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Earth Citizens Perspective
Developments affecting the environment worldwide
Curated by Bert Guevara
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Climate Change: Countries That May Be Hit Hardest - Huffington Post

Climate Change: Countries That May Be Hit Hardest - Huffington Post | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Climate Change: Countries That May Be Hit HardestHuffington PostThe countries potentially facing the worst fates may not necessarily experience the greatest climate change, but instead lack the resources to cushion their people against climate-related...

The 2012 edition of the risk atlas identified 30 countries as being at extreme risk. The top 10 most at risk include: Haiti, Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Cambodia, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and the Philippines.

Some countries with lower risk ratings still have danger zones that face "extreme risk" from climate change. Maplecroft pointed to the southwest of Brazil and China's coastal regions as examples, even though both countries rate as "medium risk" overall. Six of the world's fastest-growing cities also received "extreme risk" ratings: Calcutta in India, Manila in the Philippines, Jakarta in Indonesia, Dhaka and Chittagong in Bangladesh, and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

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Loss of habitats irreplaceable - Khaleej Times

Loss of habitats irreplaceable - Khaleej Times | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
SYDNEY - It is hard to replace a lost habitat without losing species, even though the goal may be laudable, warn scientists.

”There’s been a lot of talk among policymakers about ‘offsets’, meaning that if you damage or lose the environment in one place, you compensate by restoring or protecting an equivalent area somewhere else,” ...

”Current conservation policies talk glibly about offsets and seem to promise much - but it isn’t clear they really appreciate how difficult and expensive it can be to translocate a whole ecosystem with all its species and their relationships,” he said.

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Alarming Biodiversity Collapse in Protected Forests

Alarming Biodiversity Collapse in Protected Forests | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
{from Mother Jones} In the science journal Nature this week, a piece was co-authored by more than 200 scientists from around the world—a veritable who’s-who of researchers from the world of t...

The gist of the paper is alarming:

The rapid disruption of tropical forests worldwide probably imperils global biodiversity more than any other force today.
The best hope lies in protected areas.
Yet many protected areas are not effectively protecting biodiversity.
The authors write:

Our analysis reveals great variation in reserve ‘health:’ about half of all reserves have been effective or performed passably, but the rest are experiencing an erosion of biodiversity that is often alarmingly widespread taxonomically and functionally.

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Manta ray being driven to extinction by Chinese medicine demand – in pictures

Manta ray being driven to extinction by Chinese medicine demand – in pictures | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Demand for the gills of manta and mobula rays has risen dramatically in the past 10 years for use in traditional Chinese medicine ("@guardianeco: لخمة المانتا مهددة بالإنقراض حيث يستخدم الصينيون خياشيمها لإنتاج أدوية شعبية
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Top Ten Impacts Climate Change Is Making Worse Right Now

Top Ten Impacts Climate Change Is Making Worse Right Now | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
By Rebecca Leber and Ellie Sandmeyer The onslaught of extreme weather and record temperatures this year have had an impact on people globally, directly through drought and temperature, and more indirectly impacting food prices and public...

Here are 10 impacts we’re seeing right now that climate change is very likely worsening, in some cases playing a major role:

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Top Scottish scientist: there is now no such thing as natural weather ... it's all man made | Herald Scotland

Top Scottish scientist: there is now no such thing as natural weather ... it's all man made | Herald Scotland | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Leading Scottish climate scientist warns there is now no such thing as natural weather it's all man made.

The rain that has drenched parts of the UK and the heat wave that has baked the US can be blamed on carbon emissions that are causing global warming and disrupting the climate.

New evidence suggests one reason why the jet stream responsible for the bad weather may be stuck to the south of the UK is melting Arctic ice, triggered by higher global temperatures.

"There is now no such thing as 'natural' weather," says Peter Singleton, the environmental futures manager at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa). "The growing impact of mankind and its resulting pollution has changed both the weather and climate of the planet...starting with deforestation and followed by excessive use of fossil fuels and pollution."

