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

09/17/2014
Plantation companies agree to define zero deforestation commitments
Mongabay: A group of palm oil and timber companies that have pledged to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains have agreed to establish a standard for determining what constitutes "forest" in terms of carbon storage. Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), Cargill, Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), Golden Veroleum Liberia, Wilmar, Agropalma and New Britain Palm Oil have agreed to establish a body that standardizes the High Carbon Stock (HCS) Approach, the methodology being used to implement zero deforestation commitments....

09/17/2014
Natural disasters displaced more people than war in 2013, study finds
Guardian: Natural disasters displaced three times as many people as war last year – even as 2013 was a horrific year for conflict – with 22 million people driven out of their homes by floods, hurricanes and other hazards, a new study has found. Twice as many people now lose their homes to disaster as in the 1970s, and more people move into harm’s way each year, the study by the Norwegian Refugee Council found. “Basically, the combination of mega natural disasters and hundreds of smaller natural disasters...

09/17/2014
Sturgeon survives, but not for long, it seems
Earth Times: A remarkable sight, almost cartoonish, this is a relative of the Chinese sturgeon, as many species have been photographed rarely. It's one of the Eurasian Acipenser species, but hard to say which, as the animal is in its marine environment. There are several species, all endangered to some extent, as well as the related genera of beluga and kaluga; Acipenser image; Credit: © Shutterstock The worry about that most ancient of bony fish, the sturgeon, is that all the species left are endangered in...

09/17/2014
Germany charges forward with opening of Europe's largest grid battery plant
BusinessGreen: The missing piece of the puzzle required to deliver reliable, low-cost, low-carbon power grids may have just been delivered in northern Germany. Utility Wemag AG announced yesterday that it has flicked the switch on Europe's largest commercial battery energy storage system, bringing online its new 5MW facility. The EUR6m (£4.7m) plant is the size of a school gymnasium and contains 25,600 lithium-manganoxid cells that have been supplied by Samsung SDI Co. It is designed to help Wemag balance...

09/17/2014
Antarctic sea ice set for record high as Arctic heads for sixth lowest extent
Guardian: The extent of sea ice in Antarctica is set to reach a record high, scientists said on Tuesday, as they announced that Arctic sea ice appeared to have shrunk to its sixth lowest level ever. The NSIDC said that satellite data was expected to shortly confirm whether the maximum extent of sea ice at the opposite pole, in Antarctica, had set a new record. “Antarctic sea ice is poised to set a record maximum this year, now at 19.7 million sq km (7.6m sq m) and continuing to increase,” the centre,...

09/17/2014
Activists urge outgoing Indonesian president protect key forest area
Mongabay: Activists have launched an urgent appeal calling upon outgoing Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to step up protection of the only ecosystem that houses Sumatran orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers. End of Icons, an initiative led by the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme and PanEco-YEL, is urging Yudhoyono to elevate the protected status of the Leuser Ecosystem before he leaves office. End of Icons is targeting the president ahead of his UN Climate Summit speech next week....

09/17/2014
Solar Panel Market to Grow Most in India, China, Japan
Ria Novosti: Over the next five years, India, China and Japan are expected to have the highest growth rates in cumulative photovoltaic (PV) panel installations, with China set to pass the 100 GW mark by 2018, Electronic Component News magazine reported. At the same time, China, Thailand and the United Kingdom are forecast to have the highest 10-year compound annual growth rates. China is now the only major solar market in the world that can service its own market purely through domestic supply, its installed...

09/17/2014
Canada: Cities can lead on climate change to build a resilient future
Guardian: Around the world, cities are taking the lead on addressing the challenge of climate change. While senior governments stall, urban leaders are responding to the urgent need to make our cities more resilient as climate change impacts intensify. In Vancouver, we are aggressively pursuing our goal to be the greenest city in the world by 2020. It’s a bold goal, but in working toward it, we are protecting our environment and growing our economy. The successful cities of the future will be those making...

09/17/2014
Australia not prepared for effects of climate change
Australian Broadcasting Corporation: EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: A report on the effects of climate change on Australia's infrastructure calls coastal flooding the sleeping giant of risk to future prosperity. And the Climate Council of Australia says so-called "once-in-a-lifetime natural disasters" could become regular occurrences. Hamish Fitzsimmons reports. HAMISH FITZSIMMONS, REPORTER: More than three-quarters of the population lives near the coast but Australia's love affair with the beach will come at a future cost. That's...

09/17/2014
Australia: Renewable energy target: Coalition and Labor no closer compromise
Guardian: The two major parties appear no closer to a compromise on the future of the renewable energy target, amid a push by Coalition backbenchers to strip away the mechanism for large-scale wind and solar projects. The government has repeatedly called on Labor to compromise over the RET, which requires that 41,000 gigawatt hours of Australia’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2020. The scheme is made up of the large-scale RET, aimed at wind and solar farms, and the small-scale renewable energy scheme,...

09/17/2014
Sea Shepherd to switch campaign from whales to toothfish
Agence France-Presse: Conservation group Sea Shepherd Australia said Wednesday it will switch its Southern Ocean campaign from whales to toothfish -- a rare species famed as "white gold" -- if Japan cancels this year's hunt in Antarctica. Sea Shepherd, which has spent a decade harassing the Japanese harpoon ships during the southern hemisphere summer, said it would still keep its eye on any whaling vessels. But provided Tokyo abided by its promise not to kill whales, the group would instead target the illegal fishing...

09/17/2014
Leonardo DiCaprio appointed UN climate change representative
BBC: The Hollywood actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, has been appointed as a United Nations representative on climate change. The UN secretary general Ban ki Moon said the actor's global stardom was the perfect match for the global challenge posed by climate change. Mr DiCaprio's first duty in his new role will be to address the opening of the climate summit later this month in New York.

