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

11/26/2014
Obama to Introduce Sweeping New Controls on Ozone Emissions
New York Times: The Obama administration is expected to release on Wednesday a contentious and long-delayed environmental regulation to curb emissions of ozone, a smog-causing pollutant linked to asthma, heart disease and premature death. The sweeping regulation, which would aim at smog from power plants and factories across the country, particularly in the Midwest, would be the latest in a series of Environmental Protection Agency controls on air pollution that wafts from smokestacks and tailpipes. Such regulations,...

11/25/2014
Pakistan: WHO team checks capital's Ebola preparedness
Dawn: A World Health Organization (WHO) mission, in Islamabad to assess the arrangements in place to stem the spread of the Ebola virus, visited different health departments and examined certain areas in the capital on Tuesday. The team is in Pakistan for a week and it will visit airports, hospitals, laboratories and assess other arrangements to ascertain how a person affected with Ebola would be dealt with if he arrives in the country. The Ebola outbreak of 2014 is the largest in history and has affected...

11/25/2014
Sierra Leone Ebola workers dump bodies over pay
Reuters: Burial workers in Sierra Leone have dumped dead bodies in the street outside a hospital in protest at authorities' failure to pay bonuses for handling Ebola victims, in the latest strike to hamper the fight against the worst known outbreak of the virus. A spokesperson for the striking workers in the eastern town of Kenema, who asked not to be identified, said they had not been paid their weekly hazard allowance for seven weeks. Authorities accepted that the money had not been paid but said that...

11/25/2014
Ebola workers in Sierra Leone dump bodies
Al Jazeera: Burial workers in Sierra Leone have dumped bodies in the street outside a hospital in protest at authorities' failure to pay bonuses for handling Ebola victims. Residents said up to 15 corpses had been abandoned in the eastern town of Kenema, three of them at a hospital entrance to stop people entering. The head of the district Ebola Response Team, Abdul Wahab Wan, said on Tuesday that the bodies included those of two babies. A spokesman for the striking workers, who asked not to be identified,...

11/25/2014
U.S. EPA expected to tighten long-awaited ozone standards: sources
Reuters: The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose on Wednesday more stringent air quality standards for ground-level ozone, the main culprit in smog, sources said. Under a court-ordered deadline of next Monday to release its proposal, the agency could propose a National Ambient Air Quality Standard between 65 and 70 parts per billion concentration of ozone, and take comment on standards within a 60-75 ppb range, sources familiar with the matter said. That would compare with the current...

11/25/2014
Obama to unveil new limits on ozone pollution in victory for health groups
Guardian: The Obama administration will unveil new limits on smog pollution bringing the US up to par with public health standards in other industrialised countries. The Environmental Protection Agency is under a court-ordered deadline to propose new rules for ground-level ozone by 1 December. The New York Times reported that the announcement would come on Wednesday. The new standards represent a victory for public health and environment groups which had sued the Obama administration for rejecting stricter...

11/25/2014
Geo-engineering: Climate fixes 'could harm billions'
BBC: Schemes to tackle climate change could prove disastrous for billions of people, but might be required for the good of the planet, scientists say. That is the conclusion of a new set of studies into what's become known as geo-engineering. This is the so far unproven science of intervening in the climate to bring down temperatures. These projects work by, for example, shading the Earth from the Sun or soaking up carbon dioxide. Ideas include aircraft spraying out sulphur particles at high...

11/25/2014
Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Rules on Mercury From Power Plants
New York Times: The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear a major challenge to the limits set by the Obama administration on emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants. It is the latest effort by industry groups to roll back regulations that would reduce emissions like mercury, soot, sulfur, smog and carbon dioxide. The case also threatens to undermine one of the administration’s most significant victories and chip away at President Obama’s legacy. John Walke, a lawyer with the...

11/25/2014
Premier Li says China to speed up water conservation projects: Xinhua
Reuters: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said China would accelerate water conservation projects to tackle its water shortage and bolster wider economic growth, the official Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday. China is set to launch 172 key water conservation projects in coming years, with those already under way worth around 600 billion yuan ($98 billion). Li made the comments during a visit to the Ministry of Water Resources on Monday, noting that water conservation was as important as investment in...

11/25/2014
Ebola victims' bodies left hospital doorway by protesting burial teams
Guardian: Bodies of Ebola victims have been dumped outside a hospital in Sierra Leone by burial workers, who are protesting at the failure of authorities to pay them bonuses for their hazardous work, residents have said. Tensions in the eastern town of Kenema reached new heights with the action by members of the burial teams. Local residents said three bodies were abandoned in the hospital doorway, preventing people from entering. There were reports that 15 bodies in total had been left in the street. Healthcare...

11/25/2014
Canadian pleads guilty in U.S. to attempted rhino horn smuggling
Reuters: A Canadian antiques dealer pleaded guilty on Tuesday to attempting to export black rhinoceros horns purchased in New York from undercover U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents. Xiao Ju "Tony" Guan, 39, pleaded guilty in federal court in New York to one of three charges against him as part of a plea deal to resolve a case U.S. authorities say stemmed from a crackdown on illegal trafficking in rhinoceros horns. "I knew what I was doing was against the law," Guan said through a Mandarin translator....

11/25/2014
Presidential Hopeful Senator Graham: Climate Deniers ‘Political Problem’ for Republicans in 2016
EcoWatch: South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican once perceived as a moderate who favored bipartisan lawmaking back when that was still a thing in the GOP, has been talking recently about how his party needs a real climate change policy. And with stories rife this morning that Arizona Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain is urging him to run for president in 2016, Graham is going to have to figure out how to rein his party’s climate deniers. “I think there will be a political...

