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IndyWatch Environment News Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.

Wednesday, 16 December

01:11

World’s Most Comprehensive Study Shows More Plastic in Our Oceans Than Scientists Thought EcoWatch

plasticsmog_FI

This new study suggests there are 15 to 51 trillion microplastic particles in the world's...

00:47

Trump Says EPA Regulations Are Ruining His Hair EcoWatch

trumphairfi2

Donald Trump said he has been personally impacted by the EPA's...

00:29

The Video Climate Deniers Don’t Want You to See EcoWatch

notcientistfi

Ahead of the Republican climate deniers taking the presidential debate stage in Nevada on Tuesday...

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Tuesday, 15 December

23:37

Angers, France: Solidarity Action for the ZAD Earth First! Newswire

from Contra Info

zadpartout

During the day of Wednesday 9th December, tags were placed in the corridors facing the offices of GECCO (Vertebrate Conversation and Ecology Group) on the ground floor in building F of Angers science university.

It now reads “zad everywhere”, “research = collaborator”.

GECCO sends students onto the ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes in order to conduct studies that will be included in an eventual “ecological offset” and other “relocation of species”. GECCO is used to giving scientific backing to the concreting project.

We won’t let them do so!

This was only a little paint, but this is just the beginning!

23:29

NY: Spectra Pipeline Construction Blocked with Barricades Earth First! Newswire

from Hudson Valley Earth First!

12346411_1221087174575031_3065819938133916455_n

Route 202, Cortlandt, NY – December 11th – While the eyes of the world are trained on the Climate Talks in Paris, groups across the globe are turning the focus away from negotiators and onto local movements to halt climate change, including one right here in the Hudson Valley. Today local activists and residents set up inflatable barricades to halt construction of Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Pipeline as part of a coordinated global protest demanding action during the United Nations Climate Conference (COP21).

The large mylar cubes, marked with a bold red line that artist Artúr Van Balen says represents “the lines that must not be crossed if we are to have a sustainable planet for all,” were made by Tools for Action, a Berlin-based arts collective. The original plan to use these cubes in Paris during the COP21 Global Climate Summit was altered by the November 13th terrorist attacks and subsequent state of emergency that barred protests. Instead of only in Paris, Tools for Action sent inflatable barricade kits to climate-activist groups around the world to emphasize the fact that climate change is a global problem that needs site-specific direct response.

Resist AIM, a coalition formed to halt the construction of Spectra Energy’s massive Algonquin Pipeline to carry fracked gas through New York, was one of the groups chosen by Tools for Action to receive...

22:54

Australia: Treesit Set Up to Halt Illegal Logging Earth First! Newswire

by / GECO

A person is positioned in a tree platform 30m off the ground. The platform is tied off to logging machinery which is preventing logging operations from continuing.

GECO believes the logging is illegal.  VicForests has failed to carry out necessary pre logging surveys for threatened wildlife, which it is legally obligated to do. Logging has also illegally impacted upon a large stand of protected rainforest.

“The Minister was alerted to these breaches last week but as logging continues we’ve taken direct action to prevent further destruction of wildlife habitat and rainforest,’ said Ed Hill.

small_IMG_9676.jpg

Photo: Logging has illegally encroached on protected rainforest

Three threatened/protected species have been recorded close to the area; Yellow-bellied Glider, Sooty Owl and the endangered Long-footed Potoroo.  The forest is also rich in old trees with hollows – an indication that other rare and protected wildlife could be supported...

22:24

Carbon trading in Paris Agreement has set us up for failure The Ecologist

Hidden away in the pages of UN-speak that make up the Paris Agreement are the makings of global carbon market in which a host of exotic emissions derivatives can be freely traded, writes Steffen Böhm. And it's all going to be a huge and expensive distraction from the real and urgent task of cutting emissions.

22:10

The plight of the partridge: confined, distressed, maimed - then shot for fun The Ecologist

Forget pear trees. Today's partridges are unlikely to have seen much beyond the barren confines of their cages until they are released to be shot, writes Toni Shephard. A new investigation by the League Against Cruel Sports reveals that thousands of partridges will spend Christmas, like every other day, imprisoned on the farms that supply shooting estates.