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How to become better custodians of our environment: putting a cash value on ecosystems

How to become better custodians of our environment: putting a cash value on ecosystems | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Climate Conversations – Let’s start treating the environment as a shared asset By Colin Chartres It has been 20 years since the great and the good last assembled for a global summit on ...

"The bad news is that human societies have a decidedly mixed record of custodianship of their environment. Reckless exploitation of water, land and other resources has led to the calamitous collapse of local economies throughout history. To avoid this happening yet again, technological innovation will not be enough. Profound institutional and behavioural change will also be needed.

"Such a vision requires a new kind of politics that is long-term and collaborative and that sees the environment not simply as a resource to be exploited, but as an asset on which humankind collectively depends. It will also need a radical new cross-sector approach to development that gets policy makers, farmers, investors and conservationists collaborating to a hitherto unrealised degree."

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Japan finds major rare earth deposits: researcher

Japan finds major rare earth deposits: researcher | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

Japan has found a large deposit of rare earth minerals in its Pacific seabed, enough to supply its hi-tech industries for more than 200 years, a scientist said Friday.
Around 6.8 million tonnes of the valuable minerals, used in electric cars, iPods and lasers, are sitting under the seabed near a far eastern Japanese island, Tokyo University professor Yasuhiro Kato told AFP.
He said mud samples taken from an area near Minamitorishima island, some 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) southeast of Tokyo, indicated deposits amounted to around 220 times the average annual amount used by industry in Japan.
The seabed contained a substantial amount of dysprosium -- a rare earth mineral used in the engines for hybrid cars, he said.

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Water evaporated from trees cools global climate, researchers find

Water evaporated from trees cools global climate, researchers find | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Scientists have long debated about the impact on global climate of water evaporated from vegetation.

"This shows us that the evaporation of water from trees and lakes in urban parks, like New York's Central Park, not only help keep our cities cool, but also helps keep the whole planet cool," Caldeira said. "Our research also shows that we need to improve our understanding of how our daily activities can drive changes in both local and global climate. That steam coming out of your tea-kettle may be helping to cool the Earth, but that cooling influence will be overwhelmed if that water was boiled by burning gas or coal."

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Factbox: Main points in Rio+20 agreement

Factbox: Main points in Rio+20 agreement | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

Global leaders on Friday wrap up a United Nations development summit with little to show but a lackluster agreement, as critics scorned governments for showing no urgency to tackle climate change as well as food and water scarcity.

Nearly 100 heads of state and government gathered over the past three days in efforts to establish so-called "sustainable development goals," a U.N. drive built around economic growth, the environment, and social inclusion.

The agreement, seen by Reuters, was little changed from a draft text on Tuesday apart from grammatical tweaks.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/22/us-un-climate-agreement-idUSBRE85L10Z20120622

 

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Rio environment summit opens with sober mood

Rio environment summit opens with sober mood | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

Leaders from around the globe have gathered to start three days of talks at the United Nations conference on sustainable development.

An unambitious tone prevailed on Wednesday as negotiators produced what critics called a watered-down document that made few advances on protecting the environment.

Negotiators worked for months to hammer out a document that many hoped would lay out clear goals on how nations could promote sustainable development, making economic advances without eating up the globe's resources.

But with time running out, contentious issues like technology transfers from rich to poor nations and new financing for developing countries were set aside.

Diplomats agreed on what all call a mere beginning, a step toward a roadmap on how to embrace sustainable development at the conference dubbed "Rio+20" - coming two decades after the landmark 1992 Earth Summit put sustainable development on the globe's agenda.

"The future we want has gotten a little further away today," said Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace. "Rio+20 has turned into an epic failure. It has failed on equity, failed on ecology and failed on economy."

"This is not a foundation on which to grow economies or pull people out of poverty. It's the last will and testament of a destructive twentieth century development model."

