Earth Citizens Pe...
Follow
Find
13.6K views | +0 today
 
Scooped by Bert Guevara
onto Earth Citizens Perspective
Scoop.it!

We Don't Need to Cut Trees to Get Biomass for Renewable Energy.

We Don't Need to Cut Trees to Get Biomass for Renewable Energy. | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Forest biomass becoming a larger renewable energy source http://t.co/TcdYY1kE via @viridianenergy...

 

Naniniwala ako dito. Hindi na kailangang kalbuhin ang kagubatan upang makakuha ng panggatong or biomass. Kailangan lamang ay matalinong pamamahala ng ating mga kagubatan.

more...
No comment yet.
Earth Citizens Perspective
Developments affecting the environment worldwide
Curated by Bert Guevara
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

I wish for you... #showthelove ("dedicated to our children and to our planet")

www.showthelove.org.uk 'War Horse' author Michael Morpurgo and actors Jeremy Irons and Maxine Peake have joined forces to make a powerful new 5 minute film e...
Bert Guevara's insight:

Watch this video and consider forwarding it to your children and grandchildren, if you feel the same way about our planet.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Energy Landscapes: An Aerial Vie Of Europe’s Carbon Footprint ("beautiful designs; love to live here")

Energy Landscapes: An Aerial Vie Of Europe’s Carbon Footprint ("beautiful designs; love to live here") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Europe and the United States have very similar standards of living, but significantly different carbon footprints. Aerial photographer Alex MacLean documents this phenomenon in images that show how Northern Europe uses smart design and planning to reduce the amount of carbon it emits.

Aerial photographer Alex MacLean decided to document this phenomenon in an attempt to understand how the highly developed nations of northern Europe are able to spew significantly less carbon into the atmosphere. Flying over Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Wales with camera in hand, MacLean came away with an appreciation for how a country’s carbon footprint is directly related to how efficiently it designs, moves through, and powers its built environment.
Over a series of months, MacLean documented historical design advantages that many European nations have inherited and now knowingly reinforce in their physical landscapes: dense urban centers with an emphasis on pedestrian and bike accessibility; compact rural and suburban communities with sharp growth boundaries; connectivity between public transport and human-powered transportation; the integration of commercial and retail space into the fabric of residential areas; and a dearth of sprawl. “How we organize ourselves on the ground is the key factor determining how much fossil fuel we burn,” MacLean says.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Check out these amazing aerial shots of green cities and low carbon footprint landscapes.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Climate Change Could Tell Us Where the Zika Virus Will Spread Next ("mosquitoes like warmer weather")

Climate Change Could Tell Us Where the Zika Virus Will Spread Next ("mosquitoes like warmer weather") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Warming temperatures and extreme weather are making more of the world breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that carry the disease.

Global travel and climate change are creating conditions perfectly designed to increase that mosquito’s breeding potential and lengthen its biting season, leading scientists to use the term “pandemic” to describe the Zika virus’ potential for destruction. On Thursday, the director of the World Health Organization warned that the virus is “spreading explosively” in the Americas.

“There are two things most surprising about Zika,” said Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor University in Houston. “First is the rapid spread—it’s alarming how quickly it’s going across all the Caribbean into Central America and Mexico.” There’s also concern about the virus’ potential spread to Southern Europe.

Second, said Hotez, is the “vertical transmission from mother to child—we haven’t seen that before with one of these arboviruses.” While scientists are still trying to pinpoint causality, there has been a shocking spike in cases of microcephaly—a central nervous system deformity causing an abnormally small head and brain—among babies born to mothers in Brazil, where Zika has infected as many as 1.5 million people in the past year.

It wasn’t until 2014 that Zika made it to the western hemisphere, appearing in Brazil shortly after the World Cup—an event most experts now think was the nexus for the virus’ introduction.

“This virus has crept up very quickly—there’s no question about that. We didn’t know it was in the hemisphere until last year; we didn’t know it caused encephalitis until last summer—this is moving at lightning speed,” said Hotez.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The spread of mosquito-borne diseases was already anticipated as one of the effects of climate change, so it not totally surprising that aside from dengue, we now have ZIKA.


“The role of climate change is still unclear, but I think it has to be looked at very seriously,” he added. “Flooding following periods of drought leads to collecting pools of water, allowing mosquitoes to breed, and warmer temperatures allow them to emerge less seasonally, so they can be coming out and feeding all year.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Top Economic Risk of 2016 Is Global Warming ("from health to national security to economic risk")

Top Economic Risk of 2016 Is Global Warming ("from health to national security to economic risk") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The World Economic Forum suggests climate change remains the most severe challenge to global business

The WEF document does not paint a sanguine picture.

North America’s eastern seaboard, East Asia, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific are particularly exposed to extreme weather patterns and natural catastrophes, according to the report—a survey conducted in the fall of 750 experts, who answered questions about 29 types of global risk, like cyberattacks, government instability and weapons of mass destruction.

Global climate change threatens top producers of wheat, corn, rice and other agricultural commodities, the report notes. Recent years illustrated the “climate vulnerability of G-20 [Group of 20] countries such as India, Russia and the United States—the breadbasket of the world.”

Climate change is compounding and amplifying other social, economic and humanitarian stresses globally. It is linked to mass and often forced migration; violent conflict between nations and regions; water crises; and, as the world population rises and simultaneously gets hotter, food shortages, the report reads.