11/25/2014
China’s Lake Ebinur Is Shrinking Dramatically, NASA Image Shows
Yale Environment 360: As this NASA satellite image shows, Lake Ebinur, located in northwestern China near the border of Kazakhstan, has shrunk by 50 percent since 1955 as a result of development, agriculture, and natural fluctuations in precipitation. The lake’s saline water is light blue, and the dried lake bed appears white due to salts and other minerals that have been left behind as the water evaporates. Lake Ebinur sits at the bottom of a drainage basin with no outlet, and is surrounded by mountains, farms, and settlements....

11/25/2014
Amazon deforestation moratorium extended 18 months
Mongabay: The Brazilian soy industry has extended its deforestation moratorium for another 18 months. The moratorium, which was established in 2006 after a high-profile Greenpeace campaign, bars conversion of forests in Brazilian Amazon for soy production. Independent analysis has shown it to be highly effective - just prior to the moratorium, soy accounted for roughly a fifth of recent deforestation, while today its share is less than one percent. The moratorium's renewal had been in doubt. In January,...

11/25/2014
Can China Cut Coal?
Scientific American: On a visit to China a few years back, I asked a local official about pollution controls after enjoying my first sour, gritty taste of the country`s air. China’s new coal-fired power plants and other industrial boilers often came equipped with expensive scrubbers to clean acid rain and smog-forming sulfur dioxide out of the hot mix of gases that went up and out the smokestack. But the scrubbers required energy to run, this official noted, and therefore were shut off except on days when dignitaries...

11/25/2014
As sea level rises, an Alaska village faces an existential dilemma
Reuters: The Chukchi Sea's unrelenting waves were slowly ripping away the land and homes of the 600 or so residents of this Alaska Native village on a sinking barrier island. U.S. government reports determined that the community was "imminently threatened" with inundation and needed "immediate action" to move to safer ground on the mainland. Villagers voted 161-20 to relocate off the island. Shishmaref, the media proclaimed, would be the United States' first climate refugees. That was in 2002. More...

11/25/2014
The UN Says It Cannot Meet Its Dec. 1 Target Date for Containing Ebola
Time: The U.N. mission responsible for responding to the Ebola outbreak will miss its Dec. 1 target for containing the disease because of rising transmission rates in the West African countries of Sierra Leone and Mali. Anthony Banbury, the head of the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), told Reuters that though progress has been made in some areas -- including in Liberia, one of the countries hardest hit by the current outbreak -- setbacks elsewhere have put the mission off its target....

11/25/2014
Govt can consider imposition of congestion tax if traffic on roads does not ease
Times of India: Government may be left with no option but to introduce penal provisions including levying congestion tax, if the traffic gridlock on Indian roads grows further or continues like as it is now. Urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu said this on Tuesday while emphasizing on the need to have an efficient and reliable multi-modal public transport system in urban areas. Speaking at Urban Mobility India Conference and Expo, Naidu said that government won't introduce the provision of congestion...

11/25/2014
'Shocking' scale online trade endangered animals and parts revealed
Independent: The extent of the illegal online trade in endangered wildlife has been revealed in a report showing that more than 33,000 animals or their parts were up for sale over just six weeks. Live cheetahs, baboons, chimpanzees, poison dart frogs and hummingbirds were found on offer to the highest bidder by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). Investigators also found the market for animal parts was flourishing, including ivory ornaments, polar bear rugs, rhino horns, tiger claws and snow...

11/25/2014
Renewables are not enough
Globe and Mail: All over Ontario, giant wind turbines are sprouting up across the rural landscape and ruining people's lives. Ordinary people are trying to fight them off in court, but they don't have a chance. The multinational wind industry has a lot more money than they do. The law is on Big Wind's side. So is Premier Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government, which has pledged to triple the number of wind and solar generators and stick taxpayers with the bill. But the fundamental problem with Big Wind is much bigger...

11/25/2014
Could Germany shutter coal plants in pursuit of green targets?
BusinessGreen: The German government is considering proposals to accelerate the phasing out of coal power in the country, after it emerged that the economy ministry is working on draft legislation that would impose new emissions limits on coal power generators. Reuters reported over the weekend that it has seen a document detailing how energy firms could be required to cut emissions by at least 22 million tonnes by 2020. The news agency said the rules would require the closure of 50 facilities that are already...

11/25/2014
How oil ate the heart of North Dakota
Grist: Nothing completes a quiet morning drinking coffee and reading the paper like a multi-part investigative saga of pollution and the fracking boom in North Dakota, and boy howdy, did The New York Times deliver this weekend. In the two-part series, investigative reporter Deborah Sontag brings up one example after another of ways that pollution in North Dakota is on the rise. There`s the old filling station filled with illegally dumped and radioactive oil filter socks. There`s the train crash that...

11/25/2014
Government seeks to boost rooftop solar with new transfer rules
BusinessGreen: The government has unveiled plans to make it easier for businesses to move their solar panels from property to property while still receiving financial support, in a move intended to help increase the uptake of large rooftop arrays by up to 10 per cent. A new consultation launched today will lift restrictions on the feed-in tariff incentive scheme, which currently prevent tenants from taking their solar panels with them if they relocate - a condition that has been blamed for deterring both corporate...

11/25/2014
China carbon market to launch in 2016 following US emissions deal
BusinessGreen: China will start a nationwide carbon market within the next two years as part of a pledge to cap emissions by 2030. The mechanism is due to start in 2016 and rules for trading permits through the cap-and-trade scheme may be announced by the end of this year, Bloomberg reported Su Wei, an official at the climate change department under the National Development and Reform Commission, as telling a press conference this week. President Xi Jinping agreed a landmark deal with US counterpart Barack...

11/25/2014
Air pollution costs EU up to $235 billion: EU agency
Reuters: Air pollution, chiefly from coal-fired power plants, cost society up to 189 billion euros ($235 billion) in 2012 - equal to the gross domestic product of Finland, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said in a report published on Tuesday. The agency provides research to guide EU policymakers, who are reconsidering proposals put forward last year by the European Commission, the EU executive, to tighten laws on air quality. It analyzed the impact of air pollution from industry on health costs,...

