Unsuccessful visa application prevents Athanase Monja from attending Rio Tinto AGM, where he hoped to highlight impact of mining on his community
A Malagasy farmer who says he and his neighbours have lost access to their land because of the UK mining company Rio Tinto has been blocked from visiting London, where he had been due to address the firm’s annual general meeting.
Athanase Monja planned to speak at the firm’s AGM on 12 April, but was refused a visa by the Home Office. Monja, a subsistence farmer, fisherman and first assistant to the mayor in his town of Antsontso, was told by British officials he had a “lack of qualification” to speak about environmental and human rights concerns.Continue reading...
When James Hansen spoke up about climate change in the 1980s, he risked the loss of his job and reputation. But, he says, it was worth it — because he could not be silent about something so important.
(Image credit: James Duncan Davidson/TED)
He said he was looking for parasitic wasps but volunteers at Daneway Banks where the large blue is flourishing suspected Phillip Cullen had ulterior motives
Mark Greaves, a butterfly enthusiast, points out the slope where he first spotted Phillip Cullen. “He and his mate parked in the layby, climbed over that locked gate, and he was down there running around with a little net.”
Greaves asked Cullen what on earth he thought he was doing with a net on one of the most precious butterfly sites in the UK and was doubtful about the explanation.Continue reading...
Phillip Cullen ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work after illegally capturing and killing specimens of the large blue
An insect enthusiast who illegally captured and killed specimens of Britain’s rarest butterfly, the large blue, has been given a six-month suspended prison sentence.
The amateur entomologist and former body builder Phillip Cullen, 57, was caught after being spotted by volunteers and wardens acting suspiciously at two nature reserves in the west of England.Continue reading...
New law allows private landowners to cut down any number of trees without applying for permission or even informing authorities
A controversial change to Polish environmental law has unleashed what campaigners describe as a “massacre” of trees across the country.
The new amendment, commonly known as “Szyszko’s law”, after Jan Szyszko, Poland’s environment minister, removes the obligation for private landowners to apply for permission to cut down trees, pay compensation or plant new trees, or even to inform local authorities that trees have been or will be removed.Continue reading...
Cheating, dodging rules and heavy lobbying by motor manufacturers fuelled the toxic air the UK is struggling with today
Conniving car makers and their lobbying might, assisted by the 2008 financial crash, were the key factors in producing the diesel-fuelled air pollution crisis the UK is struggling with today, according to key observers of the disaster.
Earlier government decisions to incentivise diesel vehicles, which produce less climate-warming carbon dioxide, sparked the problem but were made in good faith. The heart of the disaster is instead a giant broken promise: the motor industry said it would clean up diesel but instead cheated and dodged the rules for years.Continue reading...
Human activities are altering the jet stream, which leads to extreme weather patterns getting stuck in place
It was only a few weeks ago that I wrote about changes to extreme weather in a warming world. That prior article dealt with the increase of extreme precipitation events as the Earth warms. I termed the relationship a thermodynamic one; it was driven by local thermodynamic processes. But extreme weather can also occur because of large-scale changes to the atmosphere and oceans. This issue is the topic of another just-published paper that makes a convincing case for a whole new type of influence of humans on extreme weather. In a certain sense, this study confirms what was previously reported here and here. With the march of science, the tools, methods, and evidence get better each year.
Before getting into the study, a little background. The jet stream(s) are high-speed rivers of air that flow in the upper atmosphere. There’s more than one jet stream; they blow west to east and they mark the separation of zones of different temperatures. A good primer on jet streams is available here.
Commonwealth, NAB and ANZ are each analysing the financial position of business customers in sectors exposed to climate change
Three of Australia’s big four banks are reviewing their exposure to fossil fuels, including their lending practices to households and farmers, in response to climate change.
The Commonwealth Bank is conducting a “detailed climate policy review” that will be released publicly pending board approval, and NAB has a working group reviewing the risks from global temperatures rising two degrees.Continue reading...
From basking gharial to stampeding muskoxen, these images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition have been selected for a Natural History Museum book, Unforgettable Behaviour, and offer a unique glimpse into hidden worlds of animal survival and joyContinue reading...
Endangered Carnaby’s cockatoo treated by vets at Perth Zoo after it was badly burnt on a power line
Vets at Perth zoo have used matchsticks and glue to replace the flight feathers of a Carnaby’s cockatoo which was badly injured after it was burned on a power line.