“Forced displacement is already at an unprecedented level,” the authors continue, referring to emigration.

About 70 percent of fresh water humans withdraw globally is for agricultural purposes, according to the WEF, and that figure rises to 90 percent in the world’s poorest countries. Meanwhile, climbing demand for meat, as emerging-market nations become wealthier, squeezes dry already-stressed water supplies across the planet.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Climate is 2016's top economic risk, but it can also be the top economic opportunity. That depends on how you value the returns.


“Climate change is exacerbating more risks than ever before in terms of water crises, food shortages, constrained economic growth, weaker societal cohesion and increased security risks,” Cecilia Reyes, the chief risk officer of Zurich Insurance Group Ltd.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

The California gas leak that prompted a state of emergency, explained ("the cause is still unknown")

The California gas leak that prompted a state of emergency, explained ("the cause is still unknown") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
It's big, it's polluting, and it's going to continue until March at least.

One of the wells in the Aliso Canyon facility, SS-25, is leaking methane. Engineers still do not know why, or exactly where in the well the leak is located. Like many of the wells that go down into the "capstone" atop the gas deposits, SS-25 is extremely deep, extending almost 9,000 feet (more than a mile and a half) into the earth.

Why is it still leaking, and how long will it last?

Attempts to stop the leak have been unsuccessful. When it was first discovered, the company began dumping a mix of brine and mud down the well, to contain the gas. Then it ran into an ice plug, where water had bonded with the methane. The company melted the ice plug with antifreeze and continued dumping, but the pressure of the gas coming up, 2,700 pounds per square inch, remained higher than the pressure of the mud going down. Eventually the company had to abandon that strategy, for fear of pushing mud so hard it would fracture the pipe.

The fallback strategy is to drill two relief wells that will go down alongside SS-25 and intersect it where it pierces the capstone. The new wells will allow more mud to be dumped, more directly stanching the flow (one is for backup in case the other fails).

First, the leaking gas contains enormous amounts of methane, which is a highly potent greenhouse gas. It doesn't last as long in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, but it is much more effective at trapping heat while it's there — 25 times as potent as CO2 over a 100-year time period, and some 84 times as potent over a 20-year period.

And while methane is nontoxic — as far as scientists know, breathing it, except at very high doses, has no long-term ill effect — it does contribute to smog, a perennial problem in LA.

And this is a lot of methane. Methane leaks from natural gas operations are a longstanding point of contention between fracking companies and environmentalists, who have called on the Environmental Protection Agency to more tightly regulate them. But the typical "fugitive" leaks from gas wells are nothing like this.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is an example of a disaster happening on the other side of the world, but will affect all countries, including the Philippines. Why? Because we only have one planet and one atmosphere.

 

"How screwed is SoCal Gas?

Pretty screwed. It has already dropped about $50 million fighting the leak. Some 25 lawsuits have been filed against the company, and more are expected. Legal experts think the company's liability could reach the billions, as the region grapples with long-term effects on health and land value.

It doesn't help that a "deep subsurface valve," which could have cut off the flow of gas, was removed from the well in 1979 and never replaced:..."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

5 green technologies to watch in 2016 ("3-d printers, a.i., sensors, drones, self-driving cars")

5 green technologies to watch in 2016 ("3-d printers, a.i., sensors, drones, self-driving cars") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Why 3D printers, artificial intelligence, connected sensors, drones and self-driving cars should be on your list.

 

3-D printers

It’s easy to be pessimistic about the state of 3-D printing. Two of the best-known players, Stratasys and 3D Systems, just finished years filled with layoffs, executive upheaval and, in one case, a consumer market exit.

 

Artificial intelligence

On its own, artificial intelligence isn’t all that smart. But so-called "machine learning" technologies are absolutely central to everything from automated energy management systems to self-driving vehicles.

 

Connected sensors

Many people equate the Internet of Things with millions of button-sized sensors. It’s time for them to rethink that definition.

 

Drones

In the past three weeks, more than 181,000 drones were registered for inclusion in the Federal Aviation Administration’s new database. By the end of 2016, the number of systems that should be included will reach 1 million units, according to data from the Consumer Technology Association. 

 

Self-driving cars

Here’s a trick question: What company manages the largest test fleet of autonomous (aka self-driving) vehicles?

Bert Guevara's insight:

Get updated on what's happening on the green-tech world.

 

"This year’s CES, in particular, is replete with product launches and partnership proclamations that will loom large on sustainable business agendas. OK, so maybe they won’t be a big deal this year, but they certainly will break through within the next three to five."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

How Drought and Extreme Heat Are Killing the World's Crops ("developed countries lose 20% of produce")

How Drought and Extreme Heat Are Killing the World's Crops ("developed countries lose 20% of produce") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

Drought and extreme heat hurt production of key crops during the 20th century and will likely pose a problem in the coming decades.

 

Researchers for the study, published in the journal Nature, found that drought and extreme heat reduced crop yields by as much as 10% between 1964 and 2007. Extreme cold and floods did not result in a significant reduction in crop production, according to the study.

