Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming
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Old batteries 'could power slums'

Old batteries 'could power slums' | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
Old laptop batteries still have enough life in them to power homes in slums, researchers have said.

An IBM study analysed a sample of discarded batteries and found 70% had enough power to keep an LED light on more than four hours a day for a year.
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Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming
If no farmland and no forests and no water and no fish - then what?
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The Beguiling Science of Making Planet-Saving Pavement via @WIRED

The Beguiling Science of Making Planet-Saving Pavement via @WIRED | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
WHEN IT COMES to beating back climate change, the big ideas get the most buzz. But among talk of banning gas-burning cars, making tech companies run server farms on renewable energy, and geo-engineering the planet into a state of salvation, the people researching pavement have a message: Don't overlook that boring stuff beneath your wheels and your feet.
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Pacific Northwest salmon are in big genetic trouble via @sciencemagazine

Pacific Northwest salmon are in big genetic trouble via @sciencemagazine | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
Chinook salmon, an iconic species in the Pacific Northwest, have lost up to two-thirds of their genetic diversity over the past 7000 years, researchers report. The finding underscores a long-held concern that future salmon populations are imperiled by a combination of stream habitat loss, overfishing, dams, and the release of millions of fingerlings from hatcheries—even as the fish try to respond to climate change and ocean acidification.

“It’s a fascinating report,” says Matthew Sloat, a fisheries ecologist with the Wild Salmon Center, a nonprofit salmon conservation group in Portland, Oregon. “The main conclusion is not terribly surprising,” he says, but “it does confirm a long-standing guess that there has been a broad loss of genetic diversity in the [Columbia River] Basin.”
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Inside DFO’s Battle to Downplay a Deadly Farmed Salmon Disease | The Tyee

Inside DFO’s Battle to Downplay a Deadly Farmed Salmon Disease | The Tyee | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it

"In 2002, Dr. Ian Keith, a senior DFO veterinarian, began noticing strange heart lesions when he examined Atlantic salmon from B.C.’s growing fish farm industry.

Keith was likely the first to detect signs of Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation. The disease, first found three years earlier in Norwegian farmed salmon, went on to plague the industry there, killing up to 20 per cent of salmon in some outbreaks.

Yet for the next 14 years, working closely with the industry and the provincial lab that audits fish farm health, the DFO went to great lengths to avoid acknowledging HSMI’s presence in B.C. waters.

That’s not surprising. Justice Bruce Cohen warned DFO had a fundamental conflict in his 2012 report on disappearing Fraser River sockeye."

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How threatened are the river dolphins of the Amazon? | Environment|  | DW | 

How threatened are the river dolphins of the Amazon? | Environment|  | DW |  | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
Amazon River dolphins are threatened. At the same time, we still know very little about them. A transnational research project aims to change that now.
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Sea management plan 'deeply worrying'

Sea management plan 'deeply worrying' | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
A long-awaited plan for managing Wales' seas could have "significant negative consequences" for marine wildlife, environment groups have warned.

Assembly members are set to debate the draft Welsh national marine plan on Tuesday afternoon.

It sets out how seas should be used and protected over the next 20 years.

The Welsh Government said it was aiming for "clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse seas".
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The Fight in Texas is the Fight for our World

The Fight in Texas is the Fight for our World | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
I came to Texas in January 2013 driven by a tremendous sense of urgency. Eminent climate scientist Dr. James Hansen had warned that if the tar sands in Canada were extracted and ignited, it would be “game over” for our future. The Keystone XL Pipeline was being constructed specifically to exploit Canadian tar sands. The southern leg, then under development, now runs from Oklahoma through Texas to refineries in the Gulf. The northern leg has yet to be completed, but the Trump Administration fully supports the project. If completed, it would only be a matter of time before the window within which we might salvage our children’s future will shut forever. On Earth Day 2013, I stood my ground in Oklahoma — locking myself to heavy equipment, which shut down the KXL Pipeline for a few hours. I stood trial for this action 18 months later. Facing up to 2 years in jail, I refused to plead guilty. Dr. Hansen very kindly agreed to prepare testimony for this trial in which he declared:
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Burning wood under fire: Are forests going up our chimneys? | DW Environment |

Burning wood under fire: Are forests going up our chimneys? | DW Environment | | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
To meet the EU's renewable energy target, countries have rediscovered wood as a fuel. But conservationists fear this new hunger for wood might have disastrous consequences — for the forests, the people and the climate.


You may think that conservationists would be happy with the European Union's (EU) goal to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy. However, the reality of the issue is not that simple.

They claim that a new demand for wood is driving deforestation and boosting carbon dioxide levels, as well as dangerous particulate matter emissions.

The EU Renewable Energy Directive from 2009 requires member states to include renewables in 20 percent of their energy needs by 2020.
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BHP to exit coal alliance over climate change policy | Business | DW

BHP to exit coal alliance over climate change policy | Business | DW | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
The world's biggest mining company has threatened to leave the World Coal Association and review its membership of the US Chamber of Commerce due to differences over climate and energy policies.