Using a syringe to coat the donor feathers with superglue and a matchstick to shape the quill, vets replaced the juvenile bird’s feathers and cut away the burnt remains in an effort to help it fly again.Continue reading...
Critics were not kind to the Bureau of Land Management on social media. The agency says it plans to rotate photos showing various uses for federally managed lands.
(Image credit: Bureau of Land Management/Screenshot by NPR)
This year is unlikely to be a brilliant butterfly summer because 2016 was so poor. But insects can rapidly bounce back
Spring is an unquenchably optimistic time, and two weeks of plentiful sunshine – in the south, at least – has brought out the first butterflies of the year. My first, like last year, was a male brimstone, bobbing beside the old ivy-covered hedge beyond my garden.
On the next sunny March day came the small tortoiseshells and peacocks, which also hibernate as adult butterflies. It wasn’t until 2 April that I saw my first orange tip and holly blue – species which burst afresh from their chrysalises with the warming weather.Continue reading...
Former Barrier Reef authority director Jon Day says the idea such an approach would save the reef from bleaching is ‘ridiculous’
A proposal to use $9m to pump cold water on to the Great Barrier Reef’s tourist hotspots to stave off coral bleaching has been described as a “band-aid” solution, which does little to address the fundamental threats to the world’s largest living structure.
The plan, proposed by the tourism industry and the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, seeks to protect six reefs with high economic or environmental value near Cairns and Port Douglas.Continue reading...
Half of all cars in Europe run on diesel, compared to 3 percent in the U.S. But Madrid has vowed to ban diesel vehicles by 2025, to cut air pollution. Paris and Athens have made similar pledges.
(Image credit: Lauren Frayer for NPR)
Study shows almost all farms could significantly cut chemical use while producing as much food, in a major challenge to the billion-dollar pesticide industry
Virtually all farms could significantly cut their pesticide use while still producing as much food, according to a major new study. The research also shows chemical treatments could be cut without affecting farm profits on over three-quarters of farms.
The scientists said that many farmers wanted to reduce pesticide use, partly due to concerns for their own health. But farmers do not have good access to information on alternatives, the researchers said, because much of their advice comes from representatives of companies that sell both seeds and pesticides.Continue reading...
Animal welfare advocates have filmed some of the wild elephants captured in Zimbabwe last year and shipped to China
Last year more than 30 young elephants were captured from the wild in Zimbabwe and flown by plane to China. The elephants – some reported to be as young as three – were dispersed to a number of zoos throughout the country, including the Shanghai Wild Animal Park, the Beijing Wildlife Park and the Hangzhou Safari Park, according to conservationists.
But what are their lives like now?Continue reading...
Green groups say the Resgen Boikarabelo project in South Africa will lead to worker exploitation and hinder Paris commitmentsContinue reading...
Ruling by South Africa’s highest court means rhino horns can be sold locally by traders holding permits
South Africa’s highest court has rejected a bid by the government to keep a ban on domestic trade in rhino horn, a court document shows.
The ruling by the constitutional court effectively means rhino horns may be traded locally.Continue reading...
Study finds three-quarters of consumers throw away rather than recycle or donate unwanted garments
A predicted 235m items of Britons’ unwanted clothing are expected to end up in landfill unnecessarily this spring, according to new research.
Three-quarters of consumers admit to binning their discarded garments, usually because they do not realise that worn-out or dirty clothes can be recycled or accepted by charities, a survey of 2,000 people commissioned by the supermarket Sainsbury’s has found.Continue reading...
English Heritage asks public to help map spread and intensity of pale-backed clothes moth, a particularly destructive species
Clothes-devouring moths infesting the wardrobes and drawers of many homes in the UK are now threatening precious curtains and carpets, costumes and tapestries in some of England’s most historic properties. Conservators are reporting that the number caught in traps has doubled in the last five years.
A particularly destructive species, Monopis sp., also known as the pale-backed clothes moth, has recently been discovered for the first time by English Heritage, which is now enlisting the help of the public to map the spread and intensity of a menace that only a few decades ago seemed as relevant a historical plague as the Black Death. Anyone with a precious cashmere sweater now resembling a piece of lace will sympathise.Continue reading...