56 INDIGENOUS CORN VARIETIES AT RISK AS MONSANTO EYES MEXICO...

Jan 16, 2016 Posted by

[Translate] Lorraine Chow  ECOWATCH Mexico’s unique and treasured native corn varieties could be under threat as Monsanto, the world’s largest seed producer, vies to plant genetically modified (GMO) corn in the country. In August 2015, a Mexican judged overturned a September 2013 ban on GMO corn, thus opening more business opportunities for Monsanto and other agribusinesses pending favorable later court decisions. Monsanto even announced in October 2015 that it was seeking to double its sales in the country over the next five years. Chef Pancho Ibanez of Mexico City-based restaurant Pujol. He joins roughly 80 other Mexican chefs who are speaking out against GMO corn. Photo credit: Financial Times The GMO corn ban remains pending a ruling on the appeal, but a final decision could end up in Mexico’s supreme court. Monsanto, which is seeking five permits to grow...

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A WILD LIBERTY: THE SIXTH MASS EXTINCTION...

Jan 2, 2016 Posted by

[Translate]   By Grant A. Mincy, Center for a Stateless Society | Op-Ed   (Photo: Deforestation via Shutterstock) The Sixth Mass Extinction Of all the complex, wicked problems addressed by the current environmental movement, perhaps the most urgent is the rarely discussed mass extinction. We are currently experiencing Earth’s sixth great mass extinction crisis — on par with the rate that ended the reign of the dinosaurs, thus terminating the Mesozoic. Stuart Pimm of Duke University, a recognized expert in the field of conservation biology, has published a landmark study in the peer-reviewed journal Science pertaining specifically to the causes of species decline. The number one culprit, by far, is habitat destruction. This is rather dangerous in regards to our surrounding ecology. Pimm’s publication describes the current plight of flora and fauna around the planet. Pimm notes...

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WHY INVASIVE SPECIES WILL SAVE NATURE...

Sep 9, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] THE DIRT   by Liz Camuti Conservationists are becoming enemies of nature, according to a new book The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature’s Salvation by environmental journalist Fred Pearce. Drawing primarily on examples from the United Kingdom and remote islands across the world, the book challenges the long-held belief that keeping out non-native species and returning ecosystems to a pre-human state are the only ways to save nature as we know it. Calling this line of thinking unproductive at best, Pearce states that seeking only to conserve and protect endangered and weak species becomes a brake on evolution, a douser of adaptation. “If we want to assist nature to regenerate, we need to promote change, rather than hold it back,” he writes. Though his criticism of traditional conservation perspectives that advocate...

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IN APPALACHIA, THE COAL INDUSTRY IS IN COLLAPSE, BUT THE MOUNTAINS AREN’T COMING BACK...

Aug 31, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] iLoveMountains.org By Laura Gottesdiener GRIST Cross-posted from TomDispatch In Appalachia, explosions have leveled the mountaintops into perfect race tracks for Ryan Hensley’s all-terrain vehicle (ATV). At least, that’s how the 14-year-old sees the barren expanses of dirt that stretch for miles atop the hills surrounding his home in the former coal town of Whitesville, W.Va. “They’re going to blast that one next,” he says, pointing to a peak in the distance. He’s referring to a process known as “mountaintop removal,” in which coal companies use explosives to blast away hundreds of feet of rock in order to unearth underground seams of coal. “And then it’ll be just blank space,” he adds. “Like the Taylor Swift song.” Skinny and shirtless, Hensley looks no more than 11 or 12. His ribs and collarbones protrude from...

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HUMANS ARE SET TO WIPE AN INDIA-SIZED CHUNK OF FOREST OFF THE EARTH BY 2050...