09/17/2014
Study on global carbon cycle may require reappraisal of climate events in Earth's history
ScienceDaily: A recent study of the global carbon cycle offers a new perspective of Earth's climate records through time. Scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science suggest that one of the current methods for interpreting ancient changes in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans may need to be re-evaluated. The UM Rosenstiel School researchers measured the abundance of carbon-12 and carbon-13 isotopes in both the organic matter and...

09/17/2014
Dunkin' Donuts pledges to dunk only in sustainable palm oil
BusinessGreen: The company behind Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins ice cream has pledged to stop frying its doughnuts in unsustainable palm oil, which contributes to deforestation and destroys habitats of endangered species such as tigers and orangutans. Dunkin Brands Group yesterday unveiled a commitment to use 100 per cent sustainable palm oil at its United States stores. The copany said that by the end of 2015 it will be able to trace all of the palm oil it buys back to the mill and by the following year will...

09/16/2014
Dutch unveil big plan to fight rising tides
Agence France-Presse: The Netherlands on Tuesday unveiled a multi-billion-euro, multi-decade plan to counter the biggest environmental threat to the low-lying European nation: surging seawater caused by global climate change. The project, expected to span 30 years and cost 20 billion euros ($25 billion), will see new sea barriers built and existing dykes strengthened in the country, much of which lies below sea-level. Environmental Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen, presenting the plan to parliament, called it...

09/16/2014
Whaling opponents & pro-whaling nations, led by Japan, remain at odds
Guardian: Diplomats were preparing for one last push to find a compromise capable of bridging the divide between whaling nations and their opponents at the biennial International Whaling Commission summit in Slovenia. A narrow majority of delegates have lined up behind a proposal from New Zealand to curb Japan's "scientific whaling" ambitions by enforcing strict oversight on the number of whales that it may cull, and the scientific justifications for this, particularly the availability of non-lethal means...

09/16/2014
Mark Ruffalo calls on Obama to ban fracking ahead of UN climate summit
Guardian: Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo called on US president Barack Obama to ban fracking and make the US the renewable energy capital of the world on Tuesday. Ruffalo made the plea in a press call hosted by Food & Water Watch, which released a report on Tuesday tying the controversial practice of fracking to climate change. The report comes days ahead of next week’s UN climate summit in New York. “By stopping this fracking, it doesn’t mean that we have to go backwards – we don’t have to take an...

09/16/2014
Climate Change Forces Tropical Lizards Swiftly Adapt
Nature World: Climate change is affecting all sorts of animals, from sharks to polar bears to birds, but new research has focused on tropical lizards, which have learned to swiftly adapt in order to survive. Previous research has found that tropical species, because they're already tolerating extreme heat, are most vulnerable to changing ecosystems as a result of climate change. But scientists from Dartmouth University in New Hampshire and the University of Virginia believe some reptiles might be able to evolve...

09/16/2014
Female Bluefin Killfish Judge Fish by Their Color
Nature World News: You know the old adage don't judge a book by its cover? Well, apparently that doesn't apply to female bluefin killfish, who, according to recent findings, prefer males that are yellow in color. In nature, male bluefin killifish exhibit three distinct color forms: blue, red, and yellow. However, it is difficult to determine whether these various colors impact the males' strategies for attracting a mate, and whether female fish respond differently to each shade. So, researchers at the New York...

09/16/2014
U.S. Putting Climate-Changing Chemicals on Ice
Climate Central: Say bye, bye, to chemicals that chill your frozen pie. The U.S. is making it clear as ice that it intends to continue moving forward with efforts to clamp down on the use of hydrofluorocarbons, known as HFCs, which are chemicals that helped save the ozone layer — but have put the climate in jeopardy. The chemicals were developed for use in fridges, air conditioning systems and other products after ozone-damaging chemicals used for cooling were effectively banned in the 1980s under the Montreal...

09/16/2014
New York state denied federal funds for flagship bridge project
Reuters: The U.S. federal government has rejected most of a $511 million loan request for the renewal of New York state's Tappan Zee Bridge, dealing a blow to one of governor Andrew Cuomo's most prominent infrastructure projects just weeks ahead of state elections. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said that the $3.9 billion project was ineligible for funds from a federal clean water fund because "construction activities arising from transportation projects do not advance water quality." The authority...

09/16/2014
Malayan tiger population plunges to just 250-340 individuals
Mongabay: Malaysia is on the edge of losing its tigers, and the world is one step nearer to losing another tiger subspecies: the Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni). Camera trap surveys from 2010-2013 have estimated that only 250-340 Malayan tigers remain, potentially a halving of the previous estimate of 500 individuals. In 2008, Malaysia committed to doubling its tiger population to 1,000 animals by 2020. But a statement from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN) and the Malaysian...

09/16/2014
Rising sea levels 'sleeping giant' that could cost $226bn, report says
Guardian: Rising sea levels are a “sleeping giant” issue that will put at risk coastal infrastructure worth up to $226bn, a new report has found. Analysis by the Climate Council found Australia was likely to experience a sea level rise of 0.4m to 1m by the end of the century, with a “high end” scenario of 1.1m possible if the world warmed by about 4C compared with pre-industrial temperatures. In this worst-case scenario, $226bn in property, including houses, schools, hospitals and ports, would be exposed...

09/16/2014
Wildfire rips through 150 homes in Northern California
Reuters: Fire crews in California battled on Tuesday to halt the advance of a day-old wildfire that has already destroyed about 150 homes, lapped at rural schools and caused power outages that left an evacuation shelter without electricity, authorities said. The blaze, one of about a dozen major fires raging across the drought-parched state, prompted authorities to order the evacuation of about 1,000 households in and around the Northern California town of Weed, which has a population of about 3,000. "Weed...

09/16/2014
Obstacle to treating China's contaminated soil finding someone to pay
Reuters: Nearly four years after a massive state-run steel mill on the outskirts of Beijing was closed to help cut smog in the Chinese capital, little has been done to clean up the contaminated site. The factory's idled chimneys dominate a landscape of rust-encased piping and rail tracks that once fed 8 million tonnes of steel into China's economy each year. The 95-year-old former mill, owned by Shougang Group, China's fifth biggest steel producer, is one of thousands of sites across China where soil has...