11/25/2014
56 countries seek carbon capture incentives in next climate deal
Reuters: Fiscal incentives for carbon capture should be part of the global climate change agreement that replaces the Kyoto Protocol, 56 countries belonging to the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) said in a statement on Tuesday. The recommendation by the UNECE member states puts the issue formally on the table for a meeting of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in December 2015, which aims to agree a legally binding treaty to replace Kyoto. Delegates from almost 200 nations...

11/25/2014
"Beyond Carbon" Benefits of Forest Carbon Markets
Ecosystem Marketplace: Much of the discussion during next month's international climate negotiations in Lima, Peru will revolve around halting tropical forest loss to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. But Ecosystem Marketplace's latest report on the voluntary and compliance markets shows forest carbon projects already having an impact -- an impact that could multiply if the right policy signals are sent. The global markets for offsets from agriculture, forestry, and other land-use projects transacted 32.7...

11/25/2014
Indonesia finalizes forest reference emission levels
Antara: The Managing Body for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (BP REDD+) is familiarizing all stakeholders with the Forest Reference Emission Levels (FREL) as the final step before it is passed as a state document. The government is set to subject the state document for discussion at the 20th United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCC), which will be held in Lima, Peru, on December 8. "This is the result of all the hard work put in for nine years by the...

11/25/2014
China Plans National Carbon Market by 2016 Amid Emission Pledge
Bloomberg: China, the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, plans to start a nationwide carbon market in the next two years following a pledge to cap emissions by 2030. Opening in 2016, the market would have matured by 2020, Su Wei, an official at the climate change department under the National Development and Reform Commission, said today at a press conference in Beijing. China, which is working on an absolute control plan for carbon emissions, may announce rules for carbon-permit trading as early as...

11/25/2014
China insists rich nations must do more at Lima climate meeting
Agence France-Presse: Developed countries must do more than their less wealthy counterparts to tackle climate change, the world's biggest polluter China said on Tuesday, reaffirming its longstanding position before a United Nations climate conference next month. The meeting, to be held in the Peruvian capital Lima from December 1 to 12, is intended to pave the way for a global deal on cutting Earth-warming carbon emissions to be agreed next year in Paris as a replacement for the Kyoto treaty. China earlier this month...

11/25/2014
Kenya to send 300 health workers to West Africa to fight Ebola
World Bulletin: Ebola – a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure – has killed roughly 5,420 people, mostly in West Africa, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Kenya will send 300 health workers to West Africa to help fight the deadly Ebola virus, which killed thousands in the region, a Kenyan official has said. "Kenya will soon be sending over 300 health workers to the West African countries affected by the Ebola epidemic," James Macharia, Cabinet Secretary for Health, said...

11/25/2014
In wake of China rejections, GMO seed makers limit U.S. launches
Reuters: China’s barriers to imports of some U.S. genetically modified crops are disrupting seed companies' plans for new product launches and keeping at least one variety out of the U.S. market altogether. Two of the world's biggest seed makers, Syngenta AG and Dow AgroSciences, are responding with tightly controlled U.S. launches of new GMO seeds, telling farmers where they can plant new corn and soybean varieties and how can the use them. Bayer CropScience told Reuters it has decided to keep a new soybean...

11/24/2014
Australian Foreign Minister says reef not in danger but what do her own scientists say?
Guardian: Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop should apologise for claiming the Great Barrier Reef is “not in danger” from climate change, according to enough scientific evidence to form a small coral atoll. Sorry. Too glib? When the minister representing Australia at the next major United Nations climate change negotiations appears unwilling to accept the advice of her own government science and reef management agencies, then it’s time to worry. Indeed, one of the world’s leading marine biologists...

11/24/2014
Big four banks under pressure to rule out funding Queensland coal projects
Guardian: Australia’s largest banks are coming under pressure from environmental groups not to fund huge coal projects in central Queensland, amid accusations the government is encouraging financial institutions to back the new mines. The Australian Conservation Foundation has called on the ‘big four’ banks – ANZ, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank and NAB – to rule out financial support for nine proposed mines in the coal-rich Galilee Basin region of Queensland. Financial backing for the mines, which will produce...

11/24/2014
Yes, we can beat climate change — but it will take massive international government coordination
Grist: One of my recurring obsessions over the years has been the enormous difference between reducing carbon emissions and reducing carbon emissions enough. There are thousands of ways to reduce emissions relative to a business-as-usual baseline, many of which are relatively painless. But reducing emissions enough to limit temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius - the agreed-upon international target - is another matter entirely. Plenty of policies and strategies can achieve the former but not the latter....

11/24/2014
Australia: Action needed to combat future biosecurity threats: CSIRO
SBS: A bioterrorist attack or swine flu-like pandemic. Incursion of a new wheat disease or fruit fly crippling crops. An outbreak of foot and mouth or bluetongue disease, devastating farmers. Some scenarios sound like a plot from a Hollywood disaster movie, but these "megashocks" could pose a real threat to Australian biosecurity, the CSIRO says. In its report, Australia's Biosecurity Future, released on Tuesday, the scientific body outlines 12 potential megashocks it thinks could hit Australia in...

11/24/2014
Q&A: INTERPOL Asks Public Help Nab Environmental Crime Fugitives
National Geographic: On November 17, for the first time in its history, INTERPOL asked the public to assist in the capture of environmental crime fugitives. The landmark public appeal falls under INTERPOL's Operation Infra Terra, launched in October and targeting 139 criminals from 36 nations. INTERPOL-the International Criminal Police Organization-is the world's largest international police organization, with 190 member countries. The nine fugitives are accused of a range of crimes: -Italian Adriano Giacobone...