 

The research provides key insight on the effects of climate on agriculture as policymakers prepare for the number of extreme weather events to spike in the coming decades due to global warming. The study, which evaluated the effect of 2,800 weather disasters on cereal crops like corn, rice and wheat, suggests that the effects of drought worsened after 1985 and are expected to continue to deteriorate in the coming decades. The study speculates that’s because of more intense droughts driven by climate change, increased vulnerability to drought and changed reporting methods, but couldn’t confirm any individual factor with certainty.

Developed countries experienced some of the most severe crop loss due to drought and heat, according to the research. Crop production in North America, Europe and Australia faced nearly a 20% decline thanks to drought and extreme heat, compared to less than 10% in Africa and Latin America. Researchers attributed the disparity to a difference between the agricultural methods employed in the different areas. Farmers in developed countries tend to grow crops uniformly across large areas. Drought affects those crops uniformly. Growing a wide variety of crops in a given region in the developing world mitigates the risk that all crops will be wiped out thanks to a given weather event.


Bert Guevara's insight:

Even as the world's forests make way for more agricultural land to feed the world, drought and extreme heat has reduced agricultural production by 20% in developed countries. This is huge! Where do we go from here?


"Crop production in North America, Europe and Australia faced nearly a 20% decline thanks to drought and extreme heat, compared to less than 10% in Africa and Latin America."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Japan shows off disaster-response robots at android fair ("maybe robots can do a better job here")

Japan shows off disaster-response robots at android fair ("maybe robots can do a better job here") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Japan on Wednesday displayed a pair of two-legged humanoid robots that can operate in harsh conditions as the country prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions prepares for the next catastrophe.
The four-day event which kicked off Wednesday, is held once every two years in Japan's capital.
This year it is drawing nearly 450 participating organisations—the biggest since it started about four decades ago. Some 57 of the groups come from countries including France, Britain, Russia and South Korea.
This year's show is focused on robotic equipment for disaster relief, assisting the elderly as well as their caregivers, and for farming.
Disasters are a fact of life for Japan, an archipelago nation facing the "Ring of Fire"—the rim of the Pacific Ocean that includes other earthquake and volcanic zones from Chile all the way around to New Zealand.
The two disaster-relief droids were developed in a project under the New Energy and Industrial Development (NEDO)—a national research organisation—that started after a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit northern Japan in 2011.
But unlike in Hollywood movies where bots can run, jump and fly at high-speeds, these droids are the slow and steady type.
HRP-2 Kai and red-and-yellow coloured JAXON—named after the late singer Michael Jackson—were on Wednesday focused on more serious tasks.
"HRP-2 Kai is now recognising debris and thinking with a sensor on its head about where to put its foot," said Fumio Kanehiro, researcher at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology that developed the robot. 
Bert Guevara's insight:

In disasters, robots may do a better job, in some cases.

 

"But humanoid bots are far from perfect, suffering from balance problems on rough terrain, conceded Shuji Yumitori, head of NEDO's robot division.
"He added that his organisation hopes further improvements will put them in commercial use in as little as five years."
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Grassroots leader’s murder in Peru is a signal to opponents of mining ("martyr list gets longer")

Grassroots leader’s murder in Peru is a signal to opponents of mining ("martyr list gets longer") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The murder—which coincides with the expansion of illegal gold mining into the Tambopata National Reserve in the Madre de Dios region— could frighten other opponents of mining into silence.

Masked gunmen killed Alfredo Vracko, 59, at his home on the Interoceanic Highway in Peru’s Madre de Dios region. His son said it appeared to be a targeted assassination, as there was no robbery. The younger Vracko blamed the murder on illegal miners who had invaded his father’s reforestation concession late last year.

Alfredo Vracko had filed a formal complaint about the invasion with the prosecutor’s office. Then, on November 13, a scheduled raid to evict the miners was postponed until November 19 because police were unavailable, Freddy Vracko said.

On that day, police, the prosecutor and government officials from the regional office responsible for forestry traveled to the property, but the raid was called off again because the representative of the regional office of mining did not show up, he said.

His father was murdered that evening, almost exactly a year after another member of the reforestation association, Sixto Fernández, was killed under similar circumstances, Freddy Vracko said.

Alfredo Vracko had settled on the land in the Amazonian lowlands, not far from the Madre de Dios River, in 1975. The family had about 1,000 hectares along the highway cleared for agriculture, while another 2,543 hectares, about two kilometers back from the road, is in a 40-year reforestation concession.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

Greed has continued to feed on murder. The list of environmental martyrs gets longer.


"Masked gunmen killed Alfredo Vracko, 59, at his home on the Interoceanic Highway in Peru’s Madre de Dios region. His son said it appeared to be a targeted assassination, as there was no robbery. The younger Vracko blamed the murder on illegal miners who had invaded his father’s reforestation concession late last year."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Mayors Take On Crucial Roles Fighting Climate Change ("if national leaders fail, city mayors will")

Mayors Take On Crucial Roles Fighting Climate Change ("if national leaders fail, city mayors will") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
In the years ahead, the public will see if local leaders can deliver substantive results if national leaders cannot.

The vast majority of cities are located in coastal regions, putting their inhabitants at greater risks from rising sea levels and hurricanes. Urban residents look to mayors not just to respond to natural disasters but to increase the resilience of cities by implementing climate adaptation plans.

When the United Nations Climate Change Conference convenes in Paris on Nov. 30, a group of American mayors will be in attendance, representing 100 city leaders from across the United States who have committed to reducing emissions, tracking progress and preparing for the impact a changing climate will have on communities.