09/16/2014
Can We Solve Global Warming For Almost Nothing?
Gawker: Much of the discussion about cutting the carbon emissions that are slowly destroying our planet centers on the supposed cost of all these new forms of clean energy. A new report suggests: what costs? Yes, changing over our planet's dominant power supply from one powered by fossil fuels to one powered by cleaner forms of energy will be enormously expensive. And yes, the tax on carbon emissions that it will likely take to spur companies towards clean energy will be enormously expensive, to polluters....

09/16/2014
Leonardo DiCaprio joins UN climate campaign
Agence France-Presse: Leonardo DiCaprio will address world leaders at a UN climate summit next week as the new "UN messenger of peace" with focus on climate change, the UN chief said Tuesday. The star of the hit films "Titanic" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" has been vocal on the need for action on global warming through his "Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation." "I feel a moral obligation to speak out at this key moment in human history -- it is a moment for action," DiCaprio said in a statement. "How we respond to...

09/16/2014
California governor OKs bills to regulate groundwater amid drought
Reuters: California Governor Jerry Brown signed a package of bills on Tuesday to regulate California's stressed groundwater supplies amid a drought that is expected to cost the state $2.2 billion in lost crops, jobs and other damages, with no end in sight. The bills will allow the state to take over management of underground aquifers and water accessed via wells, and aim to tighten oversight of water at a time when groundwater levels are shrinking in the third year of a catastrophic drought. "We have to...

09/16/2014
Saving Siberian Tigers: Documentary Derailed
Nature World: A recent "observe and report" documentary about the incredibly rare Siberian tiger quickly became an all-out rescue mission after a team of conservationists and their camera crew stumbled upon three orphaned cubs. Now that incredible story is finally going to be shown to the public, revealing the mysterious and dangerous world of these dwindling cats. "Last Tiger Standing" is set to air Sept. 27 through the Discovery Channel and BBC Natural History. According to a brief summary provided by documentarian...

09/16/2014
The $90 Trillion Climate-Stabilizing Cookbook
Climate Central: We're baking the world; on track to raise global temperatures by more than 7°F by burning fuels, raising livestock, bulldozing forests, and allowing cities to sprawl as they grow. Pulling the planet out of the costly slow-cooker of old-fashioned traditions in time to avoid the worst of global warming might not be easy. But doing so would make the world a richer place. That was the message in The New Climate Economy Report, a 72-page paper produced by an international panel of leading economists,...

09/16/2014
Obama delays key power plant rule of signature climate change plan
Guardian: Barack Obama applied the brakes to the most critical component of his climate change plan on Tuesday, slowing the process of setting new rules cutting carbon pollution from power plants, and casting a shadow over a landmark United Nations’ summit on global warming. The proposed power plant rules were meant to be the signature environmental accomplishment of Obama’s second term. The threat of a delay in their implementation comes just one week before a heavily anticipated UN summit where officials...

09/16/2014
Fixing climate change might add no costs, says report
New York Times: In decades of public debate about global warming, one assumption has been accepted by virtually all factions - that tackling it would necessarily be costly. But a new report casts doubt on that idea, declaring that the necessary fixes could wind up being effectively free. A global commission will announce its finding on Tuesday that an ambitious series of measures to limit emissions would cost $4 trillion or so over the next 15 years, an increase of roughly five per cent over the amount that would...

09/16/2014
Bobby Jindal's Soft Climate Change Skepticism
National Journal: If Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal wants to be the next president, he faces a delicate political task in articulating his position on climate change. On one end, endorsing the scientific consensus that human activity is the main driver of recent climate change would be a hazardous move if he intends to navigate a Republican presidential primary. But rejecting any connection between the two would pose its own challenges if he tries to win over moderates in a nationwide election, handing his opponents...

09/16/2014
Big firms agree to cut use of coolants that add to global warming
LA Times: A week before world leaders will discuss how to slow the increase of dangerous gases in the atmosphere, the Obama administration announced that it has reached agreements with a range of major companies to voluntarily phase out a class of chemicals, used in refrigerators and air conditioners, and seen as contributors to global warming. The chemicals, called hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs, became the popular alternative to the refrigerant, Freon, banned in the 1990s as a danger to the planet`s ozone...

09/16/2014
Leonardo DiCaprio named U.N. messenger peace for climate
Reuters: Hollywood actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio has been named a United Nations Messenger of Peace, a post he will use to raise awareness about climate change, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday. DiCaprio will address a U.N. summit meeting on climate change on Sept. 23, a day before the U.N. General Assembly's annual gathering of world leaders begins. Many leaders from the 193 member states of the United Nations are expected to attend the climate session. "Leonardo...

09/16/2014
U.S. extends comment period on power plant carbon rule to December
Reuters: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will give the public until December to comment on its sweeping proposal to curb carbon pollution from the country's power plants after some industry groups and state officials pressed for more time. Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA's office of air and radiation, told reporters on Tuesday that the agency would give stakeholders an extra 45 days, for a total of six months, to give input on its plan to cut emissions from existing power...

09/16/2014
Lawmakers to test EU's five billion euro carbon permit giveaway
Reuters: European lawmakers will vote next week on whether to force Brussels officials to rethink giving billions of euros worth of carbon allowances away for free to heavy industries, after a senior Green member lodged an objection. The European Commission, the EU's executive, in May proposed that the vast majority of industry sectors should keep getting most of their allowances for free over 2015-2019 to help meet their obligations under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). The ETS regulates around...