 

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2012/06/201262112154573294.html?utm_content=automate&utm_campaign=Trial6&utm_source=NewSocialFlow&utm_term=plustweets&utm_medium=MasterAccount

 

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Developed nations ignore agroecology in calls for “climate smart ...

Developed nations ignore agroecology in calls for “climate smart ... | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

By Tristan Quinn-Thibodeau, for Climate Connections June 18, 2012, Rio de Janeiro – At the UN conference on climate change in Durban, South Africa last December, representatives of developed nations presented a plan to combat climate change through sustainable agricultural techniques in Africa. This plan, dubbed “climate smart agriculture,” would purportedly reduce and sequester carbon emissions while conserving soils and feeding a continent. It seemed that developed countries had at last listened to the growing concern and criticism of industrial agriculture’s disastrous ecological effects.

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Rio+20: The world is getting too heavy finds new league table of ... - Telegraph.co.uk

Rio+20: The world is getting too heavy finds new league table of ... - Telegraph.co.uk | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Telegraph.co.ukRio+20: The world is getting too heavy finds new league table of ...Telegraph.co.ukThe human population is getting too heavy for the Earth, according to the first study to calculate the impact our growing waistlines are having on the...

The new research, published in the journal BMC Public Health, drew up a ‘league table’ of the ‘fattest’ nations that have the biggest share of obesity.
The United States is the heaviest nation on Earth if you are only weighing adult humans. While the average body mass globally was 62kg, North Americans weigh in at 80.7kg. Despite only making up five per cent of the world’s population, the US accounts for almost a third of the world’s weight due to obesity. In contrast Asia has 61 per cent of the world’s population but only 13 per cent of the world’s weight due to obesity.

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Pesticide-resistant insects add insult to drought injury

Pesticide-resistant insects add insult to drought injury | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The Western corn rootworm in its adult stage.

For years sustainable agriculture advocates from Wes Jackson to Michael Pollan have decried farmers’ move to this corn monoculture, but not just for philosophical reasons. The danger of biotechnology and chemical-based agriculture as practiced today is the false sense of security it offers farmers. When you adopt Monsanto’s seeds and chemicals and “simplify” your farming, it seems like you’ve solved all your problems.

But what you’ve actually done is increased what finance-types call “tail risk,” which means in essence that all your assumptions about the chances something bad will happen to you turn out to be wrong. And probability being what it is, you can go a long time without disaster striking and then, when it does, you find yourself totally screwed.

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NOAA Says Oceans, Ecosystems Soak Up Half of Carbon Emissions | IIP Digital

NOAA Says Oceans, Ecosystems Soak Up Half of Carbon Emissions | IIP Digital | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The planet’s forests and oceans are doing humankind a favor in soaking up excess greenhouse gases that humans are pumping into the atmosphere. But they are going to reach a limit, U.S. researchers say.
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The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic

The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The average land temperature on earth has risen 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years — essentially all of it caused by human emission of greenhouses gases.
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Greenland Hits 97 Percent Meltdown in July

Greenland Hits 97 Percent Meltdown in July | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
July's record-breaking scorcher hit Greenland hard this month melting 97 percent of the surface ice cover to some degree in just a few days.

Normally about half of Greenland’s ice cap shows signs of melting in mid-summer. But by July 12 this year, nearly all of the ice’s surface was one ginormous slushy. ...

Even in Greenland’s heartland, temperatures reached slightly above freezing at Summit Station, a frigid high point 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) above sea level. Much of the water that melts inland will eventually refreeze, but on the coasts the water runs off the ice caps and contributes to the globally-averaged rising sea level.

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Air-conditioning: The cold reality

Air-conditioning: The cold reality | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Use of power-hungry appliances is skyrocketing in the developing world, and is a major factor of CO2 emissions.

There are many more examples of energy-efficient technologies being deployed across the globe and, paradoxically, bringing with them increased energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The biggest leaps in energy use come in the summer months. Largely because of increasing use of air-conditioning, electric utilities worldwide have struggled to satisfy record demand through the torrid summers that have become ever more frequent in recent years.