19:01

‘Everybody wants some’ Head Space

Intrusion by the Bureaucratic Mind Since social life has become increasingly complicated, a new group of mediators between people and their goals has developed. It is no longer the ancient priest who mediates between the people and their gods, between humans and the powers beyond them, but groups of bureaucrats, in part, have taken over […]

19:01

Wildly Silly Ideas Latest News

Why the Congress Shouldn’t Open Our Wilderness Areas for Mountain Bikes

19:00

Climate Extremes Rule! Fire Earth

U.S. Climate Extremes, Significant Events November, Fall 2015 November, saw 4,502 record warm daily high (1,642) and low (2,860) temperature records, which is five times the 866 record cold daily high (494) and low (372) temperature records, NOAA reported. . Climate Highlights — (September–November) The September-November contiguous U.S. average temperature was record warm at 56.8°F, […]

18:15

State of Emergency Declared in Flint, Michigan Fire Earth

Lead pollution affecting children and other residents in Flint Flint Mayor Dr. Weaver has declared a state of emergency, calling on the Genesee County Board of Commissioners to conduct a Special Meeting before the end of December to tackle the water crisis, according to local reports. “The City of Flint has experienced a Manmade disaster,” […]

15:59

Elon Musk says human race should go to Mars before WWIII or cataclysm destroys life on Earth The Extinction Protocol

Earth Evac TEP
December 2015SPACEMankind may only have a brief window to set foot on Mars before a disaster such as a third World War makes it no longer possible, Elon Musk has warned. The founder of SpaceX, which was the first private company to resupply the International Space Station, fears such a war could set back technological advancements. His company is preparing to announce its ambitious plans for rocket and spacecraft technology to carry humans to the red planet.
Speaking in an interview with GQ, he said such a mission may be important to help ensure the long term survival of mankind. In particular, he believes a Martian colony could help to ensure humanity survives if there is ever a calamity on Earth that destroys life here. ‘You back up your hard drive…. Maybe we should back up life, too?’ he said. However, Musk, 44, who co-founded PayPal, insisted it was important for mankind to seize the opportunity to visit Mars while there is currently the technology and the impetus.
He warned there may only be a brief amount of time to accomplish this mission before something like a war or religious extremism causes a move against technology. Musk said: “I think we need to acknowledge that there’s certainly a possibility of a third World War, and if that does occur it could be far worse than anything that’s happened before. ‘Let’s say nuclear weapons are used. I mean, there could be a very powerful social movement that’s anti-technology. There’s also growth in religious extremism. Like, I mean, does ISIS grow…?’ SpaceX is currently o...

15:58

Growing unrest at Masaya volcano: Is another Nicaraguan volcano getting ready to erupt? The Extinction Protocol

Masaya Volcano
December 2015NICARAGUAAccording to local press articles referring to information from INETER, the volcano’s activity is on the rise, with “lava being close to the surface.” The main crater of the volcano appears covered with debris from rockfalls from the crater walls, but visible incandescence, strong degassing sounds and small flames (from combusting gasses) jetting from between cracks on the floor, suggest that lava might be not far underneath and could again lead to the formation of a new lava lake, last observed in 1999.
On the other hand, seismic activity has been at low levels and not shown significant variations recently, not suggesting that significant movements of magma towards the surface have taken place. Also, the incandescence of the vent at the main crater has been there for a number of years already. The volcano’s last major eruption was in 2208. –Volcano Discovery

...

15:14

Land Court delivers Adani Carmichael coal mine recommendation Edo QLD » News

Statement from EDO Qld CEO Jo-Anne Bragg

Today the Land Court of Queensland handed down its recommendation on whether or not the state should approve one of the world’s largest mines, the Adani Carmichael coal mine project proposed in Central Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

Throughout the hearing earlier this year, the Court heard that the mine should not proceed due to environmental dangers and economic risks.

Through expert witnesses and evidence, impacts of the mine on the region’s water systems, on endangered ecosystems and species including the Black-throated Finch, and on climate and the Great Barrier Reef through the burning of huge quantities of coal, were exposed.