09/16/2014
Australia: Great Barrier Reef Plan Not Good Enough, Conservationists Say
Nature World: Australia announced Monday its 35-year plan to save the Great Barrier Reef, which is under threat as a result of climate change, but some conservationists are saying that this is not good enough. One of the seven wonders of the natural world, the Great Barrier Reef is home to the world's largest collection of coral reefs, with 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusc, according to UNESCO's World Heritage Centre. However, over the past 30 years this natural wonder...

09/16/2014
Obama Announces Coolant Phase-Out to Help in Global-Warming Fight
Newsmax: President Barack Obama, whose administration is moving quickly to enhance his environmental legacy, wants a quicker phase-out of the popular coolant chemicals used in homes and offices amid concerns they are hastening global warming, the Washington Post reports. The administration is seeking voluntary commitments from chemical manufacturers and retailers as it seeks to draw down the use of R-134a chemicals, known more widely as hydroflurocarbons (HFC), which have replaced ozone-damaging coolant...

09/16/2014
Leonardo DiCaprio named UN climate envoy
Telegraph: Titanic and Wolf of Wall Street star Leonardo DiCaprio has been named as a United Nations envoy on climate change. Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, made the announcement as the international body's General Assembly prepares to meet for the 69th session next week. The 39-year-old actor, whose official title is UN Messenger of Peace on Climate Change, will address the UN's Climate Summit on Tuesday. A long-time climate change activist, the star runs the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation,...

09/16/2014
IWC 'has majority' to curb Japanese whale culls
Guardian: A narrow majority of delegates at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) summit support moves to extend a ban on Japan's scientific whaling plans until at least 2016 in a vote due on Wednesday. Despite fierce opposition from Japan, New Zealand is proposing that the IWC endorse a ruling by the international court of justice (ICJ) and add strict conditions to any future permits it issues for scientific whaling. Whaling nations such as Japan, Norway and Iceland, supported by a clutch of African...

09/16/2014
White House tackles HFC emissions to slash global warming
Agence France-Presse: The Obama administration said on Tuesday (Sep 16) it will slash emissions of hydroflourocarbons (HFCs), a potent greenhouse gas used to fuel refrigerators and air conditioners that contributes to global warming. The White House joined twenty companies, including Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Target, Dupont and Honeywell, to scale down or eliminate HFCs in production chains. Subcontractors in federal offices will also phase down the use of HFCs. The new commitments will reduce the equivalent of 700 million...

09/16/2014
U.S. lawmakers want curb antibiotic use on farms
Reuters: Two U.S. lawmakers are calling for action to rein in antibiotic use in livestock in response to a Reuters investigation showing how top U.S. poultry firms have been administering drugs to their flocks. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-NY), said she plans to introduce new legislation authorizing the Food and Drug Administration to collect data on “farm-level antibiotic use.” The pledge was part of a letter Gillibrand sent Tuesday to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg. In the letter, Gillibrand said...

09/16/2014
Extreme Weather Ravages the West Coast
EcoWatch: Climate deniers are gloating that the California wildfire season isn`t as bad as seasons past or as predicted in the spring, although that`s probably small comfort to the families being evacuated from homes in Orange County near the Cleveland National Forest this weekend. And the fire season isn`t over, and neither is the hot, dry weather with temperatures in the triple digits. The drought continues its negative impacts on California communities and agriculture. An NBC news report last week said...

09/16/2014
We can avoid climate change, boost the world’s economy – if we act now
Guardian: The global economy is undergoing a remarkable transformation which is altering our ability to deal with climate change. The growth of emerging economies, rapid urbanisation and new technological advances are making possible a new path of low-carbon growth in ways that were not apparent even five years ago. We know that if left unchecked, greenhouse gas emissions will cause devastating climate change. What is now becoming clear is that reducing emissions is not only compatible with economic growth...

09/16/2014
Seafood labels and sourcing to become clearer thanks to new code
Guardian: A scheme to make the labelling and sourcing of sustainable fish clearer and more consistent for shoppers will be unveiled by the industry and retailers this week – and is backed by the 'Fish Fight' campaign set up by celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Two new voluntary codes of conduct from the Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC), whose supermarket and supplier members account for over 80% of fish sales in the UK, should mean "consumers will be able to shop safe in the knowledge that [sustainability]...

09/16/2014
Indonesian lawmakers approve Southeast Asia smog-fighting pact
Reuters: Indonesian lawmakers have approved a pact for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to tackle smog pollution, becoming the grouping's final member to sign up to the regional co-operation effort. Indonesia has failed in previous attempts to stop the smog that results from annual slash-and-burn forest clearances which cause heavy smoke and pollution levels to rise across the region. "We hope Indonesia will be able to control its natural resources to prevent haze pollution," Indonesian...

09/16/2014
It's clear that prosperity and climate change action can go hand in hand
Guardian: The link between economic growth and action to reduce the risks of climate change is the focus of the New Climate Economy report issued on Tuesday. Its credentials are impressive and its findings emphatic. Released by a global commission of 24 global economic leaders from government, business, finance and academia, led by former president of Mexico Felipe Calderón, the year-long study has involved individuals from over 100 organisations across every continent and advised by a panel of world-leading...

09/16/2014
Indonesia moves to stop forest fire pollution as haze grips Singapore
Guardian: Indonesia’s parliament on Tuesday voted to ratify a regional agreement on cross-border haze as fires ripped through forests in west of the country, choking neighbouring Singapore with hazardous smog. Officials in Singapore and Malaysia have responded furiously to Indonesian forest fires, which have intensified and become more frequent in recent years. Singapore’s air pollution rose to unhealthy levels on Monday as Indonesian authorities failed to control fires in Sumatra island’s vast tracts...

09/16/2014
Climate change report by Lord Stern shows still time just
Guardian: The world is heating up under the pressure of rising greenhouse gas emissions, and the consequences will be dire: an increase in extreme weather, droughts, floods, a loss of agricultural productivity, people living precarious lives pushed closer to the brink. But it does not have to be so. Halting the rise of carbon emissions is possible – not only possible, but achievable at a modest cost that will be more than outweighed by the manifest benefits. We spend a little more now, to recoup in the next...