“Supporting a global climate agreement is critically important for cities around the world,” Ralph Becker, mayor of Salt Lake City and president of the National League of Cities, said in astatement back in August, when the mayors announced they'd be at the Paris summit. “I’m honored and encouraged that so many of my fellow city leaders have joined in this mission for their residents and the thousands of communities throughout the nation.”

In many ways, the increased role of mayors is common sense.  

Cities have been where humans have congregated for commerce, culture and creativity for millennia. In the 21st century, cities have also become an important front in a global battle against the effects of our changing climate.

About 60 percent of the world's population will live in cities by 2030, accounting for the bulk of humanity's greenhouse gas emissions and energy usage. 

Bert Guevara's insight:

If there is no Planet B, at least we have a plan B.

Recruit your local mayor to take up the challenge.

 

"In the absence of congressional action in the U.S., President Barack Obama's climate agendahas specifically focused on building consensus and commitments from U.S. mayors.

"In the years ahead, the public will see if local leaders can deliver substantive results, if national leaders cannot."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Brazil Mine Disaster Floods Area With Toxic Substances ("irreversible mining consequence")

Brazil Mine Disaster Floods Area With Toxic Substances ("irreversible mining consequence") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The November collapse released enough mercury and arsenic to cause irreversible health damage

The accident buried the small historic town of Bento Rodrigues, a subdistrict of Mariana, under mud. At least 11 people have died and more than 600 were displaced. In addition, the water supply of more than 250,000 people in the area was interrupted due to its concentrations of heavy metals.

Tons of mud formed by iron ore waste and silica, originally estimated to be about 25,000 olympic swimming pools in volume, have spread over 800 km and reached one of the largest Brazilian rivers, the Rio Doce. The contaminated mud, in which the Minas Gerais Institute of Water Managing has found toxic substances like mercury, arsenic, chromium and manganese at levels exceeding human consumption limits, has reached the coast of the state of Espírito Santo. It could potentially impact the wider marine ecosystem.

The risks go beyond the particular chemical elements found in this mud. For example, the decomposition processes begun in the dam can cause various bacteriological and chemical contaminations.

Many are blaming the disaster on Samarco, which is the Brazilian mining company in charge of the dams. The company is a joint venture between the mining giants Vale of Brazil and BHP Billiton of Australia. 

‘The biodiversity of the river is completely lost,’ Ferrão states. ‘Several species, including endemic ones must be extinct.’ Although some recovery must be expected through restocking from other tributaries, he says it is impossible to estimate how long such reclamation would take.

Several investigations are underway to determine the causes of the disaster, including one by federal and state prosecutors, and others by the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and an independent group of researchers.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The mining dam spill damage in Brazil has widespread consequences to the environment. The same is true elsewhere in the world, including the Philippines, which had its own mining spill disasters. The problem is, these issues get buried under the headlines.


‘The changes in the flow of the river in respect to the currents and the new geochemical conditions in the sediments will bring profound ecosystem changes, which will also influence the species, including with the possibility of disappearance of endemic species,’ Laschefski warns. In addition, he says water plants in the area are endangered because the mud that now covers them will eventually harden like cement, due to its high iron content.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Indonesia bans peatlands destruction ("where are the wetlands? restoration not always possible")

Indonesia bans peatlands destruction ("where are the wetlands? restoration not always possible") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

In response to the fires that have hospitalized roughly 500,000 people, polluted skies over a large swathe of southeast Asia, and released upwards of 1.7 billion tons of carbon, Indonesian president Joko Widodo has banned clearance and conversion of carbon-dense peatlands across the archipelago.

The move, undertaken through a series of presidential and ministerial instructions issued over the last two-and-a-half weeks, was welcomed on Tuesday by Greenpeace, which has been pushing for measures to curtail destruction of Indonesia’s peatlands.

“President Jokowi is right to seek to prevent next year’s fires by banning further expansion into peatlands, and requiring peat drainage canals be blocked. It is also just that the government has declared burned areas must be rehabilitated rather than planted,” said Greenpeace Indonesia campaigner Yuyun Indradi in a statement. “President Jokowi’s landmark decision to ban peatland development is a first step toward a cleaner, brighter future for Indonesia’s people and environment. It sets the bar for meaningful commitments from world leaders to tackle the root causes of climate change at the Paris climate summit.”

Bert Guevara's insight:

Can the President's orders be followed? Just like in the Philippines, the written law is a long way from what's happening on the ground.


"The government’s instructions bar planting of newly burned areas, instead mandating restoration. They also require drainage canals to be blocked in order to raise water tables and calls for criminal investigations into fires. Notably the instructions ban clearance of peatlands even in existing concession areas."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

These are the places in the world that are so beautiful they don't need an Instagram filter

These are the places in the world that are so beautiful they don't need an Instagram filter | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
[Business Insider] Instagram’s #nofilter tag is a glimpse into the places in the world where we have the urge to not use a filter.
Bert Guevara's insight:

Awesome! I title this picture "Divine Revelation."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

What You Need to Know About Zika And Climate Change ("CC will make matters worse")

What You Need to Know About Zika And Climate Change ("CC will make matters worse") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Zika virus has spread rapidly. This is what you need to know about the role of climate change.