11/24/2014
Is Extreme Weather a Sign of the Apocalypse?
EcoWatch: While 62 percent of Americans say that they believe climate change is a factor driving recent natural disasters and extreme weather—probably a higher percentage than in Congress—49 percent also believe they are caused by “Biblical end times,” with an especially high number of white evangelicals holding that belief. That’s according to a new survey released by the Public Religion Research Institute, which queried people on the intersection of their religious faith and their beliefs about climate change....

11/24/2014
Chameleon crisis: extinction threatens 36% of world's chameleons
Mongabay: Chameleons are an unmistakable family of wonderfully bizarre reptiles. They sport long, shooting tongues; oddly-shaped horns or crests; and a prehensile tail like a monkey's. But, of course, chameleons are most known for their astonishing ability to change the color of their skin. Over millions of years, these Old World reptiles have used this evolutionary trait for an astonishing variety of reasons, including camouflage, complex communication, and to keep warm in the cold or vice versa. But a new...

11/24/2014
Why hotter temps won’t convince Republicans climate change real
Grist: Scientists and science journalists like to say that one of the best ways to tell that climate change is real is to take a look at the changes we can already see: This year is on track to be the hottest ever recorded, and glaciers, corn, and even grizzly bears are responding to the warming. But all those shifts won`t be enough to convince most conservative climate skeptics, a new study in Nature Climate Change finds. A growing body of recent research suggests a person`s political ideology, economic...

11/24/2014
"A sense of despair" One paramedic describes frontline fight against Ebola
ITV: A paramedic from Norfolk helping in the fight against Ebola, has spoken about the sense of despair he's discovered in West Africa. Pete Simpson works for the East of England Ambulance Service and is part of the 800 strong emergency aid mission to Sierra Leone where he's co-ordinating a local ambulance team. He's met up with Will Pooley, the nurse from Suffolk who became the first Briton to contract Ebola and who's recently returned to Africa to help out. "Some days there is more hope than...

11/24/2014
What happened to the oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster?
Mongabay: Images from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster endure, from the collapsing platform to oil-fouled coastline. But beneath the surface is a story photographers cannot as easily capture. Two days after the April 20, 2010 explosion that killed 11 and injured 16, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig sank. During the five months it took to seal the Macondo well 1,500 meters below the surface, nearly 5 million barrels of oil gushed into the ocean. In a paper published online on Oct. 27 in the Proceedings of...

11/24/2014
‘Monster’ Fracking Wells Guzzle Water Drought-Stricken Regions
EcoWatch: The fracking industry likes to minimize the sector’s bottomless thirst for often-scarce water resources, saying it takes about 2-4 million gallons of water to frack the average well, an amount the American Petroleum Institute describes as “the equivalent of three to six Olympic swimming pools.” That’s close to the figure cited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well. But a new report released by Environmental Working Group (EWG) located 261 “monster” wells that consumed between...

11/24/2014
New marine protected areas key to fighting illegal fishing
Mongabay: Do you know how that tuna sashimi got to your dinner plate? Probably not--and chances are, the restaurant that served it to you doesn’t know, either. A new policy paper argues that illicit fishing practices are flying under the radar all around the world, and global society must combat them in order to keep seafood on the menu. According to the paper, published in Science, fishing practices that are illegal, unreported and unregulated (collectively referred to as IUU) are ubiquitous. They range...

11/24/2014
World Bank to ditch coal for clean energy
Guardian: The World Bank will invest heavily in clean energy and only fund coal projects in “circumstances of extreme need” because climate change will undermine efforts to eliminate extreme poverty, says its President Jim Yong Kim. Talking ahead of a U.N. climate summit in Peru next month, Kim said he was alarmed by World Bank-commissioned research from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, which said that as a result of past greenhouse gas emissions the world is condemned to unprecedented...

11/24/2014
Record Number of Rhinos Poached In South Africa This Year, Government Says
Yale Environment 360: South African officials have announced that 1,020 rhinos have been killed so far in 2014 -- a total that surpasses last year’s record slaughter of 1,004 of the endangered animals. Poaching has been on the rise in South Africa, home to the world’s largest population of rhinos, since 2007, when only seven rhinos were killed. The sharp increase is occurring despite steps by the government to improve enforcement and introduce new technologies and intelligence-gathering methods to curb poaching, Mongabay...

11/24/2014
Pacific Island Countries Face El Niño Extreme Weather
Environment News Service: An abnormal warming of surface ocean waters, known as the El Niño effect, forecast for the coming six months is threatening extreme weather conditions for Pacific island states` industry and infrastructure, the United Nations warned Friday. A joint warning issued by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES) says the Pacific region`s wet season during the next six months will...

11/24/2014
China to top green list by 2030: Report
China Daily: China will become the world's largest renewable energy market by 2030 if it can double the ratio of such sources as solar and wind in the total energy mix to 26 percent, the International Renewable Energy Agency said on Monday. The agency, in cooperation with the China National Renewable Energy Center, released a report in Beijing titled Renewable Energy Prospects: China, in which it said that using more such energy in China will improve millions of lives and save billions of dollars, taking into...

11/24/2014
Extreme Weather Will Be ‘New Climate Normal’ Without Immediate Action, Warns World Bank
EcoWatch: World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said this weekend that the organization’s investment focus will be on clean energy and that it will back coal-fired and other fossil fuel projects only when there is “extreme need.” Flying in the face of a popular climate denier narrative that says phasing out fossil fuels and addressing extreme poverty can’t be done at the same time, Kim said climate change threatened efforts to tackle poverty. His remarks followed the release of the World Bank’s new report, Turn...

11/24/2014
New blood record: 1,020 rhinos killed in South Africa
Mongabay: South Africa has surpassed last year's grisly record for slaughtered rhinos-1,004-more than a month before the year ends. In an announcement on November 20th, the South African Department of Environmental Affairs said that 1,020 rhinos had been killed to date. Rhinos are butchered for their horns, which are consumed as curatives in countries like Vietnam and China despite any evidence that rhino horn has medicinal properties. In its announcement, the Department of Environmental Affairs stressed...