The Anglo-Australian mining giant is reviewing its industry group memberships to see if their positions on climate change and energy policy align with the company's view that climate change must be tackled through emissions reductions and the use of renewable energy.
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EPA Allowing Widespread Use of Unapproved Pesticides, Study Finds

EPA Allowing Widespread Use of Unapproved Pesticides, Study Finds | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has routinely been allowing use of unapproved pesticides under the pretext of an "emergency" when no actual emergency exists, according to an analysis released Monday by the Center for Biological Diversity.

The abuse of the emergency provision has created a loophole allowing the widespread use of unapproved pesticides, year after year, across millions of acres in ways that are either known to be harmful to wildlife or haven't been tested to be safe.

In one case the EPA has granted 78 "emergency" exceptions over the past six years for a well-known, bee-killing pesticide called sulfoxaflor, allowing its use on more than 17.5 million acres of U.S. farmland.
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The app that’s naming and shaming China’s polluters

The app that’s naming and shaming China’s polluters | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
Factories caught cheating face repercussions. Ma’s non-profit organisation has caused some to be banished from Apple’s supplier list, be denied a desired credit rating to issue bonds or even be deprived of bank loans. For Ma, that is more effective than starting protests or lobbying local governments, which tend to raise the ire of the authorities in China.

Via EcoVadis
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EcoVadis's curator insight, December 12, 2017 2:22 AM

China's crackdown set an alarm for big corporate. They are now bringing their efforts together for a more sustainable world. Are you part of the movement? 

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The difficult task of tracking deadly wood | DW Environment |

The difficult task of tracking deadly wood | DW Environment | | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
Logging is a cause of murder in the Amazon rainforest. And a Greenpeace report has shown that European companies still buy wood that comes from blood-stained sources.
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Red List: Human activity threatens thousands of species with extinction | 

Red List: Human activity threatens thousands of species with extinction |  | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature's annual Red List assesses 90,000 species — 25,000 face extinction. Farming, fishing, animal trafficking and climate change are driving many species to the brink.
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Global register lists alien species

Global register lists alien species | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
The first global register of alien species shows that a fifth of 6,400 plants and animals catalogued are causing harm.

Some of the biggest factors in their spread are ballast water in ships for marine species and trade in ornamental plants on land, say scientists.

They released data for 20 countries this week, with the aim of completing the register by the end of the year.

Invasive species are living things that are not native to an ecosystem.

They can harm the environment, the economy, or human health. For instance, rats can cause bird extinctions on islands, while the crown-of-thorns star fish is smothering parts of the Great Barrier Reef.
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Nature studies: Pulse fishing is the 'marine equivalent of fracking' via @Independent

Nature studies: Pulse fishing is the 'marine equivalent of fracking' via @Independent | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it

"Pulse fishing’s electric shocks force commercially valuable bottom-dwelling fish and seafood up from the seabed into the water column Getty Images


The technique may be so efficient that it will cause whole areas to be “fished out”

Conservationists are increasingly concerned about a radical new method of sea fishing being employed off the British coast, using electric shocks, which has been described as “the marine equivalent of fracking”.

Pulse fishing is claimed by its supporters to be the answer to many of the problems caused by traditional fishing with beam trawls in the same way as fracking, the hydraulic fracturing of underground shale rock formations to release the gas they contain, is said by its proponents to be the answer to our energy problems. Yet, just as fracking has triggered controversy about its side effects, the new fishing technique – which uses powerful pulses of electricity fired from towed electrodes into the seabed – has raised serious worries about its impact, especially as it has not been scientifically evaluated for damaging environmental effects, even though it is now going ahead on a large scale."

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Worldwide importance of honey bees for natural habitats captured in new report

Worldwide importance of honey bees for natural habitats captured in new report | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
An unprecedented study integrating data from around the globe has shown that honey bees are the world's most important single species of pollinator in natural ecosystems and a key contributor to natural ecosystem functions. The first quantitative analysis of its kind, led by biologists at the University of California San Diego, is published Jan. 10 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
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Teenage 'plastic pirates': Citizen scientists research waste in German rivers | #Environment| | #DW

Teenage 'plastic pirates': Citizen scientists research waste in German rivers | #Environment| | #DW | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
More than 5,500 teenagers collected trash from German rivers, took water samples, documented their findings — and analyzed the data with scientists. The results are alarming, says teacher and scientist Katrin Kruse.


Three plastic pirates inspect the trash they found along a river

Scientists are well aware of how just how polluted the German seaside is. But less-known is how much garbage ends up in the sea via rivers.

To close this knowledge gap, thousands of students aged 10 to 16 have worked together with scientists from the north German research lab Kieler Forschungswerkstatt.
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The strange figures behind a secret trade

The strange figures behind a secret trade | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it

"Who is behind the massive increase in rhino poaching? 


These are just some of the characters involved in a complex smuggling racket that is almost impossible to police because it crosses so many borders and involves countless criminals. Between 2007-14, rhino poaching rose 9000%. The very existence of the species is threatened by organised crime."