Aug 24, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Katie ValentineCLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: AP Photo/Andre Penner, File In this Sept. 15, 2009 file photo, a deforested area is seen near Novo Progresso in Brazil’s northern state of Para.   By 2050, an area of forests the size of India is set to be wiped off the planet if humans continue on their current path of deforestation, according to a new report. That’s bad news for the creatures that depend on these forest ecosystems for survival, but it’s also bad news for the climate, as the loss of these forests will release more than 100 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The report, published Monday by the Center for Global Development (CGD), found that, without new policies aimed at cutting back on deforestation, 289 million hectares (about 1,115,840 square miles) of...

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PROTECTING THE UNTAMED SEAS

Aug 2, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] By IAN URBINA NYTIMES Photo Credit Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images SUPPOSE a group of scientists wanted to dump 100 tons of iron dust into the sea based on a controversial climate-change theory that the ore might spur the growth of plankton that absorb carbon dioxide. They can — one businessman did that in 2012. Imagine if entrepreneurial engineers hoping to save clients millions of dollars were able to launch rockets into space from a platform in the middle of the ocean, far away from curious onlookers, heavy taxes and strict on-land regulations. They can — a company has been doing this for over a decade. And what if pharmaceutical companies decide to rake the ocean floor for the next wonder drug, with minimal environmental oversight and no obligation to make the profits, research or...

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THE SCIENCE OF WHY YOU ARE SO UPSET ABOUT CECIL THE LION...

Jul 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] by Judd Legum CLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: Andy Loveridge/Wildlife Conservation Research Unit via AP   The brutal killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe by an American dentist has been met with a torrent of anger worldwide. Many celebrities, including Judd Apatow, Mayim Bialik, Olivia Wilde, and Ricky Gervais, have weighed in to express their disgust. The deceased lion was trending on Twitter. In a now-viral video of Tuesday’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel was so upset he nearly broke down in tears. Intuitively, the uproar over the lion’s murder makes sense. The story is awful. But it does raise a tricky question: Why, exactly, are people so upset about the death of this specific animal? To answer this question, ThinkProgress consulted Ernest Small, a Ph.D with the Canadian government...

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Bill Nye on the Monsanto Eco Disaster: ‘We Accidentally Decimated the Monarch Butterfly Population’...

Jul 26, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Monsanto’s glysophate doesn’t just kill weeds — it also kills other plants that pollinator species depend on to survive. By Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch   VIA ALTERNET Photo Credit: mr_coffee/Shutterstock.com Bill Nye is back with part two of his radio appearance, where he and co-host Chuck Nice delve even deeper into the Science Guy’s controversial flip-flop on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). You can listen to the StarTalk podcast below where Nye points out some of the “unintentional consequences” of GMOs, such as the widespread decimation of the monarch butterfly due to the use of herbicides, as well as the threat of monocultures to pollinators such as the honeybee. Here’s what they talked about in the second part of Nye’s appearance: On the “accidental decimation” of monarch butterfliesfrom the use of glyphosate “People developed this herbicide called glyphosate that kills all the weeds,...

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NATURAL WORLD FEELS THE HEAT AS TEMPERATURES SOAR...

Jul 12, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] TRUTHDIG   By Tim Radford, Climate News Network     An elegant tern swoops to catch a fish off California’s Pacific coast. (Kevin Cole via Wikimedia Commons) This Creative Commons-licensed piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—Extremes of heat—and an extra helping of drought—have begun to change the planet in small, subtle ways, and will almost certainly continue the process of change, according to new research. Bird species such as the Elegant Tern have begun to move north from the Gulf of California in Mexico, a species of ant that lives underground has shown it cannot take the heat, and the giant trees of the world’s forests may be at risk. The link between any single extreme of heat and drought, and global warming as a consequence of the emissions of greenhouse...

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ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT AT RISK

Jun 2, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Stop The ESA Triple Threat Senator/Candidate Paul’s bill is filled with more science fiction than an Issac Asimov novel. He claims that the ESA has not achieved its goal of recovering threatened or endangered species, when in fact 98 percent of all listed species have been brought from the brink of extinction.5 He also claims that litigation stemming from the ESA has actually hurt species, even though the ability to sue polluters is a major component of enforcement. Paul’s true colors were revealed when he mocked the ESA for, “making no meaningnful effort to account for costs imposed on the private sector.”6 — As if the ESA isn’t supposed to stand in the way of extreme industries when they deface the habitats of irreplaceable wild critters. Rand is so determined to take aim at the...

