Archive for the 'Ecosystem' Category

18 May

It Can Be Done: Germany Generating 74 percent of Energy from Renewable Sources

Germany remains one of the best examples around the world for countries, regions and communities with dreams of amping up their renewable energy generation. The country on Sunday set a record by generating 74 percent of energy from renewable sources, according to Renewables International.

The news follows a record-setting first quarter for the country, with renewables meeting 27 percent of demand. Renewable generators produced 40.2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity during this year’s first three months, compared up to 35.7 billion kilowatt-hours in the same period last year, the Federal Association of Energy and Water Industries told Bloomberg. (more…)

18 May

Bee Gone: Study Links Pesticides to Bee Population Collapse

Once again, new reports have surfaced providing more evidence that the destructive use of pesticides in large-scale agriculture must be stopped in order to protect the plummeting global bee population due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

The first study, from Harvard School of Public Health, found that two widely used neonicotinoids appear to significantly harm honeybee colonies over the winter, particularly colder winters. The study—which replicated a 2012 study from the same research group, that came to a similar conclusion—links low doses of the neonicotinoids imidacloprid and clothianidin to CCD and finds that “bees from six of the 12 neonicotinoid-treated colonies had abandoned their hives and were eventually dead with symptoms resembling CCD,” while those colonies not exposed to the neonics survived their hibernation (more…)

23 Aug

Planet Wrecker: Japanese Reactor Still Spilling Radiation into Pacific Ocean

11 Facts About The Ongoing Fukushima Nuclear Holocaust That Are Almost Too Horrifying To Believe

noaa_fukushima_radiationIs Fukushima the greatest environmental disaster of all time? Every single day, 300 tons of radioactive water from Fukushima enters the Pacific Ocean. The radioactive material that is being released will outlive all of us by a very wide margin, and it is constantly building up in the food chain. Nobody knows for sure how many people will eventually develop cancer and other health problems as a result of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, but some experts are not afraid to use the word “billions”. It has been well over two years since the original disaster, and now they are telling us that it could take up to 40 more years to clean it up. It is a nightmare of unimaginable proportions, and there is nowhere in the northern hemisphere that you will be able to hide from it. The following are 11 facts about the ongoing Fukushima nuclear holocaust that are almost too horrifying to believe… (more…)

14 Jul

Gov’t for Corporations, by Corporations: EPA Okays Toxic Water for Livestock and Wildlife

Millions of gallons of water laced with toxic chemicals from oil and gas drilling rigs are pumped for consumption by wildlife and livestock with the formal approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to public comments filed yesterday by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Contrary to its own regulations, EPA is issuing permits for surface application of drilling wastewater without even identifying the chemicals in fluids used for hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, let alone setting effluent limits for the contaminants contained within them.

The EPA has just posted proposed new water discharge permits for the nearly dozen oil fields on or abutting the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming as the EPA has Clean Water Act jurisdiction on tribal lands. Besides not even listing the array of toxic chemicals being discharged, the proposed permits have monitoring requirements so weak that water can be tested long after fracking events or maintenance flushing. In addition, the permits lack any provisions to protect the health of wildlife or livestock. (more…)

07 Jul

Mandatory Viewing: Gasland II Premiere on HBO Monday at 9pm EST

Must-See Gasland Part II on HBO Monday: Natural Gas, Once A Bridge, Now A Gangplank
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzx7UXzK_z4[/youtube]

By Joe Romm on Jul 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm

If you liked the Oscar-nominated fracking exposé “Gasland” by Josh Fox, you’ll love the sequel Gasland, Part II, which is being broadcast on HBO Monday night.

I think it’s a better movie, more entertaining and even more compelling in making a case that we are headed on a bridge to nowhere — a metaphorical gangplank — with our hydraulic fracturing feeding frenzy.

Future generations living in a climate-ruined world will be stunned that we drilled hundreds of thousands of fracking and reinjection wells:

  • Even though we knew that fossil fuels destroy the climate and accelerate drought and water shortages;
  • Even though we knew that leaks of heat-trapping methane from fracking may well be vitiating much of the climate benefits of replacing coal with gas; and
  • Even though each fracked well consumes staggering amounts of water, much of which is rendered permanently unfit for human use and reinjected into the ground where it can taint even more ground water in the coming decades.