This case has shown the importance of an independent Land Court public objection process to scrutinise major mines, and that the state’s environmental impact assessment process alone does not necessarily expose all the facts and issues.

It has shown that the Palaszczuk Government did the right thing in reinstating community objection rights for mega projects to enable this important part of the assessment process.

Only through the perseverance of our client, conservation group Land Services of Coast and Country, were Adani’s claims about this multi billion-dollar project tested before an independent umpire.

Without this perseverance, the Australian public would not be aware that Adani’s job figures were overinflated by thousands of jobs that the company’s own witness admitted to.

The hearing exposed:

  • Adani may only pay $3.8b in royalties not the $22b they c...

14:57

Land Services of Coast and Country media release Edo QLD » News

Queensland Government must now reject Adani Carmichael Coal Mine

Conservation group Coast and Country responded today to the judgment of the Land Court of Queensland in its case against Indian company Adani’s $16.5billion Carmichael Coal Mine, proposed for Central West Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

Derec Davies of Coast and Country said, “The court found the Adani application for an environmental authority and mining lease be granted. The court has found the use of adaptive management to be a suitable platform for approval to mitigate the impact risks of the one million year old Doongmabulla Springs. Unfortunately this approach will not protect the endangered species and ecological communities from this massive mine”

Coast and Country objected to Adani’s coal mine on the grounds of:

  • impacts to groundwater and impact on the one million year old Doongmabulla Springs
  • impacts to the largest remaining population of the Black Throated Finch, and the Waxy Cabbage Palm
  • Adani’s economic assessment and over-estimation of jobs and benefits to Queensland
  • the mine’s carbon emission contribution to climate change, and impacts to the Great Barrier Reef.

Derec Davies of Coast and Country said, “The ultimate decision to approve or reject this mine is a political one. It sits now squarely with the Queensland Government.

“A matter of days ago, the world signed an historic climate deal that will end the age of coal. Carmichael is the planet’s third biggest coal mine. It would unleash more carbon than several countries and turbocharge global warming. It is the wrong mine on the wrong side of history.

“If Environment Minister Miles and Mines Minister Lynham approve Carmichael, their actions will be a travesty and a betrayal of all Queenslanders and the world community. They must now stand up for future generations. They should reject Carmichael, and keep its dange...

12:02

Germany: Deutsche Bank Branch Trashed in Hanover by “Black Bears” in Response to COP21 Earth First! Newswire

from Insurrection News

germany bank trashed 2On the night between the 13th and 14th of December, the Hanover branch of Deutsche Bank was attacked with paint inside and outside by direct action group the Black Bears. The group released photographs of their action and a communique explaining the reasons behind it. Deutsche Bank was specifically targeted for being one of the number one financiers of the coal industry and other major polluters responsible for the climate crisis. The action was also taken in response to the farcical COP21 ‘Climate Change Conference’ that recently took place in Paris, France.

“..An economic system in which money is earned via the destruction of our environment is unsustainable! They cannot be a part of the solution when they are obviously a part of the problem..’System Change, Not Climate Change’..fight for the overthrow of capitalism and the existing relations of domination…fight for a free and open society based on the principles of solidarity that sees itself as a part of the environment.”

for translated communique, read more

...

11:00

New research indicates different composition of Earth's mantle The Watchers » Latest articles

Seismic observations of our planet's interior have revealed three distinct structures, marking the boundary between its metallic core and silicate mantle. The structures include remnants of subducted plates from the Earth's surface, ultralow velocity zones rich... Read more »

10:37

Jerusalem Police Arrest Five for Assaulting Vet Involved in Animal Experimentation Earth First! Newswire

by Nir Hasson / Haaretz

Animal rights protesters in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, October 3, 2015.Ilan Assayag read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.691001

Animal rights protesters in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, October 3, 2015.Ilan Assayag
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.691001

Five suspects have been arrested by Jerusalem police for allegedly assaulting a veterinarian involved in breeding animals for scientific experiments.

A gag order prevents publication of the names of the suspects, who police suspect assaulted the victim on account of his work.