A number of factors have had to line up for the Zika virus — a disease that’s been associated with birth defects — to spread so far and wide so quickly, but chief among them is heavy rain and heat. Climate change could play a future role in this virus’ — as well as other mosquito-borne illnesses — spread as it creates conditions more favorable to the mosquitoes that transmit it.

Heavy rain and warm temperatures have helped the mosquitoes carrying Zika thrive. There have been heavy rains in southern Brazil and Uruguay this winter (and really for much of the year). Those rains can translate to standing water on the ground, which is crucial mosquito breeding habitat. El Niño has a strong influence on that region and it’s likely playing a role in increased risk of the Zika virus there.

Research on other viruses can tell us what climate change could mean for Zika. Until now, the Zika virus has been a relatively little-studied disease (though that’s about to change). There’s not really a lot known about it, let alone how climate change could influence its spread in the future. However, there are other diseases that are comparable that provide a rough sketch of what lies ahead.

A switch to La Niña conditions next year could help the virus spread further. Models indicate that the current El Niño could be done by summer and the odds favor it being replaced by La Niña.

That wouldn’t be the end of the Zika virus, though. In fact, a La Niña could help the virus spread to other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.


Bert Guevara's insight:

How does climate contribute to the Zika pandemic?


"There could be up to 4 million cases right now, just eight months after the first case was reported in Brazil. There are 23 countries where the virus is active."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

BusinessWorld | Airport cop held for smuggling rare animals, including 11 tarsiers ("lock him up!")

BusinessWorld | Airport cop held for smuggling rare animals, including 11 tarsiers ("lock him up!") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
AUTHORITIES have taken possession of 47 rare animals or birds which an airport policeman was allegedly trying to smuggle to Japan, a senior wildlife official said on Sunday.

The wildlife included 11 tarsiers, 11 snakes, 11 monitor lizards, eight sailfin lizards, eagle owls, and scops owls.
They were found on Thursday, packed in styrofoam cases which were labeled as aquatic plants, said Theresa Mundita Lim, head of the country’s biodiversity bureau.
“We received a tip last January. That is when we began our surveillance. We already observed [the suspect] going back and forth to the airport, [transporting items for shipping],” Ms. Lim told AFP.
The suspect had previously used his position at the airport to send shipments of suspected indigenous animals to a partner in Japan before he was caught, she added.
He has been arrested for violating wildlife laws and could face four years in jail.
While birds like cockatoos had previously been found being smuggled through the airport, Ms. Lim noted this was the first time they had found tarsiers, one of the world’s smallest primates, hidden in an airport shipment.
The Philippine tarsier is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as “near-threatened.”
Other species like the sailfin lizard and the eagle owl are listed as “vulnerable,” meaning they are at risk of extinction in the wild.
It was the latest scandal affecting security personnel at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is the case of an enforcer turned smuggler. 


"... The wildlife included 11 tarsiers, 11 snakes, 11 monitor lizards, eight sailfin lizards, eagle owls, and scops owls.
"They were found on Thursday, packed in styrofoam cases which were labeled as aquatic plants ..."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Growing Power grows fish, veggies, and community with aquaponic farm ("this is my dream farm")

Growing Power grows fish, veggies, and community with aquaponic farm ("this is my dream farm") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Growing Power harnesses natural cycles to power a farm that produces over one million pounds of food every year.

Will Allen, the founder of Growing Power, created an aquaponics system that captures energy produced by natural systems. The greenhouses are heated by indoor compost piles, which generate heat as they break down organic matter. These compost pile heaters are also an excellent source of fertile soil for growing high-quality vegetables and fruits. In the greenhouse, vegetables are grown in an aquaponics system, which incorporates fish into the food production ecosystem. The fish are fed and then produce waste, which contains nitrogen that is absorbed by a plant’s roots.

Before waste water is applied directly to plants, it must first go through a gravel bed where bacteria breaks down impurities in the water. Watercress is also planted in this space for additional filtration. Filtered water not absorbed by vegetables crops in the subsequent levels is returned to the 25,000 gallon tank below, where thousand of tilapia live. The tank is calibrated to mimic the murky, warm waters of the Nile River, where tilapia school in the wild.

Growing Power founder Will Allen grew up on a small farm in Maryland, where his father worked as a sharecropper. Following early careers in professional basketball and corporate sales, Allen found his calling in farming and community organizing. In 1993, Allen founded a three acre farm in Milwaukee and was quickly approached by neighborhood youth who wanted to learn about growing. Allen obliged. Today, Growing Power’s Youth Corps continues to provide young people the opportunity to build skills and community through growing food.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is my dream farm!

 

"Will Allen, the founder of Growing Power, created an aquaponics system that captures energy produced by natural systems. The greenhouses are heated by indoor compost piles, which generate heat as they break down organic matter. These compost pile heaters are also an excellent source of fertile soil for growing high-quality vegetables and fruits. In the greenhouse, vegetables are grown in an aquaponics system, which incorporates fish into the food production ecosystem. The fish are fed and then produce waste, which contains nitrogen that is absorbed by a plant’s roots."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

IDisenyo 2016: Designs addressing climate change and calamities ("opening for new solution ideas")

IDisenyo 2016: Designs addressing climate change and calamities ("opening for new solution ideas") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
U.P. Interior Design Alumni Association Director for Public Relations talks to CNN Philippines about how to address climate change through thoughtful design.