09/16/2014
Climate change report: prevent damage by overhauling global economy
Guardian: The world can still act in time to stave off the worst effects of climate change, and enjoy the fruits of continued economic growth as long as the global economy can be transformed within the next 15 years, a group of the world's leading economists and political leaders will argue on Tuesday. Tackling climate change can be a boon to prosperity, rather than a brake, according to the study involving a roll-call of the globe's biggest institutions, including the UN, the OECD group of rich countries,...

09/14/2014
What Will Survive in Hot, Acidic Oceans?
Climate Central: Marine losers abound in the hustling currents of warming and acidifying oceans. Trying to figure out which types of sea life, particularly those that form calcium carbonate-rich cells and exoskeletons, such as some plankton, corals, and shellfish, will thrive amid climate change can be like playing a high-stakes shell game. New research suggests that at least one type of plankton could overcome what would seem to be long odds, and double down on its ecosystem dominance. The surprise finding is...

09/14/2014
People’s Climate March = Tipping Point in Fight to Halt Climate Crisis
EcoWatch: The New York state elections just concluded, and the national midterms are still weeks away, but there is a campaign office in downtown Manhattan that has just gone into overdrive. Volunteers there are hard at work on another deadline: Sept. 21. That’s the day of the People’s Climate March, what promises to be the largest demonstration for action on climate change in world history. The march has brought together more than 1,100 organizations at last count, from the New York City Environmental Justice...

09/14/2014
Ocean algae can evolve fast tackle climate change: study
Reuters: Tiny marine algae can evolve fast enough to cope with climate change in a sign that some ocean life may be more resilient than thought to rising temperatures and acidification, a study showed. Evolution is usually omitted in scientific projections of how global warming will affect the planet in coming decades because genetic changes happen too slowly to help larger creatures such as cod, tuna or whales. Sunday's study found that a type of microscopic algae that can produce 500 generations a...

09/14/2014
Rules thumb for climate change turned upside down
PhysOrg: With a new analysis of land regions, ETH climate researcher are challenging the general climate change paradigm that dry regions are getting drier and wet regions are getting wetter. In some regions they are encountering divergent trends. Based on models and observations, climate scientists have devised a simplified formula to describe one of the consequences of climate change: regions already marked by droughts will continue to dry out in the future climate. Regions that already have a moist...

09/14/2014
How Diet and Climate Change Are Intrinsically Linked
Climate News Network: The news is enough to make climate campaigners choke on their high-fibre breakfast cereal: If Americans adopted the dietary guidelines suggested by their own Department of Agriculture, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) would actually go up by 12 percent. And even if Americans did what dietary campaigners urge and restricted themselves to a healthier 2000 calories a day, GHGs would not fall significantly. Martin Heller and Gregory Keoleian, scientists at the University of Michigan’s Centre for Sustainable...

09/14/2014
Can Genetic Engineering Save the Florida Orange?
National Geographic: Citrus greening, the plague that could wipe out Florida's $9 billion orange industry, begins with the touch of a jumpy brown bug on a sun-kissed leaf. From there, the bacterial disease incubates in the tree's roots, then moves back up the trunk in full force, causing nutrient flows to seize up. Leaves turn yellow, and the oranges, deprived of sugars from the leaves, remain green, sour, and hard. Many fall before harvest, brown necrotic flesh ringing failed stems. For the past decade, Florida's...

09/14/2014
Croatia struggles with floods after heavy rains
Reuters: s many as two-thirds of 21 Croatian counties are struggling with flooding, with the worst occurring in central Croatia, the national rescue agency DUZS said on Sunday. Heavy rain has been falling since Wednesday, causing rivers to rise, closing roads and threatening houses and factories. No deaths or injuries have been reported so far. The biggest threat is in flooded areas around the central towns of Sisak, Hrvatska Kostajnica and Karlovac. Several villages have been evacuated and a state of emergency...

09/14/2014
West Australian farmer living amongst wind turbines backs keeping Renewable Energy Target
Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Living amongst 15 massive wind turbines might not be everyone's idea of paradise, but West Australian Mid West farmer Bruce Garratt believes he is investing in the future. Eight years ago, he agreed to accommodate the turbines as part of WA's first privately-built wind farm, south of Geraldton, and is still enjoying the serenity. "People tell me how noisy they are, people tell me how they affect your health," he said. "I've had lots of people tell me different things that honestly, unless...

09/14/2014
Future far from bright for our feathered friends
Olympian: Bird-watching in South Sound will undergo a radical change in the decades ahead if global warming continues unchecked. A new National Audubon Society study concludes that nearly half the bird species in the continental United States and Canada, including the bald eagle, face severe threats from climate change through loss of habitat they need to survive. The study identifies 113 bird species in Washington that could lose 50 percent or more of their winter or summer range habitat by 2050 as the...

09/14/2014
United Kingdom: Wind turbines take a turn for the uglier
Telegraph: A new generation of wind turbine likely to be seen as even uglier than current designs is to be rolled out by one of Europe's biggest energy companies. The turbine, in which the blades spin around a vertical - rather than horizontal - axis, is being developed with millions of pounds of public funding from Brussels. The European Commission has approved funding of about £30 million towards a new offshore wind farm being built by EDF, the French energy giant which has substantial interests in...

09/14/2014
Clean air should be everyone's priority
Herald: If there is one thing Utahns of all political persuasions can agree upon, it is the need to reduce air pollution in our central valleys. Both Gov. Herbert and the environmental organization, HEAL Utah, support the EPA’s recommendation to adopt Tier 3 fuel standards, for instance. It’s hard to deny the problem around here when an inversion hits, prompting many to stay indoors so they don’t have to taste the air, and asthma sufferers to miss work or school. Don Jarvis, a member of the Utah Valley...