The veterinarian responded to an emergency call to treat a dog in Beit Shemesh at about midnight on November 23. When he arrived at the location, close to a soccer field in the city, he was led to a secluded area where he was beaten with stones by masked men. He was subsequently hospitalized for a week with broken bones and serious bruises.

According to the victim, who works in a facili...

09:59

Poe’s Law Justice Head Space

D.C. Man Accused of Providing Material Support to ISIS The FBI has arrested an Washington D.C., man suspected of providing material support to ISIS. Barack (Barry) Hussein Sotoerobama allegedly pledged his allegiance to ISIS and said his “soul was over there with the jihadists,” according to the FBI. Sotoerobama was formally charged Monday in U.S. […]

08:37

Fiji: NJV exploration to continue Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

namosi exploration

Aliki Bia | Fiji Broadcasting Corporation

The Mineral Resource Department has stated that the five year extension of the exploration license given to the Namosi Joint Venture (NJV)will remain.

Director of Mineral Resource Malakai Finau confirmed this to FBC News this morning.

Finau says despite ongoing consultation with various landowning unit in Namosi, exploration will continue.

The consultation was a directive from the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama after he received complaints from villagers that the exploration is damaging and polluting the rivers in Namosi.

‘’A meeting was organized with the landowners about two weeks ago and this to be followed with the consultation with landowners and their various villagers which is currently in progress’’.

Upon the completion of the consultation process, the Mineral Resource Department will put together a report which will be submitted to the Prime Minister and a decision is expected to be made regarding the mineral exploration by NJV.


08:12

Climate Justice Forum: Paris & Seattle Protests, Portland Train Collision 12-14-15 Wild Idaho Rising Tide

The Monday, December 14, 2015 Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features news about the final accord and accompanying demonstrations at the United Nations COP21 climate talks in Paris, France, protests at Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway headquarters and in solidarity with Paris uprisings, both in Seattle, an action that shut down the Enbridge Line 9 tar sands pipeline in Ontario/Quebec, and a fuel truck and fossil fuel train collision in Portland, Oregon.  Broadcast on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow every Monday between 7:30 and 9:00 pm PST, live at 90.3 FM and online, the show covers continent-wide climate activism and community opposition to extreme energy projects, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Filed under: Wild Idaho Rising Tide

07:39

What the Paris Climate Agreement Means for Indigenous Rights and Hydroelectric Dams EcoWatch

rights_FI

The demands to exclude hydroelectricity from the Paris climate agreement has...

07:00

No to Coal Exports in Oakland EcoWatch

oakland_FI

The San Francisco Bay might be the last place that comes to mind when...

06:50

Town Rejects Solar Farm Amid Fears it Would ‘Suck Up All the Energy From the Sun’ EcoWatch

NCsolarfarmfi

The town of Woodland, North Carolina rejected a proposal to ...

06:16

Fiji chief says bauxite mining hurting environment Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

bauxite

A Fiji chief says she prays daily that the Nawailevu Mining Project is never repeated in any part of Fiji.

Radio New Zealand

A Fiji chief says the government is pushing companies to mine in the country, with little regard for the environmental impacts on people’s land.

The Chinese company Aurum Exploration Limited recently completed mining at a site in Nawailevu, in the Bua province, and has commenced mining at two others sites in Fiji.

Bua chief Adi Filomena Tagivetaua was part of a team that undertook a survey in Nawailevu village in 2012 and says the Nawailevu Mining Project was a disaster.

“They usually fish prawns and eels from the nearby creeks near the village, they didn’t want to do that anymore because the eels had turned a different colour so they were afraid to feed their families and there were places where they [usually] got their vegetables that grew wildly, they were not allowed to pass points there. They had soldiers standing there to keep them away.”

Adi Filomena Tagivetaua says the government is doing nothing to protect people’s land from companies that come in with a lot of money and promises.

She says landowners were blinded by cash payouts.

03:56

CON21: A scathing analysis of the Paris Climate Conference Global Justice Ecology Project

from The Automatic Earth, December 12, 2015 Nickolay Lamm Jefferson Memorial under 25 feet of water French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius just announced, in Paris, a “legally binding agreement” that no-one has agreed the financing for. We can hear a... Read More

The post CON21: A scathing analysis of the Paris Climate Conference appeared first on Global Justice Ecology Project.