WATCH VIDEO.

It's one event when all of the greatest minds in interior design come together: the annual IDisenyo led by the University of the Philippines Interior Design Alumni Association (UPIDAA). This year's theme focuses on urban flooding.

UPIDAA Director for Public Relations Nina Santamaria joins us to talk about climate change, calamities and how to address these through design.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This kind of initiative should be happening in more professions, if we are serious in looking for alternatives or solutions. One idea cannot solve all the problems, but a collective effort from all fronts may make life more livable in a warming world.


"It's one event when all of the greatest minds in interior design come together: the annual IDisenyo led by the University of the Philippines Interior Design Alumni Association (UPIDAA). This year's theme focuses on urban flooding."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

The year in rainforests: 2015 ("are we winning the battle to save our forests as the economy slides?")

The year in rainforests: 2015 ("are we winning the battle to save our forests as the economy slides?") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

Trends in forest cover tend to lag broad economic trends, but there were indications that the global economic slowdown driven by declining growth in China may be starting to impact tropical forests. Notably, the price of several key commodities produced in the tropics — including palm oil, beef, soy, wood fiber, and timber — have fallen significantly. Whether or not prices will remain low enough for long enough to influence investment in infrastructure projects and forest conversion is still uncertain.

A pair of new data sets released in 2015 provided insights on longer-term trends in forest cover. Satellite-based research published by Matt Hansen of the University of Maryland and posted on Global Forest Watch indicates a recent slowdown in global forest loss since a 2012 peak. Tropical forest loss however continued on an upward trend using those measures. Meanwhile the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released its Forest Resources Assessment, a report published every five years. FAO’s report — which relies heavily on self-reported data rather than satellite imagery — arguedthat global forest loss has declined sharply since peaking in the 1990s.

Another satellite-based analysis, published months before FAO’s report, made a case that forest loss actually increased in the 2000s relative to the 1990s.

The zero deforestation movement continued to evolve in 2015, with dozens of companies, including several prominent hold outs, announcing new commitments. Plantation giant APRIL finally established safeguards that won cautious praise from Greenpeace after a damaging multi-year campaign, while Astra Agro Lestari — itself the subject of a campaign that targeted its parent corporation, which also owns the Mandarin Oriental hotel chain — became one of the most powerful Indonesian palm oil producers to make a zero deforestation commitment. Clothing companies and fabrics manufacturersalso started to join the fray.

 

Bert Guevara's insight:

The victories are far and few, which means that the alert level vs deforestation remains high, especially for tropical forests.


"A pair of new data sets released in 2015 provided insights on longer-term trends in forest cover. Satellite-based research published by Matt Hansen of the University of Maryland and posted on Global Forest Watch indicates a recent slowdown in global forest loss since a 2012 peak. Tropical forest loss however continued on an upward trend using those measures. Meanwhile the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released its Forest Resources Assessment, a report published every five years. FAO’s report — which relies heavily on self-reported data rather than satellite imagery — arguedthat global forest loss has declined sharply since peaking in the 1990s."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

TerrAfrica: Building the Resilience of Land and Livelihoods in a Changing Climate ("soil care is key")

TerrAfrica: Building the Resilience of Land and Livelihoods in a Changing Climate ("soil care is key") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The TerrAfrica Partnership brings together key actors in African countries across sectors, borders and faiths; and development partners, including the World Bank, to address land degradation and build resilient landscapes.
Bert Guevara's insight:

The African approach to progress is not losing sight on the important component - SOIL.

In the Philippines, unsustainable use of chemicals as fertilizer and pesticide have damaged our soils tremendously. In some areas, desertification is a threat. This is on top of drought and climate change.


"A colossal amount of human energy is being deployed to overcome the obstacles of land degradation, with the ultimate goal of achieving sustainable development for Africa. The main result has been the generation of an ambitious agenda to scale up landscape initiatives, by integrating policies and services required from land, biodiversity, water and other resources, while addressing critical issues such as climate change, land degradation, poverty, and resource scarcity, ...” 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

APRIL ramps up peatland restoration with $100m investment ("restoring eco-systems needed badly")

APRIL ramps up peatland restoration with $100m investment ("restoring eco-systems needed badly") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Pulp and paper manufacturer APRIL Group has unveiled a new $100m investment into conservation and restoration activities in Indonesia, which will see the Group's peatland restoration activities double to 150,000 hectares across the country. - edie news centre

A new commitment to the Riau Ecosystem Restoration (RER) programme - believed to be the biggest private sector investment into a single eco-restoration project in Indonesia - will include an enhanced programme of restoration, management and protection of what has become one of the most sensitive ecosystems in the world.

APRIL Group shareholder and REG director Anderson Tanoto said: "The global community has an extraordinary opportunity at COP 21 in Paris to make a difference for the future. This investment indicates our broader business case for restoration which encompasses the value of the ecosystem services and the need to have an inclusive approach with the community.

“As we learn and evolve our approach, we continue to deliver environmental benefits, economic opportunity through jobs and infrastructure, as well as social progress for local communities."

APRIL Group now accounts for 400,000 hectares, split between restoration and conservation, of forests in Indonesia - an area almost six times the size of Singapore. This has been achieved in part through a 'one-for-one' goal of planting a new tree for every one that it protects - a scheme that has ensureddeforestation was eliminated from the group’s supply chain four years ahead of schedule.

