US politics. Why the United States Leaves Deadly Chemicals on the Market. (Photo: Toxic Chemical Dump via Shutterstock) Scientists are trained to express themselves rationally. They avoid personal attacks when they disagree. But some scientific arguments become so polarized that tempers fray. There may even be shouting. Such is the current state of affairs between two camps of scientists: health effects researchers and regulatory toxicologists.
Both groups study the effects of chemical exposures in humans. Both groups have publicly used terms like "irrelevant," "arbitrary," "unfounded" and "contrary to all accumulated physiological understanding" to describe the other's work. The rift centers around the best way to measure the health effects of chemical exposures. The debate may sound arcane, but the outcome could directly affect your health. The link from certain chemicals to these health effects is real. Yet chemical regulation in the United States has proceeded at a glacial pace. That the chemical industry exerts political influence is well documented. Big Oil Can't Go On Like This. Ensuring that our planet remains hospitable requires leaving about three-quarters of all oil, gas, and coal deposits underground or beneath the sea floor.
And forgoing all those fossil fuels to avert a climate catastrophe means that loads of companies need to change the way they do business - or go out of business. So it's a relief to see Big Oil begin to scale back. But BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, and their competitors aren't doing that because they're worried about the climate. They're just scrambling to keep the industry's relatively high dividends flowing in this era of cheap oil. "By the end of the year there will be about 4,000 fewer BP employees than at the start," BP chief executive Bob Dudley said when he announced the company's lousy performance between June and September.
BP's third-quarter profits were 40 percent lower than during the same period a year earlier. "We spend time with our shareholders," Dudley said. See a pattern? Journey to Ecuador’s Secret Oil Road. Assurances by Secretary Fabara that the methods employed by PetroAmazonas in the sensitive area are "being monitored by everybody" were rebutted by Professor Massimo De Marchi, an expert in sustainable development and environmental science and one of the authors of the 2014 report.
De Marchi said that independent on-the-ground checks in Yasuní are almost impossible due to the remoteness of the forest and the "typical military and private security activities" that surround oil operations. "The problem is a lack of transparency," De Marchi said, explaining that myriad incompatible claims have intensified what is now a political controversy. Recent letters obtained by reported.ly outline how Ecuador's environment ministry refused two observation groups permission to visit the oil production facility in 2015, in one case citing environmental concerns.
Since no one else had been allowed to inspect the site, I decided to try and see the "trail" for myself. Journey to the secret road Money for oil. Environment/Nature. Pushing for transparency in Congo Basin palm oil. The global palm oil industry is at a critical juncture. In 2012 we published a report that outlined how Africa is a new frontier for industrial palm oil production. This may bring much needed development to the continent, but it could also just as easily come at a great social and environmental cost. The expansion of palm oil production is one of the fastest growing drivers of deforestation in the tropics, emitting tons of greenhouse gases as a result.
It too often leads to conflict with local communities over rights and access to land and forest resources, upon which they are highly dependent. Much of the public work from Greenpeace on this campaign has been dedicated to stopping the illegal and irresponsible Herakles Farms project in the Southwest of Cameroon. The "wrong project in the wrong place" is planned in an area of High Conservation Value (HCV) and will destroy the habitat of endangered wildlife including the chimpanzee. Amy Moas is a Forests Campaigner with Greenpeace USA. This Is How You Can Get People To Make Better Decisions For Future Generations.
Albert Einstein once said: “Nothing truly valuable can be achieved except by the unselfish cooperation of many individuals. " Alas, when it comes to joining together to conserve Earth's resources and protect our planet for future generations, we humans have proven to be a decidedly uncooperative lot. "There has been a great deal of work on how people cooperate with those they see every day –- their colleagues or friends," Dr. Martin Nowak, professor of mathematics and biology at Harvard University, said in a written statement. "But an open question is how people cooperate with future generations. For those who worry that we'll never come together to protect our planet, a provocative new study involving game theory, conducted by Nowak and a colleague at Yale University, offers a glimmer of hope. For the study, 480 men and women took turns playing a"public goods" game, in which five players at a time divided a pool of resources among themselves.
How did the games play out? Our Oceans Are Dying: Mobilizing an Indifferent Public to Confront This Crisis | Bernard Starr. I did not expect good news when I attended the reception at the Museum of Natural History on June 25th to learn about the results of the Global Ocean Commission report on the state of the world's oceans. These days, reports from environmental groups are never something to cheer about. In this case the news was even more disturbing than I expected. After an eighteen-month investigation, the Commission, made up of former heads of state, government officials, and prominent business leaders concluded that our oceans are dying from climate change, pollution, and over-fishing. The Commission proposes an eight point program to rescue the oceans over the next five years. Why should we be concerned? José María Figueres, Co-chair of the Commission and former president of Costa Rica, has summed up the dire situation with these words: "The ocean provides 50 percent of our oxygen and fixes 25 percent of global carbon emissions.
