no water, there's no work, he says in Spanish. Perez was laid off when the citrus farmer he worked for ran out of water. He has five kids to support, and though the...

04/22/2014
Years of Living Hypocritically: Five Alarmist Celebs and Their Double Standards
NewsBusters: They may be good at making movies, but Hollywood celebrities' lifestyles are far from an environmentalist's dream. Their globetrotting, multiple mansion owning ways are inconsistent with the environmental agenda they loudly promote. Showtime's new climate change series, "Years of Living Dangerously,' premiered April 13, 2014, slightly more than a week before Earth Day 2014. It relies on several wealthy, Hollywood celebrities to spread fear about climate change. While these actors and directors...

04/22/2014
Changing climate hits rural communities hardest
Leader-Post: Changing climate hits rural communities hardest David Sauchyn in his lab at the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative with a sample from a tree which he uses to read climate changes through the years by analyzing the growth rings. Photograph by: Bryan Schlosser , Regina Leader-Post Climate change could be hitting rural communities the hardest. Rural communities are more vulnerable to extreme weather because cities have more management resources to deal with changes in climate, said Dave...

04/22/2014
Climate change will have profound impacts on humankind: Obama
First Post: Observing that climate change is altering the planet in ways that will have profound impacts on humankind, US President Barack Obama has urged Americans to protect environment for a healthy and sustainable future. "Today, we face a problem that threatens us all. The overwhelming judgement of science tells us that climate change is altering our planet in ways that will have profound impacts on all of humankind," Obama said in a proclamation issued on Monday. "Farmers must cope with increased...

04/22/2014
Climate Change Is the Tragedy of the Global Commons
Nation: I'm not watching Years of Living Dangerously, Showtime's nine-part series on climate change. I'm not going to read Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, despite its great reviews. When I see a long article in The New York Times about melting glaciers or flooded coastal plains or disappearing species or deforestation or desertification, I skip it. Why? Because I already know what's happening and about to happen. Reading the fine print is just going to make me feel sadder...

04/22/2014
Study Shows Ethanol Produces Worse 'Global Warming' Pollution Than Gasoline
Townhall: Well, this is going to be a heartbreaker for the hysterical global warming crowd. According to a new study, emissions from burning corn are worse for the environment and produce more CO2 or 'global warming' gases than the burning of traditional gasoline. Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a study shows, challenging the Obama administration's conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help...

04/22/2014
People of Color Are Already Getting Hit the Hardest by Climate Change
Nation: Sixty-eight percent of African Americans live within thirty miles of a coal-fired power plant, the zone of maximum exposure to pollutants that cause an array of ailments, from heart disease to birth defects. Communities of color breathe in nearly forty percent more polluted air than whites. African American children are three times as likely to suffer an asthma attack. The NAACP launched its Climate Justice Initiative address the stark numbers head on. Working in conjunction with Little Village...

04/21/2014
Nobel Prize Winner Robert Lefkowitz: Science Cannot Make Headway Because Faith 'Untestable'
IBT: A Nobel Prize-winning biochemist has said the scientific community cannot make any headway among the religious community because "facts can't argue against faith". Robert Lefkowitz, who won a Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2012, said that the reason many people still do not believe in popular science, including evolution, the Big Bang and climate change, is because you cannot challenge faith in the same way you can science. "When you are putting up facts against faith, facts can't argue against...

04/21/2014
Climate linked drought adding to Syria’s misery
Climate News Network: The conflict in Syria has devastated much of the country’s agricultural sector. But while the fighting has left large tracts of farmland abandoned, irrigation systems smashed and livestock neglected, other forces have also been at work. Syria – and much of the Eastern Mediterranean region – is in the grip of one of the longest periods of drought on record. The World Food Programme (WFP) says the recent rainfall season in Syria, which usually lasts from October to April, produced less than half...

04/21/2014
The six natural resources most drained by our 7 billion people
Guardian: With 7 billion people on the planet – theoretically from today – there will be an inevitable increase in the demand on the world's natural resources. Here are six already under severe pressure from current rates of consumption: 1. Water Freshwater only makes 2.5% of the total volume of the world's water, which is about 35 million km3. But considering 70% of that freshwater is in the form of ice and permanent snow cover and that we only have access to 200,000km3 of freshwater overall, it isn't...

04/21/2014
Students stage silent demonstration against fracking
Daily Californian: A human oil spill spread across Dwinelle Plaza on Monday -- a silent demonstration against fracking that is the first in a series of events to kick-start Earth Week 2014. The day after the four-year anniversary of the BP oil spill, about 20 students, clad entirely in black, circled and sprawled around a miniature wooden oil rig covered with protest signs. Protesters wanted to illustrate the environmental effects of fracking by using human bodies as symbols of the devastation. “An oil spill...