11/24/2014
Can Green Bonds Bankroll A Clean Energy Revolution?
Yale Environment 360: Looked at from one angle, climate change is an infrastructure problem. To limit global warming to 2 degrees C and avoid the worst effects of climate change, about $44 trillion will need to be invested in low-carbon projects like wind farms, solar panels, nuclear power, carbon capture, and smart buildings by 2050, the International Energy Agency estimates. That’s more than $1 trillion a year -- roughly a four-fold jump from current investment levels. Where’s the money going to come from? Maybe...

11/24/2014
"Avoid stigmatising Africa," musician says as West Africa Ebola song launched
Reuters: Some of Africa's top musicians launched on Monday an alternative Ebola appeal song to Band Aid's new recording of "Do they know it's Christmas' with proceeds also going to fight the virus that has killed more than 5,000 people in West Africa this year. Despite reaching number one in the UK charts, Bob Geldof's "Do they know it's Christmas" song has been slammed by critics who say the rewritten lyrics, including Christmas bells that clang "chimes of doom" and a world of "dread and fear/Where a...

11/24/2014
Renewables Help Push Nuclear Giants to Brink of Collapse
EcoWatch: Plans to build two giant nuclear reactors in south-west England are being reviewed as French energy companies now seek financial backing from China and Saudi Arabia—while the British government considers whether it has offered vast subsidies for a white elephant. A long-delayed final decision on whether the French electricity utility company EDF will build two 1.6 gigawatt European Pressurised water Reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset—in what would be the biggest construction project in Europe—was...

11/24/2014
Ethanol use in Michigan cuts greenhouse gas, study finds
Great Lakes Echo: New research suggests increased ethanol fuel use could be dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Michigan. A study by scientists at Michigan State University shows ethanol use in the state is reducing carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 1.4 million metric tons each year, the equivalent of emissions from 294,000 cars. Ethanol fuel production, meanwhile, has nearly doubled in the past seven years, from 276 million gallons in 2007 to 452 million in 2012. The findings suggest ethanol...

11/24/2014
Report: Global warming could undercut efforts eradicate poverty
Al Jazeera: Climate change could undermine efforts to defeat extreme poverty around the globe, the World Bank warned Sunday. In a new report on the impact of global warming, the bank said sharp temperature rises would cut deeply into crop yields and water supplies in many areas and possibly set back efforts to bring populations out of poverty. "Climate change poses a substantial and escalating risk to development progress that could undermine global efforts to eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared...

11/24/2014
World Bank releases damning report climate change
New Times: The extent of climate change resulting from human activities has gone beyond a point of 'no return' and the abnormalities, according to a new World Bank report released today. Experts will find these findings damning but it's exactly what scientists have been warning of for a long time and the poorest countries, majority of them from Africa, are set to suffer most from this new reality. "Today's report confirms what scientists have been saying - past emissions have set an unavoidable course to...

11/24/2014
Beyond Ebola: Why rural development matters in a time of crisis
Deutsche-Welle: Ebola's impact on health distracts from another looming danger - hunger, says Kanayo Nwanze, the International Fund for Agricultural Development's President, as the One World Forum for the Future unfolded in Berlin. It is no surprise that the Ebola crisis in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has been capturing headlines for months. Several Ebola fatalities have now been confirmed in Mali as well, which could presage a wider outbreak. The virus has already sickened at least 14,000 people and...

11/24/2014
Should Endowments Divest Their Holdings in Fossil Fuels?
Wall Street Journal: College and university endowments have roughly $22 billion, or 5% of their assets, invested in energy and natural resources, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Traditional fossil-fuel investments account for a big chunk of those energy bets, which has sparked a showdown between student activists who say it is morally wrong to support an industry contributing to global climate change, and colleges and universities under pressure to raise funds for...

11/24/2014
Ebola is scary but antibiotic resistance should scare us more
Guardian: Ebola is the stuff of nightmares. It causes profuse bleeding and organ failure and has a high mortality rate. But while the grim spectacle of dying patients in treatment centres in the affected African countries has stoked fears, cases in the west have been extremely rare in spite of a spate of false alarms across Europe and the US. New Jersey governor Chris Christie has imposed a quarantine on healthcare workers returning from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, despite the policy being unsupported...

11/24/2014
Solar and Wind Energy Win on Price vs. Conventional Fuels
New York Times: For the solar and wind industries in the United States, it has been a long-held dream: to produce energy at a cost equal to conventional sources like coal and natural gas. That day appears to be dawning. The cost of providing electricity from wind and solar power plants has plummeted over the last five years, so much so that in some markets renewable generation is now cheaper than coal or natural gas. Utility executives say the trend has accelerated this year, with several companies signing contracts,...

11/24/2014
Rising deforestation, fossil fuels drive Brazil's emissions 8% higher
Mongabay: Brazil's carbon dioxide emissions jumped 7.8 percent in 2013 due to rising deforestation and fossil fuels use, according to data released by Observatório do Clima (Climate Observatory), an alliance of Brazilian and international non-profits. The increase was the first since 2008. Deforestation and forest degradation emissions rose 16 percent, while energy emissions increased 7 percent. Total emissions in 2013 amounted to 1.56 billion tons of CO2e, which is well off the all-time high of 2.86...

11/24/2014
A Lifesaving Transplant for Coral Reefs
New York Times: David Vaughan plunges his right arm down to his elbow into one of nine elevated tanks where thousands of tiny colonies of coral are growing at an astonishing rate in shaded seclusion next to the Mote Tropical Research Laboratory. “Now this is the exciting part. You ready for this?” he asks, straining to be heard over the relentless hiss of filtered saltwater squirting from a maze of pipes and plastic tubing into the shallow fiberglass tank, the size of a dining-room table. Dr. Vaughan, a marine...