NASA satellites have already detected more than 130,000 fire hotspots across Indonesia in 2015 alone. The emissions from the fires are so big that they exceed the annual emissions from major economies such the UK and Japan.

Fauna & Flora International’s Asia-Pacific regional director Dr Tony Whitten said: “The partners involved in the RER project hope that it will be a living, working blueprint -- an evolving example of what other public and private sector organisations can achieve more broadly through strong partnerships and bold vision.”


Bert Guevara's insight:

Planting trees is not enough. We have to restore eco-systems that support biodiversity. At the rate that man is exploiting nature, there is an urgency to reverse the trend.

The time for action is yesterday!


“This is a critical moment. We need them to agree a shared vision, matched by commitments, so that all of us – the industry, governments, civil society and consumers – can work together to halt and reverse the demise of the world’s precious forests."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Wavy green-roofed Casa Jura disappears into France’s rolling hills ("my type of dream house")

Wavy green-roofed Casa Jura disappears into France’s rolling hills ("my type of dream house") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
JDS Architects designed Casa Jura, a green-roofed holiday home that blends into the surrounding Jura hills.

For a greener alternative to the typical holiday chalet, look no further than JDS Architects’ Casa Jura. Designed as a retreat for a Parisian family in the French village Bois D’amont, the curvaceous home blends into the surrounding Jura hills with its sculptural green-roofed form. To minimize its visual impact, the contemporary home’s footprint is almost entirely contained beneath grass and into the slope, making the house appear as a “mere bump” in the landscape.

Completed for a budget of 200,000 euros, the 134-square-meter retreat is set into a hillside that backs into a pine forest and overlooks a valley. The architects created three “cuts” into the existing terrain: two incisions push down on the landscape to make room for the full-height glazed facades on both floors; while the terrain at the top elevation was leveled to create a walk-on green roof.

The full-height glazed facades and similar large openings frame views of the valley and pour natural light into the home. The minimalist interior features white-painted walls and pale timber floors that reflect the light, and is furnished with a neutral color palette punctuated by a few bright accent colors. The lower level comprises two bedrooms, a four-person bunk-bed room, and bathrooms. The upper level contains the open-plan living room, dining room, and kitchen that open up to outdoor patios and access to the walk-on green roof.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This is my type of vacation house.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Philippine tarsiers now among most endangered primates

Philippine tarsiers now among most endangered primates | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
ITS being a mascot for Philippine tourism has helped raise awareness for its conservation, but such gain could not outweigh its joining the ranks of the world's 25 most endangered primates also from the same reason. Its popularity with visitors to Bohol, where it is a tourism mascot, is one reason it has landed on the latest edition of "Primates in Peril: The world's 25 most endangered primates."

Both threatened by habitat loss, the tarsier and the Lavasoa Mountains dwarf lemur of Madagascar are the newest addition to the list released November 25 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

"Many populations of Philippine tarsiers have already been locally extirpated and of those that remain some surely are at imminent risk of extinction," according to the IUCN's "Primates in Peril: The World's 25 Most Endangered Primates 2014-2016."

Tarsiers are scattered over Samar, Leyte, Bohol and Mindanao and in an unknown number of smaller islands such as Dinagat and Basilan. Modern genetic tools reveal that Philippine tarsiers are a group of at least three evolutionary significant units, a population of organisms that is considered distinct for purposes of conservation.

Three tarsier subspecies have been described: T. syrichta syrichta from Leyte and Samar; T. s. carbonarius from Mindanao; and T. s. fraterculnus from Bohol.

While tarsiers are used as a mascot in Bohol, the regulation of this tourism practice is weak. Many tarsiers are on display at roadside attractions in conditions described by the report as "heartbreaking, especially as these are nocturnal animals on display during the daytime."

Given the difficulties of keeping tarsiers alive in captivity, it is assumed that mortality among these animals is high, and that replacements from the wild are found when they die, the report said.

Bert Guevara's insight:

It is unforgivable for the Filipinos to allow the tarsier to disappear because of deforestation. But this is what may happen in the near future.

 

"Noting that the Philippines has been described as a land of "mega deforestation," the report pointed out that "it remains unproven that non-forest habitats can sustain tarsier populations in perpetuity."

"The Philippines has also been described as the region where "megadiversity meets mega deforestation," the report said, noting that the country ranks fourth on the list of the World's 10 Most Threatened Forest Hotspots, even ahead of Madagascar, a country that is infamous for its conservation crisis."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Can This Group Of Kids Force The Government To Act On Climate Change? ("the main stakeholders speak")

Can This Group Of Kids Force The Government To Act On Climate Change? ("the main stakeholders speak") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Twenty-one children are taking the federal government to court over its inaction on climate change.

Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh Martinez is not your average 15 year old. Speaking from his cell phone as he waits to board a plane for Los Angeles, Martinez fields questions with the aplomb of a seasoned activist, remaining sharply on message even as the conversation snakes and pivots around the gnarly issue of climate action.

“Nothing else compares to climate change in the sense to take urgency as a global community,” he said. “It’s a human rights issue that affects people all over the planet.”