04/21/2014
Corn waste biofuel higher in greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline, study finds
Associated Press: Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a study shows, challenging the Obama administration's conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate change. A $500,000 study paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7 percent more greenhouse gases in the early years compared...

04/21/2014
Report Finds Top Banks Moving Away From Investment in Coal
EcoWatch: Rainforest Action Network (RAN), Sierra Club and BankTrack released the fifth annual coal finance report card, Extreme Investments, Extreme Consequences, last week that tracks the financiers of the worst-of-worst coal companies. The report shows that even as high-profile bankruptcies and costly environmental cleanup settlements illustrate the growing risks involved with lending to coal companies, U.S. banks provided $31 billion in financing for coal in 2013. The report ranks Citigroup as the top...

04/20/2014
California's Drought Ripples Through Businesses And Even Schools
National Public Radio: Cannon Michael runs an 11,000-acre farm in California's Central Valley. His family has been farming in the state for six generations. Michael's multi-million-dollar operation usually provides a wealth of crops including tomatoes, onions and melons. But recently, he's pretty pessimistic about work. "It is going to be a year that's probably, at best, maybe break even. Or maybe lose some money," Michael tells NPR's Arun Rath. Michael says about one-fifth of the land will lie fallow this year. So...

04/20/2014
United Kingdom: Goldsmith backs campaign to protect ‘national jewel’ Kew Gardens
Independent: Kew Gardens is a “national jewel” and it would be a “tragedy” if its funding is cut excessively, Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith has warned. Mr Goldsmith, a former editor of The Ecologist magazine, urged the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in a number of letters not to damage the research carried out at Kew or harm its international reputation. Ministers have been accused of breaking the law by cutting Kew’s funding, resulting in the loss of 120 jobs. As revealed in The...

04/20/2014
Research casts doubt on global warming benefits of biofuels made cornfield waste
Associated Press: Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a study shows, challenging the Obama administration's conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate change. A $500,000 study paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7 per cent more greenhouse gases in the early years...

04/20/2014
It's Final -- Corn Ethanol Is Of No Use
Forbes: OK, can we please stop pretending biofuel made from corn is helping the planet and the environment? With huge subsidies for ethanol in gasoline, with all States now selling gasoline having some ethanol blend, and a general misconception that these biofuels are green, corn ethanol has taken on a $30 billion/yr life of its own. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released two of its Working Group reports at the end of last month (WGI and WGIII), and their short discussion...

04/20/2014
United Kingdom: Record number radioactive particles found beaches near Sellafield
Guardian: A record number of radioactive hotspots have been found contaminating public beaches near the Sellafield nuclear complex in Cumbria, according to a report by the site's operator. As many as 383 radioactive particles and stones were detected and removed from seven beaches in 2010-11, bringing the total retrieved since 2006 to 1,233. Although Sellafield insists that the health risks for beach users are "very low", there are concerns that some potentially dangerous particles may remain undetected...

04/20/2014
Mississippi dams aren't to blame for flood risks
New Scientist: Maybe the Mississippi river delta isn't doomed after all. Upstream dams on the rivers that run through the delta were thought to be starving it of the sediment it needs to stay above sea level -- but now it seems there's enough sand to feed the delta for centuries to come. The Mississippi river delta, home to 2 million people and the largest tonnage shipping port in the US, is vulnerable to flooding -- the city of New Orleans, which lies on the delta, was famously inundated...

04/20/2014
Setbacks Aside, Climate Change Is Finding Its Way Into the World's Classrooms
New York Times: From Mauritius to Manitoba, climate change is slowly moving from the headlines to the classroom. Schools around the world are beginning to tackle the difficult issue of global warming, teaching students how the planet is changing and encouraging them to think about what they can do to help slow that process. Strapped school budgets, concerns about overburdening teachers and political opposition to what in some places is a contentious subject have complicated the spread of lessons on climate change....

04/20/2014
Climate changes visible by ZIP code with new online tools
USA Today: With the click of a computer mouse, the potential risks of rising sea levels will soon be searchable - by ZIP code - for all U.S. coastal communities. An online mapping tool will show how much sea levels are expected to rise in each area, as well as the number of residents and buildings that could be flooded. Initially launched in March 2012 for New York, New Jersey and Florida, it will expand to cover New England on Wednesday, the Pacific states later this spring and the rest of the coastal U.S....

04/20/2014
In Indonesia, new Riau burning season threatens
Reuters: One of Indonesia's most unique biosphere reserves is at risk of being destroyed by forest fires unless local and national government can work together to save it, a UNESCO expert says. Covering around 700,000 hectares of the Bengkalis and Siak subdistricts of Riau province, Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu was declared a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve in 2009, in recognition of the way it balances conservation and sustainable use. Giam Siak is home to two wildlife reserves that provide a sanctuary...