03:47

Is a Low-Fat Diet Healthy? EcoWatch

ultralowfat_FI

In the long run, following a strict diet very low in fat is extremely ...

03:40

Top 10 States With the Fewest Couch Potatoes EcoWatch

activestatesfi

The United Health Foundation and American Public Health Association ranked states based on ...

03:26

Carl Pope: Paris Agreement ‘Greatest Single Victory Since Emergence of Modern Environmental Movement’ EcoWatch

pope_agreement_FI

Perhaps most important, the entire world, including Iran and Venezuela and...

03:18

The End of Fossil Fuels is Near EcoWatch

Kumi_FI

Parts of this deal have been diluted and polluted by the people who...

03:12

Why is it so Warm in December? EcoWatch

santskiingfi

While El Niño and climate change are certainly in play, there's another factor in...

03:10

Fossil fuel credit ratings unmoved by Paris Agreement The Ecologist

The impact of the Paris Agreement on leading rating agency Moody's assessment of the world's fossil fuel companies is ... nothing at all. The one change is in Europe, where thermal generators have a worsening outlook, and renewables are 'credit positive'.

03:09

Historic Supreme Court Ruling Bans GMO Crop Trials in Philippines EcoWatch

Philippines_FI

“This decision builds on a wave of countries in Europe rejecting GE crops and ...

03:08

‘Bernie Blackout’: 81 Media Minutes on Trump = 1 Minute on Sanders EcoWatch

sanderstrump_FI

There appears to be a concerted "blackout" of news about...

02:29

Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp: Help Us Stop the DARK Act EcoWatch

farmaidfi

Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young are speaking out against the...

01:10

Nuclear waste in India poured routinely in Subarnarekha river? DiaNuke.org

Villagers drink, bathe and wash themselves, their clothes and their food in the tributaries of the Subarnarekha River, which a 2009 study found to be heavily contaminated with alpha radiation, with levels 192 per cent higher than safe limits set by the World Health Organization. Ashish Birulee

India’s nuclear industry pours its wastes into a river of death and disease. Scientists say nuclear workers, village residents, and children living near mines and factories are falling ill after persistent exposure to unsafe radiation.

The post Nuclear waste in India poured routinely in Subarnarekha river? appeared first on DiaNuke.org.

00:42

Paris Agreement: the future is in our hands The Ecologist

The emergence in the Paris Agreement of 1.5C as the global temperature rise the world should aim for is hugely significant, writes Natalie Bennett. But it's up to us, climate activists and ordinary citizens the world over, to make sure it's delivered.

00:26

EF!J 3rd Annual Art Auction Starts Tomorrow! Earth First! Newswire

from Earth First! Journal Collective

Not much about the Earth First! Journal is consistent, but for the third year in a row, we bring to you the Earth First! Journal Art Auction.

This year the auction will run from December 15th through the 22nd. We will have dozens of pieces from a wide array of artists and/or activists from around the globe What’s better than buying art produced by these amazing folks? Knowing that all the proceeds will go to help us continue to print four issues per year of both the Journal and the Newsletter, maintaining the Newswire and website, sharing radical manuals, getting the design collective cruising, and dealing with whatever monetary obstacles come our way.

Eventually, with your help there will be no internet (or capitalism) and art will be valued in only non-monetary ways. Until that day we encourage you to go online and bid on some amazing art!

Check out some of the pieces in this year’s auction:

black cat

...

00:20

Anti-COP 21 Arson Against Electricity of France Corporate Vehicles Earth First! Newswire

original written in French by Anti-COP 21

translated to Portuguese by Agência de Noticias Anarquistas

translated to Spanish by La Rebelión de las Palabras

translated to English by Earth First! Journal

cop-21-edf

EDF (Electricity of France) is one of the participants of the COP-21. It is also a state corporation that seeks to present nuclear energy as the solution to the problems of climate change. Nuclear energy is death; let us destroy its promoters!

We believe that it is important to attack the COP-21 wherever it be: that is, wherever there is profit and power.