Despite his young age, Martinez speaks like a veteran activist because, in a sense, he is one. His interest in climate activism began before enrolled in elementary school; he had his first public speaking engagement at age six. At age 13, he gave a TedX speech on environmental activism, was awarded the 2013 United States Community Service Award, and served on President Obama’s 2013 Youth Council. At 15, he was featured in a profile in Rolling Stone and spoke about climate change in front of the U.N. General Assembly.

And now, alongside 20 other youth activists, Martinez is suing the federal government in order to force action on climate change.

“Our generation has the most to lose, therefore our generation has the greatest opportunity to change the world,” Martinez said. “Just because we can’t vote doesn’t mean that we can have an impact on the way that our world is going to be left for future generations.”

The federal lawsuit, which was officially submitted this August, mirrors lawsuits and petitions that have been filed in every state in the country. All the lawsuits are spearheaded by an Oregon-based organization known as Our Children’s Trust, a nonprofit that seeks to protect the earth’s natural resources for current and future generations. In a single week in 2011, Our Children’s Trust filed petitions and lawsuits in every single state, setting up a slew of legal proceedings that they hope will turn the tide on climate action in the country.

Bert Guevara's insight:

The young planet stakeholders take the matter to court.


“What this litigation does is it fast forwards that constitutional principle to the modern urgency of climate crisis. It’s a very simple extension of logic. If navigable waters were crucial to the public back then, certainly the air, atmosphere, and climate systems warrant protection as public trust systems as well.”

“I think that the government should be responsible for protecting us against climate change because it says in the Constitution we have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Victoria Barrett, a 16-year old plaintiff from Westchester, New York, told ThinkProgress. “A big part of fixing climate change is big policy change, not just little individual changes.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Brazil's slow-motion environmental catastrophe unfolds ("this is how dangerous mining can become")

Brazil's slow-motion environmental catastrophe unfolds ("this is how dangerous mining can become") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Toxic mudslide from collapse of dams spreads as BHP Billiton fined $66m

Nine people are now confirmed dead, and a further 19 remain unaccounted for as a slow-motion environmental catastrophe continues to unfold following the collapse of two mining dams in Brazil’s mineral-rich state of Minas Gerais.

Eight days after the town of Bento Rodrigues was swept away by 50m cubic metres of toxic mud, a slow-moving tide of toxic iron-ore residue is oozing downriver, polluting the water supply of hundreds of thousands of residents as it makes its way to the ocean.

Brazil’s national water agency, ANA, has warned that the presence of arsenic, zinc, copper and mercury now present in the Rio Doce make the water untreatable for human consumption. Already the lack of oxygen and high temperatures caused by the pollutants has killed off much of the aquatic life along a 500km stretch of the river.

“It is a tragedy of enormous proportions,” Marilene Ramos, president of Ibama, the federal environmental agency, said. “We have thousands of hectares of protected areas destroyed and the total extinction of all the biodiversity along this stretch of the river.”

The mine and dams are operated by Samarco Mineração SA, a joint venture between the Anglo-Australian mining group BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest mining company, and the Brazilian iron ore giant Vale. Shares in BHP Billiton, a FTSE-100 company and therefore a key holding of pension funds around the world – have been battered. Some £8bn has been wiped off the value of the company as its shares in the UK and Australia have slumped by an average of 14%.

Bert Guevara's insight:

This mining dam collapse is not a new disaster. The Philippines still remembers the Agno River and Boac Rivers. When will we learn? 

This is also why many local mountain tribes are against mining, and so are the people downstream.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Bert Guevara
Scoop.it!

Rising temperatures could drive 100m into extreme poverty, World Bank warns ("twin solution approach")

Rising temperatures could drive 100m into extreme poverty, World Bank warns ("twin solution approach") | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Efforts to curb climate change must be twinned with programmes to cut poverty, warns a study of the threat posed by global warming to food security

The world must pair efforts to stabilise climate change with programmes to eliminate poverty if vulnerable people are to be kept from falling back into hardship as rising temperatures wreak havoc on food security and livelihoods, a report has said.

As many as 100 million people could slide into extreme poverty because of rising temperatures, which are caused by greenhouse gas emissions, the World Bank report said. The bank’s most recent estimate puts the number of people living in extreme poverty this year at 702 million, or 9.6% of the world’s population.

Climate change has led to crop failures, natural disasters, higher food prices and the spread of waterborne diseases, creating poverty and pushing people at risk into destitution, according to Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty, released on Sunday.

Efforts to stabilise climate change should incorporate strategies to eradicate poverty, said Stéphane Hallegatte, a senior economist at the World Bank’s climate change group and co-author of the report. “The policies, the investments, the financing, all of that should be integrated. Otherwise, we’re just less efficient.”

Poor people need social safety nets and universal healthcare to sustainably eradicate poverty, according to the report. Programmes to lessen the impacts of climate change should not create new vulnerabilities and they should inform development policies by taking into account future climate conditions.

Bert Guevara's insight:

Climate change and poverty - they go together. We must always aim to address both in any major policy.

 

“We really want to reduce poverty before people get affected by even bigger climate impacts. It’s easier to get people out of extreme poverty now rather than doing it later,” said Hallegatte.

"Without proper planning, efforts to stabilise the impacts of climate change can undo decades of progress in lifting vulnerable people out of poverty, the study warned. Environmental taxes, designed to reduce emissions, can raise the cost of fuel and food, which hit poor people hardest."

more...
No comment yet.