11/24/2014
Global warming could undermine poverty
AAP: Climate change could undermine efforts to defeat extreme poverty around the globe, the World Bank says. In a new report on the impact of global warming, the bank said sharp temperature rises would cut deeply into crop yields and water supplies in many areas and possibly set back efforts to bring populations out of poverty. "Climate change poses a substantial and escalating risk to development progress that could undermine global efforts to eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity,"...

11/24/2014
Sun's finally shining on India's climate change fight
Straits Times: In India, fighting climate change means turning to the sun. In Baramati in the western state of Maharashtra, construction is under way on a solar power plant that will generate 50 megawatts (MW), enough to power a small town. The first phase, which is being built by Welspun Energy in partnership with the state power authorities, is likely to be ready next month and will generate 36MW of power to feed into the state grid. Once at full capacity by next year, it will mitigate 83,220 tonnes...

11/23/2014
Australia's Direct Action Policy To Increase Projected Emissions By 2020 -- UN Report
Business Times: The United Nations has warned Australia it is one of the four countries predicted not to meet its emissions target. A UN Environment Programme report revealed that the world should achieve "carbon neutrality" by 2070. Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) is welcomed by Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott upon his arrival for the G20 summit in Brisbane November 15, 2014. The meeting of leaders of the Group of 20 economies has opened in Brisbane, Australia, with Abbott stressing the importance...

11/23/2014
World Bank: No Matter What Governments Do — Big Climate Change Coming
Reuters: Some future impacts of climate change, such as more extremes of heat and sea level rise, are unavoidable even if governments act fast to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the World Bank said on Sunday. Past and predicted emissions from power plants, factories and cars have locked the globe on a path towards an average temperature rise of almost 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times by 2050, it said. "This means that climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may now...

11/23/2014
Women have a higher risk of catching Ebola
CNTV: The United Nations warns women that they have a higher risk of catching Ebola. Officials say it is the woman’s role as the primary care-giver in the family - that puts her on the frontline for infection. "There are some reports that in the countries affected by the Ebola outbreak that women are particularly at risk. Partly because of their role as healers, partly because of their role as carers in the home and partly because also they are most involved in household activities and this puts them...

11/23/2014
‘Some climate change impacts unavoidable’
Reuters: Some future impacts of climate change, such as more extremes of heat and sea level rise, are unavoidable even if governments act fast to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the World Bank said on Sunday. Past and predicted emissions from power plants, factories and cars have locked the globe on a path towards an average temperature rise of almost 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times by 2050, it said. "This means that climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may...

11/23/2014
Clownfish lost at sea due to rising carbon dioxide levels
Guardian: The tale of a clownfish that got lost at sea in the 2003 movie Finding Nemo may be a taste of things to come - as rising carbon dioxide levels could leave the fish unable to find their way around, say scientists. Tests on clownfish larvae showed they became disoriented and were unable to find a suitable place to live if they were raised in seawater that had absorbed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The effect is potentially devastating for a wide range of fish populations because many rely...

11/23/2014
Peru probes 500 sea lion deaths
BBC: Peru is investigating the deaths of some 500 sea lions found on a beach on its northern coastline. The local governor has accused fishermen of poisoning the mammals, which usually come close to the shore looking for food. But Peruvian environmental police are looking into other possible causes for the deaths, including disease and the accidental ingestion of plastic. The rotting corpses were found on Anconcillo beach in the Ancash region. Agents said the bodies were of young as well as...

11/23/2014
Flooding could follow heavy snow western New York
Reuters: Emergency workers filled thousands of sandbags on Sunday as the area around Buffalo, New York braced for potential flooding as warming temperatures began to melt up to seven feet (2 meters) of snow. Creeks appeared to be flowing smoothly and no flooding had been reported as the sun began to go down, county officials said. More than 775 members of the New York National Guard were in Erie County and Buffalo to help with flood prevention after days of work to clear roads and dig homes and cars...

11/23/2014
Climate sceptic Lord Monckton told he's not member of House of Lords
Guardian: The House of Lords has taken the unprecedented step of publishing a "cease and desist" letter on its website demanding that Lord Christopher Monckton, a prominent climate sceptic and the UK Independence party's head of research, should stop claiming to be a member of the upper house. The move follows a testy interview given by Monckton to an Australian radio station earlier this month in which he repeated his long-stated belief that he is a member of the House of Lords. When asked by ABC Sydney's...

11/23/2014
War against Ebola in West Africa remains tough fight
USA Today: A snapshot of the Ebola epidemic raging across West Africa shows a wildfire of infections only slightly contained. While cases have been on the decline in Liberia, the outbreak is worsening in neighboring countries, where basic Ebola-fighting tools are impractical. Identifying the infected and those they've touched, and isolating them to break the transmission chain are all but impossible in Sierra Leone's capital of Freetown as well as the jungles of Guinea, says Jordan Tappero, the Centers...

11/23/2014
Canada: RCMP Arrest Protesters at Kinder Morgan Tar Sands Pipeline Expansion
Environment News Service: An 11-year-old girl was among those arrested Sunday as a crowd protested survey work by the Texas-based Kinder Morgan company for a tar sands pipeline expansion through the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby. In late October, Canada`s National Energy Board granted Kinder Morgan access to begin work on their TransMountain tar sands pipeline expansion project in a designated conservation area on Burnaby Mountain. In response, community members have established a camp and prevented Kinder Morgan from...

11/23/2014
The Heroes And Zeroes Of America's Brief Ebola Outbreak
Huffington Post: It's been three weeks since the White House event where President Barack Obama shook hands with doctors and nurses who treated Ebola patients in West Africa, and the president apparently does not have Ebola. The disease still rages in West Africa, where more than 5,000 people have died since March, though new transmissions have apparently slowed in Liberia and Guinea thanks to concerted public health efforts. Officials will need to remain vigilant here and abroad, but let us use the occasion of...