09/14/2014
Leaders say coal rhetoric not helping
Associated Press: West Virginia's top legislative leaders aren't sure clamoring over coal this election season does much good for Appalachia's already-sputtering industry. In the Mountain State, federal campaigns have hammered on the fear of federal regulation further stifling coal. Hopefuls for an open Senate seat and two competitive House races have recited the same conversation: Republicans lump Democrats in with President Obama, an ever-unpopular figure in West Virginia. Democrats zigzag to show they don't support...

09/14/2014
Global warming a threat to Greenwich birds
Greenwich Time: Imagine never again hearing the ethereal four-syllable call of the veery, that small forest thrush that sings in the summertime in Greenwich's woodlands. Try to picture life in Greenwich without the blue-winged warbler, a favorite of local bird watchers, or the dunlin -- a shorebird seen in both spring and fall at Greenwich Point. It could happen. According to a recent report by the National Audubon Society, these birds are just a few of the local species that may disappear from Greenwich and its...

09/14/2014
As Obama admin orders carbon cuts, it sells coal rights
Boston Globe: The desolate stretch of Highway 133 crests a Rocky Mountain pass and settles into a valley where some of the world's most valuable coal is located -- and the landowner is the US taxpayer. If there is a "war on coal' by President Obama, as his critics say, then this might be a place to wage it. Obama has, after all, approved regulations designed to cut global-warming carbon emissions by nearly one-third, and he is preparing to attend a Sept. 23 United Nations climate summit at which he will renew...

09/14/2014
Climate change concerns weigh Cape home-buying decisions
Boston Globe: About five years ago, Neil Leifer and Ellen Carno decided to build a vacation home on Cape Cod and wanted a place within biking distance of the fast ferry from Boston to avoid summer traffic. Provincetown was too busy, they said, so they narrowed their search to the Truro area. Friends told them to stay away from the ocean side of the Cape, saying the bay side is less prone to storm damage and erosion. The Newton couple had met people who were forced to move their ocean-side homes farther back...

09/14/2014
Australia: Politics trumps physics in climate change frenzy
Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Given the relentless long-term trend towards global warming, it should be a case of all hands on deck. But the world of politics appears to have trumped the laws of physics, writes Mike Steketee. "THE laws of physics are non-negotiable," observed Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organisation, this week. You wouldn't think so listening to the often frenzied debate about global warming or, according to Tony Abbott's senior business adviser Maurice Newman, what is really...

09/14/2014
When fracking and free speech collide
Al Jazeera: What started as a short YouTube video and a couple of local news interviews about a Texas landowner being able to light his water on fire has ballooned into a free speech fight that’s being closely watched by anti-fracking activists across the country. Steve Lipsky has complained for years that fracking company Range Resources polluted his drinking water and streams that run through his property. The company sued him in 2011 for defaming its reputation for environmental stewardship. Now Lipsky...

09/14/2014
A week on from flood, 150,000 still stranded in Indian Kashmir
Reuters: About 150,000 people were still stranded in their homes a week after Indian Kashmir's worst flood in over a century and fears grew on Sunday of an outbreak of diseases from vast fields of stagnant brown water. Indian army and civilian boats trawled through the streets -now water channels - of the state capital Srinagar – picking up residents and delivering water, food and basic medicine to people who chose to remain camped out in the upper floors of their houses. The state administration, which...

09/14/2014
Author claims Richard Branson failed deliver on $3bn climate pledge
Blue aund Green: Richard Branson has failed to deliver on a pledge to spend $3 billion (£1.8bn) on climate action over a ten-year period from 2006, according to author and activist Naomi Klein in her new book. Klein argues that this demonstrates that relying on the world of big business to address climate change is “hypocrisy”. After meeting with former US vice president Al Gore, Branson pledged to spend a significant amount of money, coming from profits from his company Virgin, to develop low carbon fuel. However,...

09/14/2014
Philly Environmental Group Recruiting People Anti-Global Warming March NY
CBS: Although the idea of climate change remains hugely controversial, there`s a call for those who think it is an imminent threat to head to a major march next weekend. The People`s Climate March is next Sunday, September 21st outside the United Nations building in New York, just ahead of a major climate meeting there. Jonathan Lipman of the grassroots environment group 350 Philadelphia is trying to fill buses to go to the rally and expects this to be a fertile town for recruiting. "Philadelphians...

09/14/2014
Drought Bites as Amazon’s ‘Flying Rivers’ Dry Up
Truthdig: The unprecedented drought now affecting São Paulo, South America’s giant metropolis, is believed to be caused by the absence of the “flying rivers”-the vapour clouds from the Amazon that normally bring rain to the centre and south of Brazil. Some Brazilian scientists say the absence of rain that has dried up rivers and reservoirs in central and southeast Brazil is not just a quirk of nature, but a change brought about by a combination of the continuing deforestation of the Amazon and global warming....

09/14/2014
Maine to study hemlock tree die-off
Associated Press: University of Maine researchers are studying the impact of hemlock tree die-offs on the state's freshwater forests. UMaine stream ecology assistant professor Hamish Greig and Climate Change Institute Jacquelyn Gill are leading the researchers as they study past and present declines of the trees. The trees are threatened by pests that have also decimated the species in the southeastern states. Gill says warmer temperatures have allowed the hemlock woolly adelgid to gain a foothold in Maine. The...

09/14/2014
Climate change affects restaurant menus today
Sacramento Bee: When I read about climate change, I learn about rising sea levels and shrinking polar ice caps -- problems for 100 years in the future. But when I talk to my friends and customers about climate change, the focus is on what is happening today. It seems little things are already adding up. As a chef, I have always believed that the completed dish will only be as good as the ingredients used. The bounty of the 12-month growing season is the main reason we decided to open our restaurant here in Sacramento....