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The Hellish E-Waste Graveyards Where Computers Are Mined for Metal

The Hellish E-Waste Graveyards Where Computers Are Mined for Metal | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
EACH YEAR THE planet generates some 50 million tons of electronic waste, ranging from batteries to mobile phones to light-up children’s toys. And although such devices may have been discarded, they’re not without value—the United Nations recently estimated the total worth of all that e-waste at $55 billion, thanks largely to the trace amounts of gold, silver, and other metals they contain. The problem, though, is getting them out.
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Europe's shocking failure to act on climate | DW Environment 

Europe's shocking failure to act on climate | DW Environment  | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
The European Union has agreed to emission reduction targets for 2030. But far from fulfilling its duties under the Paris Agreement, environmentalists say Europe has abdicated its role as a climate leader.


The European Union has agreed a host of climate and energy targets this week: It's set energy efficiency standards for new buildings, and agreed to climate targets for 2030.

Europe has a history of progressive environmental legislation, and it political leaders often position themselves as climate heroes. Recently, French President Emmanuel Macron appears to have moved in on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's traditional territory as international climate champion, with public displays of support for climate science and attacks on US President Donald Trump's regressive climate policies.

But behind the bravado, is Europe doing enough to cut emissions? The short answer, environmentalists say, is no.
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Top five solar energy inventions from Africa | DW Environment |

Top five solar energy inventions from Africa | DW Environment | | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
In 2017, eco@africa featured a host of eco heroes bringing solar power to their communities through innovative business ideas and inventions. Here are our top five solar solutions from Africa.


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The explosive compound RDX helped make America a superpower. Now, it’s poisoning the nation’s water and soil

The explosive compound RDX helped make America a superpower. Now, it’s poisoning the nation’s water and soil | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
The explosive compound RDX helped make America a superpower. Now, it’s poisoning the nation’s water and soil.
by Abrahm Lustgarten
Photography by Ashley Gilbertson/VII Photo, special to ProPublica
December 18, 2017
IT WAS A SECRET wartime project, with a code name and an urgent mission: develop a more powerful bomb, one that could be mass produced in time to fend off the German forces ravaging Europe. It was 1940.

British chemists toiled with a tripod-shaped bond of nitrogen and oxygen molecules linked by carbon and hydrogen they referred to as “research department explosive” — a substance one and a half times as powerful as TNT, but so delicate it had to be mixed with beeswax to be stable and pliable enough to fit into warheads. Even then, it wasn’t good enough. Only 70 tons could be made in a week. Defeating the Nazis would require more.
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Beyond the animal brain: plants have cognitive capacities too – Laura Ruggles | Aeon Essays

Beyond the animal brain: plants have cognitive capacities too – Laura Ruggles | Aeon Essays | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
candidate at the University of Adelaide in Australia.

3,100 words

Edited by Sally Davies

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Can plants learn?

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At first glance, the Cornish mallow (Lavatera cretica) is little more than an unprepossessing weed. It has pinkish flowers and broad, flat leaves that track sunlight throughout the day. However, it’s what the mallow does at night that has propelled this humble plant into the scientific spotlight. Hours before the dawn, it springs into action, turning its leaves to face the anticipated direction of the sunrise. The mallow seems to remember where and when the Sun has come up on previous days, and acts to make sure it can gather as much light energy as possible each morning. When scientists try to confuse mallows in their laboratories by swapping the location of the light source, the plants simply learn the new orientation.
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Energy Minister’s Fracking Defence Ignores Research | The Tyee

Mungall, Liberal critics silent on risks of water contamination and methane leaks, despite science.
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Glyphosate - The Sick Children of Argentina | All media content |

Glyphosate - The Sick Children of Argentina | All media content | | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it

"Glyphosate is used intensively over wide areas in Argentina. A total of 300 million liters per year is used on genetically-modified crops that include soybeans, cotton, and tobacco. In some parts of Argentina, the number of new cases of cancer has tripled over the last decade. Congenital deformities in newborns have quadrupled."

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EU eyes high-tech cleanup for plastic pollution in rivers | DW Environment 

EU eyes high-tech cleanup for plastic pollution in rivers | DW Environment  | Environment, Forests, Water, Fishing, Farming | Scoop.it
In an alley in downtown Vienna, a cold November wind blows fluffy white pellets across the pavement, swirling into drifts near the gutter at the curb. But it's too early for snow. What's piling up is plastic — polystyrene insulation foam, to be exact.
When rain washes the bits into the sewers, some of it ends up in the River Danube, which dumps 4.2 tons of plastic into the Black Sea every day. 
About 13 million tons of plastic pollution per year are choking the world's oceans. Sea turtles die because they mistake floating bags for jellyfish, crabs ingest microplastic particles through their gills, and plastic fibers are turning up in tap water around the world.
There's an urgent need to clean up plastic pollution — and the European Union wants to test new high-tech solutions under its Horizon 2020 project. 
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