11/23/2014
Extreme weather 'could become normal' warns World Bank report
Telegraph: Extreme weather events currently only seen once in hundreds of years, if ever, could become the "new climate normal' as a result of global warming, scientists have warned. Frequent heat waves and other weather extremes may already be unavoidable, creating a "world of increased risks and instability,' a World Bank Group report said. The consequences for development would be severe as crop yields decline, water resources shift, sea levels rise and the livelihoods of millions of people are put...

11/23/2014
World bank to focus future investment on clean energy
Guardian: The World Bank will invest heavily in clean energy and only fund coal projects in “circumstances of extreme need” because climate change will undermine efforts to eliminate extreme poverty, says its president Jim Yong Kim. Talking ahead of a UN climate summit in Peru next month, Kim said he was alarmed by World Bank-commissioned research from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, which said that as a result of past greenhouse gas emissions the world is condemned to unprecedented...

11/23/2014
Small quake shakes Dallas area, stirring fracking critics
Reuters: A light earthquake shook the Dallas-Ft. Worth area of North Texas on Saturday night, leaving no known damage or casualties but stirring concern about the potential of the area's oil and gas fracking industry to generate seismic activity. The magnitude 3.3 earthquake struck about 9:15 p.m. Central time on Saturday, said Dale Grant, an geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey. The epicenter was near the border of the cities of Dallas and Irving, near the site of the former Texas Stadium,...

11/23/2014
Impact of climate agreement questionable
Asbury Park Press: The United States-China agreement on climate change is a huge political triumph, possibly "historic," as its supporters say. Whether it much alters the world's climate is a more open question. Recall the agreement's outlines. By 2030, China pledges to reach peak emissions of global greenhouse gases and also to increase its reliance on non-fossil fuels to 20 percent of its total energy. For its part, the United States committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions in 2025 by 26 percent to 28...

11/23/2014
Ebola Mappers Track Epidemic in Real Time
NBC: In a darkened Boston conference room, staring at projections from a laptop, John Brownstein is far from the front lines of the fight against Ebola. But the epidemiologist’s work may help change the course of the epidemic. The disease forecaster and his team are combing through news reports, tweets and Facebook posts to anticipate the disease’s next move — and help those on the ground head it off before the crisis grows. “There are all these places where people are talking about disease outbreaks...

11/23/2014
Western New York braces for flooding as heavy snow melts
Reuters: Emergency workers filled thousands of sandbags on Sunday as the area around Buffalo, New York braced for potential flooding as warming temperatures began to melt up to seven feet (2 meters) of snow. Hundreds of members of the New York National Guard were in Erie County and Buffalo to help with flood prevention after days of work to clear roads and dig homes and cars out of the record snow from a storm that killed 13 people. The National Weather Service said roads could flood quickly from snow...

11/23/2014
Mali: New #Ebola case confirmed, 2 more suspected
Associated Press: Mali on Saturday confirmed a new case of Ebola and said two more suspected patients are being tested, raising concern about a further spread of the disease which has already killed at least five people in the country. The patient who tested positive "was placed in an isolation center for intensive treatment," said a government statement distributed Saturday. No details about the patient were provided. Mali officials are monitoring 310 people to limit the spread of the disease, said the statement....

11/23/2014
Mali confirms new case of Ebola, tests two others
Associated Press: Mali on Saturday confirmed a new case of Ebola and said two more suspected patients are being tested, raising concern about a further spread of the disease which has already killed at least five people in the country. The patient who tested positive “was placed in an isolation center for intensive treatment,” a government statement said Saturday. No details about the patient were provided. Mali officials are monitoring 310 people to limit the spread of the disease. Mali’s five confirmed Ebola...

11/23/2014
Half of future whooper habitat could be lost
Victoria Advocate: About half of the potential whooping crane habitat along the South Texas coastline is projected to be lost to sea level rise. As the only wild flock of whooping cranes continues to grow, the endangered birds will need more space. For whooping cranes to be listed as threatened instead of endangered, the population must grow to 1,000 birds, a feat that will require 125,000 acres of wintering habitat, according to a recently published study. Researchers identified where the 5-foot-tall birds might...

11/23/2014
What it takes to kill a grizzly bear
Daily Beast: One cold October day in 1968, I climbed out of a warm creek on the Yellowstone Plateau and came face to face with a huge grizzly. I froze, not knowing what to do. Since I was naked, my options were limited. I slowly turned my head and looked off to the side. The giant bear flicked his ears and, with unmistakable restraint, swung away and disappeared into the trees. Standing in the chill breeze of autumn, I knew something had passed between us. That peaceful standoff with the grizzly was the first...

11/23/2014
US poll finds most back limits on coal emissions even if power prices rise
Bloomberg: A majority of Americans support tougher pollution limits on coal-burning power plants even if it means paying more for electricity. The survey of 1,275 adults backs President Barack Obama's efforts to bypass Congress and enact climate regulations by executive authority. Two-thirds of those polled by researchers at Yale and George Mason universities support limits on carbon dioxide emissions even after being told such measures would raise power prices, they said on Wednesday. The survey also...

11/23/2014
Malaysia: Climate change will affect water supply
New Straits Times: CLIMATE change will affect all water-related sectors, including water supply and agriculture, resulting in drought, flood and degradation of coastal ecosystem. National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia's (Nahrim) Extension Study of the Impact of Climate Change on the Hydrologic Regime and Water Resources of Peninsular Malaysia shows there will be an increase in rainfall magnitude and intensity in the future. "Global warming will affect peak flow, causing more extreme floods at river...

11/23/2014
Prospects rise for a 2015 U.N. climate deal, but likely to be weak
Reuters: A global deal to combat climate change in 2015 looks more likely after promises for action by China, the United States and the European Union, but any agreement will probably be too weak to halt rising temperatures. Delegates from almost 200 nations will meet in Lima, Peru, from Dec. 1-12 to work on the accord due in Paris in a year's time, also spurred by new scientific warnings about risks of floods, heatwaves, ocean acidification and rising seas. After failure to agree a sweeping U.N. treaty...