09/14/2014
Massive renewable energy project alters German landscape
New York Times: Of all the developed nations, few have pushed harder than Germany to find a solution to global warming. And towering symbols of that drive are appearing in the middle of the North Sea. They are wind turbines, standing as far as 60 miles from the mainland, stretching as high as 60-story buildings and costing up to $30 million apiece. On some of these giant machines, a single blade roughly equals the wingspan of the largest airliner in the sky, the Airbus A380. By year's end, scores of new turbines...

09/14/2014
Audubon predicts climate change will shrink bird ranges
Scranton Times-Tribune: By 2080, birds like the northern saw-whet owl, the scarlet tanager and the Baltimore oriole could all but disappear from Pennsylvania. Climate change is expected to shrink and shift northward the ranges of these and hundreds of other species across North America, according to a groundbreaking National Audubon Society study. Last week, the almost 110-year-old conservation group posted its findings for 588 birds on Climate.audubon.org. The site features maps showing predictions of how species’...

09/14/2014
United Kingdom: Climate change: why we need to change our taste in trees
Telegraph: Climate change remains a hot topic, but it's hard to ignore the fact that things are getting warmer. Any trees you plant this autumn should still be giving pleasure in 2050, when they could be living in the kind of temperatures now found five degrees of latitude farther south. So we need to be aware of the possibilities -- and challenges -- this offers. Professionals responsible for planting thousands of trees a year are going through an exciting time. Historic commercial considerations mean that...

09/14/2014
Congress Must Join the Growing Consensus on Climate Change
Valley News: Since the 1980s, the dangerous long-term consequences of largely human-caused climate disruption have been plainly and forcefully explained to us. Repeatedly, scientists -- generally a conservative lot -- have issued new reports that promise accelerating degradation of the planet as a whole, and project especially unfair consequences for non-industrialized peoples who are the least responsible for global warming. Recently, the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization reported that “levels of heat-trapping...

09/14/2014
United Kingdom: Rural crisis warning as frackers target Yorkshire region
Halifix Courier: Rural campaIgners have urged the Government to consider the impact of fracking on the half a billion pound a year local tourism economy. Concern is growing that drilling for oil and gas in parts of Yorkshire, including potential bids in the North York Moors national park, could see major disruption to rural life. Ministers are to be asked what protection can be offered to the rural villages and farms which form a vital part of the tourism economy amid fears some fracking sites will need a regular...

09/14/2014
For oil-rich Norway, it’s not easy being green
Toronto Star: For a country where oil generates a fifth of economic output, Norway is surprisingly green. Ever since it struck oil under the North Sea in the late 1960s, Norway has tried to find a balance between profiting from oil and natural gas and protecting the environment in a country as rich in beauty as it is in fossil fuels. Groups that closely monitor nations’ environmental records consistently give Norway high marks. Canada now gets constant criticism. On Yale University’s Environmental Performance...

09/14/2014
Auto market will adapt, if Americans adapt to alternative cars
Midland Daily News: We have been pondering the market for alternative fuel vehicles (non-carbon fossil fuels) given the concern over “global warming and/or climate change.” According to the 2014 U.S. Annual Energy Outlook there were just under 14 million alternative fuel vehicles on U.S. highways out of roughly 253 million vehicles in 2012 or 5.4 percent of all vehicles on the road. This is good progress over the last decade yet data indicates growth is slowing as it has been driven by government subsidies and/or tax...

09/13/2014
Germany’s Grass-Roots Energy Revolution
New York Times: A visit to the Aller-Leine-Tal, one of many energy cooperatives that have contributed to the success so far of Germany’s Energiewende, or energy transition.

09/13/2014
Germany’s Offshore Wind Push
New York Times: The small German island of Heligoland, a popular tourist destination, is undergoing dramatic change as the wind industry takes over.

09/13/2014
Crews battle out-of-control wildfire as Southern California bakes
Reuters: Hundreds of firefighters spent a second day on Saturday battling a wildfire burning out of control in a national forest southeast of Los Angeles, as the region baked under triple-digit temperatures that prompted authorities to issue a "heat alert." The so-called Silverado Fire, which broke out in the Cleveland National Forest on Friday morning, had charred some 1,600 acres (647 hectares) by Saturday afternoon as it burned through brush and chaparral left bone dry by California's record drought....

09/13/2014
In Senate race, claims sometimes cloud truths on environment
Detroit Free Press: Terri Lynn Land and her allies say Gary Peters is profiting from the very pollutant he railed against being piled next to the Detroit River last year -- petroleum coke. Peters and his supporters say it’s Land and her allies who are linked not only to that three-story-high pile of pet coke, but also to high levels of pollution in a southwest Detroit neighborhood. Both those claims and more are part of an environmental argument that’s become a central theme in this fall’s U.S. Senate race in...

09/13/2014
20 species of coral have been added to threatened list
Associated Press: The federal government is protecting 20 types of colorful coral by putting them on the list of threatened species, partly because of climate change. As with the polar bear, much of the threat to the coral species is because of future expected problems due to global warming, said David Bernhart, an endangered-species official at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. These coral species are already being hurt by climate change “but not to the point that they are endangered yet,” he...

09/13/2014
Gov. Hassan signs 3 bills designed to protect NH against pipeline spills
Union Leader: Gov. Maggie Hassan signed three bills Friday afternoon designed to help the state better regulate pipelines and to better prepare for any pipeline emergencies that might happen. Amid the mountain splendor that is the New Hampshire Presidential Range, Hassan also signed a fourth bill establishing a Rural Affairs Commission, something she said she knows Sen. Jeff Woodburn, D-Dalton, "has wanted for a long time." To help with pipeline safety, House Bill 325 gives the state Department of Environmental...

09/13/2014
Audubon Report Detail New York Birds Suffer From Climate Change
East End Beacon: It`s been no secret to volunteers who participate in the Audubon Society`s Christmas Bird Count on the East End that the patterns of bird movements have changed dramatically over the pasthalf century, in part due to changes in climate. A report issed by the National Audubon Society this week shows that half the birds studied in North America are threatened by climate change, including New York birds ranging from the wood thrush to the purple finch to the common loon. The seven-year-long study,...