Perhaps you have been persuaded fracking is a good idea by the multi-million-dollar industry campaign for fracking and against Fox — which includes backing a counter-documentary by two anti-science filmmaker’s best known for a film smearing Al Gore. If so, I’d urge you to read the Propublica exposé in Scientific American, “Are Fracking Wastewater Wells Poisoning the Ground beneath Our Feet?” (more…)

02 Jul

Drink Up: Study Links “Fracking” to Water Contamination as Gov’t Refuses to Investigate

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) kicked the can down the road on a key study designated to examine the connection between hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and groundwater contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming.

A study originally scheduled for release in 2014 and featured in Josh Fox’s “Gasland 2,” it will not be complete until 2016 in a move that appears to be purely politically calculated by the Obama Administration, akin to the EPA’s dropped and censored groundwater contamination study in Weatherford, TX.

Now, just days later, a damning study conducted by Duke University researchers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences again links shale gas fracking to groundwater contamination. The Duke researchers did so by testing samples of 141 drinking water samples of Pennsylvania’s portion of the Marcellus Shale basin. (more…)

04 Jun

Don’t Be Fooled: Alliance to “Feed the Future” is a Corporate Front Group

If you think it’s tough sorting truth from industry propaganda and lies, get ready for even tougher times ahead. More than 50 front groups, working on behalf of food and biotechnology trade groups?Monsanto being the most prominent?have formed a new coalition called Alliance to Feed the Future.

The alliance, which is being coordinated by the International Food Information Council (IFIC), was created to “balance the public dialogue” on modern agriculture and large-scale food production and technology, i.e. this group will aim to become the go-to source for “real” information about the junk being sold as “food.”

The groups comprising this new alliance represent multi-national food companies, biotech industry, and chemical companies that generate hundreds of billions of dollars worth of revenue from food related sales every year. (more…)

04 Jun

Tobacco Playbook: “FrackNation” Movie Like Denying Climate Change

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U01EK76Sy4A[/youtube]Big Oil has deployed the “Tobacco Playbook” once again, this time in response to the release of “Gasland 2.”

It comes in the form of a documentary film titled, “FrackNation,” whose co-directors’ funding in the past came from Donors Capital and Donors Trust, referred to by Mothers Jones’ Andy Kroll as “the dark-money ATM of the right” and a major source of funding for climate change denial.

Both “Gasland 2″ and “FrackNation” cover hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), the toxic horizontal drilling process via which unconventional oil and gas is obtained from shale rock basins around the country and world. Co-produced and co-directed by Irish couple Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, “FrackNation” purports to be “funded by the 99 percent to combat the misrepresentations by the 1 percent of urban elites who want to tell rural Americans how to work and live.”

McAleer and McElhinney also say they are independent journalists working independently of corporate funding. McAleer was referred to by the San Francisco Chronicle as “climate denial’s Michael Moore” and both McAler and McElhinney are listed as “experts” by the climate change-denying Heartland Institute. (more …)

27 Dec

Smells Fishy: FDA Approves Genetically Modified Salmon Over Christmas Break

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BO6JttHMd0[/youtube]
While you were likely resting or enjoying time with friends and family over the Christmas break, the United States Food and Drug Administration was hard at work ramming through genetically modified salmon towards the final acceptance process. Despite the frankenfish actually being blocked by Congress last year over serious health and environmental concerns, the FDA is making a massive push to release the genetically modified salmon into the world as the FDA-backed biotech giant and creator of the fish AquaAdvantage screams for profits.