11/23/2014
New York braces for flooding as warming trend follows epic snowstorm
LA Times: Even though her street was buried under 3 feet of snow, Jean Ulrich considered herself lucky so far. The octogenarian and lifelong resident of Bowmansville, just outside Buffalo, has seen lots of snow before — but never, she said, like last week. Epic lake-effect snowfall pummeled the Buffalo region, dumping about 80 inches of snow, causing at least 13 deaths and virtually shutting down highways for days with thousands of stranded cars. This weekend the snow stopped, but more weather turmoil...

11/23/2014
Winter weather weirdness may be just beginning
Buffalo News: Brace yourself. November’s white nightmare could become a recurring bad dream of varying intensity. While last week’s winter blast appears to be the freak offspring of a typhoon-blasted jet stream and a warm Lake Erie, it’s also part of a long-term pattern that shows no sign of changing. Meteorologists and geographers say that lake-effect snows have increased as temperatures have warmed in recent decades. That means more bizarre early-season storms, though not necessarily as bad as last week’s,...

11/23/2014
Study ties climate change disappearing rabbits in Michigan
Detroit Free Press: A color-changing rabbit once found hopping through fields and forests across Michigan has become so rare, hunters choose not to shoot it. Not since the mid-1990s has a customer asked White Lake taxidermist Doug Ellis, 51, to mount a snowshoe hare. "They're beautiful," he said. "But you just don't see them." The rabbits have coats that adapt with the seasons to camouflage them with their environment. They turn white during the snow season and brown the rest of the year. With last winter an...

11/23/2014
Torness nuclear reactor has 'unplanned outage'
BBC: A nuclear reactor at the Torness power station in East Lothian has gone offline in an unplanned outage, its operator has said. EDF Energy said the 640MW Torness 2 reactor went offline at 01:16 on Friday. The unit was expected to remain unavailable for seven days, the firm said. It means nearly 5GW of British nuclear capacity is offline. The reactor normally has a capacity of 640 megawatts. Paul Winkle, Torness Power Station director, said: "The reactor shutdown safely and cooling to the...

11/23/2014
Federal action needed to tame airline’s high-flying climate pollution
Hill: Some 24 million Americans will cram into airplanes for Thanksgiving travel this year. They’ll face flight delays, bag fees and hassles with reclining seats. And most will fly home in inefficient planes that spew far too much climate-damaging carbon pollution. Greenhouse emissions from aviation are rising rapidly, even as scientists explain that we’re running out of time to avoid disastrous global warming effects, from dangerous temperature increases to food-supply disruptions. But the airline...

11/23/2014
Record Drought Reveal Stunning Changes Along Colorado River
National Geographic: In early September, at the abandoned Piute Farms marina on a remote edge of southern Utah's Navajo reservation, we watched a ten-foot (three-meter) waterfall plunging off what used to be the end of the San Juan River. Until 1990, this point marked the smooth confluence of the river with Lake Powell, one of the largest reservoirs in the U.S. But the lake has shrunk so much due to the recent drought that this waterfall has emerged, with sandy water as thick as a milkshake. My partner DeEdda McLean...

11/23/2014
Despite Persecution, Guardian of Lake Tai Spotlights China’s Polluters
New York Times: By autumn, the stench of Lake Tai and the freakish green glow of its waters usually fade with the ebbing of the summer heat, but this year is different. Standing on a concrete embankment overlooking a fetid, floating array of plastic bottles, foam takeout containers, flip-flops and the occasional dead fish, Wu Lihong, the lake’s unofficial guardian, shook his head in disgust. “If you jumped into this water, you’d shed a layer of skin,” he said one recent afternoon. “The government claims they are...

11/22/2014
Crops contribute to Climate Change in a substantial way
Maine News: Since long climate change has been on the cutting edge of both public plan and research. A recent research carried out in this context has found that the expanding agriculture production has a remarkable role to play in mounting carbon dioxide swings and hence contributing to climate change in the long-run. This study so done is a joint effort by researchers from Boston University, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin-Madison...

11/22/2014
Carbon tax good for Vermont
Rutland Herald: The Vermont Natural Resources Council recently joined low-income advocacy partners, business and academic leaders, and other environmental organizations to call for putting a price on carbon pollution and sending the money back to Vermonters. The plan was accompanied by an economic study that showed that a carbon pollution tax, coupled with cuts in other taxes, would create jobs and reduce Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions. (The study, by Regional Economic Models Inc. or REMI, can be found at energyindependentvt.org)....

11/22/2014
Volcanoes Can Mitigate Climate Change?
Nature World: Small volcanic eruptions over the years may actually helped slow climate change. That's at least according to a new study which details how minor eruptions between 200 and 2013 may have directly cooled the average global temperature. The study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, describes how volcanoes blast helpful particles, called aerosols, into the air during an eruption. When these sulfer dioxide aerosols reach the stratosphere (the second layer of our atmosphere), they...

11/22/2014
Connecting the dots: extreme climate change, conflict
Statesman Journal: What does melting sea ice in the Arctic have to do with the barbarism of the Islamic State? The answer is scary: Rising sea levels eventually will overrun some Pacific island nations and will turn many low-lying villages around the globe into ghost towns. Where will the uprooted inhabitants go? At the least, they will endure the anxiety and grief of leaving their traditional homes. At the worst, the displaced residents will become a generational underclass - lacking adequate food, shelter and...

11/22/2014
UN chief says #Ebola could be contained by mid-next year if response heightened
Deutsche-Welle: UN leaders are calling for the world to step up anti-Ebola efforts, despite infection rates slowing in some worst-affected countries. The UN is expanding its mission to Mali in the hope of preventing further outbreaks. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for international leaders to stay engaged on Ebola. Recent data has shown a slowing of the rate of transmission in two of the three worst-affected west African countries, Guinea and Liberia. However, Sierra Leone was still reporting a...


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

 

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