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AERSOLS MAY OFFER SHORT-TERM LIFELINE TO CORALS IN CRISIS...

May 30, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By Tim Radford, Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG     Bleached coral on a reef off the coast of Fiji in the South Pacific. (Peter J. Mumby, University of Queensland) This Creative Commons-licensed piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—A new solution has been proposed for the forthcoming crisis of the coral reefs: blot out some of the sunlight. Scientists from the US, UK and Australia suggest a form of climate engineering called solar radiation management, which involves pumping aerosols into the stratosphere to reduce global temperatures—and especially the warming of the tropic seas. If sea temperatures rise just 1°C to 2°C above the normal summer high, something gruesome happens to the coral reefs: they bleach. This is because they sicken, and expel the colourful algae with which they cohabit. It is...

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15 Protectors of Biodiversity

May 19, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] FOODTANK.ORG 15 Protectors of Biodiversity #IDB2015 Food Tank is highlighting 15 protectors of biodiversity.   May 22 is the International Day of Biodiversity—an opportunity to increase understanding and awareness of the Earth’s flora and fauna. This year’s theme is biodiversity for sustainable development. Human health and livelihoods are linked to biodiversity, the variety of life on Earth. This diversity gives eaters important nutrients and vitamins, and also makes food delicious. Seventy percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas and depend on biological diversity for food, income, and shelter. It is vital to value and conserve biodiversity for a sustainable future. Yet, globally, nearly one-quarter of species are threatened or extinct, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). The loss of biodiversity, combined with habitat degradation,...

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Mountaintop Removal Mining Is Pushing Species to Extinction...

May 14, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Two crayfish — a primary food for Appalachia’s most popular sport fish — may get endangered status due to coal mining. By Dac Collins / Appalachian Voices   VIA ALTERNET he U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing that two species native to Appalachia — The Big Sandy crayfish (pictured) and Guyandotte River crayfish — be listed as endangered under federal law after determining the species are in danger of extinction “primarily due to the threats of land-disturbing activities” such as mountaintop removal coal mining. Photo Credit: Zachary Loughman, West Liberty University/Flickr If you find yourself at a crawfish boil anytime soon, don’t be afraid to go back for seconds. The two species that are sold commercially — red swamp and white river crayfish — are prolific. They can be found in the...

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High Anxiety That Mountain Peaks Are Warming Faster...

Apr 29, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By Tim Radford, Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG The diminishing glaciers on the top of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. (Douglas Hardy, UMass Amherst) This Creative Commons-licensed piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—Temperatures could be climbing on mountains—with new research suggesting that the highest altitudes may be warming at a rate greater than expected. Members of the Mountain Research Initiative collective report in Nature Climate Change that they found evidence that mountain peak regions were warming faster than the surrounding plateaus and lowlands. The study—by Nick Pepin, leader of the Environmental Processes and Change Research Group at Portsmouth University in the UK, and colleagues from the US, Switzerland, Canada, Ecuador, Pakistan, China, Italy, Austria and Kazakhstan—comes with more than the usual set of health warnings. The authors concede that the evidence is “extremely sparse”. But just...

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Well Drilling Has Deep Impact on Health of Great Plains...

Apr 27, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By Tim Radford, Climate News Network  VIA TRUTHDIG     A farmer and his sons struggle through a dust storm in 1930s Oklahoma. (U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr) This Creative Commons-licensed piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—Oil wells and natural gas may have made individual Americans rich, but they have impoverished the great plains of North America, according to new research. Fossil fuel prospectors have sunk 50,000 new wells a year since 2000 in three Canadian provinces and 11 U.S. states, and have damaged the foundation of all economic growth: net primary production—otherwise known as biomass, or vegetation. Brady Allred, assistant professor of rangeland ecology at the University of Montana’s College of Forestry and Conservation, and colleagues write in the journal Science that they combined years of high-resolution satellite data...