We prefer qualitative action, abetment, and surprise instead of gatherings based on mediation, shows of the State, and its horde of police. With some torches, gallons of gasoline, and smiles, we humbly respond to the surveillance, the fear, the resignation which alienates us from everyday life.

All COP-21 are targets!

There will always be more gasoline against the State (of emergency)!

The incendiaries.

 

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Monday, 14 December

23:34

Germany: Window Damaged at Peek and Cloppenburg Earth First! Newswire

from Bite Back

index

anonymous report (translation):

“On the night of 12:10:15 we damaged a display window at Peek & Cloppenburg in Berlin (Tauentzienstrasse). The company is complicit in a crime against animals. Peek & Cloppenburg is selling fur products to make a profit. We will not accept that.”

23:20

Farmer-scientist group, petitioners win case against Bt eggplant grain.org - english

After almost four years of litigation led by farmers and allies, the Supreme Court of the Philippines has permanently stopped the field testing of Bt talong, an eggplant variety genetically engineered to produce its own toxin. 

22:41

Zane: did Cameron order cover-up on landfill cyanide death of 7-year old? The Ecologist

The apparent conspiracy by the UK government and its agencies to conceal the real cause of death of 7-year old Zane Gbangbola may go right up to Prime Minister David Cameron, writes Paul Mobbs. He was chair of the COBRA emergency committee at the time when it appears to have held back the truth that he was killed by cyanide from the toxic landfill site his home was built over.

22:08

To meet Paris temperature targets, make fossil fuel producers 'take back' their carbon The Ecologist

How to reconcile the Paris Agreement's target to deliver a temperature rise 'well under 2C', with its wholly inadequate mechanisms? Easy, writes Myles Allen: Make fossil fuel producers 'take back' their carbon so as to fit within a global carbon budget. And for fossil fuel producers in the rich world, that means there is no time to lose - specially to meet a 1.5C target.

21:13

Political animus hides what underlies all of these institutions in America Head Space

The Ugly Truth Exposed The fear in both the GOP and Democratic party is visible at the surface when it comes to Trump, and it’s not that he’s any of what they’ve accused him of.  No, it’s really much simpler than that, and both Republican and Democrat parties, along with the mainstream media, are utterly terrified that you, the average American, is going […]

20:03

“Any influence, which destroys the individual, can destroy the whole society.” Head Space

The Paradox of Technology Paradoxically enough, technical security may increase cowardice. The technical world we ourselves have created has replaced the very real challenge, which nature originally afforded human imagination, and humans are no longer compelled to face the forces of nature outside themselves and the forces of instinct within them. Our luxurious habits and […]

17:01

Seeding an Agrarian Revolution in Rural India Latest News

Aided by a local nonprofit, marginalized women farmers are growing a rich harvest of crops using age-old farming traditions

11:00

Fresh view of Earth - DSCOVR taking images of entire sunlit side of Earth every two hours The Watchers » Latest articles

Less than a year after its launch on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera, also known as EPIC, is taking images of the entire sunlit side of Earth every two hours.All images are in the public domain and can be view... Read more »

Floods still affecting Ireland as river levels rise again The Watchers » Latest articles

Parts of Ireland experienced more heavy flooding on December 12, 2015 after more heavy rain battered the country. At the same time, water levels of the Shannon river system are still rising and are expected to peak over the next few days, the National Emergency Coordina... Read more »

10:50

Semi Truck Crashes into Bitumen Train in Portland, Causing Explosion, Fire Earth First! Newswire

The scene after the railroad tanker cars caught fire in NW Portland / kgw.com Facebook fan Sherri Neice

The scene after the railroad tanker cars caught fire in NW Portland / kgw.com Facebook fan Sherri Neice

by Teresa Blackman / KGW

A deadly crash sparked a massive fire in Northwest Portland Sunday morning, forcing residents to hunker down in their homes as thick black smoke filled the air.

People from as far away as the St. Johns area across the river said they heard loud explosions and then saw flames shoot high into the air.

Investigators said the fire started when a semi-truck collided with one of the rail cars just before 9 a.m., Sunday.  The driver of the truck was killed in the crash, according to police.