These fish of course threaten the very genetic integrity of the food chain when considering the fact that they will ultimately be unleashed into waters with other salmon and likely even the ocean at large. The AquaAdvantage genetically modified salmon have been engineered through genetic manipulation to grow double the size and weight of the average salmon. Hitting 24 inches instead of 13 and weighing in at 6.6 pounds instead of 2.8, the GM fish contains both a gene from another salmon known as the Pacific Chinook as well as an eel-like fish. (more…)

26 Nov

Sign Up: Thousands Demand Labeling for GMOs from White House

In another display of widespread grassroots support for GMO labeling following the suspicious failure of GMO labeling bill Prop 37 in California, a new petition calls upon the Obama administration to require the FDA to label GMOs within consumer products. Growing in popularity each hour, the petition is receiving thousands of signatures per day and currently stands at over 13,390. The petition comes as more and more activists have been taking to the streets and labeling GMO-containing products for themselves using printable warning stickers. (more…)

01 Nov

Governor Christie Praises Obama on FOX & Friends Provides Update on Hurricane Sandy

31 Oct

Get Used to It: Meteorologist Warn Hurricane Sandy Part of New Normal

Forecasters say Hurricane Sandy is a rare, hybrid super storm created by an Arctic jet stream from the north wrapping itself around a tropical storm from the south. Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground, warns that such a “Frankenstorm,” as it is called, is an outgrowth of the extreme weather changes caused by global warming. “When you heat the oceans more, you extend the length of hurricane season,” Masters says. “There’s been ample evidence over the last decade or so that hurricane season is getting longer — it starts earlier, ends later. You’re more likely to get these sort of late October storms now, and you’re more likely to have this sort of situation where a late October storm meets up with a winter low pressure system and gives us this ridiculous combination of a nor’easter and hurricane that comes ashore, bringing all kinds of destruction.” We’re also joined by climate scientist Greg Jones from Southern Oregon University.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPfAvgJLDyA[/youtube]

30 Aug

Don’t Frack With Us!: Thousands Descend on NY Capital to Ban Fracking

Several thousand people flooded New York’s state capital Monday, delivering letters to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office containing pledges to take nonviolent direct action against hydraulic-fracturing, or fracking, should gas companies be allowed to drill the state. Since taking office in 2010 Cuomo has been weighing whether to open New York up for fracking, but a groundswell of resistance from environmental groups has so far held the frackers at bay.

At a rate of over a thousand per week, organizers are collecting the signatures of New York residents committed to resisting fracking. What happens here will likely have broader implications for the wider anti-fracking movement, which is gaining momentum across the country, as well as for the global struggle against climate change.

Fracking is a carbon intensive extraction method that involves pumping millions of gallons of water, sand and toxic chemicals like benzine and formaldehyde underground, in order to fissure shale rock and release methane deposits from within. The industry says fracking is safe, but the drilling technique has become synonymous with contaminated water, congested air and curdled soil in the 34 U.S. states where it has occurred. (more…)

25 Jun

What Man Does Not Understand: Genetically Modified Grass Killing Cattle

Another report of genetically modified creations taking the lives of livestock has hit the media, and this time genetically modified grass has been identified as the culprit according to CBS News. Shockingly (and quite disturbingly), the GM grass actually produced toxic cyanide and sent the cattle into a life-ending fit that included painful bellowing and convulsions. The deaths have led to a federal investigation centered in Central Texas, where the cattle had resided.

Just east of Austin, the cows lived on an 80-acre ranch owned by Jerry Abel. Abel says that the fields were used for over 15 years for cattle grazing and hay, and that the genetically modified grass was ‘tested’ previously and should have been ‘perfect’. The GM grass however, known as Tifton 85, appears have been producing toxic cyanide. Used as a genocidal agent in World War 2 by the Germans and considered to be an extremely dangerous substance internationally, it is extremely concerning that cyanide is now being produced by once harmless grass thanks to the modification process. (more…)

24 Jun

Basura: Planet Being Turned into Giant Waste Bin By Humans

It was too perfect. And sad. On my way to see experts at Rio+20 speak about the growing waste problem in the developing world, I watched a man on his cell phone walk up to a recycling bin and dump his trash in the wrong receptacle. He walked off without even realizing what he had done. It perfectly encapsulated the challenge. If people with access to proper recycling and waste management services aren’t using them properly, what about countries without those services?

According to experts at Rio+20, the problem is far greater than the international community is recognizing. With global municipal solid waste set to double in by 2025 — mostly in developing countries without the capabilities to manage that waste — many say it’s one of the most pressing environmental problems of our time. “We are creating an environmental disaster that developing countries are ignoring at their own peril,” said David Newman, a board member with the International Solid Waste Association. (more…)

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