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Feral cats are literally eating all of Australia’s wildlife...

Apr 14, 2015 Posted by

[Translate]   By Liz Core   GRIST Australia wants its cats dead. But not because it’s a nation of fanatical dog people — rather, the country’s enormous feral cat population now constitutes a major threat to its biodiversity. To save the country’s native wildlife, the cats need to go. Due to hotter days, longer dry periods, and increasingly intense bush fires caused by climate change, Australia’s biodiversity is diminishing. Despite being one of the world’s 17 “megadiverse” countries, Australia has not done a bang-up job of protecting its wildlife. As mammalian extinction rates go, Australia’s is pretty dang high: Twenty-one percent of Australian native land mammals are threatened. But, shockingly, climate change is actually not the No. 1 enemy of koalas and kangaroos: Feral cats are the “single biggest threat” to protecting Australia’s wildlife, according to a new piece from VICE News. There...

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Seed Libraries Are Sprouting Up Across the Planet, and Corporate Dominated Govts Are Trying to Stop Them...

Mar 18, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Environment Amid government crackdown, seed libraries expand biodiversity and food access. By Christopher D. Cook / Shareable   VIA ALTERNET It’s easy to take seeds for granted. Tiny dry pods hidden in packets and sacks, they make a brief appearance as gardeners and farmers collect them for future planting then later drop them into soil. They are not “what’s for dinner,” yet without them there would be no dinner. Seeds are the forgotten heroes of food—and of life itself. Sharing these wellsprings of sustenance may sound innocuous enough, yet this increasingly popular exchange—and wider seed access—is up against a host of legal and economic obstacles. The players in this surreal saga, wherein the mere sharing of seeds is under attack, range from agriculture officials interpreting seed laws, to powerful corporations expanding their proprietary and...

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The Politics of Extinction

Mar 16, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] By William deBuys, TomDispatch dinotude (CC BY 2.0) This piece first appeared at TomDispatch. Read Tom Engelhardt’s introduction here. Maybe baby steps will help, but the world needs a lot more than either the United States or China is offering to combat the illegal traffic in wildlife, a nearly $20-billion-a-year business that adds up to a global war against nature. As the headlines tell us, the trade has pushed various rhinoceros species to the point of extinction and motivated poachers to kill more than 100,000 elephants since 2010. Last month China announced that it would ban ivory imports for a year, while it “evaluates” the effectiveness of the ban in reducing internal demand for ivory carvings on the current slaughter of approximately 100 African elephants per day. The promise, however, rings hollow following...

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CAN MOVIES SLOW MASS EXTINCTION? THIS FILMMAKER THINKS SO....

Feb 13, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Oceanic Preservation Society Look who’s changing the world. By Eve Andrews Here, in brief, is a big chunk of what we talk about here at Grist: The climate is heating up, and lots and lots and lots of living things aren’t actually going to be living much longer. So how do you get humans — those responsible for climate change and, as such, the only ones with the power to put the brakes on it — to actually care about the fact that such a vast number of species are disappearing? Is it possible, for example, to get the average person to relate to an oyster? Louie Psihoyos, executive director of the Oceanic Preservation Society and director of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove, tries to answer this question with his latest film, Racing Extinction,...

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FIRST GRAY WOLF SPOTTED AT GRAND CANYON IN 70 YEARS SHOT DEAD BY HUNTER...

Feb 13, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] BY ARI PHILLIPS – THINK PROGRESS by Ari Phillips CREDIT: Courtesy of Center For Biological Diversity Officials have confirmed that the first gray wolf seen around the Grand Canyon in 70 years was killed in December by a hunter in southern Utah after he mistook it for coyote. The three-year-old female, named “Echo” through a contest held with hundreds of schoolchildren, was the first gray wolf to be spotted in the region since the 1940s. After being collared in Wyoming in early January 2014, the wolf had ventured at least 750 miles into the new territory — further evidence that gray wolf populations are coming back from the brink of extinction after decades of reckless killings. “The fact the Echo had ventured into new territory hopefully signifies that there is still additional habitat...