But the seniors defied conventional wisdom. So where does this leave us? U.S. fishing industry waste costs $1 billion per year, report says. Every year, the U.S. fishing industry throws about 2 billion pounds worth of fish back into the water. A report released today by Oceanea, an international ocean conservation organization, estimates that this amounts to 1 billion dollars lost a year. This does not include worldwide costs. For an industry that represents 82 billion dollars in the U.S. economy, this is a big problem. Currently, the fishing industry offers 1.2 million jobs, but the money lost through bycatch could mean as much as 60,000 fewer jobs per year. “We’re really hoping that this project in particular brings economics a little bit more into the discussion about making fishery management decisions,” Amanda Keledjian, a marine scientist and co-author of the report, told TreeHugger.
“Often-times the cost of making a change will be well documented, but there’s not always a study accompanied by what the cost of keeping the status quo is.” And the numbers, though a conservative estimate, are staggering. U.S. Tasmanian forest ruling: Abbott government says jobs will be lost | Environment. The Abbott government has reacted defiantly to a stinging UN rebuke to its plan to remove world heritage protection from Tasmanian forest, claiming the rejection will result in job losses in the state. Unesco’s world heritage committee took just eight minutes to reject the Coalition’s request to strip 74,000 hectares of Tasmanian forest from the internationally protected area at a meeting in Qatar on Monday night. Portugal’s delegate to the committee said the government’s justifications for the reduction were “feeble” and would represent an “unacceptable precedent”.
A representative of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which advises Unesco, said the Coalition’s proposal was “extremely sparse”. The government has said it accepts the committee’s decision, but it has not ruled out attempting to revisit the issue. Tony Abbott said he was disappointed with the response to a request that was “self-evidently sensible”. Tribes & campaigns. 5 Overlooked Deforestation Hotspots. In appreciation for all the benefits forests provide for us, the UN has announced that today, March 21, be recognized as the International Day of Forests. It is a day to celebrate, among other things, the progress we have made improving forest management. But before getting carried away with the spirit of celebration, consider this: We are still losing forests and trees much faster than they can regrow.
In fact, we are losing 50 soccer fields worth of trees every minute! Many people are working to reverse tree cover loss in the world’s largest remaining forests: the Amazon Basin, the Congo Basin, the tropical forests of Indonesia, and the vast boreal forests of Russia and Canada. These are worthy goals, considering that just two countries—Brazil and Indonesia—still account for about half of all tropical forest loss. But several hugely important deforestation hotspots are still flying under the radar. 1.
View this location on Global Forest Watch here. 2. 3. 4. 5. Data Makes a Difference. MH370 spur to 'better ocean mapping' 27 May 2014Last updated at 10:10 ET The Bluefin-21 sub aborted its first dive because it was about to exceed its depth limits Scientists have welcomed the decision to make all ocean depth data (bathymetry) gathered in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 publicly available. A detailed survey of 60,000 sq km of seabed is to be undertaken to help refine the hunt for the lost jet. The depth and shape of Earth's ocean floor is very poorly known.
Leading researchers say the MH370 example should be a spur to gather much better data elsewhere in the world. The search has been hampered by the lack of a high-resolution view of the bed topography west of Australia. This was apparent on the very first dive made by an autonomous sub investigating possible sonar detections of the aircraft's cockpit voice and flight data recorders. It was forced to cut short the mission because it encountered depths that exceeded its operating limit of 4,500m. High-resolution bathymetry has myriad uses. Marine wildlife: All about turtles on World Turtle Day. Speakers stress the importance of helping the animals survive.
WWF-Pakistan held a seminar to mark World Turtle Day on Friday. Experts showed presentations on turtles’ life cycle. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS Marine experts and environmentalists say that the green turtle is an iconic species for Pakistan and may be declared as its national marine animal. In a seminar on World Turtle Day on Friday, organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) and Karachi University’s Institute of Marine Sciences, the speakers asked for the preservation of the turtles and said that awareness of their importance should be spread to the masses.
“The turtle is a wonderful animal and we all have to protect it,” said environmentalist, animal activist and former director of the Karachi Zoological Garden, Dr A A Qureshi. Khan informed that two turtle species, including the green turtles and the olive ridley turtle, nest along the coast of Sindh and Balochistan. Help save them. Human Impact on Amazon Rainforest Grossly Underestimated. May 23, 2014 04:47 PM EDT Human impact on the Amazon rainforest has been grossly underestimated, according to an international team of researchers.
The report detailed in the journal Global Change Biology says that selective logging and surface wildfires can amount to an annual loss of 54 billion tons of carbon from the Brazilian Amazon - that's equivalent to 40 percent of the yearly carbon loss from deforestation. Researchers estimated both above and below-ground carbon loss from selective logging and ground level forest fires in the tropics using data from 70,000 sampled trees and thousands of soil, litter and dead wood samples from 225 sites in the eastern Amazon. Deforestation leads to such large amounts of carbon loss - which in turn increases greenhouse gas emissions - starting with logging of prized trees such as mahogany and ipe. The removal of these trees impacts and damages neighboring trees. Co-author Dr. . © 2014 NatureWorldNews.com All rights reserved.