04/20/2014
Federal Study: Biofuels worse than gasoline
Associated Press: Could ethanol be worse for the environment than gasoline? A new study says yes. The study, paid for by the federal government says biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term. The research challenges the Obama administration's conclusions that biofuels are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help fight climate change. The study is being criticized by the biofuels industry and the president's administration as...

04/20/2014
'Cowboy Indian Alliance' Steps Forward in Earth's Time of Need
Common Dreams: In the week ahead, a coalition of tribal communities, ranchers, farmers and allies calling itself the 'Cowboy Indian Alliance' plans to lead a series of protests, ceremonies, and direct actions in the heart of Washington, DC in order to drive home their united opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and the destructive expansion of tar sands mining and fossil fuel dependence it represents. Under the banner 'Reject and Project,' the five-day long event will kick off on this year's Earth Day--Tuesday,...

04/20/2014
United Kingdom: Cumbrian nuclear dump site was mistake, admits Environment Agency
Guardian: Britain's nuclear dump is virtually certain to be eroded by rising sea levels and to contaminate the Cumbrian coast with large amounts of radioactive waste, according to an internal document released by the Environment Agency (EA). The document suggests that in retrospect it was a mistake to site the Drigg Low-Level Waste Repository (LLWR) on the Cumbrian coast because of its vulnerability to flooding. "It is doubtful whether the location of the LLWR site would be chosen for a new facility for...

04/20/2014
The Slow Decline Of Biofuels - Corn Stover Inclusion Won't Help
Science 2.0: Biofuels - ethanol - were trumpeted as being a renewable alternative to fossil fuels for decades. Finally, in 2005, it got the mandates and subsidies environmentalists insisted were necessary to make inroads against a mature industry like petroleum. Immediately, what scientists knew became evident - they were more resource intensive to produce, were no better for emissions, and subsidies insured there was no reason to get more efficient. Worse, the gold rush of government money drove up corn prices,...

04/20/2014
United Kingdom: Why Wales needs both a Severn barrage and tidal lagoons
Wales Online: A combination of tidal lagoons on Wales' north coast and a barrage in the Severn could provide round the clock generating capacity, Roger Falconer writes In recent months Wales has experienced some of the worst winter storms in recent years, with some of the most extreme coastal erosion and flooding occurring since records began. Various other parts of the UK, such as the Somerset Levels and the Severn Estuary, also experienced unprecedented flooding of properties and agricultural land, primarily...

04/20/2014
Drilling holes in ice sheds light on future
U-T San Diego: For nearly two decades, Jeff Severinghaus has unearthed time capsules buried in polar ice. They chronicle past epochs of Earth’s history, record ice ages and act as thermometers of the prehistoric sea. The objects of Severinghaus’ exploration are tiny vaults of fresh air, preserved for thousands of years in some of the oldest ice on the planet. Scientists extract these time-stamped bubbles of ancient air from ice cores drilled thousands of meters below the surface. “What we get is, ultimately,...

04/20/2014
U.S. once again delays decision on Keystone XL pipeline
Globe and Mail: The Obama administration has once again punted the politically charged decision on the Keystone XL pipeline in a move that will likely delay a final ruling past November's congressional elections. The U.S. State Department said Friday it needs to assess the impact of a court battle in Nebraska that could force a change in the pipeline's route. But the project's supporters insisted the administration simply didn't want to make the controversial decision in advance of the November vote. Republican...

04/20/2014
Warm water, cold reality, new frontier for exploiting resources
Sacramento Bee: Big-screen “Noah,” the box office hit, presents the Biblical story of near apocalypse and indifference to God’s warnings. Small-screen NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, regularly warns of impending man-made environmental doom on its climate.gov website. Whether one is more susceptible to religious parables or scientific findings, the very real effects of contemporary climate change are happening at a stunning pace. If melting ice caps and shifting weather patterns are not...

04/20/2014
Keystone XL delay won't quell political wrangling
Associated Press: Democrats sweating this year's elections may be hoping that the Obama administration's latest delay to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline will take a politically fraught issue off the table for the midterms. Fat chance. An indefinite extension of the government's review of the contentious oil pipeline, announced late Friday by the State Department, almost certainly pushes a final decision past the November elections, keeping the project in a politically expedient holding pattern. But it is doing...

04/20/2014
Conservative heavyweights have solar industry in their sights
LA Times: The political attack ad that ran recently in Arizona had some familiar hallmarks of the genre, including a greedy villain who hogged sweets for himself and made children cry. But the bad guy, in this case, wasn't a fat-cat lobbyist or someone's political opponent. He was a solar-energy consumer. Solar, once almost universally regarded as a virtuous, if perhaps over-hyped, energy alternative, has now grown big enough to have enemies. The Koch brothers, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist...