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As Climate Disruption Advances, 26 Percent of Mammals Face Extinction...

Jan 6, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] < (Image: Polar bear, air pollution via Shutterstock; Edited: JR/TO) Two recently released studies brought bad news for those living near coastlines around the world. One published in the peer-reviewed Nature Climate Change, the other in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the studies showed that existing computer models might have severely underestimated the risk to the Greenland ice sheet from warming global temperatures. Bear in mind that if Greenland’s entire ice sheet melts, 20 feet would be added to global sea levels. As if that isn’t enough of an indicator of how fast anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) is happening across the globe, two days after delegates from more than 190 countries had gathered in Peru at the annual climate summit, the World Meteorological Organization reported that 2014 was tied with...

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These fantastic maps showed us different worlds in 2014...

Jan 2, 2015 Posted by

[Translate] Andresr/Shutterstock By Heather Smith GRIST I love maps to a ridiculous degree — I even worked on a book of them once, a gig that involved drinking straight vermouth with a woman in her nineties who railed about how the Golden Gate Bridge, when it was built in 1933, “spoiled the view.” Maps take history and perspective and lay it over the landscape. This makes them among the most elegant and comprehensive devices out there for conveying information about how climate change is doing its thing all around us. Some of the best maps this year were laden with bells and whistles. I’m a fan of the Audubon Society’s flashy interactive map of how climate change will affect the range of 314 North American bird species — but because it’s so interactive, it’s best...

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Loss of Rainforests Is Double Whammy Threat to Climate...

Dec 21, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] By Tim Radford, Climate News Network  via TRUTHDIG     A convoy of trucks carrying logs from tropical forests in Gabon, central Africa. Photo by jbdodane via Flickr This piece first appeared at Climate News Network. LONDON—Tropical rainforests do more than just soak up carbon dioxide and renew atmospheric oxygen, they affect the weather in the rest of the world as well. And if the Amazon rainforest disappeared, the US Midwest could begin to dry up during the growing season. In what is claimed as the most comprehensive analysis to date, US researchers report in Nature Climate Change that they used climate models to test the consequences of the complete devastation of the tropical rainforests. They found that wholesale felling and clearing of the forests in Amazonia, Africa and South-east Asia would have consequences...

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Earth Faces Sixth ‘Great Extinction’ with 41% of Amphibians Set to Go the Way of the Dodo Analysis sounds alarm on the way that human activity is forcing a v...

Dec 18, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] The Guardian / By Robin McKie  VIA ALTERNET ast number of species to vanish from the wild. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons December 15, 2014  | A stark depiction of the threat hanging over the world’s mammals, reptiles, amphibians and other life forms has been published by the prestigious scientific journal, Nature. A special analysiscarried out by the journal indicates that a staggering 41% of all amphibians on the planet now face extinction while 26% of mammal species and 13% of birds are similarly threatened. Many species are already critically endangered and close to extinction, including the Sumatran elephant, Amur leopard and mountain gorilla. But also in danger of vanishing from the wild, it now appears, are animals that are currently rated as merely being endangered: bonobos, bluefin tuna and loggerhead turtles, for example....

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9 Things Scientists Did This Year To Ensure A Better Climate Future...

Dec 15, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] by Ari PhillipsCLIMATE PROGRESS CREDIT: flickr/ Light Brigading While in many ways this was the year of “I’m not a scientist” — a refrain used by politicians to eschew responsibility for an issue they’ve decided doesn’t behoove them or their donors — actual scientists were working hard, and mostly behind the scenes, to address an issue they see as preeminent to the future well-being of humankind. Ninety-seven percent of scientists already agree that global warming is driven by human activity and the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. While politicians work to obscure this consensus, scientists are working to better understand the implications of climate change and how to best deal with them through adaptation, mitigation, and innovation. If the year in climate science had to be summed up, the key takeaway...