09/13/2014
New sanctions to stall Exxon's Arctic oil plans
New York Times: Exxon Mobil’s ambitions in Russia appear to have been dashed, at least until the Ukraine crisis is resolved. As part of the latest round of sanctions against Russia, the United States government took aim at Exxon’s project in the Arctic Ocean, ordering American companies to cut off exports to Russian oil exploration within 14 days. The United States and Europe originally banned technology transfers that aided Russia’s deep water, Arctic offshore or onshore shale rock formation projects over the...

09/13/2014
Report: Global warming threatens Vermont birds
WCAX: A new study by the National Audubon Society paints a bleak picture for birds. The report indicates numerous extinctions are likely if global temperature increases are not stopped. The new Audubon report says nearly half the bird species in the continental United States and Canada are at risk, including the bald eagle and the common loon. "It is alarming," said Jim Shallow of Audubon Vermont. "We are seeing that over 300 species of bird are projected to be threatened or at risk of extinction...

09/13/2014
Climate crimes: Naomi Klein on greenwashing big business
Guardian: Soon after reporting on the 2010 BP oil spill, Naomi Klein found she was pregnant – and miscarried. Was there a connection? She looks at the 'greenwashing' of big business and its effects Share Tweet this Email Naomi Klein The Guardian, Jump to comments (...) Naomi Klein: 'My doctor told me that my hormone levels were too low and that I'd probably miscarry, for the third time. My mind raced back to the...

09/12/2014
Richard Branson failed deliver on $3bn climate change pledge
Guardian: Richard Branson has failed to deliver on his much-vaunted pledge to spend $3bn (£1.8bn) over a decade to develop a low carbon fuel. Seven years into the pledge, Branson has paid out only a small fraction of the promised money – “well under $300m” – according to a new book by the writer and activist, Naomi Klein. The British entrepreneur famously promised to divert a share of the profits from his Virgin airlines empire to find a cleaner fuel, after a 2006 private meeting with Al Gore. Branson went...

09/12/2014
Pakistan-India monsoon floods: Averting future disasters
BBC: After yet another devastating flood, experts say that what Pakistan and India need to do is build more dams and reservoirs. It makes these annual disasters all the more tragic that for most of the year both countries have little rain. Yet after leaving more than 450 dead and a swathe of destruction on both sides of the border, much of the water dumped on the Kashmir and Punjab regions in the past 10 days will now be wasted. Critics say both the Indian and Pakistani governments have repeatedly...

09/12/2014
Report on birds and climate outlines threats to Maine wildlife
Press Herald: On Tuesday, the National Audubon Society released a study that predicts how climate change will affect 588 species of North American birds. The Audubon Birds and Climate Change Report makes the deeply unsettling prediction that by 2080, 314 species will lose more than 50 percent of their North American range – a severe blow for species already in trouble. The report has important implications for Maine. It reinforces the need to expand and strengthen protections for birds and other wildlife because...

09/12/2014
Peregrine Falcon on its Way to Recovery
Nature World: Peregrine falcons in California are on their way to recovery, thanks to effective management of the threatened species, according to a new study. American peregrine falcons (Falco peregrines anatum), once widespread across North America, faced extinction in 1975 due to popular use of the deadly insecticide DDT, which caused young birds shells to become thinner. In 1992, biologists proposed to stop rearing young birds in captivity and instead place them in wild nests to boost recovery. Thanks...

09/12/2014
The Pros and Cons of Fracking
Nature World: Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," has gained popularity over recent years, and given the controversy over this practice, new research decided to lay out some of its environmental pros as well as cons. Fracking involves blasting huge amounts of water, sand and chemicals deep into underground rock formations to access valuable oil and natural gas. While this is a form of alternative energy, it also has harmful environmental implications, influencing local air pollution, earthquakes and, especially,...

09/12/2014
Environmental Costs and Benefits of Fracking Assessed in New Study
Med India: Research has shown that advances in hydraulic fracturing put trillions of dollars' worth of previously unreachable oil and natural gas within grasp. Environmental Costs and Benefits of Fracking Assessed in New Study The environmental costs - and benefits - from "fracking," which requires blasting huge amounts of water, sand and chemicals deep into underground rock formations, are the subject of new research that synthesizes 165 academic studies and government databases. The survey covers not...

09/12/2014
Restore estuaries to help coastal communities prepare for climate change
Washington Post: The World Meteorological Organization’s recent report noted a diminishing ability of the world’s oceans and plant life to soak up the excess carbon put into the atmosphere but failed to look at the growing body of science supporting “coastal blue carbon,” the ability for coastal wetlands to sequester and store carbon emissions [“CO2 rising at much faster rate, report finds,” front page, Sept. 9]. In the United States, these wetlands include salt marshes in the San Francisco and Chesapeake bays,...

09/12/2014
Mexican 'Water Monster' Battles Extinction
Nature World: Mexico's famous "water monster" is battling extinction, and scientists hoping to learn from its organ-regenerating abilities are worried for the bizarre-looking creature. The axolotl salamander, dubbed the "water monster" by the Aztecs, has been reduced to living in what's left of Mexico City's ancient Xochimilco lake, which has gradually been drained over the centuries, the Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. But despite adapting to such a confined habitat, this water monster cannot adapt...

09/12/2014
Wildfires char more than 100,000 acres in Northern California
Reuters: A Northern California wildfire started by a lightning strike a month ago has burned more than 108,000 acres in the drought-stricken state, officials said on Friday. The fire in the Klamath National Forest started when lightning struck the Happy Camp area on Aug. 11. It was 45 percent contained on Friday. The blaze formed a large ring and grew by 882 acres on Thursday night, said Klamath National Forest spokeswoman Andrea Capps, and it is expected to continue to grow along the ring's southern perimeter...


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One in every 5 countries is expected to experience a severe shortage of water within 25 years.

 

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