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Fukushima reactor meltdown was a man-made disaster, says official report

Fukushima reactor meltdown was a man-made disaster, says official report | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Japanese investigators say tsunami wasn't sole cause of nuclear accident and criticise collusion and poor regulation (RT @guardianeco: Fukushima reactor meltdown was a manmade disaster, says official report http://t.co/7ZTEn5HH...)...

It accused Tepco and regulators at the nuclear and industrial safety agency of failing to take adequate safety measures, despite evidence that the area was susceptible to powerful earthquakes and tsunamis. 

"The Fukushima nuclear power plant accident was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and Tepco, and the lack of governance by said parties," said the report, compiled by the Fukushima nuclear accident independent investigation commission. 

"They effectively betrayed the nation's right to be safe from nuclear accidents. Therefore, we conclude that the accident was clearly 'man-made'.

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Intense Environment Video – Planet, Global Warming : Living Green ...

Intense Environment Video – Planet, Global Warming : Living Green ... | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
You've never seen the environment like this. It's uplifting. It's tragic. The time to act is now. Be warned: IMAGES MAY SHOCK YOU. environment global warming planet environment. Posted by earthactivist.
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Beyond Rio, green economics can give us hope - The Guardian

Beyond Rio, green economics can give us hope - The Guardian | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The GuardianBeyond Rio, green economics can give us hopeThe GuardianFred Pearce: The Rio+20 summit produced a largely meaningless document, but many looked to an alternative approach they called 'green economics'Jonathan, RIO 20 and the EnvironmentAllAfrica.com'Not...
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Rio ends with corporates warning

Rio ends with corporates warning | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
The Rio+20 summit ends with an agreement from world leaders that charities say represents a "missed chance" to tackle environmental problems.

The UN had billed the summit as a "once in a generation chance" to turn the global economy onto a sustainable track.

"It absolutely did not do that," said Barbara Stocking, chief executive of Oxfam GB.

The rights of poor people to have access to clean water were not enshrined as hoped
"We had the leaders of the world here, but they really did not take decisions that will take us forward," she told the BBC.

"It was a real lack of action that is very worrying, because we know how difficult the situation is in much of the world in terms of environment and poverty, and they did not show the leadership we needed them to bring."

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Global Warming Fast Facts

Global Warming Fast Facts | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Global warming, or climate change, is a subject that shows no sign of cooling down. Here's the lowdown on why it's happening, what's causing it, and how it might change the planet. Includes photo gallery.
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Environmental Activists "Being Killed at Rate of 1 a Week"

Environmental Activists "Being Killed at Rate of 1 a Week" | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it
Death toll of campaigners involved in protection of forests, rivers, and land has almost doubled in three years.

The struggle for the world's remaining natural resources is becoming more murderous, according to a new report that reveals that environmental activists were killed at the rate of one a week in 2011.

The death toll of advocates, community leaders, and journalists involved in the protection of forests, rivers, and land has risen dramatically in the past three years, said Global Witness.

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Virgin coco oil export increased 138 percent in 1Q 2012

Virgin coco oil export increased 138 percent in 1Q 2012 | Earth Citizens Perspective | Scoop.it

"Philippine coconut oil is exported to 27 countries in Asia, Europe and the United States of America.

"Coconut oil exports to France during 2012’s first quarter registered the highest increase of 1,011.76 percent, from $6,836 to $76,000 with a volume increase of 662.96 percent from 2011’s 2.16 MT to 16.48 MT.

"Taiwan, Finland, Hong Kong, Bermuda, Malaysia, New Zealand, USA, and Germany registered similar increases.

“If this trend continues throughout the year, then we see revenues surpassing last year’s total revenue of $2 billion,” said Administrator Forbes.

"Virgin coconut oil obtained from fresh, mature, coconut kernels by mechanical or natural means, with or without the use of heat, is suitable for consumption without further processing."

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