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El Salvador Restores Biodiversity in the Face of Climate Change...

Nov 15, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Barra de Santiago, El Salvador – Carlos Menjívar has been ferrying people in his boat for 20 years in this fishing village in western El Salvador surrounded by ocean, mangroves and wetlands, which is suffering the effects of environmental degradation. Siltation in the main channel leading to the town has hurt his income, because the buildup of sediment has reduced the depth and sometimes it is so shallow that it is unnavigable. “This channel used to be deep, but it isn’t anymore,” Menjívar told Tierramérica, standing next to his boat, La Princesa, anchored at the town’s jetty. “On the bottom is all the mud that comes from upstream, from the highlands…sometimes we can’t even work.” Barra de Santiago, a town of 3,000 located 98 km west of San Salvador, can be reached by...

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Canada Tops The World In Forest Degradation Thanks To Climate Change, Logging And Energy Development...

Oct 22, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Katie Valentine September 5, 2014 Think Progress OK, you didn’t see this one coming. Canada, yes, Canada, leads the world in forest degradation, according to a new mapping project. , Shutterstock/Think Progress, Canada leads the world in forest degradation, according to a new mapping project. The project, put together by World Resources Institute, Greenpeace and multiple other groups, uses interactive maps to display forest degradation and destruction around the world between 2000 and 2013. According to WRI, more than 104 million hectares (about 401,546 square miles) — a chunk of land the group notes is three times the size of Germany — of the world’s remaining large, undisturbed forests, or Intact Forest Landscapes, were degraded in the last 13 years. The Northern boreal region of Canada, Russia and Alaska had some of the...

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7 Reasons Not to ‘Clean Up’ Your Fall Garden...

Oct 1, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] “>My belief in leaving the garden alone in fall was cemented last year on a December morning, when a robin landed on a garden chest where I keep my tools. It balanced on the edge where some snow was melting and dripping to the deck below. The robin arched its head downward and pecked at each droplet. Soon a bluebird landed right behind the robin on the edge of the chest. Then another bluebird. All three were now lined up, ready to take their turn at the melting snow. I have little doubt that if I hadn’t left the garden up, creating a welcoming space, I’d never have seen them. And I have little doubt that winter wouldn’t have meant so much, or been easier to get through, without the living beauty outside...

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Latin America at a Climate Crossroads...

Sep 20, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By Susan McDade, Inter Press Service | Report Wind turbine in Bonaire, Caribbean. (Photo: Boris Kasimov) United Nations – World leaders gathered at the Climate Change Summit during the United Nations General Assembly on Sep. 23 will have a crucial opportunity to mobilise political will and advance solutions to climate change. They will also need to address its closely connected challenges of increasing access to sustainable energy as a key tool to secure and advance gains in the social, economic and environmental realms. Cities need to be at the heart of the solution. This is particularly important for Latin America and the Caribbean, which is the most urbanised developing region on the planet. This is more important than ever for Latin America and the Caribbean. Even though the region is responsible for...

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RARE WIN FOR THE ELEPHANTS

Sep 14, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Rare Victory Against Poachers In Mozambique As Country Fights To Save Species  | By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA   VIA HUFFINGTON POST JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The recent arrests of six suspected poachers on a vast wildlife reserve in Mozambique are seen by conservationists as rare good news in a country where elephants and other species are under extreme threat. The poaching ring had been operating in the Niassa National Reserve, which is twice the size of South Africa’s flagship Kruger National Park, where the rhino population has been hit hard by poachers, many of whom cross over from Mozambique. The Sept. 7 detentions in the southern African nation followed nearly a year of investigative work, illustrating the challenges of policing rugged areas where armed poachers hike on expeditions that often last two weeks and sometimes kill elephants...

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