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President Obama approves Arctic drilling
April 5, 2015 08:01 AM - Kevin Mathews, Care2
President Barack Obama has seemingly spent a lot of his second term trying to cement his reputation as one of the United States’s most environmentally conscious leaders. However, his most recent decision to approve controversial oil and gas drilling in the Arctic is certain to lose him favor within the environmental community. How can he preach about the consequences of global warming and carbon emissions and simultaneously give corporations permission to drill in a vulnerable region for decades to come?
As Scientific American reminds us, although we tend to romanticize some of Obama’s environmental policy, his decision to give Arctic drilling a thumbs-up is not incongruent with his overall scheme to have America reliant on multiple sources of energy, including both renewable options, as well as gas and oil.
Carbon storage in world's biomass is increasing
April 2, 2015 02:08 PM - Steve Williams, Care2
The threat of deforestation is understood as one of the major problems in the world today, but a new study suggests that the total amount of vegetation in the world appears to have increased in the past decade, suggesting a rare ray of light in conservation and climate change news.
The study, which was published late last month in the journal Nature Climate Change, saw researchers from Australia assess the amount of carbon stored in living plant mass, also known as biomass, stored above ground. This is one established way that we can measure not just how much carbon is stored but also the density of biomass in any given area and so provides us with an interesting way of assessing regional and global forest densities.
Its a fact: animals can predict earthquakes.
March 30, 2015 04:30 PM - Susan Bird, Care2
The Amazon rainforest teems with animal activity throughout the day and night. When animals suddenly withdraw and go silent, however, something unusual is going on. Many believe that this reaction can mean an earthquake is imminent.
Scientists now say they’ve got proof this belief is true. They’ve published their study’s findings in the journal Physics and Chemistry of the Earth.
Researchers set up a series of motion-activated camera traps in Peru’s Yanachanga National Park to observe animal activity at ground level. They filmed rodents and other ground dwellers as they went about their busy forest lives.
Shifting temperatures will affect flavors, quality of food
March 27, 2015 10:34 AM - S.E. Smith, Care2
Love scrumptious vegan pizza? You’d better enjoy it while you can, because climate change is moving in to hog a slice. According to an Australian report, Appetite for Change, climate change isn’t just going to decimate existing crops — it’s also going to change the way the survivors taste. And not in a good way. The researchers say that we’re going to be eating increasingly bland, tasteless, mushy food because of the way shifting temperatures are affecting farming, and in fact, it’s already started happening.
France passes law to promote green roofs
March 26, 2015 09:05 AM - Kevin Mathews, Care2
Environmentalism is fast becoming a top concern in France – a rooftop concern, to be precise. Excitingly, the nation has just passed new legislation that will require all upcoming commercial construction projects to feature either green roofs or solar panels above their top floors.
Massive marine sanctuary created in the Pacific
March 22, 2015 09:47 AM - Tex Dworkin, Care2
Mutiny on the Bounty is a tale about the Royal Navy ship Bounty. On April 28, 1789, Fletcher Christian led sailors in a mutiny against their captain, Lieutenant William Bligh. So the story goes, the captain was set afloat in a small boat along with crew members who were loyal to him, while the mutineers settled on Pitcairn Island or Tahiti and burned Bounty off Pitcairn to avoid detection.
Today Pitcairn island’s population is about 50 people, including descendants of Fletcher Christian, and the surrounding waters where the Bounty supposedly went down in flames has just become the world’s largest contiguous ocean reserve.
This is great news for the sanctity of the Pacific ocean and its inhabitants.
Bill Proposed to Ban Wild Animals from Circus Performing
March 17, 2015 12:52 PM - Alicia Graef, Care2
Circus elephants just scored a victory with an announcement that Ringling Bros. will be retiring its performers, but big cats and other wild animals left behind may get their own victory in Pennsylvania if a state senator can get them banned.
The emotional and physical toll life on the road as performers takes on elephants has taken center stage, but for other species like big cats, life in the entertainment industry is just as bad.
Success Story: Baby Tortoises Return to Pinzón
March 13, 2015 08:58 AM - Judy Molland, Care2
Wonderful news! Ten baby tortoises have been spotted on the Galapagos island of Pinzón, in Ecuador. This might not seem like such a big deal–after all, aren’t the Galapagos famous for their tortoises? But in this case, it’s been more than 100 years since the last baby tortoise was seen on Pinzón. Sadly, it was human activity that brought these cute animals to the brink of extinction. Sailors first arrived on Pinzón Island in the mid-18th century, bringing with them on their boats numerous rats that quickly gained a foothold in the fragile ecosystem, feasting on the eggs and hatchlings of the island’s tortoises who, up until then, had few natural predators.
Alcoholic Russian Bears may finally get the help they deserve!
March 7, 2015 08:48 AM - Megan Drake, Care2
Taken in as cubs, two bears have been living in a small trash-ridden cage at a restaurant in Sochi, Russia, for over 20 years. In an effort to help the bears, some local animal advocates notified Anna Kogan, founder of Big Hearts Foundation (BHF), an animal welfare organization that helps animal causes in Russia.
BHF worked along with the Prosecutor General in Sochi to get the bears released and sent to a sanctuary and, on February 3, 2015, the court ruled in favor of the bears.
The Story of Misha and Pasha
Never receiving veterinary care and given inappropriate food–as well as alcohol by restaurant patrons–the two male bears, named Misha and Pasha, have become addicted to alcohol.
Newest 'green' burial method? Turn your loved ones into trees
March 4, 2015 07:01 AM - Tex Dworkin, Care2
Have you ever considered what might be a more eco-friendly alternative to coffins? How about organic burial pods where, instead of headstones, trees are planted on top. Two Italian designers–Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel– came up with up a project called Capsula Mundi, an innovative design concept with an environmental twist that addresses the exorbitant use of natural resources associated with traditional burials. Described as “the first Italian project created to promote the realization of green cemeteries in our country,” Capsula Mundi is an egg-shaped pod created to house a deceased human body in the fetal position, which eventually becomes nutrients that nourish the tree above.