04/20/2014
Wheat rust: The fungal disease that threatens to destroy the world crop
Independent: Scientists are warning that wheat is facing a serious threat from a fungal disease that could wipe out the world’s crop if not quickly contained. Wheat rust, a devastating disease known as the “polio of agriculture”, has spread from Africa to South and Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe, with calamitous losses for the world’s second most important grain crop, after rice. There is mounting concern at the dangers posed to global food security. Experts have been aware of the threat since a major...

04/20/2014
Philippines: UN warns govts on coal use
Manila Standard Today: The Aquino administration should heed the United Nations and stop the construction of 17 coal plants and shift to renewable energy in light of last Monday’s report of the UN scientific panel on climate change, according to a civil society group. The latest publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that the world can still keep global warming below dangerous levels only through immediate and drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as by almost quadrupling the...

04/20/2014
A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet Premiers Earth Day on PBS
EcoWatch: Mark Kitchell’s 1990 Oscar nominated documentary, Berkeley in the Sixties, covered the campus activism that disrupted the House Un-American Activities Committee’s hearings, launched the Free Speech Movement, fought the police at People’s Park and inspired student spokesman Mario Savio to declare: “There comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part … You’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon all...

04/20/2014
US Greenhouse Gas Emissions Slightly Decreased in 2012
Environmental News Network: Climate change is making the news for a number of reasons, including Showtime's new series called "Years of Living Dangerously." The rise in greenhouse gas emissions is responsible for climate change, and the majority of scientists agree that most of the increase is caused by human activity. That said, there is a bit of good news when it comes to U.S. GHG emissions. The Los Angeles Times reports that greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. decreased by 3.4 percent from 2011 to 2012. The report is based...

04/20/2014
With Climate Change, Wildfires Getting Worse in the West
LiveScience: Across the western United States, wildfires grew bigger and more frequent in the past 30 years, according to a new study that blames climate change and drought for the worsening flames. "It's not just something that is localized to forest or grasslands or deserts," said lead study author Phil Dennison, a geographer at the University of Utah. "Every region in the West is experiencing an increase in fire. These fire trends are very consistent with everything we know about how climate change should...

04/20/2014
Study casts doubt on climate benefit of biofuels from corn residue
PhysOrg: Using corn crop residue to make ethanol and other biofuels reduces soil carbon and can generate more greenhouse gases than gasoline, according to a study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change. The findings by a University of Nebraska-Lincoln team of researchers cast doubt on whether corn residue can be used to meet federal mandates to ramp up ethanol production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Corn stover-the stalks, leaves and cobs in cornfields after harvest-has been considered...

04/20/2014
Fracking foes cringe as unions back drilling boom
Associated Perss: After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom. That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit the drilling process known as fracking. "The shale became a lifesaver and a lifeline for a lot of working families," said Dennis Martire, the mid-Atlantic...

04/20/2014
Pipeline delay gives boost to Obama's political base
Reuters: The latest delay to a final decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline will reinforce a White House strategy to energize President Barack Obama's liberal-leaning base before fall elections in which Democrats risk losing control of the U.S. Senate. Environmentalists, worried about the project's effect on climate change, have put enormous pressure on the president to reject the pipeline from Canada's oil sands, staging demonstrations outside the White House and protests in states where he travels....

04/20/2014
Transparency, good regulation needed as Wisconsin sand mines multiply, expert says
Wisconsin State Journal: Wisconsin can protect its place as the leading supplier of sand for the nation’s fracking boom provided it has good regulations in place and promptly addresses any nuisance concerns raised by neighbors of the state’s fast-multiplying sand-mining facilities, according to a former EPA administrator who spoke to a business convention Tuesday in Middleton. J. Winston Porter, now a Savannah, Ga.-based energy consultant and fracking proponent, also said maximum transparency by state regulators and the...

04/20/2014
Climate will push 2.9 million Mexicans into poverty
El Universal: Climate change will push 2.9 million Mexicans into poverty over the next 15 years, said the World Bank. Climate change in Mexico is expected to push 2.9 million Mexicans into poverty over the next 15 years, said the World Bank. According to the study "The Poverty Impact of Climate Change in Mexico", annual temperatures are expected to rise between 0.29 and 2.46 degrees Celsius in 2030-2039 compared to the historic average from 1950 to 2000. It added that "the largest increases in temperature...

04/20/2014
Plants that regulate sprouting tackle climate change well
Indo-Asian News Service: lants with the ability to regulate the timing of germination in response to environmental cues are more likely to spin off new species and are better at dealing with weather threats from climate change. Plants whose seeds put off sprouting until conditions are more certain give rise to more species, a study said. Plants whose seeds have since lost the ability may be prone to extinction under future climate change, especially if the timing of sprouting is no longer in tune with their environment,...


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There is only 0.5 percentage of available fresh water on earth.

 

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