Crews from several agencies responded to help battle the three-alarm fire which was located next to Highway 30, just south of the St. Johns Bridge.

Nearby businesses were evacuated...

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Sunday, 13 December

21:13

Adding another Harbinger to the list Head Space

“It is said, the comet always precedes them…“ C/2013 US10 (Catalina) reaches its brightest Comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina) is forecast to reach its brightest, at around mag 4.8. It will lie at a distance of 1.30 AU from the Sun, and at a distance of 0.77 AU from the Earth. Comet Catalina is brightening in the eastern […]

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Saturday, 12 December

04:35

House Committee Grills Secretary Jewell on Gold King Mine Spill EARTHblog

On Wednesday, Congress held its fifth hearing on the August 5 spill of 3 million gallons of toxic mine drainage in to Colorado’s Animas River. On this occasion, the House Natural Resources Committee invited Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Sally Jewell to testify about her agency’s technical report on the causes of the spill.

A Disaster Waiting to Happen

In case you skipped the first four hearings, here’s what happened. The Gold King Mine stopped operating in the 1920s. It belongs to a network of inactive mines and tunnels near Silverton, Colorado that continue to drain their acid mine pollution in to the Animas River watershed.

In 2009, Colorado’s Division of Mine Reclamation and Safety (DMRS) collected the owner’s forfeiture bond to pay to backfill four portals, re-grade waste piles, and seed the roads. The bond did not have funds for any long-term maintenance or monitoring.

So in 2014, DMRS calls the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because the band-aid patch over the Gold King Mine is failing. EPA cooks up a plan to insert a pipe behind the bulkhead to relieve water pressure building up against the walls of the mine. While digging, the EPA contractor noticed a two-foot high spurt of water shooting up from a hole in the mine. Within an hour, the devastating spill turned the Animas River orange, carrying a pollution plume from Durango downstream to the Navajo Nation.

DOI’s report squarely pins the blame on the EPA for underestimating water levels and pressures behind the mine.

Preventing Future Disasters

In addition to EPA’s enginee...

02:51

Peat drainage for pulp and oil palm ‘leads to fires, subsidence, and floods’ CHANGING TIMES

A new report published by the non-governmental organisation Wetlands International states that almost all of the recent fire hotspots on Sumatra’s environmentally precious Kampar Peninsula started on oil palm and pulp wood plantations.

The peninsula is a peat soil area covering about 700,000 hectares in the Pelalawan and Siak districts in the Riau province of east Sumatra.

The area is one of the world’s last remaining havens for critically endangered Sumatran tigers.

Drainage and subsidence are affecting the hydrology of areas next to the plantations, the new report states, and this is increasing the fire risk in remaining natural forest and peat areas,

The new report, commissioned by Wetlands International and produced by the Deltares research institute, says that drained pulp wood and oil palm plantations will inevitably suffer from severe land subsidence, and increasing flooding and production loss.

The researchers’ conclusion is that pulp wood and oil palm plantations on peatlands cannot be managed sustainably.

The drainage of peatland was a major cause of the forest fires that raged through vast areas of Sumatra and Kalimantan recently, causing choking pollution in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Thousands of hectares of forest were destroyed, there were fatalities, and at least half a million people suffered from respiratory illnesses.

This year’s fires were described by conservation scientist Erik Meijaard as “probably the biggest global environmental disaster of the 21st century”. They were exacerbated by the effects of the El Niño weather phenomenon, which caused a prolonged dry season in Indonesia.

Most of the fires were on peatland. Once dried out, the peat is extremely inflammable. The fires burn underground and are very hard to extinguish.

...

Wednesday, 09 December

16:29

What LNG Means for Oregon: A Visual Representation – Dec 11th Portland Rising Tide

While our policy makers engage in CLIMATE TALKS in Paris, Oregonians will engage in CLIMATE ACTION in Portland. Oregon is threatened by two massive Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export projects that would radically increase the amount of fossil fuel that

The post What LNG Means for Oregon: A Visual Representation – Dec 11th appeared first on Portland Rising Tide.

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