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Environmental Graffiti is a UK-based environmental blog, focussed on providing the most useful environmental knowledge and debate: from policymakers and celebrities to guest bloggers.
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Wildlife Numbers Decline as Desperate Refugees Seek Meat
January 22, 2008 08:35 AM - , Environmental Graffiti
There are no real winners in Africa’s many tribal and political conflicts and the list of losers keeps growing. Animal conservation groups say they have found a link between the decline of African wildlife, much of it threatened or endangered, and refugee camps. It appears that a thriving black market in illegally caught meat has grown up in the camps due to the lack of animal protein provided by the international aid organizations that provide food for the camps.
Volcano, Not Global Warming Effects, May be Melting an Antarctic Glacier
January 21, 2008 09:08 AM - , Environmental Graffiti
Scientists have discovered a layer of volcanic ash and glass shards in Antarctica, evidence of an old eruption by a still active volcano that researchers believe may be contributing to the thinning of Antarctic glacial ice. Hugh F.J. Corr and David G. Vaughan, two scientists with the British Antarctic Survey, recently published their discovery of the volcanic layer in the journal Nature Geoscience. The discovery is unique according to Dr. Vaughan. He said “This is the first time we have seen a volcano beneath the ice sheet punch a hole through the ice sheet.”
Elephants Evolve Smaller Tusks Due to Poaching
January 20, 2008 09:40 AM - , Environmental Graffiti
A species’ evolution has long been thought to take thousands of years to produce seemingly minor changes. It appears that in at least one case, however, evolution is occurring at what seems like jet speed. In the last 150 years, the world’s elephant population has evolved much smaller tusks.
U.S. Abandons Endangered Species to Build Border Fence
January 19, 2008 09:50 AM - , Environmental Graffiti
They have bravely persisted in building the fence despite repeated assertions from a variety of sources that it will be massively expensive and completely ineffective. (My personal favorite piece of anti-border fence media comes from Penn & Teller’s: B*llsh$T. They built a fence to the specs the government created, then had several undocumented immigrants try to get through, under, and over it. It took about 5 minutes for 6 people to get through.)
Japanese Paper Industry in Recycling Scandal
January 18, 2008 10:10 AM - , Environmental Graffiti
Two major players in the Japanese paper industry have been left with egg on their face after admitting they lied about the amount of recycled paper in their products. Several days ago Nippon Paper Group, the second largest paper company in Japan, admitted it had lied about the percentage of recycled material in its products. Oji Paper, the country’s biggest paper company, revealed that it too had lied about the recycled content of its paper today.
Ol’ Blue Eyes Returns to Earth as a Koala
January 15, 2008 10:49 AM - , Environmental Graffiti
In a list of the cutest, cuddliest animals ever, the koala would have to be somewhere near the top. From the adorable way they crawl around and eat eucalyptus leaves to their plump bellies and funny noses, these animals make you want to give them a hug.
Energy Saving Program in Seattle Puts Consumer in Control
January 11, 2008 08:57 AM - , Environmental Graffiti
Today, the New York Times reports on such a pilot experiment involving 112 homes in the Seattle area. The project by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory of the Energy Department, showed that ”if households have digital tools to set temperature and price preferences, the peak loads on utility grids could be trimmed by up to 15 percent a year. Over a 20-year period, this could save $70 billion on spending for power plants and infrastructure, and avoid the need to build the equivalent of 30 large coal-fired plants.’
Tiny English Islands Once Held Pygmy Versions of Dinosaurs
January 10, 2008 11:26 AM - , Environmental Graffiti
The dinosaurs, the thecodontosaurus or “socket toothed lizard”, are not themselves newly discovered. In fact, they were one of the first dinosaurs to ever be named. The first fossils of the six foot long dinosaur were originally found in 1834, before dinosaurs were even recognized as a group, at the site of the current Bristol Zoo. 11 more thecodontosaurus skeletons were found in 1975 in a quarry north of Bristol, which helped create the idea that the creatures had lived on the mainland in some sort of desert.
Will Shiny Plants Save Us From Global Warming?
January 9, 2008 11:05 AM - , Environmental Graffiti
Worried about climate change? Well worry no longer because a University of California-Irvine team has come up with a solution: shiny crops. The idea is just one of many recent ideas proposed by geoengineering, the science of modifying Earth’s environment on a large scale. In the last couple years, geoengineers have proposed several unique solutions to the global warming problem including stationing mirrors in space, dumping large amounts of iron into the ocean and creating artificial volcanoes.
Carbon Credits to be Used to Fund GM Food Crops
January 8, 2008 09:03 AM - , Environmental Graffiti
US biotech firm Arcadia Biosciences has announced a plan to help fund the planting of genetically modified rice with carbon credits. The company will work with the Chinese government to give farmers who plant their crops carbon credits, which they can then sell on the global carbon trading market.