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Sea Shepherd Conservation Society UN reports that 22,000 elephants were poached last year in Africa Elephants are one of Africa’s critical “keystone” species, and estimates place the total population of elephants around 450,000. The loss of 22,000 mostly adult elephants, or roughly 5%, is critical as elephant young require the care of the parent. The demand for ivory that fuels the poaching conducted on the continent comes primarily from Asia, and more specifically from wealthy Chinese who pay over $1000 per pound for what is seen as a status symbol. The poaching trade has advanced beyond automatic weapons and chainsaws in its process to harvest the animals' tusks. In September of this year, cyanide was used to poison the water supply of an area, killing 109 elephants. Read more... Orphaned elephants don’t typically survive long after the loss of the parent.

Action Center Skip to main content You Can Help... Urge the EPA to support a limit on carbon pollution! Tell the EPA and the Corps you support restoring Clean Water Act rules. TELL PRESIDENT OBAMA to put the Arctic Ocean off-limits to the oil industry. View More Actions Smarter Living: Actions You Can Take in Your Daily Life Sustainable Seafood Guide How to choose delicious seafood that's healthy for you and the environment. Mercury Contamination Information on mercury's effects and how you can reduce the threat from this hazardous pollution. Chemical Index Learn about chemicals commonly used in everyday products and how to stay safe. View More Smarter Living Actions Our Recent Victories NRDC lawsuit sparked a federal court to order the FDA to act to limit the overuse of antibiotics on animals that are not sick EPA finalized its clean car rules to reduce the amount of oil America needs to import View More Victories Popular Issues Tell your friends you're making a difference: © Natural Resources Defense Council

Baku Ceyhan Campaign Is Asian Pollution Intensifying Pacific Storms? Separating the Hype from Reality. The media over the past week have given a lot of play to a paper in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that claims that Asian pollution is enhancing storms over the Pacific Ocean, with effects extending globally. We are talking headlines in hundreds of major media sources around the world. As illustrated below, the headlines have been pretty scary. But as I will show below, the PNAS paper really proves no such thing and this situation is another example of unhealthy and counterproductive hype and exaggeration in the media. The paper, Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Aerosols on Pacific Storm Track Using a Multitscale Global Climate Model (found here) is by Yuan Wang of Texas A&M and collaborators, with the last author being Mario Molina, a member of the National Academy of Sciences (keep this in mind, it will be important later). “The climate model is quite clear on this point. Let me begin by noting that the Wang et al. study is limited to modeling.

Navdanya How Fat Might Be the Key to Improving People's Lives Sometimes the most amazing scientific discoveries happen by accident; a loaf of moldy bread or a game of connect the dots with a public water pump becomes a clue to a breakthrough. Researchers at UCLA announced a similar happy accident this week: the discovery of human stem cells in adipose tissue, aka fat, taken from liposuction procedures. This is actually nothing new; researchers have noted the presence of adipose stem cells since 2001, and they’ve been used in a variety of procedures in both human and veterinary research. These cells, though, are particularly special. Why? As with all exciting scientific discoveries, there’s a lot more work to do before we leap to any conclusions about the significance of the findings and what they mean for the biomedical sciences, but they’re a step in a potentially very promising direction. All because a machine failed in the lab one night and a researcher’s cells were left stranded without oxygen and nutrients!

Izaak Walton League of America Stop Waste Management by Government and Consumer Boycott Light pollution could be contributing to cancer, depression, and obesity Air and water pollution are pretty understandable health risks. But light pollution? It sounds a little hokey at first. Tons of streetlights and lit-up office buildings make Earth look freakishly nocturnal from space, sure, but could they actually make us sick? Rebecca Boyle says yes. That’s because our bodies need darkness to produce the hormone melatonin, and melatonin protects our DNA, ultimately preventing cancer. Shift workers, who rise with the night and work awash in blue light, experience not only disrupted circadian rhythms and sleep deprivation, but an increased risk of breast and prostate cancer. Thankfully, it’s not too hard to fix: When we, in the industrialized world, do manage to turn off the lights, there are measurable, beneficial effects on our circadian rhythms. Australia